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    Let me say right off I do not really believe in astrology.  Not in the claimed
    supremacy it being a Vedic system.  There is no Leo in the sky.  The stars of Leo
    are not even close together and the alleged lion we imagine is just an imaginary
    figure.  It gets crazier.  They then dare to say that the Sun “rules” Leo.  

    The so-called Western astrologers, with their medieval lack of brilliance, take a
    different and also absurd stance.  They throw out the constellations completely.  
    They say Leo is that place in the starry zodiac where the Sun rises in the
    summer.  Naturally, the summer being sunny, they say it is ruled by the Sun.  If
    you think about it, this theory is completely invalid for persons born in equatorial
    lands or in the southern hemisphere.  The Western approach is not even astro-
    ology – “astro” referring to stars.

    No, I was interested in real, experiential spirituality, not this fanciful stuff.  Then,
    while staying with a great master in 1981, I noticed a very mysterious man close
    to him.  This man was giving astrology readings.  I got one, and it blew my mind.  
    Aside from giving me insights about myself and my life, the reading brought me a
    great peace.  Because I suddenly saw the synchronicity between me, the cosmos
    and the guiding hand of God.

    The astrologer later settled in Los Angeles where I lived.  I had the opportunity
    to do some Spanish translations for his clients.  I attended his weekly workshops
    and they were the highlight of my week.

    There, we would put charts of our friends and famous persons up on a chalk
    board.  The whole class would analyze them.  And then the astrologer would
    speak -- and he never failed to zero in on a critical point. Then, when you thought
    he was just being psychic, he would point out the clear astrological principal in
    play.  Amazing!

    I never thought to become an astrologer.  Who was I?  My teacher had been
    doing it since he was a child in a family of ‘jyotishes” (Vedic astrologers).  
    Furthermore he had been the close disciple of the great guru Nityananda since
    his youth.

    But the fascination was there.  I read on it, did charts for friends.  Later in 1991 I
    went to Pune, India to stay with some friends. There I got to spend a lot of time
    with several very unique jyotishes.  One was a crusty retired police inspector who
    they say was unerring in his predictions. He seemed to enjoy chasing away many
    of those who came for readings. He was not interested in money.

    Another strange jyotish I met looked physically like the Indian god Ganesh!  He
    had revived a more ancient system of truly stellar astrology – the system of 27
    Nakshatras.  Here, the starry belt of the Zodiac against which we see the planets
    revolving is divided into smaller segments.

    This system goes back at least 5,000 years. There are records of a similar system
    in the Arabian and Chinese lands, though in India and its surroundings it remains
    a living art.  Anyways, this man had correlated the 27 Nakshatras with the
    scientifically observable stars.  To me, this was now getting a bit more real.

    Nevertheless, there is still lots to disbelieve! The colorful Indian imagination
    ascribes personalities to the planets, angels to the stars, and mystic mantras to
    placate them all.  Now that is a stretch!  Now that I do Jyotish I accept all this for
    its psychological value only, providing keys to better understand the influence of
    the astros.

    I am now open to there being subtler realities out their (and inside too) that most
    people are unable to decipher.  Under the sky of that ancient land of India,
    trodden by great masters, I saw the stars as pulsating with love and that really
    they are not just “up there” – we are amongst them and we also are immersed in
    that love.  Ultimately God him/herself is present.  As Jesus said “The Kingdom of
    Heaven is inside, and outside too, only you do not perceive it.” (Gospel of

    The Vedic Birth Chart is the main basis of this astrology.  This is an astronomically
    accurate chart of the stellar/planetary configuration around the Earth at our
    birth.  Now I see that it does make some sense.  Why?

    We now know how internet and radio signals can be picked up anywhere.  We
    know from quantum physics that we are all inter-connected, that we mutually
    influencing everything in else, perhaps everything in the universe.  It makes
    sense that this interconnection would strongly impact at birth when we take our
    first breath.  The BREATH, as yogis know, is our connection with the Divine life
    force called Prana.  So why should not a deep imprint be made when we first
    breathe and the cord is cut.  Somehow, this imprint influences the entire
    incarnation of the particular soul.

    It is up to us to use these archetypes and influences for all growth and fulfillment
    in life. FOR EXAMPLE, if I want a quick, safe, fun ride to the beach on my day off,
    I had better get a road map, correct?  

    Knowing our cosmic road map does not mean we have to “believe in it” or that
    we do not have free will.  It means we have our eyes open.  We have
    understanding.  We know what defects we need to overcome and what assets.  
    We have to exploit, we have an idea where we are going and what we need to
    learn.  We can better see our options.

    Thank you for listening!