Mystic Mag’s Miguel Amado talked this week with Tony Howard, founder of the Astrology University. We wanted to know more about the courses, what is teached and also Tony’s life and vision for this year and the near future. Check out our interview!
Please present yourself to our audience
My name is Tony Howard and I am a founder of Astrology University. I started learning Astrology in depth as a teenager, when babysitting for an astrologer. She taught me Astrology when I was 15, which led me to read more on the subject.
In my twenties I got the idea of being an astrologer as a retirement career, but my career shifted and, in my thirties, I started working towards that as an immediate professional goal.
In 2009, I built a website called Find an Astrologer, which was a database for searching astrologers. It took me a bit more into the astrology field and in 2011 I built Astrology University.
How do courses work in Astrology University?
I’ve been working with many astrologers for several years and I wanted to bring everyone together under one roof, so that people’s ideas could cross-pollinate and students could learn with each other and get exposed to a variety of different perspectives.
As I worked toward creating a 4-year program another goal was to create an Astrology program that was more like a university program. In university courses, professors often disagree with each other and have different ideas, skill sets, areas of focus and expertise.
That’s what I was trying to compile for Astrology University: a set of astrologers with different skill sets and interests, so that students could learn how to think critically instead of relying only on the method of a charismatic teacher, for instance.
Is Astrology a universal knowledge or is there a diversity of ideas and thoughts?
There can definitely be different philosophical approaches and different background ideologies that would inform how someone practices astrology, but there are also technical differences. Just like in any field, there are techniques that divide opinions.
For example, house systems: when you run a chart, you have to decide what house system you’d like to use. Sometimes, people decide not to use houses at all. It’s a technique choice for astrologers to make, but there is no universally agreed on choice. There are different perspectives on that topic. Even if we agree on a technique, we might apply it differently from each other.
Please explain more about your focus on historical research in chart analysis.
I majored in History in College and this has been a constant personal interest of mine. I really like the idea of learning from History. There is a way of applying Astrology called Mundane Astrology, which refers to analysing collective trends and History and projecting into the future what these cycles and trends might be based on the past.
We could analyse countries’ charts and analysing many events based on current planetary activity or also analysing planetary energies correlating with events happening in the whole world.
For my own practices, it makes sense to me to look back in the past in order to learn. One of the best examples of this in written form is a book called “Cosmos and Psyche”, by Richard Tarnas. It’s a really rich study of a few different cycles and correlations with events on Earth.
This approach applies not only to the collective, but also to people’s birth charts. My research includes research on people’s biographies. If I am working with a client that wants to know how to make the most of a specific cycle coming up, we might look to see what they’ve done in the past, when that same cycle was up, whenever we are able to see previous activities.
I believe 2021 is a big year for those analyses. Do you believe we can learn something from other times and experiences on Earth?
Yes. When a planetary cycle repeats, we can look back at the previous cycles not only to learn about what happened and make some kind of projections about what might happen in the future but we can also see particular stories that come up every time the cycle repeats.
The major planetary alignment in 2021 is Saturn square Uranus, which is one of the few different transits making up the Saturn-Uranus cycle. Anytime the planet is on one of those alignments, things tend to repeat and storylines come up again. The way I think about it is: an old problem that we haven’t resolved yet comes up again for us to work on it.
We may think this old issue was done but when it comes up again, we realize we still have more work to do. Right now, in the US this trend is echoing back all the way at least the Civil War. Every time these planets come into alignment again, we get to work on some of the same issues that were present during the Civil War, including racism.
Hopefully, every time the cycle repeats, we make a little bit of progress. When working individually with a client, there’s an effort toward doing a better job next time – I’m usually working with people who try to be more conscious about their lives and choices.
Did you notice a big change of ideas and needs in your students during your career as a professor?
When we started with Astrology University, we were just offering webinars and shorter courses, so we haven’t been doing the 4-year program as long. But I notice every cohort of new students is very different.
We have a lot of diversity in terms of age, from 18 to near 80 years old. On top of that, students come from a variety of backgrounds and countries. Even so, each student group has its own ‘vibe’ and their needs do seem to change over time. Since 2018 there has been a huge increase of interest in Astrology.
To finish our interview, please share a special message with our readers in this difficult time.
Last year there were longer cycles resetting. On such occasions, there are both beginnings and endings. Though there is always a shift and change in the world, 2020 was a year things accelerated.
If I would offer advice, I’d say to resist the temptation to go back to the way things were before, because we’ve been asked to move forward, integrate everything learned last year and create something new.
We are in a new stage in a number of levels, at the beginning of a couple of longer-term cycles, and we are figuring it out as we go. Think more about what you can do in the present situation rather than how to go back to things the way they were before.
I think some things have changed: one particular cycle from last year, the Saturn-Pluto cycle, tends to correlate with lasting changes. The coronavirus may be something we have to learn how to leave with, and not something we get rid of.