My spiritual Guru is fond of saying destiny is height and free-will is weight.  There are some factors that are very determined but my sense is that Schools of Karma are always being set up to guide us to making new choices. Do we make the same mistake again and repeat old karma from past lives or are we aware enough to not repeat the past.   I sense that we are give schools to and grades to take over and with enough awareness, we can get to a higher grade.  Doing spiritual practice can help us skip grades often.

My orientation with my columns is to help you see the emotional and psychological strings that are running your life.  The planets impact our thoughts and emotions most and if we understand what is happening we do not have to buy into the self-deprecation of Saturn or the rashness and anger of Mars.  We can catch the thoughts as they manifest, observe them, and banish them. Back in the 80’s I used to tell Saturn that he could go, that I did not need his fear and I would feel a sigh of relief.  We are more powerful than the planets if we are regular in our meditation and spiritual practices and we can be a master and not a vicitm and astrology was never intended to strike fear into hearts and make us very stuck. Jyotish means light and the light of knowledge should free us from the grip of our thoughts and emotions but we have to be aware and observe.

I find that astrology gets misused very much.   Sometimes on the Western circuit, it becomes a media type play to expect the next catastrophe.  Not sure what good that does anyone except put people into fear and paralysis.

I have moved a bit more beyond predictions because even the best astrologers can only be 70% correct as there is always some level of free will up in terms of how we will react to a situation and make new choices. I find that the astrology will bring up lessons and tendencies for  us learn and if we get it right, we may not have to suffer but if we are oblivious to the signals, then we may have to get a hard hit.

How many of you use astrology and our intellectual constructs to bypass the hard work that it takes to transform your soul and consciousness? Do you use astrology to over-intellectualize or blame the circumstances in your life? I have to admit that this happens to me much too often. My friend Kara coined the term, “Astrological Bypassing” and it struck a deep chord.

Astrological bypassing is rampant in our community. Do we blame the planets if we do something wrong or hurt another: “Oh it was Mars aspecting Mercury” or do we accept the responsibility for picking a fight or arguing and apologize. Do we find solace in knowing that Saturn going over our natal moon and creating depression or do we do something about it like mediation and yoga and service to transform it?

Do we avoid doing something because we are in a bad period or bad transit and does this avoidance prevent deep lessons. Sometimes a real challenging life situation does this for us in an intense dramatic way and helps us shift. It can be painful but sometimes it takes something dramatic to bring the necessary growth.

My colleague, Steven Stuckey, had some great insights in that do we use astrology to avoid the drama of surprise which often creates the greatest growth for us:

“I believe we need to be cast out into the unknown, so to speak, so that we don’t have any “idea” of what is going to happen next, so that something new (i.e. beyond thought) can come to us. Going into the ‘darkness’ is very important for spiritual life and sometimes we may not quite get there with total abandon, since we have become a bit too ‘intelligent’ for our own good, and know when a difficult transit, (which often brings a spiritual experience along with it) is going to leave orb. So the potential of the intensity of the moment, which is needed for transformation, can sometimes be lost.”

My own sense is that Jyotish throws “light” on our shadows and helps us remove the self-blame and the “self-shame.” If we can see that the puppet master and his strings pulling our emotions and thought,  then we can step back and stop blaming ourselves and this can create a moment of zen observation that enlightens us to seeing that we are not our thoughts and our emotions and our ego. In a sense this is a Gyana technique to free ourselves from the bondage that normally grips us. I have used it that way for years and it daily creates freedom because I know when it will pass and what is causing it. I still have to do the work on myself but I can be kinder to myself and not beat myself up as much.

Our consciousness is more powerful than the planets as the Divinity resides within us and we lessen that Greatness when we become a victim of the planets.

In the end, for those on a spiritual path, Vedic astrology can create a deep transcendence an shed light on difficult situations and if we use that light to eliminate our shadows, we are can have immense growth. I suspect that ultimately I lean toward spiritual practice as a way to get through life without digging up the muddy waters. Putting our attention on our spiritual life and doing good for others gives us an opportunity to increase our awareness and let our mind focus on something more positive than the regrettable past and that allows us to live in the present moment with more joy and presence with a higher quality of life.

If you need help understanding your chart, view our services at 

So have a great New Year and take advantage of our new book published on Jan. 2nd.

It has been wonderful serving you these past 18 months with my free blog.  If you would like to show your gratitude, please consider my 2018 Vedic Forecast book below.  Wishing you a wonderful holiday season.

We are completing our 2018 Vedic Forecast and Transit book and will   have it ready for the New Year.   Over 110 pages of details on 2018.  This product is not a Panchanga!  It is a reflection and elaboration of our daily columns looking out to 2018.

Only 24.95.  Order now below by clicking through:

  • General political and economic overviews of the year and guide to major events and key challenging points for the year.
  • Guide to Saturn in Sagittarius including individual guides for your rising and moon signs.
  • Guide to Jupiter in Libra including individual guides for your rising and moon sign.
  • Guide to Rahu and Ketu in Cancer and Capricorn including individual guides for your rising and moon sign.
  • Major General Guide for Planetary Dashas when the planet is strong or afflicted
  • Information on 2018 Eclipses and impacts
  • Lists of Major Transits of Mars, Venus, Sun, Mercury and Jupiter  connected to your rising sign.
  • List of Planetary Retrograde Dates and Explanation
  • Periods of Planetary Combustion and Explanation
  •   Articles about Planetary Aspects and Major aspects of the Year.
  •    Dates for Kala Sarpa Yoga in Transits
  •   Major theoretical and astrological articles
  •   Guide to Sade Sat: The Hidden Insights into What it Means and How to Calculate


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