What Makes an FCEA Tutor or Teacher?

What Makes an FCEA Tutor or Teacher?

Dean’s Update, May 2024

What Makes an FCEA Tutor or Teacher?

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Dean's Update
I can’t believe it is mid-May already, FCEA community. It seems like yesterday we were starting our new classes of 2024. We celebrate the FCEA 103 graduating class and the hard work they have done these past several weeks in finishing the practicum. Congratulations, apprentice graduates! We want to acknowledge your effort and achievement. And let me also say how impressed we are with the dedication and love all our students are showing as they advance through the FCEA curriculum. The path is not an easy one! But we are certain the rewards of being actively engaged and completing homework and posts will pay off in the long run. Don’t give up! Be stubborn as Taurus the Bull and focus upon calming down and finding a rhythm and peace with daily practice and study. 
As I write to you, the Sun, Venus, Jupiter and Uranus form what we like to call a rolling conjunction, all in Taurus. But with the newsletter’s publication in a few days’ time, we enter Gemini season with the excitement and curiosity of what is to come with Jupiter’s arrival in the sign of the twins. But meanwhile, I can’t help but wonder what little babies born now, with this metaplanet in Taurus, might make as a high road in response to such a fixed, Earth energy in a sign ruled by Venus. Creative juju perhaps? Authentic and radical artistic expression? Or maybe we will see innovative souls seeking radical opportunities to save Momma Earth. Some may grow up to serve as counselors or healers enlightening the people they serve as they strive to find a Taurus sense of inner calm and peace. We shall see. I know for myself, the planets fall in my second house, so I have been asking, what is it in my current life that I truly value? What resources or gifts do I have or need to develop? What perhaps do I need to let go of? By synchronicity, my process of training and hiring new FCEA tutors seems to echo some of these questions I hold inside myself. Let me explain.


We might start by asking: what qualities and skills make for the best FCEA tutor or teacher?

Everyday, I manage a large group of talented and wise tutors (over a dozen now!). I am always amazed in what I see as their compassionate, loving gifts as counselors. I am talking about the kind of counselor needed to be a great teacher. Our current Taurus planetary placements trigger soul growth by bringing such Venusian potentials in a person to light, helping others to center themselves, find serenity, and ease into a comfort zone that is truly constructive in guiding another with love. It is these qualities I am most moved by as I watch and learn from our tutors. Taurus energy manifests through the healing, grounded counselor. This is a side of the sign I feel is often overlooked. 
And how appropriate it is to discuss the need for a calming, soothing Taurus energy when I transition into what I wish to announce and celebrate in this month’s update. I want to introduce our brand-new tutors, Jackie Johansen, Sophie Salaniat and Lidia Ranieri. We are thrilled to have these three outstanding tutors join our FCEA team. Recent graduates of the FCEA program, they clearly demonstrate to us their mastery of the nuts and bolts of evolutionary astrology. We had an outstanding group of graduates, overall, and we want to recognize the many gifts and sharp minds and loving, caring hearts of this class of top evolutionary astrologers. Jackie, Sophie and Lidia bring to the FCEA the astrological skill set our students need. But, perhaps most important, they embody that Taurus sense of calm and ease, establishing a rapport of comfort and support so helpful when acting as an FCEA tutor. We feel blessed to have them on board! 


Let me briefly introduce them to you.


Jackie Johansen, an FCEA master-certified evolutionary astrologer, holds a Master’s Degree in Jungian Depth Psychology. She has been a mental health professional for over ten years. I have had the pleasure to work with Jackie throughout her studies and recently as she transitioned into tutorial instruction. Jackie brings such a loving, caring heart-centered approach to her work with students. Always gentle, always positive and encouraging, Jackie embodies the soul of a true teacher. We are so pleased to have Jackie expand her skills in mentoring by serving as an FCEA tutor. 


Sophie Salaniat is equally wise and talented and we are blessed to have her join our FCEA team. Sophie has had a passion for astrology for thirty years, bringing a practical skill set so important as a tutor. She, too, is an FCEA master-certified evolutionary astrologer, grounded in Steve Forrest’s methods. I have read Sophie’s nurturing and supportive feedback, always revealing a love and commitment to our FCEA students. We feel so fortunate to have her gifts of wisdom and her nurturing support in the difficult work of training choice-centered and caring evolutionary astrologers.


Finally, I welcome Lidia Ranieri as she joins us as a tutor in our FCEA team. Lidia has a wealth of professional experience as a counselor and coach, having earned a Master’s Degree in Coaching Psychology. Lidia is an FCEA master-certified evolutionary astrologer talented at integrating the details of chart analysis, while also bringing to her work the heart of a loving counselor. A former AP student of Steven Forrest, she is thoroughly grounded in his methodology. I have been most fortunate to follow Lidia’s work as a student and tutor and I am very excited to have her wisdom and skills in the FCEA classroom.
I am so grateful to be able to manage such a gifted group of tutors in the FCEA! Please look for their involvement in our classes in the months ahead and join me in congratulating them in choosing to take on such important work.
Catie Cadge, PhD
May 2024

Master’s Musings May 2024

Upcoming Live Events

Master’s Musings, May 2024

Upcoming Live Events

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Master’s Musings
As many of you know, for about twenty years all of my high-level teaching happened in the context of my Apprenticeship Programs. They were four or five day “live” events, happening once or twice a year in the USA, Australia, China, and Europe. All together, the various groups met well over a hundred times. I feel that I grew up with those “AP” meetings, both as a teacher and as a human being. It was in those marathon teaching sessions that I found my true voice as an astrologer. I look back on them fondly.
Even though they ended in 2019, the roots of the present FCEA lie in those programs. The basic material we teach is the same, although it’s more polished, orderly, and succinct nowadays. The main difference between the FCEA and the AP is simply structure (not to mention having a fine staff of tutors so it’s not all just me talking.) As you know, our school curriculum doesn’t let you skip any steps. The AP, in all honesty, was more of a hodge-podge – the content was all there, but there was no order to the way it was presented session-to-session. The administrators and I would come up with an interesting topic, announce it, and people would sign up – or not, if the topic didn’t interest them. After they had attended any three such programs, they earned a Level One certificate. Three more, and they’d qualify for Level Two.
It worked. Many graduates of the AP have gone on to practice astrology professionally. I’m proud of them. The trouble was, depending on which programs they chose to attend, they might have missed something important – nodal analysis, solar arcs, or the composite chart, for three painful examples. 
We’ve plugged those leaks in the FCEA! Anyone who attains masters’ level in our program will be an expert “full service” evolutionary astrologer. That’s the good news.
The bad news, at least for me, is that I really miss the hugs! I miss just hanging out after a day of teaching and getting to know the students in a simple, human way. I miss the musical jam sessions, the wine, and the laughter. 
Going a little deeper, the social dimension of the Apprenticeship Programs created a lot of “real life” for us to digest as a group. There were affairs and romances, of course. Naturally, not everybody always liked everybody else. Happily, there were marriages and lifelong friendships that came out of it. We experienced some deaths too –  and little creates a sense of spiritual community as effectively as a member passing. As I think of that, my mind immediately turns to Joyce Van Horn who ran the Calistoga program for many years. She passed away a few weeks ago in Mexico. I feel a gap in my heart where we all “should have” gotten together as a community, mourned her passing and celebrated her life – but, alas, there was no more Calistoga group, so that didn’t happen.
In contemplating the creation of the FCEA back in 2018 and 2019, my main personal fear was that the online format would feel cold. I’ve honestly been surprised and delighted that I was totally wrong about that. Genuine warmth permeates our program. That I can feel closely connected emotionally to people I have never actually met “in the flesh” has been a happy surprise to me. 
But, as I mentioned, I do miss the hugs!
Speaking of hugs, last summer I presented a five-day program at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. It was a huge group – I think there were about 110 people in attendance all together. I was delighted to see that over forty of them were students in our school. Even though time was limited, it was a joy to be able to meet them all in person. Catie and Penelope were there too, along with our tutors Patty and Allison. 
That Omega program was a birthchart intensive. This coming July 28 through August 2, I’ll be returning to Omega, this time to teach an intensive about transits and progressions. I’m hoping that once again we can have a lot of FCEA people there. If you would like to learn more about that program and possibly attending it, here’s a link:



My plan for this Omega event will parallel last year’s approach. I’ll present some theory, then demonstrate it in practice based on a pivotal event in the chart (and life!) of a well-known person. Once we’ve done that, the rest of the program will follow the same tried-and-true formula we used for years in the old Apprenticeship Programs – I’ll reach into “the Sorting Hat” and pull the names of volunteers from the class. Their chart – and their transits, progressions, and solar arcs – will go up on the big screen, and we’re off to the races.
Toward the end of September, I will present a half-day workshop in the context of the Astro-Bash conference, right here in my hometown of Borrego Springs in the southern California desert just north of Mexico. Astro-Bash is a four-day conference with many speakers – in fact, I believe they are still signing people up to do short presentations, so maybe some of you might feel moved to apply. If so, contact Ralph McIntyre at macfuel [at] gmail.com.
This is the second year for Astro-Bash. It was a lot of fun last year. Our dark desert skies were an added treat at night. At that first one, I only presented one short talk, but this time I’ll offer a half-day workshop about how Pluto’s new Aquarian face will offer different possibilities and purposes by transit than it did while it was in Capricorn. Pluto-in-Aquarius is a beast we’ve not seen since Christmas Eve 1798 and so it’s time to renew our acquaintance with it. We astrologers need to learn to update our approach around those pivotal Plutonian events we’ll all be experiencing. 
Interested in possibly attending Astro-Bash? Here’s a link:


The FCEA is an international community. I’m acutely aware of the unfairness of how these two events I’ve just described present practical difficulties for our students living outside of the USA. I do take some comfort in knowing that at least we’ve managed to stage one of them on the East coast and one on the West coast – but I know that’s not much comfort to our Asian and European students. 
I do have some good news for our Asian students however. In October, I am planning to return to China. Once again, my sponsors are the wonderful NoDoor team. I’ll be speaking in Beijing for three days – Saturday through Monday – in mid-October. Plans are still formative at this point, but we’re considering a program about vocational and career perspectives. I’m up to my Adam’s Apple in trying to get a visa. Watch this space – we’ll keep you posted. 



What about Europe? We have no specific plans for an event there at this point, but let me just leave you with this – there’s been some “loose talk.” If it comes to anything, you’ll be the first to know.
Again, I do hope to see some of you “live, in person” before the end of the year! And I’m hoping that, with your kind permission, we can share a hug.
Steven Forrest
May 2024