I began my journey with astrology thirty years ago, teaching myself how to read charts and how to follow changing patterns in the sky. When I was in my twenties, I discovered that speaking the language of astrology came naturally to me and, as I got to know the birth charts of friends and family, I found I could easily observe the archetypes of astrology at play in the people around me. I offered advice when I could or when it was wanted. And as the years passed, I learned and I absorbed, reading the classic studies in astrology and continuing to teach myself. Then in 2014, at the age of 50, I pursued more formal training as an evolutionary astrologer through the Steven Forrest Apprenticeship Program. I immersed myself in the program, taking over a dozen workshops in two years. I successfully completed a master certificate with Steven Forrest in 2016. In addition to ongoing work and study in the Apprenticeship Program, I regularly attend professional conferences and workshops in astrology, write astrological essays and strive to be an active participant in the growing, global astrological community. I approach each astrological reading I do as a dialogue of learning and understanding with another - a gift that I hope will honor what I believe is a sacred profession.
“from the northwest corner of a brand-new crescent moon
while crickets and cicadas sing
a rare and different tune”
If you are curious, here is a slightly longer version of my story…
Sometimes I think what we want to be as little children subtly reflects what we become later in life. I was the kind of kid that had every possible animal as a pet, read books about the planets and hoped someday, just someday, my family might go camping and we could sleep under the stars. I constantly explored meaning in the natural world. I wanted to be a biologist; I wanted to study “life.” Part of the rhythms of nature involves the passages of human life, the twists and turns of the individual journey. As a young adult, I discovered astrology, a visual language that mirrored these rhythms. As astrologers like to say, “As above, so below.” Throughout my life, I studied the daily position of the planets using a paper ephemeris (a type of calendar noting changes in the movement of the planets within the zodiac - twenty years before the internet made such information readily available). I developed skills in seeing patterns when planets interacted or when key parts of the natal chart of someone I loved were stimulated by the current sky. I let my passion for astrology follow me through my own life changes acquiring experiential understanding and, in turn, sought to help others understand critical astrological times when I could.
I also wanted to be a writer and I had a natural knack for telling stories. I later became a teacher of art history, a field in which I earned a Ph.D. in my early thirties. Forever curious, I loved learning. (I have a Capricorn Sun, Gemini Moon and Pisces ascendant in my birth chart) And teaching gave me opportunities to travel and to share my passions. I started teaching as a full-time college professor in 1996. My daily work as an art historian revolved around visual symbols, patterns and compositions - not unlike analyzing the visual workings of a natal birth chart - a type of symbolic mandala of the soul. Communication through visual imagery and archetypes became more than intellectual inquiry for me. It was a way to offer guidance to students - a way of seeing the world through art.
The past few years have been a notable time of transition for me. In astrology we talk about planetary cycles, soul growth, and personal evolution. In 2014, I experienced my “Chiron return,” when the asteroid, Chiron, returned to the same degree in the zodiac it was when I was born. A number of other important transits were occurring at the same time (transits are times when the natal birth chart is stimulated by the current location of planets in the sky either by conjunction or by angle).
I was traveling in Guatemala while on sabbatical from my teaching profession when my mother passed away. I started to participate in healing ceremonies with a Mayan “day keeper” or shaman. I was able to study the Mayan practice of divination along with the Mayan astrological calendar while studying in the Lake Atitlan region of Highland Guatemala. Meanwhile, I was feeling more and more drawn to serious astrological study. My fourteen-year marriage ended, which was heartbreaking for me as well as ushering in a new sense of self. I was beginning a new cycle of being.
This story plays out symbolically through the archetypes of astrology. Someday I hope to write an account of the whole journey.
For now, I mention just one other astrological passage that speaks of my transition: the progressed Moon crossing my ascendant.
The year was before my fateful time in Guatemala (when through working with the Mayan shaman, I felt drawn to become a more committed astrologer). I was in Ireland. It was in the summer of 2012. I was off the west coast of Ireland, traveling through a remote area of the Aran Islands. At dawn, alone, I gazed down into the ocean from a steep cliff. The thought of how easily I could end my life - end it all now - triggered some type of change within me. It was a death, or so it felt, and, well, it also felt like my whole life started again at that point in time. The progressed lunation cycle, lasting about 28 years, is a powerful marker of personal growth and transition. Mine was passing my ascendant, just following a new moon phase. Someday I’ll post the rest of the journey. Only time will tell! For now, this is me. I am Catie and I am an astrologer. Welcome to my website.