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Natal Panchanga:
A View of the Current Incarnation

by Rhonda Busby

Natal  Panchanga by Rhonda BusbyPanchanga is one of the factors of muhurta, which is used to select an auspicious time to start an activity or event. The panchanga at the time of birth describes the energies of one's life and how they may be used most auspiciously.

Panchanga is Sanskrit for five limbs: pancha = five and anga = limbs.

Panchanga is the five ways that celestial light influences the matter of the world: i

Chart One

Thus, Sun (spirit) and Moon (matter) combine and incarnate through the five elements of matter to create our world and everything in it, including us. The panchanga is a refinement of how this is done, and shows the manifestation of our present incarnation. Panchanga consists of:
  1. Vara, or day of the week, from sunrise to sunrise
    Muhurta: describes the creative force and vitality of the event or activity ii
    Natal: describes the type of creative energy one has, as well as one’s physical and mental vitality iii
  2. Nakshatra placement of the Moon, the distance the Moon travels in one day, which is 13°20'
    Muhurta: describes how the event or activity is nurtured and grown
    Natal: describes how one’s life is nurtured and grown iv
  3. Tithi, lunar day, the phase of the Moon, the time it takes for distance between Sun and Moon to increase by 12°
    Muhurta: describes the attitudes of those involved toward the event or activity v
    Natal: describes one’s attitude toward life and relationships
  4. Karana, half a lunar day, the time it takes for the distance between Sun and Moon to increase by 6°
    Muhurta: describes the action necessary to accomplish the event or activity vi
    Natal: describes one’s natural talents and abilities to carry out one’s life activities vii
  5. Nitya yoga, the union of Sun’s degrees and Moon’s degrees, plus 93°20' viii
    Muhurta: describes how the event or activity is held together ix
    Natal: describes how one’s life is held together and supported x
Each of the five limbs has a planetary lord that describes how that limb manifests in one’s life. The placement of each limb’s lord in the birth chart indicates its strength to manifest in one’s life, and the blessings and challenges that accompany it. For example, in order to have creative strength and vitality, the vara lord must be strong and well placed in the birth chart. xi Following is a description of each panchanga limb and how it manifests in the birth chart of Steve Jobs. (See Figure 1)

Figure One

Vara The vara is a solar day counted from sunrise to sunrise. Just as the Sun is the energy that allows for the creation of all life, so the energy of each day describes the creative energy of that day. (See Figure 2) Many westerners are unaware that the names of the week days actually come from their ruling planets. The English names for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday come from the Norse counterparts of these planets. Their names in the romance languages are taken from their Roman names.

Figure Two

The day on which one was born describes how one’s creative energy is most naturally expressed. This was a common notion until recently, even in the west, embodied in the old nursery rhyme: Monday’s child is fair of face, Tuesday’s child is full of grace, Wednesday’s child is full of woe, Thursday’s child has far to go, Friday’s child is loving and giving, Saturday’s child works hard for a living. But the child who is born on the Sabbath day is blithe and bonny and good and gay.

In our example chart, Steve Jobs was born on Thursday, which is ruled by Jupiter. Jobs could indeed be described as spiritual, wise, abundant, and blessed. His natal Jupiter is with Ketu, opposite Venus and Rahu. His creative energy was expansive, intuitive, artistic, uniquely talented, and expressed from the perspective of being an outsider in his culture.

Nakshatra The nakshatra placement of the Moon describes how one’s life is nurtured and grown. Each of the 27 nakshatras has a rich mythology, description of blessings and challenges, symbol, ruling planet, deity, animal symbol, and sound syllable. Of particular interest is the shakti or power of each nakshatra which describes how the nakshatra grows what is created in the vara, and gives the vara strength to create. xii

Jobs’ natal Moon is in Uttara Bhadrapada, ruled by Saturn. The power of Uttara Bhadrapada is to bring the rain, which means to fulfill the needs of the collective. Rain slakes the thirst and represents a condensation of ideas and inspiration into tangible form that can do some good in a practical way. Jobs nurtured and grew his creative gift of artistic expansive communication by fulfilling the need for sharing information and communication with a concrete product that has brought a certain nourishment to humanity. (Interestingly enough, Bill Gates’ natal Moon is also in Uttara Bhadrapada.) xiii Jobs’ Moon is in the 8th bhava, indicating his intuition and curiosity about the unknown. Moon is in Pisces, indicating his idealism and visionary nature. Pisces is ruled by Jupiter, which also rules the vara. Nakshatra lord Saturn is exalted in 3rd bhava, nicely tying in his technical abilities, concentration, focus, and ability to consolidate concepts. xiv

Tithi A lunar month, or complete Moon phase, has 30 tithis of varying start time and duration. Fourteen of these are matched pairs, one waxing and one waning, the same number of days away from or toward the Sun. This makes 28, and the remaining two are the New Moon and the Full Moon. Each natal tithi has a personality description, deity, and element. In muhurta, the tithi indicates the attitude of the people involved toward the event or activity. One’s birth tithi generally indicates one’s attitude toward life. Some tithis indicate a favorable attitude and a general feeling of happiness. Others indicate pessimism and a tendency to relate to the negative aspects of life, or a lack of enthusiasm. There may be a feeling of fulfilling one’s responsibilities in life only because there is no choice, or a feeling that life is more trouble than it is worth. xv

The element describes how one relates to others: xvi

Fire (nanda) can lack emotional sensitivity and drive others away. They can be very passionate and too much for others to handle. They can be emotionally out of control and not easy to love.
Earth (bhadra) sustain relationships and want relationships to last.
Ether (jaya) protects relationships.
Water (rikta) is good at relationships, but sometimes need relationships too much and can be needy.
Air (vayu) can be unsteady and vacillating, and need relationships to be stabilizing.

Jobs’ birth tithi is Tritiya, with a waxing Moon just three days away from the Sun. The deity of Tritiya is the goddess Gauri, one form of the wife of Shiva. Gauri personifies speech and connecting with others. Gauri and Shiva were married on the day of Tritiya, which indicates the strong need for love and relationship found here, including divine love and commitment. Tritiya people are clever, scholarly, nurturing, and good speakers. Their attitude toward life is that life has meaning through communication and relationship. All Tritiya people need relationships in their lives. The element is ether, which indicates that they are protective of relationships. xvii Tritiya is ruled by Mars. Jobs’ Mars is strong in Aries in the 9th bhava, indicating the self-sufficient free thinker with an expansive vision, the leading pioneer who pushed through obstacles, and also his drive, decisiveness, and short temper. xviii

Karana A karana is half a tithi. Since there are 30 tithis, there are technically 60 karanas, but seven repeat eight times to cover 56 steps. The remaining four are fixed, meaning they do not rotate and move as the others do. The fixed karanas occur only once in a Moon phase cycle. xix The karana indicates one’s talents and abilities to carry out the activities of life. Jobs’ karana is Gara, ruled by Jupiter. Gara is associated with neutralizing poison. Its natives are good advisors and have an innate ability to deal with poisons, both literal and figurative. Is it surprising that Apple products are known for their resistance to viruses? Gara people show a special propensity for Jupiterian abilities, as spiritual teachers, scholars, philosophers, advisors, and charity workers. He carried out the actions of his life through this lens. xx

Nitya Yoga There are 27 nitya yogas, each with a characteristic associated with it. Six of these are considered inauspicious for muhurta because they are destructive and serve to hold the event together only in an unpleasant manner at best. However, they are quite favorable for destructive events. xxi Just as those with sharp or fierce nakshatras may grow and nurture their lives through a deep connection with the dark side of human existence (for good or ill), so those with inauspicious nitya yogas may hold their lives together in ways that seem destructive or counterproductive. They can feel unsupported by life. xxii They may accomplish a great deal, only to see it disappear at the last moment. At best they can learn to use their experience of the unpredictability of life to learn to trust the universe, and to support and edify others. At worst, they self-destruct. Peace lies in accepting life as it comes.

Jobs’ nitya yoga is Shubha, a particularly favorable yoga that indicates a life held together by being eminent, happy, graceful, successful, a wise advisor, and achieving what one sets out to be. It can also indicate a weak constitution. xxiii Shubha is ruled by the Sun, which is in Jobs’ 7th bhava aspecting his Ascendant. Sun also rules his Leo Ascendant, as well as his Ascendant nakshatra, Uttara Phalguni. His life was held together by creative intelligence, inventiveness, good business sense, support of partners, confidence, pride, and even arrogance.

Jobs had a life particularly represented by Jupiter: Vara: Thursday, ruled by Jupiter Moon nakshatra: Uttara Bhadrapada, ruled by Saturn which is:
1) in the nakshatra of Jupiter (Vishakha)
2) aspected by Jupiter
3) Moon is in the sign of Jupiter (Pisces) Tithi: ruled by Mars which is in the nakshatra of Ketu (Ashwini) – natal Ketu is with Jupiter Karana: ruled by Jupiter Nitya yoga: ruled by Sun, which is:
1) aspected by Jupiter
2) in the nakshatra of Rahu (Shatabhisha) which is opposite Jupiter Jupiter itself is in a nakshatra ruled by Jupiter (Punarvasu)

Hence, analysis of Jupiter reveals much about Jobs’ most recent incarnation. Jupiter is with Ketu, indicating erratic fortunes, ability to act instinctively, and to know what to do without being taught. xxiv Jupiter in Gemini indicates good communication skills, love of novelty, a sense of humor, financial acumen, good family, and being helpful to all. xxv Ketu in Gemini indicates a creative mind that is full of new ideas and a quick sensitive thought process. xxvi Jupiter in 11th bhava indicates capacity to develop opportunities, but also trouble with over-expansion or developing too rapidly. xxvii Ketu in 11th indicates wealth from taking advantage of opportunities arising from reorganizations and chaotic situations, losing money through pioneering enterprises, and erratic cash flow. xxviii Venus is opposite Jupiter, which indicates skill in attaining and giving knowledge, artistic ability, and intelligence, luck, and the admiration of others. xxix Jupiter and Venus are vargottama in navamsha, emphasizing their significations and perhaps a clue to his death (since Venus and Jupiter are karakas for different parts of the pancreas, xxx and he died of pancreatic cancer). Venus is karaka of music; Jobs’ iPod was said to change the music industry and the way everyone listened to music. xxxi

Jobs’ Jupiter was retrograde, an indicator of its strength and its manifestation in unusual, perhaps more unpredictable, ways. Bill Levacy says people with retrograde Jupiter are always trying to win back what was lost and are quick to spot an opportunity for profit that others might miss. They can become interested in projects that have become disregarded or weak because they can still see the value in them and are willing to take them on and rejuvenate them. Doing so gives them a stronger sense of worth. xxxii This is an apt description of Jobs throughout his life: making a multimillion dollar business out of Wozniak’s homemade computers, taking over a small product called MacIntosh, being kicked out of Apple because he continued to act as if he had saved the company even though sales were plummeting, buying the computer graphics division of George Lucas (who was selling it due to a divorce settlement) and incorporating it into Pixar which was a hobby until it started to make huge money, and then finally buying back Apple and taking over management on his own terms. xxxiii

Thus we can see in the panchanga of Steve Jobs’ birth chart the manifestation of his incarnation:
- A creative energy of wisdom and expansion (vara)
- Nurtured by giving humanity a new way of communicating and accessing information (nakshatra)
- With an attitude that life’s meaning is found in communication and relationships (tithi)
- With the talents of knowledge, optimism, confidence, and the desire to know and improve things karana)
- And a life held together by eminence, happiness, grace, and attaining what he set out to be (nitya yoga).
The panchanga offers a unique lens into the deeper meaning of the present incarnation in the birth chart.

i Sutton, Komilla. Personal Panchanga and the Five Sources of Light /i> (Bournemouth, England: The Wessex Astrologer Ltd., 2007), pp. 8 – 14.
ii Wilhelm, Ernst. Classical Muhurta (Kala Occult Publishers, 2003), p. 47.
iii Sutton, p. 23.
iv Wilhelm, p. 53.
v Wilhelm, p. 24.
vi Wilhelm, p. 37.
vii Sutton, pp. 124, 130.
viii Wilhelm, p. 71.
ix Wilhelm, pp. 71, 72.
x Sutton, pp. 134, 135.
xi Wilhelm, p. 47.
xii Wilhelm, pp. 57, 58.
xiv Levacy, William R. Beneath a Vedic Sky (Hay House, Inc., 1999), pp. 112, 113.
xv Wilhelm, p. 24.
xvi Sutton, pp. 102, 103.
xvii Sutton, p. 111.
xviii Levacy, pp. 46, 93, 94.
xix Wilhelm, p. 35.
xx Sutton, pp. 127, 131.
xxi Wilhelm, pp. 71, 72.
xxii Sutton, p. 135.
xxiii Sutton, p. 143.
xxiv Levacy, p. 188.
xxv Levacy, p. 53.
xxvi Levacy, p. 54.
xxvii Levacy, p. 107.
xxviii Levacy, p. 123.
xxix Levacy, p. 187.
xxx Charak, Dr. KS. Essentials of Medical Astrology (Delhi, India: UMA Publications, 2002), pp. 49, 50.
xxxii Levacy, p. 20.

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