* Interview #73, with Hindu/Vedic and Modern Western Astrologer, James Braha!
* Note from Jess: James Braha is one of the most respected astrologers in America and is the recipient of the Jyotish Kovida award from the Indian Council of Astrological Sciences. I greatly enjoyed a number of his astrology books — so I decided to send a quick Q&A on career and life vision!
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Hi James! Describe yourself in 5 words:
Four planets in Tropical Libra.
How did you get into studying astrology?
In 1978, I went for my first astrology reading and was astonished by her accuracy. One of the things she said was that I would have a “retesting of my marriage” in a certain month. When that month arrived, my marriage exploded like a volcano. I then went to Isabel Hickey, a very famous older Boston astrologer, who said my wife would be unhappy with whoever she was with and that I should get her out of my house. Isabel said my wife would return to me in 3 months – all of which happened exactly on schedule. I was so stunned by how someone could my life and my future that I began buying and studying astrology books.
The full story can be found in my autobiographical text ASTRO-LOGOS, REVELATIONS OF A HINDU ASTROLOGER. It is about my early days of learning astrology, and going to India to learn the Hindu system. A rather fun read.
You have written a bunch of informative, insightful, in-depth books on astrology—what a wealth of knowledge! Was there one particular book that was more difficult to complete than the others?
Actually, no. They all required about the same intensity. But having been an uninterested student in school (other than Drama – I was an actor), I had to learn how to write on my own after the need arose. The first book (ANCIENT HINDU ASTROLOGY FOR THE MODERN WESTERN ASTROLOGER) felt like a gift from god, in that I was able to write clearly and effectively. My second book, ASTRO-LOGOS, is where I began to realize I had some innate writing talent.
Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):
These days I’m mainly doing horoscope readings for seekers. I took a break from astrology for 4 or 5 years and focused on investments with gold and silver stocks. Also, was teaching non duality (Hindu philosophy of Advaita). Now I am doing 4 or 5 Hindu astrology readings a week and enjoying it. Giving the most thorough and detailed readings I can, trying to help people live their lives in the healthiest, most successful way possible.
Share a few of your favorite quotes (10-100 words):
“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but I do know that the only ones among you who will be happy are those who have sought and found a way to serve.” ~ Albert Schweitzer
“Although all dualities come from the one, do not be attached even to this one.” ~ Seng T’san – Hsin Hsin Ming
“After the final no, there comes a yes. And on that yes, the future of the world depends.” ~ Wallace Stevens
“Let a man live so that at the closing of each day he may say I have not wasted this day.” ~ The Zohar
How would you describe the essential purpose of astrology?
[Image from Vedic Astrology]
It is a blueprint of a person’s life. It’s not absolute, but it reveals the essential nature, abilities, flaws, challenges and so on. It’s the most wonderful and helpful tool I’ve ever come across to help a person realize the highest potential and point out areas of difficulty.
Please share your #1 tip for aspiring students of astrology:
Only use what works, throw out what doesn’t. Don’t accept anything a book or astrology teacher says without verifying its accuracy. Ignore whatever so called authority say if it doesn’t prove effective in your practice.
Please share your #1 tip for aspiring astrologers:
Once you work professionally, don’t work 50 weeks each year. Leave enough leisure time for yourself — astrology is a very intense and demanding profession. It can be draining without if you’re not careful.
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Much thanks to the gracious and very cool James Braha for taking the time to share his thoughts and insightful advice!
Check out his full bio on his website, along with his catalog of books on Amazon.com
* UPDATE (Aug 2013): 17,000 live viewers tuned into this interview with Mr. Braha!
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