Skip to content

A New Structure for Our Q&A Calls

Master’s Musings, February 2023

A New Structure for Our Q&A Calls

Steven Forrest
As most of you have probably deduced by now, the Forrest Center for Evolutionary Astrology is a work in progress. We’re proud and excited about what we’ve accomplished so far, but we’re always open to feedback and willing to grow in new directions if they seem like good ideas. After some conversations with Catie and Penelope, we’ve decided to make a change in the format of my Zoom calls, both the ones for enrolled students and the four we do each year for our Community Members (you can find the details about FCEA Membership here). 
We’ll still call for questions and chart submissions in advance, as we always have. But we’ll limit ourselves either to twelve questions or one hour of time, whichever comes first. That’ll leave one more hour for a chart reading plus a period of more spontaneous, free-form questions and answers. With the chart reading, I won’t be a slave to the clock, but I’ll aim for something in the neighborhood of thirty minutes, with the rest of the time wide-open for a conversation.
The Member Call on February 6th is what prompted these changes. Here’s the story – we got only three questions submitted in advance, along with, I think, seventeen charts. I only plan to do one chart reading, but three questions wasn’t enough to fill the time, so Penelope put out an S.O.S. – and the Community Members responded . . . overwhelmingly. Suddenly we had twenty-one questions, all of them juicy, interesting ones – and of course many more chart submissions as well.
This is a good time for me to bang what is perhaps becoming a familiar drum – the odds of you getting a question answered are pretty good while the odds against your chart being chosen are not! We ended up with thirty-three charts and only one to be chosen – I bet you can do the math in your head.
Anyway, I’ve always tried to answer all the questions, but with twenty-one of them, it was a challenge. The gods and goddesses intervened though – the chart submission wasn’t really about an interpretation, it was about Mean vs True lunar nodes, so it only took me a few minutes to respond to it. Bottom line: we got through all the questions, plus the chart, and only went a few minutes over our allotted two hours.
But the whole thing felt rushed and out of balance – and that’s what prompted Catie, Penelope and me to come up with this new format.
We very much encourage you to continue to submit questions – and there’s no need to be shy about submitting charts either, so long as you remember those long odds. If we get ten or twelve questions, I’ll very likely have time to respond to all of them. If we get more than that, we’ll have to make some decisions about which ones are of the most potential benefit to everyone. 
One point is pretty clear there – in the past, we’ve gotten a lot of “thinly disguised” chart questions masquerading as general questions . . . for example, what if the Sun is in Aquarius and the 7th house, with Venus in Pisces in the 8th house quincunx Jupiter in Leo in the 1st house, which is square Neptune . . . ? In the future, those kinds of questions will be prime candidates for the chopping block – although if we are short of questions, I’ll still try to answer them as best I can.

So, from now on, we do twelve questions or one hour, whichever comes first – then we move on to leisurely stroll through some dimensions of an actual chart. And finally, somewhere between fifteen and thirty minutes of free-form Q&A. 

I really look forward to that part – it always feels very alive and immediate, and many of the comments are follow-ups on the chart or the earlier technical questions. That makes for good continuity. So why not simply forget about submitting questions in advance and just do everything that way? Lots of reasons! For one, while I can answer most of the questions pretty well off the top of my head, for some of them I need to do a little research. Someone, for example, wants an example of a person who had a certain configuration. Or sometimes I get a question about a branch of astrology with which I’m actually not familiar and I have to look something up – that’s one reason not to just do the sessions spontaneously. Here’s another – I’m guessing we’ll often have more questions than I can answer in an hour, so I’ll need to curate them. Finally, I like to organize the questions by topic and that requires some work in advance too.
So, welcome to the new Q&A format – sixty minutes of questions submitted in advance, about thirty of the interpretation of a single chart, and another thirty of potluck conversation.
See you there!
Steven Forrest
February 2023