This month I have Astrologer, Chad Woodward as my special guest. Next month I'll be featuring Emily Trinkaus, Astrologer.
You can check out Chad's website here: kosmicmind.com
An Interview with Chad Woodward, Astrologer
How did you originally become interested in astrology?
I got caught up in the whole thing when I was about nineteen, mainly with just 'popular' sun sign astrology. It was around me for a while, leading up to my actual discovery of natal or horoscopic astrology. I had a friend who was vaguely interested in the subject, more so with Sun sign compatibility, she talked about it daily; she had "The Only Astrology Book You'll Ever Need" by Joanna Martine Woolfolk, and I remember being extremely drawn to it, but didn't know why, since I was actually rather skeptical of astrology. About a year later, I met someone who basically acted as a catalyst for my 'awakening', and he was the primary motivation that sent me on the path to studying astrology and the occult. I fell in love with him actually, or perhaps, so I thought, he was the first person I felt that way about, and it was through the pain of unrequited love that sent me into a sort of obsession of "figuring" out why, and then all that pain and obsession eventually led me to myself....and astrology was, and is, so crucial to that self discovery for me, and I am ever so grateful for it. I would say that my discovery of astrology was during one of the most difficult and unbalanced times of my life thus far, and it was literally the light that guided me from so much darkness and confusion. I was heavily indoctrinated into a nihilistic almost quasi-existential way of thinking, and I was dabbling a bit with conceptual physics like quantum mechanics and string theory.....and then all of a sudden, I met astrology, and it all just came together so nicely, all of my interests in science and philosophy suddenly came together. It all reminds me of something Carl Jung once said....."Pain and light and enlightenment come all at once", or something to that nature.
How can astrology help people?
Well, there is certainly no easy way to answer that, and I suppose it really depends on the person and how receptive they are to what astrology can reveal. Astrology can just about illuminate anything within the psyche, and by that I mean it can reveal, completely, an individual's life process, potential, and struggle. In its highest application, astrology can help bring awareness, and when it comes to a healing process, awareness is so absolutely crucial, and it makes things a lot easier to work with.....but then again that all depends on how open an individual is to having awareness of themselves. Unfortunately, in our culture, astrology is perceived as mere entertainment and is so far removed from healing, and because of that status so many are closed off to the 'idea' that astrology is a powerful healing tool, more so than any form of psychotherapy or mainstream counseling I've tried, and the awareness it provides is so beyond even other holistic modalities I've experimented with, it's really a complete system for providing awareness of one's self. With that said, however, I believe astrology is best used as a starting point or foundation for healing, because awareness in itself isn't enough, you have to do something about it. I went a long time having awareness of myself but that didn't particularly change anything, I had to get proactive with other modalities to work on those things astrology had shown me....but that's where the real power lies, because it can totally accelerate the healing process, it can get right to the point, to the bottom line and really save a lot of time. In another light, astrology can really alleviate stress and confusion, it can provide a perspective that reveals an intelligence to life and to nature itself, and that each of us is a part of that intelligence. Through the use of predictive techniques, such as transits, an awareness emerges where one can see that there's a time for certain things, that a difficult period in one's life has a beginning and an end, that it won't last forever, and that it doesn't necessarily need to be difficult at all. From this expanded perspective we see an inevitable unfolding within the entire universe, and astrology can help us align with that unfolding, that cosmic intention, so that our ego isn't in the way of it. I don't believe that we solely live for ourselves, and by that I don't mean that our lives aren't significant, because from our perspective it's obvious that's all there is, but our life is really apart of a much larger evolutionary agenda, and like the cells of a larger organism, our destiny serves the fulfillment of a greater cosmic, and even universal destiny. Above all else, astrology is helpful because it shows us that there's a division between who we think we are, and who we are really meant to be....it reveals all that imprinting and conditioning that's been thrown on us from our parents, religion, culture, society etc, and how we can actually transmute that conditioning into something that's truly powerful and functional for our lives and for others. I see each of us as a puzzle piece really, and we all fit in perfectly somewhere, it's just that we're all looking in the wrong spot, or we believe we're a different piece all together and so we go around trying to fit in where we, by nature, actually don't belong. If we can really understand our own piece of the puzzle, and become really aware of our special place, we can fit in and stop getting in the way, and hopefully if more people understand this- all of us will be able to see the picture on the puzzle much more clearly, and astrology is definitely a tool that can light the way.
If you could be any combination of sun/moon/ascendant - what would it be?
Honestly I've never been into idealizing I was something else astrologically, I'm perfectly happy with my current combination.....Aquarius rising, Aries Moon, and Gemini Sun. It's a lot of hot air....but I think I make good use of it ;-) But I suppose, if I were to pick, I'd maybe have at least some more earth, like a Taurus moon, just to ground things out a bit.....but then again, I wouldn't be who I am now.
How do you see astrology benefiting society?
I see astrology as one of the most crucial tools for human survival, and ironically, it's the most suppressed and attacked of subjects around, by every school of thought imaginable. Religion hates it, science mocks it, philosophy can't figure it out, and others, even many "new agers" feel it's overtly mental/intellectual and takes us out of the moment. There was a time, in antiquity, where astrology was one of the highest regarded of sciences on the planet, every physician was essentially as astrologer-there was no division between metaphysics and "science". No decisions were made without first consulting the heavens, but often when I say that, people think it was a time where people didn't utilize free will, that they were these superstitious primitives who believed in silly things like the planets were literal"Gods" who cursed or blessed them according to their actions, but that's a complete misunderstanding spawned by our cultural and collective delusion and ignorance. Astrology reveals archetypal dynamics that exist higher dimensionally, and these dynamics are the very seeds for our collective belief systems, structures, institutions, and the entire reality before us....they shape, mold, and herd society in ways we could never imagine. Ironically our world is completely unconscious of this reality, that their thoughts and feelings do not always, if ever, originate within themselves, but are rather the by product, the wake, of a larger external force impulsing them from outside. If we as a society once again had that understanding, we wouldn't be so manipulated by our thoughts and feelings, we would be able to direct them and use them toward our own benefit. That's free will, complete consciousness in the moment of what's happening, and what's impulsing you. Free will begins with having awareness, because if your unconscious of something, it has power over you, and then you're really tantamount to a puppet on strings.....and sadly, that's our whole world currently, little puppets on strings being led along by larger puppets who, in their own delusion, believe their running the show.
What is the best way to begin the study of astrology?
I'll be perfectly honest, real authentic natal astrology is extremely inaccessible-but that shouldn't discourage anyone from studying it, but I say that because many don't know the difference between esoteric and exoteric astrology. Exoteric astrology is what you'll find at Barnes and Noble, not to say there aren't some possible gems here and there in mainstream bookstores, but they are extremely hard to find. Your best bet is to go to new age bookstores, or to used book stores in large cities, you'll likely find lots of unique and possibly out of print books. The problem with astrology is that, besides from its apparent 'popularity', which is supposedly increasing, the real meat of the subject people aren't interested in-or they truly would have no idea of its value or even its existence. Because of this a lot of the really good stuff doesn't circulate for very long, because there isn't a big enough market for it, so they go out of print and we're left with a lot of cookbook astrology that might be somewhat illuminating, but is mostly just entertainment and useless in terms of practical application. With that said, I would suggest just starting with the basics, learn the alphabet, the symbols, and how they all interconnect through ruler-ship. Once you have a firm grasp of the basics, you can begin to expand that into deeper realms, but it's definitely an art and a science, and something you need to truly love and stick with....like anything it takes practice and discipline, and most of the time people give up out of discouragement. I can't tell you how I learned astrology, I've never been formally taught, and all the resources just sort of fell into my lap, it all just came together so perfectly for me. When people ask me how I learned I tell them I just remembered it, because it came so fast and so easy for me, and I'm convinced I have utilized it extensively in lives previous to this one. That doesn't mean that you need to have been a court astrologer or a priest at Dendera in a past life to "get it", but out of complete honesty, it isn't something that a lot of people will "get" right away, because it's an entirely different way of thinking. It really helps to actually delve into stuff like mythology, and the study of symbolism, because that's really how you approach astrology, from a creative and 'mythical' state of mind. It's actually not about studying the symbols and learning what they mean in an academic way, but rather, what they embody, how they feel within the body, what their essence is in a multivalent sense. You can't approach astrology from a left brained approach, which we are all, in this culture, conditioned to be dominated by. You can learn it this way, and that's actually how I started, but you will not be able to successfully apply it to real life or to a real human being unless you have the other perspective. It is true, however, that the study of astrology can actually assist in bridging both hemispheres. In terms of resources I always recommend a beginner's book, such as Steven Forrest's The Inner Sky, which is very well written and approachable, or even something as basic as "The Only Astrology Book You'll Ever Need", by Joanna Martine Woolfolk, which the title may be a bit incorrect in its claim, but it really is a good start. Also there's tons of resources on the internet that a simple google search could easily unveil.
Are there any downsides to astrology?
Absolutely! There's a dark side to everything, and astrology is certainly no exception to that rule. I feel that in my study, I've definitely fallen prey to the darker realms of astrological application, in that it was an obsession for me in my early stages of learning. In it's lower vibration, astrology presents a lot of temptations, enticing the ego to control reality and, to a darker aspect, to the control of other people. One can easily get lost in trying to "figure it all out", in order to have control of their lives, and that's really a dysfunctional way of approaching astrology. It can become a highly intellectual and mental discipline, and when taken too far, has one worrying and dreading what a particular element in their horoscope might create for them. It can really take one "out of the moment", into a very mental plane where they are constantly looking to the future, to whats going to happen, instead of just using it in the moment to work to become synergistic with the energies as they currently are. It can also feed into a lot egocentric delusion, where one is so focused or convinced of a sense of higher destiny, which may or may not be true for them. The biggest downside to astrology actually comes from its practitioners, because it's kept so secret and inaccessible, there isn't a lot of proper training out there, there's a lot of practitioners who give very damaging information to their clients. I'll admit that I've done it myself, and I've never actually been formally trained. I would recommend avoiding any 'astrologer' that gives immanent predictions, or absolutes, such as "You'll never have children", or "You're going to get a divorce this year", such things, in my opinion, have no use and are in no way healing or of therapeutic value. I don't make concrete predictions using astrology, I have of course in the past, but it doesn't work for me, and I feel that it's very limiting. Any time someone makes a concrete prediction, they create a limitation for that person, and that idea or that belief is very powerful, and who is to say that the client doesn't go on to manifest that based on what they were told, into a sort of self fulfilled prophecy. Astrology is not about predicting the future, it's about perceiving an unfolding and aligning oneself with that unfolding to manifest the most positive and functional outcome. I also believe that astrology is definitely used for a darker agenda by many religious, political, and entertainment institutions for the use of social manipulation; it is very clear that many wars and so called 'natural' or man-made disasters occur very precisely timed astrologically toward the benefit of governments and elitists. You could say, of course, that perhaps it simply proves the validity of astrology, and that those events actually occurred in synchronization with the astrological event, which is true to an extent, but in looking at the evidence, certain events are just so beyond that, it is very clear that foreknowledge was used. There are many secret societies and similar groups that use it to herd the masses into particular directions and cultural shifts, and today that is a very real and powerful reality we are faced with, and sadly it is, I believe, the most common negative application of it. The details of this, and the evidence of it, is really not something I care to go into here, but I do talk openly about it, even if for some it sounds completely far fetched. Perhaps in the future, after I secure more solid research, I'll be able to write about it in more depth.
Which astrologer or astrologers have had the greatest influence upon you and why?
Well I've dabbled with just about every astrologer's work I could get my hands on, from Ptolemy to Rudhyar, but I would have to say that I'm very heavily influenced by the work of Barbara Hand Clow, Noel Tyl, Steven Forrest, and Jeffery Wolf Green and his school of Evolutionary Astrology. Quite a varied bunch, I'll admit, but they have actually been the most influential on my work thus far. Noel Tyl, though not a favorite to many I've come to find out, has created a very highly functional system of horoscope analysis, synthesis, and interpretation that can be readily applied to reality, and so much of his work is a foundation for how I approach a horoscope. Barbara Hand Clow is just amazing, I don't think there's anyone that can deny the value of what she's done, whether she did it all herself or not, I do not know, but it's highly insightful and useful in terms of acknowledging the deeper spiritual dimensions of astrology. Of course, her brother, Robert Hand, is just as influential, albeit perhaps, a bit more practical; his masterpiece, Planets In Transit, is like my bible. Barbara's work is so tantamount to gaining a broader perspective of how and why it all works the way it does, and even though it can be pretty far out, it actually makes astrology a lot more relatable in terms of giving it more meaning and tangibility through mythology. Jefferey Wolf Green's work is truly remarkable, and has deeply therapeutic implications. In fact, the mention of his name invokes a sense of depth for me, his work really woke me up to just how deep astrology can go within the psyche, and provides a look at the more karmic dimensions of personality, and how reincarnation plays such a crucial role in what we are currently experiencing in our lives. Most of all, I have to give a lot of credit to the unseen masters I've worked with, though I don't know their identity, or whether it's all the byproduct of claircognizance, much of the insight I've gained comes through spontaneous channeling and the amateur shamanism.
What astrological projects are you working on right now that you're particularly excited about?
At the moment I'm working on an article disseminating the deeper archetypal implications of Uranus, and it's connection to the current awakening and transition we are experiencing, linked deeply to an occult or esoteric agenda that's been going on for quite a while....if that makes any sense. Without giving too much away, I've been following a synchronistic chain of events that have been influencing me for a few years. In magikal circles, it would appear to be a sort of 'working' that I've been involved with, and much of it has been rather aggressive to get my attention. The article is pretty far out, but I'm hoping to put some more pieces together soon, because its implications, I feel, are highly significant for us to understand and acknowledge. I'm pretty excited about it, but it hasn't been an easy thing to channel, it's actually been quite a challenge for me, mentally as well as emotionally.
Which astrology books are your favorites and why?
Oh wow, that's a long list, but let's see......definitely Jeff Green's Pluto: The Evolutionary Journey of The Soul, part one and two....absolutely astounding masterpieces and so essential to transmuting deep emotional pain or blockages found in the horoscope. His books have served such a purpose in really getting to the bottom line of the horoscope using Pluto in synthesis with the Moon's nodal axis. Dane Rudhyar's, An Astrological Mandala, which is a deeply rich and remarkable take on Sabian symbols, which are so eerily accurate when used, they are pretty much an entire divination system in and of themselves. Barbara Hand Clow's Chiron: Rainbow Bridge to the Inner and Outer Planets, and The Liquid Light of Sex, are such useful and insightful works, such a blend of spiritual philosophy with very practical and down to earth implications. Noel Tyl's Synthesis and Counseling In Astrology, is such a masterpiece, I don't think there is anything that can compare in it's breadth and complexity, if anyone is considering serious and practical astrological counseling, that is definitely a must have. Then there's Jan Spiller's Astrology For The Soul, which is such a useful and valuable book for healing.....and when mixed with the insight of Jeff Green, it's just amazing what can be revealed in terms of blockages and opportunities for evolution; it brings the concept of reincarnation into a whole new light. Id also like to mention Richard Tarnas' Cosmos and Psyche, which has been hugely influential in motivating me more towards mundane astrology, the astrology of collective or political events. His work is truly amazing, and I actually recommend it to more intellectual types who are skeptical of astrology, because it's an excellent bridge to the more right brained or creative way of thinking and perceiving the world. His book is rather exhausting to go through, but it's extremely well researched and appeals to the more academic minded, who need lengthy bibliographies and footnotes before they would even consider reading something.
How would you like to see humanity utilizing astrology in the future?
Ideally, I'd like to see it used as a form of conscious stewardship, used with the utmost compassion and unconditional love to lead the masses toward higher evolution, and perhaps that's a bit far fetched of a reality for humanity at this time, but it's really, I feel, what astrology is meant to become. It reveals a map of unfolding, and if we could, collectively, use that map together to see where we are going, to see how we can best support that unfolding together, I believe we would literally create heaven on earth- a potential that truly exists deep in our DNA. Currently we live in a culture, in a society, that is so separated from nature and the natural rhythm of the cosmos, and the consequences of that we are now witnessing every day in the dysfunctions that plague our bodies, minds, and hearts. We are indeed a sick populace, but it doesn't have to be that way, and astrology is actually a huge step to taking us back to the garden, back to mother earth, to find solace and awe in her beauty and intelligence. Astrology is a giant step towards bridging us back to our potential, back to what we were designed to become, and it will truly save us from the materialistic and lifeless world that many find themselves enmeshed. When you utilize astrology, it reawakens that magic you knew as a child, that feeling of special destiny and purpose, and it's truly that magic our world needs now, to be like a child again, to play and be spontaneous, and to gaze with wonder at the magnificence of that great mystery that envelops us all.
What astrological gem of wisdom do you feel is most essential for us to know about right now?
Everything going on right now is urging us to let go, to break out of our shells, our mundane shells, and embrace life, embrace joy and bliss, and vigor. I know that to many, the world looks rather grim, and as if things are getting much 'worse' than ever before, but I see it as a sort of juxtaposition for the light that's waiting to burst within each of us. All the alignments that are happening right now are truly remarkable, I couldn't begin to describe their significance, but I urge everyone to get intimate with themselves, with their shadows, and with their potential....and really clear out what's holding you back. We are entering into a very different world, and the key to survival is high awareness, you need to be smart and you need to think for yourself to avoid being taken advantage of. I don't say that to scare people, but because we need to get conscious, or were going to drown in unconscious passivity. This is the divine moment that we've been waiting for, it's the most exciting time to be alive, and I really feel it's a blessing I've chosen to be here, no matter how difficult and challenging it is. I don't know if that answers the question, but that's what came up for me, haha.