The Sixth house is the house of debts, financial control, service to those in need and public health. It is the house of public amity, communal harmony and helpful labour relations. In this instance we take a Virgo lagna and look to Aquarius as 6th House and ask ourselves, What are the important matters for 6th house and climate change?
Whereas Aquarius is the traditional 11th house, Lorded by Saturn and moolatrikona sign of Saturn in first 20 degrees; and sign of air element, in this instance, we look to Aquarius as the 6th House, with Virgo Lagna. Facing West, Aquarius is of fixed nature, of cooling degree -2, signifies clean atmosphere and air energy by way of air (wind source). Events and activities in this house would be of fixed and permanent nature requiring a single foundational activity which will bring increase (upachaya) over time. The fixed nature indicates that malefic planets located here may signify long term issues requiring capital for solutions; this may quickly turn to long-term debt if not managed carefully. Benefic influences are enhanced with slow, careful, well-thought-out intervention. This will be a house of solutions provided the public mind and labour resources are managed appropriately with proper use of resources.
When we come to examine the relation of astrology to Climate Change, we look to the houses of the zodiac. Aquarius as 6th house is of vata (air) nature with air element. Due burning fossil fuels for energy, the air becomes polluted. Air pollution is the leading environmental cause of death in the world – and the number five cause of death overall. Dust and airborne particles may be harming our ability to generate as much solar energy as we can. New research has found polluted air can reduce solar energy output by 25 percent. Air pollution is also a cause of harm to human life: if one cannot breathe clean air, then disease results. Aquarius as 6th house is the house of roga – disease of vata (air) nature, and is also the house of public health. The World Health Organisation (WHO) gives advice on air pollution and human health:
Air pollution’s toll on human health
Some 3 million deaths a year are linked to exposure to outdoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution can be just as deadly. In 2012, an estimated 6.5 million deaths (11.6% of all global deaths) were associated with indoor and outdoor air pollution together.
Nearly 90% of air-pollution-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, with nearly 2 out of 3 occurring in the World Health Organisation’s South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions.
Ninety-four per cent are due to non-communicable diseases – notably cardiovascular diseases, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer. Air pollution also increases the risks for acute respiratory infections.
“Air pollution continues take a toll on the health of the most vulnerable populations – women, children and the older adults,” adds Dr Bustreo. “For people to be healthy, they must breathe clean air from their first breath to their last.”
Major sources of air pollution include inefficient modes of transport, household fuel and waste burning, coal-fired power plants, and industrial activities. However, not all air pollution originates from human activity. For example, air quality can also be influenced by dust storms, particularly in regions close to deserts.
12 December 2016: On Monday, at least 23 cities in northern China went on high alert for extreme air pollution levels. The thick smog was deemed so dangerous that several highways were shut down and air traffic was grounded or delayed. On top of the health hazards, Beijing officials are coming under scrutiny for labelling smog as a “meteorological disaster,” instead of a man-made – and preventable – problem. The dense haze has caused a swell in respiratory symptoms in cities up to 100 miles away from Beijing, forcing hospitals to initiate emergency procedures. Because so much of China’s electricity is powered by burning coal, the increase in demand during the winter months often results in hazardous pollution levels. The city of Beijing has shut down 700 industry plants and asked another 500 to cut back on their production, according to USA Today.
Addressing Clean Air
Communities play a powerful role in shifting how we contribute to air pollution at the individual level. By staying informed and shifting practices, we can help support the adoption of solutions that will help dramatically reduce air pollution over time.
- In Paris bus manufacturers, BYD, Cummins Inc, Scania Group and Volvo Buses, committed to making soot-free technology available to cities in the Diesel Initiative in order to tackle climate change and air pollution;
- The BreathLife campaign seeks to mobilize cities and individuals to protect both health and the planet from the effects of air pollution;
- The Climate and Clean Air Coalition promotes early mitigation of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) helps to meet the sustainable development goals, within the goal of climate action. Crop production, livestock production and related land use activities make the agriculture sector one of the largest sources of short-lived climate pollutants. Combined, the agriculture and forestry sectors are responsible for 24% of all greenhouse gases emitted worldwide, including roughly 40% of global black carbon emissions and half of all anthropogenic methane emissions.
- On World Ozone Day, the #MontrealProtocol! 197 parties agreed to heal the ozone layer, representing the first-ever universally ratified agreement on an environmental issue. The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (its full name) is now considered one of the most successful environmental agreements of any kind. It was signed on the 16th of September, 1987 to phase out numerous substances that deplete the ozone layer.
3 billion people cook over open fires, inhaling smoke that affects their health, contributes to air pollution, and accelerates the effects of climate change. Here’s how Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and other organisations are helping give families access to new cookstoves that are affordable, accessible, and easy to use
Keeping our air safe can start with taking actions to limit our impact, many of which also promote physical activity and help save money.
- Manage waste: Minimize emissions from your waste–compost food and garden items, recycle non-organic trash if available, reuse grocery bags and dispose of remaining trash by local collection. Never burn trash as this contributes directly to air pollution.
- Cook and heat clean: Burning coal and biomass (e.g. wood) contributes to indoor air pollution when used for cooking and outdoor air pollution when used for heating. Check efficiency ratings for home heating systems and cookstoves to use models that save money and protect health.
- Move mindfully: Use public transportation, cycling or walking to get around. Consider low or no emission vehicles if a car is necessary. Diesel vehicles, particularly older ones, are large contributors of black carbon which are carcinogenic for health and damaging to our climate.
- Conserve energy: Turn off lights and electronics not in use. Use LED bulbs, if available, as a non-toxic alternative to CFLs, which contain mercury. Rooftop thermal solar systems may be an option for many to generate hot water affordably and photovoltaic systems can be a clean and healthy source of power.
- Call for change: Call on local leaders to adopt national air quality standards that meet WHO guidelines. Support policies that strengthen emissions standards and provide incentives for purchase of cleaner vehicles, low-energy appliances and energy-efficient housing.
Saturn and Vata
Saturn rules degradation. We may take it that Saturn rules environmental degradation, including that exacerbated by climate change, which also threatens human livelihoods, health and well-being and undermines efforts to achieve food security as well as to end extreme poverty and hunger and ensure healthy lives, especially for populations dependent on natural resources.
Saturn is said to be full of air, wind – wind from the body and wind from the environment. In Aquarius (where he is moolatrikona for the first 20 degrees) he affects air quality in cities. Malefic planets here will deter efforts to create resource-efficient and pollution-free action to reduce air pollution. As this sign is of a fixed nature and represents kama (desire), strong, determined action on behalf of public health is needed from authorities to create a pollution debt-free future for future generations.
Saturn is said to live in the deserts, in remote and obscure places. All places must come under the protocols of protection of the environment – air issues, REDD, reversing of deforestation and hence better management over wind elements on earth element. Benefics aspecting Saturn (vata planet) in Aquarius result in promoting regional efforts and cooperation to improve the environment, livelihood, health and well-being of people who live in areas affected by sand and dust storms.
The Sixth House
We began by speaking of the Sixth House and how it is representative of public health, the state of the public mind, communal harmony and positive labour relations in the workplace. It is also the house of community service, wherein we serve our neighbour, we undertake communal actions to make our community a safe place to live in and enjoy good health with clean air solutions. Taking individual steps to cook and heat clean, to conserve energy, to use public transport when we can and to move to lower emissions in our motor vehicles are all steps in service to the community, something that makes life brighter and better for our neighbours.
Like all the other planets, Saturn can raise us up, it can pull us down; it all depends on how we utilise the energy of the planets. Malefics in the sixth house give resistance to disease. We can take up the energy and the drishti of planet Saturn and take our time, get things right, find the fixed solution which is going to be of long term benefit to all, and then with the slow surety of Saturn’s progress, implement the best solution that brings the best results for one and all. Just as it takes time to heal the hole in the Ozone layer – 30 years of the Montreal Protocol – We can take up the benefits of slow-moving Saturn.