Question #1: How long have you been studying astrology?
Since 1986...some 22 years. At age 38 I relocated from the Midwest of Kansas & Missouri, where I had resided for 16 years, to the Southwest where I was spiritually fortunate to live and study ancient wisdom for 3 years. I had felt the pull to the desert landscape for many years prior to my move to New Mexico in April of 1986.
Aided by my bookstore employment experience, I was hired to work at a renowned small metaphysical bookstore in Albuquerque. Upon my hiring I was informed by the 3 metaphysician men that they had “run my astrological natal chart to see how I would fit in with their business”. I recalled their asking me at the job interview my birth date, birth time, and birth place...and some mention of astrology.
From their interpretation of my natal chart (also referred to as birth chart or horoscope), I would be beneficial to the business...and the “female energy factor” I embodied would be a good balance to their masculine mentalized energy. My curiosity was aroused by this informative conversation and soon thereafter I had an “astrological natal chart reading” by 1 of the professional astrologers affiliated with the bookstore.
There was an exceptional amount of descriptive information pertinent to my personality, to my family and to some significant life experiences that was gleaned from my natal horoscope. A natal chart/horoscope is a chart with a 360◦ circle indicating where all of the planets were positioned around the Zodiac at the time and place of one’s birth.
From the analysis of the planetary positions, energy patterns and a variety of other factors in the natal chart, a phenomenal amount of information is available as to the physical, emotional, psychological & spiritual characteristics of each individual. The information can be insightful for an individual’s developing awareness of the cycles and lessons important to one’s particular life path.
“Life on Earth is like being in school - everybody’s here to learn and grow and develop – and the birth chart is the map of your curriculum. It shows what you are here to learn, develop and focus on.” - Shelly Jordan.
Reflecting on the years of working with Jungian feminist therapists during the late 70’s and early 80’s, I remarked at the time: what an insightful tool for therapists to employ in the work with a spectrum of clients. As Carl Jung stated: “The fact that it is possible to reconstruct a person’s character fairly accurately from his birth data shows the relative validity of astrology.”
Thus, that fateful one hour experience of an astrological reading led me to the captivating study of the art and science of astrology that has endured for these past 22 years. My course of study has been a spectrum of learning’s with individual teachers, astrological organizations, small groups and continually on my own. I have also beenteaching classes in the basics for the past 12 years, primarily while living in the Midwest prior to moving to Maryland in 2000. Teaching classes in astrology is a vital component to enhancing my lifelong course of study in “living my chart” and encouraging others through sharing this sacred ancient knowledge.
Question #2: What is the most influential influence in a birth chart?
As it is stated, this is a difficult question to answer. The term “most influential” is difficult to answer simply and can be somewhat misleading because the birth chart is comprised of various planetary patterns that hold important significance in a variety of cycles at different times throughout one’s life.
To answer as to what is a “strong influence” in all types of astrological charts- that would be the Moon’s daily movement through the 12 Zodiac signs of the natal chart during its 28 day cycle. One can address the science of the Moon’s magnetic effect on the ocean tides and the fluids of the human body.
“Change as a natural process is normally implied by the Moon. We think of ocean tides and lunar cycles as natural changes occurring in a rhythmic pattern.” -M. Shea
In the astrology of forecasting (as discussed in Q.#4), the Moon is a significant trigger of energy to events and situations that are signified by various astrological signs through which the Moon passes as it travels its 28 day cycle around the 360◦ Zodiac. A conscious observation of the effects of the Moon’s energy throughout any one month’s lunar cycles could be a simple education of sorts!
In regard to 3 basic factors of importance in a natal chart are the sign placements of the Sun which represents one’s essence/soul’s purpose; the Moon which indicates one’s basic emotional needs; and the Rising Sign (also referred to as Ascendant) which conveys your persona- how you appear to others. The placement of each in a sign and at a particular location on the chart-wheel provides a “quick study” of some important characteristics of an individual. From there, an insightful depth of information can be gained through the interpretation of a myriad of facets of the natal chart.
We students of astrology, recognize that the material is a deeply layered lifelong study and it provides an opportunity to apply the insight gained to a conscious awareness of the cycles of change in one’s course in life, as well as of the global changes reflected in the natal charts of the countries on Planet Earth. Astrology provides a fascinating framework for the study of cycles, of potentials and possibilities for the spiritual evolution of individuals, as well as of humankind.
Question #3: Why do people choose to or not to believe in astrology?
Trying to surmise why people choose any beliefs could extend into a philosophical theorizing ad nauseum. In regard to the subject of astrology, an open mind is most beneficial for an individual to engage in the study and application of astrology which provides the opportunity to experience the concepts of this material. The ability to reflect on experiences of one’s life and gain some understanding through the “kaleidoscope-lens” of astrology, as to the significance of these events, is an encouragement to “believe in” the ancient philosophy and practice of astrology. As individuals experience this analytical tool, they may be better able to perspect their life more consciously on its course.
I have had numerous interactions with individuals who attempt the “fate/predestined vs. free will” argument or a particular religious doctrine they embrace which is the truth they believe, which is to not believe in the potential for spiritual evolution as guided through the sacred knowledge of the art and science of astrology.
I respect the beliefs of others as to what is relevant to them as truth in their spiritual path work as I believe there are as many paths as there are travelers. In conclusion, I offer this anonymous quote that has accompanied me for years along this path of the getting of wisdom: “the accuracy of one’s perception is seriously compromised by the conditions of one’s point of view”.
Question #4: How do astrologers predict the future?
“Our whole practice of astrology is based on the notion of the wheel, of the predictable and circular movements of the planets through the full 360◦ of the zodiac”-D. Gerhardt
Rather than “predicting the future”, it is professionally referred to as “astroforecasting”; not unlike a weather forecast, which addresses seasonal changes and various weather patterns forming and moving across regional and global maps of our planet Earth.
The astrologer looks for the daily and seasonal planetary movements of each planet in its passage through the various elemental energies of the signs positioned around the 360◦ wheel of the zodiac. The geometric patterns created throughout the chart wheel by the position of planets, are studied in relation to the suggestive energy that has potential to be activated at a particular time of year and may manifest in a major event or challenging situation in one’s life. The study of the Moon’s daily movements allows the astrologer to anticipate the timing of these potential activities during the year.
This study of the movement or “transits” of the planets is beneficial as insight into the challenges we individually experience in our lives, as well as in our collective experience of “the psyche of the masses”...a course study of the evolution of humanity on planet Earth!
The 360◦ cycles of the outer planets Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto extend over the course of many years-from Saturn’s 28 year to Pluto’s 247 year cycle. This allows one to apply the insightful information symbolized by the planets and the signs in a practical manner for managing the events of one’s course in life, as well as for a better understanding of the global events reflecting the planetary patterns. Examples of this are the recent election of Barack Obama as our next president, the ongoing financial crisis in our global economy, and the escalation of political unrest developing in many different countries.
Working with the natal chart as the foundation of energy potential –“one method of forecasting is based on projections of the daily movements of the planets, including the Sun and Moon, onto natal positions. These are called “transits to the birth chart”. In other words, the astrologer must see whether any planetary movements for the year ahead will make cross aspects to positions in the individual’s birth chart.”
It is the study of this movement forming aspects of energy patterns that is utilized in the art of forecasting possibilities of events, situations and opportunities to occur during a stretch of time. The information conveyed in the forecast can provide the individual with some awareness of the significant challenges and choices that might be developing in their life. These are opportunities for the individual in making choices and exercises of free will, just as one has with choices made in response to weather forecasts. “There is no bad weather; only poor choices in clothing.”
This thought, by the renowned astrologer Llewellyn, has assisted me in my approach to the study and practice of astrology throughout the years: “Things don’t just happen to us. We also happen to them. In other words, we are as free as we choose to react to any circumstances and carry it forward.” This is an encouragement of applying a consciousness to the activities daily living and loving.
Question #5: Any major happenings in the stars for 2009 that we should know about ?
There is a plethora of planetary activity in 2009 that will be significant to pay attention to as individuals, as countries and as a global humanity. “Astrology is like reading the plot of a play and then watching it unfold in the world throughout the year.” – D. Gerhardt
NOTE: If you are interested in participating in Basic Astrology workshops with Patt at The Owl Nest call or contact us via email your name, email and phone number - this class will begin early 2009.
Patt is also available for private birth/natal chart readings as well as several other chart interpretations please see our Services page for complete chart details and pricing.
Interested in what is going on up in the heavens? Keep visiting The Owl Nest blog for upcoming astrology tidbits monthly from Patt!!!