The Gift of Love

As Valentines Day approaches we consider the joy of having loving relationships in our lives. We all want to find that special someone, and once that time comes, to live together happily for life. At least that is the ideal. But love comes in so many varieties and flavors. We dream of becoming carried away by it, imagining an ecstatic wave of joy in our hearts. But to define this all-encompassing desire for love inside us seems almost impossible.
The ancient Vedic culture of India gave varying names for different kinds of love, as did the Greeks. The Greeks actually had as many as thirty different words to describe shared love, but seven were most prominent.

Bhakti Yoga

Agape to the Greeks or Maitri for the Hindus, meant the love we have for all others in the world, like when we feel compassion for people suffering due to a lack of basic resources, war or natural disasters. It brings a desire to be charitable to others that we have never met, just on the basis of being part of one extended family. Agape was also the Greek word used for love for God. In ancient India the word Bhakti was used for such transcendental love, love that can only be for and shared with the Supreme Lord of all creation. I feel it is no accident that Bhakti Yoga is now experiencing resurgence, especially among the younger population.

Love of a Parent

Love of a Parent

Storge to the Greeks, or vatsalya for the Hindus, meant love within the immediate, or extended, family. It is the love of a parent for their children, grandchildren, adopted children, uncle or other relations that is special because of family ties. This is why healthy family love is so important in our emotional growth and wellbeing. Something that is severely lacking in today’s disjointed, and often lonely world.
Pragma in Greece, or Preyo in India, is the love that endures the test of time. This is love that develops over time, such as that between a married couple that stays together through thick and thin. Or, perhaps the love that we feel for an old friend, caring for them when they have trouble later in life.

Self love or self esteem

Philautia to the Greeks, or Svabhista in India, is self-love, or self-respect. Not in the sense of being vain or narcissistic, but that caring love to do right by ourselves, that gives us our principles, values and strength. This in turn then allows us to care for others. This is another love that is lacking in today’s society. Often, if others have not loved us, we find it hard to even like ourselves, let alone love ourselves.

Working as a team

Philia to the Greeks, or Prita in ancient India, is the love that we share with others when we cooperate to achieve something, like with our co-workers, other players on the same sports team, or soldiers in a unit of the armed forces. We may call it camaraderie, but it is love all the same. Ask any soldier returning form war, how strongly they feel about the men or women on their unit. It is indeed, a very strong, special love.

Ludus is actually a Roman term, madhurya in India, for the love that we flirt or play when we meet someone we’re attracted to, the feelings in the heart (and stomach) that often brings a strong sense of euphoria.

Strong sexual desire

Eros to the Greeks, or Shringara to the ancient Vedic civilization, is the love that most of us think of and wish to stoke the fires of, on Valentines Day. It is romantic, and erotic. Carried on the winds of imagination, its magnetism brings our sexual desires to the forefront of our minds and bodies. The Greeks actually considered eros as dangerous and irrational, it could take hold of and possess you. Let this be food for thought.

There is no feeling, sensation or thought that can compare to the sheer joy of sharing love with another. It is an affair of the heart, and as we call upon our heart’s vast resources with which to love we find that as we give more love, we get more love in return. The more loving we become with others, the more love we have to give. Rather than becoming depleted of love we become nourished and filled with it!
For love is the true ground upon which we live; it is the only environment that any of us truly desire. It should be shared with everyone on some level, creating an environment of peace and joy. We naturally think of being more caring with those we know, that are in our circle of friends and family. But to exercise those same heart muscles with other souls outside this circle will not only bring more light into their lives, but it increases our own.

A smile for someone you don’t know, helping a distressed animal,

Caring for a distressed animal

giving in charity in a way that you become emotionally involved, or a hug for someone that’s feeling lost and alone, will bring feelings of joyfulness to the heart. The more we share love with others, the more love fills and overflows our hearts. When we give of our hearts freely the realization comes that we are all a part of one big family.
For the most intimate of personal relationships having synastry between you on a soul level is essential. Being able to see the arrangement of the heavens at the time of the persons’ birth will tell the tale. When we use an accurate Vedic horoscope, we can see right away if there is enough compatibility (synastry) for the marriage to be successful. Not only that, but we can look at the future career and social statuses of the couple, as well. We all want to meet with success, and knowing the synastry between you can make the difference between having a fulfilling marriage and home life, or not.
So this Valentine’s Day plan for that special event, dinner or night out with your special someone, but don’t forget to call Mom, or Dad. For that one day resolve to express only warmth and kindness, try to keep a smile on your lips whenever you see anyone and try to feel yourself as part of one Earth family. Not only will you have one of the best days of your lives, you’ll realize forever more that love really is all we need. If we have that, then the world looks bright. For to love and be loved, is life’s greatest gift. Happy Valentine’s Day!


You can reach me at or call me on 352 629 3156 and I will be happy to answer questions you may have.

Game Changers and How They Will Affect You!

Game Changers and How They Will Affect You!
The Powerful Transits of Saturn and the Moon’s Nodes
By Howard Beckman, 11/28/12

Some of the most powerful events, or times of greatest upheaval, in a person’s life occur during the return of Saturn to his natal sign (which happens approximately every 30 years) and during the 7 years of Saturn’s “sade-sati” (also occurring every 30 years, for this is the time it takes for Saturn to orbit the Sun). These are times of life we all go through, albeit some experience greater challenges than others. It all depends on the karmic scenario, foretold in one’s personal horoscope.
When Saturn returns to his natal sign it signals new developments, often a completely new chapter of life that is about to begin. It’s a time when a person begins to question everything about life, particularly his or her own path and personal direction. Saturn is an unbending taskmaster and unless we follow a disciplined regime in accordance with what we know is right in life, his malefic effects can beat us into submission. If, however, we follow our higher intuition, take the “high road” so to speak, it is a time of wonder and immeasurable inner growth.
The choice is always up to us. Saturn will force us to accept our karma and bring the truth to our eyes, whether we want to see, or not. We can either go forward “kicking and screaming” as we protest what we see as a time of loss or indignity of being forced to adopt another direction, or we embrace the changes. In following the latter, the path of least “resistance” we take the opportunity afforded us to find profound meaning in our life. Such realizations are enduring and will stay with us, not only throughout this lifetime, but into the next.
Sade-sati is another matter altogether. For some of us Saturn’s transit over the sign previous to the position of natal Moon, natal Moon sign and the sign following its position can be a time of complete loss. We are forced to give up almost all that we’ve known and gotten “used to” in our lives. It will force us to face our deepest fears, humbled in the presence of almighty time. For others it is simply a time of great transformation, and it may further develop those things we have been working towards and attempting to create for ourselves in life.
Rahu and Ketu’s (the north and south nodes of the Moon) “return” is always a time of “facing reality” as well. Approximately every 18 years the nodes of the Moon return to their natal signs. It is always an important time of life and signals new growth. Either expectations become apparent and come within reach, or we understand that it is time to accept what we know is inevitable, changing our direction. Even when Rahu and Ketu arrive in the signs opposite to their natal positions there is often a marked event that manifests or potentials previously untapped come into one’s purview.
Sometimes these planetary returns occur simultaneously. When that happens, look out! You may be hurled into the unknown, thrust into the limelight of success, or brought to your knees, begging to understand the meaning of your destiny.
When these planets conjunct, such as Rahu and Saturn or Ketu and Saturn conjoining in the same sign, it always means great upheavals of one form or another. Between January 14th, 2013 and July 13th, 2014 Rahu and Saturn will be in conjunction in Libra. The exact conjunction of these two powerful malefics will be on September 17, 2013. Political tensions, war and natural disasters will continue and become more devastating. Which countries will be most affected by these travails? It depends on their horoscopes. I will detail the coming year for at least the US, UK and some European countries’ “New Moon” charts early in the new year.
How will Rahu’s entrance into Libra, with Ketu moving into Aries affect you? What are the implications for our own lives as Saturn continues his sojourn through Libra? >It all depends on our individual horoscopes. For some it will be a time of great growth, either materially or spiritually, maybe both. For some it will be a time of letting go, of finding our direction, or surrendering to facing things we have deigned to face for so long.
Astrology is a tool and is used as such by the learned and the savvy among us. “To be forewarned is to be forearmed”. By the same token, to know when not to take a leap of faith, or to stop ourselves from wasting our energy in directions doomed to failure, saves not only precious time, or money, but allows us to direct ourselves in ways that bring the most success and satisfaction. As I always say, “the planets never lie”.