Leadership and Astrology

leadership, allegedly

Leadership is a multi-dimensional activity, an acquired skill, duty and responsibility. Leaders have followers; if there are no followers, then there is no leader. Leaders embody a vision, and employ their skills to procure the fulfilment of task needs, group needs and individual needs. They may have a range of innate skills, learned skills, and knowledge about themselves, their task, and about the other people they lead. One great teacher of humanity tells that leaders know their people as well as their mothers do, and care for them better.

So we present a question about kundli charts (horoscopes) and leadership and where leadership is discerned> How does astrology address the dimensions of leadership?

We have asked very large questions in the domains of human activity and modern life. We impose on your tolerance and seek to address this from multiple perspectives of astrology and leadership.

Life is Change

The word "Universe" in Sanskrit is jagat; jagat means coming-and-going, that which is perpetual change. The Universe is undergoing change, energy is flowing outwards, and all the Universes, all galaxies continue to expand. Stars will expand, change from blue giants to red dwarfs and eventually become supernova, destroying everything in their surrounds. Kala, time, goes on, akasha, space, expands: life is change, and changes often. Our earth world we live in has changed rapidly in the last 150 years; does this mean leadership has changed? Are there new demands on leadership? Are there new elements to what we have traditionally understood as leadership? Do we have to factor in more to the leadership equation? These are important questions in the light of rapid workplace, social and environmental changes.

Mankind has evolved from the up-standing ape to one who sharpened rocks and stones into tools to dig for food and grind wheat, corn and rice into grist for food. Someone, somewhere learned about fire and thus we had bronze, copper and iron tools. From the simple agrarian life, the industrial age emerged and today, the electronic age takes over and industries and factories close down. People with traditional workplace skills, particularly employment in agrarian and manufacturing industries suffer as farms are affected by drought and climate change, factories are shut down and the electronic revolution - makes traditional blue-collar workers redundant. People seeking employment now need to have life-long learning skills.

We no longer live in an age of internal financial predictability. From the days of the Roman Emperor Vespasian wondering why his treasury was perpetually empty (there was a trade deficit with Egypt - Rome obtained its free food for the poor "corn - dole" from Egypt) we have free trade agreements between nations, multi-national corporations, and the bourse and stock exchange influencing one another. We may reflect on the global financial crisis of 2007-2008 which affected many countries. This was the fruit of poor leadership. Leadership in its many dimensions affects everyone, everywhere.

Dimensions of Leadership

Leadership has fallen to some people due their birth into a royal or ruling family. Others have risen to the top of their profession by dint of time and effort. Others agressively seek leadership in their lives, and rise to the to by fair means or using others as tools to get to the top. In many hereditary, military and institutional environments, leadership has - and continues to have - clearly discernible elements and foundations based on character and knowledge:

knowledge and character


Leadership does require a certain element of selflessness. There has to be a shift from concern on self and personal progression - or the Holy Dollar - towards the aspirations, the goals and objectives, the puposes of the organsiation where someone is working and leading. A leader has to leave ego, I, Me, Mine, My Achievements behind and look toward the greater good. There may be significant challenges for persons with Aries, Taurus, Gemini and Cancer ascendants. When people with these ascendants find themselves thrust into leadership roles, this may mark the beginning of fresh challenges and a certain karmic learning curve: to move from a personal focus toward a social or global consciousness.

Leadership in Charts

These are preliminary thoughts. Astrologers tell that leadership be, among others,

  • a matter of the 10th house - known as karmasthana or the house of karma (action).
  • yoga angles from the 10th (kendra and kona)
  • where the Lord of 10th house is in the Navamsha and Dashamsa charts
  • presence (or lack thereof) of raja yoga and pancha maha purusha yogas
  • strength of Ascendant and Ascendant Lord.
  • the role of certain, specific planets

Mention of raja yoga strikes directly at the heart of jyothish. The world has changed much since the days of rajas in small kingdoms, albeit great rajas many of them have been, and principles of leadership as given by Bhisma to the Pandava brothers after the Kurukshetra war. In those days, raja yoga would have applied to the kannam of a panchayat, as well as to a king; to a squad leader in their army as well as to the temple brahmins. There would have been leadership in each of the varnas in addition to civic leadership of the kings. So leadership has many dimensions, dimensions which have changed over time.

There are many treatises on modern leadership, which spell out leadership in different applications for different institutions and corporations, and different community groups. One such treatise spelled out a list of desireable leadership capabilities in modern corporations. Among the desired qualities were:

  • Global thinking
  • Strategic vision
  • Influence in the market
  • Integrity
  • Customer focus
  • Drive for results
  • Retaining and developing talent
  • Communication skills
  • Collaboration
  • Innovation
  • Decision making skills
  • Life-long learning skills

Can astrology address these focuses of modern leadership?

Defouw and Svoboda in Light on Life suggest that astrology has to adapt to address modern life and respond to modern needs. Some would make out a case to somewhat agree with them. Some address the astrological texts as points of limit; one may not go beyond them; others may address the astrological texts as a point of departure, a place to begin with the contextualisation of jyothish to the modern world. This in fact has already happened with Saturn being appointed karaka for computing and information technology.

Jyothish addresses the four goals of life, the purusharthas: dharma, artha, kama and moksha (right purposeful living, wealth, needs and freedom from the cycle of birth, death and birth again). We can observe that the 10th house is a place of wealth, and the traditional house where we discern the responsibilities in public life which have to be fulfilled. What is not in the birth chart and not in the navamsha chart cannot be predicted from the dashamsa chart. For those seeking the guidance of jyothish, the astrologer's grasp of leadership is more important. Modern astrological texts write of vain people coming to astrologers and asking about having power, wealth and affluence in politics, in the village, in the workplace, in their avocational activities. It seems astrologers are asked to confirm the desires and motivations of those who come to them.

The search for leadership in birth charts needs to first take notice of where the Lord of the Ascendant is; that is what they want in this life. Then, when it comes to career, to look to planets in the 10th house and then, where the Lord of the 10th house is. Thereafter, one might also look to where the Lord of 10 in the Dashamsa chart is. This shows the scope and range of public responsibilities and duties in the domain of activity lies.

We finish where we begin, for this is not the cycle of platform heroes and practice zeros. To finish where you begin addresses the courage, the skill, the intiative, the all embracing willpower of the fellow who returns home with the golden fleece, the pearl of great price, whatever it is needed to save the community from their predicament in the old myths. Leadership is a multi-dimensional topic, skill, ability, duty and responsibility. Leaders have followers; if there are no followers, then there is no leader. Leaders embody a vision, and employ their skills to procure the fulfilment of task needs, group needs and individual needs. We finish with the speech of King Bhisma to the Pandava Brothers; a speech about the dimensions of Leadership:

Krishna, the divine guide and strategic adviser of Pandavas, took them to pay homage to Bhisma. Abandoning their chariots some distance away, they silently walked to Bhishma. Krishna then spoke to him at length praising his great valour and sacrifice. He final1y asked Bhishma to teach Yudhistira, the eldest Pandava, the art of leadership to rule the vast Kingdom he had won in battle. In slow, but firm whispers, the grand old Bhishma spoke thus:

You want to learn the art of being a leader to rule your kingdom well. I will tell you everything my child. It was taught to me by great masters, and I will impart it all, to you.

It is not easy to rule well, and a king's one worldly duty is to rule well. It is action which shapes destiny, and not the other way around.

A king's highest duty is to the gods; next, of equal importance is Truth; Truth is the highest refuge; all the world rests on Truth.

A king's conduct should be above reproach. Self restraint, humility, righteousness and straight-forwardness are essential for his success. He should have his passions under perfect control.

There is a danger in mildness. The king should not be too mild, or he will then be disregarded. The people will not have enough respect for him, and his word. He must also avoid the other extreme, being too stringent, for then the people will be afraid of him, which is not a happy state of affairs.

Compassion must be a part of his mental make-up, but he must guard against displaying a too-forgiving nature, for then he will be considered weak by low men who will take advantage of him.

Alertness is essential. He must study his friends and foes all the time.

His first duty is to his people. He should take care of them with no thoughts of pleasing himself, subordinating his own wishes and desires to those of people. He should guard them as a mother guards her child.

The king needs to be careful not to place implicit confidence in anyone. He should keep his innermost thoughts concealed from even his nearest and dearest.

You need to know when to seek protection in your fort when your position is weak. And you should be ready to make peace with a foe who is stronger.

Be pleasant in speech.

Surround yourself with people of like nature, who have qualities that are noble. The only difference between you and your officers is the white umbrella signifying your higher office.

The people should live in freedom and happiness, as they do in their father's house. The very essence of your role is to protect the people and their happiness. It is not easy to secure people's happiness. You need to use diverse methods. Skill, nimbleness and truth, all three are important.

Pay attention to the state of kingdom. Old and shabby surroundings are symbols of disregard. Renovate, to win good opinion.

Know how to use the powers of punishment, and do not hesitate to use them on miscreants. People are often led by chastisement. Know, then, the science of chastisement.

Self-interest is the most powerful factor in the life of everyone. No one is dear to another unless there is some gain involved.

The treasury should always be full.

Supervise the work of all your officers yourself.

Never trust the guardians of the city or fort implicitly.

Do things in secret from your enemies. You can never protect the kingdom by candour or simplicity. You should be both candid and wily.

A king who is honoured by his subjects will naturally be respected by his foes, and will be feared by them also.

Nothing, not even the smallest act, can be accomplished by a single man. He has to have assistance.

The king cannot be too careful. Wicked people may appear honest; honest ones may appear dishonest. The honest person can become dishonest, for no one can always be of the same mind.

No one should be trusted completely. And yet, a want of trust is also wrong. The policy; trust but verify.

Harbour no malice, absolutely none, in your heart.

Dharma (right purposeful living) is the watchword of a king.

Nothing is more powerful! To the extent you yield or diminish dharma, to that degree disintegration sets in.

Death is nearing every creature every moment. What you have planned to do to-morrow must be done to-day forenoon! Death is ruthless. It will never wait and see if all your projects are carried out. Readiness for it is important. The world is a passing pageant.

Man is born alone and he dies alone. He has not a single real companion on his march through this incident called life. The spouse, the father, the mother, sons, kinsmen, friends, all turnaway from your body and go about their work. Only dharma follows the body. That is the only enduring friend of man, and the only thing he should seek.

Having said all that he had to say, Bhishma smiled faintly and closed his eyes; a signal for Pandavas to go.


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