Jathakam: the amazing story of Vedic Astrology no one told you
So what is Jathakam?
Jathakam is the Vedic astrology chart of a person or a chart created for one specific question at the time of asking. It’s an ancient tradition in Hindu families to make the newborn’s chart, the Jathakam.
Those who live in the western countries and are interested in astrology, usually meet western astrology. However, there is an ancient astrologic system, the Hindu, a.k.a. Vedic astrology. It is based on the Vedas, the Hindu sacred script.
What tells your Jathakam?
The basic intention of Jatakham is, on the one hand very simple, but on the other hand is very complex. Its aim is to help you get to know yourself better, to be able to evolve, getting to know your talents and also your limits. Used properly it can contribute to being happy and successful in your life.
It shows and teaches acceptance; to accept your situation, your family, spouse, work, financial condition etc. However, it’s important to emphasize that acceptance doesn’t mean approval let alone resignation. It doesn’t mean that you have to live forever with conditions that are bad for you.
Acceptance is a tool that gives you inner peace and a stable base for any change coming from your free will. I often say we all have boundaries. But what we do within those boundaries is a choice.
For example, if you don’t have artistic skills but you practice a lot, you can get better and better. Yes, you probably won’t ever be the next Picasso but you’ll be able to enjoy art.
Jathakam helps you find the way to change your life if you want to, but as astrology says, no real change can happen without acceptance and self-knowledge. There’s a huge difference between change that you consciously initiate and unexpected bad changes that make you suffer. The first one is active, the latter is passive.
Astrology, or in our case Jatakham, can support you to activate the real yourself. The real yourself, without fears and dependencies. It shows you how to rule and lead your life the best way you can, without causing harm for your surroundings.
Jatakham is a guide, a chance to have a better, more outstanding life.
Knowing ourselves is an important goal: actually, it’s one of our most important weapons that can help us reach the state of happiness. It’s a tough fight though, but if you are strong enough – and strength is something that we have more of than we’d think – it can make us evolve and achieve our goals.
History of Vedic astrology and Jathakam
Once upon a time, the story began in the 3rd millenium B.C. The cradle of the ancient form of astrology was Mesopotamia, Sumer.
The Sumerians used astrology mostly to avoid the punishment of gods. They thought gods showed their presence in celestial images and believed that through these images they sent messages.
Then astrological signs were used for agricultural predictions; to foretell the welfare of the nation and the king. In those days astrology was closer to divination than science.
The Sumerians were pioneers in using the numeral system we know today. Also, they were the first who divided the year into 12 months, the day into 24 hours, the hour into 60 minutes and the circle into 360 degrees. They also observed and named the astrological, zodiac signs.
After the Sumerian period, Mesopotamia was conquered and ruled by the Persians. They founded the Persian Empire that inherited the knowledge of the Sumerians.
The next landmark is Alexander the Great, the Macedon (Greek) king, who conquered Persia and West-India in the 4th century BC. He encountered with astrology during the conquest and it’s not surpising at all that he didn’t only seize the enemy’s land but their knowledge as well. That is how the ancient Sumerian wisdom, including astrology, found its way as far as India.
Astrology, however, was not totally new to Indian people, since they had already known the ancient form of Hindu (Vedic) astrology. Surprisingly back in the 2nd millennium BC, their ancestors had already tracked the movements of the Sun and Moon.
When Alexander the Great introduced them to the Sumerian form of astrology, they combined their Vedic faith and Vedic astrology with the new science. They took over the Sumerian numeral system as well, that have become the base of Jathakam. The 12 houses of the chart, as we’ll see later, refer to certain life areas.
The structure of Jathakam
Jathakam has 3 main parts
- zodiac signs
1. Zodiac signs (rasi)
The Vedic astrology uses 12 zodiacs that are named after the signs in the sky. Each zodiac sign has its own characteristics that together with their position and their arrangement compared to the planets and the houses can reveal a person’s personality and fate.
2. Planets (grahas)
In this section, we review the main attributions of the planets.
The 9 planets are situated in the 12 signs. Each planet symbolizes qualities, attributions, elements, and organs. In addition to the planets, there are two so-called Nodes, the North or ascending Node and the South or descending Node. These two latter are counted by the movement of the Moon, showing karmic tasks in the Jathakam.
3. Houses (bhavas)
Jathakam consists of 12 houses, representing certain areas of our lives.
There are two main types of Jathakam: the North and the South Indian style. The most significant difference between them is the arrangement of the houses.
North Indian Jathakam is a house-based chart, which means the place of the houses is fixed. The numbers always refer to the signs, not the houses.
The 1st, the 4th, the 7th and the 10th houses are diamond-shaped, the other houses are triangles. Each house has a number that refers to the zodiacs. 1 is for Aeries, 2 is for Taurus, 3 is for Gemini and so on.
South Indian is a sign-based chart that means the signs always have a fixed place. The chart always starts with Aeries in the second box at the top. Then other signs follow it clockwise.
Each house is equally divided into 30 degrees, but unlike the North-Indian one, the houses here aren’t fixed. The 1st house is defined by the position of the ascendant.
( And in case you’re wondering what ascendant is….it’s the zodiac sign which is ascending on the eastern horizon at a certain time, for example at a birth of a child. )
Let’s see what the 12 houses represent.
So, as you can see, Jathakam is the astrology chart based on Vedic astrology, consisting of zodiac signs, planets, and houses.
Analyzing the arrangement of the altering elements compared to the fixed ones creates a chart for a given date. By examining its elements a professional astrologer is able to get information about the questioner’s personality. This way he or she can have a deeper understanding of the ongoing processes of the questioner’s life and/or anticipate the future of certain situations.
The difference between the western astrologic chart and the Jathakam
The intention of the western chart comparing to the Jathakam is the same.
As you have seen, Jathakam consists of zodiac signs, planets, and houses. The zodiac signs, the numbers and the meanings of houses are the same in both systems.
However, the western form uses 3 more planets, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. The explanation behind this might be surprising but actually, it’s quite logical: these planets were only discovered in the 18th, 19th and 20th century. Since western astrology dates back way earlier than the 18th century, “ancient star-experts” used the same planets as the Vedic system.
The biggest difference between the two systems was the appearance of the charts.
As you could see Jathakam has two types the Southern and the Northern chart, both of which resemble a square-like form.
The western chart, however, is a circle, divided into 12 parts, the houses, one outer circle, and one inner circle. The outer circle is divided by the 12 zodiac signs. The inner one also cut into 12 parts, has the 10 planets plus the Ascending and Descending Node, just like with the Vedic form.
Types of Jathakam
Jathakam has 3 types, each serving different purposes.
- Birth (natal) Jathakam
- Transit Jathakam
- Horary (prashna) Jathakam
1. Birth (Natal) Jathakam
Birth Jathakam depicts the positions of the planets and the houses at the moment of your birth. For making it, astrologers need accurate information about the time and place of birth. This chart gives you answers about your personality, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and possible threats of your life.
2. Transit Jathakam
Transit Jathakam looks like the same as the birth one, but it shows the planetary position of a chosen moment.
Combined with your birth Jathakam it can reveal the ongoing processes and influences. Also, it can give you advice when it comes to managing challenges. This can help you to find the best option and make the most out of difficult situations. Moreover, it reveals positive constellations as well that you can use to live a happier and more balanced life.
3. Horary (prashna) Jathakam
This chart focuses on one question at the time of asking it. The question can be anything: will I get the new job, where did I leave my keys, should I start a new enterprise?
For horary, the astrologer doesn’t need to know the time and place of birth of the questioner. The only thing that counts is the positions of the planets at the exact time of asking.
As a practitioner astrologist, I experienced that the most frequent questions are related to health, love, and work (career).
Jathakam and health
As for health, the traditional Vedic astrology can add more tips and advises using Ayurveda, the Indian medical science.
Ayurveda differs 3 main body types or as they call it dosha.
Each has 4 zodiac signs belonging to it.
Each dosha has its own features and characteristics. However, our zodiac only shows the main attributions. It’s common to have mixed or dual types.
Our dosha could be the key to our personal health. It should be imagined as a “health guide”.
For example, if you’re mostly a Vata, it means you’re likely to be thin and you’re not prone to putting on weight. In that case, if you want to live a healthy life, you should choose a sport that is suitable for your body type, for example, ballet.
However, if you happen to be a Kapha with a stronger, more robust body type, you should take that into consideration when it comes to choosing a sport. Also, as a Kapha, you’re suggested to eat spicy food more often since it speeds up your naturally slower metabolism.
Jathakam has 3 houses related to health and disease.
- the 6th house that shows our bodies’ strengths and weaknesses
- the 8th house that reveals possible accident and death
- the 12th house that could open up a long-term hospital stay.
However, what Jathakam shows is just a possible option. We are all able to avoid illness or diminish effects with proper prevention.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, we all have our boundaries, but it’s up to us if we cross them or stay behind them and satisfy with less. The same goes for your health. You have many options to live healthier but you’ve got to take the effort.
Jathakam and love
There are many forms of love we experience in our lifetime. As your focus can change from time to time, you are able to love differently as you grow older.
If you are familiar with your Jathakam, then you have your map of your personality, soul, intentions, desires, hopes, goals.
You have your own personal key not only to discover your uniqueness but what’s more important, to accept, embrace it and finally love it. You will never be able to truly love anybody unless you learn to love yourself.
However, it’s important to note one thing. Loving yourself doesn’t mean that you always make the right decisions or you always act the perfect way. You will have failures as well for sure. And as controversial it may seem, that’s actually good for you. Why? Becasue that’s when you can meet your shadow self.
Your shadow self, though you might call it an enemy at first, is indeed your friend. You should shake hands; you should embrace it and accept it. That’s the key to a peaceful state of mind where your soul can start its journey to more conscious life.
I’m not saying it’s always easy. I know it’s not. But if you want to find your soul-mate, you should make the effort. And I promise; as days pass, it’ll get easier and easier.
Jathakam has its love related houses which are the following:
- 5th house reveals shorter relationships, lovers, flame, passion and also information whether you will have a child or not.
- 7th house shows a companion, a spouse, or, if there is, the chance of divorce
Jathakam and work (career)
Jathakam rarely says actual things about your career. It won’t tell you that you should be a teacher, a doctor or an accountant.
However, house 6 and 10 can reveal your talents, abilities that lead you closer to your dream job.
It also suggests whether, according to your personality, you should work in a team or alone. As a leader or as an employee. At your own company or led by someone else.
Jathakam may also tell you if it’s time for a change in your career. It’ll suggest you find a new place or apply for a new position so that you’ll never have to encounter with that “Oh, no, Monday” feeling again.
– Patrícia Párvy, astrologyst, body and mind coach –
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