This highly specialized text was decades in the making. It is beautifully formatted and organized. For astrologers with an interest in Vedic planet meanings and remedies, it's a prize beyond measure.

In his introduction, Foss explains that this is the first time the full complement of planetary mantras has been presented with English translations and commentaries. The 108 mantras for each of the nine planets (Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu, and Ketu) are presented from pages 17 to 462. Yes, that's 972 different mantras! They're numbered, printed in Devangari with an English transliteration followed by the translation and some commentary on the function and purpose of the mantra.

The mantras demonstrate numerous facets of planetary meanings and powers in a manner that shows the incredibly fine gradations of ancient Vedic astrological scholarship. Foss gives sensible recommendations. Some mantras are specific remedies for natal chart problems and/or for supporting planetary strengths during dasha and bukti periods. Some mantras are noted as inappropriate for use except for ascetics who have renounced the world. The commentaries offer a huge range of fascinating details culled from numerous conversations with Vedic and Jyotishi scholars.

From page 463 to 495, the mantras are condensed into Devangari and transliterations. The end of the book contains a bonus section on “Advanced Mantras Selection from the Astrological Chart,” and “Secrets of Vimshottari Dasha,” an essay giving insights into the dasha-bukti system. There is an index.

Yoga of the Planets features a painting of Surya (Sun) by Pieter Weltefrede on the cover, and gray-scale paintings of the nine planets at the heading of each planet's mantras. Weltefrede is a revered and gifted Dutch artist specializing in Vedic subjects. The author, Dr. Andrew Foss, is a British physicist who lives in Alberta, Canada. He's made numerous journeys to India. He is the founding president of the British Association of Vedic Astrology (BAVA), a certified Jaimini Scholar, and creator of Shri Jyoti Star software. The text is available as an e-book. There are audio sets of the planetary mantras and an app for calculating the right mantra for people. All are available through the website.

I have long been aware that there was a body of planetary mantras but never had access to them until now. The transliterations, commentaries, and end matter are beyond my wildest dreams, and the Weltefrede illustrations are the coup de gras. The audience for this book is Vedic astrologers or those interested in Vedic astrology and astrological remedies. While this isn't a large group, astrologers could not ask or hope for a more beautiful or thorough presentation of this topic. This book is a labor of love and devotion and highly recommended, with sincere gratitude for all the effort!

~review by Elizabeth Hazel

Author: Andrew Foss, PhD
illustrations by Pieter Weltefrede
2016 ShriSource Publications
519 pg, $30 pb