(An "International Academy of Astrology" online course by the IAA's instructor Thomas Gazis)
Since I was a kid I had an intellectual fond for the “bearded guys”. I mean I loved the 1960’s hippies alright but I had a very special kick for the ancient Greek philosophers. Some great philosophers were living almost next to my house in Athens. And they were speaking a language very similar to the one I was speaking. So, from early on in my life I felt a particular connection to them. My little adolescent “getaways” consisted of me visiting the ancient “Agora” (forum) under Acropolis - a vast area full of ruins lying below the majestic Parthenon - day daydreaming there that I was suddenly meeting on a street turn Socrates and that I was engaging on a conversation with him…
Back then little did I know that the Greek philosophers (and mainly Socrates, Plato and Heraclitus) would come very handy to me later on in my life, when I started teaching Astrology. You see the major complaint of my astrology students is that astrology consists of so many diverse and disparate elements that the student is hardly able to memorize the properties of each one of them, let alone proceed to a proper synthesis of all those disparate elements, and thus to an effective natal chart interpretation! As an eternal “parroting” adversary I am totally sympathizing with my students. Personally, I have always been a fervent advocate of the “critical thinking” and even of the “sentimental approach” to knowledge.
From the “bearded guys” I knew that true knowledge means inter-relating the disparate elements and unifying them instead of fragmenting them. But back then - on my late twenties - I did not know any available method that would help me to unify the so many and apparently inconsistent astrological elements.
Then an epiphany occurred to me! I started studying thoroughly the teachings of the foremost humanistic astrologer Dane Rudhyar. Rudhyar helped me enormously realize how unifying the astrological knowledge is and how much is based upon principals that in reality are not just astrological but universal. And I knew from the aforementioned great philosophers that those principles are somehow “implanted” in every human being’s brains! Actually, Socrates and Plato advocated the thesis that we human beings harbor inside us a primordial “super knowledge” of all things - although on a somehow fuzzy state. Thus, the only thing we have to do, in order to get “knowledgeable” on some field is to bring into focus and make conscious in our brains the respective fuzzy knowledge we already possess!
That was it! Suddenly I realized that I didn’t have to “impose” any kind of “knowledge” to my students. I just had to become a sort of “intellectual midwife” and simply assist them in delivering on their own the astrological knowledge they already possessed! And that meant that I had to work with them in a totally opposite way, “from inside out”. I had to avoid at any cost the “academic teaching” (to present them stuff that they should uncritically accept and memorize) and help them “give birth” to those astrological principals they already possess! And consequently expand and “build” upon those principals, which the students carry “incorporated” in them. Because whatever is “unconsciously incorporated” in us carries the potential of becoming crystal clear to us at some point - if properly “triggered”!
My firm conviction is that students don’t have to “be taught” astrology, they don’t need to painstakingly memorize hundreds of properties, qualities and attributes of signs, planets and symbols! They already know astrology and the only thing they have to do is simply “recollect” it!
To read more please visit the IAA website to read the syllabus as well as to register for my new course.