(The Romanian translation for this interview i had with Steven Forrest is posted on ASTRELE)
Steven Forrest is the author of several astrological bestsellers including, THE INNER SKY,
THE CHANGING SKY, THE BOOK OF PLUTO, YESTERDAY’S SKY, and most recently
THE BOOK OF THE MOON. His work has been translated into a dozen languages. He travels
world-wide teaching his brand of choice-centered evolutionary astrology—an astrology which
integrates free will, grounded humanistic psychology and ancient metaphysics. Over eight
hundred people have passed through his Astrological Apprenticeship program since its inception
in 1997. See his web site at www.forrestastrology.com
L.S. You graduated with a B.A. in Religion in 1971, and not long after that, you started practicing astrology. How did this transition happened?
STEVEN: I’d had a kind of split personality as a child. I was an amateur astronomer, looking through telescopes. And I also loved to read palms. Now, on your hand, you have a “plain of Venus” and a “Plain of Mars.” So I was learning the old planetary symbolism, and tying it to the sense of wonder I got from looking through telescopes. Before college, I discovered astrology. There was no way to study it then at a university, so Religion seemed like the best option. I was more interested in religion than in psychology since my sense of astrology was always more rooted in its spiritual meaning than in using it to describe people’s egos.
L.S. In your vision, do you see any correlation between Christian spirituality and astrology?
STEVEN: Sure – really astrology is a useful support to all religious paths, I think. As Christians, we are on the earth to work out our salvation and to become closer to God. The general moral principles we read in the Bible of course apply to everyone all the time, but beyond them, each of us has an individual journey to live. Astrology points to the higher ground, and warns us of darker possibilities at that very individual level.
L. S.Which is/are your favorite category of Astrology application and why?
STEVEN: I really like working with individuals as they unravel the dilemmas of their lives. That means that most of what I do with astrology on a daily basis comes down to birthchart analysis, transits/progressions analysis, and synastry. It’s all the intimate, personal side of astrology. I don’t do much with the others kinds, like predicting world events or guiding businesses/
L.S. Which System of houses do you use the most (in personal readings). Are there different systems of houses you use for different methods? How do you see the efficiency of other systems of houses?
STEVEN: I use Placidus Houses myself, always and exclusively. About the different House systems, the great astrologer Robert Hand once asked, “Which is more true, French or German?” I know fine astrologers who work with other systems and get helpful results. I have no argument with anyone. I think it is important to choose a system and stick with it though. Otherwise it becomes too easy to “make the chart say what you want it to say.”
L.S. Which techniques do you use the most in Predictive Astrology?
STEVEN: I rely on transits, progressions, and solar arcs to the natal planets. I also pay a lot of attention to the lunar phase – the aspect between the progressed Sun and the progressed Moon. And I always predict questions, not answers. I believe that astrology can see the future only of very boring people! Once we are alive and engaged in questioning our limits and possibilities, we move into a much more dynamic realm of choices.
L.S. Among all the planets we study in a natal chart, you wrote a book of Moon and one of Pluto. What inspired these choices?
STEVEN: With “The Book of Pluto,” it was simple: my publisher asked me to write it. With “The Book of The Moon,” I had developed a set of interpretations of lunar phase and lunar declination, as well as some basic insights into the Moon in general, and I wanted to offer them to the astrological community. I was given a grant by a Foundation to write a book of my choice, and the Moon seemed like the most appealing topic.
L.S. Evolutionary Astrology is a less known concept among Romanian astrologers, please give us a short introduction to this concept. How is EA different from what we already know in Modern Astrology?
STEVEN: In Evolutionary Astrology, we marry ancient metaphysics with modern psychology. Where a psychologist might look at a person’s childhood, we look instead to the “childhood of the soul” – prior lifetimes, and the evidence they leave in the present birthchart. The idea is that we are all evolving consciousnesses, and life is not random or pointless. Everything we do – or have ever done – echoes in eternity,
L.S. How can we understand Pluto’s polarity point?
STEVEN: To me, evolutionary astrology is a big field with many different approaches and practitioners in it. Pluto’s polarity point is a feature of the style of astrology developed by Jeffrey Wolf Green. He and I wrote two books together, but our technical approaches are very different. I don’t use Pluto to represent the soul, as he does, nor do I view it’s polarity point as the soul’s aim. My book, “Yesterday’s Sky,” would be the best introduction to the techniques I use and teach. Jeff’s “Pluto: The Evolutionary Journey of the Soul” would be the best introduction to his work.
L.S. How can knowing astrology help us in daily life?
STEVEN: We make better choices. For one person, happiness might best derive from relationships or family. For another, from spiritual practice. For a third, from meaningful work. Knowing that is possible without astrology of course, but we are all under a lot of pressure from the world, the television, and our families. Astrology helps us know what will work best for us.
10. How can we explain briefly the triad Sun/Moon/Ascendant to a novice to astrology?
STEVEN: The Sun is what you are – your self-image, your skills and your natural values. The Moon is your heart and your soul, the mood of your life, your attitude. The Ascendant is how we present ourselves to the world, and the path of most efficient self-actualization.
L.S. How do you interpret free will vs. determinism concepts when analyzing a chart? Are there specific planetary configurations that may be one of the two paradigms mentioned above?
STEVEN: I have no belief at all in determinism or fate. I think they are useless concepts, and that astrology would be stronger if we threw them out. Deterministic astrologers are most accurate in “predicting” the past – saying this or that “had to happen.” But the future is wide-open. We are creating the future with the choices we make. Evolution is magic. We are more powerful than the old astrologers could imagine. These are my views. I know that not everyone holds them. But over and over again, I have proven the determinists wrong in my own life, and I suspect you have to.
L.S. Romanians know you very well through your Inner Sky book which is the single book translated in Romanian language. Is there any other project underway for Romanian language translation?
STEVEN: Unfortunately not. The way the publishing business works, a publisher needs to contact me about doing a translation. I would be delighted if all my books were available in your own language. Often people think the problem is finding a translator. The truth is, that is usually not hard at all. The hard part is finding a publisher.
L.S.What are your plans for 2014 and beyond?
STEVEN: I am going to try my first Webinar on February 1, 2014. I teach all the time, but it has always been with me actually present in the same room with the students. In April I will travel to Italy to teach the third session of my European Apprenticeship Program and in July to Australia to teach the eighth session there. I’ll be back in China in October. I hope to write “The Book of Neptune” sometime in there as well. Time is always the problem. I am pretty overwhelmed with clients and teaching opportunities. I feel very blessed in my life.
Thank you for your kindness Steven and wishing you all the best wishes!