Many years ago when I began my study of astrology, there was no blogosphere (or Internet usage) so the sharing of astrological thought was limited to books.
Books are wonderful, of course, but after a few years of study, the books became redundant, generally geared to a reader who is interested in basics and maybe more interested in figuring out a loved one than truly interested in astrology with all its angles and math.
In the early days of my astrological homeschooling, these were my three mentors, in order of discovery:
Sun Signs is the book, an associate once told me, which made astrology a household word. It’s delicious double Aries writing, holding nothing back, but written like a crime novel, keeping you interested as you move from Gemini man to Gemini woman to Gemini boss.
As most people do, my beginning study of astrology focused on myself and my own chart. I recall the day that I sat with Sun Signs and thought about a friend and her quirky, unpredictable personality. I see that as the day I truly began my study of astrology.
Linda Goodman also gave me an image that has stuck with me my entire life – Leo sulking behind the “potted palms” seeking attention. That image has traveled far with me.
While some balk at sun-sign astrology, and I used to myself, I still think it’s accurate. Next to sun, moon is most determining, to me, with the other planets adding energy in greater or lesser extent.
For example, I once thought Virgo and Aquarius were similar in quirky personality. One day I realized that the Virgos of my generation had the Uranus/Pluto conjunction in Virgo. The Virgos carried two outer planets with the same energy. They are still Virgo energy but with the extremes that Uranus brings and the compulsion that Pluto brings.
In the charts I look at on OHA, I rarely have time of birth so mostly focus on sun and moon.
I still enjoy reading Sun Signs after all these years.
After a year or so of sun-sign astrology, I learned one could cast a thing called a natal horoscope. The natal horoscope is based on the date, time and place of birth and contains the ten “planets,” each in a sign, in a house (area of the horoscope) and forming geometric relationships to each other.
That’s a lot of data.
As I got familiar with all the data, I learned through an Indian friend about the idea of past lives. About the same time Jeanne Avery published a book titled Astrology and Your Past Lives which described past lives and imprints as represented by Saturn’s placement in the horoscope.
Today, I don’t care whether or not there is such a thing as past lives (or future lives). I did learn from Jeanne Avery that the images we see in a past-life regression (or imagine as future lives) are at their core the archetypes and patterns of our current lives.
I also learned something important from Jeanne Avery at the American Federation of Astrologers convention back in 1992 that only today I truly understand — It’s not about finding answers; it’s about asking the right questions.
This is very much like querying a database. You write a query which returns a result. If you didn’t write your query correctly to answer the question you are asking, you return the incorrect result. That doesn’t make the result “wrong,” it simply means it didn’t answer the question you were trying to ask.
In searching for Jeanne Avery recently, I learned that she passed away earlier this year. It’s too bad that Scorpio sun Jeanne Avery isn’t here now to help us understand the incipient transit of Saturn into Scorpio.
Like any study, there is ebb and flow, peaks and plateaus. At a certain point in my study of astrology, I plateaued while trying to synthesize all of the information in a horoscope.
Astrology books published a couple decades ago were often on general topics. While every astrologer has a unique take, horoscope synthesis is difficult to tackle as a book subject.
Then along came Liz Greene and her astrology school with lecture books such as The Development of the Personality and Dynamics of the Unconscious that included topics such as alchemical symbolism in the horoscope, the puer and senex and parental marriage in the horoscope.
These topics were like going from Math 101 to physics in a day.
A Jungian psychologist by trade, Liz Greene can provide a depth in her analysis that the average astrologer isn’t privy too. For example, I once told a Venus in Leo woman that she was jealous. She claimed she wasn’t but that everyone around her was!
Liz Greene, through stories of analysands, as she calls them, can dissect a statement about jealousy to understand fully the dynamics of jealousy and how it’s represented and affected by a placement of Venus in Leo.
Reading Liz Greene and her students, I often wonder what kind of astrological thought could be produced if it were a subject one could study at major universities. I’m glad there are dedicated astrologers who devote their energies to the subject with or without reward and who have the courage and determination to open schools.
Today we have the blogosphere which provides a forum for professional and amateur (yours truly) astrologers to write and share.
It’s a delight and my own favorite blogs are on OHA blogroll. It’s amazing the variety and creativity of thought that exists that was once far away and inaccessible.
Great post.I liked it very much.
Liz Greene needs to take a course in kindergarten epistemology by Rudolf Steiner and read Richard Noll about spiritist Carl Gustav Jung.