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Ep. 77 Transcript: The Nature and Value of Astrological Prediction

The Astrology Podcast

Transcript of Episode 77, titled:

The Nature and Value of Astrological Prediction

With Chris Brennan and guest John Marchesella

Episode originally released on May 18, 2016

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Note: This is a transcript of an audio podcast. We strongly encourage you to listen to the audio version, which includes inflections that may not translate well when written out. Transcripts are created by using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and the text probably contains some errors and differences from the audio version. Please submit any corrections to Chris Brennan by email at astrologue@gmail.com.

Transcribed by Chloe Plumb

Transcription released January 7th, 2021

Copyright © 2021 TheAstrologyPodcast.com

CHRIS BRENNAN: Hi, my name is Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. This episode was recorded on Tuesday, May 17th, 2016, starting sometime after 11:15AM in Denver, CO, and this is episode 77 of the show. 

For more information about how to subscribe to the podcast and help support the production of future episodes by becoming a patron, please visit theastrologypodcast.com/subscribe. In this episode, I’m going to be talking with astrologer John Marchesella about the nature, scope and value of predictive astrology. John is a New York-based astrologer that has been practicing astrology since 1976. He is president of the National Council of Geocosmic Research, and is currently in the process of organizing a major conference on astrology titled “The Many Faces of Astrology,” which will take place from February 16th through the 19th of 2017 in Baltimore, MD. You can find out more information about the conference at NCGRConference2017.com, and you can also learn more information about John and his consulting practice through his consulting website at Astrojohn.com.

Before we get started with the interview, just a few quick announcements about the raffle prizes that we’ll be giving away during the next episode. We’re doing a giveaway this month for our patrons who donate on the $5 and $10 tiers and our first drawing will be at the end of May, during the next forecast episode. The grand prize for patrons on the $10 tier is a full pass to the online astrology conference that is occurring in November titled “Breaking Down the Borders 4.” This is a 3-day conference that will feature 48 speakers from around the world, giving live lectures through an innovative live webinar format. You can find out more information about that conference at astrologyconference.org. Other prizes for patrons on the $5 tier include a great lecture by Demetra George titled “Integrating Traditional and Modern Methods,” a new lecture by Benjamin Dykes titled “Two Special Configurations: Aversion and Decimation,” and an awesome e-book by Kelly Surtees titled “Saturn in Sagittarius: Focus Your Fire.” All you have to do to enter the giveaway is become a patron of the Astrology Podcast through our page on Patreon at the $5 or $10 tier, and then you’ll automatically be entered into the drawing, with the winners of this month’s giveaway being announced on the June forecast episode, which will be recorded next week. More details about the raffle and links to find out more information about each of the prizes can be found on the description page for this episode on theastrologypodcast.com. Alright, with those announcements out of the way, let’s get started with the interview. John, welcome to the show!

JOHN MARCHESELLA: Hey Chris, how are you?

CB: Excellent. Well, I’m excited to have you today because I saw–the genesis of this episode is that I saw your lecture at the Great Lakes Astrology Conference last month, which was titled “The Value of Prediction,” and I thought it was a really brilliant lecture, so I wanted to talk to you about that topic, because it seemed like you had a lot of really great insights into the nature and the scope but also the value of predictive astrology. So, maybe let’s start a little bit with your background, just so people understand where you’re coming from and what your perspective is on astrology. So, how long have you been studying the subject?

JM: Almost 40 years.

CB: Okay, so since the 1970s?

JM: 1976: July 3rd, actually.

CB: Excellent. So you’re coming up on an anniversary pretty soon, here?

JM: Yeah, umhmm!

CB: Alright, and you consider yourself to be–and this is a little unique, because I think a lot of modern astrologers–modern astrology seems to have gone on more of a psychological track in the 1960s and 70s, and I think–for some psychological astrologers, there was some reticence or some ambivalence or even opposition to the idea of astrology as being predictive, but you’re more of a modern astrologer that views yourself as doing predictive astrology, correct?

JM: I am, and I’ll also say that I’m formally trained in psychology: I’m a certified psychotherapist, although I’m not practicing as a therapist right now. But I had a full training in that, earlier on back in the 80s. And what that prepared me for, actually, is to use prediction in a more psychological way. 

CB: Okay, so you actually have training and background in psychology and psychotherapy, so that is certainly an element of your background, and you’re able to take that into account, but you also, at the same time, kind of recognize astrology as–would you say inherently predictive, in some sense?

JM: I think so. I don’t think that prediction is really separate from natal interpretation. I think prediction is really just the happening of the horoscope: the manifestation of natal potential. 

CB: Sure. And the Indian astrologers actually have an interesting saying about that: that there are natal seeds that are sort of built in to the birth chart, and that they all sort of grow and eventually manifest at some specific point in the life, and I thought that was interesting when you said that, that you see prediction, essentially, as the manifestation of the potentiality of the natal chart in some sense. 

JM: Mmm-hmm. There are a lot of times, in fact, when I’ll say to a client, “I know this is going to sound like a prediction, but it’s not. I’m making a statement about your character.” 

CB: Right, so going back to Alan Leo’s famous statement that “character is destiny.” 

JM: Correct.

CB: Alright, so, going back, a lot of your lecture at the conference–a lot of this keynote lecture–was things that you learned from 40 years of the practice of astrology, and seeing clients, and there were different anecdotes from your experience about how to work with prediction, but also, there was this element as well of change and growth and learning from mistakes in some instances. And one of the things that you acknowledged is that your perspective now was different in many ways than it would have been 20 or 30 years ago, when you were a younger person practicing astrology. How, or are there some specific ways in which you feel like your perspectives on prediction have changed, compared to where they were 20 or 30 years ago?

JM: Oh sure, and in so many ways. But I’ll say first, actually, that over the years, with so much work with clients, I’ve expanded the range on how to work with prediction. So, for instance, there are times, now, and I would never have done this years ago, but there are times now when I will say, “yes! September 15th, 2016, you’re getting a new job! It’s going to happen!” And I’ll say that to the client who perhaps has a great deal of doubt–who needs some reassurance. If I can pinpoint something like that, it helps them to believe it more–believe in themselves, more. It gives them more confidence. And maybe earlier on in my practice I would never have done something that exacting, let’s say. I don’t do that in every reading now–not every client needs that. There are many times when I’ll just say, “yeah, sometime in the Fall it looks like you will wind up changing your job.” But this is more my point with prediction, no matter what style we use, really: the purpose of making predictions is really to explain why it’s happening. It’s not so much what’s happening, whether you will change your job or fall in love or buy the house or whatever it might be. It’s, “what purpose is this serving in your life? Why are you doing this? How is this advancing your development? What does this say about your character?” That’s what I try to get clients to understand, more. It’s not so much the “what’s happening,” but “why is it happening?” Certainly prediction is not about saying “next Tuesday, you’re going to wear yellow socks.” That doesn’t serve anything. 

CB: Sure, and do you feel like, ultimately, that’s the main value of predictive astrology? Not just that it can sometimes tell you what will happen, but sometimes why, or to contextualize the purpose underlying events?

JM: That’s the most important thing about prediction, I think.

CB: Okay, and what would you say–what’s the access point for that? How can an astrologer–because sometimes that seems a little dicey in terms of the meaning that we ascribe to events. How does astrology provide that value? I mean if it has the predictive potential, which I think it ultimately has, through the ability to predict when things will happen, what’s your access point for trying to understand the greater meaning or purpose underlying those predictions?

JM: Let me use this as an example. To one person I can say, “yes, it does look like you’re going to be changing your job later this year, and the reason is, you’ve simply outgrown the old job. You’re done. It’s over. You’ve reached your potential. You’ll be, very soon, ready–if you’re not ready right now–to realize you’ve hit the wall! It’s time to move on!” Now, that’s one reason why someone might change a job. For another person, we might say, “this problem that you’re having with your boss that is making you want to leave your job: this is much more of a personality conflict that you’re having. And how does this have roots in your history–in your past? Is this a pattern with other authority figures? Does this go back to your childhood? Does this go back to earlier experiences with teachers when you were in school? Maybe this is not really just about a new job. Maybe you’re not going to be able to leave the job until you work something out with this boss. With this boss, or something in yourself about authority. So, that’s a whole other reason why a person would change jobs. 

CB: Sure, and from a technical standpoint, I can see where you might–like, the first one might be where someone is finishing a 30-year Saturn cycle or something like that, and they’re closing down one large chapter of their life and getting ready to start another. You might contextualize how you’d frame it technically within that context. Whereas for the second, maybe we’re talking about difficult placements in the 10th house or something, and something about how the native responds to authority figures in terms of their character, or orientation towards them, or something like that?

JM: Correct, yeah.

CB: Okay, brilliant.

JM: Overall, just in a nutshell, I usually use Saturn as the timing, or the time to do something, that it was a matter of time, it was bound to happen with time. You’re ready to do it now. And it really–and when Saturn brings events or changes, it really is time for it to happen, because Saturn is all about time, whereas Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, the outer planets–I think might be a little more psychologically-oriented. And there, there might be something about a complex in the character that is actually being activated. Then those people have more to work out, let’s say. 

CB: Yeah, that actually was a statement that you raised I thought was really interesting, and the implications were fascinating in the lecture, which was that there are certain transits, like I think you used Saturn transits as an example, that are probably easier to make concrete predictions about, or to state that it’ll work out in a certain way, just because they always tend to do so. And that’s almost the nature of the transit in some sense. Whereas there are other transits you might have that are more, by nature, unpredictable, or nebulous, and therefore hard to make concrete predictions about. 

JM: Correct, because for Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, I like to use the expression, “it’s not about the thing.” If Uranus is hitting your Midheaven, and you think that it is time for a new job right now, it’s not really about the new job. Yes, you might get a new job, but it’s not about that. It’s about the surprise–the all of a sudden. The, “ya never know! I wasn’t even thinking about a new job, but it just came into my head!” It’s about the surprise. If Neptune does something, it’s not about the thing! It’s about the experience of Neptune, however you want to describe that. It’s about the “being lost at sea.” It’s about the “being blind.” It’s about the “surrendering to something higher than yourself.” With Pluto, it’s not about the thing! It’s about the experience of the death of the thing: the grief, the mourning, and the rebirth–the transformation of it. And it’s about that experience, rather than the thing you think it’s about. 

CB: So it’s about the sort of transformational process. And that just raises an interesting paradox with the nature of astrological prediction is that there can be some parts of it where you literally can’t predict the unpredictable by virtue of just the nature of the fact that it’s unpredictable with something like a Uranus transit, or even a Neptune transit. And that raises some issues, and I’m sure some challenges in the context of doing astrological consultations in terms of how to, then, present that information in a way that’s useful and practical to the client when they might be wanting something more concrete. 

JM: That’s true, and in the beginning of the predictive parts of those readings, I am trying to let them know that it’s about this experience that you’re going to have. I might even say, “I don’t know what’s going to happen, but that’s the point! I don’t know, you don’t know, we’re not going to know: this is about the living-with: the not-knowing. How do you experience that? What do you do about that? How do you relate to that? That’s what it’s about.” We’re not supposed to know everything. Life is not supposed to be completely predictable, but again, I’m not so much focused, especially with the outer planets, on nailing down what’s specifically going to happen. I’m trying to really talk about a person’s experience, and how they will experience the not-knowing. 

CB: And one of your access points for doing that, I think you mentioned at one point, is using analogies with everyday events in order to evoke a certain type of feeling that one might experience within the context of that event or that issue as having relevance to broader experiences that a person might have, right?

JM: Right. Right. And that’s, I think, where we do have to have a sense of humor about astrology, or maybe just a sense of humor about life! But, you know, I can be talking about a very intense Pluto transit, but then I’ll bring it very much down-to-earth and I’ll say, “you know, you’re also going to be having some plumbing problems in your bathroom. And it’s going to be something along the lines of: your leak behind the wall needs to be fixed, and the plumber comes in and takes down the tiles and fixes the pipe and says, “okay, it’s 5 o’clock now, I’ll be back tomorrow and I’ll put the tiles back up.” And then, of course, he doesn’t come for months and months and months, and you’re looking at a hole in the wall, and you’re looking at those pipes, you’re looking at what was buried beneath the wall, buried beneath the surface of your consciousness: that is an experience that’s a picture, you might say, of what’s going on inside of your own mind. You’re looking behind your defense mechanisms. You’re looking behind the surface that you have created: the image that you created of yourself. It’s time to dig a little bit deeper, and even your bathroom’s going to be telling you this. Sometimes people come back for another reading after that and say, “you know I really did have those plumbing problems in my bathroom–that really did happen!” 

CB: Right, and it was like a literal–they literally had plumbing problems even though it was more of a metaphor?

JM: Exactly!

CB: And you’ve used other metaphors like root canals as well?

JM: Root canals, cleaning things out, doing a yard sale and getting rid of all of your junk. And sometimes mice in the kitchen, for people who live in the city; raccoons for people who live in the country. But things that were buried beneath the surfaces, hiding in the dark: they come to light. But that’s what happens during a Pluto transit. But what I enjoy very much is that people make that connection between those silly everyday events like plumbing problems, but “yeah! That’s going on in my own head! That’s where my mind is, right now–that’s happening inside myself!”

CB: Sure, so everyday matters reveal deeper meanings?

JM: Yeah. Sometimes the Gods speak to us in these funny ways. Car problems are another good example. When you’re getting a heavy transit to your mercury or through your third house, and all of a sudden you’re having problems with your breaks, and you’ve got to ask yourself, “well, where am I not slowing down enough in my life?” “If I’m leaking oil, and my transmission is starting to grind, well, where are things grinding inside myself because I’m not lubricated enough, or where is there not enough ease in my life–or [where are] things [that] are not running smoothly in my life?” These simple, everyday ways can be very illuminating for people. And we might also say, this is how life really is a dream, because what I’m talking about, really: dreams work in the same way. 

CB: Sure, so it’s taking it back to that idea of making astrological predictions, but also looking at the deeper meaning underlying the events, and that some of these might, in fact, work out very literally, but in some instances it’s less about the event itself, and more about almost reflecting philosophically or psychologically on the broader symbolic meaning that that has in your life, and how you might be able to use it sort of proactively in order to enact change and positive transformation in your life. 

JM: Correct. It’s really the understanding- the why this is happening. 

CB: Sure, and this brings up another point, which is that you made a distinction that I think was very important, and this is something that I talk to Leisa about a lot, and that she’s focused on a lot for example in her lecture on Saturn returns, where, sometimes it’s true that there are events that happen in our lives that are directly tied into past actions or are tied into character issues or things that are within our control, but sometimes there’s this other class of events, where sometimes things just happen, or there are events in our lives that are not necessarily tied into the client’s actions, but they’re just things that have to be experienced for better or worse. And it seems like you acknowledge that distinction because of this issue of not necessarily wanting to blame or judge the client, but sometimes just put things into perspective and allow for sort of an acceptance of events in some sense, right? 

JM: Correct. There are a lot of times when I will tell a client, if they’re going through a difficult transit of some kind, “this is supposed to be hard. It’s not supposed to feel easy right now. You’re supposed to be very emotional right now. It’s the way. You wouldn’t be alive if you weren’t experiencing that difficulty right now.” And then, again, we go into “but why? What purpose is that difficulty serving?”

CB: Sure. Do you ever have problems, or is it difficult, ever, to try to identify the distinction between something that the person is bringing about themself, or something that perhaps they’re experiencing because they’re not, let’s say, doing something right, or because there’s something that they could be improving in their life in order to avoid issues like that, versus things that are just, you know, misfortune, or bad luck on that person’s part, in some broader sense?

JM: I don’t know if it’s difficult to see that in the chart. Sometimes it’s difficult to communicate that to the client, or to get the client to see it. But even when we do talk about the result of past actions–you know, the reason why you’re in this pickle right now is because you made a poor choice in the past, or an ill-informed choice in the past, or because you were not really aware of your behavior in the past: even to that client, I’m still going to try to–well, certainly it’s not my place to judge–I’m going to try to get them not to judge it–to not feel even a victim of their own poor actions from the past. To not blame themselves: to accept, “okay, I did a stupid thing, or I was unaware of something, I made a poor choice and I see the result of it now. But I have to accept that, I’ve got to learn from it, and then move on.” I don’t like to speak about mistakes: I don’t see things–I don’t see the world as mistakes or with mistakes. I think we have experiences. And when those experiences don’t go well or don’t result in what we expected or hoped, we have to learn from them. We have to be aware of them. But I don’t think that we should consider them–or at least I wouldn’t consider them–mistakes, or, certainly, blaming ourselves for it. 

CB: Sure, and you actually had some reticence about even using the word “lesson,” instead preferring the term “experience,” instead. 

JM: Right. Years ago, I would use–like many astrologers, we would use the word “lesson.” You know, “this is a lesson in Uranus,” or “this is a lesson in Neptune.” It sounds–maybe it’s my Catholic background, my Catholic upbringing showing, but it just smacks too much with, “you have to learn this! You should learn a lesson from this!” So I try to discard that word, and just say, “this is what you’re experiencing.”

CB: Sure, that makes sense. Well, let’s bring it back to one of the broader points you made that was really important as sort of a foundation which probably would have been a good starting point which is that you said it’s important for each astrologer to be clear about what their personal belief system is regarding the future and especially regarding fate and free will, because that opens up a lot of things, especially in the context of a consulting setting, both with how you approach making statements or making predictions, but also in terms of how you react to your client’s beliefs, especially in instances when they [your beliefs] differ from what your client believes. 

JM: Oh, sure, absolutely. I think it’s very important for us to be clear on our beliefs for ourselves, and there are times when it’s appropriate–when it’s necessary–that I will say, “look, this is what I believe, but if you don’t believe that the universe works this way, then let me translate this into your belief system in your language. I can easily be flexible to do that.” Or, if they are in a place of blaming themselves for a past action and in a place of guilt or shame, I might say, “I don’t believe in that, and I don’t believe that you need to blame yourself, but I understand that what you’re experiencing right now is your own shame for what you’ve done. Alright, so that’s where you are. And that’s going to be a part of your process.” So I think that we need to be very clear on what we believe for ourselves, but we’re always having to work in the belief system of the client. Although, if their belief system–sometimes we can see in the chart: ”oh, the reason why you’re in this crisis is because your belief system is no longer serving you. You’re in the process of changing your belief system, or your belief system is transforming into something different. Now, let’s talk about the possibilities of what that might be.” And that can be very illuminating for them if it’s revealed in the chart that that’s what’s happening. 

CB: Sure, so you’re using prediction in the sense, then, to be a counseling tool to open up a sort of dialogue with the client?

JM: Yes, that is true.

CB: And then part of the purpose of that is that it can involve considering different possibilities and extending one’s view of their own potential. 

JM: Yeah. 

CB: Okay, and it’s interesting, a point you raised about that: that sometimes this can feel validating for some people because it confirms things that they already felt about themselves, so that there is some astrologer who doesn’t know them from Adam or whatever the saying is, and they just met this person and suddenly they’re saying all these things which are actually confirming the things that the client either overtly or perhaps privately already thinks about themself in some sense, but then, other times, it’s the opposite, where sometimes you can raise possibilities the client hadn’t previously even considered about themself. 

JM: Correct.

CB: So how would that work out, practically speaking, in terms of what are the different scenarios for those two options? 

JM: Well it’s funny, just yesterday I was reading for someone, and at the beginning of a reading, I’ll always say, “did you come with any specific questions? Would you like to say anything, or know anything?” Most of the time people say, “um, no, why don’t you start the reading.” Those clients, and there are many of them, are often afraid that they’re going to influence me, or kind of sway the reading, or, if they tell me that they’re wanting to do something, they’re afraid that I’m just going to be nice and agree with them and not tell them the truth. So, those people, I’ve learned, alright, I’ll just dive in and take it from here. So, with this client just yesterday, it was clear she was at a time of starting a new business, or at least like on the brink of doing some research on a new business, her career was going to go in a new direction, there were some opportunities in the chart, things were going to be opening, it was a time of really coming back to being true to herself, and she was right with me, I could tell from her facial expressions, from her body language–she was in agreement with all that, she was fine with all that. And then I said, “now, to be a little bit more specific about this, let’s take a look at your Midheaven. We have this Virgo Midheaven, and it’s got a couple of planets in Virgo–and I mapped all of them out, and I said: “you know, this has something to do with very clean living in what’s very popularly called “the Green Movement” right now, so anything that might have to do with, maybe, organic food, or other natural products and natural fibers, or things that grow from the earth, or even urban agriculture, or the whole farm to fork experience that’s very popular right now,” and this smile came across her face! Now, this woman had no experience in that field so far, but she said to me, “I want to open a vegan restaurant!” [chuckles] And just hearing that that was in her chart before she gave me any clues or questions about it: she felt so validated, she felt so real in it. It came so down to earth for her. So, that’s one experience. Now, there’s another experience–the exact opposite. When the client really is clueless… and this goes back years ago, this is very early in my practice, when I barely knew anything about Chiron, and I was reading for this young woman: very bright, and I could tell very intelligent, very articulate woman, but very lost in her career, and kind of I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. “I’m working at this advertising agency, and I don’t know what i’m doing there. I’m making money, but it’s just not me.” And I just looked at the chart, and she had Chiron at the Midheaven, and I said, “have you ever thought about being a chiropractor?” And she said, “never. I have no experience with that, I have no training in that. There’s nothing like that in my family, in my background–I’ve never even been to a chiropractor.” And I said, “check it out!” There were also other things backing up that theme. Well, 35 years later, she’s got a very successful chiropractic practice! 

CB: Wow, yeah, and that’s both an interesting sort of facet, but also sometimes frustrating facet of predictive astrology, when you make a statement to the client that’s so outside of–not just their current, present circumstances, but sometimes what they feel as their own inclinations, and things that they would like to do, or things that they see themself doing, and sometimes there are statements that an astrologer can make, especially if a person is younger, that are just so far outside of that that it comes off initially, probably in some instances, as just completely wrong or something that’s so outlandish to the client that they might immediately reject it as a false statement on the part of the astrologer, and that can actually, from an astrologer’s perspective, be quite frustrating, at least for me it has been in the past. I don’t know, is that something that you’ve gotten over, or with age and experience becomes easier? 

JM: Yeah, it does. I could say something like, “you’re going to want to change your job next fall.” And they’ll say, now, in May of 2016, “I don’t want to change my job.” And I’ll say, “it’s not the autumn yet. It’s only May! Let’s see what happens during the summertime! There might be a big change!” So I try to put that into context. That’s pretty easy to do, and I just kind of calm them down with it, just letting them know that working with time is a funny thing. And I’m talking about something that’s going to happen six months down the road, but we’re not there yet, we’re here today, so, then we come back into the moment. And I use all kinds of expressions to reassure the client that their reality is the right [one]. I tell them, “it doesn’t matter what I think, it matters what you think! If I was right all the time, I would have a two-bedroom apartment! I only have a one-bedroom apartment!” And I give them reasons to negate me. If what I say is disturbing or bothering, or if it disagrees with their worldview, I let them know, “look, I don’t know if your birthtime is accurate. I mean, you gave me the accurate time as you’ve known it, but maybe the nurse made a mistake. Maybe I’m having a bad day, maybe I didn’t get enough sleep last night, maybe I’m not seeing something correctly, maybe there’s something we don’t know.” So, if I do make a prediction, or give advice or direction that doesn’t sit well with them–maybe even makes them anxious, I try to give them the tools to negate me–to fight me on it. 

CB: So that’s part of the process, or something that you emphasize about acknowledging that prediction, while sometimes it can be reassuring or affirming, sometimes it can actually be the opposite, and it has the potential to cause great anxiety or concern in the native.

JM: Sure, yeah. And I certainly am wrong plenty of times, but for the client that couldn’t believe, or didn’t want to believe, that that prediction could possibly happen: when it does, it’s very validating for them. And they realize, “oh! John Marchesella said this was supposed to happen! It was in my path! Oh, so I’m not crazy after all!” There are a lot of times when I’ll say to a client, “I know that I’m going to make you anxious today and you’re going to leave here hating me. That’s okay! In a year from now, you’re going to call me up and you’re going to say, ‘John, thanks for the heads up. If you didn’t prepare me for that–if you didn’t tell me that was going to happen, I would’ve thought I was losing my mind.’” So, things change with time, you know. A client’s perspective is going to change about themselves, and we have to let them know that. As astrologers, we’re working with the past, we’re working with the present, we’re working with the future, and we’re in all these time zones in a single reading with a person.

CB: Right, and that’s actually a really important and interesting point that you made as well: that oftentimes, or sometimes, in certain contexts, the best way to be able to make a prediction about the future is understanding the trajectory that the person is on in terms of their past, and where the person has been in the past, and looking at past cycles has concrete relevance for where they’re going in the future. So that oftentimes the best access point for figuring out the future is looking into their past. 

JM: Correct. Right. Yeah. There’s some famous expression, “show me a man’s past and I’ll show you his future,” or something like that.

CB: So, what are some specific technical instances that you might look at in terms of a person’s past? Are we talking about natal placements, or transits, or progressions, or what would you look at?

JM: All of the above, really. If there are certain patterns by aspect, particularly in the natal horoscope: just the other day I was talking about the high degree of mutability in the person’s chart, with lots of squares, and there were a lot of real estate indications–changes in real estate. I said to her that although she’s living in the city right now, it’s very likely that she’ll be buying a place in the country or a weekend home, and I was trying to describe where it would be, or how it would be, what she would use it for… and again, not in this psychic kind of way, but because it just fits her character. There are some personalities that could be at the beach, some personalities that could be in the mountains. Some people like to go skiing, some people like to go swimming. So I was trying to fit all of that into the description of some of her personality and her likes and dislikes, but she was really puzzled as to why I was describing only a house in the country, and I said, “well, look, you’ve got all this mutability in your chart and these squares and they all answer about needing to do two things at one time: to be in two places at one time. Just look at your past.” And I had known her for a long time, so I knew her history. “When you were in college, you had a double major. When you were doing your graduate work, you got one Masters and then a few years after that you went back to school for another Masters. You’ve been married twice. When it came time to get a dog, you got two dogs: two brothers. So, why not have two houses? This is within the realm of possibility for you.” It was less about the I predict you’re going to buy a house in the country–it was less about that, and more about duality is the name of the game, for you. I pointed out that she’s got a job where she wears two hats. She has two different duties at work. So, why not have this ability to split time between two houses? And it let her know what the possibilities might be. She hadn’t thought about that before. She was a little bit in the box in her thinking about real estate, but, “yeah, why shouldn’t I have a place in the city and a place in the country?”

CB: So sometimes just pointing out natal potentials based on placements in the birth chart itself?

JM: Exactly. And then of course, if it’s something transit-wise, looking at the Saturn transits and taking the themes back every 7.5 years: that of course is always very important. With Uranus, every 19 years: whatever; with the eclipses and so forth. And you can certainly do that with progressions as well. And I should say, too: I threw out the word “transits” because that’s what most of us work with and that’s what comes to mind when we’re talking about prediction, but progressions, progressions, progressions. I can’t underestimate the importance of progressions. They’re really, really important to work with in predictive. 

CB: Sure, like that secondary progressed lunation cycle, for example? 

JM: Yeah. 

CB: Yeah, that’s huge, and especially the Saturn cycle that you mentioned every 7-7.5 years, just noting what the person is doing every time Saturn hits a hard aspect to itself and oftentimes seeing that thread of similar themes coming up over and over again. You mentioned college: sometimes people have things related to education coming up every 7.5 years if they have, like, Saturn in the 9th house or something like that. And that’s maybe leading in a certain direction toward something, and therefore if, the past three or four times, in 7-year increments, education has come up every single time, and the person is coming up on another one of those periods: the next 7.5 years, then you can make a pretty informed statement that that specific topic is going to become relevant again in their life. 

JM: Absolutely. And that’s what I mean about the happening of the horoscope: just the manifestation of potential. When we talk about what the potential is of any of the planets–but you mentioned Saturn in the 9th house: you’re going to have a lot of issues about education in your life. You might feel like it’s never really enough. There’s a feeling of maybe overcompensating, like you always need more. Explaining whatever else Saturn in the 9th house might mean, as well as with other things. With religion, or what have you. And then there’s a Saturn transit.. Well, you’re really just talking about the natal chart: just experiencing more, bigger: what the Saturn in the 9th house is. You’re just getting a new experience of it, a new angle on it, which is why I think that prediction is not separate from the natal. 

CB: That’s brilliant. Yeah, so it’s always relative to the natal chart. And that’s maybe a good statement for any–I don’t want to say any type of astrology, maybe that’s going a little bit far–but I’m not sure that it is. It’s almost like one of the core, underlying principles of astrology: that everything’s relative to that inception chart, or whatever that original beginning was: whether it’s a natal chart or an electional chart or what have you: that everything happens relative to that.

JM: Correct, yeah, yeah. And of course, all of this is predicated upon–we probably should have said this in the very beginning: it’s predicated on the astrologer knowing well his or her tools, the skill, the aptitude for making prediction–for predictive work. Obviously, you have to know your stuff, you know? That’s very important. And yes–I am opposed, like all psychological astrologers when we absolutely nail something, that this is the only thing that this could indicate, that you’ll definitely move next July–that’s definitely going to happen–that’s, yes, that can certainly be very limiting when you say it in that tone, or if the astrologer has the investment in being right, in being the wizard–that’s not going to serve anybody, It’s certainly not serving the client. And if we talk about things, if we predict things, I think of it as being very pointless. As I said before, I predict that on Tuesday you’re going to wear yellow socks. Well, that’s not important–that’s not something that has deep meaning for somebody. 

CB: Right. What have you accomplished by making that specific prediction?

JM: Right. That’s just silly.

CB: So one of the themes you come back to is that the consultation is not about you as an astrologer, it’s about the client. 

JM: Yes, yes, yes! That’s something that we always have to remember, the fact that the astrology can be a very humbling experience. It is not about you, it is about the client. 

CB: Sure, and that comes back to two themes that you focused on towards the end of your talk, which is, one, the astrologer sort of acknowledging their own anxiety about the consultation–almost like performance anxiety in some sense, and then secondarily, doing what is in the client’s best interest, although there are sometimes debates amongst astrologers about what exactly is in the client’s best interest. 

JM: Sure, yeah, absolutely. Just in recent years, it never dawned on me to say this before, except in recent years, when a client would come in, and frequently, not most clients, but frequently, a client will say at the beginning of a reading especially if it’s their first reading: “I’m so excited! I’m actually a little nervous. I’m kind of anxious about this.” And I’ll say, “me, too!” And it takes them completely off guard. It has them relax right away [laughs]. And they say, “well, why are you nervous?” And I say, “I don’t know what’s going to happen either!” And they usually get a laugh out of that, and it puts them at ease. 

CB: When do you know when to employ that? I mean it seems like there are dueling motivations, where, on the one hand, admitting fallibility and some–you know, that you’re not like some divine person that has omniscience and can see all and tell them every minute detail about their future in order to bring it down and be more realistic about what you’re capabilities are, vs on the other hand, wanting to set yourself up as the authority, the person that’s in the role of giving advice and them wanting to have some feeling that they can rely on you, or that you’re a reliable person. How do you meet that balance between those two?

JM: You know, I think it’s about being compassionate with them, it’s being very present with them, it’s not being invested in your own need to be right, or to be the smartest person in the room. It’s not overestimating your own importance in their lives: this reading is not going to change their lives, this is not going to be the most meaningful thing that’s ever happened to the client. You’re not going to be that important. And even when clients, who come back repeatedly, even when they let you know that “I so appreciate your work, and you’ve been such a part of things, you’re such an important part of what makes things go right for me,” and, you know, of course you say “thank you” to that, you acknowledge that, but you also stand apart from it, because it’s–it’s not really you. It’s the astrology. You make the distinction for yourself in your own mind, the difference between the astrology and the astrologer. It’s the astrology that’s doing the work, not really me.

CB: Sure, and a common refrain amongst astrologers for at least 2,000 years now, I’ve seen this argument going back, is that oftentimes failure to predict something correctly is often on the part of the astrologer rather than the astrology itself, with the sentiment that there’s something so complex, so complicated and so almost overwhelming and impossible to fully be able to grapple with and understand all the different astrological combinations and to correctly synthesize them all together in order to produce and arrive at the correct prediction–that it’s very easy for an astrologer not to synthesize it and see it correctly, but that that’s not necessarily a failure of the astrology itself being wrong, but the astrologer’s ability to put it all together correctly. 

JM: Correct, yes. And that’s where we get back again to the importance of why is something happening? There are oftentimes when I’ll make a prediction and I’ll immediately say, “and I may very well be wrong about that. But I’m absolutely right that this will be the experience, this is what’s going to be important. It’s what you learn from this, it’s what you get out of it: that’s–I’m positive that I’m right about that, and that’s what’s going to count. It doesn’t matter so much whether you do buy the house or don’t buy the house or get the job or don’t get the job: it’s what you’re experiencing. It’s the why.” Just to reiterate that again. And if they realize that that’s the important thing, then there’s less expectation about being right, about the prediction coming true. That’s the expression that a lot of clients use on the follow-up. “Everything that you said came true!” And I often say to my students that the one thing worse than making a wrong prediction is making a right prediction, especially on the first reading before a client really gets to know you and how all of this works, because then they come back for the follow-up and say, “everything that you said was absolutely true.” And then they sit back and fold their arms and they have the attitude of, “now, do it again!” 

CB: Right, so it becomes less of a process of you two working together as a give and take and as a sort of consulting session, and more of just–almost like a parlor trick of tell me what will happen next.

JM: Exactly. So, we have to explain to them, “no, that’s not what it was really about.” And I used to think, when I was younger or earlier in my practice, “I guess when I’m established, I guess that’s when I’ll feel more secure and less anxious about a reading or in the reading. That’s when I’ll know what I’m doing.” And it’s not true! [Laughs] I’m fortunate to have a pretty good reputation, especially for prediction, but that lowers the expectations of the clients, so it gives me a little bit more to have to measure up to. So, the better that I’ve gotten at practicing astrology, especially predictive astrology, the more heightened the expectations are for the client, and the more anxiety that I’m going to wind up having. But again, that’s when I have to remind myself, “oh right, John, it’s not about you, it’s not about your anxiety, it’s: just serve the client, just be here with the client.”

CB: Sure, and while at the same time, I’m sure, as you’ve gotten older–because the longer a person’s in astrology, one of the nice things–I remember seeing a keynote lecture that Steven Forrest gave at Norwac a few years ago where he was talking about the value of maturity, and wisdom, and the accumulation of observations of how specific transits and placements work out as definitely improving one’s ability to make predictions or make statements about astrology and how things will go, just because you’ve seen: it’s not just a matter of reading the books, or reading other people’s experiences, but the longer you’ve been doing it, the more times you’ve seen, “this is how this person’s Saturn return went when they had it in this house,” or “this is how this moon-pluto square worked out when it was placed in this area of a person’s chart.” And that does give you more–it certainly has for me, but I’m sure even more so for you–given you more confidence to some extent about making certain statements about certain combinations, right?

JM: Sure, absolutely. Yeah. And also, it’s a funny thing, but when you see someone year after year after year, you know sometimes for 20, 25, 30, 35 years: you get so familiar with their lives and the characters in their lives, and that you can remember things. There are times when I will remember something about the client’s past better than they can remember it, because I’ve got the picture in my mind of the planets. One time I was talking with a client that had been here for many readings in the course of many eras, and it was Uranus transiting her Venus. We were talking about crazy love affairs, and what was likely to happen, and I said, “well, this is going to be a little bit like.. do you remember that boyfriend that you had that just came into your life like a whirlwind? I think it was about 20 years ago, I don’t remember his name, but this was the circumstance.” And I could tell from her eyes she was like, trying to remember who I was talking about, and then she finally got it and she said, “you mean him? You remember that boyfriend from 20 years ago?” And what she doesn’t realize is: no, I don’t remember that boyfriend, I remember that Uranus transit that you had, because that was the previous version of Uranus to your Venus. So there are times when we can kind of help a client along because we can remember things about them. 

CB: Right, it’s the astrological equivalent of, like, in the Matrix where they can see the code of the Matrix and they’re looking at the 1s and the 0s: you’re looking at the glyphs on the page, not the virtual reality sort of experience that people are experiencing. 

JM: [Laughs] Exactly.

CB: That brings up another point, which is this interesting–on the one hand it would be really fascinating and amazing–it is fascinating to have long-term clients and to see–to be able to work with somebody over a long period of time I think puts you in a much better position to make predictions about their life because you have more context and you understand the trajectory of their life better, and you’ve spent more time sort of understanding how certain placements actually work out for them and how they tend to respond to certain, let’s say, external stimuli of transits or what-have-you, and on the one hand, you want to and you can be better, when you have long-term clients, at working with them, and maybe there are certain things you can do more effectively, but then at the same time, another point that you raised is wanting to avoid dependence on the astrologer. So how do you deal with that issue of dependence?

JM: Well, there are a lot of ways. We could be very direct about it and just tell them not to develop a dependence on the astrology or the astrologer. We can limit how much contact we have with them. I do think that we should have some policies about how often they should have readings, how many phone calls, how many questions can they ask after a reading, how many emails can they give. And to keep reminding them: it’s not about what I think, it’s about what you think. To keep reminding them that they have to think for themselves, and that the astrology is a tool, it’s information, it’s something to take into account, but you can’t completely rely on it. And I think we just have to be straight with them about that, and there’s a myriad of techniques, I mean, you take into account your body language. How quickly you’re returning a phone call. Whether you’re looking the client in the eye, or are you just looking around them, or up over their head? All of these little things that people often are not aware of we–I think as astrologers, we have to be very sensitive to the environment that we work in. Where does the client sit? Are you on the same kind of chair, or do you have different chairs? All these little things about setting up your space. How long do they have to wait for an appointment? Do you want to know things about them before the reading, or do you wait until the reading? This all goes into really creating a framework that I think will help them be less dependent. I’ve noticed over the years–now, this might be just a change in myself, just as I’ve grown as a person, but I think it also has to do with just changing times–in my experience, I don’t know if other astrologers would say this, but I’ve been experiencing less and less and less dependence from clients as the years go by. I hope that is partly because I’m practicing more effectively, but I also know it’s not just me. Back in the day, when Pluto was in Scorpio, it was very easy for people to create a dependence on anything, and now that Pluto is in Capricorn, we don’t. So, I think that there’s just a general vibe out there about the issue of dependence. I also think that the internet does something too. I think that people are–I think clients are definitely learning more about astrology, which is of course both good and bad because a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing, but I think it’s very good that they do try to learn from the internet. There are many–I try to leave the astrology, by the way. I try to leave the language of astrology out of the reading as much as possible, and when I do use it, it’s very deliberate and very purposeful. But I try to use it very little. But I will mention a cycle: “well, this is called Saturn in your 3rd house. Let’s talk about that cycle first, and then later on we’ll talk about Uranus square to your Venus.” Just to make things a little organized, maybe. And as I’m talking, I’ve noticed something that clients never used to do. They would never stop me and say, “the name of the cycle is called Saturn in the 3rd house?” And I’ll say, “Yeah.” It’s happened enough times for me to realize, “Oh, they’re going to go home and google Saturn in the 3rd house and learn more about it.” [Laughs] So, now I’ll tell them, “look, if you google that, that’s good, but whatever you read on the internet, put it in context, and remember that you’re getting a personal reading with me for a reason.” But I do think that it’s good that they learn from the internet. 

CB: Sure. And one of the things you brought up also that might be relevant here is that sometimes what works in one instance isn’t always applicable or doesn’t always work in others, so really you have to take it on a client-by-client basis when it comes to prediction and when it comes to what’s appropriate in a number of different areas in terms of what you say and how you say it, and what boundaries are appropriate to set, right?

JM: Oh absolutely, yeah. I mean that’s the whole point of having and giving a personal reading. And there are some clients who are going to need a lot of prediction, there will be other clients who don’t need any prediction at all. There will be some readings that are much more of a counseling session, there will be some readings that are much more of a career coaching session. There will be some readings that are just very practical and some are very, very psychological. I think when you’re working with the public, and a wide array of the public, you’ve got to be able to adjust to the needs of the client that way. 

CB: That makes sense, and sort of helps to understand that maybe sometimes, in terms of realizing that you can’t always adopt hard and fast rules about certain things, that you have to have a certain range of what’s appropriate or not appropriate, and then adapt that to the situation.

JM: Sure, and that’s what’s great also about learning astrology through the years, through the decades: the longer that you do it, the older that you get, the more you learn about how to practice, so that you do have years when you’re developing more of your counseling skills, and you have years when you’re developing more of your prediction skills, or you’re going back to the natal and you’re learning new things about natal interpretations, or so many of the new techniques or new ancient techniques that have come about in recent years. So, our learning is always increasing, therefore our practice is always changing. We can accommodate different needs. Even, actually, I shouldn’t even say from one client to another–even in the course of one session with a client, you might go from being their therapist to being their fortune teller to being their best friend. We’re changing hats. When a reading is very fluid, we’re moving from role to role to role many times in the course of a single reading. What one of my clients once said to me, “this is like one-stop shopping. I come here once a year and you give me marital counseling, and you give me career coaching, and you let me know what’s going on with my kids, and you psychoanalyze me, and you tell me what’s going to happen, and you remind me to go to the dentist. This is great.” [Laughs]

CB: Wow, yeah, I guess when you put it like that, I’ve never really thought of it that way, but you’re right. Whereas, other times, somebody might specialize in one of those, and you go to ten different people for advice about those things. And that brings up that there are different types of prediction, as you said, that you might employ in different consultations or at different points in the same consultation. What are some of those different types of prediction, or how would you categorize them?

JM: Well, we might say that there’s forecasting versus prediction. And the forecasting might be just the outline of the meaning of a general time, you know, looking at the next 2.5 years. What is this time likely to include or be about? It’s a little bit more of a forecast, as opposed to the actual prediction–the predicting of an event, let’s say. So, we might say forecasting versus prediction or talking about trends versus a specific event. 

CB: Like, “you will get this job on October 15th,” versus “you’re going to be going through a transformational period in your relationship over this 2.5 year period.” 

JM: Correct. I also like to refer to inner events. Not all events are outer events. Some events are inner events, and they are revelations: the “ah hah!” And that’s as much of a happening as a new job or a new love or buying a house. Other words we might use: developments in your life versus the happenings of your life. Mainly, at least in my practice, I’ll talk about both. I’ll talk about the general forecast, you know, “the next 2.5 years (or whatever) are likely to be a little bit like this, and this is why, but within this time period, you’re likely to change your job here. There’s likely to be an important meeting there. And try to explain how the general trend is giving rise to the events so that the events don’t come out of nowhere, don’t come from nowhere, but they’re related to something bigger: they’re related to the general trend, and the general trend is the development of the horoscope going back to the natal chart again. 

CB: Right, and ultimately that leads to one of the final points that you made that was really important which is that prediction in astrology helps to identify time frames, and when different periods will begin, and when different periods will end, as well as sometimes the middle point when they might culminate, and that sometimes this is specifically useful for knowing sometimes when bad times or difficult times in a person’s life will end. 

JM: Absolutely. It’s one of the best things about astrology. It puts a beginning, a middle and an end on things. It lets the client know, this is not going to be lasting forever. No, this is not what has become of your life. This is something that you’re going through. It’s just that you’re going through it for such a long time, it feels like the end of the road. It feels like this is forever, but it’s not. It’s a process.

CB: Sure, and sometimes, then, that leads to one of the related points that you said, which is that sometimes it’s not about knowing precisely what will happen and being able to specifically state the particular manifestation of a particular transit, but it’s being able to tell the client when they will know what that period in their life was all about, and what the specific event is. 

JM: Absolutely. Absolutely, that is something that I learned a long time ago, when I will tell a client, “I don’t know what you’re going to decide, but I know when you’re going to decide, and the reason why I know that is because that’s when you’ll have enough information to make a wise, well-informed choice.” So, again, it doesn’t matter what I think is going to happen, but I can tell you at least when you will know what’s going to happen. 

CB: Okay, brilliant. And, one of the last points as we’re getting towards the end of this is: how do you deal with the desire to not negate the reality of the client versus the desire to not lie about what you see, essentially? If you see something difficult or bad or something that doesn’t jive well with the client, how do you.. you don’t want to.. you run into this issue sometimes with predictive astrology about: should you tell the client that you see this really difficult thing, or, if you don’t think they can deal with that information, or you don’t think that it’s appropriate, is there any other option besides essentially lying to them, and not coming out and saying that you see this coming up? Or is that appropriate sometimes–is sometimes that the only resort, when you see something really difficult that you also realize the client isn’t in a position to deal with right now?

JM: Let me see, there are a lot of answers to that. I learned the hard way: don’t lie to the client. If you lie to the client, they’re not going to trust you, and they won’t believe you, and that’s not going to be good for an ongoing relationship with them. And not just you, but it can also weaken their faith in astrology. So, I won’t lie to a client. Now, I also won’t bludgeon a client! I’m not going to say, “you will have three years of misery.” You certainly don’t have to go there, either. Again, I think that if we explain why something is happening, then I think it puts it into a context. It gives it a purpose. It empowers the client because it lets them know that they can do something about it, and if they can’t do something about it, then it lets them know that what they can do is to accept that they can’t do something about it. We can tell them, we can make sure that they know that during a cycle like this, it’s not unusual for people to go into therapy or seek some kind of counseling. It’s always good to have a good referral handy. So, I will often say, “if you don’t know someone, I’d be happy to recommend a person or a couple of people that you can choose from.” I let them know that therapy’s not the be-all and end-all. I give them a whole range of things that can help them, whether it’s therapy, medication, yoga, working with energy, whether it’s something much more practical like just going to the gym–a physical workout. The way that runners talk about going into the zone. I let them know, “okay, this might be a difficult time, you might not be getting what you want, but here are some tools that can help you.” And I prefer not to speak predictably in a long range of time. And if a period is going to be very treacherous for a client, I’ll try to put a more narrow time frame and I’ll let them know, “look, let’s just talk about the next 6 months, and then we’ll take it from there.” 

CB: Sure, so keeping things limited to shorter times?

JM: Right. And that can get them to focus, and even when they lose their focus–and if it’s a very anxiety-provoking period, a very treacherous period, they will lose their focus–and they’ll say, “then what happens after that?” And I remind them, “we’re just going to take it 6 months at a time, and then we’ll see what happens after that. We have to see this piece first, and then we’ll see what the next piece is about. I’ll do that with them, and I’ll be very firm about not going past that 6-month mark, or whatever it might be. I did this a lot, this really saved me during the Uranus-Pluto–the really intense heat of the Uranus-Pluto square in recent years, when there was just tremendous uncertainty–that was my keyword for that transit–just tremendous uncertainty in people’s lives–in the world! And during that transiting cycle, I would point out to them: “Look. This is how Uranus and Pluto are operating in the world. We’ve had the oil spill, and we had the Haiti earthquake, and we had…” and I would go down the list, and I would say, “this is your personal version of that! We’re all going through that, because this period is really about a transformation of consciousness. That’s what the period is really about.” And then I try to bring it down to something more practical for them. You can’t just talk about the evolution of consciousness during a reading [laughs]–they want to know, “am I going to change my job, or aren’t I?” But during that time period with such uncertainty, I said, “look, if you really lose grasp of this, just plan for 3 months at a time. 3 months is manageable. And at the end of 3 months, then revisit your plans, your expectations. Review, and then plan the next 3 months.” And I would explain to them, “because 3 months is a season.” I let them know also that astrology is based on seasons, or at least some people think so–I certainly think so. “And it’s a season. And because season is related to nature, it will ground you. It will give you a structure. It will bring you down to earth, because it’s of Mother Nature.” And that helped a lot of people, I think. I know it helped me. That’s how I got through the Uranus-Pluto square. 

CB: I think that’s more relatable, because people sort of understand, “it’s wintertime, it’s snowing right now, you might personally be a little annoyed that it’s snowing or that it’s cold out or whatever, but you understand that that’s just the state of things, and it’s something that you deal with and you adapt to and you get through until it’s springtime again, and then you’ll be more subjectively comfortable, but this is otherwise something that’s outside of your control that everyone’s experiencing together, or you just have to get through till you get to the other side.”

JM: Yes. 

CB: Alright, so the final point, then, that we’ll maybe end on is that sometimes it seems like there’s a distinction between advice versus prediction, and sometimes you’re making predictions, but other times you’ll go more into practical advice mode, and sometimes that might be your way out of depressing the client, or doing something that’s counterproductive. Instead of just saying, “you’re going to have a terrible time in this area of your life during this period,” you’ll attempt to give them advice that’s productive with respect to that area, right? 

JM: Yes. That’s a distinction that I make in a couple of different ways. I will often say something like, “I predict that this is going to happen, but I advise that you do the other thing instead,” to let them know that there are some choices. I let them know that life is not all fate or all free will (I think. This is part of my belief system.) But rather, we live our lives on a spectrum between the two. And we’re always moving somewhere along that spectrum. Some periods of life are very heavily weighted toward fate, some periods are very free will, but most of the time we’re moving somewhere in-between. And, so, I let them know that I’m predicting this, but I think that the other thing is better to make happen. And I let them know, also, “and don’t worry, there are a lot of times that I don’t even take my own advice.” And that kind of loosens that up, too. 

CB: Brilliant. Excellent, well, I think that’s a great piece of advice maybe to end this on. So, you’re actually, as I said at the beginning of this show, you are the chair or the president of the NCGR, and you guys are in the process of organizing a conference, and the theme is the many faces of astrology, right? 

JM: Correct. Yep. This is going to be Feb 16-19th, 2017, in Baltimore, Maryland. It’s at the Hyatt Regency at the Inner Harbour Hotel. We’ve got over 50 speakers. We’re calling it the many faces of astrology because there are just so many perspectives of astrology, schools of thought, and we’re hoping to have as many represented as possible, and also just the play on the words “the many faces of astrology” because it’s a great way to meet new friends, see old friends, catch up with people, so we hope it will be very social. Our website is NCGRConference2017.com, or you can go to our home website, which is Geocosmic.org. 

CB: Brilliant. Well I think that’s going to be a great conference. I’ll be speaking there. You’ll be giving two talks there as well, right? 

JM: Yeah, I’m going to be speaking on Saturn, and I’ll also be presenting on education, and yes, I’m looking forward to hearing your talk as well.

CB: Excellent, yeah, I loved your Saturn talk, I think the last time I saw it. So I’ll be looking forward to that at that conference. I think it’s going to be a great conference. It’ll be in Baltimore in February. People can find out more information at NCGRConference2017.com. A lot of people I know are going to be speaking there, so I’m sure it’s going to be an excellent conference. Alright, well thanks a lot for joining me today, John! 

JM: Thank you! And I’d just like to say in closing, go out and predict the future, and remember that life is full of surprises! 

CB: Alright, well on that note, thank you everyone for listening, and we’ll see you next time!