Cultivating Compassion with Astrology

Most people who consult astrologers tend to do so for their own purpose—for insight into their career, love life, and finances– and that’s good. We want to know what’s going on and what possibilities are available to us. But what if we consider understanding the timeless wisdom of astrology to cultivate compassion for others?

Analyzing a natal chart using any astrological system will offer keys to cultivating compassion for yourself and others, but exclusive to Vedic Astrology is the Vimshottari Dasha system which reveals primary and secondary planetary periods triggering throughout the course of one’s life, from birth to 120 years. When a particular planet is running its dasha (primary period) or its bhukti  (secondary period), it will be activated and its condition and placement in the chart will suggest which events and circumstances will likely unfold, which areas of life will be affected, and perhaps most importantly, when and for approximately how long those events and circumstances will last.

Observing the Vimshottari Dasha timeline is particularly beneficial in close partnerships. Consider, in this example, how prior astrological insight into planetary periods could have offered invaluable awareness for a young couple. (Their names have been changed for this article.)

Bob and Jane have successful careers. They are attractive, intelligent, healthy, and equally charismatic. Bob had just started running his Jupiter dasha when he met Jane. His natal Jupiter is in a good house and in good condition. The 16-year Jupiter period would prove positive overall and bring good things into Bob’s life, including fantastic career success and his lovely wife, Jane.

Jane was already four years into the Sun dasha when she met Bob. The Sun is unafflicted in her chart and prominently located on her Ascendant. This period brought her professional accomplishment and recognition, a palatial home, and a wonderful husband, Bob.

But the Sun’s planetary period lasts 7 years while Jupiter’s period last 16 years. So what happens? Well, three years after they married, Jane shifted into the Moon dasha, which in the Vimshottari Dasha system naturally follows the Sun’s, while Bob continued to run the longer Jupiter dasha. She shifted, bringing new focus and new problems to different areas of her life, while he did not. He remained comfortable and ambitious under the Jupiterian energy. She began a turbulent period while he continued smooth sailing, for the most part. They filed for divorce within months after the shift occurred.

The Moon is debilitated in Jane’s natal chart. When a planet is debilitated, there will be some challenges to encounter and work through. The severity and impact will depend on the planet’s house placement and whether it is further afflicted. The debilitated planet functions from a weakness; we could say a ‘point of crisis’. Whatever the planet signifies often manifests through challenged, vulnerable, or weakened means. While the debility does not deny the fruits of the planet, most often, there is some form of frustration or delay that needs to be overcome.

The Moon represents our emotions, sensitivity, our nurturing and loving qualities, motherhood, our imagination and intuition. Jane’s debilitated Moon is positioned in her 2nd house and when activated by her planetary cycle, her security, income, values, and self-expression were triggered and situations began to unfold that aroused emotional insecurities. Childhood issues came to the fore, demanding to be dealt with.

After three years of marriage and under a strong Jupiter, the indicator of children, Bob, on the other hand, was ready for and highly optimistic about fatherhood. But Jane’s new period of the debilitated Moon, in addition to having a weak 5th house of children and 5th house ruler in her chart, caused powerful obstructions in this area of her life. Although having children may not be impossible for her, it is likely that children would come at a later time and not during the Moon dasha, which lasts for ten years. The inability to conceive may not have been the only development or rift growing between them, but it certainly had a devastating impact on the marriage.

This beautiful couple began moving into a new energy dynamic. The harmony they initially experienced during the first few years of their marriage had now shifted. Jane’s Moon dasha forced her to face issues, which might have been related to her relationship with her own mother (Moon) and childhood (2nd house). She may have required more nurturing, may have needed a different way to feel secure and safe, and she might not have known how to express the need or felt too vulnerable to ask for help.

Had Bob and Jane married only to have children, the divorce would certainly have been a good mutual idea. But what if they married for love? They would want to work together to prevent Jane’s challenges from driving a wedge between them, wouldn’t they? Wouldn’t Bob try to be patient, caring, compassionate to stay by his wife’s side while he continued to run an auspicious period himself, a period that could have easily carried the two of them financially while her issues were attended to? Would he be able to understand how his prosperous years could see her through her tough years? Would she be able to lean on him as a supportive partner while she confronted and worked through difficult personal issues?

Had they consulted their charts earlier, perhaps the understanding would have set up a different response- not divorce, but compassionate teamwork? Ideally, yes.

Astrology points out indications, potentials, or probabilities. It reveals our karmic patterns and when we can expect to see the fruits of our karma manifest. But with free will, we have the choice to be active or reactive, to respond or not.

Sri Yukteswar affirmed in Yogananda’s book Autobiography of a Yogi, “A child is born on that day and at that hour when the celestial rays are in the mathematical harmony with one’s individual karma. The horoscope is a challenging portrait, revealing one’s unalterable past and probable future results. The message boldly blazoned across the heavens at the moment of birth is not meant to emphasize fate, but to arouse our will to action.”

If you feel it’s time to take positive action, to be proactive and cultivate more compassion in your life, in your relationships, and to learn more about yourself and your loved ones, research the Vimshottari Dasha timeline with your natal chart and the Dasha timelines with the charts of the significant people in your life. Look with an open heart and renewed curiosity. What are you going through? What are they going through? What planetary period are you in? Which are they in?

Having an authentic desire to understand our loved ones and ourselves in this light motivates compassionate living. To generate more loving kindness and acquire greater understanding and wisdom within our relationships so that we create more cooperation and support, we need to feel comfortable sharing information from our birth charts. The astrological foreknowledge may not make our lessons miraculously disappear, but the insight will equip us with the necessary awareness to encounter obstacles and lighten burdens to the best of our ability.

When possible, encourage your loved ones, friends and family, to consider astrology and their birth chart. Get together and see what your chart and theirs reveals. Guaranteed, everyone will gain a fresh perspective about each other and compassion for one another will bloom from the seeds of new understanding.


Renate Maria Bell is a certified Vedic Astrologer, Jyotish Visharada, and approved teacher with the Council of Vedic Astrology. She can be reached at

Image courtesy Canva

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