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"Excellent, convincing attempt to fill the void of predictive astrology and transits. No system  till date can even remotely compete with it. Wonderful !"

Dr. Amitabh Varma (D.M. Neuro)

Hony. Consulting Physician to The President of India

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Real Astrology - Defined and Explained

Richard Houck
(A US based internationally reputed Vedic Astrologer)

I own over 400 books on astrology, many written by people of amazing learning and accomplishment. Would that the many "scientists," who pass on their personal and uninformed prejudices as "science," were aware of what is in many of these books. It is my hope, however, that many of the visitors to this site are already aware of astrology's many fair, and unfair, "marketing problems."

[Parenthetically and along this line, in 1975, 186 leading scientists, including 19 Nobel Prize winners, banded together and signed a manifesto denouncing astrology. One astrologer then sent a certified letter to all of them asking to review copies of their study data, methodologies, etc. Of course, not one sent anything back because not one had even bothered to look into the matter. This is so typical because most scientists are victims of peer pressure too. But it is at least amusing that many scientists must increasingly pull their wagons into a circle to defend their own current world view and limited methodology.]

Astrology is very difficult to summarize briefly, so this attempt will be modest. Further, I must begin with an important observation with very practical implications but which may strike the non-technical reader as arcane. Nevertheless, I believe your failure to be aware of the related choices will greatly impact the quality of what you will receive as a potential consumer of astrological services.

This is NOT standard We
stern astrology.

You may, or may not, know that there are various fundamental approaches to astrology (and further that there are areas of specialization within these approaches). Thus one of the first questions to ask an astrologer is whether he is an astrologer who uses the system of astrology used in India (also called Vedic astrology) or a standard Western astrologer, or an astrologer who uses Chinese systems and procedures. There are others also, but these are the "Big Three." Effective Chinese systems are currently the most obscure of the three, and there are few competent, accessible practitioners of this in the outside world.

The remaining two approaches will often produce radically different charts, so I must tell you this: I have studied astrology very intensively for about 13 years. I did read Western astrology for the first few years. While it has many interesting techniques, its fundamental foundation annoyed me the entire time.

Its practitioners seemed inordinately fond of what I call non-objective "psycho-babble" that also very much encourages selective perception and self-attribution. Further, its performance seemed to be quite spotty and erratic. Rather than a logical and orderly analytical system, Western astrology charts seemed more like Rorschach inkblot tests that were best read by psychics. The Tropical zodiac (i.e., the seasonal one) is used by well over 95% of the astrologers in the Western world. Good luck to them, but I was never able to make it work in any kind of a "blind test" way. (Coincidentally, repeated tests show that neither are they.)

For many reasons too complex to go into here, I believe this zodiac is wrong; thus I do not use it in my work. So if you want a standard Western astrologer, you are at the wrong site. But I should tell you that I would not have 90% of the clients that I do have if I did do standard Western astrology. This is a strong and encouraging statement about the increasing sophistication of many consumers of astrological services who realize that a top-tier astrologer must be researched and uncovered just like a top-tier doctor, lawyer or accountant (typically with equally important consequences, if not more so).

Once I became aware of the stronger foundation of Vedic astrology I switched exclusively to this foundation. This is based upon the Sidereal zodiac, i.e., the "old" one that is set against a backdrop of actual fixed star ("Niryan") positions (and this has the side benefit of making astronomers "happy"). It also uses a somewhat different "house" system, and a quite unique basic forecasting system. So this put me into the "under 5%" group. This doesn't solve all the problems of astrology, but it was clearly an important and logical step in the right direction.

Three quick thoughts on astrology.

Real astrology is about the true management of time, i.e., the detailed identification of the qualitative attributes of cycles, and related assistance in forecasting and planning support. It is also about the mapping of our local space,  thus it has a bearing upon where we chose to live, interact, invest, etc. upon the earth.

Astrology makes three distinguishing assertions:

1.    It asserts that every juncture point in space and time has content, and that this content can be described qualitatively

2.    It proposes that all phenomena in the universe, no matter how large or small, are somehow synchronously linked through common symbolic patterns.

3.    Contrary to popular belief, many astrologers do not think that planets "cause" anything any more than your morning clock "causes" you to go to work. Planetary cycles are simply a mechanism to tell you "what time it is" within your particular symbolic reality.

These are thumbnail reductions of very profound philosophical and metaphysical issues, but they are good enough for now. These three points are in flat contradiction with the current state of "hack" science. But for those who keep up with such things, they are indeed very congruent with what is currently going on at the very leading edge of the theoretical sciences. Astrology was the first science, and it will end up being the last science. It's the only science that is inherently meaningful at all levels.

So, for example, when you see certain hack "scientists" arguing that their current instruments cannot measure any planetary causality, they are, as usual, talking into the wind. Fortunately more and more real scientists are aware of this.

Astrology is a meaningful ordering mechanism and a language

Each birth chart is a geometric structure that has completely unique objective and subjective elements - and for which an accurate time of birth is extremely critical. It sets up a series of subsequent cycles whose attributes are indeed completely predetermined - although the ability to articulate these patterns in the context of each individual's chart varies greatly depending upon the simplicity or complexity of both the natal chart and of the patterns that subsequently influence it.

It has been said that we must believe in "free will"; we have no choice! So, in defense of free will, some will say that how you respond to these fated cycles is completely up to you. Others will say that even your responses are predetermined - since they believe the free will occurred even before the soul was incarnated when it chose the parents and cycles for its evolutionary purposes. (We are assuming karma, reincarnation, etc. here.) For me, I think both are true which simply means that I am prepared to accept a certain amount of paradox at the soul level (it's really just an issue of operating levels and can be discussed as such).

Well, these are core issues about the nature of reality, time, the soul, and so forth. Thus not only are they poorly addressed via web site "sound bites," but this can also quickly exceed the basic objectives of this site. I have an inherent liking for analytical philosophy, so I could too easily get carried away in this matter! 

This also cannot be a treatise about technical astrology, but here I will make the important point that astrology has a relatively finite number of symbolic devices that must increasingly accommodate very diverse and complex realities. It is therefore important to have a clear understanding of what its useful boundaries are, and how far you can typically push it.

Astrology is not therapy.

Finally, I'll also add my opinion that astrology is not therapy. There are some therapists who use astrology as part of their repertoire (and my experience is that this often amateur level of astrology should be viewed with great caution), There are also many sincere astrologers, almost invariably Western, who think that an astrological consultation is primary about empathy, therapy and psychological "typing."

From my point of view, involvement with an astrologer may prove to be therapeutic, but this is generally a by-product of the work and not the main objective of the work. Further, a certain capacity for empathy should be taken for granted in any consulting field. But those astrologers who are excessively oriented towards wallowing in your "woundedness," and so on, are often just doing this, whether they know it or not, in order to either mask deficient techniques, or else as a projection of their own co-dependent needs. There is much exception to this, but forewarned is forearmed.

Learn the basic language and concepts of astrology.

To now close this section, I'll say that I am very much impressed by the technical astrological knowledge of many of my clients, and I strongly encourage any new clients to pursue the same since this will add value to your consultation.

Each profession has its own language. When you go to a doctor, lawyer or accountant, you already take for granted your knowledge of much of the specialized terminology he needs to do his job ("fibrillation", "tort liability" or "invoice" being simple examples). Indeed, any sophistication you have in his field very much improves the quality and value of the interaction.

Similarly, astrology is another language whose ability to map your reality increases greatly the more fluent you are in it. Thus, if you can easily discuss a "gastrointestinal" problem with a doctor, you should be equally able to discuss an "ashtakavarga" problem with an astrologer. This knowledge will also help you more accurately identify what caliber of astrologer you are dealing with. 

Richard Houck can be contacted at RichardHouck@worldnet.att.net
His web address is http://www.richardhouck.com

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