|By Charlotte Benson|
Interview on July 30, 2009
Charlotte Benson: Thank you for carving out some time to chat with me on behalf of ACVA, especially since you have just returned from India! I hope your astral body has caught up with you by now. Please tell me how you got started in Astrology.
Sat Siri Khalsa: Ok. I’ve been interested in Astrology since I was a little kid looking at the Moon. I’d be at my Grandmother’s house, at Thanksgiving, saying: “Why don’t we make a toast to the Moon?” All the adults thought – this is a strange girl.
Charlotte: That was their first clue about you. (laughter)
|Sat Siri: So then, with Vedic Astrology – that was pretty cool. Someone just showed at our house, stayed with us a couple days, and left this book with me. And it was called “Brihat Jataka.” So I started reading through that, and was mightily puzzled! But I knew there was something there. And then later, I read a book by James Braha – “Ancient Hindu Astrology for the Modern Western Astrologer.” That book put it at a level I could understand. And then – there I went.|
Charlotte: I love that book, too. All Braha’s books actually. Well – that’s quite a leap for you. You became so immersed in the study that you became a professional consulting Jyotishi.
Sat Siri: Yes. I was always doing charts for everybody, all the time anyway.
Charlotte: You looked at my chart for me, at a conference, years ago – I was amazed at what new features in it, that you could see, from your perspective - you’re clearly an expert. What are your favorite Jyotish resources?
Sat Siri: Well, I used to be just voracious, and take in anything and everything and whatever I could. And now it seems to kind have shaken out to being more systematic. So, if you’re going to be systematic about Jyotish, of course, you start with Parasara. And then I found out that Parasara is really a lineage. And Jaimini is a commentator on the lineage – a follower in the same lineage. And so – it’s really not complete to have one without the other. So, I’ve been doing this Jaimini study, in depth, for the last couple of years. I just was fortunate to connect with a very brilliant astrologer who is a descendant of a whole line of pundits who are the real thing. They come from lineages which trace back hundreds and hundreds of years. This pundit knows the inside story of how to make Jaimini understandable. Because the problem with Jaimini is that nobody can understand him.
Charlotte: (laughter) yes – that could be a problem. Ok, but now?
Sat Siri: But now we’re starting to understand him. So I feel very fortunate to be involved with this course. There are 26 people in the course, and we’re all meeting once a year to spend a month or so, studying 8 hours a day. It’s like doing a whole college semester in one month.
|Charlotte: That’s amazing! Who is your teacher?|
Sat Siri: The pundit is Sanjay Rath, who has translated everything. He hasn’t only translated, but additionally he has all this knowledge from the tradition about what it means, and how to do it. And then we find these amazing Sutras. It’s as if you were unpacking your Grandma’s suitcase and finding, say, everything from the bath tub to the backyard!
Each Sutra unpacks to be this huge world of a rule that applies to everything. And so it just really changes the whole way that you understand, not just a chart, but, you kind of understand how everything is all strung together by these sutras.
Charlotte: That a wonderful way to explain it, Sat Siri. This will make a wonderful statement, when I transcribe it.
Sat Siri: Thank you, Transcriber! I can relate because I just transcribed 458 pages of notes at the course I just took – I was taking it all down and typing as he was speaking.
Charlotte: Bless your heart – you are so cool to do that for us! You are obviously so passionate about Astrology. This is not “normal” – you know – to go to India every year and spend that much focused energy on studying classical Astrology. So – what is it in your own chart that contributes this ability to be such a great scholar / Jyotishi?
Sat Siri: That’s a good question. I have this stationary Jupiter in my lagna. I was born with Jupiter standing still – in about 2 days it turned direct. So those are always very obsessive Jupiters!
Charlotte: I guess that also could explain how you graduated with honors from Harvard. And what else - any Ketu action in your chart?
Sat Siri: (laughter) Yes – South Node on the Moon.
Charlotte: I think that some of our readers will have one of those aspects and be encouraged. Do you have any advice to students?
Sat Siri: Well – take the ACVA online course – that’s my first suggestion. It’s a wonderful way to start at a great pace, to get into Astrology. And then if you find that you love it, and you really want to go deeper, then look into studying something like Jaimini – and then there’s a lot of different things you can study, as you go on.
Charlotte: There is *so* much to know. In closing – anything else you’d like to say?
Sat Siri: Yes. I’m just passionate that, overall, that people just *do* study Astrology. Because I completely see it as a Path of Knowledge, and it’s a contribution, I think, to the world. The more people get wise to this kind of thing, the better off the world will be.
Charlotte: Thank you, Sat Siri – that’s a beautiful thought. Welcome back! We look forward to hearing your “transmissions” directly from India.
Sat Siri Khalsa
Currently she is participating in the Jaimini Scholar Program, a multi-year indepth project of opening up to modern students the heretofore little-understood sutras of Maharshi Jaimini that explain the horoscope at profound levels. Sat Siri is Vice President of the Council of Vedic Astrology as well as being on the faculty of the American College of Vedic Astrology. She has contributed articles to numerous publications and is completing a book, Subtle Astrology, on the Krishnamurti system, which uses nakshatras for accurate predictions in everyday affairs. She has been named a Jyotish Kovid by the Indian Council of Astrological Sciences under Dr. B.V. Raman and serves on the faculty of the Sri Jagannath Center. She is also a teacher of Kundalini Yoga and one of the original students of Yogi Bhajan.
Sat Siri’s consultation contact information:
Mailing Address: PO Box 486 Santa Cruz NM 87567
Charlotte Benson (Jyoti Devi)
Diplomate: AFA, NCGR, ISAR
Executive Director, American College of Vedic Astrology, Inc.
President, Arizona Society of Astrologers, Inc.
Phoenix, AZ USA.