The 20 Year History of the American Council of Vedic Astrology

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in November of 1993, with Saturn in the sign of philosophy, Aquarius, and Jupiter in the sign of collaboration, Libra, the American Council of Vedic Astrology (ACVA) was born. ACVA was modeled on the Indian Council of Astrological Sciences (ICAS) with the blessing of Dr. Raman, the founder and first President of the Indian Council. The Council appointed Chakrapani Ullal posthumous chairman of the organization, as he was close to Dr. Raman and in regular contact with him. David Frawley was appointed the first President of the Council and Dennis Harness was appointed Executive Vice President. The Council's founding board of directors were Christina Collins, Dennis Flaherty and James Kelleher, with Deborah Ress serving as recording secretary.


The mission of the Council, as stated in the incorporated bylaws, was:

  • To establish and maintain a professional association for Vedic astrologers

  • To establish and maintain a program designed to raise educational standards within the profession

  • To establish educational standards and levels of certification for both practitioners and teachers of Vedic astrology

  • To promote the free exchange of ideas and research among the various schools of Vedic astrology.

  • The Council passed an important milestone on April 5, 1995, when it earned its 501(c)(6) non-profit status with the IRS. This legally recognized the Council's function as being "operated to promote a common business interest and to improve business conditions in the industry."

This was legally distinct from the status achieved later by the American College of Vedic Astrology, that was recognized later on November 22, 1999, by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization being operated exclusively for educational purposes.

In 2004, the American Council of Vedic Astrology held its first membership-based elections. Dennis Flaherty was elected President, and Gary Gomes was elected Vice President of the Council. At that time the Council, although legally still incorporated as the American Council of Vedic Astrology (ACVA) started doing business as the Council of Vedic Astrology (CVA) to reflect its growing international role and to distinguish the organization's name from the names of the Australian Council of Vedic Astrology (ACVA), and the American College of Vedic Astrology (ACVA), two other ACVA's which were founded after the Council.

In 2007, Gary Gomes was elected as President of the Council and Sat Siri Khalsa was elected as Vice President of the Council. In 2010, Dennis Flaherty was elected to a second term with Sat Siri Khalsa serving a second term as Vice President of the Council.

In 2010, the Council's board voted unanimously to emphasize the original mission of the Council, to establish educational standards and levels of certification for both teachers and practitioners of Vedic Astrology. The response from leading members of the professional Vedic astrology community was positively overwhelming at the resumption of the Council's certification program. The Council's certification committee is currently co-chaired by CVA Council members David Frawley, Sat Siri Khalsa, Dennis Flaherty, and Jim Kelleher as the CVA Provost.

In 2013, both Dennis Flaherty and Sat Siri Khalsa were elected to third terms as President and Vice President of the Council. Mickey McKay, Paddi Moore, Susie Patterson, and Karen Wennerlind were elected to the CVA board of directors.

in 2020, membership secretary Mickey McKay has passed the baton to Prema Lee Gurreri, and Marianne Jacuzzi is the managing editor of the CVA Journal.

We on the CVA board invite you to become a member of our growing international organization. The Council endeavors to continue our mission, a mission that started over 20 years ago to create a strong, vibrant, professional organization of practitioners, welcoming equally and inclusively all schools of Vedic astrology.


Chakrapani Ullal, CVA founder, Posthumous Chairman of the CVA
David Frawley, CVA founder, First President of the CVA
James Kelleher, CVA founder
Dennis Flaherty, CVA founder and President of the CVA
Sat Siri Khalsa, Vice President of the CVA