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Jyotish Star of the Month


A Conversation with Alison Bodhani

By Vachaspati Christina Collins
Interview Date: 09/24/2016

Christina Collins: Thank you for interviewing with us today Alison!

Alison Bodhani: Thank you for inviting me to do so.

Christina: Of course, you came highly recommended for interview with the Jyotish Star, when we put out a call for name submissions.

Where did you grow up? Were there other astrologers in your family?

Alison: I grew up in southern Colorado on 300 acres near Pagosa Springs. There were no other astrologers in my birth family. My parents had a sort of hippie ranch together. We were very isolated. There was no TV, no visible neighbors etc. There were mountains, the river, the sun, the wind and the sky. And lots of animals and books. Although neither of my parents, at that stage, had extensive formal education, they both loved to read. My mother taught me to read before I went to school because I was so slow, she.
thought I was probably retarded and needed extra help. And also because she wanted us kids to do something while she tended to all the animals. So I read a lot, but I had no exposure to astrology and very little to any kind of spirituality. I do remember I once tried to do a school project on astrology, but it was Western astrology, and I could not sink my mind into it at the time

Christina: What inspired you to become an astrologer? Did you begin with the Vedic system or Tropical astrology?

Alison: I discovered ayurveda in my early teens. I had and have a very big fascination with herbs and alternative medicine. At the time, I was living in Albuquerque and happened upon the Ayurvedic Institute. They had a brochure for a Vedic astrology conference in Hawaii. It was like an instant recognition of a lover from another life. I was determined to learn it from that moment forward.

Christina: You attended college and also studied astrology in New Mexico with Hart de Fouw, correct? What was that experience like for you, and what was the most important thing you learned from this teacher?

Alison: I did not attend college with Hart, but I did study jyotish with him. What Hart did to translate the profundity, the paradox and deep Indian wisdom of jyotish into the English language, embody it and transmit it, is, in my experience, unparalleled for that particular Vidya. But if I had to come up with a number one thing I learned from Hart de Fouw, it comes down to something he said once. He said, “A village Jyotishi in India who knows three principles of Jyotish but does his sadhana regularly will get a better result than someone who has memorized thousands of techniques but has no relationship to the Divine.” In my own experience I have found that to be true - that Jyotisha is a profound cognition of the art and math of Nature, of Ishwara. The more deeply someone has immersed themselves in communing with the Divine, the less dependent they will be on technique and the more liberated they will be to read the truth in the fabric of the moment. Not that techniques are not also valuable and important. They help to structure intuition in consciousness and learning them is a way of identifying with the Jyotir Vidya.

Christina: You have also authored an excellent book with a compilation of your wonderfully researched articles Special Topics in Vedic Astrology – Kindle edition. Do you have other books in the works?

Alison: I have other books in the works. Whether they crawl out of the woodwork, who knows?

Christina: Yes, I can identify with that – I have been years getting down to writing books. You now reside in Fairfield, Iowa – home base for Transcendental Meditation founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. How did you begin that spiritual path journey?

Alison: My journey with Fairfield, Iowa actually coincides with my Jyotisha journey. Because after seeing that brochure, the first person I located to teach me Jyotish was Michael Laughrin, and he was in Fairfield. That was almost twenty years ago. He very graciously connected me to both Hart de Fouw and Narendra Desai.

Christina: Do you also teach or give live webinars in astrology?

Alison: I have taught and do teach as opportunity arises. I have tutored people online, but I have not given live webinars in astrology, nor do I plan to. Perhaps it is the influence of a childhood spent so far removed from people and technology. Perhaps it is the influence of my many teachers and my own experiences. I personally prefer to teach in person.

Christina: What would you recommend to our student readers about the study of Vedic astrology?

Alison: Jyotisha is a Vedanga - a limb of the Veda. It is the eyes of the Veda. A deep immersion in Jyotish can open the door to God.

Christina: Yes, Jyotisha is the highest limb of the Vedas, the eyes of Kalapurusha! You have a background in Ayurveda as well, would you like to tell us a little bit more about that?

Alison: The ayurveda I know is mostly self-taught, through reading - primarily the books of Dr. Robert Svoboda and Dr. Vasant Lad. And I learned some from Dharmanidhi, who was a student of Dr. Lad’s. Hart also taught us some Ayurveda, both for understanding people’s personalities as well as their health. I always like the metaphor of the banyan tree for both Ayurveda and Jyotish. Both vidyas can be dauntingly complex and labyrinthine, like a banyan tree. But at the center of every banyan tree is a core trunk, the mother trunk - that then replicates like a fractal spider adding infinite dazzling jewels and complex curlicues to itself.

One of the things I love about both ayurveda and jyotish is the simplicity at the core of both. That simplicity makes them user friendly for a wide variety of people. All that is required is some effort and sincerity.

Christina: What is your view on gemstones and remedial measures?

Alison: My answer to that question would probably be too lengthy for this interview. I would say I don’t have a single view on it. I have several views on it because it is multi-faceted.

Christina: You also have a Master’s degree in counseling psychotherapy. Do you often use Jyotish to assist you in your practice with patients?

Alison: I do not currently practice as a psychotherapist. I practice as a Jyotishi, so the answer would be yes.

Christina: Thank you so much for interviewing with us today and sharing your knowledge!

Alison: Thank you for inviting me and for making the effort to support the Jyotir Vidya with your magazine.

Christina: You are so welcome, and as they say “it takes a village!” So I thank you for your contribution along with the rest of our staff at the Jyotish Star!

Alison Bodhani Biography

Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha. Alison Bodhani first encountered Jyotisha 20 years ago. Michael Laughrin taught her very first Jyotisha course. She then studied with Narendra Desai, Hart de Fouw and Mantriji. In an autodidactic fashion, with the help of the local library, Google and the book store, she has also studied yoga, ayurveda, herbology, Vedic mythology, cosmology, and philosophy and other various subjects. She started college at the age of sixteen at Simon’s Rock of Bard College in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. She received an AA in Liberal Arts and then transferred to University of New Mexico where she received a Bachelors in Sociology. She also has a Masters in Consciousness-based Counseling from Southwestern College in Santa Fe, New
Mexico. She is considered by some to have a PhD from The School of Hard Knocks, AKA Experience. She has practiced Jyotisha since 1999 and currently practices, teaches and writes. Her articles on Jyotisha can be found at www.jyotish.ws. She has taught for the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, NM as well as for various other organizations. She is author of an e-book on Jyotisha: Special Topics in Vedic Astrology. She thanks All the Beings who gave her Knowledge and Love. May All Beings Be Free From Suffering.

website: www.somadhara.com
email: premavratini@yahoo.com
phone: 269-598-3244


Christina Collins Biography

Christina CollinsChristina Collins, Jyotish Visharada, CVA, Jyotish Kovid, ICAS and CVA, Jyotish Vachaspati, ICAS, Jyotish Medha Pragya, ICAS and Jyotish Mahasagara from Raman and Rajeshwari Foundation 2013, is a third generation Astrologer specializing in the Vedic system. She received her honorary titles from the late Dr. B.V. Raman, former President of the ICAS (Indian Council for Astrological Sciences) in New Delhi and Bangalore, India, from CVA (Council for Vedic Astrology, USA), from the ICAS in Bangalore, from the Raman and Rajeshwari Foundation in 2013 and the Jyotish Navaratna from ACVA (American College for Vedic Astrology) in 2014.

From1997 to 2012, she was the first and sole American woman to be honored by the highly held title of Jyotish Vachaspati (Jyotish - the light bearer and Vachaspati - the one who speaks the truth and whose predictions come true. (In
Sanskrit, Vac = speech and Brihaspati is a name of Jupiter the planet of wisdom and truth. Her most recent honor from India, the Jyotish Medha Pragya title, means that consciousness has merged with Jyotish.

As a founding member, she currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American College of Vedic Astrology (ACVA online), and was former Editor of the ACVA News. President of Celestial Resource (The Timing Coach) she serves corporate and private clients from students to celebrities. For the Jyotish Star you can reach her in Boulder CO at editor@jyotishstar.com, and for consultations: jyotish@indra.com:

Christina's Consultation Contact information:

Christina Collins, J.K., J.V.
Editor in Chief The Jyotish Star
Lafayette, (Boulder County) CO, USA
web site: http://www.christinacollinsastrology.com
email: jyotish@indra.com
phone: 303-665-9996

See my interview on YouTube by Lissa Coffey


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