Updated: Dec 28, 2020
Astrology is a difficult and an unusual subject to master. And yet the rewards that the subject bestows upon you outweighs the various kinds of headaches that occurs during the study.
Jyotish as a subject is as old as the field of architecture. In the past two centuries, it was typical for Science and Art geniuses to have had trainings in Astrology already in early life years. Then the focus shifted as the science revolution and rennaissance gave rise to an outlook wherein a person's rationality would become paramount. Astrologers went in the backdrop, although all famous kings and country leaders made sure to have the best astrologers by the side via means of patronage. In the modern age, quacks and unscholarly seekers have taken to themselves to be the flagbearers of Astrology and this had made a unhealthy dent to the way Astrology is perceived.
Astrology and the Astrologer
You can build a career practice that is similar to the medical and law professions in any country. It takes time to build an audience and clientele, however, the money and prestige builds over the years as the knowledge and ability of the astrologer stacks up.
Having said this, some countries (India and Russia lead here) still honour the field immensely and place a token of admiration to anyone who carves his initials into the Art. The seasoned practitioner hence derives some benefits, and this makes the study and practice of this ancient and unusual art worthy of being pursued. The standard benefits visible around the Astrologer whose consulting practice is settled are the following:
Fame - The field is like Bollywood (or Hollywood). Specialist astrologers are like superstars and masses flock to them and revere them like demigods. To be told by someone that such and such event will happen to you gives the claimant an irresistible charm that is difficult to avoid. Most of the people on this planet suffer from a fundamental lack of self esteem, and they fall at the feet of Astrologers who can predict and solve their life's riddles on a sustainable basis. Whether or not this fame is 'the right thing' is debatable, only that it's presence is undeniable. This part of the rewards satisfy many in the field who were struggling against the loss of identity in the mundane corporate work.
Money - The subject has always been a money spinner for the lucky few. This attracts many to the field including imposters and mercenaries. Any able person who has had his fundamentals cleared in Astrology can actually aim to earn a decent living out of it. The earnings vary each month, as the work is like setting up your medical or law practice that takes it's sweet time to mature. Yet, people end up earning a few thousand to a couple lakh INR per month in a matter of 3-5 years of time. Especially in today's age, there is a recent surge in awareness about the subject and this has made the market attractive for practitioners.
Power - This is just an ofshoot of money and fame. At the extreme end of benefits, the astrologer is visited by business tycoons, celebrities, and government ministers. This makes the astrologer into a psuedo-power centre with muscles to ask and arrange favours amongst people. The famous Tantrik and Astrologer Mr. Chandraswami was considered to be such a practioner of the Arts who amassed great power and control over the top political fabric of India at one time. The most genuine and sincere practitioners in the field actually stay away from power temptations as it usually corrupts the soul fabric.
Being Desired - A side effect of fame. We humans are designed in a way such that there is a deep rooted desire is us to be desired - to be cherished, admired, respected, and revered. Astrology mirrors the performance art industry (Theatre, Films, and Music) wherein the ability to be liked and applauded gives the impression that one is accepted and appreciated - and creates a motivation to pursue the field with more gusto. I have been an artist myself and have seen many stage performers entering the industry not for the sheer love of performance, but because they did an act in school and that gave them a special identity. Others started noticing them in a banal life. It is not uncommon for the good astrologer to be asked for consultations by almost everyone around. I personally get flodded with horoscope reading requests by family, friends, ex-colleagues, college companions, neighbours, and any network of the many strangers who have had a consultation with me. And I'm not a special case as I'm still under training. The honest and skilled astrologer is rare these days, and hence the value tag. That people want to keep you around and be good with you generates a (mis)perception for the astrology practitioner that he is special and desired. Nevertheless, in today's age when the cuthroat business world has taken over almost every sphere of life and people are struggling to find their identities even in a high salaried business environment, the capacity of Jyotish to make one feel so desired and valued fills just the right gap for many.
The ability to understand how Universe functions - This is my personal favourite and is the reason why I came to astrology at the first place. In my opinion, Astrology is the only subject in the world that is able to give both a high level perspective and also details to many life events that arise from birth to death. After clocking initial hours (say, 200+) into studying the subject, the appreciation and understanding of the beauty of the Universe energy starts to dawn upon the sincere student. You can not only find out about yourself but your parents, children, ancestors, bosses, etc from your own horoscope. The Karma fabric is seen and felt, and this gives rise to an inner joy and ease that otherwise is not frequently seen in the crowd around. And this facet itself leads to the next benefit.
Astrology as a spiritual pursuit - We humans have a hard time taking things impersonally. I myself have done this all the time - things happen and I take to heart. This phenomenon of attaching an artificial self in a self-less life machine that is throwing material in and around us (due to karmic energy) is considered detrimental by many spiritual masters and sickens the inner spirit of the human being. Study and practice of Astrology has this aspect of gently messaging you to the other side of the equilibrium - that things are happening by themselves and you aren't in the scene. "I did this and this", and "He did that to me" make us feel fatigued and depressed from time to time. Spiritual masters advocate practicing letting go and to 'live life with appreciation' than being an automaton. The study of Astrology gives an indirect training to the mind that gradually begins to relate to the world as movements of energy not in one's control. The appreciation of one's life and also people around us come as a natural byproduct of doing the journey.
To serve humanity - That one can open up a horsocope, rectify birth time in a few minutes, and start guiding the other person makes you experience a human connection and service that is at par with the other excellent service professions like psychotherapists and nursing. It feels very good when predictions of the future come up as expected, and remedies make a dent in the person's life structure. Sometimes a lifelong bond happens between the astrologer and the client due to the sacred work that this Astrology subject is. This gives the life meaning and worthy to be living amidst all the social noise and turbulence that disturb us at times.
(bonus) Playing Detective - The work is like solving a murder case, or cracking a sudoku puzzle. There are rules and one has to work in just the right way to crack the code. The intellectual satisfaction that emerges from the work is as good as most of the other high-calibre intellectual works of today.