The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 35, titled:
Prediction vs Forecasting & Cultural Acceptance
With Chris Brennan
Episode originally released on July 8, 2015
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 2nd, 2021
Copyright © 2021 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hi, my name is Chris Brennan and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. For more information about subscribing to the show, please visit theastrologypodcast.com/subscribe. Today is Tuesday, July 7th, 2015 at approximately 11:28 p.m. in Denver, Colorado and this is the 35th episode of the show. This is going to be a solo show where I talk first about the state of the podcast and some new directions that I’m going with it. And then later, I’m going to transition it into talking about some different miscellaneous topics and pieces of astrology news for the rest of the show. Let’s get right into it.
The first thing that I wanted to mention is a new subscription service that I recently launched for the podcast that’s connected with the website Patreon. What Patreon does is it lets content creators set up basically a voluntary subscription model for their podcast or for their YouTube videos or whatever it is that they create. For my purposes, what I’m using it for is essentially a voluntary donation system so that if people like the podcast and they want to support it and they want to encourage me to record more episodes, they can volunteer to donate a certain amount each time I release a new episode like $1, or $2, or $3, or what have you. The show itself will continue to be free and I’ll continue to release it on a regular basis and anybody can download and listen to the episodes just like you’ve always done. So, nothing’s going to change in that sense. All this says is that it’s basically a way that people can optionally show their support for the show and help me to expand the show and create a better podcast by donating a little bit of money each time I release an episode basically and agreeing to donate a certain amount on a regular basis.
At this point, as you’ve noticed, over the course of the past few months, I have been increasing my frequency of releasing episodes. So, I originally launched the podcast in 2012. And it was a continuation or going in a new direction from something I had been doing previously with Traditional Astrology Radio which I had inherited from two previous hosts of the podcast dating way back to I think 2009 and 2011. But I wanted to start The Astrology Podcast in 2012 in order to create a broader show that wasn’t just talking about traditional astrology even though obviously, this show does have some slant towards traditional astrology just because that’s my primary focus, it’s not my only focus, and it’s oftentimes the focus of many of the astrologers that I interview, although not necessarily exclusively. But the purpose of this show is I wanted to have something where I didn’t just have to talk about traditional astrology, and where I could have a more general show to talk about the history, the philosophy and the techniques of astrology in general because I’m basically just fascinated with astrology as a whole as a phenomenon and diving as deep and getting as deep into all of the different areas as possible. So, I started the show in 2012 and I released episodes sporadically pretty much every few months. Sometimes I would go on periods where I’d release more, and other times I would release less, basically, because I was always jumping back and forth between different projects and doing this as a side project but then going back to other things that were more things that I needed to do in order to pay the bills or what have you.
So more recently, earlier this year, I started to step it up because I realized that there were more and more people that were subscribing to the show and it was starting to get a bit of a following. So, I started trying to release episodes more frequently in January and February. And we went from, I think 20 episodes towards the beginning of this year to suddenly we’re in the mid-30s. This is the 35th episode now. So, at this point, my goal is to release one episode a week, or in other words, four episodes a month. So, in order to help me with that and encourage that and make that possible, I’ve launched this page on Patreon and I think that’s going to allow me to do it because then I know that each week when I’m dedicating a certain amount of time to recording the podcast and then editing the podcast and then writing the page for it and promoting it and getting it out on Facebook and Twitter and everywhere else that I know that that’s not just wasted time or that if a certain amount is donated for that time for each episode and I know that I’ll have, let’s say, $100 coming to me each time I put out an episode that I can more easily justify doing that instead of doing a consultation for somebody or something like that.
Essentially, that’s what I’m asking people to do. If you’re a big fan of the show, if you listen to it regularly or you’re starting to get into it, then think about signing up on Patreon by going to patreon.com/astrologypodcast to visit the specific page for this show and just look at the different options that are available. So even though this show will continue to be free, there are some benefits for subscribing through Patreon such as getting access to a private Facebook group that’s only for subscribers, getting early access to new episodes, and sometimes I release episodes, sometimes I’ll record an episode, but then I won’t release it for a few days or sometimes even a week. So, if you’re a Patreon subscriber at that certain tier, then you can get access to those episodes earlier than most other people would where I’ll typically try and just release them every Monday using the usual subscription methods. And then we have other subscriber benefits as well such as access to higher quality recordings and other things like that. So, the deal is that basically you go on you volunteer to subscribe by paying, let’s say, $1 each time I release an episode. And then what happens is that at the end of each month, they will charge your credit card or your PayPal account or what have you depending on how many episodes I released that month. Typically, it’s going to be four episodes a month, sometimes if I have to go out of town, it might be less. Other times it might be five episodes if I do decide to do a bonus interview or something like that. So, if you’d like to only be charged for let’s say, a maximum of four episodes a month, you can set a maximum monthly amount, so that you won’t be charged more than let’s say X amount in a given month. So that’s another cool feature.
And then finally, I have certain milestone goals which are listed on the left side of the Patreon page. Once I get to a certain milestone goal, I’ll be able to get some better equipment in order to improve the quality of The Astrology Podcast in general, not just for me, but also for some of my co-hosts. Other milestone goals include definitely being able to record one episode each week as a consistent thing if we’ve hit a certain milestone. And then one of the higher milestones that I’m excited about as a possibility if we get to that point somewhere down the line is getting transcripts of each episode. So being able to hire somebody to do a transcript of each episode so that it’s not just audio, but if somebody wanted to read it or wanted to scan through everything that was said so we had a written record of each episode, we would have that which is also helpful because then it would make the show accessible to those that are hearing impaired. So, at some point we might get there. It might be a long way off but that’s one of my milestone goals as well. So generally speaking, if you’re interested in helping me to improve the podcast to expand it so that I’m doing more episodes and so that I’m doing different types of episodes including more interviews with famous astrologers such as some of the ones that I’ve had in the past with people like Rob Hand, or Benjamin Dykes or Demetra George, then please help me to do that, help me to improve and expand the podcast by becoming a patron. Okay, that’s my pitch for that. Let’s move on to talking about some astrology news and then some other miscellaneous topics for this episode.
So, in the astrology news section, the two primary pieces of news is that two big astrological conferences were just announced. The NCGR, the National Council of Geocosmic Research announced that they’re going to be doing a conference in February of 2017 in Baltimore. So, that’s going to be their next big conference and that’s probably going to have several 100 people. Usually, NCGR conferences have, I want to say five to 700 people, maybe I’m aiming a little high, but I think some of the larger, more well-attended conferences that the NCGR has had in the past probably get somewhere in that range. So, this is going to be a major conference. It’s going to draw on its membership since the NCGR is the main group that has chapters all over definitely North America, but also in different countries as well. It’s actually not just national, but it’s become an international group at this point since they have a chapter in Turkey, they have a chapter in Mexico, and there’s a number of other countries that have NCGR chapters. So that’s going to be one of the next big upcoming conferences and they just had a call for lecture submissions for if speakers wanted to submit topics to speak at the conference and the due date on that has already passed. It was June 15th. So, I’ve submitted my speaker application. I think a lot of people have submitted theirs. So, at this point, we’re all just waiting to see who gets chosen to speak and looking forward to seeing what the program is going to be at this conference. So that’s the NCGR. If you didn’t apply to the NCGR to get a speaking position and you are, let’s say a professional astrologer that tries to do such things, then you’re in luck actually because even though you’ve missed the deadline for the NCGR conference, shortly after the NCGR announced their conference, the other major astrological organization in North America and the world in general- the International Society for Astrological Research- announced that it is also hosting a conference next year in October of 2016 which is going to be in California. And they have opened up the speaker selection process and are now taking applications. The deadline for their applications is July 15. You’ve got about a week basically if you’re a speaker and you’d like to speak at this conference to submit a lecture description to them of something that you’d like to talk on.
Unlike the NCGR conference, it’s not going to be a general conference with just random topics, but they have a specific theme. The primary theme that this conference is going to be on is forecasting/prediction. And they’re calling it forecasting and this is actually an interesting topic that I want to get into later although perhaps this will be a good time to do it in just a minute. But there’s this debate within the astrological community that I’ve been seeing play out and it’s been interesting observing it about how to classify astrology or what to say astrologers do or how to classify what we do and whether we should say prediction that astrologers make predictions or whether we should use what’s often seen as a more toned-down term such as forecasting. So, ISAR is one of the organizations that I’ve seen regularly tend to use this term forecasting more often in order to describe what astrologers do. But there’s this interesting ambiguity to it because the conference itself at the very end of the conference, it’s going to culminate with a presidential panel at the very end of it since this is taking place in late October of 2016 right before the 2016 US presidential election takes place. And they’re going to have a panel of, I think, five or six astrologers to basically predict what the outcome of the presidential election is going to be. And that’s going to be one of the main highlights of the conference that the conference will culminate with this entire conference on “forecasting or prediction” is going to culminate with a presidential panel where they’re going to “forecast” the outcome of the presidential election. So that’s typically something that’s done at the United Astrology Conference which previously was taking place every four years in 2008 and 2012. And both of those conventions were hosted or ended with a presidential panel which both of those that I attended, they both unanimously predicted that Barack Obama would become the next president or would retain the presidency in 2012 which turned out to be correct, of course.
Anyway, but UAC due to some infighting between the three major astrological organizations, the NCGR, ISAR, and the Association for Astrological Networking, which is AFAN didn’t quite get it together and didn’t agree on how to get UAC together for 2016 and so it didn’t happen. So, now the organizations are basically doing their own conferences that are competing conferences and ISAR has decided to do a presidential panel with theirs and to make that the, I don’t want to say focal point, but the high point or the culminating point at the end of their conference. So those are the two conferences, of course, there’s other conferences that will be taking place in between now and then as well in the UK, I think this fall. I want to say it’s in September because I think it’s always in August or September each year, the Astrological Association of Great Britain, of course, is hosting their annual conference in the UK. So, you can find out more information about that just by doing a Google Search for the Astrological Association of Great Britain. I think NORWAC, of course, is going to take place next year in May of 2016. That conference takes place every year in Seattle. I’ve talked about it on previous podcasts. And you can find out more information about that conference, the details of which have not been announced yet, but I’m sure they will be in the next few months on their website which is norwac.net. So that’s it for the conferences.
In terms of other topics that I wanted to talk about, one that I mentioned earlier is this distinction between prediction versus forecasting. Because I actually got into almost a quasi-argument with somebody about this last month, or just a few weeks ago where they said a few things. And I’ve heard this before so it wasn’t just something that was unique to this person but it’s a common trope that comes up in modern astrology or in late 20th century astrology where, especially amongst the counseling astrologers and the psychological astrologers, they wanted to reclassify and reframe astrology to be more about psychology and character analysis and less about prediction, especially the prediction of concrete events, or less about saying specific concrete things about the external events in a person’s life, and instead more about going into the internal dimensions of a person’s psyche or what have you. So, one of the things that got reconceptualized with it, they tried to reframe during the process of this. This occurred during the course of the second half of the 20th century, as they ran into an issue where obviously there are parts of astrology. One of the main draws to astrology is that it does have some predictive potential and that’s one of the things that people typically do with it even at the most simple level by looking at their transits. So even the psychological astrologers never got rid of transits and certain things like the Saturn return or the Uranus opposition or Mercury retrograde or other just normal transits like that or common transits that everybody knows about continued to be used. They were reconceptualized in a psychological context. But one of the things that changed is this terminology of saying that what they were doing is forecasting because of the, I think, part of where this came from is part of the premise was that forecasting is a toned-down term which acknowledges the conjectural basis of astrology, where forecasting sounds more like weather forecasting where somebody is taking into account multiple different pieces of data and different considerations. And then based on all of those different considerations, they are coming up with a conjecture about what direction things will head. So, it’s much more general, it’s much more conditional, and it’s much more, as I said, conjectural in the sense that it’s not the way that I think people who do this, the way they conceptualize it is that you’re not making a definitive statement that this will definitely happen but instead, you’re making a forecast of these are the general trends that I see according to the different planetary placements and these are the ones that I’m able to see unable to take into account. And therefore, this is the general direction that I would think that things would go other things aside or not able to, aside from other things that I can’t take into account that could intervene and change the outcome completely.
So, on the one hand, it’s an understandable and admirable thing because it’s taking into account the real and important and necessary point that astrology isn’t a crystal ball that when you look at it, it lets you see a vivid image or video of exactly what will take place in the future down to the details like you’re watching a movie or something like that and you’re just peering through this crystal ball and seeing exactly what will happen. That’s not what it is. I don’t want to say at all, but that’s not really what it is. Because what you’re looking at is the abstraction of what the reality of the situation will be to the extent that you’re looking at the natal chart itself as just a piece of paper that contains a diagram that represents where the planets were placed at the moment of a person’s birth. And then when you’re looking at things like transits for the purpose of doing forecasting, you’re looking at where the planets will be relative to a person’s birth chart. So, where the planets will be in the future relative to where they were at the moment of a person’s birth, and then you’re trying to infer what events or what circumstances or even what internal emotional things a person will be dealing with at those points in their life based on where the planets are in the future. And so, on one hand, the people that prefer to use this term forecasting, you can understand it. And it’s appropriate in the sense that it acknowledges or is a better descriptor, in some ways for the fact that astrology is more conjectural, that you don’t know for sure. No matter how good you are as an astrologer, nobody knows 100% for certain exactly what will take place at a certain point in time. You’re just inferring based on certain planetary placements and certain factors that you’ve taken into account. And you may have taken into account tons of factors, but you’re saying that most of the factors that you’ve taken into account seem to be pointing in this certain direction. And therefore, you anticipate this outcome or this set of circumstances or this emotional response from the person or what have you at that point in time. But one of the issues is that no matter how many factors you take into account, everybody who gets into astrology, once they get to the intermediate level, they start to realize that there’s just so many potential variables and there’s so many astrological factors to A, that you’d know about, but too many to take into account. So, there’s thousands and hundreds of thousands, and perhaps millions or more factors that are known factors that you could take into account but there’s no humanly possible way for you to take all of those into account.
By that, things like different astrologers draw the line at different in different ways or at different points in terms of how many variables or how many points they’re going to put in a birth chart, or how many points they’re going to look at in their transits. So, some traditional for example, draw the line at the seven visible planets. So, they say, I’m going to take into account the Sun and Moon, and the five visible planets that you can see with the naked eye which are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn and then that’s it. And there’s no other planetary bodies or celestial bodies that I’m going to take into account. Other modern astrologers will go further than that. So, in the 20th century, commonly, they would go up to Pluto. So, they would say, I’m going to take the seven visible planets, plus I’m going to take Uranus, Neptune and Pluto and then that’s it and there’s no other factors that I’m going to take into account. Other astrologers starting in the 1980s, would add the asteroids. And then you have this issue where there’s literally hundreds of thousands of asteroids. And you have this question of, well, some astrologers will draw the line and they’ll say, I’m only going to use these five or six or seven asteroids, but I’m going to ignore all of the other ones. So, they’re taking certain ones into account and then drawing the line somewhat arbitrarily, in terms of what they think is more important to take into account versus what they think they can leave out and still do an accurate reading. Then there’s all sorts of other points. There’s the fixed stars which have been an issue since ancient times, basically. Since ancient times, astrologers have sometimes decided to take the fixed stars into account and add those as points that they can reference in a chart that can provide them with additional information. Other astrologers have taken the Arabic parts into account, or the Arabic parts or lots as a whole separate category. There’s also midpoints. Some Uranian astrologers use hypothetical planets. There’s all sorts of just millions and millions of considerations that one could take into account that one knows about or has some awareness of just in terms of knowing that those things exist but deciding or not deciding to use them. And you can never take everything into account, basically. So, everybody ends up drawing the line at some point just because otherwise, there’d be too many factors to take into account. So that’s one partial issue.
The other partial issue is that there’s probably also a lot of factors that we don’t know about that we also are not taking into account. So, there could be celestial bodies out there. So, for example, we’ve been discovering some new planetary bodies or some new celestial bodies in the past decades such as Sedna, and Eris, that we didn’t even know existed until very recently. So, there’s the question of are there other celestial bodies or other celestial phenomena that exist out there that we don’t know about or that we cannot take into account simply as a result of not being aware of it. And there’s other things like that. So, I’m using the example of celestial bodies that we don’t know about, but there could be other things like other techniques similar to midpoints, or planetary patterns or Arabic parts or things like that, that are important in playing a pivotal role for some reason in a birth chart or in a horoscope that we’re not taking into account and therefore not able to anticipate whatever modification that makes or whatever prediction we would be making. So, there’s all sorts of different traditions of astrology. And in those traditions, there’s different techniques that can sometimes do things that we didn’t know were possible. So, there’s different, for example, the dosha systems, which I talked about recently with Kenneth Johnson on a previous podcast, that are used in Indian astrology in order to time different periods in a person’s life. And those are very similar to the Hellenistic timelord systems which can also do things like time peak periods in a person’s career, or a person’s love life, or what have you. Which if you weren’t familiar with those systems or if you went back, let’s say 30 years ago, before the texts that contain those techniques were rediscovered, you wouldn’t know that those techniques existed, or that the things that they are capable of, were even possible in astrology. So that’s a long digression, or circuitous route to then circle back to this whole point that the term forecasting is useful or appropriate in some sense and defensible because it is almost an acknowledgment that astrology is conjectural and that it’s just taking into account certain factors but there’s going to be a number of factors outside of your control or that you’re not taking into account or that you can’t take into account which could alter things or push things in a different direction that you’re not anticipating.
In that way, it’s likened more to weather forecasting where oftentimes the weather forecasting guys, they’ll see certain cloud fronts and certain things coming in and they’ll be able to make a conjecture or a forecast about where that’ll be headed for the next few days or the next week, or the next month, or what have you. But sometimes the weather guys get it wrong. And sometimes their forecasts are wrong because other factors intercede which change things that they weren’t able to account for or weren’t able to anticipate. So that’s the defense of forecasting. Now, the problem that I have with framing astrology as forecasting is that oftentimes, I’ve seen a lot of modern astrologers go too far with this where they’ll say, astrology isn’t predictive, or I don’t make predictions. And then later, they’ll say, I just do forecast or astrology is just about forecasting. They have this conceptualization that forecasting is a different term or means something so radically different that it’s not prediction at all. And they don’t realize that in fact, forecasting is actually just a synonym for prediction. So, it does have a different tinge to it, it has a slightly different meaning, and it has slightly different undertones but it’s still just a synonym for prediction. And when you’re making a forecast, you’re still basically making a prediction. It’s just that it’s a qualified or conjectural prediction.
That’s one of the issues that I have with the term forecasting is that when a person’s using it, or when you’re trying to reframe astrology as something that involves forecasting, you should realize that that doesn’t mean that you’re not doing prediction, or you should be careful not to attempt to spin it to pretend as if you’re not doing prediction, when in fact, this is the issue that I ran into last month was observing somebody who is claiming that they’re saying very assertively that astrology is not predictive and they don’t believe in prediction and think that it’s wrong. They actually went so far as to almost make this ethical argument that making a prediction is ethically wrong. But then, in doing an interpretation with a client, they actually started making predictions or “forecasts” about this person’s life. And the person was asking definitive things about things that would or would not take place in the next year for them or the next few months. And the person was making relatively definitive statements that they did or did not see that coming up for them in the future. And to the extent that they were making a statement about the future based on astrology, they were making a prediction. So, it’s fine if they want to frame it as a forecast in order to acknowledge or not downplay, but to account for the conjectural nature of it, but astrologers should be careful not to be led astray by this reframing to the extent that they start denying the basic principle of astrology which is that you can make a prediction about future events based on the location of the planets at the moment that something begins.
With natal astrology, we are literally making a prediction about the quality and events that will take place in a person’s life in the future based on the alignment of the planets at the moment of their birth. But what you have to realize, and this comes back to this general question that has been going back and forth between some astrologers lately, especially some late 20th century modern astrologers and some of the new traditional astrologers, this question of is astrology inherently predictive which becomes this separate but related topic. And my argument for that always has been, yes, astrology is inherently predictive by its very nature especially in natal astrology because the premise of natal astrology is that you can look at a person’s birth chart which is the alignment of the planets at the moment that they were born and then you can say something about that person’s character or that person’s future today no matter how old they are at some point in their future, even though all you’re looking at is a diagram that shows the alignment of the planets the moment that they were born. So to the extent that you’re doing that, you’re basically making a prediction just by reading the birth chart because even if you’re just doing something that is, let’s say, descriptive, if you’re just doing a personality analysis or a psychological analysis and you’re saying, this person will tend to have these personality traits, or these character traits or whatever, you’re still basically making a statement or a prediction about who that person will be once they get older based on the alignment of the planets at the moment that they were born. So, when you look at it or when you realize that, once you have that realization, one of the conclusions I think that’s inescapable I would argue is that astrology is inherently predictive.
Now, obviously, there’s some modifications of that to the extent that going back to the crystal ball analogy where you can’t see exactly what will happen and all of the details in the future as if you were watching a movie. But instead, you’re seeing the outlines and the general trends, and sometimes some very specific things. But oftentimes, you’re seeing these broad archetypal placements that could manifest in a number of different specific ways. So even though that may be the case and even though you have to qualify the fact that astrological predictions are more archetypes are broad in that way, it’s still a prediction. So, I just wanted to talk about that a little bit because it was something that came up and it was something that I got into a specific disagreement with somebody about and I was almost surprised that there was this and it wasn’t unique. And I’ve seen it before. It had been a while since I’d seen it so I wasn’t immediately prepared with how to deal with it or how to respond to it because there was a cognitive dissonance almost between what was being done in practice versus what the person stated conceptualization of astrology was. But I realized that this wasn’t their fault, necessarily, or it wasn’t something unique to them but it’s something that’s pretty common and I just hadn’t dealt with it in a while. And so, I wanted to talk about it and have this discussion and start this discussion with people listening to this podcast because I think it’s something that’s important in terms of astrologers needing to be clear about what the theoretical and conceptual and philosophical basis is of astrology and what the premise of astrology is both so that we can talk about it and have discussions amongst ourselves that are more accurate and are more grounded in what we’re actually doing and being clear about what we’re actually doing to each other and amongst ourselves. But also, that’s helpful for being able to talk about it to people outside of the astrological community who will immediately if you start making statements like that saying, I don’t do prediction or astrology isn’t predictive and then you start doing “forecasting” or you start making forecasting type statements. Somebody outside of the astrological community is immediately going to see that and say, “What are you doing? You’re saying one thing, but you’re doing something completely different and contradictory.”
I think it’s important for all astrologers, even if you don’t fully agree with me or if you have maybe counterpointed that I’m not thinking about in which case I’d love to hear, you should at least start thinking about this issue because it’s important in terms of how we characterize astrology and how we classify it.
Okay. So, my next topic is this general theme, or not theme, but general issue that I’ve thought about in the past but it came up again recently which is the potential downsides of the greater cultural acceptance of astrology when astrology is accepted more widely in cultures. So, Sam Reynolds posted this article in the Professional Astrologer’s Forum on Facebook recently about issues with astrologers in India where it was talking about different astrological gangs almost in different shady characters that have gotten involved in astrology and some of the nefarious things that they’re up to or the ways in which astrology is being used for sketchy ways in India in certain parts of India. And this brought up an issue that I’ve thought about from time to time which is that it seems like with greater cultural acceptance of astrology comes a greater potential for abuse from shady individuals or individuals who do not have the best intentions of the client or best intentions at heart when they’re using astrology. And I think this is interesting because it provides an interesting counterpoint to people in the West who sometimes assume that if or when astrology becomes more widely accepted that the world will automatically be a better place. So, this is a common idea. And it’s especially common amongst new students of astrology, partially due to the general sense of excitement that some people have once they get into the astrological community. I remember having this just learning about the concept of natal astrology and then learning about the concept of transits and suddenly, finding myself completely immersed in this completely new world of astrology and of possibilities and of what are the philosophical implications for this and then you start applying it in your life and you realize how useful it is for understanding yourself and for understanding other people around you and for looking at the world through a different viewpoint that’s provides you with more information and therefore, gives you potentially a greater ability to approach issues in your life with confidence and with internal fortitude or what have you and just the many different benefits that one starts having once they first start learning astrology.
And it’s common for new students once they get to that point, then make the next step or the next logical step and say, “This is going to be great when the rest of the world discovers this thing as well or when astrology starts becoming more widely accepted so that it’s not just me and not just this small fringe group on the outskirts of society that recognizes this thing and recognizes how useful it is.” There’s this assumption that since you found something and you realize that it’s valid, sometimes much to your surprise, it’s again, a common story or a common trope in the astrological community of the person who is a skeptic that started investigating astrology in order to debunk it or what have you, but that ended up becoming an astrologer, a professional astrologer or what have you. I know a number of astrologers for whom that was their story, basically.
Once you get into the community, there’s so many astrologers and once they get past that point, they realize that it’s actually a valid subject that provides you with a lot of useful insights into the world and into other people, you assume that eventually at some point, this thing is going to catch on and it’s going to become more widely known that this is a valid phenomenon. And at some point, it’s going to become more widely accepted. So even though today in the let’s say, late 20th and early 21st century, astrology is not, at least in educated or intellectual circles, it’s not received very well. And in fact, it’s usually looked at very disparagingly as pseudoscience and so on and so forth. That there’s this assumption that at some point, society at large will become more accepting of astrology once they realize that it’s a valid phenomenon or at some point once it’s been demonstrated or validated scientifically or what have you. And one of the assumptions is that since astrology does have useful applications and it can be useful or helpful or used in a healing capacity that it will automatically once it’s more widely accepted, many people sometimes then make take the conclusion or they jumped to the conclusion that the world will inherently become a better place once astrology becomes more widely accepted culturally. And that was what this immediately, this article about some of the issues with astrologers in India immediately brought to mind for me, is the point that there are actually some potential downsides that people might not expect once astrology becomes more widely accepted culturally. And India is actually a potentially good example of this or a good example to see what it actually looks like when astrology is more widely accepted from a cultural standpoint. Because as a result of the fact that Hinduism has always been very accepting of astrology and Hinduism, which is the primary religion in India, has always had a place for astrology as part of its basic theology, or at least certainly it has for the past 2000 to 3000 years. And there’s some arguments about that that I don’t need to get into.
Because of that, astrology has been much more widely accepted from a cultural standpoint in Indian culture for the past 2000 years even into modern times where it still plays a very important and almost dominant role in the culture. But the lesson here, the interesting point that a lot of Westerners don’t realize is that that’s not across the board has not automatically made Indian society benefit from astrology, or that has not necessarily improved Indian society to the sense that it’s not a cultural utopia just as a result of astrology existing or as a result of astrology being more widely accepted but in fact, there are some downsides that people might not expect. And one of those downsides is that if something like astrology is more culturally accepted, then that means that there’s going to be more shady characters or more sketchy characters or nefarious individuals or criminals who decide to use astrology for negative purposes in order to rip people off or in order to bilk people out of money or what have you. There’s a lot of ways in which astrology can be used in a not very positive fashion. And one of the things that’s actually really funny about that in the West is that skeptics and debunkers of astrology, oftentimes, automatically assume that all astrologers are crooks or all astrologers are just scamming people to begin with because they don’t think that astrology is a valid phenomenon and they think that people who practice astrology also don’t think it’s a valid phenomenon. And therefore, they must know that it’s not a valid phenomenon and therefore they must be using it deliberately in order to rip people off even though they supposedly know that astrology is false. That’s the line of thought that skeptics often take and therefore they think that most astrologers are just scammers, or criminals, or at least that’s often what they try to claim or portray in critical discussions of astrology.
In reality though, it’s actually funny is that if you’re in the astrological community for a while, you actually realize that the vast, vast, vast majority of people are honest individuals who are enthusiastic and fascinated and just really curious about astrology. And it’s something that they oftentimes integrate into their life and they often conceptualize their own life in an astrological context or astrology informs their life in some very serious way. And sometimes they use it on a daily basis just to understand what’s going on in their life so that it’s something that they’re very into and very much believe in as a valid phenomenon as something that’s actually existing and having an important impact on their life in some way. One of the things that you realize basically once you’re in the astrological community for a while that it’s really uncommon, in fact, and it oftentimes will stand out very starkly when you do run into somebody who’s using astrology for nefarious purposes or who is a sketchy individual who’s just using astrology to make money or just using it, not because they believe in it, but because they think that, I don’t know, that it will give them some financial advantage or some power over someone or something weird like that. Those people actually stand out in the astrological community because they’re so uncommon. And when you come across one from time to time, which everybody will eventually but not, it stands out because it happens so infrequently so that it’s startling or stuck when you do run into one of those types of people because it’s not something that you see very commonly.
And I think part of the reason for that is that because astrology is reviled a little bit more in the West, maybe reviled is going a little bit far since at least Sun sign astrology is embraced by at least 25% of the population, or at least 25% of the people in polls, oftentimes will say that they “believe” in astrology which for the vast majority of people means Sun sign astrology because I think it gets a bad rap in the West. I think as a result of that, you don’t see as many scammers and sketchy individuals getting into it because it already has a negative persona. And it’s actually so complicated to learn that I think it provides a higher barrier to entry in some sense in the West so that the payoff wouldn’t be as good for somebody who is just trying to rip people off to try and get into it so you get this weird situation where scammers are a little bit more. And I don’t want to make that statement like I’m disparaging Indian culture or something weird like that. All I’m saying is that because astrology is more culturally accepted in India, it does seem there’s a greater culture surrounding it in certain ways of people that seem to be using it for more sketchy purposes. And I think that makes sense and it’s just natural by the fact that it’s widely embraced by more people. And therefore, when it comes to the negative people that want to take advantage of people, they’re going to gravitate in greater numbers towards something like that because it’s more widely accepted. Whereas conversely, if it was not more widely accepted, you would not see as many people gravitating towards it just for the purpose of ripping people off because it’s not going to be as easy.
That’s my personal theory of that. And I don’t know if that’s going to be controversial or something like that, but it’s just an interesting thing to consider and think about which is typically most astrologers do have this assumption that astrology will immediately improve, let’s say, the lives of people or that once it becomes, they have this assumption first that it’s like inevitable that astrology will become more widely accepted culturally in our culture at some point in the future. And then their second assumption is that it will immediately improve things perhaps dramatically and perhaps single handedly, once astrology is accepted. So, it’s just interesting to think about the other possibility or that there are other possibilities and even consider that, in and of itself, that there could be potential downsides to the greater acceptance of astrology that you might not anticipate. And I should back up a little bit and specify. One of the ways that I’ve personally seen things be a little bit more sketchy is that one of the things that they do in Indian astrology that’s much bigger, I think, that it is in modern Western astrology is the concept of remediation. So, the idea that if you have a difficult birth chart placement or you’re having a bad transit or something like that, that you can do certain things or invoke certain planets in order to offset or mitigate the negative indication of whatever that is either in your birth chart or either in the transits or what have you. So, this is a common thing that used to be more prominent in the West and it’s actually starting to come back through the concept of astrological magic, the idea that you can do remediation of certain placements. But it’s much more common and much more widely accepted in India so that oftentimes, or sometimes astrologers will recommend certain things in order to remediate or mitigate certain placements, gemstones or magic spells and stuff like that.
And there’s this whole industry if you look at forums, or if anybody has ever run a forum or run a website on Reddit, for example, and the astrology page on Reddit, which is at reddit.com/astrology. Oftentimes, you’ll see these constant posts of astrologers presumably from India who are posting these ads for, get my lover back through this spell or word off this astrological curse in my birth chart by buying this gemstone. And these are search engine optimization people who are trying to game search engines by getting certain keywords on other websites. They’re trying to get traffic from people who are doing these searches in order to alleviate this perceived negative condition in their birth chart through the use of magical spells or through the use of gemstones or talismans or what have you. And the issue is just the question of how much of that is people that are out there legitimately trying to help people using astrology or using something that they believe in versus how much is this people that are out there just trying to make money by preying on the fears of individuals who believe in some scary astrological condition that they think that they have in their birth chart and that they think that somebody else can help them with, or can mitigate, or alleviate it. And you just get into really dicey issues when it comes to that and a lot of it or part of it is due to the greater cultural acceptance of astrology.
So, one of the downsides is that theoretically, or at least just looking at Indian culture, one of the potential problems is that when astrology is more widely accepted, it can lead to sometimes in some instances, the potential for greater abuses because people might be more open to or more believing in astrology especially like pop astrology ideas. Let’s say, in the West, the equivalent would be Mercury retrograde or Saturn return or something like that which are becoming these astrological concepts which are more popularly known in broader culture. So, the idea is like, so let’s say hypothetically in the West, if everybody knows about the Saturn return and they know it’s really difficult or they have this conceptualization that it’s really difficult timing in your life, but then they also are presented with the idea that if they buy a certain gemstone and they wear it on their ring at all times on their middle finger or something like that at all times, that their Saturn return will go more easily for them or go more smoothly. It’s like you run into this issue where that might be a valid thing. I’m not going to argue against that and reject that whole approach to astrology and this idea of talismans or mitigations or what have you, which is something that astrologers both in the East and West or certain groups of astrologers do engage in and use as a valid branch of astrology that has a long tradition behind it. But certainly, the potential for abuse there is somewhat greater as well. So anyway, that was a long, rambling digression. But the general point is that I would recommend thinking about this general topic of the cultural acceptance of astrology and what some of the benefits would be. I don’t even think that that’s necessary because everyone always commonly thinks about the benefits. It’s one of the first things, like I said earlier, that I think new astrologers often start to consider or get into. So, think about that, but also think about some of the potential downsides. And then the reason for this or the purpose of this is not just to bum you out or become depressed about astrology being a great thing. But then if it becomes more widely accepted, then, culturally, everybody’s screwed or something like that. The idea is actually, I would say instead, what could we do as astrologers to proactively try to put safeguards in place or try to put some things in place in order to make it so that if hypothetically, at some point in the next let’s say century, astrology becomes more widely accepted in our culture, what are some safeguards we could put in place in the astrological community which would allow that to go more smoothly and make it so that any potential abuses of astrology or any potential downsides to the greater cultural acceptance of astrology could be mitigated or downplayed to some extent?
Now, perhaps we can’t eliminate that stuff completely, but there might be certain things that we can do in order to help out in order to make it not as bad as it could be. So, what would those things be? That would be my question to you. So, that leads us to our next topic in a weird segue where I wanted to mention a couple of astrologers who have passed away in the past few months. The first one is Jeff Jawer who I mentioned earlier this year in an episode where his family started running basically a fundraiser to help. He was going through chemotherapy because he suddenly just discovered. He was up and active in the astrological community and I actually saw him and talked to him just a few months ago at the ISAR conference in September of 2014 in Arizona and actually talked to him about being on this podcast and doing an interview with him. But then in December and January of 2014-2015, he suddenly went into the doctor with some health issues and was diagnosed with cancer which turned out to be terminal. And Jeff passed away just a few months ago. So, I wanted to mention him because one of the things that was really interesting about Jeff is, I always thought that Jeff was really amazing at doing. I guess you could call it actually forecasting in some sense because together with Rick Levine, the two of them would often do these monthly forecasts. And Jeff did the monthly forecast column in The Mountain Astrologer magazine for years where he would and this is actually an appropriate use of the word forecast because he would just write what the astrological weather was like Kelly Surtees and Austin Coppock and I did earlier this month with our forecast for July where we he just talked about what were the astrological movements and transits coming up in the next month or two. But the thing that was cool about Jeff is that he always had this ability to talk about those transits especially broad, long-term outer planet transits like the Uranus-Pluto square that’s been happening over the past few years, or even more simple stuff like Saturn in Scorpio that’s happened over the past two or three years, or Neptune in Pisces and other long term, what you would think of is more generational transits. Jeff had this amazing ability to discuss those things in a way that I thought really accurately captured the essence or the spirit of not just what that astrological placement was about, but he did a really good job of tying that into how it was relevant to us culturally and relevant to the state of affairs in the world today in this really striking way.
I remember a couple of years ago after seeing one of his keynote lectures at NORWAC, I can’t remember what was the specific topic. He was just talking. It was an entire lecture where he was primarily just talking about one or two astrological transits like long-term mundane transits that were happening over the next few years. And I was just really struck and moved by his ability to talk about those things in a way that was very deep and very insightful. And I remember going up and encouraging him and his business partner, Rick Levine, to write a book about it because they’d spent so many years doing horoscope columns and Jeff doing the forecast and TMA and the two of them also wrote a daily or a yearly astrological guide for several years especially during the 2000s that was very popular. I think it was either published by or distributed in Barnes & Noble. So, they were two of the biggest faces in astrology for a while. And by doing all of that stuff so regularly, I think they just developed this ability to talk about astrological placements even the most simple ones with such depth and such fluency that I really wanted to them to get some of that on paper so that they could transmit some of that ability or some of the knowledge that they had acquired to astrologers and future generations. And Jeff and Rick at the time just brushed that off saying that really wasn’t their thing. Writing instructional books on astrology wasn’t their thing. They were more focused on the transits and the things in the moment.
That being the case, or even though that happened, I think Jeff still left a really amazing legacy. And I would definitely recommend going back and looking at his work and even studying some of the talks that he gave about transits and about astrological placements that were only relevant for a brief period of time or were relevant A few years ago but no longer relevant now. And I think you’ll see some really amazing things just in terms of his ability to talk about those things very fluidly and in a very deep and insightful manner. And there’s a lot of things that you can learn about it even if they’re not transits that are relevant now, just by going back and looking at some of his past forecasts and some of his past lectures and writings, you’ll pick up and you’ll learn a lot of interesting things. And I know I’ve picked up a lot of interesting and useful things just doing that and just following his work in that way so I’d encourage other people to. And hopefully in some way, by doing that some of us will be able to carry on part of the legacy of what he did in his career as an astrologer. So, Jeff passed away a few months ago. And then, more recently just a few days ago, I learned that there was another major death in the astrological community which is Maggie Nalbandian. So, Maggie, and this actually ties us into the previous topic which is the downsides of the greater cultural acceptance of astrology because Maggie has this really interesting story where she’s not super well-known in the astrological community because especially in recent years, she played more of a behind the scenes role. She didn’t write a lot of really famous astrology texts. She didn’t write a famous astrology book like Planets in Transit by Rob Hand or Alan Oken’s Complete Guide to Astrology or something like that. But despite that, she actually played, I don’t want to compare it and say it was a more important role than Planets in Transit or Alan Oken’s book or what have you, but she played a similarly influential role in the astrological community by two things primarily.
The first is that she is the founder and she started NORWAC which is the Northwest Astrological Conference which has taken place in Seattle pretty much every May for the past 30 years. I think she started it in the 1980s and it’s been going on for over 30 years now. So, Maggie was a longtime astrologer and she started and operated a bookstore in Seattle called Astrology Et Al. And she had this amazing bookstore in Seattle that sold primarily astrology books, but they also taught classes there. And Astrology Et Al was just this amazing bookstore. I had the luck of basically living in Seattle for about a year from late 2004 to mid-2005 and I just happened to live just a few blocks down from this bookstore. And it was basically the most amazing astrology bookstore that I’ve ever seen in that it had just about every title that you could possibly imagine all on shelves and all able to just pick up and read and purchase or what have you. So, Maggie started this store years ago, I’m actually not sure when. I’d like to do an interview with hopefully one of her children who are both astrologers in order to at some point, get a more detailed chronology of her life so that we can go into it with more depth. Basically, she started this astrological bookstore decades ago. Eventually, they started hosting conferences. She started the Northwest Astrological Conference which takes place each year in Seattle. And I attended my first NORWAC in 2005. And by that time, she had already started to hand it over or her daughter, Laura Nalbandian had started to take a greater role in organizing the conference because that was the other amazing thing that Maggie did is that she had two children and both of her children grew up and became astrologers and her son ran the bookstore. Her son, Gregory Nalbandian, ended up running Astrology Et Al when he got older and running the bookstore and her daughter Laura ended up taking over the conferences and started running NORWAC at some point when she became an adult and decided to pursue a career in astrology. Maggie not only started this amazing bookstore which lots of people were involved in and lots of people benefited from. I’m under the impression that at least one of the more famous astrologers that got his start doing consultations there was Jeffrey Wolf Green who’s the founder of evolutionary astrology, got his start early on or at one point, working and doing consultations at Astrology Et Al and then later went on to write his influential book on Pluto and other subsequent books that founded that movement of evolutionary astrology.
Maggie not only started Astrology Et Al, she had two kids who went on to carry on her work but if you back up a bit and also starting the Northwest Astrological Conference which is just an amazing conference that takes place every year and has a great community and not only hosts established speakers regularly like Rob Hand and Steven Forrest or many others, but they also do an amazing job of oftentimes bringing in new astrologers. And there’s a lot of astrologers in the astrological community where they got their start speaking at NORWAC and that’s the first big conference that they’ve spoken on. So, I was one of those people who gave my first astrological talk at a major conference at a NORWAC back in 2006, in May of 2006. So that was the first conference that I spoke at and that’s part of my personal indebtedness to Maggie and to the Nalbandian family in general. But I actually have an even broader indebtedness to them because Maggie was also potentially more importantly, she was the founder of Kepler College. And this ties into the previous topic of cultural acceptance of astrology because at one point, I interviewed Maggie in 2005, I think I interviewed her at one point when I was living by Astrology Et Al and she was running the bookstore one day and I just sat down and did an interview with her and wrote out all of the notes in a notebook. But she told me, I was attending Kepler at the time, and she told me the story of how Kepler got started. And it was this really interesting and fascinating story that I’m not going to go into in full detail here that would be best for maybe a separate show just talking about her life and her influence. But the most important thing is basically that she told me that in the 1980s, there were some anti-astrology laws that were starting to come up in different parts of the country and there was some specific run ins between astrologers and authorities that caused some concern about the place of astrology in modern society and the legality of astrology and whether there would be problems in the future with being able to practice the subject lawfully.
This happened in the 1980s and there is a different response to it. And one of the responses to it or one of the things that it motivated for Maggie is the idea that astrologers needed to have something like a review board or needed to be able to have some certification board similar to doctors and similar to other fields where there’s a standard that astrologers have in order to designate who the professionals are versus who the not professionals or the amateurs or the people that are not in good standing in the field are. So, this goes back to our previous topic of the potential for sometimes shady individuals to use astrology for nefarious purposes. And how do you tell the difference basically between somebody who’s a good honest astrologer that believes in the subject and is trying to help people out versus somebody who doesn’t think it’s a valid phenomenon and is just trying to rip people off because they think it’s an easy way to make money for some reason or maybe they’re out to harm people or what have you? How do you tell the difference between those two groups of people? So, one of the things that the anti-astrology litigation sparked for Maggie is the idea that there needed to be certification boards so that there could be a more clear process for designating who was a professional astrologer in good standing in the astrological community versus who was not? And part of the motivation for this was the idea that if astrologers didn’t get their act together and institute some things like this so that they could police themselves in a way, then this was going to be forced on us anyways, but it was going to be forced on us externally by governmental groups or other groups that would be not as favorable to astrology and would basically classify all of us as frauds and make the whole subject hard to practice in general. So the idea was to be able to do things in house by setting up certain standards within the astrological community and just being able to internally start to designate who was an astrologer and who is not at least from a professional standpoint, the same way that you have certification boards for doctors or for lawyers, for example, you have the bar and there are certain lawyers that they go to law school and then they need to become certified and have the ability to practice law in a certain area so that they get designated by a specific certification body.
The issue though that she ran into and the realization that she had was that you couldn’t set up a certification board until there was actually a standard within the astrological community, and specifically an educational standard within the astrological community. So, at this point in the 1980s and even still to a large extent today, the issue that you run into if you ever tried to institute something like certification is there’s no standards, not no standards, but there’s no reference point or no standard within the astrological community when it comes to astrological education. And the reason for that is because there’s so many different traditions of astrology, there’s so many different types of astrology, and so many different approaches to astrology as well as just like philosophical and conceptual and theoretical differences amongst practitioners and amongst different schools of astrology largely due to the fact that this subject fell into disrepute in the 17th and 18th and 19th centuries and then recovered. But by that time, astrology had been thrown out of the universities and therefore astrologers learn just by studying a bunch of different types of books. And typically, they learn on their own and will just develop their own unique idiosyncratic approach to astrology through self-study. That’s the way that most astrologers do it. Because of that, there is a lack of standardization in the field. And so, what happened is that Maggie realized that in order to create better standards within the astrological community, in order to create any standard, you had to have a really high-quality educational program that could teach astrologers everything that they need to know in order to make a class of very, very highly educated astrologers that knew everything they should know about astrology. So that included things like, what is the history of astrology, and where does it come from? What is the technical side of astrology? How do you calculate a birth chart by hand if you had to with tables and with an ephemeris? What is the philosophy of astrology? What are the philosophical and conceptual premises of astrology? What are the technical premises of astrology, not just modern Western astrology, but how did different astrologers practice astrology in different countries or in different time periods? And how do those different approaches to astrology differ from one another? These are all different things that make for a well-rounded astrologer if you know the answers or know how to deal with a bunch of these questions. And that became essentially that realization that you needed to have a really high class of astrologers who would be really highly educated and who could set the bar for what the standard should be in the astrological community that became the genesis of Kepler College.
So, Maggie got the idea as a result of all of this that they needed the astrological community needed to put together a school for astrology that could offer certification and could offer degrees in astrological studies or degrees that were primarily focused on astrological studies. Because if you did that, then it would create a standard within the astrological community. And if you had a standard within the astrological community, then you would have a better shot at creating actual standards for the process of doing certification. And if there was a better certification process, then you would have a better chance at being able to create internal structures to deal with problems within the astrological community so that they can be dealt with internally within the community itself rather than at some point running into this issue where the community is being policed externally by people that are hostile to it or what have you. So that was at least the way she explained it. That was part of the genesis of Kepler College. And at that point, the thing that was the most interesting to me about that is that she became this huge proponent of the school and this huge driving force behind it and other people got on board and quickly, it became this huge community endeavor. But she always insisted that this wasn’t supposed to be her thing even though she was a big deal in the astrological community at that point and she was the owner of Astrology Et Al and she ran the Northwest Astrological Conference which was becoming a big conference and regular conference. She always insisted that this wasn’t going to be her school that she just wanted to get the ball rolling and then she would hand it over to other people that could handle it or more suited for running an actual college and then she would step back.
And what was really fascinating to me and the thing that was always the most impressive to me about her one of the things that was most impressive aside from her determination and just the fact that she was able to get this going, is the fact that she actually stuck to her word and she did get the ball rolling. And it took a great amount of work and a great amount of networking and help and bringing in different people from different parts of the community in order to work together. Sometimes, people that didn’t want to work together or sometimes people that there was the potential for tension or animosity, she was able to bring these people together and launch this huge community effort. And then when the time came, she really did step back and let it go and let it develop and grow in its own way. And there was something just tremendously impressive and admirable about that in her that it wasn’t like this personally motivated thing for her. She did have personal investment in it and that she wanted to see it happen and it was something that she helped with and worked hard on for many years. But it wasn’t just something she was trying to do for the glory or for bragging rights or something like that. It was something that she genuinely wanted to do to help improve the status of astrology within our community and within the world in general. And eventually after 10 years, they were successful and Kepler College opened its doors in 2000 and was authorized by the state of Washington for about a decade to issue or grant degrees, associates, bachelor’s and master’s degrees that were largely focused on astrological studies.
Kepler eventually after about a 10-year run by 2009-2010, certainly by 2012, lost its ability to grant degrees and the state changed its rules specifically in order to bar Kepler from what it’s doing, essentially. But nonetheless, Kepler accomplished something really amazing and really unique during that 10-year time span. And there were many people that were very fortunate to go through the program at that time and get the full type of education that hadn’t been available in hundreds of years since astrology first fell out of Academia years ago or centuries ago during the 16th and 17th centuries. So, there’s something historic about that and something unique about it that’s hard for me to describe and would take a show all on its own to describe the importance and the uniqueness of the Kepler College experience. But suffice it to say that it was a really important turning point, I think, in the astrological community and it produced some very interesting results one of which I’m essentially the result of Kepler College and a lot of the things that you see me talking about and the issues that you see me discussing and wrestling with and trying to share with you and the way that I think about astrology and the way that I approach the issue of astrology and the general topic of the different forms of astrology or the different astrologies as Rob Hand likes to refer to it, a lot of that comes from not just my personality, but it comes from my background as a student and as somebody that went through the program and got a degree from Kepler College. So as a result of that, I owe a lot of gratitude and I owe a lot of things to Maggie Nalbandian. So, I just wanted to briefly mention her here and mention her passing because it’s a pretty big moment in the history of the astrological community in the history of late 20th and early 21st century astrology. So, I hope to talk more and maybe do a short show to go more in depth at some point in the future to talk about her life. But for now, I hope that people will look into her and have her in your thoughts this week since she just passed away a few days ago.
All right. So that brings us to almost the end of the show. The very last segment that I wanted to do is I just wanted to briefly mention that there’s some new astrology podcasts that are starting. In fact, there’s a lot of new astrology podcasts that either have started recently or are in the process of getting started or are about to launch in the near future and I just wanted to highlight a few of them very briefly. So, I’ve read some articles really recently, I think one was in the New York Times just talking about how we’re going through a podcast Renaissance, obviously, not just in the astrological community, but just in general. Because it’s easier to start a podcast and host a podcast than any other time in the long history of the past 10 years that podcasts have been around but also because smartphones have become so widely used and things like that, it’s much easier to download and play and listen to podcasts and to organize them or have them in your library than in previous times as well. So, you don’t have to just own an iPod at this point in order to listen to a podcast on the go, but you can download it onto your phone or your laptop or your home computer or whatever. So podcasting is popular right now just in general and in the astrological community, it seems like some people are starting to catch on and suddenly there’s this whole wave of astrology podcasts that are starting.
I wanted to mention a few of them. The first one that just launched and the first episode is out now and I think there’s about to be a second one is The Mountain Astrologer magazine recently launched a new podcast called Coffee Break. And what they’re going to do, this is being spearheaded by the primary designer and genius right now behind the rebranding and the expansion of The Mountain Astrologer that’s been taking place over the past few years, Shannon Garcia and she’s going to be hosting a weekly short segment called Coffee Break. And in it she’s going to do just some quick episodes in order to highlight different things that are going on not just with the magazine, it’s not just some promotional thing, but interviews with different people and different segments talking about different topics and things like that. So, this is one of the ones I’m very excited about and I’m hoping to do some work with them in the future. I think we’re going to do a larger show at some point before too long talking about giving a broader list of different astrology podcasts that are available. That’s one that I’m very excited about and it should be a weekly show. You can find it at mountainastrologer.com/podcast.
Next is my good friend Nick Dagan Best has recently launched a podcast called I Love Astrology @iloveastrologypodcast.com. And Nick’s approach is really interesting. His first episode he released already was on the topic of oil and he interviewed several I think it was like four or five different astrologers on the topic who all approached the astrology of that topic in different ways from either a mundane perspective, or from the perspective of financial astrology, or from other perspectives like the perspective of natal astrology or what have you. And it ended up being a really interesting and well edited little show on a specific topic, but featuring the voices of a number of different astrologers. And I was very impressed by it and I’m very excited to see where Nick goes with it in the future. So, it’s @iloveastrologypodcast.com.
The third show that I wanted to mention is one of the listeners of this podcast, Ashley Otero, recently launched a podcast called The AstroLogic Yogi Podcast and I am excited about where she’s going with it. She recently actually just in May won the AFAN scholarship to go to an astrological conference and she used it in order to go to her first astrology conference which was NORWAC back in late May of 2015. And in one of her recent episodes, she actually talked about her experience as someone who’s new to the astrological community and hasn’t been to a conference before. And she actually talked about her experience of what it’s like as a new person to attend an actual astrology conference and meet a lot of the astrologers that you’ve been following in person. So, I thought that was really interesting and really awesome to hear that and to hear what her experience of NORWAC was. In her first episode, she also talked about her broader plans for the podcast and I think I’m excited to see where she goes with it and I think that’s going to be one of the big podcasts in the future that you should keep an eye out for and stay tuned to. So right now, the location of it is you can find it on SoundCloud @soundcloud.com/theastrologicyogi. Or if you just do a search for her name, she has a consulting website called Evening Star Astrology but her name is Ashley Otero, so just search for her name and search for podcasts and I’m sure you’ll find it or you can find links to her podcasts as well as the other two that I’ve mentioned in the notes for this episode on theastrologypodcast.com.
All right, that brings me to the end of this episode. So, it looks like it’s been about an hour and 30 minutes so thanks for listening. I wanted to do a solo show since it’s been several months since I did one and I had a few things that I wanted to just riff on and talk about in order to decompress. I’ve been traveling a lot over the past couple of months which is why there haven’t been as many podcasts as before but I’m hoping to really ramp them up and get into a good schedule of releasing them on a weekly basis, shooting for about each Monday to release a new episode. So, like I said before, if you want to support the podcast, then definitely check out our page on Patreon at patreon.com/astrology podcast. Like I said, if you subscribe to the podcast or if you volunteer to donate money to the podcast, then you can get some benefits like access to the private Facebook forum where there’s also already some discussions about the podcast and about different episodes that listeners would like to see that are already going on and you can also get early access to new episodes of the podcast by subscribing as well. Please check that out if you’re interested. If you like the podcast and you want to see it grow and develop and you want to see more episodes come out and you want to see them come out more consistently, then please help me out by subscribing and we’ll build a better podcast and expand the podcast together. So that’s it for this episode. Thank you very much for listening, and I’ll see you next time.