Ayurvedic Astrology: Guidance from the Stars
In preparation for the release of our very first podcast episode, we are releasing this primer on Ayurvedic astrology. Our guest will be Laura Plumb.
Laura is the Founder and Director of VedaWise, a training and coaching program dedicated to Vedic astrology. As a coach, trainer and lecturer, Laura combines Ayurvedic history, culture and knowledge with health and wellness to help people better cope in the modern world.
Before turning to astrology, Laura was the General Manager of Discovery Channel Europe. I spoke to Laura about the tradition of vedic astrology, how it’s been transformed since its ancient beginnings and why astrology has gained in popularity in recent years.
About Veda and Jyotish design
In the Hindu culture of Vedic rituals, Jyotisha is the astrological tradition which connects the microcosm to the macrocosm - the minute to the universal. The word comes from jyot meaning light, and ish meaning God, so that the two combined produce the meaning “light of God”.
For followers of Jyotisha, each gem and setting contains a different meaning, connecting the wearer to a celestial body - the sun to harness life force, Mercury for clarity and communication, Mars for vitality and courage, Venus for creativity and romance. The following is a list of the stones and their corresponding planets in the ayurvedic tradition:
- Sun - ruby
- Moon - pearl
- Mercury - emerald
- Venus - diamond
- Mars - coral
- Jupiter - yellow sapphire
- Saturn - blue sapphire
Each gem connects us to a different ritual; for example a pearl would be worn after being washed in the sacred water of the River Ganges and fresh milk, while chanting a mantra. It is essential that each stone is clear - unclouded, free from occlusions, and with no marks or cuts.
It is important that in the Jyotish tradition the gems touch the wearer’s skin, and is made uniquely for its owner based on their unique Vedic astrological chart. It is customary that, once put on, it is never removed.
Traditionally a solemn ceremony is performed with clarified butter, water, milk, curds, and honey and sugar, which when brought together constitute the five nectars. These are rinsed from the spirit within the ring with tumeric, flowers, and Vermillion. A sandalwood paste is applied, and incense is burned, while the ring is ornamented and prayed over in the inner sanctum of a temple, with fruits, leaves and nuts given as an offering. The soft light of a ghee lamp watches over these proceedings, before the ring is finally bestowed upon the wearer.
From this moment onwards the ring creates a special bond with its owner, providing strength, and protection that will be a talisman with great spiritual force.
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