One of the most notable things about Indian astrology is the use of various remedies to neutralize difficult planetary influences. Stones, mantras, poojas (ceremonies), plants, and colors are all part of the astrological pharmacopeia.

I fell into the camp of wanting-to-believe-but-skeptical. I had many doubts. Were these things powerful enough to really make a difference? Would they steer me away from a difficult situation? How could they possibly impact my “fate”?

And unfortunately, I heard numerous theories about what works as well as how and lots of disagreement over both the principles operating in a given situation as well as the specific remedies that should be used.

Wearing gemstones is a good example. Did I need an emerald, a blue sapphire, yellow sapphire? What about a diamond? This one said this and that one said that. Who was I to believe?

My head was spinning.