I understand you started out skeptical about Astrology. What made you start to believe in it?
I wouldn’t say I believe in it. And I still after nearly 3 decades have no idea how it works but that doesn’t mean I can’t use it. I’m pretty good on a smart phone and computer but have no idea really how they turn all those zeroes and ones into anything at all. I suppose once I had learned enough of the language of the symbols and meanings and could look at a chart and see remarkably specific and detailed information, that’s what did it. I am pretty intuitive so a case could be made that I was getting the info psychically but honestly Astrology is a left and right brain science and to be really good at it you need to use both the language and the intuition.
I can still remember some of the early ones that surprised me and made me realize what a powerful tool it is. I saw that someone had a mentally handicapped sibling. Surprised me more than it did the client because I still had no idea that level of detail was possible. Then a woman who had just bought a house, which of course had been inspected first, called me a month after a reading to tell me I was right —the wiring in the attic WAS bad and a fire hazard. That pretty much did it for me. Recently I was reading for a dear friend and she asked how accurate the timing of transits are for showing a big relocation. I said - well, let’s see. She told me the date of the move and Uranus (change) was exactly conjunct her moon (which represents home among other things) in the 9th house (long distance/foreign) on the very day she left Hawaii for Texas. So yes. It can be very, very accurate.
What is a natal chart?
My understanding is that it is a curriculum, itinerary or blueprint for the kind of life you have chosen to live this go around. We draft them up with help in-between lives. An astrologer ideally is someone who can remind you why you came here. Most of the clients I attract are very intuitive so it ends up being very validating that they are on the right path. They also get an opportunity to see any blind spots as well as understand the areas they are struggling with from the perspective of their higher self/soul’s prime directive or priorities.
I like to think I help people up out of the tiny boxes of programming, habit, and limitation and help them see the big picture, from a god’s eye view. When we remember who we are - infinite and divine everything is possible - we can make a shift from seeing life as a school to more of a play or a game. ‘At play in the fields of the lord’ and the Sun card in the major arcana of the Tarot show this Solar and Jovial perspective of life. Life is a mythic journey that is both challenging and playful. Karma plays a big part of what we draw up. Karma is not retributive or punishment but simply the continuing outcome of a chosen action. For example, having a child is often the outcome of having sex. This outcome affects us for the rest of our lives. Some things we “give birth to” continue on for many lives as we experience all there is to that theme. This is why hypnosis and the chart show running themes that play out over lifetimes.
Is there a wrong way to do Astrology?
Yes. Many wrong ways. It shouldn’t be used to reinforce limitations. Example- “Oh, I’m just neurotic about food because I have a lot of Virgo and Scorpio.” “I can’t help being angry because I have Mars” in the whatever house.
We humans like anything that shores up our belief systems or confirmation bias etc. It validates who we think we are. And that right there is the key: Who we THINK we are. Even if it limits us, prevents quality of life or makes us miserable, we like to be right and hang on to the habits that we identify with as personality - who we ARE rather than let go of all that so we can be our true selves. This is giving the wounded inner child the keys to the car, the pre-awakened Hanuman who used his powers immaturely. The commitment to have small self/personality in service to our higher selves gets us farther down the path to individuation or self-actualization and the healing of our wounds and neurosis. When we think we ARE our personalities and nothing more, is when we get stuck. I think this is the basis of the religious concept of surrender. It really is the best route to great self-esteem which is crucial for a joyful life.
Honestly you don’t even really need a chart or ephemeris or computer to use Astrology. It can help us own and integrate all our parts so we can become whole and healed even without the specific data a chart offers. Often, we get caught up in all those fun and shockingly accurate things we see in a chart and lose sight of the goal or whole point of it all. If we just think about the archetypes, the areas of life each planet rules over and then go through an introspective process of questioning: Mars: Do I feel powerful in the world? Am I fully present in this physical body? Am I assertive? Moon: How do I feel about emotions? Am I able to use them as they were intended, or do I over identify with them and miss the point? Certainly a chart can help us get at why we aren’t using some quality, or why we are dysfunctional or project it on to others unable to integrate it.
What is your mission in life?
To of course be as self-actualized as possible and live the most expansive life I can. Understanding consciousness has been my main interest since childhood when I started reading about hypnosis, Edgar Cayce, doing yoga, etc. Part 2 of my mission? To help people know themselves, expand their understanding of reality and life, to learn just how amazing it is and how infinite the possibilities are even when we think we are stuck or have no choices. Expansion also helps people lighten up. I can see how much fear has robbed people of their sense of humor in the last 2 years and I do believe humor is divine, expansive and healing.
Catherine Zola Allen
See Catherine's full bio here: https://www.bridges.academy/catherinezolaallen.html