The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 344, titled:
The Future Trajectory of Astrology
With Chris Brennan and Rick Levine
Episode originally released on March 26, 2022
Note: This is a transcript of a spoken word podcast. If possible, we encourage you to listen to the audio or video version, since they include inflections that may not translate well when written out. Our transcripts are created by human transcribers, and the text may contain errors and differences from the spoken audio. If you find any errors then please send them to us by email: email@example.com
Transcribed by Mary Sharon
Transcription released March 29, 2022
Copyright © 2022 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
CHRIS BRENNAN: Well, I’m excited to be here today for this talk for International Astrology Day hosted by ISAR, and I want to thank all the organizers, Gaia, Paula, and everybody that put this together. When they approached us and gave us the topic that everyone was talking about, the first thing that came to mind to me was something I’ve been thinking about recently which is, what is the future of astrology? And can astrologers predict or anticipate what’s coming up for astrology in the future? Because one of the things that’s been interesting over the past few years is I think we all recognize that we’re in the middle of this huge resurgence and explosion in the popularity of astrology, and that seems to be happening pretty much worldwide where we’re just seeing this huge influx of new and younger people into the field of astrology. And I don’t think we’ve seen anything like that since the 1960s and 70s. I wasn’t around for that period but I mean, do you remember some of that, Rick? And do you think this period right now is sort of parallel to that in some ways?
RICK LEVINE: No, I think that this period is less parallel than it is exponentially more than what was going on then. And what was going on then certainly, astrology came in on a train filled with all kinds of stuff, you know? It was yoga and new diets and new ways of looking at things and various mind-altering substances and so on, that astrology was part of that whole thing and it came in on a very general train. Now, however, it’s incredibly different because I encounter all the time people who are aged 14 to 18 who have more astrological reading under their belt than I did by age 40 because when I was coming into astrology in that wave that you’re talking about in the late 60s, there were basically 20 books and everyone read the same 20 books. Now you can take a paragraph out of one of those books and there’s 20 books on that subject. So it’s exponentially very different and much more integrated into an intellectual movement rather than just a “What’s your sign, baby?” Because in the 60s, there was no place to ground astrology intellectually. I mean, there was the Dane Rudhyar and stuff, we’ll get into that in a bit. But I think it’s very different. I think that this is gonna be a hard position to unseat and this is part of where our discussion will go as to whether we’re at the peak and are going to be nihilistically thrown to the bottom of the heap, or whether we may be king of the heap and still on the way up.
CB: Yeah. And that’s really the question that’s in front of us now. As we’ve seen this huge resurgence, we know astrology has become massively more popular than it was 10 years ago and there’s a lot more young people that have come into the field, which is kind of striking because for so long, you know, when I started going to conferences in the mid-2000s, I was the youngest person in the room in the entire building at the time. And that stayed the case for quite a number of years and I was always looking around wondering where the younger astrologers were. And then all of a sudden since about 2017, they all showed up and suddenly there’s a bunch of people with Pluto and Scorpio and Pluto and Sagittarius that are now a much larger demographic in the field than anybody could have imagined even five years ago.
So one of the questions I want to talk about today is; given how popular it’s become over the past five years, does it still have ways to go? Are we still on the upward trend, and can astrology actually get more popular from here? Or are we already at sort of the peak or has it plateaued? And can we anticipate sort of some challenges for astrology in the future or some decline in its popularity since historically we know that on a long enough timeline, the popularity of astrology ebbs and flows and it goes up and down, and it never stays up permanently for too long nor does it ever stay down permanently for too long. It’s always this sort of cyclical process, which shouldn’t be surprising to us as astrologers because of course everything’s cyclical in terms of planetary cycles. So the question is, where are we at in that cycle and what can we anticipate coming up in the future?
RL: Yeah, it’s a great question and I actually as you were talking, I began to think, “Yeah, that’s true. Astrology has risen and fallen with the tides of acceptance when the Age of Enlightenment or as Rob Han calls it, the Age of Endarkenment came in, astrology was shunted away because it didn’t correspond with the rational intellectual information that we had at least then. But I look at something, Chris, like mathematics. I mean, does it go away? No. Going back to Euclid and before, mathematics was a part of what we learned and it was a very basic underpinning to our entire worldview. And I am of the belief that that’s where astrology is heading. That astrology as an entire body of knowledge is, like many other things, at a bit of a turning point. And that turning point has to do with astrology being placed or replaced back in its rightful place as a basic underpinning of learning. And we don’t have that now. We still have astrology as the outcast astrology, as the other than astrology, as the ‘Yeah, well, it’s not real,’ or, you know, the judgment. But you don’t have that judgment on mathematics. I mean, granted, there are pieces of science where you have that judgment, whether that makes sense or not. But, yeah. So I don’t think we’re plateaued yet. I think we have a long way to go.
CB: That’s a good point. So that’s one scenario is, you know, in the past and some periods for example during the Renaissance or during the early Roman Empire, astrology occupied such a key place in science in the scientific paradigm of the day, that it was much more acceptable and that you had much more of the leading minds in terms of scientists such as Claudius Ptolemy who’s like a polymath and a scientist, a natural scientist. Or later, somebody like Johannes Kepler, who could actually take astrology seriously and be both an astrologer as well as make major contributions to our understanding of science in the world in general. So maybe in that sense, we’re not there yet and there’s still a scenario where somebody comes along and is able to reconcile astrology with contemporary scientific understanding, and therefore take it to a new level by making it even more acceptable than it is today by making it basically reconciled or making it make sense in terms of our current scientific understanding of how the universe works. That’s something that hasn’t been done yet in our time period.
RL: Yeah, and I think that that’s very important. Remember, our boy Johannes Kepler wrote a book, Third Man in The Middle is a [00:07:54]. It was about the weird place that astrology has in between the ancient superstitions and the blasphemies that Kepler said were contained in astrology, and the strong and informative body of knowledge that it is and can be. And of course, it was Kepler who warned academics of his day not to throw the baby out with the bathwater that comes from that book. But the thing though is that as astrology becomes re-integrated with what our known scientific world is, and we’ll get to this a little bit later, I have a few slides on this, because astrology was out of sorts with what the conventional scientific thinking was for at least a few centuries. And it really is no longer in that position and yet it’ll take a while, as we know paradigms change slowly, and it’ll take a while for that to come around. But I think that that’s important to keep that in perspective.
CB: Sure. Yeah, that makes sense. So maybe there could be somebody that could come along that has really good training in both science and philosophy and mathematics, but also develops a genuine interest in astrology and finds a way to create a sort of unified field theory that combines all of them under one umbrella, which would set up the current sort of paradigm in which astrology makes sense in terms of contemporary science.
RL: I’ll tell you what the worst possibility is, which I think is a very great possibility. And that is that at some point in the not too distant future, a group of graduate engineering or physics students at Caltech or Stanford or MIT come out with this amazing new realization and development that is basically the solution to Einstein’s Unified Field Theory and that it has to do with ultra ultra ultra ultra low frequency electromagnetic radiation that we perceived as planets. I have a few slides on this down the road a bit for today but the point is that there’s a very strong possibility that astrology becomes completely co-opted by some scientific engineering breakthrough with the ability to measure these waves. And then the disclaimer will be, “Of course, this has nothing to do with astrology.” Now I’m not saying that it’ll happen, but there’s a possibility for it.
CB: Right, that they could validate some part of astrology as a physical thing that exists out there somehow scientifically, but then get rid of sort of the rest of it or say the rest of it is still nonsense?
RL: Yeah, yeah.
CB: Okay. That’s an interesting scenario to think of because there’s a scenario there where, let’s say astrology is validated and becomes even more accepted let’s say scientifically worldwide, and sometimes as astrologers since we all have that personal experience of knowing what a positive influence astrology has been on our lives and especially when it’s used well and when it’s used ethically and conscientiously, how it can improve a person’s life or add an interesting perspective on it. There’s also scenarios where, let’s say astrology becomes more widely accepted, you know, what are some of the ways in which astrology could potentially be misused or in which you could end up in sort of dystopian type scenarios if, for example, more recently in the past several years since astrology has become popularised, we’ve seen some corporations using it in order to do advertisements. Like Starbucks or fast food places or things like that, or on the other end of the spectrum we’ve seen governments use it. I remember seeing like a US Army recruiting thing that was based on your zodiac sign and what role you would be good for in the military. Not that I’m necessarily bashing the military but it’s just interesting thinking about as astrologers we always assume that if the world accepted astrology and recognized its validity, that would always inherently be a good thing. But there would have to potentially be some downsides as well which might be worth thinking about.
RL: Well, and when you talk about recognizing astrology, as we know, there are many astrolo-Gs. And there are astrolo-Gs that you and I would not want recognized. This was actually a great problem and consideration for Johannes Kepler because he hated the fact that his boss, Emperor Rudolph, that the ruling class was using astrology basically to figure out when they should go to war and if they were going to get laid. And to some extent there’s a whole part of astrology that hasn’t changed. Even though what we do is a more serious venture, there is an astrology that if astrology were to be accepted, what parts of it would be? And how would we discriminate against that which was an entertainment? And again as you know, I’m someone who wrote daily horoscopes for years. I think there can be use in value to them, but it’s an interesting dance that will happen. And yeah, someone commented– Catherine– that with medicine and chronobiology and chronotherapeutics, scientists are beginning to realize that, unlike the traditional Newtonian paradigm, time is not an independent variable. That there are actual real scientific interactions that occur differently at different times, and that there may be times in which medicines are more assimilated into a body than other times, and certainly other things with biological systems that develop according to rhythms that may be lunar but are certainly extraterrestrial.
CB: Those are good examples of potentially some positive scenarios and some negative scenarios in terms of if astrology is still on the upward trend. And one of the things we might want to think about then as astrologers is maybe being more conscious about– I don’t wanna say what types of astrology, but what best practices are in astrology. So often we get in the mode of feeling like we have to promote astrology and just get it out there more into the world and seen by more people. Over the past few years, we’ve also sometimes seen not great examples of astrology getting out there and once it does get popularised, sometimes there can be bad instances of it like if people are using it as a form of prejudice, for example, or prejudging people based on their zodiac signs based on very little information.
RL: Right, we write technical manuals here, “No Pisces allowed.” [laughs]
CB: Yeah. Or there was a viral post a few years ago or a year or two ago on Twitter about somebody that was sort of screening applicants for like, they’re renting a room in their apartment or something like that and they were rejecting all Capricorns or something like that, which just gets a little dicey when it comes to things like that where, you know, sometimes a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. And sometimes it can be abused or used in ways that astrologers themselves, like professional astrologers might consider to be not appropriate or not ethical.
RL: Well, we saw that, I guess it must have been maybe in the 1980s, when some of you may remember Dr. Percy Seymour who wrote a couple of books. He was a Ph.D. astronomer and he wrote a book called Astrology: The Evidence of Science and another book, The Scientific Basis of Astrology. And they were both interesting reads and this guy was not an astrologer. He was a quote-unquote, “real scientist,” unquote. But his whole orientation was that he discovered astrology. In other words it was like, “I’ve discovered this whole thing and you need to know what I’ve discovered.” It gets back to this astrology being co-opted by someone who thinks they’ve now got a frame for this ancient system. And it’s the old Hindu story of the guys describing the elephant and they’re looking at just the toenail of one foot. And it’s such a big thing that people think that they know what it is and then go, “Yep, I got it. Here’s how it works.”
CB: Yeah. That’s a constant tension that all astrologers have, which is that every astrologer tries to find an approach that works for them. And they have to distinguish between an approach that works for them and seems sensible to them based on their personal experience and philosophy and everything else, and then will often end up just by process of elimination, rejecting other approaches that don’t work for them. That’s always going to be a tension with individual practitioners as well as in some of the leading astrologers that we were talking about through those scientific polymaths in the past, like Kepler who identified planets and planetary aspects or configurations between planets. He thought that was where the real true meat of astrology was. And that was the part that worked and he rejected the Zodiac because he didn’t think that was valid conceptually or practically. Or somebody like Ptolemy who accepted large parts of the system but he rejected some parts like the Arabic parts with the lots that he didn’t think made sense except for one calculation of the part of fortune which he he kept. That’s always going to be something that sort of happens with individual practitioners to some extent.
RL: Yeah. And this is another thing as we talk about the growth of astrology. I think there’s some fear of like, “What happens if the market becomes so saturated that there are all these astrologers?” I mean, there was a time when you decided you were an astrologer, you were the only one on the block. You were the only one in your city. That was so unique. Now, with the advent of the Internet– we’ll talk a little bit more about that in a bit also– everything has changed. And I look at a couple of examples because I’ve heard astrologers voice fear about how astrology could basically put itself out of business just because there are so many people now interested in astrology and thinking about becoming astrologers where that wasn’t a thing, you know, 30 or 40 or 50 years ago. And I look at things like massage therapy or acupuncture, where it wasn’t until they developed legal structures to exist within, which astrology doesn’t have, and this is a huge mixed blessing. And I’m not opening necessarily this up for complete discussion now about licensure. I mean, look what it did to medicine, it drove healing outside of the AMA– not that there isn’t a lot of good stuff in the medical world too. But the thing is that as there are more astrologers practicing astrology, just like massage therapists, I remember 30 years ago that a friend of mine went to massage school saying it’s awful because there’s so many massage therapists now. And yet more and more people are using that as a modality and it’s actually been incorporated into many insurance programs and lifestyle. And so we may find that astrology, which has been to us a cosy little community, grows out of hand. And this is a mixed blessing of maturity, where it’s no longer just hanging at home with your brothers and sisters, it’s “Oh my god, there’s a whole world out there and there’s..” I mean, we do have some organizations, we do have some formalities of ethics and trainings and certifications, but I think that this is part of what the future will bring. As astrology becomes more widespread, there’ll be that need to regulate.
CB: Yeah. And while there are more practitioners now and that maybe creates some competition or more of a tension to stand out, and maybe it’s harder to stand out than it was five or 10 years ago because there’s so many practitioners and so many people putting themselves out there, there’s also so many more clients and so many more people that are interested in astrology-
RL: That was my point. Yeah.
CB: -yeah. That I don’t think that’s going to be too much of an issue of a scarcity. However, it has been interesting over the past few years how it has also drawn more attention from sort of unsavory types. And so now we’re seeing recently, it seems like there’s been this huge rash over the past few months of scammers on Instagram that are targeting astrologers and either stealing their accounts and deliberately hacking into their accounts, which I think happened to you. And then there’s other scammers that are setting up fake Instagram accounts in order to imitate astrologers and then they’ll-
RL: That’s happened to me now three times in the past month, separate from my account being stolen.
CB: Okay, yeah.
RL: And Instagram was worthless about help. Matter of fact, someone I know finally got a letter back from Instagram that just said, “We’re too busy to follow up on these, we only follow up on the most serious. Send us your complaint again sometime in the future.” Really? I mean, this was formal communication from Instagram.
CB: Yeah. I just got my first fake scammer who set up a fake account of my Instagram the other day, which I was kind of happy about to be honest because I was feeling kind of left out that, you know, I hadn’t been scammed yet and I didn’t like-
RL: Unfortunately, I’ve had a number of people who have actually sent money to various people who were imitating or impostering, I guess it’s the right word. I didn’t mean to interrupt you but you’ve been recognized.
CB: Yeah. Yeah, you’re ruining my joke because I was making a joke about it but you’re making it serious again, which is probably where the emphasis should be. Which is that people are actually getting ripped off and that’s why it’s an issue and that’s, again, one of the downsides with astrology becoming more popular. Is that it can draw more attention from unsavory types of people that might use it to abuse people and so that’s something we have to be conscious about and sort of band together and to whatever extent we can, fight against that as appropriately or ethically as we can since sometimes the line between what’s appropriate and not appropriate in astrology is not always clear?
RL: Yeah, well said.
CB: So, that leads into the other scenario that I want to talk about, which is what if we were at more of a peak? Or what if we hit the peak of astrology before too long here? And what does the downside look like or what would a downslope in the popularity of astrology look like? Because I feel like anytime something becomes really popular or trendy or like a fad and culture, which to a certain extent astrology I think we have to admit has been over the past few years in the way that it’s showing up so much in pop culture and in music and social media and everything else, what would identify why astrology has been so popular over the past few years? And the thing that I keep coming back to or at least one of the signatures could be Neptune’s transit through Pisces over the course of the past decade and especially the past few years. Because we have to realize that it’s not just astrology that’s seeing this explosion in popularity. There’s also been a rise and other things like magic and divination, and other things that are sort of like in the metaphysical or esoteric sphere, which makes me think of, for example, the last time that Neptune was in Pisces in the 1800s, and the explosion of popularity of things like spiritualism, which also had this sort of cult or spiritualistic vibe to it, this almost counterculture thing. We’ve also seen an explosion in some more negative things like that such as conspiracy theories over the past few years; Flat Earth Theory, misinformation, fake news, propaganda, and things like that… Other things that are more Neptunian in a deceptive sense.
RL: All those others are theories. Flat Earth is not a theory, it’s just a sign of stupidity.
CB: Yeah. I’m not a big fan of Flat Earth or whatever you want to call it, but I guess we just have to realize that it’s not just astrology that’s seeing in this heyday right now, but it’s part of some broader trend of a lot of things, some of which are more positive and some of which are more negative. But that means that, you know, like a boat in a rising tide, the tide goes up and all boats go up, and sometimes the tide goes down and all boats go down.
RL: Yeah, a couple of things here. I’m reminded a friend of mine a number of years ago became a Buddhist and her teacher was in town and had a short slot, like a 4:00 to 4:30 for a personal meeting with the teacher. And there were problems with the directions and she ended up being like 15 minutes late– this is a person who’s never late for anything. And for that whole 20 minutes or so of not being able to find it, she was getting herself really worked up and really upset. You know, when she kind of got there and she started talking about all these metaphysical things and maybe Buddhism isn’t right and what. And the teacher interrupted her and said, “This place is hard to find.” And I’d really like you to kind of take a little bit of a deeper dive into where you were just going about the planetary energy, because the recycling of the Neptune in Pisces and now, of course, with Jupiter giving that an extra boost. But there is an Internet now, and that in some ways is the rising tide that has taken everything up. And yet as I think about that, you know, I think about the astrological renaissance in Florence in the late 15th Century with Marsilio Ficino and just the general acceptance in this whole wave of astrology really within the church. That was like in 1470-1480. By 1490, Florence had shut down and become a totally right-wing fascist- This is the time I have a quote in my presentation or in some slides down a little ways from Pico della Mirandola who basically was one of the intelligentsia of the time against astrology. And there certainly can be at any moment in time. I know astrologers who have developed significant applications, gone to Apple and Apple has come back– this is very recently– and said, “No, we’re done putting up astrological applications. We’re done with astrology and tarot,” and there was something else really dumb mixed in it as if they were all the same thing. Point being that some very subtle twists at the top could change the ability for astrologers, if all of a sudden we were not allowed to post astrology on YouTube or Facebook or Instagram, kind of like think of someone who’s like a total anti-Vaxxer. Someone who’s done research, someone who’s a real doctor. It doesn’t matter whether what you have is true or not, it becomes part of that which is Plutonized, it’s excluded, it’s damned, that becomes part of the hell realms and there’s not much you can do with it. So I think that that’s always a viable possibility, feeding into your idea of astrology. Even though I said it’s on a rise and it’s going to go for a while, there are external things that could change that pretty quickly.
CB: Yeah. I think we all recognize it’s hard to step out of our own time period but we kind of have to recognize that the past decade has been still the very early stages and that’s sort of the Wild West of this phase of the internet with the rise of social media and websites like Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and other sites like that, as well as platforms like YouTube where for much of the time anybody could just post anything and through that, people would develop followings. And sometimes people will get locked in different information silos where they just bounce back and forth between people that are saying similar things and you can kind of on the one hand, you can learn something very quickly that way, and there’s more information available to you than at any other time in the world. But on the other hand, sometimes it can lead to blind spots where you’re only taking in information from people that are saying a very similar thing or holding similar views.
RL: Yeah. If you want to believe in flat Earth, you can certainly find enough stuff out there that would make you feel like you’re really a smart person.
CB: Yeah. That’s the reason why I think more people have gotten sucked into things like Flat Earth Theory or other conspiracy theories like that because there is just so much more information and the floodgates have kind of been opened, and there’s nobody sort of sorting through it and kind of saying, you know, what is or is not permissible. We’ve only just started to see that over the past couple of years since Saturn went into Aquarius, and we’ve seen the Saturn return of the internet, basically, because the first website was launched in August of 1981 when Saturn was at two Aquarius. And it has been interesting then, I think part of the process of the Saturn return of the internet has been raising some of these questions about whether some of these social media sites like Facebook or Twitter or YouTube should be imposing some rules or some restrictions about the type of content that’s allowed on their platforms. And while in some instances it seems like that’s been necessary in order to tamp down on certain types of things that are having a negative effect on society, astrology is one of those things where because it’s not accepted scientifically, it’s one of those things that very easily could fall outside of the rules of what’s acceptable at some point in time in the future.
RL: Yeah, and that whole ‘accepted scientifically’ is an interesting thing. I mean, poetry isn’t accepted scientifically yet it’s taught in schools from early grades on. And astrology is kind of unique in as much as it has both sides of the brain– the right brain and the left brain. It has the scientific side and it has the artistic side, if you will. But there’s been a thread of comments in the chatbox about one of the important changes that can and will make a difference, maybe already has begun to in some isolated instances, and that is the integration of astrology into teaching young children. Now I know Alex Chenoweth talked a little bit about that as certainly one of her contributions or her thing of working with children in astrology, but the point here is that there’s another whole place of astrology was like mathematics, if astrology was just like, you know, this is how it works, then the shift would be huge. And the reintegration of that into our educational process would change the lives of people because as young people we would have language to describe those interactions and behavioral characteristics that right now most children just don’t have.
CB: Yeah. Okay, so if this was all related to and the rise of astrology was partially tied in with Neptune being in Pisces over the past few years and just having platforms like YouTube or social media sites where anything can become much more wildly popular and accessible, even very difficult topics than it was 10 or 15 years ago, then one of the things we have to bring up of course, is right now we have the great Jupiter-Neptune-Pisces conjunction which is just going to take place in a few weeks here in early April, which is very positive and sort of expanding of some of that energy. But already next year in 2023, we have Saturn going into Pisces in March of 2023. And that’s acting as a precursor and a build-up to eventually, just a couple years later, Neptune will depart from Pisces and will move into areas in 2025 and 2026. So one way or another we’re seeing the end of some sort of era that we’ve been experiencing since Neptune went into Pisces back in 2011, I believe. Around that time, we’re also going to have some heavy Saturn energy of having a Saturn-Neptune conjunction in Pisces and Aries that sort of coincides with that shift. So there’s some sort of major shift coming up and I do wonder if some of the tides might turn a little bit in terms of things not being as easy or things not being as permissible in terms of some of this stuff as it has been over the past decade.
RL: I don’t have an answer to that but it certainly could happen pretty quickly. In fact, one of the downsides of living in a digital age is that things can happen so quickly. It wasn’t like that historically.
CB: Yeah, that’s true. Another thing worth mentioning I think about when it comes to astrology in particular is, in the past decade I feel like I’ve observed also a decline in skepticism and in the skeptical community. When I was in the first decade of my studies of astrology in the early 2000s, I feel like the skeptic community was much more prominent and was much more put together and was much more aggressive and a little bit more effective in some of the things that they were doing in order to combat not just things like astrology, but also other things as well. I feel like they’ve kind of fallen apart and some of their leadership has fragmented or in some instances, some of their leadership has passed away and there haven’t been other sort of sceptical figures that have risen up in order to do or be as effective in some instances harassing astrologers as they were before. But that’s something I don’t think most contemporary astrologers are used to dealing with is having really aggressive skeptics trying to stop astrology from existing or being practiced and what that would be like if that wasn’t a permanent thing, but instead that was another thing that moves in cycles and there was more of a rise of a well-put-together skeptic community at some point in the future.
RL: Yeah. I wonder if the reason why skeptics have gone away– haven’t gone away completely– but certainly the energy has dissipated from skeptics. And that word really is not a correct word there because obviously, a skeptic is someone who wants the right information so they can make a decision. Most people that we call in astrology skeptics are people who have already made their decision and no amount of information would change their mind. And that certainly was true back in the Star Baby, you know, the scene with the astronomers and Nobel Prize winners who signed the advertisement disavowing astrology and then got caught messing with data as they were showing how wrong the Gauquelin studies were. And a couple of the top scientist resigned from that because the scientists had too much at stake and therefore were willing to handpick the data to prove what they already a priori knew. So part of the problem that we have is that skeptics are often not really skeptical, they already know the truth and the truth is that astrology is bullshit. But what if the reason why there’s less skeptics with respect to astrology is because some of them have met enough intellectual resistance that they’ve decided the fight isn’t worth it or that maybe there’s something to it but they don’t want to come out and say that publicly? I don’t know. It’s a thought.
CB: Maybe. I think there’s just been such a huge rise in so many different things, not just astrology, but like magic and conspiracy theories and other things that they may just be overwhelmed. And then they also saw the loss of some of their most prominent leaders like James Randi or other leaders in the skeptic community getting distracted and kind of torn down to some extent by social conflicts and finding themselves on the weird side of some social issues that they didn’t respond to as well as they could have just because they’re coming from a different generation. I think that’s part of the reason that it’s fragmented a lot. Actually, that’s one of the things I’m worried about and one of the reasons I’m raising it. Because I’m raising all these questions because I’d like astrologers to think about them in order to be proactive about addressing some of these issues ahead of time instead of just being reactive and responding to them in the future at some point when this stuff actually comes up. One of the things I’m nervous about is because astrology has flourished over the past five years largely without opposition, that some astrologers may not be prepared to deal with a serious admet sort of ideologically-driven skeptical attack on astrology if they were confronted with it. And so maybe-
RL: It’s kind of like getting a good square after a bunch of trines. [laughs]
CB: Right. Yeah, exactly. We’re getting all the trines in the sextiles right now but what happens when you run into not just a square, but like an opposition or something like that? Are you prepared to deal with that? Do you have any- Have you thought or even considered that as a possibility or are we just basking in and taking for granted the positive social climate that we’re enjoying today?
RL: Yeah, good questions and more than food for thought for sure.
CB: Yeah. So individual people, though, can work on that by thinking about and researching and doing the thing that most professional skeptics don’t do, which is actually researching what the other side is saying and understanding the root of their arguments, and what some of the strengths and weaknesses are of the skeptical positions. Because they have both sometimes good arguments that they’re making, and they have both bad or weak arguments that are based on misunderstandings or misinformation. And your ability to identify those things and engage them will actually put you in a much better position to have that conversation and do it successfully than if you do what the skeptics do and you just have sort of preconceptions about what the other side things without actually looking into it very much first. That’s something I think each of us can do proactively that would immensely improve our ability to interface with not just skeptics, but also with the public in general.
RL: Well, I think what you’re saying is true. I think that there’s still another piece to this, and that is that there’s so much- I think that the most common reason I’ve run into for why did you become an astrologer was people who said, “Well, because I knew it was bullshit and I kind of read a little bit about it so I could arm myself with all the reasons as to why it was just silly. And the more I read, the more interesting it got. And more interesting it got, the more I realized how important it was.” That’s a very very common reason for people becoming astrologers. And I think that again, when we look at the idea of the future of astrology, the internet has really changed everything. Because when something happens, immediately there are 20/30/40 different groups of people discussing that from an astrological perspective on one of 30 or 40 different platform, sites, discussion groups, etc. And again, if you lived in El Paso, Texas, or Langdon, North Dakota, you might have only known one other person– if that– who even was an astrologer. And again going back to the 60s or early 70s when I was coming up in astrology, a phone call across the states would cost 25 cents a minute. You didn’t just call someone to hang out and talk. And so we have this whole ability to have this virtual community which I think has fed the growth of astrology immensely, and especially because there are so many people who are in astrology who are arguably more intelligent than the average bear. So you see intelligent people discussing it and you become, “Huh, well, that didn’t sound so stupid. I wonder…” You know? And so I think that more and more people are now opening up to astrology just because how available good astrology information is, and of course, you have to follow that up with bad astrology is also just as easy to find out there, unfortunately.
CB: Right. I guess that’s one of the important things is, as we go into and start whatever the current cycle is as we move forward whether it goes up or down in terms of the popularity of astrology, are there things we can do to improve as a community or as individual practitioners? And are there things where we can identify or anticipate potential problems that we might try to fix now proactively in order to avoid them from becoming bigger problems for us in the future?
RL: Chris, you talked about going back 15/20 years. There was a huge concern about the lack of younger people in astrology, and a number of astrologers- I mean, there were a group of us that we got together at various conferences, and this would be an ongoing discussion. It was actually from that AYA, the Association of Young Astrologers, and other things kind of came out of those discussions that invited more younger people into astrology. But I wonder, I mean, that was a good example of proactive energy done on the part of the astrology community.
CB: Right. Because yeah, there was an organization formed then and that did help to interface younger astrologers with the established astrological community by helping to get younger people to conferences.
RL: Which wasn’t part of their… I mean, it turned out that there were lots of young people doing astrology on the internet and in their bedrooms, so to speak. And it was like a whole movement of bringing them out of the closet, so to speak, and going, “Oh my god, there’s a whole community here I can be a part of. And gee, not only that, they’re welcoming us.”
CB: Yeah. But sometimes it’s like the existing organizations didn’t know what needed to be done in order to fix that situation and so what it needed in that instance was a new organization to be formed in order to help bridge the gap and fix the problem. I feel like I’ve seen that over and over again in other instances.
RL: Well, even the founding of IFEN, ISAR, and CGR, they all came out of the same difficult situation in the astrology community. And that was there was one organization and it wasn’t a not-for-profit organization, it was a privately-owned profitable organization– AFA, American Federation of Astrologers– and so these other organizations came into being so that the community could in fact protect its own. There’s now a new organization that addresses specifically ethics, there’s a newer– well, not so new anymore– but OPA, the Organisation for Professional Astrology, came out of a special interest group from NCGR, because it fulfilled a place. And it’s grown into a place where that organization has basically one goal, and that goal is to create astrologers who are more professional than they are now whether they are doing it for money or not. In other words, how do we create a higher level of professionalism in the industry? And I use the word industry rather than community because that’s what the nature of this evolutionary process is. Right now we’re still small enough to be a community although we’re growing.
CB: Right. Or in another instance, a decade ago in Western astrology conferences in the US, there wasn’t very much diversity in terms of the conferences and conferences attendees. And this is identified as a problem. And Sam Reynolds, for example, work together with Laura Nalbandian from the Northwest Astrology Conference in order to set up diversity scholarships and that’s been hugely influential in helping things in terms of conferences and getting people to conferences, and fixing an issue that was identified in the community that needed somebody to be proactive and step up to actually do something to make that change. People should think about that and think about sometimes in identifying these issues. Sometimes it’s something where, you know, somebody else isn’t going to always fix the problem and come up with the idea but sometimes you yourself if you’ve identified it, it’s sort of on you to step up to figure out what needs to be done or what you can start and initiate in order to make some sort of change that you want to see happen in the community.
RL: And although you use the word diversity and I think that would cover what I’m going to say, on some levels it didn’t enough to stop another organization from being created and the queer astrology conferences. Because this whole, you know, we have not only ethnic diversity, but we have gender diversity and gender fluidity that is something that’s so important that is just another thing that has been addressed by something coming into being. And so what I’m suggesting here, Chris, is that although we may have the need to look at a lot of particular things and proactively address them, I think that as a community we’ve done a damn good job of addressing things, at least in the past 10/20 years– even a few years– in keeping us ahead of some of those curves. At least that’s how it seems to me.
CB: Sure. Yeah, I mean, there’s definitely been a lot of progress. The takeaway is just that sometimes it involves individual people stepping up when they see something in the way that the community is not representing them or not representing people that they think should be more important, or there’s some issue in the community and taking it into their own hands in order to enable and enact some sort of change. That’s just a good thing for people to go forward even with issues that we haven’t even identified here, that we ourselves due to our own blind spots can’t see or even that the established astrological community can’t see because that’s a blind spot or something that’s been taken for granted. There’ll be somebody in the coming years or decades that sort of identifies something and just knowing that maybe they could or can step up, that that’s good information to have.
RL: Another example of that is that going back 30 years ago, you had conferences that were attended by, and I’m making these statistics up but I would argue that they’re at least in the ballpark, but you had conferences that were attended by 80% women and yet the lecturers were 90% men. Now, that is something that was also absolutely specifically addressed by various organizations at various times and you now see that gender equanimity is something that if there is an imbalance, it seems that there’s still less men who attend conferences as participants because they already know it all. [laughs] But there’s certainly been more of an equality of gender showing up on who’s at the speaker’s podium? That was a problem in the past and that’s another thing that has been, it has been and is continually addressed on a regular basis. And one other thing when we talk about the future of astrology that I think is something that’s easy to forget about, and when we talk about the advent of computers and in some ways, in some ways the future of astrology is already here. I mean, can you imagine, Claudius Ptolemy or Johannes Kepler looking over your shoulder as you’re working with some software program? It’s like those calculations took days. I mean, the reason why only royalty had their charts done is that it took sightings and hours and hours of calculations to get to a place where we can get to in about 20 seconds, if that. And it’s not just the speed at which it happens, what that means is that astrology has become an open door to a whole population of people who would never learn how to do logarithmic, you know, interpolations and solutions to spherical triangles and all the calculations and the intense heavy math that we had to do as astrologers until that shifted over to a computer. We’re now getting waves of professional astrologers who- It’s akin to if you were into cars back in the 1910s, you had to know how to fix your timing belt and change the oil in your car because there were no service stations, you know? And so to some extent, I get in my car, I drive it. I don’t even know where the damn timing belt is. I don’t even know if there is one on newer car, I have no idea. Yeah, there is. But the point is that I don’t need to know or I don’t need to be the mechanic in order to know how to drive the car. This is a deep discussion that astrologers have had, because many of the certification exams require astrologers to be able to calculate a chart by hand. And I’m not suggesting a double negative here. I’m not suggesting that that’s not a good idea, that probably is a good idea. But the fact of the matter is that just like I can get in my car and drive it, the fact that someone can go on the internet, hit a couple of buttons, and see an entire chart in front of them and go right into left-hand right-brained analysis of the psychological and or spiritual dimensions without having to cross through the terrain of the swamp of mathematics and then sines and cosines and whatever, is another huge thing that I think makes astrology so much more accessible and available to the general population.
CB: Yeah, and that’s probably a good instance where things could continue to go up even further because what we’ve seen in the past decade is through the popularisation of mobile phone apps like Co-Star and other super hyper-popular apps like that. Suddenly everybody knows their big three; their Sun, Moon, and Rising sign, whereas 30 or 40 years ago people would only know their Sun sign. Or even 10 or 15 years ago they might know their Sun sign and take that for granted, even if they don’t otherwise believe in astrology or know anything about it. Now, everybody is sort of taking for granted that most people know their big three, and that may go further in the future in terms of getting to a point where just about everybody’s at least seen a copy of their birth chart.
RL: Well, and I would take that a step further. And by the way, we had talked about using some of my PowerPoint. I don’t need it, we’re covering all the material. That’ll just break the energy. But I do want to, what you just said, brought up something that I did have a couple of slides on. But I think this is we’re talking about where can astrology predict its own future and where might its future be? Now, its future isn’t just in numbers. We’re talking here– you brought up this idea of cell phone applications and the ability to get feedback from our cell phone. Some of these applications that are popular are certainly horrifically awful, although some of them are trying to be relevant. It’s a large spectrum. 15 years ago… Um, 20 years ago, maybe, no one had ever heard of GPS. Maybe 25 years ago, I don’t know where the date was. But GPS was something that that just popped into being because of the widespread ability for people to be able to look at their cell phone and know exactly where they are. And if they know where they’re going, GPS became perhaps the most one of the largest shifts in our thinking about how we move around physically on the planet. I mean, when you go into a new city, you don’t have to buy a map anymore. You don’t have to get directions of, “Go three blocks and then look for the green house, make a right-hand turn, and then there’s an…” Now you just listen to the person in the box in the cell phone telling you to make rights and lefts and whatever. What does this have to do with astrology? Well, I think that we are going to see eventually, the widespread use of what for lack of a better term I’m calling TPS. Now, we know that GPS is Global Positioning Systems. If one could imagine Temporal Positioning Systems– “I know where I am, but when am I?” Click, click, click, click, wait 15 minutes, you know? [laughs] You have this developing heuristic database, almost like an interpretation wiki where everybody can write in what happened to them when Saturn conjoined their moon or when Pluto went over their Ascendant or whatever. So we’re not just reading the textbooks of three or five or 20 people, but we actually develop this alive and moving database that becomes part of this system that can then feed us back and tell us where we are in our life at any given moment in relationship to all kinds of cycles that we’re not even paying attention to, assuming that we put in when something happens in our life, it actually becomes part of our own heuristic database, it learns from what we have done in the past. But I think that we will see temporal positioning systems or something of that sort. Again, whether it’s called astrology at that point or not, I don’t know. But I think it’s pretty inevitable. If this stuff works, that’s where we’re going. Or one of the places where we’re going.
CB: Right. I know that you also want to talk about some other major outer planet ingresses that are coming up besides the Neptune and Saturn shift out of Pisces, right?
RL: Yeah. In some ways, I think some of the technological things that are going on are almost more important or as important as the actual shifts. Obviously, look, you said that other people on today’s program have already mentioned some of these. I mean, the fact of the matter is that we are coming through this incredible Capricorn period that really has been with us for some 20-some odd years, because it really goes back to the Saturn-Uranus-Neptune conjunctions of when Saturn was last going through Capricorn. And now this last run of not only Saturn but Saturn and Jupiter and this whole retrograde dance of Mercury and Venus around Pluto, and Pluto going into Aquarius. So I think on a larger shift, as Pluto moves into Aquarius kind of like the cleaner, you know, the mafioso cleaner, the crime has been done sending the cleaner, “Get rid of all the blood. Make it look normal.” And that Pluto in some ways right now is lagging behind in Capricorn kind of cleaning up that mess. And once Pluto moves into Aquarius, and as I think you said earlier, I think the Neptune is highly significant that it’s been in Pisces and that Jupiter has joined it in Pisces only once every century or so, that becomes significant. I think it’s significant. I don’t want to go down another rabbit hole. I think that’s significant. But then as Neptune goes into Aries, I don’t know whether that’s going to be negative or whether in fact, it’ll just move astrology from less of the spiritual inclination or practice into something that has more immediate use in everyone’s daily lives. I don’t know. I mean, we can guess, we can conjecture. And then when Uranus moves into Gemini, another huge shift. Uranus did okay in Aries because Uranus has changed and Aries is okay with change usually. I think Uranus is struggling a bit in Taurus, the changes are coming louder and stronger, but there are fewer of them because Taurus tends to hold on to its energy. And I think that as Uranus moves into Gemini, we will see a whole new wave of intellectual growth that’s going to be rather stunning. What that will be? I don’t know, but I’m looking forward to it.
CB: Yeah. I always think of the massive amount of technological changes and progress that happened the last time that Uranus was in Gemini due to World War II and the way that the war sort of focused and led to huge leaps in technology that were largely due to the war effort at the time, but then ended up staying with us and changing and influencing society in really significant ways after, even after Uranus left Gemini.
RL: Yeah, I own one of those. Or maybe I should say one of those Uranus and Geminis owns me. But yes, yeah. So you know, when we look at future techniques, one of the important things that has happened that I know that you’ve been at the absolute forefront of is not only the fact that we are changed by what we’re moving into, but we’re also changed by what we learn about the past. I’ve sometimes said when asked, “Can astrology be really used to change your future?” My answer kind of flippantly is “No, but it can be used to change our past.” And you get, “We can’t change your past.” Then go, “Yeah. In fact, we change your past all the time. What do you think about Thanksgiving or Christopher Columbus when you were a kid, and what do you think about it now?” I mean, we rewrite the history of our past all the time and it’s only as we’re aware of it in the present moment that exists. And so from that standpoint, I think one of the most important things that has happened to astrology in the 80s, 90s, and even now moving forward, is the fact that like any good patient in therapy, we’ve basically uncovered our past and told the truth the way it is. That’s the way you deal with neurosis; you go to therapy, you go back and you find where you went wrong in your thinking, and you tell the story with accuracy. I think that that cannot be downplayed because it re-seats astrology in a very different place historically that gives it a very different position in the present moment. And before I finished this long sentence, I would also say the other thing that has changed that we’re still gonna see more and more of, is the idea of using historical events related to astrology. We have to understand that it wasn’t until Johannes Kepler recalculated the orbit of Mars and found out that Ptolemy was off by eight minutes a year! This was like he said, “I’ve touched mountains and it is tremendous what they bilge forth.” All right. Before Kepler, there was no way that anyone could have said, “Gee, I wonder what was going on during the Crusades.” Because there was no calculus, you had to go out and cite the damn planets. And you had a near range of a few years where you could kind of move them backward or forward without losing accuracy. And in fact it was Kepler who was the first person who made any conjectures about the Christmas star or about the Star of Bethlehem, because he was the first person who had the ability to calculate. Now, I can sit at my computer and I can say, “Give me a list of all the Saturn Pluto septiles from the years zero up until now. And it’ll take about a minute and I’ll have that complete list with dates. And so it changes what we’re able to look at, the focus of the astrology dynamically hugely. You know, the recent publishing of the Changing of The Gods based on Rick Tarnas’ material… I mean, obviously, there are many astrologers doing a lot of work in various areas with astrological historical reconstruction, but this also holds a huge future for serious history students. Not astrologers, history students who are now realizing the significance of relating histories to astrological movement. And again, we’ve just barely scratched the surface there. So I think that that’s another thing that will be happening. And then of course, media, we can’t imagine. I’ll shut up for a minute let you kind of jump in and…
CB: I was trying to respond quickly to two things you said. One, that’s a really good point that we haven’t even actually barely begun to figure out what all we can do with the new technological capabilities that are now available to astrologers, and have only probably scratched the surface in terms of really pushing astrology even further with some of those new technological capabilities. For the most part, what we’ve done is just use technology in order to speed up and do things that we used to do like cast charts much faster. But there’s probably so many more things available to us now that we haven’t even fully begun to figure out how to integrate all of that in a way that really improves-
RL: David Cochrane’s work with Vibrational Astrology, you know, going into a chart and letting the computer run complex harmonic analysis on a chart, where will that lead us? I mean, just as an example.
CB: Yeah. Or historical cycles, as you mentioned, there’s a lot of things like that. And then to respond to your previous point before that section, there was rediscovery of traditional astrology and the reconstruction of our history. It’s taken about a Saturn cycle since that was begun in the late 80s and early 90s, but we’re at the Saturn return now and that recovery is largely just about complete. And we’ve almost just about revived as much of the ancient traditions of astrology as we can and reconstructed, although there’s still some debates and some things we’re working out, we’ve largely reconstructed the history of astrology and reconnected ourselves with the past and reconnected our community with the past so that now we can start moving ahead into the future and integrating the ancient traditions with the modern or the contemporary ones in order to create some sort of new synthesis for the future, that will then be passed on as the sort of synthesis that we created in our time period that goes and lasts for another 100 years or 200 years or what have you. But that synthesis hasn’t been fully created yet. Another interesting point that we might anticipate coming up in the future because we’re already seeing inklings of this from astronomers, is the discovery of new planetary bodies. There’s some astronomers like Mike Brown who was one of the people that led to the demotion of Pluto and the discovery of some other minor planets, who is actively searching for a large planetary body that he thinks is out there in the outer reaches of our Solar system. And the ways in which if some sort of very large or massive planetary body was found, the ways in which that might change or alter the practice of some astrologers or signal the beginning of some new historical epoch and time-
RL: Especially if it was Nibiru. [laughs]
CB: Well, yeah. Then if there’s like aliens living on the planet, that would definitely be a big deal. But just in the ways in which, you know, the discovery of Uranus coincided with certain historical events like the American Revolution or the French Revolution, or the discovery of Neptune and the discovery of Pluto all seemed to coincide with important turning points in world history and also had important impacts on contemporary astrology, if there was a major planetary body discovered, that could be kind of a wild card that could change things in ways that we can’t even anticipate.
RL: What about media that we can’t imagine, but we can imagine? I mean, four-dimensional holographic animations. We’re looking at seeing the complexity of the sphere flattened, where we all have this incredible bizarre perspective problem that we call houses. But what if we actually were able to look at a chart the size of the soccer ball with actual points, and able to rotate that from different perspectives and see the aspects as we’re rotating it? And what if we were able to take one of those points and move it and everything else moved accordingly? I mean, we have no idea what’s going to come of this. I think that the engineering aspect of Fourier analysis using complex mathematical formulas, because astrology is wave forms. I know that we as astrologers tend to look at the Moon as a big rock in space or Saturn. But the Moon is also 13 cycles a year, Saturn is a frequency event. It’s roughly three cycles a century or Pluto four cycles a millennium. These wave forms actually have their own magic. In fact, Einstein was once asked, “How does it feel to be the smartest man alive?” And his reply was, “I don’t know, you’ll have to ask Nikola Tesla.” The only reason why I mentioned that is that Tesla was known to have written, “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.” And you have Buckminster Fuller, arguably one of the most intelligent, maybe the most important person in the 21st-century history or 20th-century history will tell. Bucky Fuller wrote, “Universe consists of frequency and angle.” And then elsewhere in this book on mathematics, he wrote, “Angles are sub cyclic.” What does this mean? This means that what we’re looking at normally as big particles like billiard balls, are actually like subatomic particles. They’re particles and waves. And this introduces the potential for creating mathematical formula that analyse those waves just like there’s mathematical formula that analyses what happens when I change a capacitor in a circuit of a computer, or of a CD player or whatever. All of this is done by waves colliding against other light waves. But those waves are incredibly high frequency; thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions, tens of millions of cycles a second where the planets are cycles per year or per century or per millennium, but they’re still cycles. So, what technologies will come out of that awareness that changes how we do or how we practice our trade?
CB: Yeah. There’s so many different ways that astrology, you know, positive developments and so much to be optimistic about. There’s things to be pessimistic about at the same time, but pretty much no matter where you think of it or where you take it, we’re at a very unique and a very important nexus in the timeline of the history of astrology. And whatever we do today is probably going to be- Like during this high point, during this renaissance of astrology, just like there were other Renaissance is of astrology in the past in the European Renaissance in the 1500s, or in the early Roman Empire or during the medieval period in Baghdad in the eighth and ninth centuries, the commonality between those is whatever form of astrology or whatever synthesis that astrologers put together at that time of the technical and philosophical and ethical practices that became standardized at that time, that was the system then that was passed down, the tradition that was then passed down for the next several centuries. So whatever we do now, we should do it as deliberately and do as good of a job as we can because what we do now will be handed off to future generations. So let’s do the best job that we can with that.
RL: Well, and I think largely, we are. I think that we can stop on International Astrology Day. Oh, and by the way, I would like to just reference. I was on the AFAN steering committee– AFAN, the Association For Astrological Networking– I was on the AFAN steering committee from I think it must have been like 1990 to 1993 or four, it’s a two two-year terms. During my first year, I was a relatively, you know– not a relatively, I was a newbie. I thought I was the youngest person in astrology then. But the AFAN steering committee basically passed a resolution that Jim Lewis then got the mayor of San Francisco to declare the spring equinox as International Astrology Day. So just as a point of historical reference, I’m not looking to take any personal credit here, I just voted yes when this was brought up and was discussed, and I probably came in on the fact that if we’re setting a date it should be the first day of Aries because many of you know I have over the legal limit of planets in Aries. The point though is that here we are some 30 years later, and we have multiple organizations holding multiple events all around the globe. This event is being held all around the globe, how can that happen? You know? But that’s part of the magic of these times. And so we’ve come a long way in the past 30/40 years where we actually have established this as a day that I will imagine will continue to grow until it becomes a bank holiday. [laughs]
CB: Yeah, that’s brilliant. Thanks for sharing that. It’s interesting thinking about this as a holiday now for astrologers to some extent that goes back, and was only formalized 30 years ago now but now everyone’s doing it. That’s a really great example of starting something that then everybody starts doing eventually given a long enough timeline.
RL: Yeah. Well, and so I think that aside from looking at all the pitfalls and potential undoing things of astrology, which are certainly all there, I think that sometimes it’s just good to stop and give ourselves a pat on the back. And I don’t mean individually, I mean collectively, because we’ve actually taken something in the moment and made advantage of that moment, and have really done some very powerfully good things with it. I mean, the amount of good information that is intelligent… I do not have and will never have a PhD unless someone says, “Here, take this.” I’ll go, “Okay.” But the amount of academic excellence of astrology being involved in or the central theme of master’s programs around the world, and some PhD programs like the California Institute of Integral Studies, their consciousness studies PhD where astrology is a central theme to that. We live in a world that is post psychoanalytic, meaning that 100 years ago there was no psychological basis or orientation in astrology, that it really took until probably until Marc Edmund Jones and [unintelligible] through the Theosophy piece began merging with the mythical Jung Jin archetypal astrology. But the point is, astrology is no longer an isolated study like math is not either. If you have a chemistry degree, you need to use math in that chemistry degree. If you’re a physicist or an engineer, you need to use mathematics. And by the same token, I think that we’re coming to a point in history where whether it’s poetry, music, various art forms, sociology, psychology, spiritual practices, ritual… You know, not only ritual magic, maybe all rituals are magic. But the use of ritualism in astrology, these are all pieces that take the knowledge that was up here in our head and it embodies it and it brings it out into the world, and I think it’s a very exciting time to be an astrologer.
CB: Yeah, that’s a really good point and is a good point to end on what you’re just saying about we’re in an amazing time now and it’s something really to celebrate. Because the current era and the popularity of astrology represents the culmination of decades and maybe even centuries of work that has been done by individual astrologers. And each of their different contributions now have all coalesced to create the sort of renaissance that we’re now experiencing. That includes some people in recent memory like Astrodienst, for example, which was one of the first and one of the earliest websites where you could calculate a birth chart for free. That was one of the websites I started using immediately very early on and was lucky that I found early in my studies in 1999 and 2000. Nowadays, there’s lots of websites that will calculate birth charts for you but there were a lot of firsts that eventually contributed to the period that we’re in today. And a lot of people’s hard work has finally paid off in this current renaissance of astrology that we’re experiencing now. That’s something really to look back on and reflect and celebrate now on International Astrology Day over the next 24 hours.
RL: Yeah. I know we’re close to the end but there’s also something else that has changed dramatically, and it has changed the nature of astrology and I don’t think most of us have really thought this through as to how important it is. The scenario goes like this; if you had been alive during the French Revolution or during a previous Uranus-Pluto, as an example, conjunction or opposition, you may have noticed things going on in your town on your street corner, but you would have no way of knowing that it was happening all over the world simultaneously. We have entered a world where we have, because of digital technology and because of the widespread use of cell phone recording technology, when something happens it gets recorded. Now what this means is that if you have an important astrological event like a Saturn-Pluto conjunction or a Uranus-Pluto square or a Saturn-Uranus square, that every time faster-moving planets come around and tickle that aspect by conjunction square, opposition, half-square or whatever, what happens is all of a sudden all the footage that’s been taken by everyone at the previous events all of a sudden comes back up in our face. And so we see these events that normally would have just gone away and wouldn’t have been widespread, wouldn’t have been seen by a widespread audience become part of what I call a cosmic feedback loop. It’s almost like being at a rock concert where there’s so much sound it’s pumped back in and it becomes something else. And so I think that this whole ability of creating these feedback loops and then maybe making them into conscious cosmic feedback loops is another thing that if we talk about the future of astrology, I think that that becomes an important thing to think about. It’s just something that we don’t normally think about, I think it has a huge impact. And I would like to end my little piece here with two very short quotes, because I am a quote-a-holic and I refuse to take the cure. This is Nikola Tesla who wrote, “Every living being is an engine geared to the wheelwork of the Universe. Though seemingly affected only by its immediate surrounding, the sphere of external influence extends to infinite distance.” Think about it, this is the guy who invented hydroelectric power, alternating current, rotary motor, lasers, remote control, the list goes on and on and on. He went on to write and he wrote, “The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.” And so I think that as 21st-Century astrologers, we have the ability to be participating in not trying to predict what the future of astrology is, but actually to create it.
CB: That’s brilliant. I don’t have anything to top that so I just want to say thank you to all the organizers, because I think it’s through the efforts of volunteers and people like Gaia and Paula and everyone else involved in the International Society of Research and other organizations that are hosting events like this today on International Astrology and tomorrow as the Sun goes into Aries, it’s due to their efforts and their labor that are sometimes unsung or sometimes not recognized. But that’s why we have a community and that’s why we’re able to have events like this. So thanks a lot for hosting this and for helping us to have discussions like this where we can reflect on the past and talk about and plan for the future.
Special thanks to all the patrons that supported the production of this episode of the podcast through our page on patreon.com. In particular, thanks to the patrons on our producers’ tier including Thomas Miller, Catherine Conroy, Kristi Moe, Ariana Amour, Mandi Rae, Angelic Nambo, Sumo Coppock, Issah Sabah, Jake Otero, Morgan MacKenzie, and Kristin Otero. If you like the work that I’m doing here on the podcast and you would like to find a way to support it then please consider becoming a patron through my page on patreon.com and in exchange you’ll get access to bonus content such as early access to new episodes, the ability to attend the live recording of the month ahead forecast each month, access to a private monthly auspicious elections report that we put out each month, access to exclusive episodes that are only available for patrons, or you can also get your name listed in the credits at the end of each episode. For more information, go to patreon.com/astrologypodcast. The main software we use here on the podcast to look at astrological charts is called Solar Fire for Windows which is available at alabe.com, and you can use the promo code AP15 to get a 15% discount. For Mac users, we use a similar set of software by the same programming team called Astro Gold for Mac OS which is available from astrogold.io, and you can use the promo code ASTROPODCAST15 to get a 15% discount on that as well.
If you’d like to learn more about the approach to astrology that I outline on the podcast, then you should check out my book titled Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune, where I traced the origins of Western astrology and reconstructed the original system that was developed about 2000 years ago. In this book, I outline basic concepts but also take you into intermediate and advanced techniques for reading a birth chart, including some timing techniques. You can find more about the book at hellenisticastrology.com/book. The book pairs very well with my online course on ancient astrology called the Hellenistic Astrology Course, which has over 100 hours of video lectures where I go into detail about teaching you how to read a birth chart, and showing hundreds of example charts in order to really demonstrate how the techniques work in practice. Find out more information about that at theastrologyschool.com.
Also, special thanks to our sponsors including The Mountain Astrologer magazine which is available at mountainastrologer.com, the Honeycomb Collective Personal Astrological Almanacs available at honeycomb.co, and the Astro Gold Astrology App which is available for both iPhone and Android at astrogold.io. There are also two major astrology conferences happening this year. The first is the Northwest Astrological Conference happening May 26th through the 30th 2022 near Seattle, Washington. Find out more information at norwac.net. And the second is the International Society for Astrological Research conference, which is taking place August 25th through the 29th 2022 in Westminster, Colorado. You can find out more information about that at isar2022.org.