Shiva is my Ishta devata. He came to me first many, many, years ago in a flea market above Searsport. I had been studying yoga for a couple of years and was diving deep. My husband came to me and said, ‘you have to come and see this statue’. When I went over there was a 2-foot-tall bronze statue of Shiva with His foot upon a prone human. I asked Iain to get a price and we were shocked when the vendor said $35. He came home with me and has been my beloved guide ever since. He did that. God is always calling to us.
When I was in India I was in a bookstore, and I had this strong impression to buy a book on Shiva. But there was this other more scholarly book that I thought was better. So, I bought the scholarly book, and the next day was strongly compelled to go back and buy the original book. Which I did. That book has been a profound guide for me as well. Shiva is such an amazing deity. He is the God of yoga and the God of destruction. In Yoga there is a trinity, Brahma, Visnu and Shiva. Brahma is the Creator, Vishnu the preserver and Siva the destroyer. The more I meditate on Him the deeper my spiritual practices and the better Yogi I am. I meditate on Shiva as the Sun as I watch it rise every morning. Yoga is an intense science that takes many, many, lifetimes to master. I consider myself a baby on the path. As a Jyotish (astrologer) I strive to live my life in the rhythm of nature. This is dictated by the sun and the moon and their relationship to each other daily. The quality of light, the rising and the setting of each and the mathematical distance between them.
The Vedic day begins about an hour before dawn it's in the first house of the Zodiac. The first house is your body, your self, the identity. During these hours you should rise and wash, drink water and maybe have something light to eat. Then when the sun progresses to the 12th house (it goes backwards through the houses) This will dictate the kind of meditation that you will do pending on what your first house is. Because I have cancer rising my practice is very devotional. You spend 2 hours approximately in every house of the zodiac throughout the 24 hour day. An hour before dawn you are in the 1st house, then the 12th house when the sun has risen and there's a little bit of space between the earth and the horizon. Then the 11th house, 10th, 9th, 8th, 7,6,5,4,3 and then 2nd.
The Houses of the zodiac are the fields of activity in life. If you get up before dawn, even just a little before dawn, when many wake up anyway, it is easier to shake the dross out of your body and consciousness and start the day. If you wait and get up when the sun is in the 12th house between 6-8am it becomes harder to get up. The 12th house is a house of bed pleasures, so enjoying one’s bed becomes more natural than rising.
Right now, in Maine while the days are lengthening the sun rises at 5:08am. Therefore, you will be in your first house between 4-6am. If you rise during this period wash up and exercise it is the best because the 1st house represents the body and so you take care of your body.
Yoga practitioners know physical exercise takes care of the bodily needs and then one is calm enough to sit for pranayama followed by pratyahara, then dharana, dhyana which somedays results in samhadi. The 12th House is a Moksha house which means spiritual practice. Currently between 6-8am you are in this house where it is a good time to read sacred scripture and follow the limbs of yoga listed above and for journaling or working with your dreams.
When the sun progresses to the 11th house between 8am-10am it's a good time to be with people, to socialize, to be group oriented. It's also a good time to deal with creative projects.
When the sun moves into the 10th house between 10am -12pm it is a good time to get work done.
When in the ninth house between 12-2pm it is good for communication, teaching, travel, philosophy, law.
When in the 8th house between 2-4pm it is a time to do research, your taxes, anything that is intense and requires a deep dive. Do not exercise or travel if possible. One is much more prone toward accidents during 8th house times.
When the sun enters the 7th house between 4-6 it is time for relationships.
When the sun enters the 6th house between 6-8pm it is time to eat. The 6th house is a house of dietary concerns. You will make better food choices here. It is also a house of daily work so getting more work done during this period is ok too.
When the sun enters the 5th house between 8-10pm it is time for recreation and fun.
Then it is bedtime as you enter the 4th house between 10pm-12pm. This is a house that represents the deepest peace and resting place.
When you enter the 3rd house you are in REM sleep, dreaming and dealing with your hopes and fears, which is part of the 3rd house.
In an ideal world you will rise when the sun enters the 2nd house 2 hours before dawn. This is one of the best times to eat. Not a lot, but a little something will nourish your body in a big way. This is also the best time to dial God or just be present to your deepest self.
I exercise every morning at 7am regardless of what time of year it is. This is a guideline not written in stone. Just like in class this morning when I reversed the order of bridge, plow, shoulder stand. I also tend to eat between 3-5pm. #pm in winter, later in summer. This is just about the right timing.
These bodies belong to nature. As guests we should do our best to treat them right. Aligning with natural cycles helps you live in balance and harmony.
Laura Hamilton is a certified Vedic Astrologer who bows to both Eastern and Western Zodiac traditions. She is a certified Yoga teacher and practitioner for 20 years. Laura uses many tools to guide people into balance with nature. She helps you view your life as an organic whole to be mastered joyfully.