33 thoughts on “Horoscope for 2015: a handy guide

    • and to add and be a nitpicker about it, the position of stars don’t affect one’s life not only because astrology deals with movements of planets and not stars, but also because their disposition in the celestial dome rather than affecting one’s life just gives hints at what is likely to happen
      it’s not that the skies shape one’s life, the life and the planets advance in parallel, only that astrological map of a person or a country allows taking a glimpse at a blurry silhouette of what’s to come, just because the movement of the planets along the timeline is predictable and thus calculable

    • Buddhism talks about not only planets and stars but moon and sun too. There’s a sutta or teaching of the Buddha that did mention about planetary influence and stars influence on human beings, animals and the earth including moon and sun. The moon has great influence on earth as moon needs moisture from the ocean which sometimes is one of the causes of tsunamis if there is imbalance in the space temperature or the moon gets close to the earth, there’s an unseen magnetic force. Even the full moon and new moon have effect on us. Astrology is an ancient wisdom not primitive but primitive in terms of time. Looks like the mad daughter is not any madder but wiser than the wise mother, in the quote. 🙂

    • Sorry, Caroline, but there is no astrology in early Buddhism. The Buddha condemned this and all similar superstitions as “primitive sciences” (tiracchanavijja) and forbade the monastics from practicing them. Which has had no discernible effect on Buddhist traditions, but that is par for the course.

    • To clarify, perhaps you’ve misinterpreted. I didn’t say that Buddha or Buddhism practice astrology. I said it was an ancient wisdom. Astrology was the practices of ancient Egyptians, Hindus and Chinese. The ancient Chinese had zodiacs that depicts one’s character etc and had very accurate calculations of the lunar calendar and birth dates.

      As far as Buddhism is concerned, as you said Buddha did not encourage the practice of astrology. Yes, I agree. But according to the suttas, the planets, stars, moon and sun have some influenced on us. In Buddhism, we’re encouraged to observe Uposatha during uposatha days which follow the new moon, full moon and the 8th and 23rd of the waning of the moon. But this is not to be mistaken for astrology which is an ancient science and wisdom. My 2 cents.

    • Sorry if I misunderstood you! The history of astrology is interesting, and in the Indian sphere at least, it seems that the Buddhist texts are among the earliest to mention it. It seems that it may have been introduced from Persia.

      Yes, the Buddhist calendar is based around the solar and lunar cycles, according to the Indian system used at the time. But this has nothing to do with astrology. It is simply how time was organized. No clocks, remember!

    • To clarify further, as Buddhist we tend to associate wisdom in the 8fold noble path which is the wisdom or panna for spiritual liberation from samsara for the realization of the 4stages of enlightenment (sotapanna and so on).

      I totally agree with you that Buddha did not encourage the practice of astrology as it is not helpful in one’s spiritual liberation for enlightenment, likewise with fortune telling, clairvoyance or medium consultations, even law of gravity and other sciences and mundane wisdom. Buddha taught only a handful of leaves, only those essentials according to the 8 fold noble path for freedom from suffering in this life and next life.

      IMO, Astrology is more of an ancient science and wisdom as a personal guide but not the kind of wisdom for one’s spiritual liberation from samsara, as it is not one of the 8fold noble path. Just to clarify the 2 kinds of wisdom.

    • No worries Bhante no sorry. I don’t know, but astronomy could come from astrology but uses telescope whereas astrologers used calculations through observations, for example the Mayan calender and many others including the natives Red Indians who had great wisdom of the spirit of the sky and Nature but could be that modern science using modern equipment have eclipsed such ancient science and wisdom.

    • Agree, very cruel and inhumane from our perspective, but to them were rituals and sacrifices to worship their deities according to their belief during the primitive time. Guess, no dhamma and ignorant of the dhamma of killing. I understand, human sacrifices and rituals are still being practiced today in our modern time in some religious sacrifices and satanism with mostly child abuse and sacrifice in some parts of the world.

      We’re considered very blessed and fortunate to have the Buddha’s dhamma and vinaya. FWIU, the Buddha’s dhamma and vinaya are for us to reduce our suffering in this life and to prevent us from being reborn in the lower woeful planes of existence in our next life.

      As I know, Astrology is not a religion, but you might be right about the ‘ancient wisdom’ 🙂

    • I know, it’s hard to judge: first hand accounts often say that the “victims” of human sacrifice went willingly. But it raises questions that are deep and disturbing and that, I think, are essential if we are to understand the roots of the religious impulse. We have become separated from the whole idea of sacrifice, and cannot really appreciate how central it was for so many peoples.

  1. Jung wrote:

    “Since you want to know my opinion about astrology I can tell you that I’ve been interested in this particular activity of the human mind since more than 30 years. As I am a psychologist, I am chiefly interested in the particular light the horoscope sheds on certain complications in the character. In cases of difficult psychological diagnosis I usually get a horoscope in order to have a further point of view from an entirely different angle. I must say that I very often found that the astrological data elucidated certain points which I otherwise would have been unable to understand. From such experiences I formed the opinion that astrology is of particular interest to the psychologist, since it contains a sort of psychological experience which we call ‘projected’ – this means that we find the psychological facts as it were in the constellations.”

    • Jung is here, as always, talking about how such apparently irrational or unrelated things manifest in psychological terms. He studied how such beliefs, while irrational, still give a sense of meaning. He was able to find meaning in, for example, the scratching of a beetle on a window. That doesn’t mean that the movement of beetles is governed by a higher power. It means that the human mind seeks meaning in what is around it. This is no different than Jung’s interest in other areas of the irrational, such as alchemy. It is the very absence of the fetters of rational thought that allow the mind to play freely with such symbols. There’s nothing wrong with such play: as long as it is play.

  2. This is beautiful! Is it your own creation or did you find it somewhere?

    But I should just mention, that I posted it on Facebook and a pedantic friend wrote “Well, I respectfully disagree. The Sun is a star, the Earth is a planet, and the position of both of them, in particular relative to each other, affect my life profoundly.”

    Happy New Year, with much metta

  3. Hello Bhante Sujato,
    I recently watched a video of yours about how the Sangha is structured and found it quite interesting. I was wondering if you could recommend some Suttas/sources that go over the topic in more detail?

    • Hi Travis,

      Umm, not sure about that. I’m not aware of any studies that go into this in detail, although there surely are some. I’ve given a number of talks and classes on this over the years, but I’m afraid I don’t keep track of what gets recorded and where it is. If anyone has some suggestions, let us know. Meanhwhile, I would suggest reading the first chapter of the Vinaya Khandhaka, as that shows many of the basic principles: the devolution of power to the Sangha, the evolution of principles for running the Sangha, the context-based legal system, and so on. It’s also a great story of a crucial part of the Buddha’s life. Pali version here: http://suttacentral.net/en/pi-tv-kd1, and parallel Sanskrit text that I have translated here, although this goes less into the Vinaya issues: http://suttacentral.net/en/sf259

  4. Dear Sujato,

    I recently wrote to Santi Monastery and they replied saying that you suggested I contact you when you are in Canberra. I have gone through your events calendar and have found nothing there about Canberra visits. Having said that, I am in Canberra visiting my parents and will return to Melbourne in about 2 weeks. Will you be here in Canberra in the next two weeks? If not, can you recommend anyone I can speak to in Melbourne? Thanks.



    2015-01-06 10:44 GMT+11:00 “Sujato’s Blog” :

    > sujato posted: “”

    • Hi Jeremias,

      I visit Canberra from time to time, but not right now, alas. In Melbourne, you have a number of monasteries and so on. There’s Bodhivana with Ajahn Kalyano; the new Newbury monastery with Vens Upekkha and Jag; and any number of Sri Lankan, Tibetan, and other temples. But it depends what you are interested in.

  5. Thanks Sujato. I will check them out. I have always been more interested in the Theravadan tradition but open to anything that thins out the viscous density of entanglement.

  6. Dear Bhante Sujato,
    Thanks for your great site, I have been reading your blog for a while and your books have changed the way I see my practice! I have been traveling and studying Buddhism in Asia for the last year(currently in India) and am looking to stay for an extended period at a monastery/retreat centre. I have been very inspired by teachings from the Thai forest teachers, so something in Thailand or from another teacher you respect. I am traveling with my girlfriend and we are both willing to ordain if required. We are very grateful for your help.

    • I hope your stay in monastic centers proves fruitful, and that you and your girlfriend are able to pursue your monastic vocation. Don’t forget Australia: a great place to be a monastic!

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