Category: Why See An Astrologer?

Awakening Healing through Therapeutic Listening

Tree Circle. Pic by Casey Horner

A Lesson from Ancient Greece

“We don’t know who we are until we hear ourselves speaking the story of our lives to someone we trust.”

This quote by Bill George of Harvard Business School in Daniel Goleman’s book, Focus – The Hidden Driver of Excellence, goes to the heart of all counseling—to offer a safe space for the client to share his or her unique story, skillfully guided by the practitioner toward self-awareness and awakening.

The truth is stark—we don’t see or hear ourselves as others do. The very act of speaking the story of our lives within the therapeutic context can bring about an alchemical change which promotes healing and wellness. Time and again such consultations or sessions allow people’s lives to move forward – a better job, a healed relationship, a sense of renewed direction. How does this work? Why does speaking the story of our lives transform us?

A Legendary Healer

Let’s explore the Greek myth of the legendary healer and soothsayer, Melampus of Pylos, who was known to understand the language of animals. This myth can help us understand how the healing process works. One of the stories told is how he brought a king’s son back to health.

The king’s son was sick and no one knew why. Melampus was asked to find the cause of the illness so he slaughtered an ox and left the best pieces for the vultures and then listened carefully as they talked after gorging themselves: “I haven’t had a feast like this since the king last sacrificed to the gods! Do you remember how his little son was so frightened when he saw his father with a bloody knife in his hand? He started screaming and the king threw the threatening knife into a tree and ran to embrace him. The knife injured the tree spirit so she put a curse on the boy. He has been sick ever since!”

“Yes, look, the tree has grown over the rusty blade. If the king knew what we knew, he would pull the blade out of the tree and make a potion from the bark. His son would be healed if he drunk this rusty brew.” Melampus did as the birds said and thereby healed the prince.

The Healing Process

This myth emphasizes the notion of cause and effect, the karmic cycle that is set in motion by the king’s passionate action. In trying to protect his son, the king inadvertently harms a dryad, who in turn harms his son. This cycle is comparable to those who are suffering from low self-esteem bequeathed to them by an intolerant or abusive parent or individual. They can’t remember directly how they were damaged yet they’re still carrying the wound in the form of outdated and self-sabotaging behaviors – and in turn afflicting their own loved ones and perpetuating the cycle. How fascinating that the king’s intentions were good but ended up doing harm!

Secondly, the very act of listening attentively to the language of the animals reveals both the cause of the problem (why the son became ill) and the solution (how to make him well) to Melampus. Do we listen as attentively to the intuitive language of our body? Do we heed the wisdom of our primal self? Are the causes of our dis-ease (our work, relationship and health concerns) and their solutions closer than we realize?

Thirdly, the alchemy of transformation is pivotal in this tale. The blade has turned rusty over time in the injured tree, yet this affected part of the tree bark is the very part needed to make the brew to cure the king’s son. Over time, old mistakes, regrets and past traumas become enclosed in our hearts like the blade overgrown by bark. When we remove the blade through sharing our story, we can use our accumulated experience (the rust) together with understanding (the water element of the brew) to allow healing to take place. How fascinating that the perpetrator (the knife), the wounded (the tree), and the healer (the brew) have fused into a single entity!

We only can hear the hidden language of our hearts when we are in the presence of a trustworthy listener. The simple act of sharing our story within the therapeutic context can be powerfully awakening and healing.


This article first appeared in Natural Awakening Magazine, Lower Hudson Valley West Edition, December 28, 2014

Astrology Update for October

Space, Universe. Courtesy of

Dear Friends,

As an astrologer, I get asked the strangest questions, as if everything on earth could be attributed to astrology!! It cannot – we are under too many influences – but I thought I’d take a moment to share a few thoughts on the nature of the beast, so to speak.

Astrology is the study of consciousness as light, and how consciousness descends to earth. The planets themselves do not physically emit light, so the light we are talking about is a metaphor for consciousness. This light emanates from the center of our solar system in the form of our Sun.

If we were living in another galaxy, we would not have or need the same Astrology. Think about that. It is the light from our Sun which enables us to see all the other bodies in the sky, from the Moon to Saturn. Take away the Sun and we’re left in the dark with floating lumps of rock all around.

We’ve been given the miracle of astrology as a way to understand our lives here on earth. Astrology helps us to see how different kinds of consciousness are expressed in each of us. For example, how much light is your Venus receiving? Is your Mars so close to the Sun that it’s blinded by it? What does this mean for you? How can you work with it?

Each one of us is here for a reason and our natal chart is the map which shows us the things that cannot be changed and the things that can. What is our “karma” or “fate” or “Saturn”? What is our “dharma” or “right way of living”?

Enjoy October – find the Astro-Planner below!

May the Sun shine upon you,


October 5: Full Moon at 12 degrees of Aries: stay out of the combat zone; practice small acts of kindness at home

October 11: Jupiter exits Libra where it’s been sitting comfortably since September 2016 and moves into Scorpio where its energies are more unpredictable. However, fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius) can expect their share of bounty, if deserved, in the upcoming year. Hooray!!

October 15: Venus moves into Libra until November 7. Thank heavens, as we need some social grace and diplomacy around here!

October 19: New Moon at 26 Libra: Great day to set your intentions for a new self-care routine or to implement positive change in your relationships.

Entire October: Pluto continues to hang around at 16-17 degrees of Capricorn: I know this is hard for many of you as you’ve been reaching out, especially those born in the second half of 1974 and the first half of 1975, near the end of 1981 and during most of 1982, and the 1990 crew. Hang in there! You’re learning about true grit.

Space, Universe. Courtesy of

Happy Birthday,  Libra!

Awakening Healing through Therapeutic Listening

Tree in Benmore Gardens, Sandton, Johannesburg

Happy New Year to you all!

I recently published an article in our county’s Natural Awakenings Magazine entitled Awakening Healing through Therapeutic Listening: A Lesson from Ancient Greece.


May the Sun shine upon you,

Your Story

Englewood Gate into Light“We don’t know who we are until we hear ourselves speaking the story of our lives to someone we trust.”

While reading Daniel Goleman’s latest book, Focus – The Hidden Driver of Excellence, this quote by Bill George of Harvard Business School really caught my attention. It goes to the heart of all counseling and of what the modern astrological consultation aims to do: to offer a safe space for the client to share his or her unique story, guided skillfully by the astrologer toward self-awareness.

The truth is stark: we don’t see or hear ourselves as others do.

If we wish for increased self-knowledge, a precursor to fulfilling our potential, we need to be heard. We need to hear ourselves. The simple act of sharing our story – with someone we trust – can be powerfully energizing.

Planet Therapy

I have a dear colleague, Jupiter Joji, who practices in Japan. When I translate his website using Google Translate (GT), one of the phrases that comes up is “planet therapy”.

Isn’t this lovely?! We all know how inaccurate GT can be, but sometimes, with its sheer literalism, it gets the message across loud and clear.

For is this not what sensitive and intuitive counseling astrologers do? We offer an uplifting form of therapy, a precious insight into oneself, using the planets as our guide. When we listen, and make the connections for you, healing and release take place.

Unlike a psychologist, who might need many sessions to slowly unpack the story of your life, an astrologer can see your life path before her, and guide you to a more conscious understanding of your journey. Relationship issues, burdens of guilt, or a downward spiraling pattern have light shed them and no longer seem so overwhelming. There is much evidence that single session therapy is as effective as long-term therapy.*

I remember my consultation with a Cape Town astrologer, Rod Suskin, when I was in my early twenties… what an impression it made on me! I suddenly saw my life in perspective and felt overjoyed that there was a divine pattern to it all.

Planet therapy… a fine translation!

*Talmon in Tyl, Noel The Creative Astrologer, Llewellyn, 2000