Greenstone Lobo is a modern, research-based scientific astrologer who read his own horoscope at age 16. What started as a hobby in 1989 became a passion, and he has spent the last 26 years delving into various aspects of astrology. He claims to be the only astrologer in India having concrete works on Uranus, Neptune and Pluto; he also includes two exo-planets ‘Planet-X’ and ‘Planet-Y’ in his analysis. Greenstone writes a column called “Octozone” in DNA, which focuses on sports predictions. During weekdays, he works as a learning and development professional with an insurance company.
Vinita Kinra: Welcome to Global Asian Times, Greenstone. Your name intrigues me. Is there a story behind it?
Greenstone Lobo: Yes! Actually, my uncle was a sailor, and he was fascinated by an international ship called ‘Greenstone’. Unfortunately, he died young. I was named in memory of the ship that my uncle loved so much.
Vinita Kinra: What made a science graduate with an MBA degree write about astrology?
Greenstone Lobo: The Science graduation and MBA degree is to ensure that you get a job that pays your bills. Astrology is my passion that I can do anytime of the day or night. I love everything about astrology, including writing about it.
Vinita Kinra: Share with us your journey in writing your debut book, What is Your True Zodiac Sign?
Greenstone Lobo: Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs was the first and probably the best book I read on astrology. Interestingly, not many have read the preface of the book, wherein Linda talks about how knowing the sun sign gives just a rudimentary understanding of a person. Can the mind boggling diversity of human beings be explained by just 12 types? Linda has clearly explained how the Mercury and the Moon signs impact a personality. I worked on this idea, getting into its finer details. What is Your True Zodiac Sign starts from where Linda Goodman’s book ends. It took me about 15 years of meticulous accumulation and analysis of birth data of about 3000 celebrities to further sub-classify human beings into 186 types of personalities. I started writing the book in 2008 and completed it in 2013.
Vinita Kinra: Was the road to publishing your book smooth or bumpy?
Greenstone Lobo: I didn’t have 100 odd publishers rejecting me; I was lucky there. The first publisher I approached accepted my proposal, within a fortnight! But my manuscript was very huge. The 186 personalities were described in great detail and if published exactly as it was, the book would have run into 1300 pages. The editors were very patient and helpful and they helped trim the book to half the size without losing the soul of the book. But that cost us a couple of years.
Vinita Kinra: How scientific is the fact that planets and stars several light years away from us impact intimate aspects of our lives?
Greenstone Lobo: I’m not a scientist and I wouldn’t be in a position to give you the exact reasons as to how the planets impact us. But as an astrologer I can show you what impact a particular planetary position or configuration has on us. You cannot ignore the fact that most royal births of the British Empire and Europe have happened either during the Full Moon or the New Moon days. Queen Victoria, Prince William and his son Prince George, all were born on Full Moon days. In fact in my next book, I’m going to postulate a few duplicable theories and show systematically what impact the planets have on our lives. The ‘how’ part I leave to the scientists…it’s for them to figure out.
Vinita Kinra: What is the profile of your typical client that seeks an astrological consultation? Is the person strong, logical and scientific, or a vulnerable fatalist for whom nothing is going right in life?
Greenstone Lobo: That’s an interesting question…I have very clearly stated in my website that I don’t offer any remedies or prescribe precious stones to alleviate anyone’s troubles (my name is very misleading here!) I only show them a mirror about how exactly their life has unfolded in the past, and what the future holds. Many youngsters like my no-nonsense, scientific approach and my clientele is mostly of young working professionals, most of them logical, well-read and educated.
Vinita Kinra: Often we come across people who scarcely display characteristics associated with their Zodiac signs. How do you explain this discrepancy?
Greenstone Lobo: That’s exactly what my book is all about! Salman Khan is supposed to be this conservative, prim and proper, career-oriented Capricorn, but he is not. President Obama is not an arrogant and flamboyant Leo, and neither was Michael Jackson a workaholic and perfectionist Virgo. The anomaly is because no one person belongs to ONE zodiac sign; it’s mostly a combination of two or three zodiac signs. Besides, if you are born in the first 13 or the last 7 days of the month, whatever you thought your zodiac sign to be all your life could, in fact, be wrong! Salman is a combination of Scorpio-Sagittarius-Aquarius, which makes him adventurous, rebellious and a humanitarian. President Obama is a tough but sensitive Taurus-Cancer, and Michael Jackson was a genius showman Leo-Aquarius!
Vinita Kinra: In some civilizations the full moon is considered auspicious, whereas in others people dread it as force that leads to mood swings and mental imbalance. Why the dichotomy?
Greenstone Lobo: Fabulous question! It depends on where the full moon is. If the full moon is in the right houses, then it can create royal births and auspicious moments when we can ‘start’ an event whose longevity is kind of assured. The same full moon can be destructive if the moon is in the ‘wrong’ house. Talking about full moon… one amazing fact that I found while researching the birth data of captains who played the 1999 Cricket World cup was that almost every captain of all the major countries playing in the tournament was born on a full moon day! India’s Mohd. Azharuddin, Pakistan’s Wasim Akram, South Africa’s Hansie Cronje, England’s Alec Stewart, Sri Lanka’s Arjuna Ranatunga and West Indies’s Brian Lara – all of them! Check their birth dates yourself!
Vinita Kinra: If you were to pick the ideal star sign for a successful world leader, which would it be and why?
Greenstone Lobo: This is the biggest myth associated with astrology. Star signs (I think you mean the Sun sign) don’t make great personalities; they just indicate our characteristics. You need to examine the positions of all the other planets like Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Saturn or Jupiter to know the possible strength of a horoscope to make a successful world leader, or for that matter a sports legend or a film superstar.
Vinita Kinra: How can knowledge about planetary influences in our daily lives enrich us or help us redefine our paths?
Greenstone Lobo: Every day a few hundred alight at the Mumbai CST station from various parts of India with the dream of becoming the next Shah Rukh Khan. Countless youngsters (and their parents) dream of becoming a part of the playing 11 of the Indian cricket team. We know that only a handful make it, and the rest have to restart their dreams and live with that regret all their lives. Astrology can help identify the exact domain one would shine and focus energies there and ensure that there are less regrets in life.
Vinita Kinra: Indians tend to attach a lot of importance to “Mangliks” when it is time to find grooms and brides. Is there any rationale behind this obsessive belief?
Greenstone Lobo: Yes, there is. If you analyze hundreds of horoscopes of divorced, separated, widow/widower, the common chord is the adverse positions of Venus or Mars (Mangal) or both. It’s not just the poor Mangal to blame. It’s another story that many astrologers do not know about; something significant that constitutes the so-called ‘Manglik’. Also, not to forget is the fact that whatever is supposed to happen will happen. What that means is that, even if you take all the precautions, if your horoscope shows that you would be divorced then the biggest astrologer in the world cannot stop it from happening, regardless of the remedies the expert asks you to follow to get rid of that ‘mangal dosh’.
Vinita Kinra: What is your best marketing line to attract people to discuss their star power?
Greenstone Lobo: ‘The astrologer who predicted in 2011 that India will win the Cricket World Cup, and in 2015 that Australia will… even before a single ball was bowled in the tournament.’
About the interviewer:
Vinita Kinra is a Toronto-based author, editor, speaker and activist, best known for her short story collection, Pavitra in Paris, launched to critical acclaim in 2013. She is also a contributor for India’s largest English daily, The Times of India.