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Tel: 410-638-7761; Toll-free (orders only): 800-475-2272
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Vedic/Western Astrology by

James Braha

James Braha is an American-born Jyotish based in Florida. He first came to national prominence in 1986 with his now-famous Ancient Hindu Astrology for the Modern Western Astrologer. As he says, it was not the first Vedic astrology book available in the US (Raman's could be had for some years earlier), nor was it the first book by an American author (De Luce's excellent book predates it by more than 20 years), but Ancient Hindu Astrology was the first Vedic astrology book to "break the glass ceiling" and bring this ancient science to the west in understandable form. This was an enormous achievement. The current popularity of Vedic astrology, by Americans in America, is Braha's singular achievement. Here are his various books:

Prologue; Acknowledgements; Introduction; Warning; The Hindu zodiac; Planetary symbols, direction indicators & body rulerships; The Chakras - the birthchart; The Navamsa - the one-ninth division (marriage chart); Grahas - the planets; Bhavas - the horoscope houses; Rasis - the zodiac signs; Gaining perspective of the Hindu system; Friendships between planets; Planetary powers; House rulerships; Drishtis - planetary aspects; Shad Bala - determining planetary strengths; The effect of retrograde planets; House karakas - house indicators; Kujadosha - Mars affliction affecting married life; Upayes - Antidotes for planetary afflictions (gemstones & mantras)

Planets in the houses: 1st house - House of the body; 2nd house - House of finances; 3rd house - House of siblings; 4th house - House of happiness & comforts; 5th house - House of children; 6th house - House of enemies; 7th house - House of wife; 7th house - House of wife; 8th house - House of death; 9th house - House of fortune; 10th house - House of activities (occupation); 11th house - House of gains & profits; 12th house - House of expenditure & loss; Vimshottari dasa system of prediction

Delineation of Dasa Bhuktis - the planetary periods; Transits - predicting marriage, pregnancy, homes & cars, etc.; Maturity of planets - when planets give their full effects; Yogas - planetary unions; Horoscopes of famous people (15 horoscopes analyzed); Vargas - the 16 division charts; Chaleta Bhava Kundali - the diurnal chart predictive method; Ashtaka Varga - eight-fold division system; Nakshatras - lunar mansions; Free will vs: Predestiny; A final note; Ecclesiastes excerpt; Glossary; Bibliography.

Comment: A clear, easily understood introduction to Hindu astrology. Learn about Hindu predictive techniques that outstrip western transits & progressions in detail & accuracy, the Navamsa (the famous Hindu marriage & compatibility chart), vimsottari dasas, bhuktis & much more. An excellent introductory survey. On the cover: The author's chart.

Hermetician Press, 350 pages, oversize.

HOW TO BE A GREAT ASTROLOGER, The Planetary Aspects Explained - James Braha, $24.95
Introduction; Poem by Babaji, a Himalayan saint; How astrology works; The moon's nodes; The moon's nodes in the signs and houses; Planetary aspects; Aspects to the Sun; Aspects to the Moon; Aspects to Mercury; Aspects to Venus; Aspects to Mars; Aspects to Jupiter; Aspects to Saturn; Aspects to Uranus, Neptune & Pluto; Services of James Braha; Reading List.

Comment: This is a book on traditional western aspects, eg, the Ptolemaic ones: Conjunction, sextile, square, trine & opposition. For each planet, Braha groups his essays as conjunct, sextile/trine, square/opposition. He includes occasional notes on how Vedic astrology views the planets, but it is not his primary focus. The exception is the chapter on nodes, which, while avoiding Vedic jargon, is thoroughly Vedic in viewpoint. The delineations are well-nuanced. This is one of the best books on aspects. On the front cover, the title is printed in gold foil on a black background. It simply will not scan.

Hermetician, oversize paper, 256 pages.

HOW TO PREDICT YOUR FUTURE: Secrets of Eastern & Western Astrology - James Braha, $24.95
(Formerly Transits of the West, Dasas of the East)

Part 1: Predicting your future with western transits: How to use this book; Three misunderstood houses; Transits & dasas; Jupiter transits through the houses; Saturn transits through the houses; Uranus transits through the houses; Neptune transits through the houses; Pluto transits through the houses; Jupiter transits; Saturn transits; Uranus transits; Neptune transits; Pluto transits.

Part 2: Predicting your future with Hindu dasas: The purpose of part 2; Dasas & bhuktis; The two zodiacs; The chakra - the birthchart; Dasa - bhukti fundamentals; Rulerships; Benefics or malefics by virtue of house rulerships; Planetary aspects; Exaltations & falls; Gemstones, mantras & yagyas; Example horoscopes: Jodie Foster, Marlon Brando, Al Gore, John Denver; A lifetime of dasas; Special Hindu astrology considerations; Appendix; Reading list.

Comment: Combines Western & Hindu predictive methods: Western transits are the primary focus of this book, comprising 2/3rds of it. Hindu dasas are explained, though not given in any detail (wish there was more). The other Hindu chapters are informative & well-written.

Hermetician, oversize paper, 354 pages.

THE ART & PRACTICE OF ANCIENT HINDU ASTROLOGY, 9 intimate sessions between teacher & student - James Braha, $39.95
Introduction; How to use this book; Note to beginners; Note to experienced students & astrologers

Class One: Analyzing the Muhurta Chart for this Project
Class Two: Analysis of Martin's Horoscope
Class 3: How to Prioritize Horoscope Features, and Retrograde Planets in a Horoscope
Class Four: Stationary Planets, Sadhe Sati, Pahoti Yoga, and Prasna Charts
Class Five: Subtleties & Often Ignored Significations of the First Six Houses
Class Six: Subtleties & Often Ignored Significations of the Last Six Houses
Class Seven: Analyzing Natal Horoscopes & Varga Charts for Career, Health & Marriage
Class Eight: The Problems with Neechabhanga Rajayoga & Vargottama, and Confusing Conjunctions Analyzed
Class Nine: Upayes, Gemstones, Mantras & Yagyas; Wedding Muhurtas, Compatibility Charts, and How to Analyze a Stellium of Planets; Final Summary.

Appendix A: Fundamentals (Hindu astrology primer for beginners); Appendix B: All horoscopes in the book drawn in North Indian method (diamond chart) (elsewhere in the book, they're in the square south Indian style); Glossary of Hindu terms.

Comment: Astrology, like music, is an oral tradition. Unless you're gifted (and, to be frank, many are), there's only so much you can get from books. This is especially true of Vedic astrology. With so many students, so few teachers, what to do? James Braha transcribed his sessions with one of his students, Martin Timmons. This is a big step in a hopeful direction. Among the many highlights in the book: What a Hindu chart tells about a person's evolution & spiritual path, How to prioritize the many positive & negative influences in the chart, How to accurately predict career, health & relationships, How retrograde planets really work, How to interpret mixed & contradictory elements in a horoscope, How to choose a wedding date, Why Panoti Yoga must be used to judge Sadi Sati, Why Neechaghanga & Vargottama do not work, How to use Varga (harmonic) charts accurately, Why there are so many disagreements abut gem prescriptions, What to do when many planets (a stellium) fall in one house, Which elements of western astrology work best with Hindu astrology, and more. A fascinating book.

Hermetician Press, oversize format, hardcover, 430 pages.

ASTRO-LOGOS, Revelations of a Hindu Astrologer - James Braha, $9.95
Preface to the 2nd edition; Introduction;

Chapter 1: Background, Western astrology: My first encounter with the stars, The astrologer's predictions come true, Meeting Isabel Hickey: A great astrologer, Learning to interpret: The journey begins;

Chapter 2: Hindu astrology, The missing half: My first taste of the predictive astrology of the ancients, Meeting my mentor, Analyzing friends' birthcharts with Santhanam, Free will vs predestiny, More birthchart analysis;

Chapter 3: Practicing Hindu & Western Astrology: A Session of Prasna - the Hindu version of horary astrology, More practice with the public, Astrologizing on the radio;

Chapter 4: Strictly Personal: Returning to India & meeting P.M. Padia, Poorvapunya & Maturity of the planets: Two powerful techniques, Developing a computer mind with Padia, Rewarded efforts, A second block;

Chapter 5: Workbook: Personally prescribed gemstones, Chanting astrological mantras, How & why the star language works; Services.

Comment: This is James Braha's story of how a young, reasonably happily married man in Boston (or Miami, it's murky) had his life turned upside down & ended up the most famous American-born Jyotish of his generation. This is the story of his awakening, divorce, trips to India, the writing of his first book & its production & distribution, etc. Along the way he has a great deal to say about Vedic astrology & its various techniques. His first mentor: The young genius, R. Santhanam. Santhanam was a Vedic scholar, the translator numerous books, some of which are for sale on this site. He passed away in the late 1990's, still young, a great loss.

The London bookstore Braha mentions was Foyles, the Barnes & Noble of London. In other days I browsed its stacks frequently.

Hermetician Press, 267 pages.

The Astrology Center of America

207 Victory Lane, Bel Air, MD 21014
Tel: 410-638-7761; Toll-free (orders only): 800-475-2272

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Established 1993, The Astrology Center of America is owned & operated by David Roell. Except where noted, this entire site ( & its contents are Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 by William R. Roell. All rights reserved.