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Ep. 97 Transcript: Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune

The Astrology Podcast

Transcript of Episode 97, titled:

Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune

With Chris Brennan

Episode originally released on February 25, 2017

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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 Nicole Miller

Transcription released March 3rd, 2021

Copyright © 2016 TheAstrologyPodcast.com

Chris Brennan: Hi, my name is Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. This episode was recorded on Saturday, February 25th, 2017, starting right at 11:46 AM in Denver, Colorado, and this is the 97th episode 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 about the recent release of my new book, titled Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune.

Before I get started with that discussion, I wanted to thank our sponsors this month, which are The Northwest Astrological Conference and The Mountain Astrologer magazine. We’re actually doing a giveaway on the next episode of the podcast for Patrons of the show who donate on the five and 10 dollar tiers with prizes from both of our sponsors. So the grand prize this month, for one lucky Patron on the 10 dollar tier, is a free pass to the upcoming Northwest Astrological Conference, which is taking place in Seattle May 25th through the 27th 2017. This is going to be the best conference of the year, and it’s going to feature 30 speakers, several pre- and post-conference workshops, and literally the best astrology bookstore that you have ever seen in the trade show since the organizers of NORWAC formerly owned the Astrology et al bookstore, which is like this legendary bookstore in Seattle that, if you ever walked in there, they just had—it was an entire store dedicated to astrology books. And so now, that bookstore—they keep it going as part of the trade show at NORWAC, and it’s just amazing.

So I’m going to be speaking there this year, and I’m going to be signing books and possibly interviewing people for the podcast. I’m really looking forward to this conference, since this will be one of the first conferences after I’ve gotten the book out, and I can relax and promote it and start signing copies and stuff. So I’m really looking forward to— and I hope to see many podcast listeners there. You can find out more information about the conference at norwac.net.

So that’s the grand prize that we’re giving away in the next episode for the 10 dollar tier. For Patrons on the five dollar tier, the giveaway prize is a copy of a two-CD collection that contains four years of back issues of The Mountain Astrologer magazine that were published between 2007 and 2010. The CDs contain over 24 issues in all, with a total of 300 articles, all in easily accessible PDF format. Some of these back issues of TMA are extremely valuable, and I found myself going back and citing articles that appeared and some of them from past decades when I was writing my book over the past year, since TMA really is one of the leading astrological publications in our community. You can get your own copy of the TMA back issues CDs on their website at mountainastrologer.com. More details about the monthly 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.

All right, so with those announcements out of the way, let’s get started with the show. So, this is going to be a solo show. It’s just me talking for a little bit because my book is finally out. I released my book this month; the official publication date was February 10th, so we actually ended up using the election that we highlighted last month as one of the most auspicious electional charts for February and set that as the date for the release of the book. And it did end up pretty much being published on February 10. So the book is finally out; I’ve been talking about it forever. A year ago, I announced that I was taking a hiatus to focus on writing the book all year.

And, initially, I intended on—the only way that I thought I was going to be able to keep the podcast going is if I did episodes just talking about what I was writing in the book as I was writing. But that turned out to be way too much to do, and, if anything, I ended up wavering on the podcast over the course of the year and doing some episodes some months, and then finally, toward the later part of the year, pretty much all that was coming out, obviously, was the forecast episodes.

So, as a result of that, I thought I would take this as an opportunity to give—on the one hand, I want to accomplish two things. One, I want to give an overview of the book and just talk a little bit about the book and some of the things that are contained in it and some of the things that I cover in the book. But two, I want to talk a little bit about my writing process and just the whole journey of getting this book out, especially over the past year. But to some extent, more broadly, it’s something I’ve been working on since 2006, so for over a decade now, so talking a little bit about that broader process.

During the course of that, I want to touch on some things that are kind of interesting and relevant to the broader astrological community that I learned as I was doing this, just about the whole publishing process, because the astrological community is at this interesting crossroads right now where a lot of astrologers—a lot of professional astrologers—are starting to switch from publishing with major publishers and companies to self-publishing.

And that’s something I’ve been observing for most of the past decade now, but actually having gone through the process and seeing how it works, I was very interested in, yeah, just what that process was and the ways in which it’s a doable process that anybody could do versus, in some instances, where you really do need some help, or you can run into some difficulties, as I did at various points.

So I want to touch on that a little bit. I want to highlight some of the people that helped me along the way, including my editor, my cover designer, and my layout person. Yeah! And just talk about the book.

So, I do want to keep this short. And, to whatever extent that I can, I want to try to avoid making this one of those typical three plus hour solo episodes that I’ve almost become notorious for at this point and instead, keep it to something shorter than that. I guess we’ll see how this goes, because I might record a separate CD, or separate accompaniment, for the book itself at some point that gives a detailed overview and talks the reader through different parts of the book as a separate thing. For the purpose of this episode, I just want to get the word out about the book, give an overview of it, and talk a little bit about my process of writing it.

All right, so, with that said, I guess we’ll start from the top. So, where does the book start? The story of the book starts—it starts very far back. I got into astrology when I was about 14 or 15, around the year 1999 and 2000, starting with the website astro.com and casting my birth chart there but also, around the same time, buying an ephemeris when I found out that that was how people determined where the planets will be at different points in the past or the future. And I also bought a couple of intro astrology books—like Alan Oken’s Complete Astrology was one of my first books, and Sakoian and Acker’s The Astrologer’s Handbook.

So, when I got into astrology, I was actually interested in predictive astrology. I assumed that astrology was predictive, and you could make pretty concrete statements about a person’s future based on it. At the time, I was actually into a lot of New Age stuff. I was actually, interestingly, very interested in—I had this presumption that astrology also said things about a person’s past lives. And so I was very interested in seeing what astrology had to say about my past life for some reason.

And, very quickly, when I got into astrology and found astro.com and some of the different leading astrologers of that time in the late 90s who had published books in the 1970s and 80s and 90s and where like contemporary astrology was at that point was very much with modern psychological astrology, I read, things like Liz Greene’s works or Stephen Arroyo or Howard Sasportas—I really liked his books, especially his book on the houses and his book on the outer planets. I was reading Rob Hand’s Planets in Transit, of course; everybody reads that book, and it shows up on astro.com with all of their delineations, so it’s like, literally everybody’s read portions of that book at this point.

So, very quickly, my perception of what astrology could do changed—what it was capable of—when I got into astrology. And I went from assuming it was this predictive thing to adapting that to what it was in modern times, which was more of a tool for psychological analysis, and that sometimes indirectly astrology could make predictions simply by virtue of the fact that it could sometimes tell you what kind of psychological state a person was going to be in on a given day due to their transits or their progressions or what have you, but that any predictive capabilities that astrology had were purely either the ability to describe a person’s personality and the kind of age-old saying that “character is destiny,” or that it had this indirect ability to make predictions because it could show different periods in the future when a person might go through a period in which they were depressed or a period in which they were psychologically angry or something like that so that the predictive capabilities were very much just on the psychological level and to whatever extent they ever manifested in concrete external things, it was almost as an accident or a byproduct of something else that it was indicating, which was more in the psychological realm to some extent.

So I was okay with that and adapted my understanding of astrology to that because even if that’s all astrology was, that’s still pretty cool, and that’s still pretty amazing. Astrology shouldn’t be able to do that; it shouldn’t be able to do even that. If you’re just walking in off the street as a contemporary, modern person from the early 21st century, the fact that astrology can do even that is a pretty amazing thing. And I was totally sold and totally on board with that and really set about dedicating my life to studying that, even though I was still in high school.

Initially I—it should be embarrassing—but initially, my story is that I found astrology in high school, I realized this is what I want to pursue with my life, and I didn’t think I could pursue the study of astrology in college because I realized that no college teaches astrology, and that’s just not a course of study that I’m going to be able to pursue if I go on to college. So my initial story, hilariously enough, is that I initially dropped out of high school in order to study astrology full-time because I knew I wasn’t going to be able to pursue it in college.

Not long after that, I actually learned about Kepler College, which was a newly opened school for astrology, that was attempting to grant accredited college degrees—bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees—in astrological studies, or at least with a curriculum which was very much geared towards a liberal arts curriculum that had a focus on astrological studies or things that were related to astrological studies, like the history and philosophy of the subject.

So I learned about that, and I actually got excited because I realized perhaps I was wrong, and I could study astrology in college. So I actually went back to high school, finished it, got my diploma, and then immediately went from high school and applied to Kepler College, got into Kepler College; the entire first year is history. So I spend the entire first year at Kepler College learning about the history of ancient astrology, and I was immersed in the academic study of that subject, largely drawing on not astrologers but academics who have studied the history of astrology from the perspective of the history of science or the history of astronomy or what have you; although the course was being taught by some of the leading astrologers who had degrees and who had backgrounds in the history of Western astrology, such as Nicholas Campion and Demetra George and Lee Lehman and other people like that.

So I did the entire first year of the history of Western astrology, and then in the second year, there was a semester of basic intro to astrology things. And then at that point in the second year, in their original catalogue, you were supposed to be able to diverge into different tracks in order to start focusing on individual specialties in terms of whatever tradition or approach to astrology you wanted to specialize in. And the approach to astrology that I actually wanted to specialize in at that point was modern, psychological astrology.

So, when I got to the second year though, they said, “We don’t have that track ready yet because it’s still a relatively new school, and we’re still putting things together.” The only track we have ready that you can take is what they called the East/West track. And it started with 202, which was an entire semester devoted to an introduction—a dual course, which was an introduction to Hellenistic astrology and Indian, or Vedic, astrology at the same time. It was co-taught by Demetra George and Dennis Harness.

And I was actually pretty pissed off, to be honest, because I did not have any interest whatsoever in studying types of astrology from 2,000 years ago because in my mindset at that time, that sounded like something that was out of date and irrelevant and no longer applicable if it was from 2,000 years ago and that they didn’t even use the outer planets, which in my practice as a modern astrologer are so pivotal. They didn’t use the modern rulership schemes, which assigned Neptune to Pisces and Pluto to Scorpio and so on and so forth.

My entire conceptualization of that was just, “This is going to be a huge waste of time.” And while I had gotten through most of the first year—I actually started with the medieval history. So actually, in my initial studies, skipped over the Greco-Roman history because I didn’t make it into that term in time, and so that probably provided some of the background in my disinterest in studying Hellenistic astrology initially because I started in the medieval period about a third of the way through the history year. But I just had no interest in studying Hellenistic astrology, but they basically said—much more politically correct terms, they basically said—“Tough shit, take the course, and suck it up.”

So after protesting a bit and trying to organize some of my fellow students to protest this so that they would give us a psychological course to take, I just eventually shut up and took the course. I’m very fortunate that I did because very quickly, about a week or two into taking the course with Demetra George and Dennis Harness, I very quickly realized that my presumptions about ancient astrology were mistaken and that there was something extremely valuable and extremely interesting in studying the older traditions of astrology.

So, again, even though I had some interest in the history of astrology prior to that and had taken some of the history and had done relatively well with it, because history has always been a subject that I, for some reason, do very well in because I think I remember historical facts, for some reason, really well. It’s one of the few actual gifts—or not gifts but talents that I have—is remembering historical things and historical narratives, especially as well as like reading comprehension has been really good for me and understanding what a person is trying to say when they’re saying something, especially in writing, has always been an asset for me. So, even though I had some background in the history and some interest in that, it wasn’t until I started taking this course with Demetra and Dennis that I realized that it wasn’t just a historical interest, that there was some practical value, some conceptual, and some philosophical value to studying the older forms of astrology and that I’d accidentally stumbled on something really amazing.

So, very quickly, I became fully immersed and dedicated myself to studying Hellenistic astrology full-time. I completed the course with Demetra in the spring of 2006—no, the spring of 2005, I guess it would have been. So I started in late 2004 and finished it sometime in late 2005. I continued reading the texts on their own. Kepler had an entire library; I’d actually moved to Seattle in order to be closer to Kepler that year, and they had a full library that included a bunch of translations of ancient texts that had been published over the last few decades. So I spent a lot of time reading those translations on my own.

Eventually, I became friends with and got in contact with Nick Dagan Best and Bill Johnston, who lived out in Cumberland, Maryland at the headquarters of Project Hindsight, which, at the time, was still an active translation project for translating ancient astrological texts. And at one point, I moved out there, in the summer of 2005, in order to help them build a library that they were working on and in order to take part in, or at least be around, some of the stuff that they were doing there in terms of translating some of these texts and bringing them into modern times and understand what they were saying but also putting some of the techniques into practice and testing them out.

So, in the summer of 2005, I moved there; I spent two years studying there. And, about halfway through that—so I started working as a TA for Demetra in the next year of her teaching the Hellenistic course and helping her to teach other students Hellenistic astrology in early 2007. Also, in 2006, I started giving my first lecture on the topic, which was a lecture talking about the history and origins of horary astrology and the debate over whether or not it originated in the Hellenistic tradition.

And then I eventually started teaching and lecturing on Hellenistic astrology myself in 2006 and 2007. So, at one point during that process while I was living out there, I realized that a lot of work had been done since the early to mid-1990s in reviving ancient astrology, but it still wasn’t quite getting out there because, to me, for whatever reason, when I pick up an older—a translation of a text because of my weird reading comprehension skills, I can—even if it’s a really difficult translation to read—I can pretty much understand it if I put enough time and effort towards trying to figure it out; I can usually do a pretty good job. And that’s something that I—it’s a process that I enjoy.

But one of the things that I realized is that even though these texts had been out there since the mid-90s, and hundreds of astrologers had actually subscribed to this translation series and had paid for these translations and bought them and supported them, a lot of them just went directly from the printer to different astrologers’ shelves and then sat there gathering dust for a decade. And people would attempt to read them, but they’d be so difficult that they wouldn’t really understand what the translations were talking about, and they’d eventually give up.

So one of the things that I realized needed to happen is that there was this intermediate step, where you have just modern astrologers who know contemporary astrology, and then you have these translations of these texts and then sometimes discussions of those translations, which are often very high-level discussions that are talking about issues related to the translation of the text and different ways that you can interpret the translation or interpret the original Greek text and different things like that, there was some intermediate step that needed to take place, where you almost had to translate the translator or translate the translation in order to bring it down into understandable language for a contemporary astrologer.

And I realized that this is something that was missing that needed to happen in order to help encourage the adoption of some of these older forms of astrology in order to really show people—to give people an overview and show people what was there, why it’s valuable, and how you can actually use some of those techniques today.

So I actually picked out an electional chart; I realized I needed to write a book about this, and I wanted to write a book about it starting in 2006. And at one point I picked an electional chart out—I probably didn’t plan it very far in advance, but I probably looked and saw what the soonest, reasonably okay electional chart was that I could pick out for starting the book. And I actually give the data on one of the first pages of the book, but I started writing the book early in the morning of, it looks like, September 11, 2006 at 6:12 AM in Cumberland, Maryland, USA.

So, I started writing the book then, back in September of 2006, and I was just talking to Ben Dykes last night, but he actually has an early printout from 2006 or 2007 of a first draft of the book, so I’m actually going to get some pictures of that sent to me soon. So I can compare what the book looked like 10 years ago versus what the final version actually looks like today.

I wrote the book then, and what I wrote at the time was a sketch overview of Hellenistic astrology and focusing on the techniques and focusing on a survey, and it was important at the time for a few different reasons. One of the older people who I went out there to help, named Robert Victor Gross, who I was helping to build a library out in Cumberland, Maryland and helping him—he was a retired librarian who used to work at the Library of Congress. And he lived out by this translation project and was helping them financially to do some of the translations they were doing.

But I was able to print out an early copy of the book and give it to him, and he ended up passing away that fall. So I was able to show him an early copy of the book. There’s other people like that, where because this has been a 10-year process, different people—I told my sister in the fall of 2007 that I would be dedicating the book to her, and that was one of the last conversations I had with her before she passed away unexpectedly in October of 2007. And so there’s been this whole process at that time, where, initially, I tried to write the book, and I wrote an initial draft of it and started, not printing up copies, but at least preview copies and passing them around to people to start getting feedback.

But one of the things I realized by 2007 and 2008—I eventually left Maryland and moved back home to Denver, to Colorado, after two years—and one of the things I realized is that even though I could write a sketch of the overview of the techniques of Hellenistic astrology at that time, after studying the texts for two or three years, I really wanted to and felt like I needed to understand the history—some of the background behind the history—and the philosophy and the language better. And I also wanted to spend more time practicing the techniques and developing a bigger background in how some of this stuff works in practice and some of the things that you need to know when you try to start applying it.

So that’s most of what I’ve done for the past 10 years is those different areas, where I spent a lot of time studying the history of astrology and trying to piece together the history and origins of Hellenistic astrology, especially this question about when does Hellenistic astrology first show up? Does it represent a system that somebody deliberately invented, or does it represent a gradual development that took place more organically at some point around the second or third century BCE So that’s a topic that I talked about with Maria Mateus, I think about a year ago, on the show, the gradual development versus sudden invention debate about Hellenistic astrology.

So I spent a lot of time researching that topic from every possible angle so that I could write a compelling narrative of what Hellenistic astrology was, where it came from, and how it was eventually transmitted to us in modern times. And that’s basically what I spend the first five chapters of the book doing is I start with the Mesopotamian and Egyptian traditions, and I talk about how astrology developed there in those two societies and then eventually how those two traditions from Mesopotamian Egypt coalesced and were synthesized together into a new tradition, which is part of what produced Hellenistic astrology around the first century BCE. But yeah, so I spend the first five chapters basically talking largely about that and just documenting the history of Hellenistic astrology. And it’s taken a lot of time to get additional background in Grecco-Roman history and in textual analysis and all these different fields that are related to that in order to do a halfway competent treatment of the history of this topic.

I also needed to get a lot more background in ancient philosophy, which is a huge field that people spend their entire lifetimes on, or you can dedicate your entire lifetime to just one topic or one part of that field, like one philosopher—like people have dedicated entire careers to writing about Plato’s works or Aristotle’s works or the work of the Neoplatonic philosopher, Plotinus, for example.

And I had to get an overview of all these different philosophers because I wanted to be able to contextualize and really understand the philosophical backdrop for Hellenistic astrology and the ways in which some of those ancient philosophical schools did feed into Hellenistic astrology or draw on it or were influenced by it and sometimes the areas where that was not the case, where sometimes that might be overstated. Like, for example, sometimes—the question of the relationship between stoicism and Hellenistic astrology and whether all of the stoic philosophers believed in astrology, which was not necessarily the case even though they were more open to divination than most—or than everybody.

So chapter six deals with the philosophy of Hellenistic astrology and some of the issues related to it. Ultimately, over the past few years, I realized I couldn’t even write a completely comprehensive treatment of that topic in a single book, or at least I’d have to dedicate an entire book to it rather than just a chapter or a few chapters. So I decided to tone it down and write a much more limited treatment of some of the major philosophical issues in Hellenistic astrology, and that’s what chapter six is.

And then, finally, the other thing that I’ve been doing for the past 10 years is testing the techniques and applying them to example charts, both of people I know but also client charts, as well as eminent charts of like celebrities and politicians and other people in the news who we have accurate birth times for. So chapters seven through 10 of the book deal with basic techniques and concepts, which is essentially the fourfold system of planets, signs, houses, and aspects; so basic concepts and techniques.

Then, chapter 11 deals with the house division issue, which I’ll come back to later. Chapters 12 through 16 deal with intermediate techniques that you can use in order to do things like study the rulers of the houses but also other concepts such as the lots, or the so-called Arabic parts. And then finally chapters 17 and 18 deal with ancient timing techniques known as time-lord systems, focusing in particular on two, which are known as annual profections and zodiacal releasing.

All these areas took a lot of time to do; there were just huge amounts of research that had to be done on all of these different areas, and I spent different points over the past 10 years focusing on different aspects of that. I would spend an entire few months just focusing on ancient philosophy or a few months focusing on ancient history or a few months researching birth charts or researching a specific technique and then putting together a set of research on that. And a lot of this research is stuff I’ve been presenting slowly and rolling out first in my online course on Hellenistic astrology and presenting it to students of that course through recorded lectures and then getting feedback and modifying it a little bit based on some of that feedback.

There were also other things like needing to develop a better background in ancient Greek and Latin in order to be able to do translations of short passages that I needed for the book in certain instances or just passages that had never been translated that I needed to understand or, in some instances, passages that had been translated but that I needed a new translation in order to make sure that it was good or because I didn’t necessarily agree with the current translations that were available out there. So I spent a ridiculous amount of time, for example, just translating the first chapter of the Anthology of Vettius Valens, which just gives a list of the significations of each of the planets.

But the problem is, is that a lot of the Greek terms that Valens uses for the significations of the planets are kind of ambiguous in Greek, and it’s not clear what the meaning is. So if you compare—there’s at least five or six different translations of this chapter of Valens out there right now. And one of the things that I did, in addition to looking up the meaning of the word in the lexicon, or the dictionary, as well as other research, is I would compare how different translators translated each of those individual words for each of the significations of the planets. And oftentimes they would disagree with each other. So, comparing and noting some of those disagreements itself was sometimes useful, and sometimes I would present that in the footnotes in order to give the reader a better understanding of what Valens himself was trying to say when he was talking about what the planets mean, symbolically speaking.

So that’s been my process over the past 10 years. About a year or so ago, I realized that, because I’d been writing the book for so long that it was very uneven, and my writing style had changed a lot over the past 10 years as I continued to grow and develop as a writer and as somebody that was doing sometimes academic papers on the side every once in a while or as somebody who was writing blog posts and learning how to write, occasionally, more concisely in certain areas or more in a way that was readable to a general audience.

So I decided about a year ago to restart the book and start writing it again from scratch just so I could adopt a more consistent tone. And I still incorporated some of the material from the previous versions of the book that I’d started way back in 2006 and kept adding to, but I tried to, any time I was incorporating things, for the most part, I tried to rewrite it in order to stick with that more consistent tone. And I was not completely successful in some parts of that in like the history sections or in Valens’s section on the planets, where I just have a huge amount of footnotes about everything I researched related to what the different Greek terms mean for his significations. But otherwise, I was relatively successful in, over the past year, writing the entire book from scratch and adopting a more consistent tone and narrative as a result of that.

And I think that was a good move to make just because otherwise the book would’ve come off as even more uneven than it already does because, to some extent, it’s already somewhat uneven because the first five chapters deal with the history, and it’s very dry and very academic. Then I switch, all of the sudden, to this survey of Hellenistic—of basic techniques in the planets, signs, houses, and aspects chapter, where I try to give a comprehensive account of how different astrologers used and conceptualized different techniques and a broad overview of hundreds of different concepts.

And then eventually I transition, in the second half of this book, into a much more practical, “here are example charts I found, where if you take some of these techniques and apply them to modern nativities, this is what happens, and this is how the techniques actually work in practice.” And it suddenly becomes a much more practical, almost quasi-modern, astrological textbook on astrology. And I use over 100—or I use exactly 120 example charts—all in the second part of the book—second half of the book. So the second part of the book starts getting pretty packed with example chart after example chart demonstrating different concepts and different techniques. So the book itself, even in the final version, is somewhat uneven to that extent, but it would’ve been worse if I hadn’t started over again a year ago in order to adopt that more consistent tone.

 So, I’m glad I did that. It’s been a long year; I’ve talked about that at several different points during the course of recording the monthly podcast episodes. I definitely—my energy for the writing of the book, and this project in general, waxed and waned over the course of the year. I did stop taking consultations in late 2015 after saving up as much money as I could in order to live off of savings for most of the year. I also got by, basically, and was able to pay some bills and keep skating due to the Patreon donations, which was just a huge thing as well. So I have a huge debt of gratitude to all of the Patrons of the podcast who supported it over the past year because basically I expected—my initial plan was to take the first three or four months to write the book and then spend a few months editing it and then publish it by the fall or something like that.

And that very quickly got blown out of the water because I spent the first few months of the year writing the history sections before I even got to some of the techniques sections and used up most of my savings in the process. So, it was only because of the Patrons, who continued supporting the show this year and showed that support, that I was able to actually get through the year financially and finish the book eventually.

I also had a lot of help by a few specific people that I wanted to mention. So, in the late spring, I actually—around May and June—I started talking to, and I hired, Aaron Cheak as an editor and as a conceptual feedback person a few months into writing the book, or the new draft of the book, this past year. And he was just amazing and was hugely instrumental in helping me to restructure certain parts of the book, to check different translations that I did of different Greek material, and to help sometimes catch errors or typos in my translations in some instances. He has a background, and he’s published a book on Grecco-Roman alchemy. So it was really interesting working with him because he basically specializes in the same time period as me, which is roughly, let’s say, the period around the time of the Roman empire about 2,000 years ago. But he was coming at it more from the perspective of ancient alchemy as a separate, let’s say, occult tradition that was occurring around the same time and happening in parallel, or sometimes crossing over, with astrology occasionally around the same time period.

And so he didn’t have necessarily as much background in the astrology as I did, because his focus was alchemy, but that ended up being hugely useful because then he could approach it with a fresh pair of eyes as a reader and tell me what made sense and what didn’t and give me the kind of feedback that was necessary as somebody who, in some instances, was hearing about some of these techniques and concepts for the first time while still having enough background in that time period to follow my argument and know whether what I was saying made sense or whether it was accurate and everything else.

So I worked with Aaron from May or June all the way through to December, and he just did a tremendous amount of work editing and revising the work of this book, and I really can’t thank him enough. And I definitely suggest people should check out his work because I think he’s also available for other editing projects. His website is aaroncheak.com, and I’ll probably link to it in the description page for this episode. And definitely also check out his publishing press that he runs with Jen Zahrt, which is called Rubedo Press, where he publishes some great books related to astrology or astrology in academia or other occult fields. So, yeah, I really am thankful to him; Aaron was a huge help this year in getting the book together.

I’m also thankful to Paula Belluomini, who is an astrologer and a listener of the podcast from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, who over the summer, when I announced that I needed some help and I was running a contest in order to get different versions of the cover of the book, where I had an idea of what I wanted the cover to look like—at least I knew I wanted to use this central image, which is the image of the goddess Fortuna—the goddess of fortune—and the wheel of fortune, with four figures moving around the wheel at different stages, with one rising up, one at the summit, or the top of the wheel, being crowned and at the height of fortune, one of them falling down off the right side of the wheel, and then another at the very bottom of the wheel.

And so this was an image I actually found from a piece of sheet music from the 1930s and 40s from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, which is a famous piece of music that has this really striking image of the goddess Fortuna and the wheel of fortune right on the cover of the sheet music. And I think it was probably illustrated in the 1930s or 40s, and it was inspired by similar illustrations of that concept from some medieval manuscripts that go back to the 11th or 12th century, which, in turn, drew on a much older tradition of this concept of tuchē, or of fortune or Fortuna, which also becomes a major concept in Hellenistic astrology, of course.

Anyway, so Paula ended up submitting—a bunch of people actually; I’m thankful to everybody who submitted different possible covers for the book. But Paula ended up submitting a few initial ones, like 3 or 4 initial spec versions of the cover, and I was just blown away at how professional the cover looked in the different versions that she sent right from the start. So right away, I knew I wanted to work with her. And we ended up going through a bunch of revisions until we ended up with the final version.

But I just wanted to really thank and highlight the work that she did on the cover because the cover really looks just way more amazing than I ever imagined. I always knew I wanted the central image there to look roughly like that, but the rest of the cover is all Paula’s brilliant design, and without her doing that, I don’t know that I would’ve come anywhere close. It probably would have looked more amateur-ish if I had personally just designed the cover on my own or something like that.

So it’s another instance where, like with Aaron, where by working together with other people—and I’m going on this long digression because part of the point is that… one of the things I had to learn during the self-publishing process is that if you don’t go with a major publisher, then it means you have to hire out. You either have the choice of doing different jobs yourself and sometimes doing things more poorly or in a more mediocre fashion because you don’t have any background, or you don’t specialize in those things. Or in some instances, you need to hire out and find people who do freelance work who specialize in different topics. And honestly, as long as you can afford it, or as long as you can find the money to make that happen, that’s the more optimal route because then you can still end up with what looks like or is pretty close to what you would have if you went through a normal publisher by working with people who specialize in and have that background.

So I did that with Aaron for the editing, I did it with—I worked with Paula to do the cover design. And then eventually, later in the project, Paula also remade many of the diagrams where I had taught myself how to use Adobe Illustrator years ago, and I’d been cobbling together halfway decent diagrams for a long time that I used in my lectures and presentations. But she actually—I gave her a bunch of the diagrams, and she completely redesigned a bunch of them to look much more professional and much more classy than some of the ones I had done because of her background in design. So Paula really did an important contribution in terms of improving the aesthetics of the book in a way that I couldn’t have ever anticipated. I was extremely fortunate to run into her and get in touch with her.

And she’s also been doing some of the different artwork for the advertising for the book lately so that the advertisement, or the image that I used for this episode, was also designed by Paula. So just huge credit to her for all of the work she did there. I will link to her website because I think, if anybody needs design work, they should definitely get in touch with her because she does a great job. And I’ll link to her website in the description page for this episode if you want to find out more information about her work or get in touch with her.

Okay, so those are the two people I worked with. I worked with Aaron for like six months starting in May or June doing the editing; eventually he finished the editing in November or December. I worked with Paula on the cover starting, I think, around July or August and then for the next several months forward. And then she redid many of the diagrams in December.

And then finally in December, I started working with Shannon Garcia to do the layout for the book. And I wanted to work with Shannon for several years, and we’d been talking about working together on this project for several years because she actually, a few years ago, I think starting around 2012, she stepped in and started doing the layout for The Mountain Astrologer magazine. And she just did this amazing job of totally doing a makeover of the entire Mountain Astrologer magazine. If you’ve seen TMA from before 2012, then you compare it to after 2012, you’ll just notice this huge difference and improvement—not that it was bad before that, but just that she brought this obvious sense of design skill and class to the design of TMA that really upped what they were already doing, which was already good, and brought it up to another level.

So, I’d been wanting to work together with her for a while. We were able to work something out, and we started working on the layout in December. And it was a really long and difficult process because I was completely unfamiliar with what doing the layout of a book entailed and that it was actually much more complicated to take a word document and import it over into a professional layout program, such as Adobe InDesign, and just what was involved with that and what’s involved with the formatting and getting images and diagrams placed into the book and all these little things.

Eventually doing the index, I had no idea—I had some idea that doing the index was going to be a hassle or a long, laborious process, but I was kind of looking forward to it. But a day or two into that process, I realized I was way in over my head and ended up asking Shannon to help me. And Shannon offered to help, and, luckily, she had some background in doing indexing for the University of Washington already, so she was like a professional indexer and had that background already.

And she was able to do just an amazing job creating a brilliant index, because even though….Indexing is weird because what it is, basically, is that in a book—and I didn’t understand this until recently—but in a book, you can’t usually search a book. With websites and stuff, we’re used to being able to go on Google or to have a search button in a website so you can search through the entire website and find whatever you’re looking for to see if they talk about that topic that you’re trying to research. If you don’t have that, though, with a book, then the index is basically how you search for a topic if there’s something specific that you’re trying to look up.

And Shannon taught me a lot about the philosophy of indexing, and there’s this whole thing about that I don’t necessarily need to go into here; I’ll save for another time. But she put in just a tremendous amount of work. And, towards the end, we ended up pulling several different all-nighters because I was rushing to try and get the book out in time for the Baltimore NCGR Conference, which was set to take place starting the 16th or 17th of February. And so we were, towards the end, really under the gun and really pushing it in order to get this book out in time so that I could print and ship copies to the hotel in Baltimore before the conference began because there had been an NCGR conference that was in Baltimore 10 years ago in early 2007. And I was still living out in Maryland at the time at the translation project, and I remember being at that conference, and I just thought it would be really good and interesting and appropriate or fitting to, 10 years later, return back to another conference in the same city, hosted by the same organization, but just at a completely different phase in my life and to have copies of the book there at that conference.

So, even though it was an arbitrary release date or goal to meet, and in some ways it almost would have been better to just take our time and do it more slowly, we pushed really hard to get it out before that conference in February, and we ended up being successful and the book was officially published, technically, on February 10th. So, I couldn’t have done that without Shannon, and Shannon was hugely instrumental in doing that. So, she’s another one of those people where if you need design or layout work, or website work, or a number of other things, she is just an amazing person to talk to, and I’ve been working with her for a few years now, not just on this book but also on a few other projects. So you can check her out; I’ll give a link to her website, also, in the description page for this episode. And I think if you need any help doing the layout for a book or something like that, she would be a good person to talk to.

Okay, so, let me backup a little bit. So I’ve kind of glossed over a little bit—I talked about some of the different topics that I cover in the book. One of the things that I skipped was: in chapter 11, halfway through the book, I have this extended discussion of the issue of house division. And that’s because of some of the debates that have taken place over the course of the past year. And this is a long and somewhat laborious chapter, but I felt like I needed to write it because some of the debates that have happened over the past year, both ones that I’ve talked about in the podcast, as well as ones that I haven’t, have really raised this whole issue about where did this whole question about house division even come from?

And that’s what I try to address in the book where in this chapter on house division—it’s very long, it’s like 50 pages long, so it’s almost overkill at a certain point. But I wanted to make the most definitive treatment of talking about the early history of house division in the earliest part of the tradition but then also talking about where this disagreement and where this divide came from, where you ended up with several different forms of house division and then, eventually, many different forms of house division later on.

So the first half of that chapter, basically, I spend most of it establishing and showing the evidence for—because even though it’s something that myself and other scholars have stated, because it’s very obvious when you read the texts, it’s not usually fully substantiated because it’s so obvious when you read the texts that a lot of us have taken it for granted that whole sign houses was probably the original and was easily the most popular form of house division in the Hellenistic tradition for essentially the first five or six hundred years of astrologers using houses as a concept—the 12 houses, I mean as a concept at all—that they were largely using whole sign houses. So that’s often stated or asserted.

Ever since James Holden first pointed it out in a paper in 1984, which I’ve linked to in previous episodes, it’s been a stated or an assertion by different people who are actually reading the texts, but because that’s come under question and been attacked over the past year, I decided to take the opportunity of writing this book and writing that chapter to actually substantiate that and present all of the evidence for the popularity and the use of whole sign houses in the Hellenistic tradition.

So one of the things I did is I worked with some students from my course who, several of which I thanked in the acknowledgements in the introduction to the book, over the summer I asked to count up every single surviving horoscope that survives from the Hellenistic tradition that was written in Greek or Latin—so every single birth chart, basically, that survives from the Hellenistic tradition, we counted them all up and then gave the totals for how many used whole sign houses, how many used equal houses, and how many used quadrant houses, such as Porphyry or Alcabitius. And, when you see those numbers in front of you, the result is just staggering; it’s just staggeringly in favor of whole sign houses.

And, to me, that alone—there’s other arguments that go on later in other points where I also show how, even in the practical texts, the astrologers are giving instructions that clearly are meant to be interpreted as using whole sign houses—but even that aside, even if you only look at the surviving horoscopes, the fact that you have hundreds of surviving horoscopes that clearly use whole sign houses and then just a few that only—almost a handful—that use other forms of house division, such as equal houses or quadrant houses, really makes it clear that it’s not just an unsubstantiated assertion that whole sign houses was the original and the primary form of house division that astrologers were using back then, but it really fully substantiates and demonstrates that that was clearly the case.

So, I spent a lot of time in the first half of that chapter doing that, which I hope will become a definitive treatment of that topic. And then I spend the second half of the chapter talking about where the quadrant systems did come from, how they started to be used more widely, and also dealing with equal houses and the question that’s been put forward recently by Robert Schmidt, basically, who argue that equal houses was more prominent or more popular in the Hellenistic tradition than has been recognized previously and analyzing that and, to some extent, acknowledging that, but to another extent also arguing that that argument is also perhaps overplayed to a certain extent as well and that there’s still this ambiguity even over the extent to which equal houses was used in the Hellenistic tradition as well as an ambiguity about one of the arguments that I make is that—he tried to put out an argument last June saying that there were always three different forms of house division, which were whole sign houses, equal houses, and quadrant houses and that each form of house division had its own independent purpose and usage within the system.

And one of the arguments that I make in my chapter after analyzing all the texts and some of the same passages he was making these arguments from—or this argument from—is that I don’t actually that think there was a huge conceptual distinction between equal houses and quadrant houses, but instead it was actually more like today where they were just different approaches to doing the same thing. And that’s why you have some astrologers, like Valens, who will use whole sign houses most of the time, but then he’ll switch to quadrant houses at one point for the purpose of specific techniques or in order to look at certain things, which effectively means that Valens is using whole sign houses and quadrant houses, and that’s all he ever uses in his example charts. He never uses equal houses at any point in any of his example charts.

And then you have other astrologers like Ptolemy, who are using whole sign houses primarily, but then again, within the context of certain techniques—in fact, the same technique as Valens, which is the length of life technique—he’ll switch to using equal houses for certain purposes, which means effectively that Ptolemy is using whole sign houses and equal houses together, whereas Valens is using whole sign houses and quadrant houses together. And so part of my argument is just that equal houses and quadrant houses are fundamentally, or essentially at that point, different versions of the same thing, which is that the Hellenistic astrologers had a sign-based form of house division, which is whole sign houses, and then they had a degree-based form of house division, which is either equal houses or quadrant houses, depending on which one the individual astrologer wanted to use.

And the parallel there is that they do that in other things as well, like with aspect doctrine, where they had a sign-based form of the aspect doctrine, but then they also had a degree-based form of the aspect doctrine. So this is a theme that comes up a few different times in the system where they wanted to take into account placements both by sign and by degree and that there were different conceptual reasons for both of those reference systems, but one wasn’t more important or more valuable than the other, but instead both of them had equal footing.

Anyway, so that’s just a brief explanation of why, in the very middle of the book basically, there’s just this huge, very technical, will be a somewhat difficult chapter, especially in the later parts for some people, to read, on the house division issue, and it’s just because I wanted to directly address some of these debates that have come up over the past year about this and hopefully put them to rest, to some extent, by writing what I hope will become a more definitive treatment of some of those issues.

So obviously, that’s very optimistic on my part that I think that this is going to bring to rest, or put to rest, some of these debates, and it’s obviously not because this has been something that astrologers have been arguing about for 2,000 years. And they’re not going to stop arguing about it just because I wrote a long chapter about it in my book. But I wanted to put at least my official position out there and my attempt of what I think happened in the Hellenistic tradition and where this issue came from and where it was headed also. Because one of the things is that—it’s like in the early part of the Hellenistic tradition, it seems like there was this issue that arose about the house division issue because of the way that houses were discussed in these three different foundational texts. And then in later astrologers, it becomes this point of ambiguity where you have different astrologers using different systems, but they’re moving towards attempting some sort of synthesis of whole sign houses and the other systems, like quadrant houses, by the time of Ratorius.

And then, even in the early medieval tradition, it seems like that’s where they’re headed, of using both together at the same time following after the late Hellenistic tradition with Ratorius. But then something happened, and there was this shift, and whole sign houses were forgotten completely. Quadrant houses became the dominant system, but then all of a sudden it was an even bigger debate because everybody had huge debates over which quadrant system to use. And suddenly, there were dozens of other quadrant systems that were introduced after that point, and people have been debating about it since.

Anyway, that’s right in the middle of the book. For some people, if you’re interested in the house division issue at all, then that chapter is really going to appeal to you. If you’re not, you may be fine skipping it; it’s not a huge deal because prior to that chapter is my actual treatment of the houses in chapter 10, where I just deal with the 12 houses, their significations or their meanings, and other topics related to that, and that’s a fine and sufficient treatment of that topic. If you really want to get into the house division issue though, then there’s a full chapter in chapter 11.

Okay, so other topics. So the history of philosophy I covered, the gradual development versus sudden invention debate—I’m a little bit nervous about that because that’s a pretty serious debate. I’ve tried to talk about it at different points in the podcast before. I feel like I might return to it at some point because I feel like I’ve given it an adequate treatment, where it actually is an interesting and important debate where there’s two different groups of academics and two different groups of astrologers that are arguing very strongly that either Hellenistic astrology was invented by somebody deliberately as a technical construct around the first or second century BCE or on the other side of the spectrum that there’s this other group who’s arguing that it was not invented by anybody and that it just came together organically over several centuries and that most of the techniques may have come from earlier Mesopotamian astrologers and just simply not been documented, if anything at all.

And I bring this up because it has an important bearing just on how you conceptualize astrology—how you conceptualize where it came from—and in some instances, people change their—people’s attitudes towards Hellenistic astrology and other forms of astrology in general are predicated on their belief about where Hellenistic astrology came from. So it can actually affect both how you conceptualize the subject as well as how you practice it to some extent.

I guess I don’t need to get into a huge digression on that issue except just to say that I’m interested to see what some of the reactions are to that because I try to take a middle ground approach in saying that it was both a sudden invention as well as a gradual development, although I do spend a little more time defending the sudden invention hypothesis because I feel like there’s been a lot of pushback on it over the course of the past decade.

And there’s enough instances within Hellenistic astrology where some of the techniques fit together a little bit too nicely. And there’s too many very clean conceptual constructs within it, such as the Thema Mundi, which provides the rationale for the domicile assignments and the nature of the aspects, or the planetary joys scheme, which seems to provide the rationale for some of the significations of the houses—some of the original significations of the houses—as well as other things like why the elements—the four classical elements of earth, air, fire, and water—came to be assigned to the signs of the zodiac. That seems to come from the planetary joys scheme, as I argued in one chapter, and as I argued in a paper a few years ago in the ISAR Journal. So some of those conceptual constructs do imply that certain parts of Hellenistic astrology probably were devised, or invented, or whatever you want to call it, by some person or by a group of people that introduced certain parts of what became the system of Hellenistic astrology sometime around the first or second century BCE.

And to me that’s really interesting and exciting and worth exploring more because when you realize that it’s a possibility that certain parts of Hellenistic astrology were invented and that they had certain conceptual, or philosophical, motivations for why certain techniques were—meant certain things or were designed in a certain way, it means that sometimes—if you’re aware of that, that means you can look for it to see if any other weird conceptual consistencies exist in other parts of the system. And sometimes you can draw out or discover new ones that nobody has noticed before if you’re aware that that’s something you should be looking for.

But if you just completely deny that that’s even a possibility right from the start, which I feel some scholars have done over the past decade, if you completely deny that any of the techniques could’ve been deliberately devised or invented by somebody in a text, or introduced by somebody in a text—somewhere around the first century BCE—then it means you’re not even going to look for those sorts of conceptual consistencies, or you’re not going to look or even be aware that that’s something that you should keep an eye out for.

And to me, that does a disservice to the whole process of recovering this tradition. Because that’s one of the most interesting things about it is seeing that there was an internal logic that went along with some of these techniques, where these were real people somewhere around the first century or second century BCE, who—the concept of houses, for example, of the 12 houses, and these 12 different sectors of a chart that mean different things, that concept didn’t always exist, but it was actually introduced at a specific point in time.

And there may have been a text that first introduced the idea is one of the arguments I make in the book and that that text picked out a certain set of significations, and they said, “Here’s this concept, this idea that there are 12 houses, or 12 sectors in a chart. And, based on this, using my own internal logic, this is what these 12 sectors will mean symbolically.” And then in this text, it gave a certain basic set of significations, and some of those became the significations of the houses that we still use today, whereas some of them were lost or set aside by other astrologers who didn’t think that they worked.

And then later, there were other texts that were published that added other significations and said, “Well, I think this house means this as well, or that this other house means this other topic.” One of the examples, for example, is the first text that seemed to have introduced the concept of the houses: it seemed to have assigned the topic of death to the seventh house, whereas one of the later early texts that introduced another set of significations of the houses—it seems to have assigned the topic of death and moved it from the seventh house to the eighth house. And most of the later astrologers ended up following the later text, where they agreed that death should be in the eighth house rather than the seventh house.

So there’s interesting little conceptual issues that I tried to document in the book about the origins of some of these concepts, and it’s really useful just to be aware of the basic premise that some of these techniques don’t go back into infinity in the history of astrology. But sometimes there are specific techniques that are introduced at specific points in time that every one of these techniques oftentimes, the more abstract the technique, it means that the more likely that it was introduced by a specific person at a specific point in time rather than something that just appeared out of thin air or that multiple different people at different points in the world came to at the same time. Oftentimes with some of these techniques, they were things that somebody came up with and introduced at a specific point of time.

And the modern parallel to that is, for example, the idea of composite charts, which are generally said to be attributed to—or John Townley, the astrologer John Townley—is often said to be the guy who came up with and popularized the idea of composite charts and wrote one of the first books on the topic. So, there’s techniques that are still, even today, being invented in astrology all the time. And they’re often first introduced in a book or a publication when the person unveils or introduces the concept. And if it’s a good idea, sometimes other astrologers adopt it, and it becomes part of the tradition. And then when it becomes part of the tradition, it becomes something where, after enough time, everybody just assumes that it’s always been there or that we’ve always used this technique for thousands of years, when in fact, with that technique, for example, you can trace it back to the 1960s or 1970s or what have you.

So a large part of my book focuses on that topic, which is where did these techniques come from—the basic techniques that Western astrologers use. And for the most part I really try, especially in chapters seven through 10, to trace back the history and the origins of every single one of these techniques—as far as we can take them—in order to see if we can identify where the techniques came from and where they were introduced. And this is useful not just for historical reasons, but also sometimes it can serve a practical usage as well because sometimes when you find out when a technique was first introduced, and you understand—you find out what the rationale was for that technique originally.

And sometimes the original rationale for the technique was much different than the rationale that we’ve been using to justify it today. And sometimes that can lead to interesting conceptual insights, which in turn can lead to useful practical insights about how to apply the technique differently or how to understand it from a different perspective or, in some instances, how to actually apply it more effectively today so that you can apply it in a way that works better by knowing how it was originally meant to be used.

So there’s a number of instances of that in the book….Yeah, I’m trying to think of what else I did—there’s a number of appendices; I used 120 chart examples. I gave the chart data for most of the people—most of the celebrity charts. I actually withheld the data for a lot of the client and other personal charts for privacy reasons since I was given the okay to use the charts as anonymous example charts, but otherwise I felt like giving the birth data wasn’t necessarily—might be unnecessary and might be going a little bit too far in terms of keeping them as anonymous charts.

So, yeah, I gave the data, and I tried to use only reliable birth times. So it’s mainly just A data or AA data from the Rodden Rating system, often sourced from astro.com and from Astro-Databank. And I gave all the details for the sources of all the birth charts in the end. There’s also a timeline—there’s a short timeline towards the end of the book that gives a concise overview of the main astrologers. There’s an extensive bibliography that contains all the works cited. I didn’t get a chance to write—it’s not a full bibliography that tells you every possible work. It’s not a comprehensive bibliography for Hellenistic astrology that tells you every possible work that I ever read that went into the book, but it still contains over 300-something or 400 entries, which were mostly the works that I actually cited in the footnotes of the book.

One of the early chapters in the history section is on the Hellenistic astrologers. And what I tried to do was give an overview of each of the major Hellenistic astrologers whose texts survived or where we have at least fragments of their text that I would be talking about later in the book in order to orient you, the reader, and give you an idea of who these different figures are, what time frame they lived, what we know about them, and what fragments of their texts basically survived into the present time.

So some of those sketches are really brief, and other ones are very long. For some of them I tried to provide a lot of historical context when talking about different figures, like Hermes Trismegistus or Asclepius or Zoroaster or other figures like that; I tried to provide a little bit of background for those who don’t have any background in ancient history or any of this other stuff because I basically wanted to write the book that I wish that I had 10 years ago when I was getting into Hellenistic astrology in order to help orient me and give me a foundation for what texts are available and what sources and authors we have to draw on and to give me a broad overview of this new field that I was just getting into at the time. That was what I wanted, and it didn’t really necessarily exist.

There were different variations of that that did exist to some extent, and certainly that’s what I got studying the Kepler course under Demetra George and some of the people that contributed to that, like Robert Schmidt, but that was something that was private and exclusive, and with this book I wanted to finally make Hellenistic astrology more accessible to the public by putting it all out there. And even though I covered a lot—it’s a 700-page book—it’s actually 696 pages is what we officially ended up with, including the index and the bibliography and everything else—it’s not actually a fully comprehensive book because there’s just too much. It’s too broad and too wide of a field to write a fully comprehensive introduction to—to write a fully comprehensive treatment of the topic would take multiple volumes. So what this is is it’s my best attempt to write a sort of overview of many of the main points and covering the history and philosophy and the techniques to write a relatively thorough survey of those topics as I can.

So one of the things that I’m slightly disappointed about is that part of my purpose in rewriting the book, starting a year ago, was that I realized that the previous drafts had gotten way too long. So I wanted to rewrite it from scratch partially in order to make it shorter and more concise, but even by the time I got to the end of the project, I realized there was way too much there, so I ended up cutting out some chapters on different topics. I had one chapter later in the book that was going to be on the overall ruler of the chart, called the Master of the Nativity, but I realized I needed to cut it because I was going to over 700 pages if I attempted to keep that in. And at that point, it just becomes way too large and unwieldy of a book. And it already is to some extent, although I tried to mitigate that by bumping it up to instead of being a normal six by nine book, I made it a seven by 10. So it’s a slightly larger form book than most, but I think that ended up working out well because the pages actually lay open really well.

And Shannon did an amazing job of calculating the gutter space that was needed in the middle of the book where the pages sit open so that there’s enough space there where it’s not annoying or cramped to read, but it’s actually a pretty enjoyable read. And we try to do other things, like I researched the font that I ended up using in the book, and I compared 20 different fonts or something and read—there was two different books on typography and just the philosophy of fonts and reading different fonts and when you should use one font versus what context you should use other fonts. And there’s all these different things that go into little parts of the book, even things as small as the font that I really tried to, every step of the way, make all of those decisions very deliberately and to research them as extensively as I could or at least as extensively as seemed reasonable in order to try to make the best product that I could in almost every area.

So that ended up with me doing some pretty absurd research into very obscure, or what I considered to be obscure, areas like typography, or the philosophy of indexing books and what an index is versus what it isn’t, or learning layout, learning design, even things like studying ancient Greek, or studying textual transmission and textual editing and all these other different things. There’s a lot of different fields that went into this, both in the research to the book itself and writing it but also in the production and layout stage of putting the book together.

So, yeah. That is the overview of the book. I’m trying to think of if there’s anything I forgot. I’m really excited about it to actually have it out, and I’ve been looking forward to recording this episode for a while.

So, there’s a little bit of a delay I should get into talking about in the very last portions of this before I wrap up: the launch of the book that’s taken place over the last month and what happened with that, which I touched on a little bit earlier. But I should give you some explanation, since this is going out to all the podcast listeners finally, and this is my official announcement about the book, which I otherwise have announced on Facebook and things like that. But I was doing a slow rollout, so that’s why you haven’t heard about it through all of my other official channels and newsletters and things like that yet because I was trying to pace myself while I learned the process.

So, like I said, I planned on releasing the book before the NCGR conference, which was set to begin, I think, February 16 or something like that in Baltimore. And Shannon and I had been pushing for several weeks through December and especially most of January to push as hard as we could to get the layout in place and get it ready so that I could submit the final PDF to Lightning Source, which is the name of the print-on-demand company that I use and that pretty much a lot of astrologers are using to self-publish books at this point. It’s called Lightning Source.

We were pushing really hard because we needed at least a week or two of lead time before the conference, I thought, in order to get copies—to print up a proof copy to make sure that the book came out okay and then to print up several boxes of copies to ship to the conference. I guess I don’t need to tell the entire story, but there’s this comical story of us scrambling to get the book out. And when I first started submitting the files to Lightning Source in early February, they ask for a publication date, which is the official date that the book is technically published and has been released, or at least you’ve submitted all the final files of the book to Lightning Source. And then there’s what they call an on-sale date, which is the date where online retailers and distributors, like Amazon, can start selling the book through their websites.

And they say that you can make these the same date, or you can separate them if you want some space between when you publish the book versus when Amazon can start selling the book. And I actually did want there to be some space between the two because basically—I guess the basic deal is that I set up a page on my site, and you can actually order the book through my site at hellenisticastrology.com/book. And when you go to my site and order it directly through me using one of the PayPal buttons there, then I make the full price of the sale of the book minus the production costs and the shipping costs.

And actually that’s one of the downsides that I learned in retrospect of making such a thick book is that the production cost is actually quite a bit; it costs a lot to print up the book because it’s a 700-page book that’s seven by 10. So it’s basically like printing up an entire ream of paper and then shipping it out. And then the shipping costs are also extra because it’s a really heavy book; I think it’s two pounds and 11 ounces or something like that.

Anyway, when I sell the book, I make the full amount. However, when Amazon sells the book, because they’re a distributor, they get a discount. So they actually keep 30 percent of the profits from the book when you buy it through Amazon. So one of the tricky things, and I anticipated this coming up, is that I wanted to attempt to sell the book for a couple of weeks before Amazon started selling the book because I needed to make back some of the money that I spent from my savings this year, or I also needed to pay back—I’m in the process of paying back Shannon, who did the layout for the book. And I owe her a decent amount of money for just all of the amazing work that she put into it as a professional designer and layout person. So I was going to have two weeks to basically sell the book directly myself and make whatever profits came in from that and then direct that towards paying off whatever debts there are.

And I noticed that Amazon, shortly after I submitted the book to Lightning Source and started getting the final files set up in early February, that Amazon started listing the book right away, but it listed it for pre-order. And I was fine with that because Amazon—you know, that’s fine, and people pre-order books all the time, and presumably that meant that if a person pre-orders a book on Amazon, they realize that they’re not going to get it for a few weeks until after Amazon’s able to start selling it on February 26. So I was okay with that and didn’t really think anyone would notice.

But then, what happened is on midnight on February 10, which was the publication date, I saw that Amazon’s description page for the book switched, and it suddenly said, “This book is on sale now. Buy your copy today.” And it switched to where it’s basically saying—it looked as if it was saying that the book was available for immediate purchase. So I panicked and freaked out. And even though I was planning on announcing the book before I left for the NCGR conference on the 16th, and I was getting things in place for that, I wasn’t fully ready yet by the 10th. The 10th was going to be more of a symbolic publication date. But when I noticed that Amazon had launched it, I panicked and scrambled and then, later that day on the 10th, announced that the book was out and that I was taking orders for it. And I put up my description page for the book on the hellenisticastrology.com website and started accepting orders directly.

What I realized, though, like a day or so later is that, even though I was taking orders directly through my website, I noticed that the book started hitting the top of the sales charts on Amazon in the three different categories that I had categorized it in, which were the astrology category—it became a hot seller, or like a number one new release. But it also started hitting the top of the sales charts in the ancient Roman history category, or books on ancient Rome, and in the category of books on ancient Grecco-Roman philosophy. It became a number one bestseller there too, which was just really wild and surreal to see.

And I realized that even though—that when I put out the announcement for it, that people were seeing the announcement, and there was some percentage that were ordering directly from me, but then there was also this huge percentage that was just going on Amazon and finding it there and then ordering it from Amazon presumably because, like me, they have Amazon Prime and can get free two-day shipping, so I understand that. But it became a little bit annoying just in the sense that I scrambled to announce it so that I could make most of the sales directly but instead Amazon ended up taking a lot of the sales nonetheless. So it’s not a huge deal, and I’m not faulting necessarily anyone for doing that because two-day shipping is amazing, and I’ve certainly taken advantage of that and will often order through Amazon myself for tons of stuff, so I get it.

Anyways, but the point of that story is just that because Amazon launched it, it forced me to launch earlier than I had planned on it and to do it suddenly that Friday, February 10, which was the eclipse day, which is really funny. And we talk about that on the next forecast episode that I’ll release next with Austin because it ties in in this hilarious way with a discussion we had about the advisability of that date as an electional date last month as an eclipse date and the whole debate over should you elect things to launch coinciding with eclipses. So you can listen to the next forecast episode, where Austin and Kelly and I talk about that for that discussion.

But anyways, so I announced that the book was launched on that Friday, the 10th. The next day we actually found out, on Saturday, that there was a huge error in the file in the book, where somehow I didn’t notice that we continued the page numbering from the preface. So in the preface, the pages are numbered in Roman numerals from one through whatever, and then, usually, starting with the first page of the first actual chapter of the book, the numbering starts over again with Arabic numerals, starting with number one. And I didn’t notice that we actually had accidentally—we forgot to reset the numbering at some point during our rush to throw together the index and everything else in the final phase of getting the book out before the conference. And so the book actually continued the numbering from the preface, starting at page 26 or 28 or something like that.

So, I was immediately horrified because my immediate realization that Saturday was that we needed to fix the numbering, which was easy enough to change in the layout program—to just restart the numbering at page one on the first page of the first chapter. But the problem was that we’d completed the index already at that point, so what that meant was that if we changed the numbering of the book, then it meant that the entire index was going to be wrong, which we had just spent two weeks creating, and it had over 5,000 entries or something like that pointing to specific page numbers, which would then, as soon as we fixed it, be incorrect.

So that was the first step in what was a problematic rollout that turned potentially very horrifying on that Saturday. It was February the 11th at that point, as all these orders are coming in to me but also as I’m realizing that hundreds of people are also buying it around the world through Amazon. And I’m assuming at that point that Amazon was shipping them out directly after saying that the book was available for sale on Friday. So I knew that I could hold off for a few days because a bunch of orders came in on Friday the 10th and February the 11th. Lightning Source is only open during normal business hours, so they don’t really print on the weekends, so I knew I could hold off until Monday or Tuesday to submit most of those orders to Lightning Source after I had updated the PDF with the corrected document—the corrected version of the book to fix the issues—ideally, like best-case scenario. But I thought Amazon was already shipping hundreds of copies all over the world, so it looked like we were set for a potentially pretty embarrassing disaster. But then by later on Saturday or by Sunday, we had figured out a fix to most of those issues—miraculously.

And it’s funny that I’m going into all of this because this is supposed to be a promotional discussion about the book, and I’m talking about some of the errors with it. But this is part of the process, and I’m hoping if anybody else self-publishes a book who’s listening to this right now that you can learn from my mistakes. And I’ll probably have a whole separate discussion about that at some point in time.

But anyway, the solution was that Shannon is brilliant and came up with this: she wrote a computer program, or like a script, that would subtract 26 from every single number listed in the index in order to make it so that the entire index could be automatically changed to reflect the correct page numbers. Because, essentially, once we fixed the page numbers in the body of the text, all of the index pages were off by exactly 26 pages. She got this brilliant idea to just subtract 26, using a program, from all of the numbers. I was extremely skeptical, and I thought that that was just going to wreak havoc with the index. But she did it, and it actually worked, surprisingly.

So what could’ve been a hugely disastrous issue where the entire index was invalidated—and it had over 5,000 entries, so we would have had to manually change all 5,000 of those entries ourselves somehow, which I really cringe to think about what that would have even involved, especially given that I was already selling the book—somehow we were saved by Shannon’s quick and brilliant thinking in fixing the index in that way.

At the same time, we had submitted the book to Lightning Source to get the proof copy, but we were still in the process of proofreading a few chapters. And actually, Leisa Schaim, my partner, had been proofreading a bunch of the chapters right up to submitting that and had found a lot of typos, even pretty late in the game, where I was missing a definite article like “the” in a sentence or something like that—like something that somehow we’d overlooked, and everybody that had looked at the book had overlooked, but that Leisa with her Virgo moon was picking up on in the very last stages of the project and finding really important typos very late. And so she was reading through the entire book all the way up until the last minute.

So she hadn’t finished—she read the entire book but hadn’t finished five chapters by the time of that. So in the last few days, while Shannon was finishing the index, Leisa and I were pulling all-nighters in order to do a bunch of last-minute proofreading of the book in order to do those last five chapters and just make sure everything was as perfect as possible before it went out. So I have to really thank her, and I updated the acknowledgement for her in order to recognize that just because she ended up being my last-minute crucial proofreader for very important sections of the book and saved us all from some pretty major typos that would have made it through otherwise.

So there was just this crazy weekend from February 10th through February 13th where we were pushing to get everything finished and finalized and submitted in the final manuscript of the book by the end of Sunday, February—what was it—February 12th or something like that. I guess it was Sunday, February 12th so that as soon as Lightning Source opened on Monday, I could submit the revised PDF, have them update it in their system and okay it, and then any future copies of the book ordered from there would be ordered from the correct and updated version.

Unfortunately, I had already shipped 30 copies of the book to Baltimore from the flawed copy—basically the flawed version of the book that had the bad page numbering—but I was okay with that because it ended up being much more limited so that there was only 33 copies of that flawed edition that ever got out into the wild. And what I ended up doing was just selling them off for the production and shipping costs. I sold them for just $20 each at the Baltimore conference in order to get rid of all of them and make back part of the money that I spent in order to expedite them and get them shipped out to Baltimore in time but otherwise lost a little bit—but didn’t lose as much money as I could have ordering 30 flawed copies of a book to the conference.

So eventually, we got the final version submitted on Monday, Lightning Source accepted it, I started placing orders by Monday night to fulfill the orders that had started coming in Friday. Unfortunately, then—because it’s Lightning Source, and it’s print-on-demand, every copy of the book is shipped—like I accept an order from somebody who buys a copy of the book through my site, if they’re ordering it from me directly. And I then go to Lightning Source, and I place an order for a copy with the printer, because that’s essentially what Lightning Source is, it’s just a printer. So I place an order for them to print up one copy of the book at one of their printing facilities, and then I put the address in for the person who ordered it, and I have it shipped directly from the printer to the person who ordered it.

So it’s actually a really cool process, and… unfortunately though what I learned, again as part of my trial-and-error, first time doing this, is that each time I order a copy of the book, they charge me for the production and shipping costs, they charge me for one individual order. So I had a lot—I had dozens and dozens of orders come in through me directly, so when I started to fulfill those on Monday night, I was putting individual charges on my credit card each time I was fulfilling one. So I only got to do that about six or seven times before the credit card companies just shut down my credit card because they assumed that it had been stolen, and somebody was fraudulently racking up a bunch of charges on my card.

So that caused a delay where I had to wait until Tuesday because all of my cards got shut down, and I had to wait until Tuesday to call my banks and get them to open them up again. And then I started fulfilling those orders by Tuesday and had to attempt to rush them all out to get them out before I left for the conference on Wednesday. That’s kind of a digression and kind of a boring, practical thing, but there was just this whole hassle and weird, semi-funny story about getting the book out that’s taken place over the past few weeks, and it was pretty exhausting.

So that process is still going on. One of the positive things about Amazon is that I learned that—well, one of the sketchy things, honestly, about learning about how Amazon operates is that I later learned that weekend, when I had been so horrified that I found out that the flawed copy of the book was the one that was in the system, and I assumed that Amazon was shipping out flawed copies of the book all over the world, one of the bright, positive things that happened, besides Shannon figuring out that she could fix the index quickly and easily—or relatively quickly and easily—was that I found out that Amazon actually—even though they were selling the book and basically telling people it was available for order, they actually were not able to order any copies from the printer until the original on-sale-by date, which was February 26th.

It was actually kind of messed up because it turned out in the end that Amazon was actually still effectively just taking pre-orders for the book and not telling people that they were pre-orders and that they wouldn’t receive it for a few weeks still, even though they weren’t able to order copies until February 26th. So I realized that eventually, by early in the following week, and at first it was actually a huge relief because it meant that Amazon wasn’t getting any of the flawed copies of the book and instead only the final version that we submitted on Monday the 13th, that was the version that was going to go out to everybody. And there would only ever exist 33 copies of that flawed version, which was fascinating because then that would become a collector’s item where there were these 33 flawed first-edition versions of the book that went out there.

But anyway… The positive part about Amazon is that it meant they didn’t ship any of the bad copies of the book. The downside is that even—once I figured out the issue with Amazon, I updated the on-sale-by date, and I moved it forward to February 13th, which, theoretically, should’ve allowed Amazon to start ordering copies and shipping them out immediately. And their system seemed to update, or they seemed to change things, and something started happening behind the scenes. But then over the past couple of weeks, I’ve realized that still Amazon has not shipped out any copies, and they still in their system seem to be sticking by the original on-sale date. So what that means is that there’s been a bunch of delays, and today’s February 25th, so tomorrow is February 26th, and I think what is about to happen is that Amazon is going to officially catch up tomorrow on the original on-sale date and then start shipping out all hundreds of copies to different people all over the world starting on either tomorrow, which is a Sunday, or probably more likely Monday the 27th.

So, of course, that’s the eclipse day; solar eclipse in Pisces, which is kind of interesting. I had deliberately picked those dates where I picked the full moon, or the lunar eclipse on the 10th, as the original publication date, and the solar eclipse on the 26th as the on-sale date, but it’s actually kind of weird how those dates ended up becoming much more important than I ever intended, and despite my best intentions—even despite attempts to get it out otherwise.

So there’s some delays with Amazon. I think their systems are finally catching up, and hopefully people will start receiving the book soon. There was also a bit of a learning curve with Lightning Source where—they ship via Media Mail, which usually takes about a week, but they also say that the book can take up to five days to print because they’ve got to print each copy. And in the past when I’ve ordered books from people like Ben Dykes who used Lightning Source, I feel like I usually get them in a week or a week and a half and that it’s usually pretty quick.

But for some reason, for a bunch of people who ordered their copies over that weekend from like February 10th through the 13th or 14th, Lightning Source took a full week to print all of those up and then didn’t ship most of them out until the 20th. So there’s a bunch of people still waiting for their books because now it’s then going to take a week or something to ship after they finally shipped it on the 20th. So there was also a delay for the people who ordered it from me who are getting it from Lightning Source.

And I think I’ve since figured out how to get around that and avoid that, and I don’t think that’s going to be as much of an issue in the future especially because there won’t be any additional delays with me discovering that the entire book has bad page numbering and having to delay placing the order for two or three days; that’ll probably help a little bit as well. But my apologies to anybody who’s still waiting for the book.

I’m getting reports that it’s starting to be delivered in different parts of the U.S., which seems to be the only place that has the main delays, at least in terms of books that I’ve shipped directly, who ordered it from me. And most of the people in California and Oregon have received them. I’ve started to hear some are showing up in Kansas City and different places like that. So I think by early next week most people will have received their copies who ordered it directly from me.

So that’s my long and, what will become in a few days, probably a largely irrelevant digression about some of the shipping delays that have occurred, either through Amazon or through ordering from me directly. But that’s part of the overall story of what’s happened in getting the book out over the course of the past month that I just wanted to touch upon briefly and give everybody who’s listening who’s wondering where the book is as a brief explanation.

I think that brings me towards the end of this episode. One of the things I’m—I’m really excited and just elated to have the book out. I think it came out really well; I’m really looking forward to hearing from people. I’m starting to get feedback that people are getting it in their hands, and they’re just blown away at how comprehensive it is, how nice the cover looks thanks to Paula, how nice the layout looks thanks to Shannon, and all these other things. I’m excited about starting to get more feedback as people get the book and begin to dig into it. And I think that people are going to be really happy, when they receive it, with what they find.

So, yeah! I look forward to people getting the book. Let me know what you think of it, of course. If you order it from Amazon, it’s helpful once you’ve read the book, if you like it, to submit a review. That’s going to be a big deal at some point. Hopefully the reviews are positive; I think they will be. For those who ordered it from me directly, I’m trying to collect some little blurbs of endorsements for it to put on the sidebar of the description page. So if you want to write a short 75 to 100 word blurb about what you like about the book or something like that or what your impression is, you can send that in to me.

I’m also excited that the book, for just the orders that I shipped, I shipped the book to all over just different parts of the world—pretty much all over the place. And that’s been one of the wild things is just realizing that the book is going out to and is being read by people all over the world right now or at least that it will be shortly. So one of the things that I was asking people to do as an optional, fun, promotional thing—and just a thing that would be meaningful to me after writing this book for 10 years—is it’d be cool just to see people reading it in different parts of the world. So I’m telling people that, if they feel like it, it’d be cool to see a picture of either you with the book or, if you don’t want to be in the picture, just the book in your part of the world, especially if you’re by some notable landmark or scenery or something that’s associated with your area.

So I know Danny Larkin said he was going to try to take a picture by the Statue of Liberty because he lives in New York. There’s other people who have offered to take pictures of the book, or them with the book in other different famous locations like that around the world. And I think that would be cool just to see that my work has finally gotten out there and that people are reading it all over the world; there’s something very surreal and very special about that. So if you feel like sending in a picture of you with the book or whatever, you can send it to me through my email address, which you can find on the contact page of The Astrology Podcast at theastrologypodcast.com. Or you can message me through Facebook or whatever. But yeah, just send me a picture, or post on Facebook, and I’d love to see it.

Let’s see, other things… If you want to order the book, so like I said—I actually don’t care; you can buy it either directly through me or through Amazon. At this early stage, I do think I would prefer that you ordered it through me just because, like I said, then I don’t have to give 30 percent of the cut to Amazon. And I would make it, and then I would use some of that in order to pay back Shannon and pay back some of the design people that helped me to write the book over the past year. And that would be helpful, so if you want to order the book directly through me, that would be cool. I will place your order with the printer as soon as possible and hopefully get it shipped out to you. It will still probably take a week or a week and a half, probably, for the book to arrive, but it will be well worth it during that time, and the trade-off is you’ll know that what you paid for the book went to me directly, the author.

On the other hand it’s like if you want to order it from Amazon, or especially for some international people where sometimes it can take a little longer for shipping, if you want to order it through Amazon, that’s fine as well. It’s like some of that money still goes to me, and that would also give you the option to write a review on Amazon as somebody that actually paid for the book.

And, additionally, there’s something slightly appealing about sometimes having people order it through Amazon because then it does climb up the sales charts. And I don’t really know what the effect of that is yet, but I wonder if that doesn’t have any sort of cascading effect if the book does keep hitting the top of the sales charts, and then suddenly people start seeing it as a recommended book that’s number one for Grecco-Roman philosophy or a number one hot, new astrology book as a recommendation. I don’t know how much that’s actually going to cascade over to more sales so that the book has a bigger audience than it would have otherwise. But there’s something quasi-interesting about that. So, I don’t really care; order it wherever you want. I do have a slight preference for ordering it through my website at hellenisticastrology.com/book. But that’s certainly your call, and I won’t begrudge you if you order it through Amazon; that’s totally cool.

I am running a deal right now where—because the book’s finally out, I want to get it integrated into my Hellenistic course so that I can make it part of the required reading for my online course on Hellenistic astrology. So I’m running a deal right now where if you sign up for my Hellenistic course, you will actually get a free copy of the book sent to you as part of the basic course package or basic course price. And this is cool because the course then has already over 90 hours of video lectures which complement the book and would act as a nice companion to some of the things that I treat more briefly in the book but that in the course I have the time to fully expand upon and really go into with much more detail, sometimes too much detail. Like the Zodiacal Releasing chapter in the book, I think, is 20 or 30 pages long, but in the course, that’s actually a 19-hour long lecture that has just a million example charts and goes way, way, way into detail on that topic.

So if you haven’t signed up for the Hellenistic course and you feel like signing up for it, you’ve thought about signing up for it, it might be a good time to do so because you’ll get a free copy of the book. I don’t know how long that’s going to last for; at some point I’ll probably have to raise the price on the Hellenistic course in order to offset the additional money that I’m paying to print and ship the book to people in different parts of the world for the course. But, at least for now, that seems like a good promotional tie-in thing. Yeah, so it would be a good opportunity, I guess, if you’ve been thinking about signing up for the course and getting the book, then why not do both while I’m doing that offer? So you can find out more information about the course at hellenisticastrology.com/courses, and then just click on the link for the Hellenistic astrology course itself.

And like I said, reviews are great if you guys have any blurbs that you want to send in. I’m also trying to find different ways to promote the book that are new and innovative. If anyone has any ideas about how I could promote the book or get it out there to different people, I’m interested in getting it out to different metaphysical bookstores, so if there’s specifically a metaphysical bookstore in your area that sells astrology books, then let me know about it, and I’ll see about contacting them to see if they’d like a copy.

I’m also interested in working with different local astrology groups to help promote the book and, at the very least, sending out some flyers for it; Paula’s designed some really beautiful flyers for the book. And one of them contains a table of essential dignities on the back that’s really useful for people who are trying to memorize those. So at the very least I might be sending some out to different local astrology groups.

I may also send out some other copies for different promotional purposes. I’m certainly looking for book reviewers, and I’ve sent it out to most of the major book reviewers in the astrological community. But if there are any obscure places that review astrology books that you know of that you think I might not be aware of, then please let me know because I’d love to hear about it just because I’d like to have as many reviews of the book as possible just to get the word out about it. And if anybody else has any other ideas about things I could be doing to promote it, then please let me know.

All right, so I think that brings us to the end of this episode. I’ve covered quite a bit; this has turned into a two-hour episode. So of course it’s another one of those—despite my best intentions has turned into another one of those long monologues that I often find myself falling into. But hopefully it gave you a lot of background on the topic and a relatively decent overview of the book and the process of writing the book.

You can actually read the introduction to the book on the description page on hellenisticastrology.com/book. So if you’d like to read that, that probably does a better job of going into what my actual motivation and what the overview of the book actually is and some of the topics that I deal with in the book. I also have a table of contents there, and I’ll probably be adding other things to that page as the book is out for longer and longer just to tie in with promotions and other things like that. So you can find those there.

I think that about brings us to the end of this episode. Again, I just want to thank all the listeners who—and especially all of the Patrons who supported the podcast this year because through supporting the podcast and through your contributions and donations, you really enabled me and allowed me to write this book this year. And that means a huge amount to me. And I think just collectively as a team, that’s going to be a major contribution to the astrological community and just the fact that each of you had some role in helping to essentially produce an astrology book and essentially to almost indirectly crowdsource, or crowdfund, an astrology book. There’s something cool about that, I think, in a way that’s probably a first. So thank you everyone who supported that. You can order the book at hellenisticastrology.com/book.

The episode after this one is going to be the forecast episode with Austin and Kelly. And then I think that’s going to be it for episodes in February, but I’m going to come back in March. And now that I’m done with the book, I’m back to podcasting full-time. So I will be back to producing the typical four episodes a month, starting in March. And I’ve already started to line up some exciting episodes for that. So I’m looking forward to getting back into it. All right! Well, I think that’s it. So thanks everyone for listening. I look forward to hearing what you think of the book, and I will talk to you again next time!