The Birth of an Astrologer
Astrology crept into my life at an early age, and its impact has lasted all of my young lifetime thus far. As early as I can remember, my mother bought me a Magic School Bus ruler that had all the planets on it along with some astronomical facts. At that time, I was fascinated by the sheer thought of the existence of celestial bodies so far away from view. With many so much larger than the earth, I asked myself questions about the significance of life from an early age. It wasn't until a trip to the Yankee Candle Factory in Massachusetts in the late 1990's that I learned what astrology was. On that trip, I found a small, pocket-sized yellow book titled "May 28".
"My birthday!," I must have exclaimed. Compared to what I know of archetypal astrology now, the book was rather simple, but I was fascinated all the same with how accurate some of the descriptions were of my self.
Another old memory: perhaps around the same time, I was attending Rascals Play Gym in Hamden, CT to play games with kids outside of school. There was a girl named D who I loved playing with. I remember one day, we were taking turns rolling each other over with a big fun ball, and as I leaned over the ball I heard my mom from where all the moms sat:
"Gregory, guess when D's birthday is?"
"Uhh, Christmas?" (the only holiday of real significance to me that I could have guessed at the time).
"It's May 27th!" She found out this factoid from talking to D's mom. I was surprised, and I became enamored. It felt like a sense of fate. I had a small crush on D for some years which manifested in absolutely nothing but childhood fantasies in my head.
For a long time after that, I didn't think about astrology or the significance of my birthday. I loved reading teen girl magazines at my mom's chiropractor's office, such as Seventeen and YM, and they always had an astrology section, but as a 10-year-old boy, I couldn't resonate with the topics. Still, I was compelled, and the memory lasts. Throughout high school, I knew the sun signs of my closest friends, and I began to notice patterns. Lots of Gemini friends! Was it a twinship urge? Most likely. I took this gentle interest or acceptance with me into college, and it was in the beginning of my sophomore year that my views on astrology began to shift into something more curious, awestruck, and eventually, more passionate.
It was that year that a close friend of mine re-introduced to astrology (as well as marijuana and a number of amazing friends I hold to this day). I remember her showing me this website called astro.com. There, I learned about how we are more than just the sun sign I read about in Seventeen magazine. I first learned that we had a sign for every planet, then I dove into the houses, and eventually I went into understanding the aspects. Those foundations lead me to where I am today. I so vividly recall the fascination that came over me when I read about my Mars Opposition Ascendent or my Sun Trine Ascendent aspect. The books and websites I dove into hit so personally, and reflected back things I've known about myself all along but never had the right words for. At that time, I was just learning that astrology was a language in and of itself, and with that comes a great source of power. I began to read voraciously. I began to sense the "good" astrologers and separate them from the vague or superficial ones. I also began to ask all of my friends for their date, time and location of birth. I actually compiled a spreadsheet where I placed their names on the y axis and each planet (as well as Ascendent, North Node, Chiron & Lilith). I created a chart listing over 100 of my friends signs and houses for each planet. This was a primary method for me to learn about the archetypes of astrology; experientially.
I noticed patterns with my friend groups. Wow, I seem to meet a lot of Libra Ascendents, Virgo Moons, Leo Suns... How does Danny's Moon in Aries differ from Sarah's? I began to bear a deeper witness to my friends, noticing the archetypal similarities, differences and overall patterns between those who share or contrast various signs and houses. For me, books, online readings, and the astrology club that met at the book store only went so far in the development of my learning. My friends have always been super important to me, so witnessing astrology in action was my unique and insightful way for me to deepen understanding.
When I moved to California, I began to encounter a community who was much more open and knowledgeable about astrology than my peers on the East Coast. At first, it was a bit overwhelming! I had to level up my game. Once I became settled here, I knew that my next step was to embrace sharing my astrological lens through full chart readings and astrological writing. I've enjoyed taking an interdisciplinary approach, bringing tarot into my astrology and incorporating both of these into my work as a therapist. I look forward to where my work will take me along the rest of my path through life. I've never received an astrological reading. I've taught myself, by and large, with the help of acquaintances, friends and partners who have joined me in collective inquiry. If you're intrigued by astrology, it's possible for you to do the same!
Finally, I'd like to share a list of the books and sources that were influential to me in my search for deeper understanding through the lens of archetypal astrology:
Cosmos and Psyche, by Richard Tarnas Astrology, Karma & Transformation by Stephen Arroyo
The Inner Sky, by Steven Forrest