Remedies-the functional side of astrology
Astrology is more than often associated with the astrological remedies or "upaya" given by astrologers. Remedies or remedial measures can be seen as the functional side of astrology, wherein the birth chart/horoscope is used to offer practical solutions to problems.
Astrological texts, traditional and modern, often have a chapter or more on "remedies". They mostly cover remedies to make one free from suffering of a certain kind, afflictions and diseases. While the birth chart indicates the nature of problems one may face, it also indicates the cause of the problems and the possible remedies or solutions.
What is a remedy?
A remedy can be defined as a "solution" or a "practical measure" to achieve a particular goal. A remedy can also be seen as a tool to un-do the negative or adverse energies surrounding an individual.
In astrology, a remedy/upaya is sought either to "minimize the negative conditions" or challenges in the birth chart or to "enhance the positive conditions", or both. When it comes to a remedy for a birth chart, there are many options before the astrologer. End of the day, the remedy which is prescribed would depend on the approach of the astrologer (example she/he may prescribe mantras, gemstones, charitable acts, religious acts, austerity measures etc. ). 💎
A remedy or upaya can be seen as a window of opportunity. To be able to find the right remedy is nothing less than finding a big "prize". At the practical level, being able to do the remedy is a "matter of personal conviction". Several texts are also concerned with how the "remedy is to be done" (Prasna Marga)
All of the above, i.e. kind of remedy, execution of remedy etc. form an integral part of the process of analyzing a horoscope.
On how remedies should be done, here is a quote from R.E. Svobada's The Greatness of Saturn: A Therapeutic Myth-
"in most cases, the goal behind the upaya, and the upaya itself when possible, should be done in secret to prevent other people from generating obstructive energies that might disturb the process...these obstructions may be overt actions...or psycho emotional energies such as curiosity, ridicule, jealousy, and the like..."
Kinds of remedies
The choice of remedies depends on many factors. Remedies can be based on the preferences of the astrologer or the individual seeking remedies. The remedies can be water related remedies, food related, mantra chanting, gemstones etc.
One can see remedies as either general remedies or specific remedies. General remedies are in the nature of being open remedies i.e. remedies that can be done by all. General remedies are mostly based on ancient practices and wisdom (example, prayers and offerings to all planets). Specific remedies on the other hand are specific to the placements of planets in a specific horoscope.
What is common to both kind of remedies is that the two are often done with the aim of reducing the negative effects of planets. In terms of differences, specific remedies can be called tailor-made remedies. These remedies will be unique for each horoscope.
There are many general remedies one can think of.
Lets look at two of them; lighting of a lamp and taking care of sick or injured people.
Lighting a lamp
The lighting of a lamp forms an integral part of the everyday life of many people. In esoteric terms, the lamp symbolizes attainment of knowledge/truth, the overcoming of troubles, the worship of a higher force and much more. The lamp is said to embrace the inner truth, prayer, desire or pain of the person lighting it.
In terms of astrology, the process of burning, healing, change and purification that comes from lighting a lamp is very much like the working of the 8th house. The 8th house in astrology is the house of transformation where darkness can be defeated by the light, suffering by surrender and ignorance by knowledge. The 8th house is also the house of psychological fears and mental pain which require release and healing.
Lighting a lamp can dispel these fears. It can also offer healing and purification of one's physical and mental state.
Aiding the sick
Another general remedy is to serve a sick person. Quoting from classical text Prasna Marga;
by providing for others who are in similar distress as oneself one may find ease and gradual improvement in one's own situation". In other words, the act of giving nurture, care, help, assistance to others in the manner best suited to the situation, is the first step towards one's own wellbeing (translated- BV Raman)
Many of the remedies which are prescribed by astrologers today are in harmony with this ancient wisdom.
Specific remedies are horoscope based remedies. They could be prescribed to minimize the ill effects of planets or to increase their benefic effects. (Example wearing specific gemstones and visiting temple of a particular deity).
As mentioned earlier, many factors are to be taken into consideration here including the nature of remedy, who is to perform the remedy, and for how long the remedy is to be done etc.
Caution is the key
While remedies form an integral part of astrology, it is also important to exercise caution in this area. Many astrologers exercise caution while prescribing remedies to clients. One plausible reason for this is that an astrologer cannot know with certainty as to what could be troubling an individual. In addition, once a remedy is performed or done it creates a new set of energies for an individual. The nature of these energies cannot always be predicted.