This past Monday Jupiter and Chiron formed an exact alignment along the plane of the ecliptic. Given that Jupiter astrologically represents the teacher, learning and the quest for knowledge, and Chiron refers to the one-to-one learning process of mentoring, the lecture by the comet discovery guy, David Levy at the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory lecture hall topped the “must do” list. Of course, I attended.
As Dr. Thomas Fleming, head of the fabulous astronomical outreach program conducted by the University of Arizona, introduced David Levy there was a notable hole in his educational background in the field of astronomy. When Levy began his presentation, he told the students present that he was not going to recommend all the physics and math studies a brain can absorb. Levy, himself, has never taken a single course in astronomy! He did mention that those who want to study the heavens should voraciously read, especially in the arts. At the start of his presentation, Levy posed a most curious question. He asked how many of us in attendance actually bothered to look up at the sky this year. A majority of hands rose, but not all.
Immediately, I flashed back to earlier days in my astrological career when J. C. Eaglesmith, a Native American in attendance at the same cosmic conference as myself, chastised the astrologers for not being outside to look up at the sky each and every night. His point was noted by not only myself, but others, including Steven Forrest, one of the few other astrologers pondering the recently discovered dwarf planets and galactic effects.
But back to Levy’s presentation. He told the story of how he decided at summer camp one night that he decided he wanted to discover a comet – an amazing declaration for a teen age boy. Later in life, he headed to Arizona to do exactly that, precisely what he did. He holds one of the top spots for number of comets discovered and is most famous for his co-discovery with the Shoemaker team for locating Shoemaker-Levy 9, the comet parade that collided with Jupiter in 1994. So a non educated man, astronomically that is, came to Arizona to observe the sky and achieved notoriety for amazing solar system (and beyond) discoveries.
Hmm. Sounds familiar. Where have we heard that story before? Ah yes. Kansas farm boy, Clyde Tombaugh purchased a one way train ticket to Arizona to document the sky at Lowell Observatory in search of Planet X – the unknown planet. As we all know, Tombaugh succeeded in finding that planet, now demoted to dwarf planet status, and still one of astrologers’ all time favorites, Pluto. Oh by the way, David Levy knew Tombaugh quite well and even wrote a biography of the fascinating man.
I’ve been thinking about all of this since hearing Levy’s delightful presentation and mixing it with my understanding of Jupiter and Chiron, which now head toward the inspiration source of Neptune. These days in astrology there’s a big movement for academia in astrology, degrees and certification. I must admit I fail to see the point. Astrology will not be accepted by the mainstream consensus that contends astrologers are superstitious fools no matter what letters antecede an astrologer’s name. The effort to establish an organization as the elite astrological academic authority has caused extreme political conflict, personal attacks and still we’re no better off for it all.
When I started my study of astrology I was in the U. S. Navy and for much of the time of my initial studies, confined with more than two hundred sailors in a closed environment in a war zone often engaged in combat. Of these sailors, more than twenty were in my charge at various times. I had the luxury of a human lab of astrological study enduring the most extreme circumstances. I read everything I could, studied the charts of my ship and my shipmates and learned astrology in a crash course I wouldn’t want to repeat, despite the learning achieved.
My point is not that astrological courses and learning from competent astrology teachers should not be engaged. Anything but that is the point. How amazing is it that the Internet brings teachers and previously unavailable historic astrological writings to your computer screen at nearly the speed of light. My point is that modern astrology will benefit from those who also apply the messages of Jupiter and Chiron. One does not need to have a degree to be a fabulous astrologer. One, however, must read, study and think for oneself.
I must admit I rarely write for forums anymore. While well-intended, most posts were “all about me” oriented by people who have made no effort to research information and further are not inclined to think much about what they do receive. Given that some truly great information gets posted, it often is overwhelmed by contradicting inaccurate information and the hostility that permeate blogs when people can render their opinions with complete anonymousness.
It’s Jupiter-Chiron time and soon, Jupiter, Chiron, Neptune time. It’s time to get back to the awe of looking at the heavens to (re)discover the essence of the art form and scientific discipline of astrology. It’s time to mentor and be mentored. It’s time to contemplate and conclude and then test those conclusions in the human lab on Earth.
The essence above demands insight, inspiration and illumination by all below. No matter what one’s education or background, anyone can respond if only they look up.