December 05th, 2013

Women And Astrology: But Where are the Guys? (I Know Where the Gays Are)

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. Read more



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November 13th, 2013

When the Zodiac Cracks the Man Booker Prize: Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries

It’s long been a tacit secret that Margaret Mitchell used the 12 signs of the zodiac to define and imbue her characters in Gone With The Wind.

UK astrologer Neil Spencer describes Mitchell as having based her epic “on the zodiac, leaving a blatant trail of clues which were only picked up in 1978 when US astrologer Darrell Martinie was shown photocopies of notes from Mitchell’s library.”

You can do the celestial math. Scarlett O’Hara, is an impetuous, selfish but ultimately heroic Aries. Rhett Butler, a passionate and proud but principled (when need be) Leo. Sister-in-law Melanie Hamilton, a self-sacrificing Virgo. I’ve often wondered what sign Prissy (“I don’t know nothing about birthin’ babies”) might have been based upon. Maybe a hysterical Pisces or Sagittarius?

Where only speculation surrounded Mitchell’s masterpiece, we now have a Man Booker Prize winner — Eleanor Catton and her second novel The Luminaries (what a stellar title!) — pushing its way into the world of popular literature. Catton has talked openly about the astrological motif (and its influence) that enlivens her prize-winning fictional work. In an interview with PBS’ Jeffrey Brown she notes:

“In my research for the book, I discovered, to my interest and astonishment, that astrology really is an incredibly mathematical system and one that has a lot in common with music. In music, we have got the 12 semitones and then the seven natural notes in the scale.

And in astrology, you have got the 12 signs and the seven planets. A lot of the kind of interrelations that happen and the harmonies that happen in the sky are quite similar to the harmonies that can happen or the chords that can happen in music.”

Good for her! No mention of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.

Rather than spend time sharing my impressions of the theme and the charming author you can watch the interview here.

And order a copy from Amazon. (I just placed my order tonight, and can’t wait!)

Enjoy!



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