What was driving Alice to search for more meaning in her life? I realized that she likely would have rather idealistic values during the 50’s and up to the mid-60’s with Neptune transiting her 2nd house of values and self worth. The idealism, selflessness, and even confusion Neptune can bring was probably part of the picture. However, in September of 1960, Alice was experiencing transit Pluto conjoining her natal 12th house Sun. Pluto would keep her Sun company for two years while she was studying at the seminary. To experience transit Pluto to her Sun at age 24 likely represented the release of power and potential. Pluto tells us that we must deal with our lives honestly and to surrender control. I would guess that Alice emerged from this whole enlightening period stronger and more capable of expressing her real self. Sometimes we forget that during such a transit, it is crucial to act. Pluto can provide a most resourceful time if managed well. Alice was experiencing Pluto on the stage of the spiritual 12th house. Besides the theology courses, Alice also told me she took more biology courses, enabling her to teach that and other related sciences.
“What did you do immediately following graduation from the seminary?”
“I was 26 by then. Of course, I taught. I served in a Congregational church in Spencerport west of Rochester on the Erie Canal. I was the Director of Christian Education and responsible for Sunday School, Youth Activities, and Adult Education. As I think back, I was involved with that Church and another one in Rochester for five years before I left the church. During that time, I served on the statewide committee for youth activities in the United Church of Christ, and was involved in planning and executing statewide conferences. What I’ve realized since is that no matter what ‘job’ I’m doing, I’m always involved in education and group activities. I suppose it’s my Mars and Pluto in the 11th house. Steven Forrest says that with Pluto in the 11th house, one is usually involved in the process of shaking up and changing groups. During the next two years, something interesting was happening to me internally which led up to my breaking away from the church. That happened right around early 1996 – my Saturn return. Prior to that, Saturn was opposing my Sun, a serious period of selfexamination.”
“So Saturn was giving your Virgo planets “the one-two punch” by opposition,” I said. “Your natal Saturn in Pisces closely opposes Neptune in the 12th. Right about that time, transiting Uranus was hugging your 12th house Sun, pleading for change and freedom from certain structures as it moved to oppose your Moon and Saturn. Transiting Pluto was in the picture, conjoining your Neptune, squaring Jupiter, and opposing the Moon-Saturn combo. Something had to change in a big way.”
“It sure did. An incident comes to mind regarding Pluto on my Sun and the idea of transformation. In the seminary library, I came across a book about Evelyn Underhill, a mystic Christian writer of the early 20th century. I was drawn to the book but was unable to find anyone in seminary who was interested in mysticism. The ideas and language of mysticism were not the norm at the seminary; rather, they dealt with traditional biblical studies as they related to education, counseling, and running a local parish. Probably, at some very profound and deep level, I connected with Evelyn Underhill. I never lost my fascination with her work. So I suppose that was the death knell of my relationship with traditional religion. By the time Pluto contacted my Neptune and opposed my Moon I separated from my biological family and my church family as well.”
“Sometimes it is astounding how one new encounter, one new thing in life can change us forevermore,” I said. “But then, you were ready for a new direction, weren’t you? Now, when did you resume your interest in astrology?”
“My interest in astrology was always with me. Even though I was working a day job, my nights were given to reading and learning astrology. By 1987, I was working as a professional astrologer, providing readings for clients. I was also taking classes with Brenda Brush, a well-known, highly regarded astrologer in Ft. Lauderdale. Brenda was, and to this day is, instrumental for the growth of astrology in South Florida. Anyway, somewhere in the early 90’s, in one of Brenda’s classes, she introduced the Sabian Symbols. They spoke to me, and I began using them. Then at the ARC conference of 1993, I met Lynda Hill from Australia. Lynda had written a book on the symbols, expanding their significance for our times. From collaboration with Lynda, the Sabian Symbol International newsletter was born. This publication offers any number of ways to understand the application of the symbols. From the start of the publication in 1995 to the present, I’ve been editor. It’s something I really enjoy doing.”
We need to be connected with our spiritual selves – to me, that is the hope of the future.
“Surely, it must be related to your Gemini Midheaven and all Mercury’s rulerships in your chart, Alice” I said. “Let me take the subject of symbols a bit further. I have a copy of your book, ‘The Fairchild Symbols.’ Tell me how that developed.”
“I met a talented clairvoyant, who shall remain anonymous for now. We discussed the technique that was used by Marc Edmund Jones and Elsie Wheeler 85 years ago to create the Sabian Symbols, and felt that we wanted to create a set for the current generation and the 21st century. On January 6, 2001, we sat under a palm tree in Fairchild Gardens in Miami, Florida, and proceeded to divine a new set of symbols. We prepared 360 index cards, each with one degree of the zodiac on it. I shuffled the cards, and when the clairvoyant gave a symbol, I wrote it on the card. Then I shuffled the cards and the clairvoyant would give a symbol, which I would write on the card. Then I shuffled the cards again and we repeated the process. We took a break for lunch, and completed the process by 4:30 PM. We chose that day and time because there were some unusually good planetary aspects forming. At the start of the session, Jupiter and the Moon were conjunct in Gemini in the 3rd house in the company of Saturn in Taurus. Jupiter ruled the Midheaven.”
“That’s fascinating, Alice,” I said. “Where is the book available?” “Go to my website,” she said. “One can learn about the symbolism of the palm tree, which is the illustrative symbol I used for my book. We also sat under a similar palm tree. Ordering information is at my website, along with a copy of the current Sabian Symbol International newsletter. Speaking of the newsletter, I want to invite people to contribute articles relating to the symbols. I can be contacted through my website.”
I don’t know how many people recognize what a powerful force Alice has been in the astrological community, which might have something to do with her 11th house Mars and Pluto. But her Gemini Midheaven has also provided her with other quite significant life experiences. She worked with the Wien Alzheimer’s center at Mount Sinai Medical Center for 14 years, during which time she was appointed State of Florida Brain Bank Coordinator. The State of Florida supports research on Alzheimer’s disease. Brains of deceased persons are donated for research. Alice was responsible for coordinating all the activities associated with this project. She also wrote and presented a planetarium show on “Women in Astronomy” for a Girl Scout group in Miami. On Fisher Island, for the University of Miami, she worked as secretary of the Marine Geological Research team. Part of her work involved running seminars and travel for members of the oil industry who needed to learn how to search for oil. Needless to say, the next time you look at a Gemini Midheaven, think of Alice.
Finally, I said, “Despite all of your other life experiences, astrology is really where the heart is for you, Alice. Tell me what you’d like to see in astrology’s future.”
Alice sat back in her chair, looked me straight in the eye and said, “Education. We need more education and we need to develop and support educational programs. We need standards. But even more importantly, I think we have to reconnect in some way with the spiritual side of astrology. I particularly like what Alan Oken and Greg Bogart are doing with astrology. We need to be connected with our spiritual selves – to me, that’s the hope of the future. The world badly needs authenticity, honesty, and goodness. Combining a spiritual perspective with astrology can be cleansing, healing, and personally rewarding.”