Chat with Michael O’Connor

Michael O'ConnorI have to say I love the Chats – they reveal so much of each person. Here is the one I conducted with Michael. Joan

Joan: When did you first became interested in studying astrology and what sparked your interest?

Michael: My mother was always open to astrology and told me my sign when I was very young, about 6 years old perhaps. Somehow that awareness lingered in my mind. But when I was 16 and my grade 11 English Teacher asked the class to write an essay on Astrology. I was initially skeptical but not as much after writing the essay. My interest and rather sudden passion for more insight and understanding about astrology began then and remains active to this day, 35 years later.

Joan: You are going to talk on “Zodiac Fractals” on May 8 – what exactly does that mean?

Michael: By the use of the word ‘fractals’ borrowed from mathematics generally and the Mandelbrot set specifically, I am referring to the holistic understanding that a reflection of the whole is contained within the parts. I am specifically referring to the ‘zodiac within the zodiac’, to decants and duads and the phase of the moon plays a key role as well. 

Joan: What role does ‘zodiac fractals’ play in the interpretation of a client’s chart?

Michael: The zodiac fractals play their most important role in the interpretation of Natal Chart. However, they also contribute to a deeper or more precise understanding of transits and progressions and solar returns as well.

Joan: Do you approach natal and progressed charts the same way?

Michael: The Natal Chart is ever the foundation to which all other charts refer. Thus I look to how the progressed chart influences the Natal especially. However, I do appreciate that the progressed chart approached on its own ground does certainly offer meaningful insights about where a person is at in their life. Yet, there is usually not enough time in a session to give too much attention to it lest the focus on the natal chart gets obscured. When the Natal Chart is deeply understood, it offers insights to the most important life themes, goals and destiny.

Joan: Are there any books on Zodiac Fractals that you would recommend?

Michael: This one is a good place to start. Decanates and Duads, by: Frances Sakoian & Louis Acker

Joan: How does your particular approach help you to provide a better astrological reading?

Michael: The more precisely one can decipher the core themes of the Natal Chart, the more relevant is the reading and the more the transits and progressions can be understood in terms of their meaning, effect, and purpose.

Joan: What house system do you prefer and why?

Michael: I prefer Placidus because it has always proven to be reliable. I sometimes also use the Equal House system especially linked to the Sun’s degree. I see the Sun as the anchor of the chart. As well, I refer to the Solar Chart to gain other angles yet.

Joan: Do you have a preference: modern or classical rulerships and why?

Michael: I tend more towards modern rulerships. However, I do work with both Mars and Pluto for Scorpio as they represent the ‘dual desires of the soul’ as suggested by Jeff Green. As well, I do at least recognize traditional rulerships, Jupiter for Pisces and Saturn for Aquarius. Not everyone resonates to the higher frequencies of Uranus and Neptune or even Pluto, at least not consciously. So, I maintain a flexible approach.

Joan: Do you see any value or any need for astrologers to take formal training and certification?

Michael: I do see the value for formal training and certification, but not necessarily the need. Sometimes such training could influence a student too much and thereby diminish the individuality of approach. From a practical standpoint, I do see the value.

Joan: What inspires you to continue as an Astrologer?

Michael: Like many astrologers, I see astrology to be a voice of the soul. Astrology works by virtue of the fact that we live in a conscious universe. The archetypal basis of Astrology presents a powerful challenge to materialism and its nihilistic conclusions. Astrology is a revolutionary force and it is contributing to and serving to re-awaken humanity at this much needed time as we undergo this critical evolutionary juncture. In this respect, Astrology to me is not simply a business, a passion or even just an art – it is a mission.

Joan: What aspect or pattern in your chart do you find most challenging?

Michael: I have Mercury conjunct Saturn in Aquarius trailing the Sun, thus my career as an astrologer. Mercury at 14 and Saturn at 16 square Neptune in Scorpio in the 3rd constitutes the harder aspects in my chart and thus are my ‘drivers’. As a Pisces this adds to my mysticism, to being in the world but not of it. Among the challenges is being understood, a classic challenge for Pisces.

Joan: What aspect or pattern in your chart do you like the most or find the most helpful?

Michael: Venus in the 5th in Capricorn Sextile Jupiter in Pisces in the 7th is my most helpful aspect.

Joan: Is there an astrology teacher and/or book(s) that have influenced you more than any other?

Michael: I am certainly a fan of Dane Rudhyar and I appreciate Jeff Green’s Pluto: Evolutionary Journey of the Soul. I appreciate so many it is hard to choose.

Joan: How involved are you with your chart on a daily basis?

Michael: I do keep up on the transits, progressions and returns in my own chart. I certainly observe transiting Saturn and Progressed Moon. I also mainly observe the motions by transit of Jupiter outward. So, I am watching quite regularly.

Joan: Do you teach astrology?

Michael: I do not currently teach formal Astrology classes, though I have and likely will again. I have over the years been focusing to bring Astrology to the public versus strictly to students of Astrology. I am moved to awaken and activate people who remain skeptical and unaware.

Joan: What do you see for the future of astrology?

Michael: I do believe Astrology is gaining in popularity very quickly now and this trend will continue for as long as freedom to study what we choose exists.

Joan: What direction are you focusing on in your personal studies and practice?

Michael: I am always learning and reviewing and deepening my understanding and skill on many fronts. My focus ranges from the philosophical and deeply spiritual perspectives to interpretation techniques in both the Natal chart and those of transits and progressions. I also remain interested at least on all the new minor points like the asteroids, Sedna, Black Moon and so on. Yet, I usually do not include these as I aim to glean as much as I can from the ‘bare bones’ of the Natal Chart, which includes only the six main aspects, the sixth is the Inconjunct, though I still maintain it is a minor aspect if the first among equals in that category. This is where the decants and duads and their Dispositors and rulerships come to the fore. I am currently deepening my understanding of “Containments”. I am also an active student of Numerology, particularly Birthday Numerology.

Article written by

Anne is the founding president of the Guild and its webmistress. She has worked as an astrologer since 1988. In addition to consulting with clients and teaches astrology and writes about astrology on her websites. Her book on Venus was published by Llewellyn in 2006.

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