By Yogi Baba Prem Yogacharya, Veda Visharada
One of the more dreaded events in astrology is the Saturn return (approximately every 30 years) and Saturn’s transit of the moon (approximately every 30 years). Saturn’s transit of the moon begins approximately 45 degrees before the natal moons location, and continues until passing 45 degrees beyond the natal moons location in the birth chart.
Saturn itself is viewed as a powerful planet. While it is an extremely spiritual planet, it often teaches harsh lessons through building up and tearing down an individual. This is one of the primary reasons for such dread of Saturn amongst the astrological community. Some examples pertaining to Saturn transiting Rohini (a star in Taurus) are:
The great India war called The Maha Bharata War.
World War I.
World War II.
The Arab Oil Embargo of 72-73.
Bombing of the World Trade Center.
If an individual can shift their perspective and learn to work positively with the Saturn energies, Saturn can indicate a time a great personal transformation.
For the purposes of this article we will focus on Saturn’s transit of the moon. The transit of the moon by Saturn takes approximately seven years. According to Vedic astrology difficulties can manifest anytime during these seven years. To date, I have learned three basic philosophies pertaining to this transit: 1) previously described as manifesting anytime during the seven years. 2) Difficulty during the seven years with the 4th year usually being the most difficult. 3) The seven years divided into 3 periods of 2 1/3 years. Each period of 2 1/3 years is associated with different potential problems that can manifest. Most often one of these three will manifest.
According to Vedic astrology this can be a time a great challenge for an individual. Saturn being a vatta planet (Vatta will be explained later in the article) can indicate a variety of physical ailments, which are beyond the scope of this article. Physical problems associated with Saturn would need to be dealt with from an Ayurvedic perspective or yoga therapy focusing on the location where the physical ailment would be manifesting. It might also be necessary to consult a doctor when dealing with physical problems associated with Saturn.
Vedic astrology offers a variety of remedial techniques for individuals ranging from mantra to yantras and even herbs could be used to some degree of success. Regrettably these can be foreign to the western student or beginner, especially the use of mantras or yantras. Occasionally students will be extremely uncomfortable with mantra or yantras. While it is limited to some degree in its ability to stop the manifestation of physical affliction, yoga does offer another solution that can be used to modify the powerful energy of Saturn.
Each planet is associated with one of the major 7 chakras. Saturn is associated with the muladhara chakra, or root chakra. The root chakra though located in the astral body is physically accessed through the perineum. The perineum is located between the anus and the penis or vagina. The root chakra governs the earth element, allowing the Saturn energies flowing through this chakra to have a profound effect on our physical existence.
To use yoga for reduction of malefic aspects of Saturn we must look to three areas. 1) The muladhara chakra, 2) The Sushmna, 3) Vata. The muladhara has already been addressed. The sushmna is a nadi (an energy meridian) that flows up the spine, from the muladhara chakra, to the head. Actually the sushmna, as with the charkas, is not physical but exists in the astral body. But we can use physical locations to reference and to access the astral body. Vata is an ayurvedic term referring to a combination of the ether and air elements. Many attributes are given to Vata, our primary concern here is that Saturn is a vata planet, and vata rules the sushmna. This link between Saturn, vata, and the sushmna provides the first clue for yoga techniques that can help to soften Saturn’s energy.
Logically the yoga teacher/vedic astrologer would want to look for techniques that would affect the root chakra and the sushmna. If the student were new to yoga an introduction to basic postures would be necessary first. As a general rule a posture such as a forward bend with extra emphasis on the stretch between the knee and ankle would have some benefit and would be an important starting place, especially for beginner students. This technique would have limited benefits, due to a minor affect on Saturn’s energy. But it does lay important groundwork for the beginner yoga student.
After establishing the basics, a new technique may be added. Those familiar with Hatha yoga could use cat/cow posture. Those familiar with some Kundalini systems could use flexion of the spine. Of the two, flexion of the spine is more powerful. This provides the teacher with two powerful postures, one being gentler (cat-cow) than the other (flexion of the spine). Both postures work on the spinal column and the sushmna. After becoming firmly established with one or both of these postures, the final step that brings them all together can be added. This step is called a mula bhanda. Mula means root in Sanskrit and bhanda means lock. A mula bhanda is a root lock, a physical contraction of the muscles around the perineum resulting in a lock or re-direction of energy from the root chakra.
A mula bhanda is performed after an inhalation and while holding the breath by tightening the perineum. The practitioner visualizes pulling the energy from the root chakra, or tailbone, up the spinal column to the heart center or more preferably the ajna chakra (6th chakra). During exhalation the lock is relaxed. This technique is applied after the cat/cow or flexion of the spine. For beginners it is recommended no more than once a day, and only one lock applied at the end of the posture. The number of locks applied at the end of the posture can eventually be extended to three. A quick word of caution, a mula bhanda is a powerful technique. Care and some caution should be used with its application. If the sushmna contains blocks or toxins, the lock will initially start a purification and detoxification on the practitioner. While this is desirable, it can be quite intense for a small percentage of practitioners.
Using the mula bhanda will pull apana vayu (a major form of the life-force energy-prana) and the Saturn energy to the Ajna chakra (6th chakra-located between the eyebrows). Pulling the energy will purify the body and slowly transform Saturn’s energy into spiritual power. Giving the practitioner the ability to “go the distance” in situations, and to ride the “ups and downs” of life.
While more research needs to be performed on this, some contra-indications for this technique would be: Debility, illness, pregnancy, physical weakness, diseases of the nervous system, children should not practice until passing through puberty, and emaciation.
Ideally these techniques would start to be applied well before the return of Saturn or Saturn’s transit of the moon. While more research is needed linking yoga postures and their planetary influences, if one is familiar with the terminology and based in the sister sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda, many postures begin to reveal themselves and their planetary connections. This allows the astrologer to offer an even greater variety of remedials to their students.
In our society most people that study astrology are not aware of remedials at all. Vedic astrology offers a wide variety to techniques, approaches, and life style counseling to help bring balance and harmony to each person’s chart. When combined with its sister sciences of yoga and ayurveda, a powerful combination is achieved for personal growth, wellness, and spirituality.
This article is not intended to diagnose or prescribe treatment or techniques. Consult with the appropriate professional before practicing any of the philosophies in this article.
Copyright 2002, Yogi Baba PremTom Beal. All rights reserved.