A Journal of Inner Work and Therapeutic Arts
Immanence and Identity in Plural Personality

Studies Index...

Chakras and Planets
Using a chakra-planet schema, relocation and birthplace charts to review a core cognitive structure and assess current status.

7-16 August 2015

This study brings together several streams of cognitive work with chakras, planets, elements and other correspondences using a schema discussed by Ray Grasse in Astrology and the Chakras.1 Grasse references several sources for the schema, including Goswami Kriyananda and Shelly Trimmer, from the Kriya Yoga tradition of Paramahansa Yogananda, as well as David Frawley, Jeffrey Wolf Green, Titus Burckhardt, and Marc Edmund Jones — the same essential system, Grasse finds, "derived in each case from largely independent sources".2

Barbara Pijan presents an outline of Frawley's material, found in Astrology of the Seers ( 1990:229-233 ), but not in the "thoroughly revised" edition ( 2000 ). The earlier material can be read online, via Google Books ( ch.3, Yogic Astrology, pp.229ff ).

After the table of correspondences Pijan provides (treating Chandra-Surya as ruling graha of Ajna, with no mention of the Chandra [ aka, Indu, or Soma ] as the 6th), she suggests that ( adapted, list ordered and reversed )

[t]his arrangement is quite sensible given the job of each chakra.

  1. (7th chakra might be speculatively said to be ruled by Rahu-Ketu.)
  2. Sun-Moon do 6th-chakra perceiving/intuiting.
  3. Mercury does 5th-chakra speaking/articulating thoughts
  4. Venus does 4th-chakra loving/embracing
  5. Mars does 3rd-chakra competition/action
  6. Jupiter does 2nd-chakra procreating/creating
  7. Saturn does 1st-chakra grounding/stabilizing

Grasse shows 8 chakras, without reference to Rahu-Ketu.

  1. Sahasrara - The Transcendent, Inspiration
  2. Ajna - Sun - Active Awareness, Higher Will (Creativity, Will)
  3. Chandra - Moon - Reflective Awareness, Memory (Receptivity)
  4. Vishudda - Mercury - Thinking, Communication (Rationality)
  5. Anahata - Venus - Harmony, Love
  6. Manipura - Mars - Force, Strength, Control (Drive)
  7. Svadisthana - Jupiter - Expansiveness, Emotionality
  8. Muladhara - Saturn - Structure, Limitation (Practicality)

Schemata of chakric-planetary correspondences are easily found online, and they vary considerably. The Edgar Cayce material correlates the seven endocrine glands with the chakras, also identifying planetary correspondences. The endocrine connection is commonly made among authors, and chakra correlations therewith, but even these may be at variance. We explored several such schemata in previous posts (brief, study), and presented the schema then appertaining in gestalt. Now we revisit our own model to assess it with respect to the relocation and birthplace charts, to test and evaluate for resonance and efficacy in the context of current experience.

Grasse's basic layout is shown in the figure at upper right. Note that Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are not in the illustration, which uses the seven traditional planets, but have been added to the Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars chakras in the tables thereafter, consistent with the rulerships of the respective signs. "Pluto", writes Grasse, "equates to the feminine side of the Mars chakra (Scorpio), Neptune to the feminine side of the Jupiter chakra (Pisces), and Uranus to the masculine side of the Saturn chakra (Aquarius)." In a more arcane twist, thinking here of higher octaves, we might also correlate Neptune with Venus in Anahata, and Uranus with Mercury in Vishuddha — mirroring the Svadhisthana and Muladhara correlations. The sign and house correlations with the chakras have not thus far presented in my meditations, only the planetary, including Ura, Nep, and Plu.

Grasse tells us that karmas find their greatest degree of resonance in each of these peripheral chakric centers, left and right, which represent

[...] a kind of memory tract or "storage bin" for karmas and life impressions; whatever we feel, think, and experience is logged into the energy fields of the spinal column [and] samskaras [tendencies, karmic impulses, subliminal impressions, habitual potencies or innate dispositions] are built up over time [...] etched into the subconscious psyche, where they continue to compel us toward particular behaviors from lifetime to lifetime.

Perhaps. But not my concern in this instance. Rather, we're interested in the resonance value in application of the radix planets, birthplace or relocation, to the basic schema, the eight-fold chakric lineup illustrated at center of the tables.

Finally, Grasse construes Moon as indicative of the chakric level one is coming from; Ascendant, "where the everyday personality in this life is currently at"; and Sun, "the chakric direction one is aspiring toward and attempting to bring into creative manifestation in this life" ( 1997:11). He also finds trop geo more useful, in this schema, than sid geo.

The Setup

The right column begins with an adapted illustration of a schema explained differently but closely similar to the layout we work with in gestalt. In the two sets of two tables presented below the illustration we compare relocated and birthplace radix placements using the chakra correlations presented by Grasse. The top set shows conversion of the relocated chart to the chakric horoscope, first on the basis of sign, second on the basis of house. The bottom set of tables focus on the birthplace chart.

Note that the central column, which represents a core cognitive structure with imagos and associations currently at play, is the same in all four tables. All of the peripheral variables are assessed with respect to this core structure, the planetary correlations within which are quite stable in my experience. The peripheral material, on the other hand, is the stuff of experiment. In addition to the determination of resonance regarding that material and the core, we're evaluating the utility of the relocated chart in comparison with the birthplace — we're testing the reloc as a conceptual framework, considering it a 'rectified' radix and assessing its utility in apprehending the transitions of this time.

Chart wheels for the reloc and birth charts are shown for purposes of reference; simplified to some extent, these indicate important aspect dynamics.

The Findings

  1. Most salient in the reloc is the close conjunction of Plu/PoS/AC/PoF in the Ajna zone, with AVx/Ura/Osiris/*Sirius in the Chandra. In the birth we find AC/PoF/Osiris/*Sirius/Ura in Chandra, Plu/PoS in Ajna. If AC is where the personality is presently at, and we have always seen Plu as a 1st-house agent, the reloc conjunction seems apposite. AC/Ura in Chandra perhaps better describes experience growing up, in Minnesota. Plu and Ura are parallel, however, so Plu (think of Vajrayogini, in theme and principle → everything goes to enlightenment) is binovile Sun in either place, and locus of the solar stellium remains the same, Anahata-Tau. AC is binovile Moon but square Lilith, Asclepius, and weakly square PTAH — all of this, between Ajna and Anahata. The granthis are Vishnu and Rudra.

  2. Loci of Ketu/NepR and the solar stellium in Anahata is keenly interesting — feels correct. A detailed aspect assessment isn't necessary here, but it's nonetheless useful to note the 'butterfly' formation previously identified in the Kunadli pattern that brings together Manipura, Anahata, and Vishuddha.
    Imhotep/ Atropos/ Nemesis/ MC/ PTAH/ Rahu/ Jupiter/ Ketu
    Vishnu granthi.

  3. MC remains stable in Manipura (Ari), with Rahu/Ven and Pallas/Imhotep (Sco). We can associate these with the Amitabha theme of discrimination, and also the Vajrayogini theme as well, cutting contaminated desire and attachments not germane to the path. Appropriate desire pursued, with capacity to cut. Imhotep is trine AC and (though not clearly indicated in the reloc wheel) trine Galactic Center and Vertex — Manipura (Ari, Sco) and Svadisthana (Sag).

  4. Jup plus CeresR/ChirR in Svadisthana ("dwelling place of the self" : Jup-Nep) is thought-provoking, with the Sanskrit word 'svad' also meaning 'to taste with pleasure', 'to enjoy' or 'take delight'.3 The Brahma granthi (aka perineal knot) goes to Muladhara and Svadisthana. The question becomes: What do you really want? Seeing through sensate attachments and constructions.

    Jup tenants Pisces and is lead planet in the locomotive organization of both charts; NepR, the AIR singleton, is trailing. As noted below in review of the granthis, in both our sid geo reloc and birth charts (eg, Raman and Pushya-paksha ayanamsas), the Brahma, Rudra, Mahesvara planets are Jupiter, Rahu, and Ketu; they're different in other ayanamsas (eg, in True Lahiri: Mercury, Saturn, Saturn — Sat is our least-aspected planet), and in sayana (trop geo), where they become Moon, Jupiter, Venus ... which brings us to another idea of interest, courtesy Finnish astrologer Raimo A. Nikula, whose article on The Rising Order of the Sun and the Inner Planets - Introduction to the Pattern of Ego Processing (The Astrological Journal. 2010) was republished this month at Astrodienst.

    Nikula suggests that the rising order of Sun, Mercury and Venus "together form the inner circle of any chart",
    supporting the ego (Sun).

    Whatever is happening in the chart by transits, by progressions or by directions, the planets and the AS-DC axis are moving anticlockwise and always cross the Sun and the inner planets in the same order. This is the built-in way that our ego receives life experiences. [...] Symbolically, the Sun is the power of ego, the king, the ruler, and the godhead. Mercury serves the Sun being its spokesman and expressing its master's voice by writing or speaking or being in the position of scribe. The services of Venus are subtler, but Venus works through human interests — mainly through the need to be accepted and loved. [...]

    There are six variations in rising sequence. Nikula refers to the planet rising first in any given sequence as the "internalizing function"; second, the "managing function"; and third, the function of "future direction". Any planet(s) between two of the three inner planets influence(s) the pattern, affecting the matrix. Different signs also has an impact.

    In my case, the pattern is Venus (Ari), [Moon] MercuryR, Sun (Tau).
    AC is Leo (reloc) and Cancer (birth).

    Venus is in detriment, so we read it through Lib (Ketu/NepR).
    Moon/MerR/Sun is a tight stellium, same sign (20º Tau 45', 22º Tau 16', 25º Tau 10').
    Moon is ruling planet of the birth chart, and most-aspected, with Plu a close second.
    Plu is square Moon and, as we've seen, binovile Sun.
    MerR is Scout.
    Both Moon and MerR biquintile NepR, the AIR singleton.

    Nikula's description resonates on key points. Research, observation, propositions and schemata, literary expression of thoughts, specialized or expert in chosen field. He writes that "[h]uman concern grows greatly, so [not a typical realist or naturalist] but interested rather in the things based on human relations." That the Sun comes last in this order hints at "possible problems in being sure of anything — including yourself and your self-image". In my case emphasis is first on the intrapersonal, on plurality in personality, matters of gestalt; interpersonal relations follow upon "hearing" and "seeing", the experience of immanent divinity, acting in concert with the whole, which is to say, the experiential gestalt, relations with many principals, structures in identity under aegis of Self. So yes, there is continuous reworking in expression of the collective ethos.

  5. Loci of Sat/Juno/Mars and Atropos/AMUN (Vijñāna) surprise me at first, but not on second thought, in Vishuddha (Mer ; Vairocana/Sitatara), but seem Dharma-related, "referring to the order and custom which make life and a universe possible, and thus to the behaviours appropriate to the maintenance of that order". One of the Sabian symbols I find particularly useful is that for Saturn, 13º Virgo: A strong hand supplanting political hysteria. (ME Jones. Sabian Symbols. 1969:312). I also rather like the Sabian for Mars, 24º Virgo: An animal trainer. (ibid. p.322). A purification center. But also research, investigations, study and analysis. Atropos and AMUN go to endings in transformative constructs or presentations grown beyond. The granthi is Vishnu. Simply put (link added):

    Vishnu is the God of preservation and this knot unties karuna (compassion) in order to serve those who are suffering. Vishnu also applies to the devotion and love required to develop a true discriminatory faculty and aid in the acquisition of ultimate truth. This knot breaks free of the desire to preserve our identity, which includes society, family, and friends.

    A more detailed description is provided by Eric Serejski, who associates it with three chakras:
    Manipura, Anahata, and Vishuddha.

    Edited, links added.
    Vishnu granthi is the area where the personality and the body are sustained. Manipura sustains the physical body in a practical way. The food we consume is converted into energy and distributed through the body. The process of converting matter into energy, a form which can be used for maintenance and growth of the body, is a function of Manipura. In the same way, Anahata sustains the mental structure in the form of emotions which are intense expressions of subtle energy. The raw, unrefined and unadulterated energy can manifest as anger, hatred, jealousy and so on. This energy is the force which sustains the manomaya kosha or mental body and the pranamaya kosha [...] or pranic body. Vishuddhi, the all pervading space energy, sustains the vijnanamaya kosha or energy body and the anandamaya kosha or spiritual body. So the sustaining aspect of all our human dimensions is governed by these three chakras which vitalize, feed, nurture and balance the subtle bodies. This is the function of the Vishnu granthi. Once the Vishnu granthi blockage is removed we begin to draw energy to sustain ourselves from the universe and not from the localized centers of body like lungs. The energies of the body become harmonious with the energies of the cosmos. The interaction between the individual personality and the cosmos begins to happen naturally and spontaneously.

  6. Finally, we come to the house-based comparisons. I've not much to report on this one.

    In the reloc, in Manipura, we find PoF/AC/PoS/Plu in Leo-1 and Jup/Anubis/Hekate in Pis-8.
    We see a YOD comprised of PoF-Jupiter-Ketu (so, Leo-1, Pis-8, and Lib-3); this engages the 'butterfly' pattern of dual YODs (see B, above) and perhaps tells us something of the Vishnu granthi ... or not.

    The thing is, none of this house material really grabs me.

    The biggest mystery lies in Muladhara, where, in the sign-based tables, we see no major planets but find Nephthys and Persephone, Lachesis and the Pluto polarity point. True, we focus little on matters of survival beyond the basic, and ambition to succeed in the outer world is highly circumscribed. But then, when we shift focus to the seemingly more contrived house-based facet of Grasse's schema, why do we find the solar stellium and PTAH in this zone, and in the birth chart, also Rahu/Ven? I have to dig too much, try too hard to make connections which, even at their best, seem as contrived as the entire house-based exercise.

    There was a shift — not immediately on the way to or upon arrival in Canada, but over time,
    something we might signify as a shifting of houses, a change of categories, of orientation, as, eg, in
    Rahu / Ven / Vesta / MC @ Ari-10 → Ari-9
    and also as
    PTAH / Asclepius / Lilith / Moon / MerR / Sun / *Algol / Nemesis @ Tau-11 → Tau-10.

    We're still reaching, but let's roll with it.

    It's a good bet that this shift was a fairly gradual development, only become evident during the Nodal Inverse Return last month and hitherto unattended in pursuit of my studies. While my lifestyle has always been minimalist, my financial situation became far less precarious in 1992, and more so in some respects this year — still close to the bone, but less likely to require gauze and tape. Earlier this year, near my solar return, progressed Sun entered Can-1 (radix, trop geo, Equal House) and PTAH continues to progress, now midway through Gem-12.

    Interesting points, yes, but not clearly related to houses in the reloc chart. Perhaps we might say that the solar stellium and its transformations are closely related to issues of survival, material desires, forms and constructions, such that, with the agency of Plu in Manipura, we burn through desires, decathect and eliminate, learn to discriminate what needs must and need not be pursued. I've no problem with that line of reasoning. And then, to carry it further, we might note that the presence of Rahu/Ven in the Cap zone of Muladhara in the birth chart goes to seeking material security as a means of achieving and sustaining harmony. By contrast, in the reloc chart, Ren/Ven are found in the Sag zone of Svadisthana, going to the "dwelling place of the self". The practice here is tantra, and far more meaningful.

    You know, that's not a bad assessment.

And on a final note, TJupiter has just entered reloc Vir-2, and is being closely followed by transiting Moon, Venus, Sun, with Mars some distance yet but in Leo-1; TMercury is already midway through Vir-2. TJupiter will oppose Jup (Pis-8) about 3 September, and conjunct Sat around 10 October; following that, among other connections, it will trine the stellium (Tau-10).

In the birthplace chart, of course, with AC in Can-1, these Jupiter transits impact Lib-3 and their significance, we might anticipate, will be quite different, affecting Pis-9 and Tau-11.

Interesting times...

Of chakric trigger points, kshetra,
Bindu, and pattern of flow...

Chakra and Bindu Kshetrams, showing Bindu Varaga symbol.

The illustration above, which I've adapted from several images, shows a flow that includes the spinal chakra triggers and the corresponding kshetra on the anterior surface. I often work with this pattern, visualizing the flow of qi in either direction, as well as floating free within the body, not always tied to the precise topography indicated in the spine or kshetra — indeed, in my experience, the pattern sometimes shifts alignment easily from the sagittal to the coronal plane. This working seems not to be about focusing upon the chakras or kshetra but following energic flow.

From Yoga-Cyprus:

Chakra Kshetram
In many of the practices of kundalini yoga we must concentrate or focus our awareness on the chakra trigger points in the spinal cord. However, many people fine it easier to concentrate on the chakra kshetram located on the front surface of the body. In kriya yoga particularly, the chakra kshetra are utilized in many of the practices. The kshetra can be regarded as reflections of the original chakra trigger points, and when we concentrate on them it creates a sensation which passes through the nerves to the chakra itself and then travels up to the brain.

Mooladhara does not have a kshetram, but swadhisthana, manipura, anahata, vishuddhi and ajna have physical counterparts directly in front of them on the same horizontal plane. Swadhisthana kshetram is at the level of the pubic bone in the front of the body, just above the genital organ. Manipura kshetram is at the navel, anahata kshetram is at the heart, and vishuddhi kshetram is located on the front surface of the throat pit, in the vicinity of the thyroid gland. Ajna kshetram is bhrumadhya, the mid-eyebrow centre.

The Granthis — and chakric locations

At Yogarasa - Essence of Yoga, Eric Serejski provides a useful description of the Granthis, each engaging more than one chakra:

Granthis are the energy knots or blocks in our personality where the energy and consciousness interact & manifest in a particular way. Granthi ग्रन्थि ("knot"): any one of three common blockages in the central pathway (sushumna-nadi) preventing the full ascent of the serpent power. According to the yogic tradition,there are three granthis [...]

  1. Brahma Granthi: First knot. It is the lowest knot covering the area of muladhara and svadhisthana chakras. It is also known as perineal knot.
  2. Vishnu Granthi: Second knot. It covers the area between manipura, anahata and vishuddhi chakras. It is also known as the navel knot.
  3. Rudra Granthi: Third knot. It covers the areas of Ajna and Sahasrara chakras. It is also known as forehead knot.

These three knots prevent the free flow of prana along chakras and prevent the arising of kundalini.

All the three gods takes the test of the sadhaka before they give the way forward.  → Read in detail...

I also like the description of the granthis provided at The Yoga of Trading.

And this summary, from Yoga-Cyprus:

There are three granthis (psychic knots) in the physical body which are obstacles on the path of the awakened kundalini. The granthis are called brahma, vishnu and rudra, and they represent levels of awareness where the power of maya, ignorance and attachment to material things is especially strong. Each aspirant must transcend these barriers to make a clear passageway for the ascending kundalini.

Brahma granthi functions in the region of mooladhara chakra. It implies attachment to physical pleasures, material objects and excessive selfishness. It also implies the ensnaring power of tamas ― negativity, lethargy and ignorance.

Vishnu granthi operates in the region of anahata chakra. It is associated with the bondage of emotional attachment and attachment to people and inner psychic visions. It is connected with rajas ― the tendency towards passion, ambition and assertiveness.

Rudra granthi functions in the region of ajna chakra. It is associated with attachment to siddhis, psychic phenomena and the concept of ourselves as individuals. One must surrender the sense of individual ego and transcend duality to make further spiritual progress.

We might compare these granthis with Brahma, Rudra, Maheswara — Creator, Destroyer, and Liberator — in Jyotish.

In both the sid geo relocation and birthplace charts, Brahma, Rudra, and Maheswara = Jupiter, Rahu, and Ketu. Not the same as the granthis perhaps, but interesting nonetheless.

Jupiter is the first slow-mover to rise before Sun, and is leading edge of the locomotive pattern. And the Rahu-Ketu axis is of signal importance in the charts.