When I was a young artist living in Brooklyn, I had a car with no interior lining (it had been stolen for parts). I met a man from the Northwest.

After dinner I drove him and our friends over the Manhattan Bridge in my car. He was enchanted by the experience, so different from his wide sky existence. We began a burning correspondence (before email or express mail) and after a few months I became convinced it was worth a flight to Oregon to see if the writer and the man were one and the same.

Friends who were studying astrology poured over our horoscopes but did not discourage me. When I returned, let down and confused, they nodded sagely. They had been pretty sure it wasn’t going to work. Although I was initially annoyed they didn’t tell me, I did understand their reservations (they were only students at the time). I began to study astrology obsessively. I was determined to understand what they’d seen in a single geometric picture, the clues I’d missed in a shoebox full of letters.

How does astrology work? Long before IPods, TiVo, cell phones and computers, people would stare at the stars at night to try to fathom the larger world. Medical science confirms that meditation can relieve stress. Meditation is a method that connects us to the “universal unconscious” as Carl Jung coined it; the vibratory plane of existence where we’re all connected. Long ago, people without electronic distractions were naturally meditating while doing repetitive tasks, relaxing or stargazing.

They took the time to study the spark of the Vernal Equinox and how it correlated with the constellation Aries, the beginning of the zodiacal belt. The myths they wove fit symbolically with the pattern of the seasons as well as the evolution of a person’s natural life. The Greeks liked mathematical order, so they carved up the twelve zodiacal signs into equal slices of 30 degrees to fit a 360 degree wheel (which is not how the constellations actually lie). Nonetheless, this methodical system creates a balance that has worked for astrologers for thousands of years. Compressing big concepts into geometry was a way of creating an order we can understand. It is an order we see everyday, where sacred geometric patterns echo throughout our natural world.

The ancients sat and contemplated the night sky, deriving stories and myths that resonate with us today, providing a psychic compass. One might speculate these impressions or archetypes were messages from God giving us signposts to help us cope. Regardless of the source, taking the time to decode the messages helps an astrologer understand how and why a person acts, thinks and feels. Astrology can show us how we relate to other people (and they to us); provide timing for events and the cycles of our lives.

I never intended to become a professional astrologer when I first studied astrology to try to comprehend my love-life. But I discovered a method to help me in all my relationships, especially the pivotal one, knowing myself.

At business networking events, when I tell people what I do, sometimes the response is: “I don’t believe in astrology”. This reminds me when I was a freelance designer in the 80’s. Some of my colleagues were jumping to computers which I found limiting in aesthetic output! I might well have said, “I don’t believe in computers” as I ignored the obvious advantages they possessed. Of course, I eventually found computers invaluable for both my work as an astrologer and an artist.

Astrology is not a belief system. Astrology is a tool that can help you. Like html, astrology is a language you can choose to learn for yourself. Or you can see an astrologer when you need insight, in the same way you can hire someone to make you a website if you don’t want to learn html. Astrology can help you make choices with your eyes open to potential outcomes. Years ago, had I been using astrology, I might still have gone to the Northwest, but not with the same expectations.