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December's "Star" of the Month

A Conversation with Astrologer Joni Patry

By Charlotte Benson
Interview Date: 12/12/11

Charlotte Benson: Thank you Joni for interviewing with the Jyotish Star! We really appreciate your taking time from your busy consulting schedule to talk with us!

Joni PatryJoni Patry: You are so very welcome, I am happy to do it!

Charlotte: Could you tell us where and when you found yourself interested in Vedic Astrology?

Joni: You know, it is funny because I can’t remember a time I wasn’t interested in astrology. As a child I would go out at night and star gaze. I could never get enough of the vast and incredible Universe. My mother always had the sun sign astrology books lying around the house and because she and I were the same sun sign I began to read them early on. I was amazed that this information was so accurate concerning my character and wanted to know more.

In high school I was searching for meaning and purpose and found a book titled “An Autobiography of a Yogi”. Brought it home and showed it to my mother and she said “Oh I have already read that book; it was the best book I have ever read”. Mind you my mom did not display any qualities of a yogi in any way! This book opened the door to a new understanding of life and gave me a spiritual quest. Meanwhile I was buying books on how to learn astrology. There were no classes anywhere and the books out there were limited and not very good. It was the mid-1970s.

Charlotte: If you don’t mind sharing this personal information – What features of your chart, (yogas or other planetary conditions) indicate that you would become a Western Jyotishi? What’s a beautiful blond Texan gal like you doin’ with a panchanga?

Joni: I have a Gemini lagna which makes me an information junkie. I have always been very athletic and was part of a ballet company in my early teens. I have keep up running for over 30 years. I was very artistic, painting and drawing and began as a studio art major at UT but ended up with a degree in psychology. I am very expressive and now use writing as my creativity. I used to read a book a week and now my garage is overloaded with them. Mercury as the ruler of my chart is in my 5th house with Sun and Saturn in Libra. The 5th house is the house of creativity and is a very significant house for astrologers for it rules intelligence and advisors. Saturn and Mercury create Raja yoga in this house. As the house for children I have 3 sons.

The other house for creativity and writing is the 3rd house. I have Jupiter with the Moon in the 3rd house, and have written 5 books. Love to teach and never get enough of learning astrology. I was told with a Gaja Kesari Yoga in the 3rd house I will be a writer. I am the youngest of three girls in my family, the 3rd is about siblings and I am the youngest. I have been a flight attendant for 33 years. So yes travel is a definite component for the 3rd house. I actually keep my job with the airlines to be able to travel because I can travel to teach and learn worldwide.

Married my high school sweetheart and been married 30 years, met him in high school another 3rd house meaning, ruler of the 7th in the 3rd. I make my living and my career is through speaking writing, teaching and traveling, Moon ruler of the 2nd with Jupiter ruler of the 10th and 7th houses in the 3rd house.

I believe a stationary planet will indicate the most marked planet in a lifetime, for what it rules will dominate your life. I have Uranus stationary the planet of rebellion and rules astrology. You know I always wanted to be an astrologer. I even told my Psychology professor at UT that my goal was to be like Carl Gustav Jung and use astrology as a means to help people within psychoanalysis. His response was “if you stay in this department long enough you will change your crazy ideas”.

Charlotte: Sadly, that attitude is still prevalent in academia today. But you were tough, and continued on your path.

Joni: I do have a Kala Sarpa Yoga making my life experience very intense. Life is never boring!

Charlotte: That’s true! Please tell us, where did you grow up, and how did that kindle your devotion to your spiritual path?

Joni: I grew up in Dallas, Texas in a comfortable affluent family, went to Catholic school but really never bought into the whole religious thing. I asked questions constantly and the nuns always answered “we are not supposed to know that”. I saw all the hypocrisy with the religions as a child so I searched elsewhere for answers.

Always looking to the stars for what was out there in the night’s sky. I went to college at the University of Texas in Austin where the hippie movement was still in full swing. I was a very conservative looking Dallas girl. It was my first semester at college when I heard on the radio that beginning astrology classes were about to begin. I was so excited! I was eagerly there on the beginning night -- finally finding my clan.

While my roommates were involved in college sororities I was attending astrology classes with a group of hippies! Attending this class I had painted nails, Farah Faucett hairdo, wearing a dress with matching purse and shoes. I definitely stuck out like a sore thumb with the natural hippie group -- vegetarianism, marijuana and carrot juice.

But my teacher was incredibly brilliant. He gave us tests and I leaned real astrology from chart construction using logarithms, ephemeris, to looking up time changes in the world. I stuck with him till I graduated and even flew back for classes once I began working for the airlines.

I began doing charts professionally and teaching in the late 1970s. But even though I had become a member of Self Realization Fellowship the organization I was lead to from reading the Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda, I still didn’t know there was a difference from western astrology and the astrology of India.

Charlotte: That’s understandable because back in the day, we here in the West had very little access to Eastern Astrology books, and almost no exposure to Indian teachers. What teacher(s) or tradition inspired you, mentored you, or have been your strongest support along the way?

Joni: My original astrology teacher from college in Austin Texas was Robert (Bob) Wilkinson, that cool hippie for the 70s. He was brilliant and set the foundation of my knowledge and learning. I then began to attend workshops and conferences around the world. I got into teaching very early in Austin. Alice McFarlin here in Dallas had a bookstore called the Constellation she brought in all the well-known greats, Ray Merriman, Alan Oken, and Noel Tyl. I attended them all.

I was always particularly interested in prediction and this lead me to Uranian astrology with all its midpoints, Trans Neptunian planets and the 90 degree dial. I studied under Arleen Kramer. With my passion for astrology I opened a metaphysical Center in Dallas, The Dallas Metaphysical Center which later became the Galactic Center, where I had workshops, classes and brought in many teachers from around the world. At a conference I met Dr. Dennis Harness and Dennis Flaherty and the rest is history. I began bringing them into my center and organized a Vedic Astrology community in Dallas which led to my organizing the conference ‘Eastern Astrology for Western Minds”. I wanted to bridge the gap between western/tropical astrology and sidereal/Vedic Astrology. I didn’t realize in my idealistic mind what a hard task this was. Many astrologers cannot comprehend using a different way. I have found a way to use the best of both worlds.

Charlotte: I agree with you that using the best of both of these worlds gives you even more information about a chart.

You have written an excellent book on *Neo-Vedic* Astrology. Neo-Vedic Astrology utilizes the three modern planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. What advice could you give about incorporating the effects of these transcendental planets to students of Vedic Astrology? You have also just published a wonderful new e-book. Please tell us all about it!

Joni: In 2004 I was passionately teaching Vedic Astrology. I devised extensive handouts and discovered that these classes and hand outs could become my textbook. And there emerged my textbook on Vedic Astrology Eastern Astrology for Western Minds. I wanted to make Vedic Astrology accessible and easy to understand for western Astrologers and our culture.

The main issue that deters western astrologers from learning Vedic Astrology is the fact that Vedic Astrology doesn’t use the outer planets. Trust me; this is a real issue for western astrologers. When you have based most of your life experiences on a transit of Pluto and realized how it transformed your life -- you can’t suddenly discard it. It would be the same as telling a Vedic Astrologer -- don’t use Rahu and Ketu. It is the same as when you have had a mystical spiritual experience that changed your life and others tell you it didn’t happen. Others cannot discount or judge something they have not experienced. The outer planets and their aspects are barometers of the collective consciousness. I use them to make my mundane world predictions. The aspects between them create global events and the different generations that manifest the mass movements and change within the evolvement of humanity.

My new book Transformation of Consciousness 2012 and Beyond was an inspiration to help wake up humanity. I know this coming year will be extraordinary. It will be a year of extreme events. It will be a very hard year for the many people who vest their lives in the material world and finances. I am looking forward to this year because it will give many opportunities for growth, and this is very exciting to me. This book was written for students of astrology and the general public. It is divided into 2 parts; the first part has no astrological jargon and the second part is for my astrology students. We need to appeal to the mass public for they are the ones waking up. I definitely have more fun speaking astrology but we are preaching to the choir here.

The second part of my book has the new Moon chart for each month with aspects and predictions. This involves the economy, world events such as earthquakes, terrorist attacks and politics. I believe this summer a tremendous event will occur after the next solar eclipse when Jupiter conjuncts Ketu and Venus in Taurus. December 21, 2012 has many similarities to the time in 1989. This was a monumental year for change when the Berlin wall came down and the cold war ended. We are birthing a new world and the birthing process is always difficult.

Charlotte: Yes – we astrologers have been fielding a lot of questions about the cataclysms projected about 2012. Let’s hope that Jupiter’s conjunction with Ketu reveals some valuable insights and new ideas. Jyotish is such a beautiful model for understanding life. It’s a shame that it is so misunderstood, and undervalued, in the West, at least. Do you think that an explanation of how Astrology “works” would make Astrology more widely accepted? What is your understanding of the mechanism of how the stars and planets operate? (I am very interested in this question.)

Joni: Astrology is so misunderstood yet it is the oldest science. Astrology has always existed and will continue to exit because all cultures have their astrology and mythology. Astrology is the science of our connection to the Universe. It involves astronomy and personalizes it into our mythology. As an art and a science it requires both the right and left brain of our mind. It involves science; astronomy, physics, geometry and art; to blend meanings: symbology, psychology and spirituality.

“As above so Below” -- I love that saying because it represents that everything out there is within us. The Universe is limitless and so are we. But with astrology we are confined within our solar system geocentrically. From this vantage point we are affected by the planets in our own solar system. Each one of us has our own solar system within us as represented by the planets in our own individual charts. These planets within are ruled by the chakras, the energy centers within us. These chakras are aligned the same as our solar system (Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Mercury, Sun, and Moon) and affect our physical, emotional and spiritual bodies through the glandular systems of our bodies. The outer planets represent the collective unconscious where we are all connected. Planet Earth is a world of duality, the Sun and Moon, Male and Female, night and day. Everything is a part of this basic principal. It may be a different experience if we had more than one Moon.

Astrology uses the meanings attributed to each planet through our myths and mythology. The myths are our stories we have been handed down through generations of mankind. They represent the evolution of our souls through the human experience. Astrology is a tool used to help understand our human myths and experiences, and evolution to transcend the illusions. The experiences of suffering, love, and joy are very real while in this dimension. Astrology bridges science and spirituality, for they are actually one and the same.

When you boil it all down, everything is mathematical, pertaining to numbers which in reality are a measure of vibrational energy. This is at the fundamental root of everything. My interest in astrology stems from my true desire to understand why we are here. When I explored the true depth of astrology I understood the true meaning of life and purpose. Science is the study of nature which is the life force and cause and effect, without opinions, the spirit of consciousness, the oneness of humanity. Spirituality is simply science in action.

Astronomically a black hole which is a dying star symbolically represents the death process. Astronomers know that a black hole is powerful vacuum that transforms all physical matter. This symbolically is the same as the death process for we go through the tunnel of a vacuum and transform from the physical to another dimension or vibrational frequency. I believe astrology is the study of this physical dimension but there are many more dimensions beyond the physical Universe. Black holes are the gateway to other dimensions. The portion of our Universe that has the greatest concentration of black holes is where the Galactic Center resides. The great yogi and Vedic Astrologer Swami Sri Yukteswar claimed that in the processional cycle spirituality on earth is highest when we are closest to the Galactic Center. I think it is very symbolic that if we look at the pictures NASA has provided with black holes or dying stars they appear to look like the third eye seen in meditation. This is our portal to higher consciousness. Our death experience may be the vacuum that takes us through the tunnel seen in near death experiences.

The spiritual side of Vedic Astrology has always appealed to me but also the psychological side of western astrology is important too. I have a way of combining these because they are both relative to our earthly existence. We have the physical, emotional and spiritual bodies that all need healing for wholeness of each individual, body, mind and spirit. We must have a healing on all these levels to evolve. Astrology is ultimately about evolution and growth as a human, and involves all of mankind because we are all connected. In my opinion to heal karma we must be conscious and aware of our actions and consciously make an effort to change, awakening to the ignorance that is so prevent within the darkness or shadows of our world and lives. And in the process we must enlighten and assist others. This is why I love to teach.

Vedic astrology recognizes the spiritual value of symbols, omens (nimitta) which are the Divine forces communicating with us on a daily bases. I have two other books which are not astrological that pertain to these messages and the understanding of symbols as a way of communication in our lives. Dreams are another connection to this collective spiritual energy. These two books are Awaken to the Power Within You and Answers. These are books that are spiritual tools to reveal your inner knowing and get answers. These books use the symbols in pictures in a modern day approach much like the tarot cards.

Charlotte: Isn’t it amazing what you can learn from omens and symbols, if you train yourself to pay attention to them? It’s a real skill to be able to interpret astrological symbols both for individuals, and for large entities like countries.

You are recognized for your expertise in making very accurate mundane predictions. Do you base your calculations on the Kelleher-rectified Sagittarius Rising chart for the U.S.? Are you expecting that Saturn’s recent move into its exaltation sign of Libra will benefit the US? Do you suppose that this move will diminish the general suffering of the world in general, for that matter?

Joni: Yes I do use the Kelleher chart for prediction of the USA. I use it in my new Book Transformation of Consciousness 2012 and Beyond and I have made very specific predictions for the USA based on this chart. In this chart the Moon is 7 degrees Aquarius which is where transiting Neptune will station most of this year with transiting Mars opposed. This will drive up the oil prices and cause economic ruin for many businesses, airlines, and the postal service in particular. On the positive side this will cause a shift to a new energy system and a new wave of spirituality. For Neptune rules oil and spirituality.

Kelleher Chart

Saturn in Libra will give structure and organization to failing governments. Saturn teaches our greatest lessons in life particularly concerning what is reality and truth. Transiting Saturn in the 11th house of this chart will aspect the 8th house (endings, banks and power) and natal Mercury ruler of the 7th and 10th (leaders and government) houses. This indicates the truth will surface within the government which will cause the bottom of the economy to fall out. But when one door closes another opens which ultimately will create a new beginning.

Charlotte: Yes – that’s a comforting idea to remember. Would you like to comment on the debilitation of Rahu / Ketu?

Just as importantly, what general advice can you give to our readers, in terms of carrying on under these seemingly harsh stars?

Joni: Rahu and Ketu across the axis of Taurus/Scorpio pertain to money, banks, power and sexuality. Again this placement pertains to surfacing the truth. Many scandals and lies are revealed. The houses that they activate in your chart will surface what is important and growth producing in your life. Many of us have chosen this lifetime during this period because we are here to learn what we truly value around the financial sector of our lives. There are other important aspects adding to this configuration for it is the entire pattern together that marks a time in history. This concerns the opposition of Saturn and Jupiter and the square between Uranus and Pluto. This is a time of revolutionary change and we will realize the truth and meaning of our existence here on planet earth.

Charlotte: Well, we made it through the 60’s – we should remember how to cooperate with this current compressed evolution. The future seems so close these days. We are really looking forward to your presentations at the United Astrology Conference in New Orleans, over the Memorial Day weekend of May 2012. You will be speaking on two new topics: “How to Find Money in a Chart”, and also on “How to Predict a Sudden Rise in Life.” Those titles sound fascinating – we’re looking forward to finding money, and to rising suddenly, somewhere in our charts.

Joni: The biggest issue today that concerns all my clients is about money, whether they have it or not. Money issues teach you more about yourself than any other life experience. This issue of money has been a major focus of my life and has brought me to understand my spirituality. Our sense of value and conception of money causes manipulation and control in our world. Being a child of the 70s we idealistically believed we didn’t need money and that people with money are bad or greedy. Our generation rebelled against the governments and financial establishments. The spiritual and metaphysical communities are the worse with poverty consciousness. Now we are at a crisis point where we know money is what controls our world and society. It is time we make peace with our issues around money.

Looking at the charts and cycles of those who have acquired great wealth financially and what promotes a rise or loss can give a great knowledge about our psychological and spiritual development as a person and humanity. This awareness in our lives and society helps us grow spiritually and evolve making this a better world. This is the focus of my book released last year How to Make Money Using Astrology.

Charlotte: That should be a best-seller! Any other plans for the future that you want our readers to know about?

Joni: I am really looking forward to the new year of 2012 because I know there is going to be a deeper awareness globally. The world will never be the same after we complete the year of 2012. My goal is to raise consciousness during these transformational times. The value of astrology will come forth as the predictions for this year manifest. It is my intention is to be part of the shift and truth that will emerge. My book about 2012 is not about the new age Armageddon but about self discovery and the dissolution of what separates us and to come to a place of Unity. It is the nature of this world to have duality but our true nature is about Unity. We will be forced to break down these barriers this year. This will always be a place of opposites and difficulty for it is a place of duality which offers great opportunities for spiritual growth. To grow spiritually is our ultimate purpose and Vedic Astrology will inspire and transform others with higher consciousness for it brings awareness of the truth whether individually in our charts or the mass consciousness of humanity. Astrology is referred to as the eyes of the Vedas, Jyotish, indicating it gives us vision into the darkness of this reality.

My vehicle to bring awareness and consciousness is through my website the Galactic Center and the newsletter which I put out monthly. My writing is the most important way to inspire and inform the world of the coming events personally and globally. I have a section on “Who’s in the News” which analyses people and events and how they relate to us individually in the current news. I use these interesting tools for teaching Vedic astrology.

I have a website in Japan, and specifically predicted the last earthquake in March 2011 before it happened. I also write monthly for the Indian website Saptarishis. My website and newsletter will list my next speaking engagements for 2012. books for sale

Charlotte: It seems that your love for astrology is keeping you busy and out of trouble! What else have you been thinking about?

Joni: I have been inspired to write an Interpretation of the Pete Townshend’s 1970’s rock opera Tommy.

I know it sounds different but this movie symbolically depicts the process of enlightenment and what leads us through the process. Readers have said it is “Life changing”.

I have also developed a Sports Predictor using astrology. Sports are not my interest but it is definitely an interest in the world and especially in my family. I have 3 sons and a husband who converse about it constantly. In order to get their attention I began a system to predict who would win. I got their attention especially when I accurately predicted with 100% accuracy the wins of my son’s college team (TCU) games last season. I thought it would be nice to give astrology validity in the unconscious world that doesn’t understand what astrology is about. I actually discovered my system when I was writing my book How to Make Money Using Astrology.

Charlotte: Congratulations on your ability to apply astrology to so many different platforms! I’m very happy that you could spend some time with me, and our readers during this busy holiday season.

You’re a good friend, and a great astrologer. Best wishes for your continued success. See you in New Orleans!

Joni Patry Biography:

Joni has attained the highest level of certification in the field of Vedic astrology and is revered as one of the most recognized teachers and Vedic astrologers in America. Her writings are intended to inspire others to become aware of our true nature and purpose. We are all meant to inspire and teach the truth. She has been the online Vedic Instructor for the Online College of Astrology, a western astrological certification program. She taught for the American College of Vedic astrology online program and is a faculty member for ACVA (American Council of Vedic Astrology). As the executive secretary for CVA (Council of Vedic Astrology) she published and distributed the International CVA Journal. Joni has organized the ACVA International Symposiums held in Hawaii. She organized the first national conference of its kind, “Eastern Astrology for Western Minds.”

She has lectured at national and international conferences such as BAVA (British Association of Vedic Astrology), ISAR (International Society for Astrological Research), UAC (United Astrology Conference), ACVA (International Symposiums for the American Council of Vedic Astrology), Eastern Astrology for Western Minds Conference and the Blast. She is the keynote speaker for national and international conferences, and has been on national television and radio programs as an authority on both Western and Vedic astrology. Her clientele includes the who’s who of America and Hollywood celebrities.

Other Books by Joni Patry
Eastern Astrology for Western Minds is a complete manual to learn Vedic astrology.
Awaken to the Power within You is written to inspire us to seek our true reality.
Answers gives the power to know we have our own connection to the Divine.
How to Make Money Using Astrology was written to help use the power of Astrology to unleash one’s prosperity potential.
Tommy the Rock Opera is Joni’s interpretation of the Rock Opera Tommy by Pete Townshend.

Joni can be reached at the Galactic Center:

Charlotte BensonInterview by:

Charlotte Benson, International Liaison and Jyotish Star Chief Correspondent
Diplomate: AFA, NCGR, ISAR
Board Member of American College of Vedic Astrology, Inc.
President, Arizona Society of Astrologers, Inc.
602 952-1525
Phoenix, AZ USA.

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