Because sometimes, no actually most of the time, the people who practice Vedic astrology are just… well… boring at best, bleak most of the time, and downright depressing often.
Time and time again, I have people come to me saying something along the lines of, “wow, I never knew I had any real hope in my chart. Every pundit who ever read my horoscope told me I would always be miserable and destitute.”
Each time I hear this I shudder. I don’t usually hear this from my Western clients – because they usually have not dealt with really Indian Vedic Astrologers before coming to me.
Presumably Vedic Astrology should be at its best, in its most authentic setting - in India, practiced by Indians. So why is it so often so boring, bleak, and even depressing???
I think there is an almost valid reason.
Astrology as a Hard Science
Vedic Astrology differs from modern Western Astrology in that the Vedic system is very, very mathematically oriented, very fact oriented. It has always has been and still is culturally treated as a bonafide “hard science.”
Indian culture conceives of astrology in much the same way as we in the west conceive of astronomy and physics. Indian astrologers are primarily scientists. They are not the healers or shamins or whathaveyou who make up the bulk of Western astrologers.
Scientists are not famous for being sensitive to emotional subtleties.
And theres something else which compounds this situation: the differing cultural application.
Astrology as a Practical Governance
Traditionally (at least), Indians use astrology in a very different scope than how Western cultures have come to use it. In India people conceive of Astrology as a very practical thing governing the minute facts of daily life in an objective way. Astrology creates their calendar, runs their clock, sets holidays, governs religious observances, divines the nature of politics & wars, predicting the birth of a great saint or leader, etc. The most personal it traditionally gets is a relatively rough estimate of marriage compatibility – expressed only as a cold and objective numeric sum with little if any explanation or leeway of interpretation. When astrology was used for people in traditional India it was not for you or me, but for royalty. And even then, it did not have much psychological focus, but was mainly used to foretell the sequence and timing of major events in the lives of royalty.
Contrast this with the way we want to use astrology in the west, or just in the modern world as a whole! It is very different. Astrology today is mainly asked to evaluate and assist with our psychology, emotions, and personal growth.
The vast majority of Vedic astrologers in India are simply not trained for this type of application, are probably not personally well suited towards it, and infact are trained in ways which make them more or less disqualified to function well in this subjective, soft, and therapeutic role. They are scientists, physicists, and medical doctors called in to help a child deal with the trauma of having an emotionally abusive parent.
They are very smart.
They are excellent at what they do.
They know an amazing amount of amazing things.
But they basically suck as therapists.
Result: “I Prefer Western Astrology, thanks”
Vedic astrology is really vastly, vastly, vastly superior to the other schools of astrology as they exist today in their scattered and diluted remnants. But despite the glory of that towering fact, still – if you go to most communities in most parts of the world, people are turned off to it.
They say, “I prefer Western Astrology.” Trying to be liberal they add, “Maybe it’s because I am a Westerner?” But they can’t get past the fact that nothing about what they have seen from Vedic Astrology strikes them as even half as helpful as what they get from Western Astrology.
Well for probably 60% of them, they haven’t really even been exposed to real Vedic Astrology – just some freebie website chart or some do-it-yourself hobbyist. But for the rest, it’s because of what I identified above – the astrology is great, but the astrologer they encountered was just not qualified. I don’t mean they don’t know their stuff, and know it damn good. I mean they were not qualified to connect with the person on a level that was emotionally helpful to them.
Hope on the Western Horizon?
Here’s an idea with a promising ring to it: Westerners becoming Vedic Astrologers. They have the subjectivity and sensitivity and modern Western-dominated cultural background required to be appropriate councilors and advisors… but unfortunately they lack a real grounding in Vedic culture and a really deep understanding not just of the myriad formulae and laws of the Vedic Astrological Science, but more so of the greater cultural Indian experience in which those laws and formulae take on their true contextual meanings.
The end result is that there are only a few really good Vedic Astrologers suited for practicing astrology in today’s global culture.
Hope is not necessarily on the Western horizon. It is in the merging of East with West where hope lies. The world will be blessed with more and more truly great Vedic Astrologers, and Vedic Astrology will take it’s well deserved place of respect across the world, as Western people practicing Vedic techniques become more and more truly saturated in a Hindu way of breathing, eating and speaking – - – while at the same time Indian astrologers become more openly embracing of the values and needs of the modern world population.
- Vic DiCara
Addendum – Summary
- have a good grip on lots of Vedic concepts (all the devatas, the 4 arthas, etc. etc. etc. lots of things they culturally just understand, whereas foreigners will have to dilligantly study)
- Have a great grasp of all the scientific laws and formulae of the Vedic systems. They learned traditionally and thus memorized volumes of material.
- The DON’T have any counseling or therapy skills – so their other expertise is more or less completely lost and of little benefit to their actual personal clients.
Western (Vedic) Astrologers
- Do have a lot of psychological, therapist oriented background and skill
- But don’t really understand the underlying concepts (and thus the context) of the Vedic/Hindu/Indian world
- And are usually much less learned in terms of the sheer volume of yogas and formulae and rules they have memorized.
So, to make better astrologers for everyone – (A) the Indian astrologers need to aquire skills as personal therapists. and (B) The Western astrologers need to get a deeper understanding of the context of Vedic culture and need to pay more careful attention to the traditional rules and systems.