Monday, August 8, 2016

How I Got Into and Learned Astrology



I feel like every astrologer has their “story” when it comes to just how they got into it and how they’ve learned about it. This has been a question posed to me more than a few times but I’ve never made an official post about it. So, if this is something that interests you, here we go!

First off, my story of how I got into astrology is somewhat different than some other astrologers’. I’ve heard a few astrologers say they were skeptical of it all until they got into it and had their birth chart done. This is pretty much what happens to the majority of skeptics. I’ve never talked about people who criticize and doubt astrology because I basically see no point. Nine times out of ten, someone who is a skeptic of astrology doesn’t know what it really is. They are just criticizing it based off them only knowing about Sun signs, and not agreeing with the very broad, general picture they paint, or because they confuse astrology with astronomy (don’t even get me started on that 13th sign ridiculousness) or some other reason based on a real ignorance of what astrology is.

Regardless, knowing about birth charts is usually the moment when a skeptic changes their tune. Sit someone down and do their birth chart for them if they keep doubting it. Even in the chance they don’t know their birth time, figure out their Moon sign and aspects or what’s going on with their Mars or something. They will almost always be amazed and want to know more and this likely begins a love affair with this thing that we are all fascinated and guided and inspired by.

But, I was actually never an astrology skeptic. Even when all I knew was that I was a Leo because I was born on August 8th, it still always rang true. The reason I constantly give for this is my Nodal axis. First off, as an Aquarius North Node, it is my destiny in life to become deeply connected with all things unconventional, like astrology. Aquarius is highly associated with astrology. So, if the North Node is deep down within you, I think that something about astrology has always spoken deeply to me and just made a lot of sense to me.

Also, you’re going to feel your South Node so deeply and my Leo South Node is conjunct my Sun. I have always felt like such a Leo. Growing up, I did go through a phase of being more reserved and even shy, which I definitely grew out of once I got into my twenties. So, I didn’t always act like the typical Leo for everyone to see. But, my Leo energy is in the 7th House. Therefore, people who knew me well and who I was comfortable with, particularly good friends, were very familiar with my Leo traits. It’s a side to me that would come out strongly in my close relationships.



I also was highly aware of being a Leo just through my own self-knowing. Being born with Sun conjunct South Node gives you a very powerful self-awareness and, as you evolve, it means that the ego is already complete and fully formed, in this lifetime. So, I have always known, deep down, who I am. Before I did my birth chart for the first time, I got into the habit of looking up profiles and descriptions of Leo online. And everything that was there fit the real me very well: highly creative and artistic, big-hearted and generous, eager to shine and make an impression, very willing to take the lead, and always feeling like the protagonist in the middle of big drama.

So, when it came to astrology, I always thought, “Yes! This is on point.” I’m such a Leo, deep down in my soul, thanks to the South Node, that what they had to say about me was very accurate. I have also noticed that Sun in Leo people tend to be big supporters of astrology, even when they only know Sun sign astrology. A big part of it might be getting told by these personality profiles just how awesome we are. So, as a teenager, I developed quite a habit of looking up stuff about Leos in order to hear how regal and amazing I was, how I was born to be a star.

However, for some reason, I never took the actual daily horoscopes that seriously. I never have and, to this day, I am not sure what they base those on. I’m guessing it’s like a super-condensed version of a transit reading, based on your Sun sign. But, that cannot be accurate without the person’s birth chart. Anyway, I digress! All that is to say that, again, I feel like my Aquarius North Node and Uranus trine Mercury/Mars were speaking to me, without me even knowing it. Reading those daily horoscopes always made me feel like there was something more to the equation and like astrology was more meaningful and profound that what that little column could tell me.

That led to me getting my birth chart read for the first time. I don’t remember the exact date but I do know it was around April or May 2008 (there’s my Scorpio Moon memory at work). I was doing my regular thing of just reading things about how awesome Leos are and I wound up on Café Astrology. As you probably know, Café Astrology has a page for every sign divided up into sections, based on the planet. So, I saw Sun in Leo, Moon in Leo, Mercury in Leo, etc. I sensed that there was a difference and I wanted to find out what it was. Then, after doing some more reading and searching, I saw that you could get your birth chart done for free on this site. 
 I placed in all of my information and, voila, the birth chart pops up! I remember being struck by seeing all of the Virgo action in a row – Mercury, Venus, and Mars – and, no lie, I also literally said, “Oh my God”, when I saw the Scorpio Moon-Midheaven-Pluto lineup in my chart. Although I had a super-basic and self-absorbed knowledge of astrology at that point, only knowing what it means to be a Leo, I knew enough about Scorpio to understand how intense that was. Basically, it opened up a whole new door for me. Yes, my Sun sign described me very well. But, all of these other placements described me really well, also. I understood why I’d always been health-conscious and organized, with these three planets in Virgo, and why my inner emotional life, thanks to all that Scorpio Moon energy, felt like this turbulent Universe unto itself.

So, the love affair began. Mind you, this was during my North Node Return in Aquarius in the 1st. The North Node Return is the time when the Universe provides you with a major opportunity to become aligned with your Nodal purpose. The first one, at the age of 18 to 19, which is when all of this happened for me, hands you the key to your North Node. You won’t be able to fully unlock it yet as the North Node requires ever-growing maturity to master. But, you are being shown your greater potential, in many ways, and it sets the stage for you. I think that I really took the opportunity and ran with it. Astrology (Aquarius) has been such a major part of my outlook (1st House) ever since I first began studying it. It’s something that has gradually shaped my behavior and approach to life in a manner that my North Node combination wants. I know I talk a lot about my North Node! But, I do think that getting into astrology has been such a major part of my personal growth toward my North Node that it’s a recurring, unavoidable topic.

Eventually, I would move away from just studying my birth chart to astrology as a whole. I do think the lower Leo habits and yearnings took over, early on. But, in a way, it needed to. I think I needed to learn everything about myself in the beginning in order to widen my scope. I started off studying more about the Sun signs, in the early stages of my astrological journey. I remember being very fascinated by the combination of Sun and Moon signs. So, that was a phase I went through: what does it mean to specifically be a Leo Sun with a Scorpio Moon, especially compared to a Leo Sun with a Gemini or Aries or Capricorn Moon? There used to be this wonderful site, back in 2008 – 2009, which I forgot the name of, that had extensive pages for every Sun sign: articles for a man, woman, child, boss with that Sun sign, as well as descriptions of the Sun/Moon combinations. I used to live on that site, in these days. Google has always been my best friend in terms of learning astrology. Books are very helpful, too, of course. But, Internet searches and explorations of websites and blogs have consistently been my go-to way of figuring out this whole thing.

The obsessiveness of my brain just needed to fully understand my own chart first. I learned about my chart through distinct phases. First, I was obsessed with what it means to be a Leo. Then, I was really into what it means to be a Scorpio Moon. I mean, really into it. I am actually struck, looking back, by how focused I was on my Moon in Scorpio for a while. The more I learned about it, the more I loved it. I don’t know if I ever once complained about my Moon sign. The way I’ve understood it now is that it’s because the Moon is conjunct my Midheaven. I want to be a Scorpio Moon. This is how I want to be seen by everyone. So, learning about how deep, mysterious, complicated, and passionate I naturally am on the inside made me unconsciously cultivate that feeling of “I have to show the world my soul, my deepest and most natural self” that Moon conjunct Midheaven people have. I put a lot of effort, then, into being aware of and proud of my Scorpio side, to a degree that started slightly overshadowing that Leo pride I once was overwhelmed by.

There used to be this awesome board called Tribe and there were two Scorpio Moon groups that I was active on. This only fed my obsession with being Scorpio-like and it was very comforting to talk to other Scorpio Moon people (and also Moon-Pluto people) about our shared experiences. Also, this was the first time I ever talked to other people about astrology, even if it wasn’t face-to-face. I loved the experience of just sharing ideas and perspectives with people about this study that had really changed my life. This went on from about 2010 to late 2011. It was another phase: me just going on these message boards. It was highlighted an important truth to me: astrology cannot be fully understood unless it is a discussion. When you just rigidly stick to what everyone says about astrological placements without any kind of sounding board, you never learn how to think more broadly about it. I also joined Lindaland in early 2012 for a hunger for the same thing.  

You have to observe people in real-life, as well. You have to people watch. Once I began broadening my view of astrology, beyond myself, I was continually amazed at how accurate it was for other people. It became my habit of secretly, slyly finding out someone’s birthday (which I still do, of course) and, even if I didn’t have the birth time, knowing just enough about their birth chart to then observe them and compare the info. Then, of course, you have to think a bit more critically about what’s being told to you by these astrological texts. This is when I began figuring out how fatalistic certain astrological info can be, especially more archaic stuff or the Vedic profiles. Clearly, being born with a certain placement won’t mean you’ll end up childless, diseased, imprisoned, or that you’ll die next Wednesday. Observing people made me realize this very quickly.

Now, there came a time when I stopped focusing so much on my Scorpio energy. I think that I had a lot of issues to work out in regards to those placements, including my 8th House, which is why it was so cathartic to hone in on them like I did. I was in quite a dark mentality. But, I soon felt like I had exhausted that route. Then, I became interested in the aspects. I have about a million aspects in my chart. It seriously took me a few years to remember all the trines, sextiles, and conjunctions I have (I know them by heart now). I had always been interested in my aspects, since I first had my chart done. But, I think that it wasn’t until a few years after that where I stopped isolating the aspects from my planets and realized just how much they influenced how the planets were expressed. My Moon, for instance, has a ton of aspects and I’m a different flavor of a Scorpio Moon thanks to it being sextile Mercury and Saturn and Neptune, trine Jupiter, etc.

So, that caught my interest and then that was my main focus for a while. Since I have so many aspects, I had a lot to study. Eventually, I became interested in the aspects of others. Why does his Venus square Saturn make him behave like that? Inevitably, it has been my path to use astrology to help other people. I didn’t realize that until I started this blog. Now, you may or may not know this but even though the first post on here is dated 2014, I first began this blog in 2012 (which is why it’s called astroarena12). Astrology had become such a hobby for me that I just needed an outlet. But, of course, you can’t just write a blog about yourself! Well, you could but it’d easily be self-indulgent and pointless. I challenged myself to actually discover more about other people’s placements and energies, hugely helped by my time spent observing others and on message boards. My approach to astrology started shifting more off of me and onto other people.

I am glad I restarted the blog, as I deleted the old posts sometime in 2013. They weren’t as frequent or extensive as these, so you weren’t missing out on much, although I did do a whole series of articles on Sun/Moon combinations that I put a lot of work into. I was just being a true Plutonian by “killing” the blog and rebirthing it, as well as myself as an astrologer. I continued to use astrology as a tool to make myself better and to also figure out other people, during that break. By the time I revamped Astrology Arena in 2014, I felt like I had grown a lot and my understanding of astrology was more unique. By this time, I’d been studying astrology for six years and I knew all the stereotypes and clichés of the study, which I used this blog to help avoid, something I felt like I started through the first aspect articles on here: Sun-Pluto and Moon-Pluto.

People have asked me about mentors and I have had none. I have been entirely self-taught in terms of astrology and that is something I have definitely preferred. However, I do really admire Dana Gerhardt, who has been a respected astrologer for decades. Reading her series on Astrodienst on the planets, houses, and signs (which were actually originally published in The Mountain Astrologer back in the 90’s or so) was a transformative experience. She is my favorite astrologer and I highly recommend those articles if you haven’t read them. She has a witty, nuanced, fresh, and interesting take on astrological energies that avoids and deconstructs clichés. I got into her before I restarted this blog and I think that she was a significant influence in that way, as far as my current approach.

I also restarted Astrology Arena because I was unemployed and going through a really tough time. So, it was a hobby that kept me productive. Eventually, my need for money turned into me doing readings, which I started in late 2014/early 2015 and never expected would take off like it has. It’s why I charged so ridiculously cheap, in the beginning, because I didn’t even think it could be my actual day job. I’m very thankful that it’s still going (thanks to my current situation, it keeps me fed and taken care of for now) and that you clients, as well as you readers, are still interested in my services. I don’t get to say it enough so thank you! And here we are, at almost 300 blog posts!

So, my journey through astrology has been through phases and stages. I understand what people mean when they say “consider the whole chart.” But, it can be hard to do so without your head exploding, especially in the beginning. Even after studying this for eight years, I still take everything piece by piece. It’s how I learned: the Sun, the Moon, aspects, houses, Midheaven’s, Saturn, Nodes, etc. People can easily feel overwhelmed by the complexity and vastness of astrology when they are first starting out. But, I learned it in a piecemeal way and that’s the way I still look at it. And the more experienced you are with it, the more you can synthesize all of that knowledge together.

39 comments:

  1. Amazing story! I am glad you that meet astrology since you are very good at it. Would you write an article on nodal returns and falling love? Because that also happened to me. Thank you!

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    1. I never thought about that but its an interesting topic. What is your NN placement?

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    2. My NN is in capricorn! The person I fall in love was capricorn ascendant! I agree it is very interesting.

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    3. Yeah people who have placements conjunct our NN will be very influential whether its love or friendship or just admiration. What house is your NN in?

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    4. Exactly! I havent been the same person since then! My NN is in 3rd house and it participates in cardinal grand cross which also includes 9th 12th and 6th houses. I guess they are not "love" houses. If I was not wrong, your NN is in first house. THAT would be a love house :) Btw thank you for your answers Wayman! You are very kind.

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  2. HBD my fellow Leo! ♌️🦁

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    1. Thank you! From what I think I remember from your chart, I think yours is still approaching? Either way happy birthday to you too!

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  3. Great story Wayman. I died laughing at the part of Leos liking to hear how cool we are, that was so me as a kid Lol.

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  4. Incredibly inspiring to read! And one huge rel8 to everything on the leo-topic, haha.

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    1. Oh, and happy birthday! Didn't connect the dots until I realised yesterday was august 8th :P Hope you had a lovely day!

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  5. That's a very nice story! I'm glad you found something you're good at and something you're so passionate about. I think anybody with strong Scorpio/Pluto/8th house placements need to find something to be passionate about. Like you, I started out only knowing my sun sign but on the contrary, I didn't agree with my sign, which is Sagittarius. I've always felt way more intense and emotional, like the previous sign Scorpio and since I was born right when the sun was leaving Scorpio and entering Sagittarius, I just assumed for a while I was a Scorpio. I mean, I can relate very much to the descriptions. Then one day, I actually got my birth time and plugged it into a calculator and found out I actually am a Sagittarius, but my sun also forms a very tight conjunction with Pluto so that explains why I feel and act a lot like a Scorpio, although I'm not one. Also, now that I think about it, I do have quite a lot of Sagittarian traits (I love my freedom, I am very honest, sometimes too honest, and I am very philosophical), but I think with Pluto involved, I'm a more intense version of a Sag. I don't really know when I started getting really into astrology or when, but I do know that my Uranus is very prominent and my Venus in Scorpio gives me a tendency to love and value things that are more hidden.
    I am really in love with this blog as well as many other astrology blogs, and I've been inspired by so many astrologers, including you. I tell people I love astrology all the time, but I never actually do anything to act on it. I'm thinking about doing free chart readings for the people around me for starters. I hope one day, I can expand on that and be an actual astrologer. Thank you for your amazing articles and all the ones to come.

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  6. Also, Happy Birthday! 🎉🎁🎂👑☀♌

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    1. Thank you Alyssa. I know you spoke of wanting to do readings before. So you should try it out and see how you like it.

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  7. Thanks for sharing this, very inspiring! It actually inspired me to join an astrology forum today, after I read this. I wanted for some time, as I feel that the discusson element would really help me go deeper into understanding astrology.
    Btw I initially thought that the "12" from astroarena12 was inspired by your heavy 12th house influence.

    And happy birthday :)

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    1. Thank you! And that's great! I hope you enjoy it.

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  8. Omg I missed it by a day :(
    Happy Birthday Wayman -
    A fellow Leo :)

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  9. Hey!

    Just wanted to let you know the site that you forgot the name of is called horoscopespot.net. The Leo boss would be http://horoscopespot.net/leo-boss/

    Have fun!

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    1. Thanks but that's not the one. The site I was talking about got deleted at some point I believe.

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    2. Would this by any chance be the site? http://www.cyberspacei.com/englishwiz/library/names/zodiac/capricorn.htm

      I used to read it a lot too, and I remember it had descriptions for the sign as a man, woman, child and boss.

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    3. Haha thanks guys for trying to hunt the site down for me. But I am pretty certain it was deleted many years ago because I distinctly remember being disappointed that I couldn't read it anymore. And it wasn't even complete because they stopped at Scorpio and didn't even finish that section.

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  10. Thank you for sharing your story! I'd imagine it'd be a lot more difficult to share this intriguing truth with the strong Scorpio energy you have if you weren't such a strong Leo as well. I relate to this on a personal level but overall it was super intriguing and fun to read! Especially with the way you word things and how it all flowed I really felt that Virgo vibe going there. I also extensively research things through Google and own a few books, however I always really enjoy reading your posts. They have always been some of the most insightful posts and I think you deserve some real credit there with that ability to be a very self-aware Leo Sun/conjunct South Node while also being able to really penetrate to the core of these subjects in a such a way that relates to other people (guessing your Mercury in 8th, Sun in 7th and Moon in Scorpio have something to do with that). Well, I just wanted to show my appreciation for your fine work, I never find any BS to call out and you should know how amazing it really is to be able to grasp such a subject so deeply. Good job!

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    1. Thank you Jenna! I really try to avoid taking all the credit for my understanding of all of this though. I always say that its the information that is amazing not me. I just interpret it and in a way I hope is fresh and personalized.

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  11. Wayman, I'm not sure if there's a way to subscribe to this blog?
    thanks!

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    1. There should be a link for it or something on the side of the page. I'm on my phone right now so I can't check. But yes you definitely can subscribe!

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  12. Wayman, I just wanted to say happy birthday and u inspire me to pursue the study of astrology. :-) thank u as always for sharing ur wisdom with us. Wishing you more blessings to come. Btw, im celebrating my Mars return today so it's a party!!!

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    1. Thank you! Happy Mars Return! Don't flip out too much on anyone. :)

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  13. Hi Wayman,
    Thank you for sharing your story, very interesting and great written!
    What do you mean, you have about million aspects in your chart? You was exaggerating in a matter of speaking? I understand it's a joke, right? I just want to make sure.

    Are you considering sometimes to start a forum like Linda Land or it's not in your field of interest? I can imagine, it's requires quite attention and time to support the forum running.

    And happy birthday, of course! The best wishes to you and to your astrological endeavours. I wish you that your astrological curiousity will always be nourished by your passion for knowledge and love for people, and that you will receive and allow for yourself no less of anything what makes you HAPPY and LOVE yourself!

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    1. That's very nice. Thank you!

      And yes I was exaggerating, using a figure of speech, haha. Leos tend to do that. I say things like "It took him 10 years to get here", when it was really just 15 minutes or so, all the time.

      But basically I do have an unusually high number of aspects. I rarely see anything like it. Like my Moon: conjunct Pluto and MC, sextile Mercury and Saturn and Neptune, trine Jupiter and also Chiron, if you count it. So a lot going on.

      And I have never thought of running a forum. It seems like it would be a lot!

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  14. What do you think of Zodiac sign-elements analogies? They go along with body analogies

    Aries - Volcanoes and fire
    Taurus - Soil and plants
    Gemini - ??? can't figure this one out
    Cancer - Rivers
    Leo - Sun
    Virgo - Sand
    Libra - ??? air pressure?
    Scorpio - Rain
    Sagittarius - Spreading fire
    Capricorn - Mountains and rock
    Aquarius - Wind
    Pisces - Oceans

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  15. Hi Wayman, love love reading your posts. I'm a fellow Scorpio moon. I'm big on nodes as well. I think if you know somebody's nodes and the houses they are in, you can basically pinpoint their struggles and what would simplify and fulfill their life. Done! My NN is in Cancer conjunction my sun in 8th. Love your story and see ton of similarities. Any time I'm intrigued by somebody, celebrity, romantic interest, or whoever, I do their chart to see why they are the way they are. Keep up your awesome story! Thank you for sharing your insight :)

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  16. You're the best Wayman. Easily the best astro blog online. I'll be in for a reading soon enough.

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  17. Since moving from FLA to ARK or elsewhere, have you looked at your chart in terms of AstroCartography? If so, did the shift of house placements, if any, resonate with you? Wonder if your Leo Sun is still in the 7th house at your present location?

    Do you consider relocation when doing readings, in general? If you do, it would be FANtastic to hear your 10th house "Deep Well" view on the subject.

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    1. I didn't move to Arkansas. I moved to Georgia. And I don't even understand relocation charts. Progressions are one thing. But it is literally impossible for me to change my birth place. I'm stuck with it! We are all stuck with our charts. The only thing that changes your birth chart is finding out your birth time is wrong or that you were somehow lied to about where you were born haha. And how does me moving somewhere else 27 years after I'm born change my chart?

      So, from what I know about relocation charts, it honestly just sounds like wishful thinking, sometimes, for people who don't like certain things in their chart.

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