Your week, according to Vedic astrology

Tim Miller is up at Mt. Shasta for the second of two weeks of his annual trip (before, I should note, somehow making it all the way down the length of California, on Saturday, I’m guessing, before starting to welcome the flood of Third Series Teacher Training students on Sunday), where it’s a little smoky from all the fires that again are burning in California.

You can read more at his blog post this week, which focuses on the differences of our every day lives. In it, what jumped out at me, was about the most concise summation of how Vedic astrology looks at the week and the influence of the planets. It’s something he’s written about before, but never in quite such a neat package (to me knowledge). Sort of a 101 course:

In an attempt to understand these daily fluctuations I began to look into astrology for answers.  In Vedic astrology, each day of the week has a ruling planet, and each planet has a personality which creates a certain bhav, or mood, on its given day.  For example:  on Sundays we feel sunny, on Mondays we feel moody, on Tuesdays we feel energetic, but headstrong, on Wednesdays we are more intellectually inclined, on Thursdays we feel optimistic, on Fridays we feel more loving, and on Saturdays we feel obliged to take care of those sometimes unpleasant, but important mundane affairs.  At the same time the moon is either waxing or waning, and the planets are making aspects to one another that sometimes create a sense of ease and other times present great challenges.

As I’m about to go practice, I wish it were Tuesday or at least Thursday. Perhaps during practice I’ll consider why that is.

Posted by Steve

Shake yourself out of your complacency, and contract your anus

If you have the opportunity to put “anus” in your headline, you have to, right?

That chance comes from this week’s Tim Miller blog post, which is all about Uranus and a bit about your anus:

25 or so years ago in Mysore, my old friend David Life swears that he heard Guruji screaming at him one day, “Contact Uranus! Contact Uranus!” This was a very difficult instruction for David to follow because he had no idea how to contact this distant planet. Finally, he realized that what Guruji was really saying was, “Contract your anus! Contract your anus!”–in other words, Mula Bandha! Over the next couple of days we will have an opportunity to “Contact Uranus” by virtue of two interesting planetary transits.

To find out what that opportunity might reveal, and why you might be inclined to ignore it, click the link. I’m hoping it means Bobbie and I will have an opportunity to get down to the Ashtanga Yoga Center and practice with Timji. It’s been too long, but the stars, so to speak, just haven’t aligned.

Posted by Steve

There’s a curious little item in Tim Miller’s blog this week

Tim Miller has his latest blog post up — a little earlier than usual — and I happen to have just finished a somewhat truncated practice (in the P.M.? Yes — will try to get around to talking about that in the days ahead) and am hovering over dinner, so I saw it earlier than usual, as well.

It’s usual in almost all other ways: A classically Tim take on the skies above us:

In Indian mythology Shani is the son of Surya, and–like all fathers and sons–they have their issues.  There are many different versions of the story of Surya and Shani.  This is my favorite one:  Surya is married to Sanjana, the daughter of the Divine Architect, Vishvakarman.  Sanjana is a delicate sort and begins to find the heat and brightness of Surya oppressive.  Seeking relief, she creates a clone of herself called Chhaya (Shadow) and asks her to assume her role with Surya as she seeks respite in her father’s house.  Surya doesn’t notice the change and has marital relations with Chhaya, resulting in the birth of Shani.  Shani is born with a dark complexion and the moment his father lays eyes on him he goes into an eclipse, questioning the true paternity of Shani.

Check for the full story. And also, check for this hidden little min-bombshell (bombyshell?):

Concerning this aspect, astrologer Robert Hand writes:  “On this day you will turn your attention to your duties and responsibilities, to those tasks that you may not want to do but feel you must in order to fulfill your obligations to others.”  For me this has played out in the last two days as being one of the subjects in a documentary film about ashtanga yoga—having a camera in my face while teaching and practicing.

What’s that about? We’ll have to wait and find out, although I may put Bobbie on the case to check and see if anyone we know is in the know.

Posted by Steve

It is a busy, dynamic month in the skies above

If you’ve been feeling a little ragged, a little slacked, a little wrung out — look to the skies for reasons why. Tim Miller fills you in via his blog post this week:

Mercury ended its three-week retrograde on February 28th. On March 1st, Mars turned retrograde, followed the next day by Saturn. On March 6th, Jupiter turned direct. This represents a lot of changing of directions of planets within a short amount of time. How does this affect us? Well, I can only offer what I have observed over the past 10 days. As a yoga teacher, people come to me all the time with their physical complaints, but I must say, in the past week, I’ve been hearing more complaining about aches and pains and setbacks in other areas of life than usual.

The one thing I know: All those planets continue to conspire against our making it down to the Ashtanga Yoga Center, as we should be (at least once a month). We do have our eyes on this workshop on April 5, though. But we just need a plain, old visit.

On another front, the Ashtanga Yoga Confluence announced two new lectures during the May event: One by Richard Freeman, the other by Dr. Manoj Chalam. Info at the schedule page.

Posted by Steve

Why you should care about Vedic astrology and a new Second Series DVD

Tim Miller, you may have noticed if you’ve followed his blog postings, focuses frequently on the skies.

There’s a reason, and he explains it this week:

It’s not that I have this vast knowledge of the subject that I feel compelled to share with the world, but rather that it is something I find to be endlessly fascinating, and something I am always trying to learn more about.  When I began practicing yoga 36 years ago I started to notice an ebb and flow of energy on a daily basis—the same practice done on different days was a very different experience.  Sometimes the energy felt Sattvic (harmonious), other times Rajasic (stirred up), and other times Tamasic (dull).  This waxing and waning of energy didn’t seem to necessarily have anything to do with the amount of sleep I got, the purity of my diet, or the general state of my relationships—it seemed to have its own agenda.  In an attempt to try to understand this phenomenon I began to look into astrology.  I believe that we live in an intelligent universe where there are many dynamic, yet invisible forces acting upon us at all times.

You’ll have to click on the link above to find out all the reason. It does include some lines from Patanjali, although not the now famous “No fatties” sutra.

For those who are lucky enough to fall under the Sattvic stars, David Garrigues’ new DVD on Second Series might be right up your astrological alley. From the description:

Practice it and extend your breathing capacity, effect an energetic awakening that helps you access buddhi, the reflective, discerning, higher intelligence faculty of your mind. Become fit for dhyana, meditation, contemplative poise that yields dynamism, radiant health and Self knowledge. May we all continue to grow in Bhakti and Jnana.


A traditional 1hr and 30 minute counted vinyasa method live class …

Once again, you’ll have to click the link to find out what the class includes.

Posted by Steve


Tim Miller: Of senior moments and ‘Oh Shiva!’

We have an apologetic Tim Miller this week.

It turns out, his description last week of the lunar eclipse included some math errors, which changed the meaning of the events high above us.

Go to Tim’s blog to get things set right, like, right now. Here’s a snippet:

When I realized my mistake I said, “Oh Shiva!” Everything I had said in relation to the Moon in Anuradha would be happening on Sunday rather than Monday (except for the eclipse, of course). Usually I’m pretty good at math—good enough to help my daughter with her fourth grade homework, anyway—but in this case I had a “senior moment.” The eclipse in Jyeshta means something totally different, of course.

I’m serious. You’ll have to go to his blog to get all the details.

Tim got his post up a little earlier than normal; I suspect it was because he talks about Tuesday evening’s Venus transit. (Did you see it?)

Tim goes to his own source for Vedic astrology to describe what the transit means for us: Marga Laube, a Vedic astrologer based in Ashland, Oregon. Here’s what he passes on:

Marga says that it will facilitate a shift in our understanding of Value– we will arrive at a new understanding of the cost of our attachment to “stuff”, and a heightened appreciation of those things that really make our heart sing.

Tim also notes that Saturday night, from 7 to 9 p.m., the Ashtanga Yoga Center is holding a kirtan with Naren Schreiner who specializes in the “Yoga of Music.” If you’re down in the area, check it out. Bobbie and I are checking our calendars… not sure if we can get there.

Posted by Steve

A good time to ‘step up’ your spiritual commitments is coming

It will be a busy full moon this Monday, no doubt about it.


Tim Miller in his weekly blog preps us for it all: lunar eclipse, Saturn and Mars influences, Krishna and Radha. Here’s the link, and here’s a few key passages:

The first lunar eclipse of the year happens on Monday June 4th at 4:12am PDT. It will be a partial eclipse with just over a third of the Moon’s surface falling under the shadow of the Earth and eclipsing the light of the Sun. The full moon will occur in the Nakshatra called Mitra—“the friend.” Mitra is one of the twelve Adityas (solar deities) mentioned in the Vedas. Mitra infuses Anuradha with warmth, light-heartedness, leadership, friendliness, helpfulness, and optimism. The symbol for Anuradha is a lotus flower, which is associated with purity, evolution, and enlightenment.

There is a darker side to Anuradha. Its planetary ruler is Saturn, which is the planet of spiritual trials. Anuradha falls within the constellation Scorpio, which is ruled by Mars. Mars is considered the secondary ruler of this nakshatra. Saturn and Mars are both considered as malefic and tamasic planets, so there is some sense of difficulty and overcoming of inertia that is necessary with Anuradha.


The coming full moon/lunar eclipse will be a supercharged time to let go of those things that have been impeding our growth, step up our commitment to our spiritual evolution, and awaken to the fact that our deepest desire is to reunite with the Divine, and help others do the same.

I’ve cut out lots of explanations of Saturn and Mars’ influence and the roles of Krishna and Radha. Need to know how you’re like a lotus flower? Click the link and find out.

For us here, the eclipse is yet another unavoidable sign that we need to “step up” our Yatra readings, try to evolve our meditation practice into something resembling a “practice” and yet retain the commitment to Ashtanga.

You’re a householder, right? (If you’re off meditating on things in the forest or a mountainside, do you have a Wifi card?) So you know the push and pull of life can be difficult to combat, as can the lure of just relaxing at the end of a long day of work. It is nothing that can’t be overcome, but it seems to require some extra effort. I’ll hope the possibility of reuniting with the Divine will spark something this week.

Posted by Steve

Tim Miller on the rare Venus Retrograde, and why it’s time to start meditating

Tim Miller is back to what I think of as the core feature of his Tuesdays with Timji blog: making sense of the night sky for us.

As I’ve heard it, Tim got interested in Vedic Astrology as he was struggling to figure out why his Ashtanga practice could vary so much from day to day. As is clear from hearing him talk or reading his blog, he’s expanded his knowledge of the skies beyond just the Vedic perspective.

Earlier this week, we had a rare occurrence: Venus going retrograde — and something even rarer on the figurative horizon (or is it literal in this case?). Here’s Tim explaining it:

This phenomenon occurs approximately every 18 months for about six weeks at a time, so, in relation to the other planets, which turn retrograde more often and stay that way longer, this is a relatively rare occurrence. … On June 5th the Sun and Venus will be conjunct, and from some vantage points, Venus will appear as a small black dot moving across the face of the sun for about seven hours. This phenomenon (such a close conjunction of Venus and the Sun) has not occurred since 1882 and will not happen again in our lifetime. Venus will then gradually shift to the other side of the Sun, reappearing on June 13th as the “Morning Star” just above the eastern horizon before sunrise. In the Mayan culture, this transition of Venus from an “Evening Star” to a “Morning Star” symbolizes the rebirth of Venus after spending some time in the underworld.

Tim goes on to explain what you might want to avoid and what to expect during the next six weeks. He also lays forth the meaning of this weekend’s new moon:

The New Moon on Sunday May 20th occurs at 4:47pm PDT in the Nakshatra known as Krittika. Krittika means “the one who cuts”, and is related to the English word “critical”. Krittika has a piercing quality which seeks to get to the root of any situation and which can sometimes come across as perfectionism or fault finding, but is very effective in cutting through the bullshit and getting the job done.

What this means in the Confluence household, I think, is this: We need to quit dawdling and get to meditating as yet another part of our preparation for our end of the year Yatra.

In other words, it is time to cut through the bullshit reasons we have not to sit our asses down and quiet our mind. To which I say: Crap.

Posted by Steve

Tim Miller tells us: There’s a lot going on in the sky right now

The skies are up to their old tricks, as Tim Miller informs us in this week’s Tuesdays with Timji post. And what might seem bad, could really be good; and what would seem good, well, it might not be.

That’s just the way of things, right? And thus — it’s best to let your ego go so you remain less affected. Here are a few excerpts:

Just in case you missed the news, Mercury, that old trickster, turned retrograde yesterday morning and will remain so until April 4th. The gift of Mercury retrograde is to slow us down a bit with unforeseen difficulties and delays, so we don’t just go on charging blindly ahead in our lives, sometimes to our peril. It is a time to work on completing unfinished business in both the physical and emotional realms, to reflect on the recurring patterns (physical, mental, and emotional) that sometimes create havoc in our lives, and to make some course corrections. This is a wonderful time for Swadhyaya (self study), for reconnecting with the sacred texts and recommitting ourselves to our Sadhana.


Jupiter’s influence, in many ways, is opposite to that of Venus. While Venus transmutes spirit into matter in a scattering and dividing process, Jupiter strives to return us to a state of unity and wholeness, to transform materiality into spirituality. Jupiter is completely unified with the ascending evolutionary force, fully surrendered to the Divine Will. His every action demonstrates his concern in the welfare of others and the evolution of humanity. Jupiter is called “Guru”—the dispeller of darkness.

You will have to click on the link to find out whether Tuesday turned out to be a good day — with darkness dispelled — for Tim.

Posted by Steve


This week’s Tuesday with Timji is a revealing one

After his break — well, hard-working break — in Tulum, Tim Miller is back with a very classic Tuesday with Timji post. Lots of astrology, plenty of Hanuman and a few self-revealing words:

The full moon today at 1:54 pm is in the nakshatra called Ashlesha—the “entwiner”– symbolized by a coiled snake and ruled by Swarpa, the king of the Nagas (half serpent/half human creatures). Ashlesha is related to the Kundalini Shakti, the latent energy coiled three and a half times around the sushumna nadi between the muladhara and swadisthana chakras. This nakshatra gives us great appetites in the physical and emotional realms, making us gluttonous in regards to food and insatiable in our sexuality and our desire to entwine ourselves around others, sometimes in an emotionally manipulative way.

You will have to read his post to find out what this has to do with Hanuman, Sita, Rama and Ravana. I do love the way he both tells this story and how he relates it to each of us. It is worth checking out to get a little taste of that. I will give a quick spoiler: Everything works out. But not without a lot of suffering.

I will give away his revealing detail, though:

At the risk of revealing more of my self than I should, I’ll let you in on a little secret–Moon in Ashlesha is of particular interest to me because this is my natal moon position. Of all the nakshatras of the Zodiac, this is considered to be the most challenging. If not for the intervention of yoga in my life,

But not the punchline. You’ll have to go to his post to find out what would have happened.

Posted by Steve