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. Atmaja says:

    I’m not going to engrose myself in a battle of wills of who is right or wrong, who knows the truth or not. That is not for me to decide because reality is based on a complex system of ones interpretations. Reality is subjective everything we absorb through our senses are already just a representation of “reality” a close representation but nonetheless not flawless. But as to Sam’s work in astrology I can say that the principles are better than years of therapy or following a Guru or any happy pill a doctor could prescribe. There is no quick fix for the transformation which takes place by imbibing the lessons from his work whether or not you believe in astrology.

  2. Liz Abbott says:

    Know Thyself: Astrology is a very valid path on this Universal Quest. Astrology offers us a blueprint that stimulates our Memory of who we are. Sam's superb expertise in and connection with this marvelous science is a Gift to us all.

  3. Jeanine Ligon says:

    Namaste Sam: thank you very much for your great awareness on this very vast scientific subject which is based on astronomy, geometry and higher mathematics as well as over five thousand years of recorded charts on many many famous people who had their charts cast before major events took place and in some cases after the fact hundreds of years later. The accuracy of this science is spot on and it is quite difficult to state that on other sciences that are based on theoretical knowledge which is here today and gone tomorrow. Astronomy is exact, because the planetary bodies, especially the ones in our solar system, exist and have unchanging and predictable movements and orbits. Math is an exact science, which is what is used for the calculations of Jyotish. Thanks to you and the other wonderful Jyotish teachers out there bringing "light" into our lives as we navigate the course of our individual lives. Jeanine Ligon

  4. AB Patki says:

    A very interesting and timely article by Sam Geppi. Those who oppose to astrological theory, proof and concepts, have to read something like “Chaos Theory” to understand the scientific viewpoint towards developing astrology. (Please note that a very few US Universities offer a post graduate level course in maths/Physics deptt. on Chaos Theory). A visit to website http://www.chaosastrology.net/ may also be useful, provided chaos theory is understood.
    Also, the publication- Briggs, J., & Peat, F.D. (1989). Turbulent Mirror: An illustrated guide to chaos theory and the science of wholeness. Harper & Row, New York, is useful.

    Our society, by definition is always lagging behind scientific understanding. It takes a long time before old worldviews, old beliefs and old habits die. So critising astrology is a old habit; but such critics have to understand also the phenomena of ” The Foundations of Science are shaking” (http://www.soulsofdistortion.nl/SODA_chapter2.html)

  5. Svorm says:

    I love that I have astrology to guide me thru life. And SAMs astrology is quite accurate. As well as others I follow. I feel if you know how to read it it can save yourself from many disasters or becoming so confused as WHY events are happening. If it does not coincide with someone maybe their birth info is not true. I am really praying we don't become a COMMUNIST country and have our freedoms taken away as it seems so many things like that are occurring in America the Free! Let people do what they need to do to feel happy in this world ! Astrology is NOT hurting it is helping. Anyway they can try with all their fears to dismantle but will only do it to themselves!

  6. Yogi SV says:

    I am not a believer of astrologers but, Sam Geppi is the real thing. Next to the astrologers that followed a wandering star in search of the savior over 2,000 years ago. Even Nostradamus used astrology in his later years . None of these earlier astrologist were wrong about their predictions…. Astrology was the first form of astronomy. There is no hocus pocus involved in astrology, like astronomy it is based on the alignment of celestial bodies and math. To assume and not attempt to understand astrology is nothing but remaining ignorant. We are all made from the same matter of the stars and celestial bodies in space. So why wouldn't their alignment reflect on us.

    I am not saying you should devote your entire life to believing everything astrology says but, it can be insightful and helpful. Ultimately we all have freewill so can decided what you want to believe or not believe from astrology. Sam Geppi as far as I've seen has been right on his forecasts .

    I too have dabbled with making natal charts. My first book on the subject was The New A to Z Horoscope Maker and Delineator by Llewellyn George. This text book is filled with information to anyone interested in expanding their mind.

  7. Svormm says:

    It is also a way people do when they are lazy and don't understand BUT want to understand and put in their own efforts to learn That they challenge you for you to spill the most relevant info which they then learn from you. So be careful of these types of people and don't let others take you out of your center! That is what is happening here. Make them learn from the beginning like we all do!

  8. Guest says:

    Years ago, I was thankfully cured of this astrology argument after encountering a fundamentalist Vedic astrologer who doggedly persisted that his truth was THE truth and that THE truth was accessible to all people and it was his mission to convince others of that. In this encounter I also learned something about the con game of trying to con(vince) anyone of anything they don't already first believe. Who was that astrologer on a mission from God (or in his terms, Science)? The one and only Sam Geppi.

    • Student of the Vedas says:

      Got to agree w/ the “Fundamentalist Vedic Astrologer” descriptive. I’ve been a student of Vedic Astrology for decades and I’m always learning. But what I’ve read here and the responses I’ve read from you Sam, are akin to the intolerant fundamentalist zealots I’ve encountered in other religions including far extreme Christians, Jews and Muslims. I see no difference in the intolerances for people who do not share your views from what these other extremist display. It is a total turn off. – Does Amma say everyone should be Hindu? Does Amma say everyone should have an astrological chart done? No, she does not. She accepts people of every faith, or scientific persuasion. – What would She say about this? I think I will ask her.

  9. Simone says:

    Believe meaning wishful thinking? or Believe meaning have faith in something? Believe meaning being convinced by numbers and patterns? Mincing words. Spirit and Science are intersecting. So when you speak of the Planets as Deities is that a belief or a fact? For some belief is fact. For instance, some people believe in God. Why? Because they know some other force is beating their hearts, not they…while others might argue about it. My question: Why the aversion to the word Believe? Seems you will get yourself in a mind game and miss the point. We can't say we KNOW because we don't…exactly…but we do KNOW more than we know we know and because of that we know that we don't know. I personally believe (haha) that the word believe is beautiful and that science (like that of Astrology) is a perfect example to create a situation where one could come to believe (know, accept) that it has true and valid aspects. When you do your spiritual practice, are you believing, knowing, participating? Seems the same. Playing word games for dramatic results seems counter productive. There is much that is magical (uh-oh another buzz word). Let's keep the fun in the game, keep our words and allow our various points of view. The days of crackly old science stick in the muds are over. Arguing over the word believe as if it is a bad thing is silly. I call D-r-a-m-a!!!! (you can't stand drama, remember?) I call left brain arguing with right brain!!! Animus arguing with the Anima… Science is proving the power of belief, the power of conscious directed thought, and the power of the planets upon us. Let's be well and enjoy it, whether we can all agree on which words we should use or not (such a boy game). It's good to be technical but not at the expense of quantum imagination (just made that up) but you know what I mean..maybe? hahaha… Sam, deep breath and then dream the numbers, calculate the numbers..afterall, Scientists everywhere believe in the power of science, they believe that they can discover things that way, they believe in their reveries that reveal things in mysterious ways and lead them to discoveries… they know it too if you think it a better way to put it. Believe is a polite way to say it is your own inner knowing without throwing it in anyone's face as what they need to be doing…more like a doorway than a stone..That's my take on it! Math will give you absolutes, how much more do you need to "believe"? What about the ART of science? do you "believe" in that? hmmmm? much Love! -Simone

  10. Hari says:

    Sam Geppi is one of the most knowledgeable astrologer i know his words are full of knowledge don't ridicule him; when he says that he doesn't believe in it; you would have to believe in something you can't see but he sees so he has not question in believing it he knows its a true science

  11. nalini says:

    In my experience Vedic Astrology has been a great tool in helping me to understand myself better.
    I definitely think one should have their chart done, and then and only then judge! It will blow you away how accurate the vedic astrology readings are. Sam Sadasiva Geppi is a wonderful and giving soul, who has been blessed to fulfill his dharma by imparting the vedic wisdom in a proper and thorough way! I thank you so much Sam , and I always will recommend you to people for readings. Jai Ganapati!

  12. sandip mitra says:

    I have believed in astrology for a long time and Sam has kept the interest alive and got me involved with his useful updates and postings about upcoming events!

  13. Kumar says:

    Sam, it is great. Astrology is combination of knowledge and wisdom. It is more advance than new science.

  14. Sukhi says:

    i believe your doing your best. i will help you anyway possible but don't ask money from me than i can't stand astrologist that want money from people. should be free services to help people realize what is coming to us in future. we get that knowledge by deep BREATHING.

  15. vaishali says:

    hey Sam,
    wow, you have started quite a debate,quite amusing though,say for example bala says god can be experienced,exactly,thats what you have to say about astrology,any one who hasnt experienced it ,it would be like yellow to a blind person.Its an exact science,and like all sciences a lot of reasearch has been done on this,and alot of research will continue to be done.The best thing about you sam is that you try to simplify complicated things in easy to understand language,which not only makes understanding easy,but it stays with you. people are up in arms here because they havent experienced astrology ,you cant blame them for not knowing what they are missing out on.

  16. Jnanashakti says:

    Science is general laws based upon knowledge (attained through study or practice). It means that this knowledge uses observation and experimentation to describe and explain phenomena… So, I’m following the rigorous work of Sam Geppi since years now and yes, I could attest that his work method is scientific. More, if you would like to contest that, just try to be as specific as he is!

  17. Javan says:

    Dr Frog was a great scientist among the frogs. He had made his residence within a well. He was an expert in his field of endeavor and knew everything about the well and related matters. One day, one of his friends came to visit him and said, "My dear friend, I have seen a vast mass of water, the Atlantic Ocean."
    "What is that Atlantic Ocean?" asked Dr Frog
    "It is very vast" replied the other frog
    "How vast is it? Is it five times bigger than this well? Or ten times?” enquired Dr Frog in amusement
    "No, no, it is very, very vast" said the other frog
    “Come on twenty times should be it!" asserted Dr Frog although speculating

    This is called ‘Kupa manduka nyaya’. ‘Kupa’ means well, ‘manduka’ means frog and ‘nyaya’ means philosophy. Dr Frog, although an expert in his field of knowledge, was not able to comprehend the vastness of Atlantic Ocean. Because of limited exposure, his estimation couldn’t come anywhere close enough to guage the vastness of the ocean

    In same vein, Modern Scientists and Philosophers may be glorified experts in their chosen fields but their repeated efforts to speculate on aspects beyond their capacity of imagination or measurement has time and again failed to guage the vastness of this creation. The universes are ‘ananta’, unlimited, and therefore as Srila Prabhupada says, we cannot conceive aspects of entire creation by our tiny brain or limited thinking abilities.
    With one's limited senses, one cannot argue about that which is inconceivable. Therefore the inconceivable is called ‘acintya’, that which is beyond ‘cintya’, our thoughts and arguments. ‘Acintya’ refers to that which we cannot contemplate but have to accept. Srila Jiva Gosvami has said that unless we accept ‘acintya’ in the Supreme, we cannot accommodate the conception of God. This must be understood

  18. Hi Sam!

    I always enjoy your well-thought-out articles and often controversial opinions.

    I believe in astrology and it works for me. In this context, "believe" means that I have faith in the reliability of astrology as an art and a science, but perhaps now this starts to get into semantics.

    I very much resonate with your statement that "Astrology is the practice of connecting your limited mind and intellect with the cosmic mind that produced it (and everything else)."

    Re: Yogananda not believing in astrology, that was true when he was younger, until his guru Sri Yukteswar convinced him otherwise through his teachings as well as a demonstration of the positive effect of an astrological remedy. As you know, Yukteswar-ji was a great jyotishi (astrologer). He said something quite similar to what you are saying, that, "It is never a question of belief; the only scientific attitude one can take on any subject is whether it is true. The law of gravitation worked as efficiently before Newton as after him. The cosmos would be fairly chaotic if its laws could not operate without the sanction of human belief."

    Thanks again, Sam!

  19. Caroline says:

    Sam, you've written a great article. I bow to your wisdom. I would add that "time" is a belief that all can relate to. For most of mankind's existence, there was no way to measure time except with a sundial that only worked from sun-up to sun-down because it was dependent on the sun's shadow to show the time. Once a clock was invented, with all its intricate wheels and gears, time was no longer geared to the sun, and mankind came to believe they were in control of time. However, from ancient times, people knew and understood the clockwork precision of the universe – the movement of the planets, the changing of the seasons, the importance of the sun and the moon and of earth itself – and how all these movements play out in the course of a man's life. It is too bad that in our quest for scientific knowledge, so many have lost the knowledge and wisdom of astrology. Astrology is the understanding of the great clock of the universe and its timing in our lives. The guide books for using that knowledge date back thousands of years, long before the time of scientific revelations, which incidentally, don't give us a clue as to who we are and how to live our lives. Long live Astrology!

  20. Serge says:

    To me astrology is a science in the same sense like economy. Indeed, astrology is the art of interpretation based on the science of astronomy. But you can never draw any definite conclusions. If you are a skillful astrologer (and this is THE biggest IF in the whole issue) you can extract meaningful info and point out trends and make good predictions etc. Astrology is about statistics. The same way economy is based on science, models etc. and IF you are a good economist you can figure out how the market moves and be a successful hedge fund manager, i.e. extract useful info. The problem there is the same – most economists with numerous degrees do not know anything and lose money in markets, and this is why we have crisis etc.

  21. Pat says:

    Very insightful and informative article. I very much appreciated your closing remark and it is an observation or conclusion I have also come to in certain circles of late: "Intelligence devoid of wisdom is more dangerous than ignorance, and seems to sum up the plight of our modern world." I have only had scant interest in western astrology most of my life because no one was ever able to tell me anything I did not already know. No value in that. But Vedic astrology has an uncanny facility for offering one a look ahead (or back!) in their lives to different periods in time. This is of great value to me as it helps me to understand difficulties (and joys!) already experienced and to be more detached and patient when "issues" may be up ahead. Like those yellow/orange signs you see on the freeway that simply say: "BUMPS." You're ready for it!

  22. Renay says:

    There comes a time, after years or so of meditation, when one starts to realize there are no coincidences. One gets the "Oh my god" feeling of how interconnected we are, of how there is a matrix, and of how we are a part of it. This matrix, a Latin word connected to Mother, is the realm of astrology, of karma, of reincarnation, of cosmic manifest, of Prakriti, of Nature.

    Then there is a deeper realization, typically after quite a few more years, when one realizes that in the now, there is no cause and affect. There is in fact only conincidence of independent streams, as Sarasvati herself said in Vasistha's Yoga, This is the realm of the Self, of cosmic pure consciousness, of Purusha, and the circle closes.

    I think what Sam was trying to say was said well by rishi Vasistha when that sage said succinctly, "The concept of unity is used to cancel the concept of the many; the concept of self (infinite consciousness) is used to cancel the conceptualisation of unity. The self can neither be conceived of as existence or non-existence, it is what is. (Vasistha’s Yoga, p. 400)

    Warmly, Renay

  23. Viv says:

    To my thinking, astrology is a combination of social science (e.g. sociology, or certain types of psychology) and hard science (e.g. mathematics & astronomy). Not always easy to successfully combine the two aspects, but I don't think that makes it absolute bunk or that practitioners are all snake oil salesmen.

  24. Renu says:

    Sam, thank you for opening my eyes to the wonders of astrology! I have experienced this science in real time and it can be mind boggling! I don't understand why people firmly believe the moon's cycle have a direct impact on bodies of water (including humans), yet they don't believe that other planets may have the same force. As always, thank you for enlightening.

  25. Maria K. says:

    Such an old argument. Those who consult astrologers and the astrologers themselves, find skeptics' ignorance in need of enlightenment, and the latter thinks the former are downright stupid. And here we are heaping more weights on each side of the scale.
    I don't expect this forum to convert anyone, either way. I will say that there are astrologers who started out as skeptics and some of them are on the leading edge of astrology now. And, I have never heard of someone who studied astrology in any depth, and decided it was BS. Which *proves* nothing. However, I will add my voice to those who find astrology valid. Whether it be called science or not is immaterial, to me.
    IMO, among astrologers East or West, Sam is toward the head of the pack. I have no doubt that, were a skeptic to get a reading from him, s/he would be shocked. But that is extremely unlikely, as readings cost money, and if inclined to explore, who would explore something they perceive to be BS??? Oh, the occasional scientist who likes to de-bunk, perhaps…

  26. aryan sharma says:

    yes i agree totally, it is science from old times but not agreed by the some non beleivers. i think it should be spread in more positive ways so that people can connect it with their daily life and see the difference.

  27. Becky says:

    Interesting to see this post has stirred up anger in some comments. Astrology conversation aside- anywhere there is anger is a place to look closer, there is an opportunity to understand something about yourself.

    On a personal note, I have had 3 Vedic readings done in my life, and in each case they were very powerful. I don't know about science or snake oil, I do know that there is a great unknown with many clues. Why could those clues not come from our sky? Or our own hearts?

    Breathe well, friends. You will know your own path in that breath.

  28. padma says:

    As my life is filled with duties I don't have time to study this deeply, but I can say that a reading I got from Sam when I needed some sort of guidance was very accurate and helpful. Often in my life I felt that doing one's duties is enough and as long as we fulfill them with love we will have guidance through intuition and therefore don't need to consult the planets, but there are times I have no clear perception and Sam's hints help to see more clearly.

  29. Jennifer says:

    Science has also evolved over time and revised it's teachings and suppositions with added information and knowledge. We used to live under the 'science' and 'belief' that the world was flat. Wrong. Much about our universe and the principles of our physical world continue to evolve and emerge — shifting and changing our 'scientific' understandings and 'beliefs'. Astrology is unique in that it combines mathematics (a pure language with infinite possibilities…) with myriad wisdom traditions of intelligence and 'knowing' that began, operatively, long before the establishment of the Great religions and long before our old science AND New sciences… Astrology is a subtle mix of knowing and intelligence that defies simple statements about 'beliefs'.

  30. namastehon says:

    I've had two readings done; the first as a bit of a lark, as part of my training at Kripalu School of Ayurveda. Giving the astrologer no more info than my birthdate, time of birth, and location of birth he was able to tell me quite a bit about my early life, my difficulties with certain people and tasks, my talents, the time I began having difficulties with my live-in boyfriend, the onset of a major debilitating illness (and assurance that I would soon begin making great strides in recovery. He then gave me an outline of my future (obviously I have the free choice to do something about that but knowing when I would have an easier of tougher time during certain periods is helpful).

    The second reading was recent, at the 2012 NAMA conference in Bellevue. This astrologer, given the same info I gave to the first one confirmed everything he had said.

    If Vedic Astrology (Jyotisha) is not a science, how would two different people come to the same conclusions given the same data? A snake oil salesman tells you what s/he thinks you want to know in order to sell you the snake oil. The scientist gives you an informed reading of his/her observations based on the information obtained. No belief is required. Science is not religion.

    However, those of you raised in the Christian faith may have read a passage in the Bible mentioning something called "The Book of Life": what would God write this Book in, if not the material world of the created universe we live in? If God has a plan for us, why would S/He keep it a secret from us? If we know how to read the Book, we can better align ourselves with our Divine purpose and avoid the pitfalls (or minimize the dangers) in front of us….

    • Louise Brooks says:

      "If Vedic Astrology (Jyotisha) is not a science, how would two different people come to the same conclusions given the same data? "

      Simple, they give you general information that is vague enough to be molded into whatever life situation was/is at hand and you think "oh my! how did he do it?!""

  31. patricia al-sharif says:

    Even the bible says their will be sign' in the sky.

  32. Brian Rakes says:

    Sam, what can I say except that my snakes are looking very shiny and springy after the oil you have sold me. Good show sir! Long may your snake oil serve the country! As for the ignorant people:
    1) Learn about the field you are discussing then comment on its negatives/positives.
    2) Understand Astrology has been practised for 10k plus years and is a systematic science based on core fundamentals proved in Vedas. They have also been practised by Greeks, Romans, Egyptians & Arabs for centuries. Seems like a throw away comment to mention just because you have not researched/studied it then it must not be valid.
    3) Even if you don't agree with a persons perspective it seems a little low that you would resort to words like snake oil salesman which shows you neither have the mental balance to read an article and assess its or the merits of the author in discussing a subject matter.
    4) Sam you do some decent work in the fields of vedic astrology for several years. I have learned a fair amount from your videos and emails. Keep them coming. Remember : "The Light of Knowledge is opposed by every dark corner until it is illuminated".
    Now where did my snakes go…….

  33. char says:

    Astrology is a sacred art based on mathematics and astronomy. The dupes and frauds are the people who push materialism and BELIEVE western science is the ONLY vehicle that will get you to the truth! Wake up from your mind control.
    You are living in a NWO, dystopian matrix. Sam–thanks for being an excellent Vedic Astrologer. Pearls before…

  34. Chris Pearse says:

    As an engineer I don't really mind whether it's science or not. 'Science' can't even tell us what the weather's going to be tomorrow. It can't solve the equations for 3 bodies in orbit around each other. And 'science' certainly can't link quantum effects to gravity.

    Question is does it work for me? Answer: yes it does.

  35. samgeppi says:

    thanks folks,
    This is nothing new for me, and I do not need encouragement to have a thick skin or NOT take it personally, etc. Actually I do feel this impacts all of us who want to bring in the new paradigm and i do not agree that we have to just "ignore them", especially when the intelligentsia in this country is very hostile against astrology and there are powerful corporate forces (like Monsanto) who are already successful lobbying to curtail food and herb choices, etc.

    Without being heavy, I do not think it a given that things like astrology will always be readily available.. Censorship of astrology ALREADY happens. Plus, I also think most astrology students should better understand these issues as well. The article I wrote is also imploring those who "believe in Astrology",.. but know nothing about it, to get a little better educated.

    Truthfully, one of the reasons so many intelligent Westerners are turned off to astrology is it is discussed at such a banal level by those who just "believe in it", but don't really understand it. I understand why they feel about it the way they do, and I think it is a cop-out to just ignore them because "they don't understand".

    Well they don't understand because no one has explained it properly, then they are being asked to "just believe in something" that is hard to fathom. Why should they believe in it? I didn't. I also thought astrology was BS until I started looking into it.

    This is why I give away free classes and videos to try to give "believers" a tangible explanation of astrology, based on the science of the universe. That way we all can be educated and stop talking over each other's heads – with "Scientists" thinking we are just a bunch of Charlatans and Dupes, and Astrology students thinking they are just clueless, disconnected intellects.

    If we are marginalizing them, without engaging them, we are no better, and I would like us to do better.

    I made this video to help give a scientific basis for astrology, between Science and mysticism. I would ask you to share it is you think it is helpful: http://vedicastrologycenter.net/#video

  36. Terri says:

    If you start learning about astrology. it is very much a science. And Sam is extremely well versed in the science and a great teacher. I was raised by scientists, worked as an RN in Intensive Care Units for years and saw the resistance of Western Medicine to the Eastern beliefs and "energy nonsense of Reiki, etc". NOW there are lots of scientific studies, published in numerous medical journals, that attest to its validity in post-operative pain, recovery times, etc etc. Trust me, astrology is just another science that holds great validity when you take the time to learn it!

  37. char says:

    Astrology is a sacred art based on mathematics and astronomy. The dupes and frauds are the people who push materialism and BELIEVE western science is the ONLY vehicle that will get you to the truth! Wake up from your mind control.

  38. annon says:

    Would be interested to hear reactions to this older article : http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl1810/18101170.htm

    fta:
    But more important, any serious attempt to verify whether any form of astrology could have some validity by attempting to obtain correlations between cataclysmic events and the positions of celestial bodies or by testing correlations between personality traits and characteristics and zodiacal data have in general come a cropper. There has been no evidence of any correlation beyond what could be expected by sheer statistical accident or by the fact that those who knew what their horoscopes were, attributed characteristics to themselves that fit their astrological 'data'. There has been to date only one study, as the paper by Kelly, Culver and Lopston points out, that seems to suggest any link between personality characteristics and some fragments of astrological data (not the entire horoscope), but even the conclusions of this study do not support most of the claims of astrology.

    BUT the issue of this one study brings us to the second major strike against astrology. Science is not merely a listing of conjunctions, accidental or otherwise, among different phenomena. There must also be some kind of coherent mechanism of interaction that explains why and how these conjunctions are produced. Without such a mechanism or even the slightest indication of the possibility of such a mechanism, astrology can have no hope of correcting or improving itself like all genuine science routinely does, by either filtering out wrong data or correcting the mechanism itself to explain various discrepancies. Astrology traditionally has had no such mechanisms or explanations for the influences that it claims. In more modern times some explanations have been attempted based on the achievements of modern science, none of which, it must be noted, originated in any way from astrology.

  39. Mahesh says:

    Astrology is a highly mathematical science. If correctly calculated by a knowledgeable and learned person, it is very precise. One is subjected to his or her Karmic Dosh-action, either from the previous birth or Karmas accumulated in this life. Astrology even when calculated correctly goes wrong when Humans-the only ones- can change their Karmas by burning them through Sadhnas or Spiritual Vedic Practices, and with no fault of this science calculated on the basis of the parameters at birth.
    Cosmic Energy is another deep Vedic Science, which governs the Cosmos, is responsible for all existence.

  40. @orthour says:

    The Mantic art in the hands of a charlatan is of course dangerous. The consciousness and sincerity of the practitioner in combination with the art is an alchemical combination yielding gold at it's best.

  41. Shelle says:

    Im just a working class person, no college grad here. I dont begin to dive as deeply into astrology as some of the others commenting on this article do. YET, I value astrology as a science equal to psychology, for being able to locate and advise on so many different aspects of the human psyche. And I value teachers of astrology, especially those like Sam, who wish to share the knowledge with anyone who values it. Thankyou Sam, for the wealth of learning Ive gotten from your articles and videos.

  42. Bianca says:

    I love astrology and everything Sam has taught me and continues to teach me. I see no reason why astrology would make anyone angry?! It is quite bizarre if you ask me…and calling Sam names?! Silly behavior…
    Thank You so much Sam for all that you give your students. I have always found you to be inspirational and I really appreciate all that you do and the knowledge you impart to your students. Bianca

  43. John says:

    Sam keep up the great work! I enjoy the education I receive thru each of your post. I think real astrology is an ancient science. It may have become watered down due to time and to many charlatans, but its still an acient science. Someone once said that the human eye ( we as humans ) see less than 10 percent of what there really is. People need to learn to look up instead of being glued to an I phone or televsion set. Nature is much less a part of thier world.

  44. @Suri_k8 says:

    Wow, seems like we are back In the middle ages , this is as deluded as it gets , its ridiculous and what is worse is that you brought all your deluded pals with you … Funny …

    • __MikeG__ says:

      I find it absolutely amazing to the lengths people will go to hold on to superstitious beliefs and magical thinking. And twisting the word "science" so that it means any "system of study". Maybe in common vernacular but when these people invoke the scientific method they are obfuscating the word "science" and ignoring what the scientific method actually is.

      • @Suri_k8 says:

        I know , it is ridiculous , seems like nowadays anyone can claim to be a scientist….who needs 4 years of college when all you need is a 50 hour =insert your fave bs subject= course right ??

        • Louise Brooks says:

          Thank you Suri_k8 and Mike G. I was feeling like I was the only one on this site not drinking the Kool-Aid. Where are all these people coming from? It's like we're on a Creationism website!
          :)

  45. angela says:

    i am posting because sam stated interest in our posts. he freely shares w/ us so it seemed kind to give back something he has asked. right now, my religion is pistachios. i believe i have to eat them because i want them and i believe i am hungary for pistachios. i believe i need to finish the whole bag because they are nearly done anyway. i believe my lips sting a little from the salt and that my finger tips are now dry and need cream on them. a new now has come and i believe i ate too many, am fat, do not have enough control. if i bothered to question just the above mentioned beliefs, i would find that all of these are created in my mind. so for me, sometimes i notice that i have beliefs about or in astrology, other times i just see it like tonight reading these posts, projections of myself…..oh, and the posts that caused a little rise….these are the signposts where i am most unconscious/the most unaware and unquestioned thoughts…finding those takes me some meditation…cuz see, sometimes i really really really believe my shit. like, dr's and christians to me, are surely the most misguided group of humans walking the planet. clearly my religion, my belief, my prejudice spewing all over the place like our species does! (oh, and when i do 'the work' of byron katie on these beliefs, i will clearly find how misguided i am…in case anyone got a rise). and so far, i have been interested in astrology for 37 years.

  46. Bethany says:

    "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."

    …just like every other person who studies any of the systems of the world that have an observation and experience situation over a very long period of time. It is not easy in this day and age of technology and want-it-yesterday to consistently see results of a system that still works after 5,000+ years based on natural phenomemom of the universe. This specialty science is reduced down to a small generic paragraph by your "Sun sign" in Western astrology on the lifestyle section of the mainstream newspapers (if they still actually deliver them!) for many millions of people that read it. Of course it "doesn't work" or is seriously discredited by people who hear the word "astrology" and immediately jump to this thought! There is no real conscious thought about the subject, just a snapshot engraved in the thinking mind about it.

    "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."

    …it's hard for the modern mind to wrap around the idea that we lived COMPLETELY different when this ancient science was observed and assembled. We lived in a more harmonious rhythm with everything and we do not now. That is painfully obvious in everything our senses connect with in our Western style culture of today. Plus the plethora of options in the realm of not only practice, but belief! And the planets (grahas) have the "last laugh", just as we are the "Fool" in the Tarot deck… the science of Jyotish (Vedic Astrology) works amazingly well, yes even in this day and age!!! It works because it is based on science. And to be good at what you do, just as a doctor or a lawyer does, they practice! Practice in science yields the possible answers to the "whys".

    "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."

    Don't get me wrong, studying Jyotish has been one of the more complicated things for me to practice in my life, but only because my limited mind tells me that there's so many things to consider!!! But I've never studied anything that has allowed for so much understanding of my Self and answers the "whys" of how I do what I do in the world: why I'm prone to anger, why I've always known since I was 13 that I will never have biological children in this lifetime (AND how my/their interactions WOULD be in our lives if I DID have them!!!), why it's hard for me to listen to my boyfriend's (or anyone's!) advice, why I can be touched in the deepest place in my heart when I see suffering in the world. And why I am able to find the light through it.

    I don't know the answers to the "whys". I just practice the science of light!

  47. Christopher says:

    Sri Yukteswar: "It is never a question of belief; the only scientific attitude one can take on any subject is whether it is true. The law of gravitation worked as efficiently before Newton as after him. The cosmos would be fairly chaotic if its laws could not operate without the sanction of human belief."

    From: Autobiography of A Yogi Chapter 16

    http://stellarinsights108.blogspot.com/2008/10/sr

    Socrates-"An unexamined life is not worth living."

    At the very least, what Astrology does is make you "examine" your life in ways you may not have thought about. Science or not, it expands your way of thinking. Sam has probably been the single most influential person I have encountered in my life recently and has directed me towards studying everything I have been searching for all my life. There is more you can learn from Astrology then testable experiments. You can learn psychology in an indirect way, you learn about other people as well as your self, you learn about mythology, philosophy and cultural viewpoints other than your own. So there is much to offer other being a science, which I believe it is. What needs to happen, is Astrologers need to become expert Astronomers if they ever hope for this Science to be validated in the West. The truth is, America is about the only place on Earth that has has to most trouble or objection to these type of things.

    In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna tells Arjuna to not mistake himself as the "doer," and proceeds to say that God is the doer. The point being is that most people's Ego gets in the way of Astrology, leading them to dismiss it immediately. How could the planets do something to me? I am responsible for me? Well how come a rainy day makes you feel down and tired? None the less, Astrology actually was intended to know your Inner light. It corresponds to the Chakras (Another abstract term for people) or nerve centers in your body. The Motion of the planets combined with the Positive and Negative Cosmic Rays being emitted in the universe gives us the impulse to do something. Plainly put, Astrology is the "Science" of how Light of Probable Energetic Patterning or Divisions of Time, effects the Behavior of Man. (Remember History repeats itself.)

    One major issue, is believe it or not, the water people drink in America! The water is contaminated with fluoride which actually calcifies your pineal gland. People in Yoga should know this, that the Pineal Gland is responsible for not just Awareness but Spiritual Awareness. They always say (at least in Mexico) Don't drink the water!

    As far as Guru's still not using Astrology still perplexes me too Sam, the very Science was developed by a Guru or Sage, so why it is still unpopular is beyond me.

    Lastly, Astrology isn't fast food, it takes constant digging and testing (like science) to understand it, nor is it hyper-literal like everybody here in the west wants it be. I will admit when I first started learning, I was skeptical, but I stuck with it and it is true with in the Principles and Rules that they give. People are so quick to dismiss but they won't take the time to explore. Explore it for a Year and I guarantee your view on life will be different.

    That is all, Hope this helped Sam!

  48. Dean Sky-Lucas says:

    Hi All,
    Namaste.
    There is no definitive answer for anything – who is the most right etc. Everything is acting or exerting itself on everything else. We get to decide whether it suits us or not or by how much. Astrology is an amazing system for me because it suits me, I'm able to link into the rhythms and cycles of these things nominated as 'planets' or celestial bodies. I have used it for years and it has introduced me to the least destructive version of my life that I can live.
    Right and wrong is the place for hierarchies of worthiness. Wherever one is on that helix, eventually, absorption into Oneness is a place most devoid of pain, strife and division. It depends on how much resistance you have left. You don't have to worry about that – you'll keep resisting until you don't have the energy to resist anymore – whether that be in this life or another. Sam's view is something I'm not interested in contesting – he has a fabulous brain, he can be contentious – but that's just a form of Spirit keeping me from laziness. His heart, however, is ineffable.
    May Sam keep me striving and sometimes, struggling.
    Until we are all ineffable, by whatever path we each need,
    let us collide into Oneness,

    Dean

  49. lhynnsangels says:

    Great post Sam!
    Astrology is a science I believe..to me it is right on the money!! Love it and Sam is a great astrologer!

  50. Julian Walker yogijulian says:

    oh goodness, i think the yoga community would be much better off if LESS people were gullible to things like astrology. its absolutelbunk and has failed every attempt to demonstrate that any of its claims are in any way true.

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