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How I became proficient in astrology
In 1974, my girlfriend asked me "What's your sign"? Having been a "science whiz kid" since the age of 8, I rolled my eyes and asked her, "Do you really believe in astrology? The planets are so far away that they couldn't possibly influence life on Earth."
Much to my surprise, she replied, "You call yourself a scientist. Have you ever tested astrology?" For which I had no answer. To show her how wrong she was, I decided to study enough astrology to test it.
I let it be known at work that for a nominal fee, I would calculate each person's chart and write up what the top books said about them. All the person had to do was tell me how much fit them.
While I read the write-up to them, I also read it to myself, and in each reading, about 40% was general enough to fit me. But most people told me at about 80% fit them!
I went over sections that definitely didn't fit me, and they would say, "Yes", that fits.
Over time, I discovered that certain delineations never worked, and eliminated them, and the percentage that fit kept rising, until people began to tell me 100% fit!
Along the way, I shifted from wanting to disprove astrology to becoming enamored with it and wanting to explore it more deeply.
I began studying all of the best books on Western astrology, and tested what I discovered.
I grew in my mastery of Western astrology, and became sought after for birth chart readings, chart comparisons, predictive readings, etc.
But much more was to come.
One day, at Shambhala bookstore, I picked up a Vedic astrology book.
I opened the book randomly and read "[with this configuration] you will have leprosy". I was shocked both by the harsh language, and by the statement's inaccuracy (nowadays, how many people get leprosy), and put the book down and stayed away from Vedic astrology for years.
[I have since learned that classical Vedic -- and ancient Greek -- astrology texts specifically used very vivid examples in order to "stick" the ideas in the student's mind, and were not meant to be taken literally.]
In the mid '90s, Rob Hand and Rob Schmidt began translating classical Western astrology manuscripts, to help astrologers learn what had been lost.
I loved this new/old approach, and decided to attend the first Project Hindsight conference.
The conference didn't just have Hellenistic astrology classes, but also lectures on Vedic astrology. The talks were great and helped me to open to Vedic astrology.
I decided to try to learn Vedic astrology by immersing myself in the top classical works, but much to my chagrin, without a teacher I was lost.
I then heard that the renowned Vedic astrologer Hart de Fouw was coming to town to give lectures on Vedic astrology. I attended them and was blown away by the depth of his knowledge and the incredible power of Vedic astrology.
Hart became my Vedic Guru and I have studied with him for over a decade.
When my clients found out that I was learning Vedic astrology, they started asking for Vedic readings, and before long, my understandings of Vedic astrology greatly enriched my readings.
I have learned profound respect for both Vedic and Western methods, and can -- by the Grace of God -- "dance between them" magically, to great effect.
That's why I want to share what I've learned in both fields with you, my valued audience, so that you too can grow and prosper in deep understanding.
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Astrology is a language as much as an art. It describes the nature of life, the fabric of the universe. Every astrological factor is an archetype encapsulating hundreds of different themes. Saturn, for example, symbolizes everything from cold,old,declining, depressed, and limited to focused, impeccable, aligned, integral, responsible, and committed.
We need to become artists, writers, and speakers fluent in the magical language of astrology.