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There are many books for Beginners in Vedic Astrology which are written more like a cook-book, and where essentially you just take a look at the placement of the planet on your chart and then read what it's supposed to mean. This is not that kind of a book. This book assumes that you are seriously interested in grasping Vedic Astrology and it guides you step-by-step toward developing a solid level of understanding and competence.

The book contains countless correspondencies of planetary influences (grahas), constellations (rashis) and houses (bhavas). These correspondencies go way beyond just interpreting the natal chart, and enable the skilled jyotishi to get insight into the individual, question or particular situation sometimes even without looking at the chart. Understanding of these numerous correspondencies can enable jyotishi to assist the individual in successfully dealing with challenging situation.

Even though this book is "an introduction" to Vedic astrology, it may not be the best choice as the very first book on astrology. For absolute beginners, perhaps a book like Beneath a Vedic Sky may be a better choice to start with.
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on 24 February 2000
Light on Life, is the result of an excellent partnership. Hart Defouw is a veteran, and one of the most esteemed Vedic Astrologers of our time. In this book we are introduced to some of the oldest Jyotish knowledge, but without the superstition. Here we get facts. Robert Svoboda, is also known as the author of other brilliant books from his life in India, not least his book The Greatness of Saturn. If you are about to enter your Sade Sati, it will be hard to survive without it. In Light on life you will be enlightened by two scolars, who really know what they are talking about. You get a lot of knowledge at a small prize.
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on 5 November 2014
This is the best all-in-one English language Jyotish primer. The hallmark of a classic work, especially one dealing in spiritual knowledge, is that the reader can return to it over and again and always find something new. This quality speaks highly of the authors' respective mind levels and their understanding of the subject: Hart de Fouw and Robert Svoboda are both steeped in Vedic knowledge.

The book gives a concise grounding on the roots of Jyotish and its underlying philosophy. It takes the reader through basic astronomy, planets, signs, houses and the Panchanga. It covers the Nakshatras thoroughly, which the authors view as central to understanding Jyotish. Descriptions of the Nakshatras in some books tend to be nebulous, but you get a good grounding here simply by absorbing the key meanings and rulerships of the 27 asterisms.

The art of astrology is to integrate all the separate elements of a chart. Light on Life comes into its own in the chapter on interpretation, where the authors give an 18-point rundown of how to analyse a Vedic horoscope. The authors bring together the strands of planetary strength, rulership and affinity from classical Jyotish texts, with practical insights of their own. The sections on Planetary Yogas and forecasting, which combines the Vimshottari Dashas with Gochara, is likewise excellent. Step by step, exactly what you want. Example charts give detailed practical illustrations of principles used in the book.

Minor quibbles concern the text-heavy layout, and a sometimes rather ponderous prose style (my edition also contains some glaring typos). Classical Jyotish is set out in aphorism form, with very little exposition, which is often easier to digest. Also, the same two anonymous example charts are used throughout the book, so the reader has to keep flipping to the back to find the chart diagrams.

Still, this is the go-to book for aspiring Jyotishis of almost any level. Jyotish is a virtual 50-50 split between technique and intuitive knowledge, and Hart de Fouw and Robert Svoboda clearly have an abundance of both.
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on 8 February 2009
Communication is key when teaching and learning. If you want to understand Indian astrology but know nothing about India or have been raised in a largely metropolitan English speaking family like me. Then Robert Svoboda and Hart De Fouw will communicate those concepts in a very clear manner. This book is a real treatise on getting those concepts right.
You will need to memorise several concepts if you want to start reading and understanding charts. Once you do you can quickly start practicing on your friends and then strangers or both at the same time. Of course I want to read deeper and deeper on several concepts introduced in this book. But this will give you all you need to start off. I do think the authors missed out a table that shows the different lordships and grahas ie., 1 for Aries whose lord is Mars, 2 Taurus whose lord is Venus etc., helps to show the strength of the planets. I often generate horoscope with a software and then start reading it. So this table is key for a beginner. I had to build my own. Some concepts could have gone deeper but then the book would become too thick.
I also suggest reading "The Greatness of Saturn" by Robert Svoboda before you read this as it will help to re-enforce the relationships of the planets and aid in memorisation (something I dislike). All in all you cant beat these two gurus.
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on 22 July 2012
Book arrived on time, no problems encountered in the transaction. This is the best instruction book on Vedic astrology I came across yet, very concise, all-inclusive,
explanations excellent - cuts through verbiage. Good index in the back. A table is included so that you can make out your own D9 (Navamsa) chart.
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on 25 June 2015
Not very interesting to read.
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on 25 August 2015
OK. Very good.
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on 25 February 2015
thank you
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