by Swami Nirmalananda Giri
Astrology and divination are very real and valuable tools in the yogi’s life. They are not superstition, but metaphysical science. When I was twenty years old I had an experience that rocketed me out of my complacent spiritual ignorance into insight into the three basic principles of life’s reality: 1) Reincarnation; 2) Karma; 3) Evolution of the soul–the individual’s consciousness, which occurs in this world and higher worlds until perfect union with the Absolute is reached. This, of course made me become a yogi. (Though it was not that fast or simple.)
Part of my awakening was no longer being afraid to investigate what the ignorant denounced as “of the devil” or superstition. This included astrology and divination.
Astrology was not hard to investigate. I just started buying astrology magazines and general monthly personal forecasts and seeing if they proved correct. I would only read the prediction for a day at that day’s end. Mostly everything would have occurred as forecast. Then I had my own horoscope cast and read by an expert. It was amazingly accurate. So from then on I used astrology in a very practical way regarding various aspects of my life. A close friend, Lynn Dalton (an associate of the renowned astrologer Dane Rudyar), was herself an excellent astrologer and often did readings for me. Later on I learned the value of business astrology and used it in every appropriate situation. That was extremely beneficial.
Astrology has been an essential part of Indian life for centuries. Marriages are arranged through astrology and the horoscope of a child is often drawn and perused before its day of birth is over. Both Western and Indian astrology are trustworthy and of great value if the astrologer consulted is competent. If not, confusion and disaster will be the result.
I strongly recommend that you find a competent astrologer and consult him at such times as you need extra insight into a situation or need guidance in making a decision. First only consult about things of small importance so any misreading will not produce any significant harm. If those consultations are consistently accurate, then begin to consult on important matters. Both personal and business astrology should be consulted when you find reliable astrologers skilled in them. You will see for yourself the wisdom of doing so. It is good, but not necessary, if the astrologer you consult is a member of the American Federation of Astrologers.
There is one caution. By his sadhana the yogi transmutes his karma and often what is predicted will not occur externally but internally. For example, Lynn once told me that some acquaintances from the past would reappear in my life and have a positive and significant effect on it. That did not happen. But what did happen was that certain ideas and plans that I had long ago dismissed and virtually forgotten were suddenly remembered by me and–conditions having changed–I acted on them with real benefit and success. So the astrology was meaningful on an intellectual level, but it was not an external event involving actual people. This possibility should be kept in mind.
Now of course be aware that an astrologer may intrude their personal attitudes or prejudices into a consultation. I knew a very good astrologer who looked at my birth chart and could tell much about my past lives. She told me that I had led a monastic life in many previous lives but that for further development I need to “come out” and live an ordinary secular life in this incarnation. Not for a moment did I take that seriously. I knew my swadharma and followed it.
So use astrology and never let it (or astrologers) use you.
Along with astrology I also looked into divination by Tarot cards. I bought a book on the subject and a deck of cards and found out virtually immediately that they would be a source of amazing information and an invaluable help in making decisions of many kinds. They told me about both the present and the future. After some years I took a special course in reading the Tarot and it was of some value, but eventually I formulated my own way of reading the cards–partly because I have never been able to correctly shuffle cards.
I wrote a book on the subject– How To Read The Tarot. You might find it useful. (available now as a PDF download in our E-Library and soon in print and as an ebook.)
As amazed as I was with the Tarot divination, I was open to more knowledge of that kind and it did come to me.
For quite some time I had been getting mailings from a used book dealer in an east coast state. It would just be twenty or more mimeographed pages listing books along with a description for each and its price. One day when looking through the latest mailing I found this entry: “MANTEION. Apollonios Phocaeus.” And the price. Nothing more. But the moment I saw it I said to myself, “This is for me!” And I ordered it immediately.
What arrived after some time became one of my greatest treasures. Some time earlier I had gotten a copy of what was called The Oracle of Pythagoras. It was accurate but very limited in its scope, only being about forty or fifty pages in length. The MANTEION was a brilliant expansion of that, nearly four hundred pages long. It proved to be of amazing accuracy and detail.
Reprints of the MANTEION can be ordered from Amazon.
A final word
There is no doubt that some people are more adept at divination than others, so go carefully in your attempts at divination before trusting your results completely. Your divinatory ability should develop through practice. Your results will show whether you are developing sufficiently. Do not be impatient or try to rush things.