Rather than focus on each individual piece, chess masters talk about seeing the whole board. Likewise, instead predicting triumph or catastrophe based on a single stellar yoga or benighted planet, astrologers look at the whole chart. The gestalt. A natural benefic for example, may be overrated or actively pernicious, while a dire malefic becomes your patron saint - and does that yoga that promises so much actually deliver? With so many powerful predictive techniques, Jyotish can forecast outcomes with great precision, but this very fact puts even greater onus on the astrologer’s discretion.
It may be hard to say which way the tree will fall in a particular case, so intuition must be sharp. The yogic quality of Jyotish Mati Pragya – astrological divine insight – allows the astrologer to perceive meaning almost independently of the horoscope. It is also essential to consider the mind level of the person you’re reading for: a client, for example, who meditates regularly handles planetary energy at a subtler level than the usual Matrix-bound type, and doesn’t bounce off the walls at every slightest thing.
June 9th 1963, 08:44am, Owensboro, Kentucky
For example, I said in 2014 that, at first glance, Johnny Depp’s chart showed him flying high. The dasha of Jupiter in its own sign and house, plus antardasha of Saturn making Sasha Yoga, seems like all the fruits on a slot machine lining up. Yet since entering Jupiter’s period in 2013, Johnny’s had a string of so-so movies, an acrimonious divorce and is now embroiled in a costly lawsuit against his own management, which all seems rather counterintuitive. What’s happening?
Firstly, Jupiter’s malefic aspects (albeit not close) from Mars and Saturn, with no countervailing benefic aspect. This will make Johnny by turns controlling, bad-tempered and perhaps depressed. Things should be easy, flowing and Jupiterian, but seventh house Saturn and second house Mars interfere, signalling troubles with love and money.
Secondly, Jupiter fallen in the navamsha is heavily diluted – especially since the D9 is concerned with faith and spirituality, and extra especially with Jupiter as dharma karaka, and yet more still with Jupiter as navamsha lagna lord. This is likely to affect Johnny more in the second half of his life – ie, after his marriage.
Thirdly, while Jupiter in its own sign and house is arguably stronger even than when exalted, it also means malefic aspects here hit both planet and ruler – blows to body and soul, double-trouble.
Fourthly, Jupiter is sixth-house lord. This is outweighed by its lordship of the ninth house, but is still a factor. Remember the business with Johnny and Amber’s dogs (6th house) in Australia (9th house)?
Lastly, the principle of karaka bhavo nasho; ‘the significator destroys the house’. A planet in its own house may be so strong as to become overwhelming and hubristic. The pan bubbles over. Jupiter in this case goes from lucky and confident to cavalier and arrogant, especially – again - with malefic aspects.
The active dasha at any given time shows karmas associated with that planet bearing fruit. Johnny currently has a large karmic in-tray, with limited spiritual resources to meet it. Saturn is also uncomfortably close to his eighth-house of financial ruin, and his ex-management team are not going down without a fight. Mercury’s antardasha doesn’t arrive until May 2018, and even this is a mixed blessing for a Cancer rising native. This is not meant to be schadenfreude. Everything is relative: he’s still Johnny Depp, Hollywood superstar, and suing his management for $25m shows his troubles aren’t like most peoples’. All the more reason to look at the whole board.