No astrologer can give 100% perfect predictions all the time. If someone claims to do so, it is not possible on the basis of the mathematical analysis of the birth time. Some things are always in the hands of the creator and the free will of the client.
Often there is the so-called Nadi practitioner who will tell your past perfectly but cannot predict your future accurately. Most likely he has a minor ‘siddhi’ or a bound spirit who tells him things. I saw this once when one of my friends dragged me to check out a new ‘palm-leaf nadi astrologer’, there was a spirit involved and this is quite a common ‘trick’.
Then I knew a very senior astrologer, quite well known, over 75yrs of age. He would predict what his clients wished to hear, the potential/ timing of the horoscope was secondary. And because what they wanted was relatively usual stuff, in most of the cases it would actually happen. When my brother realised what was happening, he tested him on purpose. He would sit before him for a consultation and think of wild stuff which could not possibly happen as per his horoscope. The astrologer would predict what my brother was wishing would happen. And the prediction would not materialise. What was happening here was very typical. The astrologer was a life-time devotee of the Gayatri mantra and he had developed a type of vak-siddhi over the years. This meant that he could read minds, also speak what the client wished to hear and for minor things the power of his siddhi would nudge things along towards the desired outcome. So his predictions were a mix of horoscope, experience and Gayatri-siddhi.
Then there are genuine Jyotishi-s who have done so much spiritual sadhana in their life that they don’t even need to use horoscopes anymore. They are the real ‘Daivadnya’, the ‘knowers of destiny’. They have used Jyotish more as a Vedang, a spiritual tool rather than just a tool for common prediction. But these are quite rare.
For most of us who visit professional astrologers, there will always be some inaccuracy in readings. Every practicing astrologer will make errors from time to time. The main reasons are these,
This is a basic problem. eg even 1 min off the actual birth time will put off the timing of the predictions by 3 months when using the Dasha systems. And the birth chart and divisional charts will misguide. And pin-point predictions are going to be difficult. Birth time rectification requires time and experience.
This is a value which essentially measures the Sun’s movement against the backdrop of the stars (it is rather complicated). Major astrologers develop their own ayanamsha factor eg BV Raman had calculated a new ayanamsha which several senior astrologers of that time did not agree with. I use the Chitrapaksha ayanamsha also called the Lahiri ayanamsha, this is the ayanamsha used in calculating the Indian official calendar. So in your software or if you are doing the calculations manually, use the Chitrapaksha-Lahiri and later when you have more practice and if you want to experiment, try with the others. (The authors whom I hold in high esteem, KN Rao, CS Patel, Shakti Mohan Singh etc all use the Lahiri-Chitrapaksha)
All astrologers will be taught Vimshottari dasha system first. It is most commonly used and quite accurate. But there are several other dasha systems. And there are rules on which one is to be used for what kind of birth. Or for what type of question eg the Shoola Dasha system is used to precisely time death. Vimshottari is the basic minimum, but a professional astrologer will know at least 3-4 dasha systems. Yogini or the Kaalchakra dasha is an all-applicable Dasha system. Knowing which Dasha system to use for which kind of birth details and for what kind of question will improve the accuracy of prediction.
(If you are a student of astrology, read the book ‘Kaala chakra Dasha system’ by Shakti Mohan Singh. At least do the maths and get your own dasha sequence. Tally it with your life and see for yourself. Doing this for clients can be difficult as the exact birth minute is essential. I don’t know if there is a software which calculates this Dasha accurately, I do the calculations manually as per this book.)
Most astrologers are here for the money. They do not have the time nor the inclination to get into the real details. They want you as a repeat client, to get dependant on them or every small decision in life. Then all the Jyotish books are in Sanskrit (Devbhasha Samskrutam) our mother-tongue, which we do not understand and then to interpret what is written is a big task. People have forgotten that it is actually Vedang Jyotish. Before going to an astrologer always try to find out more about him, from his other clients or from the books/papers he has published. There are genuine astrologers still available who take the time to read charts as they are supposed to be read. If you search, you will find them.
Verifying the life-details and the birth-charts.
The basic birth chart is calculated as per the client’s birth-time, also the Ashtakvarga table and the Navamsha charts too. Now all this math has to be tallied with the past events. It is the responsibility of the client to give the correct birth time but it is the responsibility of the astrologer to cross-check. Unless the birth time is established beyond doubt, predicting the future is going to be difficult. For this any of the following have to be tallied with the charts,
- Events linked to the slow moving planets, Saturn Rahu/ Ketu and Jupiter transits help in verifying birth details. If any Saturn Sade-sati has occurred, its effects are good markers. Dasha will also give timing of life events.
- Life events like, birth of younger brother/ sisters, deaths of parents/ grandparents/ spouse/ children, education and profession related milestones, marriage, divorce, birth of children, accidents, illnesses, purchase of house/ car/ property etc will be reflected in the charts.
- These incidents are physical, psychological and spiritual events. Eg someone might have felt terrible pain on the birth of a younger brother, might have felt lost, that his parents have a new baby. This is a major impact on his outlook and will be strongly reflected in his charts.
- The present life situation will fit into the current Dasha and the current transits situation. eg if someone just got a new job it will be reflected here.
And a good astrologer will predict one past event from the past using the chart, just to verify if it really happened. Only after this the future Dasha and transits are evaluated for predictions. Software will help but the astrologer has to give time for every chart analysis and the client too should be patient till the astrologer has finished his calculations.
If the client has only one pressing question, the Prashna system always gives accurate results. Every astrologer should know the basics of Prashna analysis. Even if the client has his birth details always check the prashna kundali.
Prashna is also a look into how the energies of the present moment are going to influence the reading. Also when an astrologer is aware of that instant’s planetary configuration, he also knows how the planets are influencing him and his ability. If he is going through a bad patch himself, if his own perceptions are coloured, his ability to read will be affected.
Accepting mistakes and studying even more
Every astrologer has made mistakes. If he can accept them, re-examine and learn it will help further growth. But too many or silly mistakes cannot be tolerated. People want solutions and if the astrologer is wrong, he is cheating the client and also himself. Learning astrology systematically and getting experience in informal settings is important.
If you want learn astrology, be systematic and not let your ego get the better of you. If you want to be a professional astrologer first go through your own chart, check if you have the aptitude and the ability. There is no glamour in this, you will often see people in such horrid circles that you yourself can lose faith.
And if you are the client, the astrologer does not know everything, if he predicts wild things or you feel something is fishy, do not follow his advice. In our greed we often ignore our inner voice and get into a mess later.
Finally when some predictions fail, it is the failure of the astrologer and not Jyotish.