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Introduction to Astrology course

Spring 2010    -   a series of 6 Saturday workshops

From February 20th 2010 I will be running a series of six day-long workshops designed to introduce participants to the basic features of contemporary Western astrology and its symbolism. The course will be limited to a maximum of 8 participants, and will be held at my office in Lower Camden Street, Dublin.

Information about the course content and dates can be seen below.

The course is suitable for complete beginners. No prior knowledge of astrology is required. At the same time, those who have had some initial contact with the subject will find the course useful for expanding what has been learned and grounding it on a firm foundation.

The fee for the course (a minimum of 36 hours tuition) is 240 euro.

  • Sign me up for this course, or keep me informed about future courses

  • Information and details:

    The workshops will be run on Saturdays from 10am till 5pm, with breaks for lunch, etc. on the following dates:

    General description of the course
    This course will provide a very solid foundation for anyone interested in developing a working relationship with astrology. The main goal is to get course participants to the point where they can 'see' and think astrologically. Once this stage has been reached, the learning process accelerates rapidly as knowledge and understanding is put into practice.

    Course participants will be provided with copies of their own horoscopes, which can then be used to 'anchor' information presented in the workshops. Horoscopes of well-known individuals, major events, or other entities will be displayed and used to illustrate how astrological themes emerge in recognisable character traits, event outcomes, and so on. Audio-visual media and various props will supplement my spoken communications. The use of these provides a rapid means of assimilating astrological principles and establishing them in the imagination, which is where they need to settle before they can be put into practice. You will be able to see, hear, feel and even taste the different qualities associated with various astrological symbols, and in doing so find it much easier to take on board their verbal descriptions. Extensive course notes will be provided.

    Other workshops are in the pipeline, and will be open to anyone interested in deepening their relationship with astrology. These will include a course on astrological predictive techniques, as well as workshops on birth chart calculations, relationship astrology, and the use of computer software for astrological purposes.      back

    Course structure and content

    Workshop 1
    The first workshop will be largely devoted to describing the nature of astrology, its origins and history, and its functional value as a tool for illuminating many facets of lived experience. Astrology has evolved out of the use of motions in the heavens to provide some structure for the experience of change. We call this structure Time. The rational and quantitative dimension of Time is familiar to us through the use of conventional devices such as calendars, clocks, watches, and so on. Human efforts to recognise qualitative patterns in the experience of change make use of non-rational or 'imaginal' cognitive abilities. Astrology provides a sophisticated set of concepts and techniques for this purpose. In this respect, the horoscope and its symbolism is used to assess the potential meaning, significance and quality of events, moments, and periods of time. These ideas will be discussed in some detail during the workshop, along with relevant topics such as fate vs free will, the relationship between symbols, imagination and meaning, and so on. Establishing this foundation is very important prior to getting down to the nitty-gritty of learning the basics of astrology's symbolism. It provides a necessary perspective on astrology at a time when it is seriously misunderstood within our culture, and will ensure that whatever knowledge is gained during the subsequent workshops can be wisely applied.      back

    Workshop 2
    During this workshop you will be introduced to the horoscope and its relationship to the physical heavens. This will be followed by an overview of the basic features in western astrology: the zodiac, the four elements, the planets, the 12 houses, and the aspects. Each of these will be elaborated upon in greater detail in later workshops. To start with, we will take an in-depth look at the characteristics and meanings associated with the symbols for the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars.      back

    Workshop 3
    This workshop will start with an in-depth look at the characteristics and meanings associated with the symbols for Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. The focus will then shift to the zodiac, its structure, and its relationship to the seasonal cycle. The qualities attributed to the 12 zodiac signs will be described and explained, followed by a description of how the meaning of a planetary symbol is modulated depending on the zodiac sign in which it is located.      back

    Workshop 4
    In this workshop, the Ascendant and Midheaven axes (the 4 Angles) will be introduced, along with the 12 Houses of astrology. Each individual house is associated with a general 'field of experience' - the experience of relationships, the experience of personal resources, the experience of work, and so on. These will be described in detail. The existence of different house systems, and thoughts on how the meanings of the 12 houses arose will also be discussed.      back

    Workshop 5
    Certain angular relationships between the planetary symbols in the horoscope are considered important. For example, when two planetary symbols are opposite each other, 90 degrees apart, and so on. These are called planetary aspects, and indicate how the meanings associated with the symbols connected by aspect merge, blend and interact with each other. Some of these aspect relationships are characterised by dynamic tension, while others suggest ease and natural flow, though with less of a dynamic quality. The qualities attributed to the various aspects will be explained in terms of their underlying number symbolism. The issue of aspect 'orbs' will be introduced. These are used to establish whether or not an aspect can be considered to exist between planetary symbols in the horoscope. Finally, aspect patterns which link together three or more symbols to form 'shapes' such as the 'grand cross', the 't-square', and so on will be discussed.      back

    Workshop 6
    This workshop will concentrate on how to approach the interpretation of symbols and patterns in the horoscope. Initially this can seem a somewhat daunting prospect. Fluency in horoscope interpretation comes with practice, as is the case when learning any new system or language. However, there are simple steps which can be taken at an early stage in developing interpretative skills which facilitate the process. These involve 'breaking down' the horoscope into discrete units involving a small number of connected symbolic elements, which are then interpreted in isolation from each other. Efforts can then be made to synthesise the themes or 'stories' associated with the discrete symbolic patterns into an integrated narrative or more complete picture. Throughout this workshop, emphasis will be placed on the importance of taking into account the worldly context to which the horoscope refers (usually a person's life) as part of the interpretation process. Similarly, the participatory role of the interpreter in the generation of meaning when considering the horoscope will be highlighted. The meaning is not objectively embedded in the horoscope symbolism itself, simply waiting to be translated as if using a dictionary. Astrological symbolism is far too ambiguous for that to be the case. Instead, meaning emerges when an interpreter, a horoscope and a context come together. It is under these circumstances that the astrological process happens. Students of astrology thus have to learn to trust their own intuitive insights regarding what the symbolism is specifically pointing to, given the context and the general themes or qualities highlighted by the symbolism under consideration.      back

    Signing up for the course
    If you would like to sign up for the Spring 2010 Introduction to Astrology course, or would like to be kept informed about future courses, get in touch using any of options below and we'll take it from there.

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