Click here to order Steven's NEWEST AUDIOBOOK! The Book of Air
0 Cart
Added to Cart
    You have items in your cart
    You have 1 item in your cart
    Total
    Check Out Continue Shopping

    Blog

    Jupiter, Saturn, and a Changing World

    Jupiter, Saturn, and a Changing World

    All eyes are on the sky this month. As most of us probably know by now, Jupiter and Saturn come together and form their every-two-decades conjunction on December 21. And this time they really come together – they stand only one-tenth of a degree apart. That’s close! They won’t “blend into one star” as some people have erroneously said – you will still see two points of light. But it will be a striking sight, something you may have never before seen in the sky.

    How close is one-tenth of a degree? Here’s a way to visualize it in advance before you can actually see the real thing. Hold your arm straight out and stand your pinky-finger straight up. The span across your fingernail is about one degree.


    One tenth of that. Close!

    Hey, but what if it’s cloudy on the night of the 21st? Have you missed the whole thing? Do you have to wait another twenty years? Well . . . it’s both worse than that and better than that. The next Jupiter-Saturn conjunction occurs in October of 2040, but it’s a just pale version of this one – the two planets are much further apart (because of declination) and somewhat lost in the Sun’s glare. Twenty years after that one, they are at it again – but once more, conditions are similar to 2040. 

    Read more

    A View of Today From Four Years ago

    A View of Today From Four Years ago

    A few weeks ago, a French gentleman named Olivier Clerc contacted me about the possibility of getting more of my work published in his country. Naturally, from my point of view, that is an attractive thought. He has connections to the French publishing industry and there are some encouraging early signs that it might happen. I hope so. Getting this kind of astrology out to the global community is a pretty good summary of my life’s purpose.

    In an email exchange I had with Olivier this morning, he wrote glowingly about a section of my book, The Night Speaks. He suggested that I publish it as an article on my website. I’d come to the time of the month when I needed to be thinking of a newsletter topic, and, well – voilà, as they say in France. I put two and two together.

    I originally published The Night Speaks in 1993, at the time of Uranus-Neptune conjunction in Capricorn. I wrote quite a lot about that epochal event in those early pages, but of course it was “pure astrology.” No one, myself included, really knew yet what the alignment would bring. I was writing about it in real time, as clueless as a newscaster “on the scene.”

    In 2016, we brought out a new edition of the book. I added a “23 years later” perspective on what I’d originally written about the conjunction. That is the section of the book that Olivier Clerc was praising and asking me to share with a wider, current audience. He pointed out that many of my long-time readers who bought the earlier 1993 edition would not even know of this more-current version.

    There was a second reason for me to offer these words again in this newsletter context. As a citizen of the United States here in late October 2020, I am of course nervously awaiting November 3rd and the results of our national elections. I do not know how they will turn out, so I can’t yet write a meaningful commentary on them.  The deadline for my newsletter comes earlier, yet I felt the need to say something relevant to this turning point in my country’s history. As I re-read this section of The Night Speaks, it struck me as deeply “current” in a kind of mythic, meta-political way.

    So, thank you Olivier – and here is the “Update, 2016" section of the book. There are a few references to the longer, original historical analysis which appears in both editions, but I think you’ll be able to follow along without difficulty.

    Read more

    WHAT TIME WAS BENNY BORN?

    WHAT TIME WAS BENNY BORN?

    Michelle and I lost our beloved Norwegian Forest cat, Wally, in January. By summer, we were emotionally ready to invite a kitten into our lives. With Covid-19 raging, the search was mostly on the Internet, which is a shaky place when it comes to falling in love with anyone, including a cat. One little guy did catch our hearts and our eyes though – a kitten named Benny. He was  living in a shelter in a city called Hemet a couple hours’ drive away. We headed up there on Michelle’s birthday, August 12, to have a look at him. We were immediately smitten, and Benny came home with us that same day..

    Naturally, as astrologers, we were curious about his chart, but his birth data was not available –  he and his four brothers had been dumped unceremoniously at a kill shelter at the tender age of two weeks. They had been picked up by the saints who run a no-kill shelter where it was “estimated” that they had been born “around May 8.”

    Astrologers are often confronted with situations such as this one, where there is no time of birth available. After all possibilities for finding a recorded time have been exhausted, the final option is to undertake a rectification. Basically, one works backwards through astrology’s predictive techniques to come up with a chart that would have predicted events that have already happened in the person’s life. Rectification is a tricky process, fraught with risks of error. Here’s a link to a more technical article about the process. It’s free.   If you are listening to this as a podcast rather than reading, you can just go to forrestastrology.com and do a search for “rectification.”

    Read more

    What Does A Planet Mean?

    What Does A Planet Mean?

    Here’s how I am tempted to answer that seemingly legitimate question: very, very little. Alone, a planet is really just an abstraction. 

    Mercury, for one quick example, is related to our curiosity – and some degree of curiosity exists in more or less everyone. But obviously there are people who are driven by curiosity, and people who barely feel it at all. 

    More to the point, what exactly are you curious about? Show me an article about human migration patterns as reflected in ancestral genetics or 19th century sailing vessels, and I will devour it. Seeing those same articles, you might skip to a piece about how to improve your golf swing – while I would have to be paid handsomely even to read the first paragraph.

    Curiosity is clearly not a question of right or wrong. It’s more like different strokes for different folks. We all have Mercury in our charts, and we can make a few general statements about its archetypal nature. But what does Mercury actually mean for an individual? Who knows? . . . or rather, who knows – unless we give that Mercury a set of distinct motivations and interests by placing it in a specific sign. After that, we might give it an area of characteristic behavior by putting it in a house. Then we could further wire it into the larger framework of the birthchart by studying the aspects that it makes.

    A planet in a specific sign and a specific house: for actual human beings, that is the ultimate indivisible quantum unit of astrological meaning. A planet alone is only a broad idea, about as “human” as a lecture on taxation algorithms.

    Read more

    A GOOD PROBLEM TO HAVE

    A GOOD PROBLEM TO HAVE

    Despite my books and my teaching, the bulk of my income and lion’s share of the hours of my working life are all about private astrological consultations. People contact me for recorded  readings, which I send them via MP3 files. Lately when I get such a request, I put them on the waiting list and I tell them that I “hope” to be able do one for them one day. The problem is that those recordings are booked at least five or six years ahead. 

    In a few months, I will be 72 years old. At my age, making promises about anything that far in the future feels like tempting the Lord to offer me a little lesson in hubris, perhaps punctuated with a lightning bolt.

    I also do “live” sessions here in my office, in person. Those are my favorites. I like the human interaction. I like learning from people. Years ago, when the recorded readings (an international market) threatened to eclipse the face-to-face work, I started booking the two forms on separate tracks. The local work is more available. The wait for an in-person session currently runs something like three years, although right now, because of Covid-19, it is entirely stalled. I’m not seeing anyone in my office.

    Read more

    Retrograde Jamboree

    Retrograde Jamboree

    by Steven Forrest

    On July 1, Saturn retrogrades back into Capricorn, where it joins Pluto and Jupiter. Both of them are already retrograde too, and tightly conjunct. Meanwhile, Neptune is also retrograde, as is Mercury. Mercury stations and turns direct on the 12th – but the day before that happens, Chiron turns retrograde. On top of all that, Eris – so often under-estimated and ignored – makes its own station on the 19th, and goes retrograde too.

    If you like retrograde planets, July is the month for you, in other words. It’s as if the cosmic carousel has reversed its polarity.

    I wrote about the Pluto-Eris square in my March newsletter, which you can see here.

    I don’t want to repeat all of that material here, although it casts a penetrating light on what I want to explore in this piece. Suffice to say that the clash of Eris and Pluto is, to me at least, the heart of the matter when it comes to figuring out why the world feels so crazy now.

    What I want to do in this newsletter is to have a look at what it means to see all of this retrograde energy happening now. All of the planets from Jupiter on out, with the sole exception of Uranus, are going backwards all at once, with Chiron trading off a retrograde condition with Mercury toward the middle of the month. The situation is not unprecedented, but it does catch the eye – and as ever, at least from the philosophical perspective of evolutionary astrology, the planetary gods and goddesses are giving us a few tips about where to put our feet next.

    Read more

    Under One Sky

    Under One Sky

    We say “astrology” as if it were one unified entity, but of course it is not. How many house systems are there? Do we use asteroids or not? What about Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto? – many traditionalists prefer to ignore them. Meanwhile, Uranian astrologers use hypothetical planets that no one has ever seen – Poseidon, Zeus and so on –  and swear by them. I hear they get good results too. As an evolutionary astrologer, much of what I say revolves around the south node of the Moon – but most commercial astrology programs do not even show its position unless you ask them to.

    Even more fundamentally, is astrology about the stars or the seasons? To a Vedic astrologer, the sign Aries and the constellation Aries are the same thing – but not to a western “Tropical” astrologer, where Aries starts with the northern Vernal Equinox, which has actually drifted back into Pisces over the centuries.

    To put it charitably, astrology is a “big tent.” To put it more pointedly, the many different branches of astrology contradict each other in fundamental ways. Inevitably, this reality leads to the question of which form of astrology is “the right one” – and there begins a slippery slope.

    Read more

    Charts Never Die

    Charts Never Die

    On September 17, 1981, sexy Doors’ singer Jim Morrison’s bedroom eyes gazed out from the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. The caption read “He’s hot, he’s sexy and he’s dead.” It might not mark a milestone on the history of good taste, but astrologically, the event has always intrigued me. What was going on in his chart? Or more pressingly, would his chart still work “even though he was no longer in it?”

    Morrison had died, probably in a bathtub, probably as a result of a heroin overdose, in Paris ten years earlier. That had put an end to The Doors, which had formed six riotous years earlier in Los Angeles.

    Ten years gone, and yet Jim Morrison’s career was suddenly on a roll.

    Looking at 1980, sales of every single Doors’ album had doubled or tripled compared to 1979. Joe Smith, the chairman of Elektra Records, said “No group that isn’t around anymore has sold that well for us.” The Doors’ magnum opus, The End, had been featured in Francis Ford Coppola’s hit film, Apocalypse Now, in 1979. The following year, a Morrison biography, No One Gets Out of Here Alive, by Jerry Hopkins, sold unexpectedly well. 

    Jim Morrison was born in Melbourne, Florida at 11:55AM-EWT on December 8, 1943. Even though he exited that chart in 1971, it seems that it lived on, even without him.

    Read more

    Pluto, Eris, And The Evolutionary Meaning Of COVID-19

    Pluto, Eris, And The Evolutionary Meaning Of COVID-19

    As I write these words, I am in voluntary self-quarantine. I suspect that many of you are too.  It’s the right thing to do. A few of you have contacted me, wondering about the astrology behind the pandemic, how long it will last, and how bad it might get.  I don’t know the answers to the two latter questions, but let’s peer into the crystalline mirror of the heavens and see what we can learn about the first one: why Covid-19 is upon us right now. I do think that we can at least get some sense of its purpose.

    Many astrologers have been pointing an accusing finger at the current planetary traffic jam in Capricorn, with the Saturn-Pluto conjunction as the main culprit, and Mars currently helping it along. Neptune in Pisces has a correlation with contagion too, as Maurice Fernandez has emphasized. All that is solid astrology, but it leaves out an important piece of the puzzle – one whose significance has been banging us over the head since 2005, but which astrologers still tend to ignore. That is the planet Eris, which is currently squaring the Pluto-Saturn conjunction, and doing so from the edgy sign Aries. That is what I want to explore with you in this newsletter. I believe the Eris-Pluto square is actually the heart of the matter.

    Many of you are probably only dimly aware of Eris. It still has not gotten the press it deserves in the astrological community.  Let me be the first to admit that I have not integrated it properly into my own teaching and counseling myself yet. That’s a big mistake, as I believe we will see clearly in the light of Eris’s unmistakable fingerprints in the current viral situation. 

    Read more

    SIX QUICK TRANSITS

    SIX QUICK TRANSITS

    Exciting, busy times here – with Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto all in Capricorn, and with my having my natal Sun and two planets there, I am feeling alive, engaged . . . and also run pretty ragged. Along with my usual client work, we are in the late stages of pre-production on The Book of Air, which should be out very soon. I’m also diving into writing The Book of Water, which will be the last volume of my Elements Series . . . whereupon I hope to finally get time for a vacation!

    In these four Elements books, my essential aim is to write down “everything I have learned” in half a century of astrological practice. (Saturn is especially fond of impossible aims.) Put any of the planets in any of the signs, houses, or any aspects to each other, whether natally or in motion somehow, and I have an instantaneous first impression of the core issues involved. All of that has to be put in the context of the rest of the chart, and that’s where the deeper arts of interpretation come into play. No book would be fat enough to include all of those integrative perspectives – but in these four Elements books, I at least want to record my “instantaneous take on those core issues.” It’s all “cookbook” astrology with its inherent limitations – but I remember how helpful those kinds of thumbnail sketches were to me when I was learning the craft. I spent a lot of time looking up configurations in Robert Hand’s Planets in Transit or the books of Charles E.O. Carter, Dane Rudhyar, or Ronald C. Davison.

    Read more