By Maja Zajek

“ What I learned is the difference between destiny and fate. We are all fated to die. Destiny is recognizing the radiance of the soul that, even when faced with human impossibility, loves all of life. Fate is the death we owe to Nature. Destiny is the life we owe to soul.”

  • Marion Woodman, Bone: Dying Into Life
    (photo. Chornyi Aleksandr)

As essential to one’s path of spiritual evolution, or simply for living a life of deeper meaning and value, we rotate around knowing one Self better. More often than not, along comes a better understanding of others as well, as the world we live in.

A vast and complex subject, Vedic astrology, said to be one of the limbs, or eyes of Veda, surely holds many keys to opening more clear view of these meaningful areas of Life. In approaching Jyotish, we usually curiously question whether or not we have at all free will, or whether everything rigidly predestined on our journey through life experiences?


Answering that has many layers, but in short -yes, there are certain patterns and what makes them rigid, any pattern is a lack of awareness, a more “auto-pilot”, reactive modality, but also there has to be the presence of free will and choice in all beings, otherwise the whole concept of Creation and Karmic consequences wouldn’t hold ground. But to most beings born the on Earth plane or Bhu Loka, that freedom is not absolute by nature. Also, certain yogic combinations present in the chart may alter and give more options for growth in certain areas, or show more binding types of experiences, whether heavier karmic debts are to be cleansed in this lifetime. So we always judge the chart as a whole to see where energy is focused, where is the natural tendency of planets gravitational pull.


We have the concept of 12 houses/bhavas in one chart, as a way of mapping the sky at birth, and out of 12 – there are 3 houses of free will or Upachaya bhava. The nature of those houses ( 3, 6, 11H ) is that those areas are not fully developed at birth, but they become the main area of growth, evolving with the addition of 10H of individual Karma-work/action we do in the Present time, we get a clearer picture of the main area where we exhibit free will.

We have two main lords of those houses in the natural zodiac as Mercury/Budha – lording the third and sixth houses, andShani as lord of the 10th and eleventh houses. So we can say the natural angle of those houses is to show the ability to learn(Bu) and take responsibility for actions (Sa) is what the real application of free will is about.

In the next step, the third house is our talents/skills also initiation, like mantra Diksha, we are given certain predispositions there, but do we choose to grow/develop them or neglect them?


After certain experiences unfold in one’s life, due to some previous patterns of thoughts and actions, in a particular, dasa or period, we can observe the direction of the tendency of individual response. A real application of free will is how we chose to communicate with predestined circumstances of events unfolding.

The initial response is in 3H, while further developing of strategies and overcoming weaknesses is seen from 6H, through working on better application or practice of learning and intelligence after digesting the initial situation at hand.

Ten and eleven houses are practical work areas and how/what we gain from that further is seen in 11H.
If it is the more malefic influence of planets (Mangal, Shani, karmic nodes-Rahu/Ketu) pulling a person toward fighting or a more destructive mode, or more noble choice of sattvic planetary influence toward developing loving/kindness, and more a mindful approach, and application of knowledge and other skills.

Further, when we speak of courage needed in the third house, the real question is how we define courage. Is it a selfish or selfless action one will choose and going into deeper layers, from what angle a person has courage – is it in muscles or thought, or soul is brave enough to aim for Higher Consciousness, etc?

So awareness of what actions we proceed to focus on and how attached or detached are we to those fruits of work in 11H, are the areas where Shani will check our response-ability. The mechanism of witnessing consequences is in Nature, when we speak of fate, and is such that even in this life, we can have fruits of certain karmas, as a sort of reward or punishment according to whether bravery or weakness drives choices, or otherwise planting seeds for further potential lives or for future progeny to experience it.

So we all have free will, according to the degree of presence in awareness we bring to thought-word-action.

The nature of planets is showing us strong patterns already brought and reacting ability in the individual.

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