Tibetan Astrology – A Summarised Introduction

Understanding The Basics Of Tibet Astrology Lore

Tibetan Temple PalaceThe origins of Tibetan Astrology as we know it today have their roots is several different cultures and traditions found in Tibet and the surrounding regions. This includes Chinese, Hindu, the local Bon religion and the Kalachakra taken from Buddhist traditions as well.

Not only is the astrological system practised in Tibet a form of divination, but also used to study the cycle of times and seasons in the Tibetan Chronology and calendar. This Calendar is still in use and very important to the daily lives of the people and serves as an almanack indicating the best opportunities to plant a crop, buy a house and generally align their lives to the way of the cosmos.

In a typical traditional Tibetan Village, an astrologer will apply their skills to advising people on all aspects of their lives from marriage to business dealings. In case the outcome of an endeavour is negative, a religious response may be called in to address whatever obstacles are in the way of success. This will typically be carried out by a monk from the local temple.

The astrologer will also consult his astrological charts to see if any special rituals should be performed to remove a negative influence from their planets. Improper performance of these rituals can lead to problems in life as well as in death.

As you can see the astrology of Tibet is deeply rooted in their religious practices as well and even applied when seeking proper treatments for all manners of ailments

TIBETAN ASTROLOGY ‘NAMELESS RELIGION’ ORIGIN

The first constituent of this system is found n an ancient and “nameless” religion of Tibet. This system is nestled within this system in the form of the 5 individual forces born in everyone. These are Lungta — Wind Horse, Wangthang — Personal Power, Sok — Life Potential, — Lu — Bodily Health and La — vitality.

These energies have special relations between elements and living things. This system is unique to this tradition and important for establishing the yearly almanack and horoscopes. When a problem arises from weak forces, there several important practices that are applied to increases the strength of the individual or the situation. This may include saving the life of an animal, reciting special mantras and/ or performing rituals.

BON ORIGINS

Long before the teachings of Buddha arrived in Tibet the Bon religion already had a firm foothold in the region. Over the centuries these two different practices have borrowed many practices the one from the other. For someone unfamiliar with the details of the two practices it may be virtually impossible to differentiate between the two.
Astrology also had a large role in the original Bon religion. Again, the astrological readings and forecasts had an important role in just about every aspect of life and were consulted for medical treatment, most opportune moments for various activities and more.

From these forms of astrology and astronomy came important elements found in the I Ching, the Mewas or Nine Magic Squares, the divinity of cycles of twelve or 60 years, the twelve animal characters, five elements and the duality of the Yin and Yang.

INDIAN ORIGINS

Tibetan Astrology was also influenced greatly by Hindu traditions from India possibly as much as by Chinese tradition. Because India was called the “White Region” the term given to these influences is “White Astrology”.

The early civilizations of the Indus River Valley and the Indian Subcontinent as a whole had a great deal of cultural, commercial and traditional interchanges with the great civilizations around them. Perhaps the most obvious token of this tendency is the astrological zodiac borrowed from the Mesopotamians which includes twelve figures within twelve different houses. As well as the Decans which serve to further divide the astrological houses.

As time progressed, more differences between the cultural views presented themselves. One example is how Indian culture and traditions preserved the use of the early sidereal zodiac while most other cultures moved away from this practice.

There are similarities between Tibetan and Indian methods that may have common origins and earlier roots. One example of this is the 28 Constellations of the Lunar calendars in China and the 27 (or 28) Nakshatras. The significance of lunar nodes Rahu and Ketu are another example.

KALACHAKRA

The Kalachakra is another important feature of Tibetan Astrology. This “Wheel of Time” contains medicinal knowledge as well as an extensive religious system that is still in practice today. This is based on the important mantra “as above, so below”, a way to understand the correspondence of the outer universe with the universe that lies within. The Kalachakra also describes the interactions of cosmic phenomena in the lives of humans. Another interesting point is how the teachings and practices here also share some of the traditions found in Indian cultures.

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