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For your Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Health & Well-being - March 2004

Astrology by Rico

There are many ideas about astrology, from its ability to make perfect predictions to evil mojo. Between the extremes is astrology as imprecise science and/or intuitive art. I will tell you a bit about my path into astrology.

First a few basic definitions: an astrological chart is a representation of the positions of the planets relative to the signs of the zodiac for any particular time. Often it is cast for the time of a person’s birth since this is an impressive transition. 12 divisions called houses mark the chart off into pie slices with the center representing the individual or situation and their placement on the earth. (There are various calculation methods, but for now we will assume the most common western version centered on the earth and figured relative to the 12 zodiac signs based on the equinoxes and solstices.)

The planets are co-related with parts of our psyche and have a rich mythological and psychological history. Thus the planet Venus has to do with our loves and values as we might expect from the goddess of love. Mars on the other hand speaks to our dynamic, outgoing, energetic responses as is appropriate to the divinity of war. The signs give a flavor of the 12-fold development of any planet’s basic symbolism and the houses suggest the portion of our daily life most effected. Putting these three together, (planet, sign and house) allows the person reading the chart to get some insights into the basic stories/patterns held like a blueprint in any particular moment in time. As the planets move and the earth turns, the basic symbolism unfolds and makes it possible to get some idea about future developments.

I first got interested in astrology in the 60’s as a student of humanistic psychology at the University of California in Santa Cruz. For an under-graduate, I had the rare good fortune of hanging out with some top minds in philosophy and psychology. One of my classes focused on Carl Jung. This Swiss psychologist, a close associate with Freud, investigated myth, astrology, alchemy and many other subjects for insights into the nature of the human psyche. Some of the themes he saw repeated across diverse cultures he named archetypes, denoting ancient recurring types or patterns. Astrology is a good example of the archetypes as they continue into the present and I decided to study it in depth.

I was particularly interested in the astrology highly influenced by humanistic psychology of Dane Rudhyar and had the good fortune to study some with him in person. Assisting with the construction of a large labyrinth on the campus of UCSC with tall walls of redwood, like an alchemical project, put me in touch with several folks who have had a lasting impression on me, including my yoga teacher Baba Hari Dass and Jose Arguelles.
These 60’s times in the Bay area allowed me free access to several meditation teachers including Suzuki Roshi a Zen Buddhist. I think that meditation is the very best practice for anyone wanting to develop their intuition and of course this is a vital tool for an astrologer. Continuing with my yoga practice, I was inspired to travel to India and so I set out in the early 70’s to visit as many sacred sites as possible along the way. From Native American Medicine Circles to the New York subway system, Stonehedge, German walled cities, Italian hedge labyrinths, Greek temples and sacred sites, to Crete and the great labyrinth of Knossos. A travel companion said that he knew a very good French astrologer living on the little Spanish island of Formenterra, so we bought tickets for this destination.

It was my 30th year unto heaven and I woke to the sounds of the sea, read Dylan Thomas’ poem, bade farewell to my Dutch travel companion and set off walking along the shore. There was one other person also walking the beach and heading my way. As we met, I asked if he knew an astrologer named Alan who might live in these parts. He answered that it was him and rather casually invited me to visit his little house as though he had been waiting for me. He helped me rent a little house nearby and proceeded to tutor me in astrology and wholistic health for the next few months while I also deepened my meditation practice. The comet Kohotec moved across our night sky, I listened to the music of the spheres, while elsewhere on the planet President Nixon bit the dust and my mother passed away of lymph cancer. I eventually made my way back to California.

I moved to Northern CA to attend a graduate program in humanistic and then archetypal psychology at Sonoma State University. Again blessed with good fortune, our program was focused first on Jungian psychology and then on the writings of James Hillman, who came to teach as a visiting professor. I studied closely for several years with the prime innovator of archetypal psychology. Sonoma State in those days was the Mecca of alternative culture; nicknamed Granola State, we had classes in Tibetan Buddhism, parapsychology, and the psychology of Zen.

I met my strikingly beautiful and super intelligent (double Gemini) wife in this program. She was also an astrologer, yogini, herbalist and midwife. She had three children already and then we had three more making the perfect number six (perfect because its factors add to 6). We had moved to central Utah after all to perfect our family as spiritual path. There was not much call for astrologers in Joseph, Utah. Then the internet changed our lives and I was able for awhile to be the featured astrologer on the Linda Goodman web site. One positive side-effect of this job, besides learning the hard way about big city (Los Angeles), big business politics, was a new appreciation for Sun sign astrology. They gave me a large number of Linda’s books to read and I truly appreciate her genius for astrological character analysis. I consider her Love Signs to be much better than any psychological attempt to understand and describe how various personality types relate intimately. The sign and house placement of the Sun is very important.

Recently I have been studying sacred geometry and architecture, which in the form of vastu veda also relies on astrology to help attune the structure to the cosmic vibrations of the occupants. This has given me the desire to study more vedic astrology, which I find as a valuable adjunct to western astrology. There is an even more ancient form of astrology related to universal laws of time and manifestation which were known to the temple builders of old and is just now becoming more understandable in the light of atomic physics and modern astronomy. There will be a presentation and workshop on this subject of Sacred Architecture coming to Moab on May 21st of this year.

While living in Moab I have taken graduate counseling classes to hone my counseling skills, but most of the heavy lifting in an astrological session is done by the wisdom of the system with its inherent mathematical and vibrational savy. The system is ancient and carries with it profound archetypal sophia. The astrological chart is in the form of a mandala and thus as Carl Jung re-discovered from studying spiritual and religious traditions worldwide, it is a healing symbol which can be helpful in integrating our various parts and voices into a whole. Besides the mythological and hence Psyche logical information, it is connected to a time-tested science of cycles. I have called my astrology “The Cosmic Weather Report” at times because it is somewhat akin to a weather report. Astrology aids us in realizing that the seasons are not only of the solar year but also the lunar month and the spring, summer, winter, fall of all the planets out to the 250 year cycle of Pluto and even larger cosmic time periods.

I have also termed my type of astrology “Hermetic” because Hermes is the Greek divinity who carries Psyche to the underworld for deepened perspective and back to the day world for new appreciation of the role our stories have in determining our basic attitude about ourself and others. Hermes is the communicator and coyote trickster who sometimes needs to trick us into new levels of awareness with slips of the tongue and bewildering synchronisity, profound silence and naughty humor.

Astrology can give us insight into the root patterns and how we might work and play with them. Manifestation develops from subtle to gross. Our subtle patterns become thoughts, feelings, emotions, plans, actions and eventually more deeply ingrained patterns unless we are able to look at them more clearly and make some choices, flex some willpower and actually change the course. The very best medicine is awareness. I have helped to raise 6 children who in all have been to doctors only a few times in their lives. The blatant secret to this health has been an appreciation for how to work and play with patterns and cycles. Yes, they have had gentle births, good nutrition, and healthy places to live, but the biggest factor in my opinion is taking care with the psychology of manifestation so that the parent’s and children’s patterns develop functionally. Astrology can be a huge help in this regard.

I will be glad to talk with you to see if my way of doing astrology can be helpful for you. You might want to look at your natal chart for deep patterns and life stories, see how your chart interacts with another’s or check out the date of a marriage or when to build that new home. I charge on a sliding scale from $22-108/hour with trades considered. (The word “con-sider” means “with the stars”).


Rico can be reached at redrockrico@freestone.org. or 435-259-1080.

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