My love story with astrology begins in college. At the time, I was a philosophy major earning two minors in German and Classics, and I had a deep love for intellectual inquiry and rigorous investigation into life’s deepest questions. At the height of my academic career, I had a few papers published and spoke at several international conferences on phenomenology and epistemology. I even scored a research fellowship on the Platonic Dialogues.
But over time I became very disillusioned with philosophy and academia.
While they asked great questions, they gave me almost zero answers. Each worldview and positive position I constructed - no matter how rigorous and thought-out it was - I eventually tore down as a result of some critique or logical inconsitency it contained.
As time passed, I developed deep-steated apathy and nihilism, and my philosophical inquiry became overly obscure and unnecessarily technical.
My mental and physical health began to deteriorate as my desire to understand the universe transitioned from a harmless curiosity to a debilitating obsession.
Eventually, I became so stuck in my own mind that a complete disdain for the world and even life itself overtook me.
And then I disovered the spirituality and the spiritual philosophies of Yoga and Buddhism.
Here were philosophers who were not only asking deep questions and the nature of reality, knowledge, and the soul, but also giving grand, comprehensive answers to those questions. Moreover, the answers were not just theoretical to these philosophers, but also shaped their lifestyle. This type of thing - a dramatic change in lifestyle according to one’s philosophical investigations - was new to me. It proved to me that they were genuine.
I more or less abandoned contemporary philosophy and threw my towel in with those who affirm non-duality and the potential for enlightenment. The transformation took time, but eventually I went from an uptight academic philosopher into a full blown, mantra-chanting, tree-hugging hippie.
(Unsurprisingly, I have a lot more joy now.)
Eventually, my eyes were opened to the same enlightenment-seeking trends in classical western philosophy.
I’m specifically thinking of Plato, Pythagoreanism, and Neoplatonism. Here I was reading Western philosophers asking life’s deepest questions and giving answers very similar if not identical to the answers I found in the east, and unique, spiritual lifestyles to match!
I spent a long time poring over the texts of the ancient greek philosophers and spiritual practitioners, and then it hit me that the vast majority of these authors, from Plato all the way down to people writing after the fall of the Roman empire, put a lot of weight and emphasis in astrology and the movements of the planets and stars.
For these philosophers, astrology was practical philosophy.
The motions of the stars operated according to cosmic principles; by knowing the meaning of planetary configurations one can move in harmony with them and achieve enlightenment. I naturally saw a corrolary with Jyotish (Vedic Astrology) and Indian philosophy.
As you can imagine, I became very curious about practicing astrology the way that my heroes practiced it. I had studied a little bit of astrology here and there, but I didn’t deeply resonate with the way that I saw contemporary astrologers working. The possibility of engaging with astrology the way the ancients had engaged with it, on the other hand, utterly consumed me.
I threw myself into the dedicated study of classical astrology texts for years. It turns out that many of the astrological texts from that era have only been translated in the past thirty years. In fact, a veritable new renaissance has swept over the astrological community as leading translators in the field dissect and restore classical astrological techniques.
What we find first and foremost in classical astrology is an elegant, detailed system concerned with concrete prediction.
Gone is the psychological, intuitive emphasis, replaced by strict inferences from general rules and astrological axioms.
I fell in love with this system and it completely opened my eyes to what astrology can do and redefined what it means to be a philosopher. Now I can do practical philosophy in a way that helps not only my spiritual path and livelihood but also the spiritual path and livelihood of those around me. Watching this system of astrology make people more successful and tune more into cosmic harmony brings me tremendous joy.
I absolutely love what I do.
I get to study one of the oldest, most fascinating bodies of knowledge and utilize my loves of philosophy and classical history at the same time. Moreover, the universe has given me the tremendous blessing of having a career which supports and nourishes my spiritual practices and self-work.
When I’m not developing my practice or meditating, I can usually be found outside bouldering or climbing a mountain barefoot. I have a deep love for the outdoors and I believe that much of humanity’s suffering is rooted in disconnection from the natural world. Spending extended periods of time outside is mandatory for my happiness and mental clarity.
I also enjoy furthering my skill with classical piano (I’m a big fan of the compositions of Debussy and Rachmaninov). When I can, I like indulging in the study of more languages and linguistics. For some reason, I have this strange itch that only invested study in historical linguistics and phonetic sound change can scratch. But one thing’s for sure: being able to read the ancient astrologers in Greek and not in translation is a tremendous lifesaver!
Foreign Language Reading Proficiency
Babylonian (Southern Akkadian)
Babylonian and Hellenistic Astrology
Ancient Greek and Egyptian Spiritual and Magical Practices
Indian and Tibetan Tantra
Indo-European Religion and Language
Dedicated Spiritual Practices
Indigenous Medicine Ceremonies