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Buddhist Astrology: Chart Interpretation from a Buddhist Perspective [Paperback]

Jhampa Shaneman , Jan Angel
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 8 2003
Use Buddhist wisdom and compassion to clarify your astrological readings. Become your own astrological guru with the first book to apply Buddhist practice to Western astrology. Buddhist astrology bridges familiar astrological thinking with the ideas of karma, interdependence, and impermanence. What if we consciously choose the compassionate way as we traverse those high peaks of a Pluto transit or climb to the summit of a Saturn cycle? Does such a response set up an array of rippling effects? While Buddhism is theologically and metaphysically compelling, it is also very practical. Within its tenets every psychological state is embraced, integrated, and brought to light. It is spirit-medicine for modern astrology. Selling Features

The author Jhampa Shaneman combines his depth of experience in Tibetan Buddhism with contemporary Western astrologer Jan V. Angel

Provides a basic counseling/consultation modality for the astrologer Chapters on the planets, houses, and aspects cover each in cookbook fashion

Places astrology in the context of one's life, based on the inevitabilities we all face Provides an interpretation of the birthchart of Buddha


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Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

One

Buddhist Astrology

Buddhists say that Siddhartha was the product of eons of positive intention and action. Whenever Buddhists pray before a statue of the Buddha, they pray for inspiration. This is the positive inspiration to deal effectively with each day. Inspiration moves one to make life meaningful with positive action. Buddha attained enlightenment to show and inspire others on their path to enlightenment. The inspiration to be an enlightened individual has astrological implications.

Siddhartha's past-life birth stories, in Buddhist scripture, are a good example of the process of dealing with many different levels of influence. As a bodhisattvasomeone who works toward enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beingsSiddhartha cultivated positive qualities and wisdom over millions of rebirths. Those positive qualities helped him deal with life and all its various dimensions. The stories are read to Buddhist children to inspire them to be virtuous. They culminate in Siddhartha's final rebirth when he attains enlightenment. The glory of that last lifetime is due to the accumulation of vast wisdom and virtuous action.

A Buddhist review of Siddhartha shows that he is a multidimensional character, an archetype. There are so many ways to view the man and his life, and they are all interdependent. Siddhartha's life as a crown prince, his astrology, and his lineage of rebirths all interconnect. This is the wisdom of the Buddha, which is the wisdom of enlightenment. It sheds a wonderful new light on the practice of astrology.

Shortly after the birth of Siddhartha, the man destined to become Lord Buddha, an aged and wise Vedic astrologer visited his mother and father. It was traditional in India for astrologers to make predictions when a child was born. Siddhartha's father was the king of a small country on the border of Nepal and India. His first child was a boy, and that was auspicious. He hoped his son, the crown prince, would be blessed by the planets. The old astrologer viewed both the boy and the calculations of his planets and then started to shed many tears. Siddhartha's father was shocked. Was his son doomed to a horrible rebirth?

When the old man composed himself, he explained the tears by saying, "I cry because I will not see the great person this child is destined to become. Siddhartha can be the lord of all India or he can become an enlightened being, a Buddha in this very life." The father was overjoyed that his son would be the next ruler of India. The thought of his son becoming a Buddha was meaningless to him. Of course his son would become a great king; what cause was there for other options?

The astrologer did see the options available to Siddhartha. Buddhism holds the ideal that life is not inherently fixed or fated. All phenomena, animate and inanimate, are interdependent. The intention of this book is to present a Buddhist view of astrology.

No phenomena, sentient or inanimate, are separate from the causes and circumstances that create them. Siddhartha is an excellent example of this. He was the product of a wide spectrum of causes and circumstances. Siddhartha's parents were the first and primary cause. Their DNA, from the very start, established a set of physical characteristics that he inherited. Siddhartha's rebirth was auspicious in this way. His father was handsome, healthy, wise, and virtuous. His mother was attractive, healthy, intelligent, and virtuous as well. They were both from the warrior ruling caste of India.

Siddhartha's mother, in particular, was spiritually aware of Siddhartha's qualities. She had dreams indicating that her son's rebirth lineage was special. She dreamt on the night of his conception that a six-tusked elephant entered her womb. This symbolized Siddhartha's power and qualities. Historical accounts say that she was joyful during the pregnancy. Mahayana Buddhists say that she was the incarnation of a goddess who promised to be the mother for Siddhartha. She currently resides in Tushita Pure Land and waits for the next Buddha Maitreya. She is prophesied to be the mother for every Buddha to come. All these births will cause her no discomfort, due to the pure qualities of these beings.

Siddhartha's external life situation is another area of interdependence. This includes his physical environment, his socioeconomic situation, and his education. The physical environment was a palace in ancient India. His socioeconomic situation was one of immense wealth and prestige. Siddhartha's education was the best available at the time.

Siddhartha was also trained in a traditional manner as a member of the warrior caste. His training included literature, logic, philosophy, and arms. Historians say that he excelled in all these activities. He even won the hand of his wife-to-be on the basis of his athletic and academic skills. Siddhartha's father was careful not to stimulate Siddhartha with religious speculation. The general ideas of past and future lives, the ethics of a monarch, and generosity to the poor were taught to him. The historical references say that his father spared nothing in the worldly sense for Siddhartha's education.

The influences to stimulate, support, and create Siddhartha were innumerable. These ranged from coarse and manifest aspects to subtle and invisible aspects of influence. Coarse aspects were the physical environment and social setting. Subtle aspects were less obvious to observe. Astrology is considered a subtle influence. It is considered an environmental influence of secondary importance.

To show how astrology may have played a role in Siddhartha's life, I have cast a natal chart for him. The actual birth chart of Siddhartha can only be speculated. There are various years given for his birth, so I have picked the year that best represents historical reports.

We can surmise from the comments of historians that Siddhartha's natal chart was impressive. He was born in the springtime....(Continues)


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Buddhists say that Siddhartha was the product of eons of positive intention and action. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Paperback
The main author, Jhampa Shaneman has extraordinary Buddhist background including the traditional 3 years retreat of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism. From his biographical sketch at the end of this book (and his website) you know how devoted he is about his practice. Actually this what I was impressed the most.
Due to such kind of practices, as well as his knowledge, experiment and practices of Western Astrology, we can see in-depth perspectives applying Western Astrology to our mind, which is the core and source of our daily-life, past, present and future... Thus Astrology is useful to us in a very practical way. Western Astrology has been very close to western Psychology after Jung. However, this book presents Astrological Psychology with the deepest school of eastern Psychology... which is worth reading and thinking about.
One of the most special points in this book is that he tried to trace Buddha's birthchart out of records and we can find very reasonable and helpful information out of his interpretation of the chart, including tracing the time and inner-experience when Siddhartha (Buddha's name before he became enlightened) escaped from his palace and attained Buddhahood.
Jhampa's Buddhist teachers including Lama Yeshe and many greatest gurus of the century. The most famous western Tibetan scholars nowadays like Robert Thurman, Jeffery Hopkins, are about the same time or later as his beginning of studying. And he is also one of the few westerners permited by His Holiness Dalai Lama to teach all levels of Buddhism.
From his website, you will find more of his information:
[...]
Sorry that I cannot express well with all the good points of this book. I will try to tell more later.
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars Buddhist Astrology April 20 2003
Format:Paperback
I have so enjoyed this book! The author gives a clear description of basic Buddhist philosophy in the first 5 chapters, including an inspired interpretation of a natal chart for the Buddha. Then he describes each of the 12 Houses and gives lively descriptions of the meaning associated with the moon, sun and planets. I took out my own chart to learn more about my own natal chart. The only negative criticism I have is that the book nowhere gives the symbols for the planets so I had difficulty reading my chart.
The book ends with a delightful biography of the author who, though born a Canadian, became a Buddhist monk , lived in Dharmsala,was taught by the Dalai Lama,did a 3 year retreat in a mountian cave and after 13 years was given permission by the Dalai Lama to give up his ordination and teach Buddhism in the West. His description of this life is fascinating.
There is a glossary of Buddhist terms,a bibliography.and an index - all things a good book needs!
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars BUDDHIST ASTROLOGY PIERCES THE VEIL OF MORTALITY June 22 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The introduction to Buddhist thought and philosophy is worth the price of this book. The astrological interpretations, given from this Buddhist perspective, offer peace and tranquility in the face of stormy life-situations and inner turmoil. The message which permeates these pages is: you are not mortal; your true being is one with life, not at odds with life. Buddhist Astrology--the book and the approach--pierces through the veil of an illusional mortality. Astrological consultations, whether through a personal astrologer or through a well-written book, ought to bring hope, peace, comfort to the seeker. These things are to be found here.
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Paperback
This interpretation of astrology chart readings from a Buddhist point of view is very interesting and insightful. Buddhist philosophy and application to daily living and understanding how the underlying influences of astrology affect us was most thought provoking. I really enjoyed this book and felt that I learned practical applications from it to use in my own attitude towards self, others and understanding samsara.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Buddhist Astrology April 20 2003
By Ann Redwood - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have so enjoyed this book! The author gives a clear description of basic Buddhist philosophy in the first 5 chapters, including an inspired interpretation of a natal chart for the Buddha. Then he describes each of the 12 Houses and gives lively descriptions of the meaning associated with the moon, sun and planets. I took out my own chart to learn more about my own natal chart. The only negative criticism I have is that the book nowhere gives the symbols for the planets so I had difficulty reading my chart.
The book ends with a delightful biography of the author who, though born a Canadian, became a Buddhist monk , lived in Dharmsala,was taught by the Dalai Lama,did a 3 year retreat in a mountian cave and after 13 years was given permission by the Dalai Lama to give up his ordination and teach Buddhism in the West. His description of this life is fascinating.
There is a glossary of Buddhist terms,a bibliography.and an index - all things a good book needs!
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars real Buddhist Psychology integrated with Western Astrology March 12 2003
By Leonard Chang - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The main author, Jhampa Shaneman has extraordinary Buddhist background including the traditional 3 years retreat of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism. From his biographical sketch at the end of this book (and his website) you know how devoted he is about his practice. Actually this what I was impressed the most.
Due to such kind of practices, as well as his knowledge, experiment and practices of Western Astrology, we can see in-depth perspectives applying Western Astrology to our mind, which is the core and source of our daily-life, past, present and future... Thus Astrology is useful to us in a very practical way. Western Astrology has been very close to western Psychology after Jung. However, this book presents Astrological Psychology with the deepest school of eastern Psychology... which is worth reading and thinking about.
One of the most special points in this book is that he tried to trace Buddha's birthchart out of records and we can find very reasonable and helpful information out of his interpretation of the chart, including tracing the time and inner-experience when Siddhartha (Buddha's name before he became enlightened) escaped from his palace and attained Buddhahood.
Jhampa's Buddhist teachers including Lama Yeshe and many greatest gurus of the century. The most famous western Tibetan scholars nowadays like Robert Thurman, Jeffery Hopkins, are about the same time or later as his beginning of studying. And he is also one of the few westerners permited by His Holiness Dalai Lama to teach all levels of Buddhism.
From his website, you will find more of his information:
[...]
Sorry that I cannot express well with all the good points of this book. I will try to tell more later.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BUDDHIST ASTROLOGY PIERCES THE VEIL OF MORTALITY June 22 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The introduction to Buddhist thought and philosophy is worth the price of this book. The astrological interpretations, given from this Buddhist perspective, offer peace and tranquility in the face of stormy life-situations and inner turmoil. The message which permeates these pages is: you are not mortal; your true being is one with life, not at odds with life. Buddhist Astrology--the book and the approach--pierces through the veil of an illusional mortality. Astrological consultations, whether through a personal astrologer or through a well-written book, ought to bring hope, peace, comfort to the seeker. These things are to be found here.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An example of the diversity of astrology May 29 2009
By Carol Hunt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. The Buddhist philosophy was incorporated into astrology with tack. There is no lecturing, and it is thought provoking. The professional style makes the book highly readable and opens the subject up to people of different philosophical backgrounds without misrepresenting astrology. I am glad that this book is on the market. It reflects well on the system and is an example of what astrology should strive to be--a well thought out philosophy of life. I couldn't recommend the book more and I am not Buddhist.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buddhist Astrology: Chart Interpretation from a Buddhist April 16 2003
By Lura McCallum - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This interpretation of astrology chart readings from a Buddhist point of view is very interesting and insightful. Buddhist philosophy and application to daily living and understanding how the underlying influences of astrology affect us was most thought provoking. I really enjoyed this book and felt that I learned practical applications from it to use in my own attitude towards self, others and understanding samsara.
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