While my web team is still getting the StarType program up, here is an intro to Sun-centered astrology, a beginning.
It has always been funny to me that my fellow astrologers say to me “Oh, you’re the heliocentric astrologer,” which is only half-true, because the other and equal half is that I am also skilled at geocentric astrology, just as are they! No amount of explaining ever makes a difference; to them I am forever that ‘helio’ astrologer. Talk about profiling. By the same token, because I was the first person to program astrology on microcomputers and offer my programs to astrologers, I am also that ‘programmer’ of astrology, as opposed to a ‘real’ astrologer, as if being technical disqualified me from having any intuitive knowledge. It used to bother me, but I am getting so old I really don’t care anymore about setting them straight.
I have written this elsewhere (and decades ago) that some 400 years ago astrology reached a fork in the road when Copernicus declared the Sun does not orbit Earth, but just the other way round: Earth orbits the Sun. At that crossroads in time and thought, astrologer/astronomers kind of split in two, with the astronomers moving forward using both earth-centered (geocentric) and sun-centered (heliocentric) charts and astrologers choosing to ignore the helio entirely and continue on with only their traditional earth-centered charts.
Today astronomers and astrologers are poles apart, with almost no communication and very little mutual respect, at least on the part of astronomers for astrologers. Astronomers use the geo chart to orbit satellites and what not, and the helio chart to send rockets to Mars, and places beyond. At this point this is all history.
What is not so clear is what happened to astrological interpretation in all of this mess, what sometimes is called ‘cultural astronomy.” The astronomers (who once were also astrologers) did not carry the art of relating the heavens to the earth personally interpretively forward, and the astrologers failed to interpret and absorb the Copernican revolution. Both sides lost out on something. I very much wish some astro-historian would explain how all this went down.
What I can say is that while astronomers have at least two clear views of space, one from earth and the other from the solar point of view, we astrologers have been left with but a single perspective, that of our Earth deeply embedded within the solar system, Earth’s view of the system, but no overview of how the planets actually relate to their natural center, the Sun.
So if there is any ‘overview’ that would correspond to the helio chart that astronomers use in modern astrology, astrologers would have to derive that somehow from the traditional single geocentric astrology chart that we all use. I point out to you that it is my opinion that astrology has had no alternative but to derive any meta-earth or solar view from the traditional astrological chart. Since that chart is itself a snapshot from within the solar system, it is not hard to grasp that this is a through-the-glass-darkly kind of seeing as opposed to any clear overview of what we as part of the larger solar system are all about.
What saddens me is that we astrologers, who have really stood guard all these centuries over the use of our intuition, were ignorant enough to ignore the fact that it is the earth that goes around the Sun, and not take that to heart. If we had, we would have interpreted it and began to learn much more about our own deeper center in the Sun. We would have been in tune to things like Carl Jung’s archetypes and any number of other concepts of modern spirituality that help to bridge the gap between our personal circumstances (standard geo chart) and out shared center the sun (helio chart). We would have interpreted all this centuries and become expert at it. And it is not too late now.
It would seem like the elephant in the room is the fact that sooner or later astrologers will have to catch up to the astronomers, absorb the Copernican fact, integrate it, and move forward into that dimension. The longer we wait, like faults in the earth’s crust, the bigger is the potential earthquake of realization that awaits us.
The takeaway point here is that when astrologers do accept and integrate the helio view, when we finally take it to heart, personally (like we do our natal chart), it will be something more than just a mechanical technique we somehow just add on to what we already know and use. Just as the Copernican concept REVOLUTIONIZED astronomy ‘externally’, so will the recognition of the enormity of this SAME concept affect astrologers in a big way. The Copernican concept is not narrowing, but rather widening, an enhancing of our view. The right word for it is “illuminating.” The psychological and spiritual correlate of the Copernican revolution is enlightening and empowering. This is an empowerment, one sorely overdue.
For myself, I stumbled on all of this because I was forced as a programmer to look at and program all manner of astrological techniques, whether they interested me or not. I was just like many of you. I had my toolbox of techniques I used and the first thing I did when I looked at the helio was to drag out all the stuff I knew and apply them. Of course they worked. There is no astrological difference between interpreting helio factors or geo factors, except obviously each uses a different center, etc. Everything in my toolbox worked: midpoints, transits aspect, etc. It all works. But there was something new that I could not at first put my finger on.
Like most astrologers, the first thing I do with a new astrological concept or technique is to look at my own chart. It is like looking in a mirror. Who does not glance in a mirror every once in a while? So I looked at my helio chart. After all, it was a chart for the same moment in time, the same exact planets, etc. In fact the only thing that was different about the two charts (traditional geo and the new helio) was the PERSPECTIVE or view. I was seeing myself from a different angle, in fact more of an overview.
I had never up to that time had any real alternative astrological look at myself. Like the great jazz singer Les McCann named his song “Compared to What?” I had nothing to compare my traditional geo chart to. Suddenly with the helio chart had a second opinion on ‘me’, and it was to say the least illuminating. It took a little to absorb, but I was stunned by what I saw. Suffice it to say that it changed my life.
I am not suggesting that it will do this for everyone, but how can astrologers turn down another and different perspective on themselves? That is why I am writing all this, because I care about astrology and astrologers and want each of you to have the same opportunity I had. I hope I am enthusing and not preaching.
If you are still with me, there are a few more things to make clear about how to approach your helio chart. For one, of course there is no Moon, no houses, no ascendant, no retrogrades, etc. In helio there are just the ever-forward moving planets. And although in the beginning I did all of the standard things like “ My geo Mars is in Aries, but my helio Mars is in Aquarius,” therefore my person shows Aries Mars, but really at the heart it is an Aquarius action that is done, and so on. I dropped all of that before too long.
At the level of the solar system it is all about planets relating to each other and their common center. The earth is not a common center for any body other than the Moon. In other words, helio is all about aspects and aspect patterns. And I don’t just mean individual aspects like my Earth is trine Venus, but I mean major (Ptolemaic) aspects that connect one to another all the way around the chart to create a pattern. These are what I came to call StarType patterns or just StarTypes.
I am going to get into greater detail on the various StarTypes in the next post, but here I am just giving you some of the background. When we have only one view that is given to us, like the traditional astrology chart, we have to derive everything from that one view. We HAVE no other perspective. With a second view at the same birth or event, we suddenly have a alternative perspective, a second opinion. When that view is a superset (helio), that is an ‘overview’, what we see of our self can be very much enhanced. I use the word ‘illuminating.” In the next post hopefully our web site will have StarTypes for you to check out for yourself.