Natal Astrology or Personal Astrology
The most popular area of astrology is studying the birth chart of an individual, known as natal or personal astrology. After studying the horoscope of an individual, a skilled and experienced astrologer can discover the major patterns and planetary influences in a person’s life, principal character traits and therefore can make fairly accurate readings about past and future events.
An expansion of astrology from the personal to the global level is mundane (or political) astrology. This is a complex and interesting system that uses various astrological methods to track the horoscopes of countries, institutions, and political leaders. Based on past events and planetary positions, astrology has been used to track business and political competitors, and to identify their weak points and how to take advantage of them. Therefore a large volume of vital information can be derived from the few bits of information that are required to cast a horoscope.
A sub-branch of mundane astrology is financial (or stock market) astrology. There are many who claim ability to predict the market's fluctuations (i.e. when the prices of oil or gold will go up or down), while their actual success rate remains unknown (one would have to take their word for it). This is not to say that there are no astrologers who can predict market fluctuations--just that one must be careful, especially when it comes to investing big money.
What most people, including some astrologers, do not realize is that the personal chart contains information about one's financial success or failure; therefore all the "hot tips" in the world will not help one whose karma is not to be wealthy in this life. Better than going to someone who claims to know how the market will turn, and then investing accordingly, is to consult a good astrologer to have one's own chart read, to see what economic opportunities reside in the future. If from one's chart it is seen that finance and fortune shines brightly, then one can safely invest in anything according to his inspiration, and most particularly in those items found via the chart to be lucky.
Another derivative of natal astrology is medical astrology. While much medical information can be acquired through natal astrology, i.e. probable times of sickness, susceptibility to certain diseases, weak constitution, proneness to accidents, exposure to blood related diseases, when to perform surgery or give medicine, choosing a physician, etc. Medical astrology is actually strictly the domain of Ayurvedic physicians, who have the natural ability to thoroughly study so many medical cases.
Medical astrology is the full-blown investigation and diagnosis of medical problems thorough the horoscope. It was once very much in vogue. Even today in India, Ayurvedic doctors are urged to study astrology. However the difficulty is that to properly practice medical astrology one must be a qualified physician. It is a valuable tool of the astrologer-physician, but few astrologers fall into this category.
Ayurvedic physicians choose auspicious times for performing surgery or beginning a regimen of treatment (Example: Since the moon rules over fluids, it is considered very undesirable to have surgery closer to the full-moon day, because of the tendency for excessive loss of fluid and danger of heavy bleeding.)
Have you ever wondered if life would be different in another city or state, or even another country or continent? Well before you pack up your bags for Melbourne or Toronto, check with your Vedic astrologer. On the basis of your natal chart plus other methods specific to relocation astrology, he can advise you where it is best to live.
The normal method that we use is too general. First, we use a computer program to generate a map of the world with planetary lines on them based on the birth chart. Then, by analyzing the chart he determines which lines are most favourable. This is the more general approach, and it is useful in analyzing large geographical regions. Relocation astrology is a very powerful and accurate technique which has become popular in the last ten years. This method can be used to find the best place in the world to make money, study, write a book, find a spouse, etc.
Muhurta or Electional Astrology
So far, we have talked about ascertaining the future from the time of birth. But suppose one is planning an important event or project and especially wants it to be successful. Logically, he should choose the best time available within a particular "window of time," to get the best results. This is called muhurta or electional astrology. Basically it is the science of timing, choosing the best time to start something in order to get the best results. There are certain events in life that we would especially like to see turn out successful, such as a business or marriage. If one has undergone all the trouble to match charts for compatibility or to set up a business, then he should also choose a good muhurta in order to start the event successfully and to neutralize any defects that there may be in the match.
With a little imagination, we can expand the possibilities for muhurta astrology well beyond these two items, business and marriage : When to build a house or to lay the foundation stone, make a significant purchase, start any important project like writing a book, when to release a book or movie or when to begin a long journey. Gurus and acaryas (great spiritual leaders) would choose auspicious muhurtas for conducting an initiation ceremony, installing a Deity, or laying the cornerstone of a temple. By studying the charts of the people involved and the available time, Dr Theja choses what he considers to be the most appropriate auspisious time.
Prasna or Horary Astrology
One of the most useful and dynamic branches of Vedic astrology prasna, which literally means "question”. The natal chart reading is an in depth research. Initially one is presented with the full view, however its accuracy is insufficient and therefore one has to zoom in and look at a smaller segment of time, say, the duration of a planetary major period or, even smaller, the planetary sub-period, or perhaps a year or six months. The precise analysis would be to focus on just one question for a specific period of time. This is prasna.
If you meet a particularly qualified person who could be the perfect match for you but you do not want to jeopardize interest by directly asking for their birth particulars. What to do? After suitably considering the situation, you would ask a Vedic astrologer the question : What will be the result for me if I marry this person? The Vedic astrologer notes the time the question is asked, calculates the chart, analyzes it, and then gives a scientific answer.
How does it work? The conception of a question is the thought which enters one's mind. Pondering, worrying, and brooding over it is the gestation period. And asking is the birth of the question. You might be surprised to learn how accurately a trained astrologer is able to give the correct answer. Of course prasna is not limited to romantic ponderings, but can be applied to almost any situation wherein humans have questions. Unfortunately they cannot always take advantage of it for two reasons :
Prasna is very difficult to perform, and it requires extensive special training. Even if an astrologer capable to adequately read a natal chart will not be able to do a prasna chart properly unless trained to do so, because there are special rules in prasna that are not applicable to natal astrology, and vice versa.
Engineer Rameshwar Prasad
(B.Tech., M.Tech., P.G.D.C.A., P.G.D.M.)