Perspective is one of the greatest gifts astrology bestows
I had a very early interest in astrology—not because my name was Merlin—but because it fascinated me. And when I was nineteen, I accompanied some friends to the studio of Isabel Hickey of Boston (read more...) which set me off on an intriguing journey that continues to this day.
I studied with a lot of people, Isabel being the most impressive of all. I took classes at the Jung foundation, set up hundreds of charts, took various courses at Boston University, lived in Europe for a few years and then about a year before my first Saturn return I moved to New York City and started my practice.
I also started teaching in New York and wrote my first book “Character and Fate, the Psychology of the Birth Chart,” which is a primer for astrology students. I began writing the Town & Country horoscope column in 1989, penned a few other horoscope columns at various times under pseudonyms (Elle among them) and have recently written a new book—this time for the general public—“The Private Lives of the Sun Signs.”
But it was only recently—sometime in 2013—that I discovered by a weird coincidence, that my great-great grandfather, who was a physician in New York City was in his time also a respected astrologer. I really was wonderstruck by this because I never quite understood the powerful pull astrologer exerted on me—one I sometimes tried vainly to resist. And I must admit, that I’ve sometimes felt that someone was standing by my side, advising and guiding—which may be the result of my strongly Neptunian imagination—or perhaps not.
My new book, “The Private Lives of the Sun Signs,” is an up-close and personal look at the twelve zodiacal signs including a compatibility section. Over the twenty-six years of writing the Town & Country horoscope column, my attitude towards the position of the Sun at birth (the Sun sign) has evolved considerably. There is really so much more to astrology that many astrologers want to downplay—or in the case of the Hellenistic astrologers—eradicate the really vital place that the Sun signs can play in the astrological scheme of things. But increasingly, I’m convinced that this is a mistake.
The general public only knows astrology through the Sun signs and they still find the subject fascinating enough to be drawn to it through books and print columns. The twelve types depicted by the Sun signs are quite extraordinarily complex, rich and even archetypal. In fact, I believe that Sun sign astrology has a life of its own and I find it quite real and accurate in its own right.
Here’s a quick illustration: while watching a 60 Minutes broadcast about popular musicians recently (none of whom I’d ever heard of since I had been living abroad) I first found myself staring into the televised image of musician Dave Grohl’s face. As soon as I saw it—focusing especially on his intense, small, penetrating brown eyes…I immediately found myself thinking, “He must be a Capricorn” and everything else about him—to me—bore this out.
During the ad, I googled him and found his birthdate: January 14, 1969-- Capricorn , which, of course gave me a small thrill and then the same thing happened when I watched the next segment about a country singer named Blake Shelton: his electric light blue eyes with their slightly amused expression forcibly announced “Gemini” to me and googling him a few minutes later I found his birthday is: June 18th, 1976-- Gemini.
The astrologically oriented impressions I got about these two men were visceral and instantaneous and I had no foreknowledge of them at all. And while this is only a very limited example – two people—it does attest to the accuracy of the Sun sign typology in a provocative way. It’s not always possible to guess someone’s Sun sign, but the fact that it’s possible at all is worth thinking about . An astrological chart contains the signs and positions of all eight planets (which includes Pluto) as well as the Sun, Moon and the Rising Sign so being able to pinpoint the Sun’s placement by simply observing the person shows how dominant the Sun can sometimes be.
My conclusion is that it’s worth studying and knowing the Sun signs intimately and learning as much about them as possible.