It was 1995 and Jupiter was in Sagittarius right about where it is now, when my sister called. She’s an astrologer too. We’ve both studied astrology since we were kids, eight and ten. That’s a lot of astrology books…
“Get a pen,” she said. “I want you to write down this name.”
I reached for a pen on my nightstand. "Go,” I said.
“Okay, it’s James Braha.”
“Who is this?”
“He’s an author. An astrologer, I mean. He’s a new one. This is a new book and one you’ve got to have.”
“I’ve got have?” My sister is psychic. “Why do I have to have it? You already have it. What does it say? What’s it about?”
“Elsa, listen to you. Just get the book. Look this guy up. I think he has two books but I’ve only been able to find one of them… yet.”
“Okay, what’s the name of the book?”
Transits of the West, she said. Dasas Of The East, she added with a smug chuckle. (Now called How to Predict Your Future: Secrets of Eastern and Western Astrology)
“Dasas? Dasas? You’re sending me off to learn Vedic astrology? Oh brother. Is this your Jupiter thing to do? So is this a Vedic astrology book? Is this a Vedic astrologer?”
“Yes and no. He’s both. He’s Vedic and Western. This is one of the things that is so great about him. And about this book. And no, I’m not sending you off to learn Vedic astrology though I don’t think that’s a bad idea. I am trying to tip you off to… well this is as good a book on the transits as you will ever find. And I don’t think anyone has even heard of this guy. I mean what’s out there as far as transits go? Rob Hand is out there.”
“Planets In Transit is out there. And that’s a good book. Nothing wrong with Rob Hand. Every astrologer on the planet has that book in their library, but don’t you think we need another perspective?”
“Okay. So here it is. And there are other transit books out there but none of them are as good as this one. This is a great book. It’s a book for snobs like us.”
“Well yeah. When it comes to astrology books we are. We’ve read about a million of them haven’t we? More than once! And we don’t want to be bored. Do you want to be bored?”
“No. It’s a sin to bore people,” I said, quoting our mother with a snicker.
“Yes. We were taught that. So go find this guy’s books so you won’t be bored. Are you bored right now?"
“Well, yeah. I’m pregnant,” I said with a chuckle. “I’m hugely pregnant as can be.”
“I know. I hated that too. So go get this new guy’s books. They’ll cheer you up. Something good to read. Whatever he has out there, I’d say just buy it. I don’t think you can go wrong. And his books are cheap for some reason. This is a big book and it costs half what it should.”
“Yeah. He needs a manager. He needs someone like you to tell him not to sell a book this good, this cheap.”
“So on the Vedic part, I think you’ll find it interesting. I did. And I wouldn’t be surprised if you decided to learn Vedic someday, though I’m not going to.”
“Because I’m psychic! You’re the real astrologer in the family. I was jealous when I realized this, but I’ve come to terms with it. I can deal with you being the better astrologer in this family because I am the only psychic.”
We both laughed.
“So anyway, half the book is Vedic and you can just consider that a bonus. Because this is a complete book on the (Western) transits as well. You know. It’s a cookbook and it’s worth the price of the book for that half alone. In fact, this guy is so good… I think it’s worth the price of the book for what he’s got to say on just Pluto transits and nothing more.”
“Yeah, he’s a Vedic astrologer writing about Pluto but he’s doing a hell of a job. So go get this okay? And I think he has another book on the aspects (How To Be A Great Astrologer). I can’t find it but if you do, I’d get that one as well. This is a non-boring writer/astrologer, so you know. Are you getting in your car yet? You’ll have to go to a metaphysical bookstore…” (This was pre-Amazon)
“Yeah, I’m sold.”
This is how I was introduced to James Braha, and this is me, paying it forward.
Check out How to Predict Your Future: Secrets of Eastern and Western Astrology. If it’s your first book by Braha, I doubt it will be your last.