Thursday, May 20, 2004

This is in answer to an astrologer engaged in an online discussion of the relative merits of equal houses versus Placidus houses in astrology.

Ironically, people who have horoscopes like the one compacted onto the ASC-DSC axis tend to be just as lopsided, particularly in the light of my system. Examples can range from a child born in isolated northern Norway who was seen as a father-substitute by the mother virtually from birth. She talked to him like a husband rather than tiny infant and he developed in that way. Or on the other hand people who never grow up and remain bonded infants.

Remind the critics that there are two times every day in all latitudes where the houses are exactly equal. Did you know that? At 06:00 and 18:00 Sidereal Time. Thus despite the extreme latitudinal conditions, there are always people in those latitudes who have equal house charts naturally.

Years ago I connected the whole dispute with the apparent effects of living in various latitudes. For example, near the equator almost all charts are equal house and in those climates the social condition is primarily "tribal" and where individuality is frowned upon, if not overtly punished. As you more north (and south) from the equator the variations in house sizes increase to the "balance point" at 45°N (near NY, Paris, Berlin) where individuality and tribal qualities are balanced. Further north they become exaggerated as there are cultures where individuality is virtually a religion and tribal sense nonexistent, all the way up to the Eskimos who live in small family units in isolated places.

Although this is a tremendous generalization, I believe it is an interesting starting point in the discussion of "equal house" versus "Placidus houses."

Monday, May 17, 2004

People’s birth times are often a bit “off” in one direction or the other and the reading addresses that issue. It usually corrects the time if it isn’t right. The planetary influences are also either inner or outer in the way they manifest, in that they often do not correspond to what many consider important dates in their lives, i.e., marriage date, graduation from school, birth of children. All of these events are the “literal” dates of really the end of a process that started earlier, i.e., relationship leading to marriage, school years leading to graduation, gestation leading to a birth. The horoscope shows symbolic phases and stages of life when our inner processes manifest, like when you realize that you love someone, which then leads to formalizing the relationship with marriage six months, or a year later.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

(A letter from Portugal)

My name is Carlos Oliveira and I’m writing to you in the name of Maria Flávia Monsaraz, founder of Quiron – Portuguese Centre of Astrology in Lisbon. I believe you and Maria Flávia met in the International Astrological Congress in Venice some time ago.

We, Maria Flávia and a group of people that include amateur and professional actors, and other people in some way dedicated to the active and conscious participation of the construction of this new age that has emerged, are in the process of creating the “Theatre of Peace” – a Symbolic Theatre with the aim of bringing back the Sacred to the big audiences.

We have a play to start our first work, based on a book written by Maria Flávia. It regards the planets of our Solar system and their symbolic meaning. This is where we come to you so that you might possibly help us. We are looking to inspire ourselves in the Symbolism from the Greek Theatre.

We would deeply appreciate if you could in light us, in what ever ways you find best, with your vision and knowledge on this subject.

All the Best,
Carlos (

and my reply:

Dear Carlos,

I have been interested in theaters for decades and have written and lectured about the “memory theater” that is based on astrology. I include an image of a memory theater painting I made in 1975 here, based on Palladio’s design. It allows the stage to be where the “aspects” take place, the interaction between the planets, which also allows one to place actors in particular symbolic places during a play. The stage entrances are spirit, soul and mind; and the balcony onstage is the “higher level” of entrance and exit.

In the early 1980s I gave a talk about the “Astrological Memory Theater” in Amsterdam and we actually made a theater in this form as I did some few lines from MacBeth to illustrate how it worked. It was a great success. The audience was seated by their “Sun signs” and that was also very interesting.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Symbol and Form
A New Vision of Design Education
(This is based on a week-long course I taught at the Danish Design School in the 90s.)
It is valuable, if not essential, to explore psychological, meditative and interactive feedback techniques of working. These are likely to be quite new to designers and students, but are common to psychotherapeutic work. These ways of seeing and experiencing our world bridge the gap between what happens within and what we create outside in our design work. We can correlate the way our body works with the way our designs evolve. Too often what we design has nothing to do with what is going on with us inside — yet when there is a link, and then later an intimate connection, the designed objects cease to be disposable, but rather carries meaning that encourages us and the owners or stewards of such objects to nurture them, to care for them and to pass them on as containers of our own personal being.

Symbolism is the language by which our collective cultural unconscious communicates deep experience to our conscious mind through dreams, active imagination, fantasy or guided imagery. When we discover this language, we realize that it is always with us and can be understood, whether outwardly or inwardly, by everyone around us. In the new design education we may explore a deeper and more profound world into which we invest our work and life.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

When we think about the relationship between astrology and Buddhism, we tend to start by comparing western tropical astrology with eastern sidereal astrology. However, I believe that our present conceptions of psychological astrology resonate very clearly and intimately with key Buddhist concepts in ways that provide us with valuable insight to the motives and goals of astrology itself.
I have been interested and having received Buddhist teachings for decades, starting with the Black Hat initiation that my three-year-old daughter Ptolemy and I received from the XVIth Gwalya Karmapa in London in 1975. Although I had lived in India and met many gurus in those days, this was a genuinely powerful experience. When the Karmapa opened the box in which the hat was transported to begin the ceremony, the entire huge church in Chelsea was illuminated with what I can only describe as the pure light. Since then I have read and followed Buddhism and tried to live in a Buddhist way, all the while attempting to reconcile these concepts with my practice of astrology. Recently I have been working with my daughter’s mother Maxine Harris who is a founder and runs Mystic Fire Video, who create and distribute the H. H. Dalai Lama’s profound teachings. Ironically, my system of Life Time astrology is a way of doing astrology that I have realized conforms to many of the Buddhist teachings and can yield insight into all psychological astrology.
A fundamental concept in Buddhism is that of samsara, defined as “cyclic existence where sentient creatures are compelled to wander from one life form to another without respite until they meet the spiritual path.” The wheel of samsara is the stages of life from birth to old age and death proceeding in sequence around a circular mandala. It is believed that we live through out life and are inexorably reborn into another life of birth, old age and death, on and on, ad infinitum. The wheel is usually broken down into eight stages of life. In the center of the wheel are three creatures chasing each others’ tails: the cock, symbolizes ignorance, the pig symbolizes greed, and the snake symbolizes desire. Indeed in Buddhism the eightfold path was created by the Buddha to lead us from the condition of samsara to the attainment of nirvana, which is enlightenment. I feel that the horoscope carries a roadmap of this journey from samsara to nirvana.