Mystic Mag’s Miguel Amado talked with Michael Bartlett, a Metaphysical Astrologer based in Santa Fe (New Mexico) and owner of the website CoreMichael Astrology. We touched on a number of points about Astrology, readings, retrograde planets and what people are looking for in these days. Check it out!
Please present yourself to our audience
My name is Michael Bartlett, I am a practicing metaphysical astrologer. In 1999, I moved to Santa Fe and found that my life was not working as usual. After prompting from friends, I had a second astrology reading, this time with Tom Brady. I learned Pluto was transiting my ascendent and, just as Tom informed me, I went through a major process of letting go of whole parts of myself.
Learning about astrology and seeing the cycles people have understood and followed for thousands of years has given me greater understanding and compassion for myself and others. Coming from a psychological background, my undergraduate degree, I was looking for something more holistic and less pathologizing; seeking a synthesized understanding for individuals –astrology continues to give me that.
Tom told me I’d be going through a 4-year process as Pluto worked its magic. As things often do in life, I happened to be somewhere and overheard someone talking about a training they were in called Core Energetics. He had just started a four-year program and I knew I had to get into the training -which I did.
What is core energetics?
It is a body-oriented psychotherapy based upon the work of Alexander Lowen and John Pierrakos. Those of us who work with the body understand there is a mind-body connection: what we say, we embody; what we feel, happens.
For me, it was an easy fit, to understand that the defensive structures we have in relationship with other people are ones we created, honed and defined when we were children in an attempt to survive the challenges that childhood gives us and the problems we encountered with our families along the way.
Some of us encountered traumatic situations and became more introverted, whereas others became more extroverted. I find it nice that, with the added insights from astrology, we can see how these themes and defensive patterns are likely to play out for individuals. We then identify and describe what is happening in such a way that helps people move forward. The goal is to be more in alignment with what our true self is as opposed to what family, friends and society say we are.
What are the most common mistakes people make when thinking about Astrology?
I think the easiest and most confounding is Sun signs. Many people’s argument against astrology is how can everyone fit into just one of twelve categories? This is makes perfect sense and many might be happy to know that astrology is much more complex, dynamic and exciting than that!
In addition to the Sun, we have Venus, Mercury, Mars, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, as well as our Moon. Each of these bodies in our solar system has a voice, has a need to express. Some people say: “how can planets so far away affect us?” Well, doesn’t the Moon affect us? The tides rise and fall to the rhythms of the moon and there is clearly a period in each lunar cycle when significant spikes in police activity and hospital emergencies occur.
Astrology is a tradition of at least 4000 years. The ancients tracked the positions of the planets and recorded how people acted –seeing consistent patterns of events over time that we call archetypes – universal ideas/concepts. This anecdotal information gathered over millennia across numerous cultures gives us an understanding of ourselves in a more wholistic way than anything else I have encountered.
This understanding gives us permission to be our individual selves while granting insights into our position within family, community, society and humanity as a whole.
You published a text about retrograde planets. Can you explain what is happening and what are the meanings of it?
There is so much going on right now! Back in December of 2020, there began the great mutation between Jupiter and Saturn in the air signs -for the last two centuries they had been conjuncting in earth signs.
Of course, we’ve been feeling the gradual transition from earth to air. The industrial revolution was all earth, the electronic age is all air. We use the airwaves to get in touch with one another (cell phones) for instance, rather than through a land line (earth). Air signs are all about how we relate to one another. This mutation initiates a new two-hundred-year relationship between the two planets and therefore learning new rules of engagement.
The next in what is happening in 2021 are the three Mercury retrogrades –all in air signs. Then, this week, we had Jupiter go retrograde in his natal sign of Pisces, but he also rules Sagittarius. Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo. When those two planets are retrograde they affect all four of the mutable signs. For those of us who have a lot of mutability in their charts, planets or angles in these signs, we may be feeling a bit stuck. The purpose during retrograde is to slow us down, stop and take a break. Basically, taking two steps back from whatever is going on, chewing on it for a while and giving space to make healthy choices.
The main part of my article concerns the outer planets going retrograde: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Pluto. This non-normal movement backwards gives many of us the time to think about things in life and commitments before making decisions and commitments.
How does your reading work?
My standard reading reviews the natal birth chart with the current transits and progressions. I find that 99% of people who come for a reading is because something is not working in their life at that time. Usually, there is an opposition, square or conjunction either in the natal chart or by transit or progression: something very significant and life-changing. The individual is trying to gain her/his bearings while in a new territory, but nothing in life makes any sense.
Many seek advice and guidance like I did when Pluto was on my Ascendant. Rather than getting a pharmaceutical “cure” to my symptomology, I wanted to understand the cause of my symptoms. I attract similar clients who are seeking to address their root issues. Awareness is an amazing first step!
When someone schedules a reading, I use their birth information (time, date, place) and create their natal chart. I look at the chart, review the planets and their relationships to one another and look at the current transits and progressions.
There are three key components to a reading: the chart, the individual and the energy of the moment. Connecting these three in a way for the individual to be able to hear it and incorporate it is crucial. I don’t believe there is such a thing as a bad astrological chart, but parts of the chart do present us with opportunities for growth.
Did you notice changes in people’s concerns before and after the pandemic?
People have had to live with their life decisions: their marriages, children, relationships with their parents… Whatever their situation, they’ve been locked in it for over a year. A lot of people did not do really well with that.
At first, I thought people would be feeling kind of stuck, so there could be a lot of career-oriented readings. I found that regardless of the pandemic, lives were unfolding and the situations they needed to encounter were still occurring for them in the ways they needed to experience them. Life, especially when viewed through the lens of astrology, is remarkable indeed.
Do you have a final special message for our readers in these difficult times?
My wish right now is for individuals to take the time and space they need to make the proper decisions that work for them and least affect and harm others. We need to find ways to take greater care of ourselves so that we can treat others with greater love, kindness and respect. We need to remember, somehow, that we are far more alike than different, and we are all children of God (please insert whatever you believe is out there). We are all special, unique and human. Namaste