I have written a post here on how to go about studying Jyotish systematically. If you follow it, you will be a really good astrologer in 2-3 yrs.
Here I am listing out the four essential books which you should have with you for reference.
- Bruhat Parashar Hora Shastra
- Bruhat Jataka
They are originally in Sanskrit but am sure you can find a translation in a bookstore near you. There is a preference for English translations of these books, but it would help if you are able to buy translations in any Indian/ Bharatiya languages. (eg. BPHS Hindi version by Pt. Devachandra Jha is the better translation.) I personally buy paper books, it is easier to highlight sections, bookmark, add notes etc in them, they feel more solid in my hands.
Jyotish comes from our ancient books in Sanskrit (Devbhasha Samskrutam) written by these Rishis and Daivedjnyas. Today what we do is merely interpret and apply this wisdom to our charts. Do go through these four books in depth. You do not have to learn them by rote. Never learn anything by rote, instead try to understand, apply it practically see how the combinations work. Learn to use these as reference books. There are even more reference books but first stick with these four.
Avoid swamping yourself with books, as with Jyotish, practice is essential, But you should read books by senior Jyotishi/ authors. It will help in gaining perspective. You should understand how to analyse the texts, ie how to use them as references to build ability to practically apply them to the charts.
- K.N. Rao, emphasis on research and application of the texts useful for developing an analytical mindset.
- C.S. Patel, his books are a solid application of the texts and his research is extensive and useful.
If you want to refer to even more authors for predictive astrology, R. Santhanam, B Suryanarayan Rao, BV Raman, Gayatridevi Vasudev, JH Bhasin, Vinay Jha, PVR Narasimharao, Sanjay Rath, Shankar Adval, Umang Taneja, a book on nakshatra by Vic di Cara another by Prashant Trivedi, divisional charts by VK Choudhary, book on omens by CD Bijalwan, book on astropalmistry by Mihiracharya, a book on palmistry by KC Sen, an interesting book on Panchapakshi by GR Narasimhan, books by MN Kedar also by Bepin Bihari, on Medini jyotish by MS Mehta and several more. Shakti Mohan Singh’s epic book on Kaal chakra Dasha is a must if you wish to learn this Dasha system.
All these authors are ultimately interpreting the ancient Sanskrit texts. If someone says that he is bringing something ‘new’ in Jyotish, you should be skeptical. There is nothing ‘new’ in Jyotish. It is just the perspective, understanding and application which varies from person to person and comes with continued practice.
In my personal opinion, it is best to avoid authors who mix Vedic and Western concepts as these cannot be mixed. Stick to pure Jyotish, ie the Bharatiya, the Vedic system. Avoid authors who put in too much jargon and try to baffle you with complicated words with no real meanings.
First learn to predict the practical results, ie questions like ‘When will I get married?’ and only after you are reasonably competent with these, comes the psychological counselling part.
After you are clear on the BPHS, and wish to perfect your predictive ability, you can learn the detailed Jaimini astrology. Jaimini originates from Parashari, but should be considered to be a separate topic and for advanced students. KP is a modern system which advanced students can experiment with.
Software will be necessary as most of the newer astrologers do not study the math involved. The best free software is Jagannath Hora. Paid ones are several. A daily panchangam is necessary. I use Drik Panchang app on my iPhone, it also has an android app, is is adequate for students.
And practice daily, train your mind to see patterns. Be dispassionate and detached, you are now a student of human nature.
Wishing you the best in your studies.