The Beautifully Rational Philosophy of Astrology

THUMBNAIL_IMAGEI have recently published a book titled The Beautifully Rational Philosophy of Astrology. It is available as a paperback or kindle format, through my website or through

I scientifically explain the logic behind why and how prediction of the future is plausible, and elaborately reveal the beauty, rationale, and divine love at the root of destiny. In this book, I firmly establish the intellectual, scientific, and spiritual significance of Astrology, clarifying its true merit and worth, and thus establishing its ongoing relevance and validity in the modern world.

This is a new edition of a text I formerly published as “The Great Big Crystal Ball in the Sky.” I grew to dislike that title and wanted to make a few sections of the text clearer, and more complete.

I am currently working on a new book titled “Symbolic Keys of Astrology” which should be done in a few months.


“Vic DiCara helps his readers walk the mystical path with practical feet. In this book, The Beautifully Rational Philosophy of Astrology, Vic casts a light on many misunderstood or forgotten principles of astrology. Explaining that Free-will creates destiny, Vic echoes the master, Yogananda. And he echoes the revered Dr. BV Raman by explaining that happiness is the prime goal of life, and a good astrologer must leave the client with a wiser hope to attain it. His practical advice on ‘fortune-tellers,’ the relationship between astrologer and the client, and the importance of staying in the now during readings all really resonate with my own approach to astrological counseling. I consider this a most valuable book for astrologers and clients alike.”

– Dennis M. Harness, Ph.D.
psychologist, author and important Vedic astrologer.

“The title of this book is totally apt – Vic DiCara has written a beautifully rational book about astrology. It is a delight to read, and it answers a lot of the questions we might have always wanted to ask, along with some questions we may not have even thought of before. It is a great and worthy contribution to the Work of Astrology.”

Lynda Hill
world-renowned expert on the Sabian Symbols.

“Vic DiCara (Vraja Kishor) has done it again, this time by focusing on the science of astrology. In this wonderfully readable book, he makes his apparently dodgy subject accessible and approachable, connecting it to all facets of Vedic wisdom, and in turn allowing his readers to see its original context and purpose. The net result is that he successfully takes astrology out of its usual hiding places — the disrepute of charlatans and the doubt of skeptics — and situates it squarely where it belongs: among the respected sciences of the ancient world. In other words, this is a book that will revolutionize your view of this much maligned system of knowledge. In fact, I dare you to read it!”

– Steven J. Rosen (Satyaraja Dasa)
author of over 30 books on Vedic wisdom,
associate editor of Back to Godhead Magazine,
senior editor of the Journal of Vaishnava Studies.

Symbolism of Mercury

Symbolism of Mercury encapsulated in about 5 minutes!

This is about Mercury in astrology – but if you want to find out about budhi (intellect), it also summarizes what Kapila teaches about budhi in the Third Canto of Bhāgavatam.

New Video Series!

I hope to do this every Wednesday. I’ll also be making it into a video and audio podcast. More info about that soon!


Cardinal, Fixed, and Dual Signs

Besides the ruler and the element, “orientation” is the third factor granting unique character to each zodiac sign. Orientation is about the way the sign inspires movement and progress. There are three: cardinal, fixed, and dual. 

Signs with cardinal orientation inspire us to move in new directions. Those with fixed orientation inspire us to remain dedicated to our current path. Those with dual orientation try to maintain our current directions without missing out on new possibilities. So, cardinal signs have an element of adventure, while fixed signs indicate loyalty and dual signs have a balanced or non-committal approach to things.

The sun’s movement determines the orientation of a sign.

Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn are the four cardinal signs because each one begins from a crucial waypoint on the sun’s yearly journey, a point at which the sun begins moving in a new direction. Aries begins from the vernal equinox, at which point the Sun begins moving into the northern hemisphere. Cancer begins from the summer solstice, when the sun reaches its most northern point and begins a new journey southward. Libra begins from the autumnal equinox, where the sun begins moving into the southern hemisphere. Capricorn begins from the winter solstice, where the sun has reached its most southern point and begins a new journey northward.

This is why the cardinal signs represent ambition – moving in new directions, towards new goals.

Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius are the four fixed signs because in each one  the sun remains fixed and loyal to its current direction. Taurus comes after Aries. In it the sun remains steady on its movement into the northern hemisphere. Leo comes after Cancer. In Leo the sun remains steady on its southward journey. Scorpio comes after Libra. In it the sun remains fixed in its progress through the southern hemisphere. Aquarius comes after Capricorn. In Aquarius the sun stays loyal to its northern course.

This is why the fixed signs represent loyalty to the path one has committed to.

Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces are the four dual signs. Gemini comes before Cancer. While in this zone, the sun continues its progress into the northern hemisphere, but slows down greatly, preparing to make a new journey southward. Virgo comes before Libra. Here the sun continues its southward progress, yet also makes ready to cross into a new hemisphere. Sagittarius comes before Capricorn; in it the sun continues its progress into the southern hemisphere, but slows down markedly, preparing to make a new journey northward. Pisces comes before Aries; here the sun continues its northward movement, but makes ready to cross into a new hemisphere.

This is why the dual signs indicate balance, and equal commitment to both sides of any story.

– Excerpt from an early draft of
Symbolic Keys of Astrology
By Vic DiCara []

Q & A: Zodiac Signs, Validity of Astrology, Scorpio Toughies, Chinese Astro

Question: What defines your personality more… your moon sign or your sun sign?

They show different aspects of your personality. The Sun sign shows how you approach situations requiring decisiveness, commitment, and strength. The Moon sign shows how you think and feel about things. Of the two – Sun and Moon – the Moon is more personal and important. The ranking of importance is (1) Ascendant, (2) Moon, (3) Sun.

Question: Is there good and bad in every zodiac sign ?

Yes, there is good and bad in every zodiac sign, in every astrological symbol. The Sun (and it’s zodiac sign, Leo) represents “self” – for example – but does this mean “self-confidence” or “self-centeredness”? It depends upon the positivity or negativity of the Sun in that individual person’s birth chart! A negative Sun represents self-centeredness, for example. A positive Sun: self-confidence.

Similarly, Leo, if it has benefic planets in or aspecting it, and if its lord (the Sun) is positive in the birth chart, then the good traits of Leo come out. Visa versa if Leo has malefic planets in or aspecting and if its lord is in challenging circumstances in the chart – then the bad traits of Leo come out.

Question: Do horoscopes actually mean anything? I thought they were silly, but now I kind of believe in them slightly. Do they actually have any factual stance?

Astrology is a system of trying to interpret natural symbols. So it is subject to a lot of error, but it is fundamentally a valid principle. I wrote a book called The Beautifully Rational Philosophy of Astrology which explains all this in detail.

There is “pop-astrology” which is the “horoscopes” you get in newspapers and so on, and then there is “real-astrology” which relies on interpreting a WHOLE astrological chart for a specific INDIVIDUAL. When you have a very gifted and knowledgeable astrologer doing real-astrology for your birth chart, you get a lot of reliable, very deep, very useful practical insight and guidance.

Question: How can the newspaper horoscopes be so accurate? They always describe me so perfectly. It trips me out!

Some people have good luck with horoscopes, like you. But most people find them sometimes “accurate” and sometimes “inaccurate.” Horoscopes like what you are talking about are only the “pop-astrology” – the most simplified and least scientific application of astrology. If you start to read very learned astrologers and hear how they do real astrology, you will find something with much more consistant and reliable accuracy.

Question: Are Scorpios sensitive or tough? I know a lot of them, and they all seem so unemotional. But I heard Scorpio was a water sign… so that means they’re emotional.

The Scorpio zodiac is watery, but is ruled by Mars – so although it is emotional (water), it is also tough (Mars). That’s why we symbolize it as a scorpion – which is hard and dangerous on the outside (like Mars), but soft and fleshy on the inside (water). Scorpio is therefore characterized as a “secretive” sign, because the tendency is to defend (Mars) ones emotions, and also to have very independent and free-willed (Mars) emotions which doubt that they are very compatible with most other people.

Question: My friend always uses people. Is it because she is Cancer/Pisces?

Look for her Mars, and aspects from her Mars. Mars is the planet that is very individualistic, can be selfish, and very goal-oriented (thus can “use” people). Maybe she has a strong aspect or conjunction from Mars to her Moon (and/or ascendant, Sun, lord of the 1st house)

Question: Is Chinese astrology better than Western astrology?

If you think it’s hard to find western astrologers who practice seriously as mystic-scientists (not as pop-entertainers), you will find it a walk in the park compared to looking for serious and learned mystic-scientists in the Chinese astrology – especially if you are not Chinese yourself and don’t speak the language.

Symbolism of the Four Astrological Elements

Earth is solid and fertile. Because of being solid, it represents reliability and practicality, as well as their downside: stubbornness and dullness. Because of being fertile, it represents beauty and health, and the ability to produce wealth. It is like a mother bearing children and always supporting them with the wealth of her breast.

Element - Earth

Water is deep, reflective, and soft. As such, it symbolizes the emotions in our unseen depths, and our ability to be introspective and (self-)aware. It also symbolizes the ability to accommodate and be flexible. It is like an intelligent woman looking at her reflection and contemplating her place in the world.

Element - Water

Fire is bright and hot. Because it is bright, it symbolizes illumination’s ability to make clear decisions and moral judgements. The downside of this is to be rashly opinionated. Because fire is hot it symbolizes power, which can be dangerous, and can punish transgressions of its moral judgements. All things considered, fire symbolizes the qualities of leadership – like a man holding a torch for a group of people trying to find their way in the dark night.

Element - Fire

Air has two facets: the breezes we feel and the air we breathe. Like a breeze, air symbolizes things that are pleasant, and enjoyable: especially sensory happiness. Such things, like a breeze, are fleeting. As such, air represents things that are not stable or reliable. The breeze also carries scents, so air represents communication – the ability to “carry” an essence from one place to another. Happiness may be fleeting, but it is the real goal and essence of life – so it is appropriate that air is also the oxygen we breathe. Air is like a very young man roaming carefree from place to place, meeting new people and sampling  the pleasures of each.

Element - Air

This is my first attempt to explain the elements in such a succinct way. I would appreciate your comments, and if you think there are important attributes of the elements which I may have left out.

– Vic DiCara (

Symbolism of the Moon

Vic DiCara explains the symbolism of the Moon all from a single keyword: “mind.”

So Many Ways to Interpret! How to Decide?

There are so many possible ways to interpret even the simplest combination of astrological symbols! How can we decide which interpretation is best?

Well, first, you should familiarize yourself with your choices! First you should have a good idea what the many different potentials of a symbolic combination might be. Then you can get to the part about selecting the best among them.

Let’s take a pretty simple combo, “The 12th lord in the 8th house,” and try to familiarize ourselves with the various possible interpretations. We will limit ourselves to the most important (or at least to the first few that come to my mind!).

First, let’s remember what the 12th and 8th houses symbolize.

The 12th is about things that erodes the tangible self: Expending energy (expenses, and exhaustion), sleep (which from exhaustion and in which our tangible body is dormant, and spirituality (non-material/non-tangible things).

The 8th is about things that are difficult to see: secrecy (and all sorts of obscurity), arcane/occult (obscure and abstract subjects, including psychology – how the unseen mind works), and reproductive/life energy (usually quite a private, unseen affair – and always extremely mysterious).

Now if you take the lord of the 12th house and put him in the 8th house – what might this symbolize? Maybe…

  1. Expenses are
    1. secret
    2. on obscure/arcane things
    3. directed towards prolonging life or reproduction
  2. Exhaustion is
    1. secret
    2. because of obscure/arcane things
    3. directed towards prolonging life or reproduction
  3. Sleep is
    1. secret
    2. an obscure/arcane thing
    3. directed towards prolonging life or reproduction
  4. Spirituality is
    1. secret
    2. deeply obscure/arcane
    3. directed towards prolonging life or reproduction

This breakdown is hardly the tip of the iceberg since we still have to ask what each one really means. 

What the heck does “secret expense” mean, for example? Does it mean the person hides their expenses (something like tax evasion, or hiding from their partners or spouses)? Or does it mean the person keeps their expenses very private and secure?

What does “Obscure expense” mean? Does it mean they spend a lot of money on odd, unusual, arcane, obscure things? Or does it mean they hardly ever spend money – expenses are an obscure, seldom seen thing for them?

If their “sleep is an obscure/arcane thing” does it mean they seldom sleep? Or that they sleep so deeply they almost seem to disappear?

“Spirituality is secret, obscure and directed towards life-energy itself.” Does this mean they are more interested just in surviving, and are rarely seen to have any interest in spirituality? Or does it mean they are sexual tantrics? Or does it mean their spirituality is profoundly deep, personal, and connected with the essence of life itself???

The key to selecting which of the many possible interpretations is most appropriate for an individual is to consider the context. This is the way we understand any meaning in anything. Take a word for example. The simple word “fast” could mean one thing when used in the context of describing a female seated at the other end of a bar, another thing when describing a female olympic racer, and something else entirely when describing a student. Context is always all important whenever we want to narrow down the possible meanings of any symbol.

The 12th lord in the 8th house itself implies a bit of built-in context. The reason is that both the 12th and the 8th are considered to lean towards being “difficult” houses (the 12th is about exhaustion, and the 8th is about unseen things). Classical astrologers usually apply the concept of “double negative” to situations like these – where two “bad” houses combine. In other words, “When a difficult house combines with another difficult house, the result is difficulty for both difficult houses – which is good.” It’s good to make things difficult for difficult things. :)

So the 12th lord in the 8th house comes with a positive context attached to it. Which is why the classical textbook examples illustrating interpretations of the 12th lord in the 8th house almost always favor positive interpretations – that is: they don’t tend to say “The person spends on strange, obscure things.” They do tend to say, “The person’s expenses are kept to a minimum, seldom seen.” They don’t say, “They have little interest in spirituality.” They do say, “The person’s spirituality is deep and profound.”

Textbook illustrations narrow down the possibilities to the inherent context of the combination, but we still have to judge the specific context of the exact astrological chart we are interpreting. We have to ask, for example, is the 12th lord in the 8th house with good dignity? or with poor dignity? Is it aspected or conjoined with stronger planets that are benefic and in good dignity? or malefic and in bad dignity? Depending on the answers to questions like these, two people with the 12th lord in the 8th house may wind up deserving completely opposite interpretations of that combination.

A person with the 12th lord in the 8th while aspected by benefics in good dignity, and itself not in poor dignity, indicates that the person has wealth (because of moderate expenses, mainly) and that they are extremely psychologically astude and capable with occult and arcane arts and sciences, and have a profoundly deep, personal sense of spirituality and insight into the non-material realities of life. On the other hand, the 12th lord in the 8th house in poor dignity, conjoined by a stronger planet that is malefic and also in poor dignity indicates a person with significant sleep problems, who wastes wealth by spending on useless things, who is sexually addicted, and who is seldom seen to have any trans-material insights.

I hope this exploration of possibilities arising from the 12th lord in the 8th house will open the door wide for you to understand all sorts of fundamental and advanced combinations of astrological symbols!

– Vic DiCara