September 1, 2020
Here’s how I am tempted to answer that seemingly legitimate question: very, very little. Alone, a planet is really just an abstraction.
Mercury, for one quick example, is related to our curiosity – and some degree of curiosity exists in more or less everyone. But obviously there are people who are driven by curiosity, and people who barely feel it at all.
More to the point, what exactly are you curious about? Show me an article about human migration patterns as reflected in ancestral genetics or 19th century sailing vessels, and I will devour it. Seeing those same articles, you might skip to a piece about how to improve your golf swing – while I would have to be paid handsomely even to read the first paragraph.
Curiosity is clearly not a question of right or wrong. It’s more like different strokes for different folks. We all have Mercury in our charts, and we can make a few general statements about its archetypal nature. But what does Mercury actually mean for an individual? Who knows? . . . or rather, who knows – unless we give that Mercury a set of distinct motivations and interests by placing it in a specific sign. After that, we might give it an area of characteristic behavior by putting it in a house. Then we could further wire it into the larger framework of the birthchart by studying the aspects that it makes.
A planet in a specific sign and a specific house: for actual human beings, that is the ultimate indivisible quantum unit of astrological meaning. A planet alone is only a broad idea, about as “human” as a lecture on taxation algorithms.
Listen to the podcast for more!
July 31, 2020
A GOOD PROBLEM TO HAVE
Despite my books and my teaching, the bulk of my income and lion’s share of the hours of my working life are all about private astrological consultations. People contact me for recorded readings, which I send them via MP3 files. Lately when I get such a request, I put them on the waiting list and I tell them that I “hope” to be able do one for them one day. The problem is that those recordings are booked at least five or six years ahead.
In a few months, I will be 72 years old. At my age, making promises about anything that far in the future feels like tempting the Lord to offer me a little lesson in hubris, perhaps punctuated with a lightning bolt.
Listen in as Steve shares more about his future plans.
July 24, 2020
We say “astrology” as if it were one unified entity, but of course it is not. How many house systems are there? Do we use asteroids or not? What about Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto? – many traditionalists prefer to ignore them. Meanwhile, Uranian astrologers use hypothetical planets that no one has ever seen – Poseidon, Zeus and so on – and swear by them. I hear they get good results too. As an evolutionary astrologer, much of what I say revolves around the south node of the Moon – but most commercial astrology programs do not even show its position unless you ask them to.
Even more fundamentally, is astrology about the stars or the seasons? To a Vedic astrologer, the sign Aries and the constellation Aries are the same thing – but not to a western “Tropical” astrologer, where Aries starts with the northern Vernal Equinox, which has actually drifted back into Pisces over the centuries.
To put it charitably, astrology is a “big tent.” To put it more pointedly, the many different branches of astrology contradict each other in fundamental ways. Inevitably, this reality leads to the question of which form of astrology is “the right one” – and there begins a slippery slope.
Listen for more about the history behind the book Under One Sky.
July 1, 2020
On July 1, Saturn retrogrades back into Capricorn, where it joins Pluto and Jupiter. Both of them are already retrograde too, and tightly conjunct. Meanwhile, Neptune is also retrograde, as is Mercury. Mercury stations and turns direct on the 12th – but the day before that happens, Chiron turns retrograde. On top of all that, Eris – so often under-estimated and ignored – makes its own station on the 19th, and goes retrograde too.
If you like retrograde planets, July is the month for you, in other words. It’s as if the cosmic carousel has reversed its polarity.
I wrote about the Pluto-Eris square in my March newsletter, which you can see here
I don’t want to repeat all of that material here, although it casts a penetrating light on what I want to explore in this piece. Suffice to say that the clash of Eris and Pluto is, to me at least, the heart of the matter when it comes to figuring out why the world feels so crazy now.
What I want to do in this newsletter is to have a look at what it means to see all of this retrograde energy happening now. All of the planets from Jupiter on out, with the sole exception of Uranus, are going backwards all at once, with Chiron trading off a retrograde condition with Mercury toward the middle of the month. The situation is not unprecedented, but it does catch the eye – and as ever, at least from the philosophical perspective of evolutionary astrology, the planetary gods and goddesses are giving us a few tips about where to put our feet next.
Listen in to learn more.
May 3, 2020
On September 17, 1981, sexy Doors’ singer Jim Morrison’s bedroom eyes gazed out from the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. The caption read “He’s hot, he’s sexy and he’s dead.” It might not mark a milestone on the history of good taste, but astrologically, the event has always intrigued me. What was going on in his chart? Or more pressingly, would his chart still work “even though he was no longer in it?”
Morrison had died, probably in a bathtub, probably as a result of a heroin overdose, in Paris ten years earlier. That had put an end to The Doors, which had formed six riotous years earlier in Los Angeles.
Ten years gone, and yet Jim Morrison’s career was suddenly on a roll.
Looking at 1980, sales of every single Doors’ album had doubled or tripled compared to 1979. Joe Smith, the chairman of Elektra Records, said “No group that isn’t around anymore has sold that well for us.” The Doors’ magnum opus, The End, had been featured in Francis Ford Coppola’s hit film, Apocalypse Now, in 1979. The following year, a Morrison biography, No One Gets Out of Here Alive, by Jerry Hopkins, sold unexpectedly well.
Jim Morrison was born in Melbourne, Florida at 11:55AM-EWT on December 8, 1943. Even though he exited that chart in 1971, it seems that it lived on, even without him.
Listen to find out more.
March 22, 2020
As I write these words, I am in voluntary self-quarantine. I suspect that many of you are too. It’s the right thing to do. A few of you have contacted me, wondering about the astrology behind the pandemic, how long it will last, and how bad it might get. I don’t know the answers to the two latter questions, but let’s peer into the crystalline mirror of the heavens and see what we can learn about the first one: why Covid-19 is upon us right now. I do think that we can at least get some sense of its purpose.
Listen in to find out more.
March 20, 2020
Remember What You’ve Already Said… or What Mars Is Up to in February
March 20, 2020
Exciting, busy times here – with Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto all in Capricorn, and with my having my natal Sun and two planets there, I am feeling alive, engaged . . . and also run pretty ragged. Along with my usual client work, we are in the late stages of pre-production on The Book of Air, which should be out very soon. I’m also diving into writing The Book of Water, which will be the last volume of my Elements Series . . . whereupon I hope to finally get time for a vacation!
In this March podcast, I will focus on a half a dozen of this month’s upcoming transits. I will use text taken directly from the two Elements books that are already available, The Book of Fire and The Book of Earth. I hope the words that follow support the kinds of good fortune that come from mindfulness for all of us – and I am also hoping to give you a sense of how these four volumes can work as a practical handbook of evolutionary astrology.
January 1, 2020
Many people engaged in recovery have also turned to astrological counsel for support. Over the years, many such souls have found their way to my office. As a group, they are impressive. I have learned a lot from them. To overcome a disease such as alcoholism requires two virtues in abundance: first, courage – and, second, enough humility to recognize and admit the existence of the problem.
Inevitably, as an astrologer, I’ve often wondered about why there are twelves steps, not ten, or some other round number. Could there be some interlock between astrology and these life-saving systems?
December 1, 2019
Jupiter dominates the astrological headlines in December 2020 as it moves from Sagittarius into Capricorn on December 2nd. In this episode Steven describes how the "greater benefic" being in Capricorn holds specific opportunities and potentials for each of us.