An Astrological Journey
The sequence of the signs of the zodiac reveals an archetypal journey from the first impulse arising in Aries through completion and dissolution in Pisces. This sequence can be applied to any endeavour and I have chosen to use this structure to describe my journey into astrology.
Aries – The Beginning
My long-time interest in astrology became serious when I fell in love with a Scorpio. Knowledge is power and I was prepared to utilise any tool at my disposal to learn everything I could to help me understand this man and answer important questions like, are Geminis a good match for Scorpio (not really). A few weeks later Mr Scorpio was history, nevertheless, I think fondly of him for setting me on this path.
Taurus – Consolidation
In the course of obsessively studying the characteristics of Scorpio I learned to cast my own chart. No small feat as this was long before all those nice astrology computer programmes came along. I was amazed at how accurately it reflected my character though I tended to ignore the interpretations that were, for one reason or another, displeasing. I discovered that there was a good deal more to astrology than the sun sign forecasts in the papers. As there was so much to learn I never got bored. This was to be a life-long commitment.
Gemini – Education and Communication
I read everything I could lay my hands on. There wasn’t nearly as much literature available as there is now. Serendipitously I had two friends whose relatives helped me on my way. The father of one gave me his old astrology books when he learned of my interest. Another had an uncle, Rupert Gleadow who was a well-known astrologer who shared some of his knowledge with me. I began to study my friends’ charts as well as my own and was happy to share whatever insights I had discovered. People love to hear about themselves and I became quite popular at parties.
Cancer – Motherhood and Retreat
Life moves on and I became a mother and that was my main preoccupation for the next couple of years and astrology among other things was on hold. But not completely—I remember that as my son was being born, I kept my eye on the clock. Crucial to get the correct birth time. Unknown to me in my little cocoon, astrology was beginning to have a resurgence. There were associations being formed and courses one could take but I had other priorities. The years go by and I earn a living as an editor and get a degree in biochemistry. (In that incarnation I keep very quiet about my interest in astrology.)
Leo – Going Public
The various twists and turns of life lead me to Findhorn, a spiritual community where I do not have to conceal my interest in astrology and where my expertise is appreciated. I had been studying it for about 20 years and now feel confident enough to offer my services professionally. It’s nerve racking at first. It’s one thing to casually tell a friend what you see in their chart and quite another to deliver a professional service to a client and get paid for it. But it worked out finel. People seemed to like what I did and clients kept coming. I didn’t need to advertise. It was all word of mouth. My confidence grew as did my experience.
Virgo – Improving Skills, Teaching, Writing
The advent of personal computers and astrology software freed up time spent in tedious calculations for more interesting things like interpreting charts and researching different methods of working. I moves to the US to work for Samuel Weiser, a publisher of occult and spiritual books. As the editor, Betty Lunstead was an astrologer, we published astrology books as well. I got to edit Liz Greene and Bernadette Brady and I read a lot. I moved to Portland Oregon where I wrote for the Oregon Astrological Association magazine and designed and taught a basic astrology class at the Portland Community College that was very well received. I taught the same course when I returned to Scotland.
Libra – Relating to Clients
I never use computer generated interpretations so I have to synthesise the often conflicting information in a chart in a way that makes sense to the client. A reading for a 17-year-old girl will not be the same as for a 50-year-old man with health problems. This is where common sense and intuition step in. It’s important to establish a good rapport with the client. If it’s there, it’s easy to be spot on. If it isn’t, I can’t make it happen but the basic rules of astrology will see me through. Important point to remember: do not project my issues on to the clients and imagine that theirs are similar.
Scorpio – Going Deeper
Over the years I have become increasingly aware of the psychological depths that this system is capable of. CG Jung discovered that astrology complemented his model of the psyche very well, though his support for astrology did not do his reputation much good at the time. Jungian psychology and astrology form a perfect partnership where each enhances and deepens the other. While many astrologers, including me, come from a Jungian perspective (Liz Greene has created a superb synthesis of the two) the therapists have on the whole yet to return the complement.
Sagittarius – Expanding into the World
I discovered that there are other applications of astrology beyond exploring personal psychology and self-awareness. Mundane astrology, the study of history and politics among other things. I found a deeper understanding of these subjects by applying astrology. Peoples, countries, intellectual movements, events can all be viewed through the astrological lens. And there is divination—looking into the future with horary.
Capricorn – Practical Considerations
This is all very interesting but is astrology really a productive way to spend my time? Is it putting bread on the table? Only up to a point. If earning money was my top priority, I would not devote myself to astrology—though it can sometimes reveal where it may be found. I feel that any study that increases my understanding of life is worthwhile whatever the financial rewards. In the sense that astrology can help us learn to manage our lives better it is very practical indeed.
Aquarius – Connecting with Humanness
I find that the practice of astrology promotes tolerance and acceptance of people as they are. All of the archetypal patterns that show up in the chart are of equal worth and necessity. The almost limitless permutations of these energies can describe the unique individuality of each person and shows me how wonderfully varied human nature is. I use astrology to encourage people to accept themselves as they are and to develop their own potential rather than aspire to some ideal that may not suit them.
Pisces – The Oneness of the Universe
The journey is not over so I can’t really end here. There is always more to discover and learn about this art. My work has left me with a conviction that the cosmos is as indivisible whole where each part is connected to everything else, where there is variety but no separation. How else would I be able to look at the sky for knowledge about human affairs and have it be true.