Reflections on Astrological Remediation

Updated: Oct 9

The following reflections on astrological remedies are being updated.

Traditional Vedic astrology remedies are often used to avoid directly facing a problem. More specifically, these remedies are used to avoid feeling the feelings associated with intervening in destructive habits that are producing and re-producing the problem. These remedies are used to delay making difficult decisions, to avoid difficult conversations, and to rationalize not getting the kind of help that would require that facing difficult aspects of oneself.

Even an astrology reading can function as an avoidance mechanism by cloaking your problem in astrological language. As examples, you might be told that your relationships are unfulfilling “because your Venus is debilitated”, or that you’re depressed “because you’re experiencing your Saturn return”. The ‘solution’ is then to address the planet rather than the emotions/thoughts around the specific problem. Specific remedies can take various forms (mantra, ratna, dāna, pūjā, etc.), and while these remedies do indeed encourage a kind of re-habituation (some more than others), they address challenging thoughts and emotions in an oblique or indirect way (if at all).

To be sure, these traditional remedies can be constructive if they are used to cultivate awareness instead of avoidance. All too often, however, remedies are not practiced in the spirit of cultivating awareness but are used almost exclusively to bypass difficult thoughts/emotions/situations around a problem. There is an expectation that yagyas and gemstones will produce miraculous effects, and mantra and meditation are often used to “push away”, “burn”, or even “transcend” current states.