“The astrologer does not study astrology because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it, and he delights in it because it is beautiful.”

French mathematician J.H. Poincare said this for mathematics. But it is equally true for astrology. A time comes when he rids of reading and writing astrology. He does not do astrology for the sake of monetary or mundane gain any more. Appreciation and criticism become meaningless for him. He “starts living astrology”. All sentient and insentient things turn into elements of astrology (planets, signs, houses etc). What a pleasurable state it is.

Sky is the canvas of astrologer therefore a good astrologer should be a passionate sky observer. I learnt this secret bit late. For some time, I have been regularly observing celestial phenomena. Watching sunrise daily and saffron-coloured east: speechless movement, in fact a natural awakening time. This practice also taught me the pregnant meaning of ayan, equinoxes and solstices. How the Sun gradually changes its hue, warmness and drift in rising position over the year. The spells of 15 to 20 minutes before and after the sunrise and sunset are really magical, perhaps, the best mahurtha for the inner-self. I think Ptolemy (2nd century CE) might have compelled to include -5 degree margin in Ascendant degree just on account of sunrise effect.

As against the sunrise, the sunset phenomenon invokes different feeling inside us (if you are a keen observer). Have you noticed why we strongly feel “to have someone with us” at the time of sunset? I think it’s an invisible effect of 7th house that occurs parallel to sunset timing.

Then there is serenity of Moon, especially sighting new moonrise and full moon every month. Only a handful number of urban dwellers know that we can observe Sun and Moon simultaneously just after sunrise and before sunset. It happens only in daytime. Apart from it, if local horizon is clear and non-polluted then one can enjoy rare celestial phenomena of morning-stars (just before sunrise), and evening-stars (just after sunset).

Jyotish is like ‘Sagar’ (sea), and Paddhati is like ‘Nauka’ (ship). This is a generally referred analogy in classical astrological teachings. Different systems, schools of thought, approaches and methodologies are modern names of ‘Paddhati’, ‘Vidhi’, ‘Mat’, ‘Marga’, ‘Sastra‘ etc. They are similar to various kinds of ships on sea. Some are large ships, some are faster boats, some are slow yachts, some are vessels, some are big cruises, and some are mere rafts. But they all sail on the waters of astrology (Jyotish Sagar).

There is no question of right or wrong, smaller or bigger, slower or faster, because they have different potential and different purpose.