The Personal Tale Behind Why I Love, Teach, And Live Astrology: Discovering The Ways Of A Star Shaman
The Beginning The beginning starts with "little me," little in age and size, yet like all young children, vast and curious in Spirit. It was a deep winter's night and my father and I were walking back to our home. We just had been attending a neighborhood "Dad and Son" gathering. Deep in thought and shrouded in his heavy coat and wool cap, Dad tromped ahead of me. As we made our way past lamp-lit houses on the snow covered road, I watched him with a six year old boy's unbound love and innocence. To the sound of his boots crunching in the snow, he rolled something over and over in his mind. He seemed far away in his head. Free to explore my own feelings, I looked up and up and up, far beyond his six foot four inch frame. There above me was a great dome of blackness, shimmering with specks of light that filled my eyes. The coldness of the air brought the stars so close so I could touch them with my fingertips. The snow all around us glistened with the light that dropped down like sparkles from the darkness, and I was whisked away in the magic of the moment. I was gliding through a tunnel of stars.
My magnificent sky walk with Dad touched me deeply, and it became a memory the burned like fragrant wood in the fire of my heart. It is one of the fondest memories I have of my little boy time. Although I forgot about the burning passion for the stars during my "growing up" years, it remained there in my unconscious. Like a seed buried far beneath the snow, it waited for a spring thaw.
That spring thaw didn't arrive until I was in my early twenties. Feeling stuck in a mediocre life, it was a time of intense challenges. I felt so lost.
Being a young man was not what I thought it would be. Recognized in high school as a high achiever, I thought my successes in academics and sports would pave the royal road to future happiness. That illusion came to a quick end when my mind suddenly locked up while studying for final exams at the end of the first year of university studies. Overwhelmed with panic, I ended up dropping out. With a strike of lightning, my pretentiousness had been shattered. I was a nineteen year old who felt painfully broken.
The loss made me very under confident. I didn't know how to trust. I felt terribly empty as if I had a gaping hole inside me. Nothing seemed to fill it. Fortunately, self help books gave me inspiration. I learned that other people had been through similar emotionally difficult times. That was eye and heart opening.
Because I hadn't yet been introduced to astrology, I had no way of knowing that many key things were happening in my star chart during my college shakeup. Just to name a few, Uranus, the planet of awakening was transiting directly over my natal Neptune, the planet of spirituality. At the same time, transiting Pluto, the planet associated with death and rebirth, was hovering across from my natal Eris, the dwarf planet that speaks to unbridled energy. My crisis coordinated so closely with the planetary dance in the sky.
After recovering enough balance within myself, I again enrolled in college. Instead of going to an out-of-state institution, I tried a local one. I hoped to meet new people and find guidance and direction. I initially sought a degree in physical education but then switched majors to philosophy. Maybe one of the great thinkers would give me answers I needed! However, instead of finding answers, I found my mind compressed between the pages of voluminous books of others' thoughts and beliefs. The strong emphasis on intellectual analysis was sickening. Although I graduated with a B.A., I was very discouraged. I had not found the truths that would make my life make sense.
During my college years, I also gave counseling a good try. I met with different therapists, traditional and new age. I tried transcendental meditation. I tried religion. The emptiness didn't go away.
My work life didn't fare much better. Jobs in my late teens and early twenties as a camp instructor, coach, carpenter, and landscaper turned out to be dead ends. They just didn't hold my interest. Something was grossly missing.
My love life left me aching, as well, and I worried that I'd never find "the one."
After the many disappointments, I became haunted by a nauseating worry that I’d never get to live the life I’d love. It was terrifying to think of a future of grinding away in hardship and despair. It seemed liked a lonely road to travel. I deeply desired to live in joy, peace, and wonder. I had hoped that at least one of my pursuits would bring me the "how tos" for leading a stimulating and enriching life, but that was not the case.
Fortunately, in the midst of my quiet desperation, something happened that began to change things for me. The wife of a carpenter for whom I worked sensed my dilemma. Over dinner at their house one evening, she suggested I explore astrology as a means for finding more about myself and my purpose. I thought she was being ridiculous. Wasn't astrology just a lot of mumbo jumbo superstition? We got into some serious debates over the subject, and in the end, I was impressed and grateful.
I ordered my first computer-generated star chart with a big hope that it would bring inspiration and give me the script for figuring out my life. Although I didn't know it at the time, transiting Pluto was hovering across the zodiac from my natal Sun in Pisces. It was an opportunity to let go of my resistances to personal growth. It was an opportunity to birth a new perspective about myself and my life.
My Birth Chart
When my birth chart arrived in the mail, I was awed. It looked like a piece of paper with hieroglyphics written all over it. Although I couldn't make any sense of the symbols, the chart aroused in me a feeling of intrigue and mystery. It whispered of wonderful things to discover, suggesting an adventure into a realm where long forgotten knowledge could be found. There was a glimmer of unfathomable potential. Interestingly, the chart had been calculated on Leap Year Day! That seemed auspicious.
The chart stimulated a huge passion to learn how to interpret it. I wanted to grasp the true meaning of the numerous symbols and lines in the chart. I took to reading any astrology book I could get my hands on. The books conveyed an enormous amount of material about western cultural astrology. The information initially gave me a sense of excitement, as if I were on a voyage to a frontier where "no one has gone before."
Lost in An Astrological Head Trip
In a short period of time, however, I found myself sinking in murky waters. The more I read, the more my head felt waterlogged, heavy and inundated with astrological analysis. I felt like a talking head, a walking astrological encyclopedia, stuck categorizing myself according to interpretations promoted by the many writers of the many books. I so wanted to know more about my real identity, but found myself saying, "I must be this because this expert author says these things about my sun, moon, and rising signs...." With each book I devoured, I identified myself by a different interpretation. Ugh, my head was dizzy from spinning in circles! I had fallen into the same trap I experienced in my studies of philosophy. I remained stuck in this spin for over a decade!
To make matters more difficult, I was interpreting star charts for people and was plagued by apprehension regarding the quality of my readings. I had the nagging sense that my work with others was missing something really important and that I was not giving clients what they really needed to live joyful meaningful lives. I couldn't put my finger on what that "something" was.
Wanting to put an end to the doubts that chewed at the edges of my heart and mind, I enrolled in a two-year master's level counseling program. I saw in my chart that Pluto was conjoining my natal Neptune. It made sense to learn about psychology, which was often associated with Neptune and Pluto. I also thought the studies would help me with my readings, making me more capable of counseling astrology clients.
So, in my late twenties, I went back to school. There were many classes on theories of personality and counseling techniques. When I graduated, I was happy about the acquired counseling skills, but I had not found inner peace. I had not yet discovered who the real me was. Despite the disappointment, I hung in there with my love for astrology and kept searching for more answers.
New and Vibrant Star Consciousness
During my late thirties, when Pluto was dancing over my natal Saturn, I got extensively involved with Native American ceremonies, one of which was aligned with the Milky Way. A healer from one of the First Nations introduced me to his people's way of understanding spirituality, which was very different than my suburban white culture upbringing. Participation in the intense rituals helped me see just how much I had let my fear, pretenses, and habits run my life. It was not easy to be honest with myself about it.
During the same Pluto transit, I also engaged in Peruvian shamanic teachings and ceremonies. Something surprising then happened. I began experiencing immense feelings of delight and awe when gazing into starry nights. These feelings swept me into a sense of being intimately connected with the sky. I took to greeting her and singing with her every night. It was a shift that awakened something ancient in me, beautiful and wondrous. It was the unique feeling of the Real Me, my Spirit! It was what I really had been looking for all along!
In knowing the feeling of who I genuinely was, my way of perceiving the Sun, Moon, planets, and constellations changed. It was like a veil was lifted, such that I could see them for who they really were, as SkyBeings with incredible intelligences and energy fields. They were like singers in the sky, fully alive and conscious, sharing their knowledge through their melodies! Meeting these Beings felt like it was a first time encounter because I long had been in the habit of treating them two dimensionally, reduced to fancy symbols and typical roles in a star chart. In this shamanic shift, I became an initiate to sky consciousness. I became the Sky Beings' apprentice. The real learning would now begin.
Spirit World As part of my apprenticeship, I needed to develop my spirit senses, my abilities to perceive Spirits and subtle energies. For the following decade, I learned to see and sense things that existed outside of time and space. This included communication with the Spirit World. Although our innate human connection with the Spirits largely has been suppressed since the rise of religion and intellectualism hundreds of years ago, this world is very real. There are many different Spirits, and I have been most grateful for their assistance. Many came forward to help me on my journey into the unseen dimensions of astrology.
The Raven was one of them. He was never shy about getting into his clever antics when guiding me on spirit journeys, doing his flips and barrel rolls. I'd feel myself floating in the air and gliding with him on our adventures, poking my head like he did into secret caverns and caves where star knowledge has been stored for eons. Another Spirit Helper, who liked to go by the name of Merlin.Com had a flair for arriving in a thunderous flash of lightning. He had an uncanny way of shaking things up, so I would not get caught up in limiting ideas and beliefs about astrology. At the same time, he'd take me to places in the Spirit World that appeared like hilltops and forests, places that were held dear by the Druids. As if directing high currents of energy into me, his presence stimulated heightened awareness and allowed me to feel and see star knowledge through imagery that emerged out of thin air.
Years later, a Horse Spirit showed up in my dreams. She'd nudge her nose into mine and get me to feel her powerful presence. She wanted to help me see like she sees when in her trance states. In turn, this lead me to feel the power and presence of my own Spirit, and my perception was enhanced. Her purposeful use of her attention brought me into ecstatic states of journeying. The pounding of her hooves roared in my chest and took me back to the beginnings of star knowledge. She shared a close association with the constellation of Sagittarius and showed me its origin in the star shamanism of ancient Mongolia. The Mongolian People are horse people and their shamans traveled on Spirit Horses into the sky to gather knowledge in the Spirit World.
All the Spirits who came forward were unconditionally accepting, playful, and intelligent. They knew how to deliver the goods! I can't imagine life without them.
In honing my spirit abilities while apprenticing with the Spirits and Sky Beings, my manner of looking into star charts transformed. Charts began "speaking" in the most unexpected and delightful ways. By perceiving charts with my Spirit, the Sky Beings always showed me something new about my or someone else's gifts. The charts came to life because my heart was doing the listening and the Spirits were there to assist me. I had gotten beyond my dense analytic way of thinking and was present on whole new emotional and spiritual levels. I was so happy to be offering my clients readings that were more feeling-filled, authentic, inspiring, and energizing. There was so much to share!
Sixteen Days Without Sleep A Plutonic Death of The Wildest Kind
I knew I was on track with a shamanic approach to astrology, but I didn't realize the full of extent of its power until much later. Fifteen years passed, and when Neptune and Chiron aligned exactly with my natal Pluto, I met my death. I knew the alignment was coming and thought that the death would simply be a shedding of a few more old habits, like a snake shedding a few more skins. I already had done a good deal of inner work, in which I had released a lot of old programming. I, in no way, thought that this death cycle would turn out the way it did.
How did it begin? I unexpectedly was not able to sleep. Night after night I could not drift off. Sixteen days and nights went by, This blew me away. I didn't think such a thing was possible. I had brought myself to the edge of my existence.
Awake through all those long nights, I silently watched the stars slowly roam over me through the late winter's darkness. The Great Bear of the North, Ursa Major, circled the Pole Star like an ancient guardian of eternal riches that were sparkling from inside the cave of the above. Saturn glided through Virgo, the stellar archetypal expression of the Great Mother of Life. The sky had become my altar and watching her became a ceremony.
As the sleepless nights grew from two to three to six to ten, I grew more unsettled. I had vision quested before, but that was for four days and nights. Remnants of buried childhood fear, pain, loss, loneliness, and despair broke loose from their grip in the far reaches of my unconscious. Like swirls of smoke from a fire, they from rose up before me. Overwhelmed, my resistance grew weaker and weaker. So tired I hit bottom and I was unsure if I was going to live or die. Death like a midwife sat right next to me. She was kind and she was thorough and would leave no stones unturned, no wounds left unhealed.
In the midst of my dying, my Spirit Helpers, Sky Friends, and my star chart were all there. They offered their gifts and guided me through the most intense time of my life.
Out of The Flames, Rises The Phoenix Within: Birthing An Alignment With The Continuum
The near death event might be called an unexpected spontaneous vision quest. It changed everything. Each night the sky turned, my conscious shifted a little, then a little more, and a little more .... Clock time disappeared, leaving me disoriented. Like a Phoenix rising and then falling back into the flames, my resistances to healing were burned away, bit by bit. Out of the ashes a slow birth took place and what emerged was a consciousness of pure unconditional love, mystery, and creativity. An unbreakable cord was woven between my heart and the heart of the beyond. I felt the continuum of life and aligned with the eternalness of everything.
The Timeless Ancestry of Star Watchers - Touching The Very Fabric Of Life
In observing the sky for those endless nights, I felt an unbreakable kinship with the star watchers of long ago. These people embraced the sacredness of the above and engaged the moon, planets and stars on psychic and spiritual levels. It was their way. Their consciousness was so different than the mindset of our modern western culture. For millennium they looked skyward into the night from their temple roof tops, medicine wheels, vision quest sites, and from their massive stone structures, like England's Stonehenge, Turkey's Gobleki Tepe, Ireland's Round Towers, or Egypt's pyramids. These sacred sites were located all around the Earth and brought connection and balance to humanity and to the planet.
In joining the ancestry of sky watchers, I found my home among the stars and I found my place in the history of humanity. Astrology once again spoke on additional planes of consciousness. Like a whale diving to the bottom of the sea, I learned to move my attention through a star chart and touch the very current of existence itself. Here there was a whole new watery depth of star knowledge to be experienced. It was exhilarating and it had a huge impact on me.
Cells Regenerated, DNA Was Enhanced, and Neuropathways Opened
The stellar experiences brought about actual physical changes, too. I felt my cells flooded with energy and information from the beyond. I sensed my DNA being repaired and enhanced. New neuropathways opened and streamed through my brain. The shift was subtle but tangible.
There is a good more to tell about what took place after the NDE. My body went through an enormous transformation as I integrated the stellar downloads. I also began teaching the star knowledge to those who were called to it. However, I will stop here for now.
Know that I did at last sleep on the seventeenth night. How sweet that was!
Was it all worth it? Every second of it. The NDE took me beyond limitations that I had imposed on myself and I discovered just how incredible we humans really are. To go beyond limitations is the way of star shamans.
Passing On The Star Knowledge
A year or so after the NDE, other things were birthed. I not only slowly brought my expanding awareness and energy levels into astrology readings, I began teaching this profound approach to star knowledge. I felt immense satisfaction in doing this. I was happy to help students who did not need to spend decades caught in the seductive trap of getting lost in overanalyzing star charts. It was a delight to guide them in experiences in which they discovered the feeling of their Spirits. And to see them begin to use their spirit abilities, that was so cool!
Once students got a sense of how this shamanic approach to astrology really worked, they came to trust their own feelings and inner knowingness. Becoming captains of their own ships, they learned to use their star charts to discover their unique gifts and ways. They became adept in using the astrology to find direction and navigate their destinies. They learned to sense when they were getting into head trips about astrology and how to step out of the old suffocating habit.
Students have begun to offer readings for their clients. I have felt so fortunate in being part of their adventures and growth. Together we have been building a vast sea of love and energy that will help bring in a new Aquarian era, an era of healing, kindness, and freedom. We have been making our way forward on an astrological journey boat, riding the waves of fun and learning.
Syncing With the Natural Sky Cycles
In observing the cycles of the Sun, Moon, and planets over the span of many years, I have learned to feel the natural cycles and rhythms of the sky and the Earth. By feeling into my Spirit and listening to my feelings and body, which are parts of my Spirit, I have grown to be intimately in sync the movements of the Sky Beings. It has been so freeing and energizing to learn how to live in harmony with these ancient Beings and their skyward cycles. Just as a gardener who is filled with love and appreciation when she plants seeds and harvests her crops in accordance with the seasons, it feels natural in being in tune with the rhythms of the stars.
Feeling so grateful for the gifts of the sky, I have stayed with with my experiential exploration of astrology. It gives life to my blood. Embodying the vast sea of star knowledge has made my walk a dynamic way of being. Each night I look into the night sky to commune with the songs of the Moon, planets, and stars. Each morning I enjoy a cup of coffee and do ceremony with the Spirits and the Sky Beings. They are part of my family, my community. Their inspiration brings a delicious menu of feelings to bask in each day. Inside each feeling is knowledge that nourishes and enriches me.
The symphony of the sky continually invites me to join the flow of our solar system. My star chart has given me a tool to listen to and align with this flow, to dance my dance freely with the ever shifting "music of the spheres."
The Gift of Seasoning Over Time
There is an incredible gift in being a seasoned person on the planet. It takes time. It is something that is earned, not through effort, but through love, curiosity, and passion, and purposefulness. There is no fast food track or overnight express to becoming an experienced astrologer. It requires years of first-hand experience while being in an ever expanding state of clear awareness, and it is a big learning to stay with the process, with the unfolding and the flowering.
Radiating Star Knowledge The more I have experienced with the stars through the years, the more I have learned, and the more powerful astrology has become for me. When I have experienced something first hand, it became part of me and my energy field. This field radiates out 24-7, like a beacon, and touches everything. It is my gift to the world.
Since learning never ends, there is always more to experience. I have found it to be essential to approach astrology with a fresh mind and heart, no matter how young or old we are. Otherwise, we become stagnant and arrogant. And there's not much fun in that!
People's astrology charts point to great potentials and possibilities for them. The gifts of the sky are available to everyone. Star charts are a map and a portal to the real Dragon treasures of life, which are foremost found inside of us. Like gems in the sky, the stars are not only beautiful in themselves, but reflect back to us what we can find in our beautiful Spirits. Progressions and transits to our natal charts show how things like to magically come together through their own wondrous timing.
My first star chart cracked open a door that took me into experiences beyond my wildest imagination. The chart with its wonderful symbology has become an invaluable guide in creating a fulfilling life. With it I have discovered love that fills me, health that invigorates me, work that delights me, income that sustains me, and an inner peace that accompanies me. It never ceases to amaze me how a look into a star chart can initiate little ripples of feelings and insights that turn into beautiful oceanic waves of wonderful change and transformation.