On December 21, my online school, the Forrest Center for Evolutionary Astrology, will reach its second birthday. We’re thriving and growing. We’ve got about 200 students, several tutors, and a couple of hardworking staff people. Our Dean, Dr. Catie Cadge, is putting in long hours surfing the inevitable waves of chaos stemming from the daily running of the school. Meanwhile, I’ve made 250 teaching videos, and written quite a lot of new material for the curriculum. I also do monthly Zoom “Q & A” events for the students and drop in on some of the classes from time to time, so I’m staying busy and engaged too.
The school may be about teaching “the Forrest method,” but its operations are not really centered on me personally. Tutors carry most of the teaching load. And they’re great – all of them have studied intensively with me, and all of them are warm-hearted, caring, and wise. Right from the beginning, I wanted to make sure that the FCEA would become an institution which could live on beyond me. I also wanted to make sure that it felt warm and human despite being conducted online. That’s where our team of tutors comes in – they’re constantly interacting with the students.
We still feel like the school is very much in start-up mode. Being nominated for “Favorite Astrology School” in the awards ceremony at the big ISAR conference in Denver in late August was a happy surprise – not that it was so surprising that we were nominated, but that it happened so soon. We’ve not really done much publicity.
Our teaching program is rigorous. Completing the course work typically takes three or four years. There are various options for customizing a personal journey through the material – you can learn about all of them on the school’s website: www.forrestastrology.center. Every one of the options is demanding though – there are assignments to complete, classes and forums that require varying degrees of participation, tests to pass, and thousands of pages of written material to read and absorb.
Anyone who completes the program will be a world-class evolutionary astrologer, ready to serve a community, make a difference in people’s lives – and earn a decent living in the process. The FCEA can take you from zero to that lofty stratosphere, but it does require some serious commitment to arrive there. We understand that for various reasons, a person might be sincerely interested in astrology, but still not be in a position to dive into the work quite that deeply. That’s why I want to talk about another option. It is called Community Membership, and here’s who it’s for:
- Maybe you genuinely love astrology, but other responsibilities loom and you just don’t have the time to make that kind of serious commitment right now.
- Maybe it’s a question of finances – our fees are competitive with other astrology schools, but we do have to pay that large staff. We’re planning a scholarship program, but it will necessarily be somewhat limited. Maybe you just can’t afford to be a student right now. We understand – we’ve all been there.
- Maybe you’d understandably like to just have a taste of the school before making a commitment to it.
- Maybe you’re a practicing evolutionary astrologer who would just like to feel connected with a larger tribe.
All of those reasons are valid and compelling. That’s why we’ve created our Community Membership program – it’s a way of participating in the culture of the FCEA without making it the center of your life for three or four years. It costs just US$99 per year.
Our student, Sue Adair, from Kansas City, Missouri, had this to say about Membership – Being “commitment shy,” I opted for joining FCEA’s Community Membership Program prior to jumping into the full FCEA program. For me, it was a “Start Here” sticker so I could cautiously dip my toe in the waters of Steven Forrest’s method of Evolutionary Astrology and take a peek at the community.
We’re hoping that many follow in Sue’s footsteps.
There are various benefits that go along with Membership, but here’s the main one: four times a year, I teach a Zoom class for the Community Members. It generally runs about two hours in length, and it’s usually divided into two parts. In the first part, I answer questions that Members have submitted in advance. Most are technical, some are personal, some are more philosophical. In the second part of each program, I usually analyze a chart that’s been randomly chosen from Member submissions. Our next such program is coming up on December 8th, by the way. That one will be a little unusual in that I’ll present a program about the Solstice, the Dark of the Moon, and the Roman festival of Saturnalia. After that, we’ll do some questions and answers.
Community Membership gives you direct access to those four programs – it’s basically like getting four private webinars per year, plus the possibility of having a personal question answered or a submitted chart read. (We do a chart raffle – submissions are voluntary, of course. But the winner gets a short reading from me focused on any question they’ve chosen to ask.)
I also do the same kind of program on a monthly basis for the enrolled students. All of these “Q & A” sessions have been going on for a couple of years now, so there’s quite a large catalog of them now. They’ve all been recorded on video. Members don’t attend those student Zoom sessions, but they do have access to that entire recorded video library – not just the “Community Member calls,” but also these students-only sessions. Even better, we’ve been creating an index to make for easy access to all of that material. Have a question about Moon-Saturn aspects? Or maybe one about a planet in so-called “Detriment?” Look it up in the index, and you’ll find, for example, that I explored that issue “28 minutes 9 seconds” into a video from Spring 2021. Two or three clicks and you are there, getting your answer. Naturally, with each passing season, that library will grow – the questions keep pouring in.
Our student, Deepa Joshi, from Los Gatos, California, says, “There is a certain heart wisdom in finding a collective that is walking the same path as me, and that is true of the community at FCEA. Every time I hear Steven talk or explain something in the Membership call, it’s like a light bulb goes off! I’m so glad that these talks are recorded, and I can go back to them to note down the many nuggets of wisdom. I absolutely, love, love, love the way the recordings of past calls are indexed for ease of search for a specific topic.”
As another bonus, Community Members qualify for a 20% discount on my books and webinars on my personal website, www.forrestastrology.com.
More perks are on the way, but I don’t want to toot them until they’re actually available. By the way, to learn more you can go to https://www.forrestastrology.center/membership. Click it for more details, plus a short video – and the video contains a “Q & A” clip so you can get the idea of what those sessions are actually like.
All in all, we think that Community Membership in the FCEA is the best deal in the world of astrology today. You get all that we’ve just described, plus an intangible feeling of being part of the tribe of evolutionary astrologers. Maybe once you’ve had a taste of it, you’ll be inspired to enroll as a full-time student in the school – that’s our hope. But once again, we understand that it’s not everyone’s path. Maybe being a Member is enough for you, and that’s fine too.
Member Daniel Hadjiandreou of St. Ishmaels, Pembrokeshire, Wales, tells us that the “FCEA community meetings are the nourishment I’ve longed for, for a long time. My knowledge of Evolutionary Astrology deepens, and I come away with empowering tools and understandings which I use personally and professionally. Going through a birthchart is a transmission of wisdom, not only about the details, but how to actually share them with a client. These meetings are a highlight of my week.”
By the way, since the school is so international, finding a good time for these Zoom calls is truly an impossible task. What we’ve done is to rotate between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM Pacific Time. It was the least-bad solution we could find.
As a final word, Sally Sweetland from North Carolina is another Community Member turned enrolled student. She had this to say: “I’ve had a membership for about two years and wouldn’t dream of giving it up. (It’s a bargain!) Steve meets each and every astrological inquiry with clarity, wisdom, honesty and humility. I consider his offerings to be among the most profound mentoring available in the world today. The member calls became my gateway to joining the FCEA, which is nothing short of excellent too.”
If you’re drawn to this kind of astrology but short of time, please consider becoming a Community Member. And remember – with the holidays coming, maybe Membership would be the perfect gift for someone you love.
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