Lots of astrology happens in March 2014, and that happens to be the month that includes my 50th birthday. It's also my 20th anniversary as an astrologer. It was on my 30th birthday in 1994 that I walked into Esoterica Books in New Paltz and purchased my first astrological ephemeris, the book that tells you where to find the planets on any given day, making astrology possible.
In this edition of Planet Waves I want to tell you what led up to that moment and share some of what I've learned in those 20 years, but first an announcement.
At 7 pm on Saturday, March 8, I will be hosting an event called Journey Through Space, co-sponsored by Chronogram, at BSP in Uptown Kingston (323 Wall Street near North Front Street). This is my birthday event as well as my anniversary as an astrologer. We'll have music by Blue O'Connell, my astrology teacher (and improv pianist) David Arner, and the electronica ensemble Home Body.
I am planning this as an initiation ceremony. I'll be playing my first gig as a guitarist—first in a duet with David and then later in the evening with my music teacher Daniel Sternstein and the BSP house band. By some odd coincidence, all of my astrology teachers are not just musicians but composers as well, so I thought a musical event would bring that full circle—or more accurately, full ellipse.
I can barely believe I'm turning 50 (everyone must say that) but it feels even more unusual to look back on two decades as an astrologer. I do mean 20 solid years, plus an approximately seven-year warm-up. Barely a day has gone by when I have not done some serious research, chart casting, reading,or writing on some astrological topic. If I have missed any days at all, there have not been many. I have a restless, curious, relentless mind. Astrology is always interesting, always new, always offering something useful and alive.
Early in my career as an astrologer, I became aware of Chiron, a planet discovered by astronomer Charles Kowal in 1977. It was the discovery of Chiron that helped guide astrology from its murky occultist days into the modern era as a healing art. Though many astrologers don't use Chiron, all astrologers have felt its influence.
Chiron has a 50-year orbit, so when one turns 50, that is their Chiron return. When I was new to this work and its many challenges, both intellectual and human, I always kept a collection of people over 50 around me, that is, a number of Chiron return graduates. I considered 50 to be one's coming of age as a community elder, and over the years I have initiated many people into that status at the time of their Chiron return. Now by my own definition, I am about to become a community elder.