Uranus is famous for providing surprises and it sure worked for me a couple of days ago! I was speaking at the United Astrology Conference in Chicago. On Monday night May 28, 2018, transiting Uranus was just 0°28' from conjuncting my natal north node of the Moon. “Expect the unexpected” is the classic advice. And it sure worked! I won the Regulus Award for Astrological Education.
I don’t mean to sound disingenuously modest here. I know my work is popular and that I have a high profile in the world of astrology. It seems that winning an award should not come as a total shock. But it did. Some of my surprise derived from simple experience. I had often been nominated, and never won. I had no reason to think this time would be any different.
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This was the ninth UAC. I did not attend the first one, which happened in San Diego in 1986, but I’ve spoken at every one of them since then. Of those eight conferences, if memory serves me correctly, I was nominated for a Regulus seven times. “Seven” was obviously my lucky charm here – but after six nominations and no prize, a certain deja vu sets in. My friend Michael Lutin started calling me the “Susan Lucci of the Regulus Awards,” referencing the actor who was nominated for an Emmy fully eighteen times before actually winning one – and, by the way, what it took for Lucci to win was transiting Uranus trining her north node. I bet she was even more shocked than I was.
There are simple things to be said here, and they are no less true or less sincere for being obvious and a bit pro forma. I am happy and grateful to receive this honor. I want to thank everyone in the sponsoring organizations who voted for me. Blessings to those who did not vote for me too – I know there were other worthy nominees. I also extend my gratitude to the people who volunteer their time to keep the organizations going, and reserve a special bow for the long-suffering, head-banging souls who made UAC happen. It is an epochal undertaking.
All that is absolutely sincere.
But there are deeper waters here. I mentioned that I did not attend the first UAC, back in 1986. I didn’t really know anything about the larger astrological community back then. At that time, I had basically never met another professional astrologer. My first book, The Inner Sky, came out with Bantam Books in 1984, but it took a while to catch on in the astrological community. It was – and still is, in some ways – a maverick work. Evolutionary astrology has always been . . . well, about people evolving – while much astrology, especially back then, was essentially descriptive: this configuration in your chart correlates with the following issues, strengths or debilities, now and forever.
I have been railing against that kind of astrological rigidity for forty years. I’ve fortunately not been alone in that particular jihad, and nowadays there is a strong current of reaction against astrologers who “put people in little boxes” – especially if they are miserable little boxes without exits or higher possibilities. I am happy to think that I played a part in that sea-change in the astrological community.
Challenging the status quo does not always make you friends in high places.
I have been involved in the two biggest astrological organizations – ISAR and NCGR – all through my professional life, and I have no complaints about how I have been treated. But I have always felt like an outsider. That feeling only increased as my work became increasingly centered on “nodal analysis:” understanding the way unresolved issues from prior lifetimes show up in the present birthchart – and of course in the present life as well. That perspective was visible in the pages of The Inner Sky, right from the beginning, but it really took over as the heart of my astrological work about thirty years ago.
Intellectually and philosophically, reincarnation isn’t for everyone. I know that and accept it. As an astrologer, I honor diversity: no one is required to agree with me. As my “karmic” work became more publicized, partly through my teaching and writing partnership with Jeffrey Wolfe Green over a period of three or four years, there was also some misunderstanding introduced into the astrological community on one crucial point. All across the board of our craft, my favorite saying is that “symbolism is not literalism.” Any kind of rigid prediction is anathema to me. But the idea got out that I was claiming to be able to able to discern specific “name and date” details of prior lifetimes in the chart – obviously an indefensible claim, and one I never actually made. The situation took some ugly turns.
All the while that mess was playing out, my Astrological Apprenticeship Program was taking off – and taking up much of my teaching time. It has grown to be almost the size of ISAR. The upshot was that my active involvement with the organizations diminished. Along with that diminishing involvement, my self-identification as “an astrological outsider” grew.
I emphasize that this was not a bad or bitter feeling. I still supported the organizations and would occasionally speak at their events. It was more like realizing that now that I am a Californian, I am not a North Carolinian anymore – or perhaps a better metaphor would be a harmonious, mutual agreement to end a relationship, with blessings and good wishes all around, plus an occasional lunch together to catch up on the news.
Cut to twenty years later. There I am in my necktie, sitting in the banquet hall at the chi-chi Chicago Downtown Marriott hotel, waiting for someone else to win the Regulus Award yet again. The envelope opens and I hear, “And the winner is . . . Steven Forrest.”
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Transiting Uranus one half a degree from a conjunction with my lunar north node – expect the unexpected. Prophecy and reality sometimes fit like a bolt in a nut. I was sincerely surprised. I had calculated that even though my work was popular, my diminished relationship with the astrological organizations had decreased my visibility among people actually qualified to vote in the Regulus awards.
Sometimes being wrong is a great joy.
At a deeper level, transiting Uranus is about breakthroughs in individuation – the endless process of becoming ourselves. On the north node, these potential breakthroughs depend upon loosening the blinding stranglehold of the unresolved karmic past. With my lunar south node in Scorpio conjunct the cusp of my twelfth house, that loosening must address my inborn attachment to my “outsider” status – my prior-life conditioning related to immersion in some deep woo-woo stuff, clandestine initiations, hidden shames and secret esoteric knowledge. With my north node in Taurus, in this lifetime I need to be simpler and more straightforward. With the node on the sixth house cusp, I have needed to be open about these former “secrets,” and share them as widely as I can. I have needed to pass them on to my students. With Venus ruling that north node, loving – and letting myself be loved – are critical evolutionary steps too.
As ever with this craft we practice, synchronicity triggered a set of events that allowed me to become more conscious of the extent to which the past was living on inside my head and that it was time to release it. Time to let go of being an outsider.
I won the Regulus. I will admit it: that means that a lot of you love me. I am blushing, and dealing with it.
And, just maybe, evolving.
Watch Steven's Acceptance Speech