The Hidden Messages of Water

This article appeared in The Mountain Astrologer – Feb/Mar 2006
By Vaughn Paul Manley, M.A. 


Vedic astrology has become popular in the West as an impressive predictive system, but that’s where its usefulness ends — at least as far as many people are concerned. The signs, for instance, are rarely mentioned in Vedic chart analysis; that territory is left to Western astrology. Recently, however, I came across a chart that strikingly demonstrates the relevancy of the signs in the Vedic system, better than any chart I’ve seen. You may know of the Japanese scientist, Dr. Masaru Emoto, whose groundbreaking research with water has earned him worldwide recognition. In his New York Times best-selling book, The Hidden Messages of Water[1], Dr. Emoto presents his stunning photographs of water crystals, which demonstrate how our thoughts, and even symbols of our thoughts, actually affect the molecular structure of water. By taking high-speed photographs of water frozen below –13o F, he discovered that the water crystals that formed vary in shape according to the specific thoughts, music, written words or even pictures that the water is exposed to. Beautiful, symmetrical water crystals develop when the water was exposed to positive vibrations, like prayer, while the opposite was the case when exposed to negative vibrations.

In February 2005, I met Dr. Emoto during one of his lecture tours in Hawaii and got up the nerve to ask him for his birth data. I had to — I couldn’t miss the opportunity to see his chart. “Sure, I love astrology,” Dr. Emoto said, as he wrote out his birth information. I felt like a kid with a new toy. I couldn’t wait to go home, punch in the data, and start playing. What would the chart of someone devoted to researching water look like? When his chart coalesced on the screen, everything you might expect was there:

Natal Chart of Dr. Masaru Emoto

Notice how most of his planets are in the water signs Cancer and Pisces. Interestingly, most of his planets are also in the 4th and 8th houses, which are considered ‘water houses’ since they correspond to the water signs, Cancer and Scorpio respectively. Also, there is a tight trine relationship between Jupiter and the Moon, two watery planets, and both are located in water signs! Furthermore, Neptune, another watery planet, is sitting close to his Midheaven. (However, the outer planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are not recognized in classical Vedic astrology) And if this weren’t enough, Dr. Emoto has also been passing through a planetary period (dasha) of the Moon since about the time his first book on water was published. The Moon represents — you guessed it — the water element. My computer screen was fogging up from all the moisture!

The truly mysterious characteristic of his chart, however, is the density of planets in the 8th house. Five planets are crowded there, including Pluto and Rahu (the North Lunar Node). At first glance, this might confuse even a seasoned astrologer, since the 8th house is known as the house of death, losses, obstacles, upheavals, chronic illness, and so on. You wouldn’t typically expect this in the chart of someone with widespread fame and profound influence, since the 8th house often represents challenges to career. In Vedic astrology, the 8th house is the most malefic of the three malefic houses (the 6th, 8th, and 12th), also known as the dusthana or trik houses. If I surprise you with the archaic word “malefic,” suffice it to say that the 8th house is generally not pretty. However, a deeper understanding of the 8th house, as we shall see, clearly explains Dr. Emoto’s transformational research with water, as it does his fascination with Hado, or the life force, and his spiritual mission to heal the Earth through “love and gratitude.”


Dr. Emoto’s Ascendant is at 5°27’ Sagittarius in his Vedic chart. Conveniently, his Ascendant remains in Sagittarius in his Western chart as well. This sign certainly describes his adventurous spirit and willingness to explore unknown territory through his research. Before Dr. Emoto’s pioneering work, no one had even ventured to photograph a water crystal even though our bodies and the Earth itself are comprised of approximately 70% water. He writes, “One day I casually opened a book to words that jumped off the page: ‘No two snow crystals are exactly the same.’ The next moment I thought, ‘If I freeze water and look at the crystals, each one will look totally unique.’ And that moment marked my first step on an adventure into a new and unexplored world.”[2] He had just embarked on the proverbial “endless journey,” the ideal situation for any Sagittarian.

Sagittarius is the sign of the visionary teacher. Anyone who has read one of Dr. Emoto’s books knows that it’s easy to come away inspired and uplifted, which is indicative of a Sagittarian job well done. He writes, “What you really know is possible in your heart is possible. We make it possible by our will. What we imagine in our minds becomes our world. That’s just one of the many things that I have learned from water.”[3] Since Sagittarius is the mutable fire sign, Sagittarians are good at exercising their creativity and will, and they like to encourage others to do so, too. They help us to adapt and mold ourselves into better individuals. Of all the signs, Sagittarius is the least likely to become stuck. Jupiter, the ruler of Sagittarius, is a planet of expansive possibilities; it stretches us out of our ordinary mind-sets. Jupiter’s gift is to teach, inspire, and uplift. He is actually called guru in Sanskrit, the ancient language of India. Another of Jupiter’s names is jnana karaka, or significator of wisdom. With a Sagittarius Ascendant, and therefore ruled by Jupiter, Dr. Emoto certainly wears the hat of a visionary spiritual teacher as well as that of a scientist.


A striking feature of Dr. Emoto’s chart is that he has six planets in water signs: the Moon, Jupiter, Mercury, the Sun, Rahu (the North Node of the Moon), and Pluto. This certainly explains his affinity with the water element — and I don’t just mean that he likes baths or jumping in the ocean. Dr. Emoto began researching water in 1989, ten years before his first book on water was even published.[4] Think about it. For him to be able to sustain this kind of interest over an extended period of time, you would expect to see strong influences in water signs in his chart. The two luminaries, the Sun and Moon, are the primary personality indicators, along with the Ascendant. The fact that the Sun, Moon, and the Ascendant lord, Jupiter, are all in water signs (and water houses, as we shall see) explains Dr. Emoto’s enduring interest in water research. Mercury, who represents our intellectual interests, is also located in a water sign. In Dr. Emoto’s case, Mercury also represents career, since it is the ruler of his 10th house.

The water signs are the subtlest and most intangible signs, opposite the physical and tangible earth signs in the zodiac. The water element takes us into the mysterious hidden realms of the imagination, intuition, feelings, and the unconscious. Just having the Sun and Moon in water signs would be enough to suggest someone with deep sensitivity, empathy, and receptivity. Adding Jupiter, Mercury, Rahu, and Pluto means that these become exceptional character traits. Of these six planets, five are in the cardinal water sign of Cancer, which suggests Dr. Emoto’s ability to assert his sensitive Cancerian traits confidently in the world.

Water crystal photograph "Love and Gratitude"

Of all the water signs, Pisces is the most sensitive and intuitive. Dr. Emoto’s Pisces Moon helps him to take his research in surprising directions. He writes:

He reveals that his intuition carried him through the early stages of his research: “There was nothing to assure us that our efforts would eventually pay off. Oddly enough, I never doubted that they would. I knew with certainty that my hypothesis was correct and that the experiments would go well — I just knew it.” [6] I have since learned, from someone who worked with Dr. Emoto, that he relies on intuitive guidance much of the time, especially when making decisions regarding his work. His Pisces Moon, receiving a trine from Jupiter in Cancer, reflects this ability to trust his intuition.


These six planets are not only in water signs, they are also in water houses. This is because they fall in either the 4th, 8th, or 12th houses, corresponding to the water signs Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. If you thought Dr. Emoto’s watery qualities were already exceptional, they just got doubled — and then some. Every quality that can be ascribed to the water signs also applies to the water houses: subtle, intangible, hidden, mysterious, imaginative, intuitive, etc. This makes sense, because (as I pointed out earlier) the water houses are opposite the earth houses. I live in Hawaii, and each time I go snorkeling I’m amazed by another world that lies beneath the ocean — a world not seen from the surface. Likewise, the water houses are houses of depth, seeing beyond the obvious to a subtler level of profound insight. In Vedic astrology, these are also called moksha houses, or houses of liberation. They are the most mystical houses, and they relate to the transformation of consciousness. With six planets in moksha houses, this is definitely Dr. Emoto’s realm.


Of these six planets in moksha or water houses, five line up in Dr. Emoto’s 8th house. We’ve already mentioned that the 8th house is considered the house of death, losses, obstacles, upheavals, chronic illness, and so on. Although this is true, these indications have little relevance to this analysis of Dr. Emoto’s chart. Therefore, let’s look beyond the ordinary. Within the water house trinity, the 8th house represents the greatest depth of insight, corresponding to Scorpio, the most profound sign. It is the house of research because it is willing to explore the furthest beneath the surface, to seek out root causes. It’s bored with anything less. This is why the 8th house is associated with occult knowledge, metaphysics, and psychology. It also relates to the secrets of nature, some of which Dr. Emoto’s research reveals.

The basic drive of the moksha, or water houses, is transformation; without this, there is no hope for liberation. The farther below the surface the water houses take you, the deeper the transformation. The job of the 8th house is to take you the deepest. It is where we face our most profound fears and psychological issues like the fear of death or separation, and issues of power and control. It is preparation for the final stages of ego dissolution represented by the 12th house. The 8th is known as the house of change: intense, sudden, and dramatic change. But it doesn’t just create upheaval and leave us in a sobbing heap on the floor. Its purpose is to effect a deep shift of consciousness. The 8th house, therefore, relates to transformational healing of body and mind, such as vibrational medicine, that works on a subtle yet profound level. This is the level where Dr. Emoto operates.

Dr. Emoto leading a water ceremony at Lake Baikal, Russia

Here’s another point: The 8th house is not only the house of death (mrityu bhava), it is also the house of life (ayu bhava). As long as there is life force, there is no death, which explains why the 8th house is known as the house of longevity. It is the house of subtle energy — chi, prana, and the life force. Quantum physics demonstrates that the highest concentration of energy lies at the subtlest level. Likewise, the most shakti, or energy, is associated with the subtlest house, the 8th house.

Dr. Emoto’s water research, in typical 8th-house fashion, was fueled by his fascination with Hado (rhymes with “shadow”), an old Japanese word synonymous with chi, or life force. Dr. Emoto says, “Hado signifies the world of subtle energy related to consciousness.”[7] His main interest in photographing water was to make the intangible tangible, or as he says, “to try to put Hado energy into a visible form by using water crystals as material and canvas.”[8] If one could demonstrate that our thoughts actually affect the molecular structure of water, the implications would be vast. It would mean that we can literally transform ourselves and our world. This is exactly what Dr. Emoto’s work has proven.


If we seek an astrological explanation for Dr. Emoto’s success, we will find it in a very special union of planets in the 8th house. Jupiter, the Sun, and Mercury, (the rulers of the 1st, 4th, 9th, 7th and 10th houses, respectively) form several examples of what is called a raja yoga, or royal combination of planets. A raja yoga is formed when the ruler of a trinal house (1, 5, or 9) combines with the ruler of an angular house (1, 4, 7, or 10). Vedic astrology has hundreds of such yogas, or planetary combinations; each bestows different effects. Raja yogas increase the success and status of the individual by enhancing the positive indications of any house in which they’re located. In Dr. Emoto’s case, this indicates an exceptional ability to succeed in 8th-house areas like research, psychology, occult studies, transformational healing, and vibrational medicine. It’s interesting that Dr. Emoto received his doctorate in alternative healing. His raja yogas in the 8th house would also indicate, on a personal level, that he has a strong life force, good longevity, and a profound sensitivity to subtle energy.


If the raja yogas in the 8th house indicate Dr. Emoto’s overall success, then what accounts for the extraordinary heights of success he’s reached in just the past few years? Before the year 2000, he was virtually unknown, especially outside of Japan. Now, he’s an international phenomenon. How can this be explained astrologically?

In Vedic astrology, the timing of events is indicated through the analysis of the dashas (planetary periods).[9] The natal chart shows what is likely to happen in one’s life; the dashas reveal when. A dasha represents a segment of time that is ruled by a specific planet, like a chapter in the book of one’s life. Each major chapter or mahadasha (great dasha) ranges from 6 to 20 years in duration. These are then broken down into sub-dashas (bhuktis) and sub-sub-dashas, which allow us to progressively define narrow ranges of time. Although transits and other methods also play a role in the timing of events, the dashas, as a unique predictive system, have contributed the most to the popularity of Vedic astrology in the West.

Dr. Emoto began his ten-year mahadasha of the Moon in March 2000, nine months after he published his first book on water research, Messages from Water. During this period, he has achieved phenomenal fame, wealth, and success. Think of the dasha planet as being turned on like a light switch. The planet’s general characteristics and what it represents in the chart become highly activated during this time. For instance, the Moon generally represents water, the mother, and the mind (manas) — our thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. The Moon is a sensitive, care-giving planet, and Moon dashas are often periods of service to others. These general qualities are represented in Dr. Emoto’s Moon dasha period. His work involves water, is service-oriented, and focuses on healing the mind.

The next step is to look at the Moon’s position in his chart and the aspects and yogas that it is involved in. The Moon is placed in the sensitive, intuitive, and spiritual sign of Pisces, in the 4th house of the mind and emotions. The Moon is the lord of the 8th house, receiving a tight trine by Jupiter, the planet of wisdom, from the 8th house. This brings in a strong influence from the 8th house during his Moon dasha, indicating a focus on research, psychology, spiritual transformation, and subtle vibrational healing. Jupiter’s influence also gives him abundant opportunities to travel and teach.

Jupiter and the Moon’s aspect is a phenomenal connection between these two benefic, watery planets. Not only are they in a tight trine within one degree, but Jupiter is also located in the Moon’s sign, while the Moon is located in Jupiter’s sign. This is called a mutual reception, or parivartana yoga in Vedic astrology. It creates a much closer connection, like a wedding, between the two planets. This is an extremely spiritual, positive, and expansive combination.

But it gets even better. Jupiter is also in Cancer, the sign of its exaltation, which heightens Jupiter’s benefic qualities. Also, we can’t forget that Jupiter is in multiple raja yogas with Mercury and the Sun. Jupiter is a spiritual teacher or missionary, interested in the welfare of humanity. Dr. Emoto has been on a mission to share his message of love and gratitude during his Moon dasha. In a recent interview he was asked which water crystal photograph had the most profound effect on him. His answer was, “A water crystal after showing the word: “Love and Gratitude.” I found this to be the most beautiful and it touched my heart immeasurably.”10 He writes:

Dr. Emoto’s message is of transformational healing, both personal and planetary, which naturally comes about as we express love and gratitude toward everyone and everything, including ourselves.

An important technique in Vedic astrology is to analyze the chart from various alternate Ascendants. By placing the Ascendant where the Moon, Sun, or mahadasha planet is located gives a more complete picture of the likely effects of a dasha period. In Dr. Emoto’s chart, when you look at his connection between Jupiter and the Moon from each of these alternate Ascendants, you’ll see that they form raja yogas in every case (but not from the original Ascendant). For instance, when you make the Moon in Pisces the Ascendant, Jupiter becomes the ruler of the 1st and 10th houses and is placed in the 5th house. The special connection between the Moon and Jupiter (discussed above) then becomes a combination of the rulers of the 1st, 5th and 10th houses, which forms a raja yoga. This indicates that Dr. Emoto’s dramatic rise in success and status is strongly reinforced during his Moon dasha. Seeing these repeated patterns helps us to build solid conclusions regarding the results of a dasha period.

With this understanding of the Moon and Jupiter’s extraordinary connection in Dr. Emoto’s chart, is it any wonder that he was instantly catapulted into fame and fortune during the Jupiter bhukti of his Moon dasha? This 16-month period saw the release of the movie, What the Bleep Do We Know? which highlighted his water research. Shortly thereafter, his book, The Hidden Messages of Water, hit the New York Times best-seller list. When I met Dr. Emoto, he had already passed from his Jupiter sub-dasha and was then in his sub-dasha of Saturn. He was on a world speaking tour; he mentioned that his health was suffering but that he felt guided intuitively to do the world tour anyway. Saturn is placed in his 6th house of illness, indicating the potential for health challenges during his Saturn sub-dasha.

Dr. Emoto’s Moon mahadasha represents a time when he is able to reap the benefits of the research and writing that he accomplished in his Sun mahadasha. During that six-year mahadasha period, from 1994 to 2000, he wrote many books on Hado and conducted his ongoing experiments with water. In his chart, the Sun is within 5 degrees of Mercury, the planet of writing. As I mentioned, the Sun joins Mercury and Jupiter to form several raja yogas in the 8th house of research, transformation, and subtle energy.

Dr. Emoto will remain in his Moon mahadasha until March 2010. January 2006 – June 2007 marks his sub-dasha of Mercury, which indicates an increasingly career-oriented time of writing, publishing, and public speaking.

Dr. Emoto and Vaughn Paul

By now, it should be abundantly obvious, from an astrological standpoint, why Dr. Emoto is engaged in water research of a transformational nature. He has many influences in water signs and water houses by watery planets, especially Jupiter and the Moon. We astrologers love to find repeating patterns like this. The more the merrier, since each one adds to a clearer interpretation.

Vedic astrology is a powerful predictive system that typically has little to say about the signs in chart interpretation. It emphasizes the houses, which is quite the opposite of Western astrology. As James Coleman points out, “[Western] astrology is heavily weighted toward signs and only makes a cursory nod toward houses.”[12] These imbalances are certainly optional — not eternal verities. The influences of the houses and the signs must certainly apply in both Vedic and Western systems, if there’s any validity to them, which there certainly is. I see them as untapped resources available to anyone who, like Dr. Emoto, cares to look beneath the surface, in typical 8th-house fashion.

Chart Data and Source
Dr. Masaru Emoto, July 22, 1943; 4:50 p.m. JST; Yokohama, Japan (35°N26′; 139°E39′); A: Author quotes Dr. Emoto as giving him the time of 4:45 p.m. after a lecture in Maui, Hawaii. Dr. Emoto asked author to contact his older sister to confirm. She later quoted the time of 4:50 p.m.

References and Notes
1. Masaru Emoto, The Hidden Messages of Water, Beyond Words Publishing, 2004.
2. Ibid., p. xx.
3. Ibid., p. xxii.
4. Masaru Emoto, Messages from Water, Hado Kyoikusha Co., Ltd. (Japan), 1999.
5. Emoto, Hidden Messages, p. xx.
6. Ibid., p. xxi.
7. Emoto, Messages from Water, p. 7.
8. Ibid., p. 115.
9. For further information about the dashas, see Linda Johnsen’s article, “What’s Your Dasha?” in The Mountain Astrologer, Oct./Nov. 2005.
10. “How Water reflects our Energy & Vibrational Frequency: The EDGE Interview with Dr. Masaru Emoto,” by Insiah Vawda Beckman, April 2004,
11. Emoto, Messages from Water, p. 95.
12. James Coleman, “Introducing House Astrology,” in TMA, June/July 2005, p. 63.


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