© March 2010 by Fabienne Lopez
Recently, thanks to my friend Virginia, I had my first Vedic astrology reading. Originated in India where it is known as Jyotish, a Sanskrit name the meaning “eye or light of nature,” Vedic astrology is based the sidereal zodiac, as opposed to the tropical zodiac, favored by contemporary Western astrologers.
As the basis for the chart calculation, the difference between the two kinds of astrology methods is that Vedic astrology follows the path of the constellations, and western astrology follows the path of the sun. Western astrology emphasizes the psychological nature of the individual, but lacks reliability for predicting future cycles and events. Although Vedic astrology also defines a person’s psychological nature, it gives more focus to understanding when certain events are likely to take place.
Vedic astrology also gives a better view of:
1. A person’s karmic tendencies
2. When such tendencies are likely to manifest for that person.
The times of life events are shown through a detailed system of planetary time cycles, called “dashas.” There is no corresponding system in Western astrology.
With the little knowledge I had of Vedic astrology, I assumed the Vedic astrologer would have a karmic and fatalistic view of my chart. I had this preconceived idea that Jyotish was a lot more pessimistic than western astrology, without much allowance for free will.
I was pleasantly surprised. At the end of our session I came out of it liking my “new chart.” It seemed much stronger and positive than the one I am used to. I saw more talent and strength. That may be because I am so used to looking at my chart in a certain way that I needed a fresh pair of eyes to see it from a different perspective.
As an astrology client, this time, I was at a disadvantage. Normally when I get a reading from a colleague, I know what he or she is talking about. We share a common language, a common background of knowledge. We read the same basic books, and learned the same principles and concepts. Not so this time. I was in foreign territory this time, a tourist in a strange land. No familiar frame of reference to anchor myself. No shared commonality of habits and language.
Very unsettling, exciting even, and an eye-opening experience for me.
“How many of clients feel the same way when coming to a reading with me for the first time?” I kept asking myself during the whole time.
Do they usually feel like I do right now? Puzzled, confused, a bit lost and overwhelmed? Pumped up and glazed over?
Do they really understand what I am trying to convey? Is this information useful, pertinent? Does it make any sense?
The analogy of the tourist in a foreign country kept coming back. Not the tourist who goes to another country where she can speak the language and can therefore make herself understood. No, not that one. But the one who visits a country totally different to what she is used to, with nothing familiar she can hang on to. The language is just babbled words and sounds. The food is a culinary adventure but not the comforting stuff. The habits, the customs do not make sense but you have to follow them if you want to fit in. As much as an alien can fit in.
During the reading I was torn between constantly interrupting Virginia to ask the definition of the words she was using and not wanting to lose any content she was giving.
Do clients feel that way too? Lost, bamboozled by a vocabulary they do not understand or to which they have no frame of reference. Especially the first time? In these circumstances, how much content do they lose by worrying about understanding the mechanics of the process.
After deciding not to interrupt Virginia, I relaxed and concentrated on the feedback she was giving me about my chart. I am glad I chose this approach because I learned so much about my chart, and myself. Virginia gave me an entire different perspective on what I considered my “problem areas” — according the western method, such as my Venus retrograde in Aries and the T-square between my Venus, Moon and Saturn.
I learned that Venus retrograde is considered a very strong placement for that planet. In that position, my Venus qualities become strengthened, sharpened, put on steroids. For somebody who has such difficulties with Venus, this was music to my ears. Something that I had always considered a disadvantage, a hindrance was transformed into a HUGE bonus, into something that others could envy. The same thing happened to my natal Saturn. What I always viewed as a problem was turned into a benefit.
This change in perspective is the most important aspect that I take from my reading. Being able to see my planetary chart in a different light changed my relationship with those planets. It liberated me, lightened up my feelings concerning these “difficult” planets, opened a whole new world of possibilities for me. I could now change my relationship with them. Most of us are so used to see themselves only in a certain way that the idea of another point of view does not even cross our minds. I am guilty of that behavior. I am so accustomed to see my Venus in Aries as a huge problem in my chart. The reading with Virginia showed me that, even tough it is a difficult placement, there is an inherent strength in that placement as well as advantages and qualities that I should learn how to use it. And what a relief I felt after that. I could feel myself relax around this issue which in turn has allowed me to start interacting with my Venus.
Now I can take this radical perspective change to my clients. Not only do I help them understand their chart, but I also offer a different point of view to some of the challenges they experience in their chart, change their relationship with them. And once the shift occur, they can better deal with those difficulties.
I had forgotten that lesson, learned from coaching – a different perspective can lead to more enriching, meaningful insights about yourself.
If you’re curious about experiencing a shift in how you view yourself through the lens of western astrology, and how what you thought you knew about your Sun sign and other astrological attributes may be completely different, then email me at Fabienne @Astro-Brasil.com and we’ll create some change together.
Photos: Flicker Creative Commons-