Today we welcome Jesse Woodward to the blog. He is a practitioner of Franz Bardons Tradition as well as a practitioner of Vedic Astrology. Today we focus on Vedic Astrology and how it can be used to bring clarity into a person’s life.
PAA: Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Could you firstly provide us with your background in Hermetics, the Franz Bardon system and Vedic Astrology.
Jesse: I started practicing Initiation Into Hermetics as a daily practice back when I was 12 or 13 and have been at it daily ever since. I have other systems of training that IIH had let me into which have fleshed out and given me a great deal of other techniques and training which IIH and the other systems have complimented. I started studying Vedic astrology some time later and have been studying and using it practically since 2014. Vedic astrology provides incredible precision and remedial measures to work magically using mantras, rings, and other magical techniques which provide very easy and natural methods to work with life situations which I find more ideal since you can get insights into and work with the karmic situations with a great deal of knowledge of the soul and its purpose. I spent a tremendous amount of time on the accumulation practices and have a great deal of skill in creating talismans in Bardons methods, but I still find it far more effective and work more naturally with someone’s life to use astrological remedies.
PAA: Could you explain the main differences between what we know of as Astrology in the West and Vedic Astrology. Is it vastly different or just some small differences?
Jesse: I have exclusively studied Jyotish or Vedic astrology as it was what my root teacher had studied and presented so I can’t say a great deal about Western Astrology. Western astrology didn’t appeal to me as the logic behind using the position of the constellations at 0 AD over 2000 years ago didn’t make as much sense as using their current positions. Since we are making decisions that affect today it didn’t make sense to me to study Western, as even a 1 degree difference can cause major differences the Tropical system is now about 24 degrees in the sky different than Sideral since it has moved slightly every year since it was created.
PAA: What made you seek out training in Vedic Astrology? Did you feel it brought additional clarity to your work in Hermetics?
Jesse: My Root teacher practices and studies Vedic astrology so when he began teaching a class I was very interested and started learning it gradually then. I had a few readings from him previously and saw how accurate and effective it was myself in recovering my health during a major life threatening illness. I have learned a tremendous amount about the nature of life from astrology. The lesson that your life might be completely different than some one else’s or some ideal version of your life yet still can turn out to be the best thing for your soul as it is specific to your karmas. Having the opportunity to see strengths, weaknesses, remedial measures that can be applied to strengthen different innate faculties, relationships, or life situations with great precision has been a huge help. I often am able to provide remedies which cause external life situation improvement along with remedies and consoling which benefits someone spiritually, physically, and psychologically. One thing that Vedic astrology also shows is that it is impossible for someone to see themselves fully accurately from their own perception no matter how well they think they do. It is always beneficial to get perspectives from other people, but the study of our natal chart can provide insights into our weakness, strengths, and areas we are able to grow in. This is hugely beneficial for anyone working on their soul mirror practices to get insights not only into their innate weaknesses, but the areas that can be utilized in the chart to most easily lean on to strengthen and support the weaknesses. There is no single right personality or way to live. Every life is individual and fresh, our life purpose isn’t to live an idealized life, but to be the best version of ourselves in this incarnation that we could be.
PAA: Could you explain how you would apply Vedic Astrology to various situations? For example, what would you need from a person to do a reading and how could the information gleaned from the reading assist the individual? Also, would the reading be able to look at subjects like past lives/future lives or just this incarnation?
Jesse: It is possible to find out about some aspects of the past and future lifes from Vedic astrology. I have not specialized in that though as I find remedial measures and way to grow in our current life to be the best way to help others. Though any planet in a negative position can provide insights into struggles with that archetype and a relationship in a previous life. For instance, betraying a father figure can result in an afflicted Sun which causes low vitality and a lack of confidence. However, it is best to look at these things as a relationship in a past life which has caused a lack of healthy communication with the universal archetype and repairing that through mantras, charity work, ritual offerings, and working with those archetypes in our current life can repair that for future incarnations and alleviate the issues caused from the damage to that relationship in the past. Similarly those actions can build healthy relationships to carry with us into future incarnations.
PAA: How would a practitioner of Franz Bardon’s Initiation into Hermetics utilize Vedic Astrology? If you are working on Bardons 2nd and 3rd book PME And KTQ, does this knowledge of Vedic Astrology assist you in the work of those books?
Jesse: Vedic astrology can be turned to in many aspects of the practitioner’s life. In many cultures it is traditional to time major life events, marriages, beginning new businesses, etc. with astrological considerations. Even the name of a child should be picked out astrologically as a syllable which is incompatible with their energies can cause illness and other issues throughout life which could have been prevented. Life is meant to be much more magical than the Western world has resulted in, as a result of becoming out of sync with nature and the spirit world we do great damage to ourselves individually and as a global community as is witnessed by mass extinction, pollution, etc. Astrology shows us that we are not the initiators of actions but a vehicle for the planetary energies. The spirits in Bardons PME largely see themselves in this way and for a Solar Spirit there is no difference between the rays of the sun giving life to a person on earth and the Sun itself. There are countless practical ways to use astrology, but the reminder that we are the Universe and not an individual is one of the greatest. That is really how humans are meant to live and experience reality. Our brains form around the “I” concept the first-person pronoun, many languages and cultures, as well as all of the spirit world thing more in the term “We” astrology can help you train your brain to see the universe as one moving mechanism and us all as individual rays which make it up and see the true nature of the soul beneath the astrology. The Astral body translates to “Starry body” and just as our lives are ruled by astrology this shows us that if we have other incarnations our minds, personality, and bodies are only a temporary part of us and there is something deeper which is more unified with the whole. Health, Finance, Love, Family, Children, Difficult relationships, Obstacles, all of which are areas you can look into to find direction, remedies, and clarity on. I think every magician requires a healthy life or a very healthy psychological relationship with a difficult life in order to make ideal progress.
PAA: How far forward can Vedic Astrology be applied? Can we look hundreds or thousands of years into the future? Is it very specific and personal or a general outlook?
Jesse: Astrology could technically be used as far into the future as we have astronomical data to look. Hundreds or thousands of years easily, once you get into the hundreds of thousands or millions of years it would be best to look at the Yuga cycles. There are Macro and Micro versions of the Yuga cycle which show us the nature of life on this planet over millions of years and the fluctuations it goes through. At points planets cannot sustain intelligent life and at other points it can. We are currently on a small ascending Yuga and a large descending Yuga. Which can be seen in that our technology is improving, but our spirituality and connection to the universe is being cut off through excessive use of technology and the “I” pronoun. There are actual physical changes happening to our body from this which have resulted in the closing down of psychic faculties, health, and other energetic processes which are damaged and have to be manually repaired in the current era. Some of which like the pallete not opening causing us to need wisdom teeth removal which prevents many things in the brain from opening up for instance.
PAA: With what we see are the very general currents of the universe that will bring certain conditions regardless of our actions or are these conditions avoidable through preparation?
Jesse: The energies can work out in life in many different ways, while there are specific events which have to happen they can happen in various ways. Some charts have more wandering and free will for instance than others. Some charts are very focused and direct. There are always certain things that need to happen. For instance a period of poverty in someone’s chart can be relative, if they had bad financial luck in a dasa, but worked very hard and used the energies available to them in a positive way they could be a millionaire with a bad investment or two in that period that brings them to a humbler financial level. While if they were already overspending and not working hard that could lead to them becoming homeless. There are always different ways we can use the energies available to us and a number of careers for instance someone could go into, but the energies may make someone very analytical or very artistic and someone who is one or the other may not be able to choose to go into the opposite style of career successfully.
PAA: I remember reading a comment made by Franz Bardon (vaguely paraphrased here), about us being locked into our destiny that it takes a lot of work to come out of the Astrological forces that are acting upon us? The comment was made in reference to telling someone where they would be that evening. Does Vedic Astrology have this same idea that we are under these forces regardless of what we do?
Jesse: As I mentioned in the previous question there is some free will, however the amount of free will is fixed by the planets. There may be more or less, and some parts may be completely fixed. However even in a chart with what seems like extreme free will that is provided by the planets and is temporary and allowed in order to truly have free will requires significant attainment that few ever reach on this planet. Free will in a chart is like a hall pass, you have a certain amount of freedom, but that is a temporary provision. To truly be free you must graduate.
PAA: Are there any other important points you would like to share regarding this science?
Jesse: There are many and I could talk about astrology and magic for hours. I think the ones I have mentioned so far should be helpful for many people. There are countless life lessons that can be learned through studying astrology in conjunction with other magical practices. For PME practitioners getting insights into their charts can show what planets may be more or less difficult for them to contact as they may have healthy quantity and quality of energy from a planet, likewise you could have a very damaged energy in your astral body making it difficult or more likely to come into contact with the malefic aspects of that planet first. If anyone wants to schedule an astrology reading with me you can reach me through my Instagram account “Bytharetes” which is my Imitate name through a Theurgic Lineage I practice. I do full readings which is 1 hour of discussion and review over video chat after I do a 1-2 hour deep dive into the chart. Due to the time I spend I charge $150 for that. I also do smaller readings or as appropriate email responses for specific inquires into a chart at a lower rate. If anyone has specific questions I may make some posts on my Instagram related to Astrology, Magic, Health, and the Spiritual Path.
PAA: Many thanks for spending your time answering our questions. To our readers, if you have further questions that you would like answered in regard to Vedic Astrology then please post them in the comments below. Jesse has agreed to return for a follow up if we get enough interest, he can then dig deeper into readers areas of interest.