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by Alan Schoenfeld

“A child is born on that day and at that hour when the celestial rays are in mathematical harmony with his individual karma.” In the inspiring book, Autobiography of a Yogi, Sri Yukteswar speaks these enigmatic words on astrology to his unbelieving disciple, Paramahansa Yogananda.

After reading this passage in 1975, I became determined to understand the true depth of its meaning. At that time my interest and curiosity in astrology extended to reading my horoscope in the daily newspaper or on occasion getting lost for hours in the astrology section of the local bookstore, deeply absorbed in what the “celestial rays” had in store for me.

Then in 1989 my perception of astrology suddenly changed. I had received a Vedic Astrological reading from an Indian astrologer or jyotishi, as they are known in India. Though the many Sanskrit terms he used were new and unfamiliar to me, one feature of this ancient system left me absolutely speechless.

What amazed me about this 5,000-year-old system of Vedic Astrology was its unique feature of planetary cycles that occur in our lives. In my previous knowledge of astrology, I had never heard of any such cycles. According to the natural laws that govern Vedic Astrology, these planetary cycles last from six to twenty years each, depending upon the particular planet involved. Not only that, they can and often do indicate a certain degree of change in our lives when one cycle ends and another begins.

This may not sound very amazing to you, but the following little story continues to amaze me even to this day.

The date of September 15, 1978 I will always remember. That evening, after having just gotten off the phone with my father, I intuitively knew that my life was about to undergo a huge change. I remember staring blankly into space, my mind wrestling with the idea of changing careers and life style. He told me that he had just spoken with his brother about teaching me the jewelry business. “Go and see your Uncle Bill tomorrow! He’s expecting you.” Dad had said.

At that time I was a research analytical chemist, testing chewing gum of all things. The pay was lousy and I was bored nearly out of my mind. I jumped at the opportunity to have a different career. Who wouldn’t?

Hello jewelry, good-bye chewing gum. In three months to the day, after a lot of sweat, guts and resourcefulness I opened my own jewelry store. So began my new career that successfully lasted for the next twenty-one years.

Now forward to 1989. In the Vedic Astrology session I previously mentioned, I learned that on September 15, 1978 I had just begun an eighteen-year planetary cycle, called Rahu, that indicated career change and material expansion, i.e. $$$, family, home, cars, etc. I then instantly knew the reason I always remembered that day my father called because of the inner realization I had of beginning a new career and lifestyle. Coincidence or karma?

Need another example of what planetary cycles can bring? This next story is even better than the last one.

November 25, 1965 was another one of those dates in my life that I will never forget because it changed my life and that of my parents’ and sisters’ lives forever. It was Thanksgiving morning about 3:00am, four days before my thirteenth birthday and sixteen days before my Bar Mitzvah. Within the next two hours the apartment building we were living in would be completely engulfed and destroyed by fire and three non-family members would perish in the flames. My family survived, but we lost all of our material possessions and would not see an insurance settlement check for many years. We were homeless, but had good, caring friends that helped us get through the next few months. Unfortunately, my family life was never the same after the fire.

Once I began to delve deeper into understanding Vedic Astrology, I needed to know why this tragedy happened and in the middle of such a good, ten-year Moon planetary cycle. The answer I discovered was simple: The Moon planetary cycle was severely impacted by the Saturn sub cycle that began on, you guessed it, November 25, 1965.

In simplest terms, Moon and Saturn are like oil and water. They do not mix well. When they combine in an astrological chart look to be humbled the hard way. Moon can represent home, family, the mind, happiness, friends, community and other nurturing qualities. Saturn can represent loss, struggle, death, hardships and responsibility. Not only are these planets extremely powerful in my birth chart, but they also look right at each other making for an even stronger antagonistic and inauspicious effect.

My family had moved into that apartment building right at the very beginning of my Moon planetary cycle in August 1961. Four years later Saturn took it all away. Coincidence or karma?

Just so you don’t think that all planetary cycles are as devastating as this one was, let me describe the seventeen-month cycle of Moon/Mercury that immediately followed this intense Moon/Saturn cycle.

Within a week of beginning my Moon/Mercury planetary cycle on June 27, 1967 our family moved into a nice old house, half a block from a beautiful lake. For the next year and a half I enjoyed some of the best times of my life. Good friends, school, work and especially sports defined this planetary cycle for me.

I was the star of my freshman baseball team and could do no wrong. At the age of 15 I was routinely mowing down opponents with an 85mph fastball and a curveball that would scare their pants off. Not only that, I played the whole season with torn cartilage in my knee and could run only as fast as most people walk. Still, I managed to achieve an astounding .553 batting average! I felt like my baseball idol, Babe Ruth.

So why and how did I go from an unhappy, displaced family period to a rip roaring personal success and happiness period in such a short time? Was I simply “going with the flow”? Vedic Astrology gave me the answers my curiosity was looking for.

Mercury is a great, great friend of the Moon. They combine like milk and chocolate syrup for a very sweet cycle. Mercury can represent communication, business, intellect, hand-arm-eye coordination and fun. Both planets are placed in important personal, physical and mental positions in my birth chart. Accordingly, this planetary cycle brought much fulfillment of self on many levels. Coincidence or karma?

Now you’re probably one step ahead of me thinking, “This is all fine for past experiences. Hindsight is always 20/20. What about future experiences? Can these planetary cycles predict the future?” You bet they can, but that is a topic for best saved for my personal consultation with you.

This unique system planetary cycles is but one of many techniques contained in Vedic Astrology that enable a qualified Vedic Astrologer to offer predictions with a high degree of accuracy. There are also techniques that allow the Vedic Astrologer to help heal, uplift and lighten life’s burden for each client. After all, in India, Vedic Astrology or Jyotish literally translates as the “Science of Light”.


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