I have seen people born within days/hours of one another whose lives are really different. How come?

Even a few minutes difference in the time of birth or having a different birth place can change the chart substantially. The Moon moves about 13 degrees in a day, and the astrological houses, which are an extremely important element of the chart, move through the entire zodiac in a 24-hour period! And their positions are affected by latitude as well. In addition, even if two people’s charts are identical (which is rare), other factors may influence the way the chart is expressed. Some people operate on a material level, some on a mental level, and a few operate on a spiritual level. An astrological chart does not show the “fate” or “destiny” as such. The person always has a choice, and the free exercise of the will determines how the influences indicated in a chart manifest.

How is it possible for astrology to work?

There are at least two schools of thought. One common explanation is a principle similar, in some ways, to synchronicity, a causal connecting principle proposed by Carl Jung. The general idea is that events on earth of a certain nature coincide in time with astronomical events of a similar nature (according to the symbolic significance of the planets and their relations in the heavens). Although synchronicity operates throughout the universe, the planets might have special significance because they are part of collective experience (that is, we can all see them or know about them) and so they can take on a collective meaning -they can speak to the “collective unconscious.” But Jung’s synchronicity principle and the related one that is applied to the astrological question are still hypothetical and still not well understood. (Another related idea is Kammerer’s seriality.) Jung’s idea is similar to the ancient hermetic idea of resonant bonds of sympathy between “similars” (which share a common essential design) in the microcosm and macrocosm. This was the ancient explanation for the correspondence between cosmic and mundane events.
A less popular explanation is that there are unknown and currently undetected forces or energies emanating from the planets that affect life on earth, perhaps something akin to
Rupert Sheldrake’s “morphic fields;” (this type of explanation is unpopular among those physicists who believe that all the forces in the universe are already known). Biological evidence showing a harmony between celestial rhythms and biological rhythms suggests
that known or unknown planetary forces operate on organisms at a material level, sometimes through changes in the pattern of solar radiation. Such biological effects might alter psychological processing and thus human action and the events that arise from
it. Whatever explanation is offered, it is evidence from experience and research that convinces people that astrology does indeed work. The rich descriptive theory that has evolved over thousands of years provides for a deep understanding of human nature and
the capacity for prediction of the type of circumstances that will prevail during specific time periods. As with most areas of inquiry, the correct explanatory theory to account for the structure of the descriptive theory awaits its discoverer.

What is the difference between conventional and karmic astrology?

Where conventional astrology is preoccupied in using the natal chart to outline a person’s personality, in karmic astrology we assume the individual has a pretty good idea of what sort of personality they have. Thus we view the astrological chart not in ego personality terms but in spiritual terms. The natal chart is actually a spiritual balance sheet. It shows assets and liabilities, accounts payable and accounts receivable from previous incarnations. That’s not as crude a metaphor as it might first seem. Actually it’s pretty accurate, and sometimes (but not always) it’s quite literal.
We look at the rewards brought into a person’s present life from his/her past lives. Yes, karma includes rewards for things you have done right! A lot of people have never thought about that, and yet those rewards are there every day for anyone prepared to say yes to them, but they are different for everyone.
Likewise the chart also shows our unfinished business, which is why we are all here. We all have unfinished business. Now that does not mean something horrible is going to happen. This is simply an acknowledgment that we are all work in progress. That’s why we’re here. Well, actually, we are all here to do something wonderful, but the reality of the material world is that it takes a few lifetimes to put all the pieces together properly.
But which part of that wonderful are we here to do this time? In short, your astrological chart is the spiritual record keeper and road map, all rolled up into one tidy package. So the natal chart is not only your scorecard of how you have worked on your issues in past lives, it is also the potential game plan for getting this life right in this life. This is the kind of information contained in every natal chart. Please note that while the motivation at the beginning of the journey is to avoid the ugly and unpleasant side of life, as the journey unfolds, the motivation changes. The motivation becomes the yearning to be free from the strife. This in turn brings us to the true yearning which is the yearning to return to Source. Karmic Astrology is the roadmap for that journey.

What about Karmic Relationships?

Sometimes people you knew in past lives are back with you again in this life, but in a much different role. Understanding the change in roles is often helpful to understanding a complex relationship. That is a common theme in Karmic Astrology. Almost everyone meets people in their current life who they knew in a different fashion in a past life. Often these are joyous reunions, but in other situations there is outstanding work to be completed. The birth data for both persons is required to explore such a situation.

What is the difference between karma and dharma?

While both are words from the ancient language of Sanskrit, there is a big difference. Karma looks to the past, while dharma looks to the present and the future. Sanskrit words often are layered with multiple meanings and great nuances and subtleties which are difficult to translate into English. Thus with the greatest respect (and apologies) to Sanskrit scholars and pundits, here are condensed definitions:
Karma is nothing more than an unlearned lesson from the past. What we send out comes back to us. The reason it comes back is that we have not yet learned the lesson. When we learn the lesson, then it stops coming back. Karma has nothing to do with punishment. (Kindly note that John Calvin is dead). Dharma is our right path, usually meant in the sense of our right spiritual path, the path our soul set before we incarnated. (There is a second meaning of dharma which deals with the evolution of humanity which we skip here). In Karmic Astrology we work with the understanding that the resolution of karma gives us the tools to unfold our dharma. That’s easy to say. If often requires a fair bit of work to do.

What is a crisis?

A window of opportunity for spiritual growth