Fall 2003

HOUSES & SIGNS

by Dale Michael Martin

Before we begin the study of the stars, there is one very important point that needs to be understood. The astrological chart is make up of two wheels, a bottom stationary wheel and an upper movable wheel. The bottom wheel designates the twelve houses. These twelve houses make up the astrological chart, whether natal (birth chart), progressed (your snapshot at a certain time in your life), or a horary chart (a chart that allows us to predict events in the present or future. The upper chart, containing the astrological signs, rotates clockwise every 4 minutes changing the house cusps, or division lines between each house, by one full degree. Consequently, birthtime becomes very important. We can have 360 individuals that are born 4 minutes apart on the exact same day and have 360 entirely different and unique individuals with different interpretations. Clock time deposits the various planets and signs in the appropriate houses. It is also important to understand that all charts are made up of the twelve houses and the twelve astrological signs. We all have the energy of Taurus or Libra or Pisces, etc., somewhere in our natal chart. What makes us unique is the house and/or planets and degrees of the planets and houses that they are deposited. With this in mind and not going any farther because of the complexity of astrology, we start are analysis of the stars.

ARIES/1ST HOUSE

Whenever we ask someone their astrological sign they will give it with where the Sun was at at the time of their birth. The Sun is the strongest planet in our solar system and depicts how are spirit projects itself in matter. It also signifies our strongest ego tendency. So when we speak of Aries we are talking about the Sun sign. Be aware that all of the planets in our solar system, at sometime, will travel through the sign of Aries as well as the other twelve signs.

Aries is the first sign of the zodiac and rules the first house or as we say is at “home” here.

When you speak of the energies of Aries they are present in the first house as well as in the astrological sign of the Ram. In addition, the planet Mars (the red planet) rules the sign of Aries and deposits its energies in one of the twelve signs of the zodiac, depending where it is at the time of the casting of the chart. So, in essence the energies of Aries can show up in three different houses in a chart, the stationary first house and wherever Aries and Mars are in the upper movable wheel of the zodiac. Hence, we begin to see how complex astrology becomes with just this study of Aries.

Psychological Attributes of the Aries. Since Aries and the first house is the baby or first sign of the zodiac it deals with issues of early childhood, our early personality development, and with issues of self-esteem and self-worth. The energies of this house and of Aries/Mars are male in nature, fiery, and very aggressive. The Aries person can be overly sensitive, warlike, belligerent and/or quick-tempered. They are also daring and may be pioneering, treading where few dare to tread. They want leadership and are quite satisfied to get the ball rolling but rely on others to keep it rolling. There energy is impulsive but not enduring and they should take a step back and consider all options before making any major decisions. They, like a baby, can be rather selfish taking the ‘me first’ approach to life. When they want something it is all ahead full and get out of my way.

Physical Attributes of the Aries. When you see someone with red hair, know that they have a strong Aries/Mars energy to their nature. There physical body will either be their strong point or a weak point depending on the energy that is aspected by the first house or Aries sign. They are ruled by the muscles of the body and frequently suffer cramps. The head and particularly the sinuses and gums are of the Arian energy. Headaches, sinus infections, gum and tooth problems may be a part of their life.

Careers for the Aries. They make excellent military people (as Mars is the god of war),corporate leaders who come in to make drastic changes or who start up or give birth to new companies, body workers/physicians that deal with the muscular/skeletal body, dentists, aircraft workers (Wichita is an Aries city), baby doctors and psychologists who deal with self-esteem /self-worth disorders. This by any means is not the complete list of careers for this fiery first sign. Any career that takes courage, pioneering, and aggressiveness would fit the Aries Ram profile.

Relationships for the Aries. For the Aries, they will naturally be drawn to their opposite sign which is a Libra. However, any of the fire signs would satisfy their assertive personality. (Aries, Leo, & Sagittarius) They want someone who is well kept and, man or women, aren’t afraid to make the first move. They are very sexual and are drawn to mates who put on an alluring appearance.

Living our First House/Ascendant Tendencies. Regardless of individual Sun Sign, we all possess a First house or Ascendant or Rising Sign. This, in my opinion, is the most important house on the astrological wheel. It is the sign that is coming up on the east horizon at the time of our birth. It can be any of the twelve zodiac signs and it depends on the time of your birth. This house is extremely important to us all as it is our life’s learning lesson. This is the energy that we are learning about in this lifetime. We choose relationships, careers, and our early and later lifetime experiences to learn the energies of the first house. We are ultimately identified with the energy of the Ascendant. It is our personality, the way the people and the world views us. It tells us of the makeup of our physical body and our physical appearance. It lets us know of our psychological tendencies and the goals and aspirations that we have about life. It encompasses our daydreams and our imaginations as we travel toward its energy. It is our mountain that we climb and, once getting to the top, realize a different view of the world. Our personality then becomes a comfortable realization of how and who we are in the world of earthly illusion. We put away the fascades and begin to live in a more comfortable awareness of who we have become. The first house ask us to accept the gifts of the Elder of the first house. It is a new key that unlocks another reality for us, another of the so many gifts and attributes that we are bestowed with when we make the decision to live a human experience. It is one that needs personal study and acceptance. It becomes a healing experience when we can do this. Namaste’.

This is the first part of a two part series. Trees for Life graciously gave us permission to reprint the following article. We wish to thank them for their kindness and their effort to empower and unite the peoples of the world. You may stop by the store and pick up a copy of the booklet if you can’t wait to finish the story or you can stop by the Trees for Life office at 3006 W. St. Louis, Wichita, Kansas 67203-5129. You may call their office @ (316)945-6929. Ask for David Kimball. You may also send your tax deductible donations there.

Dancing with a Dusty Angel

By Manaswi Sahu

Manaswi Sahu grew up in the remote village of Mulbar in the state of Orissa, India. He was one of the few people in his village who was able to receive an education and break out of the vicious cycle of poverty. As a result, he and his two brothers moved to Sambalpur, a city 47 miles from his village. There his brother Rushi and he started a pharmacy. Their younger brother Saheb became a physician and moved to the United States.

These three brothers never forgot their roots, and continued to help their village. Manaswi Sahu witnessed how the people of his village took a leap of faith, picked themselves up by their bootstraps and transformed their lives. Mr. Sahu and his wife live in Sambalpur, Orissa, along with his brother Rushi and his family.

Dedicated to:

Babu Bhai Patel, who inspired and exhorted us to be faithful to the vision till his last breath, and to Bisayak Pradhan, Premraj Sahu and Rupeswar Sahu, saintly souls who did not live to see the results of their efforts.

This is the story of my village, Mulbar, in a remote area of Orissa state, India. I was born there in 1935.

Orissa is known as one of the most backward and poverty-ridden states in India. My village represented the very soul of such poverty and backwardness. Since time immemorial, life in Mulbar had stood still, as if in a permanent cocoon.

Then one day a stranger came to our village, and everything started to change. In our village we called him a farishta, an angel.

I have vivid memories of life in our village in the early 1940s, when I was growing up. The total population of my village was 400. The status and profession of a person were determined by the caste into which one was born. This caste system was thousands of years old, and it was iron-clad.

At the top were the Brahmins, the priestly class. They earned their living by performing priestly duties and did not do any manual work. There were six Brahmin families in our village. Below them were people of intermediate classes. These people included farmers, oil extractors, barbers, water suppliers, blacksmiths, potters, fishermen, and so on. I was born into this intermediate class in a family of farmers.

The lowest class was the native forest-dwellers. They were the original people who had lived in the dense forests there before people from surrounding areas moved in several hundred years ago. They were called “tribals.” Yet even below them were the untouchables. The descendents of slaves, untouchables were hardly considered human. They were literally not to be touched. The tribals and the untouchables constituted nearly sixty percent of our village population.

Our village had about 500 acres of farmable land. The British government had deeded 120 acres of this land to the village headman. He belonged to the intermediate class of oil extractors. Similarly, his three head assistants were deeded 10 acres of land each. These assistants helped maintain communication with the British administration and served as the headman’s bodyguards. All of these posts were hereditary. These people did not have to pay taxes on their land, but they also did not receive any other compensation for their work.

The village headman’s house was easily recognizable, because it was the only house with clay tile roofing. Everyone else in the village lived in mud huts with straw-thatched roofs. The remaining 350 acres of land were divided between the rest of the village families. Each of the Brahmin families owned about ten acres. Families of intermediate classes had between two and eight acres. My father had 2½ acres of land. Very few tribal people had any land. The untouchables were not allowed to own any land, with the one exception of the untouchable who served as the village night watchman.

Besides farming his land, my father also served as the village veterinarian. He was a tall, muscular man with a strong physique. He had a knack for treating animals, and all of the villagers called upon him when their cattle needed tending. He never charged anyone for his services. He was a pious man who tirelessly volunteered for almost anything needed in the village.

The climate in our village had always been very harsh. During the four months of summer—April through July—temperatures of 113 to 115 degrees were quite normal. We did usually get some 35 inches of rain per year, but it all came as a downpour between July and October—the monsoon season. As a result, for nine months each year we had practically no water, except for what little we could get from the village pond and a few hand-dug wells. Cultivation could take place only during those rainy months.

People in our village grew only rice and a few vegetables, most of which were sold in the markets in nearby towns. We had no access to high-yielding seeds or chemical fertilizers, and we had no means to create water sources for irrigation. If the rains were good, a farmer could produce between 500 and 600 pounds of rice per acre. That amount of rice was worth fifty to sixty rupees in the open market. I am told that at that time a dollar was worth three rupees. So a farmer could produce between seventeen and twenty dollars worth of rice per acre. That was just barely enough to provide a family’s minimum needs for survival.

Rice, our staple, was cooked in earthen pots over a wood fire. Most of us could only afford to eat rice with salt, onion and tamarind—a locally grown sour fruit. Only on very rare occasions did we get some vegetables or lentils, the main source of protein. Our family, like other landowners, also had a couple of cows. The milk production, however, was very low. Only a few cups of milk were available each day when the cows were producing milk, and some of that had to be sold just to feed the cows. Looking back, I realize that all of us suffered from malnourishment.

The main source of cash income was to collect kendo leaves to make native cigarettes, or mahua flowers to make native liquor. This work was possible for only one month in a year. Men were paid 50 paisas (17 cents) a day and women were paid 37 paisas (12 cents) a day. For half of each year all the farmers had no work, so they busied themselves by either hunting rabbits or playing cards. There was nothing else to do. The very few lucky people who were able to save hoarded their money in gold and silver jewelry. There were no banking services.

The landless untouchables and tribals had no option but to work for a pittance for the farmers during the rainy season. Beyond that, they survived by illegally cutting and selling wood from the forest. They possessed nothing but a few pieces of clothing, a woven hemp cot to sleep on, and one or two axes for cutting trees. Lacking all hope of escape from their life of misery, their only relief was found in country-brewed liquor. This addiction had a ruinous effect on these half-starved people’s health and economy.

A native herbal medicine practitioner was the ultimate authority on health problems. He was also the only person in the village who possessed a bicycle, an object of great wonder for all of us. The nearest hospital was seventeen miles away, and until 1947 there was not one single case of a patient being taken for treatment to the hospital. One was lucky to survive childbirth or cholera, smallpox, malaria, tuberculosis and many other diseases that frequented our village. Denied any medical help, we could only rely on fate.

The village had a school that provided education through the third grade. It had two rooms made of clay, a dirt floor and a tin roof. I was among the 25 to 30 boys who attended the school. We were the fortunate ones because all the other children had to work in the fields. My two younger brothers also got to attend this school after me. We had no sister, but if we had she would not have received any education. At that time girls were confined to household chores only and did not go to school.

My mother came from the nearby village of Badmal. As was the custom in those days, she was married at the age of fifteen. My father was seventeen. My mother became the eleventh member of a joint family that included my great-grandmother, grandparents, great uncle, great aunt, and five uncles and aunts. Like all other women in the village, my mother was illiterate and had to do household chores all day long. This work included fetching water from the pond, taking care of the cattle, cooking and cleaning.

Among adults in the village, there were twenty men who could sign their names in the script of our language, Oriya. Even though my father had only a third grade education, he was one of the ten men in the village who could read the Holy Scriptures. This ability was considered a major scholastic achievement.

During the summer months, the village priest’s handsome young son recited stories from the great epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. For us, the characters of these stories were not fictional or mythological. They were real. Singing in lofty tones, the young priest would keep his audience enchanted until late in the night, and indeed for us the characters would come alive.

The lives and adventures of the characters in these holy books had a deep impact on our lifestyle. Their love, devotion, sacrifices, and ethical standards guided us in discriminating between good and evil, and constantly inspired us toward the finer qualities of life. As a result,