There are two kinds of knowledge (Vidya) in this world, Para Vidya and Apara Vidya. Para Vidya is that knowledge which takes one through (Para) to the Lord. Apara knowledge is mundane in nature and, on its own, doesn’t have the power to take one through. Then there is Avidya (non-knowledge), which takes one away from the Lord. Though we can all decide for ourselves what falls for us under Apara Vidya and Avidya, Astrology, when practiced in a certain fashion, falls under Para Vidya. Astrology is the eyes of the Vedas. It is a science which presents the Astrologer with the capability of comprehending destiny and free will patterns, thereby becoming a powerful means of earning good Karma.
The Astrologer is in a crux position. People come to him/her in their hour of need. At such moments the consulter can be on the threshold of a breakdown. One wrong word from the Astrologer can suffice to throw the consulter off balance. On the other hand, accurate advice befitting the situation can work wonders. At such times, the majority of consulters are more receptive to suggestions of vegetarianism and charity, and the Astrologer should use this “bardo” to drive home the necessity for the inculcation of these virtues. Vegetarianism brings exponential depletion of Karma to a halt, and charity causes large-scale replenishing of Karma. With this, the consulter is karmically better poised to fight the current situation. Now couple the inculcation of these values with sound astrological advice, and most of the battle is already won! For such accurate advice to come about on a regular basis, the versatile astrologer must practice holistic Astrology and not limit him/herself to giving predictions from for example only the birth chart and Vimshottari Dasha. Divisional charts, Prashna, Ashtakavarga, Transit and at least one other Dasha scheme should become the staple diet of an Astrologer for accuracy, and there’s no end to this list, for Astrology is a science which is studied over many lifetimes. For astrological advice to be of a pin-pointed nature, the Astrologer should meditate and lead a holistic life-style, practicing vegetarianism and charity him/herself.
Thus the Astrologer’s path on the mountain of study is a constant climb, with many sub-goals on the way (e.g. consulters, understanding of Self, flow of life…). The ultimate goal of Moksha can be pursued with a combination of Astrology and its siblings, Ayurveda, Yoga and Tantra. With Astrology, one recognizes the problems on the path and remedies them to a small extent, with Ayurveda, one heals the body as the remnant problems affect it, with Yoga one rises above the still remaining pain to the body, and with Tantra one annihilates the Karma causing these problems in the first place by untangling/tangling the threads of Karma, which become visible to the Tantrik practitioner. Blessed is that astrologer, who combines these four sciences into his/her holistic healing approach, for such an approach renders exponentially maximum healing coupled with simultaneous exponentially maximum earning of good Karma. The level of healing to mind and body rises from Astrology to Ayurveda to Yoga to Tantra, and so does the level of karmic earning for the Astrologer. It is upto the Astrologer to have his/her earning dished out that very instant in cash, or to collect it later with compound interest in the hour of need from the Almighty him/herself. Instant collection can waver one’s interest towards the cash and the level of prediction can go down because of distraction and hurry, but this is not a must. The chances of giving wrong advice because of hurry become high here, and here we see Astrology leading to the possible earning of bad Karma through the dispensing of wrong advice. When practiced as an uncompromising business, mangled with greed, intrigue and cut-throat/unhealthy competition, Astrology is unfortunately implemented as Apara Vidya and it takes such practitioners away from the Lord, imbibing in them ego and sin. Such persons find their powers of prediction diminishing soon (because where ego and sin rule, spiritual Astrology, a Para Vidya, cannot reside), just as any Siddhi (supernatural power) disappears when misused.
The practitioner of Astrology as Para Vidya is tested constantly on the path by the Almighty. As one progresses on the path, the tests become more and more difficult. Often the practitioner of Astrology as Para Vidya finds him/herself the subject of ridicule and torment, having to hide one’s face because of humiliation at the hands of those practicing Astrology as Apara Vidya. The Lord is only testing one’s mettle. There comes a time when even the last test is passed, and the fruits for such an Astrologer are the establishment of a healthy niche, from where holistic astrology can be spread worldwide and mountains of good karma can be earned. Such an Astrologer develops the power to automatically pinpoint the problem-spot in a horoscope without much ado, and needs only a few powerful words to bring the consulter back on track. With the coming of age of such an Astrologer, there follow gifts like that of face-reading, mind-reading, aura-reading and the like, and further evolvement doesn’t really require this entity to use Astrology anymore as a tool for divination, because higher tools, like Yogic and Tantrik powers, have taken its place. Rewards do come by.