Why are there only 360 degrees in a circle?

juggling animals

That question was asked in one of my classes recently. I’ve been pondering this now for a couple of days. Why isn’t a circle 361 degrees, or 365, or 720, or 1? Where/when/how/why did 360 become the *magic* number of degrees?

Calling all mathematicians, astronomers, historians, musicians, physicists, cheaters & priests!

Come to my aid and answer this question!


Anthem, Lyrics by Leonard Cohen

Click on the picture to hear the song on YouTube.

cloudy sky

The birds they sang
At the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Dont dwell on what
Has passed away
Or what is yet to be

The wars they will
Be fought again
The holy dove
Be caught again
Bought and sold
And bought again
The dove is never free

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
Thats how the light gets in

We asked for signs

The signs were sent
The birth betrayed
The marriage spent
The widowhood
Of every government
Signs for all to see

Cant run no more
With the lawless crowd
While the killers in high places
Say their prayers out loud
But theyve summoned up
A thundercloud
And theyre going to hear from me

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
Thats how the light gets in

You can add up the parts
But you wont have the sum
You can strike up the march
There is no drum
Every heart
To love will come
But like a refugee

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
Thats how the light gets in


Feng Shui –tip of the day

Sept. 11, 2007 is a New Moon Solar Eclipse in the Chinese Year of The Fire Boar.

There’s some pretty auspicious chi flowing and that’s always a good time to practice the ‘way’ of feng shui.

Lao Tzu

TO DO: Ask yourself: What area in my life needs attention? Go to that room/gua/corner. Clean out. Wipe down . Create clear space in your favorite gua or direction….. set an intention, and then move nine things holding your intention in your mind. Light a candle sometime around 8:44am EST. (the exact time of the eclipse in EST)

Breathe. Relax. Feel. Watch. Allow.

Everything is exactly perfect. It’s our “wanting things to be different” that creates the suffering. So explained, the Buddah.

East & West Astrology……..9/11/07

There has always been a lot of *fear* around eclipses. One can only imagine what it must have felt like to observe the moon or sun go dark in the sky. The memories and feelings of that primal fear live on in our ‘old’ brain and continue to run like a silent computer program in the background. What do you think would happen if we used all of the power of our attention to dis-engage the fear button? Think about it. Practice.  Take a conscious, deep breath every time you feel fear. Go to a yoga class to learn the subtleties of breathing.


The September 11, 2007 Solar Eclipse occurs at 18 Vir 24 using the Western (tropical) zodiac. In the Eastern (sidereal) zodiac, the eclipse is occuring at 24 Leo 32′. degree.) There’s approximately 24-25 degrees difference between these two systems of astronomical measurement. (Google: Ayanamsa.)

Marc Edmund Jones, 10/1/1888 – 3/8/1980, the astrologer who ‘created’ the Sabian Symbols, taught that astrology “properly used” can help people see more clearly their own tendencies. Once seen, we can then apply our free will to adjust, modify, change, or ignore what has been seen. Our evolutionary engine depends on our ability to learn & grow in this fashion.

The sabian symbol for 19Virgo is: A SWIMMING RACE. (When you work with the sabian symbols you always round up to the next degree. You can also go here to read more of what I’ve been exploring with Sabian Symbols)

In his book, An Astrological Mandala, D. Rudyhar interprets this image as “The stimulation that comes from a group effort toward a spiritual goal.” Hmmm.

What would happen if our spiritual goal was: *peace in the moment, no matter what* ?

Rudyhar goes on to remind us not assume that the image symbolizes competition.
In fact, he then says that ” the personal ego-centered ambition to succeed and to be “first” is indeed a sign of expectable, spiritual failure.” Yikes!

I didn’t know there was such a thing as spiritual ‘failure’. Oh dear.

It does pose a dilemma, this image, (A Swimming Race) pointing to our issues around competition, success, failure, and how a competitive path interferes with spiritual rewards. He concludes by pointing us towards emulation. ….hmmmm.

Now, I’m wondering if Dane Rudyhar’s sabian symbols can be used with Jyotish, the Vedic system of astrology? I don’t recall ever reading or hearing any of my Jyotish teachers refer to these symbols. In fact the teachers were always quick to remind us NOT to apply western astrological techniques to eastern charts, and vice versa. (That’s surely something to meditate on…………..)
Jyotish does, in fact, have it’s own methodology for referencing each of the 360 degrees in the zodiac. They, too, use their discriminative faculties to identify incredibly subtle differences and broad sameness. (note to astrologers: please feel free to comment on this)

So, let’s break the rules for a moment and integrate these two astrological systems and see what happens.

book jacketThe sabian symbol (a western technique) for 25deg of Leo (the degree of the eclipse according to Vedic Astrologers. ) states: A LARGE CAMEL IS SEEN CROSSING A VAST AND FORBIDDING DESERT.
Self-sufficiency in the face of a long and exhausting adventure.
Rudyhar recommends, ” total independence from our surroundings and uncompromising persistence.”Hmm. How’s that sound? Reminds me a little of all of the forecasts from ERIS!!

So, let’s see what kind of theme’s play out over the next few months and look for how these images manifest in your personal world, and the external world. See for yourself how the essence of these themes get expressed. Of course each of us responds to eclipse energy differently. There will be those who are strongly affected, and those who are not. Consult your local astrologer and get a reading.

May all beings live in peace, no matter what.

Om Shanti.

Home Sweet Home

Once again, I feel full from my experience at Kripalu. Regardless of how I spend my time there……participating, assisting, teaching, or just be-ing, I consistently return home inspired, grounded, and hopeful. I am so grateful that there are places such as this to remind us …………………………………………

The keynote speech on the last morning was given by Shoban Richard Faulds and intermittently enhanced with poetry by his wife, Danna. Shoban inspires me, as do many of the senior teachers of this particular yoga lineage. One of the lessons that the Kripalu community models so well is how to be a community.

Ommm Shanti, peace……………………………………………

Tonite………….yoga nidra & the balsamic moon, perfect together.