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Growing Through Changes

Dean’s Update, February 2023

We’re Growing Through Changes at the FCEA

Current Students — Please Take the Study Group Call Survey (See details below)


Catie Cadge
February greetings to our FCEA community! It is a bright, clear Valentine’s Day morning here in Santa Cruz, California, and, of course, in the spirit of the day, I have relationships on my mind. On a recent FCEA Member Q&A call, Steven mentioned how having the sign Virgo on the cusp of the 7th house gives a soul ample opportunity to critically work on herself through interactions with others. Yup, well, that’s me. I have Pluto on my Virgo descendant. And the FCEA is providing plenty of chances to learn and grow for me through the good, bad and ugly (well, let’s say challenging) sides of so many souls. Let me give this a positive spin and explain some of the relationship dynamics and changes we are going through as a school.
First, some news about our tutors and tutorial assistants. The FCEA is blessed to have a great group of highly talented and loving staff! As I write, transiting Mercury is conjunct our 9th house Venus in Aquarius in the FCEA birthchart. We have been so fortunate to have not only master evolutionary astrologers as teachers and mentors, but also folks with open Aquarian minds and a willingness to embrace the online learning experience of the FCEA curriculum. We could not do any of our courses without them! We are so grateful.
With a heavy heart, I start by mentioning one of our very best tutors, Joey Paynter, is leaving us at the beginning of March. Joey has been instrumental in helping us get the FCEA up and running. She was with us from the very day our doors opened. Joey’s insights and feedback played a key role in helping us establish the student and tutor relationship via online learning the very heart of what we do at the FCEA. So supportive and always loving, Joey gave us a penetrating and passionate Scorpionic lens into how to make the FCEA tick and grow as a school. But we realize our tutors have busy lives and growing astrological practices of their own, and the time has come for Joey to leave us. We are forever thankful for all the hard work Joey has done for us and, most importantly, all the care and commitment she showed our students. Joey, you will be sorely missed. We wish you many blessings in all you do, Joey!
From L to R: Joey Paynter, Marie O’Neill, Catie Cadge, Steven Forrest, and Teal Rowe at the first FCEA Staff Retreat in 2021.
On a hopeful note, we recruited two new work study students, Linda Walker and Andre Arellano, to our team. Linda is one of our students from our very first cohort and has been studying with us since 2021. A fine astrologer, Linda has the gift of the storyteller, a true evolutionary bard, in the style of Steven Forrest. Linda will be helping to oversee tutor involvement in all our courses, making sure discussions get properly posted and that weekly interaction between tutor and student occurs. Andre, a student also at the advanced level, brings to the table a number of tech-related skills as well as being a gifted evolutionary astrologer. We look forward to working with Andre to grow our social media presence and to help develop a social platform for student engagement. Welcome Linda and Andre!
Another area of growth and change, in terms of how we relate to each other, learn and teach evolutionary astrology and the Steven Forrest method, has been our study group calls. With Saturn by transit in Aquarius in the school’s 10th house and the transiting Sun conjunct as a trigger this week, we are working on improving the format of these weekly Zoom calls. We hear your feedback! We are also sending out a survey soon to gather ideas on improving this part of the FCEA experience to make it more user-friendly and supportive.
However, a little history of the study group calls might be instructive. When we developed the FCEA curriculum, we never intended to have live Zoom instruction on a weekly basis. We designed the school to be asynchronous, the teaching and learning occurring online in written discussion forums and assignments. There are a number of advantages to this format:
    • Students and tutors can post anytime their schedules allow, providing a flexibility needed by so many in our learning community
    • Proactive learning by the student – students must think and be engaged in the material rather than a passive Zoom experience led primarily by a tutor
    • A cost structure that allows us to keep tuition low
In our initial year of instruction, we wanted to add social Zoom calls for students to share ideas and to grow community. These calls were never intended to replace online written instruction nor to be lectures by our tutors. We consider them study group calls for student interaction. Master teaching occurs once a month via Zoom with Steven. This is a Zoom classroom, not the study group calls each week.
We look forward to the results of the FCEA Study Group Feedback Survey we are currently conducting, however we are considering replacing the study group calls altogether with an online student social platform. To take the survey: Log in to your FCEA account and find it under Community > Home.
With all this said, please know we are open to possible change.
But remember the Zoom Q&A calls with Steven and the online discussion forums and assignments are the primary modes of learning at the FCEA. Saturn by transit provides challenges and hard work for all of us at the school. I welcome the growing relationship pains (and new pleasures!) in store for the FCEA community in the months ahead.


Catie Cadge, PhD
February 2023