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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get your feet wet, yes--but in a shallow pool., 27 May 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Ancient Hindu Astrology (Paperback)
I have a basic understanding of Western psychological astrology, am looking further afield and deeper, and I am very interested in Vedic teachings. So I looked forward to reading this book, after rejecting over half a dozen other purported introductions to Jyotish, many of which appear to be self-serving litanys lacking explanation. I read it over a weekend and learned a fair amount about my own chart. Some of the book is well done and quite interesting: the discussion of house rulerships & how they are affected by their planetary placements, types of houses, basic yogas, use of gems and mantras to counteract malefic influences, etc. And while it does seem to cover all the bases, I was left with a frustrating sense of wanting more. For example, you're shown how to make the navmasha (or 1/9 chart,whatever that means) but not how to interpret it. And, though there is a list of constellation names, there is no discussion whatsoever of the very important nakshatras (lunar mansions)--too complicated, the author said. Well, isn't that what an introductory book is for? And isn't the use of a lunar calendar (in addition to the solar) one of Jyotish's most distinguishing features?? (The influence of the Moon is something forgotten in the West, which is why our number 13 is "hexed"--there are 13 lunar months for every 12 solar). Well, don't we all have a score of lunar aspects every month??? There are several long sections on calculations, all of which are now obsolete, given easy Web access to freeware like JuniorJyotish. And I found the long interpretative section on charts of famous people (Nixon, John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe) wanting in detail and interpretation. For example, if Jyotish is so precise, why can't we retrodict Marilyn Monroe's suicide or interpret her NormaJean/Marilyn schism (which isn't mentioned, by the way)??? I would have liked to be led by the hand in great detail in the first interpretation. I've read other things by Braha which are much better, like his "HT Be a Great Astrologer" which is fabulous--the best book on interpreting aspects "Hands down," so to speak-- and his article in "Eastern Systems for Western Astrologers" (R. Grasse et al eds.) which is very good and helpful. Sad to say, I wish I had bought the "Great Astrologer" book instead, which makes me hesitate to check out his "HT Predict Your Future." This book would likely be a lot more helpful in conjuction with a Jyotish reading by Braha. Until then, I'd like to see the author update and expand this 1986 book in a second edition, drop those tedious & unnecessary calcuations, and expand some of the sections, like on the nakshatras.
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Ancient Hindu Astrology
Ancient Hindu Astrology by James T. Braha (Paperback - 1 Dec 1986)
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