An Eclectic Approach ~ Modern and Ancient Astrology
There are countless ways to practice astrology and within Western astrology alone there are a huge variety of systems, paradigms, and techniques from which to choose. Throughout the years of my own study and practice I have found that it serves me to remain open to all the different paradigms that I encounter, while also remaining focused and not overly diffused with too many different techniques at once. My biggest learning is always through direct observation, so when it comes to where I put my attention within the wide variety of approaches, my eclectic approach is based on personal experience of the usefulness and relevance of a particular concept or system.
When I began studying and practicing astrology, I was mostly exposed to Modern Astrology and Evolutionary Astrology. This is mainly what is out there nowadays, has many merits, and no doubt still forms the foundation of my understanding of astrology. As time went on, however, I began to encounter more Ancient or Traditional Astrology and I found these frameworks to be equally valuable. For instance, I certainly honor the modern practice of paying close attention to the outer planets (Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, as well as Chiron), as I and many people and clients I know experience monumental internal or external events in our lives that correspond with the transits from these planets. The Uranus/Pluto square from 2012 to 2015 is a palpable example of this, being unfathomably intense for many especially those whose charts were directly lined up with the degrees of this life-changing, era-defining square (By the way, the last exact pass of this square is on March 16th, 2015).
On the other hand, I found that shifting to the Whole Sign house system (the oldest house system known); using the antiquated classification of planets in dignity, exaltation, detriment, or fall; and looking to the ancient rulers vs. the modern rulers, for example — are all undeniably useful to me when I analyze a chart. I didn’t necessarily want to adopt these older techniques, especially ones that appear on the surface to imply a value judgement, but when I investigated them I couldn’t help but notice their definite relevance. Through contemplation I realized that instead of seeing a planet that is in detriment or fall as a “bad” placement, for instance, the classification is rather a tool to acknowledge when an aspect of one’s self or one’s life (as symbolized by the planet) is experienced as inherently more challenging or uncomfortable than other planets that are more “favorably” placed. These challenges are of course not “bad,” just as squares and oppositions (aspects known to be associated with more challenges) are not “bad,” but a planet in detriment, for example, may represent a part of one’s life where one undergoes more suffering and requires more work or adjustment. I view this type of inner work or challenge as part of the divine intelligence within all of Reality, reflected perfectly in the birth chart, and for the purpose of learning and spiritual growth for the individual.
This is a good segue to the last example I will mention, regarding what I resonate with from Evolutionary Astrology. Evolutionary Astrology suggests that the birth chart is a reflection of what is needed for the soul for spiritual growth in this lifetime. My view is that the birth chart is a perfect illustration of one’s karma (the results of past impressions and actions) in this lifetime. The birth chart is literally a blueprint for how one is fulfilling one’s spiritual purpose and direction in this incarnation. Yet it is an illustration made up of symbols and full of moving parts, not a black and white, simplistic, or static depiction. Therefore it requires on-going exploration and can manifest in a multitude of ways, which will also invariably change over time as a person’s consciousness expands. I am always delighted to learn how people are living their charts. it is always more perfect then I could have imagined by looking at the chart alone.
To have astrological knowledge does not confer the ability to avoid challenges or lessons that must be learned in life. From the ego perspective challenges or unpleasant situations are always unwanted, but from a spiritual perspective the trials and tribulations in life are often exactly what is necessary to create the learning or shifts in consciousness that are required for the soul. Although attempting to live in sync with the rhythms of planetary influences is certainly beneficial, it is not only undesirable to try to avoid or prevent life lessons from happening or to try to control life through careful study or adherence to astrological interpretations, but it is impossible to do so. Life and learning cannot be avoided or stopped. Experiences will happen, suffering may happen, and learning and growth never ends. What astrology can offer is insight into the perfection of it all. By seeing and understanding the planetary correlations and synchronicities, astrology can contribute to one’s peace, patience, acceptance, endurance, hope, and trust in the divine intelligence behind it all.
In my experience, the deepest and most meaningful learning about astrology comes from experiential observation and involvement. Book learning is essential of course, but for instance, to truly understand the intensity of a transit from a slow moving planet to your birth chart, living through it or watching someone close to you live through it, is entirely different than reading about it. The theory you studied suddenly becomes tangible and is clearly manifesting before your eyes, and yet at the same time it is infinitely more complex and varied in its expression than you could have imagined. The same goes for truly understanding another human being, let alone yourself. It is a lifetime study. As an astrological counselor, I can study a natal chart for hours and hours, days, and weeks, but it would still take time to truly and comprehensively know the native (the owner of the chart). I may be able to quickly speculate about trends in character, predispositions, challenges, gifts, themes of the past and future, and various timelines of various archetypal influences affecting the individual, etc. And all of this can be immensely helpful for people in terms of inspiring self-understanding, self-permission to be who one is, as well as to give encouragement, patience, and strength with one’s life situation. Read more...
However, to really know a person, in a deep sense, and what it means to have a combination of particular planets in particular signs and houses with particular aspects, it takes time and keen observation. That is why I like working with people for a series of sessions over a period of time. We can go so much deeper into personality, life, or relationship dynamics, all of which the chart will illustrate in perfect fashion. Yet it takes time to unravel those mysteries written in a symbolic language. Like any relationship, it takes time and participation with someone to get to know them beyond the surface appearances or presentation. The same is true in a relationship between a counselor and a client and between an astrologer and a chart.
Dear Asheville friends and astrology enthusiasts, I am spending some time in my beloved Asheville, NC after being away for many months, so anyone who has been wanting an in-person astro consultation, please contact me! Astrology is such a wonderful tool for self-knowledge and exploration and a help in times of challenge or transition. It can facilitate tremendous insight, understanding, and peace, as well as provide timelines for certain archetypal or energetic influences affecting our lives and inner states of being. I appreciate sliding scales, so I also offer one to accommodate different life situations. (Also, I continue to be available over the phone or Skype for others in different locations.) If you are interested in scheduling an appointment, contact me.
Last night as I was falling asleep I was contemplating – for awhile and quite intensely – love, what love is, and how to actually be loving. I didn’t have any obvious individual aspects I could think of that would account for this particular focus of my mind. But when I woke this morning and looked at the ephemeris I realized that the moment I was contemplating love so deeply was just when the Moon was applying to a conjunction with Venus, the goddess of love. How perfect. There is always an astrological correlation. Even for brief or minor events.
A friend sent me this wonderful video full of truths about what love is and what love isn’t…
It is rare to have a New Moon exactly on New Year’s day, both powerfully and clearly signifying a fresh new beginning. This New Moon in Capricorn was extra potent and also potentially volatile because not only was it tightly involved with the Uranus/Pluto square, representing a long-term process of deep change and transformation from 2012 to 2015, but it was also square to Mars and opposed Jupiter. Anyone with significant planets or points in the cardinal signs of Capricorn, Aries, Libra, or Cancer (especially around 11 degrees) will be experiencing Dec 30, 2013-Jan 2, 2014 (and perhaps this whole year) more intensely. Dynamic forces are in the air and may stir up anger, brutal honesty, and big energy and motivation to move stagnancy and create change. Read more...
“Pay little attention to what people say or do. Instead, try to see their innermost motive for speaking and acting” (Vernon Howard). When people are triggered they say and do things stemming from the “pain body”. Unconscious fear and hurt can be covered over with defense mechanisms such as denial or anger. Sensing the real feelings and needs underneath is where empathy and understanding come in, which are both crucial for sustaining love and care amidst the inevitable disagreements, growing pains, and change that occur in all significant relationships.
The New Moon is a time for visioning and planting seeds for the future, but we may still feel in the dark about how to proceed. The Full Moon is when more clarity and objectivity will come. Also Venus is retrograde through the end of January. This suggests that this month is especially useful for reflecting on Venusian matters (especially partnerships and love, but also finances, art, and beauty), as opposed to making permanent decisions, because situations and perspectives could shift after Venus goes direct.
For this New Moon in Capricorn, Some of Capricorn’s key themes such as ambition, striving, and success may be activated. I love Ari Moshe’s definition of success: “To me the true definition of success is the experience of performing an action that is in vibrational alignment with who we truly are/who we wish to become. When we perform such actions over a long period of time, we build a successful lifestyle in the sense that all aspects of our life are in expressed harmony with the essence of who we are.”
When interpreting relationships, natal indications prevail over compatibility indications
Exploration of compatibility for partnership or marriage between two individual’s natal charts is one of my favorite uses of astrology. In analyzing compatibility, however, it is important to remember that no matter how many significant connections or marriage indicators there are between two people, one must first acknowledge the predispositions regarding partnership within each natal chart. If the natal chart shows stressful aspects or placements to planets in the 7th (partnership) house, and most importantly to the ruler of the 7th house, as well as the condition of Venus, who presides over love and relationships, for instance, then no matter how strong a connection is or how compatible the charts looks with another person’s chart, the experience in partnership is going to be geared towards major growth (i.e. full of challenges) for that person. And likewise, if a natal chart suggests more harmonious aspects and placements regarding partnership for the individual, then less compatibility with someone else’s chart may still correlate with a relationship experience that is mostly enjoyable for the individual with more harmonious natal placements.
With the practice of astrology you may see a thing coming, but that does not mean you can avoid it. You may note influences and archetypal energies that are active, but regardless of how accurately you interpret meanings for a particular time period, or how much awareness and self-knowledge you have worked to achieve, that does not mean you can eliminate certain lessons that are necessary to expand and deepen your being. So, what can astrology offer? Astrological explorations have the potential to mirror back to you with validation and insight what you are experiencing, and help you make connections between outer and inner events and passages, as well as a larger context of cycles in your personal journey to greater wholeness. This can bring more inner peace, acceptance, and understanding about whatever is happening. Higher intelligence and divine purpose guide the journey. Birth charts, as well as transits, progressions, elections, and the other astrological charts we use — help one gain glimpses of that divine intelligence and purpose.
Visit the Happiness Series. Its a great resource for all kinds of inspiring, uplifting, and helpful information! Check out the Astrology section to read some of my articles. So far they have featured:
Hi everyone, thanks for reading my posts! I’ve been taking a break from writing astro blurbs and articles lately, but I haven’t been taking a break from astrology! Life has been great but moving quickly for me. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to focus on my blog again soon! Best wishes!! ♥