author Q & A
Tell us about your book 2012: Crossing the Bridge to the Future, co-published by Frog Books and Random House in 2008?
The book describes my seven-year apprenticeship with Ellias Lonsdale, a master astrologer who taught me a whole new understanding of life, death and human transformation. My goal, during a decade of writing, was to turn astrology into a real-life, gripping, page-turning adventure. I strove to plant readers directly into the cottage in the Santa Cruz Mountains where we studied the mysteries of our time with Ellias and his wife, Sara. It’s also a story of life and death, and my adventures through love and sex.
What reaction have you had to the book?
Well, it’s become a bestseller and I’ve gotten hundreds of heartfelt emails from readers around the world that say it’s changed their lives. Because I put so much of myself into the book, people feel as if they know me, and they tend to respond in kind, divulging powerful details of their lives. It seems that the power of my own personal journey has struck a chord in people from different walks of life.
Tell me about your personal journey. What have been its turning points? Where are you headed?
I grew up in New York City and Connecticut, with no mystics around me. In the 1960s I dropped acid and stumbled into a whole different view of space and time. Later, when I began consciously walking the spirit path in the 1980s, I was lucky enough to cross paths with the world’s greatest astrologer and visionary. He took me on as his apprentice, and for seven years I was taught to use the birth chart as a window to the soul. In 1987 I created Soul Level Astrology as a way to help people discover their life’s purpose. I continue to do readings by phone for people around the world, and am working on my next book.
Your beliefs about 2012 are that rather than an Armageddon, it’s a growth opportunity. Why is that and what do we stand to gain?
I feel Armageddon has already happened but within mass consciousness, we’ve been too tranced-out to realize it. The main destruction of recent centuries, including the previous administration, has been to wage war against the soul of humanity. A soulless, destructive culture has sprung up in place of a world of heart and soul. The collapse of that system offers us a chance to steer our world back to something that really works, instead of just pretending to move in that direction. It’s a great opportunity to break out of trance.
What’s your vision of the future?
I foresee a future we can be proud to leave our children; a world where the inner nature of each person does not have to be stuffed for them to fit into the World Machine, but shines for all to see. I see a world where humanity at long last gets past its adolescent insistence that some group of people somewhere is greater or less than another. I see a species struggling to come to maturity and release its vast potential for kindness and compassion. I envision nations pooling their resources and talents to explore creative solutions to the problems that plague us all. I see a society where parents teach children how to stay true to themselves rather than going along with the herd.
How can we as individuals contribute to getting us there?
Stop putting off the dream of your heart! Stop procrastinating. Instead of waiting for the world to change, change your life. Unless you’re waking up each day on fire with the primal life force, something’s wrong. Unless your relationships are feeding your soul, something’s wrong. Dare yourself to believe that the deep dream of your heart may be the realest thing about you, rather than some far-off pipe dream.
You practice a kind of astrology called Star Genesis. What is that?
Star Genesis is based on a form of astrology created by my teacher Ellias Lonsdale. It originates from a dream of Atlantis he had in the 1970s, in which he went back in time to a former life and used a magic disk to read people’s souls. When he awakened from the dream (this is described vividly in my book), he found himself able to remember this primordial version of using the stars. He taught me a different zodiac, hidden inside the normal one, magical and alive. I see the signs and planets from a much different perspective than most other astrologers. It’s a way to use astrology as a participatory creative art. It puts the emphasis on your ability to evolve, rather than on me as a big know-it-all telling you that because you’re a Capricorn, you’re in big trouble or something.
You call yourself a visionary astrologer. What does that mean? How is your work different from that of any other astrologer?
The day I met my teacher he said, “To be a true astrologer you must never think you know what Gemini means, but always be willing to discover what it means all over again in the form of that new Gemini sitting in front of you.” That first reading he gave me (described in a whole chapter of my book) knocked my socks off. I’ve never been the same since. If I can’t change your life with one of my readings, I consider myself a failure. If the stars can’t be used to turn the whole world around, what’s the point? I use astrology as a way to spring you into your own true nature, and I use every trick in the book to help you get there.
I understand you’re pioneering a method of child guidance known as Attuned Parenting. Tell us how that works.
My belief is that each of us has been here before. Underneath our surface nature is a soul, a completely developed core nature that has lived in other bodies in past lives. That part of us has its own unique reasons for reincarnating. If you tune into a child from the perspective that its depth nature already knows exactly why it’s here, and what it needs and wants, that shifts the emphasis from you as a big, competent adult, having to train a blank-slate being. Instead, the act of parenting becomes much more collaborative, much more of a partnership between equals. In fact, in some ways, the child knows more than the parent, because most adults have gotten conditioned into betraying themselves somewhere along the line, while the child is usually closer to his true inner nature. If you approach parenting from the idea of what you can learn today from your child, or along with your child, that unique inner nature gets much more chance to come out.
You do 90-minute astrology readings in person and over the phone. Can you describe that experience?
I study the birth chart to see who you are on the deepest level, and to identify the prenatal intentions your soul made in order to come back again. Then I look at the challenges and obstacles in the way of fulfilling that soul-level purpose. I mark the chart up with my notes. Then when I speak with you, I use the chart as a score to improvise from. Some readings are more like a deep communion with inner nature, akin to a mystical or religious experience. Others can be profound healings. Another might be more like an exchange of information. It depends on what you need at the time. I always try to envision where you’re heading to get to your optimal destiny, and do my best to paint a picture of what that looks like. My specialty is turning around the hardest parts of a person’s existence to reveal the true spiritual message that’s been trying to get through to them.
Can fans expect to find a new book of yours on the shelves soon?
I’m working on one now that delves into sacred sexuality, relationship and the mystical union I’ve experienced with my current partner. I’m in the very early stages of writing, so I can’t say too much about it yet.
Meanwhile, you have a new book coming out with leading 2012 figure Daniel Pinchbeck, right?
Right. It’s an anthology, collecting brief glimpses by many authors of how we all see 2012. It should be coming out this spring or summer, simultaneously with an ebook and a multi-media volume that includes short films by the authors. It’s a wonderful project, the first of its kind. My chapter is titled 2012: Wake-up Call for a Stuck Species.