(A US based internationally reputed Vedic Astrologer)
over 400 books on astrology, many written by people of amazing
learning and accomplishment. Would that the many
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
fair, and unfair, "marketing problems."
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
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 Western
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.
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.
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.)
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).
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.
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
It asserts that every juncture
point in space and time has content, and that this content can
be described qualitatively
It proposes that all phenomena
in the universe, no matter how large or small, are somehow
synchronously linked through common symbolic patterns.
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
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.
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
Astrology is a meaningful ordering mechanism and a language.
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
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).
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!
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
Astrology is not therapy.
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."
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
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.
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.
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.