WARNING: The following article contains somber information that should not be viewed by anyone unable to cope with negative predictions or the harsher realities of life.
While the designation of astrology or mysticism as diseases might seem odd to say the least, it is not far from the truth as the combinations that produce the affinity to the occult will often also produce health issues, upheavals and even catastrophes in one’s life. This association is in fact well documented, with notable examples being those of Nostradamus who suffered from gout and lost his family to the plague, Franz Bardon who had various health issues due to internment in a Nazi concentration camp, and Vanga who had health issues due to premature birth and became blind as a result of a tornado. All of them were also famous healers, showing that the connection between health and the occult is actually bilateral.
So how can we see esoteric knowledge and astrological practices through astrology? And what is their true significance?
Any and all forms of occult and hidden knowledge are represented by the 8th house, which signifies everything hidden and is also the 4th (private) from the 5th (knowledge). In addition, any form of divination, communication with spirits and other mystic practices is seen through the 12th house which signifies everything otherworldly and is the 5th (fruits) of the 8th (hidden). As such, it is the association between these two houses in a persons chart that more than anything else indicates occult interests and practices.
Another extremely important house to consider is the third, which represents interests, handiwork, communication and business. Whenever the combination outlined above includes the 3rd lord or the 3rd house, a person is certain to express interest in occult practices and is likely to turn them into an occupation. In addition, the involvement of the 5th lord or 5th house in such a combination would indicate an occult education, along with practical applications of the persons occult knowledge such as potions and talismans. This is due to the fact that the 5th is the fruits of our labour, thus representing everything we create.
Afflictions and Vipareet Raj Yogas
The aforementioned connection between the 8th and 12th houses is quite destructive, as it simultaneously brings the significance of the 8th (upheaval) and the 12th (loss) together on a single point of the horoscope, often indicating disastrous consequences. This is in fact the reason why the practice of the occult is so heavily linked to misfortunes and the darker side of life. It would also be interesting to note that the mythology of Shiva, who is considered the creator of tantra, yoga and astrology in most schools of Hinduism, also reflects these side effects in his blue throat, cremated wife and beheaded son.
At the same time, if the association between the 8th and 12th involves the 8th lord actually being located in the 12th or vice versa, this creates a famous planetary combination called Vipareeta Raja Yoga, which roughly translates as “reverse\opposite royal combination”. The best way to describe the effects of these astrological combinations would be the biblical story of Samson and the lion. In the bible, Samson found a lion’s corpse with a bees nest inside its stomach, and famously noted “from fierce came sweet”. This is in fact exactly what happens with a Vipareet Raja Yoga, which often turns a disaster into something beneficial for the person. For example, in the case of Nostradamus mentioned above this was the plague which made him famous as a physician long before he began his predictions.
Capricorn and Cancer – the astrologer ascendants
If one looks statistically at the ascendants most frequently encountered among astrologers and mystics in general, the two most frequent would be the signs of Capricorn and Cancer. This is far from accidental, as those are the only two ascendants where the 3rd lord also rules the 12th house, which literally means that the otherworldly is what they do. In addition, the 8th lord Saturn in the case of cancer and 12th lord Jupiter in the case of Capricorn both possess special aspects which triple the likelyhood of an association between the 8th and 12th houses.
Interestingly, there is quite a pronounced demarcation between the astrological practices of each of these signs, as even Western Cancerians often practice sidereal astrology while even Vedic Capricornians are more likely to practice tropical astrology than sidereal. This is however not set in stone as other factors in the chart often change the persons preferences and abilities.
Unfortunately, along with the combined rulership of the 3rd and the 12th both signs also get a combined rulership of the 6th and 9th houses, linking their knowledge with health and hardships in a very hands on manner. In addition, the constant proximity of the 6th lord Mercury with the 8th lord Sun for Capricorn ascendant makes it very probable that both will create an affliction in the chart by being in the same house. The situation is no better for Cancer, as both the 6th lord Jupiter and 8th lord Saturn possess special aspects making an affliction by double aspect a 50/50 chance.
It all comes down to Ketu
While the factors above dictate the affinity or desire to practice the occult, it is Ketu who actually indicates the talent to practice it successfully. The position of Ketu and any aspects or conjunctions he receives will influence the talents of the person when it comes to any form of the occult. His association with the 12th lord for example, is the most significant indicator for prophetic abilities.
A famous example of this can be seen in the chart of the great astrologer K N Rao, who has Ketu conjunct exalted Mercury in the 12th and aspecting the 8th. This combination also recieves a 10th aspect from Saturn, linking it to the 3rd and perfectly matching the combination outlined in the beginning of this article.
Another famous and sometimes infamous mystic and astrologer who exhibits both this combination and a very prominent Ketu is Aleister Crowley, who is a Cancer ascendant with Ketu in the 3rd house. His Ketu also aspects the 8th lord Saturn, who in turn sends a 10th aspect to the 12th lord Mercury who also rules the 3rd thus completing the combination.
A more unique example can be seen in the chart of Edgar Cayce, another Cancerian in whose chart it is actually not Ketu but Rahu who is driving the close conjunction between it and both Mercury and Saturn in the 8th house. His Ketu isn’t without distinction however, as it is Vargottama which means it occupies the sign of Leo both in the birth chart and in the 9th divisional chart, making it extremely strong. He is also located in the Purva Phalguni lunar mansion, whose symbol is the front part of a bed, hence the “sleeping prophet” designation.
No atheists in foxholes
While it would be easy based on the factors discussed so far to conclude that occult practices are dangerous and harmful, in reality it is the desperate attempt to avoid danger and change ones circumstances which often leads to the practice of occult in the first place. This is very reminiscent of the old adage “there are no atheists in foxholes”, as a person sitting in a foxhole getting attacked will not hesitate to pray to anyone or do any other seemingly irrational thing if it could potentially protect him. In fact, this is exactly how Christianity was adopted by the Roman Empire, with Constantine painting the Chi Rho on the shields of his soldiers to win the Battle of the Milvian Bridge.
The exact same mechanism of attempting to change the circumstances in dire times is also what pushes most people towards the occult, making them discard the cultural norms of rationality and taboos surrounding it. In addition, without the need to solve money, love and other issues outstripping the fears of stigmatization or fraud, most astrologers and mystics would find themselves without clients. And without experiencing such issues themselves or through loved ones, most of them would not have been astrologers or mystics in the first place.