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Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

Accessing the Soul through the Tarot

Monday, September 6th, 2010

by Vanessa Starr, M.A.

“Trying to fathom the eternal mysteries is like trying to empty the ocean with a teaspoon.” Saint Augustine

 When I began teaching the Tarot, the first item on my agenda was to expound on what the Tarot is. Inevitably, I would end up talking about its cloudy origins, tracking its nomadic history through many disparate cultures and countries. Or I would listen to myself intrapolate its relationship to the Kabbalah, or use metaphors like “mirror”, or Jungian terms, like “synchronicity”, falling back in desperation on what the Tarot does. (more…)

Celebrate your Sun Sign

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

“And God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good . . .”

So begins creation, as depicted in the first chapter of Genesis. We see the light, and also note that it’s good. Rare is the person who prefers rainy days or finds them anything but enervating or depressing. On sunny days we generally feel happier, more active.

Yet it’s easy to trivialize our Sun sign – the zodiac sign with which we identify when someone asks “What’s your sign?” It doesn’t really mean that much to say “I’m a Pisces, Gemini, Capricorn, or whatever, right? After all, it’s so familiar. One need have no knowledge of astrology whatsoever, nor even be aware of the complexity of this ancient art/science, to be able to look up your horoscope. We can read our Sun-sign horoscopes in the newspaper, hear them on the radio, or unroll a little scroll in the drugstore and find astrological insight. (more…)


Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

by Deena Grier

When I began to prepare this talk, I felt that I had to get a grip on the astronomy of Venus retrograde. Astronomy and I have never been good friends, but of late, we’ve begun to form an uneasy alliance. Erin Sullivan’s book, Retrograde Planets, was an enormous help. So I studied diagrams of Venus’s retrogradation — an event which occurs about every eighteen months. And I began to absorb the fact that the entire cycle is way more than the five wimpy weeks we see in the ephemeris. In fact, the whole thing could take up to a year. Bearing in mind that Venus can never be more than 48° from the Sun, we can see that point in mid-August of 2002, it’s retrograde conjunction with the Sun around November lst, and its direct conjunction in mid-August of 2003. Amplification of this is found in Sullivan’s book, but isn’t a requirement right now. There’s something far more interesting inherent in the retrogradation of Venus. (more…)

Traditions of Astrological Practice

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

by Cynthia D’Errico

Modern Western Astrology is based on traditions handed down by the Babylonians, Greeks, and other ancient civilisations. There is GEOCENTRIC practice which takes the earth as the centre of the universe. Although the earth revolves around the Sun, the astrologer’s point-of-view is how the planets affect us here on earth, the vantage point of sentient life embodied in matter.

There is also HELIOCENTRIC practice which is sun-centered and extrapolates from the planets’ (including earth’s) ever-changing relationships to the Sun information about people, events, and circumstances here on earth. In general, the planets, their continuously changing relationships to each other (called, aspects), the signs, and the houses are the flywheel of astrological practice and interpretation. Astrology is based on centuries of empirical observation of the relationship between the planets’ interaction and position. (more…)

Commonsense Definitions and Some History

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

by Cynthia D’Errico

Ancient Astrology:

Ancient Astrology was a religious world-view founded on the belief that man was part of the cosmos and nature around him. This cosmos was imbued with the intelligence and will of the gods (in monotheistic cultures, God). This greater intelligence could be appealed to through the rituals of astrology in order to discover or alter one’s fate. Man could negotiate the terms of his fate when his free will was exercised with sincerity, respect, and reverence for the will of the gods/God. Ancient Astrology was only one part of an integrated science (or, sapientia) which included alchemy and botany.

Modern Astrology:

Modern Astrology is the study of the confluent relationship between man and the universe, founded on the primary idea that planetary motion and cycles correspond to the evolution of the soul as well as life as manifest in matter on earth. This ancient tradition of regarding man as part of, and a participant in, an integrated energistic universe is now being broached in modern physics.. The language of Astrology has changed over many centuries as man’s self-perception and ability to articulate that perception has evolved, but Astrology’s premise remains the same.Astrology is not magic, but rather a way of discovering our place in the vastness of the universe we live in and harmonizing our personal energies with the energies the cosmos continuously emanates.

[Excerpts that I liked from Astrologers I respect]

Soul Food….on the Birth Chart

“…the chart is a mirror of the Soul’s evolutionary intent and plan over the course of the lifetime, an intent that has manifested in matter, in the form of our unique physical bodies….The chart also provides insight into the past life–unresolved complexes and issues contained in the cellular memory (which Jung calls collective consciousness).”

From Uranus-Neptune in Capricorn: The Spiritualization of Matter by Cynthia Hill, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and astrologer (quoted in The Mountain Astrologer magazine, 1995.) ….on Death

“When earlier peoples worshipped the cyclically renewing Moon (as early as 38,000 BC), they had an implicit understanding of rebirth or reincarnation. They saw the Moon disappear, but they also saw her reappear. There was no reason to think that human life was any different from the cosmic and vegetative cycles with which their lives were so attuned.

At this time, humanity operated primarily out of a right-brain consciousness, in an intuitive manner, where the end and beginning are connected, and it sees how things are alike rather than different….Left-brain functioning is analytical and logical, but it is also linear…in which there is a beginning, middle, and end. But the end is no longer connected to the beginning. It was at this point (about 3,000 BC) that humanity began to greatly fear death because it was no longer connected to renewal.”

An interview with Demetra George, cited in The Mountain Astrologer) ….On

“Fate & Transformation” Man’s nature could be transformed “through experience of, and interchange with, the world of images which we would now call the fantasy products of the unconscious….Images had the power to alter or mediate the effects of planetary fate on the physical plane….If one considers the horoscope as the written law of the heavens, then there are different levels upon which fate might enact itself. These different levels are perhaps intimately connected with the inner attitude of the individual and with his relationship, or lack thereof, with the world of images and symbols.”

From The Astrology of Fate by Liz Greene, p. 128-9. ….on Oneness

“…everything in form, in matter, is the energy of the Spirit in various manifestations and functioning at different rates of vibration. All conscious matter, from the most minute cell to the grandest being, is in a constant state of evolution and growth along the spiral Path to the Mountaintop, towards…reunion with the One…. In this way, we take the next giant step on the evolutionary journey towards expansion of consciousness.”

From Cynthia Hill, cited above…..on “Fate & Free Will”

We live out our destiny when we become aware that ‘what happens outside’ is a reflection of ‘what happens inside (us)’. “When an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as fate. That is to say, when the individual does not become conscious of his inner contradictions, the world must perforce act out the conflict (for him)…..” Carl Jung

Astrology and Spirituality

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

The ancient art/science of astrology has existed for at least 4,000 years, with some estimates as high as 6,000, and every known advanced civilization has developed some form of it.

Yet it has also been perhaps the most controversial and maligned system of knowledge in recorded history. Throughout the ages, astrology has come under fire by many affiliated with mainstream or fundamentalist religions.

Such attacks usually result from misunderstanding. Astrology does not conflict with any religious or spiritual belief, and can – when applied with sensitivity and hopefully some wisdom – be used as a tool to help gain greater understanding on many levels.

As astrologer Jeff Jawer maintains: “We can be Buddhist astrologers, Christian astrologers, neo-pagan astrologers, born-again Jewish, Hindu, Sufi, or agnostic astrologers . . . All that counts is whether or not we help our clients.” (Communicating the Horoscope, Llewellyn 1995)

Most modern practitioners consider themselves part of the healing community, taking a holistic approach to helping people live more fully and more in tune with the cycles of the universe. Many in the general public appear to believe astrologers view celestial phenomena as causing events to happen. Actually we concern ourselves solely with mapping phenomena and cycles, and interpreting correlations.

Astrology is a tool for understanding, and thus neutral in any spiritual or religious debate. A hammer has no opinion about how anything should be constructed. It is useful unto itself, but give to a two-year-old child and you have an engine of destruction. Place the same hammer in the hands of a master craftsperson and she can create a work of art. The difference lies in how the tool is applied — and who is wielding it.

Much as the early practitioners did, astrologers today construct a map of the sky for a given individual’s birth or the time of an event. Various analyses are applied and from the data derived, conclusions are generally based on empiric evidence; i.e., relying on past experience and observation.

The analyses, however, have grown increasingly more sophisticated over time, with new methods being tried, huge computer databases compiled, research findings debated, etc.

How the conclusions based on observing past correlations are interpreted and applied continues to be subjective. Every astrologer has a personal approach, which generally comes under one of three categories: event-oriented, psychological or metaphysical.

Many astrologers only work with the numbers. They feel their clients want to deal with events in their lives. If a certain configuration statistically points to the possibility of a love relationship beginning, then that is the information that should be conveyed to the client.

Researchers working with the financial and stock markets are very much concerned with cycles and historic research, as are those dealing with political or sociological trends. Medical astrologers also utilize astrological correlations to assist conventional therapists in pinpointing possible areas of disease or of vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Earlier this century, astrological thought took a giant leap forward when it melded with humanistic psychology. Mainstream psychologists estimate the average person uses between 10 – 20% of the potential of his or her mind. Through the astrological chart, we are able to see the whole range of potential, to pinpoint the progress within the cycle, and see where the greatest opportunity for growth lies.

“. . . The humanistic, person-centred astrologer sees the birthchart as a seed-pattern, describing what the individual may grow to become, what he or she is potentially; . . . the birthchart describes what experiences are needed to bring about the actualization of what is at the moment of birth only a set of potentials.” (Michael R. Meyer, A Handbook for the Humanistic Astrologer, Anchor Press/Doubleday 1974)

Many astrologers use astrology as a tool in metaphysical counselling. It is used to see where the past, present or future lessons lie, and to assist the counsellor in determining the client’s progress and current needs. But the interpretation here is very subjective, entirely dependent on the philosophical and spiritual outlook of the practitioner.

After all, “spirituality is, as spirituality does.” At the heart of using astrology wisely is to respect absolutely the level of the person being read. What is to one person a profoundly spiritual statement may to another appear an obvious platitude and to yet another be totally nonsensical.

No matter which type of astrological advice you opt for, the consultant should explain what she sees in terms you can understand. At no time should you allow yourself to feel you are being judged or put down. Before consulting anyone for spiritual advice, it would be wise to make certain the person’s beliefs are compatible with your own. This should be done prior to arranging a consultation. You should also get some kind of assurance about the kind of information you will be receiving.

There is no point to sitting and listening to someone go on and on about your karma if you are not really sure what that means or don’t believe in it. As well, if at any time during any kind of astrological reading, you should feel uncomfortable what is being said, speak up. Or, if you do not understand what is being said, or you feel certain views and beliefs are being imposed on you, you are within your rights to ask that the consultant shift into a mode you are comfortable with. If cooperation is not forthcoming, you should terminate the session.

The bottom line is that you should feel empowered after an astrological consultation – armed with greater understanding of the patterns that are unfolding, you should be better prepared to face the challenges before you. You should emerge from a session more certain of your direction and better able to make key decisions.

Whatever the approach – literal, psychological, metaphysical — we might agree with Tracy Marks, in The Astrology of Self-Discovery (CRCS 1985): “The chart is a map for discovering who we truly are and who we can become when we decide to take charge of all our disparate parts . . . Using astrology consciously, actively, constructively and responsibly, we can both discover ourselves and create ourselves in cooperation with universal forces.”

© 2000 Susan Kelly. This material is copyrighted and reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder. All rights are reserved, including electronic storage and transmission.

If you would like to reach Susan, you can email her at : or call (514) 270-8621


Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Astrology Montreal is a non-profit association dedicated to the study, advancement and enjoyment of astrology. Its mission is to organize events and lectures that will contribute to the promotion and development of astrological knowledge in the Greater Montreal area.

We aim to address the needs of as many people as possible, from those who are just beginning the study of astrology to professionals. A variety of astrological resources and information will be posted on this website. We hope you will find them useful and perhaps entertaining, and welcome your suggestions and contributions.