Maintaining Balance

March 1st, 2011

Hello, everyone.

How are you?  I haven’t posted to this blog in a while and I am missing you all!  This is a busy season for me in my alter-ego as an accountant.  I don’t do many tax returns but the ones I do are complicated and take a lot of time and attention.  But astrology is always in the back of my mind.

The Great Wave Off Kanagawa. (Source:Wikipedia)

Prakruti/Vikruti

I’ve been thinking a lot about balance.  As you may know, I went to the Ayurvedic Institute a couple of weeks ago for panchakarma, a week of purification, massage, hatha yoga, herbal remedies, and rest.  One of the interesting facets of Ayurveda is their concept of prakruti and vikruti.  According to this ancient science of health and longevity, we are each born with a certain balance of the elements which manifests in three basic energies, or doshas.  The three doshas are kapha, pitta, and vata.   When we are conceived, these three doshas form a certain balance in our bodies.  Not that they are in equal amounts; one or two are usually dominant and the third is less so.  Everyone has a bit of each; the balance of the three is called your prakruti.

The current state of your body and emotional balance is called your vikruti.  Your current state is affected by changing conditions such as weather, diet, stress, exercise, or fatigue.  To be in balance your current state, your vikruti, should be the same as your original state, your prakruti.  If they are pulled off course by the varying circumstances in life, then you may experience physical and emotional symptoms, symptoms which if left in place long enough can lead to disease.  In order to restore your original balance, lifestyle, diet, and other adjustments can be made to bring your vikruti back in line with your prakruti.

Prakruti = Natal Chart?

I’ve been thinking about this because of its correlation to the birthchart in astrology.  If we correlate the birth chart with the prakruti, the balance among the elements when you were born, we could say that your birthchart is your particular blueprint for balance during this lifetime.  Just like prakruti and vikruti, we would strive to maintain our original state of being as shown in the birthchart.  In this way the birthchart is not something to be managed but more of a magnetic north, pointing the way to your most natural state of being.

Furthering the analogy, when we are pulled into other states due to the influence of transits, we can get out of balance from our birthchart.  Here’s a simple example.  Say you have Mars, the planet of activity and will in the sign Aries.  With this placement you are naturally enthusiastic, impatient, hot-tempered, and always moving forward to achieve your goals.  No judgment here; this is your natural state of being.

Along comes a Saturn transit, which restrains the Mars energy, bringing experiences into your life which require more discipline and measured progress toward your goals.  When transiting Saturn meets Mars, it often makes the person feel tired or uninspired or as if their efforts are futile.  If you went to an Ayurvedic physician, she would probably read your pulses and recognize that your energy is low, dampened, out of balance with your natural state of being.

If the same Mars in Aries was experiencing a Jupiter transit, Jupiter might ignite the Mars energy and the person would be even more active and aggressive, chasing even bigger goals.  The Ayurvedic physician might see an elevation of the fire energy, which would also be out of balance for you.

Maintaining Balance

What follows for me is wondering about the emotional and physical effects of difficult astrological configurations and what we may have to do to maintain balance during certain transits.  And even further, whether we can we draw one-to-one correlations between various transits and the likely imbalance in the doshas.  If we can, then we can prescribe lifestyle adjustments which would help maintain the physical and emotional balance while going through and learning from the transit.

The image I get is one of standing in a rowboat, our feet apart, our arms outstretched, keeping our balance amidst the various waves, winds, and rain, constantly making little shifts to return ourselves to balance.  Using our birth charts, we would know the state we were trying to maintain, a perfect balance for us which wouldn’t necessarily look like anyone else’s.  It would be based on our particular configuration.  This would be ideal wouldn’t it – if we could remain so much in the center of our true selves that we stayed upright while shifts occurred around us?

What do you all think?  Can you recognize when your energies are out of balance?  Are there certain patterns that repeat themselves?  I know mine is fatigue – and right now I’m having a Saturn transit to my Mars.  This tiredness is familiar, but I’m still contemplating the solution-more on that later.  Are you having major transits right now?  Are you maintaining your balance?

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4 Responses to “Maintaining Balance”

  1. Nicole says:

    Very interesting Ellen. I’ve often, in trying to stay balanced, wondered how much to surrender to my natural instincts and how much to try to compensate. And then there is the trick of even knowing how to compensate.

    Since I am in the beginning stages of understanding Astrology, I don’t know that I can talk intelligently about transits, etc. However, it does seem that in my life I feel antsy in 3-year-cycles. And, for me, I’m in year four of this last one and while logistically everything in my life is exactly what I’ve been working toward, I am just itching and sometimes aching for the next thing: a big move (I could easily follow in Natalie’s footsteps and move abroad), back to school, try a different career, or settle down and live simply.

    Right now, these last…7 or 8 months it seems, I feel like I am in a dormant stage–incredibly tired, fairly uninterested in socializing much, and I crave just sitting and resting; I’ve even stopped reading much. Surrender or fight? My unique chart or wrapped-up fears about things?

    Very interesting…uh-oh, another wave a’coming. :)
    Nicole

    • admin says:

      Hi, Nicole.

      Yes, you’re in a powerful time with transits to your natal planets, including Saturn aspecting your Mars. I noted in this post that I have Saturn crossing my Mars too. Your transit and mine are not the same angle, but Saturn/Mars together often depresses vitality.

      One of the advantages of knowing astrology is it helps me let things unfold in their own time. Instead of fighting for more energy, I take more rest. Instead of wondering if there’s something wrong with me for being unsocial, I accept the gift of more quiet time. And I also know – give it time and it will change! There have been times I’ve been extremely social and I yearn for peace and quiet. I know these times will come again. It’s the ebb and flow, I guess I’m saying.

      I think what your comment brings up for me is there is the natural state of a certain aspect of ourselves, as shown by the natal chart, and the effects of the current life situation, shown by the transits. Maintaining balance may mean understanding our natural state, yet moving smoothly with the current situation too – kind of like martial arts, fully engaging with the opponent yet maintaining our own center.

      Thanks for continuing the conversation!

  2. Natalie says:

    Ellen, this is something to think about, isn’t it? Love the image of the boat – I have actually fallen overboard doing just that. It’s not as easy as it sounds …
    When you say the natal chart shows the natural balance, I got curious. As you know, I don’t have much fire in my chart, but wouldn’t that indicate an imbalance that I am born with?
    And I do feel Uranus getting closer to my Mercury – I’m jittery and anxious, and I keep dropping things, or walking into things. I’m trying to ground myself more, by meditating in the morning and reminding myself to breathe! That Uranus is jumping around in my 4th house. WQe’ve been talking about moving to a bigger place, and all I want to do is to sell everything and go live abroad, or on a houseboat or a lighthouse … something fun and interesting. Very Uranus. I’m looking forward to see what happens when Mercury gets a jolt from Uranus. Could be fun!

    • admin says:

      Hi, Natalie. Thanks for your comment. I love the image of falling overboard – I hadn’t thought of that!

      I don’t have any Earth in my chart. Once a very good astrologer told me that meant I was an Earth-adept – that I didn’t need earth-type experiences because I had already mastered that realm. And it does seem to be true: I built and owned my own home at 24; work and money have always been there; food in the fridge, clothes on my back, etc. So I don’t know that missing an element necessarily implies imbalance. I don’t feel out of balance in the earth realm, although sometimes I get jittery and need to “ground” myself.

      Yes, I can’t wait to see what happens when your Mercury gets the jolt from Uranus. Be sure to keep us informed!

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