The Astronomy and Cultural History of Astrology

Happy New Year to you!

I am so excited to be here with you in 2022. We have a wonderful group of people for our upcoming astrology course, both live and recorded, and we would love for you to join us! Early bird ends in one week, on Wednesday, January 19th. Our class meets on Sundays from 1-4PM ET for 10 weeks, from February 6th through April 10th. You can find all the details right here.

In this course, we will trace the human relationship with the starry sky from its earliest origins in the recognition of solar and lunar cycles and their relationship to light, heat, and tides, through the sacred geometric stone circles of megalithic culture, to the birth of astrology proper with the Mesopotamian zodiac and Egyptian decans. When Alexander the Great unified these two regions with parts of Europe in the west and India in the east, the great cultural synthesis that ensued gave birth to Hellenistic astrology and the four pillars of our practice to this day: planets, aspects, signs, and houses. The Middle Ages saw the cultural center shift from Alexandria to Baghdad, where astrology flourished and evolved in the Islamic Empire before being retransmitted to the West during the Renaissance, dying a second death during the Enlightenment, and being born again through Theosophy and the New Age.

I would be honored to be your guide on this remarkable adventure through time, where we will not only study but imagine and experience what it was like for our ancestors to become conscious of their embeddedness in the universe. For the history of astrology is the story of humanity awakening to its place in the cosmos and thereby navigating its relationship to the divine. That story continues with us today, as part of an unbroken lineage stretching back to the earliest of our species, able to be animated once again, in always deepening communion of above and below.

New Album: The Wicked Wonder

My new album! The Wicked Wonder: A Symphonic Fairy Tale, a project nearly 14 years in the making, is a fairy tale set to music: The King and Queen’s daughter has gone missing and her disappearance has spun the entire realm into disarray and decline. Unsuspectingly, a young shepherdess must become the heroine of the land in its darkest hour…

Howard Ashman, the great lyricist and driving creative force behind Little Shop of Horrors, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Aladdin, said that a good retelling of a timeless tale conveys to your listeners what your own unique experience of awe was when you heard that story for the very first time:

  1. The Wicked Wonder is a retelling of The Brothers Grimm fairy tale, The Princess and the Tree, as retold and interpreted by Carl Jung in Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious.

2. The Wicked Wonder is a retelling of Dark Side of Oz, the cult classic in which Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon is cued up to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz movie.

3. The Wicked Wonder is a retelling of Beethoven’s 3rd symphony—the Eroica (“heroic”).

I am so grateful to our band, Vatchapuj Collective, featuring 13 performers from the US, France, and Thailand. The album was recorded in all three countries and is a testament to my many journeys, both geographic and spiritual, and a tribute to the amazing souls I’ve had the honor to play and commune with along the way.

This album is dedicated to my daughter, Luce Sophia DiRuzza, the freshly rooted light of wisdom in my life. In finally bringing this project to a finish, I ritually let go of the place of prominence of my solar ego, embracing the lunar web that connects me to every other—my wife, my daughter, my family, my community, my planet, my world. The Wicked Wonder is about how the individualist myth must finally give way to a metaphysics of relationship: “Our lovers and children make us frightened of dying—autonomy eclipsed by communion.” The Wicked Wonder is about how the lone hero must finally become a responsible leader and a member of a team.

I encourage you to give it a deep listen from start to finish (48’) on a nice sound system or pair of headphones, above, on Spotify or your favorite streaming service, or after downloading. If you’re into lighting a candle or elevating your mood, it’s surely one of those albums. You can also listen and watch cued up to the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz motion picture.

I would love for you to share this creative offering with your networks. I welcome your responses and reflections!

Wishing you a bright blessed year after the darkest hours of 2020,

Travis

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