The film, 127 Hours documents a momentous experience in the life of Aron Ralston. An experienced climber and avid outdoorsman, Ralston was descending a remote Utah canyon alone when an 800-pound boulder broke loose, crushing his right hand and pinning him against the canyon wall. After nearly five days – without water and with no hope of escape – Ralston made a life or death decision. He chose life by severing his arm below the elbow, rappelling a 65-foot cliff out of the canyon, and trekking seven miles to find his would-be rescuers. He had many profound revelations during his ordeal and since has become a motivational speaker and author, inspiring others with his story
Having a look at some of the basic salient features of his vedic chart, we get some insight into the nature of his destiny.
Birth – 27th oct, 1975, approx. 10pm, marion, ohio
The Ascendant a person is born under gives the inherent seed or potential for one to carry out their mission. The Ascendant in this case is Gemini. Gemini is a sign which indicates one is born to communicate information to others . Gemini is the messenger. It is also a sign which rules the arms/hands indicating this part of the body is important in this incarnation. Purnavasu rises and is the constellation of the adventurer or explorer.
The meaning of this birth constellation is safety after embarking on great missions. It is represented by an arrow shooting forth to great distances, no matter how far or how challenging one always returns, so the journey always ends where one started. It represents the triumphant return or renewal, or another meaning “happiness after a storm”. It is found in this constellation that life happens in two goes, meaning one usually gets a second chance at things. It carries within it the seed of divine grace, blessing one with a second chance.Aron himself felt that after surviving the ordeal he should live a more purposeful and useful life. Purnavasu is related to recycling also, because in truth one born under this nakshatra doesn’t want to lose anything, so one is able to be resourceful in recycling things, so one’s experiences would be undergoing a series of recycling as life moves forward. It is also seen in his prosthetic arms since the event, which enable him to continue his mountaineering. Purnavasu is supposed to represent one being an inspiring example for others and is related to the universal mother. In essence one should feel that they are being looked after by the great arms of the unknown.
Ascendant lord mercury is located in the 4th house exalted in Virgo,indicating a person with strong emotional and psychological strength, and someone who gets to experience alot of happiness in life, the meaning of happiness is quite profound, as Purnavasu constellation can give happiness through the smallest thing, even when one is without or has nothing. Mercury exalted in 4th gives a strong connection with the land or nature and will give success as an author as well as good homelife. It shows one will draw on emotional strength and also express this in their speech. Mercury (karaka for speech) is in the moon’s constellation (moon sits in 2nd house of speaking).
The constellation of Mercury is Hasta. Hasta is represented by “the hand”.Hand and Fate are related eg. palmistry , one’s fate is seen in one’s hand. So in a way, chopping off the hand would signify to some extent letting the old go. The spiritual meaning behind Hasta is that one learns the proper utilization of time, so this life is going to be a wake up call of some kind in that regard. It is also seen that at some point all the disconnected events of life come together and begin to make sense. This is something that happened to Aron in a profound epiphany during his ordeal. It is a constellation of great determination, here the determination is happening in the heart, it is emotional strength which guides Aron during his ordeals. There is a strong connection to the mother and caring for others.Aron said it was only his love for his family that kept him going.
The Ascendant constellation is ruled by Jupiter which sits in the 10th house in its own sign in Revati. This shows another powerful aspect of destiny. Jupiter in the 10th signifies great fame, as an uplifting example of inspiration, as a teacher, or powerful guide. Revati is the eternal optimist, essentially that is the duty to society at large, to be an example of faith that others can look up to.
So these are the basic impulses guiding Aron’s life.Both Purnavasu and Revati are two constellations that represent limitlessness, so one’s life is to tap into the deep reservoir of our unlimited potential as human beings.
It is seen that the nodes in the chart point to the main challenges that help one get on with their primary duty. In this chart the south node Ketu sits in the 11th house in Krittika and its dispositor Mars sits in the Ascendant in the sign of Gemini in the constellation of Ardra. The north node Rahu sits in the 5th house conjunct Sun in Libra exchanging with Venus in the 3rd house. The south node is the trigger for the new lessons to awaken in the life as indicated by the north node. In this case Mars in Ascendant indicates that there will be injury to the body. It also makes Aron athletic and recklessly independant and so flirting with danger willfully.
Mars is in the most terrible and destructive constellation of Ardra, indicating a great transformation but through arduous means. Ketu in the 11th is in the constellation of krittika named “the cutters” represented by a blade or knife. It implies that one has to act instantaneously to cut away the obstacle which blocks one’s path. In this case the obstacle is a rock (Mars) and somewhat an incident evolving out of unexpected chaos(Ardra). The accident happened during Mars maturity. Mars is the planet of courage, but a difficult energy as Mars is in enemy’s sign. Courage has to act in order for one to find their true lesson in life as represented by the north node. Mars though plays two roles in the chart, it is an enemy which harms one’s body, at the same time it is the healer also which is the cause of tremendous transformation. Mars indicates that in past lives, one’s experience as a surgeon or a great warrior was to help in the soul’s new lesson in some way. This feat of chopping off one’s arm, could not have been accomplished without intense detachment and endurance as a survival mechanism , these are aspects of Aron’s inner wealth (Saturn and Moon in 2nd house of wealth) which he relied on.
What is the purpose of the arduous transformational event? This is seen by the planets connected to the north node. North node Rahu is in the 5th house of fate, creativity, fame, destiny, so all these things had to awaken in this lifetime. But mostly the 5th house is the house of love. So one is learning to understand the power of love, or the importance of love. It is also to show the power of one’s creativity in the act of helping destiny to unfold, an understanding that one’s life are what one decides to make of it, depending on one’s choices.
Rahu occupies the constellation of Vishakha, which represents the will to do absolutely anything to achieve its goal, one has to put in herculean efforts, tremendous determination, withstand grief, suffering and intense heat. This pain is to produce a certain kind of enlightenment because Venus (atmakaraka), Rahu’s sign dispositor is sitting in the third house of courage, taking self control and initiative, the third house is also the house in the chart which rules the hand or arm. The 12th lord influence of Venus meant sacrificing the Hand was the vehicle for enlightenment or awakening to happen. So despite the suffering. the experience actually produced a liberating effect on Aron’s being . Venus rules the house of spiritual liberation in the chart. It put him in touch with otherwordly understanding, visions, even psychic visions. The exchange between Venus and Sun meant these energies worked hand in hand. At the same time that he experienced the grief, intense fires of suffering, he was also experiencing his Venus’s placement in the constellation of Purva phalguni, transcendence from the mundane, liberating joy. Venus in the chart represents the ultimate taste of freedom and release which within itself carries a feeling of true joy. Aron said the moment he was able to break the bones in his arm and cut off his hand to attain freedom , he experienced overwhelming euphoria despite the physical agony happening.
Venus awakened his latent talents as a creative writer, artist. It brought him fame but its connection with the debilitated Sun conjunct Rahu means he has to struggle with the dichotomy of feeling stupid at times about what he did, a kind of self blame and sometimes a feeling of undeserving of all the attention, and at other times, great sense of ego, pride or accomplishment. This is something he will always to some extent struggle to balance in himself. The purpose though is for this experience to help him transcend the ego focus, and to develop a sense of divine purpose, a duty to society at large, to develop a deep sense of devotion and love which he can express to others. It also was alot to do with his child. That one’s will, and the will of the unborn seed would keep the generations alive in the future. 5th lord (offspring) Venus occupies the sign of Leo and his son whom he psychically envisioned during a penultimate moment during his ordeal, he named Leo. Aron was visited by a black raven flying overhead during his entrapment. The departed ancestors enter the bodies of black birds and are always concerned about the propagation of their lineage, but this also could have signified divine protection.
In a past life, Aron was part of the pack mentality. In this life he is having to confront the true power of his own individuality and let that shine. Rahu in the 5th indicates one harmed nature in a previous life, and thus in this life one would experience nature’s response. However, God is not a sadist, and so all things are for our benefit in the end and God’s tapestry is always beautiful and an example of perfection. So this momentous experience was not the end, but just the beginning of a long and productive life ahead. There are many more challenges to face on the path, that lead to a deeper understanding of one’s purpose , a deeper voyage into the meaning of love, and the power to create one’s destiny for better or worse.