The Changing Face of the Healing Crafts
Reigning in the Alter Ego
Conventional medical care is becoming increasingly expensive and often remains outside the reach of individuals of meager means, even in developed countries. Moreover, in certain chronic conditions and ill-defined maladies (according to modern medical guidelines), it remains less than optimally effective, particularly on a long-term basis. Recently, all over the world, there has been a low key, almost silent resurgence of a trend for people to lean towards 'alternative' therapeutic modalities. An increase has been seen in the popularity of traditional forms of therapies, such as Ayurveda, other herbal traditions, homeopathy, aromatherapy, acupuncture, chromotherapy, osteopathic and chiropractic medicine, etc. -- all of which are based on administration or utilization of therapeutic substances; most of these have also included physical procedures and recommended changes in lifestyle.
Quite apart from all of these, exists a treatment modality that utilizes one or more forms of 'healing energy' and is claimed to work through 'human' touch. The general belief is that these healers are connected with, resonate to or are attuned to some form of Universal Healing Energy which then is believed to work through these individuals.
Many such modalities or paths exists, the gamut running from faith-healing to those that use electro-mechanical devices in redirecting the flow of the Chi or "energy" through the body, or removing energy-blockages, etc. The basic underlying tenet is that we all can receive and resonate to some form of healing energy that perfuses and vitalizes our universe. Some individuals, either naturally or through attunement (generally a closely guarded and secret procedure which some have indicated includes an element of 'shaktipat') become adept at focusing or directing the flow of such energy to help bring about healing in others.
The concept may sound rather far-fetched or even fantastic to many of us who are skeptical about 'these' things and definitely motivation in the patient plays a big part as does faith in these energies to work as intended or claimed. In some ways, these probably work through the 'placebo' effect which is often misunderstood by some as a 'non-effect' or "psychological" suggestion therapy. Perhaps the 'placebo' effect, which is often short-lasting thanks to our doubting minds, brings into action the 'intrinsic' healing mechanism (the inner physician) that all of us possess. That these energy-based healing modalities work is recorded in many anecdotal studies and even in some scientific clinical studies that showed the salutary effect of Reiki and Qigong on hemoglobin levels, reduced pain and other parameters in scientific studies.
We all have heard of the astrological explorations carried out by the Gauquelins from France as well as other similar 'epidemiological' studies many of which have been summarized in "Astrology Science or Superstition", by Eysenck and Nias, Pelican Book, ISBN 0-14-022397-5. The approach of these tropical western astrology researchers had been to amass a large collection of horoscopes and then to seek to identify a pattern in the chart using the tropical zodiac that would be shared by a certain occupational or other identifiable group. Thus, we have the "Saturn" effect showing up commonly in the horoscopes of scientists and the 'mars' effect in those of athletes. Many of the 'traditional' tropical astrological rules and tenets did not show up very significantly in these studies, in a highly significant manner that would make them useful for being used as 'signature patterns'. A signature pattern would be described as an easily definable and discernible astrological combination that alone or in combination with other patterns would show up in a fairly high proportion of charts which belong to a well-defined category. A similar approach when applied to jyotish can pose a very significant and somewhat daunting task. Jyotish essentially depends on a 'weight of evidence' approach. This involves a through study of a horoscope from many different angles, including a multitude of charts and thus taking into account multiple factors, as one would naturally assume operate in our lives and in what I call "the human experience". One or even a couple of factors seen in a given chart rarely have sufficient impact to show up as a definite effect. Moreover, there are many layers and shades of attributes that jyotishis study for a given planet. A planet may intrinsically or functionally be benefic, malefic or cruel; weak, neutral or strong, in individual Vargas, shadbala, ashtakavarga or vimshopaka, as well as other considerations may need to be considered. There are many other qualitative attributes that should be considered when determining the influence attributed to a planet or planetary combination in a reading. Readily available software, such as, Parashara's Light (TM)) in its several versions, Graven Jyotish (TM), etc., have made it possible to not only calculate and use more of these factors, but has also brought to the fore, the problems that arise when one quotes readings in a disjointed manner verbatim even from revered classical texts. One requires the human interpreter to convert a load of information into insightful knowledge.
Having been interested in the phenomenon of 'energy healing' for quite some time, and having witnessed and experienced some of its undeniable success and efficacy, we at Crystal Pages (a jyotish information, education and research organization which may be accessed through Internet world wide web at Crystal Pages had been collecting charts of energy healers, primarily of practitioners of Reiki, but also of others who were attuned in systems such as QiGong and Therapeutic Touch, as well as of faith-healers. While faith healing is believed to be a divine gift, Reiki and similar modalities can be acquired, generally through a process of attunement, training and practice through several levels or grades. Some of these have spiritual, as well as procedural/ritual-based components; however, we do not intend to dwell on these details in this article, but instead, would like to direct the interested reader's attention towards "Essential Reiki A complete guide to an ancient healing art", by Diane Stein, The Crossing Press, ISBN 0-89594-736-6, and other many books available on the subject. The central theme of all of these healing modalities is that the human body has the capability for channeling, concentrating and directing a "Healing Energy of Universe" through ones hands (palm chakras, which some describe as being minor nerve centers connected to other neuro-endocrine-spiritual centers). I mention this because this was taken as an important leading cue in this astrological exploration that I am about to describe.
The "Research" feature in available Jyotish Software
When this exploration was initiated sometime ago, I had recently acquired a commercially available jyotish software and was quite interested in its much touted 'Research' feature which essentially took a collection of horoscopes and proceeded to find the labels or tags that were present in these charts and then sorted them in the descending order of frequency. So, for example, it would look for sun in ascendant and determine that 20 out of 100 charts had this attribute, and then go on to find some other flag, such as mars in benefic shastiamsha or something like that. Two BIG problems became glaringly obvious soon after the initial excitement of novelty wore off! This feature was extremely s-l-o-w! Even a small collection of charts would take half an hour and longer on a reasonably powerful system (by the prevailing home computer standards). There was no way of cutting short the 'search and sort' function. It seemed to go through all the factors keyed in by the programmer, until it exhausted the entire list. This meant, that, each time I acquired a few more charts and added it to my research set, the entire search had to be done again, and again! After a few weeks, during which I was also examining the charts -- with the aid of the transputer that thrives mostly on glucose and oxygen and lives between my ears -- and beginning to decipher "patterns" in the charts -- I realized that my fancy and rather expensive software does not have those labels or tags that my eyes spotted readily! It had many tags, it just did not have enough for research! Over the next several months, I purchased Parashara's Light, which was far more light-footed than my earlier acquired software and had a basic research mode which though not comprehensive, did things faster in the search and calculating of charts, etc. This program allows one to use some basic search strategy building blocks and to conduct logical searches through a set of horoscopes. If Parshara's Light included a feature by which the users could create a search strategy by creating a text file using the yoga codes and the program could then conduct the search at its rapid pace, then it would have easily become the most useful and extremely powerful research tool for jyotishis. I hope someone from Geovision is reading this and considering adding such.
Background and Approach
My aim in conducting the present exploration was to carry out a pilot study to see if certain factors that made astrological sense were seen in a greater frequency in the charts of the energy healers or not. If such was indeed the case then these very factors could serve as indicators providing useful direction and guidance in charts of nativities who came for advice. Reiki is typically administered by placing ones palms on different areas of the patient's body and is experienced as a sensation of 'hotness' and sometimes has a fine vibrational character. Reiki is of Japanese origin, from predominantly Buddhist sources (though the prevailing historical accounts have been challenged by many, recently) and promotes ideals of service, gentleness, kindness. It was, therefore, a bit counter-intuitive when in chart after chart, mars began to show up in association with the lagna and/or the third house. The lagna represents the self, the conduit through which the energy is channeled and the third house represents the shoulder, arms and hands and the minor chakras in ones palms. The heat and vibrations also seemed consonant with the sensations actually perceived by individuals who are giving or receiving Reiki treatments. Having focused on mars, based on serendipitous observations, it was natural to test this correlation in charts that would come naturally to mind when thinking of mars: athletes, military personnel (and critics!). Sure enough, there was a prominent 'presence' of mars in these charts, as well but in different houses! other planets were involved as well in a different distribution from those seen in the charts of healers.
The next thing to focus on was that in order for energy healers to heal using hands, there should be a relationship between the 3rd house and the house of sickness, namely the 6th. I am a great believer in 'derived' houses of all kinds. Although primarily utilized in horary readings, the 7th house represents the lagna of the client, and the 2nd and 12th houses represent the diseases, chronic illnesses and defects in the client. Negation of disease would be the 12th from 12th, hence the 11th. So, connections between the 3rd house and these houses were sought. Additionally, the association of mars, the guiding planet, with the 7th and 11th houses was examined. Reiki (the commonest modality in my test bed, but the same seems to be true for other modalities, as well) being a response to an inner urge, an inner calling, inner motivation, must have something to do with the nodes (representatives of karma) and also the fifth and ninth houses, both of which are connected with spirituality and higher purpose and also the manifestation of ones karmic fate that is due to become manifest in this lifetime and what we create for the future. Many other factors and areas were examined, some have been summarized here in this brief report. We have started looking into varga charts and other finer levels of interpretation, but even the findings in the radix or rashi charts have been very striking and some of these are presented here. All charts were calculated utilizing Yukteshwar ayanamsha that is only a few minutes different from Late Prof. B.V. Raman's ayanamsha (the two ayanamshas use closely similar value for vernal equinox of 1894, but utilize different rates of annual motion of ayanamsha to calculate back to the year of coincidence of the tropical and sidereal zodiacs, Yukteshwar using AD 499 and Raman AD 397). As this project progresses, future findings may be presented with more detailed data (subject to permission of the nativities).
In a rather large data set of 480715 births available to us, spanning over several decades and mostly from the northern hemisphere, that were obtained from insurance records, it was obvious that the number of births were uniformly distributed throughout the year (the daily mean number of births in our sample was 1317, standard deviation=69.9, coefficient of variation or relative standard deviation = 5%). It may, therefore, be assumed that the distribution of planets would be more or less uniform in the general population, provided a large enough sample is taken. The ascendants would perhaps not be equally distributed since some of the signs tend to rise for a longer periods in a given hemisphere (long ascension signs). This would be an increasingly significant skew if one focuses only on births taking place at very high latitudes (more kanya and tula ascendants are seen in Nordic states because of the tilt of the earth). The distribution of the planets in the 12 houses would be more or less uniformly distributed (unless unequal houses and intercepted signs play a part in ones astrology). The Figures 1 to 4 show the percent distribution of the planets in signs and houses in the horoscopes of energy healers (mostly Reiki) and faith healers. The distribution of Gulika, Ketu, Rahu, Saturn, Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, Moon, Sun and Ascendant are shown in the form of a layer or area graph. Notice any thickening or thinning of the layer as the distribution varies and also any peaks overall that indicate increased frequencies in a given sign or house. The sample size shown here for energy healers is 82 cases, while those for faith healers is 22. No serious attempt to do statistical comparison will be carried out, given the unequal and relatively small sizes of the samples. A group of 23 army personnel and sports figures (both mars-related professions) were used as 'controls'. Using the total number of cases in a group as 100%, percent values for a given planet in a given sign or house was calculated and this has been plotted in the graphs shown in this article. The higher peaks in a given sign or house would indicate that planets and points such as gulika, lagna, lunar nodes tended to cluster in that particular area.
Some of the interesting and contrasting findings (between the different groups) of this study were:
a) The reasonably ordered 'flow' of the sign distribution of the different planets in the Reiki healers group in contrast to the more chaotic or at least variable nature in similar parameter for the Faith healers group (perhaps partly due to the different sample sizes). The controls (army/sports) were somewhat variable at the extremes, but more evenly distributed in the zone between karka and makar for the most part, but not quite as evenly as the reiki healers (again, this could be a function of sample size, in part).
b) A peaking was seen in vrishchika, a martian sign in Reiki group, whereas, more factors were clustered in vrishabha in the Faith group, with simha, tula, makar and kumbha following. Interestingly, meena the 'psychic' sign did not attract many in either of these groups. In the army/sports controls, the peaking was seen in tula, with a bimodal distribution as seen by the additional smaller hump in makar. Most of these individuals being sports stars and commanders, strategic expertise was probably more important in their careers rather than mere brute strength or brashness. The peaking in tula with a "shoulder" running from karka to kanya does make sense. The lagnas tended to be clustered around simha to tula, mars peaked in mithun and tula. Not many had mars in mesha, vrishchik or makar as one may stereotypically expect in these martian professions. Quite a prominent peak incidence of mercury was seen in kumbha and of moon in the fire sign of archery, dhanu.
c) There was a higher degree of clustering in the first four houses in the case of Reiki group; whereas, there was a higher clustering in the houses 8, 9, 11 and 12 in the Faith group. In the case of army/sports personalities, one peak was seen in the 2nd house, another in 12th house and closely followed by 6th and 9th houses. Sun, mercury and gulika were the primary contributors for the peaks in 2nd, moon and ketu for the one in 6th and gulika, rahu, mars and moon in the 12th. Mars was not surprisingly more often seen in the 10th house.
d) Look at the bulging nodes in the layers, that indicate clustering shown in the charts by a planet in a given sign or house. We see that in the Reiki group, mars tends to be present more often in the 3rd house and gulika in 2nd and 4th houses. There is some discrepancy about the calculation of gulika as implemented in different software, hence, we will refrain from focusing on those, but the placement of mars is of significance (see later). In the case of the usually more 'religious' and renunciate individuals in the Faith healers group, we see the clustering of Saturn in Libra and makar and predominance of the ascendant (lagna) in mithun, tula and makar. In the case of the house distribution in Faith healers, note the clustering of Jupiter in the fifth house (aspecting the ninth, 11th and 1st), of moon in 11th (aspecting fifth) and of Venus in the 8th, 9th and 11th houses. The presence of sun in 8th or 9th in relatively more cases also is an interesting phenomenon.
Obviously, the two cohorts (reiki healers and faith healers) are not at all similar astrologically. It is inappropriate to lump all energy healing and faith healing into one group as is sometimes done by skeptics or even those who know the differences between these groups of healers. It is interesting to see the religion-promoting and planets that are associated with a renounced lifestyle, such as Jupiter and Saturn playing a dominant role in the case of faith healers (as also the higher houses of occultism, religion, karma and moksha). The presence of the 11th house in a dominant position (particularly moon and Venus) is somewhat counterintuitive, although these being 'caring' planets, their aspect on the fifth house does indicate a reason for their being prominent. How can one heal others if there is not an ocean of love that flows out of ones heart and which then is related to ones karma and poorvapunya, related to the fifth house? Reiki, on the other hand, while certainly strengthened by love and spiritual energy is more of 'this' earth, more technical in a sense and something that can be learned as opposed to having an innate gift such as faith healing obviously is believed to be, in practically all cases. Although one risks getting tangled into the circular argument of , "Can just about anyone become a Reiki healer or does Reiki 'call' only those who are ready?" Some would endorse the thinking that a decision to seek attunement to reiki is a product of exposure to it for lifetimes during the journey of the soul, as opposed to a casual whim or impulsive decision!
I digress a bit, but, notably, some of these individuals (whose hands or palm prints I had seen) had what is described as a 'conical' hand in palmistry, with the palm relatively wider and the form of the hand tapering towards the tip of fingers. This kind of shape has been described by Cheiro and Cmt. de Ste. Germain as being favourable for those who wish to exercise their healing capabilities. I must caution the reader that this remains to be confirmed in a larger number of individuals whether the shape of the palm has something to do with the martian association with the 3rd house in general or healing in particular.
One very interesting finding was that in an additional group of a relatively small sampling of horoscopes of saints and spiritual leaders that we used (15 charts only), the martian signature showed up in a rather interesting pattern. These individuals also had a rather high incidence of the following two conditions:
= Mars associated with the first house
= Lord of 3rd house associated with mars
The charts of saints showed a low incidence of mars being directly associated with the 3rd house itself (occupation or aspect); whereas, the Reiki healers showed a very high incidence of mars being so associated with the 3rd house and comparatively fewer in the Reiki group showing an association with the first house or with the lord of 3rd house. Practically all of these saints have been associated with healing powers, some bringing the healing about through touch or even from a distance. It was interesting to note the slightly different pattern between the Reiki group and the saints. Most of the Reiki practitioners, while involved in spiritual practices are otherwise regular people (including householders) and most healers in our group of charts are certainly not saints or spiritual leaders. As a side observation, the lower prevalence of association of the 3rd house by mars in horoscopes of saints makes sense because in many instances, such an inherently malefic mars would influence the 9th and 12th house either by occupation or adjacency. It is reasonable to expect that, generally speaking, saints would do better with untainted 9th and 12th houses.
There were several other characteristics noted in the Reiki charts, particularly the association of nodes (rahu more often than ketu) with the 3rd house, and several others combinations and factors that showed up, albeit with low frequency. This is a preliminary report and the study is ongoing as we continue to acquire even more charts and explore the signature(s) further. We are also exploring the dashas prevailing at the time of ones attunement with the healing energy and some interesting facts are emerging which shall be discussed, God willing, in future.
For illustrative purposes, let us look at Mme. Hawayo Takata's chart. She had the privilege of being the first non-resident Japanese woman (and the first person from the west) to have been indoctrinated in the Reiki healing system. Mrs. Takata, a native and resident of Hawaii, born to Japanese immigrant parents, was visiting Japan and had occasion to be treated at the Usui Clinic, then run by Dr. Chujiro Hayashi who was the successor of Dr. Usui. She went there for her chronic conditions and was so taken by the healing power and efficacy of Reiki that she eventually managed to be accepted as his student and went on to become a teacher in Reiki. She had to overcome much resistance and lived through a lot of uncertainties before she was accepted by her master. She eventually went on to train 22 masters in North America and without her drive, destiny and sincere persistence, Reiki would probably have remained in the orient for a lot longer time. She is generally described as a physically petite woman with a very strong will and yet a detached and saintly demeanor.
In Takata's chart, mars is placed in the 9th house in a sign of vitality, Leo, aspecting the 3rd house, fulfilling one of the signatures for being a Reiki healer. It also aspects mercury the lord of 10th house which is placed in the 12th with Venus the lord of 6th. The sickness that took Takata to a land abroad (Japan) where she met with her master and the primary task (karma) for this lifetime that was revealed to her in a culture that was different from the one she grew up in (rahu), although in a biological sense, it was her own (she was of Japanese origin). The dispositor of mars is placed in the ascendant with the lord of 3rd house and lord of ascendant in strength in the first house. Her strong will is very obvious, as is her restraint and gentleness from the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in a fiery sign. The lord of 9th strongly placed with Jupiter the symbolic teacher fits well with her significant role as a teacher that brought Reiki to North America. She is the only link between Japan and the West, that we know of and thus holds a supremely important position in the history of Reiki. The other signature, that we discussed, namely, the connectivity between the 5th and 9th house is there, with the fifth lord placed in the ninth. That it happens to be mars and fulfills the other signature (mars and 3rd house) makes the bond stronger. Though not within the purview of this article, we find that in the navamsha chart, which most jyotishis consider as significant as the rashi or radix chart, mars is aspecting the 3rd house, as well as the lord of the 3rd house, while the lords of the fifth (Saturn) and ninth (mercury) houses in navamsha aspect each other. Mars in navamsha also aspects the 6th (illness) and the lord of the 6th and this can only serve as a positive influence for her personal healing as well as her role as a healer. In her dashamsha, mars aspects the 3rd house from 9th, and is aspected by Saturn, the lord of 9th. The lord of 5th, Venus, is placed in the fifth house.
Here is another chart of a Reiki healer and teacher (#69). In her case, mars forms a relationship with the first house rather than the 3rd (alternate signature). It is notable that mars also happens to be the lord of 5th and 10th and aspects lagnesha and Jupiter, the lord of 9th (fulfilling the second signature, discussed above). Though mars is in neecha, it is in kendra from moon, as well as its dispositor (also moon) and therefore attains neechbhanga. Mars is exalted in the navamsha and thereby regains its strength on that account, as well. She does tend to over-intellectualize at times and does tend to come across as a bit rigid and opinionated, though! All that aside, she is a very capable healer and teacher, without any doubt. In the navamsha, mars is exalted in the navamsha first house (signature #1) and the fifth and ninth lords, mercury and Venus aspect each other in navamsha. In dashamsha, mars is in ascendant, the sign of mars, scorpio, is in the 3rd house while the lord of 5th house, Saturn, aspects its own house. The lord of 9th house, mercury, aspects the dashamsha lagnesh mercury which is placed in the 6th house of illness.
Chart ndj-II belongs to yet another Reiki master/healer. Note the presence of vargottama mars who is also the lord of 5th (and 10th) and Jupiter the lord of 9th in the 3rd house. There is connection between the 12th and 6th (lord of 12th is aspecting the 12th from the 6th). This person experienced suffering and loss at the hands of her own teacher and there was significant bitterness, as indicated by Saturn's influence on the 9th house in the presence of nodes. Saturn is vargottama and retrograde.
The spiritual nature of healing that underlies Reiki, the inner calling that is experienced by Reiki healers and the often profound spiritual experiences that happen to healers and their patients during a healing session and during attunements and the karmic nature of it all, as highlighted by the presence of the astrological signatures described in this article in not only the radix (rashi) but divisional charts is not likely to be a random occurrence or happenstance. While more work continues in this direction to further fine-tune these findings and to find more nuances in the different forms of healings, if mars is beginning to come across as a significator or karaka for energy-healing, such as Reiki, then perhaps that is not too far-fetched a concept.