Q & A with Edith Hathaway Washington State Astrological Assn. Posted by WSAA May 2, 2011
What brought you to astrology?
I think Astrology finds YOU! Astrology insinuated itself into my life when I wasn’t looking for it. I certainly was not surrounded by it growing up and going to school and college. At that point I was a musician and a composer, and had talents in various art forms, especially music. I think music has a special affinity with astrology and vice versa. Many astrologers seem to have musical backgrounds. They both organize a large number of symbols and make some harmonious sense out of them.
Music and composing brought me to the metaphysical realm finally, and to the realization that the flood of musical sounds coming through me was absorbing to an incredible degree. But what became even more significant was where the sounds were coming from and why. Those questions were better answered for me by astrology than most other systems, although I did study a number of philosophical and metaphysical systems. I was also intrigued how universal information could be organized in such a wonderful way. It began to make a lot of sense, and before I knew it, I was reading piles of astrology books and studying as many charts as possible. I thought of it as a hobby, until so many people started asking me to look at their charts that I began to realize the inevitable. In this culture, no one tends to ask you: How would you like to become an astrologer? Nevertheless, in 1980, I began my professional practice – after four years of study.
Why do you practice astrology?
I practice astrology because it is my dharma – my rightful work, but I resisted it when I first encountered it, thinking of it only as a hobby, or something I studied (passionately) on the side. That was before I understood my destiny a little better, and how I could help people individually and collectively through a deeper awareness of planetary patterns. I learned that I could translate those patterns in a meaningful way for the public. This expanded through my client work, lectures, teaching, and writing articles and books. It took me many places around the world.
I have always had an interest in Mundane astrology, and very early on I started looking at local, national and global events, in addition to natal charts. I always figured there was a way to see them astrologically, even though it takes many years to learn how to do it well. For that matter, it probably takes years to do any of it really well. I lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico for 21 years, and was fortunate to live there during the years when a regular December event would feature 6 to 9 local astrologers predicting the future of the upcoming year, sometimes complete with theatrical skits. That was from 1989 to 2001, and I was invited to speak at all of them. The first year they rented a large room at La Fonda Hotel, but so many people came, they had to bring in more and more chairs. It went on like that for 12 years uninterrupted, a full Jupiter cycle, and brought in audiences of at least 250 to 300 into packed halls. We astrologers had a great learning experience, and learned how to predict well for the upcoming year. We had such fire to do it and to practice it that inevitably we ended up serving the public, just as we learned how to serve our individual clients. I have also been very fortunate to learn a lot from my clients over many years.
Last fall I lectured in India at a conference on Mundane astrology, and did some travel around India after that. Among other places in India, I visited 3 of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples. These are considered the most sacred power spots in all of India. The atmosphere there is extremely heightened, being consecrated 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for 1000s of years. Not surprisingly, it is considered a real boon to go there. At one these temples, in Ujjain, the Head Priest asked me to do an impromptu reading of both his birth chart and that of his son. This went on for two hours and was quite an experience for all concerned. My guide was suddenly pressed into translation service (Hindi/English), and I received tea and multiple garlands of flowers (malas). The birth charts had to be brought from another location and then translated, as absolutely everything was in Hindi. They were also North Indian charts, so I redrew everything in South Indian format, the one I use (my Vedic “lens”). I had no computer with me or ephemeris, and that made it all the more demanding. I had to figure in my head which dasha-bhuktis (planetary periods) anyone was in, though of course I knew the transits.
Once he discovered I was a Jyotishi (astrologer) after the puja (ceremony) in the temple, the priest started asking me all these questions in Hindi. During the pujas, I had noticed that he knew very little astrology, whereas of course traditionally the Hindu priests used to all study it and use it. Other priests were sitting in on the reading I gave, and were extremely interested for that reason alone. The Head priest was very passionate, energetic, and engaging. It was almost comical for me at moments trying to persuade him that his son had a most extraordinary chart, with five planets exalted, while his main concern was whether his son’s education would go well. I kept telling him: “Don’t worry! He will surpass everyone!”
My guide was young, bright and Indian, with absolutely no knowledge of Vedic astrology. When I would tell him something about the chart, or answer some question from the priest, before he would translate, he would often ask: “Is that good or bad?” Very astute, though of course his task was only to translate. But he was beginning to learn that it was just part of the destiny and neither good nor bad, though some of it was spectacularly good. However, even that can be a major challenge.
Each statement or question he had to translate seemed to make him more curious, to the point where – on the way back to Indore – when we stopped at a local Shani Navagraha temple (a Saturn – 9 planet temple, featuring Saturn), he instinctively bought himself an iron ring. Iron represents Saturn. I said: “When we get back to the hotel, let me check if that’s a good idea for you.” And sure enough, he had Capricorn rising, with Moon closely contacting Saturn exalted in Libra. He was VERY conscientious, luckily for me. Someone with a prominent Saturn is the hardest worker of all. He had never seen his chart until that day.
What makes it juicy for you?
Moments like these make it juicy – when you can open someone’s eyes, though his mind and heart were plenty open already! Also in this case, I was re-introducing to an Indian priest what he used to be taught as a matter of course. In an odd way, Westerners may be helping these powerful ancient traditions from being lost. At least we can make our contribution to that effort. In 1834, English education was introduced into India as part of the British Empire, breaking the legacy and tradition of learning Sanskrit. This is the ancient and traditional language of the Hindu/Vedic classics. Loss of this tradition was gradually resurrected after independence in 1947, but it’s taken its toll. Meanwhile, there are large numbers of classic texts on Vedic astrology still awaiting translation. That is a project being undertaken now in some quarters, and is very exciting.
At another level, there is a tremendous expansion of one’s consciousness that can occur just to study and practice astrology. When I first got into Vedic/Hindu astrology, I was astonished to discover there was a religion that actually works WITH astrology and the planets, and recognizes the individual destiny. Of course there is no requirement to be a Hindu in order to practice its astrology. Many of their temples have statues of the nine classical planets out to Saturn, including Rahu and Ketu, the North and South Lunar nodes. You propitiate them when you walk around all of them at least three times. So it is all part of the living reality.
What is your specialty or focus?
Right now I am focused on writing and lecturing, and am in the midst of preparing my first book on Vedic astrology, which will be published soon. I have been researching and writing it for over six years, and the genesis was laid for it in 2002 when Alan Oken asked me to create an Audio Course for his Wisdom School. (Yes, he too was among those fortunate Santa Fe astrologers at the annual December events, and we were lucky to have him as well.) I produced an 18 ½ hour Audio course on Vedic Astrology in June 2002, and that became the basis of this book, which has expanded quite a bit in scope since 2002. The title of my upcoming book is In Search of Destiny: Biography, History & Culture As Told Through Vedic Astrology.
Are there any additional comments you’d like to make about your lecture/workshop?
I move back and forth quite easily between natal astrology and mundane astrology. Depending on the level of audience expertise and interest with the subject, I am happy to incorporate more mundane astrology, and look at the larger picture that affects all of us. The Vedic Ascendant charts will be covered, yes – but I give us leeway perhaps not to cover every single Ascendant chart, if we want to delve more deeply into certain charts. In any case, we will discuss how the individual destiny is impacted by the larger collective destiny, and in this vein, I may bring in some national charts and some pivotal astrological event charts. My book focuses on that in some depth in the opening chapter.
From your unique perspective, how do you see what’s come forth recently with regards to the current astrological weather (e.g. Cardinal Cross)?
I am very riveted to the recent exact Jupiter-Saturn opposition on March 28, 2011. I am looking at it in the sidereal zodiac (Lahiri ayanamsha) at 20:20 Pisces/Virgo. The sequence of key events leading up to this final exact opposition and occurring very shortly after it is breathtaking, as usual. The Virgo/Pisces axis is associated with workers, work and health conditions, and sacrifices made in both arenas, also with nations, races, or segments of the population who have been victimized. If a national chart has Sagittarius Ascendant, the Virgo/Pisces axis radically impacts its infrastructure.
I could give you an expanded list here, but instead, I will mention that I am also looking at this from the larger perspective of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions primarily in EARTH, nominally since 1921 (Virgo), and in earnest from 1961 (Capricorn). This extends up to 2199. I have lectured and written on this subject, and I have new material on it in my upcoming book. You can also see some of the articles at my website, notably my article on Corporate Conglomerates vs. the Nation State, published in Oct. 2010. The corporatocracy is in solid control, and it is important to look at why that is from an astrological perspective. I am focused on that quite a lot, and in my lectures I will discuss how we got here, and what we may expect from this vantage point. Things are heating up, literally and figuratively, so how best to deal with that?
Here is just a short list, and I’m sure it will keep expanding:
1) In the months prior to the JU-SA opposition in Pisces/Virgo, unprecedented protests by citizens around the world erupted, focused around inequities for workers and students created by autocrats and/or autocratic behavior, favoring the very rich at the expense of the broader population. It began in Tunisia, spreading quickly to Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, Libya, and elsewhere around the world, including Wisconsin, but was especially strong in the Middle East.
2) On March 11, 2011, a massive 9.0 earth quake and tsunami hit Northeast Japan, killing over 12,000 people and destabilizing the entire Japanese economy. Already in need of repair, four nuclear reactors in Fukushima, Japan were severely damaged, and evolved into the world’s worst known catastrophe up to that point involving radioactive leaks from a nuclear plant.
3) On March 29, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case of Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the largest class action suit (1.6 million women) against the world’s largest private employer. In June 2001, employee Betty Dukes first presented her legal case, charging that Wal-Mart discriminated against women in promotions, pay, and job assignments in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The case began in 2000, coinciding with the JU-SA conjunction at 28:52 Aries.
4) On April 1, 2011 the “Goldstone Report” was re-released, as an editorial in The Washington Post. This U.N. investigative report of the 2008-2009 assault on Gaza, in which 1400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed, has been controversial as long as Palestine and Israel remain at war with each other. At issue is the extent to which Goldstone has retracted some of his original statements, saying now that Israel’s lethal attacks on Palestinian civilians, while also systematically destroying their infrastructure could not be justified as a “military objective.”
I look forward to seeing you all very soon!
[Note: WSAA Archives were lost when the organization changed to a new website. This copy of the interview is provided by the author.]
Copyright ©2011, 2018 by Edith Hathaway. All rights reserved.