Now when I came across that tribute to Grant Lewi, I was thinking still thinking about the alchemy blog and CK’s comment. For some reason that comment deeply penetrated my psyche, which I really appreciate by the way. Nothing I like better than being pregnant!
So struck by the comment my mind flipped into gear and I started thinking about learning astrology and more specifically, how for me it was an alchemical process. And I have always thought it was this way for everyone. I’ve thought that this is how everyone learns anything.
Take astrology. You want to learn astrology so you read a book. If you’re lucky it’s a good one. It’s not too boring so you figure you’ll read another. Next thing you know, if you get the bug, you’ve read four or five or eight books and right about here you consider really cracking down.
And if you do that… well pretty soon you’ve read ten or twenty or thirty books and things are starting to gel. And at some point you want to try out your new knowledge, so you start to talk to people. You look at their charts or your talk about your own. And if you keep it up, eventually you start “reading” charts.
And at first you’ve got to have your books there so you can look things up and offer up pieces. There is no synergy. You can’t really read a chart, you can just look it up quickly! You fumble along but if you keep this up things improve.
Eventually you become familiar with certain things. Certain aspects you understand. Or maybe you get the 2nd house, or Jupiter really well. But you still have no ideas of your own. And by now you can recite what other people have said or written… you need your books less, but still none of it originates inside of you.
But if you keep it up… if you try and try, eventually there a tipping point and things start to open up for you. It’s like this: Eureka!
And then some more time passes… more time, more time, more time and more time. More time passes, more books, more watching, more reading, more studying and then one day… one glorious day, you have something of your own to say about something you see. You have something original to say about a house or a planet, or an aspect or an entire chart, or whatever it is in your hand when it happens for you.
And at that point you’re becoming an astrologer. Astrology is no longer something you have memorized but something you have absorbed and assimilated… and this to me, is an alchemical process. Everything goes into the pot. Soup, nuts, snails and puppy dog tails and it boils, boils, boils, boils. And you boil, boil, boil, boil. And if you get out of the pot you lose!! If you quit, you lose!
But if you stay in there… if you stay with it, alchemy takes place. And all the sudden you can look at those symbols and know exactly what they mean. And how this occurs is completely mysterious.
So this is how I learn. It’s a completely visceral experience and it’s fairly painful. It hurts me. And I wonder if this is universal. So is it? I have always thought so but now I wonder. Is there a more detached, intellectual way to learn?
How do you learn?