I Don’t Believe in Astrology, Yet I’m an Astrologer.

Via on Apr 27, 2012

That’s right, I don’t believe in astrology, yet I’m an astrologer.

This might seem odd to some people. How can an astrologer not believe in astrology? Well, it’s pretty simple—astrology is not a religion, it is a science.

Yes, I said it, astrology is a science. I know most people in the West (including most astrologers) don’t “believe” it is a science. In fact, crazily, even many who “believe in astrology” don’t believe it’s a science.

Let’s get back to the “science” part of it in a minute. First, I want to examine the whole concept of “belief.” Then we can look at whether or not it is a “science.”

What is a Belief?

Here are a few questions—answer them quickly in your head.

Do you believe in God?
Do you believe in yellow?
Do you believe in noise?

You probably answered “yes” to all of these questions. But the truth is, unless you are deaf, blind or both, only one of these questions even fall in the category of belief. The first question, “do you believe in God?” That’s because, God must be a belief, either for or against, because it can’t be directly perceived or known as an experience. Even what we might call “an experience of God,” is a belief that the thing we experienced was God.

Only a blind person will have a belief system about “yellow.” In fact, for the blind, yellow must be a belief, either for or against—as they have no direct experience of light, and therefore no direct experience of color.

A deaf person must have a belief system about noise, for the same reason.

If you are blessed to be neither deaf nor blind, yellow and noise are not beliefs—they are facts, based on your experience. But imagine trying to explain yellow to a blind person, who did not believe in it, or noise to a deaf person. What would you say? How could you convey something intellectually, that can only be an experience?

No amount of explaining, or producing a rational argument, can convince the blind that color exists. What they need is an eye operation, which would give them the experience of color.

Why is this important?

Here at elephant journal, yoga is the big thing—the big spiritual thing everyone “believes in.” So, we might say that people here believe in yoga. But is that correct? Would you say that you believe in yoga?

No. You don’t believe in yoga, you “practice” yoga. You “do” yoga. In other words, yoga is part of your experience. But guess what, there are people who do not believe in yoga. They do not believe in meditation. They think yoga and meditation are witchcraft, where you open yourself up to spirits. Some of them may have even practiced yoga or meditation and became uncomfortable or restless, then interpreted these practices as satanic and evil.

People say the same things about astrology who have never studied it.

But what would you say to such people, entrenched in their calcified beliefs about yoga, beliefs that deprive them of something so beneficial and beautiful? What could you say? The only thing you could say is “well you just have to try yoga for yourself and see.” In other words, talking to them on the level of their “belief” is a waste of time. They are like the blind or deaf person who needs an operation.

As an astrologer, this is very familiar to me.

People often say something like “I don’t believe in astrology, it’s not scientific.” Or worse, “it’s used to dupe people/rip people off,” or “it’s a superstition.” Sadly these opinions not only come from the right-wing, but from within the yoga community as well.

Even here at elephant journal, astrology is often ridiculed or demeaned. I have been teaching astrology for close to 10 years now. I started as a yoga teacher and I was shocked at how many swamis and high level yogis also don’t “believe in astrology.” Paramhamsa Yogananda himself did not believe.

But I will tell you here and now, as I said at the beginning, I don’t believe in astrology. I practice it. I study it—just like every other person who has embraced astrology as part of their life. To them it is every bit a part of their life experience as yoga is a part of your life. It is a practice, not a belief system.

This is a sentence you will never hear: “I’ve been studying astrology, looking into it and it just makes no sense. It just doesn’t work.” That is the thing about astrology, and all metaphysical sciences, the more you do them, and participate, the more you see them working.

But How Does it Work? What Do These Big Rocks in the Sky Have to Do With Me?

The big question is “how does it work?” What do those big rocks up there have to do with me. Is it gravity? Do the planets emits some sort of rays? As revered scientist Carl Sagan pointed out in his mocking, absurd report on Astrology in his Cosmos series, “the physician in the room has more gravitational influence than the planets.”

The Answer to the Big Questions:

I don’t know.
No one knows.

Does this prove that astrology is not a real science? Because after all, we know how other sciences work, right? A doctor knows how the body works, right?

Wrong.

Our Belief in Science:

A doctor does not know how the body does what it does. A doctor does the same thing an astrologer does. A doctor uses his gross senses to perceive chemicals in the body reactions in the body, and then based on that makes a prognosis. It is repeatable and consistent on a diagnostic level based on thousands of years of research.

But the doctor doesn’t know how the body does what it does anymore than the astrologers know how the universe works. For example, the doctor can take your pulse, which indicates your heart is beating and pumping blood, at a certain rate, etc.

But the doctor does not know how the heart does it. He knows where in the brain stem the electrical impulse is sent. But where does the impulse originate? How does the impulse know exactly when to emanate? How does the body keep breathing? How do the cells know exactly what to do all the time?

The pancreas secretes insulin at the right time, but how do the cells in the pancreas know when that time has arrived? What makes it all work? How does our food just digest itself? From where does this cosmic genius emanate? The doctor doesn’t know any more than the astrologer knows.

Just because the doctor or other scientists can perceive results and offer explanations about what and why (the same things astrologers do), does not mean they know how any more than astrologers do. We ask things of astrology we don’t ask of regular sciences, then discredit it because it not scientific.

What Astrology Does:

The diagnostic process I described above is exactly what an astrologer does. Instead of taking the pulse, or looking at chemicals in the blood, she looks at the birth chart. Any beginning student or advanced practitioner of astrology will say correct and uniform statements on an astrologically diagnostic level. Just like a lab intern that sees insulin in your blood.

For example, anyone who has studied astrology at all would say the same thing if they saw Mars in the first house in an astrology chart. They would say the same thing (in their own words), and it would be correct. If it was aspected by Jupiter, they would know what that means and it would be correct. If it was in the tenth house instead of the first house, they would say something different and it would be correct—and on and on.

I made a video that shows Vedic astrology as the science of how spirit takes form
and its relationship to yoga and Indian principles.

Because astrologers disagree about advanced predictions, and what different subtleties and nuances are implied for the future, does not mean astrology is not incredibly uniform. Let’s remember, getting a “second opinion” does not usually mean a person wants to get a second astrology reading. It usually means they want to go to another doctor.

Bottom line: doctors contradict each other also. At a very subtle and advanced level, all sciences will arrive at contradictory conclusions. Because the scientists themselves perceive the subtleties of the data differently.

But even though doctors may arrive at a different prognosis, they will still completely agree on the uniformity of the data they are assessing, same as astrologers. We will see the same indications, but what it might mean for the future will be up for debate.

Eastern vs Western View:

Astrology is a great microcosm of the differences between Eastern and Western culture. In January 2011, the Western astrology world was disgraced by the “Ophiucus-13th Astrology Sign” debacle. If you forgot, someone from the “scientific community” decided to tell everyone how stupid astrology is by pointing out “You may not be your sign” because there is another sign along the ecliptic, etc. They pointed out that the actual constellations are no longer there anymore (and those pesky astrologers don’t even know or didn’t even tell you!). This did nothing for astrology in the West, except provide a forum to ridicule. Nothing new, just blind people not believing in yellow.

What many do not realize, is concurrent to the ridicule of astrology in the West, was the glorification and elevation of astrology in India. At that time, the Supreme Court of India ruled that astrology is indeed science and is to be recognized in scientific circles.

Why should you care?

Maybe this article just seems like a rant from a frustrated astrologer. Actually, I am not as frustrated as I am inspired by the possibility that astrology can reclaim a rightful place in this world. Astrology is the science of how and why spirit takes form. The source of every physical action emanates from a place of divine harmony and equilibrium. We see this conveyed in the Yoga sutras, the Bhagavad Gita and every scriptural text.

Astrology is the study of that divine love and wisdom. The Grahas (Sanskrit words for the planets/creative forces of life) are the wise beings that have presided over this corner of the universe for 4.5 billion years—compared to the “epoch of humanity” a scant 100,000 years—1/45,000th of the age of our solar system.

Everything that has lived or will ever live on Earth was created by the sun and moon and other Grahas. This is not just poetry; it is as scientific as it gets. As soon as the sun stops shining or explodes everything here is dead. None of the sutras or scriptures have any meaning then. Astrology is the study of the divine universe that creates beings and situations, so they may know themselves.

Right now, the earth is turning on its axis 1000 mph at the equator and hurtling around the Sun at 67,000 mph. All of this happens with total ease, hardly a speed bump. It so easy to forget the miracle of life, the miracle of the sun, moon, earth and stars that have created it all. But whether or not we remember the sun, moon and planets, they will still keep giving and giving as they have for 4.5 billion years.

To the ancient yogis and rishis of India (and every culture), these cosmic rhythms were remembered, glorified and studied. They gave thanks to the Sun and entered into communion with him and the other Grahas, and astrology was the result.

The great spiritual scientists of the past knew collectively that planets in the sky would not necessarily capture our imagination here on earth, so they created anthropomorphic deities and stories to illustrate the universal forces. For instance, Shiva energy is to illustrate the Sun and his wife the Moon (Parvati). In ancient India, all Brahmins (educated people) learned astrology, just like we learn math, science, history and other subjects. In this modern era, we are all Brahmins (educated people) and the need to restore our collective connection to the cosmos has never been more important than now.

Intelligence devoid of wisdom is more dangerous than ignorance, and seems to sum up the plight of our modern world.

Astrology is the practice of connecting your limited mind and intellect with the cosmic mind that produced it (and everything else). It is my hope that the modern world returns to the glory of this universal study. Everyone wants to know their place in the universe, and astrology is the study of that. In fairness to all, I think astrology is often taught badly, made to seem more complicated than necessary.

If you are interested, I have a free Mega CD of Classes that have a full range of beginning to advanced classes, manuals and videos that I will send you for free, just pay the shipping.

Read more:

Deepavali, The Libra Cycle and The Power of Thought

Full Moon in Pisces – Beyond the Fear of “Catching Cooties”.

Britney Spears predicts date of End of the World; dances.

~

Editor: Tanya L. Markul

About Sam Geppi

Sam Geppi is a Vedic astrologer, and teacher. He is the author of "The Ascendant-108 Planets of Vedic Astrology." You can learn more about the universe and why astrology makes sense by checking out his Free Astrology Class CD, his Facebook and his Membership Website.

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161 Responses to “I Don’t Believe in Astrology, Yet I’m an Astrologer.”

  1. Antonia says:

    Good work Sam! Well said… "Intelligence devoid of wisdom is more dangerous than ignorance, and seems to sum up the plight of our modern world"

  2. A very thoughtful and informative post. I agree with you that astrology is not a belief system and it's amazing how many people ask me, "do you believe in it?" As you say it's a practice, a study and, most importantly for me, it works. I don't think of astrology as a real science. For me personally it is an art form based on scientific principles and works as a form of divination. It's an important debate that astrologers must have to define what they think astrology is and isn't, so thank you. best, Sally

  3. Thank you Sam for brining up a very important topic. I agree that Astrology is not a belief system and yet we are asked that all the time. I think astrology is a science as much as quantum physics is a science. Neither fit into the current western scientific models because both take the observer into account. That doesn't mean they aren't science, it means our model hasn't caught up. That's my 2 cents anyway.

    • guest says:

      do you know nothing about quantum physics, let alone science.

      • Julene Packer says:

        I know enough to see the correlation. Take the wave-particle duality for instance: when we cast a chart of the heavens for a given moment in time as observed from a given place on Earth, we have collapsed the wave of planetary motion into a particle of their position at a precise moment & location. When this is done in quantum physics, the mathmatics of the wave function and accoustic resonance form probablitlity amplitudes of how a particle is likely to behave. This is where the harmonics of aspects come in with astrology as they form our probablility amplitudes inherent in our birth chart and with our transits as certain situations arise. For example, I know from the Mars-Ketu association in my astrology chart that my probability amplitude is to defend my position. I don't attack, but I do defend. Why is this probability amplitude manifesting today? Because the transit Sun happens to be in aspect to my Mars-Ketu and today it is exact with Ketu (defending). Case in point, astrology works.

    • samgeppi says:

      you are welcome Julene. Glad you liked it.

      • Serge says:

        Of course astrology is no quantum physics and for that matter no exact science. Correlations can be found everywhere if you want to find it…

  4. integralhack says:

    Nice! Astrology is fun and as long as common sense isn't ignored (example: consulting an astrologist to see if I should go to work today), then have at it. If I get the time I would love to take the course.

  5. Nicole says:

    Thank You for writing this Sam. I have never heard it put so beautifully and precisely why it is hard for me to explain my attraction and obsession with it… because it's not my 'belief' system, but rather something scientific…a study and an artform… and yes all science at the highest most subtle levels DO disagree or contradict. I love that: I also love the title Spiritual Scientists :)
    So thank you again for your wonderful words. so many great quotes from this! You so nailed that floppy fried egg to the wall lol… ;P

    And not to sound cheap, but that link to the free classes + shipping doesn't work… I am totally down for that deal if you can arrange a way. :) Thanks!

    Namaste

  6. Nicole says:

    nm i found it :)

  7. jon says:

    You clearly don't understand the meaning of the term science.

    from wiki:
    Science (from Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.

    Science does not require belief whether you claim it does or not. Because astrology cannot produce consistant testable explanations and predictions it is not a science.

    • goldseafish says:

      There's not much in so-called Science that can be proved, actually. After a few years go by, they always find something new to prove the old shit, wrongo.

    • Mary Jane says:

      Vedic astrology, and other systems of the ancient Near, Middle and Far East observed the planets with such accuracy that their astronomical measurements of the planets, and earthly calendars related to them are exact to this day.

      The calendars in the West (time based on phases of the moon and our movement relative to the sun) have had to be revised/rectified numerous times since, beginning (at least) with Julius Caesar's time, and again in the Middle Ages.
      This is science. Astronomy.
      In Vedic astrology (the science of the the stars begun in Ancient India), the calculations are based on the science of astronomy. Therefore, it is science-based.

    • sherene says:

      You clearly don't understand anything.

  8. guest says:

    ok, sorry but this is the biggest BS I've ever read. you obviously have no idea what science is or how science works. but you are abusing it for your purposes. I stopped reading half way through because I didn't want to scream at my screen.
    Well done elephantjournal, another snake oil salesman. This article should be offensive to any critical thinking and somewhat educated person.
    I want my money back. :(

    • goldenseafish says:

      Typical ignoramus response. Not really entitled to an opinion, since you know NOTHING ABOUT IT.

    • Bettina says:

      I think your comment is very rude and unfair.
      And as the saying goes: "The highest form of ignorance is when rejecting something you don't know anything about!"

      Sam Geppi is an extraordinary astrologer and teacher, in fact I regard him as one of the best Jyotishis (Vedic Astrologers)
      of our times. He has the intelligence, the consciousness, the devotion as well as a lot of experience in his field.

      So your comment about the snake oil salesman is downright disrespectful!

    • Mohana says:

      Astrology is a "trusted science" that has been practiced in India for more than 4,000 years. Obviously you know nada about astrology, as you unscientifically render a judgement based on your own ignorance. Study Jyotish, the Science of Light, educate yourself, and then your opinion will have value.

      • ICYNDICEY says:

        Not to be rude, but look at the state India is in. Most of the population is dirt poor and the country is filthy. Only a handful have extreme wealth and they control the peasants. So called "gurus" tell people they should be poor and live "humbly", because it is "divine". There is nothing divine about poverty in the least. It is actually the opposite of divine! If India has been studying astrology for 4000 years…I think it's time to wake up and get a new belief system, because apparently that one is not working.

        • Joe says:

          lols. i am an indian and i teach the kids in the so called 'developed' west. You seriously need to stop thinking that india is just a land of snake charmers and tigers.
          i hope you get everything you ever hoped to buy cos then you will know that that is not what will bring you happiness.
          extremely ignorant response from a dicey guy/gal. :)

    • rodolfo says:

      Sam, this is in response to the guest who said that your work is the biggest BS he or she had ever read. And that you are our snake oil salesman and that your article is offensive to a somewhat educated person.
      First, if there is anything offensive, it is the language and the rudeness of the e mail from someone whom I believe is a total ignoramus about western and eastern astrology and scientific matters. Let me just put down some points in defense of Sam who has been kind enough to share his knowledge to his "snake oil students:"
      1. When Isaac Newton was asked why he was such a fool to have believed in astrology because he was a scientist, his answer was, "Sir, I have studied, while you have not." Mr. Rude Critic, how far have you gone in science and astrology or even in your normal education as well. Did you finish grade or high school? Your rude and sweeping remarks seem to tell me that you aint got much up there in your cerebral cortex. Do you?
      2. Now, let's support Sam's assertions:
      2.1 Mr. Critic, read "Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain," by Steve and Sheila Ostrander (circa early 70s). Russia spent billions of money in paranormal research. A certain scientist/doctor was able to discover a system of birth control as well as determining the sex of the baby based on astrological configurations. Even the fertility of a lady can be calculated based on the aspect between the sun and the moon, among other things. Now you call that BS and offensive to an educated person.
      2.2 Now, since you started this libelous exchange, under American law and laws applicable to the country having jurisdiction over me, one has the right to retort with a libelous remark by way of a defense, to another libelous remark. Are you aware of that, Mr. Educated Critic? You talk about education– do you have anything to show? Come on, I challenge you. Walk the Talk. I have studied astrology both eastern and western since I was educated in an exclusive Catholic school when I was 13. I finished my degree in psychology in the most prestigious state university in my country, cum laude. I took up law in the same university- where I graduated with honors, top 3 of my batch while I was a working student. I never applied for a job in a law firm or in a corporate legal department. I had always been invited by the most prestigious and biggest firms and corporations. I have been a trial lawyer for decades and I know how to decide things on the basis of evidence. I have weighed my astrological configurations since I was a kid until now, after decades and decades of very hectic lawyering. the evidence based on my experience shows that astrology works even if the quantum of evidence which you use is proof beyond reasonable doubt.
      2.3 Are you aware of how Dr. Carl Gustav Jung was able to accurately match hundreds of charts of married couples by picking and analyzing them from a ton of mixed charts?
      3. You are very rude. There are people here around the globe who's education, knowledge and intellectual stature I am sure, are far beyond your compare. Perhaps you ought to be sued for libel or defamation.
      4. So is that how you think you can insult and bull shit us?
      5. Well, Sam, I think its time that you really consider concocting a strong snake oil tonic and hand it over to the gentleman critic. Please make it good, fast and strong. And you know what I mean.
      You know, Mr. Critic, you shouldnt sound so rude or look like a bully here. If you were just physically present, I can perhaps teach you the meaning of respect in the way that the ancient warriors and martial artists of long ago do.
      Sam, please dont give lessons to rude people who dont even know the basics about how to respect other people. This sacred science has no room for such people. And Sam, and to the other supporters of Sam, my apologies for the strong language. Cannot help but to stand in righteous indigation in defense of Sam.

      Sam, just leave that guy alone. After this, he is not worth your time nor effort.
      More power to you, Sam.

      Rodolfo.

  9. samgeppi says:

    Nicole, http://freeastrologycd.com is the link.. the "http:" did not post.

    jon, I am not sure why you think astrology does not meet the standard you quoted:
    "from wiki:
    Science (from Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. "

    Actually, on second thought, I do know why you said that, because you know nothing about astrology. You are projecting your beliefs about it, exactly as I described in the article. I welcome discussion about this, but I feel no need to mince words with people like you who simply attack by saying "You clearly don't understand the meaning of the term science", then go on to define astrology quite perfectly, by the "wikipedia" definition of Science.

    LOL. You have no idea how ironic that is.

    As I explained (and as the astrologers / astrology students here already know), astrology does "produce consistent testable explanations and predictions". Astrologers are not fortune tellers any more than doctors are fortune tellers.

    "guest",
    Sorry your prejudices prevented you from actually contributing anything to the discussion, besides calling it BS. But good, at least you stopped reading half way through.

    "Snake oil salesman.."

    Unbelievable to read that in 2012 on a Yoga themed / consciousness oriented space like this.

    • jon says:

      You are right in that i don't know much about astrology. I was going based off what you wrote, "Astrology is the science of how and why spirit takes form." Show me any piece of "science" proving such a thing as the spirit even exists or has ever taken form. All you had to do prove my point wrong was to provide evidence. Maybe link to a Science, Cell, NewEngland Journal of Medicine, or Nature article? oh wait, such an article doesn't exist.

      I was not attacking you, I would have been much aggressive and insulting if I had been. I stand by my statements. If you are not ignorant than you are stupid (see that was an attack).

      I am a scientist. I am phd student in the sciences. People like you do a disservice to everyone working hard to shed the negative ideas of what things such as "science" and "theory" are and mean. You arguments remind me of people who claim that evolution isn't real because its only a "theory". These people clearly dont understand the definition of the term as you clearly don't understand science or what "consistent testable explanations and predictions" means.

      Finally, you claim that it is unbelievable to read these comments in a yoga theme space frankly disgusts me. Not everyone who practices yoga is ignorant and nieve. If you post trash expected to be called out on it and defend it. You are the one who posted this sp be ready to hear from people who disagree with you.

      Articles like this are bad for elephant journal as they present misinformation.
      ps i used the wiki link cause i figured that is something you might be used to cause you obviously haven't read a peer reviewed science text book in a while

  10. samgeppi says:

    Hi Jon,
    thanks for the conversation, truly. First thing I want to say is you're not my enemy. Also, I don't blame you for thinking astrology is “pseudoscience”. I realize many or most of the people who discuss astrology do not have very good explanations for it. I'll let you in on a little secret. Part of the reason I wrote this article is also the sort of nudge those people who “believe in astrology”, and implore them to study a little bit more, so if and when they wind up discussing it they don't sound so uninformed.

    With that said, I have a few things offer, and i am just going to speak frankly.

    First of all, when you say “You are right in that i don't know much about astrology”, let's be clear, please. You don't know anything about astrology, at least not the astrology that I practice and millions study and practice worldwide. To you, and those with your point of view, you are actually discussing “Horoscopes" or “pop astrology”, the thing Carl Sagan ridiculed, Bill Nye ridiculed – and what typically gets ridiculed and labeled as “astrology" in the west by those like you who do not know any better. The truth is, that is not astrology, any more than looking through a telescope is “astronomy”.

    So again, you do not know anything about astrology. You don't realize how much it's tested, researched, and has been poured over and debated for centuries and centuries, much longer in fact than western sciences – The several millennia of observations and endless detail, (what you glorify as "peer review") has led to remarkably uniformity between systems and models. By the way, this information is readily available to anyone who cares to know. Astrology is a Open secret.

    But I realized the big problem you have with my article. It comes from this quote, which by the way is the only thing from what I wrote you actually quoted (the rest of your ideas are opinions about what you think I mean, which are badly flawed assumptions on your part – and for a scientist like you – that is not very scientific).

    You quoted me:
    "Astrology is the science of how and why spirit takes form."

    Then said:
    "Show me any piece of "science" proving such a thing as the spirit even exists or has ever taken form. All you had to do prove my point wrong was to provide evidence. Maybe link to a Science, Cell, New England Journal of Medicine, or Nature article? ".

    It seems your big problem is:
    1. I assume spirit has taken form and
    2. The New England Journal of Medicine (or similarly respected institution) has never written an article about it (which to you would constitute"proof").

  11. samgeppi says:

    PART 2

    Yes John, I do believe that spirit has taken form and that there is a deeper force behind matter. For instance, I believe that there is a force inside of you as you read this compelling you to take action (or not). We call that "karma" in Eastern thought – actions compelled by spirit, which accumulate through many lifetimes.

    I don't believe your previous response was simply a matter of fingers pounding on the keyboard. I, and the culture of the east -which includes yoga, Buddhism, etc. believe in that deeper, spirit behind form. That matter is compelled by thought, feeling, spirit – Karma. No, I am not waiting for the New England Journal of Medicine to write an article on it.

    Your challenge for me to produce a scientific document from the New England Journal of Medicine stating such, shows your bias, and exactly what I refer to in the article when I discussed our "Belief in Science". You believe in science, more specifically, Western scientific institutions such as the New England Journal of Medicine. If they say it you will believe it because it is peer-reviewed, etc. OK, fair enough. I would also likely believe something written by them. I also believe in the western scientific method, but I also apply those western methods toward Eastern metaphysic models as dissecting / magnifying matter can only go so far and will only yield so much truth.

    So Jon, let me ask you this. Is everything NOT not peer reviewed or written about by these sources you believe in, false? Or to state it positively, are the only things that are true and factual found in these journals? (and others like them) What about things they have not reviewed yet or things Western sciences have totally written off entirely or cannot tackle.

    No, they have not because there are way too many areas where the physical sciences cannot reach. That is why others study metaphysics. Yoga and astrology are metaphysical sciences – as are other Indian Sciences, like Ayurveda – the medical system of India (which by the way uses astrology).

    I must confess, I have a little more experience than you do in this debate. I have witnessed this discussion for decades. "Science", or "Scientific method" is the real religion in the West. If we think something has been “scientifically proven” only then will we believe it. You say it yourself, produce a Western scientific document then I'll believe it. Astrology is tolerated as long as it dare not encroach upon our sacrosanct “Western sciences” and theories we all "believe in". By the way, I do believe in the theory of evolution. But I also know it is a belief, not a proven fact. And perhaps you need to open your mind a little bit more as well to what I discuss in this article about "belief and fact".

    The truth is, I have no problem with Western scientific methods, and I don't see where I have expressed any contempt for it. You're inferring that contempt on my part. I have the utmost respect for Western scientific methods, and I use them all the time in astrology – so did the Rishis (Scientists of India). The difference is, myself and others who also practiced Eastern (meta)physics, also acknowledge the existence of those things that extend beyond our gross senses – those things Western sciences cannot reach or measure.

    Surely you must acknowledge that there are things which exist beyond what we can measure with our gross senses. For instance, thoughts feelings and emotions or what one might call “spirit". Do these things not exist? How does the New England Journal of Medicine explain where our thoughts come from, or where our feelings come from? Can you produce the document they have written that proves they exist, how they come and where they come from? If I slice open your head and dissect your brain will I find your thoughts in there? Until Western science can answer these questions as well, metaphysics must be on the table.

    Anyway, again I thank you for the discussion. I bet that you and I face-to-face would have a lot more in common than we think.

    Best of luck with your studies, Jon

    • Louise Brooks says:

      Oh boy, you revealed your true self when you wrote; "I do believe in the theory of evolution. But I also know it is a belief, not a proven fact. "
      You just revealed you misunderstand what "theory" means in the scientific community. Its like you're as close to a creationist as can be. For goodness sake, "belief" is merely an unverifiable personal feeling/value. The theory of evolution IS FACT. If you knew anything about it you would know that it is an accepted fact by all scientists (except a few nutty creationists, but all fields have a few of those :) ). There are mountains of documented evidence, gathered over many years to demonstrate it.

      Astrology has long since been debunked by any serious scholar in cosmology, physics, quantum mechanics to name a few scientific specialities. For pete's sake, a beginner level science class will explain this: The four forces of our universe: gravity, electro-magnetism, strong and weak nuclear force. None of these are strong enough on any planet to affect us on Earth in any way. This is what Carl Sagan was talking about (although I have to give you credit for being brave enough to include this in your essay). In other words, the whole "Mercury is in retrograde" mutterings are complete nonsense. But alas, people WANT to believe things. People want to believe there is a caring man in the sky watching over us. People want to believe there is a safe and wonderful place that we go to after we die (and thus don't expire fully upon our death). This doesn't make any of it true. You want to believe there is a "spirit". But like the invisible man in the sky, heaven, and eternal life, astrology is wishful thinking that can give us a warm and contented feel that we're all taken care of in this vast universe.

  12. Bala says:

    Man Quite an exercise in ignorance and confused thinking.
    a.“ God must be a belief, either for or against, because it can’t be directly perceived or known as an experience ” Totally wrong The Divine has been and can be experienced directly
    b.Belief always precedes practice. The person who practices something he doesn’t believe in would be bonkers.
    c.How does astrology work ? At one level, it is a set of road signs set up by the Intelligence….the underlying connection with the Force that creates, maintains and will destroy this Universe is known to the great Rishis.
    d.“the doctor doesn’t know “how” the body does what it does ” He does. Semantic quibbling about what constitutes knowledge is the area of the charlatan and the confused one.
    e.“Everything that has lived or will ever live on Earth was created by the Sun and Moon and other Grahas” What nonsense. The same Force which created the Sun and Moon, created every blade of grass.
    f. “ In this modern era, we are all Brahmins (educated people)” Utter nonsense. brahma janati brahmanah One who knows Brahman is a Brahmana..Knowing the brahman is not education…far more than that with Divine grace being an essential ingredient.
    g.“Intelligence devoid of wisdom is more dangerous than ignorance” As if intelligence and wisdom are entirely different rather than aspects of the same faculty….The present post however has neither quality nor even basic knowledge

  13. Maria says:

    Hi, I was relatively recently introduced to Vedic astrology, the type Sam Geppi discusses here. I was truly amazed at the accuracy of one's vedic chart and its ability to diagnose a person's state: physically, emotionally and spiritually. It's from India and quite ancient, and as such, requires a depth of understanding/innate wisdom most westerners are not used to. It's a completely different construct of life and living. I'm an educated person, got my PhD, attended excellent universities here in the states and abroad, and I can attest, there's a sacred truth in this science, uncannily so. You doubt Sam Geppi and this type of astrology reading? Then test it out! Get a reading done, and THEN discuss your views. That way those same views come from direct experience. Just a suggestion… No one article or discussion can encapsulate a person's complete understanding of a concept, nor should assumptions be made after one article. Wise people don't do that. Who knows if there was editing involved, prior knowledge required to understand certain concepts etc. Again, the best way is to do the research and try it yourself.

  14. melanie says:

    sam thank you for your insight. I believe we are close to the place where science and faith meet. mel

    • fred says:

      When meteorologists can accurately predict the weather (which will be never) then we might say science know’s Gods mind.

  15. Judy says:

    When we get to grips with all this it will change again anyway! Thank you for trying to post flags it is appreciated

  16. thanes says:

    it is an art form based on scientific principles and works as a form of divination. thanes

  17. Hum…..not sure that we are intelligent here in the western world. Millions of us are asleep consciously, mostly covered up by materialism and the illusions they bring to bury us even deeper. Indeed, we are not honoring the sun and it’s miracles because we are not honouring our beloved mother Nature as well because of our ignorance. Unfortunately most of us are asleep and are not even aware of much other than the alcohol or other drugs, legal or illegal they need to take just to get through another day. This is ehy we work so hard…..those of us who are conscious! We are trying to help our brothers and sisters wake up….at least to the fact we are all connected divinely to each other and that we all have a purpose and divine destiny in life. We work hard, to help others wake up…..and when we die, our work will take on deeper work by others who hopefully will inspire more and more unconscious people to wake up. This is our responsibility.

    For the few of us who at least have an opinion, I would say, please try to have no opinion…..it’s quite freeing! Instead, I would ask you to open your heart and let life and it’s continual miracles bless you…..as we continue on this beautiful journey, spinning 1,000 miles an hour in this magnificent galaxy of ours.

  18. googly says:

    Astrology is definitely a science. If used in the right way it does provide alot of clarity in thinking and serves as a tool to fulfill experiences in a person's lifetime. To understand its importance it is necessary to delve in its origin and history. Thank you Sam for the article.

  19. Beth Turnage says:

    “Because astrology cannot produce consistant testable explanations and predictions it is not a science.”

    I am having trouble with Jon’s sentence because it confuses facts.

    Thesis One: “Astrology can not produce consistent testable explanations”.

    What do you mean by explanations? How it works? Well, we don’t know how gravity works, and we accept it as as a fact. The fact is much of modern science theory is based on theories that are hinted at in the mathematics but is not confirmed by observation because much of the phenomenon can’t be observed. We can’t “see” the motion of quarks, but have a certain set of belief’s about them. Certain theories, like that of supersymmetry and supergravity are dependent for each other’s existence. Its all very theoretical and based on “predictions” of their existence, yet is considered science.

    Therefore, I submit Jon’s second thesis “predictions is not a science” is invalid. Science is based on prediction and the testing of that prediction.

    If Jon is postulating that Astrology, separate and apart can not produce testable results, well, this has been repeated by by skeptics time immemorial and it does not reflect the facts.

    I’ve written about this at length on my own blog and if Sam will allow me to print a link it is here: http://astrologyexplored.net/home/?p=1956.

    Astrology does produce repeatable, testable result despite the obstacles placed before it before skeptics and some of those in the scientific community.

    As far as there being different schools of astrology proving the invalidity of it, this again is a very old argument. The fact is that science tells us that the way the human brain organizes information (much like a compression and “unzip” programs for electronic communications) makes it a prediction machine. Therefore, however we assemble the information is a function of the human brain, and not a testament to the validity or invalidity of various systems of organizing information. The question is “does the information within its own school of practice produce replicable results?” If yes, then it works, and its working does not invalidate another school of practice.

    Now some astrologer prefer to practice from a spiritual base, This does not invalidate their practice. My opinion is that much of ancient spiritual practice is rooted in a fundamental understanding of how the Universe works. For instance, the ancient Druids used in their astrology five elements and the description of those elements come eerily close to the descriptions various quarks.

    For the record, I myself don’t “believe” in astrology either. I don’t need to. It just works.

  20. Ela says:

    Well put Sam, I don't know exactly how it all works, but I have observed that most of it does work. I have found it useful at times to observe that some of my urges and feelings might be related to or reflected in certain planetary positions and alignments. A little heads-up like I got yesterday helps me focus my will on my aims and avoid being swept along with the cultural currents. I feel nothing in astrology is preordained and we are not puppets on a string. Astrological energies themselves are neutral energies; there is no "good" planet vs. "bad" planet. The stars impel, they do not compel. There is something valuable to learn in every situation, however painful. It is up to us to search for the meaning. It is how we apply the energies in force that makes all the difference.
    Astrology has vastly improved the quality of my life and the qualitiy of my mind, only a few people know of my intrest in it, i do not feel the need to convince anyone of anything, those who get it get it, those who don't do not. But i guarantee if one takes the time to study astrology, you soon realize it is so omnipresent that virtually you can look at anything and everything through its prism and see its workings. Blessings 2 u Sadasiva

  21. Clark says:

    My experience with astrology shows it works. Unless one has studied the subject and experimented with it, any view one has of it is unsubstantiated opinion. As far as predictions: possibilities, yes. Certainties, not so much. But the scientific method results in similar outcomes and occasionally, a certainty. But the issue is really: have you studied and experimented with a subject, theory, opinion, whatever. The important thing is to remain neutral and objective and put things to a test. Neither accept nor reject. Test and see what happens. And play fair. Test without bias or favor.

  22. Guest says:

    I do think astrology as a science. Just like there are good doctors and bad doctors, there are good astrologers and those that do not know their stuff. Sam: please continue to do what you do. It helps many of us out there.

  23. catherine says:

    Jon, why not have Sam draw your chart and you will have the "proof" of the science of astrology yourself. Would that not be enough of an "empirical"evidence for you? There is only "one"of you so double blind etc is somewhat difficult but I challenge you to investigate the wisdom (that is more than just science) of astrology. Surprise yourself…………….

  24. Heather says:

    The scientist only believes what he can measure, see and control…….I have yet to find one of Sam's reading's anything less than spot on, and offering a total explanation of why and what is going on at a particular moment. Hey what do I know dead people talk to me and I" know" things about people , places and things that happen to an individual just by talking on the phone with them. I must be the true snake oil salesman!

  25. Janet says:

    Oh yes, astrology is a science! I just took my Level 1 NCGR exam (Western astrology) and I can tell you that it had as much math in it as a high level physics exam. I have a huge background in the sciences and a master's degree in computer science and my parents are chemists (my dad has a PhD in organic chemistry and my mom a Masters in chemical engineering and also an MBA). I would tell Jon that if he doubts that astrology is a science to actually take the Level 1 NCGR exam. If you do not have a good math background or the ability to understand cycles like you have to in physics or chemistry or be able to see patterns like in math, then you will simply not pass the exam. Can't get more precise that that. Astrology is not fluff in the least!

    • Cody says:

      You're argument is that astrology is a science because it has math in it and because there is an exam? I don't agree with this.
      Doesn't this make roulette a science?

    • Serge says:

      Astrology is based on astronomy. Astronomy is a science, with math etc. Astrology is the art of interpretation of astronomical facts.

    • Renay says:

      Astrology is observable, testable, and predictive qua science. As an ex-scientist, I find astrology more so of these things then the science training that I was applying in the lab.

  26. Mary Lynn says:

    I experience the stars and moon looking up at them every night. They remind me of God/Creator. The Book of Romans in the New Testament states mankind is without excuse (if they say they don't believe in God/Creator) because Creation is proof. Here on our Planet and in our Solar System and beyond. Science has proven there is a grand and specific design. Science is even proving that from the galaxy to the human cell – it's basically the same on different proportions. Even the Earth has an aura and is a living being. Quantum physics is proving when you get down to the smallest portion of an atom it can have many different outcomes – even two can occupy the same space. Whatever is here (on Earth) is also in Heaven; whatever is in Heaven is also here on Earth – the Earth is a reflection of the Heavens. We are connected to all we see and all that is in-between what we see. Science-Spirituality-Cosmos these three are One. We're all just discovering them differently at different times and that's allowed.

  27. 4chun8girl says:

    Great article, Sam. Thank you. I believe in Astrology too and have since I was very young. I also realize that science is based on theories… not necessarily facts, many have changed since their original hypothesis was defined. The one that comes to mind for me just now is Darwinism. If you read "The Bond" by Lynn McTaggart you'll find that science is now realizing that nature is far more collaborative and cooperative than it is aggressive and determined by the survival of the fittest. Please keep up the great work you're bringing to the world. I so appreciate your perspective on the dance the planets, stars and moons are doing and their affect on us. May your blessings be overflowing. Namaste`

  28. leonie says:

    Spiritulising science! Not that long ago the idea of neuroplasticity would has been seen as hocus-pocus. And yet, and yet, the Rishis and the ancient Vedic knowledge would also acknowledge and encompass this. Let the nay sayers talk and talk and talk. Vedic knowledge is still alive and as pertinent today as it was thousands of years ago. Vedic Astrology is still as pertinent today as it has always been. And if you don't agree that too is okay. It may not be for everyone. Thank goodness there are choices.

  29. David says:

    Dear Sam
    I enjoyed your article. Beliefs are like viruses. They sneak in under the radar and are difficult to get rid of once entrenched.

    I perceive the practice of Yoga and Astrology to be quite scientific, an exercise in discernment, or, the action of a distinguishing mind. What is sought in these disciplines, in my opinion, is knowledge of the self. This is difficult to measure or prove empirically. Perhaps impossible. Even Carl Sagan used the somewhat trite saying "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" (BTW, so did Donald Rumsfeld)

    In the West, we are obsessed with measurement. Likewise, time is inexorably connected with duration. We do, however, like to use phrases such as "quality time" when we perceive a situation to be pleasant without considering that time does, indeed, have different qualities. Astrology, in my opinion, addresses the potentials of different qualities of time. Measurement is not a bad thing. Quite the opposite. It's just not the only thing.

    Life is the miracle. From the Latin, miraculum "object of wonder" That we have consciousness to "wonder with" is also miraculous. This is just my opinion. Is that the same as a belief?

    • samgeppi says:

      "In the West, we are obsessed with measurement. Likewise, time is inexorably connected with duration. We do, however, like to use phrases such as "quality time" when we perceive a situation to be pleasant without considering that time does, indeed, have different qualities. Astrology, in my opinion, addresses the potentials of different qualities of time. Measurement is not a bad thing. Quite the opposite. It's just not the only thing. "

      Awesome analogy

  30. Joanna Jyoti says:

    Bless you Sam for your great presence!

    “…Astrology is the practice of connecting your limited mind and intellect with the cosmic mind that produced it (and everything else).
    It is my hope that the modern world returns to the glory of this universal study.
    Everyone wants to know their place in the universe, and astrology is the study of that.”

    I sincerely hope that the day will come that astrology, yoga, meditation etc will be truly understood and practiced for a better humanity.

    Thanks for all your efforts!

  31. Barbara says:

    Interesting article Sam. Thanks for sharing it. I suspect it is really OK if there are people who disagree with the conclusions you draw in this article. As a research scientist, I have come to understand the process is: develop a hypothesis, test the hypothesis, observe, and evaluate the results. Often, people argue about the results. It is a normal part of the process. Stick to the facts. What do you know as a direct cause and effect relationship? What are the variables? How do you account for the variables? If you are in question, re-evaluate the facts. – It is a regular part of the process to have what is often called – peer review. It is normal to have people strongly disagree with one's interpretation of the facts. Sam, you must look past the delivery to the content of what is being written in response to your article. Remember, Stick & Stones etc..

  32. kgopalan says:

    Astrology is a science. but for proffing it now as on date we are not having anything. scietifically.

  33. manomani says:

    I believe in astrology and I also know that Sam Geppi,has been educating me thru his emails and webnair..

  34. Earl says:

    I have studied astrology for years and and believe me it is a sceince. and i will stand behind sam all the way.

  35. Vibha says:

    Sometimes it surprises me how people from different cultures have different beliefs I am from India and Astrology is a part of life there …Yes should all decisions be made on Astrology Alone the Answer is NO one should live their lives and let it take shape !! But not to believe is Astrology is really like not to believe in a Doctor …they say you get cured faster if you have faith ..It is the same with Astrology when you believe and do it with Awareness it gets you results !! So ultimately it is all about WHAT YOU HAVE FAITH IN !!

    • Louise Brooks says:

      Ahhhh, the placebo effect. The pill had nothing in it but the patient assumed it did and got better. Yes, I agree. Astrology is a sugar pill. No substance but people think there is something useful in it.

  36. Kayshwarie says:

    I really do not care what negative people think or say about vedic astrology. It works, it's scientific. I & my family use it to help us get through the challenges that we face & increase the bliss in our lives.
    Thank you Sam for sharing your knowledge.
    Love & Light,
    Kayshwarie

  37. DenRA says:

    There has been much debate on astrology on how it works if it works does it work …only does it work if it is employed,much like a worker scientifically is employed if he works,neither works if not employed. Namste' Blessings,Love and Light,DenRA

  38. Tim says:

    Well, I am a scientist and I would say there is ample evidence that astrology is a science. In fact, many of the most esteemed scientists throughout history believed that astrology and mysticism were the keys to a greater reality. A greater truth. That includes Newton and Einstein. The problem with a few commenteurs and our world in general is a belief, yes a belief, that if it cannot be touched or seen or explained, it isn't real. This is a belief system of the modern world. A world that has killed God and our spirituality. Or, at least it has attempted to do so. Science is simply an outward manifestation of the search for truth. The same search for truth that guides us on our inner journey. There are ample long and short term astrological cycles that impact weather, energy, and life on our planet. Most astrophysicists and astronomers understand this.

    One explanation of why astrology may work is that it is quite plausible that the universe is a creation of the human mind. If that is so, and many in science believe it may be so since the advent of quantum physics, then astrology may simply be a self-fulfilling prophecy created by our mind. Who knows. Don't discount out of hand what you don't understand.

    Namaste

  39. Cindy says:

    I think astrology forecasts in the paper are generalized, but if a person has their chart done they will see how astrology applies to them.

  40. Rosanna Tufts says:

    You think astrology is superstition? Try ignorance instead. Think back to the Middle Ages in Europe, when rare solar eclipses caught people completely off guard and sent them into a panic. Science got a big boost in the 1700s when Edmund Halley correctly predicted the path of an eclipse over England, and when it would happen, and even had his prediction published in the newspapers of the day. But then he died before he could see it. So everyone waited with baited breath, to see if the old guy was right. Yup, he was spot-on about the time; his calculations for the path were only off by a couple of degrees. Finally, here was proof that an eclipse was not a portent of apocalypse, but a natural phenomenon that could be mathematically predicted and measured. The real question is whether astrology can predict events here at Earth School, and whether we can do anything about them in advance. I didn't need another personality profile (for that, I use handwriting analysis); I wanted SOLUTIONS. A chart is a call-to-action ("karma" means "action"). According to astrology, I happen to have a Moon placement that gives me a hidden gift for "turning the poison into the elixir." OK, now that I know this, what do I do? How do I embody this gift? Once I started looking for ways to put it to good use, my life started to get better.

  41. Denise Baron says:

    Love how you get people out of their box ~ Keep going Sam Keep inspiring

  42. Daniel says:

    The Bible is full of astrology and appears to have been written by them. The Bible is also full of allegories which Christians take literally and miss the whole point of the Bible. Science is proving this, the christians who insist that these allegories are literal are banging their head on a concrete wall. I am referring to women talking to snakes and other strange or impossible events in the Bible– these events are signs that there is an important spiritual message contained. If we want a history book there are plenty of them and we dont need more to fill the spiritual void. These same ignorant people ( I used to be one and I left) attack Hinduism and even modern science or they just remain ignorant of the world around them while they blindly believe what men in robes tell them. it seems in order to be a Christian you check your brain at the door then come back and get it after serviceso you can drive home and work another week.

  43. AmanaUtsava says:

    Sam, Thank you so much for your brilliant article! Such wisdom and clarity.

  44. Kate says:

    Really! Of course, astrology may be a science or not according to the person's knowledge. There are many who pratice astrology like a belief and extremely non-scientific and there are those like Sam, whose entire practice is science. Sam obviously was talking about his practice. Give it up Jon and others

  45. art says:

    Astrology is a science. It's a predictive science. Are all predictive sciences 100% correct? No. Take meteorology for example, it's not 100% correct either. Yet, nobody calls them snake oil salesmen. Why? Einstein's principles were used for much destruction. Yet, nobody calls him the evil guy. Why not? People in science have caused untold good, and untold suffering. I feel there's a cultivated bias against astrology, homeopathy, ayurveda etc, and it comes from so called scientists and rationalists with no rational thought, but just a bunch of prejudices, and who are parroting somebody else's words without proper research. Astrology cannot be 100% correct, because the interpreter errors come into the picture, but the probability (and confidence level) of it is being correct is pretty high, provided the interpreter is good. And i am in science by the way.

  46. Madhuri says:

    Thanks for the article Sam. Surely by now there are countless people who have been helped and guided by jyotish scientists like yourself. This science has been used to improve people’s awareness of themselves, those around them and the larger world (universe), and thus makes for a more happy and fruitful life. A good jyotish practitioner like Sam will adapt this ancient science to the conditions of the modern world.

  47. Charu says:

    Dear Sam,
    I simple want to testify how much I have learned and enjoy your daily/
    Weekly astrological information.
    You, Sam, have a gift!
    The way you explain astrology to us ( I always am fascinated by astrology-
    But I am not an astrologer) – it is so down to earth! I have studied Buddhism,
    And Hinduism for a long time, so find your gift to us to be exquisite!
    I thank you for posting all the videos for free, the classes for free, the seminars
    For free! Thank you for the light you share with all of us.
    In gratitude,
    Charu rachlis

  48. It's like someone asking if you "believe" in UFO's……. what's belief got do do with it? Either they are real or they are not, no amount of "belief" will change that. Unfortunately these days of the Kali Yuga people believe whatever they think, and mistake that for the truth.

    I understand what Sam is saying, he is distinguishing truth from a persons belief, they are two different things. Vedic astrology has a long history of tradition.

    I'm familiar with Tibetan astrology which is based on star, and elemental combined. A Lama once told me that half of the astrology, was lost in the past, and we only know half of this science today.

  49. Noah says:

    Criticizing Vedic Astrology (Jyotish), or anything for that matter, without a real experience of it shows an insecurity with sense of self; as long as you let your ideas define you a challenge to those beliefs will threaten your self-esteem: the very source of happiness and comfort. In my opinion, this article is as much about that process of self-analysis as about astrology. Understanding the spirit is about deepening sense of self to that which is eternal in nature.

    So the challenge has been made: witness it for yourself. Anyone who thinks Vedic Astrology (Jyotish) is bogus should go to a legit Vedic Astrologer (such as Sam) and get a general reading, that is if you are secure enough with yourself to test your own ideas.

    Objectively, if you want to know what Jyotish is and why it is used then research the Vedas. If you want to know how it works then read the Brihat Parasara Hora Shastra. An understanding short of either these things will be unsustainable.

    Namaste

  50. Liz Abbott says:

    Astrology is a Time Honored science and Mr Geppi is a stellar ( pun intended! LOL) practitioner of this invaluable tool. He makes it all accessible and easy to apply to our lives, yet also presents his observations in a way that opens one's mind to the very real workings of planetary transits that DO have a pull and effect on our state of being. We are not inconsequential, random disconnected pieces of matter. We are all connected to to the smallest blade of grass, the vastness of the oceans and the elegant Order of the movements of celestial bodies. Astrology, and especially Vedic Astrology, deepens one's relationship to the Self and the very real and alive Universe that we inhabit. Open your mind! Sam Geppi walks his talk, and exemplifies scholarly wisdom and Selfless Service. Thank you, Sam for enriching the lives of so many of us!

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