1. Whereas some people might deem astrology to be an aside to daily life, you consider it to be one of the most profound knowledge systems on the planet. Why is that?
In this world as we know it, profound knowledge is, more often than not, cast aside by people as they get on with the business of living. But for me, finding the meaning, the reason we are here, has always been my quest (it's in my chart!), so I have been drawn to deeper knowledge systems, such as astrology. These knowledge systems tend not to be mainstream. I think that Life is challenging for most of us, and getting more so, as the "old order" is dying. We are in a time of transformation, and in such times, we all need some guidance to help us make sense of life. Astrology can give us this understanding. It can help us perceive the "big picture." As we glean insight into our personal journeys and we see how the planetary cycles are affecting the collective, we sense the unique part we have to play in the cosmic theater that we call life. It's all a game in fact, an illusion that we think is real. Astrology can show us the rules of the game and how we can best play it.
2. When did your journey with astrology begin?
My journey into astrology began at 13 or 14, with Linda Goodman's classic Sun Signs. In the late 1980s I began studying under the tutorship of an astrologer highly regarded in New Zealand. After gaining my diploma, I studied with American astrologer Glenn Perry, completing his diploma in astropsychology. I have been greatly influenced by Steven Forrest, and learned much from him. Other teachers are Noel Tyl and Melanie Reinhart. To be totally honest, I have parted company with astrology a number of times. But I am always pulled back to it—it has claimed me, and I cannot keep away from it for long. I find that the fresh perspectives I acquire and the learning I do in between my periods of immersion in astrology always takes me to a new—and, I believe, higher—place when I return. Life is so multi-faceted; I don't believe in becoming too absorbed in one field when everything we learn builds on and reinforces everything else. This is especially true in the area of consciousness.
3. How exactly would you define evolutionary astrology?
Evolutionary astrology is an approach to astrology that assumes a belief in the infinite and eternal nature of consciousness. Consciousness progresses and evolves through a succession of lifetimes (or perhaps we are living them all at once! This may be true if there is no such thing as time—as quantum physics is showing us this may indeed be the case). Either way, the intent is to learn and grow through our challenges. This is how consciousness is expanded. The "themes" depicted in the birth chart illuminate those challenges and the potential we have brought with us, as well as the "intent" of the incarnating soul. When seen from this perspective, we understand that this life is an opportunity. It is precious, and nothing that occurs in life is by accident. It was all designed with a purpose in mind (the Mind of God), and that purpose is the growth and evolution of our soul.
4. How is that we are able to interpret personalities, strengths, challenges, karmic patterns, and soul mates based solely on an individual's sun sign?
This is the knowledge system of astrology. It is a language that translates symbolism into cognitive understanding. The symbols of astrology are rich in meaning, endlessly creative and multi-layered. When the astrologer is able to read this language with mind and heart, the interpretation provides an unparalleled insight into the nature of the personality and perhaps even the soul that is using the personality. Challenges and strengths are depicted in the aspects (angular relationships between the planets); karmic patterns likewise. As for soul mates, we really need to bring two charts together to see the "fit" between two people—not that we need astrology at all to know when we've met our soul mate! It can, however, come in very handy afterward in helping us decipher what's going on in our partner's head, and, on another level, what the relationship is really all about. Here is where relationship astrology comes into its own: what have we come together for?
5. Astrology is a powerful tool; how can we use our sun signs to aide us in our relationships with others, potentially our soul mates?
I think our Sun signs, in the absence of a full horoscope, can help us to make friends with ourselves. When we understand ourselves more, we love ourselves more—for every unique little trick that we are! And, when we do, we naturally become a better friend and lover. This is so because our hearts open when we are feeling loving. Love opens hearts; fear (and loathing, doubt, resentment, et cetera—whether directed inwardly or outwardly) closes them. So, with Sun signs it is about more consciously inviting into our lives the energy that we need to fuel our essence.
This energy is exactly what we need to live authentically. We are then more whole, more open, more true to who we really are and who we came here to be. When we are free to be ourselves, fully and unapologetically, we are able to form relationships that are whole. We do not seek someone to fill in the gaps of our own personalities or to open the spaces that we have ourselves closed. Our relationships then become more fulfilling and loving, because we are unafraid of deep intimacy. We do not fear it, because we know who we are, and we live as who we are.
6. What if I'm in a relationship with a person and our sun signs are incompatible. Then what? Does astrology necessarily dictate the outcome of our relationship?
There is no such thing as incompatible Sun signs—only incompatible people! While it is true that certain signs do "gel" with some more than others, we must always weigh the whole chart when assessing compatibility. The Sun signs alone indicate one's basic personality driver, but in terms of a relationship this is not the be all and end all. So-called "incompatible" Sun signs can be ameliorated by beautifully harmonious Moons or rising signs—and don't forget that there are eight other planets! They all make up the story that is you—and your lover. Does astrology dictate the outcome of a relationship? I don't believe it does—as far as I'm concerned, consciousness rules. But, it can point out the pitfalls and possibilities. From these, we are free to make what we will. If there are many difficulties indicated in the astrology of two people who have come together, the relationship will be more challenging. And if the individuals concerned lack the consciousness to see past the hard bits (which may be exactly what they need to be getting!), then they may well throw in the towel. At that point, we could say the astrology dictated such an outcome, but the individuals were always free to choose whether they would carry on in the relationship, or whether they wouldn't—the planets didn't do it for them!
7. What is ultimately the most important thing we can take away from our understanding of our sun sign rules for our selves and our relationships?
I think ultimately the most important thing we can take from our understanding of our Sun signs is a greater sense of our "mission." This life is a sacred thing and so is our journey through it. When we learn of the deeper meaning of our Sun signs, there is a certain relief—an, "Ah, so I am this way, because this is how a Piscean is." This Piscean, or this Arian, or this Sagittarian energy is the energy that best defines who I am. My purpose here is to embody this energy, to refine it and, if I feel so inspired, take it to a higher expression—to the "light side." We can relax into an acceptance of ourselves when we see ourselves more objectively; it is this objectivity that astrology can provide. So when we really look into our Sun sign—not just by reading our weekly horoscopes, but by learning what the sign principles we have "taken on" are trying to express in the world—then we feel our part in this great inter-connected dance of life. Life, then, becomes more meaningful, because we know we are not alone. We are here to embody the energy of the cosmos and become more consciously creative in the expression of our birth charts. Our relationships lose their brittle edges; the defensive strategies of closed hearts when we merge into the sweet surrender that comes with knowing we are here on purpose. That purpose is the healing of our soul, the closing of the gaps in our fractured psyches, and, with the wholeness and creativity consciousness brings, return, regenerated to the Source from which we sprang.