Some biographical information
I was born in 1953. My interest in astrology started to gain momentum in the mid-1970s while I was working as a research microbiologist at University College Galway in the west of Ireland. I am self taught. I spent several years studying the subject before launching into my apprenticeship as a practicing astrologer in 1987. Since then I have been working with clients from all walks of life on a continuous basis. Astrology is my full time profession.
Besides consultations there are three other aspects to my work as an astrologer:
My written work appears in astrology publications, on the Internet or in mainstream magazines, depending on the content. My interests include the philosophical and theoretical dimensions of astrology and also the use of astrology to illuminate political goings-on and current affairs. As regards the latter, one key area which I covered in some depth was the situation in Northern Ireland from 1992-2001. This was either published on the web, or in publications such as Réalta, the Irish Astrological Association journal which I set up, produced and edited for 4 years. Another area of interest encompasses the new ideas from mathematics and science, such as Chaos Theory and Complexity Theory, and their relevance for astrology. My perspective on astrology is what you might call 'progressive', and this is reflected in my writings.
sample article - Astrology, Patriarchy and Postmodernism
As a consequence of having had articles published internationally (e.g. Australia, UK, USA, Belgium, Spain, Italy, etc.), I have in the past been invited to speak at several astrology conferences in Europe and the USA. This is a rare enough adventure for Irish astrologers. In most cases, the topics presented gave voice to my ideas on astrological prediction in the modern cultural climate.
On a lighter level, I was a regular columnist for Source magazine before it went extinct. This provided an opportunity to break the mould as regards the way astrology is usually presented to the public. The content was based on the assumption that the readership was intelligent, and that astrology could be presented in a way that was stimulating and entertaining without having to compromise the subject's integrity.
There are two aspects to my research interests. Firstly, I spend a fair amount of time researching new perspectives in science and philosophy as part of a project to find a way of placing astrology in a modern context so that it makes sense. The work on Chaos and Complexity during the 1990s is typical of this, the focus being on their implications for astrological practice and prediction. This is an area which still interests me.
Since the turn of the millennium, a major focus of attention has been the cognitive sciences. This has been prompted by the belief that understanding the nature of astrology can be usefully illuminated by studying how human beings generate conceptual systems of any kind. The fact that much of astrology's symbolic content has no direct relationship with the objective reality of the heavens suggests that there is little to be gained from seeking explanations for such astrological concepts and processes through contemplating mechanisms of potential celestial influence.
It is arguably more appropriate to see astrologies as essentially human constructions which are derived from the perceptual experience of the heavens, but which are not strictly determined by them in any objective sense. In which case, the structure of astrological conceptual systems emerge from a combination of factors: the physical reality of selected parts of the heavens, embodied human cognitive potential (especially the connection between perception, imagination, and concept generation), motivating purposes, and the influence of language, culture and geographical location.
A second area of research is more historical, and focused on Irish astrologers, however obscure they might be.
Perhaps the most important project in this respect is collecting material for an archive of the work of Cyril Fagan. He is the only Irish astrologer of any major historical significance. During the 1950s up until his death in 1970, he stirred up a controversy by suggesting that the zodiac traditionally used by Western astrologers was in fact incorrect. This was based on his researches into Babylonian and Egyptian astronomy and astrology. Some of the points he raised are still feverishly debated, while others have long since been taken on board by all. Whether as opponents or supporters of his ideas, all agree on his elevated status among 20th century astrologers. Apart from anything else, his work raised the bar for standards of astrological research from the subterranean to some way above ground level. Virtually none of his work is housed in the Trinity College or National Libraries, and he is pretty much unknown in Ireland. The archive will rectify this situation and will be of benefit to future researchers and Irish cultural historians.
Other characters under my gaze are:
Patrick Sinot, a Professor of Grammar at the University of Santiago de Compostella who was condemned by the Inquisition for practicing astrology in the early 17th century;
Col.William Hall Walker, who set up what is now the National Stud in Co.Kildare, and who used astrology in his successful race horse breeding program before the onset of the first World War;
and John Whalley, astrologer, almanack maker, quack doctor, and the first translator into English of Ptolemy's seminal astrology text, the Tetrabiblos. He flourished around the end of the 17th and into the 18th centuries.
I have been teaching astrology since 1993. Sometimes this takes form of one-off workshops for those studying vaguely related subject matter - e.g. a course in psychology. Mostly though I teach astrology classes at an introductory level. This is where the greatest amount of potential misunderstanding and misconception can be nipped in the bud, and early too. Whatever relationship the student develops with astrology, whether passive or active, hobbyist or professional, a solid and sane foundation is essential. Astrology can be sublime, but it tends more often to be a vehicle for giving expression to the ridiculous. My approach is to keep astrology as close to the ground as possible. Astrology is a tool for illuminating normal reality, and it is there to be used in a practical and useful way. I see it as an advanced feature of common sense, one which requires priming after centuries of redundancy.