So far it has been a gentle, systematic, and interesting introduction into the new world of astrology.

First I was presented with an overview, the unsatisfactory Astrology: The Space Age Science by Joseph Goodavage. I had intuited a strong need to learn astrology, but that book did little to convince me further.

Then I was led to Liz Greene and Howard Sasportas’ lectures on astrology. This was akin to being thrown in the deep end, with only an emergency vest (my background of psychology and familiarity with Jung principles) to keep me afloat. Yet it was the best thing that could’ve happened because it tied astrology to overarching principles and patterns: myth, symbols, the unconscious, and obviously psychology. It helped implant the foundations of astrology in my head: it is not just an indication of fate or destiny, but a composite of art and science, equal parts dialectic and intuitive.

Dr. Michael Newton’s Destiny of Sousl has given me a further unconventional look upon things, by eliciting the insight that the individual maturation and evolution of a soul has a tremendous impact in how a life unfolds, in how “negative” or “positive” contexts are perceived and can be utilized as  tools for growth or treadmills of mediocrity.

Linda Goodman’s books and the Internet have offered good primers on interactions between signs, and the roles of the planets and houses: what they symbolize and rule. A more nuanced mastery of the houses, planets and signs is needed, but that shall come in time; for now I am well served.

How to Be A Great Astrologer fulfills a critical missing puzzle piece: what words like “trine,” “opposition,” and “square” really signify.

The book’s layout is simplistic, almost to the point of redundancy: Planet X is Conjunct/Square or Opposite/Trine or Sextile with Planet Y, and here is how they interact. Wash and lather. Rinse and repeat.

I have, however, resisted the urge to glaze over things. Obviously there is no way the human brain can intake so much, so quickly, but if you stick with a seemingly monotonous task long enough, you eventually begin to realize the insight unearthed.

For now I only have been hinted at it; more practice is needed. So I have decided to use this book, while I have it (it’s on loan from the library), to begin interpretating the aspects of those closest to me, beginning with myself. That will be for future blog posts. In this one I just want to write down my favorite quotes from the book.

One of the most useful features of the book, and one I wish was featured in every relational aspect, is the mentioning of famous people who had this aspect, and to a lesser extent the malefic/benefic properties of the planets. The former is awesome because it’s really fleshing out the background of James Braha for me. Jiddu Krishnamurti! Alan Watts! Carlos Castaneda! Hey, this guy’s been around the block. Neato.

The latter I can largely figure out. My understanding: Jupiter, Venus are certainly benefic. Saturn and Pluto are malefic. I would guess that Mercury is more benefic and Mars is more malefic, although Mars could go either way. Sun and Moon are benefic. Uranus and Neptune… should they even be called malefic or benefic? They are dissolving, imaginative, mystical effects.

He’s only began to mention them late in the book, but it’s been extremely useful. I feel he lapses too often into seemingly generic statements — generic because of the impersonality; if I don’t have those aspects, or know people with those aspects, or have some narrative of those aspects, it is hard to commit the things to memory — but when he attaches overarching qualities — the benefic Jupiter, the malefic Saturn — I latch on more easily.

It helps that the planets in the latter part of our solar system are much more interesting to me. Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are straight up bosses, and seem unimaginably important in a chart. Obviously you can quickly run into some specious logic when you start trying to label one planet as the most important — they are all extremely important — but I sense that Saturn is particularly important, as well as Pluto.

They provide the major challenges in a chart. Saturn is about authority, career, discipline, routine. Pluto is about complete and total transformation, rebirth, life and death.

Anywho, let’s get on to the quotes. Only a few made the cut!

In the beginning as the Word, and the Word was with God. And the Word was God. – The Bible

If you do not change your direction, you are likely to end up where you are headed. – Ancient Chinese Proverb

My personal favorite:

For a long time, it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.” – Alfred D’Souza

“For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” – Luke 12:48

“People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Powell

“All of us, whether or not we are warriors, has a cubic centimeter of chance that pops up in front of our eyes from time to time. The difference between the average man and a warrior is that the warrior is aware of this, and one of his tasks is to be alert, deliberately waiting so that when his cubic centimeter pops out, he has the necessary speed, the prowess to pick it up.” – Carlos Castaneda, Journey to Ixtlan

“When all the knots in the heart are unloosened, then even here in this human life, the mortal becomes immortal. This is the whole teaching of the scriptures.” – Upanishads

To risk is to ri0sk appearing the fool. To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.  To expose feelings is to risk exposing our true self. To place your ideas, your dreams, before the crowd is to risk loss. To love is to risk not being loved in return. To live is to risk dying. To try at all is to risk failure.

But to risk we must. Because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The man, the woman, who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing. – Emerson

Nurture great thoughts, for you will never go higher than you think. – Disraeli

We may not know what is right, but we always know what is wrong. – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

The reasonable man adapts himself ot the circumstances that surround him. The unreasonable man adapts the surrounding circumstances to himself. All progress depends on the unreasonable man. – George Bernard Shaw

The first step to having what you really want is the removal of everything in your environment that represents mediocrity. – Stewart Emery

There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain of its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. – Nicholai Machiavelli, from his Tombstone

Jesus said, “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is withini you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you. – From the Introduction of the Mystic Gospels, Elaine Pagels

The most salient characteristic of life is its coerciveness; it is always urgent, ‘here and now’ without any possible postponement. Life is fired at us point blank. – Jose Ortega y Gasset

Forget about likes and dislikes. They are of no consequ0ence. Just do what must be done. This may not be happiness. But it is greatness. – George Bernard Shaw