Spotlight: Jyoti Wind
by Colleen M. Quinn
Astrology – a science used by the Egyptians, Johannes Kepler, and Benjamin Franklin – holds as much relevance as ever for people today. Astrology is the study of celestial bodies’ influences. When speaking with Jyoti Wind – and experienced astrologer in Boulder, Colorado – it’s not hard to see why it’s been around for thousands of years. Jyoti sees astrology as a way to gain a different outlook on things in one’s life. It’s a tool used to make educated, informed decisions, and an opportunity to take a closer look at the familiar things in life.
Jyoti says that she began her education in astrology when the idea literally came to her in the middle of the night. “One night, this question just popped into my head: ‘What is the order of the [astrological] signs?’” she says.
The question continued to frequent her thoughts until her husband told her about a friend of his, who was well-versed in astrology. The friend did a reading for Jyoti, and she was astounded by it as she read it over. “Right there, this two dimensional piece of paper was telling me about my life,” she says of the moment she read through the reading. “I thought, I have to study this.”
Having worked with astrology for nearly forty years, Jyoti started out by educating herself through countless astrology books, and through conversations with her husband’s friend. She took classes when and where she could, including New Jersey and Los Angeles. She spent several years working charts for her friends and family before really starting to turn it into her life’s work.
“Learning about astrology was like learning a new way of thinking,” Jyoti says., “I was thinking about Jupiter one day and I realized that I was actually thinking in the terms and math of astrology! It’s like learning another language.”
Astrology has not only been a point of interest for Jyoti, but it has also been a profession that has carried her through many stages in her life. As a single mother caring for her family in the 1970s and 1980s, Jyoti’s astrology work started out small but swiftly grew into a successful enterprise. Part of this growth Jyoti attributes to an exchange of support between her and Mary Summer Rain, a widely published author on spiritual philosophy. In the late 80s, Mary published one of her books that included a recommendation of Jyoti’s astrology work.
Jyoti provided Mary’s husband with an astrological reading as a thank you, and word of her work spread through Mary’s readership, quickly bringing a constant stream of clients to her door. In the beginning, she worked full-time from home compiling charts. She says that this turn of events both provided her with the opportunity to be with her family and helped to fine-tune her craft. Many of these clients still see Jyoti on a regular basis, and she estimates the number of readings she’s done over the years at 1,500 and she has a world-wide clientele.
To compile a chart, an astrologer traditionally used an ephemeris, which is a book of charts showing planetary positions. Although in these modern times computer programs perform the same function. Using a person’s time and date of birth, the positions of the planets are mapped out in a natal chart, the most common kind of astrological chart. The variety of planetary positions hold a certain amount of influence, and this information is used to determine a number of things. The planets’ locations can explain certain personality traits, skills, and areas of challenge for a person.
Depending on what the chart is used for, an astrological chart can also explain the how and why of certain situations, events, and personal patterns. For example, a chart can be created to determine a good time to start a new business or to take a trip. Or, a chart can explain why a certain event turned out the way it did.
Jyoti says that a chart can be very self-affirming. She describes one young client who mentioned that she had needed to talk to her mother about something for years. Unfortunately she had never had the courage to start that conversation. By the end of Jyoti’s reading, the woman felt so affirmed and encouraged that she called her mother to talk later that evening.
Jyoti says this affirming aspect of astrology is very powerful because it helps to answer a person’s questions about themselves and about their life. Everyone at some point has questioned themselves - why do certain things bother them or why do they have a certain skill set?
It can be very reassuring to have an explanation, says Jyoti. “Why wouldn’t I do this or that? It’s who I am. Why wouldn’t I express myself this way?” she says, “Who else’s life would I be living if not my own?”
In addition to natal charts, Jyoti also offers charts for children. These can be very helpful for parents in seeing what areas their child excels in, and how to help them in areas that they struggle with. “Parents can recognize a problem for what it is, that it’s not about the parents. That way they can help their child instead of falling into a reaction process,” says Jyoti. However, a child has to be at least one year old before she will do a reading, because, she says, “Parents need to know their child themselves first.”
There is a saying that Jytoi finds particularly accurate in describing the value of astrological readings: “Astrology doesn’t compel, it impels.” What astrology can reveal about influences in one’s life can be used to make educated decisions, and can show windows of opportunity with which to make those decisions. “There are aspects of ease and impetus,” says Jyoti, “Astrology helps us to push past resistances, to move, and change. Sometimes peace is possible only through just doing something about it.”
Jyoti believes that life’s circumstances serve the purpose of pushing us outside our comfort zone, changing us in necessary ways. “These are windows of opportunities for us to stop limiting ourselves,” she says. Astrology can help shine some light on what those windows of opportunities may be. It’s important to know that different people have different things to learn, she adds, and that it’s necessary to use a discerning attitude to make an educated decision.
As an astrologer, Jyoti is privy to many personal topics of her clients, and with this in mind she is a self-educator, constantly learning new techniques and practices to the benefit of her clients. In addition to astrology, Jyoti is experienced in meditation, color and music therapy, and works with flower and gem essences. She has held workshops and classes in these methods over the years.
One particular area Jyoti has deeply educated herself in is that of shamanic traditions, adding shamanic soul retrievals to her repertoire of skills. In the shamanic tradition, soul retrieval is a process where a shamanic practitioner seeks to help heal wounds of the soul through entering a different type of reality.
“In emotionally charged situations, we can literally lose pieces of ourselves. It’s an energetic loss,” Jyoti explains. A soul retrieval then helps return those pieces of the self to the person, helping to heal the inflicted wound.
An astrological chart is sometimes a useful tool for determining whether or not a person might benefit from soul retrieval. “In a chart, you can see certain difficulties for the person that can indicate the need for soul retrieval,” Jyoti explains. She adds that people can often “give away” pieces of themselves to those they are close to without even knowing it. Soul retrieval can result in a person regaining their personal power and helping them to become more complete again.
Whether in astrology or in shamanic work, part of Jyoti’s personal and professional philosophy is that of responsibility. She discovered personally the importance of this responsibility in one of her first experiences with soul retrieval. Jyoti had once completed retrieval for a friend of hers, and while she had done it with good intentions and it benefitted her friend, Jyoti hadn’t thought to ask her friend for permission to do so first. Another friend -- well-versed in shamanic practices – explained the importance of asking permission for something like a soul retrieval.
“I realized that this was something very important in shamanism,” says Jyoti. “So I pursued more education in shamanic work.” It is an ideal that she stresses in her work and teaches to students in her workshops and classes.
This sense of responsibility is infused in Jyoti’s astrological work as well. She has often seen what she calls “astrologically wounded” people, those whose previous astrologer or astrologers provided them information but no means with which to deal with it. Jyoti believes that in addition to simply giving a reading, an astrologer must offer to help the client decipher what information is given in a chart.
“An astrologer can’t reveal something about a client’s self, and then give them no tools with which to help themselves,” she says.
Jyoti is also trained in Hakomi therapy, a form of psychotherapy focusing on mindfulness. This training has proven to be valuable over the years to Jyoti’s work with astrological readings, because they give her more insight into a client’s chart and what they can do with that information.
“I saw that training as a gathering of tools to work with people in their personal growth patterns,” she says.
Her Hakomi therapy training has helped her understand her clients more. Jyoti uses the example of a woman who came to see her for years. Each year, based on the woman’s chart, Jyoti would give her the same advice about the upcoming year. But each year, the woman ignored Jyoti’s advice. “I realized I can’t be invested in that, it was her timeframe,” she says, “People come to things when it’s their time.”
Among her many talents in helping others, there is one that Jyoti cultivates for primarily herself. “Astrology is my work, but writing is my first love,” she says.
Writing has been a part of Jyoti’s life for as long as she can remember. As a child she dreamed of writing books one day, and as a high school student was first introduced to poetry in a writing class. Jyoti would continue to write a little here and there, but caring for her family later on prevented her from dedicating as much time to writing as she would have liked.
As her children grew older, Jyoti found more and more time for writing and eventually started an astrology newsletter that is now in its thirteenth year. In her constant search for knowledge, Jyoti joined a local writer’s salon for two years and another memoir-writing group for another two years. This writing journey continued throughout her astrology career, as well as through many other aspects of her life. Jyoti has now two collections of poetry and prose, as well as a childhood memoir.
She has started a successful writing group for senior women, and another women’s writing group called A Week’s Worth of Women, which has recently published a collection of poetry and prose as well.
This group of seven amazing women blog daily with one writer per day posting their written works of art. They can be found at http://www.aweeksworthofwomen.blogspot.com/, and their book at The Boulder Bookstore in Boulder, Colorado. These groups are an essential part of Jyoti’s life as a writer.
“In a writing group, you read and write together, and it’s the bonding that takes place that makes it special,” says Jyoti.
While writing and astrology seem to be very different practices, their commonality is that of learning, either about one’s self or about the world around them. As a student in many regards herself, it is only fitting that Jyoti’s joy lies in one and life’s work in another. The sense of responsibility and quest to learn more continues to propel Jyoti forward, and to help others find the answers they are looking for.
“Astrology is about letting people know, everything’s going to be ok,” she says, “Life brings certain things for you to work on. It lends a lot of perspective.”
About Colleen Quinn
Colleen Quinn graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Mass Communication. A writer for most of her life, she has been writing for Whisperingtree.net for over two years. In that time, she’s had the opportunity to meet with many practitioners and masters of the healing arts. Using her years of customer service experience and time as an intern reporter, Colleen provides a unique means of expression for each practitioner she meets. She believes that honest interest and open ears are paramount for learning and understanding the world around us. Through her writing, Colleen offers readers a valuable insight into the work of those who are doing so much to help others.
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