One of the phenomena of the Internet Age is that anyone can be an expert.  Unlike the dark ages of the 20th century when you had to publish a book to gain recognition and renown, now all you have to do is open a free Blogger or Word Press account, write stuff that is relatively fascinating, and soon you have a following.  This phenomenon has of course benefited me greatly, because here I am.  But many of the younger people that are learning about astrology on the internet are missing the opportunity to learn from the elders in the field.
Partly this may be because the field is changing so rapidly.  When I was beginning back in the early 1980s, I was on the cutting edge because I worked with Chiron.  In those days we were limited somewhat to what we could calculate by hand, although even then there were math wizards like John Addey who spent their time devising complex interplanetary aspects that were defined down to one-half a degree, called “harmonics.”  With computer technology becoming more and more advanced, it is simple to switch between Vedic and Western astrology with the touch of a mouse, and to calculate planetary positions of over 10,000 asteroids.
But just because we can do more things now and do them faster, does that mean we are more knowledgeable?  Do we understand the nature planets from the inside out?  Do we honor their wisdom and look to them for understanding, or do we merely try to manipulate them with mathematics?
John Townley has a sterling pedigree in the astrological community: he was the first to introduce the composite chart technique which is now in common use in the analysis of relationships and wrote the book “Planets in Love” which is one of my bibles for relationship work.  He is also the owner, with his wife Susan, of the fabulous Astrococktail site which offers up tasty morsels of astrological news and wonderful articles about planetary cycles.  More than anyone else in the astrology establishment he has embraced bloggers like me and helped to promote us.
He has written a wonderful story about his journey to astrology that depicts the richness of the inner journey that led to his taking on the mantle of Astrologer.  In the blog post that introduces the article he writes:

The issues of who we are, how it’s all put together, and what to do with it are still the first page on everyone’s book, but we still await something newly meaningful to say about it. Starting from a background in science, history, and the classics, I’ve had first-hand experience with strange phenomena ranging from reincarnation to spirits from the beyond and more, along with a career full of truly needy astrological clients looking for explanations of things they can’t quite put together, either. Now, with the wolf at too many doors and diminishing returns from our former, lesser options (across several generations), it might be a good idea to regroup and say what we have experienced about the immediacy of life – what we have learned, what we live and die with, and what’s next.

In this time of intense astrological activity, when Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune are creating an urgency within people all over to find their true place here and resolve the issues that bind them to a reality that no longer works; when Saturn and Uranus are forcing us to choose between the structures that make us feel safe and the frontier that we know holds our destiny; when Saturn and Pluto require that we leave behind the old ways and if we don’t, will do it for us – in these times it’s more important than ever that we approach our lives from a deeper place.
As an astrologer, it’s more than important for my own path – it’s crucial for my work with others as well.  When we take on the mantle of healer on the soul journey, we must ourselves walk through the fire of that journey as well.
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