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Jyotish Star of the Month
A Conversation with Edith HathawayBy Juliana Swanson
Interview Date: 7/27/2012
Juliana: Welcome, Edith. Thank you so much for granting us an interview today, we realize how busy you are and how very valuable your time is! Can you start by telling us how and when astrology entered your life?
Juliana: How did it evolve from there?
Edith: Soon I began to study many charts and to read for people on an informal basis, taking no fee. I began to focus on astrology as a profession by late 1980, after four years of study and practice in every bit of my spare time. By 1982 I began focusing on the Uranian system, inspired by Gary Christen’s lectures, Diana Rosenberg’s classes, and materials generously shared by Bill Sarubbi (aka Bill Meridian), who lived in my Greenwich Village neighborhood. The classes were mostly in New York City and some in Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. I moved west to Santa Fe, New Mexico soon after, in late February 1983.
Juliana: Why did you choose Santa Fe?
Edith: The move was prompted by the wishes of my boyfriend, a New Yorker who dreamed of Santa Fe and spoke of it from the time we got together in August 1981. I lived there almost 21 years before moving further west to the coast with my current partner (from January 1998). Santa Fe proved to be a town very receptive to astrology and astrologers. There were many public events featuring astrology, starting with the annual events first organized in December 1989. Along with my friends Arielle Guttman and Alan Oken, from 1989 onward I was one of the ongoing speakers at this lively event, which Arielle also organized. We would predict national and global events for the upcoming year and we had an enthusiastic public following. I also gave lectures and classes from 1983 onward, wrote columns in newspapers and a national magazine, and lectured at the first-ever UAC (United Astrology Conference) in 1986 in San Diego. Very early on I developed an interest in mundane astrology, especially political events, both national and global, but also cultural events. I moved back and forth easily between natal and mundane astrology, between the individual and collective destiny which to me are inextricable. I studied all of it.
Juliana: What caused your transition from Western tropical to Vedic astrology?
Edith: It was a series of confluences, starting in 1988. I began my client practice in 1980 in Manhattan. By 1988, I had lived in Santa Fe for five years and using Western tropical methods professionally for eight years. In late spring 1988, a client came to my office with very specific and accurate predictions from a Vedic astrologer. These predictions involved an accident that had occurred while she was riding her horse. She asked me to find these using my Western methods — at that time chiefly Uranian with some A*C*G (Astrocartography).
When I could not find the answers using my own methods, as I had expected to do, I promptly booked an appointment with that astrologer, Chakrapani Ullal. That turned out to be the beginning of my Vedic studies. It also marked a complete Jupiter cycle — 12 years — from the start of my first astrological studies in 1976. If there was a better predictive astrological system out there than the one I was using, I wanted to learn it. Initially, I assumed I would use both systems alongside each other. But with more study, I found I preferred the Vedic system and it seemed too cumbersome to use both.
Juliana: What was another confluence?
Edith: Well, David Frawley also lived in Santa Fe. In fact, he moved there from California the same day we arrived in Santa Fe after a 5-day car trip across country from NYC, at the end of February 1983.
Juliana: What a fascinating synchronicity!
Edith: Yes it was. We first met socially two years later through our respective partners. David was never a crusader for Vedic astrology, never pushy about it, and our first informal discussions on the subject began a few years after that in 1988, as I started making my transition into Vedic. By 1990, I had studied his course in Vedic astrology and dropped by his house on certain days of the week when he made himself available to answer my questions on Vedic astrology. I also took some classes with Hart de Fouw, at that time a frequent guest lecturer at Dr. Vasant Lad’s Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque. The transition between systems was not convenient, as I was in the midst of writing a book on Western tropical astrology that had been commissioned. My focus was then on Uranian astrology and A*C*G and they were featured in my first book, Navigating by the Stars. I wrote it during 1988 -1989 and it was published in early summer 1991.
Juliana: Did you have a spiritual teacher along the way, or a mentor that brought you closer to Jyotish?
Edith: Coinciding closely with my first serious encounter with Vedic astrology, in summer 1988 the Hindu saint Ammachi (Mata Amritanandamayi) made her first public appearance in Santa Fe, and I went to one of her satsangs. Though many prominent spiritual teachers and leaders often passed through Santa Fe, including the Dalai Lama XIV, Ammachi proved to have a lasting impact, in large part due to her universal teachings, along with the power of her bhajans (sacred music and chants), which she performs along with her troop of musicians. She also openly supports Vedic astrology, and begins each of her talks with an invocation to Saturn. She has returned to the U.S. every year since the late 1980s.
Music for me is the crux of spirituality, and Ammachi uses a vast collection of bhajans, some traditional, but many composed by herself and her own musicians. For those who know more about music and music composition (or even those who don’t), these bhajans often have an amazing dynamism and complexity in their rhythms and melodic lines. Sung in a myriad of languages, including Sanskrit, but also various languages of India including Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi, Urdu, etc., they are chanted and sung for hours and hours in between mantras and meditation. This is throughout the day and night at her public or private programs, considerably raising the level of the vibration for everyone present.
Juliana: Is there anything in your lineage that could have prepared you for this?
Edith: No. Within my family and circle of friends there was no one oriented towards metaphysics, though many of them were musical or loved music. Music was an important factor both in 1976 and in 1988. In 1976 I was a musician (pianist) and a composer, though I had other day jobs. Music and composing brought me to the metaphysical realm.
Juliana: What is the connection for you?
Edith: Astrology has a special affinity to music and vice versa. Both of them organize a vast number of symbols and make some harmonious sense out of them. Many astrologers have musical backgrounds, as in my case. Though Vedic astrology is steeped in Hindu tradition from the ancient Vedic culture, I am secular and ecumenical in my approach to astrology. That is, I do not demand that my clients, students or readers embrace Hinduism or any particular religion. However, there is no getting around the fact that astrology is a cosmological system and a Divine Science. No ordinary human being could have invented it. In the Vedic system, it is considered that the Rishis (Seers) invented it. I often have to explain that astrology is not a religion, demanding that you believe in it. It is a system of planetary influences and is happening whether you believe in it or not!
Juliana: In your work as a consulting astrologer, do you use both tropical and sidereal zodiacs?
Edith: No, I do not. I don’t use two zodiacs in my practice as an astrologer. When I shifted into Vedic sidereal astrology, there was no big issue for me leaving behind the tropical zodiac. Neither the Uranian system nor A*C*G, especially the latter, is strongly focused on which zodiac a planet is located in, though Uranian astrology does use the tropical zodiac. The emphasis in each of these systems is on which planets are angular and the patterns they make with each other and with the angles. I was never wed to the tropical zodiac in the first place, and frankly, was never totally comfortable with it. But it was what surrounded me, as most astrologers I knew used the Western tropical system. From the time I moved into Vedic, I used the sidereal zodiac and the Lahiri ayanamsha. For a few years of transition between systems, I used both zodiacs — a situation I do not recommend, but it was out of necessity.
Juliana: Do you still use A*C*G?
Edith: Yes. And I found that certain Vedic techniques worked with this relocation method, and they would not be factors considered by Western tropical astrologers using A*C*G. This means going back to the Vedic chart, using the sidereal zodiac and whole sign houses. And though I may use the three outer planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto in A*C*G, I am a classic Vedic astrologer and do not generally mix techniques of East and West. A*C*G might be the one exception, but even so it is defined by the angularity of planets rather than by the tropical zodiac.
Juliana: With whom have you studied Vedic astrology?
Edith: By 1988 I was already a skilled Western tropical astrologer, so this was a transition, not an entry into astrology. I had to learn to change gears. David Frawley was helpful in that regard and he was my first teacher in Santa Fe. He was also familiar with both systems. He was generous with his time, and in turn he was happy to have someone local with whom to discuss Vedic astrology. Over the intervening years from 1988, I read and studied more deeply in the Vedic classics and attended lectures by a number of senior Vedic astrologers, especially from fall 1992 onward, when we started having regular conferences on Vedic astrology in the United States. I lectured at that first conference in October 1992 in San Rafael, California and from then on for the next 20 years, along with becoming a board member from 1995 to 2010.
By fall 1993, the American organizations were formed (initially the American Council of Vedic Astrology), and we hosted some major astrologers from India and elsewhere. Notable for me among the guest speakers from India were Dr. B.V. Raman (our first keynote speaker in October 1992); K.N. Rao; C.S. Patel; Dr. K.S. Charak; and Vinay Aditya. Later I met Gayatri Devi Vasudev and Niranjan Babu, with their respective specialties in mundane astrology and Vastu. Later also I made several trips to India to lecture in conferences there and travelled throughout the country.
Juliana: What about Chakrapani Ullal?
Edith: I attended his lectures at various conferences from 1992, having first met him over the phone in 1988 and in person in 1990. By 1995 we had become friends and colleagues, and we spoke often, usually on the phone, since we lived in different locales. These were not tutorials or formally arranged sessions, but were more spontaneous. However, we did several systematic and lengthy research projects together. I did most of the research, since I use a computer and Chakrapani has only used a small computer device on his desk for prashnas. I reported my results to him and wrote them up for articles and/or lectures. He would contribute results from charts he remembered, though often they could not be documented, as his charts were quickly filed by his staff. Any client data from either of us would of course be anonymous.
As a fellow practicing astrologer, I especially valued the knowledge Chakrapani carried that was both scholarly and beyond scholarly, as while it was respectful of the Vedic classics, it also reflected his day-to-day experience with clients. I had a talent for rectifying charts, but no doubt I advanced more rapidly due to our ongoing conversations, especially those in which we debated the correct Ascendant for various charts, whether of clients or prominent public figures.
Juliana: What were the projects you did together?
Edith: Other than the ongoing subjects of chart rectification, prashna, muhurtha, and predictive methods, there were two major projects we did together that had a significant impact on all my subsequent work, including on my book In Search Of Destiny. They also became the springboards for further discoveries on my part. Those topics were Nadi Jyotisha and Graha Yuddha. With Nadi Jyotisha, it evolved into my dropping a number of the more complicated principles, as there were too many inconsistencies. I kept the ones I found most useful, such as the importance of the nakshatra lord and the exchange of nakshatra lords, known as a Nadi Yoga. The significance of the nakshatra lord compared to the sign lord became very compelling, along with results reflecting the interaction of Venus and Mars.
Deeper study of Graha Yuddha also yielded very interesting results, and these are given throughout my 2012 book, and can be found in an article at my website first published in 2003, and later in 2010 in a revised, expanded version (40 pp.). Some of the most significant results, other than in natal and event charts, involve the pivotal Jupiter-Saturn conjunction charts. According to classical rules, only Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn can participate in Graha Yuddha. Thus, it is crucial to understand how any conjunction of these planets (especially Jupiter-Saturn) also acts as a Graha Yuddha. According to our results, the winners and losers may surprise you.
Juliana: How did you come to write your book In Search Of Destiny?
Part of the job of the contemporary astrologer is to slowly re-educate people about the message of the planetary movements. I did not want to be simplistic with the technical astrological material, nor did I want to exclude it. Therefore I have evolved a style for the book that introduces the biographical and historical material in a totally non-technical way astrologically, or minimally so—in the case of the entire first chapter. I have already started a second volume, but it will probably take several more years to complete.
Juliana: What are some of the important themes in your book?
Edith: In Chapter 1 (titled “Historical Context and Collective Destiny”) and as a thread throughout the book, I present larger historical themes occurring over a 1000-year period (from 1425 A.D.). These mostly involve the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction cycles. Occurring every 20 years, they predominate in one of four elements for several hundred years: FIRE, EARTH, AIR, or WATER. There is a shorter mutation cycle (60 to 139 years within this 1000-year period) before they settle into one element. Of particular importance for the current era is the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in February 1961, impacting all our lives for the past 50 years and onward through 2199, and defining our era as the EARTH-dominant period. I discuss what I think that means and what it has signified since the first EARTH conjunction in 1921 in the mutation period.
I enter into some of the debates and questions asked by mainstream historians and biographers about some of the major historical and cultural figures in the book and I answer them based on Vedic astrology, supported by a lot of background and source material. I also present a study I originated on the U.S. Presidential Election cycles, which closely coincide over a 160-year period with the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction cycle (1940 to 2100), and have important implications for the party gaining the White House. Within this context, the individual orbital cycles of Jupiter and Saturn become essential.
Juliana: Can you go a bit more into that February 1961 conjunction that you consider so seminal?
Edith: Yes. First, here is a brief description from the preface of my book (p. ix):
Indeed, the idea of businesses dominating over nation-states has become more and more of a reality since February 1961. With foreign investors enabled to bypass national legal frameworks, in the EARTH period the path has been cleared increasingly for the total circumvention of national sovereignty. I examined this topic in more detail in my lecture in India in October 2010: "Corporate Conglomerates vs. Nation-States: Which Nations will Survive and Thrive?" The 27-page article is available at my website: www.edithhathaway.com.
Juliana: What made you feel you had your book on track — moving in the right direction?
Edith: I began formal work on the manuscript in early January 2006, when we were living in Vancouver, BC (British Columbia, Canada). Two months prior to that, in November 2005, a client of mine was in the city directing the Vancouver Opera in a production of Les Dialogues des Carmélites, the 1955 opera by French composer Francis Poulenc, one of my favorite composers and among the most riveting operas of the 20th century repertoire. Since this was a long-time client of mine from 1982 in NYC, I wrote some three pages of notes for him on what I considered the most interesting points astrologically about the composer and the opera. Normally these are written just for his benefit, to do with as he chooses. Soon afterward he told me that on the first day of rehearsal, he read my entire piece verbatim to the opera cast and crew and they were mesmerized. They had no idea there were so many specific details about a composer and his music based on his birth chart. They wondered if the same might be true of Mozart, for instance.
Since a few members of the cast and crew had missed the first rehearsal and word had spread quickly about my astrological piece, at the next rehearsal the director was required to read it aloud once again, and this was followed by yet more animated discussion. I knew then that if I did it right, the planned content of my book could attract a larger audience, including astrologers, astrology students as well as the layperson new to astrology. Poulenc was part of my 2002 audio course and became part of the book, as intended, though deepened and expanded. The backdrop of the collective destiny set the stage for the individual destiny of each biographical subject.
For these reasons and many others, including the depth of research and writing that became necessary, what was originally intended to be a one-year project took just over six years. My small team of readers and editors has been terrific, and I have been very fortunate to have some glowing testimonials from leaders in the field all over the world, from the U.S., India and Europe. The feedback since publication has also been excellent, from my lectures in Europe in April and May (the London BAVA conference and the DGVA biennial conference in Germany) as well as at UAC in New Orleans in late May.
Juliana: Speaking of UAC, I wanted to again congratulate you for the honor that you were given there.
Edith: Thank you, yes. Largely in recognition for my book, I received a special award – the Jyotish Brihaspati – from the CVA (Council of Vedic Astrology).
Juliana: Brilliant! Also at UAC, you served on a special U.S. Presidential race commentary panel, which we will get to more specifically further on. First though, can you describe your work predicting elections, especially U.S. Presidential elections?
Edith: I started predicting elections (local, state and national) in the mid-1980s. In summer 1992 at public talks in Santa Fe, I predicted Bill Clinton’s win in November 1992 and later also in 1996. I have already described my original work on the U.S. Presidential cycle that is in my book and elsewhere, notably on the 160-year period (1940 to 2100) during which the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions coincide within a few months with U.S. Presidential elections (and/or inaugurations). This became clearer to me in 2002 or 2003. I think it is harder to predict the outcome in another country not your own, but I could change my opinion on that. It is very important to study some larger cyclical charts, as often the candidate’s birth time is not reliable for whatever reason, even if the month/day/year and location is available. Understandably there are various public figures, especially those running for political office, who do not want the public to be able to predict from their chart. They may give out false information, especially on the time of day; or the birth data may be inaccurate for other reasons.
At a conference in Dallas, Texas in fall 2004, I predicted that George W. Bush would be re-elected. And in late 2007, I had already picked Obama as winner of the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election. During a public lecture on February 9, 2008 in north San Diego, and before Obama’s birth time became known, I predicted that his toughest battle would be against Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Primary elections, but that he would win that battle as of May 2008 as well as the General Election on November 4, 2008. I placed much importance on the Jupiter-Saturn cycles as well as my rectified chart for Obama (August 4, 1961, 6:10 AM HST, Honolulu, Hawaii, with Moon at 3:00 Taurus, maximum exalted). I still prefer this chart over the “official” one of 7:24 PM HST.
Juliana: Can you give us your reasons for your preferred chart?
Edith: Yes, I give all this at a 2008 U.S. Presidential election website I created with Barbara Nowak. She’s a web designer and Western tropical astrologer. There are eight segments in all, but one segment (edith7) gives a complete summary of my predictive methods for this election, and it is enhanced by news photos from Barbara. Here is the direct link: 29eagles.com/election/edith/edith7_feb08_early_talk.html
In 2012 I have again predicted Barack Obama, this time to win re-election. My public statements on this topic were made as a participant on the UAC 2012 U.S. Presidential panel on May 29, 2012 in New Orleans. (UAC is a major astrology conference held every 4 to 6 years, with over 1500 attendees in 2012.) I was one of five panelists, and as in 2008, the only Vedic astrologer. The mp3 is available for purchase here: http://www.uacastrology.com/shop/ Or see the video here: http://politicalastrologyblog.com/2012/06/01/uac-2012-presidential-panel-predictions/
Juliana: Edith, thank you for taking the time to talk with us and share your wealth of knowledge. We wish you continued success.
Edith: Thank you, Juliana!
Edith Hathaway Biography:
Edith is an international consultant in practice since 1980, author, teacher, and lecturer of Vedic astrology and among the few contemporary astrologers trained and certified in systems of both East and West. She holds the Level IV certification as Consulting Astrologer from the National Council of Geocosmic Research (1989), Master Astro*Carto*Grapher certification from Jim Lewis (1988), Jyotish Kovid from the Indian Council of Astrological Sciences (1996), CVA Jyotish Visharada and CVA Jyotish Kovid from the CVA (Council of Vedic Astrology (2010)), and Jyotish Brihaspati from the CVA Council of Vedic Astrology (2012). She was a founding member of the American Council of Vedic Astrology (1993). Since 1992 she has served as a faculty and board member of both the Council of Vedic Astrology and the American College of Vedic Astrology. Her audio course on the Vedic Ascendant charts was produced in 2002. Her previous book (Navigating by the Stars, published 1991) was on Western tropical astrology. Her most recent book is titled In Search Of Destiny: Biography, History & Culture As Told Through Vedic Astrology (published April 15, 2012). It is available at an e-store linked to her website at www.edithhathaway.com and can be purchased directly at the e-store via Createspace.com/3693261 The book is also available at Amazon USA and Amazon Europe (UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy), as well as in book stores. An e-book version will be available in fall 2012.
Juliana Swanson's Biography:
|Juliana Swanson qualifies as an ACVA and CVA Level II certified Vedic Astrologer, receiving two titles of excellence, the Jyotish Visharada, CVA; and the Jyotish Kovid, CVA. Additionally, she brings depth to her work as a Registered Nurse (RN), Polarity Therapist (RPP) and Rebirthing-Breathwork Facilitator. Juliana runs her holistic healing and astrological consulting practice from her home office on the Big Island of Hawaii. In addition, she tutors Vedic astrology students both individually and as an online instructor for both the American College of Vedic Astrology and the International Academy of Astrology. Juliana holds memberships in the Council of Vedic Astrology (CVA); the British Association of Vedic Astrology (BAVA); the|
|American Federation of Astrologers (AFA); the International Society for Astrological Research; the American Polarity Therapy Association (APTA); and, Rebirthing-Breathwork International (RBI). You may reach Juliana at her Hawaii office at 808-430-5989.|
|Juliana may be reached by email at: Juliana@AstralHarmony.com Her web site is www.AstralHarmony.com.|
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