I have offered a few workshops in Astronomy and Vedic Astrology over the past few years. These have usually been 3-day workshops, accompanied by star gazing sessions in the evening. One thing I have found in most of my workshops (and in other workshops that I attend) is that there is much interest, curiosity and enthusiasm during the workshop, but sadly this is not sustained after the event. People lose interest to keep up the momentum. The workshops play an important role in introducing the topic and getting the participants understand the basics of Astrology. But how can that interest and motivation be sustained in the long run?
I wonder if there can be a way to address this issue after the workshop ends. Im currently trying out a different format in Auroville - a study group that meets for an hour once a week, every week. I started 2 months ago, and the plan is to introduce topics in the weekly one-hour sessions, which the group deepens with self study over the week. In one hour it is not possible to go deep into any single topic, so I only hope to set the sequence of topics, pace and direction, which the group can then take forward in their own time.
There is as much to learn in Astrology, as there is time available. To give you an idea - when I studied Astrology back in the day, my class met for 5-6 hours every week for 2 years, and attempted over 12 exams to qualify for certification. And all of this was for a basic understanding of the concepts involved, as well as the different tools and techniques used by a Vedic Astrologer. Much like many other disciplines, this may require a lifetime of study, if not several lives.
So far the study group seems to be going well! And though I haven't managed to get the group to dedicate 5-6 hours of self study each week, it's a work in progress. I will be updating this blog as we go along, and also posting the topics that we cover each week on my FaceBook page (http://www.facebook.com/allthingsvedic). So in case you want to study along, use these posts as a guide.
And if you happen to be in Auroville, you are most welcome to join.