Astrology is a neglected cultural form in the study of South Asian society. It is also one which pays attention to the individual in ways that seem to fly in the face of scholarly understandings of Asian societies as places where individuality has little importance. The ideology of caste, the institution most often taken as an analytical entry to South Asian societies, gathers people into groups on the basis of their gross similarities and fixes a person's condition for life. Astrology treats individuals as distinguished by subtle differences and liable to momentary changes. The paper argues that caste ideology and astrology have a common vocabulary and logic, one which is genealogical and combinatory, and suggests in turn several conclusions about the relationship of individuals and society in South Asian cultures.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.