As Hatha Yoga draws our attention to our breathing pattern, we can also imagine it drawing our attention into the pattern of the heavens with root words that translate to ‘Sun’ and ‘Moon’. The Sun is the center around which our solar system revolves and the Moon is our earth’s heavenly ‘night light’. We are bereft without either of them and can become aware of our connection to the larger cosmic matrix through breath in our yoga practice and in the shadow and lights in our study of the heavens.
Studying the heavens through Jyotish (Vedic astrology) offers us a glimpse of the Divine Light in the sky at the time of birth. And, even with the light of the Sun and Moon and all the other planets combined in a natal chart, we often find that unraveling the mystery of our karmic patterns can take quite a while, perhaps lifetimes, as sages suggest. Both Hatha Yoga and jyotish require discipline and practice, and a desire to know more than seems apparent.
The ‘union’ – the yoga – of the Sun and Moon reflects a balance of opposites in the heavens because in Vedic astrology all the planets are male and it is heaven Herself that is female. In this sense, it is the active energy of the planets (grahas) operating within the receptivity of the heavens that maintains balance in our solar system and offers guidance below to those who can balance their own active and passive energies here on earth, those who seek to center their focus on this cosmic dance. Cosmic and karmic fields unite to keep us afloat in the skies and grounded here on earth.
Jyotish – Divine Light – offers us a window through which to view the larger matrix (macrocosm) reflective of our own karmic lessons, gifts and challenges so that we can be a conscious, active part of the heavenly dance. As Swami Sri Yukteswar has said, “A child is born on that day and at that hour when the celestial rays are in the mathematical harmony with one’s individual karma. The horoscope is a challenging portrait, revealing one’s unalterable past and probable future results.” This message boldly blazoned across the heavens at the moment of birth is not meant to emphasize fate, but to arouse our will to action.
We are all part of the dance, the balance in nature. Jyotish and Hatha yoga are two connections to the active and the receptive, the play of light and shadow that bind us to each other and to our Universe.