It’s been four long months on various levels, with many personal life changes, a move to a new house, changing schools. With the onset of the new school year, I’ve also changed teaching positions within my school, only six months after beginning my employment there. My summer was also busy with moving. All the packing and unpacking, and the countless decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of, which objects fit in my new home and what doesn’t. This was followed by lots of teacher training in a new curriculum I am unfamiliar with. It’s been like being a rookie teacher again, starting over on many levels. Starting over though, is my specialty, so I might be too much in my comfort zone.
As the dust settles a bit now, I’ve had a chance to go back to studying the stars with new perspectives and I’m impressed with how exploring my interest in astrology restores me to myself. Through just reading and asking questions, I regain my balance and certainty about many things, but most especially my personal philosophy gets re-grounded, my sense of wonder re-expands, and my faith in the unseen world is often re-stored. Right or wrong, it’s enough for me. I don’t ask or need anyone’s approval or permission, thankfully.
My most recent interests have led me to a fascinating book by Ted Andrews entitled, Sacred Sounds: Magic and Healing Through Words & Music. Andrews was a teacher and an author. He wrote many esoteric books, but his most famous book was about the relationship of humans and animals, Animals Speak. He died in 2009. In this book about music, and ancient bardic traditions, poetry and the power of words, much of what I learned through studying the lectures of Steiner and my Waldorf Teacher training was validated and reaffirmed, though re-framed in more modern language and with new possibilities and potentials expounded.
The most useful and interesting idea which Andrews relates in his book is the assignment of tones to each sign of the zodiac, an idea brought forward by Keppler, though it goes back to very ancient roots. This idea was also promoted by Max Heindel, and Rudolf Steiner, based upon the tonal fifths. This is still very strong in the Anthroposophical teachings of today.
Andrews states, “it is possible to transpose the astrological chart of an individual into a musical composition.” When we do that, we can hear what is harmonious and what isn’t.” Aspects become chords. When a discordant combination of tones is present, we can play various musical tones that blend well with that aspect, bringing harmony to disharmony. Here is a practical application of astrological knowledge, if it truly works and can be studied. In considering this, two of my favorite worlds come together: Music and Astrology. It’s hard for me not to get excited, my astrology-geekness exposed.
While these questions percolate, I continue to look at my students and try to find practical ways to meet them as individuals and as a group through relating to them, guiding them, and designing and pacing the work we do together. I continue to explore how astrology can serve on a practical level to meet these human needs and questions in education, or if it’s little more than grabbing at straws.
My major area of interest is simple to explain. A class of students born in the same year would all have very similar Jupiter and Saturn placements, so it would seem some generalizations can be made about a cohort of students. I’ve also been very interested to study the Moon and Mercury placements of individual students, as much work was done on the study of how people process information, or “mental chemistry” by Marc Edmund Jones, a famous astrologer which would seem applicable to teachers. So, for me, all these ties together: Music, Astrology, Education. More is there of course, like the moon phase at the time of birth which also brings out some helpful group qualities and individual characterizations and I am sure there is much more than these few things which astrology could bring to education, but these are the big elephants in room in my mind. I’ve found one published teacher/astrologer online, though I have yet to read her publications.
I’ve thought about writing about these things and publishing them as e-books, or posting them to the popular TpT, Teacher Pay Teacher website for sale, though these are mere curiosities at this point. I am still at the place of exploring this vast terrain, experimenting, and rudimentary application in my own classroom laboratory. In my view, if something isn’t immediately applicable to a classroom or an immediate need, teachers are just not that patient or interested. They have a total of nine seconds to have their lesson planned and prepped for the next day. They are very pressed for time. On top of that, teachers are famous bandwagon jumpers. So, in the end, I usually leave behind my temptation to turn this interest into a business and I go back to astrology and music as just a serious interest of mine, with potential to serve or help others. There is also stubborn prejudice against anything which smacks of occultism, especially in Texas. I have a long way to go to offer anything that feels safe on a professional level, or useful to other teachers, or seriously tangible. I don’t want to be part of some teaching fad and I truly loathe self-promotion, so I get quickly turned off thinking about things in terms of “business plans,” it all starts to feel cheap and gimmicky. What really interests me is furthering common good and increasing knowledge, improving practices, helping students with cosmic knowledge that is applicable in the real world. This is the type of goal often can’t serve two masters.