The Internet and Astrology: Q&A With Kalki Das
It is no secret that the internet has completely changed our society. During the last decade alone, social media has transformed the way we shop, dress, eat, and think. It has altered the way we consume news, interact with other human beings – it has even changed the way we look at the stars.
In the past few years particularly, astrology has imploded internet culture. In addition to the classic email horoscopes and zodiac sections at the back of magazines, today we have the option between natal chart apps, full moon readings on Youtube, and entire Instagram and Twitter pages dedicated to astrology memes.
At this unique intersection between the internet and astrology is Kalki Das, a Miami based Bhakti yogi and IT manager by day. Das has spent over 20 years in the fields of digital marketing, software engineering, and Vedic astrology. He has dedicated his life to studying Vedanta.
In a conversation over zoom, which has been edited, Das spoke about his journey as a Vedic astrologer, humans’ connection to the planets, and the rise of internet astrology.
On being fascinated by the stars:
I was born in Peru. Since my childhood, on vacation time, we were going to the mountains. When you’re up in the mountains, the stars look very close to you, it feels like you can touch them. So, I was always curious about the stars. My dad was describing to me, how the stars were used by our ancestors to build things, to do things, even agriculture and all of that. It was always a fascinating subject.
On exploring Inca tradition:
From my mother’s side, I am a descendant of the Inca lineage. I wanted to go deeper into studying the Inca tradition, but I found out that, because of the conquistadors, the religious aspect, the philosophical aspect, or the metaphysical aspect of the Inca tradition was banished or almost gone. But it mixes and blends a lot with Roman Catholicism. So, there were certain aspects of Roman Catholic iconography that are very unique in Peru, but I never understood the symbolism behind it.
On learning Vedic Astrology in India:
When I turned 18, I was given a book, which is the Bhagavad Gita. And in that book, they were talking about the stars, they were talking about karma, reincarnation, they were talking about different things that resonated with me. In 2004, when I went to India, I discovered a vast volume of literature regarding the cosmos. And then I became a student of Vedic Astrology.
On combining Vedic and Inca traditions to practice astrology:
When I put together the symbolisms of the Vedic tradition, in parallel to the symbolisms of the Inca tradition, all my childhood questions were answered. There is an amazing amount of parallels. I can distinguish now what is actually Roman Catholic and what is actually Inca in the iconography in temples and in even in the traditions. In that regard, I can consider that I can continue to honor my tradition and the legacy that I received from my ancestors. With the little or much that I know, I can provide people an instrument to raise consciousness, because that was the main purpose of using the cosmos.
On the rise of internet astrology popularity:
I can talk about the metaphysical aspect of why astrology has become more relevant in the last few years. I can bring in the part that we are in the Age of Aquarius. It might sound attractive, but I like to keep it in a language that is relatable to everyone. So, society is looking for answers and it happens that astrology is a very powerful tool to get the answers. People are understanding that there is a different way of perceiving reality or seeing the world. People now are open to understand that we are connected not only between humanity, but we are also connected to nature and to the cosmos. No one can deny the effect of a full moon in the city, even the FBI says that when the full moon is there, crimes and car accidents are higher. The full moon moves something in us, not only as humans, but nature in general. Each planet also presents a different type of energy or vibration. It’s good that society right now is more aware of that.
On human connection to the stars:
We know that there are seven chakras, starting from the root part of our body to the crown of our head. In Vedic astrology, the furthest planet that we analyze deeply is Saturn. The planet that follows Saturn in direction to the sun is Jupiter. After Jupiter is Mars. Then Earth, Venus, Mercury, then the sun. So, if we flip it in a vertical way, Saturn is connected to the root chakra. Jupiter is connected to the second chakra. The third chakra – Mars – is connected to our stomach, immune system, and the fire inside of us. Then the planet after that is Venus, which is the heart chakra, then Mercury, which is the throat chakra. The moon is our mind and represents our feelings, our emotions, and is a bridge that connects the spiritual dimension to the material dimension. Then the sun. We are a mini version of the cosmos. In this particular time, the most important chakra is the heart chakra. Through that, we can balance the other chakras as well. Invite that force of nature, which is based on the heart chakra – through compassion, through empathy, through devotion, through Bhakti – to create a better society and reality for all of us.
On a typical session:
I like for the person who is with me in the session to understand where the planets are in the sky. I like to present in such a way that people can relate so that they are standing in the city that they were born. I like to also mention how the planets are positioned in the canvas of the cosmos. When a planet moves and is transiting a different constellation, then this constellation is injecting energy into the planet and the planet is reflecting that energy into planet Earth. There is data that says when a planet transits this specific part of the cosmos, such and such result may come. After that analysis is done, I suggest they do certain activities that will enhance their quality of life.
On internet astrologers:
For my fellow friends who practice astrology, there must be a level of integrity. This is something that my teacher taught me. He said to me, that people in general are very open hearted – in a way vulnerable – when they approach two types of persons. One is a doctor. And second is an astrologer. And we should never, ever misuse that. An astrologer in the Vedic tradition has to follow a very committed path of self realization. How you talk, how you eat, how you walk, how you behave, how you meditate should be in alignment with your capacity of being an astrologer. An astrologer is not just opening an app and seeing how the planets are. It’s an art. And every artist needs to awaken that sensibility. And the sensibility that we are talking about is not about glamour, it’s about the heart of the individual who is in front of you.