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Happy Equinox

Happy equinox to our FCEA community 

September 22nd begins fall here in the northern hemisphere. In the U.S., September usually signifies “back-to-school” time. For me, it is the leaves changing color that brings to mind the schoolhouse and the start of a new academic year. Friends and fellow astrologers “down under” in Oz please have patience with me. I know you have the warmer months to look forward to. But there is something about September and early October – Libra time – that makes me feel I want a fresh start with my classmates, peers and colleagues. 

One thing the FCEA staff has been pondering is what topics are missing in our school curriculum and how do we best engage students in learning these topics, while not distracting them from the core foundation of evolutionary astrology. What about Chiron? What is an “Out-Of-Bounds” Moon? Now wait a minute, we need to know what a Progressed “Out-Of-Bounds” Moon is too?!? Well, we all know Libra season is about negotiation, finding a balance with paradox. Let me see if I can start anew with you all, briefly address the astrological features “missing in action,” and, at the same time, get you excited for what is down the road in more Craftsperson coursework.

When we wrote the curriculum for the 100-level, we felt we needed an “unknown” chart. For 101B, we chose “Wilma” (some may recall working with good ol’ Wilma’s chart). Lots of fire and a fun 5th house, not to mention a somewhat challenging nodal axis – cool! But, central to an understanding of this client’s evolutionary journey included, of course, her 9th house Aries Sun conjunct her Chiron, sitting right on the cusp. Chiron. We had not yet dived into the significance of the “Wounded Healer.” What to do? Students in the guided program then saw Steven’s own Aries Moon jumping into action. In hardworking Capricorn spirit, Steven came up right away with a useful handout and Wilma was saved. 

Well, almost! I want to offer some hope that Chiron is going to reenter the stage in the 300-level program, sharing a class, called Emerging Planets, with recently discovered Eris. We will have videos, sample chart analysis and on-line discussions, so we can develop skills in using Chiron in an in-depth fashion and add the “Wounded Healer” to our growing astrological toolbox.

“The road to success is always under construction.”

– Lily Tomlin

Part of our mission is to lay the foundation for the time-tested and methodical approach to evolutionary astrology Steven practices and teaches. First and foremost, the basic concepts of the Primal Triad, along with eight core planets in our solar system, and the fundamental vocabulary of houses, angles and major aspects, must be thoroughly understood in order to integrate all into a clear and concise reading. How easy it is to get sidestepped in this process, when Chiron becomes the popular astrology trend or Eris, all of a sudden, appears to make the picture even more convoluted and complex. I must say I enjoy reading student posts and insights into these rich topics we have barely introduced at all. Thank you! But I also encourage you to embrace the fundamentals. The ABCs are key to making this kind of astrology work and our jobs a success. I know some of you already know about Chiron or “Out-Of-Bounds” planets, but please hold back on sharing that kind of thing — we don’t want to undercut the confidence of the relative beginners who might start feeling bad about themselves because they think they missed something.

We are saving a number of astrological insights of a “lunar kind,” for inclusion in our 300-level Moon course. You may already be familiar with these subjects from reading Steven’s The Book of the Moon, the textbook we will use in this exciting class. So many juicy details we can see when playing with these techniques, most of which we have not even mentioned yet in class! In the FCEA courses so far, many sample charts, such as Wilma’s, include a grid showing declination and a number of students have ventured into interpretation of a planet “Out of Bounds.” Yup, it was Wilma, herself, our favorite made-up client, with that 5th house “Sadge” Moon, conjunct Jupiter in Capricorn, that made a number of students chime in with creative renditions of what exactly is happening with Wilma’s sense of self expression and what brings her joy

I know some felt lost when hearing the phrase, “Out Of Bounds,” a.k.a “OOB,” when working with Wilma’s chart. Astrology as a discipline is filled with such lingo. And the “OOB” phenomenon is quite recent in its popular usage. Please be patient with yourselves! Again, it is easy to let these tools in the wizard’s kit overwhelm the foundational skills necessary for our sacred profession.

In the 300-level Moon course, we investigate in much more depth the “OOB” status of the Moon, while we also introduce “OOB” planets in our other 300 courses covering key planetary players. These classes are structured in a focused way through advanced coursework. The 300-level, (following the 200-level changing sky, biopsychic script and synastry courses), provides opportunities to more fully understand each planet better in terms of transit, progression and solar arc, while also catching any missing gaps from the Apprentice-level program. There is a lot to look forward to in the months ahead.

Wishing you all a great Libra season!