Decode Your Chart With Degree Symbols

An Experiential Astrology Workshop 

“When the imagination and will power are in conflict, it is always the imagination which wins, without any exception.” – Emil Coué

Note: Registration for this workshop is closed. – DK 09-07-2022

Most of us were handed a pretty crappy set of expectations for the Hero’s Journey of our life. As the French psychologist Coué discovered, our destiny is largely constrained by the subconscious images that govern our sense of self and our beliefs about our potential, worthiness, and personal power. 

Whether these inner images came from abusive or neglectful (or just unconscious) parents, burnt-out teachers, dogmatic religious figures or the media/entertainment industry, the beliefs enforced by them leave us with a very limited set of possibilities. Some of these beliefs are quasi-universal: the world is a dangerous place, there’s nothing I can do about it, be happy with what you have, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, and so forth.

Some are more personal: you’re too sensitive, you’re just like your father, you’ll never make it as a ____, who could love you?

Your Birth Chart Is the Blueprint

The greatest thing about astrology, in my experience, is that the birth chart shows who we are and who we can become in this lifetime. It shows what we came to experience, it shows where we are naturally gifted – and it also shows where we are likely to struggle. The natal chart is a blueprint, a template that we can work within to build the life we desire.

Like the blueprint for a building, the natal chart constrains what we can do. While we can change the layout of the rooms or add a window on the north wall of the building, we can’t use the blueprint for a three-bedroom house to build the Notre Dame cathedral. This constraining function in astrology is actually very positive and productive, unlike the negative internal imagery Coué is talking about. 

(Most people spend their lives trying to pretty up an old shed in their parents’ backyard, rather than building their dream house.)

Degree Symbols: A Useful Pool of Images

Astrology gives us a symbolic language for interpreting our life’s purpose and fulfilling our soul’s destiny. It empowers us to re-mythologize our life by telling a story about our life that is truer than the one handed down to us by family, society, and the media. But most people, even those with an enduring interest in astrology, lack the confidence to decode their own natal chart. Enter the degree symbols.

You’re probably at least passingly familiar with the Sabian symbols, a set of images for all 360 degrees of the zodiac channeled in 1925 by a psychic named Elsie Wheeler under the direction of astrology Marc Edmund Jones. While I do find some value in the Sabian symbols, I don’t find most of them very expansive or inspirational. Astrologers like Dane Rudhyar in An Astrological Mandala have worked hard to make the Sabian symbols more useful, but my gut feeling is that Wheeler and Jones were operating from a level of consciousness – at least on that day they channeled the symbols – that is somewhat lacking for the needs of those of us who are living through the current cycle of death and regeneration of the realm. 

Fortunately, there are many other sets of degree symbols. As you probably know, I’m particularly fond of the Omega/Chandra symbols created by the Australian astrologer and poet John Sandbach. 

Who Is the Author of Your Story? 

When you get an astrology reading from someone, what’s happening? The astrologer is reading a story to you from the symbols written in your birth chart. Some readers are more skilled than others. Some readers have more integrity, and love, than others. But even the best reading is going to be colored by the reader’s knowledge and prejudices and limited by the reader’s imagination.

In this class, I’m going to guide you through the process of retelling your life story using the degree symbols for the planetary placements in your birth chart. I’ve chosen four sets of degree symbols (Sabian, Omega/Chandra, Sepharial and Charubel) that give us a lush pool of metaphors and images for every degree of the zodiac.

This is going to be a workshop-style class. I’m going to challenge you to actually do some writing in this class and we will even make time during the live classes for journaling and sketching out ideas. You don’t have to show your writing to anybody, but if you really see the value of the new story you’re writing for yourself, I’ll be available for private sessions to look at your work, offer suggestions, and help you refine the new and improved personal mythos you’re crafting.

You get to focus on what’s most important to you now. You can explore your soul’s purpose as shown by the Nodes and other factors in the chart. Or you could start by re-mythologizing an area of your life that has not, up until this point, delivered the kind of vibrant, enlivening experiences that you desire. Relationships maybe. Or health and physical vitality. More creativity and joy. More money and income. 

Keeping It Real: The Saturn Principle

We’re going to be working with the Saturn principle in this class as a way of ensuring that we are operating within a realistic framework. I’ve picked the four degree systems we’re using in the class because their creators were highly respected astrologers with a body of work that has stood the test of time. This gives us plenty of images for each degree to compare, contrast and synthesize without being an overwhelming amount of information to process.

Trust me, as someone who has made a living as a writer, too much information + not enough focus is a recipe for paralysis!

Are You Ready?

This will be a six-week workshop, meeting on Wednesday evenings by Zoom. Classes are for 90 minutes. All the meetings will be recorded and available as video and audio replays.

Dates: September 7 – October 12

Time: Wednesday evenings at 8 pm Eastern / 5 pm Pacific

Cost: The cost for the class is $300. I’ve included an option to split the tuition into two payments. You can add up to three private sessions for an additional $100/hour each. (I have a double major and graduate degree in language and literature and worked as a professional writer and copy editor in the corporate sector for many years. I’ll be glad to help you understand planetary placements, point out planets that can offer support to a challenging point in the chart, review your story and make suggestions about how you can expand or refine your writing.)

Class size is limited to 12 participants so everyone can have time to ask questions and get personal attention. ** Registration for this workshop is now closed. **