The specific effect of Jupiter on each individual can be assessed by looking at what astrological house it currently occupies in your chart and how it aspects your other planets. In the Vedic system Jupiter currently resides in the nakshatra called Bharani (the bearers). The symbol of this nakshatra is the vulva and the presiding deity is Yama, the god of death, who is also known as the King of Dharma. The symbolism of the womb indicates changes that occur within, suggesting personal breakthroughs that are often preceded by struggles and must be nurtured by self-discipline and perseverance.
Last night, as I was chatting with my students after a great class, one of them asked this question:
“Would it be o.k. to come to the Confluence even if you’re a new student?”
I pulled up a bench and told a little story. Back in 2005, I was a brand new, shiny Ashtanga student. I had strong feelings of loyalty to the practice, but was still very uncertain of my ability to “do” it. I was still at what I call the self-denegrating laughter stage: When my teacher would say, “Jump your feet to either side of your hands,” I would sort of snork. As if, I would think.
So when the Ashtanga world was abuzz with excited word that Guruji was coming to Los Angeles, I was all, “Gu-who-ji?” In spite of multiple offers of rides and places to stay (I lived in Orange County at the time), I didn’t go.
You can imagine how I feel about that now. When my student asked that question, I could see the same look I must’ve had on my face back in 2005. I was intimidated by students I thought were “more deserving”–you know the ones I mean, the ones that send off that air of privilege that can make Ashtanga feel like a private club. I was more scared of looking stupid than I was of actually learning. From the master!
So should you come if you’re new? YES! Especially if you’re new! My shala in Los Angeles is new, and it’s a total joy to see new people walk in the door and experience Ashtanga for the first time, to see Jörgen explaining a suryanamaskar–something that seemed an impossible task for me when I started–and to see that clean, shining look of..well, shock at the end of class. Something learned. Imagine. To be brand new, learning from Eddie Stern, David Swenson, Nancy Gilgoff, and my own guru. From Tim Miller. Yes, in my best Guruji voice, “You come!”