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Vedic Astrology by

Richard Houck

Richard Houck was an American-born Jyotish who resided in Washington, DC. He came to Vedic astrology after dissatisfaction with traditional western methods. His practice emphasized economic & political forecasting. In particular were his Presidential forecasts. He would typically name the next President one year in advance of the inauguration, at a time when the nominees were far from decided. He so declared George W. Bush President of the United States, commenting in advance of the election that Bush's victory was the strangest win pattern he had ever seen. In the short time he was with us, Houck organized Vedic conferences & published some four books. Three of them are shown below. The fourth, Special Sidereal Ephemeris, is out of print.

Richard Houck passed away early in the morning of April 1, 2001. It was April Fool's Day. It was also the first Sunday in April, the date the US sets its clocks ahead one hour, from 1 am to 2 am. I spoke to his wife shortly afterwards. It appears Mr. Houck may have slipped away during this mysterious missing hour, but see his Memorial Page for a suggested time of death at 11:55 pm on Saturday, March 31st.

Rick Houck's instructions concerning his books was clear. He told me as much himself: When the existing supply are sold, they are not to be reprinted. He left his books in care of a friend in Virginia. She tells me she has lots of everything, for the moment, at least (as of January, 2003).

Richard Houck was one of the greats. I miss him.

THE ASTROLOGY OF DEATH - Richard Houck, $27.95
Table of charts; Epigraph; Foreword by James Braha; Preface; Introduction (approach, cautions & notations);

Theory: Definition of death; Basic Hindu astrology (a brief survey); Tertiary progressions (a brief survey); Marakas ("killer planets"); Death yogas & longevity indicators; Other factors - odd, new & classic; Rectification via death; Karmic death links; Death escaped.

Application: Natural deaths - expected, self, others; Unexpected - self, others; Induced deaths: Suicide, murder, assassination;

Epilogue; Resource Directory; Hindu Astrology Glossary; Index.

Comment: His first book. Turned down as unsalable by every publishing house he tried, he eventually published it himself. As he expected, and as it deserved, it created a storm when it first appeared. Not for the squeamish, & not for the Jungian-archetype crowd. A technical & lively analysis of every type of expected & unexpected death. Without equivocation, reveals & validates numerous unseen patterns & hidden clues common to over 100 demonstration cases. This Hindu/Western study is for serious astrologers at every level of sophistication. How Hindu dasas indicate death, tertiary progressed angles for exact timing, outer planets that strengthen Hindu methods, completely fatalistic diurnals and MUCH more, using only classic hard aspects & perfect orbs. A brilliant book, repays study. Extensive glossary.

Houck passed away of a liver ailment, he was sick for several years. Famous for this book, he was asked if he had foreseen his own passing. His repeated denials somehow never quite convinced the detractors. I had infrequent phone chats with him, and like all polite outsiders, avoided mentioning the subject. It appears to me that he did not admit to himself until only months before the end, when it could no longer be denied. On the very last, unnumbered, page of the second printing (new cover) of Death, Houck wrote, Around 2002-2003 Richard Houck plans to relocate to Pensacola, FL. As necessary, call information there for his personal listed phone number. April Fool.

Groundswell Press, 389 pages.

DIGITAL ASTROLOGY - Richard Houck, $21.95
Acknowledgements; Foreword; Introduction;

Theory: 1. Special notes for eastern & western astrologers; 2. Rules & tips for "binary switches" & "8-bit bytes"; 3. Main uses for the grand summary totals of 28 & 337; 4. The "bit" level: Secret of the individual "sectors"; 5. Bindu cartography.

Application (via further case studies): 6. Career matters; 7. Relationship issues; 8. 9. Health concerns; 10. Parents & children; 11. Other concepts, aphorisms & summary;


Comment: This is a book on Ashtakavarga & their component bindus. Inside the front cover, it says, Have you ever wondered, for example, why - Upcoming "great" transit periods turn out to be mediocre at best? - Seemingly "bad" transits often produce unexpectedly excellent results? - Some people rise very strongly in the world & it's not really obvious? - Some marriages oddly produce radical gains in the lives of one member? - Many rich & powerful people have 2-3 inner planets in their 12th house? - The number of children in a marriage can't be estimated even approximately? The answer to these & many other seemingly unanswerable questions is that the standard western chart won't show such results because it can't. And this is why Vedic astrology is one of the fastest growing fields of practical metaphysical interest in the Western world. Modernized Vedic astrology really works. The purpose of this book is to provide a clear explanation of an amazingly simple & useful numerical technique [ashtakavarga] which will allow you to understand & forecast ahead of time, many important developments in your life & that of your clients. While "doable" manually, this ancient technique is ideally suited to the modern world of computers.

Dedicated to those unseen entities who constantly whisper the most eccentric & funny comments into my inner ear!

Groundswell Press, 277 pages.

HINDU ASTROLOGY LESSONS: 36 Teachers share their wisdom - edited by Richard Houck, $21.95

Synopsis: Essays on many aspects of Vedic Astrology.

Groundswell Press, 251 pages.

Contents, comment.

A final note on Rick Houck:

In the out-of-print Eastern Systems for Western Astrologers, an anthology (Weiser editors, 1997), Houck contributed the final essay in the book, entitled, Life & Death, East & West, which of course was an overview of his Death book.

By way of example, he used his own chart, and his own death date. It was to be September 13, 2031. The date was based partly on the techniques in Death, but had a starting point in a Nadi Grantha reading some years prior.

Nadi Grantha is a variant of a "Bhrigu" reading, where your horoscope is read from a 5000 year old palm leaf (part of a large library of such leaves) that has been passed down, father to son, lo these many centuries. The author of the many leaves is said to be some great sage, who, it seems, had little else to do with his days other than to write thousands upon thousands upon thousands of horoscopes on carefully treated palm leaves. For the sake of argument, I once demonstrated how belief in "ancient" palm leaves was absurd on the face of it, which it is. (1. India is a humid place, they'd rot in a century or two. 2. If not rot, then they fragment from handling. 3. Father/son lineages always die out eventually. 4. The odd flood. 5. The odd fire. 6. The odd war. 7. The odd earthquake. 8. The odd mudslide. 9. The odd plague. 10. Find me any other piece of organic matter still intact after 2000 years, much less 5000, one that hasn't been preserved by burial.) Despite the absurdity, at the time I wanted to believe in the end result, which was that some great unseen sage knew all & could tell all, one way or another.

India is full of Nadi Grantha/Brighu readers. Every one of which claims to be the unique & genuine article, each with a well-stocked library of 5000 year old palm leaves. Never 4000 or 6000 or 2000 or 10,000. (And certainly not written last week by some old man in the back room!) Always 5000 years old. Houck mentioned the many fakes, everyone always does, preparatory to introducing their reader as the only genuine one.

It was at such a reading that Richard Houck was told he would pass away in the fall of 2031. Being a good astrologer, he then looked for an astrological justification, which he found.

Astrology, western & Vedic, is like that. It will tell you the truth, but it will just as easily tell you what you want to hear. How to avoid being misled? Intelligence & skepticism. The right answer is there, somewhere, and when found, every credible piece of evidence will support it.

This is not to fault Rick Houck. It was his very own, personal, 5000 year old palm leaf that was carefully placed in front of him. An awesome sight. I would have believed. Indeed, lacking other evidence, why not believe?

A footnote to a footnote:

In one of K.N. Rao's later books (cannot find it on my shelves at the moment), he relates a Bhrigu reading he had a few years ago. He found it faulty (he finds most readers faulty), and then says, almost in passing, that Bhrigu readings are produced by a non-human demon or imp that has the human reader firmly in its control. Which, he says, is often unpleasant for the readers involved, as they cannot easily escape. With this key, I can solve the Bhrigu puzzle: Bhrigu readings are essentially Ouiji boards run amok. Both Ouiji & Bhrigu are run by demons. This means that Bhrigu is inherently no better, no more accurate, than a Ouiji reading, and just as dangerous to all concerned. As the demons in both are good at reading the Akashic record, they know everything about your past. They know nothing about the future & so make it up to please the customer. While some demons (daemons, if you like) are "smarter" than others, none are very good and all are cruel. They are best avoided, which, for the even-tempered among us, is not hard. This subject, demons, was covered, in detail, by C.W. Leadbeater a century ago.

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