Not much changes in the world of astrology — when it comes to gender. (Mind you, my observations are subjective and based on what I’ve observed in the United States, so there’s my disclaimer right out of the gate.)
Women comprise the largest group of attendees for classes and seminars and conventions. And also, women hold professional positions more than men, meaning they teach astrology and work full time as astrologers.
The majority of my clients are women. In fact, it is so rare to receive a call from a man that whenever I do it feels like I’ve slipped into an alternate non-astrology reality.
When I commenced with my brilliant career, as a student, the majority — over 80 percent — of the folks in our astrology class were women. And both of my initial teachers were women.
Men, back then — which is to say during the heyday of astrology’s revival in the early 70s, were usually gay. And I’d say that almost every man I interacted with, that was even slightly interested in astrology, was gay.
Oddly, the majority of men I met that were heterosexual were intensely involved with sidereal astrology. It seems too cliched to be true, but the more literal approach of sidereal astrology appealed to the traditional masculine mindset: Rational, scientific and, again, literal. (Please do not write comments below about this post being sexist, I’m simply opening up an inquiry here with different sets of impressions).
Speaking of impressions, I’m forever grateful to the colorful tribe of students I studied with in the early days — women and men. A madcap array of eccentrics, many of whom I can still picture as if I’d just seen them walking down the street yesterday.
The men in our group were often decked out in caftans (right) or black turtlenecks and many of them sported huge gold medallions declaring their birth sign. The women were in saris and muumuus or psychedelic shifts and capris, tinkling and clattering with dangling charms and trinkets. It was a genuine jamboree of sincere seekers (and oddities) that coincided with a moment in astrology — as a pop cultural phenomenon that extended way beyond the confines of our classroom and into the public square and mindset of the dawning Aquarian age — that I’m proud to say I was a part of. Thank you Linda Goodman!
And so, yet again, propelled by women.
Years later, when I worked a stint as a telephone psychic for one of those annoying networks that dominated the late night TV world with non-stop promises from Dionne Warwick for fortune and eternal love, I kept logs of all of the calls I fielded. And again, it was always the women dialing for the dollars — or the romance — usually the later which, as a topic for a ‘reading’ (god, I loathe that word) occurred ninety percent of the time. “But if he’s moved in with another women does that still mean he doesn’t love me? What does my chart say?”
I’ve theories as to why there are not more men in astrology, and I’d suppose that, too, over the years, the percentages have shifted a great deal from my historical memories. Meaning, the contemporary astrology conventions I’ve attended have more men in attendance — and yes, even more heterosexual men — not that people are walking around with placards announcing their sexual preferences, but possessing a natural eye for “peers” (i.e., gaydar), I can usually tell. (Well, there was that one mistake that time with Kenneth – but never mind).
So, anyway, rather than me babbling on with my theories as to why women dominate the astrological world, I’d like to hear your ideas. Please share them below.
And as soon as I’ve changed from my caftan to my new turtleneck, I’ll sit down at the keyboard and join in the discussion.
The above photograph, titled eXtreme Deep Field is considered the most zoomed-in photograph ever created by humankind.
Essentially, you are looking billions of years backwards in time because what this photograph displays is a myriad of galaxies, some as old as 13.2 billion years; galaxies that were created shortly after the universe came into existence.
Michael Zhang notes:
What scientists and physicists never broach, when discussing the notion of ‘singularity’ (the Big Bang and all it connotes) is of course what came before the Big Bang.
So what I like to do is contemplate the Big Bang and then hold alongside the theory of singularity the question of origin.
And then something peculiar happens. My mind stretches out to the endlessness of space, eliminating any sense of location, which, then, shortly thereafter does away with the concept of time.
If I do not have markers, locations, to designate any movement from A to B then, well, I don’t have any ‘time’. Because I’m not located in a particular place, neither are any of the galaxies, they might as well all be inside my head, which is the wild and poetic concept that the mystic Rudolph Steiner offered as a teaching.
Steiner suggested that human beings are a direct reflection of the cosmos and that our consciousness is imbued with the entirety of the universe.
In The Sun Mystery lectures he wrote: “Throughout a human lifetime, what happens in the head remains an image of the entire cosmos. The very fact that we have a head means that each of us carries an image of the entire cosmos around with us…”
If you want to amplify your mind being blown a wee bit more you can see the giant, hi-res version here.
So when I meditate on the amazing eXtreme Deep Field photograph that’s what I contemplate. How about you?
“All things, all places, are sacraments to which we pay the reverence of complete awareness. With that attention, a universal resonance comes forth from all around us, and this universality, the sense of oneness — glimpsed only through close attention to the present moment, moment after moment — is the simple, great secret of existence.” – Peter Matthiessen
I’ll be taking some time off from Astro Inquiry for the next few days to join family and friends in what I’ve come, each year, to call the “Holidaze Bardo.” (A bardo is a Tibetan term used to describe various post-death phases, but also to designate times when our usual way of life becomes suspended.)
In reference to the quote from Peter Matthiessen, it’s my true wish that each of you take advantage of the next five weeks to reaffirm and reconnect to the simple, ordinary wonder of your existence; your loved ones’ existence and to the existence of life’s myriad forms — including the existence of the sweet angelic being we call ‘Earth’ that — along with the Sun — supports and sustains each of us.
In the spirit of giving thanks, I’d like to particularly say ‘thank you’ to my peers in the astrological community, both colleagues and clients; and my own teachers and fellow students. And to each of you that visit and support this site and my work and efforts for more ‘complete awareness.’
As my teacher said to me once: “What else is there to do in life but focus on soul work?” Of course there is conventional work, pleasures and leisures, relationship and camaraderie — he wasn’t diminishing the stature of those happenings, but he was addressing priority, for happenings mean little if there is no one truly present, awake, to experience them.
Carl Jung once noted: “…until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” And that might be fine — a fated path for an unexamined life — but one’s true Fate (in the Gurdjieffian sense) is when essence is fully illuminated; lived and worked in service to the all. Then being replaces doing and there is the simple freedom to simply be. That’s a true respite.
Photograph: Silvers Welch Road View by Oldoinyo
“Human beings have two options: being in contact with the Source, or being in a state of disconnection from it.
Being disconnected from the Source is not the loss of a luxury, or something extra — this loss lies at the very heart of human suffering because this Source constitutes your most real nature, the true center of who you are. Without it, life is deadened in all its aspects and becomes meaningless.
We don’t simply lose a sense of peace or contentment, or the intimacy of feeling at home with ourselves, but we also lose the source of all of our real capacities that we need to deal with and live our lives fully and correctly. So this is not a small loss or simply a philosophical one — it is a very practical and immediate one.
Working on regaining the Holy Origin — realizing our unity with our Source — is not supplemental, something to do when everything else is taken care of. It is basic and fundamental. Not to do it is like trying to live your life without your insides, your bodily organs — what kind of life can you live?
Without the connection with your Source, in which your life is lived as a continuity of Being, life becomes a prolongation of hollowness.”
– A.H. Almaas Facets of Unity: The Enneagram of Holy Ideas
Photograph: Elliott Erwitt, Wilmington, North Carolina, 1950