by Steven Forrest
The sun just started to blaze over the Anza-Borrego desert where I live. I am writing these words in haste since I need to pack my bags and head for the Palm Springs airport in four hours. From there, I have to make my way up to San Francisco and points north to teach one of my Apprenticeship Programs. Michelle and I just arrived here in the desert a week ago, so it hurts to leave home again so soon. We live part of the time in New Orleans and we just completed the endless, three-day cross-country drive to get here from there. When I close my eyes, I’m still hallucinating the white lines of the highway stretching out before me.
When I get back from this teaching trip, I’ll only have about ten days at home again before leaving to teach seminars in Beijing and Shanghai. When I get back from Asia, I will once more only have about ten days at home before I leave to teach the southern California edition of my Apprenticeship Program. That one is easier—just a 90 minute drive and a five-day trip.
Does this sound like an insane way to live?
As I read over my words, that assessment sounds pretty accurate. But I am used to it. I have been living this way for last the three decades. Anyone who looked at my life from outside would see these same behavioral patterns consistently and prominently: traveling, teaching, and writing.
by Tony Howard
After Steven's webinar on Martin Scorsese's chart last month, I got the idea to do a little research project on film directors. I was curious to see how Neptune would show up their charts and what their MCs would look like. As usual with this kind of research, I found myself quickly falling down an interesting rabbit hole, with surprising twists and turns. I thought I'd share a little of what I've found so far. Take it as food for further thought and research of your own if you find it interesting.
I started by compiling a list of my favorite directors, but soon after broadened my scope to include well known directors from “best of” lists found online. When looking at the MC, I wanted to use birth times I could trust, so I narrowed my list to 22 out of 82 directors who also have an AA rated birth time.
Thirty years ago this month, The Inner Sky was published. That book coming out was probably the most pivotal biographical event of my life. From that moment onward, everything changed. Doors opened for me that never would have opened otherwise. On the strength of that book alone, I’ve seen much of the world. I’ve met countless wonderful people all over the world. I have a beautiful home. I’ve walked China’s Great Wall. I’ve flown First Class to South America on a “secret mission” under an assumed identity. I’ve patted a kangaroo in Australia and I’ve walked in the old harem of Topkapi in Istanbul.
And for thirty years, I have not had to suffer a haircut unless I wanted one. No boss! No commuting! Only one necktie in my closet!
Most importantly, I’ve been able to live a meaningful life, one for which I feel grateful nearly every day—all because of The Inner Sky, born into this world exactly three decades ago, in August 1984.
For me, the story started three years before that, in July 1981. My phone rang. It was a young literary agent in New York who had heard of my work and wanted to know if I might write a book on spec that she would represent. Six weeks later, on the strength of a sample chapter, I had a deal with Bantam Books, which was then the biggest English-language publisher in the world. They paid me a five thousand dollar advance and I began writing in earnest. On a manual typewriter. I was thirty-two years old.
by Steven Forrest
The quincunx aspect in astrology—two planets separated by 150 degrees; one sign more than a trine, one less than an opposition—what does it signify? It is usually called a minor aspect, but many astrologers argue for its power. Throughout the month of July, we will all have a window on assessing the strength of this configuration. Saturn will spend the entire month in the 17th degree of Scorpio while Uranus will spend the month in the 17th degree of Aries. That geometry provides a classic experience of this aspect. Everyone one of us will be feeling it.
In this newsletter, let’s use the month-long dance between these two heavyweight planets as our laboratory as we absorb the first principles that underlie this often-misunderstood astrological aspect.
Quincunx—go ahead, admit it. It’s fun just to say it. But be careful. There’s a tendency to pronounce it as “quin” followed by “cunx.” But “quinc” then “unx” is more accurate. Those are the Latin words, more or less, for the numbers five and twelve. And astrologically, the quincunx represents 5/12s of the zodiac. The original quincunx, by the way, was a Roman coin, back in the 3rd century B.C. It’s value was 5/12s of the standard Roman dollar of the day—so, quinque and uncia are actually the roots of the term.
So what is the feeling of a quincunx aspect between two planets? Here is a way to think of it using Capricorn and Gemini, which are in quincunx with each other:
At NORWAC 2011, I got Steven together with UK-based astrologer Mark Jones and filmed the conversation that unfolded. You can tell by the release date that I'm a little behind with my workload! But the conversation is a timeless one, and we're happy to be able to finally share it with you here.
Steven and Mark start out talking about some of the technical differences between their approaches, and then the conversation naturally shifts towards more common ground as they discuss the counseling dynamic in a consultation, and the popular subject of fate vs. free will.
Next week I'll begin editing the video footage from a complete workshop Steven presented on the Four Angles. I'm hoping to have that available for you next month, in audio and video formats, so stay tuned for that.
by Tony Howard
When Steven asked me to write this month’s newsletter, the first idea that popped into my head was “Venus Out of Bounds.” I’d spent the last month editing and preparing his Moon Out of Bounds video and audio programs, so the subject was fresh on my mind. I thought, “If the out of bounds Moon is so dramatic in people’s charts, what about the other planets?” How would Mercury, Venus or Mars express when outside the “normal influence” of the sun?
If the out of bounds concept is new to you, start by reading Steven’s Out of Bounds Moon article, originally published in The Mountain Astrologer, which will lay out both the technical and theoretical framework. After that, if you’re hungry for more, you might revisit the Out of Bounds section in Chapter 3 of The Book of the Moon, or check out the newly released video or audio programs on the subject.
The extremely short version of the technical part of the story is that planets that are “out of bounds” are those in high declination – technically 23°28’ (+ or -). We’re calling those planets temporarily “outside the domain of the sun.” If the astronomy seems challenging to “get,” you’re not alone! Just let it go and instead take a look at the list of folks with out of bounds Moons and the concept should really start to sink in.
by Steven Forrest
Hellfire and brimstone? Economic collapse? Nuclear explosions? Or is it the arrival of Elvis and Sasquatch in a UFO to change our DNA and lead us all in chanting for world peace? April 2014 promises all of it . . . depending on which astrologer you read.
Astrologers tend to be a rather hysterical crowd sometimes. I’m 65 and I have lost count of the number of demi-apocalypses I have survived. One thing I’ve learned well, the hard way is that “postdiction” is easier than prediction. “I could have told you that . . .”
The reality, as I have come to understand it, is that the future is not fixed, and that therefore it cannot be reliably predicted. Consciousness interacts with vast archetypal fields of possibility and probability. What actually happens is the result of the collision of both forces.
Consciousness and intention are too powerful to discount, and our duty as astrologers is, I believe, to fan the flames of mindfulness and kindness rather than to feed fear and to spread feelings of helpless fatalism.
So that’s my sermon.But April 2014 looms, and it looks incendiary. All month long we have a grand cross in the sky. Pluto and Uranus are square, as most of us know, from 2012 through 2015. But during April, Mars opposes Uranus, while Jupiter opposes Pluto. The four-pointed configuration reaches its most precise geometry around April 22, but it is very strong all through the month.