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from excerpts from an Interview in The Mountain Astrologer magazine June, 1995.

K.N. Rao: Generally, the Indian tradition (of Vedic astrology) is as I practice it. I get up early in the morning and do my puja (worship). Anyone who wants can come and consult with me. It's first come, first serve. Suppose it goes on from 7:00am until 11:00am. I'll rest awhile, do another puja, and then at 2:00, they'll start coming again for another four hours. Then after sunset, I'l not do astrology, but do my puja, and read scriptures.

TMA: So it is practiced as a sacred art?

K.N. Rao: Yes, a sacred tradition.

TMA: What are the functions of the puja that are done by astrologers?

K.N. Rao: They serve as a kind of spiritual practice. Also, the pujas are necessary to hear the planets tell their story. The planets speak in audible tones. Regular spiritual practice helps you to listen to those.

TMA: So you're saying that it's necessary to develop intuition?

K.N. Rao: An astrologer should have all the right qualifications. He should be technically proficient, able to cast the horoscope without being dependent on the computer. He must know how to cast a horoscope and do all of the predictive work by hand so that he can cross-check the computer's work. The other important reason is that his astrological intuition will not develop nearly as well if he is ignorant of the calculations. It is while I'm casting the horoscope that the predictions begin to strike me.

reprinted with permission