Astrology is integrated into daily life and many Indians have their marriages arranged astrologically either directly by the astrologer or with his blessing. They also do their spiritual ceremonies as well as other important events like moving into a new home or starting a business based on beneficial aspects.

I started out by chatting with the person who ran the astrology computer center in Poona. After calculating my Vedic chart, he gave me a list of astrologers he recommended. I went to a number of them and found others in the classified ads of the local newspaper. They were all very different from each other and ranged from an educated professorial type (he turned out to be one of  the more dangerous because I took him more seriously) to a simple village man who was steeped in superstition as well as astrological knowledge. It was a great adventure, like going on a kind of treasure hunt where you had no idea what you would find.

But there was one problem I didn’t expect to find.  They were all men. I wanted to hear a woman astrologer’s viewpoint but no one had a clue who I should contact. Finally, I noticed a small article in the newspaper about a woman, Veenadevi Satpute, a weapons designer for the government who had received the “Woman of the Year” award at an astrological conference.

How weird was that? A weapons designer who did astrology.

I thought to myself, “Now there’s a person I’d like to meet….”