Tag Archives: shamanism

Astrological remedies: How they work and the mechanism of action

A friend recently asked me how the stones or whatever remedies work? I partially answered this question in a previous blog post, but I wanted to give a more direct answer to this question.

I have been studying astrology for only a few years. I’ve always had a skeptical rational mind. Most of my life I rejected things like astrology. I was quite attached to the idea of free will and the thought that my life was entirely my own: either I’d make it or break it by my own will and my own effort.

But then of course I came to India and started studying the philosophy and the vedic culture. Through my yoga practice I began to recognize more and more how little control I actually had over the events in my life. I suppose to put in yogaly, the more I identified with the witness, the less I identified as the doer of my actions. But of course one has to wonder who (or what is the doer)? Who (or what) is the enjoyer of the actions if I am a mere witness?

Then I started looking into astrology. There’s no need to explain how I found it to be very accurate and very easy to learn if you have the sort of mind that appeals to hard logic (I finally discovered the use of those symbolic logic classes I took in college).

In astrology we are mostly looking at the kinds of energies represented by the planets and the houses and the signs and the Nakshatras and such. These are the same archetypical energies that Ayurveda and yoga and sankya and Tantra use to understand the world. The principles are all the same.

After all these years studying and practicing these disciplines I can attest that it’s a sound way of understanding the health of body, the workings of the mind, and the relationships between everything (the elements, mind body and spirit, past present and future, people between each other, man and nature…… ect ect).

The stones, because of the purity of their elements, presumably represent the sattwic nature of the various planetary forces. We can use much more than stones to mitigate these forces. In many ways, the stones I recommend are meant to help purify the already satwik properties related to personality, mind and luck. Stones are subtle and simple. If we want to start working on improving negative indications in chart, then a person has to be willing to commit to more active remedies.

To use a rather extreme example, say a chart indicates that a person my do something wrong and go to prison for a few years (not that you have anything like this). By logic, one way to perhaps influence this out come might be to bring doughnuts to the police station every Tuesday. This would have a very strong effect on making you more law abiding. But of course, no one is going to do this and the police would likely think it so strange that they might indeed find some reason to put you in jail, so, we feed the fish every Tuesday and perhaps donate some time or money to something like a halfway house. As the shamans would say: “we have to appease that energy that wants to do us harm.”

These sorts of remedies all depend on the client and what they want from life, what they’re willing to do to get it, and of course, what resources they have at their disposal.

This link is to an article I wrote and presented to the university about the role of science in regards to preventative treatment:

The role of Basic Sciences in Ayurvedic Medicine

And here’s a slightly different perspective on how astrology (and such things) work:


Traditional ways come to the city: in brief

Traditional culture goes by a lot of names these days. Every region has their own ancient practice. The Americas have their shamans connecting man to nature and the cosmos thru fire and smoke rituals, chanting, and vision questing. China followed the Doa and yin yang with the precise awareness of balance that found expression in herbalism that implies a strong connection to the land. In India the Tantrics watched the inter-play of Shiva and Shakti dance in every molecule. Europe had the pagans worshiping the bounty of nature with gods of various sorts living in every tree limb. There is no difference between any of these paths.

In those days, people followed the Dao because they had to. By todays standard, they were no more than animals living in the forest; such was their connection to the forest.

But then, of course, cities began to rise up and civic life style began to take whole generations of people away from the land. The city has become a problem because they have dominion over land they have no connection to. Cities are about commerce and security, and cities can be very selfish in this way. Cities are areas with a dense population of numerous communities mixed about in a broth. In “successful” cities, these communities get along and co-mingle, while the less successful cities get no peace. But most cities at some time or other break in their own way. This is fate: as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, every city will have its fall. Not the surest argument to be sure, but sound none-the-less.

As for the tantrics the tribals, and the pagans, they too will fall (just as their ways have fallen to the weigh-side), but they will have more peace and fuller enjoyment along the way. With life comes death and suffering. What we call life is only animated matter. But we are not merely animated matter, we are higher than that; higher even than the life we treasure so much. Traditional practice and the perspective it offers allows us to connect in that higher manner and, as some would say, act as witness to the fate of the animated matter while remaining aloof.

When we speak in terms of tradition practice, we are forced to speak in broad terms, thus the body and mind become matter. When we speak in terms of the city, we speak in specific ways of the specialist who know a lot about one thing but nothing of the whole. It’s nothing new that the times we live in is dominated by narrow vision, we are dominated also by the city.

This is why there arose fresh spiritual masters to help navigate the city perception in a civil way. We were warned about the merchants and the militaristic way of thinking by Christ who sought to create a modern community that held to higher values even within the context of cities. Cities found a way to use Christ’s message to sway people away from paganism and into monotheism. Monotheism is like city worship. No one can argue against it because everyone agrees that there is only one god, but that one god is not separate from you or me or anything else in this world. Cities separated this modern god perspective just like they separate themselves form the land, but these modern god perspectives (there are many more than the one offered by Christ) were never meant to separate one from god but unit. There has been a war of sorts raging over this topic ever since.

These days there seems to be a revival of the traditional ways. The funny thing is that these traditional ways are now considered to be the alternative while the practices of the city, which, as I’ve mentioned earlier are narrow and self-serving, bask in the murky light of the mainstream. The healing arts of the shamans and medicine men and women of tradition are slowly being cut and pruned to fit city perspective. Old medicine is perhaps finding a new face, or loosing face altogether. Some days it’s hard to tell.

Om namah shivaya