You’ve got a problem. Your sex life is okay, but your love life is awful. Last year your get-rich-quick scheme got you rich quick, and this year it’s getting you nowhere. Your shrink does nothing but send you bills. You hate encounter groups. Your wife knows what’s wrong with you, but you know your wife.
So you decide to consult an astrologer— maybe one of them can give you a firmer grasp on all the contradictions that are disrupting the flow of your life. How, though, do you go about locating one? You can call a friend who has seen an astrologer before, or contact the San Diego Astrological Society (P.O. Box 99696, S.D. 92109, tel. 298-1610), or look in the Yellow Pages, or read to the end of this cursory guide.
An astrologer, once found, will generally need at least a day or two before he sees you, to erect your horoscope and spend several hours studying it. For his initial fee (such as those quoted below), he will construct your birth chart, which he will interpret for you when he sees you. At that time, he will also tell you the nature of the flow of your life and its more probable significant events for the last and the coming year.
The astrologer bases all of his statements on the information he receives from the natal chart, or birth chart. Once he has your date, time, and place of birth, he draws up this “blueprint” of your personality. Using tables and ephemerides, he places the planets on your chart where they were in the sky on the day you were born.
Anybody with the essential data and adequate mathematical ability can, with a little practice, set up a birth chart. Astrology requires no occult or psychic powers. The art of astrology can determine your basic character, your goals and motives, your talents and opportunities, your early environment, and countless details that come with the astrologer’s deepening experience, his observation of hundreds of charts and his endless reading of other astrologers.
Using the same basic birth-time (or seedtime) method, he can chart the paths ot. nations, organizations, even animals and machines. Everything has a life-cycle, and everything is subject to outside influences. But when working with the chart of an individual, the astrologer must always realize that he is unable to see “the unknown quality”—the free will of the person who can, if he wishes, control his destiny rather than let it control him. “You can never tell if a person will be rich or famous or happy,” says local astrologer Robert St. Germaine. “That is up to them—it depends on whether they choose to use the resources they have.”
Although by looking at the chart the astrologer cannot see actual events, he can become quite adept at figuring out how various energy-patterns will manifest as events, “Nine-tenths of the people who come to an astrologer,” says St. Germaine, “want to know the future. And the other tenth are curious.” But the subject of prediction is a very touchy one among astrologers. While Ihe measure of an astrologer’s competence is often the ability to see from his calculations what kind of influences are likely to be affecting your life at any given time, it is generally accepted that cut-and-dried predictions are unethical. “It’s like Black Magic,” says Nancy Cowan. “If you plant the suggestion, it becomes a major barrier to one’s free will.”
For example, because of what they see in a chart, two astrologers might come to roughly the same conclusion in two different ways. One might say, “A major influence from your past will be creating an obstacle to your domestic tranquility. This will test your capacity to wait, be patient, and modify your at-home behavior.” Another might say, “It looks to me like your father might pay you a visit. Probably an extended one.”
If you make it clear that you are consulting an astrologer to garner advice on the wisdom of a proposed business transaction, he will generally be able to indicate the best days, the best methods, the best attitudes to insure the success of the enterprise. Or he might say, “You are deluding yourself about this. If you really want to succeed with this plan, wait about three weeks. You’ll be able to see more clearly and the opportunity will still be there.” Virtually no astrologer can or will tell you when you are going to die (it is easier to see death in a chart in retrospect).
“Astrology is a helping profession,” says Nola Williams. To that end, a growing number of astrologers in San Diego and elsewhere call themselves “humanistic astrologers.” They consciously place themselves in opposition to “old-fashioned doomsday astrologers.” The humanists emphasize that the relationships of the - planets indicate energy-patterns, some of which might be #ben as difficult but, at the same time, strengthening or “challenging.” They say that the goal of astrology is “self-actualization through self-knowledge.” Others accuse the humanistic astrologers of being so wrapped up in academic generalities that they are incapable of discerning the negative possibilities that make the positive ones meaningful. Still another group of astrologers, the “Uranian” astrologers, are coming up with new planets, asteroids, galaxies every day, complete with new interpretations. This is exciting to some, confusing to others.
Knowledge of the planets as material phenomena is not really necessary to the practicing astrologer, but there are astronomers and earth-scientists among the astrological ranks. Arthur Norris, a retired astronomer and a member of the San Diego Astronomical Society, is building a Sternkart (starmap) for San Diego’s birthday, which will hang in the Hall of Science at the Reuben E. Fleet Space Theatre.
Increasing numbers of “hard scientists” are becoming interested in astrology. One French scientist, Michael Gauquelin, was not satisfied with merely sticking his name on a list of 186 scientists, including Linus Pauling, who testified, “I don’t know anything about astrology. I just know it’s all bunk.” Gauquelin set out to conclusively debunk it. He collected 50,000 charts and ran them through computers, looking for beyond-the-range-of-chance similarities between all surgeons, all politicians, all artists, etc. His findings, rather than debunking astrology, convinced him of its validity.
Jung said that the horoscope is the equivalent of “a year of deep, intensive psychological probing.” A La Jolla psychiatrist has called it “the best diagnostic tool we have.” And research is being conducted in the field of medical astrology, and especially, cancer diagnosis.
When you look for a doctor, you cannot be sure he is any good, or humanly effective, but you know from his credentials that he has the standard academic training, and you know his area of specialization.
Astrologers, however, are split about the desirability of credentialing astrologers. The biggest question, since most astrologers are self-taught and bring their own unique skills to their profession, is “Who will do the credentialing?” Gina Ceaglio, a former businesswoman, is the only person in San Diego who holds a Gold Card from the American Federation of Astrologers, and who is authorized to administer its tests. She also runs the only academically structured school of astrology in the nation, and holds the only counseling technique training program in existence. She outspokenly believes “there is a crying need” for the credentialing and training of astrologers. But she herself is self-taught.
“Astrology is an art,” counters Terry Krall, “and you can’t license astrologers any more than you can artists.”
The question of legalization of astrology is a similar bugaboo. All astrologers are in favor of decriminalizing astrology. The legal status of the art varies according to local regulations. A 1934 San Diego municipal code, still in effect but rarely enforced, prohibits promising to “restore lost property, locate oil wells, gold or silver or other ore or natural product, to restore lost love...to unite or procure lovers...by means of occult or psychic forces...phycology (sic)...spirits...astrology...necromancy, or other craft, science, cards, talismans, charms, potions, magnetism...Oriental mysteries or magic of any kind or nature,” unless you are a valid representative of a “bona fide religion.”
“If you legalize astrology," suggests Robert St. Germaine, “there will be no end to the bureaucratic in-fighting. The psychologists will claim it. The sociologists will want it. The AMA will try to control it. It would all just be a big mess.” In fact, a group of astrologers recently proposed legislative reform of the official status of astrologers in Sacramento. They never got past the committee stage—they were too busy fighting among themselves. The president of the American Federation of Astrologers resigned in a huff at the convention this summer, over a similar ideological rift. The San Diego Astrological Society, which has a constitution and a code of ethics, is one of the few American organizations of astrologers to remain peacefully united since its inception (they began as the first fragment to split off from ISAR, the International Society for Astrological Research).
So, here at last are some local astrologers, all professionals. The fee quoted for each covers the initial chart and interview. In general, the amount charged represents the amount of expertise and experience. San Diego astrologers are really quite reasonable. It is not unusual for L.A. astrologers to charge upwards of $250 initially; the famous Linda Goodman charges $800 for a reading. If you are looking for a teacher, most of the astrologers here do teach, for an average of $5 per class.
Nola Williams, a Libra, began her study of astrology in 1970 when she was Mayor Curran’s secretary. Now, she is a fine consulting astrologer. She teaches classes on all levels. Although she does not predict, she has a reputation for being an extremely practical and valuable advisor. She is currently running for the presidency of the San Diego Astrological Society. She and her husband, Jerry Williams, frequently lecture. An upcoming husband-wife speaking topic will be, “Humanistic Astrology—Theory and Practice.” He will discuss the theory and she the practice. Fee, $40; telephone,274-2889.
Jerry Williams, a Sagittarius, is a practicing attorney and a professor of law at USD law school. He is not a consulting astrologer, but rather an astrological scholar. His recent book. Contemporary Astrology: The New Coperniean Revolution, is for “people who need answers before they can accept anything.” His latest lecture before the American Federation of Astrologers was entitled, “Shakespeare’s Dark Lady of the Sonnets Astrologically Revealed.” He is an entertaining lecturer whom lovers of obscure literary and historical allusions Dr. George Dillinger, a Scorpio, is a psychiatrist in Rancho Santa Fe who is a student of George Tippen in Encino, the originator of “Circadian Astrology.” Tippen’s theory is that each cell of your body contains all the information about the entire organism. He does “life readings” as well as
his own brand of astrological chart. His method of “reading” the information that you are is to, by deep concentration, “superimpose his Cell structure over yours.” By doing this, he can reveal to you various lifetimes which correspond in purpose to this one. All he needs to do this is $55 and your name and birth data. If you wish him to do your Circadian chart, he must discover your “release” time (the time your consciousness entered your body), by psychic means. Tippen allegedly studied in Tibet. One criticism of his method is that nobody else can do it.
Although Tippen and Dillinger (who also uses herbs and various other unique methods in his therapy) are included in this list, they are not astrologers in the same sense as the others. Their method is emphatically their own.
Jhnara Kriston, a Capricorn, has been a licensed marriage, family and child counselor for over 16 years. Suddenly, summer before last, after a lifetime of being uncomfortable with her original name, she “flashed” on the name Jhnara and submitted several spellings of it to George Tippen to sort out numerologically. Jhnara uses Tippen’s charts and readings occasionally, but relies more on the standard astrological chart. She has a particularly Capricornian approach to astrology, in that she looks first, to the Saturn in a chart to find where “the problem” lies: what are the protective devices with which we identify ourselves and insulate ourselves? Somewhat uniquely in San Diego, she uses Busteed et al’s Phases of the Moon, a book distilled from the information in W.B. Yeats’ A Vision. Although her approach to astrology is very eclectic, her consultations are primarily concerned with guidance counseling. Fee, $75; telephone, 286-3444 or 287-1544.
Lil Canaan, a double Gemini, is known by her peers as a great astrologer and a great lady. Like her former husband and best friend, PR man Jack Canaan, “The Sage of Fifth Avenue,” she is a San Diego institution. She wrote the popular “My Stars!” column in the Sentinel for two-and-a-half years, and for three years has had the daily five-minute “My Stars!” program on KSDO radio. Until recently, she had her own school of astrology in La Jolla. She is two astrologers in one: the concerned and accurate private counselor, and the public personality. She has conducted, by invitation, daylong workshops for the Mind-Body seminars at the graduate school of psychology at San Diego State. She is a regular guest at “Discovery Days” at 12 public schools, where she speaks on career aptitude. At the Southwestern Astrological Conference in Buena Park in October, her topic will be “Commercial Astrology Is Not a Four-Letter Word.” She speaks at many clubs throughout the city. At the San Diego Executive’s Club, her emphasis was on “how you can fulfill your greatest potential as a businessman.” She says, “I leave them with a tip. Like, if you’re blowing it on the market and you’re an Aries—try being less impulsive and listening to someone else for a change. It could work wonders.” Fee, $75; telephone, 488-3130.
Gina Ceaglio, a double Aquarius, was a “middle management executive” who began teaching astrology in her living room in 1969 and today has the only academically structured school of astrology in the nation (Academy of Astrological Studies, 4349 Home Avenue, 262-9634). She is known as the Dean of San Diego Astrologers, and has been the starting point for a large percentage of local astrologers. She has brought all the great names in astrology to San Diego over the past few years, and is continuing to do so. Her adherence to personal consultations is psychologically and humanistically oriented. She doesn’t believe in giving advice and shuns “mundane” interpretations of the horoscope. “1 center on the person,” she says. “The purpose of astrology is to understand oneself.” Some of the original astrological techniques she has developed and teaches were drawn from the German cosmobiologist Rheinhold Ebertine. She is extremely intent on seeing scientific, controlled, empirical astrological research. And she would like esoteric theorists to remind their audiences that their theories are but theories. Fee, $75; telephone, 262-9634.
Robert St. Germaine, a Leo, has been an astrologer for 26 years. Until 10 years ago, he was an accountant as well, and still finds an outlet for his love of mathematics in astrology. For a couple of years he had “The Ninth House” bookstore in Hillcrest, which was devoted entirely to astrological books. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough demand for astrological books to keep the store in business. H is house contains one of the most incredible libraries anywhere. Name anybody, and he has their chart somewhere. (At one of his classes for advanced students, he is likely to produce 40 names to illustrate one small astrological configuration. For example, Billy Sunday, Marie Curie, Eric Fromm, Hitler, Jonas Salk, Franz Kafka, and Dylan Thomas all have their sun and Mars 15 degrees apart.)
He and his research group have been working for seven years on a book about the 360 degrees of the zodiac. He is currently collecting and comparing the charts of all the most famous tennis players. He did extensive work on the Watergate conspirators, and has compiled astrological data on earthquakes. As a consultant, he is very specific. “But people expect so much!” he sighs. “One woman came to me thinking her husband was dead. I told her it looked to me that he would be released from prisoner-of-war camp in February. She was all upset because he wasn’t released until July. But it turns out that the papers were signed for his release in February.” Fee, $75; telephone, 232-2802.
Terry Krall, a Scorpio, is a retired RN. She says that most of her clients seem to be middle-aged women asking advice on their new choice of careers, and a surprising number of professional psychologists. Because her husband is a plasma physicist, she also has had many scientists as clients. She finds that physicists—as do all people— respond to specific information about their past. She asked one professor of physics at the University of Maryland if he had almost drowned at the age of five. He had, and became her respectful, skeptical client. “1 sleep on a chart,” she says. “I let it sink into my brain. I can look at a chart sometimes and almost tell you what flavor of ice cream that person would order at Baskin-Robbins. I can’t always explain what’s giving me the information; the chart will set off strings of associations and impressions.” Fee, $25; telephone, 273-3481.
Arlene Robertson, an Aries, is a retired housewife who is not interested in talking “on lofty planes.” Although she is hardly pedestrian, she does think the role of the astrologer is to give practical, down-to-earth advice that “you can use tomorrow, when you need it.” She has been invited to read her astrological poetry at Marcia Moore’s upcoming conference in Ventura in October. Fee on request; telephone, 270-6144.
Nancy Cowan, a Cancer, began learning astrology when she was still a student of education at Penn State. This Fall, she will be teaching a beginning class and moderating an intermediate seminar in astrology at the Ocean Beach Community School. She takes a basically spiritual approach to astrology, and likes to use different divination systems and religious principles, especially the Kabballah and eventually the I Ching, along with her astrological interpretations. She thinks the astrological chart can provide guidelines for working out our Karma on the planet Earth, a “dense and difficult place.” Fee, $25; telephone. 224-5207.
Robin Newhouse, a Gemini, began her astrological career in New York, where she was on the staff of the Aquarian Agent, an international technical journal for astrologers. Later, in San Francisco, she worked at the Metaphysical Center on Sutter Street. Currently, she is working for her MA in psychology at US1U, which she plans to use along with astrology and holistic healing techniques in her therapy work. Fee, $25; telephone, 223-8780.
Becky Combs, a Leo, uses astrology as a diagnostic tool in her practice of Gestalt therapy. She has an MA in human behavior from US1U. She says, “I use the chart as a character diagnosis. It is infinitely better than the MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) or the California Personality Inventory. Seeing the chart brings out my intuitive knowledge of a person.” She works at the Crisis House in El Cajon. Fee, $25; telephone, 272-4158.
Joseph J. Gustin, Jr., an Aquarius, is president of the SDAS and a hairdresser in La Jolla. He is a member of t-he International Committee for Humanistic Astrologers and describes his goal in astrological consultation to be “humanistic actualization of one’s individual potential for spiritual/personal awareness of his spiritual identity with the universe.” He will be teaching a beginners’ class this Fall. Fee, $25; telephone, 454-5238 or 454-1770.
Jo Long, a Pisces, became an astrologer after 30 years as a Navy wife. She is a humanistic astrologer who says “a counseling session is putting on the pot of coffee.” She likes working with children as well as adults. She is director of the research committee for SDAS. They have delineated the charts of several dyslexic children (children with learning disabilities). Another project was done with an M A candidate in psychology at SDSU. Birth data was submitted to the astrologers, who were asked to indicate career aptitude. The results were compared with standard vocational aptitude tests and were found to correlate.