Charting the Astrological Voyage of Discovery
Edited by Laura Andrikopoulos, Cat Cox and Carole Taylor
Faculty of Astrological Studies, 2015
£14.99 + £2.80 s&p.
In over six decades The Faculty of Astrological Studies in London has taught astrological principles to over ten thousand students. Many of the leading astrologers in the world hold diplomas from the Faculty. Journey through Astrology is a collaborative effort of ten Faculty diplomats. This book offers a mosaic of astrological perspective that is different than any other text I have read. Paradoxically, it is less a book about astrology than it is a book about being an astrologer. Yet it’s not a how-to book. There’s no instruction on techniques, on how to read charts or how to be an astrologer. Instead, this book describes the impact that astrology has on its practitioners. Eight contributors each offer a chapter that explores a particular aspect of their journeys through the rich tapestry of astrology. Two of the world’s most respected astrologers, Darby Costello and Melanie Reinhart, offer reflections of their lives in astrology in the final two chapters.
Cat Cox addresses how participation in the symbolic realm of astrology requires us to step beyond the rational and objective dimensions of our current worldview. Carole Taylor addresses the complexity of interpretation and the role that imagination plays when we meet the planet-gods and the myths come to life. Polly Wallace looks at the process of becoming our own astrologers in a life-long journey of becoming. Ethics are addressed by Deborah Morgan as she looks at specific instances that force an astrologer to set boundaries. Lindsay Radermacher’s chapter addresses the asymmetric client-astrologer relationship, and how the astrologer’s role as magician makes the astrological consultation substantially different than traditional psychotherapy. Diane Conway looks at astrology as a means of navigation and a spiritual practice. She discusses the need for intellectual cross-pollination. Laura Andrikopoulos describes the attraction of astrology in the modern world and the dilemma of embracing a paradigm that is “so painfully out of sync with the times.” She explores a developing astrology that is acceptable to modernity.
Although the personalized perspectives throughout the book add to its charm, the last two chapters are decidedly more retrospective than the others. Darby Costello’s “My Life in Astrology” takes us from her Roman Catholic boarding schools days in the 60s, to studying astrology in Boston with Isabel Hickey, to learning from South African sangomas in the 70s, to her arrival in London in the 80s, and the beginning of her teaching career at the Faculty in the 90s. Melanie Reinhart’s “A Life Astrological” begins at a public library, as a 10-year old in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) reading about astrology. At the University of Cape Town in the late 60s, Melanie fell deeper down the rabbit hole when she ready Dane Rudhyar’s The Pulse of Life. She describes going professional as a “calling,” rather than a career choice. Melanie Reinhart closes her chapter (and the book) with these fitting words, “May we, and all those touched by our work, be given guidance, illumination, integrity and compassion as we continue in dedication to our chosen field.”
Journey through Astrology is a rich read. Often we astrologers think about the impact we have on our clients, students and readers. Rarely do we stop to think about the impact that astrology has on us. This book turns the tables and gives us much to think about. I highly recommend it as a worthy addition to the library of any astrology practitioner or student.