“My evenings are taken up very largely with astrology. I make horoscopic calculations in order to find a clue to the core of psychological truth. Some remarkable things have turned up which will certainly appear incredible to you.”
~Carl Jung in a letter to Sigmund Freud (June 12, 1911)
I offer astrological counseling for psycho-spiritual exploration, understanding, and transformation. Astrology utilized in this way can be a missing key for deep inner work and can shed light on the path towards greater harmony with the natural rhythms and cycles of one’s life journey. My approach to astrology is to share the potentials and opportunities I see while exploring how the symbols and archetypes are manifesting uniquely for each individual. Astrology is a wonderful tool for self-knowledge and a help in times of challenge or transition. It can facilitate tremendous insight and peace, as well as provide timelines for certain archetypal or energetic influences reflected in our lives and inner states of being. Consultations available for birth chart exploration, current influences, relationship dynamics, and timing for important events.
I am the grateful recipient of a full scholarship to the International Academy of Astrology’s Breaking Down the Borders Conference, which means I get to attend 12 lectures by renowned astrologers this weekend! I am very excited. My favorite so far was a lecture by Greg Bogart on Progressing the Birth Chart. I have been using secondary progressions for a long time, but now I am inspired to incorporate solar arc directions as well. It is powerful to see how progressing the birth chart shows the exact timing of important inner developments as well as life changing events. It is said that progressions illustrate the unfolding of a person, like a flower bud into its full blossoming. Looking at progressions and solar arcs along with current transits reveal the archetypal influences that are affecting one at any given time... Astrology continues to amaze me!
“The science of Astrology is unique, and there is no science to be compared with it in one respect, that is, that all those persons who are the most ignorant of it appear to have some kind of intuition that tells them that it is utterly false or wicked, but those persons who have studied the subject always speak of it as a heavenly science or truth itself, and there is no other science that I know of that is like it in that particular.” ~Luke Broughton, The Elements of Astrology, 1898 Read more...
Some interesting info about Luke Broughton:
“Luke Broughton was an influential American astrologer although he was English by birth. He came from a family of well-known astrologers and his paternal grandfather was a disciple of Nicholas Culpeper. He was the first astrologer in America to use horoscopes of famous Americans to teach and illustrate astrology.
Broughton was born in Leeds, England in 1828. He began studying astrology in his teens. It is thought that Broughton came to America in 1854 when he was 26. He settled in Philadelphia where he studied natural medicine and graduated from Eclectic Medical College. He practiced homeopathic medicine for most of his career
In 1860, Broughton revived his brother Mark’s periodical, Broughton’s Monthly Planet Reader and Astrological Journal. He continued to publish this Journal until 1869. After anti-astrology laws were passed in Philadelphia, Broughton moved his medical office to New York City in 1863, which then became his home for the rest of his life. In 1866, he started to teach astrology emphasizing astrological medicine.
As astrology grew more controversial, Broughton defended astrology and also attempted to protect it from incompetent astrologers. In addition, he became a leading teacher of astrology in America and he appeared as a witness in court on the behalf of astrology.” ~from solstice point.com
“My reasons for ‘believing’ in astrology are extremely simple. I have studied it, I have put together facts of people’s lives with known planetary influences, and I have observed, in thousands of cases, correspondences… The endurance of astrology is one of the surest indexes of the value man places on himself and his destiny. Its roots are planted five thousand years ago, in the lore of Isreal; and its branches include every race that has a history. The Egyptians, Babylonians, Chinese, Assyrians, Caldeans, Persians, Indians, all had their astrology… From esoteric and private uses, it evolved, till today we have it for what it is: a science dealing with inner, and ultimate, cause behind human conduct… It is rapidly wearing away the stigma attached to fortune-telling, and emerging in the psychology-minded twentieth century as an essential cog in the machinery of man’s understanding of himself.” ~Grant Lewi
The Sabian Symbols are 360 symbolic vignettes each corresponding to a degree of the zodiac. Many astrologers use them in chart interpretation to get a richer sense of meaning for any important planet or point in a chart, such as the Sun, Moon, or Ascendant. For instance, when I was born, the Sun was at 5º41’ Leo. The corresponding Sabian for my Sun is:
Leo 6*: A sweet old-fashioned belle, and a pert and attractive modern flapper, stand in mutual envy of each other.
From the time I was a child and my mother told me this was the symbol for my Sun, it always resonated deeply. As I got older and came to understand my chart as a whole, I began to see how not only did it capture the essence of my core (the Sun), but interestingly it also captured other prominent themes in my chart, such as my Libra Ascendent (balancing opposites, seeing the other side of the story, and a focus on aesthetics etc), my Sun conjunct Saturn (Saturn represents tradition, and therefore is “old-fashioned”) and my Sun/Saturn square Uranus (Uranus represents breaking free from old structures, and therefore fits “a modern flapper.” In some mystical way, the specific Sabian symbol for the degree of my Leo Sun acts as a holon** for my whole chart. Not everyone resonates as obviously and spontaneously with their Sabians; sometimes it takes some contemplation to penetrate into the meaning of the symbol. Read more...
To look up the Sabian Symbols relevant for your chart, click here.
I happen to use this longer, more poetic version of the Sabians, because they seem to hold more meaning for me, personally. But there is a concise version that is more well known. In that version the equivalent of my Sun is:
Leo 6: An old fashioned ‘consevative’ woman is confronted by an up-to-date girl.
I dont feel this version captures my essence as well, but some feel the concise version is the more original version. To look up the Sabian Symbols in this version, click here.
Regarding the different versions of the Sabian Symbols, here is an excerpt from Diane Applebaum:
“The story of how the Sabian Symbols came about will be found in the second chapter of Part One in Dane Rudhyars ‘An Astrological Mandala.’ Briefly put, on a day in 1925 Marc Edmund Jones and a well-known psychic, Elsie Wheeler, sat in a quiet area of a San Diego Park, yet a spot not far from the bustling world. He had a stack of 360 index cards, each with a degree of the zodiac written on it. Jones would shuffle the pile, and then, as he drew an index card, without either of them seeing which degree was written on it, Wheeler communicated a scene that came before her minds eye. In connection with each card, Jones ‘made a brief pen notation of what she said.’
[One version of the Sabians is the concise wording that Jones jotted down on the notecards and another is a more expanded version that Jones later wrote.]
Although Jones felt moved to repudiate this later version, it is also said that early on he doubted the validity of the Sabians in general. Nevertheless, a circle of astrologers around him began working with the vignettes and found them uncannily accurate and informing. Which version is the most ‘credible I leave up to the reader to choose. In my experience the different versions work for different people. In connection with this, my mind always goes to the point in the story of events in the park that day in which Jones is said to have felt that one of the symbols that Wheeler had seen internally was incorrect. He asked Wheeler, who he apparently felt was channeling a representative of the ancient Mesopotamian brotherhood with whom this ancient system of symbols had abided, to inquire about the accuracy of this symbol. After making the inquiry Wheeler conveyed to Jones that the Brother’s answer was to the effect that it was up to Jones to discover.
I believe that this detail in the series of events indicates a significant aspect of the event that took place at that momentous point in time, and should not be discounted as an irrelevant detail or of no account. The meaning or meanings of this occurrence are not something minor or inconsequential to be cast aside as simply inscrutable or without implication to the subsequent unfolding of the phenomenon of the Sabians coming forth to be formulated. It is my opinion that that question and answer indicated the next phase after the park event — of bringing the conception to birth. The uncertainty that was expressed by Jones and the question he put forth are part of the profound and esoteric living dynamics of the advent of these symbols in their reappearance, now in the modern day world. As they unfold in this ‘incarnation,’ the symbols are ‘stamped’ with this seed-developmental phase, much as a natal chart illustrates dynamics that become stamped upon the incarnating soul at the moment of its first breath in this life, and the unfolding shown by the progressions.
It may be noted that it was Jones who wrote down the particular words on the note cards, the brief descriptions. I wonder what all Wheeler said in connection with each card. And even if the case may be that she spoke only those few words which he wrote on each card, the Brother may have implied that Jones had a designated destined role to play in the rich and more descriptive formulation and presentation of the Symbols to the modern day world.
Each version has adherents and resonates with intuitive knowing and insight. Each may serve as a tool that has the potential to spark inspired and accurate imagination in different people. The version I work with is the longer more descriptive formulations which Jones circulated not in book form but in manuscript form. They are titled Lecture-Lessons, and, according to the dates at the tops of the pages, were issued between May 18, 1931 and November 9, 1931.”
*Always round up to the next degree when working with the symbols. Dane Rudhyar’s explanation: “if the symbol is referred to the position of a planet in an astrological chart, Cancer 5º begins at 4º 1” (four degrees and one second or minute) and ends with Cancer 4º59’59”; just as the first year (year number 1) of a life begins at birth and ends with the first birthday. We are dealing with a process, and ‘Phase One’ starts the very moment the process begins.”
**A holon is something that is simultaneously a whole and a part (Wikipedia).
“I do believe that astrology’s greatest value resides in its insights into human behavior. By ‘insights’ I mean information that reveals to the individual (1) a deeper understanding of his or her basic needs and core beliefs, and (2) the habitual patterns of thinking, feeling, and behavior that derive out of these deep structures. But these insights can be integrated with knowledge of transits & progressions and the various opportunities for growth they provide… Read more...
It seems to me that the real difference between psychological and predictive astrology comes down to the question of why are we here? From a psychological perspective, the answer would seem, to realize more fully our human potential. A strictly predictive astrology, however, implies that one’s fate is more or less fixed and that one’s ultimate good lies in avoiding pain and maximizing pleasure. Whereas psychological astrology assists individuals in discovering how they are creating their own fate, predictive astrology merely describes fate without relating it to the inner, psychological life of the person. From this perspective, events have no meaning beyond being ‘good or ‘bad. To say that they are “karma” from past lives, to be suffered and endured (or perhaps avoided through the cosmically informed counsel of one’s astrologer), does little to help people live more constructively in the here and now. I believe that fate can be positively altered through a process of internal healing and integration. The real meaning of events is that they constitute ‘feedback that reflects back to the individual where s/he is at in terms of health and wholeness. And their real value is that they stimulate growth in precisely those areas where the individual most needs to change.” ~Glenn Perry
As the planets move through the sky and through the zodiac, they affect each one of us differently depending on how they connect with one’s individual birthchart. There are some astrological events, however, that happen to everyone at approximately the same age, which mark important rites of passage and correspond with certain life phases. Here is a list of a few of the major ones:
Saturn return (Saturn conjunct Saturn), first one at age 29:
This is the symbolic entrance into adulthood — new structures are built or current structures break down if they are not in alignment with one’s proper track in life, responsibility increases, and/or obstacles must be overcome.
Second one at age 59: This is a time of passing on the torch to the next generation — all that has been learned and achieved can now be shared fully, and let go of, as one prepares for the last third of life.
Pluto square Pluto, varies due to Pluto’s irregular orbit, currently takes place at age 35-37, but in certain other eras, it was around age 62:
This is a significant turning point involving the integration of one’s shadow — can be experienced as intense pressure, forced growth, or having to surrender. This eventually leads to regeneration, transformation, empowerment and finding new purpose and meaning in life.
Neptune square Neptune, age 40-41:
This is a spiritual turning point — the need arises for direct experience of something greater than the ego self. Initially it can manifest as confusion, doubt, or escapism, but leads to a shift in consciousness.
Uranus opposite Uranus, around age 42:
Uranus brings freedom from that which is limiting or preventing one from being true to oneself. Sudden changes and shock often accompany this transit, but culminate in the awakening to a new life.
Moon’s Nodal return, every 18.6 years, at approximately age 19, 38, 56 and so on:
The nodes have to do with the soul’s direction in the larger scheme of one’s life. The nodal returns are moments in time that may be particularly destined and feel like they have a karmic quality to them.
Jupiter return, every 12 years, at age 12, 24, 36, 48 and so on:
These are times of growth, opportunities, blessings, and abundance connected with the area of life where natal Jupiter is in the birthchart.
I would love to hear about people’s experiences with these major passages through time. Feel free to contact me with questions or comments.
The Spiritual Implications of the Astrological Birthchart
Upcoming workshop with Randy Wasserstrom
At the heart of the astrological birthchart is spiritual karma and from this karma comes a perfect compassionate design for each one of us. Our mission is to feel the perfection of the design and to guide our lives by it. In this workshop, “The Spiritual Implications of the Astrological Birthchart”, we will discuss how to interpret planets, signs, houses and the lunar nodes from a spiritual perspective while comparing this perspective to the psychological model. Participants will have the opportunity to look at their own charts (voluntary) “piece by piece” from this perspective. This workshop is for all astrology students — beginning to advanced.
Randy Wasserstrom, MSW, a professional astrologer from Cary, NC will be the workshop leader. He has 22 years of experience as an astrologer, has taught many classes in beginning to advanced astrology, and started the Network of Triangle Astrologers.
The fee is $45.00. For further information and/or pre-registration, call Randy at 919-467-4043 or email email@example.com.
When: January 28, 2012 from 1-4pm
Where: A Far Away Place —16 Battery Park Ave. Asheville, NC 28801
In honor of the Sun’s passage through the sign of Sagittarius ♐ — the archetype of expanding one’s understanding of philosophical and spiritual truths — here is an excerpt from an interesting article entitled “Kabbalah and Astrology” by Rabbi Max Weiman...
What is the Jewish view of astrology?
The Bible takes a strong negative stand on Astrology. Yet, Kabbalah, the ancient Jewish mystical tradition, has sources that are based on astrological principles. Read more...
Some historians say Astrology and Astronomy were originally one discipline. Therefore, it may be that the earliest sages were well versed in both. What made it imperative for Jewish sages to delve into this study were the biblical commandments to celebrate the New Moon, and to chart the Jewish holidays in the proper season. Each month of the Hebrew calendar is one lunar cycle. The holidays are related to the seasons, so the sages had to adjust the calendar because the lunar year is shorter than the solar year. Therefore, the Jewish calendar is neither purely lunar, nor solar. It is a mixture.
In Genesis 1:14 it says, “God said, ‘There shall be lights in the heavenly sky to divide between day and night. They shall serve as omens and define festivals, days and years.” Early commentaries say that “omens” refers to how the stars and planets affect out lives. Therefore, based on the necessity for fixing the Hebrew calendar, and an understanding that stars and planets affect events it is clear that early wise men had an astrological outlook.
A mystical text called “The Chapters of Rabbi Eliezar” that was authored before the common era by a well known Jewish sage, actually outlines the hourly influences of the seven celestial bodies: Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn. Each planet rules a different hour of the day. Each planet rules a day of the week. We still have remnants of this belief in the English names of the days of the week. The Sun rules Sunday. The Moon rules Monday. Saturn rules Saturday.
The Talmud, the Jewish legal compendium, was written over centuries and codified in approximately 500 CE. It mentions of a number of astrological ideas. In one spot it links the influences of the planets to a persons personality. Gaining insight into ones personality has been valued throughout Jewish literature in non-mystical and Kabbalistic thought. The Talmud cautions us, though, not to assume a particular trait can define us precisely. For example, someone born under the influence of Mars will be drawn to bloodshed. Its up to the person, however, to channel that inclination into being a surgeon or butcher, as opposed to becoming a murderer.
The main text of Kabbalistic Astrology is “The Book of Creation” attributed to Abraham (from the Bible). This book outlines the influence not only of the stars but also the constellations familiar to Western Astrology. [In early times, the Jews lived among the people that the historians call the founders of Astrology — the Chaldeans, and later the Babylonians. We may never know whom learned more from whom.] It lists these influences and other correspondences to each of the 12 months of the Hebrew calendar.
For example, Tishrei, the first month of the calendar year, is linked to:
1) the constellation known as Libra 2) the element -Wind 3) the letter of the Hebrew alphabet called Lamed (similar to the English “L”) 4) the gender Male 5) the planet Venus 6) the human function of Marital Relations 7) the quality of Fixation 8) the biblical tribe of Ephraim 9) and the part of the body - Bile.
Through studying the meaning behind the various aspects associated with a particular month, you can define the spiritual potential for you in each time period. The Kabbalists looked to Astrology more to get a general feeling for what a month can offer spiritually rather than to predict what will happen on any given day. They used this knowledge for personal growth.
To predict daily or hourly events would violate a biblical prohibition: “Do not act on the basis of auspicious times” (Leviticus 19:26). Predicting events too precisely leads one away from the understanding that God is involved with every molecule of existence and can alter events at will. This danger appears to be the basis of all biblical injunctions against Astrology. In order for us to have a close ongoing personal relationship with God, we need to keep the perspective that He is involved with every aspect of life. Even though He designed the heavens to have a complex system of influence, He did not set it up and walk away.
The Kabbalists use their understanding of the heavenly influences to see the spiritual potential in each time period, as opposed to predicting the future. They seek the hidden opportunities for elevation, always striving for a closer relationship with God.
After reading an excerpt referencing astrology from the book, “How A Master Works” by Ivy Duce, I felt moved to write about my experience with and perspective about astrology. Below is the excerpt and underneath the excerpt is my response.
Ivy Duce had visited Meher Baba in India, and on her way back to America she went to see an astrologer in Delhi. The astrologer had a copy of the Bhrigu Samhita and the Arun Samhita, and read an ancient chart for Mrs. Duces daughter Charmian. The chart covered Charmians life in detail, with one statement for each year up into her eighties.
Ivy Duce wrote about the reading in a letter to Babas sister Mani.
Baba dictated the following to be included in Manis reply to Ivy Duce:
“Baba says that you and Charmy, who have the rare good fortune of being among his close fold and deeply connected with him, are safe in his care, and should not let any astrological pattern affect you or rattle or worry you.
“For although he does not radically change the course of individual karma (of those connected with him), he does alleviate and modify it greatly when he thinks fit, and often hastens the working out of some karma whereby it is unwound in a much shorter time and gotten rid of.
“Whereas we think of time in the measure of years, he knows and sees to the untangling of the karmic maze of many lifetimes.
“You should therefore give no countenance to mantras and astrological indications which might apply to the general man who has not the good fortune of coming into the orbit of a Perfect Masters grace, and the much rarer opportunity of being within the circle of the Avatar.
“He does not mind your being interested in astrology as an interesting subject, but does not want you in the least to be swayed by or involved in it, for your own good.
“Baba says that when he breaks his silence, you will understand everything - all your questions will be answered in that understanding which embraces everything.”
I am intrigued by Meher Baba’s exact words to Ivy Duce about astrology. What does it mean to be interested in astrology but not swayed by or involved in it? To me this means that if one is interested in astrology, one should take it lightly in a sense (not unlike other subjects of study in the world of Maya, or illusion). To not be swayed by it means, for me, to not fall into the trap of making presumptions about myself, life, or others using astrology, but rather to attempt at all times to live in alignment with my highest inner truth. In my experience astrology can help to increase understanding, self-acceptance, and faith in the perfection of the big picture. I don’t use astrology to tell me what something means or to try to figure out what will happen in the future. Instead, I use astrology as a tool for self-discovery. It is an exploration and practice of finding meaning through observation of what is (and what is changes as consciousness changes).
In 1932, Meher Baba stayed at the home of Marc Edmond Jones in Hollywood, for one week. Marc Edmond Jones was the foremost astrologer in the US at that time. It was not long after that Western astrology began to take a sharp turn towards a more psychological orientation. Subsequently, Dane Rudhyar, the father of modern astrology (who also met Meher Baba), came into prominence. Rudhyar wrote, “As I see it, the first and immediate purpose of astrology is not to predict events in terms of statistical probability, but to bring to confused, eager, often distraught persons a message of order, of ‘form,’ of the meaning of individual life and individual struggles in the process of self-actualization.” I love Rudhyars explanation. (Interestingly, in the Awakener Magazine, Filis Frederick wrote, “Dane had cast Baba’s horoscope and seen Him as the great World Teacher of the Age.”)
Some people think of astrology as a form of fortune-telling. For me it is just another psychological tool for understanding oneself and helping one to live more authentically, more at peace, and to find one’s way towards fulfilling one’s greater potentials. I dont think of astrology in fatalistic terms. Each aspect shown in a chart can manifest in an unlimited number of ways, and in accordance with one’s spiritual journey. Perhaps the chart is an illustration of our , but it alone does not determine our future. We affect our future by how we respond to our current circumstances.
I have heard a story, referenced at times, when the topic of astrology arises within the Meher Baba world. It goes something like this: followers of Meher Baba who were interested in astrology found that their lives began to disagree with their charts after coming into the orbit of Meher Baba. This statement confuses me, because it is based on a premise that implies there is only one interpretation of a birth chart and that it remains static over time. In my understanding of astrology that premise represents a misunderstanding of how astrology works. Astrology is a language of symbols, and by definition, the very nature of a symbol means that there is a broad number of meanings and expressions of it. So when someone comes into the orbit of Meher Baba, or any path of spiritual truth, their lives and consciousness will of course change and perhaps rapidly. But because an astrological chart cannot be limited to any one analysis, but rather only suggests influences which may be expressed in different ways at various levels of consciousness, the chart still encompasses these higher possibilities. I would go on to say that any perceived limitations of the accuracy of an astrological chart are more reflective of the person trying to understand or interpret it, but not the chart itself.
I have heard that Meher Baba said astrology is a perfect science, but he also said something along the lines of that it takes a Perfect One to interpret it perfectly. I agree wholeheartedly. Astrology can be thought of as a symbolic language. Having some fluency in this language, I do my best to articulate the symbols and express them in ways that might offer help to people — in a dialoguing process, and reflecting back what they already know within. Astrology can be immensely helpful in naming things, putting puzzle pieces together, and validating experiences. Exploring the multifarious possibilities suggested in a chart can provide clarity and meaning in relation to challenges, and offer glimpses of pathways towards healing and hope. In my experience, astrology is a useful psychlological tool with the potential to enhance self-knowledge and a sense of well-being. It need not be used or seen as an “occult” practice.
“Newspaper reporters would regularly seek interviews with Meher Baba, and sometimes he would consent…
‘But what about astrology?’ the reporter asked. ‘
Everything has something to do with spirituality. It depends on how it is worked out. “ (from LM, p. 2077)
Today I read about a powerful astronomical event: There is a star in the Pinwheel Galaxy currently in the midst of its dying process. When a star runs out of fuel to sustain itself, it collapses setting off a massive and violent explosion, called a supernova. At its peak, a supernova can shine so bright it lights up the entire galaxy in which it occurs. Additionally, the shock waves from the explosion can trigger the birth of new stars. This supernova is 21 million light years away, but it is the closest one seen from Earth for decades and tonight will be its brightest night. With a telescope it is visible above the Big Dipper and may even be possible to see with binoculars.
Astrology is the alchemical practice of taking that which is seen in the external world and discovering the inner symbolic significance of it, “As above, so below.” Regarding this extraordinary and somewhat rare supernova, some questions one might ask oneself are: Read more...
What is collapsing in me or around me? What do I need to let go of or let die, which is no longer serving or generating energy for me?
Can I see a light in this possibly challenging or dramatic change?
What new sparkly hopes or wishes (upon a star) may be brought forth by this ending?
What new bright star in my universe is finding its unexpected beginning bringing vision and light in the darkness?