Jyotish Interview: Visti Larsen

Herein I present the interview with my Guruji (Astrology Teacher) Visti Larsen.

The website: www.srigaruda.com

VL: Hello Rafal, this is Visti Larsen, with the answers to your interview questions. Thank you for this opportunity to participate in this interview.

RG: Ok, so let’s start with the introductory – What prompted your interest in astrology?
VL: It was actually..I wasn’t interested in astrology from philosophical perspective, I was interested in the technical aspects of it, when somebody came to my high school and said that there is something called Ascendant or Lagna, I started studying what is Lagna and immediately I had the love for astrology, and I wanted to understand everything about it. So what prompted it, was actually was somebody from my class at that time who came to the school and just talked about some other terms, as if it was a word which awoken my interest.

RG: What was the biggest change that Vedic Astrology has brought to your life?
VL: The biggest change that Vedic Astrology has brought in my life is the sense of peace, I am able to make decisions with Astrology, my wife and I, my family and I can also make decisions based on this, to our benefit many times, avoiding putting ourselves in difficult positions, this can be in the form of choices, that we me make with our family, to participate in certain events in our life or to go in certain directions or to make professional choices, so for that what we do is, we do small prashnas, I do watch-prashna, Orissa-method, that enables me, right on the spot answer question that my spouse or I have for each other, or question that we are debating and then I am able to make decision based on that – so that is the biggest change, for me of course, also is that Vedic Astrology is a profession, so that means that I am not stuck in employment from 8 to 5 but I manage my own time as it fits, and I manage how I work and live based on that so it means a lot to be able to do that as well, so there are many changes that I have experienced with coming of Astrology in my life, to summarize I would say – making better choices and having better time.

RG: What is the biggest success-story that came from your readings?
VL: I don’t want to say there is one particular story that stands out, and obviously success stories herein apply to my clients, there is also success story to myself, I am being able to do what I am doing and continuing doing so and live of it, that in itself is another success, but to speak of my clients, I find that I give advise and I do many readings with people, and I am so happy when I get to hear that my reading has helped the person stand on their own, or be independent or live well, achieve the job they wanted or achieve marriage they wanted, solve the problems they had, one story that is close to my heart is client who was not able to have kids for several years, and was also because of ageing with her spouse, they had not achieved that one desire of their life, at this point when they came to me, I looked at the chart and said, oh in your case I would very much recommend choosing donor eggs for having pregnancy, not surrogate mother but rather having donor eggs, this would be implanted and what not and chart show that they could achieve their dream if they had donor eggs, that mother has twins now and this was after years of not having kids, they had given up on that dream and now they have twins, now they are in school so it’s years since I have given that advice, so to be able to be instrumental in a family to achieve this desire, that means a lot to me, more than if somebody achieve job or success in legal battle – these are the things I stand close to me and really I appreciate, be able to enable people to achieve their desires and that too enable them bringing new life to their lives.

RG: How astrology can show the direction and meaning of life?
VL: This is technical question, how does this happen? An astrologer can assist one in making good decisions, for example, many times like leaf in the wind we are pushed to different types of activities but what astrology can tell us is if we should follow that propelling wind which moves us in different directions. So how it can show the direction? for example it can enable you to choose the right direction in the profession. It has become the regular thing for me now, that I hear from clients, that because I asked them to stop one facet of their profession in favor of another, they have gained much more. One recent example is successful yoga teacher, however with difficulty in finding the ends meet in their financial equity, so he was earning well but couldn’t keep the money. So I asked them to change from teaching to coaching, very small change, they didn’t believe in that decision first, but because of that decision they were saved in time of financial crisis and they are very happy by taking that plunge and are very well settled now in their lives, making more money, they are much happier, they have enough to live and have good life. So shift was happening there, they do same profession in yoga but do coaching instead of teaching, and that has made the difference for him, or people who were in coaching I ask to teach instead, or other similar thing. So small tip direction can really give stability in life. How to give more meaning to one’s life? Every chart has one remedy, not everybody has easy access, but there is one blessing, if one catches up to that blessings, from that time until you leave this planet your life will be comfortable, astrology can give you that as well, that meaning, so you will not struggling from hand to mouth existence. It can also enable one to make the decision to neglect something one is running against, for example if chart shows that person cannot have kids and person tries hard, maybe its good to tell it will be difficult and maybe you should keep the expectations low, similarly for marriage. Instead of causing one to have continues hardships in one direction, it can help one to go into another direction and then life become more simpler or easier to navigate. It’s never easy to tell such situation to client, but nevertheless could be of use to the person. This is again debate if astrologer should give hope to everybody or whether the astrologer should give reason.

RG: How to distinguish between an astrologer who has solid foundation of wisdom from a charlatan who only pretends to predict the future to take your money?
VL: It is easy, you have to ask the reasons the reasons why they give such prediction, so this can be technical. You can look how prolific astrologer is, usually astrologers who are serious about their trade, are interested in educating people about astrology. Then again you also have set of astrologers, who have lot of information, articles and what not available, but it’s possible they may be overjustifying their work to gain leverage in their profession. To differentiate, easiest things to ask is, how well person justifies their work, as charlatan will justify their prediction whatever is obvious in the chart, they will do that. When you are in doubt, if person has given you right advice, you should consider getting second opinion and that second opinion will tell you a lot. It’s tough question, but usually really good astrologers have tradition behind them , they simply don’t work on their own, person who have good foundation usually has a teacher, so where is the teacher? Ask about the teacher, does the person respect the teacher, are they placing, have they openly stated on their website or brochure or business card, whom they are student of, do they respect their background, that is very important facet of whether the person is serious astrologer interested in subject or are they more focused on taking the person’s money, how well do they respect their predecessors, that is also an indication. Then again you could have somebody who have studied well but doesn’t know their subject, this also exists, the best way then is to get the second opinion, simply get the second opinion. That is tough question, because astrologers come in all shapes and sizes but second opinion will give you indications whether someone is veering away from topic or keep staying on the topic.

RG: How does astrology help you in everyday life?
VL: That is prashna. It helps me everyday to draw a prashna, if I have to make a decision I ask my wife, she draws the prashna, if she has to make a decision she asks me and I draw a prashna, that way we are very good in complementing each other in making decisions in life, and we can do this, it works and that is my experience as well, this can be simple thing as just seeing the omen which suggests, oh draw a prashna and this could be oh, we shouldn’t go to forest now because it will gonna rain, so then I draw the prashna and I see the sky is looking very wet maybe we shouldn’t go to the forest now, and similar decisions like that, going on travelling and trips, especially in COVID times that debate could be there, as to whether one should travel or not to certain destinations and why, so that what help us. Also making the muhurtas for specific agendas to get the best out of them, we experience that very closely in our work. What else? In essence, planning and making decisions has become really useful after using astrology.

RG: Do you have anything to add?
VL: Yes, I do. It is important for us as astrologers to put value on the subject of astrology. Why is this? Astrology cannot be done by anybody, it takes a lot of time and investment into the subject, a lot of time. If anybody thought that it would be appropriate for them to master astrology next to full time job and family I say: give up, till your next life. That’s not gonna happen, it requires huge investment time to practice astrology, so it’s important that we as astrologers, place value on the subject, so that means that after having studies for 24h/day, hopefully you sleep, after studying long period of time, it’s appropriate that you are also reciprocated in your work, and this goes both ways. It goes into, whether you are able ask certain price for your work and client should appreciate that you are doing some work for them, so if somebody is doing free readings and things like that, that person will crash and burn eventually, I can only praise those who do so, but it will not gonna last unfortunately, I wish it were otherwise, we are far from the times where governments and municipals would support astrologers, and that didn’t happen only in India but also in Europe, Astrology was supported by the state, so those times are gone, so we depend on clients to feed our bellies, and if person work day through day on astrology, they should ensure that they are reciprocate financially to ensure they continue to study and work on subject. So my interest in adding something to interview is: we should place value on astrology, if you as client need reading or consultation, please don’t go to person who will do it for free over facebook for few bucks or dakshina, please don’t do that, unless they tell you its for study purposes, please give something as they study, they didn’t master the subject yet. But if that’s the value you place on astrology you will also know that the work that will be done may not be as good as well, so please place value on astrology.

Thank you for giving me this opporutnity to present interview to you, Rafal, and I wish you all the best in the future.

RG: Thank you! Namaskaram!