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Happy Birthday FCEA

March 6 marked the second anniversary of the birth of the FCEA. On that day in 2019, at around 10:00 in the morning, Catie Cadge and I sat down with Jeff Parrett at his kitchen table in Pleasanton, California and began the conversation that started the wheels turning. 
As is so often the case, practical considerations rather than astrology dictated the moment for the birth of the school. The previous afternoon, I had finished teaching my “Sex, Death, and the Occult” class in Petaluma with the old northern California Apprenticeship Program. The three of us drove back to Jeff’s place that evening, but we were all too tired to do anything. By 10:00 the next morning, our teeth were brushed, our coffee and tea were made, and we were ready to start talking about the possibility of creating our school. 
Amazingly, we managed to time that conversation almost exactly with the moment of a Piscean New Moon, which had occurred just a couple of hours earlier. (More about that in a minute.) Without knowing it, we also hit an early Gemini Ascendant – no surprise since we were there to talk about teaching.

Do we choose the birthcart or does it choose us?

Astrologers are often hired to “pick a date” for a wedding or the opening of a business. That branch of our craft – called “electional” astrology – is a powerful, helpful technique. You’ll learn about it later in the FCEA program. The reality is that this birthchart for the school “elected us” rather than the other way around. And that is actually the way the universe usually works – every moment has an astrological personality, and everything “born” in that moment reflects it. No one has to believe in astrology for that to be true. Every breath you take has an astrological signature – although I’d be quick to add you can go crazy thinking about that too much.
The FCEA could hardly be more Piscean. Obviously having both the Sun and the Moon there guarantees that. But with Gemini rising, Mercury becomes the ruler of the chart – and it too lies in Pisces. Then there’s Neptune, the modern ruler of Pisces. It’s conjunct both Sun and Moon by a fraction of a degree, further pressing the school in that “fishy” symbolic direction.
All of those Pisces energies are operating in the 11th house. On the surface, there is a very simple, obvious truth in that symbolism – we are, after all, an organization. Many of us have come together united by a common purpose in classic 11th house fashion. We are all “friends” in that 11th house sense too – although words such as teammates or allies are often more accurate. 
Once again, we see how in this “random” choice of a moment for Jeff, Catie, and me to sit down and start talking, the astrological signatures of what was actually being born were all there. 
To be true to ourselves and genuinely glad to be alive, we all need to be true to our Suns, Moons, and Ascendants, as well as to the rest of our charts. With all that Piscean energy, for the FCEA, doing that means that we need to remain true to our mystical heart. Add that collective 11th house energy, and the full picture emerges: we are a mystery school. 
A full analysis of this “birthday” chart is a bit beyond the scope of my musings here. Let me just add a few more points as simply as I can. Pisces is the 12th sign, always resonant with the 12th house – where we find two more planets: Uranus and Mars. That adds another log or two to the mystical fires. That rebel Uranus also rules the Midheaven, so our public destiny reflects the “troublemaker” role of a mystery school in the context of our fundamentally materialistic society.
The 9th house is interesting too. Venus is there in Aquarius, but we also see that Capricorn south node, ruled by Saturn and conjunct it, with Pluto only a degree and a half from the node. The karma of the FCEA could be seen as that of “a university,” given the “higher education” significance of the 9th house. But of course, with Pluto in the mix, this nodal structure looks pretty heavy! It also feels extremely solitary – there’s the fingerprint of Saturn and Capricorn. 
My first thought is that historically many mystery schools needed to keep their existence secret in order to avoid persecution. I suspect that is what we are looking at here.
The Cancer north node is in the 3rd house – teaching leaps out again, but this time it has a warmer, gentler quality. Ruled by that Piscean Moon in the 11th house, there is a feeling of sweetness, outreach, and public transparency about the dharma of the FCEA, as opposed to its battle-weary “secret handshake” karma
I could say more, but I’m out of space. Let me plant one more seed though. Each one of you is part of our tribe and your presence is potentially a very specific gift to the rest of us. If, for example, you have a lot of sensitivity to around 6 degrees of Aquarius, you may help us “do our Venus.” Maybe you’re tuned into the middle of Pisces. If so, please remind us of our mystical heart, especially if we ever start letting “the world be too much with us.”
Meanwhile, my own Sun is in the middle of Capricorn, very close to that Saturn. I guess my job is to be Gandalf or Dumbledore – or maybe just grandpa. Finally for those who like that whole mystery school vibe, the logo for the FCEA is derived from the aspects in its birthchart!