I picked up the latest issue of The Mountain Astrologer, which is the most respected North American astrological trade magazine, and considered the banner promise on its cover: “2016: The Next Five Years [of] Technology, Culture, and Planetary Cycles”. Wow. Great. Everything you’d want to know—except, I realized, that I didn’t know what I wanted to know. If astrology could tell me all that—and I firmly believe that it can—what kind of foreknowledge would be useful?
Now I specialize in psychological astrology: I counsel people on the basis of their charts, or the charts of their significant others, if relationship is the issue before us. Together we consider the context of their world: what traits they were given in this life; how they have developed or ignored them; how they are affected by the times and society in which they live. It’s all there in their charts; and the information is useful when making choices and decisions. Nothing’s written in stone, but the trends are clear: my job is to present them to my clients, so that they can organize their lives as they see fit. It’s all straightforward, and specific to THEM; but what of the wider world?
The trends described in The Mountain Astrologer are fascinating. They range impressively from technological invention to microbial wars, from financial forecasting to political paroxysms. These contributing astrologers—tops in their specialized fields—write well; and I can follow the speculative astrologese and the planetary logic; but to what purpose? Why do I need to know these things?
As a citizen, I work at keeping current with the news; I too can be overwhelmed by it. But as an astrologer, I have tools that give me insight as to why certain things may be happening. Which is sometimes invaluable; but it also moves my attention in particular directions, which may or may not be useful to me or my clients; so I have to focus. Despite our incomprehensibly vast access to data through the Internet, our spheres of attention are actually quite limited and personal; and it is in those areas that we work. What do we actually need to know?
Learn astrology? You? Yes, why not?
A couple of days ago, I wrote a quick-and-dirty account of MY journey to the profession. It boiled down to “read--experimented—found great teachers—met a role-model”. That was my path; but it isn’t everybody’s, and it may not be yours. There ARE others.
One thing you cannot get away from, however, is the need to read and think critically. This is important in any discipline: in a metaphysical realm, it is ESSENTIAL. How and whatever you read (and I have provided my own list of Important Astro-Books elsewhere), question everything, and weigh it against your own experience.
How does one become an astrologer? Ever wondered? It’s an individual journey, certainly; but perhaps because the Sun is transiting my natal Mercury, I thought about how I learned.
I READ. I read and read and read anything I could find on the subject. I read, and sifted, panning for astrological gold from silt; and in 1967, when I started, there was plenty of both. I read the material avidly, searching for nuggets that made my intuition hum. By the time I found a teacher, I was already pretty versed in divining dross and discarding it.
I got into astrology to DISPROVE it. To save the world from this potentially dangerous charlatanry. I was on a Quest.
The most important thing for anyone learning astrology to do is to READ—copiously and critically. I keep a running list of astro-books which have been important to me (and YOU SHOULD, TOO!) Light your imagination…illumine your mind!
Busteed, Marilyn; Tiffany, Richard; and Wergin, Dorothy, Phases of the Moon: A Guide to Evolving Human Nature, Shambhala: Berkeley. 1974
Carter, Charles E.O., The Principles of Astrology, 1925
Carter, Charles E.O., An Introduction to Political Astrology, 1951
Davison, Ronald, Synastry: Understanding Human Relations through Astrology, ASI Publications: New York. 1978
Dodson, Carolyn R., Horoscopes of the US States & Cities, ACS: Pelham. 1975
George, Demetra, and Bloch, Douglas, Asteroid Goddesses: The Mythology, Psychology, and Astrology of the Re-Emerging Feminine, 2003
Goodman, Linda, Sun Signs, Mass Market Paperbacks: 1985 (originally published 1968)
Green, Jeff, Pluto: The Evolutionary Journey of the Soul, Llewellyn: St. Paul. 1985
Greene, Liz, Saturn: A New Look at an Old Devil, Weiser: New York. 1976
Hand, Robert, Planets in Composite: Analyzing Human Relationships, Para Research: Rockport. 1975
Hand, Robert, Planets in Transit: Life Cycles for Living, Para Research: West Chester. 1976
Hone, Margaret E., Applied Astrology: A Companion to The Modern Textbook of Astrology, Fowler: London. 1974
Hone, Margaret, E., The Modern Textbook of Astrology, Fowler: London. 1973
Jansky, Robert Carl, Interpreting the Eclipses, ACS: San Diego. 1979
Jansky, Robert Carl, Astrology Nutrition & Health, Para Research: West Chester. 1977
Michelsen, Neil F., The American Ephemeris for the 20th Century 1900 to 2000 at Midnight (Revised Edition), ACS: San Diego. 1988
Michelsen, Neil F., and Pottenger, Rique, The American Ephemeris for the 21st Century 2001 to 2050 at Midnight (Revised Second Edition), ACS: San Diego. 1992
Michelsen, Neil F., and Potenger, Rique, The Asteroid Ephemeris 1900 to 2050, Including Chiron and the Black Moon Lilith, ACS: San Diego. 1999
Parker, Derek, and Parker, Julia, The Compleat Astrologer, McGraw-Hill: New York. 1971
Penfield, Marc, Bon Voyage: An Astrological Study of Relocation, AFA: Tempe. 1992
Reinhart, Melanie, Chiron and the Healing Journey, Penguin: London. 1998
Roell, David R., Skeet Shooting for Astrologers, Astrology Classics: Bel Air, 2011
Rudhyar, Dane, An Astrological Mandala: The Cycle of Transformations and its 360 Degrees, Vintage: New York. 1974
Rudhyar, Dane, The Astrology of America’s Destiny, Random House: New York. 1974
Rudhyar, Dane, The Astrology of Personality: A Reformulation of Astrological Concepts and Ideals, in Terms of Contemporary Psychology and Philosophy, Lucis: New York. 1936
Rudhyar, Dane, The Practice of Astrology as a Technique in
Human Understanding, Penguin Books: New York. 1970
Sakoian, Frances, and Acker, Louis, The Astrologer’s Handbook, Harper & Row: New York. 1973
Sellar, Wanda, The Consulation Chart: A Guide to What It Is and How to Use It, The Wessex Astrologer Ltd: Bournemouth (UK). 2001
Shea, Mary Fortier, Planets in Solar Returns: Yearly Cycles of Transformation and Growth (Revised Edition) Twin Stars: Clinton. 1998
Tarnas, Richard, Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View, Plume: NY. 2006
Teal, Celeste, Eclipses: Predicting World Events & Personal Transformation, Llewellyn Publications, Woodbury (MN). 2006
Teal, Celeste, Identifying Planetary Triggers: Astrological Techniques for Prediction, Llewellyn Publications, Woodbury (MN). 2000
This is a personal (and partial) list, arranged only alphabetically. It is no accident that many of these titles hail from the 1970s: it was a period of astrological renaissance; and not at all coincidentally I began learning astrology at that time. There are many other fine tomes out there; but these have been and continue to be MY inspiration.
Ariel Harper Nave
“I believe that there is NOTHING sent us that we cannot handle if we know ourselves well enough and that’s why I do what I do.”