FREE Astrology Apps for iPhone, Android, iPad, and PC/Mac Desktops

April 30, 2011

A complete astrological chart wheel and interpretations and many other oracle apps like tarot, I-Ching, Runes, etc. can be found at the link below:

Those of you who want access to all the Matrix mobile apps (from your smart phone) just enter in the following website address like you would any other web site and bookmark it.

For those of you on laptops and desktops, Mac or PC, you can have a mobile simulator by going to this web address with your browser.


StarTypes Resources

August 8, 2010

You can get your free StarType pattern and card here:

Read about the history here:

What are StarTypes good for? Also more about the relationship families. Read here:

StarType Family: The Lover (green cards), Read here:

StarType Family: The Loved One (red cards), Read here:

StarType Family: Independent (blue cards), Read here:

StarType Family: Many-Relational (rose cards), Read here:

WELCOME to StarType

August 8, 2010

In the last post I presented some background on the heliocentric perspective in astrology and a little history.

Here I am going to present a powerful and easy-to-learn technique that I call StarTypes. You don’t have to be an astrologer to use this method. It is that easy. I have been using it in counseling and research for many, many years. After fifty years of studying astrology, StarTypes is still the best indicator I have yet found to describe how relationships work, both your ability for having relationships and how you and any other StarType might relate to one another. It is also the most accurate guide for vocational questions I have come across.

StarTypes involves examining the large-scale whole-chart patterns in the heavens looked at both from the point of view of Earth and equally from the Sun, which means: a solar system overview. I have given some details in recent posts and comments to that post in you are interested. Now for the technique.

The ever-changing motions of the planets create an almost kaleidoscopic series of patterns in the sky. These large whole-chart patterns are what I call StarTypes and I have organized these main planetary patterns into a series of sixty main StarTypes. There could be more but this will get your started.

Furthermore, to make it even easier I have designed a series of tarot-like cards and placed each StarType pattern on a card. Each card shows the particular pattern in the sky, a keyword name for it, and the border of the card indicates which of four classic relationship types it belongs to.

Each of us has our own particular natal StarType, the overall pattern in the solar system that was in effect at the time of our birth. StarType cards are easy to remember and share with one another, plus just seeing the color of a card’s border will tell you at a glance which relationship role that person probably prefers to take on.

So the first thing for you to do is to get your own StarType card. I have made these available to you at no charge as part of our site:

Just go there, enter your birthdate and year and you will get your StarType, plus a brief description of the qualities for that type. You don’t even need to know the time you were born, because StarType patterns change very slowly. Your StarType costs you nothing. However, I am also a businessman, so if you feel you want a complete report written by me on your StarType and sent to you in PDF format, that will cost $10,. The basic card and a description is free to all. Now for something about what our StarType tells us.

What StarTypes Mean

As mentioned, StarTypes are large whole-chart patterns that represent general approaches to life, something like psychologist Carl Jung’s famous archetypes. We look to find our personal details and circumstances in the traditional earth-centered natal astrology chart, but we can look for the deeper sense of ourselves (our dharma and life path) in the StarType archetypes as viewed at the solar system level. StarType analysis is excellent for career and vocational counseling and for working with couples and families on relationship issues.

As for vocational aptitude, I often call the helio StarType chart, your ‘Dharma Chart,” for it will show both the one’s talents and also the areas where the individual is going to have to team up with others to achieve full balance. But most of all use StarTypes in relationship analysis, and most of my work is with couples and families that are having compatibility problems. StarTypes excel at this.

How Are We to Interpret StarTypes?

For the first few years with StarTypes, back in the early 1970s, everything had to be drawn out by hand. I have a shelf full of thick notebooks with both the geo and helio StarType charts facing each other on opposing pages, many, many thousands of them. I was so impressed with StarTypes that I wanted to better understand these great patterns and was prepared to be very, very detailed about my research.

But as time passed I gradually realized that these planetary patterns were anything but difficult to decipher. They were easy and they revealed themselves almost at a glance, much as I tried to imagine them as complex, deep, and hard to understand. It was like the reverse of studying. These planetary patterns are illuminating! And they told a very old but simple story, the story of human relationships, how many of us are incomplete and balance what we want with a partner, with what others have in abundance. This is natural chemistry.

Startypes made it clear to me that there really are archetypes, different approaches to life, such as that of “The lover” and “The Loved One,” or the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’, the yin and the yang, and so on, all very clear to see. Here for me was an astrological affirmation for what poets have been singing about for centuries.

You must understand that I was a very technical astrologer, but in working with StartTypes I was facing something intuitively simple and direct, something well beyond thought, like the traditional smack with a stick that Zen masters bestow on their students. This was an experience strong enough to invert me one-hundred and eighty degrees. I wandered into this study to perhaps find and explore a new astrological technique, and instead what I discovered there was none other than myself in a clear and undeniable form.

Just like the old popular song by Little Anthony, “Just two kinds of people in the world; they are a boy and a girl,” I found that all of these many chart patterns could be boiled down to two powerful but opposite types, that of “The Lover” and “The Loved One,” the caretaker in a relationship and the one who is cared for. All relationships eventually settle into these two roles. Someone cares more (or as my mom said “Someone picks up the socks!”) and someone cares less or naturally becomes the object of affection. Of course this is crystal clear from the poetry and songs that have come down to us through the ages. There are archetypes like Romeo and Juliet, the lover and the loved one. As simple as these archetypes boil down to, their capacity to shape and inform our life is enormous.

In StarTypes, I have found that there are four basic kinds or families of StarType configurations. I call them the “Four Relationship Types,” or just the four families, and each of these relationship types or families is indicated by their border color. The four colors aregreen (The Lover), red (The Loved One), blue (Independent), and plum (Multi-relational). These four relational types can be combined in countless ways, but are easy to understand and use for beginners.

The cards of those StarTypes that prefer the role of ‘The Lover’ or caretaker have green borders, while those with the red borders are the Loved Ones. The red and green cards are natural opposites and make for the best traditional chemistry. Those cards with blue borders can play both relationship roles (lover or loved one) depending on what their partner demands, and those cards with plum-colored borders enjoy many kinds of relationships. Which type you? You will have to look and see for yourself.

Some partners want as much natural chemistry as possible, while others look for more like a friend to partner up with. For maximum chemistry, then the age-old maxim “opposites attract” is the way to go. This would be the green cards with the red cards, for the twain shall never meet, and there will always be some mystery in the relationship. If the pure chemistry of push-me/pull-you is too much to take, then many find that someone with cards of the same color work well, two similar folks who bond together as much as friends as anything else. This type of same-same relationship usually finds something outside of themselves to provide the chemistry, like a children, pets, shared interests, common goals, etc.

There will be other posts, but rather than run on too long, let me end this section by summarizing how I would approach your helio chart. As mentioned, have fun with all of your already-known astrological tools, but I find them not that interesting. There can be many different StarType patterns in any one natal chart, so that can be confusing.

If you want to cut to the chase, you need to only ask one questions of the chart. Is there a Grand Cross or T-Square in the helio natal chart? If there is, then you are either one of the red cards or the blue cards. If there is no cross then you are either one of the green cards or the plum-colored cards.

If your chart has a large equilateral green triangle in it (and no cross), then you are a green card, otherwise a plum card. If you have both a cross and a green equilateral triangle or other green lines then you are one of the blue cards, the independent type. It sounds complicated, but it is really very simple.

Don’t panic. Just use the web program and find out what color borders your chart has, as well as your partner, family, co-workers, and so on. Also read the various online descriptions of the Startype families, plus look at the cards in the various families.

The green-bordered cards are the caretakers. They need relationships and their neediness and basic shyness has to be understood. Just the opposite for the red cards. They are fun-loving, gregarious and like to be at the center of attention. The blue cards have both the qualities of the red and green cards in one chart, so they are termed ‘Independent.” They don’t really need anyone, and are often quite content to be themselves. Others may find their self-absorption off-putting or selfish. Then there are the plum-colored cards who can never meet enough people or go to enough places. They tend to be more like the green cards in relationships but are not shy of people.

There are a few basic ideas to absorb and once you have them, you will be able have a lot of fun with this.

I will try to answer questions posted here.

For those who want a more technical discussion, consider the following:

There are these articles on:

…under the forum “Articles.”

Our Roots in the Sun: Heliocentric Astrology
Interface: Planetary Nodes

…and on the ACT forums,

…under Heliocentric Astrology Forum this:

And finally a whole (and free book) at:

StarTypes: Life Path Partners

And finally, some articles here:


StarTypes Introduction

August 8, 2010

While my web team is still getting the StarType program up, here is an intro to Sun-centered astrology, a beginning.

It has always been funny to me that my fellow astrologers say to me “Oh, you’re the heliocentric astrologer,” which is only half-true, because the other and equal half is that I am also skilled at geocentric astrology, just as are they! No amount of explaining ever makes a difference; to them I am forever that ‘helio’ astrologer. Talk about profiling. By the same token, because I was the first person to program astrology on microcomputers and offer my programs to astrologers, I am also that ‘programmer’ of astrology, as opposed to a ‘real’ astrologer, as if being technical disqualified me from having any intuitive knowledge. It used to bother me, but I am getting so old I really don’t care anymore about setting them straight.

I have written this elsewhere (and decades ago) that some 400 years ago astrology reached a fork in the road when Copernicus declared the Sun does not orbit Earth, but just the other way round: Earth orbits the Sun. At that crossroads in time and thought, astrologer/astronomers kind of split in two, with the astronomers moving forward using both earth-centered (geocentric) and sun-centered (heliocentric) charts and astrologers choosing to ignore the helio entirely and continue on with only their traditional earth-centered charts.

Today astronomers and astrologers are poles apart, with almost no communication and very little mutual respect, at least on the part of astronomers for astrologers. Astronomers use the geo chart to orbit satellites and what not, and the helio chart to send rockets to Mars, and places beyond. At this point this is all history.

What is not so clear is what happened to astrological interpretation in all of this mess, what sometimes is called ‘cultural astronomy.” The astronomers (who once were also astrologers) did not carry the art of relating the heavens to the earth personally interpretively forward, and the astrologers failed to interpret and absorb the Copernican revolution. Both sides lost out on something. I very much wish some astro-historian would explain how all this went down.

What I can say is that while astronomers have at least two clear views of space, one from earth and the other from the solar point of view, we astrologers have been left with but a single perspective, that of our Earth deeply embedded within the solar system, Earth’s view of the system, but no overview of how the planets actually relate to their natural center, the Sun.

So if there is any ‘overview’ that would correspond to the helio chart that astronomers use in modern astrology, astrologers would have to derive that somehow from the traditional single geocentric astrology chart that we all use. I point out to you that it is my opinion that astrology has had no alternative but to derive any meta-earth or solar view from the traditional astrological chart. Since that chart is itself a snapshot from within the solar system, it is not hard to grasp that this is a through-the-glass-darkly kind of seeing as opposed to any clear overview of what we as part of the larger solar system are all about.

What saddens me is that we astrologers, who have really stood guard all these centuries over the use of our intuition, were ignorant enough to ignore the fact that it is the earth that goes around the Sun, and not take that to heart. If we had, we would have interpreted it and began to learn much more about our own deeper center in the Sun. We would have been in tune to things like Carl Jung’s archetypes and any number of other concepts of modern spirituality that help to bridge the gap between our personal circumstances (standard geo chart) and out shared center the sun (helio chart). We would have interpreted all this centuries and become expert at it. And it is not too late now.

It would seem like the elephant in the room is the fact that sooner or later astrologers will have to catch up to the astronomers, absorb the Copernican fact, integrate it, and move forward into that dimension. The longer we wait, like faults in the earth’s crust, the bigger is the potential earthquake of realization that awaits us.

The takeaway point here is that when astrologers do accept and integrate the helio view, when we finally take it to heart, personally (like we do our natal chart), it will be something more than just a mechanical technique we somehow just add on to what we already know and use. Just as the Copernican concept REVOLUTIONIZED astronomy ‘externally’, so will the recognition of the enormity of this SAME concept affect astrologers in a big way. The Copernican concept is not narrowing, but rather widening, an enhancing of our view. The right word for it is “illuminating.” The psychological and spiritual correlate of the Copernican revolution is enlightening and empowering. This is an empowerment, one sorely overdue.

For myself, I stumbled on all of this because I was forced as a programmer to look at and program all manner of astrological techniques, whether they interested me or not. I was just like many of you. I had my toolbox of techniques I used and the first thing I did when I looked at the helio was to drag out all the stuff I knew and apply them. Of course they worked. There is no astrological difference between interpreting helio factors or geo factors, except obviously each uses a different center, etc. Everything in my toolbox worked: midpoints, transits aspect, etc. It all works. But there was something new that I could not at first put my finger on.

Like most astrologers, the first thing I do with a new astrological concept or technique is to look at my own chart. It is like looking in a mirror. Who does not glance in a mirror every once in a while? So I looked at my helio chart. After all, it was a chart for the same moment in time, the same exact planets, etc. In fact the only thing that was different about the two charts (traditional geo and the new helio) was the PERSPECTIVE or view. I was seeing myself from a different angle, in fact more of an overview.

I had never up to that time had any real alternative astrological look at myself. Like the great jazz singer Les McCann named his song “Compared to What?” I had nothing to compare my traditional geo chart to. Suddenly with the helio chart had a second opinion on ‘me’, and it was to say the least illuminating. It took a little to absorb, but I was stunned by what I saw. Suffice it to say that it changed my life.

I am not suggesting that it will do this for everyone, but how can astrologers turn down another and different perspective on themselves? That is why I am writing all this, because I care about astrology and astrologers and want each of you to have the same opportunity I had. I hope I am enthusing and not preaching.

If you are still with me, there are a few more things to make clear about how to approach your helio chart. For one, of course there is no Moon, no houses, no ascendant, no retrogrades, etc. In helio there are just the ever-forward moving planets. And although in the beginning I did all of the standard things like “ My geo Mars is in Aries, but my helio Mars is in Aquarius,” therefore my person shows Aries Mars, but really at the heart it is an Aquarius action that is done, and so on. I dropped all of that before too long.

At the level of the solar system it is all about planets relating to each other and their common center. The earth is not a common center for any body other than the Moon. In other words, helio is all about aspects and aspect patterns. And I don’t just mean individual aspects like my Earth is trine Venus, but I mean major (Ptolemaic) aspects that connect one to another all the way around the chart to create a pattern. These are what I came to call StarType patterns or just StarTypes.

I am going to get into greater detail on the various StarTypes in the next post, but here I am just giving you some of the background. When we have only one view that is given to us, like the traditional astrology chart, we have to derive everything from that one view. We HAVE no other perspective. With a second view at the same birth or event, we suddenly have a alternative perspective, a second opinion. When that view is a superset (helio), that is an ‘overview’, what we see of our self can be very much enhanced. I use the word ‘illuminating.” In the next post hopefully our web site will have StarTypes for you to check out for yourself.


August 8, 2010

Some of you have asked me why most astrologers do not use these solar eruptions in their day-to-day astrology. There are at least a couple of reasons why. First, astrologers are dependent on scientists and astronomers to tell them when these solar events are taking place. Astrologers and astronomers have not been on close speaking terms for some 400 years now, which brings me to another and perhaps the main reason why astrologers don’t monitor events and even planetary movements on the solar system level. Please bear with me while I try to lay it out here.

This story actually starts some 400 years ago when Copernicus pointed out to the world that in fact the Sun does not orbit the Earth as everyone had always thought, but just the other way around: the Earth orbits the Sun. That was news to the civilized world!

Up to that point astronomy and astrology were pretty much the same thing, and astrology was considered as just the cultural side of astronomy in that astronomers were for the most part also astrologers and vice versa. But from the time of Copernicus onward, astrologers and astronomers each went different ways, the astronomers continued on using the traditional geocentric chart astrologers still use today, but also adopted the newly discovered heliocentric perspective that Copernicus pointed out. Astronomers use two charts, which they do today as well.

However, the astrologers continued to use only the geocentric (earth-centered) perspective, the traditional astrology chart we all know and use. I don’t know why some astrologers did not accept or adopt also the new heliocentric or solar-system chart. However astrologers back then did retain the cultural tradition of applying astronomical information to our personal lives, and they do to this present day. But a rift opened between those astrologers who did not consider Copernicus’s discovery important enough to also chart it and the astrologers who did also chart it and eventually were called just astronomers rather than astronomer/astrologers as they had all bee called up to then. In the modern world, astrologers and astronomers are not usually on friendly terms, mostly due to the astronomer’s attitude toward astrology and the astrologer’s lack knowledge or interest in the helio perspective. The astronomers also gradually forgot the cultural side of their science. That is how it stands today.

Using the two perspectives (geo and helio), two charts, astronomers can land a spaceship on the Earth or send one orbiting the Sun. Astrologers on the other hand have chosen (for reasons I have never found documented) to limit themselves only to the earth-centered point of view, and the standard natal chart wheel used by modern astrologers is basically a snapshot of the solar system from the earth’s position embedded deep within that system. Astronomers on the other hand use both the geocentric and heliocentric charts, giving them the ability to also look at how the whole solar system functions as it actually is, with the Sun at the center, and the other planets orbiting the Sun. As mentioned, why astrologers never adopted this radical new chart I have no idea, but I wish someone would research it and tell me.

However, I have been using both the traditional astrological (geocentric) natal chart AND the solar-system heliocentric chart used by astronomers for the last forty years, and I find the two charts together give us a much clearer perspective than either chart alone. I have called this technique StarTypes and have been trying to tell astrologers about the value of using these two charts to achieve a kind of triangulation or stereo view of a moment. However most astrologers have shown no interest in this, preferring to label me as “that heliocentric astrologer,” when I have always used both charts together all of these years. But that is a sidebar issue. Let me tell you something about this StarTypes approach:

The StarTypes technique is modern in that it combines the traditional view used by astrologers with the heliocentric view used by astronomers to achieve what amounts to a stereo view of the birth moment, while also preserving the cultural side of both charts. Until StarTypes this just had not been done and the enhanced perspective or stereo view of combing both geocentric and heliocentric perspectives offers a much more accurate and complete picture of what the planets are doing at the moment of an event such as a birth.

Where the astrologer’s geocentric (Earth-centered) and the astronomer’s heliocentric chart intersect effectively triangulates a nativity, clearly pointing out the circumstances we find ourselves in (geocentric chart) and what actually is going on behind and within those appearances (heliocentric chart). StarTypes takes into account the actual inner workings of the solar system that, along with our traditional astrology chart, provides us with what amounts to a 3D or enhanced view of the birth moment and ourselves.

In essence the StarTypes technique maps the large-scale planetary patterns taking place in the heavens from two points of view and compares them as the context in which our personal lives are taking place.

To better understand this I have included a diagram that shows the heliocentric (astronomer’s) chart on the upper left and the geocentric (astrologers) chart on the upper right. I use my birth date. I hope you can easily see that the traditional geocentric astrologer’s chart is like a snapshot taken from the Earth’s view as a planet embedded in the solar system, actually embedded quite close to the Sun. So the traditional astrology chart is Earth’s perspective of the various planets from its orbit deep within the solar system. On the other hand, the heliocentric chart (upper left) is an overview perspective of the whole solar system. This is a view of where the planets actually are in relation to their functioning center the Sun and not the view of how Earth sees the solar system. You can see that there is a difference between the two views and this difference provides two views of the same planets, the same system, and the same moment but just from alternate perspectives.

My point is the these two views complement each other and provide us with a more complete picture of what is going on than either of the two charts can by itself. The third chart, the one at the bottom of the diagram shows the heliocentric perspective but with one planet (Mars) drawn so that you can see the two perspectives. I just used one because drawing all would be a bit overwhelming to sort out visually. In this third chart you can clearly see that Earth (astrology chart) sees the planet Mars in the zodiac sign Aries, while Mars’ actual position in relation to its own center is in the zodiac sign Aquarius. This is quite a difference, and the difference is due to the earth being embedded within the actual solar system and from that position Earth sees Mars in Aries. But in fact, in relation to its real center (Mars does not orbit Earth either), it is in the zodiac sign Aquarius.

Scientists and astronomers use both the geocentric and heliocentric charts to get their work done, but for reasons I don’t know astrologers chose some 400 years ago to only use one and ignore the newly discovered heliocentric perspective. It is perhaps time that astrologers as a group begin to use both charts in their work. I have done this for forty years and get very good results. Neither chart has the whole story, but together they offer us an enhanced view. Consider the heliocentric chart as a 2nd opinion on your birth moment, another way to see yourself.

In the next few days, if my team can manage it, I will install on the web a little program that will allow each of you (its free) to see and learn about your heliocentric chart patterns. This will give you another perspective on your chart and life that you may find helpful.

In approaching this, the traditional geocentric astrological chart is a chart of your personality and the actual physical earth-centered circumstances in which you find yourself, while the heliocentric natal chart is a map of your more inner self. I like to call the heliocentric chart your ‘dharma chart,” because it is a chart of what is behind or supporting your persona. Remember the traditional astrology chart is a snapshot of what? It is a snapshot of the entire solar system as seen only from Earth’s perspective. The heliocentric (astronomer’s) chart is the actual chart of the solar system itself, of what the earth’s view is but a snapshot of. We need both views to be complete.

I apologize if this is a little technical and I am hoping that even you non-astrologers reading this will see why two views that triangulate as these two do are better than one. Neither view is better than the other, but the combination is better than having only one perspective.

Let me know if this makes sense to you and I will write a little more about this StarTypes technique and introduce you to your own heliocentric chart and the patterns it contains.

Thanks for listening,


Astro*Images by Michael Erlewine

August 8, 2010

A number of you have written asking me about the various tarot-card-like astrology images I use and where they came from. I don’t mind telling you how these came to be, but as you will see it has a personal element to it, so take note.

Some years ago, I went through a period of loss. I won’t go into detail, but it kind of stopped me cold and popped me out of whatever day-to-day distractions I was into. It was quite a long period, years. There was nothing at that time that really could cheer me up.

I have always loved the tarot cards and feel that graphic images can add so much to words and text, and I realized that astrology had few to none such things. The idea kind of lifted me up and I decided to make some tarot-like astrology cards.

Well the first thing I did was to hire an artist, but soon found out that no matter how carefully I explained what I would like, it would come out different than what I imagined I needed. The artist was good and all that, so this is not a blame thing. And it was expensive AND it would take many years to finish. I was impractical.

Although my mother was a wonderful artist and all her five sons learned to draw, know colors and all of that, I did not have the draftsmanship skills to produce anything like tarot cards. But where there is a will, there is a way.

I began looking through hundreds of thousands of clip art images online and subscribing to various services. 99% of them were terrible, but 1% were tolerable to almost good. I began an extended journey to illustrate, however crudely, all of the parts of astrology I love. It took years, but at this point I have done 13,000 cards images covering almost every astrological factor in western and eastern astrology. It is hard for even me to believe I did that many, and some are upgrades of earlier tries.

I made them during this sensitive period I mentioned and these cards soothed my heart and lifted up my spirits. I tried to make each one express some meaning so that when you got an astrological text interpretation, you also got an Astro*Image card along with it to kind of get you in the mood. And I showed the cards to just regular people, non-astrologers, and they were into them. They too felt it helped to have an image with an interpretation. As I say, this went on for years, doing a few cards at a time.

These cards are all electronic, not printed. I designed them in Adobe Illustrator. In fact I do all my own graphics. And then I began to redesign written astrological interpretive reports, using graphics along with text and found that those who read their reports with graphic cards like them a lot better.

Today there are a couple of dozen reports, not all available yet, that include graphics along with the kind of interpretive text you would expect from an astrological report. Some of these reports samples you can see on, and more are coming.

I am also getting ready to offer these reports as a service to my fellow astrologers, where they can advertise them on their site, we process them, and send them to their customers, and we split the proceeds. The businessman in me has to pay the bills, you know.

So there you have, the story of Astro*Image cards. I hope you like them. These are just a very few, shown with three examples per set. I wish I had a way to show you more of them. If you like them, I may have to do that.

Astro*Shamanism Part 7

July 21, 2010

The Saturn Return and the Outer Planets – Part 7

I have attempted to point out how the very order of the planets themselves can be a key to how they may be used, a key to our own inner journey of discovery. But it is clear that many of you are nodding off and I accept this as my fault. It is true that esoteric astrology is very difficult to grasp and if not grasped lends itself well to sleeping. I apologize.

At this point, instead of going on to describe each life chakra in excruciating detail, I am going to detour around that and say something about Saturn and its relation to the outer planets, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. If this does not resonate, then I will take up other topics entirely. I don’t want to wear out my welcome. It is a good question: What about the outer planets, the planets beyond Saturn: Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and any others still waiting to be found?

It may be helpful, before reading through this section, to understand a little about how I view astrology, which is above all as an oracle. Astrology, in my understanding, speaks to us in its own language. There are many approaches to astrology, and thus many languages or ways to make astrology speak. It is what astrology speaks to us of that I consider important, not the words themselves, and not the language of astrology, per se. We have also to be prepared to hear or listen.

The Transcendental or Outer Planets

What is presented here is most appropriately part of what we could call Shamanic Astrology: initiation and tales of the soul’s journey through time. My approach is not meant to be dogmatic, but like all astrological techniques, this is but one of many to better understand our life and life’s journey. Please accept it in that tone.

We will now look briefly at the planets that exist beyond the realm of Saturn or time. These external planets are beyond the physical or material (on the outer or the far side), just as the inner planets are beyond the physical on the inside or within Saturn’s orbit.

These outer planets are Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, and the three together have been called the following: Out-of-Body Planets, Transcendental Planets, Metaphysical Planets, After-Death Planets, Planets of the Unconscious, Spiritual Planets, Impersonal Planets, Psychic Planets, and other names. Why these names? What are these outer planets all about?

We could push the limits of language and say that the outer planets are not about anything, not about any “thing,” for they are by definition beyond the physical, beyond Saturn. Yet they have a very important message for us and, although this blog is primarily about the traditional planets, I will briefly try to present here an overview of the outer planets and how they might be used in counseling.

One reason to include them here is that these outer planets represent in yet another way the same life initiations or rites of passage that we have looked at elsewhere in this blog, initiations as seen in the planets or chakras within the sphere of Saturn. These outer planets are the eternal witness and awareness of all that is — the revelation. In other words, these trans-Saturnian planets serve to reveal and emphasize the nature of the inner planets. This will require some explanation.

The Meta-Physical

From the point of view of Shamanic Astrology, the outer or transcendental planets (Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and any trans-Plutonian planets yet to be discovered) are not stations or experience beyond our physical life in the sense of some next place to get to or land. These outer planets are not physical in the sense that Saturn is physical, for — as pointed out — Saturn is physicality or form itself. The outer planets are by definition beyond Saturn, and are therefore formless or meta-physical.

Because these outer planets are beyond form or Saturn, they are (and can only be) part of the ‘revelation’ of the physical or internal planets we have already looked at, the planets within (and including) Saturn’s limits. The outer planets can but reveal the nature and importance of the inner planets. This is the extent of their power, but as we shall see, this is power indeed.

Pointing Out: Saturn Is Form

It is important here to grasp that Saturn is the realm of form and time, the planet of all physicality, similar to the form of our body that contains all the organs, and in this case all the planets within Saturn, including the great Sun, which of course is not a planet. Saturn is this physicality and form.

Just as we know that Mars has to do with drive and energy, Jupiter with direction and path, so Saturn has always been the planet of form and the physical. It is not enough to simply nod your head that you understand this concept and move on. If it does not deeply register, then what follows is not going to make much sense to you, the fact that the outer planets are not physical, are not physical places or stages. In the context of Shamanic Astrology, these outer planets are beyond form and the physical, thus: meta-physical, the measure of the physical, the sensing of the physical – a mirror.

Astrology here is but a language. We are not talking about putting a space probe on Pluto and sampling soil, but instead we are using astrology here to point to the esoteric meanings of the planets, in this case the outer planets, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Astrology is only a language we use to point to something happening in our lives, and not itself much of an end. Shamanic astrology does not have to correspond exactly to other forms of astrology or to science. There are many astrological languages, and the point is to make them articulate and speak to us.

Saturn is the Physical End

Saturn marks the form and physical end of things. It always has, throughout the long history of astrology, East and West. That physical form contains within itself the great Sun, and all of the planets out to Jupiter. Beyond Saturn, beyond form itself, we have the outer planets, which are by the above definition, formless and non-physical. What can they mean or point to? What is their use?

I have mentioned elsewhere in this blog that each of us is born and grows our personal body over time, and in time. Every body is mature and complete, physically, when Saturn returns at 29.4 years of age. There is no more physical growth from that time forward, unless you want to include middle-age spread, but that is not what we mean here by growth. The physical body is finished growing by the Saturn return. It has reached its physical peak and is mature. This is what we are speaking of here. At that time, the physical body is not going to get any better. There will be no “more.”

The Prime of Life

Beyond maturity or the prime of life, it is downhill for every body. There is not a higher peak of physical prowess to be obtained. Like the trajectory of a missile, our body (if exercised and cared for) will reach a peak, maintain its form for a while, and then eventually begin to fall and fail. We all know this is true. It is true for every body, human or otherwise.

Therefore, the planets beyond Saturn, beyond the physical, will not bring us any more physicality or form. They cannot. If we are looking for more of that, then the outer planets can only testify or prove to us that there is no more increase of form to be expected. By this same definition, we can say that these outer planets will reveal this fact as a natural by-product of getting to know them, by using them as an oracle. And in this regard, the outer planets are indeed very oracular. Astrology, at heart, is an oracle, albeit a complex one. It speaks to us.

If we are used (during the first 30-year cycle of Saturn) to something always being added on in the form realm, to there always being something “new,” then we will not find (physically speaking) any more “new” as we move beyond that 30-year Saturn cycle and begin to pick up on the cycles of the outer planets.

Straight Lines Curve

If we have been caught up in the exposition of Saturn, as it makes its first cycle after our birth, which ends at 29.4 years, we may have become used to thinking of time as linear, as a straight line or linear journey that we have been on. This is a common and quite natural mistake that most of us make.

When Saturn completes its return, and turns to repeating itself (going over the same degrees of the zodiac for the second time), that linear sense starts to fade in our minds, and the idea of a circle begins to dawn for us. The straighter the line, the finer the curve.

Before and through the Saturn return, most of us are used to conceiving our life along a time line, in a linear format. Time in this view stretches on into the future, with birth at one end and death at the other. This is the common view, a time line from birth to death.

But with the Saturn return, this linear sense of time begins to be challenged by the essential circularity (cycles) of life, the tendency for all things to repeat or cycle. This is for most a major initiation, and a source of great confusion for many.

The Straighter the Line, the Finer the Curve

I am not suggesting here that this is a sudden realization. For most, it is not. In fact, this altered sense of time, as a cycle or circle is very, very gradual for most, and apparently non-existent for some, at least awareness of it. The ingrained time as a “straight line” theory is slow to give way to the reality of time as returns, and returning — cyclic.

Yet, beyond the 30-year Saturn return, time stops as we have come to know it, and begins to repeat itself, to go over the same ground (zodiac-wise) for the second time around. This is what we might term a climacteric event, one with far-reaching implications, and one that should be studied in a section by itself. Here, we will just touch on the main articulation points, but I have gone into this in much greater depth elsewhere in this blog.

The Physical End of Life

At our Saturn return, we as a thing or body are complete, and we (our body) are launched beyond time itself for the first time. Time as we have come to know it up to that point just stops. Let’s take a quick review of what this kind of time suggests.

Up to this point throughout our life, Saturn or form has been positing or declaring itself zodiac degree by zodiac degree. Over the course of our formative years, the activities of the inner planets, which complete their initial circle or cycle around the Sun, one by one, have caught our attention, each in their turn. This too will be explained elsewhere in much greater detail.

But after our Jupiter return falls to repetition at around 12 years of age, we can perhaps begin to pick up on Saturn’s story. And the second Jupiter return, around 24-years of age, marks a real turning point for tuning in to what Saturn is (and has been) laying down all this time. We could mark these first 30 years as the track or line of time (as we mentioned earlier), this almost unavoidable sense of linearity, of time seemingly stretching endlessly toward the future – going on forever.

The Bewildering Display of Time

Keep in mind, here, that all during our first 30 years, Saturn is developing or positing the form or physical experience that we have up to this point. It is all that we have known, and it is captivating. It would seem that each of us is fascinated, if not entranced, by the seeming-endless (often bewildering) display of form and new experience. As I pointed out, there is a quite natural assumption that this stream of new experience will go on forever, and that this is just the nature of life. Like the proverbial deer in the headlights, we are caught up in this bewildering display of time.

When Time Stops

It is my contention here (in the esoteric sense) that time literally stops as Saturn reaches its return and turns to repeating itself, as it begins going over a section of the zodiac for a second time – around thirty years of age.

This is not an “Aha!” experience for us. Most don’t get it all at once, and some never seem to get it at all. Instead, as Saturn falls to repetition in our experience, that sense of something new as always appearing at the “present” point of our timeline fades. It falls away. There is nothing further physically forthcoming. There is no more “more.” You have it. This is it! There is a great silence that sets in.

For most people, this is not easily recognized, but mostly at first somehow intuited. They “feel” different. Something has changed, but they don’t know what it is just yet. Some part of their deeper consciousness is monitoring all this, and they sense a gap or change in their experience, but can’t quite put their finger on it, Dylan’s “You don’t know what it is, do you Mr. Jones.”

Entering the Silence

In the Western esoteric tradition, this has been referred to as “Entering the Silence,” for the great motor of time has been turned off for the first time. The rush and roar of time that has been there all our life fades to silence.

My esoteric teacher, who was a traveling initiator in a Rosicrucian order, had his own way of explaining this concept to me, and I will pass this on to you, since I found it totally helpful myself.

He spoke of this whole Saturn-return transition as being like the launching of a rocket into outer space. Our time within the Saturn cycle, until we reach its return at roughly age 30, is the time during which we can work on and build our own personal space capsule. We are still grounded, so to speak, and have all the tools and resources we might need to construct as perfect a vehicle as we can manage.

The Vehicle is Launched

At the Saturn return (29.4 years heliocentrically), that vehicle is launched, ready or not, well-built or not-so-well-built. Literally, there is no more time after that to work on the vehicle. The physical growth or development has reached an end. For better or for worse, our vehicle is finished and launched as we enter the space beyond Saturn or time, what we could call here: outer space, the space outside what we had been up to that point enclosed within — a major initiation.

Our journey beyond the realm of time (Saturn) to a very great degree depends on our vehicle, how it was constructed, how well it was made, and so on. We are literally floating out there, beyond time, floating in that space beyond time, if that phrase makes any sense.

One Generation

If you are older than thirty years of age, you are already out there beyond time. For many people, this transition is not consciously registered and seemingly not a great problem. They are oblivious to it, or so it seems. However, for others, this transition can be very problematical. In particular, those who begin to awaken to this experience (and try to put all the pieces together) may not understand what they are going through, and even become fearful, frightened.

And it is this group that can benefit from some form of shamanic astrology, some spiritual handholding and guidance. And there can be so many questions that occur to those making this transition. A spiritual friend or guide to these regions can be a friend indeed, and serve us in good stead.

The Outer Planets

And thus the whole concept of the outer planets, the planets outside Saturn’s grip, comes up. How are they to be understood?

Of course, we have quite a long history now of using these outer planets in astrology, so I am assuming you already have that. What is being presented here is not in any way contrary to that material, but rather our focus here is on what shamanic astrology can bring to the picture. Let me try to describe this.

Using the linear sense of time we discussed above, as we hit our Saturn return at 29.4 years of age, it is like driving out of town and hitting the outskirts. Suddenly, there are no more houses, no more stores, no more “town,” and we are looking down a line of highway that is empty, and perhaps, we hope, going somewhere. To our eyes, it appears to stretch out toward what we have always viewed as the future. It is what we are used to. It has always been something like this for us, time as a line going somewhere.

A One-Way Street

Now imagine that as we drive out from town along this straight highway, we encounter three signs, much like those of us who are older used to see as a series of signs for products, like the old Burma Shave slogans of the 1950s, that had one phrase on each sign, things like:

A guy who drives,
A car wide open,
Is not thinkin’,
He’s just hopin’
Burma Shave.

Sorry, but I had to do that. Well, in our case there are just three of these signs at this point, in the order Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. We can add more, as more trans-plutonian planets are added, but they will ALL tell the same story. And what is that story?

That story is as simple as that there is nothing more out there, no place to get to or go to, AND you had best turn around or at least take a look back over your shoulder at what you are leaving: all of the planets and bodies within Saturn’s orbit. If you do look, this is what is called “discovering your inner life.” If it happens all at once, it has been called “discovering your Self.” It is the physical point of no return, and, therefore, a major (perhaps THE major) turning point in a life.

The esoteric principle here is that the only thing to be seen when you get out of the body is the body itself, just as we gaze at Earth from the space shuttle. Out-of-body experiences are a vantage point only and not a place to get to.

Sidebar: Out of the Body Experiences

So much has been made (and is still being made) about out-of-the-body experiences, astral travel, and related experiences. And this is just what we are describing here, ecstatic experiences, how we exit the body, and pass from that body to a more subtle experience of all things.

There are scores of books about out-of-the-body experiences. And although these books appear quite exotic, for the most part, if you read them with the concepts being presented here, they will make more than a little sense. Out-of-the-body experiences are not uncommon. In fact, they are ubiquitous and universally experienced by all of us, all of the time. Our consciousness is always moving in and out of our body, but starting with our Saturn return, many of us begin to consciously experience this and remember those experiences. What may have been rare up to this point (the Saturn return) is an awareness of what we all experience, this passing beyond time and the physical, to the metaphysical — beyond the physical.

Somewhat of a Big Deal

This trans-Saturnian view is not a minor piece of information for most of us, those of us who have been assuming that there IS something out there all those years, that there is much more of something waiting for us along this linear road of time, and especially perhaps something for us at the end of that road, like heaven or hell. The usual scenario: we are trying to proceed along our straight timeline, as we always have up to that point, and here are signs that are telling us to “Go Back!” What are we to think?

I hope by now you are beginning to get the general idea. These outer, transcendental, planets are not physical, in that they are (by definition) beyond Saturn or the physical. They have been called the meta-physical planets, and rightly so. They are not going to manifest in a physical way. They are meta-physical, that is: beyond the physical.

However, these outer planets can (and do) reveal the physical, perhaps in a new light. They are planets of revelation, and the only thing tangible (physical) they can reveal or render is the physical world and all that is within it, the same old physical world we are used to, but now viewed differently. And this is what they, in fact, do.

Revelation and Rendering

What do we mean by “revelation?” Revelation is just that, a true revelation, and in the biblical sense: a revealing of the true nature and sheer importance of the Sun, Moon, and planets out to and including Saturn.

And what do we mean by the statement that the outer planets “render” the inner planets? We are using the word “render” here in its sense of “to give back” or “hand over.” The outer planet initiation can give back to us that which we have come to take for granted and perhaps lost an appreciation for, including our entire sense of the Self.

By saying that the outer planets are the revelation of the inner planets, it is meant that the outer planets are the realization (growing awareness of) of the absolute value of the inner planets. The outer planets, like a rear-view mirror, are really all about the inner planets, the value of which is being pointed out by exposure to the outer planets. We learn to value what we formerly took for granted. With one foot firmly on Earth, we might think to step out with the other off the Earth, but we only sink back into Earth, because there is no other place to step to. We are stuck with the Earth and thus begin to see it differently.

The View from Earth

When astronauts leave Earth, what is it that they see and most commonly photograph from the trip? It is not the dark and starry sky beyond the earth — the relative emptiness of space. No, it is Earth itself, that great blue and white planet that looks so awesome and peaceful from a distance. That is what we all look at and see. This is key.

In the same way, when we emerge beyond our Saturn return, the most important thing for us to see is not outer space, but inner space, the space within, including the Sun, planets, and Saturn. We discover not what is out there, but what we just left or are leaving. There is nothing out there, but we now know it. This is just common sense.

Saturn represents the physical form of things, and planets beyond Saturn are beyond the physical form and are non-physical. As my teacher would say to me, they are “transcend dental,” and he would snap his teeth together, literally beyond the dental or physical. It may take time to understand this, but it is time worth taking. These outer planets will not add one iota to the physical world, because, as pointed out, that is the domain of Saturn.

The outer planets are the realization of the rest of the solar system, the Sun and all the planets, their production and the presentation. We indicate this in that, for the most part, these outer planets are by age (return) longer or beyond the personal experience. We each of us don’t live that long, so they are what we have yet to fully know, even through death. They mark the aura of the solar system, and point back to the Sun center, and not beyond to deep space. They reflect.

Let me know your thoughts on this please.