Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Man Booker prize 2013, and a few Vedic astrological quibbles

I was delighted to see that a book featuring astrology--my favorite topic--won the Man Booker prize. Plus thanks to the judges for selecting a non-commercial publisher. Now we know its not just a prize meant to sell books but also to judge literary excellence.

The Man Booker team may be up on literary excellence but their astrological knowledge leaves something to be desired. For instance, this paragraph from their website:
"Was Eleanor Catton's victory written in the stars? Quite possibly. She was born 28 years ago, "the time that Saturn takes to orbit around the Earth" and an important astrological number, in 1985, the year of New Zealand's only other Man Booker win--Keri Hulme with The Bone People."

Any basic book on astrology would have told the Man Booker weekly roundup writers that Saturn takes 29.5--not 28--years to do its roundabout.

But they were onto to something when they mentioned Saturn--Saturn is exalted in Libra right now, which means it is the strongest it can be in 29.5 years. Eleanor's 10th house of karma, or action (in Western lingo, 'the house of profession") is ruled by Libra, which has Ketu, a mystical sign, in it.

They were also onto something when they mentioned the age 28--but its not Saturn, but Mars, for whom this number is significant. Mars matures to its full power at 28. No surprise Mars is in 8th house with Venus, the significator for the arts. So Eleanor's Mars had a strong hand in her getting this prize. Her Saturn is in 11th house of great gains (and incidentally, also thought to be the one that rules publishing), in the sign Scorpio--Scorpio, of course, is ruled by Mars.The combination of Mars and Saturn is needed for any work of significant achievement-without Mars' passion, and Saturn's dedication, great works never come to fruition.


(Photo courtsey: Man Booker prize website)

Now that you have me started on astrology, here's the full reading: Her Jupiter is debilitated in Capricorn--except not really, because when it is in the lagna, or ascendent, it receives a "neechbhanga", or cancellation of debilitation, that makes it extra powerful. Not to mention the fact it is retrograde as well--making it three times as powerful.

Sun and Mercury, forming a "budha-aditya yoga", or combination for intelligence, is in the 9th house of destiny. As to Rahu in 4th--a restless mind and a troubled home life and trouble with mother, which can of course aid in pushing people towards the solitary act of writing.

Ketu in 10th can often give a career as a priest, or spiritual counselor--but that won't mature till she's 48. So book your tickets to New Zealand in 20 years time, folks. Because your Man Booker author may be leading spiritual writing tours then!

Now for Jhumpa. Born July 11, 1967, the much lauded Ms. Lahiri, surprisingly, has a very similar chart. She is even born in the same town--London--although her London is in the UK whereas Eleanor's London is in Canada. Jhumpa's third house of communications is ruled by Libra, where Saturn is exalted right now. And it has Mars and Ketu in it--showing that very similar planetary forces were at work on her side as well. Her star sign is Leo, by Vedic astrology, and her Moon is with Venus-the significator for the arts. She TOO has the "budha-aditya yoga" (don't get too excited, this is a fairly common yoga since Mercury lies close to the Sun) in the 11th house of gains. Her Mercury is retrograde--and as before, retrograde can make a planet more powerful. Mercury, the planet of quick wits, going backwards, however, can lead to that feeling that the prose coming out of an author with retrograde Mercury is a bit "dull."

The reason why much lauded Ms. Lahiri dropped out of the race is three-fold: first, she is going through something called the Sade Sati, or the seven and a half years of Saturn. Although the Sade Sati ended for Leos on November 14th, 2011, unfortunately for Ms. Lahiri there was a retrogression of Saturn into Virgo right around now. Meaning Saturn's not quite done with exacting his grim course of truth, law and justice yet.

Secondly, her Jupiter is sitting pretty in Cancer, where it is exalted. Exalted Jupiter, although admittedly impressive, is not the same as "neechbhanga" Jupiter. Planets whose debilitation are canceled, as with Ms. Catton's Jupiter, are considered to be even more powerful than exalted ones.

And thirdly, unfortunately for Ms. Lahiri, her Saturn is in 8th house. The good news is that she will have a long life. The bad news is that Saturn in 8th is rarely considered good--the dreaded astamshani, when Saturn transits the 8th house, is considered one of the worst periods of a person's life in Vedic astrology. So to have your natal Saturn there, especially during the time when Saturn is showing its full power, is probably not a good time to be running for the Man Booker prize. And here's the clincher--Saturn hates the Sun, who is his father. Leos, needless to say, are ruled by the Sun.

Did I mention Ms. Catton is a Capricorn by Vedic astrology--and Capricorn, of course, is ruled by Saturn. Capricorn is also where her Jupiter lies, next to the Moon. And right now, Jupiter is receiving a "neechbhanga" not just from being in the ascendent, but has its debilitation twice cancelled because Capricorn's ruler, Saturn, is exalted.

The Man Booker team were right in one way--everything does, ultimately, go back to Saturn.

Thanks for reading, folks--and remember, all of Saturn's lessons are only to take you towards the higher spiritual good. 

(For more on Vedic astrology, you can start off by reading Dr. David Frawley's "Astrology of the Seers." But to fully understand its complicated mathematics and even more complicated calculations, you'd need a good grasp of geometry and arithmetics and possibly trigonometry. See my story "The Prediction" below for more information!)
Was Eleanor Catton's victory written in the stars? Quite possibly. She was born 28 years ago, "the time that Saturn takes to orbit around the Earth" and an important astrological number, in 1985, the year of New Zealand’s only other Man Booker win – Keri Hulme with The Bone People. - See more at: http://www.themanbookerprize.com/feature/weekly-roundup-was-eleanor-cattons-victory-written-stars#sthash.6D65ZW5c.dpuf
Was Eleanor Catton's victory written in the stars? Quite possibly. She was born 28 years ago, "the time that Saturn takes to orbit around the Earth" and an important astrological number, in 1985, the year of New Zealand’s only other Man Booker win – Keri Hulme with The Bone People. - See more at: http://www.themanbookerprize.com/feature/weekly-roundup-was-eleanor-cattons-victory-written-stars#sthash.6D65ZW5c.dpuf
Was Eleanor Catton's victory written in the stars? Quite possibly. She was born 28 years ago, "the time that Saturn takes to orbit around the Earth" and an important astrological number, in 1985, the year of New Zealand’s only other Man Booker win – Keri Hulme with The Bone People. - See more at: http://www.themanbookerprize.com/feature/weekly-roundup-was-eleanor-cattons-victory-written-stars#sthash.6D65ZW5c.dpuf



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