As I go along on my wee little yogic path, there’s so much that I want to believe in, but that the former (current?) cynic in me continues to question. Even before I came to yoga, this deep rooted doubt has always been my modus operandi. For instance, my views on organized religion: “how adorable for you that you believe in God.”

My cynism—or, put a better way, my hope that I’m wrong—this week focuses on the topic of astrology. In the past year or so, I’ve had multiple readings with various astrologers. I’ve seen both western (tropical) and eastern (Jyotish, sidereal), astrologers in the past year. Prior to this little journey through the zodiac I didn’t even know there were different kinds of astrology. I was more familiar, as you may also be, with the western version. Recently, I had the opportunity to learn a little more about Jyotish which was so complicated it made my head hurt. And it is so dang specific. Did you know, for instance, there are specific days on which it’s auspicious to travel and days when you really shouldn’t even think about it (Tuesdays* in case you’re curious)? There even days when it’s better to cut your nails. This may explain a lot in my life – I should probably be more thoughtful about when I get manicures.

Yes, I am making fun of it, but with both affection and respect. It can be amusing. That said, people I admire and trust a great deal are deep into astrology. In fact, the two yoga teachers that have had the greatest impact on me are both studying astrology. Ironically, one is studying western astrology and the other is studying eastern. Because these two people for whom I have such great esteem are believers, I give it credence. Beyond that, it makes sense to me that, if the moon can affect the tides among other things, who’s to say it can’t affect many other aspects of our lives?

This past week, I saw an astrologer whom I think is pretty brilliant (truthfully, none of the three I’ve seen could be classified as anything less. They are all crazy smart in their own ways). This third perspective on my birth chart definitely had similarities to the past two readings. I will say, however, that it was probably the most hopeful. I’ve been told—and my experience has borne this out—that Jyotish astrologers tend not to pull any punches and therefore might tell you things you wish you hadn’t heard (but that you should, in any case, probably know). This week’s reading was with a western astrologer, and was, thus, a little cheerier.

All three have told me I’ve had violence in my past life. I’ve been told by two that it seems as though I might have been some sort of spiritual leader. One said a rabbi, which I found hysterical given my level of non-practicing Judaism in this life. Wouldn’t that just be the height of irony? Another said that my chart would be appropriate for a nun, which would explain some things about my current lifetime…

This week’s reading validated that I was headed down the right path. I’m supposed to be a communicator (which is how I make a living), I should focus on writing (this here little blog is an example of that in action), using humor works for me (I hope so! You tell me…), and I am headed for a change in my career (something I’ve been noodling on for a while). Also I should probably start thinking about a registry and looking for a venue because the love train is heading for my station in 2016 (mark your calendars).

OK, I can’t help but poke fun. But each time I get a reading—with individuals who are well vetted and yogi approved—I believe a little more. So much of it makes sense to me. And like many things on this path I am on, I feel that it’s important to be open to the possibilities.

A few years ago, I didn’t believe in any sort of higher power nor would I have considered myself a spiritual person. That has all changed dramatically. What else about my beliefs might change with the benefit of additional knowledge? Who am I to say that the planets can’t tell us about our past, our future or our very selves? At a minimum, it’s all fascinating. Possibly, it could help us to live our lives to full affect and, if not entirely avoid speed bumps (which are our greatest lessons, after all), at least navigate them a little more gracefully.

What you need to know for a birth chart reading:

  • Your birth date (obviously);
  • The exact time of your birth (it matters if it’s 7:45 AM or 7:52 AM, for example); and
  • Where in the world you were born (Lancaster County, PA, for example, was where I made my grand entrance).

I highly recommend all three astrologers I’ve seen in the past year. They each have a unique perspective and are some of the most brilliant people I’ve ever met:

Jyotish: Brendan Feeley


What’s your take? Do you believe the planets have a bearing on our fate? Or do you think it is all just pie in the sky?
[*] “Journeys on Tuesdays are often ill-starred, because Tuesdays are ruled by the troublesome Mars,” according to Light on Life: An Introduction to the Astrology of India, (chapter 7) by Hard Fe Fouw and Robert Svoboda