Astrology Articles by Steven Forrest

by Steven Forrest
(excerpt from The Night Speaks, updated with new Afterword written July 2013)

solar flareRemember the frantic intensity of the late sixties? New heroes and mythologies sprang out of nowhere. Naïve confidence ran rampant. Vietnam provided a crucifixion story and an evocative emotional rallying point. Bob Dylan, the Beatles and a generation of singer-songwriters orchestrated the drama with rousing anthems and irresistible manifestos. The advent of the Pill spiced the stew with the scent of sex. Think what you will about the foolish excesses and runaway herd instinct of those years, they were exciting times. But did history excite us, or did we excite history? Was humanity simply ready to stir up the zeitgeist'? It's the proverbial question of the chicken and the egg.

Meanwhile, 93 million miles away, gargantuan nuclear storms swirled across the troubled face of the sun. Great solar prominences exploded in hundred-thousand-mile high cascades of fire. Blasts of charged particles and waves of magnetism roared away from the sun, engulfing the Earth and planets. The eleven-year cycle of solar storms had reached its crescendo. For our central star, the late sixties marked the season of fire - sunspot maximum.

Whatever engines drove that chapter of our national history, they certainly had run out of gas by the middle seventies. Remember the disco wasteland? Gerald Ford? The "me" generation? Remember the confusion and floundering of our national leadership in the aftermath of Watergate and the OPEC-engineered energy crisis? We might be annoyed by the naïveté and blind enthusiasm of the late sixties, but no one who lived through them would be likely to call them boring. And no matter how charitable a view we take of the middle seventies, by most standards the "energy crisis" of those years was not limited to oil fields and gas pumps.

Throughout the middle seventies, the face of the sun was tranquil. Gone were the great magnetic storms of the late sixties. The season of calm, the sunspot minimum, had arrived.

Is this astrology? Certainly not in a traditional sense. Sunspots have nothing to do with Leo or Sagittarius. Nonetheless, whenever we notice a correlation between cosmic events and human affairs, we've entered the astrological realm.

by Steven Forrest
Birth Data Rodden Rating: A

Agatha Christie b. September 15, 1890, 4:00 AM-GMT Torquay, England

Four billion copies of her books are in print. She is often described as the best-selling author in history. Her play, The Mousetrap, is the longest continuously running one in the world, having opened in London on November 25, 1952, and still going strong as of this writing.

Agatha Christie But it is for her murder mysteries that Agatha Christie is best known. Her work practically defined the genre that Arthur Conan Doyle launched. Her vain Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, with his waxed mustache and his brilliant deductions, humanized the infallible “Sherlock Holmes” archetype. Poirot is the only fictional character ever to be given an obituary in The New York Times, after Christie killed him off in her 1975 novel, Curtain—such was the popularity of her work at the time. Her delightful Miss Marple, at least as brilliant as Hercule and a lot more charming, made it safe for older, middle-class ladies on both sides of the Atlantic to have a devilish streak and a gleam in their eyes.

Reading Agatha Christie’s mysteries today, one might be excused for thinking that they are riddled with clichés—until we realize that she originated most of them! Arguably, there is not a mystery writer today who does not owe her an enormous debt.

So who was this mystery woman?

Agatha Christie Horoscope

Agatha Christie was born in Devon on the southern coast of England. Her mother was British and her father was an American stockbroker who died when Agatha was eleven. Their circumstances were comfortable—at age sixteen, for example, young Agatha went to Mrs. Dryden’s Finishing School in Paris to study piano and voice. In 1914, she married a pilot, Colonel Archibald Christie. She gave birth to a daughter, Rosalind, in August 1919. In October 1920 her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, was published to glowing reviews. She had written it in 1916, with transiting Uranus and the progressed Sun applying to trine to her north node. It was published with Jupiter, ruler of her south node, rising into the seventh house by solar arc.

The PlanetsThis list of brief questions will help illuminate the meanings behind these key symbols in the birth chart, as understood through the lens of Evolutionary Astrology.

Sun

What are the core principles and soul-intentions to which you must be true in order to maintain sanity, identity, and authenticity? What are the core drives to which you must be true in order to maintain vitality and life-force?

Moon

To what "trans"-rational needs and joys must you be true in order to maintain happiness and a feeling of well-being? What is the most effective way in which you can nurture, heal and restore yourself?

Ascendant

How do you compose your outward style in order to achieve a maximum sense of "centeredness?" How do you "get your act together?" What is the optimal stylistic interface between your deep psyche and the outer social and experiential worlds?

Originally appeared in The Mountain Astrologer magazine, June 2010. Reprinted with permission.

Moon PhasesThe familiar circle of twelve signs is a useful fiction. Like time, space, gender and money, it helps us organize our particular, parochial sense of reality. We watch our transits or progressions as they speed or plod along this imaginary line in the sky that we call the ecliptic, as if it were a narrow highway with hard curbs in the vastness of starry space. In our ephemerides, for example, we see Mercury zipping merrily along, 1° Capricorn, then 2° then 3˜. We see Pluto passing the same mileposts—little knowing that Pluto might actually lie thirty degrees from Mercury, way above or below it in the sky, even though we say they are “in conjunction.” In actuality, the only moving astrological point that sticks exactly to the ecliptic is the Sun. Its path, in fact, is what defines the term. Everything else follows it only approximately.

Ever wonder why we don’t have a total solar eclipse every month? Sure enough, there on your computer screen you plainly see the transiting Sun and the transiting Moon aligned in 15° 24'—but no total eclipse of the Sun. The reason is that the Moon is usually a little above the Sun or a little below it. They are “conjunct,” but only in the context of our imaginary celestial railroad track, the zodiac. They are lined up in the two-dimensional framework of the ecliptic, but not in the three dimensional framework of the heavens as they actually meet our eyes. (1)

With so many different kinds of astrological software in use, the simplest suggestion is to just go to the “Help” files in the program you use and look up “Declination.” There you will see how to display it for any chart you calculate. Declination will be given as either North or South, sometimes shown as a + or - . If the value exceeds 23°28', it is Out of Bounds. This will work for both a natal chart or a progressed one.

Using Solar Fire

Out of Bounds Moon

Calculate or open a chart. Click on “Reports” in the top line. Click on “Current Chart.” A window opens titled “Chart Reports & Tabulations.” Under “Chart Points,” you will see a column labeled “Decl.” That is declination. Check to see if the Moon’s value is 23°28' or greater. If so, it is Out of Bounds. Again, this will work for both a natal or progressed charts.

Progressed Moon Declination Cycle

To watch for the Moon progressing Out of Bounds over longer time-scales, open the natal chart, then click on “Dynamic” on the top line. Click on “Graphic Ephemeris.” Open “Saved Selections,” scroll down and click on “Declination of Moon (one year).” Under “Period of Report,” click the “Years” button (unless you want to zoom in on a specific period of your life).

Moon Phases

New Moon

Sun-Moon Angle: 0-45 degrees
Seasonal Event: WINTER SOLSTICE
Pagan Holiday: YULE

The Teacher; The Avatar
Sweetness. Nurturing. Leadership. Guidance. Becoming symbolic to others; making others into symbols. Bringers of gifts. Luminosity.
We are fresh from the Dark of the Moon—the realm of mystery—still caught up in, and shrouded by, the archetypal perspective. We radiate powerfully, but we are relatively blind to the subtleties and complexities of the material world, especially other people. Everyone senses that “we know something,” and they are therefore drawn to us.

Venus CycleThe biopsychic script refers to astrological events that are marked by key moments in our evolutionary development which we all share and have culturally identified, such as midlife, or retirement. Below is a list of the key cycles we can track, including the cycle length and planet involved. Spend some time looking at these dates in your own birth chart, and notice what you discover!

VENUS CYCLE

Cycle Length: 7.997 years. Notes: In only two days, eight hours short of exactly eight years, Venus completes its pentangle and returns to Inferior Conjunction with the Sun at a point two or three degrees earlier in the zodiac than it was when the cycle began. Count eight year intervals forward two ways: from the date of birth and from the date of the previous Inferior Conjunction. They often coincide closely with intimate relational turning points.

New Planetsby Steven Forrest
reprinted with permission from The Moutain Astrologer, August 2007 issue

Pluto’s recent demotion to the status of “dwarf planet” upset a lot of us It shouldn’t. We astrologers have been calling the Sun and Moon “planets” for a long time. We have, in other words, a long tradition of using the term “planet” differently than astronomers do. Experience has taught us that Pluto simply works like one—we know it’s a “planet” and we really don’t need anyone’s approval before we use the term.

Even better, most of us have had some fun thinking about upcoming Pluto transits for those astronomers in the International Astronomical Union who demoted Pluto! How would you like to explain that one to the Lord of the Underworld?

But there are deeper, more disturbing issues here. We need, collectively, to address them. Astrology’s bones are being rattled, and it’s not just by a bunch of academics quibbling over slippery definitions.

by Steven Forrest
reprinted with permission from The Mountain Astrologer, February 2003

UranusUranus Transiting the First House 
Get ready for a tremendous burst of individuation. Who we really are is in conflict with our biographical reality. The psyche demands resolution of this schism, and the resolution is typically quite dramatic. It involves conflict with figures of authority, major restructuring of relationships, and a lot of existential chaos. There is resentment regarding other people's expectations and a desire to avoid being defined by them. Goodbye to custom, duty, or standard definitions of "propriety." The scary crux of it is that if we choose to be true to ourselves, we paint ourselves into a corner.

The universe is asking us exactly what price we'll pay for honesty, integrity and freedom. How much is authenticity really worth to us? Financial or social security? Our friends—or our mate? Do we still value integrity enough to claim it? If we choose a weaker path, we go forward spiritually compromised—tired, like zombies going through the motions of life. But if we choose the courageous higher ground, then magic happens: against all the odds, the universe opens up long-shot possibilities that no sane person would have ever predicted. Spirit opens these outer doors for us—but only if we have first been brave enough to pass through the inner doors of honesty and authenticity. 

An excerpt from Yesterday's Sky Chapter 5

THE ASTRONOMY OF THE LUNAR NODES

lunar nodesIf you are a nerd, welcome to paradise. If you slept through science, but were wide-eyed when English class turned to the Romantic poets, you will probably make a very fine astrologer—but you might want to skip this chapter.

So, what exactly are the nodes of the Moon? Obviously, they are not planets. Since they are the foundation of Evolutionary Astrology and the gateway into karmic analysis, let’s take a little while to understand them rigorously.

Earth orbits the Sun, but since we are sitting on the Earth, it doesn’t look that way. For millennia, our ancestors assumed it was the other way around—that the Sun orbited the Earth. Since astrology is Earth-centered, we stick with that visual illusion in our language and perspective. What we actually see is that the Sun circuits the same band of constellations each year. Astrologers call that band the Zodiac. Astronomers call it the Ecliptic.

What Is Evolutionary Astrology?

As defined by Steven Forrest and Jeffrey Wolf Green

Evolutionary Astrology embraces paradigms and methodologies which specifically measure the growth of the soul from life to life. These methods invariably focus on the planet Pluto and its relationship to the Nodal Axis. While it is composed of a set of specific formal methodologies, evolutionary astrology is ultimately characterized less by a technical approach than by a set of philosophical principles defined by natural law.

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