3 Waves of Spanish Flu of 1918-1919: Can we expect a repeat now? A Jyotish Perspective

Devi Kalaratri source Wikipedia 180808

The Destroyer of Ignorance and Confusion – Aum Namo KAlarAtreya NamAhA (Source: Wikipedia, Devi Kalratri, Sanghasri, Kalighat, Kolkata, 2010)

Background to this post

As I was observing how actuals for the current (April 2020) Wuhan Virus pandemic in USA were tracking quite well to the slope (not the levels) in the graphics produced by my Jyotish based model (posted on April 6th), I received a suggestion[i] that it may be helpful to assess what Jyotish factors drove the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 – 1919 in USA.

So in this post I am looking at how the planetary patterns played out in the three waves of the 1918-1919 pandemic in USA. I then compare the 1918-1919 planetary patterns to the planetary patterns that will be in play between now and summer of 2021, using the Systems Approach to Mundane Vedic Astrology[ii]. The conclusion, which you can read in more detail towards the end, is that there appears to be a potential for two waves of the Wuhan Virus to arise in the USA:

Jyotish indicators show that there is some potential for what may be a mild second wave of Wuhan Virus in USA during mid May 2020 to end July 2020. This second wave may be seen as a continuance of the current wave (as I write this in mid-April 2020). There is more of a potential for civil and political disharmony and economic hardship in USA in May and June 2020, but that is from a different set of planetary drivers, which I may cover in a separate post (in this post I am focusing on the pandemic concerns).

There are indications of a third wave of Wuhan Virus arising between mid-October 2020 and February 2021, with a peak in December 2020 (which happens to coincide with the typical seasonal flu period in USA, beginning with spread of contagion from the Thanksgiving Holiday, through to Christmas Holidays and the New Year). My analysis based on Systems Approach Jyotish indicates that if at all such a third Wuhan Virus pandemic wave arises in the Fall of 2020, it will not be anywhere near the severity of the devastating wave of the Fall of 1918 pandemic.

Many of you may find it helpful to use these broad predictions (with probabilities) to develop scenarios for your business and your personal lives. Keep in mind that even these threatening scenarios can be made into opportunities if applied keeping individual business and personal specifics in context and with safety in mind.

You can read more about the Spanish Flu Pandemic in USA of 1918-1919 in this article by the Center for Disease Control (USA)[iii]. I will focus on the three waves of the deadly pandemic in Spring of 1918, Fall of 1918 and Spring of 1919.

Pandemic of 1918 Three Waves

So in order to develop a meaningful understanding of the planetary patterns for the 1918 – 1919 pandemic in USA, I begin with noticing the following in the USA SAMVA 20 degree Cancer rising chart[iv]:

For 1918-1919 the USA chart shows a Rahu major period with a Rahu sub-period covering all three waves. Rahu is the north node created by intersection of the Moon with the Sun. The disturbed energy pattern created by the Moon-Sun intersections become fertile space-time areas for disease and deception.

Now let’s look at the transit configurations of:

  1. Where the nodal axis (Rahu / Ketu) was stationed during each of the three 19189-1919 pandemic waves.
  2. Where Jupiter, the ruler of the 6th House in the USA chart and which has potential to trigger disease, was transiting during each of these three waves of 1918-1919.
  3. Where Saturn, the rules of the 8th House in the USA chart and which has the potential to trigger death and death like experiences and raise obstructions to attempts towards resolution, was transitioning during each of these three pandemic waves.

First Pandemic Wave (Spring 1918) Transit Positions:

  1. Rahu was stationed at 29 deg in Scorpio, weak and debilitated in the 5th House of the USA chart, while Ketu was stationed at 29 deg in Taurus, debilitated in in the 11th House of the USA chart.
  2. Jupiter, the disease trigger for USA chart was transiting over tr Ketu at that time. It was not stationed over it. Nor was it impacting any of the critical points in the chart. It did trigger disease, but at a relatively low level in the first wave.
  3. Saturn, the giver of death and death like experiences in the USA chart (Saturn can be a positive force in most charts for most of the time. In the USA chart it has this negative potential as well) was stationing at near the ascendant point of the chart, in Cancer, during this time and impacted 7th house of faraway lands as well. It gave death like experiences not only due to the disease at home (1st house), but also in far away lands (WW 1 had ended, but death like experiences were continuing among those who had not yet returned back to USA at this time).

Second Pandemic Wave (Fall 1918) Positions:

  1. Rahu at 20 degrees Scorpio, debilitated and stationed on the most effective point and afflicting the Ascendant point with its 9th Ketu at 20 degrees Taurus, debilitated, stationed on the most effective point of 11th house.
  2. Jupiter at 20 deg Gemini, stationed on the most effective point of 12th House and afflicting most effective points of 4th, 6th and 8th
  3. Saturn at 5 degrees Leo, 2nd House, but not afflicting.

The combination of prolonged affliction of debilitated Rahu-Ketu to the ascendant and of Jupiter from 12th House of separation afflicting 6th House, may have triggered this deadliest of the three waves in the Spanish Flu pandemic.

Third Pandemic Wave (Summer 1919) Positions:

  1. Rahu at 11 degrees Scorpio, debilitated and stationed but not afflicting. Ketu at 11 degrees Taurus, debilitated and stationed but not afflicting.
  2. Jupiter was afflicted by 9th aspect of natal Ketu at 16 degrees in Gemini much of April and May.
  3. Saturn was afflicted by 10th aspect of natal Saturn at 26 degrees in Leo in the April – May time frame.

All three afflictions during the summer of 1919 were relatively mild. The relatively lower number of cases and deaths in the third wave reflect that.

My main take away from review of the three 1918 – 1919 Spanish Flu pandemic waves, through a Systems Approach Jyotish lens, is that combinations of direct affliction of and by the nodes and 6th and 8th rulers (in the case of the USA chart, Jupiter and Saturn) during a Rahu major / Rahu sub-period (the amplification by Rahu of the negativity introduced by the influenza virus played a major role back in 1918-1919 pandemic) and stationing of debilitated Rahu-Ketu, led to the immense death laden 2nd wave in the Fall of 1918, which took about half a million human lives in the USA in a few months.

So what does that mean for the Wuhan Virus Pandemic USA in 2020 – 2021?

Will there be repeat waves of Wuhan virus pandemic? Yes, I do see (from a Jyotish lens perspective) the potential for this to happen.

Will such repeat waves be substantially deadlier than the pandemic wave we are experiencing right now in April 2020? No, I do not see that to be so.

Here is why.

First, we note the major and sub-period in the SAMVA USA chart in the 2020-2021 period:

January 26th 2020 to November 30th 2020: Sun major period with Mercury sub-period. Both Sun and Mercury ensure positive benefits to the USA. Mercury plays a role in bringing communities together in mitigating negativities, including viruses.

December 1st 2020 to April 6th 2021: Sun major period with Ketu sub-period. This Ketu sub-period, channeling the disturbed energy of the intersection of the Moon with the Sun, could potentially provide the space-time area for a second wave of Wuhan Virus infection in the USA.

April 7th 2021 to April 8th 2022: Sun major period with Venus sub-period. Venus, along with Sun, provides positive benefits for the USA. A post-pandemic coming together of America (signified by Venus as fourth House ruler and also generally as signifier of prosperity), may be expected in this period.

To assess what chances there are for future waves of Wuhan Virus pandemic in 2020 – 2021, we will examine the next three Rahu-Ketu stations between now (April 2020) and the summer of 2021.

First Rahu-Ketu stationing from mid May 2020 to July 31st 2020

Rahu stationing at 5 degrees in 12th House Gemini and Ketu at 5 degrees in 6th House Sagittarius. However they are not applying any prolonged affliction during this period. Saturn and Jupiter are in 7th House Capricorn mildly afflicting each other from a distance of over 3 degrees. There is a chance that there may be a mild second wave of Wuhan Virus in USA during this period of mid May 2020 to end July 2020, which may be seen as a continuance of the current wave. The indicators point to more of a chance of potential for civil and political disharmony and economic hardship in USA in May and June 2020, but that is from a different set of planetary drivers, which I may cover in a separate post (in this post I am focusing on the pandemic concerns).

Second, is the Rahu-Ketu Stationing mid October 2020 to January 31st 2021

Exalted Rahu will station at 25 degrees in 11th House Scorpio. Exalted Ketu will station at 25 degrees 5th House Taurus. They will be directly afflicting and be afflicted by natal Saturn (death like experiences) at 26 deg 11th House Scorpio.

At the same time debilitated transit Jupiter and transit Saturn will be conjunct in 7th House Capricorn for all of December 2020. This conjunction will play out when the Ketu sub-period is the driver in the SAMVA USA chart from December 1st 2020 to April 7th 2021. IF at all there is a second wave of the Wuhan Virus pandemic, it is likely to begin somewhere in USA in the second half of October, will peak in December 2020 and then recede at the beginning of February 2021. The impact of this second wave, while it has the potential of being somewhat more than the first wave in USA in the February to May 2020 time frame, is not likely to be anywhere near the second wave of the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic.

This time the major period driver is the Sun, which protects and blesses the USA chart (the major period driver was the malefic Rahu a 102 years ago). Also, this Rahu-Ketu in transit in 2020-2021 are exalted and therefore give relatively fewer negative results, compared to the debilitated Rahu-Ketu stationing of 102 years ago. Both these factors (of Sun major period and the exalted Rahu-Ketu transit) will provide cover in the Mid October 2020- February 2021 period, even though the Ketu sub-period may play the negative catalyst role for spread of disease and of death during this period.

Perhaps one way of minimizing the impact, of even a relatively (compared to 102 years ago) weak second pandemic wave in USA in the Mid October 2020 – February 2021 period, is to practice social distance and wear masks and wash hands frequently, which many of us in the USA may have done effectively from March 2020 onwards.

The third transit Rahu-Ketu station to notice is the one occurring at 16 degrees of Taurus, between April 2021 and June 2022. This station is happening in the Sun / Venus positive period of the USA chart. During this period, the 6th house ruler Jupiter (of disease and debt) will be in the 8th house, Aquarius (between 2 deg and 8 deg), but not afflicting nor being afflicted. At the same time, 8th house ruler transit Saturn (of death like experiences and obstructions in this case) is stationing at 19 deg Capricorn (7th house). It will afflict 7th, 9th, 1st and 4th houses of the USA chart. My take away from these configuration is that while there is not a likelihood of the 3rd wave of Wuhan Virus pandemic, there may likely be some negative experiences, including violence leading to injury and deaths of Americans in distant lands (7th house), at Colleges (9th house) and domestically across communities (1st and 4th houses).

Conclusion

When looking through a Jyotish lens I see potential for a mild wave (which may be seen as a continuance of the current wave (as of April 2020)) of the Wuhan Virus pandemic in USA until the end of June 2020. There is somewhat higher potential for a second wave in the Fall of 2020, with peak in December 2020, which may extend into February 2021. These broad predictions may be useful for many of you as you do your scenario planning of your specifics in your business and individual lives. Such an exercise may uncover ways in which to minimize loss and find ways of continuing to do business in a different and safe way.

I may post separately on what the economic scenarios look like for USA from a Jyotish lens in 2020-2021.

[i] Suggestion was made by the master astrologer who goes by the name of Cosmologer, whose mastery of Systems Approach to Mundane Vedic Astrology, especially as it applies to nation-states, is legendary among practicing astrologers. You can access his writings at http://cosmologer.blogspot.com/

 

[ii] See the Mundane Astrology site http://yournetastrologer.com/mundane_astrology.htm as propounded by the Late Professor V.K. Chaudhary and now being practiced by eminent astrologers Mr. Rajesh Chaudhary and Cosmologer.

[iii] https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/1918-commemoration/three-waves.htm

 

[iv] http://cosmologer.blogspot.com/2007/12/samva-usa-chart.html

 

Letting Go, Building Anew: On Becoming a Somewhat Better Person in 2020

Sri Gayatri MAtA by Raja Ravi Verma Source Wikipedia

ॐ श्री मात्रे नमः Source: Illustration by Raja Ravi Verma as published at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gayatri

By Jayant Kalawar, January 2, 2020

Like clockwork, 2019 has passed us by.

Left us memories of pleasures,

accomplishments and excitements.

Of moments of joy and peace

and exhilaration.

Of disappointments and sorrows,

frustrations and anger.

Deepening some connections,

Beginning new ones.

Weakening some, severing others.

 

What do I want to keep? What to let go? What do I want to build anew?

Well, actually if I could, I would like to keep just a few specific positive memories from 2019 and let go of the rest, both positive and negative.

I don’t think it is possible to let go of memories. But maybe be they can be moved to some faraway distant storage?! That way they are not lurking around to trigger us every day into doing or saying things that we then regret.

So I begin by thinking backwards from December to January of 2019. Month by month.

For each month I try to remember things that happened that gave me a feeling of well-being and of unease. I think of my health and in my late 60s I have some aches and pains that routinely spring to life. Remembering specific things helps to contemplate on what I should have done differently to manage these little friends that keep springing up. This way I begin to make a ‘lessons learned’ list! I have been able to add a new 3 minute daily exercise for my knees, for example. So I can move my memories of knee pain and weakness away into deep storage and instead add this new exercise segment into my daily activity.

I do the same, to remember the times I may have been upset with my dear and near ones, as I go back in the year, month by month. What could I have done differently so that I would not get so upset? And repeatedly so. The pattern becomes more obvious when I go through such a contemplative exercise for each of the 12 months. Beginning of a new year is a good time to do this, quietly by one self. I learn from it. It is one thing to say I should be more patient. Another to learn for one self how to say something differently, not jump to conclusions for example. Or come up with solutions. Asking more open ended questions in a way that would be less irritating, perhaps. So again, to let go of the memories of the pattern of upsets and hopefully to learn how not to repeat that pattern in 2020.

And then there is problem-solving we all do every day. Whether at home or at work or at play. This is something I particularly like to contemplate on. To see what problem solving was difficult for me. What caused anxiety and how was it resolved. How could I have done that problem solving differently. Much of the problem solving we do is collaborative. Going to buy or sell a car for example. To solve that problem requires many different players and many different factors coming into play. I have to come up to speed on who does what and so on in the car buying or selling process. Lots of prep work needs to be done before going in and engaging to solve the problem of buying or selling a car. Same thing with investing: buying or selling stocks or bonds for example. Or buying or selling a house. Same rules apply: contemplate on specific problem solving events backwards month by month in 2019. What could I have done differently to have better outcomes? What can I learn from that and how can I change how I solve problems in 2020? More research, patience, asking questions, being pro-active are some general things. All this take more time. So giving more time up front in how I plan the problem solving process is something that I hope to build in to the way I solve complex problems in 2020.

Hope you get some idea from these examples of my own step by step attempts to learn from 2019, so I can move most of the memories into far away distant storage while keeping most of the lessons learned. And so, hopefully, become a somewhat better person in 2020 (my new year’s resolution). Perhaps you may try some of this for yourself. Especially if you believe there is room for you to be a somewhat better person in 2020.

To be human is to be….A view from the Devi Lens

Devi Cover for Outsider European Enlightenment Kindle 190506

WIth the Devi’s Blessings. Cover art by Jayant Kalawar 2018.

By Jayant Kalawar

When I wrote the essay Outsider Deconstructing European Enlightenment it was a way of describing what it means to be human, by telling a story of how some humans have done things with each other and with nature around them. Many of us call such descriptions history.

So these humans I describe have a quite a bit of potential to act in different ways. However, much of it has not been switched on (yet).  Most of these humans seem to be very good at utilizing some of their potential, for example: to survive, reproduce, acquire material things and consume them.

That leaves out the potential for courage to be compassionate, to connect with all species on Earth and the Earth itself and to explore and connect with cosmic spiritual vibrations. Such potentials, in most humans, remain untapped. In my essay I talk about how each of these seven potentials (yes, if you go back and count you will see there are seven) are channeled through seven chakrAs.  which I posit makes for being human, when you see humans through the Devi Lens (all that in the essay).

What switches on these potentials? The culture you live in and how you are nurtured plays a big role in throwing these switches on and off. It’s this cultural driver that I focus on in my Outsider essay, to show how it switches on some of our potentials and lets others remain dormant.

In current usage in our digital world, we all live in now, I think it is better to call this driver memetic complex, rather than culture. New memes are produced and old ones are morphed or die every day now in this relatively new digital age. So unlike the past, we have a real chance to develop many memetic complexes (is that the right plural? – but you get the point) that may switch on the entire range of potentials in humans.

I think there are two more drivers for switching on potentials in humans.

One of those drivers I think is the natural environment we interact with, including through breathing, consuming and generally our physical living conditions. I want to explore how this driver actually works within us at the cellular level, through gene expressions and protein pathways. I have barely begun learning about this. But at the moment, my sankalpA is to write my next essay on how natural environment and genetics drive the switching of human potentials on and off. It took me about 3 years to write and self-publish the Outsider essay, after almost 15 years of reading and research (not knowing where it would take me, if at all). So, I have no sense of what may emerge and when that may end up being an essay about this cellular / endocrine driver and how it is tied to the chakrAs. But the general broad intention is present.

The other driver is personal practices, sAdhanA leading to upAsanA. You will notice I am not translating when I drop Sanskrit words into what I write here. It is easy to find meanings with Google search these days. If you are really interested you will do so and in the process perhaps get more and more comfortable with living in a global memetic complex! That one is so personal that I am not sure it could even be an essay. Perhaps a short memoir, some distant time in the future, when some sense emerges that there is something worthwhile to share.

Notice the use of emerging. Rather than aspiring.

If you do download and read my Outsider essay on Kindle, I hope you write and post your comment here. Especially how it made you think differently about what it is to be human and how we go about doing things in this world.

A Remembering, A SmaRaNA of Shri GaneshA September 12th-13th 2018

Celebrating Ganesha Chaturthi September 13th 2018

Aum Shri GaNeshAya NamahA, Celebrating the Divya PurushA, evening of September 12th 2018, ChinmayA Mission, Cranbury, New Jersey (photo by jayant kalawar)

by jayant kalawar

He is the master of GaNas, categories.

We categorize the cosmos, slice and dice it.

So our limited cognitive ability can digest

What the senses deliver to us.

 

Our categories become our obstacles.

What they exclude makes for our ignorance, Avidya.

He removes these obstacles that make us ignorant, Vigna-hArA.

 

He is Buddhi-dAtA.

He blesses the SAdhakA,

Who strives to explore beyond ignorance,

With intellect, Buddhi.

 

He is Moksha-dAtA.

He shows the path to MokshA

To the SAdhakA who uses his intellect

To explore beyond the sensory world.

 

He is with us always.

We forget to remember

And connect with Him

So that He can guide us.

Aum Shri GaneshAya NamahA.

 

Above is a paraphrased summary of my interpretation of a short talk by Swami ShantAnandA at Chinmaya Mission, Cranbury, NJ on the evening of September 12th 20h18.

September 2018: The Calm before the Storm?

Devi Kalaratri source Wikipedia 180808

The Destroyer of Ignorance and Confusion – Aum Namo KAlarAtreya NamAhA (Source: Wikipedia, Devi Kalratri, Sanghasri, Kalighat, Kolkata, 2010)

Summary: the level of intensity of the putative physical and economic storms in 2019, with felt impacts into early 2020, is likely to be signaled in political events and directions in the USA in the first half of November 2018 and then in January 2019.

The storms of 2019 may impact up to 10 to 15% of people across the globe in some mix of physical and economic outcomes in a very low to high range. There are no cookie cutter solutions to identify who is more likely to be impacted and how much and what to do about it. Assessment of individual horoscopes can help in this regard. Those who do consistent sAdhanA and connect with the Devi are likely to have less impact.

————————————————————————————————————————————-

The grahAs will be showering their blessings upon us this September.

Venus will be transiting into its home base Libra on September 2nd and staying there until end of the year. Venus will promote a sense of material well-being and harmony, after a month being farthest away from Earth, hence weak.

Mercury will end its long sojourn of the last few months in Cancer and transit into Leo on September 2nd and then into its home base of Virgo on September 19th. Mercury then joins Venus on October 6th and moves into Scorpio on October 27th. Mercury may not cause much volatility between now and October 27th (except a brief few days September 22nd to 25th, when it comes under passing influence of Rahu-Ketu field), and thus helping better communications and analysis, further adding to the harmony component of Venus.

Mars is strong and exalted in Capricorn between now and November 5th, providing a positive energy to those who are adept at channeling its energies constructively by connecting with Devi DurgA. There is an exception period when Mars energy may be quite disturbed (not as intense as the June-July / Early August time frame) as it once again crosses the much weakened Rahu-Ketu field, between September 19th and 30th. Disturbed Mars energy shows up as natural disasters on Earth, including wild fires and volcanic eruptions, military and police action and generally aggressive interactions and thoughts at personal level. But overall Mars will still provide positive energies especially to Devi sadhakAs.

Sun is in its home base of Leo until mid-September and then in Virgo until mid-October. Sun will bless those of us who seek to remember their IshTa DevatAs and chant the GAyatri mantrA.

Jupiter will be generally strong in Libra between now and October 11th.  In turn it supports Saturn to be strong in Sagittarius during this time.

Rahu-Ketu axis is moving between now and December 5th. Its negative influence is weak at this time.

So you see the overall picture emerging: a mostly positive environment may be expected between now and October 11th.

So what made me headline this post Calm before the Storm?

Well, I see this to be most positive period before storm clouds begin to signal themselves, and the storm momentum builds up. Watch out for the signals during the following periods in the next year or so and make your own assessments (I may likely keep coming back to this in future posts opening up more details). The way to approach and develop a series of potential scenarios is to apply the intensity of the outcome from one event set as the starting point of amplification of the next time period. So here goes:

Jupiter will go through the influence of a weak Rahu-Ketu field from October 22nd to Nov 14th, with peak dissonance between November 1st and 14th. At the same time Mercury will go through the same field November 1st-2nd. And Mars will be weak as it ends its long transit in Capricorn on November 5th. This may likely cause volatility in political and financial arenas combined with unfocussed energy, especially in the USA. All this points to chances that the November 6th mid-term elections in USA may end up giving a weak result for the current US president.

The Rahu-Ketu field will be strong between December 5th 2018 and March 6th 2019. On January 10th 2019 when the newly elected US Congress convenes the Rahu-Ketu field will be at its peak intensity. The result of the mid-term elections will likely be amplified and may likely begin impacting the ability of the current US president to carry out strong positive leadership actions in 2019.

So by end of January 2019 we may have a sense of how 2019 may likely unfold. Any sense of political weakness in the USA may translate into financial and economic weakness not only in the USA but throughout the globe.

The Rahu-Ketu field will be positioned to have intense impact between May 20th 2019 and August 19th 2019 – this one has particular potential to trigger both natural disasters and war like situations between multiple nations around the globe. This in turn may have negative impact on health and economic situations of large populations.

Fall-out from the May-August 2019 events may likely be felt in physical and economic terms, almost like after-tremors across the world, from November 13th 2019 to February 2nd 2020.

To sum up: the level of intensity of the putative physical and economic storms in 2019, with felt impacts into early 2020, is likely to be signaled in political events and directions in the USA in the first half of November 2018 and then in January 2019.

I may cover topics of how to begin to prepare and position for 2019 in the next few months.

The storms of 2019 may impact up to 10 to 15% of people across the globe in some mix of physical and economic outcomes in a very low to high range. There are no cookie cutter solutions to identify who is more likely to be impacted and how much and what to do about it. Assessment of individual horoscopes can help in this regard. Those who do consistent sAdhanA and connect with the Devi are likely to have less impact.

II Aum MAtre NamAhA II

I practice Systems Approach to Vedic Astrology as propounded by the late Professor V.K. Choudhry and now being carried forward by his son Shri K. Rajesh Chowdhary.

Potential India Investor Response to Changing Global Rules of Engagement: An Analytical Astro Perspective 2018-2019

Devi Kalaratri source Wikipedia 180808

The Destroyer of Ignorance and Confusion – Aum Namo KAlarAtreya NamAhA (Source: Wikipedia, Devi Kalratri, Sanghasri, Kalighat, Kolkata, 2010)

 

President Trump’s America First policies are being noticed in India. The first, most obvious, was the H1B related restrictions and consequent impact on export of high skilled services from India. Now the potential impact of Iran sanctions (full force targeted for November 6th 2018) is looming on the horizon.

The metric most accessible to notice how India is responding to these changes, in the rule of global economic game, is the USD to INR foreign exchange rate. From a low of 63.3 in January 2017 it went up to 68.9 in July 2018. RBI then intervened with an increase in repo rate and the FOREX rate appears to have stabilized at around 68.5.

The need to manage the forex rate arises from India’s dependency on oil imports (both for fuel as well as fertilizer). The downward pressure on export of skilled services adds to the anxiety of FOREX required to manage rise in oil prices, as dollar repatriation decrease (a fall out from a combination of America First policy shift as well as the shifts towards cloud, big data, AI/ML based systems and the rise of the gig economy which has made skilled services available at lower costs without IT Cos as intermediaries). Slowdown in Middle Eastern countries has also contributed to lower levels of skill based dollar repatriation that helped India’s balance of payments.

India also appears to be attempting to conserve FOREX by imposing import tariffs on a series of imports, which are likely to impact trade with China (and that is additionally rationalized under the Make in India / create local employment rubric – which falls in line with the America First doctrine as well).

Increased interest rates and import tariffs may likely help in stabilizing the FOREX reserves situation as oil prices rise. Whether such a strategy will be enough, especially if there is an economic shock of a US recession, remains to be seen. After all it’s been 10 years of slow but steady (and now a sharp spurt in 2017-2018) economic growth in the US that has powered most of the global growth.

So what does it mean for the India Investor in the next 18 months?

To answer that lets us turn to the subtle moves in the graha energies in the India Independence birth chart, which we may be able to use to assess, at a high level, what to expect in the next 18 months (from August 2018) in this context.

The India chart is currently showing Moon dasha and Rahu bhukti (which ends on August 15th 2018). The 13 months of Rahu bhukti (since July 2017) may have given confusing and deceiving signals about the underlying well-being of the Indian economy. As Jupiter bhukti begins after August 15th 2018, we may begin to see a different contour. And the resulting reality check may intensify when transit Jupiter moves from Libra into Scorpio in mid-October and is immediately afflicted by the 5th aspect of transit Rahu.  The weeks between mid-October to mid-November 2018 may see some sharp changes in investor sentiment in India.

So to the question to pose may be as follows: when should India investors move more towards cash and cash like investments? Astro analysis indications are to do so between now and mid-October 2018.

Next questions: How much of your portfolio should you move towards cash? How long to hold in cash? And what to disinvest in, and what to remain invested in, are questions I may broadly cover in multiple future posts, as time permits.

Usual Caveats apply: All of the above is at a general level – very broad 100,000 ft indications. Action and experience takes place at the individual level, where things get much more complex. There can really be no cookie cutter problem identification or solutions.

I use Systems Approach to Vedic Astrology as propounded by Professor V.K. Chaudhary in developing my Astro Analysis posts.

© Jayant Kalawar and 21BanyanTree.com

July 2018: Venus may provide respite, from turbulent Mars, for some.

Venus in Leo - Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash - 180704

Venus in Leo in July Balances the Turbulence of Mars for some of us (Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash)

By Jayant Kalawar

Venus will be energized as it transits through the cluster of nakshatrAs (constellations) that make up SimhA lagnA (Leo ascendant) from the evening of July 4th to the early morning hours of August 1st. This will provide a welcome cushion for those with lagnA (ascendant) birth signs of Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Libra and Scorpio. The rest of us (those with Leo, Virgo, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces) may have to manage by keeping a low profile and very patient.

Mars, as of this writing on July 4th, is beginning to close in and will fully immerse into the turbulent field of Rahu-Ketu between July 12th and 29th. Expect more of the events such as freak storms, volcanic eruptions, as well as strong emotional expressions of frustration and anger, within us and amongst us, that we saw during the previous Mars immersion in the first two weeks of June. This transit of Mars will be experienced by most of us with varying degrees of intensity, depending on how much we practice focused awareness, enabling us to channel and sublimate out (not suppressing for future eruptions!) the turbulent energies, which trigger memories of past angers and frustrations, leading us to actions which we later regret.

Practicing focused awareness makes us observe the churn of emotional energies arising with the waxing and waning of planetary energies. When we are accomplished in this practice, we can watch them trigger our own particular memories, which become thoughts that we take to be all too real. We then act upon this reality of our mind. It takes a long time, many births perhaps, for this practice of focused awareness to be rooted, become one of our limbs in the subtle space. There are many techniques one can use, and many paths one can take, to climb this mountain. It helps to have a seasoned coach, at least to get ready and started on this climb, at the base camp of this mountain!

(c) Jayant Kalawar and 21BanyanTree.com

I use Systems Approach to Vedic Astrology as propounded by Professor V.K. Choudhry in my use of Jyotisha as one of the range of modalities in my coaching practice.

Contemplating on the Fallacy of Work-Life Balance

By Jayant  Kalawar

I often hear people talk about the stress of balancing work and life. So I decided to do some research on how that sense of separating work from rest of our life came about.

Work-life balance appears to have become a term mentioned with increasing frequency in popular media in the last quarter of the twentieth-century, according to a contested entry in the Wikipedia.  This particular quote from a popular book captures the sentiment that appears to inform the work-life balance problem eloquently:

“There are thousands and thousands of people out there leading lives of quiet, screaming desperation, where they work long, hard hours at jobs they hate to enable them to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like.”

Then there are solutions offered to balance work and life. Mayo Clinic tries to help in this regard by providing practical tips to a better work-life balance like time management, learning to say no and nurturing one’s self.  What does “nurturing” yourself mean? According to one generally accepted definition it includes: “Eat a healthy diet, include physical activity in your daily routine and get enough sleep. Set aside time each day for an activity that you enjoy, such as practicing yoga or reading. Better yet, discover activities you can do with your partner, family or friends — such as hiking, dancing or taking cooking classes.”

If we are honest, all this only adds “more things to do” on the already overflowing plate of our lives, resulting in juggling more activities and stresses.

There is inherently something not quite right in the whole Work-Life balance movement:  How can one see “Work” separate from “Life,” as is implied in this framework? Do we not spend more time and energy at work, in our whole life time, than in any other activity? Do we put “Life” on hold when we are in the “Work” mode? It just does not make sense, does it?

Let’s look at balancing our life from a different perspective by approaching our work, relationships and money as the three key theaters in our life and that we play different roles on each stage in each of these theaters.   At work, we play roles as colleagues, subordinates or the boss.  In relationships, we are spouses, siblings, partners, parents, children and friends. With money, we are earners, savers, creditors, debtors and investors.  Much of the time, we play these roles without giving enough thought except, perhaps, at work where our performance is measured frequently and rewarded (or not) accordingly. Along the way, we inadvertently may play out parts of scripts of one role appropriate to one theater on to a different stage in another theater of our life.  For instance, what we learn about our roles at work may help us function with excellence on that stage, but if we bring that role into our personal relationships, without being aware of what we are doing repeatedly over long periods, we risk becoming substandard role players on the stage of personal relationships.   So being a great boss at work does not necessarily translate into being a great parent or spouse.  When such slips happen they are mundane instances of actions without awareness.

Only when we start distancing ourselves from the roles we play without identifying with those roles will we begin to excel in playing them over a cycle of days, weeks, months, years. To excel in all our roles in all our theaters of life of work, relationships and money, we need to learn how to act in awareness.

Awareness is a subtle potential that we all have. We can strengthen and deepen our awareness potential through specific contemplative, breathing and meditative practices.  With a deepened awareness potential we develop the ability to observe what we do and how we act out our roles , learn how to gracefully refine what makes sense and to let go of all that does not to achieve what we want for a balanced life.

For each one of us this set of roles, and the deft balancing acts that are required, is different at different times in our life.

Jayant Kalawar is the author of The Advaita Life Practice, available at Amazon.

Socializing, Intimacy and Privacy in the Digital Age: Socializing – Part 1

Is Your Socializing Fragrant 180701

Bring the fragrance of jasmine to your social group! (Photo by Socialpictures CH on Unsplash)

You may have noticed that when there are times we want to be alone and we give it a positive value. At other times, we may feel lonely even when we are amongst family, friends, colleagues and so on. The physical situation may be the same, but the time and place that the situation of being lonely is happening is something we do not want. Then we give it a negative value. What makes for being alone and what makes for being lonely?  I hope to write about this in a series of posts in a contemplative exploration of what being alone means, in the context of socializing, intimacy and privacy that each of us may relate to and practice in different ways.

Many people inhabiting the 21st century digital world feel that being alone provides the opportunity for rejuvenation within the boundaries of privacy. They want only a certain amount of socializing. And with certain individuals of their choice, they would like the intimacy. There is a balance between intimacy and socializing, which seems to be managed by signaling privacy boundaries.  When that balance is right, we may get to the alone time we value. When that balance is skewed, we may either end up with too little of the alone time or too much of the alone time, which at some point becomes lonely time.

This may happen both over time in different phases of our life cycle, and across the spaces we inhabit. When young, we may sense the need for more socializing and less alone time. When older we may feel the need for more alone time. It may also differ from person to person the same age group, due to a myriad of reasons. Join me in this contemplative, intuitive exploration.

In this Part I post I will explore socializing and what it means in the digital age. Future posts will cover socializing in the context of different degrees of intimacy and privacy factors, how we create boundaries and manage them and how it comes together in giving us positive alone time sometimes, and leaves us feeling lonely and hungry for company at other times.

Socializing

The framework I use for this contemplative exploration is from the Advaita Vedanta perspective (and this is just touching one point of the shore of the surface of the breadth and depth of the Vedanta framework on being human): the human is considered to have 4 capabilities – physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. In these contemplations I articulate that perspective using 21st century memes.

We socialize physically, by being present in a team meeting or on the playing field or at the coffee shop.  We cannot have the physical presence in our digital social interactions (yet – sometime in the future that may change given augmented reality and holograms and so on, they may be able to produce the sense of smell and touch, which is part of the core of our physical socializing).

During these social physical together times we interact emotionally, often times with the full range of emotions: from affectionately positively friendly to angrily upsettingly negative. Being in the same physical space and in a group, makes for moderating influence. We are more circumspect on both sides.  On the other hand, when we have emotional social interactions digitally, we may end up not being so circumspect. Losing some of our composure and expending physical energy in the process.

We socialize intellectually too: we have conversations about politics, education, health care, welfare. We have opinions based on our observations, we propose them using models we have in our minds. We defend and argue about our models. And learn and sometimes change our models (often surreptitiously, without admitting it) in the process, so we can argue better next time. Those are the steps of an intellectual process. Scientists and academics do that more formally. This type of intellectual socialization may work in a digital space, especially if we leave our emotional interactions at the door. That happens more in a physical setting, and not as much in digital settings, as we notice in the flame wars on social media sites.

As I have grown older, I find I value socializing less and intimacy (which I expect to explore in a future post) and alone time more. I manage it through setting privacy boundaries (which also I will explore in a future post in this series). I see a similar pattern both in those close to my age around me, as well as my children, as they get closer to 30. My work based socialization has become very focused individual or group based problem solving interactions, strategic and wide ranging as they may be. My socialization outside of work projects, coaching and satsanghs is down to a few select friends. My alone time is filled with long walks, meditation, chanting, reading, writing, doodling, sketching (and lately sporadically knitting a scarf).

I have reached over the 800 word limit already on this post, which apparently is the expected attention span of a digital interaction. I will continue in my next post.

Meanwhile, on a scale to 100, I would say I value socializing at 30, intimacy at 30 and alone time at 40 at this stage of my life. How about you?

Where There Are Many More Losers, Very Few Winners

Corporate Pyramid by Photo by Meriç Dağlı on Unsplash 180613

The Pyramid Game: Very Few Winners (Photo by Meriç Dağlı on Unsplash)

By Jayant Kalawar

Most of us are driven to act by desires much of the time. And by fears some of the time. Some mix of the two most of the time. Sometimes we act out of habit. We have an inertia about changing how we act. Even when the driving desires and fears are no longer in us. Today I am going to talk about some consequences of acting in situations when desires do not give expected results.

Many of us have the desire to acquire and maintain a certain social status. That social status requires income, assets, acquiring of objects such as houses and cars and jewelry and clothes and college degrees. Many ands can be added. Career is one way of getting social status in the corporate (and remembers it’s only a little over a hundred years old!). The career structure is a pyramid. So people compete fiercely to get to the next level on the pyramid. It’s like playing musical chairs.

When someone else gets ahead in the pyramid, some of us feel that it was unfair. They did not get a fair shake. Those who got ahead were from the ‘in-group’. The others were favored. And so on. Factually it is likely that all that is true. When the desire to get ahead in the pyramid gets doused, many of us feel frustrated. Most of us reach this stage somewhere in their 40s and 50s. After all it is a pyramid. Only a few people can get to the top. We begin to see a few of our class mates and colleagues soar. And you know from way back that you are better than them. The frustration sometimes begins to boil over to resentment.

Getting resentful about not being able to get ahead on the career and social status pyramid sets the stage for some not very sensible actions. Such actions, born out of frustration, have consequences.

These not very sensible actions may show up as objections and snide remarks at meetings. Negative water-cooler talk is another vent. It may show up in a more passive aggressive way – in the form of internal corporate survey responses for example. We may assume those survey responses are indeed confidential and not shared. Most internal corporate surveys may be assumed to be used as barometers of where an individual is in terms of being a team player. So survey responses used for venting may have negative consequences. Perceptions in HR and senior management may turn negative. A venting team member cannot be relied upon as much.

So what can we do? Life is not fair. We learned that in kindergarten. We keep forgetting it. The odds are stacked against us, all of us, as we go up each rung in the pyramid. Those of us who are lucky, and much of it may be just luck, to get to the next rung, begin to think we are really good and better than those who did not make it there. We begin to think life is fair, so we made it there! Then when we cannot make it to the next higher rung, we are suddenly shocked that life is not fair.

So what can we do? The pyramid game is a finite game. There are many many more losers and very few winners in that game. Switch to playing the infinite game. The cosmos is infinite. We live and act in a microcosm of that cosmos. The microcosm has everything that the cosmos has. Remember the first verse of the Isha Upanishad:

Purnam-adah Purnam-idam, PurnAt Purna-mudachyate,

Purnasya Purnam-Adaya, PurnamevA Vashishyate

The switch from playing the finite pyramid game to the infinite game takes a cognitive shift within ourselves. Deconstruction out of the pyramid game to resonating with the cosmos.

So that we may begin hear the birds sing and flowers bloom, and notice the waxing and waning of the Moon.

Live to the rhythms of the universal clock within us, to sync with the cosmic cycles all around us.

And yes, it is very hard work to get there. But some of us may feel it will indeed work to get us there.

Are you one of those few?

(c) 21BanyanTree and Jayant Kalawar