Thursday, December 9, 2010

Update on Proposed Q&A Site

I renamed the Astrology Q&A proposal to Divination, and included Tarot and Numerology. There's a lot of synergy between the three, and all three will be used in the book I'm working on. If you're interested in having a nice place on-line to discuss any of these topics, I encourage you to visit the site and sign up.

EDIT: The stackexchange site didn't happen, but it turns out that there's a new site devoted to astrology questions and answers:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

New StackExchange Astrology Site

I've proposed a new site on If enough people sign up, they'll host the site free. Please visit and become a follower.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Work in Progress: Better Living through Mythology

Last Sunday, I was at a local Tarot group meeting. We were discussing correspondences between the Zodiac signs and the Court cards. Someone at the meeting asked for recommendations for a book covering the correspondences in detail, and none of us could think of any, so I decided to write my own. The correspondences will be the core of the book, but the book as a whole will be about the use of astrology and tarot to plan your personal development and spiritual path. At some point in the future, I'll have a draft on line. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Easy World: A Spiritual Path for the New Millenium

One evening after work a few years ago, I was driving home in the middle of rush hour, and suddenly noticed that there were very few other cars around, and that I was getting a lot more green lights than usual. At the time, I wondered if I had unwittingly entered a parallel universe.  It turns out that I did, and that the parallel universe even has a name: Easy World.

Getting to Easy World seems easy enough at first glance: "I choose to live in Easy World, where everything is easy." Just say that, breathe, relax, allow and enjoy. There's a catch: you have to leave a few things behind in order to stay in Easy World. No, not your money or possessions, it's actually a lot worse than that. You have to leave behind your fears, worries, anger, and (this is the one most of us will have a problem with) negative judgements.

Those of you who are fans of A Course in Miracles or who study Taoism will find yourselves in familiar territory here. So is the book a waste of time? Why not just buy, for example, the Tao Te Ching?

Here's why: the Tao Te Ching is a great book, but it was written a very long time ago, for people of a different culture, in a different language. I'm sure a Westerner could understand it to a degree after years of study, but I'm even more sure that it wouldn't be to the same level as someone who lived in China when it was originally written. The great books and myths of the past have to be restated periodically in current language and culture. Choosing Easy World is a perfect example of why: anyone can read this book and get the basic point right way, and they are automatically on the path just by trying to stay in Easy World for as long and as often as possible.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Modern Astrology and Hellenistic Astrology

For the past year, I've been studying Hellenistic astrology intensively with a long-term goal of determining how much of it is applicable to modern-day people and concerns. Hellenistic astrology is astrology as practiced by Greek-speaking people around the Mediterranean Sea between 1400 and 2000 years ago. Fate is much more emphasized than in modern astrology, but that is most likely a reflection of the philosophy (Stoicism) current at the time. Modern astrology, on the other hand, is very much about psychological issues and avenues for personal development. This suggests a synergy which I'll discuss shortly.

The cornerstone of stoicism, as I understand it, is the concept of the universe and the events that take place within it as being an orderly, interconnected system. In fact, some of the Stoic writings go so far as to say that the universe is the body of God. Events in this paradigm are not seen as random, but instead as planned by something much bigger than all of us. This brings to mind a modern saying: "Everything happens for a reason." The fact that we still say this even though we officially have free will and independent lives indicates to me that we're still (in America, at least) Stoics at heart. Because Hellenistic astrology is based on that philosophy, I think it essential that it be integrated into common practice.

That brings me to the synergy that I alluded to earlier. Hellenistic astrology is descriptive; it describes the native and a roadmap of the native's life. Modern astrology is prescriptive; it offers suggestions about issues that need to be addressed, and needs of the native that may need more attention. My contention is that the two styles of astrology are complementary. More on this later as I work out more of the details.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Book Review: Predictive Astrology

As I mentioned in a previous post, one of the things astrology can do for us is predict coming influences and their possible effects. If you are interested in learning how to do that for yourself and possibly others, Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark by Bernadette Brady is required reading. I've been following my own transits (the interactions between the current positions of the planets and their positions in the birth chart) for the past year and a half. With the aid of this book, I now have a solid understanding of how transits work and some familiarity with progressions, which model the continuing development of the planets in the birth chart.

The eagle and lark in the title are from a parable given at the beginning of the book. According to the parable, the lark wants to sing to the gods, but can't fly high enough, so he enlists the help of the eagle, who can fly higher than any bird, and together they visit the gods and the lark sings to them. The eagle represents reason, the lark intuition, and both are essential in the practice of astrology. The book, of course, can only help with the reason and technique part; on the other hand, you probably don't need help with intuition, though you may think you do.

The book gives solid explanations of both transits and progressions, how they operate, and how to predict their effects. A powerful tool given in the book is called a time map, and is a graph of transits and progressions during a time period. The time map uses another tool called the transit grid, which lists the transit type and the houses (which represent areas of life) that will show the causes of the related events, the place where the main action occurs, and the areas that will be affected as a final result.

This book isn't for beginners (they should read Astrology for Yourself: How to Understand And Interpret Your Own Birth Chart first), but I recommend it for anyone who seriously wants to learn astrology.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What Can Astrology Do For You?

Astrology is the study of cycles. You are familiar with the yearly cycle of the Sun, and the roughly monthly cycle of the moon, but there are other cycles that have been known for thousands of years, and they all can have profound effects on our lives.

The foundation of astrology is the natal chart, which records the positions of all of the cycles at the time of your birth. These positions are not only the starting point of your life, but they also outline your basic characteristics, and the issues you will have to address. Some of these issues are very deep-seated, and could take years of therapy to uncover, but a good astrologer can sometimes identify them within minutes.

In astrology, each of these cycles is assigned to a "planet." I use the word in quotes because in astrology, the sun and moon are also considered to be planets, according to the ancient definition, which is simply objects that change their relative positions in the sky. Each planet, and the cycle corresponding to it, represents a part of us. The sun, for example, represents our basic identity, while the moon represents our emotional needs. The Greeks gave the names of their gods to the planets, which is important because it shows that we should give attention and respect to all of the different facets of ourselves. Doing this allows what Karl Jung referred to as "individuation," which is realizing our true natures. Astrology can help us do that.

Your natal chart is based on the positions of each planet at the time of your birth. At this point, you are essentially given your own personal copy of the planets, which continue to move at slower rates. These slower movements are called progressions. Meanwhile, in the outside world, the continuing movements of the planets will at times interact with the positions given in your natal chart; these interactions are called transits. Both transits and progressions can cause changes in mood, and serve as catalysts for life changes. Advance knowledge of these events can help you prepare for them so that you can take advantage of favorable events, and minimize the disruption unfavorable events could cause.

In order to give you an accurate reading, you will need to have available the date, time and place of your birth. Ideally, all three of these items should come from your birth certificate. Relying on memory doesn't work well for this. If you can also provide a list of ten or so significant events in your life along with the dates on which they occurred, that list can be used to derive a more exact time of birth. This process is called rectification. Types of significant events for this purpose include births, deaths, accidents, job changes, marriages, divorces, and pretty much anything that had an impact on your life.

So what can be done with your birth chart? Two things: the first is tracking the continuing cycles of your transits and progressions to monitor and prepare for celestial events that will affect you; the second is to prepare a game plan for your future development. We are all gods and goddesses in training, and with astrology, your training can be conscious and planned.

So have your chart done, and change your life into a magical journey.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Astrological Consultations Now Available

Over the next few weeks, I'll be working on a website, new business cards and brochures. If you're interested in having a reading in the meantime, you can contact me at the e-mail address listed in my profile.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Book Review: Classical Medical Astrology

Warning: Don't try anything in this book at home. The medical establishment (or more accurately, its government representatives) may come to your house and confiscate your astrology books and throw you in jail. If this happens, it's not my fault. Ha, ha, only serious.

Now that the disclaimer's out of the way, I've posted a bit on my other blog about the health care industry in America, it's problems, and the purported attempts to fix it. I say "purported" because I haven't seen anything in the recent health care reform debate to indicate that the root of the problem is even known. Yes, there is waste, and it's also true that prescription drugs and hospital visits are appallingly expensive. But here's the thing: the prescription drugs and hospital visits would be worth every penny if they worked. By "worked," I mean that if you take a prescription or visit the hospital, the problem that induced you to seek help is gone, permanently, at some point in the near future. If you have to keep taking the drugs, the treatment didn't work; the problem is still there, it's just being masked by the drugs. If you have to go back to the hospital because your cancer came back somewhere else, the treatment didn't work.

Now, hospital visits and prescriptions work well for things like a broken arm, or strep throat. For other conditions like high blood pressure and acid reflux, treatment (not a cure) is the best we can hope for. But what if there are alternative methods that would work better and cost less? Should we really refuse to consider them just because they don't conform to our scientific model?

The alternative option I want to talk about today is outlined in Classical Medical Astrology: Healing with the Elements by Oscar Hofman. This book is not for beginners, but astrologers will find the basic concepts of medical astrology here and pointers to other sources. Non-astrologers may want to read the book anyway for a new perspective on what is possible using this method, and what was done in the past. The book starts with some background history, then goes on to explain the classical medical model, including the four humors, which correspond to the four classical elements. After describing how astrology fits in to this model, the book has some case studies that serve to illustrate the different concepts. There is also information about using herbs and crystals to help in treatment.

Now, none of this will ever be FDA-approved. Medical astrology just doesn't fit the model. Double-blind testing doesn't work if different people respond differently to treatments, which for that reason have to be customized. But please remember that the current scientific medical model got us where we are today. For better results, we may have to expand the model.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Book Review: Natural Born Soulmates

Yes, I'm reviewing another "Law of Attraction" book about finding a soulmate. I'm still recommending The Soulmate Path: Find the Love You Want and Strengthen the Love You Have, but Natural Born Soulmates: Follow Your Inner Wisdom to Lasting Love by Lauren Thibodeau has a slightly different target audience and covers a different set of issues.

The first key concept that sets this book apart is the division of soulmates into three categories: "Karmic Connections" who present you with unfinished business that needs to be cleaned up, "Balance Partners" who offer support and lessons (but not necessarily pleasant lessons), and "Heartmates"who are people to we can build happy, healthy and growing passionate relationships with.

The second key concept is a list of five attitudes that commonly block us from finding Heartmates, and keep us stuck with Karmic Connections or Balance Partners. I'll just list them, as they basically speak for themselves:

  1. I'd rather be anything but alone.
  2. But I see such potential.
  3. It's just that I love you so much.
  4. I won't be hurt like that again.
  5. All of the good ones are gone.
If at least one of the above five statements sounds familiar, then this book will have something helpful for you. The book does claim to be written for women, but the advice and concepts pretty much apply to everyone. And I promise this will be the last soulmate book I talk about at least for a few months.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Book Review: The Vibrational Universe

I should probably start off with a warning: this review is going to be about yet another "Law of Attraction" book. The Vibrational Universe: Harnessing the Power of Thought to Consciously Create Your Life by Kenneth James Michael MacLean definitely falls into that category. But please bear with me, and don't say "Been there, done that, got the T-shirt" just yet. The book actually raises an important point which, in my opinion, is worth the price of admission. We tend to think of emotion and reason as two separate things. This book says that your ability to reason is affected by your emotional state, and that sufficiently negative emotional states can inhibit the ability to reason entirely. The corollary is that we're better able to deal with problems that come up if we can find something to feel better about first.

To that end, the book includes a scale of emotions, ranging from apathy at the extreme negative end, to serene bliss at the extreme positive end. This is important because changing our emotional state only works well a couple of steps at a time. It's hard to go from apathy to enthusiasm, but taking a couple of steps up through grief and anger works better. This also means that you can't lift someone else's mood if you're too far above them on the scale without approaching them, at least temporarily, from a lower spot.

The rest of the book won't have many surprises for those of you who have been following this blog for any length of time, but the book is a very good introduction to the Law of Attraction and related concepts.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Divination and the F-word

I'm going to start this article with the f-word, just to prove a point. Here goes: fortune-telling. There, I said it. Those of you who do Tarot and/or astrology readings are most likely chuckling silently (or laughing out loud) right now, while the rest of you are wondering if you missed a joke. Well, you did. The joke is that tarot and astrology would be nothing more than slightly more effective psychoanalysis if they had nothing to do with fate and the future, but we as readers do everything we can to hide from that fact.

Let's start with an admission. All of us who do readings, if we are any good, at least at times know what is going to happen. We can argue about whether it's fated by the planets or our intuition is looking at a possible future, and we can hide behind archetypes and psychological complexes, but the basic fact that foreknowledge does occur is still there. And it's not going away.

Now that we've acknowledged the elephant in the living room, I'm going to tell you that it's not really an elephant. Here's what an old-school philosopher (Ptolemy) had to say on the subject:

For, first of all, it is necessary to consider that even for events that will necessarily result, the unexpected is apt to cause delirious confusion and mad joy, while foreknowing habituates and trains the soul to attend to distant events as though they were present, and prepares it to accept each of the arriving events with peace and tranquility.

This is true as far as it goes, but it leads to something we all as readers should consider: our clients worry about the future. That's why they come to us. If we can tell them what's in (or could be in) their future, they can stop worrying about it, and instead think about something more useful and important: what to do about it.

Monday, February 1, 2010

2012: An Alternate Prediction

I'm sure you've heard about the predictions around 2012. Most predict either a violent cataclysm or universal enlightenment. I have a prediction of my own, which is in some ways not so bad, but even more frightening in others.

Here goes: All of the books on psychic development I've read say that everyone has psychic abilities. With Neptune entering Pisces in February 2012, it's quite possible that these psychic abilities will awaken on a large scale, and there's some anecdotal evidence that the process has already begun. There are books in every Borders and Barnes and Noble that I've been to that have methods of awakening these capacities that are known to work.

Not so bad on the surface, but think about it. There would be people all around you who know what you're thinking, your dirtiest fantasies, and your most shameful deeds. It could usher in a new era of peace based on understanding and compassion if handled correctly, or all hell could break loose. My money's on the latter, followed by the former. In any case, you can help by investigating the matter yourself. It will definitely be better to develop these abilities in a conscious, controlled manner. I recommend You Are Psychic: The Art of Clairvoyant Reading & Healing for you High Priestesses, and You Are Psychic!: The Free Soul Method for the Magicians.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Book Review: The Soulmate Path

I have a theory developed while reading The Soulmate Path: Find the Love you Want and Strengthen the Love You Have by Monte Farber and Amy Zerner. The authors don't explicitly state this theory in their book, but it seems to be implied by what they've written. So here goes: soulmates are not born, they are grown. A soulmate relationship is not necessarily predetermined before birth, but is definitely a result of a process in which two people acquire a deep understanding of each other, and a closeness that results in the two preferring each other's company to anyone else's.

The authors have a method of finding a soulmate that I haven't seen anywhere else:
...if you put your efforts into becoming yourself fully and do your best to realize your potential and find out who you are and what you are capable of, you will become the kind of person your Soulmate will want to meet and stay with.
Well, that sounds like a well-defined, workable plan to me, so I'm trying it. The book also has very helpful advice for how to deal with issues such as children, abuse and commitment, and some delightful stories about how the authors found each other, and a set of affirmations toward the end for those of you who are into that sort of thing. I highly recommend the book for anyone who wants to find a new relationship or improve an existing one.

Monday, January 4, 2010

My Online Readings: an Update

I've been doing free readings online at The Free Tarot Network for a little over a month. The readings have gone well, and I've gotten some positive feedback. It still amazes me (though I know it shouldn't) that I can do a reading for someone thousands of miles away and have a relevant card come up.

I've also noticed that the reading requests tend to cluster around themes that are also active in my life. A couple of books that I've read said that would happen, so maybe that's a self-fulfilling prophecy, but it is what it is. In any case, I'm learning as much from the readings as the people I'm doing the readings for.

The most important thing I've learned so far is that sometimes having the right answer isn't as important as asking the right question.