Astrology is the ancient, universal science of light called jyotish in the Sanskrit language which can aid in the determination of one’s karma from past lives and thereby the fulfillment of one’s potential in this lifetime. It is also an extremely valuable tool in the determination of the proper timing of human events so that those efforts will meet with success and not founder upon the rocks of difficulty and failure.

Since ancient times, astrology has been widely used by civilizations whose systems and methodologies have served as the basis for our own current social, governmental and cultural institutions. Why would we foolishly respect and value some part of these historical traditions and mock other notions, such as the validity and use of astrology? Among these early proponents who were dependent on the regular and legitimate use of astrology for the welfare of their societies were the East Indians, the Chinese, the Syrians, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Persians, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, and the Arabs to name a few.

Benjamin Franklin and Saint Thomas Aquinas followed the movements of the stars through the heavens and professed their interest and fascination with astrology. Ptolemy, the Greco-Egyptian astrologer/astronomer wrote, "Mortal as I am, I know that I am born for a day, but when I follow the serried multitude of the stars in their circular course, my feet no longer touch the earth. I ascend to Zeus himself to feast me on the ambrosia, the food for the Gods."

The stars gave signs of Jesus’s coming as told in the Bible. What else was the Star of Bethlehem? The Magi or Three Wise Men were learned Persian astrologers who not only noticed the presence of the star in the sky but knew of its significance and thus made the journey to see for themselves what divine king had been born.

Have you ever thanked your ‘lucky stars?’ What do you suppose is the origin of this phrase?

There is an old saying which essentially means the same thing in many cultures, “Timing is everything.” What does it mean? It means that determining the most favorable time for the execution of any action is likely to lead to its success. What are some examples?

The timing of planting crops according to various growing seasons is essential in order to produce an abundant harvest. Throughout the world, these growing seasons are based on the movement of the Sun whose passage through the sky determines the four seasons in the West and the six seasons in the East.

Navigation upon the seas is often determined by high or low tides which are influenced by the gravitational pull of the Moon. Since the Moon influences bodies of water, it also has an influence on the menstrual cycle of women. The Moon travels through the twelve signs of the zodiac during a period of twenty-eight days which is also the duration of the menstrual cycle. The oceans and the reproductive fluids in women are clearly influenced by the Moon’s movements.

People in the Western world choose a date and time in a haphazard manner for their marriage which is meant to last a lifetime. They choose June or perhaps Saturday and some random time of the day which suits them. It is truly a roll of the dice. In America, for example, half of those marriages end up in divorce. Whereas in India, in which astrological calculation is still in wide use, couples and their families ask their astrologer to help them choose a favorable time for their marriage, as well as the potential suitability for the man and woman to become a married couple. The result is that the divorce rate in India, even in the modern day, is far less than the fifty percent rate of failure that young, unsuspecting lovers meet with in the USA.

Your astrological chart is a map of your karma at the time of your birth. The classical Vedic texts state that God Himself takes the form of the planets in order to bestow upon human beings the fruits of their past actions. The ancient Sanskrit word, karma, means action and reaction. For every given action performed by anyone, there is a resultant reaction. In astrological parlance, your karma indicates the results of your past actions from previous lives which can be favorable, unfavorable or mixed. Your horoscope shows your strengths, weaknesses, talents, abilities and stumbling blocks in this lifetime. It points out the high roads and low roads on your journey through life and when you are most likely to encounter these twists and turns. It clearly indicates what lessons your soul has chosen to learn throughout the course of this lifetime. Your strengths would indicate previous lessons which were well learned and tasks which were completed. Your weaknesses would indicate old lessons that were not well assimilated and attempts which likely met with failure. Your blessings and gifts would be the result of good actions in a previous lifetime. Your challenges and difficulties would be the product of negative actions in previous lives.

Why would you need a map to chart your journey through life? Can’t you get through it just by winging it? Will a person not eventually locate the light switch by stumbling around blindly in the dark long enough?

Since ancient times, sailors would depend on the stars to pinpoint their direction and verify their course so that they could steer their ships to their exact port of call. When you embark on a journey from Los Angeles to New York by road, do you just head east or do you consult a map to determine the best route? The smart sojourner decides upon the best, quickest and safest course possible by scrutinizing a dependable map. The same is true in life. Your karmic map as drawn by the stars and planets will point out the smooth-sailing, multi-lane freeways, detours, dirt roads and shortcuts. Ancient sages who understood the laws of karma have also devised ways of modifying or altering seemingly unalterable circumstances. They have shown us how to use our karmic map to best effect, that is, how to circumvent or overcome some of life’s potential difficulties. It is a wise traveler indeed who puts his map in the glove box only when he has finally reached his destination. If illiterate sailors could forecast the coming weather from scanning the sky, could not learned astrologers use the stars to forecast human events?

If you want to plan a picnic on the weekend, you may well consult the weather report to find out what is expected. If the weather report says it is likely to rain on Saturday and shine on Sunday, which day would you likely choose for your picnic? Why, Sunday, of course. Astrology is meant to be used in a similar manner.

The truth and effectiveness of astrology does not depend on human belief. Whether people think the earth is round or flat has no influence over its actual shape. It is what it is, round. The cosmos would become chaos if its laws could not operate without the sanction of human belief.

The stars themselves are not out to harm or to help, as such. They merely send forth their positive and negative electromagnetic radiations. The planetary influences are the outward manifestation of the cause and effect consequences which have been set into motion by you yourself through your past actions and reactions — your karma.

For one person, the unique configuration of stars and planets emblazoned across the heavens at the time of birth becomes the chains which fetter him to the prison of fate. But for the superior person, they represent the walls of limitation which must be scaled in order to escape the karmic confinement of past actions and their consequent reactions. What man has done, he can undo. No one other than he himself is the cause of whatever effects are now being felt in his life. (No, it isn’t God’s fault!) If by misuse of free will he has become a prisoner of fate, it is by right use of the same free will that wins his pardon. Man can overcome any limitation because none other than he himself created the limitation in the first place. Furthermore, human beings possess spiritual resources that cannot be subjected to indefinite planetary dominance. Sooner or later, the butterfly must emerge from the cocoon.

Life is a test of faith. Whether the object of your faith be money, love, professional success, children, family, or ultimately, God, that faith will be tested. The wise man overcomes the influences of his planets, that is, his past karma, by transferring his allegiance from the created to the Creator. The more he realizes his unity with Spirit, the less he is dominated by matter. If you identify with the body which is made of matter, you will be subject to the laws of the material universe. All human ills arise from some transgression of universal law. If you identify with the soul, which is the true identity of the self dwelling within the body, you will begin to transcend material nature because the soul is ever free. When you learn to act in harmony with your spiritual identity, you will be released from the compelling magnetic orbits of the stars and planets, and fly freely in a world of your own creation in concert with your Creator.