Here in Costa Rica, I have the great fortune to be studying Yogic Philosophy with a wonderful teacher named Simon Haas. Simon has written a book called the Book of Dharma, which describes the four qualities of dharma and how to use them to make enlightened choices. He is British, spent many years studying and living in India, but now lives here in Costa Rica. This and the fact that I am able to study with him, I consider miracles.
Simon is now teaching us about the Bhagavad Gita and the other day he explained the Four Gates of Discipline of speech in Sattva. For those who are not familiar, Sattva is one of the three Gunas, or qualities of behavior patterns of individuals. Ideally we would like to stay in Sattva, because it is characterizes lightness, purity, peacefulness and balance. It’s where we are undisturbed, compassionate, humble and wise. Healers and true spiritual leaders have the quality of Sattva. The other two Gunas are Rajas, the quality of passion, action, ambition and what are typically known as the seven deadly sins and then Tamas, which is self-destruction and other negative feelings such as vindictiveness and disorder. However, Tamas does rule the area of sleep, which we all need, but really it’s ideal if your only state of Tamas is when you are sleeping.
So, if we stay in a state of Sattva, we are detached, but connected to Source. We do not react wildly when someone hurts us. We are clear, grateful, meditative, at peace and loving. In a perfect world, each of us would strive to remain in such a calm, connected state, despite what life throws our way.
If you wish to remain in Sattva when speaking with others, it is important to recognize and exhibit the Four Gates of Discipline of speech. This is from chapter 17, text 15 of the Bhagavad Gita:
Words that do not disturb others, that cause no agitation
Words that only speak Truth
Words that are Kind or loving
Words that are Helpful
Now, here is where I pause to bring in the astrology of the moment. Mercury is in the sign of Sagittarius and is about to turn retrograde (oh joy!). As we know, Mercury rules all speech and communications. In its retrograde and then direct journey, it will conjunct Saturn three times. The first time is November 28, the second time is December 6 and the third time is January 13. This means Mercury conjuncts Saturn, moves past it, goes retrograde on December 3rd and then comes back again to conjunct Saturn, both times in the sign of Sagittarius. It will eventually turn direct on December 22, move forward through Sagittarius, into Capricorn and then conjunct Saturn again, as both planets have changed signs.
Saturn is often harsh, critical, judgmental and can be unkind. The fact that Mercury will join it three times can easily cause us to speak words that are like Saturn in flavor. We may be thinking harsh thoughts, we may wish to criticize someone or lash out at them for how they have treated us. When in Sagittarius, Mercury and Saturn are fiery and can speak in a frank manner. People often don’t think before they speak. Therefore, this is a time when people may be hurtfully honest or just plain hurtful. During this time, we can be self critical as well, which is also not helpful and is actually counterproductive.
While Mercury is joining Saturn, it would be wise to follow the Four Gates of Discipline in speech. Think about any message you wish to convey – does it meet the criteria of the Four Gates? If you answer “no” to any one of them, then you need to review and change what you wish to say before you say it. Or perhaps not say it at all. It’s important to pay attention now. Mercury and Saturn are also “disciplined speech” and this is a great use of the available energies, instead of using them to criticize. It’s also a perfect time to mentally focus on a project that needs your attention to detail. And this could be a very fitting time to start a meditation practice. Mercury and Saturn lend themselves to a disciplined mind and one can learn a lot about calming one’s own mind through meditation.
There is also an evolving story at this time, as there always is with Mercury retrograde. It would be starting around now, the end of November and would continue through the last conjunction with Saturn. Perhaps it’s something you are trying to figure out in your life that will go through its stages until it is cleared. This is an important time, as Saturn will be leaving Sagittarius, where it’s been for 3 years and going into its own sign of Capricorn. Since Mercury will connect twice in Sagittarius and then move ahead to a different sign, you may have an entirely different perspective on the matter once the last conjunction occurs in Capricorn.
Whatever the case, make your best effort to stay in Sattva – not easy, but quite possible.
I can finally sit down and find the time to write about Jupiter, which has entered Scorpio. As many already know, Jupiter is the planet of abundance, opportunity, optimism, expansion, faith, truth and protection. In the solar system, Jupiter is Earth’s protection. Imagine how many asteroids, comets and other heavenly bodies have crashed into large and mighty Jupiter and never reached Earth? Jupiter spends one year in a sign and expands the qualities of that area of the zodiac. It gives us a new perspective in that area of each of our astrological charts, it opens our minds and our hearts.
Since Jupiter spends one year in a sign, it takes 12 years to travel the entire zodiac. So, Jupiter has not been in Scorpio in 12 years. Think back to what you were doing then, what area of your life expanded, opened, showed you something new? Jupiter gives us a boost and some confidence in our lives, it’s the Greater Benefic. In Scorpio, it’s an interesting trip. Scorpio represents all things mysterious, hidden, passionate, dark, sexual, deep, powerful, intense and sensual. Scorpio loves to get to the bottom of the matter, they love a good suspense film, detective programs and mystery theater. Jupiter’s presence in Scorpio opens the door for greater exploration of these matters.
A widespread manifestation of Jupiter’s presence in Scorpio has been the number of sexual harassment scandals in politics and Hollywood that have been in the news in recent weeks. In Scorpio, Jupiter shines a light on what is dark and reveals secrets and hidden stories.
One of the main experiences with Jupiter in Scorpio is reconnecting with one’s passions. That could be one’s passion at work, with hobbies or with one’s physical passion. The best use of this energy is to reignite the feelings one has about areas of life that bring spirit and energy. What makes you come alive? What makes your eyes light up and your heart beat? This is an area where you will bring your attention in the next 12 months.
Jupiter is expansive. While it may bring fortune and good luck, it’s only by being open to the information you receive from the transit will you truly be able to benefit. Wherever it touches your chart, you can expect your view to be widened, your mind to be opened, your awareness to be raised. You will be stretched beyond the limits of what you now already know in that area of your life. That may not be entirely comfortable, but it’s necessary and important. These moments bring an epiphany, an “aha” experience that changes you and your perspective. Sometimes the revelation that occurs is so profound that you feel as if you have been cracked open and it’s as if your insides are reverberating. It’s not like a Pluto transformational moment where you are put through the ringer and feel completely beat up before you recognize how the transit is changing your life. This feels more flowing and insightful.
And Jupiter brings good fortune in that transformation. It’s easier than normal to be open to change and healing. This is an optimal time to do some wonderfully deep healing work on one’s emotional life. Scorpio energy allows us to go deep, penetrate the layers of our subconscious and be open to what we see. While Scorpio is a water sign, which means it is very sensitive, we may feel more tender as we journey through the rivers of our mind. But Jupiter’s presence gives us courage, confidence and the boldness to go where we may have feared to go before.
On December 2nd, Jupiter will trine Neptune, which is a beautiful aspect. Jupiter and Neptune are related as they are co-rulers of Pisces. Before Neptune was discovered, Jupiter was the sole ruler of Pisces, so they work well together. This is an important aspect and it is an auspicious moment: a time to make a wish, start a healing protocol, say a prayer, start something new, forgive someone or yourself. This is the first of 3 trines the planets will make before Jupiter leaves Scorpio at the end of 2018. It is also a truly profound time to open your mind and heart to a spiritual practice, whatever your preference may be.
Connect with your soul, open your heart and follow the path that opens before you now. The next year will be a phenomenal journey.