Why Astronomy and Astrology Should Get Back together w/ Harriet Witt
Bridging the Gap Between Science and Spirituality
In this episode of the Astrology Hub Podcast, Astrologer Harriet Witt and Amanda ‘Pua’ Walsh discuss “Why Astronomy and Astrology Should Get Back together…”
About Harriet’s journey on becoming an Astrologer
How Astronomy was and still is a crucial component in navigation (literally and symbolically)
The Astronomical understanding of the Ascendant & Midheaven and why it’s important
The best place to start reading a chart
Why Astronomers should know Astrology and vice versa
The reason Astrology is misunderstood by mainstream science
✨ Time Stamps
0:00 The Cosmic Calendar w/ Christopher Renstrom
3:52 Introducing Harriet Witt
11:56 What is an Astronomical Year
14:55 The Importance of Astronomy for Navigation
18:51 Why is Astronomy Important for Astrologers
24:42 The Importance of the Ascendant and Midheaven
28:20 The Astronomy of Signs and Houses
34:53 The Sun and his Relationship to Introversion and Extraversion
41:30 The Best Place to Start Reading a Chart
45:41 Why should Astronomers Know Astrology
48:50 Why is Astrology Misunderstood
54:04 Closing Thoughts
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This transcript is automatically generated. Some miswording might be present.
Amanda Pua Walsh 0:01
Your birth chart is a calendar. One that’s unique to you. Because it’s a picture of the heavens at the moment of your birth. You can think of it as a screenshot of the sky, your sky, and this individualized Starmap will guide you throughout your entire life. It tells you when you’re in season or out. And when it’s a good time to start a venture or think better of it. It shows you grace periods where you can breeze right past obstacles. And it gives you a heads up on future rough patches, where you can expect resistance. And that was one of my favorite passages from Christopher Renstrom. His book, The cosmic calendar. The book outlines a way to turn your birth chart into a calendar that’s uniquely aligned with your natural flow and personal seasons. I couldn’t help but imagine how amazing it would be. If Christopher could teach an online course based on the content, providing an opportunity to teach the content live. answer your questions as you apply the ideas in your life. And hold your hand as you map out your personal cosmic calendar. I’m happy to announce that dream has come true. And registration for the cosmic calendar online course is now open. No more feeling like you’re swimming against the tide as you try to accomplish things before the time is right. Or missing windows of opportunity. Because you weren’t ready to take action. Now’s the time to experience having the full support of the universe behind you. Enrollment is now open class begins in March. And you can go to astrologyhub.com/cosmiccalendar to reserve your spot today. And inner circle members be sure to check your membership portal for your discount code. Again, that’s astrologyhub.com/cosmiccalendar. We can’t wait to see you in class.
Amanda Pua Walsh 2:01
Well, hello, everybody and welcome to the astrology hub podcast. This is our flagship show dedicated to sharing the multitude of astrological perspectives and approaches. We feature up and coming astrologers as well as living legends in the field, as well as astronomers, which we have here today, demonstrating how Astrology can support you in so many different areas of your life. Today, I am so pleased to be here with Harriet Witt. And today we’re going to be talking about why astronomy and astrology should really just get back together. No more of this being apart, we may as well just get back together. So here he is going to talk to us about this and why she believes this is to be true. And I just before we dive in, I wanted to remind you that the cosmic calendar, our three week course with astrologer Christopher Renstrom, is open for enrollment, we actually start class next week. So this is also another class that is demonstrating both astrology and astronomy. Because you’re really working with the timing of the actual transits, you’re going to get to see the history of how people have used astrology and astronomy, to tell time and to create calendars. And so this class is going to be offering a lot of depth of depth and richness to add to your practice so that you can actually take the astrology, map it with your own personal chart and use it to make decisions about timing in your life. And this class is great for all levels. So if you’re a beginner, all the way to someone who is a seasoned pro, you’re going to be able to get something out of this class that is new and different and directly applicable in your life. You can go to astrology hub comm slash cosmic calendar to learn more and enroll today.
Amanda Pua Walsh 3:52
Okay, so we have Harriet Witt here with us. Harriet is someone who I have spent time with in person under the night sky, and just been delighted in her her presence. I mean, I like hanging on this woman’s words, because she makes the sky come to life in such a tangible way. She tells amazing stories about the stars. And she just, there’s certain concepts in astronomy and astrology that she just brings to life in a way that I haven’t experienced before. And Harriet does live here on Maui. And again, I’ve had the pleasure of knowing her here. It’s also the person who when I first moved to Maui would sit in women’s circle on the Full Moon. And Harriet would come to talk about the astrology of that Full Moon. So one of my very first introductions into astrology and working with the moon cycles around a fire with a bunch of women on the slopes of Haleakala that which is the volcano that we live on, and it’s just magical to be in her presence. So this is the first time we’ve had her on the astrology hub podcast, which is kind of blowing my mind and I’m not quite sure why that it has happened that way, but it has. And so I’m just going to go through Harriet’s bio and then we’re going to have her tell her story. But she has more than 30 years experience teaching astronomy, and environmental education. Harriet has had articles published in Sky and Telescope, Whole Earth review, the Griffith observer and spirit of aloha magazine. Ironically, the initial spark for some of Harriet’s most popular science articles were given to her in dreams by ancient wisdom keepers as a teacher of celestial navigation to the crew of hookah Laya voyaging canoe and preparation for his voyage to Rapa Nui, Harriet’s movement based teaching was inspired by the tradition of Native Hawaiians to pass on their knowledge, their knowledge of astronomy, through dance and chant. So we are so happy to have you here.
Amanda Pua Walsh 5:58
Harriet, thank you for joining us.
Harriet Witt 6:00
Thank you for inviting me.
Amanda Pua Walsh 6:04
All right, well, let’s start with your with your story. Your you’re actually the first one we’ve had on the podcast who started as an astronomer. So your first craft was astronomy, tell us how you got into astronomy and then how you decided to bring astrology into your practice.
Harriet Witt 6:19
I got into astronomy to save my sanity. I was born in 1943. And when I was six weeks old, my father was drafted and had to go fight the Nazis. Several years later, when it came back, he had really bad PTSD, but it was never treated was never even diagnosed, because PTSD wasn’t recognized by psychologists for another 30 years. And so he would fly it to rageous. Often, and I thought there was something horribly wrong with me because I was being screened out all the time. You know, a little kid doesn’t know about PTSD. I thought there was something horribly wrong with me. And somewhere along the line as a small child, I discovered that if I went out into the backyard and looked at the stars, everything was more than okay. You know, it was quiet out there. And nobody was screaming at me. And I could feel well, you use the term magic. When you were talking about the night sky. I don’t feel like I bring magic to the night sky. I think the magic is already there.
Amanda Pua Walsh 7:27
Yes. Oh, yes.
Harriet Witt 7:29
You know, and you can’t look at a dark sky and not know that you’re holding magic, right? So I salute Chondrus. Oh, oh, you know, and my mother, bless her saw that this was working for me. So she bought me a little kids astronomy book. And that my intellect. Just wow. You know. And so by the time I was in the fifth grade, I knew every constellation that was, you know, visible from that latitude. And then, because of my background in astronomy, I thought that astrology was bogus. I never saw an astronomy book that didn’t say that. So I just assumed astrology was bogus, because I didn’t have any other, you know, anything to contradict that. And then in 1970, I was living in Atlanta, and I was working with a woman who was very interested in astrology. And I made little wisecracks about it just as I always did. I mean, I feel really bad about that in retrospect, but I made little wisecracks about astrology. But I really respected this woman. And oh, I remember what happened. Now.
Harriet Witt 8:41
She asked for my birth time, because she was taking a class. And she wants she needed guinea pigs, right. And so she asked for my birth information. When she showed me my chart. I was flabbergasted. I thought it was just, you know, I thought it was just Sun Sign stuff. I didn’t realize that the moon and Mercury appears like, Oh, my goodness. And I was really embarrassed. When I looked at the chart. Oh, my goodness, this is so complex. I felt really embarrassed that I had dismissed it. And then that had been snarky in my dismissal, you know? And she said, Well, if you are interested, you know, you could sign up for the same course that I just took. And so I did. And I probably wouldn’t have except that my husband was interested. His mother had studied palmistry quite deeply. And he was religious. And so we took the class together. Anyway, that’s how it happened. I had to swallow my pride.
Amanda Pua Walsh 9:40
What was your experience when you started diving into the astrology was it did it immediately make sense to you? Was it hard for you to make the leap between the kind of mechanical, scientific, you know, movements of things to like, actually, those movements have meaning and we can actually interpret them
Harriet Witt 9:58
um, No, I had a lot of confusion in the beginning. Well, I’ll tell you really there was there was one pivotal moment. I realized very early on that astrology is helpful. You know, I have Saturn in the first house conjunct the ascendant. And when I’d read the description of that was like, Oh, what do you mean, there’s nothing wrong with big relief? Oh, I thought it was something terrible. It’s just conjunct the Sun and the person Oh. And so from that moment, on, and a few and then I started doing people’s charts. And I didn’t charge money for it, because at the time, I had plenty of money, my husband inherited a huge amount of money. And so I just, I just decided to this to do artists charts, because I thought that would be most interesting. So I was just working with artists charts. And I always spend hours with these artists, you know, looking at their chart, and then comparing their chart to their work.
Harriet Witt 11:01
The themes in their work, are actually quite predictable on the basis in their charts, the archetypal themes that are, you know, quite predictable in their work and beautiful to see play out in their work. Anyway, so I was just doing charts for people, and I would spend hours with them in their studio, and you know, all that kind of thing. And I always made sure to explain to people that I don’t have special powers. I’m just reading this chart, you could learn to read it too, if you want to take the time, you know. And so I show people, okay, here’s the sun. Here’s a woman, here’s mercury, here’s Venus, blah, blah, blah, blah. And then somebody said, Well, where’s the earth? And I didn’t know. Oh, dear. Where’s the sun. So that’s when I really started going back into the astronomy.
Harriet Witt 11:56
And so now, I can tell you that, by this time, tomorrow, we will be more than a million and a half miles from where we are now, thanks to the orbiting of our blue green planet around a golden star called the sun. And by this time, a year from now, we will have completed an almost 600 million mile journey around the sun. And we’ll be back at this spot on orbit where we are now. The spot where we are now is indicated by today’s date on the calendar. We were told in school that today’s date on the calendar is a point in time, in fact, is the point in space time. Point in our Earth’s orbit around the sun. Yeah. Um, so a lot of what makes it hard to reconcile astronomy and astrology is our public school education. That’s when we’re grateful for your homeschool group. For this, you know, so in school, everybody is told that a year is a unit of time. In fact, a year is a journey around the sun and it can be measured in miles.
Amanda Pua Walsh 13:08
Oh, gosh. So here it you are the first one who who told me and I’ve totally butchered it ever since because I was trying to remember exactly how many miles you so when someone has a birthday, you say what do you say if somebody has a birthday?
Harriet Witt 13:23
Congratulations on completing another orbit around the sun.
Amanda Pua Walsh 13:26
Right? And how many miles
Harriet Witt 13:28
595 million miles
Amanda Pua Walsh 13:29
595 million. I was saying 5 million, which is hilarious. I said at least 5 million cuz I was like, I know it was at least 595
Harriet Witt 13:39
We’re on a journey and astrology maps the journey. Would you want to go on a lifelong journey with No Map?
Amanda Pua Walsh 13:45
Harriet Witt 13:46
Amanda Pua Walsh 13:47
Yes, yes. Okay. So 595 million miles is the the the number of miles that we go around the sun every single year?
Harriet Witt 13:57
Yes, that’s what a year is. years don’t come and go we orbit through them. But in school, we were told the ears come and go. brothers come and go. They don’t come and go. We’re on this amazing journey. We’re orbiting through these verses we’re opening through these years. We’re not victims of time. We’re passengers on the planet.
Amanda Pua Walsh 14:17
Amanda Pua Walsh 14:19
We’re not victims of time. We’re passengers on a planet. Beautiful. Just one more question for you about your experience as being the celestial being on the crew are being the teacher of the celestial navigation to the crew of Hokulea voyaging canoe which some people may be familiar with Hokulea and some might not. But you were there actually teaching the crew there how to use the sky as their GPS essentially, for that voyage, right? Yeah,
Harriet Witt 14:55
yeah. The Hokulea voyaging canoe had its first voyage in 1976. And its mission was to demonstrate that Hawaiians really didn’t know how to navigate without the maps and technology that Western science claims are necessary. You know, when white guys came to these islands, they refused to believe that the Polynesians had navigated 1000s of miles of open ocean without the maps and technologies that the white guys thought were necessary. And so the white guys just always, well, the white guys decided that the Polynesian that Hawaii was discovered by Polynesian fishermen who drifted off course, in spite of the fact that Polynesian fishermen back in those days never traveled with women on board, which makes it hard to explain how they populated all these times.
Amanda Pua Walsh 15:41
That’s a great point.
Harriet Witt 15:43
But that’s, that’s the nature of prejudice. So the Polynesian Voyaging Society was formed in the 1970s to say, Enough, you know, we don’t like this prejudice we’re going to show you so they built the boat in the old style, they brought somebody in from way far away. We taught them how to do it, because by then they had all forgotten that. And since 1976, Tohoku avoiding canoe has been traveling all over the Pacific with no maps, no technology, because as far as Hawaiians are concerned, all of nature’s a map. It’s just a matter of knowing how to read it. You know, when we were hunter gatherers, all of nature was a map. We didn’t look at little pieces of paper. We all knew how to read it. Yeah.
Harriet Witt 16:24
Anyway, so I’m the navigator and I know at Thompson, I should mention how I came into the picture that the Rapa Nui voyage, Rapa Nui is also called Easter Island. After the white people who supposedly discovered it on Easter Rapanui, the Rapanui voyage had an all Maui crew and the navigator now Noah Thompson wasn’t able to come over to Maui to teach them celestial navigation. So I was asked to do it. And it’s the greatest honor of my life. I mean, not Hawaiian. And I’m the woman. Like, it was a huge responsibility to because these people are going to be getting in a little boat, like, Oh, what if I don’t think some well enough? Are they gonna drown? You know, oh, man, the responsibility. Anyway, um, it was just a huge honor. And I learned so much from these people. One of the things that I learned is that, you know, because they never developed writing, they didn’t, they didn’t learn writing until the missionaries taught them how to read and write so they could read the Bible.
Harriet Witt 17:28
They transmitted all of their knowledge, through hula and chant. And for example, if I wanted to show you some navigational instrument, I would use my body. Particularly, I would start my waist would represent the earth’s equator. Makes sense, doesn’t it? You know, if you don’t if you don’t have a map, yeah. So my waist would represent the equator. And then the angle between my feet if you ever have you ever watched hula dancers, you know, their feet are rather firmly planted on the ground most of the time, okay. But I can angle my feet with so that the heels continue to touch. But the toe end, you know, can be maybe one degree apart or two degrees, a partner can’t get them 90 degrees apart without, I mean, you can’t get them 180 degrees apart without falling over. But you know, you can introduce quite a few degrees there between the toe ends of your feet, while still keeping the heels together. Every one of those angles is a piece of data. About Yeah, same thing with arms.
Amanda Pua Walsh 18:34
I’m assuming that the voyage went well, and everybody lived and they got where they needed to go.
Harriet Witt 18:39
Yeah, nobody drowned.
Harriet Witt 18:40
I mean, they all went came back and it was all
Amanda Pua Walsh 18:44
Harriet Witt 18:44
you know, nothing Hawaiian. And nothing and navigator myself.
Amanda Pua Walsh 18:51
Yes. Wow. Okay, so you started with astronomy? Then in the 70s. You brought in astrology. And then you had that moment of like, oh, wow, these two things should really come together. So why do you think we like for astrologers out there? Why do you think it’s important for them to incorporate astronomy and for astronomers out there? Why do you think it’s important for them to incorporate astrology?
Harriet Witt 19:13
Astronomy, to me astronomy is to astrology, what anatomy is to massage. There’s so much in astronomy, that helps me understand why the astrological interpretations are in the way they are and allows me to go deeper. I don’t like the I’m not comfortable with the idea of saying that a certain sign is about you know, blah, blah, blah, because the book says so or because some other astrologers So, or the Rising Sign means, you know, such and such I’m not comfortable with that. I need to understand why. Why is that? Just because somebody says oh, that’s not that’s not good enough for me. I need to understand why somebody says so. And, and now that I understand that chart is a map of our journey. I see it very differently than when I when it was originally presented to me that I’m sort of sitting here, the victim of all these astrological influences that are zapping me. That part I never was comfortable with, you know, I could see that there was value to this as, as I mentioned to you a few moments ago, as soon as I read the description, you know, of Saturn conjunct the ascendant in the first house, you know, who this is really helpful, but I was not comfortable with the idea that I’m being zapped by mysterious influences. I am comfortable with the idea that I’m on a journey. And there’s a map of the journey.
Amanda Pua Walsh 20:43
So can you give us an example of, of a why that astronomy explains so I can completely relate. And I know a lot of people in our community can relate with us this idea of, I’m not comfortable just taking it because it says it in the book or because I learned it in a class. Like I want to know why. So can you give us an example of, of the of where astronomy explains an astrological interpretation?
Harriet Witt 21:13
Yes, um, I have, I have a little picture of it, I just located on my hard drive a couple of days ago, I was looking for something else. When you look at your astrological chart, you’ll notice that in the very center of it is a little disc, little round thing. And that little round thing is planet Earth. Okay? Where we live.
Harriet Witt 21:34
And it’s a little bit difficult to recognize this because on the chart, because the chart is flat, whether it’s a piece of paper, or whether it’s a screen that’s flat, and the earth is flat. So the chart makes the earth look like a disc when it’s actually a round ball. So as you are looking at the Earth in your chart, you’re going to have to use your mind’s eye to help you visualize that the Earth is not a disc, it’s a round ball. And the it took me about 20 years to figure out the answer to the question that my client asked me when my clients had where’s the earth in the chart, and you know, in my face, what really red and gold were there. So then I spent my 20 years of going back through all the astronomy and like to finally put it together anyway. So this is a little picture I made when I finally put it together. And so yeah, we’re looking at the chart is done from the perspective that we’re up in space gazing down onto the Earth’s North Pole. Okay, if you’re, if you any other perspective, this doesn’t work. And that’s kind of an unfamiliar perspective for most people. You know, usually we’re accustomed to looking at like, say, a road map or something where you’re more or less looking down at the Earth’s equator, you know, but in this case, we’re looking down on us North Pole. So we visualize the roundness of the Earth with the northern hemisphere protruding toward us. Yeah. And the southern hemisphere. We can’t see. But it’s for tuning in away from us. Am I making any sense here? Yes.
Amanda Pua Walsh 23:12
Harriet Witt 23:13
Okay. Okay. So yeah, the three dimensionality we have to visualize one day, I’m hoping that somebody with the, you know, graphic skills can actually do this three dimensionally. And then it wouldn’t, then the char wouldn’t do so hard to Yeah,
Amanda Pua Walsh 23:26
exactly. I think I think even the some of the virtual reality stuff, which some of it is kind of creepy, but when you think about how we can apply it to astrology, and astronomy, it will just make things come to life and completely.
Harriet Witt 23:41
Imagine the roundness of the earth here, you won’t have to imagine the northern hemisphere you’re pushing, pushing toward you in the southern hemisphere, right? On the other side, yeah. And then the next thing you kind of you want to imagine, is yourself, because this is the chart of you, you know, your journey. So I put you in the picture here. And you in this case, it looks like a guy because that’s all I was graphically able to. So he’s standing there on the earth, okay. And he’s, or she, but in this case, it happens to be he is facing the same direction that the Earth is spinning. Okay. And you can see the spin of the earth. If you look at the two little arrows on the earth, the direction of the Earth is spinning is how I made that. So you can see the direction of the Earth is spinning, which is counterclockwise, if you’re looking down on the North Pole, and the little guy there. He’s looking where he’s going. He’s looking in the same direction that the Earth is spinning.
Harriet Witt 24:42
It’s really important to be looking where you’re going, because the Earth is spinning you around its axis and 1000 miles an hour, eastward around its axis at 1000 miles an hour. And the earth is also orbiting around the Sun at 1.6 3 million miles per day and it’s orbiting you eastward, so it’s good to look where you’re going. When you’re traveling, it’s feels like those. Yeah. So that’s why the person in the chart is standing there. Even though I’ve never seen an astrology chart that actually put the person in there. That’s why I had to do it myself. Okay, and you’re going eastward. Now, speaking of eastward, there’s an old fashioned word for East, which is orient the word Orient, like, British people still refer to the Orient, which is replaced, it’s east of Greenwich Mean Time. And anyway, so when you’re facing east, you’re oriented. And our expression, or egoless expression, to be oriented literally means to be facing east and its original meaning it’s about facing east, it has come to mean many other things now, but the original meaning of to be oriented is to be facing east. And it’s important to face east because as I said, Earth is spinning us in that direction, 1000 miles an hour, and orbiting us in that direction at 1.6 3 million miles a day.
Harriet Witt 26:08
So there’s great value in looking where you’re going. And that’s why the chart is all done, from the perspective that the native of the chart, that’s your native, is that still being used in astrology?
Amanda Pua Walsh 26:22
You know, some people still use it, for sure. But there’s, you know, there’s some debate about whether or not we should use it, but it’s, it’s you,
Harriet Witt 26:29
when I was studying this, when I started studying astrology in 1970, it was still used, yes, kind of like the word because it has to do with birth and indigeneity. We’re all indigenous to this planet, you know, anyway, the person the native, that’s why the, the chart is done from the perspective that the the native is standing there facing east. Because the chart is a way to orient you to your journey. The first way to get oriented is just to face east. You know, that’s the first step. The next step is okay, let’s look at the chart a little bit more. When we look at the chart a little bit more, we see that line that divides the, you know, words as Eastern horizon. And there’s that other line that says western horizon. Yeah, so the as that little person is standing there, the native, whatever you want to call him, the farthest he can see, as he’s looking eastward, the farthest you can see in that easterly direction is the eastern horizon. Anything that’s below the eastern horizon is blocked from his view, by the bulge of the earth, you know, by the bulge of the Earth’s roundness. And if you were to turn around and look in the opposite direction, the farthest you could see in that Western westerly direction, would be the western horizon couldn’t see anything below the western horizon, because that’s blocked from his view by the bulge of the earth. So yeah, everything above the horizon is visible, and everything below the horizon is not visible. And then the other thing that we notice, when we look at this is that the sky is divided into 12 pie slices, which you know, as you know, are called houses.
Harriet Witt 28:20
And these 12 houses are 12 chunks of our Earth’s Daily Spin. Okay. And there are also 12 signs, which don’t show in this little diagram that I made here, but you’re aware of that. And astronomy helps us to understand what are these 12 signs? And what are these 12 houses. And when we see when we see what they are astronomically, I find that that’s helpful. The 12 signs are not the same thing as the 12 constellations. And that’s kind of an important thing to note. I don’t want to go into a whole lot of depth about it. But when astronomers try to debunk astrology, one of the first things that point out is that the constellations are not the same as they used to be. But the constellations are not what we’re dealing with. Here we’re dealing with the signs. The constellations are all different sizes and shapes. The signs are 12 sections of the Earth’s journey around the sun. And there are the 12 sections of the earth relationship with the sun. The Earth has a powerful relationship with the sun, because the sun’s light is transformed into the Earth’s life through photosynthesis.
Harriet Witt 29:47
So the Earth has this powerful relationship with the sun, a living relationship with the sun and zero Aries is the point in the earth relations ship with the sun, where day and night are equal in both hemispheres. And the days are getting longer in the northern hemisphere and shorter in the southern hemisphere. So zero Aries when we’re talking signs rather than constellations is a point in the Earth’s relationship with the sun. Zero Cancer is the point in the Earth’s relationship with the sun where the days in the northern hemisphere are as long as they ever get. And the days in the southern hemisphere as short as they ever get. Zero Libra is when day and night are equal in both hemispheres again. And the days in the northern hemisphere are about to get shorter than the days of the southern hemisphere is about to get under they didn’t do it dyslexia on that one anyway, you see where I’m going with this? Okay. So the signs of the zodiac are not groups of stars that you can actually connect, where you can connect the dots, those things in the constellations, the signs are the about the angular relationship between the Earth and the Sun, and the angle of the relationship is very important, because of photosynthesis.
Harriet Witt 31:15
Plants are transforming sunlight into Earth life all day long. And the Angle of the Sun is powerfully important here, you know, they don’t do it in the dark. Right? So the angle of light and dark is hugely important. And that’s and this is what we call the tropical zodiac. Okay. I can’t speak about the Zodiac that’s used in Vedic Astrology, I don’t have experience with that I’m just doing right now trying to make sense out of the Western astrology.
Harriet Witt 31:43
So the 12 signs of the zodiac then are the 12 stages in the Earth’s relationship with the sun. Because the Earth is tilted, that’s why we’ve got seasons. If the Earth were not tilted, you know, day or night would always be equal. And, you know, we wouldn’t have seasons.
Harriet Witt 32:06
Anyway, back to the short here don’t want to get too far in one direction. The 12 signs are the stages of our yearly journey. The 12 houses are the stages of our daily journey. There, there’s two aspects to the Earth’s journey, there’s the Daily Spin, the earth is rotating us around her axis every 24 hours. And she’s also orbiting around the sun every year. And so those are two aspects of our journey. And both of those aspects of the journey are diagrammed in the chart here. The 12 houses are aspects of the Daily Spin of Section stages, let’s say stages. Yeah, that are the 12 stages of the journey, the daily journey, and the 12 Signs of the 12 stages of the yearly journey. And as I as I use that word stages, I’m suddenly reminded of something that a client shared with me one time, when we were talking about the scope, the 12 stages of the journey that we own the 12 labors of Hercules, the 12 disciples of Christ, you know, that kind of thing. We were talking about the archetype of, you know, 12. And as we were talking about the 12 labors of Hercules in the 12 disciples of Christ, one of my students said, oh, you know, I went to acting school and acting school, we learned that there’s 12 Basic characters, you have to learn how to play.
Amanda Pua Walsh 33:35
Harriet Witt 33:37
Yeah, I thought that was interesting to these 12 archetypes. Anyway. So we’ve got the 12 stages, the daily journey, the 12 stages, and the yearly journey, and there’s a relationship between the two of them. The daily journey is kind of like a micro version of their yearly journey. Yeah. And if somebody’s born at dawn, their son will be right on the eastern horizon. Somebody born at dusk, their son will be right on the western horizon, somebody born at noon, they’re certainly at the top of the chart, somebody born at midnight will have the sun down at the bottom of the chart. And I find when I’m with a client, and I’m explaining, and I show them where the sun is in their chart in and they know, you know, what, they already know what time they were born, they had to look that up in order for me to calculate the chart for them, right? Oh, oh, I see. Yeah, it makes sense. You know, some of a person is born, say at noon, and then they look at their chart, and they see that, you know, that sounds right. Oh, of course, that’s where you’d expect it to be. You know, this is just a snapshot of the sky at the moment the person was born. And I find that’s just helpful to people, because then they don’t have to just believe what I’m saying because I’m saying it,
Amanda Pua Walsh 34:50
Harriet Witt 34:51
And that you know, that doesn’t feel healthy.
Amanda Pua Walsh 34:53
One of the things that you’re pointing out to so so I was wondering how the astronomy know The Astronomy actually helps you answer those wise, like, why is the interpretation the way your way it is in astrology. And one of the things you just described is, is the little guy at the top of this chart, can’t see anything below that horizon level, which would explain why astrologers would say that planets in those lower 123456 houses there are more internal, like it’s more of an internal process, right. And then things above the horizon are more external and things that people can see that you can see about yourself very easily. But that would be one example, right? Of why understanding the astronomical makeup of the chart helps you understand the interpretation of the chart,
Harriet Witt 35:47
what you said about what we can see, and what we can’t see is yes, many times when I when I used to do charts all the time, many times when I would point out to somebody, okay, what’s above the horizon is what you can see what’s below the horizon is what you can’t see, many times people would say, Oh, does that mean, you know, what you just said, you know, and and I could see the light turn on in their eyes in their brain like, oh, exactly. Perfect example. Thank you, I had forgotten that. I forgotten all the conversations that used to happen with people. Okay. But yes, let’s go to the Rising Sign, the person is standing there facing east, the farthest you can see is the eastern horizon. And if we follow that Eastern horizon line all the way out to where it touches this guy. Well, let’s say in my case, it touches the sky at six degrees of Gemini, I don’t know what it is, in your case, but we don’t have anything that shows up here. But I’ll just say, you know, six degrees of Gemini, okay? Because that’s what would be in my case. And so we see six degrees of Gemini written on the chart over there, where the Eastern rising gets to the edge of the chart. And that’s called the Rising Sign because that shows what sign was coming up in the east, when, when you were born, and and so the Rising Sign tells us two things.
Harriet Witt 37:16
Keep in mind now that nothing is really rising, nothing is really setting, it just appears to rise and set because we’re viewing it from a spinning planet. Okay? Our culture still uses the words sunrise and sunset, even though that’s not what’s really happening. And this is another thing that makes astrology difficult it makes it also makes astronomy difficult our languages about 500 years out of date. I mean, it’s almost 500 years now, since Copernicus proved Haygarth was moving. So it seemed to me it ought to be time for us to recognize that the sun doesn’t rise, it doesn’t set nothing rises or sets, we spin toward it. As we spin toward it, it appears to rise. Yeah. So Gemini appeared to have been rising, you know, when Harriet was born, but actually Gemini is what her it was traveling toward. Yeah. So um, Gemini is where I’m going in life. You know, everybody has some place that they’re going in life. Okay. Know where I’m going is not where you’re going, you know, unless you’re Rising Sign Gemini also
Amanda Pua Walsh 38:18
Harriet Witt 38:20
Okay, okay, I got Aquarius on the midheaven. Okay. So Aquarius is where you’re going. But Gemini is where I’m going. Okay, another way of understanding the Rising Sign. And that is, if you just for a moment, visualize yourself facing East right now I happen to be facing south, I don’t know where you happen to be facing. But if you could just imagine you’re facing east and a dawn, that would be helpful. And you see the sun appearing to rise in the east. And then you just remind yourself, the sun just appears to rise in the east, what’s actually happening is you’re spinning toward that direction. That’s where you’re going, yeah. Rises where the rising systems is where you’re going. And so the eastern horizon part of you now when I say the eastern horizon point of view, I’m realizing I need to pause here for just a moment.
Harriet Witt 39:18
Something I neglected to say earlier is that this map that we’re looking at, on one level, it’s just a snapshot of the sky at the moment you were born. Okay? On another level, it’s a map of view as the universe okay? Because, we know, macrocosm is kind to the micro part caused them we know that through fractal geometry, we used to know it through other things, but fractal geometry shows that the macro is contained in the micro. So this chart or anybody’s chart, is a map of you as the universe. Why oh universe I like to use that expression. So map of you as the universe. Okay. As a universe, you have a sun, you have a moon of a Mercury, you have a Venus, and so on. Each of these is what a psychologist would call one of your potentials. Okay? For example, your sun is your potential to shine like a star, okay? The moon, the cycle of the Moon is the cycle of a woman’s womb. So the moon is your ability to feel the way you feel when you’re crawl up in the womb, content fulfilled and secure. And the moon is also your ability to be to behave as if you were warm. In other words, to care to nurture to Mother, you know, and mercury. In the ancient myths is the messenger Mercury is the ability to articulate words on the tip of your tongue. That can think and Mars is your ability to Mars is friction to the point of Spark, it’s some rush of adrenaline, the animalistic fight or flight, you know, it’s your animal instincts. And we could go on but right now, let’s stay with the basics.
Harriet Witt 40:58
So the chart is a map of you as the universe. And when you look at the chart, you see, okay, Sun Moon, Mercury, Venus, baba, baba, you also see a horizon line. And you see that midheaven thing we didn’t talk about yet. That divides the chart, the eastern half the chart from the western half of the chart. Yeah. Everything in the eastern sky is rising. Everything in the western sky is setting. And so you look at all that, and it’s a little bit overwhelming. You think, Oh, where do we start? Okay.
Harriet Witt 41:30
So I think the best place to start is not the best place to start just by just momentarily saying, where we don’t start, we don’t start by looking to see where Pluto was when you were born. Because Pluto spends, you know, maybe 20 years moving through any one sign. So everybody born within 20 years of us Pluto in the same sign. So knowing what sign Pluto was, it doesn’t tell us much about you personally, it just tells us what generation you belong to. Similarly, Neptune, Uranus, you know, so if we want to know something about you, personally, let’s look at the parts of the chart that change most often. Okay, all the degrees around the outer edge of the chart was don’t show up in my little diagram here. But we know there’s 360 on them, all the degrees around the outer edge of the chart, each one of those degrees changes by one degree every four minutes of Earth Spin. Okay, so when I was born, six Gemini was on the eastern horizon, if I had been born four minutes later would have been seven, seven, Gemini. If I’d been born four minutes earlier, it would have been five Gemini. So we see that the most personal information in that chart is, is the stuff that relates to the Daily Spin, in other words, the houses.
Harriet Witt 42:44
Okay. And, but not all 12 of the houses are equally important. The most important houses are the ones that are bordered by the eastern horizon. Okay, because everything in the first house, although it’s right next to the 12th house, everything in the first house is below the horizon, and everything in the 12th house is above the horizon. Big difference there. Yeah. Similarly with the sixth and seventh houses, then the other dividing line here that’s important with regard to the houses is the line that divides the left side of the chart from the right side of the chart. In other words, the eastern horizon, Eastern half the sky from the western half the sky, everything in eastern half, the sky is rising, everything in the western half the sky is setting. Big difference, you can feel that in terms of the dynamics. Yeah. And if there were no gravity, you, you would just fly off in the direction of your Eastern horizon and never come back. You know, because the Earth is spinning you in that direction that 1000 miles an hour. You see that? gravity is pulling him toward the core of the of the of the Earth’s gravity is concentrated at the core of the Earth, right? It’s called the center of gravity. Yeah. Okay. The Earth’s center of gravity, we can’t see it here. But if we go from the North Pole to the South Pole, halfway in the middle, there is the center of gravity. Yeah. And so he’s being pulled toward the earth center of gravity. by gravity,
Amanda Pua Walsh 44:10
Harriet Witt 44:11
And so that’s why he doesn’t fly off in the direction of his Rising Sign. So the sign that that’s, that’s at the top there at the midheaven, I like to call them heading, but I also like, also like to call it the gravity line. Okay? It’s the midheaven because it’s midway between what’s rising, what setting, but it’s also the gravity line, and the gravity is important. If you’ve ever tried to flap your wings and take off, you know, gravity is pretty powerful. Okay, so that whatever sign is at the top there, tells us why you cannot leave the Earth. In other words, what you came here to bring down to earth. There’s some reason you’re here on this planet. There’s something you came here to bring down, and you don’t have to bring it down to earth all by yourself. It’s not like you have to tug it down. Pull it down and yank it down and hold it down, because you got gravity to help you. But what’s on the top there at the midheaven tells us like your life’s purpose, your life’s work, your life’s mission, what you came here to bring down to earth. Now in some astrology books, they use the word career, I find that the word career is a little bit too corporate, especially for people who have maybe like a whole lot of Aquarius planets in that house or Pisces, but you know, the corporate thing doesn’t really accurately describe. So I just kind of like to say, it’s what you came here to bring down to earth. And when making any sense here,
Amanda Pua Walsh 45:41
I love that so much Harriet, I just I love that perspective and tying it in with gravity. That is super helpful, Harriet. And those are some really great examples right there of how understanding the astronomy helps you understand why we interpret things the way we interpret them in astrology, which is your bringing us back to the theme of this, of this podcast of why astrology and astronomy should really come back together. And so we’re focused right now on why astrologers would really benefit from understanding the astronomy, why do you think astronomers would really benefit from understanding astrology
Harriet Witt 46:18
because they really hate each other. Um, astronomy without astrology is a picture of a sky that just vast remote, impersonal, has nothing to do with anyone’s life. There’s no place or purpose for people, except maybe at the near end of a telescope. The best you can hope for is maybe one day you’ll become an astronaut, but one out of a gazillion people can hope for that. I mean, the picture of the sky that is given to us by astronomy is just we’re just aliens on our own planet. That’s the picture that you get of a human being. If you look at the sky through surely astronomic, surely through the eyes of astronomy. We’re just aliens on our own planet the most we can know for maybe one day somebody will give us a chance to look through a telescope. It’s really nice to look at the NASA photos. That’s been a big help. You know, but it’s all out there. It’s the out there thing. That’s very alienating. It’s cold. Yeah, it’s just remote. It’s cold. It’s inpersonal. I think it has a lot to do with why so many people are on antidepressants.
Amanda Pua Walsh 47:40
Yeah, yeah. It makes me think of almost like the head without the heart. It’s like, it’s the it’s understanding. It’s logical. It makes sense. You know, it’s it’s predictable. There’s certain things about it. But but there’s no heart. There’s no like, there’s no answer, or even exploration of the question. Why? And, and there’s the curiosity, on some level, which I just learned is the Greek foundation of the word curious, is to care. Oh, was just like, oh my gosh, that’s amazing. Like to care, you actually care. You want to learn? You want to know, but I love that. So can you? Why do you think like you you even admit that when you were an astronomer, only that you would laugh at astrology that it was like this? You know, pseudo science ridiculous sort of the outcast? Why do you think that is? Why do you think it’s so misunderstood by astronomy at this point in time?
Harriet Witt 48:50
I think I think the main problem definitely was for me, but I think I think it’s also true of other people’s most people their own experience of astrology as crappy newspaper horoscopes. You know, if that’s all you’ve seen, of course, you’re not going to give it a whole lot of credence. Yeah, so that’s all I ever saw. And then I was reading all these astronomy books, which told me that it’s bogus, you know, and I and, and since I wasn’t particularly impressed by anything I ever saw. Well, for example, I’ll give you I’ll give you an example from my personal life. Okay. My son is in Taurus. My Mercury is conjunct Uranus in Gemini. Mercury is conjunct the ascendant in Gemini and Mercury is conjunct Saturn in Gemini. Saturn’s in the first house Uranus in the 12th house. No one’s ever suspected that I’m a Taurus. There, the jet you know, if anybody asked me what my son they always you Gemini, you know, because you can see how active My mind is. I’m constantly accessing data processing data. That’s what comes across, you know, so I never, if I read if I ever did read any of those newspaper bars, you know, I didn’t relate to whatever they said about the Taurus. So that was another, you know, there’s so generalized. So it was only when I had this coat that my coworker Helen, and I had a lot of respect for Helen. She was very capable woman, you know, and I was like, oh, Helen, how could you be? You know, but but I didn’t. You know, I didn’t go too far with that, because I had a lot of respect for her. And then when she showed me my own chart, and I saw, Oh, my goodness. This is way more complex than those loose. Yeah. So.
Amanda Pua Walsh 50:43
So it’s just misunderstanding or just lack of exposure and lack of knowledge about what it actually is. So there’s, it’s almost like it has a PR problem.
Harriet Witt 50:57
Yeah, yeah. And you know, I deal with I shouldn’t mention to you and stop me as this is off target. But for years now, I’ve been doing weekly stargazing programs on Pacific whale Foundation, both that goes out of Mongolia harbor.
Amanda Pua Walsh 51:11
Harriet Witt 51:12
And we’re out there for two and a half hours. Enjoy whales, when the whales are here. And enjoying, you know, the illusion of sunset, I always point out that it’s an illusion. And, you know, and and the night sky, and I function best when I’m bouncing off people’s questions, I don’t like to just play the recordings that are in my head. I’m old enough, I got lots of recordings in my head, but it’s no fun playing recordings. So I just bounce off people’s questions. And inevitably, the astrology question comes up, you know, and I love it, because it’s giving me but I also know, there’s plenty of people on that boat. And I can tell from the conversations that I’ve had, there’s plenty of people on that boat who think astrology is total bullshit, you know, so it’s puts me in a really interesting spot there. Because, you know, when you’re in the visitor industry, you cannot offend any of the visitors. Just as when you’re, you know, behind the counter in the store, you cannot offend the customer, right? So I’m in the interesting position of having to answer the question the person is asking about its geology, without offending the other person who thinks it is bogus. I would
Amanda Pua Walsh 52:15
love to hear what you say. Alright, so to to kind of summarize, the astronomy without astrology is kind of like a it reminds me of like a robot, like you could, like a robot could do a lot of things humans could do. But it doesn’t heart right. It doesn’t have the emotions, it doesn’t have the, you know, just doesn’t have a heart, right. And astrology without astronomy, I love how you said, it’s like being a massage therapist, but not understanding a strong anatomy. That it’s, it’s it’s helping you understand why certain things might be important versus other things, or just, it’s helping you understand the map at a much more. What were you what were actual, structural, there we go structural level there. There it is. And there was a time when they were where they were together, right? astrology and astronomy were always together.
Harriet Witt 53:18
For most of time of our human existence. We were hunter gatherers, as hunter gatherers, we look to the sky as our clock as our calendar as our compass of our GPS. And if you go back to 99%, if you don’t think about 99% of our existence, the sky was our clock, our calendar, our compass, or GPS, and we all knew how to read it. There was no difference between astronomy and astrology for the first 99% of our humanexistence.
Amanda Pua Walsh 53:43
Harriet Witt 53:45
Yeah, I just recently learned that we were hunter gatherers for 99% of our existence. They didn’t teach us in school because hunter gatherers didn’t. They didn’t write history books.
Amanda Pua Walsh 53:55
So can you repeat you say the sky was our compass, our calendar, our GPS,
Harriet Witt 54:01
and our clock
Amanda Pua Walsh 54:02
and our clock?
Amanda Pua Walsh 54:04
It’s just so cool. I love that. Harriet, thank you so much. I’m so honored to have had you on the show. And I hope that we can do it again sometime. And I can’t wait for the next opportunity to be under the actual sky with you, with your pointer. You explaining things and making it come to life in very new ways. So and maybe some days some people from our community can come out and be on that boat with you.
Harriet Witt 54:29
Your Saturday night. I do it every Saturday night.
Amanda Pua Walsh 54:31
How do I not know this? Amazing. That’s so cool. So if any of you are ever on Maui, make sure that you look up the Hawaii Pacific whale Foundation. And then Harriet does her little journey on Saturday nights, which would be just like an total added bonus to that whole experience of going whale watching. Yeah. Okay, anything else that you want to say before we sign out here?
Harriet Witt 54:53
Yeah, very grateful to you for I you know, I kind of gave up on the idea that there might be any astrologers interested in Join me. So I’m really happy to know that’s not the case.
Amanda Pua Walsh 55:04
That is not the case. You have just landed in a community of people that are enthusiastic about it that are earnest and sincere and probably sometimes kind of like, oh, it’s kind of scary. It’s it’s hard to understand.
Harriet Witt 55:17
But that’s what makes it fun to.
Amanda Pua Walsh 55:19
It’s so true on this journey, this 595 million mile journey
Harriet Witt 55:26
every single year as your agent miles. Oh, imagine
Amanda Pua Walsh 55:29
your agent miles. Oh my gosh, it’s so fun. Miles. Wow. Incredible. Well, thank you so much. And I hope to see you soon. Thanks to all of you for being here for any of you interested in going into this direction of like, how do I marry my astrology with my astronomy? Like Harriet said, The sky has always been a clock. It has always been a calendar. If you want to be able to map your personal clock and calendar to the movement of the sky. You can learn how to do that in our upcoming course with historian and astrologer Christopher Renstrom. Hurt you might like that. If you’re interested in taking that let me know because it’s it he’s really cool. Yeah. So that enrollment is open right now class starts on March 3. If you’re watching this later than March 3 of 2022, you can still access the course it will be available for you into the foreseeable future. And all you do is go to astrologyhub.com/cosmiccalendar, see if it’s right for you and you can enroll today. Thanks everybody for being here for being a part of our community and as always, for making astrology and astronomy now, a part of your life. We’ll catch you on the next episode.