Tibetan Astrology or Astro Sciences
Tibetan astrology is an essential part of our Tibetan Culture. It is deeply knit into our daily life, and it is the source of guidance for all the major decisions. It is a complement to Tibetan Medicine. Astrology provides us the wisdom and medicine gives us the method. For thousands of year, we have use astrology as a tool to better understand the inner self and outer environment.
The basic principle of the Tibetan astrology is the principle of interdependent. In this universe, not a single entity function independently. All existing entity is 100 % depend on others, and all the things are not random. From a single thing, it is possible to discover everything.
The basis of Tibetan astrology is generally the five elements. All the elements are concluded in it and would move in predictable ways. Time is the sixth element. If you know the basis of time, it is possible to catch the elements. With the use of time, it is entirely possible to know when and where thing will happen, what time will it occur and what are the elements involved in it. Our existence entirely depends on the element, and we can’t control it. Both us and elements move. Therefore, if we know how the element will be in a certain way at the time. We also know how we will be at that time.
Tibetan astrology is deeply connected with Tibetan Buddhism. Traditionally all most all the astrologer are monks in Tibet. For understanding the astrology, insight in Buddhist psychology is the must. Tibetan astrology is a practice of compassion and result of mental training such as meditation, development of exceptional awareness and intuition.
According to the astrological cycles, the functioning of our body and organs are effects of shifting element. When during a pulse diagnosis, doctors need to understand this that the person’s pulse may change according to the change in season.
According to Tibetan astrology, we are a part of universal cycles. Thinking yourself as an independent entity is only an illusion and ignorance. We are dependent and affected by these cycles. It is wise to understand it and balance yourself with the changes in the element to be happy and healthy
The scope of the Tibetan Astrology
Tibet astrology is a science of making calendar, astronomy and mathematics are closely linked to many aspects of Tibetan Life. This tradition spread throughout Himalaya region up to the mogul inhabitant regions in Russia. It plays an essential role in Tibetan Medicine. All the medical student in Tibetan medicine are required to study it up to a certain level. Yet Astro Students are not necessary to learn medicine.
In Tibetan Astro science, we can predict the position of a planet, make the calendar, predicting eclipses and earthquake. It also calculated the personal horoscope and find out which date is auspicious or not for certain activeness like marriage or planting crops. It covers a wide field of study.
There are two division in Tibet astrology; White and Black calculation. The name of the calculation is given according to with the prominent color of clothing worn in India and Han. White is for Indian and black is for Han Chinese. As it is in Tibetan Medicine, in Tibetan astrology we have influences from India and Han Chinese. These influences are later blended into Tibetan culture and used in the way to constitute a unique Tibetan System.
The philosophical context of Tibetan astrology is different from Hindu ( India), Tibetan Buddhist and a Confucian world (Han Chinese). Our astrology context derives from the Kalachakra (cycles of time) Tantra. In this Buddha present three cycles, a system of external, internal and alternative cycles.
- External system deal with motions of planet and cycles and division of time measured by them regarding Year, month, days and so on
- Internal cycles are cycles of breaths and energies through the body.
- The alternative cycles consist various meditation practice of tantra system involving Kalachara diety to gain control over purifies the two former cycles.
The external and internal cycles of Tibet are parallel to each other and cycles due to the collective impulse of energy. There is the specific impulse of energy connecting and driving both the planetary and the human cycles. Energy and state of mind are closely related, we can either find the cycles either disturbing or non-disturbing. By practicing Kalachakra Tantra. We can overcome being controlled by recurring external and internal cycles (Samsara). We will be no longer disturbed and limited by them. We will realize our fullest potential in benefiting others as much as possible.
We are under the uncontrollable influence of by the circle whether it is by the cycle of seasons, cycle of existence and cycle of energies in our own body. These cycles can cause great limitations to us. With Kalachakra, systems give us a meditation framework in which we can overcome the influences of the control of these cycles and help others the most.
Within its general philosophical framework, the Buddhist system present astronomy and astrology. It is different from the Hindi Vedic context, where the student learns the science to calculate the exact time for performing Vedic rituals.
The Chinese philosophy contact for astrology is significantly different from that of the Tibetan Buddhist framework. The primary purpose of Chinese astrology was political in Nature. Personal horoscopes didn’t appear in China until the eighth century.
White Calculations (derivatives from India)
The Indian-derived materials in the Tibetan Astrology come primarily from the two sources, The Sarvodaya or Arising from the Vowels Tantra, which has the material which is accepted both in Hindus and Buddhist and the Kalachakra/ Cycles of Time Tantra which is specifically in Buddhist.
The Kalachakra Tantra presents the law of motion of the universe and calculations for Calendar, Almanac, and ephemeris in connection with external cycles of time. From it two sets of mathematical formulas are developed; Siddhanta or full Tenet system, which was lost before arriving in Tibet. And Karana or Précised system.
In the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, many Tibetan master has reconstructed the full tenet system. Tibetan Astro schools teach both systems. Some Tibetan lineage favors the complete tenet system, yet there are still using the précised system for a better result in calculating for the solar and Lunar eclipse.
Another source of Indian Derives Astro material, Yuddajaya (the Arising from the Vowels tantra) or Victory in battles tantra, is the only Shaivite Hindu Tantra translated into Tibetan and also included in TenGyur collection of Indian commentaries. The main features from it are the casting of personal horoscopes. In Hindu and the Buddhist system is more interest in the chart the unfolding of a personal life.
The Kalachakra system calculated the lifespan of a person with a maximum of 108 years, in Hindu systems the maximum is 120 year. In Tibet, it is reduced to 80 years. We believe the average lifespan will decrease in the degenerated age. Moreover, there are four different ways to calculate a lifespan in the Tibetan Buddhist system. Therefore each individual has many possible lifespans. We are born with many different karmas which could ripen.
Though we are speaking of a person having a specific lifespan, The extraordinary circumstances can lengthen or decrease it. For instance, if someone is terminally sick. He/she may not have the karmic potential to recover. But the prayer and rituals of a high lama may trigger the positive potential to prolong his life. Like an event like earthquake and war may unleash negative potential to shorten life. In both case, if we don’t have the potentials buried deeply, such dramatic events may not have potentials.
Tibetan horoscope is a general prediction of what could possibly happen in a lifetime. There is no guarantee that it will unfold in that way. There are many possibilities. Everything is possible depending on one’s action, practice and extraordinary external circumstances. What will happen in our life depends on the karmic potentials we have built up from past life and this life.
The primary purpose of Tibetan horoscope is to alert us of what might possibly happen. Whether it will turn out or not depend on us. Though we have many potentials, knowing just one set of it from horoscopes would inspire us to take advantage of our precious human life to achieve spiritual goals. In Kalachakra, we are striving to overcome all the karmic limitation which would prevent us to become fully capable in helping others. Meditating on suffering help us generate determination to be free from worldly things and grow compassionate for others. Contemplating suffering we might experiences can help us along the spiritual path. Tibetan horoscope can be becoming tools for those interest in astrology to process along the path. Tibetan horoscope is never to forecast the predetermine and inherently right future.
Black Calculations (derivatives from Han Chinese)
The Chinese-derived black calculation is also called element calculations. Some features are added to the Tibetan Calendars like correlations with animals and element cycles. It also provides further sets of the variable on examining the personality and general predictive personal horoscopes. These features are integrated with horoscope information derived from White or India derived calculation system.
There are five major areas of calculation contain in the Chines derived.
- The first is for the yearly progressions. It is to see what will happen each year of life.
- The second is concerns with illness, it helps to determine if the harmful spirits caused them and what type of spirit and which rituals to perform to appease them. Also, use for predicting how long the illness will last.
- The third is for the dead, especially for when and in which direction to remove the corpse from the house.
- The fourth is to calculate the obstacles when will occur in the calendar in general and during a specific person’s life.
- The fifth is a concern with marriages, mainly to find if there is harmony between the prospective couple. Element calculations are used primarily for astrology purpose.
The Chinese derived materials in Tibetan astrology shares many common features with the classical Chinese Astro school. But the way Tibetan develop and use them is different in many ways.
The sixty years calendars cycles and element calculation system are correlated. Each year are successively followed by one of the twelve animals. The differences between Classical China and Tibetan astrology is the beginning of the order. Chinese order begun with the Rat and Tibetan sequence starts with the hare. Therefore the place in the sequence at which the sixty years cycle begins is different.
The list of twelve animals is associated with the empowering element which is one of the five elements standard Chinese set. But in Chinese astrology, each element rule for two years in a row. First one will be the male and second one will be the female. Whereas in Tibetan astrology we don’t use the Chinese Yin and Yang.