The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 23, titled:
With Chris Brennan
Episode originally released on February 2, 2015
Note: This is a transcript of an audio podcast. We strongly encourage you to listen to the audio version, which includes inflections that may not translate well when written out. Transcripts are created by using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and the text probably contains some errors and differences from the audio version. Please submit any corrections to Chris Brennan by email at email@example.com.
Transcribed by Mary Sharon
Transcription released March 3rd, 2021
Copyright © 2016 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hi. My name is Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. Today is Sunday, February 1, 2015. It’s approximately 9:50 pm here in Denver, Colorado. And this is the 23rd episode of the show. You can find more information about the show at the astrologypodcast.com, and you can also listen to us or subscribe to the show on iTunes. My topic today is I’m just going to be talking about– This is a solo show and I’m going to be talking about some things that I’m in the process of researching right now and just generally what I’ve been up to for the past few months since it’s been a while since I was regularly recording episodes. So yeah, I am currently in the process of finishing up my Saturn return. I was supposed to spend the past few months writing and finishing up a book I’ve been working on for several years on Hellenistic astrology. But that didn’t really come together as well as I’d hoped just because some of the Saturn return topics ended up being a little bit more challenging personally than I anticipated, and I got a little bit sidetracked. But over the past two weeks, I’ve been getting back on track and focusing on some upcoming sort of workshops and conferences and things that I’m going to be focusing on over the course of the next year and really getting back to focusing on my work. So a few things that I should mention right at the start are a few conferences and events that I’m speaking at that I really need to promote.
The first thing is; the American Federation of Astrologers is hosting a conference in Tempe, Arizona from April 9th through the 11th called The Cosmic Clocks Conference. The conference theme is cosmic clocks and I’ve been invited to speak there along with Demetra George, Benjamin Dykes, and Deborah Houlding with some additional presentations by Austin Coppock, Kenneth Miller, and Joy from Australia whose last name escapes me right now, and I feel really bad for that. I’ll remember her last name later in the show. That’s going to be a great conference. I spoke there I think back in 2011 at the first sort of conference like that they did where it was me and Demetra and Ben, and the entire conference was on traditional astrology. And there’s actually the recording of that is available on my website, and I’ll link to it on the page for this episode of the podcast. But the point of that entire program that we did back in 2011 was to sort of give a well-rounded overview of traditional astrology. And during this conference, I think we’re going to have something similar to that, except it’s going to be focusing on the theme of the extent to which astrology acts like a sort of a clock or to which the cosmos itself sort of represents a clock when viewed through the lens of astrology and some of the things that are associated with that conceptually and philosophically in terms of using astrology for timing, different timing techniques, and different sort of approaches to using astrology in order to know when to initiate certain types of actions.
For example, one of the talks that I’m giving at the AFA conference is going to be a sort of intro talk to electional astrology, which is going to be 10 tips for selecting or picking an auspicious electional chart, which I’ve sort of compiled together based on not just my sort of experience with studying electional astrology and studying the textual history of electional astrology in the western astrological tradition, but also I’ve been writing a column for the Mountain Astrologer for the past two or three years on electrical astrology. And that’s really forced me to refine and hone some of those skills when it comes to, you know, looking for an auspicious electional chart and what you try and get in the chart versus what you try and avoid. So they did an interview with me recently in order to promote the conference, and one of the things they asked was, one of the things that Demetra asked in the interview questions was, what have you learned from doing that electional column for the Mountain Astrologer in terms of improving your practice of electional astrology? And one of the things that I’ve really learned is how to prioritize what’s important in electional chart and what you need to have versus when to make concessions and when to know, you know, what’s okay to let go or what’s okay to have prominent in the chart, even though it’s against what you would otherwise consider as some core rule of electional astrology. For example, like, you know, when is it okay to have an electional chart that has Mercury retrograde or perhaps when is it okay for the Moon to be void of course in an electional chart, just to give a couple of examples. But more broadly, I mean, the process of doing electional astrology and writing this column for the Mountain Astrologer each month where you have to pick at least a few auspicious elections each month, has really forced me to realize that there’s no such thing as an ideal chart, usually within the timeframe that you’re looking at. And instead, you always need to keep in mind when you’re looking for an electoral chart, that you’re trying to find something that’s good or auspicious relative to the time that you have available. So there may be, let’s say you have a client or a friend or somebody like a sibling who wants to get married, and they tell you to find an auspicious electional chart for this summer for their wedding. And what you’ll find is that you’re not going to find an ideal electional chart during that time frame in all likelihood. There might be some ideal election 100 years from now in which all of the planets are in perfect positions for the ideal marriage election, but you can’t just tell, you know, your client or whoever your family member to wait 100 years to get married. They need to get married, you know, sometime soon in a practical timeframe within hopefully their lifetime.
You need to pick the best you can, you need to find the best chart you can relative to what’s available. And I think that’s a huge sort of psychological, not leap but it’s an important step to take in terms of really getting to the heart of how to apply electional astrology from a practical standpoint in terms of just looking at what’s available and finding the best out of what you have to work with. And doing that, the process of doing that is actually a little bit more complicated than one might assume. And it’s kind of an art or it’s kind of a skill, like a developed skill that you have to develop after doing it a lot of times and after looking at a lot of different timeframes and going through that whole process of sort of ranking things and making concessions about what you will allow to have in the chart versus what you won’t. So that’s one of the things I’m going to be talking about at the conference, electional astrology. I’m also going to give another talk on delineating the rulers of houses when they’re in other houses. Like what does it mean when the ruler of the 7th is in the 10th? Or what does it mean when the ruler of the 9th is in the 11th house? And how to not just delineate those placements, but how to determine when those placements will actually become activated and manifest as events or circumstances in the person’s life using the timelord technique known as annual perfections. So that’s sort of fitting in with the cosmic clocks sort of theme of the conference. And then finally, the other talk that I’m going to be giving is a tribute to the late astrologer James Holden.
James Holden was an astrologer and a historian of astrology who was associated with the American Federation of Astrologers and was their research director, I think, for at least for about 30 years, and he passed away about a year ago or a year and a half ago, I guess. So Holden had a really profound impact on my life because it was his book, A History of Horoscopic Astrology, which was written in 1996, that really ignited my passion for studying the history of astrology. And I definitely recommend that book to everyone. It’s been, what, ten, twelve years since I first read it, and it’s still probably if not my favorite book, it’s one of my favorite books in astrology at this point, sort of universally or at all. His work in the history of astrology definitely ignited my passion for studying the history of astrology and showed me the importance of studying the history of astrology, because by studying the history of astrology, you learn where the techniques that we use come from, you learn how they were developed, you learn what the conceptual rationale was for the development of some of the techniques.
As a result of that, I think that you can now also learn how to use some of the techniques more effectively, simply by knowing where they came from, how they were developed, and what the original conceptual rationale was. And even if you don’t necessarily go back and adopt the specific conceptual rationale that let’s say, an astrologer from 1,000 years ago or 2,000 years ago or 3,000 years ago used or applied to a specific aspect of astrology, just knowing where that came from and what that astrologers conceptualization of that astrological technique or concept was, can sometimes help you to more clearly define and understand what your own conceptualization of that specific astrological technique or concept or what have you is. So studying the history of astrology is very valuable, and I think Holden did a lot to advance that study within the context of the astrological community since he was an astrologer but he also had training in academia and training with ancient languages, and so on, and so forth. So that’s one thing that Holden did. He also produced a lot of translations that are very important for traditional astrologers today, and people that are going back and looking at the history of astrology and looking at some of the older, Renaissance and medieval and Hellenistic traditions.
Because by producing those translations, he actually made those texts accessible again to contemporary astrologers, who are not necessarily always proficient or fluent in ancient and oftentimes dead languages. So we need translations like those that Holden produced in order to read some of these texts again and gain access to the techniques that they contain. So he produced, I think, at least a half dozen, maybe a dozen or more translations of ancient texts that he’s published largely in the past decade, in the past 10 years before he passed away, right at the end of his life. And he certainly, as a community, I think we owe him a debt of gratitude for that work. And I think as some of these older forms of astrology become more and more prominent in the astrological community over the coming years or over the coming decades, his work will be recognized more and more as extremely important and influential within the context of that movement. So that’s one of the things I’m going to be doing, is giving a tribute lecture to James Holden in order to open up the conference. So it should be a very good conference, I really recommend everybody to check it out. I think you can look it up on the AFA website, which is astrologers.com. And I’ll of course have a link to it on the description page for this episode. So after that conference, AFA conference, which is in April, the next conference that I’ll be attending is the Northwest Astrological Conference, which I think will probably be the biggest conference of this year, because none of the other big organizations like the NCGR or ISAR are hosting a conference. Those usually tend to be the biggest conferences or sometimes when those organizations get together, they’ll form the United Astrology Conference, but that’s also not happening this year, which means NORWAC, which happens each year in May, will probably be the biggest conference with maybe two or three hundred people in attendance. And I think they have at least somewhere between a dozen and maybe two dozen speakers. So… NORWAC is a great conference. I’m going to be giving, let’s see, one talk there on interpreting the rulers of the houses in other houses. I’m going to be giving another talk there that I’m really excited about because it’s going to be the first time I’m giving this talk which is on how to set up and how to make sort of transition into the role of being a professional astrologer, basically how to become a professional astrologer and what steps you need to take in order to transition into that practice, to go from being an amateur astrologer that sort of knows about astrology but doesn’t really do it as a job or doesn’t charge for it or what have you to what it actually takes to start, you know, getting clients, to conducting consultations, to promoting yourself, promoting your work, and so on and so forth. So that’s one of the talks that I’m going to be giving at NORWAC.
I’m also going to be giving a pre-conference workshop on timing transitions and peak periods and how to time transitions and peak periods in a person’s life within the context of their career based on using the Hellenistic time lord or timing technique known as Zodiac Releasing. And Zodiac Releasing is really the big technique that I’m going to spend most of this year focusing on, and right now that’s where the majority of my research is going since that’s the technique that I use the most often I use it in every consultation I’ve been doing for over a decade now. And it’s my favorite technique because it was the most impressive technique that I found when I got into Hellenistic astrology. Because I saw that it could do really interesting and really amazing things like time when a person would hit a career peak or when a person would have a transition in their career so that they would leave their job and transition into another one or what have you. And that’s a large part of what I’m going to be teaching people at this pre-conference workshop, which is going to take place at the Northwest Astrology Conference in Seattle at the end of May. So I definitely recommend people sign up for that, since it should be an exciting and sort of interesting event. So that’s NORWAC. Finally, the third event that I’m taking part in this year at the very end of the year, this is going to take place in October, is a retreat that’s being organized by the Organization for Professional Astrology. So this is another organization that focuses specifically on training practicing astrologers and giving them skills in order to do like professional development training in order to become better at what they do and better specifically at the practice of using astrology within the context of a consulting setting. So what I’m going to be doing at the OPA retreat, which is going to last for three days is a three-day long intensive on Zodiacal Releasing. So the same technique that I’m going to be doing at the NORWAC workshop as a pre-conference thing, I’m going to be doing for three full days at the OPA retreat in October, where we’re going to be sort of learning how to use Zodiacal Releasing in order to time peak periods and transitions in the context of a person’s career and overall life direction. So I’m going to use some celebrity example charts so that you can see how the technique works from the charts of, let’s say, politicians and like musicians and other celebrities, how it can be used in order to time when a person will become eminent or prominent or when they’ll hit some sort of career peak that lasts for an extended period of time, let’s like let’s say a decade or two or three decades in some instances.
I’m also going to show how to time when people will have career changes, so that either their career abruptly ends and comes to completion in some sense or transitions so that they go from one career field in some instances to another. So that retreat is kind of unique because actually my group is limited to just 10 people, and three people already signed up. So there’s only seven spots left. It’s kind of unique and exclusive in the sense that just these 10 people are going to be involved in this three-day, sort of intense focus on this specific technique, where I’m going to get to outline essentially everything I’ve learned about the technique or from using it over the past 10 years. And we’re going to use each person, each of the 10 people who attend, the retreat’s not going to be recorded, so everything that happens at the retreat sort of stays in the retreat as part of this professional development program. And we have that privacy setup so that each person who is involved, each of the 10 people, can use and share their birth chart and we can go through their chronologies. So we’re going to go through all 10 people’s charts over the three days and use them as examples in order to learn how the technique works and to show how it’s used within the context of a consultation in order to give a person more insight into their career and into their life direction, both in terms of where they’ve been in the past as well as where they’ll be headed in the future. So that’s the third, at least at this point, event that I’m going to be doing is the retreat with the Organization for Professional Astrology in October, and that’s taking place in California at some place called Asilomar retreat center, which is somewhere outside of… I forget the name, but it’s somewhere in California. So look it up on the website. I’ll have a link to it on the episode page on the blog post for this episode. So just go to the astrologypodcast.com if you’d like to learn more, or search for the Organization for Professional Astrology, and you’ll find their website and then you can learn all about it.
Those are the three events that I wanted to promote and mention, so that’s a lot of what I’ll be focusing on over the course of the next year and of course the next several months as I prepare for those lectures and then go and actually give them. So in terms of some other topics, there’s one other piece of news, one that’s actually depressing news, which is that Jeff Jawer, who’s a sort of prominent astrologer who has worked together very closely for over 10 actually 15 or 20 years now with Rick Levine, and they together ran the popular website StarIQ.com and they also published a yearly astrology guide, I think that went for eight years at least, gave sort of like a daily astrological insights or horoscopes, and they’ve both done astrological columns and a podcast and all sorts of things. They’re both very prolific in their work on astrology. Jeff Jawer recently was diagnosed with cancer, and he’s in the process of fighting that right now. So his family has set up a charity page, and a lot of astrologers are donating to it. And I will include the link to that charity page. If any of you would like to donate some money to that cause, it would probably be worthwhile and worth it to do. Because that’s really tough. And it’s actually something I’ve become more and more aware of over the course of the past year or so. The issue of, you know, astrologers are self-employed people by and large, the vast majority of us are self-employed and have our own private practices. And oftentimes, there’s not… Most of us don’t have like a very big safety net when some sort of disaster or misfortune strikes. And so in those instances where stuff like that happens, it’s actually kind of important, I think, I’ve learned and realized over the course of the past a year as I’ve watched a few astrologers go through this, it’s important for the astrological community to sort of step up and help to provide some support or some sort of safety net for some of those people when they run into seriously hard times such as suddenly being diagnosed with cancer so that you can’t do consultations anymore. And suddenly you have you go from, you know, making whatever your regular income is to making absolutely nothing. That’s really hard to go through, not just for the person, but also for their family in some instances. And in many cases, the family, even family members who want to help that person aren’t necessarily in a position to support them. So we don’t have a lot of safety nets set up in the astrological community. And so in those instances, I think it’s important for individuals sometimes to try and help out when they can or in any way that they can. So a year ago, Kelly Lee Phipps, who was a younger astrologer who was in his, I want to say like late 30s, or early 40s at the latest, if I’m not getting that confused, he was diagnosed with brain cancer in October of 2013 and underwent chemotherapy for a few months, but ultimately was unsuccessful in fighting it. And he was in hospice for several months before passing away in early 2014. One of the things that we did that was kind of new or it was kind of a spur of the moment thing because Kelly lived in Boulder, and he had for the past several years. And I organized a local astrology group in Denver, here in Denver, Colorado, and Kelly had spoken for our group, I think once or twice, and he had attended a few meetings. And so we wanted to help him out when he sort of was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer essentially, and his family was trying to be there to support him, but didn’t necessarily have the financial resources to keep everything going. We sort of put together this impromptu fundraiser for Kelly. And I think this is something I’ve been meaning to talk about and write up at some point, because I think it was a good model that could be replicated and used by other groups when things like this happen in the future. Basically, what we did is we used one of our monthly local astrological meetings and we organized a sort of fundraiser, where we had a bunch of astrologers come in and do astrological chart delineations for, I think it was like 10 minutes, it was like 10-minute readings or consultations for charity, for like $10 each or something like that, I forget the exact amount, and the person could donate more if they wanted to. But it was like a specific amount like 10 minutes for $10. And all of the money then went towards Kelly and Kelly’s family and Kelly’s family was able to use it as they saw appropriate. But in doing that, I think we were able to raise somewhere around like $2,000 or something like that. So it was actually a serious amount of money that we’re able to do by getting together the community and doing chart readings for charity as well as doing a raffle and a bunch of different astrologers donated things to the raffle and that raised a lot of money as well. And yeah, that was a really successful event. So I don’t know that that’s necessarily something that’s happening in this case, but I’d always meant to mention it and talk about it, and at some point I’ll do a write up about it because I think other astrologers could probably do something similar in their local groups in order to support local members when they fall on seriously hard times. And I think that that would be an appropriate role for the astrological community to take.
I mean, one of the things that’s… One of the sort of observations that I’ve made about how things have changed in the past, let’s say, 10 or 20 years is I feel like the astrological groups like the national and sometimes international organizations like ISAR and the NCGR and AFAN and what have you, the American Federation of Astrologers, used to be more important for different reasons in the astrological community 20 and 30 years ago, especially prior to the internet, prior to the internet prior to the advent of like self-publishing through print on demand sites, prior to people writing blogs, and things like that. The astrological communities, astrological organizations used to provide a more vital role in terms of connecting other astrologers together and in terms of sometimes allowing for the publication of research that otherwise couldn’t be published, for organizing conferences that otherwise couldn’t be brought together or couldn’t be funded, they used to do a lot of things. But now there’s been this weird transition in the past 10 or 20 years where some of the things that the astrological organizations do are not as necessary or at least not as unique or not as unique to them. Because now, for example, you know, everybody has a website, everybody has the ability to publish their research or publish their articles on their own and have tons of people read it just through search engines or what have you. Astrologers also don’t necessarily need the organizations in order to organize groups anymore. I mean, like with my group or with many other groups, you can just go on meetup.com and you can form your own Meetup group in your city that meets for monthly meetings on astrology or what have you. And you don’t need any national organization in order to do that, in order to organize that at this point or get the word out about it. So in some ways, some of the national astrological organizations I feel like are having a bit of a crisis where they need to redefine what their purpose is and what they offer to the astrological community, what they offer to their membership that is unique and can’t be done elsewhere or that requires like a large organization or large groups of people in order to organize it. And I think one of the things that the astrological organizations do or can offer that’s unique is things like that, like the ability to help raise money for astrologers who are in need for the purpose of charity or for the purpose of emergencies. And that might be a good thing to think about for some of not just the national organizations, but even the local groups that even though this is something that I don’t think most local groups do commonly, that it probably should be something that the the local astrological organizations and groups think about more regularly as sort of part of their purpose to not just, you know, be a place where we go to once a month to see a lecture and then go home and forget about it, but to act is sort of like a support network for the local astrologers who are in their community. And I think that would be a valid way for some of the local and international astrological groups to sort of redefine what their purpose is in the 21st century. So that’s my thing about that. Yeah, and please check out the link that I’ll put on the episode show notes for this episode, which gives the link to learn more information about Jeff Jawer and the fundraiser that’s set up for him. Okay, so those are the main pieces of news.
Now in terms of things that I’ve been researching, I’ve got a few things that I’m working on recently that I wanted to talk about for the rest of this episode just to sort of clue you in on some of the research that I’ve been doing, because I find it kind of interesting. And I think, even though some of it’s things that I’ve already published elsewhere like on my other blog on the Horoscopic Astrology Blog or other websites of mine, it would be interesting to just talk about it for a little while in order to give you some idea of what I’m working on. So one of the things that I recently did was I’ve been getting really into data collection over the past year, I’d say at least 12 to, I don’t know, 14 months, I’ve been really focused on the issue of data collection, partially because I’ve been doing this new series of lectures for my introduction to Hellenistic astrology course where I take a lot of the basic techniques and concepts in Hellenistic astrology and some of the advanced concepts and then I just apply them to dozens and dozens of example charts in a single lecture in order to show how the techniques work out in practice. And one of the things that I needed to do before I could even do that, was I needed to get together a database of charts that I could draw on that I knew for sure were reliable. So one of the pieces of criteria that I really wanted to sort of lay down, not just for my course, but for my work in general going forward, is that I wanted to base the example that the statements that I make about example charts and the example charts that I use, I wanted to make sure that I was using good example charts, that I wasn’t just one, obviously that I’m not just like cherry picking, you know, specific examples in certain charts. But more importantly, that the foundation for all of the charts that I was using was strong in the sense that they had good birth times. And by good birth time, I mean, a birth time where there’s some clear sort of source or origin that links it back to a birth certificate or a birth record that seems reasonably reliable or is otherwise classified as double A data according to the Rodden Rating system, which is used by Astro-Databank, A data or B data, which is from a biography. So I tried to build a database that consisted pretty much exclusively of A data or double A data or in some instances, B data from biographies, so that I’m not using any birth charts where the birth time is like rectified or the birth time is hearsay or the birth time might come from a questionable source so that the birth time is questionable or up for dispute. And that became a huge issue to me because that’s actually a little bit more difficult than it sounds. Because there’s many celebrities and many people in the world who we’d like to have birth times for so you could look at the entire birth chart but who we don’t have births for and who either we just don’t have any birth time or the birth time that we have, sometimes we have conflicting birth times, like there’ll be three or four widely varying times for a single person. Sometimes the person themselves will give multiple reports. They’ll say to one person, I was born at 10pm, and then to another person, I was born at, you know, 5am.
There’s various reasons why we don’t have good birth times or really solid birth times for lots of people. And so when you actually have a birth chart or an example of somebody where you have their birth certificate and you know for sure that they were born at a specific time or you have a very strong statement from let’s say, like a parent or family member or an announcement that was made at the time that the person was born that has a specific time on it, and also ideally, a time that is exact like, let’s say, 2:53am versus around a time of, let’s say, noon or midnight or something like that that’s clearly rounded, it’s really unique and really special if you have an exact time that’s documented on something like a birth certificate. And while I won’t go as far as to say that that’s infallible, since there’s always the possibility that it was recorded wrong or there was something wrong where the nurse didn’t record the time until like 5 minutes or 10 minutes after the birth took place. It’s like I’m not saying that that’s not possible and we can rule that out, but at least if you start with or if you build a database where you’re primarily drawing on what are, by all other accounts, more reliable times that were documented at the time that the person was born, you’re in much better shape than you would be if you were just selecting randomly from different birth charts for various celebrities that are out there where the source of the birth time can vary in terms of its quality pretty widely. So that was one of the things I did, is build up a huge database of birth times. And I got really into studying sources for different birth times and using Astro-Databank, which is a huge repository. It’s a database for birth times basically, where they will list the person’s name and they’ll give a biography for the person and then they’ll list source notes. If they have a birth time for the person, they’ll say where it comes from, how reliable it the source probably is, and they’ll list if there are other conflicting pieces of birth information for that person. So they kind of document the entire case. So yeah, so over the past year or two, I’ve built up a database of a few hundred exactly timed birth charts of both celebrities or famous people, since I like to use celebrities as we’ve seen in a previous episode, where I debated with Kenneth Miller the pros and cons of using celebrity charts versus charts of normal people that, you know. I like celebrity charts partially because they have documented lives, and there’s something about that that’s useful in terms of making a statement about the person’s life that’s, let’s say, like less subject to interpretation or that’s documented, and therefore anybody can look that up and attempt to validate that as a fact like that, let’s say, for example Barack Obama was inaugurated on January 20, 2009, and that was when he became president of the United States. That’s like an agreed upon and well documented fact. And therefore, there’s no one that would argue that fact about that person’s life. So it gives us something that we can sort of objectively establish about that person’s life much more easily than, let’s say, that, you know, my cousin, you know, let’s say, got married last September at five o’clock in the afternoon. You know, nobody really documented that or that’s not something that’s like an unarguable fact that everybody knows. It’s just something that a few people know during that period of time that may or may not be documented. Anyway, so my point is that I started getting really into the process of especially verifying birth times for celebrities and seeing the importance of that and seeing how complicated it is and how you have to kind of almost become like a reporter or like an investigative reporter sometimes in order to verify or confirm certain birth times. So that’s been going on over the past year. And one of the things that I noticed for years now is about, I think it was in 2002, there was this website, this French website called Astrotheme that was started. And like Astro-Databank, they have a section on their site for celebrity birth charts, and they list the birth times of celebrities. And starting by like 2005, 2006, 2007, Astrotheme started coming up very frequently in the search results. So if you did a search for like, let’s say, the birth time of Barack Obama… No, that wouldn’t be an example back then. But let’s say the birth chart of Bill Clinton or the birth time of Bill Clinton, Astrotheme would come up in the results, like the Google search results next to Astro-Databank’s entry for the same person. So they were showing up very prominently. But one of the issues that myself and a number of other astrologers that I know realized at the time, pretty much most astrologers that I’ve talked to about this, is that Astrotheme would often list the time that celebrities were born, but they wouldn’t list what the source was of that birth time. And in some instances, like Astro-Databank would have an entry for a celebrity, and in their source notes, they would say no known birth time or they would say, conflicting birth time so that the case is uncertain, and nobody should take it for granted what this person’s birth time is. But then you’d go over to Astrotheme, and they would have a single specific birth time that this was definitely the person’s birth time, but they wouldn’t list a source. So as a result of that, I sort of and I know a friend of mine wrote in in 2009 and asked them basically to start listing sources on their birth times or asked them very politely if they would, and they basically wrote back saying that that would take too much work, that there were too many entries and therefore it wasn’t practically feasible for them to do that, which is sort of arguable. But basically, they wrote back saying, no, we’re not going to list our sources. But if you ever have a question about a birth time, then just write to us and we’ll let you know what it is.
So he wrote back saying, “Okay, tell me the source of this one birth time.” And they sent him back a link to some website and said, “Here it is, here’s the source. This website says the same birth time that we have.” But the problem with the website that they linked to is that on that webpage, it said that their primary source was Astrotheme itself. So what was kind of sketchy about it back then, this is like circa 2009, is that Astrotheme, and this happened one other time where my friend wrote them again and asked them for a birth time and then they sent him back a link to three different websites saying this is the source of that birth time and these websites all say the same thing. But in both instances, what seemed to be happening is that Astrotheme was the website that originally listed the birth time to be, you know, some specific time like 9:52am for a specific celebrity. And then other astrology websites would pick that up and start reporting that birth time that they got from Astrotheme. But then when somebody inquired in Astrotheme and said, “Hey, what was the source for that birth time?” They would then link to the other website. They would say, “We got it from these other websites,” when in fact those other websites originally got it from Astrotheme. So it seemed like what was happening at the very least by 2009, sort of me and some of the other people, other astrologers I know that are involved in collecting celebrity birth charts of the birth times of politicians or musicians or actors or what have you, we sort of knew that Astrotheme wasn’t reliable. At the very least because they were not listing their sources, which was the biggest issue at the time. And we also had some slight suspicion that maybe they were inventing sort of birth times out of nowhere, but we couldn’t really prove anything, we weren’t really sure what was going on. It was just weird, and we sort of knew not to trust them or that was the general impression that we had.
Fast forward to the past year, and I sort of noticed, for some reason when I started researching these celebrity birth charts and birth times again and started building this database of a few hundred example charts to use to apply some of these different Hellenistic techniques to for the purpose of teaching them in my course and in this book that I’m working on, I would do searches for the celebrity and their birth time pretty regularly. And most of the time, Astro-Databank would show up and there would be an entry. But sometimes Astro-Databank wouldn’t show up at all or they wouldn’t have an entry for a specific celebrity. So for example, even right now I think Astro-Databank doesn’t have an entry for Kanye West but Astro theme does, and so their page for Kanye West would show up at the very top of the search results. And so I noticed this for a few different celebrities that Astrotheme seemed to have not just pages for celebrities that Astro-Databank didn’t, but they were actually listing exact birth times for some of those celebrities such as Kanye West. So what was more interesting about this though, because normally I would just at this point I would just ignore Astrotheme and not take the birth time that they list on their website for granted because they don’t list their sources or at least they didn’t in the past. However, what they started doing is they started actually listing sources for their birth times for some of these big celebrities. So they seemed to sort of, I assumed at the time over the past year, that they started implementing better practices and trying to get their act together so that they would be seen as a more legitimate or reputable source. So one of the charts that I’ve been really interested in a while because he’s one of the most famous rappers and famous musicians and famous producers in the world at this point is Kanye West. And the fact that astro.com, sorry, Astrotheme listed a birth time for him when nobody else had been able to find a birth time so far, was kind of exciting to me. And so they listed the birth time and then in his biography, they gave the source. And they said source of birth time, October 2007 issue of Blender magazine. So they listed this magazine from 2007, from like what, seven years ago now, six or seven years ago, from a legitimate, you know, music publication, Blender magazine, did a cover story in an interview with him back in October of 2007. So it looked refutable, they’re actually citing something that plausibly presumably, for whatever reason in this interview with Kanye West, must have asked him and subsequently given his birth time in this interview. So I was pretty excited about that, and I was going to use it for an example chart, but I just wanted to be sure and confirm for myself that the birth time was actually listed. Because one of the things was, I was actually kind of curious like it’s kind of unique for a music publication to list a birth time when doing an interview with a musician or celebrities. So I was kind of curious how that even happened. So I went online, and I was able to find on Amazon that somebody was selling copies of this old issue of Blender magazine from six or seven years ago for like two or three dollars, like five bucks or something like that. So I went ahead and ordered a copy and then just waited. And about a week later, this issue of Blender magazine shows up in the mail. I open it up, I’m pretty excited in an entirely nerdy sort of astrological way to see, you know, how the birth time gets mentioned in this article. And I read through this entire five or ten-page article. And I get to the end and I realize that it has literally said nothing about, not only Kanye West’s birth time, but it doesn’t even list his birth date. It does have one brief section where it gives this sort of biographical reference to the fact that he was born in 1977 which made him about 30 years old at the time of the interview. But otherwise, it doesn’t even say what day he was born, let alone his birth time.
So what I realized at that point, I basically put the magazine down and realized that Astrotheme was… Something was wrong basically. Astrotheme was listing and saying that they had a specific birth time for Kanye West that was like, it wasn’t even like a rounded or approximate birth time, it was something very specific like 5:32pm or something like that, and that they got it from this specific issue of this magazine. So something was wrong because basically they appeared to be lying or they appeared to be giving a specific birth time and attributing it to a false source, that they got it from someplace that they actually didn’t, which, you know, I have no idea what the motivation is for that. I actually have some speculations that I’m not sure if I should go into. But the basic point was that they seemed to have lied about where they got this birth time for that they were listing on their website. And what’s problematic about that, is some astrologers, I found at least one article of some astrologer who has a semi-prominent blog, who wrote an article about Kanye West just a few months ago, and they use that exact made up time from Astrotheme as the basis for this birth chart that they use for this entire like article on Kanye West. So this was already affecting and influencing the practice of other astrologers in the community who were using this birth time. And it was completely fabricated, it’s basically completely made up. And that was kind of sketchy because the thing that I also had noticed was that that wasn’t the only celebrity where they had listed they had started listing their sources for exact birth times, and it wasn’t the only magazine interview that they listed as a source. For example, I saw that for the rapper Eminem that they also had a page, and they listed an exact birth time for him. And they listed an interview that he did with some German teen magazine in the year 2000 as the source for this exact birth time. And I haven’t been able to get a hold of that magazine yet, but based on some other research I’ve done into Astrotheme’s other charts, I actually strongly suspect that that one is made up as well. And that what they’re doing… Because then I went through and looked at Astro-Databank for any references to Astrotheme there, and what I found or actually I was given this reference by Nick Dagan Best, who used to work for Astro-Databank and who does his own chart data collection research, he has his own huge database that he’s been building for over a decade now, of thousands and thousands of charts, not just of celebrities and famous people and normal people but also for events. But he pointed out to me that Astrotheme was already cited in several different specific instances to have fabricated other birth times. So for example, for the rapper Jay Z, they said that his birth time was some specific time and then they cited the CD case or the booklet that came with one of his albums. But then when one of the data collectors associated with Astro-Databank actually got that album and looked in the booklet to see what this time was and what the context was that it was mentioned, there was no birth time mentioned in that album cover or in the booklet. So basically, that was another example of a famous rapper, a famous musician, who Astrotheme was listing a specific time for, but they were giving a totally fake source which makes it look like they’re totally lying and just coming up and attributing it to some false source for a birth time that who knows where they got it from. They could have rectified it, let’s say like best case scenario, they rectified it. And so this is the birth time that they think personally through whatever astrological techniques they use, is the correct birth time, which you know, who knows if the vast majority of astrologers would agree with the rectification? That’s not the point. Like you don’t put forward a birth time and say it’s legitimate and that you got it from a source if you’ve rectified it. That’s extremely sketchy. And that’s the best case scenario. The worst case scenario is that they just picked some random time from WeKnow or like threw some darts at a dartboard with some numbers on it and then that was the birth time that they decided to put on this webpage. Since they’re making up sources, we really don’t know where they’re getting these birth times from and they could be completely false just in order to have some birth time on the page in order to, worst case scenario, just to mess with people and mess with astrologers. “Best case scenario” is they’re just trying to get more traffic to their website. And they realized that if they put birth times there and if they claimed that they got them from specific sources that people will take them more seriously, and thus they’ll get more traffic. I don’t know if that’s the case. I’m just putting that forward as a speculation in terms of me thinking of different options about why anybody would even give a false birth time with a false source in the first place. And that’s one of the options that I’ve considered in terms of what the motivation might be.
That was neat though. There were other instances of this happening. So for Jay Z’s wife Beyoncé, they gave an exact birth time. And they said it’s some biography. But then when somebody looked into it, that biography didn’t mention her birth time at all. For the actress, okay, Jennifer Lawrence. Sorry. So for Jennifer Lawrence who’s like a very famous actress at this point, one of the sort of like leading Hollywood actresses, they listed an exact birth time for her and cited some biography. And then one of the data collectors associated with Astrodatabank looked into it, got the biography, and read it. And it says nothing about the birth time that supposedly was an exact birth time that Astrotheme came from this specific book. So what we have at this point is at least four or five specific examples of Astrotheme not just making up birth times and listing them on their website, but they’re specifically going out of their way to claim that those birth times are from specific, reputable sources which don’t mention the birth time at all. So this is kind of scary because as I wrote about in this article which I’ll link to which gives all the sources for all of this and all the documentation on my blog, astrologers have known for years now or at least most astrologers that I know don’t trust Astrotheme because they know that Astrotheme doesn’t list the sources for their birth time.
And that generally in the astrological community if you see a birth time without a source, you shouldn’t necessarily trust it because it could be rectified or it could be made up. You don’t really know. Basically, you just don’t trust it for various reasons. But since Astrotheme is now going out of their way to list sources, there’s some astrologers that would take its claims about the specific birth times more seriously. And that’s when things get problematic because then astrologers start taking these times for granted, and they start showing up everywhere. And then all of a sudden, everybody’s using this birth time for this specific person or for this specific celebrity. And it’s showing up in like lectures and books and other publications and research studies or what have you. And it may have been totally fabricated because we have no idea where it actually came from. So the fact that they’re listing fake sources makes it look like at least at face value unless you actually take the extra steps to order those sources and look into where they supposedly got the birth time from, you’re probably gonna take that time for granted which you shouldn’t because it might be totally false. And I think that’s what some astrologers are doing now. And that’s why this is so problematic and so dangerous.
So I wrote sort of like an exposé about this on my blog this past week. And at this point what I’m telling people is just you really should not trust Astrotheme for birth times unless or until they clear up this issue cuz there’s something seriously wrong with whatever their current processes for listing birth times, listing the sources for those birth times, and verifying them. Best case scenario is somebody submitting these times to them and sort of they’re lying to Astrotheme. Worst case scenario is Astrotheme’s doing it deliberately for some other reason or for some motivation. Who knows why? Regardless, the end result is that they shouldn’t be trusted at this point in time until they clear this up. So, one, I would not trust Astrotheme at this time. Two, we actually need more people to research this issue to see how extensive it is. So I’d recommend some people look into some of these famous charts that Astrotheme where they’re the only ones that are listing a birth time for the celebrities and where they’re listing an actual source for the birth time and try and get a hold of that source and see if you can validate it. If you can, then let me know. If you can’t, then also let me know. Because we need to start documenting just how extensive this is so that we can identify the fake birth times early on before they have a chance to spread too far. Part of my main concern here is that since Astrotheme shows up pretty high in the search results, lots of astrologers actually draw on their work on birth times. So, it has the potential to sort of like spread around or proliferate a lot of false times if these false times are not identified pretty quickly. So, more people should do some research into some of the birth times that Astrotheme is listing on their website.
All right, so that’s that topic. There were two or three other topics that I wanted to cover in this episode, and I’ll cover them briefly since I’ve already been talking for about an hour. But one of the issues that I’m researching right now, and I’m still kind of early in this process. But it’s an issue that I’ve noticed that’s mainly relevant to traditional astrologers or at least astrologers that are familiar with the concept of sect which is the distinction between day and night charts. And basically the gist of it is what I’m finding is that it’s kind of simple. And it’s almost kind of obvious cuz everybody knows that the Sun, that it starts getting bright out before the Sun actually rises over the horizon each day before the disc of the Sun actually hits the horizon which is the ascendant roughly and rises over it that it already starts getting bright out before that. And that even after the Sun sets at the descendant that it’s still pretty bright out for a little bit longer after the disc of the Sun has actually set over the horizon. So what I’m finding basically and what’s surprising even though it shouldn’t be is basically that a lot of charts that I’ve been looking at lately where the Sun is a few degrees below the ascendant or possibly even below the descendant, they’re still behaving like daytime charts or like diurnal charts even though the Sun is underneath the horizon.
So I’m not talking about really far beneath the horizon, but I am talking about as much as I have a few examples where the Sun is as much as six degrees below the ascendant. And it’s still behaving as a day chart, or at least I think I can argue I think pretty persuasively. And I believe that this chart is acting as a day chart even though the Sun is six degrees below the horizon. So this is important because previously I think most traditional astrologers and certainly myself in my own practice and in my teaching have advocated a definition where it’s a night chart until the Sun pretty much hits the degree of the ascendant. And at that point, it suddenly switches to day when the Sun rises over the horizon. And that, conversely, the chart becomes a night chart as soon as the Sun hits the exact degree of the decan. And what I’m finding basically is what should have been really obvious for years but wasn’t because I never made a concerted effort to really study the issue closely. But basically, even if the Sun is below the horizon if it’s only a few degrees below the horizon, in many instances it will actually still be or still behave as a date chart.
So this is huge, and the reason why this is important is because of some of the different techniques and concepts that rely on the distinction between day and night charts. So one of those for example is the calculations for many of the lots especially the Lot of Fortune and the Lot of Spirit. So, I think everybody pretty much knows or everybody associated with traditional astrology knows at this point that you’re supposed to reverse the calculation for the Lot of Fortune depending on if it’s a day or night chart. The only ancient astrologer who didn’t think that you should reverse the calculation for fortune was Ptolemy, but Ptolemy kind of rejected most of the lots anyways. And fortune was the only one that he retained. So Ptolemy is not necessarily a good person to use in order to make an argument that the Lot of Fortune should not be reversed. And as I showed in this paper that I published in 2009 titled The Theoretical Rationale for the Seven Hermetic Lots, there’s actually a really good reason for reversing the calculations for the Lot of Spirit and the Lot of Fortune that has to do with this analogy they make that’s built in the calculations themselves that associates the Lot of Fortune with the concept of darkness and with the body and physical incarnation or manifestation of the native. And it associates the Lot of Spirit with the concept of light and with the concept of the person’s soul and the person’s intellect, so this contrast between light and darkness and essentially like the body and the spirit.
And this is very important in terms of the calculation of the Lot of Fortune. And what the calculation is if it’s a day chart is different than what the calculation is if it’s a night chart. So obviously if that’s the case if you’re supposed to use a different calculation if it’s a day chart versus a night chart, then it’s very important to establish when precisely it becomes a day chart. And previously I had used, and I think pretty much all astrologers used the definition where it becomes a day chart as soon as the Sun hits the degree of the ascendant. And this is how virtually all software programs calculate the Lot of Fortune and the Lot of Spirit as well. But basically what I found over the past few months, this is wrong and that at the very least the range for which it becomes a day chart can extend as far as six degrees below the degree of the ascendant if the Sun is within that six-degree range. So, another friend of mine named Michael Ofek who’s an astrologer from Israel has also been researching this issue. And he actually agrees with me. He came to the same conclusion independently that even if the Sun is a few degrees below the horizon, it can still be a day chart if it’s within a certain range. He’s actually seen the range extend further than that though. I think he said that he’s seen it go up to at least 10 or possibly even 12 degrees unless I’m misremembering.
And that’s what I’m basically trying to establish at this point. The next step is to establish what the actual range is for which basically how far can the Sun be below the horizon before it turns from a day chart to a night chart. And one of the concerns that I have actually is that I’ve been researching some different astronomical definitions of twilight which is the point at which it gets between the daytime and nighttime hours, the sort of in-between the stage. And some of the official astronomical definitions of twilight have it extending out almost as far as 15 degrees. The Sun being within 15 degrees of rising over the horizon. So that seems really far, seems really wide. But I’m basically treating that as hypothetically like the worst case scenario or the most extended possible scenario is probably a maximum of 15 degrees. I haven’t been able to validate any charts in which it’s that far yet, but I’m just saying there’s a possibility that it may be that far which would be a pretty huge deal if that was the case. 15 degrees, of course, is also interesting because that’s the range in the Hellenistic. And I believe in the medieval tradition for a planet to be under the beams of the Sun is that it was standardized to be 15 degrees, and I’m starting to suspect at this point that that broad definition of twilight that’s about 15 degrees may be the origin of this 15 degree range for planets being under the beams. But I’m still trying to research this and still trying to come to some conclusions. The only thing that I’ve come to so far is that I’m pretty sure that six degrees under the ascendant seems pretty solid, and I’m trying to collect as many charts as I can in order to research this issue and see how much further it extends or it might extend below that so that I can come up with a new range or a sort of cutoff range. So that’s one of the pieces of research that I’m doing and that has huge implications for, like I said, the lots.
The triplicity rulers are based on sect, so it has implications for those techniques that are based on the lots or based on sect or the triplicity rulers such as–Well, a lot of techniques actually are based on sect. But zodiac releasing is a huge one since you use the starting point for zodiac releasing as the Lot of Fortune or the Lot of Spirit. And since those flipped by day or night, you have to know if it’s a day or night chart in order to know where the starting point of the timing technique is. So, yeah, there’s a lot of things that depend on this. So it’s kind of a huge, big research project that has a lot of important implications. But I wanted to mention that as something I’m working on in the event that any of my listeners have any suggestions or observations or can be of any help in that process. So, let’s see. Other than that, I’ve also been researching this issue where–I may have talked about this on the show before, but I’m not sure. But it keeps coming up over and over again which is I have this issue where oftentimes I’ve been noticing instances where a transit will go exact or some other timing technique like a time-lord period will go exact, and it will indicate something in the person’s life. And what will end up happening is that a specific event will take place or a specific event will occur that affects the person’s life in a very important way or sometimes in a very subtle but nonetheless relatively important way. But what happens in some instances or actually in many instances is that the person simply doesn’t know that that event happened.
So it can be some major event that occurs in the person’s life. It coincides with the transit and it affects the person’s life, but the person themselves isn’t aware that the event occurred. And I keep seeing this happen over and over again in my own life which is part of what keeps reminding me of it but also in the lives of people I know to the point where I’m really starting to wonder at this point how frequently this is really happening. And one of the sort of implications that I’ve realized is that it could be happening all the time to the extent that–Not worst case scenario, but at the most extreme extent what it could imply about the nature of astrology is that all of our transits and all of the activations and all of the time-lord sort of peak periods and other things like that are coinciding with important developments that are taking place in our life or important events that happen in the world that affect our life in some way. But we just don’t know that those things are happening because they’re not happening in our immediate sort of field of vision. They’re not happening right in front of us, and therefore we aren’t aware of them. But nonetheless, those astrological movements or astrological activations are correlating with events that affect our lives.
This might not be like a huge mind blowing thing for all of my listeners or for you or whoever’s listening to this. It’s like some astrologers might just be like, “Yeah, of course. I’ve known that for 40 years.” But there’s something about it because I’m focused on a more event oriented form of astrology. And I’ve been in this process for over 10 years now of getting away from just looking at astrology from a psychological standpoint and instead looking at it from more of an event-oriented standpoint and developing techniques for being able to say sort of when a specific event will happen in a person’s life and what part of their life it will affect or what part of their life it will happen in, so let’s say within the context of their marriage or the context of their career or within the context of their family or what have you. And seeing that many of these activations in some instances can actually refer to events that occur that affect the person’s life but that the person themselves doesn’t know about is extremely problematic because of the implications that it has for all sorts of things. So it has implications for doing consultations for example because in many instances you could say you could make a statement about a natal placement in a person’s chart and what it should mean in terms of the person’s life. And the person could, because they’re not aware that that event has actually happened in their life, they could say, “No, that’s not true.” or “No, that’s not a valid statement for you to make.” when in fact it very well may have been.
So it’s problematic within the context of consultations. It’s also problematic within the context of doing research into astrology and trying to validate not just techniques as an astrologer in order to try and gauge what techniques work and what techniques I wanna use in my professional practice because I view them as effective or useful but also how to validate astrology if one were to attempt to do so within like a scientific context. How can you validate something when you can use the techniques to make a prediction but not be fully certain or not ever be able to be fully certain whether you or the people that are monitoring the prediction or monitoring the test can validate for certain whether or not the predicted event took place? Obviously, the implications of that are actually hugely important in terms of any sort of scientific experiment or anything of astrology. If one was trying to validate astrology in that way for whatever reason, it’s something that should be discussed and sort of identified as a potential issue or challenge for astrological research. Because one of the things that you would wanna do of course is see if that issue can be isolated and if you can find a workaround or a way around it. So is there a way to, for example, distinguish between events that will occur in a person’s life that the person will know about versus Is there a way to identify that this is an event that will occur in the person’s life that they will not be aware of when it occurs or they will not be aware of until let’s say X amount of days or X amount of months or even years afterwards, will they ever find out that that event occurred?
So I think, yeah, one of the things that actually made me think about this, to give you an example, is I saw this news story on Reddit or Facebook or something a few weeks ago about an 80-year-old man. It was this older gentleman who was in his 80s who just found a letter in an old sort of stack of papers that was his wife’s. So his wife had died a few years ago, and he was for some reason going through some old filing cabinet of hers. And he found this letter that was hidden away in this back compartment of his deceased wife’s filing cabinet. And he read the letter, and it was a letter from his ex-girlfriend from like 60 years ago who was writing him to inform them that the last time that they were together that she actually got pregnant and had a son and that the son was like six or seven years old at that point. And she wanted the guy basically to meet his kid and wanted the kid to meet his father, but this letter was dated like 1959. So this occurred 50 or 60 years ago. And, obviously, his wife who died a few years ago got the letter sometime in the 1950s and then hid it from him so that basically he had a kid that he never knew about. And so after he found this letter, his family helped him to track down his son. And he actually found out that his son was still alive, and that he was now in his 60s and had children or grandchildren of his own. And they sort of reunited after 60 years.
So, I use that as an example cuz that’s an example of like let’s say something about the person’s chart where obviously we don’t have a birth time, so it’s not for either of these people. So it’s not like I can actually pull up their birth charts and identify the placements that coincide with that. But presumably for the older gentleman for the father, there was something in his chart that not just indicated something about children and something about the topic of children and his connection with them or the fact that he might have children that he didn’t know about. But then for that specific year of his life when he did have a child that he then didn’t know about, there was probably some specific timing technique that would have identified, “You’re gonna have children in this year.” And imagine if he had gone to see an astrologer at that point and the astrologer’s like, “Oh, it looks like you just had a child last year.” or something to that effect. And the guy would look at the astrologer and say, “No, that’s not true at all. You’re really bad at this.” and walk away from that consultation thinking that there was nothing to astrology. And 60 years later he would think back on that and say, “Wow, that astrologer was really right.” And that would be the end of it. But in many instances that may never happen because in fact this guy found out about–Through this fluke of finding this letter 60 years later, he found out he did in fact have a kid back in 1959 or 1954 or whatever year it was and found out about that part of his life that otherwise was hidden or that was otherwise not known about. But imagine all of the people that have things like that happen that they never find out about or they never know about or what have you not just in that area of the person’s life but in many different areas and not just like having children but having certain events happen that affect their life and are relevant to their life and might show up in the person’s birth chart or might show up in the person’s timing techniques but which they themselves never know about.
So, I think I’ve talked about this issue before probably on the podcast. And it comes down to this separate issue of sometimes the astrology itself reflects events more accurately than we think or more accurately than we even could imagine. And it’s sort of hard to wrap your brain around that sometimes when you see it happen, but it’s an issue that I really wanted to come back to and raise again because I’ve been seeing it happen more and more now that I’m paying attention to it. And it poses some huge practical and conceptual and philosophical issues for astrologers as we’re figuring out more and more about astrology and as we’re learning more and more about how to apply it in the 21st century. So it’s something that I think other researchers and other astrologers should pay attention to and consider in order to try to, I don’t know, at the very worst case scenario at least be fully aware of the issue. Best case scenario, perhaps we can work out some better strategies for dealing with it either in a research context or just in a practical context of doing consultations. So that’s the sort of third or fourth topic.
Finally, the final topic is actually something that I’m gonna have on hopefully the next episode of this show which is just today basically over the past 24 hours Nina Gryphon of The Gryphon Astrology Blog which is a traditional astrology blog published an excellent article on the role that reception can play in mitigating the harm that malefic planets can cause when they’re in a difficult aspect with other planets. And this is something that I’ve also seen in my own chart work over the past few years especially in consultations but even in collecting a few other celebrity example charts. I’m constantly impressed by the way in which reception can sometimes act as a major mitigating factor when it comes to difficult aspects in the chart that can allow them to be less difficult than they might be otherwise. But one of the things that I didn’t realize is that there’s actually different interpretations of reception in terms of this special aspect or special role that reception can play in mitigating hard aspects with malefics. There’s actually apparently a debate about this or there’s a disagreement about this in the traditional astrological community where some astrologers say that–It was first actually pointed out by an astrologer from Poland named Kuba Wojewódzki who pointed out to me that Nina was talking about reception from malefics where one planet is aspecting a malefic and it’s in the domicile of the malefic so that the malefic is receiving the other planet in its domicile and that she was pointing out that that’s positive. But he was saying that the reverse is not positive.
And at first I didn’t realize that that was an actual thing as some astrologers argued, but then Ryhan Butler and subsequently Wade Caves who are both specialists in medieval and Renaissance astrology sort of piped up and pointed out that this was actually a serious disagreement and serious position that some astrologers take, that it’s beneficial for a planet to be received by a malefic. So that is to say for one planet to be in the domicile of a malefic of Mars or Saturn while applying to an exact aspect with Mars or Saturn but that it’s actually not favorable according to them or this is their argument for a malefic to be in the domicile of another planet with the ruler of that domicile applying to an exact aspect with the malefic that somehow the inverse is not true or is actually harmful. So I’m not explaining that very well in the technical sense because basically what I wanna do is I’m gonna have I think at least Wade, if not, also Ryhan and Nina come on the show for one of my next episodes hopefully this week in order to really talk about and hash out this issue and get into all of the details.
Cuz the main contention in the debate or the main point of the debate is my understanding or perception has always been that reception when it comes to malefics regardless of whether it’s the malefic that is received or the malefic that’s doing the receiving of other planets, that either way it’s beneficial and acts as a sort of mitigating factor even if there’s a hard aspect like a square or an opposition or conjunction between the planets involved and the malefic so that both textually–And from a conceptual standpoint, this has always been my understanding. From a textual standpoint that has also been my understanding. Reading, for example, Mā Shā’ Allāh’s book on reception is one of the first traditional textbooks that I remember buying when I started getting into traditional astrology. But also even from a practical standpoint I feel like I’ve seen that in lots of client charts and lots of other example charts that I’ve used over the years that if a planet is being afflicted by a malefic that the actual damage that the malefic does is significantly restrained and moderated if there’s the presence of reception going either way. And that’s kind of the position that I take at this point.
I’m still researching the issue now that it’s been brought to my attention by Ryhan and Wade and Kuba that this is actually a point of debate or a point of contention. I’m actually starting to research it more, but I still feel pretty confident about my position. So I’m gonna have at least Wade on to debate the issue and possibly Ryhan who I’m also talking to and Nina who wrote the original article, and we’re gonna see if we can either get this hashed out or at least talk about it and present some of the different viewpoints surrounding this debate and let the listener make their own decisions that at least people can be aware of this and aware of the debate and the difference of interpretation and how it alters the practical interpretation as well and then having that knowledge at least. At least if you know what your options are, then you can make an informed decision. And I think that’s a huge part of my whole approach to astrology, and the purpose of this podcast is just to have people be more aware of differences of opinion, different options, and different approaches to astrology. And then once they have that information to sort of make up their own mind about what makes the most sense to them.
So, yeah. So I’m not gonna go into that issue too much more, but that will be one of our next episodes of The Astrology Podcast. So I hope to record that pretty soon, and I also generally sort of plan to get back to podcasting more regularly at this point over the course of the next few months. So this was the first attempt to do that. And it looks like I’ve gone a little bit over my usual time. I’m up to about almost an hour and a half now, so I think I will go ahead and call this the end of the show. Thanks for listening as usual. If you liked this podcast or you liked the podcast in general or this episode, then please be sure to give it a good rating on iTunes. If you’re not a subscriber already, I would seriously recommend subscribing to the podcast if you’d just go to my website theastrologypodcast.com. There’s a little sort of form in the bar where you can enter your email address and hit subscribe, and then you’ll get an email basically every time that a new episode is released which you don’t have to worry. It’s not that frequently, so I’m not gonna expand your email address every day. But you’ll get an email every once in a while when a new episode comes out. So it’s a pretty nifty tool, and it also gives me an idea of how many people are listening to the podcast. And it’s kind of good encouragement in order to get me to do more shows. So, definitely, if you’re a fan of the show, please subscribe. And, yeah, that’s it. If you have any comments or questions to make, then please post them in the comments section of the post for this episode on theastrologypodcast.com. And I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. So thanks for listening, and I’ll see you next time.