Jack Hauck, MBA
A Short Introduction
Vedic Astrology, the astrology of India, has a very rich system of remedial measures, called “Upayes”. The purpose of these measures is to mitigate, to lessen the effects of difficult karma in our chart and to promote and support the planets that benefit us the most. Examples of remedial measures are prayer, meditation, changing one’s thoughts, diet, and gemstones. Gemstones have been considered to be one of the most potent ways that we can help ourselves astrologically. Paramahansa Yogananda in his classic book, “Autobiography of a Yogi”, wrote a chapter called “Outwitting the Stars” wherein he referenced his guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar, a noted Vedic Astrologer, that gemstones of high quality, of no less than two carats worn next to the skin, can greatly help one from the effects of the stars.
What you see in a natal chart, the complex but fascinating play of the planets in the different houses and signs, is nothing more than a snapshot of the karma that you have brought into this lifetime. And we have both the Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Clint Eastwood knows what we are talking about!
It is important to understand that the stars themselves don’t create our karma. We did that ourselves through the myriad thoughts and actions from our many past lives. However, the role the stars do play is to set them into motion, to activate them for both good and for ill. These karmas are known in Vedic Astrology as “Samskaras”, or seed tendencies. And when the time is ripe, they “sprout” into manifestation.
Dasha Planetary Periods
What is it then that “waters” these seeds to germinate? Vedic Astrology contains a profound system, called the Dashas, or planetary cycles, that is the force that plays a major role in awakening these dormant karmas into the playing fields of our lives. We know from both Western and Vedic astrology that the transits bring karma into play, but it is the Dashas that play an even more important role. Every Vedic Astrology reading highlights the current Dasha period and what it portends for the native. Each of the planets has a different length of time for its Dasha period: 6 years for the Sun, 10 years for the Moon, 7 years for Mars, 18 years for Rahu, 16 years for Jupiter, 19 years for Saturn, 17 years for Mercury, 7 years for Ketu and 20 years for Venus. Each major Dasha period is also divided into smaller sub-periods which give a greater focus to the predictive ability of Vedic Astrology.
A good analogy for the Dasha periods is to think of a light bulb going off in the house in which the Dasha planet resides. The karma in that house as well as the houses the planet aspects are activated. Those karmas will play out during the Dasha period and then largely go dormant when the period is over except for when the planetary transits stimulate them. This Dasha system is a marvelous answer as to why or when certain events do or don’t arise in our lives. Gaining or losing many situations in life such as relationships, jobs and health are better explained when we understand that our karmas are constantly rising and falling in outward manifestation.
Gemstones through History
Gemstones have been used for ornamental as well as metaphysical purposes throughout history. Just look at all the pearls on Elizabeth of Valois, Queen of Spain! There is a rich history of gemstone use from many countries in antiquity through to the modern age: Egypt, Greece, Rome, Etruscan and India, to name a few.
Each culture had their own system of defining which gemstones should be used for which zodiacal sign or month. The popular modern western system now in use was begun in 1912 by the National Association of Jewelers and drew upon Greek and Roman sources. The system has been updated throughout the years by different gem and jewelry associations. However, it should be noted that the Vedic system uses different gemstones than those used for western birthstones. Healing gems from the Vedic system, in comparison, have been in use for millenniums.
Vedic Healing Gemstones
The purpose of the planetary gemstone is to bring out the higher qualities of the planet, especially when it is facing a challenging house placement or aspect from a difficult, unfriendly planet. The purpose of Vedic Healing Gem therapy is to balance the planets, not to create imbalances by increasing the power too much of any planet. Too much of a good thing may not always be a good thing.
We need to keep in mind that not all gemstones are in our best interest to wear! One size does not fit all. For half the women in the world, diamonds are not their best friend! Why is this? Because Venus, the planet for the diamond, may not be friendly to one’s chart. Strengthening Venus’ energy might bring out the lower values of the planet such as materiality and sensuality when instead, we wish for the higher qualities such as an appreciation for the arts and for pure love. It’s important that we review the natal chart carefully to determine what gemstones are best for us!
Vedic Astrology ascribes to each planet a “primary” gemstone: diamond for Venus, emerald for Mercury, ruby for the Sun, pearl for the Moon, blue sapphire for Saturn, yellow sapphire for Jupiter and red coral for Mars, Hessonite Garnet for Rahu and Chrysoberyl Cats-eye for Ketu. There are also a number of alternative gems for some of the planets that are not as costly.
In future articles we will review not only gemstones but other types of remedial measures as well. We will look at examples of gemstones for each of the planets and go over some basic rules of how we determine which gemstones are best for an individual chart. We will also look at how gemstones are purchased from a gemological perspective – what qualities does a gemologist look for in a gemstone, what tests might be performed to verify that the gemstone is what it’s supposed to be – is it a natural stone or is it a synthetic, or has it been treated which might enhance its commercial appeal, but would render it unacceptable from an astrological point of view.
Jack Hauck with Healing Gems
Jack has been deeply interested in spirituality for over 40 years and has lectured extensively on metaphysical subjects. Professionally he has been a Vedic astrologer for fifteen years, receiving certification from the American College of Vedic Astrology (ACVA). He is also a gemologist, receiving certification from the prestigious Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
Jack has a strong interest in the use of astrological gemstones and has specialized in the recommendations of gemstones to many clients through the years. He founded Healing Gems, his Vedic astrological gemstone business, as a way to provide clients with high quality gemstones and jewelry from the Vedic perspective. Please visit his website “healingems.com” for more information on Vedic Healing Gems.
This rock-climbing photo is from a “few” years ago, topping out on Lost Arrow Spire in Yosemite Valley. My gem and “rock” interests go back a long way!