I am a Korean native of Busan, studied in the US in the 90s & living in Malaysia since 1997. I’ve been actively involved in Asian spirituality for more than 3 decades. I won’t bore you with the small details, but this interest culminated into something more serious when I became a teacher of Transcendental Meditation (TM) in 1991.
My interest in astrology sparked thereafter, and took a leap when I dived deeply into the extensive astrology work of India’s KN Rao. My husband and I unexpectedly hosted the saintly KN Rao in the US in 1994/95, and our relationship with Raoji grew into something special beyond words. We had a deeply meaningful and jovial fun time hosting and caring for him in those 2 years. I guessed I must have made an impression on him that he wrote:
“Bong-Sook* is brilliant. I know of her brilliant predictions and also know how she predicts. Her techniques are very sound. She takes the pain to rectify birth time. In a conversation of 180 seconds, she laughs for 45 seconds. I should keep a tape recorder to listen again to understand what all she has said.” (in Astrological Journey (1996) pg 279). *My full Korean name is Lim Bong-Sook
The witty Raoji dispelled in us the over-zealousness of enlightenment in the Indianized Western psyche. Raoji’s favorite snack was the Korean ginseng hard-candy that we offered, and he told us to get him more because if he ever hear the word ‘enlightenment’ from anybody, he wanted to offer them this special ‘illumination pill’ (Korean candy) and said it would confer them instant sweetness, lasting as long as the candy. With Raoji, we became grounded in the spirituality of the mundane world.
I started actively teaching Yoga in 1998 in Malaysia and astrology was very much in the backburner of my mind. My astrological practice was haphazard, giving readings only sporadically. A part of me lacked the confidence of predictions and I attributed this to lack of practice and insufficient fire of sadhana (spiritual cultivation). Raoji’s always said that it is sadhana that will awaken the inner jyoti (light) to allow us to see clearly. Nevertheless my love for the language of the stars never wane. I taught Yoga until my body refused to let me twist any further. I needed physical rest and that was when my mind decided to look inward deeply. I requested Ganesha and the planetary deities for further guidance.
Today, my astrological calling is inspired and guided by the pioneering work of astrologer-scholar Ernst Wilhelm. I find Ernst’s intellectual prowess, generosity and dedication to astrology beyond compare, and I’m certain that Parashara and Jaimini are extremely proud of him. I was blown away by Ernst’s Vault of the Heavens that I decided to translate and comment on this work in Korean. This culminated in a 3-volume set published in Korea in 2016. And the journey continues…