In light of the current riots in Tibet I was looking online for a chart of Tibet since my Book of World Horoscopes does not contain one, and came across a wealth of material on Tibetan astrology. I confess I never realized that Tibet had its own branch of astrology that evidently is derived from a combination of Indian and Chinese methods and has its roots in Tibetan Tantric Buddhism. A site from the Tibetan Astrology network says:
In the Kalacakra Tantra as a whole, the subject matter is usually divided into three Wheels, or phases, known as the External, Internal and Alternative Wheels. The External wheel is the External Cosmos, with the cycles of the planets, constellations and stars, and this includes a system of astronomy and astrology. The Internal wheel is the internal Cosmos of chakras, channels and energies within the body, and their relation to the cycles of the External Cosmos. This section contains a basis for understanding how the planets effect us through the mechanism of the subtle body. The Alternative wheel is the yogic techniques for purifying and transforming the inner and outer to release our innate awareness and capacities. These are all depicted within the Kalacakra Mandala.
I found myself being particularly interested in this idea of a three-wheel system and found this information on another site:
The Wheel of Time teachings on the universe reveals that our changing consciousness states are due to the changing circulations of these planetary winds though our energy body with its chakras and channels. In syncronicity with the motions of the external universe, the planetary winds cycle through the chakras and channels, and riding upon them is our original awareness, experiencing the multitude of cycles of consciousness states and resultant events. Mind, pranic winds and consciousness are inseparably connected with each other. … This is therefore an astrology that incorporates the concepts of karma and reincarnation as episodes of the souls journey.
These circulations of the internal planetary winds in the chakras are not haphazard, but follow predictable cycles. Periodically, and for every individual, they arrive at points in the cycle where an internal equilibrium is reached, permitting the planetary winds to collect and enter the most important channel in the body, the central channel, the dragon, which runs through the very centre of all the major chakras, stimulating them from within. At these points in the cycle, with the application of yoga practice, an energy basis is created for the arisal of transformative states of consciousness and greatly expanded awareness and insight.
Alternatively, there are points of crisis, under and overactivation of energies, and periods of potential imbalance. The detailed knowledge of these circulations of the planetary winds within the body, what to do with them, and how, is an important function of the Wheel of Time Tantric Astrology. The circulations of planetary winds in the chakras, in the normal flow of time, reaches conscious equilibrium only on rare occasions, and these form the great insights we gain during the course of a normal lifetime. However, these planetary winds do not only move in synchronicity with the external planetary motions, but can be made to move through the highest yoga tantra practices.
The normal evolution of consciousness is said to take eons and eons of lives to effect the full awakening of the human awareness through the intermittent moments of insight produced through the cycle of externally effected equilibriums. … Thus, this path can be considered to be an accelerated pathway through time, where states of expanded and clarified awareness and insight are induced in quicker succession, awakening all the chakras to their highest potentials. The highest insight said to be produced through these practices is the awakening to the interdependent nature of all manifestation, the interconnectedness of all that exists, and the union of Insight and Compassion. [ Paragraphs added for ease of reading.]
This is exactly how I see the ultimate use of Western astrology as well, but without the use of specified tantric yoga methods and special amulets. In my view the power of the human soul to awaken transcends any specific path or religion and can be accomplished through the use of will and attention to the planetary cycles in which we find ourselves. Each planet vibrates at a different frequency, and as we go through a planetary cycle we ourselves become tuned to that frequency. I love this idea of an “accelerated pathway through time” and also the wisdom of this system that irrevocably intertwines astrology and medicine.
This will be cross-posted on Dharmaruci’s site where I’m guest blogging, and perhaps some in his Buddhist community will add some wisdom on this fascinating system.