Vedic astrology now commands an important presence in the astrological world, both East and West. It is recognized as one of the most accurate predictive systems, notable for delineating specific events in our lives in a stunningly precise manner. Yet, at the same time, Vedic astrology is admired as one of the most spiritual and insightful forms of the discipline with its deep understanding of the law of karma and its many tools for connecting us with our higher Self. Interest in the subject is growing rapidly, along with its interface with other Vedic disciplines like Yoga, Ayurveda, Tantra and Vastu, which are similarly widely gaining in popularity.
There are several introductory books on the subject and a few more technical volumes published in the West. In India a large number of books on Vedic astrology are available in English, including very technical volumes, many written over the past decade, providing an extensive literature for the serious student to examine.
Various associations of Vedic astrology now exist in the western world like the Council of Vedic Astrology (CVA) centered in the United States, which has a worldwide following, and the British Association of Vedic Astrology (BAVA). Many such modern Vedic astrological organizations can be found in India, starting with the Indian Council of Astrological Sciences (ICAS), founded by Dr. B.V. Raman. A full fledged western Vedic astrology school has recently emerged through the American College of Vedic Astrology (ACVA). Vedic astrologers regularly teach at western astrological conferences and have hosted many conferences of their own as well, with the depth of teaching increasing on a yearly basis.
We could perhaps call this a renaissance of Vedic astrology as well as its worldwide spread. It is quite a change from the situation fifteen years ago when Vedic astrology was almost unknown in the West and information on it was very hard to find, much less finding any skilled practitioners of it. Vedic astrology will likely continue its growth for many years to come as one of the most important sciences for the planetary age.
James Kelleher was one of the first Americans to study Vedic astrology in depth, a pursuit he has dedicated himself to over the past thirty years. His quest for Vedic astrological wisdom has led him on a wide range of interesting travels and studies with notable Vedic astrology teachers and gurus. Kelleher has also been one of the main founders of Vedic astrology organizations in the West and a popular teacher at many classes, conferences and seminars.
Yet more importantly, James has been one of the most successful Vedic astrology practitioners, having read thousands of charts from his home in northern California and in his travels throughout the country. He has maintained a full time practice for the last fifteen years, with an unflagging enthusiasm. Kelleher is able to examine all aspects of a person’s life, from the most mundane to the most spiritual, using the entire range of Vedic astrological tools, from the basic birth chart to divisional charts, annual charts and ashtakavarga. He has examined the symbolic basis of Vedic astrology in great detail and brings that into his readings as well.
James is considered to be a Vedic astrologer’s astrologer and is clearly one of the best practitioners among the American born Vedic astrologers. I have known James over the last fifteen years and observed the many sides of his astrological skills and studies. Kelleher’s Path of Light reflects these many years of study and practice. It is clearly a book that has taken a great deal of time, patience and consideration to finish, with much thought having gone into its every page. It is not just the work of someone passing on knowledge gained from other sources, but reflects what the author has actually found to be valid through his own reading of many charts.
The book is digested wisdom, not just standardized information or New Age fluff. It covers nearly everything the beginning Vedic astrologer would want to know, in both depth and detail. It is an excellent reference volume for those seeking to understand what the planets mean in various signs and houses. Notably, Kelleher examines the Nakshatras or lunar mansions, one of the more unique and esoteric aspects of Vedic astrology, in some detail.
Kelleher describes the foundation of Vedic astrology as a tool for understanding our karma. He adds many interesting stories from his own life-experience. In this regard, Kelleher has traveled more times to India and met with more Indian Vedic astrologers than perhaps any other astrologer in America. He could produce an entire book on his travels alone.
The Path of Light is the foundation for what is likely to be a whole set of books on Vedic astrology by the author. Readers can look forward to Kelleher’s work as providing a good foundation for a new western Vedic astrology that is in harmony with classical sources and Indian gurus and also made relevant and verified by application in the charts of people today. This makes the book not just an introduction to Vedic astrology but a textbook for the serious student as well.
Dr. David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri)
Author of Astrology of the Seers and Yoga and Ayurveda
Director, American Institute of Vedic Studies