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?

 
 
0:00 / 0:00
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

 
0:00 / 0:00
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:
www.eomega.org/workshops/changing-sky

 

 

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:
www.astro-bash.com

 

 
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

 

Jupiter and Uranus in the FCEA’s 12th House

Jupiter and Uranus in the FCEA's 12th House

Dean’s Update, April 2024

Jupiter and Uranus in the FCEA’s 12th House

 
 
0:00 / 0:00
Dean's Update
This month, I am happy to announce the FCEA is still growing at a healthy pace. Following the equinox in March, we opened a number of new classes at the school and we are in the process of training and hiring six new tutors in the months ahead. Wow! We have a lot to celebrate. But April began in a reflective mood Mercury turned retrograde in Aries. I have been spending some time turning inward since the month began. I wanted to give some deep thought to where, as Dean, I need courage to lead and take the school into its next chapter of development.
There are so many possibilities. I am looking ahead to Jupiter’s ingress into Gemini when the “king of the gods” crosses the FCEA’s Ascendant. Where do we need fresh perspectives? How might we adapt and be flexible in seeing what opportunities could unfold for our school? We also were in eclipse season with a total solar eclipse in Aries happening April 8th. Steven always stresses the power of a New Moon at such a time. What’s in store for us to initiate in fiery Aries fashion? How can we boldly go where no one has gone before and move deeper into our study of evolutionary astrology? These are questions for all of us to ponder. I hope some of you were fortunate to catch a view of the eclipse, and if you were lucky enough to be close to the eclipse path, that the clouds obeyed!
When I consider our FCEA Gemini rising sign, I am thankful to have such a diverse and talented group of teachers and tutors. Each one brings a unique skill set. All together, we are blessed with a multiplicity of tutor voices and teaching strategies sharing the same methods of our beloved master teacher, Steven Forrest. In this newsletter article, I wish to briefly share with you just a thought, an inner reflection to hold in your heart, during Mercury retrograde now.
The FCEA’s growth always seems to be accompanied with our fair share of adjustments and challenges. We know that sometimes students wrestle with our Moodle platform, stumble through the necessary changes in our scheduling, or express disappointment with the assignment of a particular tutor. I am so grateful to all of you for your patience and commitment, especially when it comes to the slow process of addressing your concerns as best as we can. I also want to thank our phenomenal staff, teachers and tutors for working overtime in getting the work done! Please realize we listen to you when you reach out. Every question and every concern helps to steer our school in a better direction.
So here is what I am asking of you all. On April 20th, we experienced the exact conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus in Taurus, an event I know many of you had been anticipating for months. For a quick look at Steven’s insights into how to best use the conjunction, have a look at his current website newsletter at forrestastrology.com. I also wrote a longer reflection about the conjunction you can read at caraevolutionaryastrology.com. The coming together of the two planets fell in the FCEA’s 12th house and formed a lovely trine to the school’s Saturn, Pluto and south node conjunction in Capricorn, 9th house. The element of Earth speaks to making something real and grounded about our higher learning and knowledge that builds off a compassionate awakening to what we truly value as a mystical school of wizards. What helps us calm down, be at peace and put in the necessary hours of study? Hard work requires discipline, effort, and, well, constructive criticism too. I hear mostly rave reviews of our tutors from students. Again, I am so thankful for our team! But I also know some are sensitive to the critical comments of a tutor in class. In such times, please remember that in each FCEA course, you will be guided by different tutors, different FCEA voices. So, dear students, members and staff, when a task or an assignment seems too long, a tutor’s comments too harsh, or feedback too demanding, certainly communicate to us your concerns! But let’s also see such moments as one step in a long Capricorn 9th house climb to being the best evolutionary astrologers we can be. Critical insight and correction can be good things!

Oh, no, am I offering you too much Saturn, and not enough Jupiter and Uranus perhaps?

 

Remember, Jupiter and Uranus can be about “ah-ha” moments too. How might we claim opportunities to grow and learn through the 12th house realm of mystical compassion? How might our Taurus values need to shift when doing the difficult work of practicing our sacred skills and, yes, at times, listening to some tough feedback and correction? It is all part of one long journey, one long Capricorn climb, toward being a topnotch evolutionary astrologer I know all of you can be!
 
Catie Cadge, PhD
April 2024
 
 

Master’s Musings April 2024

The Planet that Rules the House

Master’s Musings, April 2024

The Planet that Rules the House

 
0:00 / 0:00
Master’s Musings
 
Virgo is on the cusp of my 10th house. Since Mercury is the ruler of Virgo, we can say that Mercury rules my 10th house. That’s an example of a common phrase in the technical  language of our craft. It’s also a useful concept once we get clear about how it works. 
Let’s begin by recognizing that the word “rules” can get us into a world of trouble right from the starting line. It’s not that Mercury “tells my 10th house what to do” like a mean boss or a tyrant. As ever with rulership, it’s more about friendship between a house and planet than about any issues of authority or control. There is a resonance between a planet and the house it rules, that’s all. With planets and the signs they rule, the words we use to describe one are similar to the words we would use to describe the other. When a sign falls on the cusp of a house, the planet that rules that sign influences the house – but again, it’s about affinity, connection, and similarity, not about domination.

 

Rulership links one part of a chart to another part. It’s like an astrological version of the circulatory system in your body.

 

Even beginning students of astrology quickly become aware of the power of the planet that rules the Ascendant – the so-called “ruler of the chart.” What we are considering here is basically the same idea, but extended to include the rest of the house cusps.

 

Book of the universe – opened magic book with planets and galaxies. Elements of this image furnished by NASA
 
With my Virgo Midheaven, my profession naturally takes on a Virgo tone. For starters, it’s a service. It also involves some other Virgo signatures. For example, in order to live out my proper mission in this world, I’ve had to master a complex technical system. I’ve also benefited enormously from contact with teachers as I was “initiated into a lineage.” That idea of being initiated by mentors, by the way, is a big piece of Virgo (or 6th house) lore that often sadly gets forgotten in modern astrological practice.
I’ve got Saturn on my Midheaven too, but that’s a bit outside the point I’m wanting to explore in this essay – which brings us back to Mercury being the planetary ruler of my 10th house. That means that wherever Mercury lies in my chart, its energetic fingerprint is going to be felt in my career and public image.
In my natal chart, Mercury is on the cusp of my 3rd house – the house of language. And what do I do for a living? I talk and I write! My Mercury is in Capricorn – and what I talk and write about is complicated and requires an orderly, logical (Capricornian!) approach if anybody is going to understand me. Note how knowing where the ruler of my 10th house lies has added specific details to my chart’s description of my mission in the world. That’s one dimension of how the ruler of a house cusp actually works.
Many people have Virgo Midheavens and naturally Mercury rules them all – but that’s generally from a different position than my own Mercury. Take astronaut John Glenn, for example – he was the first American to orbit the Earth. Mercury rules his Virgo Midheaven, but from the 8th house and Cancer in a conjunction with Mars and Pluto. To realize his mission, John Glenn had to face the possibility of a scary death – there’s the 8th house signature, augmented explosively by the presence of Mars and Pluto. And he had to face that grim possibility while trapped in a tight little tin can a hundred miles up in the sky, which is where we see the Cancer symbolism (a crab in a shell!) come into the mixture.   
Like me, John Glenn had to master a complex technical system. Like me, he was part of a lineage – in his case, of explorers. And like me, he probably felt that he was doing a service for the world. All that is the mark of the Virgo Midheaven. He and I hold that in common – but beyond that, no one is going to confuse John Glenn with Steven Forrest. Our Midheaven-ruling Mercuries tell very different tales.
Here’s another example – one that demonstrates how widely the ruler of the Midheaven can range in meaning.
Back in Hollywood’s Golden Age, actor Bette Davis was often in the spotlight. Even now, nearly a century after her heyday, she’s still considered to be one of the most truly iconic film stars – and as someone who made it in the movie industry based on her actual theatrical talent rather than on having a pretty face. She made 82 films and garnered 10 Oscar nominations, including winning Best Actress for Dangerous in 1935 and for Jezebel in 1938. 
Like John Glenn and me, Bette Davis had a Virgo Midheaven, but this time we find that her Mercury lies in Pisces and the 4th house. 
What do truly fine actors like Bette Davis do? They become somebody else – there’s Pisces “transcending the ego.” To succeed at that, they have to hide their own natures – there’s the 4th house. 
Acting also involves mastering a set of technical skills, of course – there’s the signature of the Virgo Midheaven. But in Bette Davis’s case, those technical skills are subjective and creative as befits Mercury in Pisces and the 4th house. I’m also fascinated to think of the psychological work a fine actor must do in order to find the whole spectrum of human types inside themselves. To me, there’s something truly spiritual about that process. Once more, in those words, we feel the vibrations of both the 4th house and Pisces.

 

DUAL RULERS

 

Earlier, I mentioned my own Virgo Midheaven. That of course gives me Pisces on my 4th house cusp. So what planet rules my 4th house? Is it Jupiter, the traditional ruler, or Neptune, the modern one? As usual, my suggestion is to use both of them. 
I’m always self-conscious when I go on at length about myself, so I’ll keep this brief. Taking the 4th house to be the “house of the home” implies not only the building in which we live, but also loving, committed relationships in it – “our family,” at least in some sense of the word. 
Let me start with Neptune – a planet which often entails letting go of good things for some higher calling. With often-ascetic Neptune ruling my “house of family,” I’ve never had children. My Libran Neptune in the 11th house has called me to “serve my tribe” in a way that never fit with the possibility of being a good, present father. So that never happened.
What about Jupiter, the traditional ruler of Pisces? I can relate to that too. 
Jupiter is conjunct my Sun in Capricorn and the 2nd house. Again, I could yack about myself at length here, but very simply I now live in a beautiful home that makes me feel like a rich man – there’s Jupiter in the 2nd house impacting my 4th house experience and style of life. I hasten to add that I definitely didn’t start out that way. I grew up in a 3-room 4th floor walk-up apartment in an edgy ethnic neighborhood just outside the Bronx in the New York City area. I’ve come a long way from there. Today I live in a style I could barely imagine then. 
I’m grateful for my life and I’d be the first to say that I have been lucky – but I’ve worked hard too. There’s the Capricorn signature – to get to my present 4th house home took a lot of hard (and very meaningful!) effort. Once again, the ruler of the 4th house cusp – in this case, the traditional ruler – tells the story, augmenting what we might see based solely on the sign we find there.

 

WHAT IF THE RULER IS IN THE HOUSE IT RULES?

 

Let me add one more practical perspective. About one time out of every twelve, you will find that the planetary ruler of a house is actually in the house that it rules. Obviously this affords us less enhancement of our perspective – although let’s add that it’s not unusual for the ruling planet to be in the next sign, and that can offer a bit of fresh information.
  • What I’ve found to be generally true in the situation where the planetary ruler is in the house it rules is that the person’s success in terms of that house depends very much on independent, “self-starting” activity. 
I think happily for example of my own 2nd house – the “house of money.” Sagittarius is on the cusp and Jupiter is in the 2nd house too, but in Capricorn. As I write, I am one month away from celebrating the 47th anniversary of me not having a boss. For most of my life, I’ve been self-employed. No one else has been signing my paychecks.
Did I mention feeling lucky? 

 

IN PRACTICE

 

Sometimes the connection between the house and the position of its ruler is very obvious. You can see that clearly in the three easy examples I’ve explored here – John Glenn, Bette Davis, and me. Other times the linkage is more subtle. In a moment, I want to present three technical views of planetary house rulers. Reliably, at least one of them will jump out as you compare a chart with the dynamics of a person’s life. 
Before I get there, let me emphasize that so far I’ve mostly been using the example of the planet that rules the Midheaven. That’s no accident –  in practical counseling astrology, questions around career are common and knowing the position of the ruler of the 10th house adds a lot of helpful perspective.  Still, every house has a sign on its cusp and in every case, knowing the position of its ruling planet adds a helpful dimension to our understanding. Where’s the ruler of your 7th house? You’ll see something there about your partner, if you have one – or where to look for one if you don’t and would like to change that. The ruler of your 5th house? What’s the natural style of your creativity and where might you find the most bang for the buck in terms of simple joy in your life?
I’m hoping that these illustrations have given you a feeling for how to work with the planetary ruler of a house. Again, just think of resonance or connection between the house and its ruler. Through rulership we link the basic meaning of a house to some other “foreign” part of the chart – and typically at first it’s a part of the chart that seems to have nothing to do with the house in question – until you think about it for a while. Then the linkage becomes apparent.
So far these examples have been about lives that are already lived – or mostly lived. That’s how we often can see the full manifestation of anything astrological, so it’s a good way to learn. But what about when we are counseling a young person – or counseling someone who’s feeling lost or confused in life? Then these principles can help us aim such a person in the right direction. That’s when they really turn to gold. 
Let me underscore once more that in thinking rigorously about the planetary rulership of houses, it’s mission-critical to get beyond the notion of the planet somehow “controlling” the house. Sometimes it actually works that way, but other times it’s the reverse. The bottom line is that the house and the planet are meant to be a team, working together to help people become what they are meant to become. 
I want to offer three interlocking perspectives on these planetary house rulers. Even though you’ll see some contradictions among them, try thinking of these three templates as different angles of understanding rather than as an argument where there’s going to be a winner. In practice, what I suggest is that if you feel stuck as you try to sort out a pattern of house rulerships, try switching among these three frameworks. In my experience, one of them will usually leap out – and with more penetrating analysis, you’ll typically find some relevance in all three of them.
  • The energy of the house expresses itself (reveals itself; flowers) through the house, sign, and aspectual position of the planetary ruler of its cusp.
  • The planetary ruler of the house cusp governs, overshadows and focuses the expression of the house energy. 
  • The planetary ruler of the house cusp serves the needs of the house, bringing it what it needs in order to shine.
Once again, planetary rulers of house cusps operate like the circulatory systems in the human body, carrying energy from one part of the chart to another, binding everything together. As ever, our goal in chart interpretation lies in wholistic integration. You have many planets in your chart, but you have only one head between your ears. Rulership is one of your most reliable allies when it comes to melding many symbols into one coherent message.
 
Steven Forrest
April 2024

 

Introducing Our First Master-Certified Graduates

Introducing Our First Master-Certified Graduates

Dean’s Update, March 2024

Introducing Our First Master-Certified Graduates

 
 
0:00 / 0:00
Dean's Update
 
Greetings, FCEA community. March is always a special month for me, because it marks the anniversary of so many important Piscean moments in my life’s journey. Bear with me as I explain my deeply personal connection to this watery, mystical time of year. I promise I will connect all of this back to the school! But first and foremost, I hold in my heart my dear Mom, Anne. Her birthday falls in the first week of March. Unquestionably, she was the most important Pisces soul in my life, always loving, always playful and always compassionate in supporting her Capricorn daughter’s ambitions, imagination and dreams. I miss her so. 
My mother passed away just four months prior to my meeting in person Steven Forrest, whom I met for the first time on my Mom’s solar return, March 7th, in 2014.  I had studied Steven’s writings since I was a young woman in the 1980s, and even though I had heard him speak in person prior, I never actually spoke with him directly, until the transformative year of my Chiron Return, when Pluto by transit formed a conjunction with my south node and transiting Jupiter my north node. How appropriate I should meet Steven on my Mom’s birthday, when in spirit she was so close and near to me.
About this time every year, the Sun at mid-Pisces lines up with my Ascendant. March 6th and 7th seem to be two days that carry a lot of emotion and meaning for me. As many of you may know, March 6th is the day we first officially started planning the FCEA in 2019 and so we consider it the school’s birthday. Now this year, in 2024, Saturn by transit conjuncts my 12th house Chiron and my Ascendant as the FCEA turns five (we opened for instruction early 2021, so we count three years of actual live classes). How fitting a time for the FCEA as we plan for the very first graduating class this March 6, 2024. How ever Saturn is asking me to “mature” as a Piscean Dean, I do hope sincerely I “get it right.”
But enough about me. Let me say how thrilled Steven and I and our wonderful FCEA team are about the successful completion of our program of fifteen highly talented and gifted evolutionary astrologers. We are so proud of their accomplishment! The word “impressed” does not fully capture what I feel, when I hear our master grads speak the archetypes and dive deeply into carefully-crafted chart analysis with loving, caring words and guidance. 

 

I want to congratulate our newly master-certified evolutionary astrologers: Kimberly Blanchette, Paula Crall, Alan Egge, Jackie Johansen, Sharon Kruger, Teema Loeffeholz, Barb McNemar, Lauren Neubauer, Cezary Piskorz, Lidia Ranieri, Sophie Salaniat, Karla Smith, Lelia Thell, and Linda Walker.

 

 
It has been such a blessing to get to know each one of these amazing human beings over the past three years. I want to thank all of them for their commitment and hard work. Taking the initial plunge into our FCEA curriculum, these graduates are our very first cohort of students. They constantly demonstrated patience and love during the maiden voyage of the FCEA. And they kept us afloat and on our toes as we tried to give them the very best education we could. We are forever grateful for their help in making our school what it is today. I always feel students are the best “teachers,” and this group certainly fits the bill!
To acknowledge the many talents and accomplishments of our graduates, we are sending them diplomas signed in person by Steven and myself. We are also most excited to announce that we are in the process of creating a directory listing each master-certified FCEA graduate by name, contact information and personal statement describing their work and passion for evolutionary astrology. The directory will be linked to Steven’s main website, undoubtedly serving as a gateway for our grads to meet potential clientele and expand their professional connections. We are certain the directory will be a critical stepping stone to building a successful practice in evolutionary astrology. May Vesta, the asteroid of sacred lineage, help them carry the torch!
But first, a graduation ceremony is in order and what better day than March 6th to celebrate our initial cohort’s graduation? For those curious about chart details, we recognize February 14th, at 1:00 pm Pacific time, as the official time of graduation for the “class of 2024.” But given the special significance of March 6th for the FCEA and for Steven and myself, we are holding a celebration on Zoom at 10 am Pacific time that day. The event is open to the public —please access the FCEA Birthday & Graduation Party Zoom link on the FCEA School Calendar. Please mark your calendars and join us as we honor each graduate and hear briefly about their journeys in their own words. Steven and I will also speak briefly about the FCEA birthday and the charts of these truly special occasions. What an exciting day! I know for certain my Mom will be there. She was a mystic that always told me to “follow my heart.” I offer her words for each and every one of our graduates. May your heart hold the torch and may you follow it always. Many blessings!
 
Catie Cadge, PhD
March 2024
 
 

Happy 5th Birthday to the School!

Happy 5th Birthday to the School!

Master’s Musings, March 2024

Happy 5th Birthday to the School!

 
0:00 / 0:00
Master's Musings

 

The FCEA was born on March 6, 2019, in Pleasanton, California, at 10:00 AM-PST. That means it’s time to celebrate – we have our fifth birthday this month. When we arrive at that moment, Earth will have gone around the Sun five times and returned to its starting point – or so most people would think. The reality is a little bit more complicated than that. When the school was born, the Sun was in 15 degrees 52 minutes of Pisces. This year, it returns to that precise point a day ahead of our official birthday – at 4:13:11 PM-PST on the fifth day of March rather than on the sixth. That’s about eighteen hours early.
Why?
Let’s start by recognizing that the idea that the year is “365 days” long is a convenient fiction. Actually, it runs 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds. That’s why 2024 has a “February 29th” in it – we’re in a Leap Year, where we add a day to reconcile the calendar with reality, at least approximately. As you doubtless know, we make that adjustment every fourth year so that extra “quarter of a day” in the true solar year winds up compensated, more or less. The underlying reality is that the convenient fiction of the 365-day year is only an approximate reflection of what’s actually happening in the solar system. And that “wiggle” between reality and your calendar is the reason why your true astrological birthday – when the Sun actually returns to its starting point – often falls a day before or a day after your calendar birthday.
All this might seem picky and irrelevant at a practical level. Mostly it is, except for its impact on one basic astrological technique: the solar return chart. That’s a chart set up for the moment the Sun returns to its natal position. For the school, that would be a chart set up for 4:13:11 PM-PST on March 5th in Pleasanton. A chart set for 10:00 AM the next day – our “birthday” – would be meaningless.
Here it is:
 
Solar Return charts are a staple of modern astrological practice. Our school’s birthday this month seems like a good time to introduce them. In simple terms, these “SR charts” are seen as a way of predicting the nature of your year ahead. Interested? They’re easily explored – all professional-level astrological software supports creating them.
The first thing I want to say about SR charts is that their absence from our 200-level curriculum might seem conspicuous. Why are they not part of what we teach at the school? After all, they’re the real deal. Many years ago, I used them all the time in my practice. I found them valid, but I also found that after I’d looked at a client’s transits, progressions, and solar arcs, the solar return chart didn’t actually add much that I hadn’t seen already. They were redundant, in other words, and actually less precise than our other techniques in terms of timing – everything was about “this year” rather than the way we can name actual dates with the other techniques.
As ever, all counseling astrologers face the tyranny of the one or two hour appointment versus the sheer volume of all the astrological information we have available to us. In winnowing down my own arsenal of techniques to the most impactful ones, solar return charts simply fell into disuse. As ever with the school, our guiding principle is to convey to you as efficiently as possible an approach to astrology that has been effective for me personally. That involves a lot of editing! Our overriding strategy has been to first set our students on a firm professional foundation, and only then encourage them to wander off in any directions that interest them.
For some of you, that might include learning about SR charts. If they attract you, go for it! I’d be the first to admit that casting one is an eternal birthday ritual for me. The technique is valid and sometimes illuminating. I set up mine on January 6th this year and saw my Sun in the 12th house. Nine days later I came down with the flu and was sidelined “on the mountaintop” for the next month. They work!
 

Location, Location, Location

 
I always advocate setting up a solar return chart for your birth place. There’s an astrological  cottage industry that involves sending people to exotic locations for their birthdays “so they have a great solar return chart.” It’s fun, and not a totally groundless practice, but if you’re an evolutionary astrologer, there’s a serious problem with relying solely on that technique. Remember: you have your chart for a reason and that reason is always rooted in the past. If we lose sight of that, we’ve lost sight of the metaphysical heart of astrology in the process. Let’s say your solar return this year shows the Moon’s south node in the 8th house. Some painful, wounded karma is surfacing. Now let’s say you don’t like having that kind of karma, so you decide to celebrate your birthday in Hawaii – that way, your south node will be in the much nicer 5th house.
Problem solved, right?
Obviously not. All we’ve done is to use astrology as a form of denial. Again, I don’t want to totally reject the idea of setting up your SR chart for where you actually are located on your birthday – that technique tells us something, but do be careful not to lose perspective: the SR chart set for the place of birth is the deep one.
Here’s a way of keeping perspective on these two approaches. If you move to a new home many hundreds of miles from where you were born, go ahead and set up your birthchart as if you had been born there – same time, different latitude and longitude. Your Ascendant and house placements will all look different. That relocated chart won’t replace your real one, but you’ll certainly feel its effects. That new chart acts like permanent transits in your new home – as long as you live there, you’ll feel that new emphasis in your experience.
The point is that it’s exactly the same with relocated solar return charts. You’ll definitely feel their influence – just don’t let them eclipse the birthplace version of that SR chart. That’s the deep one. That’s where you’ll find the soul of the technique.
 

How Do They Work?

 
A solar return chart reflects the tone of the year ahead. Where will your energy be focused? What kinds of events, opportunities, and challenges are likely to come surfing into your life on the waves of synchronicity? As we bring our evolutionary philosophy to bear on solar return charts, we ask ourselves questions about what our soul is learning this year and how to adapt to it. We ferret out timely warnings about any karmic pitfalls that might be looming.
  • In other words, in pretty obvious ways everything you’ve been learning in our FCEA training applies to solar return charts.
Here’s an example. July 1981 changed my life. That was the month in which I got the contract to write The Inner Sky. My solar return for my birthday in January of that year shows a massive Mercury influence – that’s no surprise with an (unexpected) publishing contract in the future. Virgo is rising, so Mercury rules the chart. Gemini is on the Midheaven, linking Mercury to my career – or in FCEA terms, linking Mercury to my mission in the world. Mercury itself is on the cusp of the creative 5th house, and in a conjunction with my natal Sun. That SR chart was Mercury City, in other words – and I was soon under contract with Bantam Books to write the book that altered the direction of my life.
I should also add that I had a grand mal love affair with a woman who had both her Sun and Moon in Virgo that year – there’s the fingerprint of that “house of love affairs” Mercury again. In this case, that intimate drama was aided and abetted by a very karmic south node/Mars conjunction, also in the 5th house – all that, plus a tight Venus-Neptune conjunction in Sagittarius. Romantically, I was doomed, but professionally, things looked pretty good for me, in other words. And it was all there in the SR chart set for my birthplace. At the time, I was actually living 400 miles away in North Carolina, so the relocated chart wouldn’t have reflected reality nearly so deeply.
Here’s another example:
Taylor Swift’s time of birth has an X rating on Astrodatabank, but they favor a time of 8:36 AM on December 13, 1989, in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. Trusting a chart with a shaky birth time is risky business, but Swift is having such a big year that if the 8:36 AM birth time is accurate, her solar return chart should be reflective of her current situation.
Here’s her current (possible) solar return:

That late-Capricorn Pluto is conjunct her Aquarian Midheaven, and she has of course become  a lightning rod for right-wing projections, not to mention becoming a “plutocrat” in the sense of being the first musical star to experience a billion-dollar tour. Uranus tightly conjunct the SR  Ascendant naturally reflects the extreme and unpredictable “wild cards” that have characterized this period of her life.
More striking to me (and perhaps in the long run to her as well) is the massive reference to intimacy built into this solar return chart. Currently she is very publicly and apparently very seriously in love with NFL star, Travis Kelce. Reflecting that relationship, with Taurus rising, Venus rules the SR chart, for starters. From our evolutionary viewpoint, that Venus is further strengthened by the Libra south node, suggesting some intimate karmic chickens coming home to roost for her this year. The 8th house refers to intimate bonding – the true mysterium tremendum of human sexuality. There we find both the Sun and the Moon. Clearly, she’s having a massive 8th house year. 
Naturally betting on the longevity of sexual passion among rock stars and movie stars is shaky business, but in the case of Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce I think we are looking at the real deal. With an 8th house like that one in her SR chart, her heart has probably never been opened in such a grown-up intimate way. At the very least, Taylor Swift is having a taste of what real marriage actually means – all those weird, wonderful psychic interminglings are undoubtedly happening for her and Travis. If I were sitting with her, here’s a thought I would run up the flagpole – despite the hype and fru-fru (and enormous success) of her Eras Tour, the soul-meaning of this year has more to do with Travis Kelce’s impact on her than the private jets, the public hoo-rah, and the billion dollars. I suspect that as I said that, she would nod her head and we would have a moment of sweet mutual understanding.
As a side note, given the good alignment of this solar return chart with Swift’s current existential realities, I’d be inclined to take this 8:36 AM birth time for her seriously.
What about the FCEA? How does our solar return look for the year starting on March 5?
Like Taylor Swift, we’ve got an 8th house Sun this year too, but I doubt we’re going to fall in love with Travis Kelce. In the chart of an institution such as ours, a strong 8th house does bode intense, transformative relationships. We’ll see that happening in the school in general. I suspect lots of “buttons will be pushed” emotionally as long-buried emotional material surfaces for many of us. As a school, we’ll need to have a long talk with ourselves. It’s a time of deepening. 
One classic meaning of the 8th house is “other people’s money” – Taylor Swift certainly has found a lot of that green stuff this year. The FCEA is not looking for investors, but if we were, this chart would support it. Will there be some unexpected financial developments for the school? Let’s keep our eyes open for them.
I’m struck by the double-whammy combination of Saturn conjunct our Sun and the Capricorn Moon in the 6th house. Both configurations have a hardworking vibration, for sure. There’s a nose-to-the-grindstone feeling of building, building, building, not to mention the school simply maturing – that’s Saturn again. I’m immediately drawn to think of our struggle to get our social platform, Circle, cooking. It’ll happen, honest! 
It doesn’t show in this chart format, but that Capricorn Moon is wildly Out of Bounds too – 27 degrees 47 minutes south declination. Given the 6th house focus, does that portend staff change? Unexpected developments in our support team? Circle figures in there too – it’s a tool that supports us.
Finally, you’ve got to love that Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in the 10th house – all told, this SR chart looks like a bouncy, nose-to-the-grindstone ride in the general direction of success.
 

Want to Learn More about Solar Returns?

 
One can delve more deeply into solar return charts than I have in this quick overview of the technique. Again, all of our basic evolutionary principles apply – we just have to make sure we are aiming them in the right direction, which is to focus our sense of our soul-aims for a given year.  
As I mentioned, I don’t actually use SR charts very much in my own practice and so we’ve not employed them as part of the FCEA curriculum. If you’d like to learn more, the best book I know about the technique is Cycles of Light by my dear friend, Lynn Bell. It was written in 2005 and is now happily back in print and available on Amazon and elsewhere.

Steven Forrest
March 2024

 

Class Is in Session — Here’s What’s Next

Class is in Session—Here's What's Next

Dean’s Update, January 2024

Class is in Session—Here’s What’s Next

 
 
0:00 / 0:00
Dean's Update
 
I always find January to be such a busy month at the FCEA. Students are slowly returning to class after the holidays. Our tutors and staff are all abuzz with new classes opening every week. We have eleven new classes opening just this month! I am thrilled to see a lot of student interest in our 101Z and 201Z classes. Please take a look at our new catalog entries for them on our website. These two Zoom-based offerings add another way for us to build community and address student needs. I hope everyone is enjoying their return to school and that you all are excited about the topics covered in your next FCEA course.
Joey Paynter
Joey Paynter, PhD
I personally feel a sense of accomplishment as I have been working with Steven on fine-tuning our new counseling course this winter with the support of the class teacher, Joey Paynter. Holding two master degrees in Clinical Psychology and Depth Psychology and a PhD in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, Joey brings a wealth of constructive and creative insight into FCEA 401: Sacred Counsel. Joey was one of the very first tutors on the FCEA staff. I’m so happy to see her return to teach this important course. 
FCEA 401: Sacred Counsel marks the completion of the master certificate program, six years of curriculum development for Steven and me. It’s been a lot of work and I am proud of what we have created! But the day-to-day workings of the school continue to change and expand in fresh directions. Let me share with you some of these new developments.
 

To better build community in our courses, we’ve lengthened the two course Zoom calls, the orientation and the Q and A call, to 90 minutes. I am thrilled about this change. It will allow us to do more chart analysis and spend time reviewing class material together in a live classroom. And, of course, the calls will be recorded so you can catch them later if you can’t attend. We encourage you to submit questions ahead of time to your tutor if you can’t meet on Zoom. We’ll make sure everyone’s questions get addressed.

 

Another positive project we are implementing is making course reading lists and requirements available to students in advance through an expansion of our Student Resources tab on our website. Right now, you can use the Student Resources page to access links and information about student calls and join the 103 waiting list for those who have completed 101 and 102. We are compiling information from each course, so that you will be able to look ahead and plan the time needed for your studies before the class opens. Of course, all of our courses clearly state course completion criteria in the course, as well, at the top of the Moodle course and, if an exam is part of the requirements, at the end of the Moodle course. Please read the course material closely. But this new forthcoming feature on our website will also help you look ahead and consider the work in store for your next FCEA course. We hope to have these new additional resources up for you soon.
The last exciting piece of news I’d like to share is our plans for the expansion of course electives, now in the developmental phase. Early in the first few years of the FCEA’s planning stages, Steven and I worked on preliminary course structures for a number of FCEA electives. Topics include electional astrology, chart rectification, the asteroids, and astromapping. I know many of our advanced students have been waiting patiently for these electives to open. However, we had to fully develop the certificate program first. Over the last few years, fine-tuning each course for the FCEA program was accompanied with the many tasks of running a growing school and what seemed to be endless administrative tasks. It was necessary for us to put these elective courses on the sidelines. In the months ahead, I finally see some windows of time opening, making it possible for Steven and I to finish writing these more focused, advanced courses. Fingers crossed we are able to do so! As with everything at the FCEA, one step at a time.
 
Catie Cadge, PhD
January 2024
 
 

An Integrated View of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto

An Integrated View of the Outer Planets

Master’s Musings, January 2024

An Integrated View of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto

 
0:00 / 0:00
Master's Musings
 
On December 7, 8 and 9, 2023, I did a long online program for my Chinese students. It was  called “Working With The Invisible Planets.” The teaching went well, but it was tough going for me  – three back to back six-hour classes, running from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm each day, starting on a Thursday. That timing corresponded to the class opening at 8:00 on Friday morning in China, so it worked well at their end, but not so well for this “morning person.”
Even though those hours were hard for me, I am glad I did it. There are many reasons for that – I love my Chinese students, for starters – but the main one is that much to my surprise I actually learned something new, fundamental, and, at least to me, rather eye-popping about Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. That kind of surprising serendipity happens sometimes – I’m going over what I think of as familiar territory, and suddenly a new understanding comes into focus. Lightning strikes and in a flash I feel the way I felt studying astrology when I was 19 years old. Back then, those lucid moments happened frequently – astrology felt like a rich, new continent where I was always tripping over unexpected nuggets of gold. Those lightning bolt experiences are less common for me now, but I’m grateful that they still happen from time to time. Fresh astrological mysteries and patterns still reveal themselves.
About my new insight into Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto – let me give you a little background first so everyone is up to speed. In the FCEA 300 courses, we go deeply into each of the planets, singly or in groups. One of those groups, which we study in FCEA 304, is about this trio. They’re very different beasts, but we link them together under the banner of “The Invisible Planets” – and what that means is simply that we can’t see them unless we use a telescope.
The “invisibility” of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto is of course a literal reality, but it also provides a fine metaphor – we can only really get to the higher potentials of these three bodies if we use “unnatural means.” Here’s what I mean. Mars might do its job well simply by instinctive reflex – we see a bear and we run away, for example. Not so with our invisible worlds. To get each of them right, we have to go beyond the natural reflexes and instincts of our “monkey bodies,” and that never happens automatically. It takes something more than our inborn instincts – something that doesn’t arise naturally or spontaneously in us.
 
  • Uranus requires individuation – we must overcome our herd instinct and truly think for ourselves. Nobody does that on automatic pilot.
  • Neptune requires an expansion of consciousness. We must overcome our instinctive sense of our separateness from everything else – that means our reflexive identification with our physical bodies and our egos, not to mention their preservation.
  • Pluto requires brave inner work. We must overcome our natural defensiveness in relation to our own shadow, our wounds, and our unconscious mind. We must acknowledge the unknown and the uncontrollable. We must face psychic fear. We must recognize our own mortality. We must let our guard down.
 
 
All of this is familiar territory to any of our students who have gotten past our 300-level courses – and really, to anyone who has been studying evolutionary astrology for very long in any fashion. We’ve not yet arrived at my “light-bulb moment.” To get there, we need to add another layer to our thinking.
In my Chinese program, I told the story of how at some long-ago astrology conference, I was invited to be on a panel tasked with “finding God in the chart.” Lots of the panelists pointed to the Neptune, Pisces, 12th House family of symbols. In practice, that’s a helpful answer. But I disagreed. I told everyone to look outside the circle of the chart – the space outside it is what represents God to me. 

 

  • Everything in the chart represents your personality – your “ego,” in the technical psychological sense of the word. The mystery we call God lies beyond all of that. (Neptune doesn’t).  
  • Astrologically – or astronomically – that realization directs our attention to the space beyond Neptune and Pluto, or more properly, to the space beyond our solar system.
 
At the deepest level, the purpose of life lies in reaching a kind of mingling transparency with that vast spaciousness. Call it “God” – or enlightenment, salvation, heaven, satori, nirvana, cosmic consciousness. The words don’t matter – in fact, at that level of being, words only get in the way.
Everything I’ve said so far is material I’ve taught for years. Most of you are quite familiar with it. My lightbulb moment as I prepared my notes for that Chinese class, came when I realized there was a natural, step-by-step sequencing of Uranus to Neptune, to Pluto – and from there, into the Great Beyond. What I found was something we might call “the unified field theory” of the invisible planets.
I can make this clear most easily if I start in the middle, with Neptune. In The Book of Neptune, I introduced the planet as “the window” between the ego-mind and the deep space of consciousness itself. Neptune isn’t the soul – it works more like an interface between individual consciousness and the vastness of what lies beyond it. Meanwhile the light of the mysteries shines back into our lives through that same Neptunian “window.”

 

  • The paradox of windows is that they are both inside and outside the house – and that’s Neptune. It’s the part of the ego that can potentially look beyond itself. 
 
Looking through Neptune’s window gives us an entirely different perspective on what it means to be human. We realize that we are composed of consciousness. Flesh and bones are only substances we inhibit briefly (and repeatedly) on our deeper journey. From that Neptunian perspective, life looks totally different to us than it does to the rest of the human race. Probably the clearest illustration of that principle is that, from Neptune’s viewpoint, death isn’t really such a big deal – try popularizing that idea at your local shopping mall and you’ll see what I mean by thinking differently from the rest of the human race! 
To even begin to think in Neptunian fashion, we must separate ourselves from that collective, “shopping mall” mentality. We must, in other words, individuate – and that’s why everything in this invisible planet sequence starts with Uranus. I began to realize that, while Uranus has many meanings and applications, its most fundamental purpose is to be the first step on our journey to the “outer space” beyond Pluto. 
As we begin to think of ourselves as souls rather than as hungry, horny, angry monkeys, we have definitely left the “shopping mall.”

 

  • Uranus allows us the freedom to get to Neptune. With it, we escape the materialistic “common sense” illusions of consensual reality.
 
Gazing through that Neptunian window into the mysteries beyond it is tricky. That’s because the window is dirty. It’s cluttered with what Buddhists call “obscurations” – or what a modern psychotherapist would call “our personal issues.” This is where Pluto enters the story. 
Say there’s a woman who actively identifies herself as being “on the spiritual path.” She’s the real deal. She’s sincere about it – but let’s also say that she hates her father, maybe with good reason. Still, fairly or unfairly, her unresolved hatred of her father “dirties her window.” If she could get past that hatred, she would see through the window more clearly. None of this is about morality. None of it is about right or wrong. It’s simply a fact – dirt on a window makes it harder to see through it, period. Philosophy has nothing to do with it.
Our Neptunian windows are always dirty, one way or another. We all have unresolved karma, in other words. That’s why we’re here in these monkey-bodies in the first place. If something scared us in our childhoods (or in a prior life), when we look through the window we see fearful things. If we were conditioned by easiness and a coddled existence, we expect evolution to not require effort. If we were embattled, we project “war” onto every process and experience. 
Obviously, there’s a place for the south node of the Moon in our thinking here, but let’s just file all of those karmic issues under “our obscurations.” The point is that dealing with them is Pluto work. That’s how we clean our windows.
Here’s the sequence. With Uranus, we begin to look beyond the normal human reality of life lived unreflectively and instinctively. We began to sense that the tribe may have missed something truly fundamental about the purpose of life. “Normal” people – the ones dominated by ego, hunger, fear, and aggression, in other words –  may, in fact, have missed the whole point of human existence. 
With Neptune, some light starts to shine through that muck, flowing in from the higher realms – and, fascinated, we begin to turn our attention in that beguiling direction. The more we see that great light, the hungrier we become for it – and that soon brings us face to face with resistance: our psychological and karmic issues. We realize that our journey to the Light must route through the Darkness. 
Pluto work is difficult, but as we loosen the shackles of our own madness, we stop wasting energy on life’s dramas. With that energy redirected, we become powerful enough to make the great leap into the vastness – a vastness that has been our true nature all along, only we didn’t know it. 

 

  • In that “empowerment,” we feel the shamanic dimensions of Pluto. 
 
With the discovery of Eris in 2005, the realm of the “Trans-Neptunian Objects” – the TNO’s – opened up. Pluto is really one of them – that’s mainly why the astronomers downgraded it from a full planet in their nomenclature. Rather uniquely, Pluto weaves in and out over Neptune’s orbit. That orbital quirk is a big subject, but it provides us with what I think is the reason we experience Pluto with such power and intensity – again, it’s like a shaman journeying to the Underworld, then coming back to the “village” of our everyday minds with some heavy, but ultimately empowering, messages.
I believe that the TNOs are emerging as a map of the unconscious mind and the archetypes which animate it. That’s a big subject too. Suffice to say that beyond the realm of the TNOs – which is the karmic and psychological minefield we must navigate as we liberate ourselves – we meet the realm of deep space. We meet the thing that since the beginning of human time many of us have called God.
So here in skeleton form is the model that dawned on me as I was preparing my Chinese class. I think of it as the “unified field theory of the invisible planets:”

 

  • Uranian individuation allows us to realize that “the obvious, common sense truths of life” are mostly an illusion.
  • That liberating Uranian realization gives us the freedom to “get weird enough” to believe the insights, experiences, and information we sense streaming in through Neptune’s window. We stop dismissing them as “craziness.” 
 
In our desire to see through that window more clearly, we feel compelled to clean it. We begin to deal with our own issues – mostly the fears, angers, resentments, and desires that separate us from the rest of life. That Plutonian process simultaneously clears us and energizes us enough to make a leap in consciousness – one that takes us eventually beyond these bodies and entirely beyond this time-bound, three-dimensional world.
 
Steven Forrest
January 2024

 

Astrology Reading Donation

Astrology Reading Donation Thank you for your interest in donating your reading to the FCEA for educational purposes. Please only offer to donate already existing recorded readings provided to you by Steven Forrest. It is not for new readings, as Steven’s waiting list is many years into the future and is currently closed. We appreciate […]

Continue reading