Start learning astrology systematically

People today are interested in astrology. There are casual enthusiasts and then there are the really genuine students who want to learn it in detail. If you want to really learn and practice astrology, either for your personal growth or as a profession, you should understand that it takes time. It takes 3 yrs to get a basic graduation degree and 4yrs for a professional one! So you should consider this much time as the basic minimum to learn astrology to the level of getting your predictions correct. It is a life-time learning process and you will learn with every chart you analyse. There are several government Universities which offer a B.A. in Astrology at quite reasonable fees, some of them offer distance courses too. Here you get a certificate so this might help in your professional practice.

Start learning astrology systematically

Self-study is necessary, you will need to read books,

  • B. Suryanarain Row – The oldest. I think the first astrology author in modern times, books are in English. Basic astrological concepts have been elaborated upon. He had the advantage of being the first English writer so has written a lot.
  • B.V. Raman – son of B. Suryanarain Row. I grew up on his books and the Astrological Magazine. English books as did most astrologers in Bharat. His beginner level books are good.
  • Gayatri Devi Vasudev – daughter of B.V. Raman, writes in English.
  • J.N. Bhasin – has written several books, lucid language and most are available in English and Hindi.
  • K.N. Rao – His early books are very logical. Also discusses the theory in later books. He has edited books written by his students so you can read those too for a different perspective and case studies. In English and quite useful.
  • H.N. Katve – all of his books are in Marathi. If you know Marathi you should read them. Extensive knowledge. Some books are translated to Hindi.
  • Chandulal Sarkarlal Patel – English books. He is the only author I trust for Ashtakvarga and Navamsha analysis. Not beginner level, but there are several books/ articles written in a clear style and are an essential read.
  • Shakti Mohan Singh – He has written a lot in English but his one book on Kalachakra Dasha is very important, the only book which gives this Dasha system accurately. (Though we start learning with Vimshottari Dasha, then learn Ashtottari and Yogini, Kalachakra is one dasha which the advanced student has to learn.)
  • More authors here

Choose books in the language you understand easily. Most authors have written beginners books for introduction to the fundamentals of astrology. Several of their books are available on, I would suggest you download a few, see which ones you like and then do buy them. These are quite inexpensive at Rs 200/- max. Having a paper book in your hands means you can make your notes in it, or add your own observations, stick notes in it. Soft-copies and software are useful, but use the paper and pencil too. At some point of time you will have to read at least two classics Bruhat Jataka and Bruhat Parashar Hora Shastra. There are other classics, but these two are necessary. In addition you can consider keeping a copy of the Phaladeepika as a reference. And for Prashna I have found Shatpanchashika very adequate. You can read these later when you are a bit advanced in your study.

Earlier reading Panchangam and learning maths was very important. We had to calculate the positions of the planets etc using the panchangam and only then could we draw up the horoscope. Today with the advent of software and online horoscopes, learning maths has become optional. (But the serious students should practice the math also. It helps better understanding). For software use the free Jagannath Hora. And Parashar Light is the best professional level paid software if you want to buy, it is expensive. For android and iPhones ‘Drik panchang’ by developer ‘Adarsh apps’ is quite adequate to begin with. In the settings, put in your location and the Lahiri/ Chitrapaksha ayanamsha.

Start learning astrology systematically

So from my point of view this was the basic minimum for learning Jyotish in depth. Now the actual study, this is broadly in these parts.

  • Analysing the charts, at least the birth chart, moon chart and the D-9 Navamsha chart.
  • Ashtakvarga for both birth chart and transits (as learning one additional system is required).
  • Analysing Dasha – Generally Vimshottari Dasha is used. (There are more Dasha systems, but first learn Vimshottari.)
  • Analysing transits – comparing the present placement of the planets in the sky in relation to their at-birth positions

Analysing the Charts

Get any one of the beginners books you like. Read it through cursorily, get an overview first. Now pinpoint 10 keywords for every sign/ house/ planet. Write your own notes. And in the software input your own details and see how your birth chart looks like. When learning astrology you need to do the practical stuff by analysing charts, just reading the books won’t be enough. So,

  • Start doing a house by house analysis of your own Birth Chart. E.g if the ascendant/ first house is Capricorn, look up the keywords of Capricorn and its owner Saturn. See if these link up with your actual personality. Do this very cursory analysis for each of the 12 houses.
  • Then do the 9 planet analysis, (we do not use Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, they are not graha). Eg. Saturn is placed in 5th house, Taurus sign. So how does he behave, look up the keywords, analyse how they are expressed in your life.
  • Then do a house-lord analysis. Eg Saturn as the lord of the 1st house is placed in Taurus sign 5th house. Analyse how the finer details are now being filled in. Do this for all the 12 houses. Try to see patterns. Astrology at this level will be more trends and possibilities, accuracy will come with time and practice.

(There are videos available on Youtube. Since I haven’t seen any of them I cannot recommend any. But I would stress this, first read these books by senior astrologers. Then listen to youtube videos. These senior astrologer’s experience is very valuable, thus their books. My relatives don’t ask me see their charts, they get after my Dad. Dad has been an astrologer for more years than I have been alive, experience always matters.)

Moon chart analysis is neglected these days but it gives valuable insights into the emotional behaviour of the person. Turn around your chart so that the Moon’s sign takes the 1st house place. Now see how the planets and ascendant sign align with the Moon. Eg. One relative has her Moon in 6th house. She is always uncomfortable. The ascendant sign is placed eighth from the Moon. So her personality/ environment and her emotional comfort are adversarial to each other. If you can see these things in the chart and also in the person in front of you it adds to your confidence.

Use your books, write notes and stick them in the books. Making notes helped in your college. It is the same, you are learning a new subject.

Start learning astrology systematically

After you are comfortable with all this you can go on to divisional charts but only if you have the exact birth time. Open your Navamsha or 9th Divisional Chart on your software. Check which signs/ houses the planets shift to as compared to the Birth Chart. (I have written a few posts on Navamsha). This is a full analysis in itself and requires time. There are technically 16 important divisional charts, but exact birth time to the minute is generally not available, so D-9 is generally enough. (Generally birth time does differ upto 5 mins, ie the nurses may not record 10:33am exactly but rather record 10:35am)

Then practice some more.

Get your parents horoscopes, your grandparents, brothers/ sisters/ uncles/ aunts etc horoscopes, people whom you know already and can observe for years later. Do this analysis for their charts. (You might not be sure of their exact to the minute birth time, so do the Birth Chart and Moon chart analysis). Especially charts of any close relative who is beyond 60yrs. They have lived their lives and you can use them as the perfect study subjects. They will be willing to talk to you about significant events in their lives. If you get 15 charts to follow you are in a good place. We generally know about our relatives’ behaviour, mind-set, marriages, children, jobs, financial position, social status, health etc. So a full-rounded study of the charts is possible. Take your time over this very basic study, these 15 charts are your foundation. You can increase your collection as you get more subjects. Just maintain them, number them etc. If you can follow them upto their deaths it will be a complete study. (My Dad still has his hand-drawn charts collection from 50+yrs ago. I had the advantage of observing him/ his clients and learning since I was very small.)

Keep referring to your books. Doing this analysis, gradually your concepts of directional strength, combustion effects, retrograde movement, planetary war, exalted/ debilitated, etc will get clear. Take your time over this analysis. Keep adding finer details and take notes. Tally your analysis with the personality. This will add to your confidence.

Ashtakvarga is an important analysis and you should be able to use the basic Samudaya-ashtakvarga table at the very least. I have written few posts on this. Delve deeper as you study more.

Most people like studying celebrity charts, I don’t. My clients are the regular human beings with regular problems. Celebrity charts are not typical charts, they have combinations which give extreme results and only in one direction. e.g notorious criminal, freedom fighters, film stars, politicians. Their charts are extraordinary from only one angle, rest of the life is often in a bad shape.

And read your books and write the important observations you make.

Dasha analysis

Now to level up, in your software, there is a section on Vimshottari Dasha, Check out which Mahadasha and which Antardasha is going on for your own chart. I have written about analysing Dasha generally and planet-wise in my previous posts. You will need to do this once in few months to 1-2 yrs. You can also do it for your sample charts and observe if the analysis matches the actual events in life.

You studied so hard for school/college, this is no less! You are learning to predict the future and understanding the past.

Start learning astrology systematically

Analysing transits

The next thing is getting a sense of transits. Start with analysing the Moon’s effect on yourself. I have written about it in this post. Keeping track of the Moon transits will get you in the habit of referring to your Panchangam/ Software everyday. Observe and analyse your emotions and behaviour. Now you are a student of human nature. So be dispassionate and critical. Keep your own notes. Take 3 months over this to get your own interpretation of how the Moon affects your moods. After this you should try predicting how your day is going to be. This small daily prediction boosts your confidence. Eg one of my relatives, Moon in the 6th house, ie the ascendant sign is counted eighth from the Moon. (Ascendant sign represents the head, transit Moon in the sign eighth from the birth Moon creates stress and changes in pressures of body liquids.) She always gets a splitting head-ache when the Moon transits her 1st house.

You can similarly analyse other planets transits. Especially the transits of Saturn and Rahu/Ketu and Jupiter, are longer in duration should be studied. The Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars move quite fast, like 1-2  months per sign. These do not have very drastic effects either (unless one of them is your ascendant sign ruler), so you can take up their transits analysis later on.

This is a brief frame-work on understanding the horoscope and the past and present situations. To do this confidently will take time, so study for 1hr every alternate day at least regularly.

Now predictions,

Some senior astrologers write out a full life report. It requires time, a week perhaps, and a very good understanding of the potential of the horoscope to give results and the future transits and dashas in which these results can be expected.

But generally clients have a 3-4 questions which are about current situations or the near future, which can be answered easily. I have written a few posts on these topics. And of course there are books which you should refer for more details. You can start taking questions from your sample chart relatives after about 6months of personal study. You know these charts and you will be more confident predicting from them. Even if they do not want to ask anything, you can try to predict some small things from their charts which will occur in the next 3 months. (eg 6th house lord transiting over birth Moon will result in a minor illness, and this will happen. You can call your relative up to confirm if he is unwell). This will help you gain confidence. I would suggest taking up professional clients doing only after 3yrs of study.

(It would help immensely if you do regular Gayatri mantra Jaap. This will increase intuition, sharpen intelligence and grant protection.)

Learning astrology is always useful, you get to know a lot about your own self and also about others. And it has its spiritual side too. So why do you want to learn it? Think a bit on this, it will motivate you. Life is quite short with so many things to do. Astrology/ Jyotish just like any other subject, it requires time, interest and study. Start with the simple concepts and build on them. You are studying human nature and human affairs from every possible perspective here. Wishing you all the best in your pursuit of Illumination.

Start learning astrology systematically

(This post was in response to this comment I received in the contact form, 

“Sir, I am highly shocked the depth of your knowledge in this aspect. I wasn’t a keen follower of astrology but I am interested in it. So sir can you please suggest me, where can I get in depth knowledge of it. (It would be highly appreciated if you could teach me.) Yours sincerely, A fan of yours”

Dear Reader, Thank you for the compliment you have given me. I value your asking me to teach. But you see, astrology in the sense it should be taught and learnt requires a face-to-face teacher, which I cannot do. However I encourage you to start reading something on the topic and at least some self-study on the lines of this post. If there are any questions I can help you with, I will genuinely try. All the best to you in your studies.)

5 thoughts on “Start learning astrology systematically

  1. astrologerbydefault August 21, 2019 / 6:33 pm

    There was this comment I received in the contact form

    “Hi! I know you do not do readings anymore, but I am self-taught in Jyotish so with your guidance, I think I can figure out the answer to my question 🙂 My question has to do with health……. (Lots of personal details)………

    So here….

    Do check the planets power in the D-1 and their potential power from the D-9. Only then will the true picture be seen.
    D-30 and D-60 are seen for this problem, but as birth time is never reliable, even a minute will change everything, I feel its not reliable.

    For checking health and medical issues I have written a basic post here

    This will help you narrow down the planet concerned. The differnet planets are linked to differnt body parts and differnet types of diseases.

    The ascendant lord and 1st house if strongly placed are an invaluable asset. So check his basic power in the D1 and D9. Check if there are any malefic transits on your ascendant sign. Your ascendant lord is fast moving planet himself so will get combust/retrograde etc quite frequently. See if your medical problems are linked to this. Digestion related problems often exist for this sign. So pay attention to your diet, take some ayurvedic digestive medicines and sit in the Vajrasana often if you can. Try to improve your digestion and abdominal health, it will help overall health.

    One person I know with same ascendant always suffers from navel displacement. This also causes lots issues so check this.

    Maybe you can try these simple to-do things for digestion

    6th house from ascendant is to be seen and the planets in it, aspecting it, its owner planet etc, these indicate diseases. Such planets from D-1 should be checked in D-9, if they get into a better house or in any way seem more auspicious? Then the intensity gets reduced.

    If there are planets here, check what kind of results can you expect. Their transits and dasha periods too.

    If no planets occupying the 6th, then I suppose there will be chronic pain in the legs especially knees and calves for you.

    6th house from Moon always causes mental stress.

    The ascendant sign falls in this axis, 6th from moon.
    Check the ascendant of your D-9 and which house ur D-1 ascendant sign falls in in the D-9. Can we expect them to give beneficial results? Both these will give you an idea of the inherent strength of your body. Eg. If ascendant sign falls in the 5th house, it gets power. Eg if the 12th house sign of the D-1 becomes the ascendant sign of the D-9 then lesser power.

    Now your Moon placement is one of the most challenging ones. The Moon’s periods either mahadasha, or antar-dasha in other planet’s mahadashas, or in case of the longer mahadasha of Venus (you must have gone thru this a few yrs ago), the sub-sub periods are also quite lengthy. These periods must have caused drastic changes in health. Moon is a rhythmic planet, gives results which are cyclic, like tides. And he transits very fast 2.25days/rashi. So your already house of sudden changes gets a highly changeable occupant making its effects more intense.

    Were there any childhood issues? Such a moon often indicates some deprivation in childhood

    the 8th house, the owner, where is he? with whom?
    other planets placed in the 8th?

    I haven’t written about the 12th house’s role in diseases on purpose, as it requires serious analysis. If too many planets occupy the 12th house, or its lord gets placed in a crucial house, it can give quite serious diseases which can cause very great loss to the vitality of the body. It needs to be analysed carefully. As you are an astrologer yourself do give this house its due analysis. It represents loss of the manifested so can get serious.
    Is this the reason why your regular astrologer was stressing on this dosh? Your 12th ruler is also a natural malefic. What sign/house does he occupy in the D-1 and D-9? Is he conjunct ur ascendent lord? These two are generally with each other. So what, if any, malefic influence does he have on your asc lord?

    Vimshottari dashas of planets connected to the 6th, 8th and 12th houses can cause permanent damage to the body.
    For the current phase if Mars is well-placed he should infuse vigour in the body frame. But again he is the owner of the 8th, so ultimately have to be careful regarding health. Over-heating, over-pressure, of the body fluids. Temper can lead to distortion of the pran movements. He also owns the 3rd (bhavat bahvam for 8th house) so may not actively stop recovery.

    Mahamryutunjai mantra is extremely powerful. But if you are unable to recite it so many times, you can do it 1/3/27/54/108 times. Even once is good enough if you are doing it will full intention and shraddha. As a remedy it must have given you some benefit.

    For the remedies, whatever you do, try pranayam, it will set a lot of things right. When you have even 2 mins free, do pranayam, if you cannot sit, lie down in shavasan.
    Do the simple Anulom-vilom with mental Om recitation, have written it here.

    If you cannot do this, whenever you get 2 mins free, do mental So-ham jaap. In any pose and situation, when breathing in mentally recite ‘So’ when breathing out recite ‘hum’.

    For your typical 8th house placement, some breath awareness exercise like these 2 simple ones, helps regulate pran. Moon influenced changeable rhythm is smoothened and made steady. Try it, at least Soham breathing, it is very simple.

    Wish you the best and a speedy recovery.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Makarand July 14, 2020 / 11:24 am

    Wow Madam! Another great post and very useful step by step guide to learning astrology! ( Is it possible to get your Dad’s contact details for chart analysis?)
    Please help to clarify three things from above post :
    1) You mention if birthtime is not available or accurate use Birth chart and Moon chart – how does one cast chart when time is not known. What time should be use for such situations?
    2) Lot of good books and sources for astrology are given. How about some ideas about Krishnamurthy Padathi, Jaimini and Western astrology?
    3) This is the mother of all questions – just as we use birth time and make a chart and you also mentioned that analyze charts of persons over 60 within your family and then practice chart analysis, can we use someone’s time of death and build a chart to analyze their life? For example for famous historical persons sometimes we don’t have their charts or not easily available as kept in secret by some persons!

    Thank you in advance for your time and guidance! 🙏🙏🙏


    • astrologerbydefault July 14, 2020 / 5:12 pm

      Hi there
      if my karma to see other’s problems got over in my 30’s, do you think my Dad’s karma would be still active now when he in his 70’s? he finished his pending karma when he was in his early 40’s.
      at present only my brother does readings and tht too rarely and he prefers using Tarot. he too will stop soon.
      i have mentioned his website details in my ‘about’ page..

      if the ‘birth time is not available’, means if at least the day is known but the time is not known you can use the Moon chart.

      I do not use Jaimini or KP system so cannot comment on the books used in it.
      i use only Parashari.

      western astrology is inaccurate as the maths is wrong. They do not do the corrections for the tilt of the earth and their maths went wrong about 2000+ yrs ago.they have further confused themselves by adding asteroids and what not. it is not astrology

      i have not used the time of death to calculate the life events which the person has already lived. if you wish you can try it out and see how it matches.


  3. Gosia July 25, 2020 / 12:16 am

    So impressed and grateful for all the knowledge you share! This much content of such a high quality, hard to find anywhere else with this clear language construction. I was always somehow into astrology and many years was repeating to everyone the I’m not Pisces but Aquarius and only by finding Sidereal chart and Jyotish that I was right! Now everything starts making sense and I’m so happy to find your blog since I want to get into Jyotish. I wish this page would be available in my mother tongue to share it with older generations here in Poland. Thank you is not enough to say!


    • astrologerbydefault July 25, 2020 / 4:52 pm

      Hi there
      thank you,
      i have never been to Poland in this life, but last year my husband was there for a week for some work.
      I saw the pics and remembered tht Poland was my motherland in a very distinct life.
      So glad to know that someone in there too is reading this..


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