Think of it not just as a way to
learn astrology but a whole new
approach to living.
Soul Level Astrology's roots are in the pioneering 20th Century astrology movement of Dane Rudyhar and Marc Edmund Jones, who both fundamentally shifted the understanding of astrology from being a fixed system of meanings, back to an organic, living system where the stars come alive. It draws upon the illuminating insights of visionary astrologer Ellias Lonsdale and Mark Borax's three decades of experience practicing with the tools he's learned and developed.
Moving Mountains: The Art of Soul Level Astrology and Star Genesis
I’m often asked what distinguishes Soul Level Astrology from other kinds.
After thirty-one years of this work I still search for an answer.
Invariably I find myself grappling with the elusive matter of soul, something we’ve all heard of but can scarcely identify.
What is soul?
What does it mean in today’s world?
How does it apply to astrology?
As above, so below
In our core nature we have the power to move mountains. But few of us live from core. Most of us live reduced lives, watered-down versions of who we are. Down below, however, the view from the soul reveals a different story. From that perspective, every challenge between birth and death is a conspiracy designed by spirit to catalyze our supreme awakening.
Every impossible dilemma that comes round and round is the wine press of the gods squeezing impurities out of your ego to ignite your core. Everything that doesn’t yet work right is pressure to drive you into your soul. This view is based on the idea that the microcosm reflects the macrocosm, a principle ancients called “As Above, So Below.”
Whether it appears so at first glance or not, all things are organically linked in a grand design. All things are part of an interconnected whole. All things have a reason. Each part of each human being is inseparably joined to the farthest reaches of cosmos by invisible forces in patterns that occur and recur throughout life and time. When we see through apparently random events and chaotic circumstances to these deeper themes we begin to claim our place in the universe. We begin to ensoul.
This soul-level view turns around stuck behavior patterns to a cosmic quest for meaning. It helps us to know that, however strange life gets, however cut off we may feel, however small we may shrink in the face of dilemma, we are nevertheless part of some greater evolutionary force that cannot be stopped. This macrocosmic organism functions better when we awaken to our part. When we awaken to our place in the grand design we lift our sights out of pettiness and mediocrity to the mythopoetic adventure of the well-lived life.
Truth of the soul
If we were born into a culture of meaningful ritual and initiation, society would steer this soul-level awakening from birth on.
We’d come of age guided by the wisdom of elders trained to gaze through appearance into the hidden nature of things. These guardians, raised in accord with their own intrinsic nature, would teach us to cultivate inward essence as we grow. We’d learn to stay true to ourselves no matter what, and face life’s challenges from a deep center that remains steady through every rise and plummet of the wheel of fortune.
In the culture most of us grew up in, we’re trained from childhood to create a surface self far removed from core. Appearance predominates over essence. Externals rule. Relationships consist of surface meeting surface, with scant encounter down below. We have little incentive to do otherwise, little knowledge of the potency of inward nature, the powerful alignment of spirit, soul, body, and mind. Deep dreams of the heart get relegated to somedays, maybes, what-ifs. The truth of the soul gets stuffed beneath the weight of a world machine that eats soul in the name of profit.
Trance of normalcy
Master Astrologer Ellias Lonsdale diagnoses this cultural epidemic as the Trance of Normalcy. What most of us think of as everyday life is actually a thickly drugged state. We rarely notice the trance because everyone around us has taken the same drug. This mass hypnosis is maintained by perpetual media bombardment reinforced by false diet, false media, and false education. Worse, anyone breaking trance often appears as if they’re on drugs, rather than the norm itself being deadly and obsolete.
We get so used to wearing masks that we fail to recognize the real thing when we see it.
In this altered state that passes for normalcy we lose our childhood connection to magic. We value what everybody else is doing or what experts say more than what our inner nature tells us. Our motivations, desires and drives are based on external goals. Forever seeking something outside of us, we fail to awaken the deep living beingness within us. We fail to ignite, until crisis strikes or we’re lying on our deathbed struck by the realization that we failed to live the life we were born to.
Follow your bliss
When I launched my astrology practice in 1987 in Berkeley, California, news of the soul was beginning to tunnel through mainstream awareness. Shirley MacLaine’s Out on a Limb had recently popularized the mystical element in mass consciousness. Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyer’s The Power of Myth would soon contribute the spiritual catch phrase, “Follow Your Bliss.”
Starting a metaphysical practice in the Bay area was a mixed bag. On one hand, northern California is a Petrie dish for eclectic ideas. On the other, numerous numerologers, tarot readers, psychics and astrologers had already hung their shingles out. I sought some way to distinguish myself from the pack.
In the previous four years I’d learned astrology via Alan Oken’s Complete Astrology book. Self-taught, I never attended an astrology talk or class. Following the Delphic Oracle of ancient Greece, Know Thyself, I only studied one chart in those years—my own, and hadn’t yet performed a reading.
In December, 1987 in Ross, California, I got my first reading from Ellias Lonsdale. To call it a reading seems a great misnomer though. It was more of a supernova that blasted me to another universe. (I narrate the experience dramatically in a whole chapter of my new book, 2012: Crossing the Bridge to the Future.)
Minutes after the reading I found myself on a small bridge, soaked with tears. Gazing in the water I realized I craved to do for others what this wizard had done for me—plant someone so deep in the roots of their being that they’d never come out.
Nothing has been the same in my life since, and that’s the goal I set for each person I work with. I use every trick in the book to spring your core nature, and feel a failure if I can’t change your life.
Star Genesis seed for Soul Level Astrology
A couple days after my session in Ross I gave my first reading. Over the next months I did more. When it came time to create a business card I came up with the name Soul Level Astrology.
In subsequent years I helped Ellias Lonsdale launch a mystery school in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Guided by a dream he had of Atlantis, a couple hundred of us midwifed a new form of astrology called Star Genesis, which assigns different ruling planets and houses to the twelve signs of the zodiac. Over decades I’ve tested Star Genesis on thousands of charts and found it to be a profound source pool of mystical knowledge of the ages, reconstituted for our time. It casts astrology in a whole new light that for me goes much deeper than previous versions.
In that cabin in the redwoods I was trained to use the birth chart as a window to the soul. I was taught to fathom an inner dimension of planets, signs and houses that no one else talked about. Soul Level Astrology became my full-time practice. I speak on radio, teach classes, write books and articles, give workshops and lectures, and continue to offer the ninety-minute sessions that form the basis of my practice.
Since my book 2012: Crossing the Bridge to the Future was published, introducing my work to many new countries, the bulk of my practice has shifted to telephone sessions. Clients in Russia, Spain, New Zealand and Alabama rarely make it to my home in Vermont though I often go on the road to meet with folks in person. I digitally record each reading and email it to you the same day. (The digital age is uncannily suited to the ancient art of reading the stars.)
View on the other side
My favorite readings are when I get to talk soul without mentioning a sign, planet, or house. I see the chart as a window, and the importance of windows is not the window itself but the view on the other side. I’m uninterested in obscuring that view by drawing attention to, say, an intercepted Saturn in the third house quincunx retrograde Pluto in the tenth.
This sort of techno-babble usually means less than nothing to most people, and can be more obfuscating than illuminating. Since I use the chart as a direct conduit to the soul, I’d rather just speak of the soul. Otherwise it would be like vacationing in a romantic chalet in the Swiss Alps, saying to your lover, “Look at that window. The pane fits neatly in the frame…the glass is smooth and clean…” This would be absurd, of course, when the main point of the window is to reveal the view.
That’s how I feel about the chart—its main function is to reveal the view on the other side. The panorama of a person’s inner nature is no less stunning than than the most exotic landscape. It is this inner world I’ve learned, step by step, to paint vividly in words.
Astral chiropractic adjustment
First I study the chart for clues to your inner nature. Not until the session though, do I put it all together. Soul Level Astrology is a form of Star Jazz based on structured improv. The chart is the structure, but like jazz, the score becomes something new each time it’s played, something of the moment, informed by instinct, intuition and cosmic synchronicity.
When a new client opens to me, confiding both their secret dream and its accompanying obstacle course, and we plunge into the quest of seeking the mysterious trail to his or her soul, it’s hard to describe the metamorphosis that often follows.
Whatever demons you wrestle with, whatever behavior patterns you’re stuck in, grudges you carry against God or man, all swivel around when viewed from soul. Hot on the trail of that hidden core, when we get close and that inner force ignites, it radiates a fierce root strength that cannot be stopped by external obstacles. This ignition is breathtaking to witness repeatedly through the years, with people from all walks of life. It’s the most satisfying part of my work.
Somewhere during the session, usually two-thirds in, a moment occurs, like the one I had in 1987 in Marin County. Inner planes shift. Like an astral chiropractic adjustment, some inaudible pop clicks into place. Chronic pockets of trapped emotion release. Sometimes the hugeness of this produces a catharsis. Other times it’s more subtle and still.
During the prolonged silence that follows, often punctuated by laughter or tears of laughter, I feel the change. As the person’s soul bubbles up from wordless depths, I get to witness tentatively, miraculously, unmistakably.