Graduates & Success Stories
Guna Bundule - Diploma Holder
My astrological journey started in 1996, when I took a main course in astrology, which opened a new way of thinking and perceiving the world around me. Time passed in attending different courses of esoteric studies. However it was only astrology I kept returning to constantly. Until I followed another astrologer’s advice to consider studying astrology on a more serious and profound level.
I enrolled with the Faculty of Astrological Studies in October, 2010, when transiting Jupiter and Uranus were squaring my ASC – DES axis, transiting Saturn was in incoming square to my natal Saturn and conjunct my North Node, and it was my Chiron return. My intent and wish was to obtain the Faculty Diploma. With Saturn on ASC one cannot wish for less. The seven years have passed so quickly because the study process has been intense and rewarding through all the 9 modules.
Richness of the experience is many-fold, but of course the main value of the Faculty is its people – the tutors and the staff, who have been most supportive and inspiring. And I am thankful to each one of them from the bottom of my heart. Let me mention Cat Cox, Carole Taylor, Gloria Roca Riera, Deborah Morgan, Beatrice Boucher (my first tutor). Another pillar of the FAS is the study program, which is thoroughly and wisely built. The study material – articles and exercises – that I, as a distance learning student, received are excellently written, well-structured and easy to follow.
The yearly Summer School held in Oxford is a special event which presents a chance to listen to the lectures of the top astrologers of today. As well it is a chance to meet the tutors and build skills in a group environment. Many long-lasting friendships are formed during the week in the close and friendly atmosphere. I see it as another profound value of the FAS – the people we meet and stay close even if physically we are hundreds of miles apart. It is the family of souls sharing the same mystical path of evolution through astrology, which makes one feel accepted and nurtured.
For me it is a great honour to be among the FAS Diploma Holders. The sense of honour I feel is closely linked with personal responsibility to hold high the standard and the ethical code established by the Faculty. One step ahead but the learning curve never ends…
Eric Fischmann - Intermediate Exam Success
They say confusion is the mother of knowledge, and I feel fortunate to have Astrology help me breathe and navigate a muddled world that more often than not gets lost in translation. At 21 I was handed my chart for the first time, but it’s Saturn’s return at 29 that ignited the spark when Astrology walked my way in the person of an Astrologer, who read my chart in the most astounding way. This definitely rooted my interest. Very much like bees fertilising flowers, Astrology is the only thing I was looking for without being aware of it at first, and as much as bees want flowers, that makes sense to me. Scores of books and lessons later, timely Uranus knocked me out of my Piscean slumber, and I broke away from the lingering reverie as I met with FAS.
This gave birth through an academic frame to dreams of understanding and a new state of contemplation. As Carole Taylor once pointed out, the etymology of “Study” is about attachment, zeal, care and eagerness, with the idea of devoting yourself to something. And so If I had to encapsulate years of Astrological studies in a few lines, I would say FAS has helped me consider Astrology as a relationship in its own right, that reflects like a mirror, or like someone you care for would, demanding grounds of commitment – interestingly the glyph of Venus, the universal significator of relationships, has always reminded me of a mirror. I owe my potential and insights to the methodical and rigorous approach of my tutors. Their true benevolence has helped me draw out enough confidence to delineate proper boundaries and express values now ripe to unfold.
Joseph Hong - Certificate Holder
I discovered astrology in 2014 through the amazing lens of AstroCartoGraphy which provided me with spot-on insights on my life in Australia. I then tried to learn astrology through books and websites for about a year with no clear progress. The question of how astrological authors can write such detailed information about a planetary configuration befuddles me. I wanted to be able to do that too. With that in mind, I researched the astrological schools that provide correspondence courses as I learn best on my own and at my own time. Based on my research, I found that the Faculty is head and shoulders over other schools which was the reason why I enrolled with the Faculty in 2015.
My naviety has me thinking that I would finish all nine modules and the three exams within three years as astrology can't be that hard, can it? Thankfully, I realised the folly of my thoughts. Astrology requires a lot, a lot of work, time, practice before one can be marginally competent at it. This is not dissimilar to other fields of study! Ultimately, an astrological student/astrologer has to integrate life and astrology together. That is why I'm of the view that there's no end to one's astrological journey, until one's death of course.
I am most thankful to my tutors Mark and Deborah for their encouragement, kindness and valuable feedback on the assignments. I swear there were a number of assignments that were done up horribly but they never once chided me. Instead, constructive feedback were always given. I have really enjoyed my studies with the Faculty and I thoroughly recommend anyone considering an astrological education to go with the Faculty. It's a no-brainer!
Cristina Teixeira - Certificate Holder
It was in the Autumn of 2008 that I started to attend the Faculty's London classes.
I remember at the time thinking that in two years' time I would complete the diploma. How naive and wrong was I??! As it so happened, circumstances in my life changed and I was no longer able to attend the classes, and enrolled on the third module as a distant learner. Once I completed this module, I made the conscious decision of only doing the Certificate exam at later stage. Time passed, eight years and ten months precisely. I went on studying astrology with other established astrology teachers, got a Diploma in Holistic Massage, studied Tarot, learned more energy healing (Vortex Healing) and took painting classes. As I progressed with my astrological studies, I began to see life through the lenses of astrology. I also started to read birth charts for friends, family and people I met in courses. I certainly learned a lot about myself, my birth chart, the planetary transits and how I could better used them in my life. Most of all I learned to be more compassionate; you do once you know people's birth chart or something as simple as their sun sign.
This year was the deadline to take the certificate exam. Having this in mind last year I decided to focus on completing my diploma. I attended London classes for two modules. Then enrolled for the Certificate exam. That was another lonely and arduous journey itself. I'm in two minds regarding the completion of this course. On one hand I know it will be wonderful to come full circle and be able to start practicing professionally, but on the other hand, it saddens me that I will not be attending more London classes or have homework to do as a distant learner. Of course I must remember that there are always the webinars, seminars, and the unforgettable summer schools led every August at Exeter College, Oxford. More recently the Faculty launched the Jupiter Group where students, teachers and anyone interested in astrology are welcome to join and meet like-minded people and listen to talks on selected themes.
Astrology is such a complex and rich language to master, I believe, it certainly takes longer than two years. I would say you can't stop learning astrology, there is always something new to discover or to became aware of. Once you begin this serious study, you embark on a journey of expansion of consciousness. Up to 2008 I had been studying metaphysics and complementary therapies but astrology was always at the back of my mind. So when I decided to study it, I looked at the schools and courses in London. I chose the Faculty of Astrological Studies because it had, and it continues to have, an excellent reputation, a lineage of excellent past and present teachers, a plan of studies, a structure that made me feel confident that I would gain a good and solid foundation for my astrological education.
Studying astrology has been a very good decision for me. I have learned so much and know I can keep learning even after I have completed the course and been awarded my diploma. But the journey is not over yet, I have two modules and two exams left!
Pat Field - Certificate Holder
After a lifetime interest in the mystical and metaphysical it's a surprise to me that it was not until I was almost 60 years old that I came across astrology in a serious way and suddenly knew that this was what I needed to study.
I have experienced lightning flashes of inspiration before in my life where I've suddenly known what path to take. This has happened to me on and off since I was 11 years old and I've always followed the direction indicated. I love when it happens but it's always the beginning of a path that takes some effort or dedication, and so it has been with astrology.
Part of the effort was to figure out how and where to learn and this has taken some time. I was able to find some good and sincere teachers and did a lot of reading but it never led me to a satisfactory place where I felt confident about 'giving a reading'. I didn't have the skill to pull things together although I could certainly pick out pieces of information. This seemed to impress some people but it never impressed me and so I kept on looking for a better place to learn. It took me more than 6 years to come to the Faculty of Astrological Studies after my initial decision to become an astrologer.
I came to the Faculty with some knowledge and have now completed the aptly named Foundation Course and have my Certificate from the Faculty. I'm proud of what I have achieved but know that I still have quite a way to go as I now embark on the modules which will eventually lead me to the Diploma. I have no idea how long this will take but I do go forward with confidence that any effort that I make will give me real skills.
Much of my life has been about the care and support of others in various ways and when I was a younger woman, the care was generally of a down to earth and physical nature. Now, as I go into an older phase of my life I feel as though the ongoing theme of care will continue in a different form as I learn how to be a Consultant Astrologer.
The Faculty has given me the means to achieve my goals. I'm a Distance Learner and I appreciate the pace of the reading and the exercises. I've been continuously impressed by the importance placed on being kind and understanding in one's approach to others. This is not to say that I was encouraged to sugar-coat information but there is an expectation to voice any potential difficulties with compassion and to note a more positive way that an energy may be lived.
I did wonder, when I made the decision to study with the Faculty, if it would work out and if I would like it but now I can say that my initial hesitation was unfounded. Whatever part of the courses I'm in, I always get a sense of dedicated people who have put this system of learning together and who want to make sure that nothing is missed in providing an excellent education. I think that most of all though, I love having a personal tutor who gives me feedback on every exercise and who can also help with other questions and difficulties if they arise. This part above all has given me confidence which I had been lacking.
Guadalupe Pardo Varela - Certificate Holder
I have always thought that studying Astrology is an inner act of liberation and redemption at the same time.
It is a journey of self-discovery, a very useful tool able to light up our true and unique nature. Astrology gives us the wonderful opportunity to be what we really are (without criticisms and punishments) and, at last, we can recognise ourselves as the complex and contradictory human beings who we are.
My personal experience as a Distance Learning student was a real pleasure for many reasons. The material provided by the Faculty is excellent and very useful. The different exercises stimulate a deep comprehension and a dynamic learning process. My tutor made an excellent work, characterised as much by the professionalism as by the kindness and I felt that my particular rhythm and creative way of learning were respected throughout all the process.
Sabrina Moncini - Diploma Holder
In 2008 I decided to celebrate my birthday with a Liz Greene seminar at the CPA, it was something that I was dreaming of, for very long time. Being passionate about Astrology and of course loving the work of Liz Greene, that was my birthday treat. Solar Return Uranus went exactly on my MC as I spent my birthday in London and probably it was pointing to an exciting new direction in my life.
That year I come back to London several time, attending most of the following seminars at the CPA. Then, by the end of the spring term I got in contact with a lady that told me about the Faculty’s Summer School in Oxford and the amazing line up that you could find there. Needless to say that by August I was there, enjoying every single lecture, happy to nourish my soul with so much beauty and quality knowledge. In Summer School I had a beautiful contact with the lady that organized the event at the time, who explained to me all the possibility to study long distance with the Faculty and suggests me to try the Certificate, saying that I would eventually enjoy it.
At that time, I had already studied astrology for more than 15 years. At the beginning I was an autodidact, then I took formal course in Italy with the Astrological Association and finally I was reading charts for clients. I didn’t feel I needed to start it all over again, but it was just a perfect timing. I had just complete a second degree in Counseling and I felt that I missed going deeper into astrology. Transiting Neptune was exactly on my natal Sun in Aquarius, so the longing was there and finding impossible to move to London to attend the CPA, I decided to enroll with the Faculty in order to keep studying Astrology and be in touch with the astrological community.
I didn’t imagine to go all the way through the Diploma, but this journey has been both really demanding and really rewarding. I had great tutors who really helped me to go deeper and widen my knowledge. I finally managed to organize my knowledge in a systematic way and learned much more. The Faculty is to me a Saturnian Institution, you have to diligently follow the program with its rules, procedure and timing, but this just give you enough structure to create something valuable with it.
Since Astrology is a language, it definitely makes sense that as an Astrologer I became more and more capable of talking everyday language, translating the astrological jargon in a language that everybody can understand. This is to me one of the great step I took working through the Diploma, refining the language in a more understandable way. The Faculty gave me that very solid base that I needed to ground my creativity and my intuition.
I am very grateful to all the Tutors who supported me through this journey with great knowledge, passion and patience. A special thanks to Gloria Roca who not only gave me full of inspiration through my Certificate, but also has always patiently answer my last minute questions on exams. The staff at the Faculty is really amazing and the program are very well designed, I am really happy to have taken this challenge and proud to be part of the Faculty’s Community.
Silvia Lopes - Certificate Holder
I engaged with the Faculty of Astrological Studies in September 2013. I left my country that same month and came to London. At the Welcoming Day the 2nd of October (the day of my birthday) while I was seating there listening to the teachers and fellow students I’ve realized the commotion and excitement I was feeling… I was finally in a place of harmony!
Since then I’ve done the three modules of the Foundation Course and the Modules 4, 5 & 6 of the Diploma Level 1 through the London Classes. I’ve stopped last year because I felt I needed to consolidate and integrate all I’ve learned until then and I also wanted to take my time to do the Certificate Exam which I accomplished last June. I’m planning to go back to classes next October for Module 7!
As a student of this Faculty I appreciate the accurate, ethical and insightful method of teaching such a subjective and delicate language as Astrology.
The Course material provided is extremely well structured with very rich yet perfectly understandable concepts – from Astronomy to Greek Mythology, going through modern psychology, so we can enlarge our imagination and intellect to better grasp each element of an Astrological Map and its wholeness. Besides the Course material the Faculty provides an extensive and very useful reading list for each Module. The exercises are not just extremely helpful to summarize our progress, they are also a fun way to play Astrologer. The teachers are remarkably supportive and encouraging, each one sharing their knowledge and experience in a humble and open way. The classes are full of life with real and interesting exchanges between all its participants. There we have the opportunity to learn from everybody as each one of us always brings something new, some different perspective on the same element. There is always this sense of movement, of broadening horizons.
But what I really find more impressive as a student of this astrological school is the recognition of each one of us as a unique, deep and complex human creature. This recognition involves warmth and personal interaction and not just the intellectual and colder exchange of knowledge. Here I experience how I can really be myself without fear as we are welcomed and accepted for who we are in our wholeness and holiness. Here we are invited and motivated to contemplate, to imagine, to transcend the analysis and to be creative.
At the Faculty of Astrological Studies we are given the rare and wonderful opportunity for research and reflection so we can succeed in combining our unique and profound subjectivity with this sacred and ancient Art that is Astrology.
Zascha Bresilley - Certificate Holder
When I was younger, I used to read through the great collection of books my mother had on various spiritual & metaphysical subjects – one of them being Astrology.
I was, and still am, absolutely fascinated at how accurate it is – looking at my own chart and others. This is proof enough for me that this is a true, ancient science which does work. It gives us that greater insight into ourselves, others and the world that we wouldn’t necessarily be able to see or be aware of were it not for this valuable tool.
Our strengths, our weaknesses, our potentials all brought to light increasing our self-awareness, help us grow, move forward and realise our potential. That’s what Astrology is about and should be used as such. It’s not the tool itself that’s good or bad – it’s how it’s used.
There’s so many misconceptions about Astrology. It’s not the rubbish you read in the newspapers. It’s far, far richer than that. Nothing is ever set in stone – we are always the master of our ship. We have a destiny but can always change it – for better or worse. And yes, it makes total sense that the planets do have an energetic effect on us. Look at the moon alone and how much that affects all life on earth! Like with all these things, before ruling them out and saying ‘what a load of rubbish’, investigate properly. Study. Then make an informed decision based on logic and intuition. It’s so easy to dismiss without effort to look into something. That very thing you dismissed so easily without further investigation could be the very thing which could change your whole life around.
I want to help, guide and inspire others through life with this amazing tool. This was the motive that prompted me to study Astrology further and explore its riches further. What better place to do this with than ‘simply the best’ Faculty of Astrological Studies! And I mean that from experience.
I have been doing distance learning with the Faculty and just achieved my Certificate. My online tutors who’ve helped me get here were excellent, with their really helpful guidance, feedback and quick response. Any questions, anything I didn’t understand, they were always there making sure I really understood before moving on to the next thing. Another thing is that I received detailed and valuable feedback on my submitted exams – fail or pass – which was very beneficial so I could improve next time around.
I am looking forward to taking my studies further into the Diploma modules and exams. This time, when and where I can, I’ll try attend classes to meet like-minded people. Whether distance learning or attending classes, you will never feel left in the dark, you will be helped and guided every step of the way and given detailed feedback on all work submitted which will enable better understanding and build up your confidence in the practice of Astrology.
Itziar Azkona - Certificate Holder
I loved being a Faculty of Astrological Studies student and I am proud of it.
I am certain that the Faculty has come to me at a time when my Astrology needed a more structured and consolidated focus. From my first contact up to now, everything has confirmed that experience, wisdom and professionalism wraps around all this Project.
It all started long time ago when I discovered through Astrology a side of myself that was hidden and no one else was able to let me see, an important vision of a "Lost Self" of mine that needed to be discovered, transformed and empowered. It all continued through informal courses, led by fascination of how a subjective, non-rational tool could help so many people when it is used wisely, framed on a philosophical, scientific and psychological premises.
It all finished when I contacted the Faculty and I realised that I committed myself to get a Certificate and to pursue success until the very end. It hasn't been easy there are ups and downs, the requirements are of a high level, like the teaching and tuition. Although the online program allows us to follow our own rhythm meeting our personal needs the program remind me, all the time, of University, as challenging as when I was involved in my MSc.
And as all that finishes means that a new re-birthing is close. I am looking forward to new adventures to come in this endless path to broaden the mind, to embrace the emotional body, to unify duality, towards the encounter of my destiny, never definitive but always closer and closer...
I finally want to thank all Faculty team. I felt cared for, nurtured and supported from a distance. Very much supported despite language barriers.
I encourage anyone looking for a serious, high quality training in Astrology to take Faculty of Astrological Studies into account.
David Ho - Certificate Holder
I learnt about the faculty from a friend years ago and I was so fascinated by the subject, so, I started taking the distance learning course in the foundation certification level immediately. I was very naïve to think that there should not be too many difficulties as I considered myself an intelligent person and a foundation cert program should be quite easy for an MSc owner like me. However, during the study I found that it was so far the most difficult subject that I had ever learnt. It involves with science, psychology, philosophy and also needs good ability of intuition and sensitivity to understand what every chart is telling you about a person. I had been quite frustrated and doubted about myself if I really had the talent or lot after some negative feedbacks (but when I looked at them again, they are very helpful and constructive), I had been struggling with the study especially during the time I was suffering from depression.
Fortunately, my life was turning much better since 2013 and I was recovering from depression through healing and dealing the problems at work, and most amazingly my partner, who always said that astrology was witchcraft, suddenly encouraged me to attend the summer school in Oxford in 2013. So, I went to Oxford to finish Module 3 and through the guidance of two wonderful teachers and the support of my classmates, and I found my passion in astrology again and finally I finished Module 3 with a lot more confidence.
After summer school I took the half module interpretation course to prepare myself for the examination. I was so amazed that how much I could know about a person through reading his/her chart.
With what I have learnt I consider that the natal chart reading in astrology is a technique to understand the blueprint of a person (or any entity) how he/she was designed by God or what lessons they are learning in this life. I also consider astrology one of the languages that God use to communicate with us or to tell us stories about a person or any activity in the past, the present or the future.
I am really looking forward to learn a lot more in the future and also use it to help myself and other people in needs.
Mónica Teixeira - Diploma Holder
Having finished a very important cycle in my astrological learning, I look back and I can see three distinct phases of my path as a student of astrology until now.
In the first phase, during my youth, I was a passionate autodidact. I bought a lot of books which I read in one step. In this phase, I didn't know about the existence of schools in Portugal. There wasn't internet yet...
In the second phase, I studied in a school in Portugal where I learnt the basic principles of astrology. When I finished this course I felt that if I really wanted to work with astrology in the near future I would have to study it in a deeper and consolidated way. At this time, I changed my residence and it wasn't possible to continue my studies because there wasn't any school of astrology near me. I felt really unhappy with the idea of having to stop my studies… So, I started to seek options around the world with distance learning courses. I found the FAS and it was love at first sight because it was aligned with my requirements.
So, the third phase of my studies started in the FAS in 2008 and ended in 2015. This was an amazing journey. Eight very demanding years, lived with strong determination and discipline, but most of all with high pleasure and joy.
The greater difficulty was to conciliate the course with my role of mother of three children and with a full time profession, because I wanted to do my best in each exercise and sometimes I hadn’t the time that I needed... However, I am proud with all my progress and when I received the results of my last examination it was like a dream that comes true.
During the course I was continuously surprised by the quality and the knowledge of each module, article and exercise. When I thought I had learnt the most interesting matter, then a new module surprised me even more. This was a strong motivation to continue with the same enthusiasm as in the beginning.
Other very important aspect of the distance learning course is the support of the tutors. I had the opportunity to learn with three marvellous tutors but I know that all tutors are of high quality. My tutors guided me, motivated me and taught me a lot. I am very much grateful to my tutors: Polly Wallace (Foundation Course) , Glòria Roca (Diploma Level I) and Martin Lipson (Diploma Level II).
Learning in the FAS also give us opportunity to contact with people with the same interest on astrology, people that we will never forget.
I have professional experience in the quality area and I know that to reach high standards of quality, in any field, it is necessary years of improvement and this is what we see in the FAS. The FAS has a long history, it is probably the oldest school of astrology in the world. Many generations of brilliant astrologers learnt in the FAS and contributed for what it is today de faculty. I really respect this and I feel very much grateful to people that worked and still work in the FAS.
If someone asked me an advice about a place to learn astrology, my answer would be: “The FAS is the best!”.
I will continue an eternal student of astrology but now I also dream to be a good astrologer compromised with the same mission of the FAS: to raise the standards of astrological education.
I have Saturn conjunct to Venus, in Gemini in the 9th house, conjunct the FAS’s Sun and Moon I know that I will keep my link with the FAS for a long time …
Michal Geffen - Diploma Holder
As a young mum and teacher, I was interested in understanding "all my children” – both biological and spiritual. I didn’t find any answers in the traditional sources. Through a family member I enrolled in the faculty and started an enriching and fulfilling journey. As a long distance student I met the best professional tutors, who supported me along the way with their insightful feedback on my work. In addition, I could arrange my schedule at my convenience, keep up with my day-to-day work and even complete my second degree at university.
Now, combining my long-term experience with children and youth as well as my diploma, I can plan the next chapter of my life.
And, yes, I have found some very important answers. However, I never stop learning and searching for more.
When I was a teenager I used to read stories from Greek and Babylonian history and anything on the subject. At university I took classes in history and philosophy. At night I used to look at the sky, which, as a native Aquarian, always fascinated me. It seemed that I had all the seams of potential, but did not yet have the wisdom to weave them together. When you are young, you go with the flow of life, with all the headstrong confidence of youth.
Having a Moon in Capricorn, I was drawn to the practical and the mainstream. The years went by and I was a high school teacher and mother. Suddenly, I was struggling with many faces, characters and behaviors. I was helpless. I needed to understand human nature. I was facing the riddle of existence.
I wanted to be a good mother and a good teacher but things didn’t go as planned….my second child didn’t follow conventional rules, neither did my students… one day I met a neighbour in the kindergarten. She told me about lessons in Astrology. She said she knew I was interested in this discipline. She hit the nail on the head; my elder sister had had experience with astrology in her youth. She even completed her certificate in the faculty.
It seemed the time was right. I was more mature and my Sun in Aquarius, opposite Uranus, Mercury in Pisces and Neptune as an elevated planet, started to set things in motion… it seemed that my Moon in Capricorn became secure enough to allow me to engage with more spiritual issues.
I started to attend lessons but wanted to develop and study at what I consider the most renowned astrological institution. I wished to get recognition for my studies. My Capricorn Moon (remember?) was also drawn to the faculty of astrological studies in order to obtain a formal qualification.
So I started a long journey with the faculty, with whom I walked hand in hand for 15 years. I explored the psyche, I navigated mythology I analysed famous world events, bought every book I found in many forgotten old shops I passed in my travels around the globe. I went to every observatory and space museum I could find in New York, San Francisco and elsewhere. Astrology became my passion and my main interest. I was teaching during the day - and at night and during holidays I was dealing with symbols, signs and planets. Every exercise was a challenge but every piece of feedback I received from my tutors was uplifting and constructive.
In the last two years I decided to attend Summer school in Oxford. It was a valuable decision. Aside from the historic, magnificent atmosphere, I could immerse myself in the astrological world; the faculty, tutors and material. I met people from all over the world with whom I am still in contact. After all, how many can say that they studied at Oxford and have made such international friendships?
Although I have now obtained my Diploma, I continue to feel attached to the faculty and its tutors.
Please allow me to use this opportunity to extend my deepest gratitude to those who supported me during those years: Cat Cox, Gloria Roca Riera, Carole Taylor, Peta High, , Diane Marcus – Page, , Helen Gretton and Rimona Cohen [who was my first tutor and mentor].
Alejo Lopez - Certificate Holder
After many hesitating questions, I decided to join the Faculty and see if I could systematize and improve the little astrological knowledge I already had. I feared that as I was taking the online modules, the quality would not be really good. In fact it was the complete opposite. I am now very grateful for the Faculty as I’ve learned and grown up through their process of teaching.
I have always been pushed to find the best education and training in most of my endeavours in life. The Faculty has been very exigent. One must diligently work through it. But you are never alone. My tutor supported me all the way: she congratulated me when I deserved it and she also scolded me when I wasn´t doing my best, just as an adult would do with a child. I am very grateful to her.
I have just finished the Foundation course and I’m proud, happy and anxious to keep this journey on. I remember I delivered my exam with a mix of fear, anxiety and a strong desire to know what my teachers would think of it. The Faculty demands that everything you write on your exam should be justified by a specific astrological correspondence. I highly appreciate that as it forces you to be very specific and pay full attention and responsibility for your interpretations.
There is also a philosophical journey, as I would call it, and it subtly helps you develop and work on yourself and your approach to life, the world in general and astrology in particular. The Faculty demands that you work on your own perspective on what astrology means to you and what you expect to get from it. What is its value to you? Why do you think Astrology works? Why do you want to learn Astrology? What is your view on fate and free will? The Faculty allows you to dive into your own opinions and thoughts, promoting self awareness and self development, which I greatly appreciate. I still don’t think I’ve got definite answers to these questions. But it feels great to be sailing with such a companion as the Faculty’s tutors.
So far I have done the first three modules and sat for the first exam, gaining a Certificate Diploma, “an accomplishment on its own” according to the Faculty itself. Even though it meant a lot of hard work, it is still so little in comparison to what I expect to keep learning here. I am currently doing Module 4 and I’m amazed to be learning the patterns of time and life. Hopefully I will go through the full program. I encourage anyone who wants to acquire a good level of astrological knowledge or simply to learn to view and appreciate the beautiful patterns of life, to study at the Faculty. I feel so grateful to have found this place, it makes me want to be better than what I am!
Jackie Morley - Certificate Holder
The subject of Astrology had always piqued my curiosity. I had already been to see an Astrologer in my early twenties and had been fascinated by Sun Signs and Horoscopes as a teenager. For me it was really as if something was calling me to delve further into Astrology. I remember my husband giving me a book about Astrology and Fate and feeling I really wanted to find out more. Some years later I finally took the pro-active step to register on Module 1 of the Faculty's distance learning courses.
Writing the Certificate Exam is quite a challenge in itself but there is a lot of advice and preparation in the course material and tutors are always happy and willing to answer any questions you may have as you prepare yourself and begin work on the exam. I remember feeling really apprehensive during the days before exam results were announced at the Winter Solstice but the relief and joy at receiving the news that I had passed was out of this world! So the persistence and hard work paid off and I gained a real sense of confidence and achievement. I remember saying to my husband “today I wake up a Certificate Holder”.
Something you may find as you embark on your studies is that your journey becomes something of an inner exploration too and you may find that your perspectives change and your inner being starts to flourish and give light as you explore further into this most precious way of being in synergy with the Cosmos.
The Faculty’s courses provide a comprehensive framework within which one can begin to explore Astrology’s potential in a way that is both authentic and professional. What has always impressed me is the dedication and passion our tutors have not only for their craft but in passing on that knowledge through their tutoring. I am excited and enthused about how much I’ve grown as an individual through my studies. The Faculty’s courses have given me the opportunity to explore Astrology in a way that is well-grounded and gives substance to and encourages a versatile approach to intuiting Astrological symbolism. As I continue with my Diploma studies, I look forward to being able to enrich and refine my ability to provide guidance to my future clients as well as being able to share the beauty and intricacy of Astrology with others.
Victoria Cruickshank - Diploma Holder
My fascination with astrology began way back in 1969 when my younger brother gave me a pile of books for my 21st birthday including Astrology by the poet Louis Macniece.
For the next 30 years “life…” as Clare Martin my first astrological muse would say…. “got in the way” this included a prolonged overland journey to the East followed by a few children and it was not till the late nineteen nineties when my marriage broke up and I found myself with some spare time in a flat in Camden that I came upon the CPA beginners class taught by Clare, enrolled and got well and truly hooked.
Being a very airy/fiery type from about age 45 onwards I realised that I was going to need a really engrossing mental project of some kind to keep me sane in my dotage and this need was exacerbated by a move to mid France where I was going to live somewhat removed from children and friends. Liking to write and having worked as a journalist some, I decided to try constructing a novel but this got out of hand quite quickly, I just did not have the kind of self-discipline needed for such a lonely task then a good friend who had studied with the Faculty herself suggested the distance learning option and that was it, I started before I left London.
And so it began, an amazing 11 year voyage through the certificate and then on to the Diploma. Take heart fellow travelers! I have a hyper restless chart dedicated to freedom at all costs with no earth, too much hot air a beleaguered Mercury square Neptune as a singleton in water, nothing in my astrology shouts out about staying power or logical skills. One very well thought of astrologer when I mentioned years ago that I was interested in doing the FAS training looked at my chart for a while and then sagely asked if I hadn’t thought of training as a reflexologist … so much quicker and easier?
I don’t finish things, this house is littered with half done bits of knitting, another of Clare Martin’s memorable sympathetic remarks “Poor Leos ... it’s just so hard for them to work!” Well again, take heart Leos and others inclined to lounging ... it is possible to do this, to complete and gain the prestigious Diploma against all kinds of odds. To be honest I have time after time had to wage tough jihad with the parts of me that have been so determined not to work, not to remember anything or God forbid become professional and many times those parts won out … but in the end …. YAY I did it, finished and passed.
All the Faculty material for the Modules is really well written interesting and clear, never boring. My personal favourites were probably the midpoints/harmonics module, using midpoints I discovered a fascinating new level of explanation of the strands and chronology of the personal conditioning but I was lucky to have Peta High, Queen of midpoints/harmonics as my tutor then. I also loved the Mundane/Astro Cartography module as I am an addicted 9th house explorer outside as well as in.
I have a book in front of me called the Wisdom of Saturn a Hindu Saturnian myth translated by Robert Svoboda. On the flyleaf it says “…The Greatness of Saturn is a therapeutic myth told and retold through many centuries …. it honours the planet Saturn, who personifies time, limitations and all forms of adversity.” Well first thanks and prostrations go to Saturn Lord of the Golden age, without whose goading this Leo soul into more rigorous ways of being and at times even forcing me to bite His alchemical bullet I don’t think I could ever have made it past GO . As I write this, Saturn is finally moving off my 0 degree Sag Ascendant and I have been changed and tightened up by the journey with Him, and what I’ve learnt is that freedom for me is found within restrictions and this is a revelation even though I might have guessed before with the AQ Moon opp Saturn in Leo square ASC t square in my chart!
Then big thanks to all my tutors Clare way back with the CPA then Sue, Barbara, Polly and Peta for all their incredibly helpful feedback and encouragement and support. Thanks also to John at Midheaven who always swiftly shipped what I need to France and to Pamela who first told me about the Faculty. I could never have got this far without my partner Adrian who has indulged me endlessly with my need to shut myself away for this long last push so avoiding more menial domestic tasks and lastly thanks to Darby who is my role model as an astrologer and who always said “Of course you can do it!”
Nicola Perry - Certificate Holder
I’ve been interested in astrology for most of my adult life – I would consult an astrologer at key points of change in my life, and I would read astrological books for further edification and understanding of my chart. My decision to study astrology formally with the Faculty of Astrological Studies seemed like a natural next step, and I am so glad I took the plunge! There is nothing quite like formal study, with the rigor of putting current understanding into precise words, to test how well you really grasp something. Even though I had a certain familiarity with the basic building blocks of astrology before I started the Foundation Course, there was so much to learn about how to put it all into practical application. I found myself stimulated and engaged with the course material from the outset. The Faculty does an excellent job of leading the student through the stages required to really apply the knowledge gained in the course.
I took quite a long time – about 3 years - to work through the three modules of the Foundation Course, having a busy job and two young children to take care of. I continued to do much astrological reading outside of the course to supplement my understanding. Other students may work more quickly through the modules than I did, but I think this is one of the strengths of the modular course structure – it means that each student can tailor the pace of their studies to suit their own learning and lifestyle needs.
I studied Modules 1 and 2 as a Distance Learning Student, and for Module 3 attended the London classes on 4 Saturdays. I loved both styles of learning, and each had something different to offer. With distance learning, there is something very crystallizing about being alone with the astrology and having to put concepts into carefully worded descriptions, and in the live classes it was great to meet up with other astrologers and experience the stimulation of live astrological discussion! The tutoring in both cases – distance learning and live classes - was really excellent.
Taking the Certificate Exam was an exciting challenge, but I felt that my studies across the Foundation Course had prepared me well for it. In particular, the Faculty offers help and practical guidance regarding how to approach the exam and this I found invaluable. It was a lot of hard work, and after drafting and editing my paper and checking everything through several times, I submitted my paper with a bit of a gulp, and the waiting game began! It was a very moving moment to finally receive the result and the examination report. I have to admit I did shed a little quiet tear when I received the email from Laura – sheer relief mixed in with a sense of pride in my accomplishment.
I am now stuck into my Diploma studies, and enjoying every minute of it! I can’t recommend the Faculty highly enough to anyone wondering whether or not to take the plunge and study. There is a very sincere sense of the tutors being a team of dedicated astrologers working together to further astrological study of a high quality, and I am so grateful for their dedication, and for the educational programme provided by the Faculty.
Alex Trenoweth - Diploma Holder
The solstices and equinoxes take on a completely different meaning when you are a student of the FAS. My first exam was taken just a few weeks after my daughter was born (she was supposed to be born after the exam but got impatient!). Trying to keep track of which Greek did what and keeping all those pesky celestial coordinates straight were a particular challenge and it took me a few attempts before I finally passed all of the certificate papers in 2008. It was then that I started to understand just how much devotion and study it was going to take to get to DFAstrolS.
Of course in between the solstices (when I started the exam papers) and equinoxes (when the deadlines were) came a whole lot of whingeing and complaining from me. And whole lot of teasing and eye rolling from members of my household who had come to believe it was not really possible for me to pass the diploma.
To give you an idea of how much whingeing and complaining came from me—the daughter I had given birth to just a few weeks before my first exam is now 17 years old! That’s a lot of whingeing and complaining!
Somewhere along those 17 years, I learned exactly what it meant to “bite the bullet” and dig a little deeper. Even though alongside all the exams, I was a full-time schoolteacher and parent and busy with so many other projects, in my mind I knew that one day the “DFAstrolS” would be mine. It was just going to take a few attempts. And so I persevered. And some of it, like the certificate History paper and the Diploma Techniques paper were a lot of fun. Hard work but enjoyable. And of course, Summer School was always a wonderful experience but towards the end of my diploma journey I thought I had outgrown it. However, when I noticed last summer that the consultancy module was being offered, I figured maybe a week of intensive study was what I needed. And I promised myself that there was to be no whingeing and complaining. I was going to be a good student and do exactly what I was told. That was some week!
I chickened out on sending my final paper for the autumn equinox deadline in 2014. Instead, I continued to torture myself by prolonging the agony of re-reading and re-drafting and worrying over the exam. And I whinged and complained a little bit. But I did submit it by the spring equinox deadline. And certain members of my household continued to take the mick. To be honest, I didn’t think the paper was going to pass. I just wasn’t going to get my hopes up. So when Laura’s email arrived with “Alex Trenoweth, DFAstrolS” in the subject line, I genuinely thought it was going to be 20 reasons why I didn’t quite pass the paper. In fact, I was sitting at my desk at school waiting for my pupils to arrive when I finally summoned the courage to open that email.
Of course, with my Moon in Leo, there has to be at least a little drama with such news. I laughed and cried at the same time. I punched the air in triumph and then had to put my head down on my desk before I worked myself into a swoon. My pupils have come to expect a bit of strange behaviour from me but I think there were at least a few who thought I had finally lost the plot. How could I possibly explain to them what it meant to me to finally be “DFAstrolS”?
Everything seemed ridiculous and surreal until Clare Martin rang me to congratulate me. And then suddenly, it became very real. I had done it. I persisted when others had given up. I powered through those exams (whingeing and complaining along the way) but I did it.
However, I didn’t do it completely by myself. I’d like to thank the entire FAS team for all they do but I also would like to thank a few particular individuals.
I’d like to thank Peta High as the FAS tutor who has had the distinct misfortune of having me in her lessons so many times. Thank you so much to Cat Cox and Gloria Roca for your patience, your strong boundaries and your encouragement during last year’s summer school. Much appreciation to Sue Farebrother, who is not only a personal friend but who has been both an FAS tutor as well as a colleague for the MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology course. Of course, thanks to Clare Martin for talking me back from the brink of quitting on more than one occasion.
But most of all, I would like to thank my partner Nick and my daughter Jess for tolerating all that whingeing and complaining. And a special thanks to Nick in advance—after every disagreement, for the rest of our lives, I get to claim I must be right because I got the DFAstrolS!!
Elaine Cadman-Cramp - Certificate Holder
I am delighted to have passed my Certificate Exam. I feel a real sense of achievement because the Faculty sets such a high standard for its students. Anyone who has taken the exam will know that it is a rigorous process and will also be aware that the mark required to achieve a pass would constitute a distinction on many other courses.
I have always been interested in what makes people tick and curious about the dynamics of human relating. After gaining a degree and a postgraduate qualification in law, I decided to change direction. I took classes and attended seminars run by a local astrology society. This gave me a good introduction to the subject and the opportunity to mix with people who shared my interest. Eventually, I felt that I wanted to consolidate my knowledge and work towards a recognised qualification in astrology.
I embarked upon my studies with the Faculty as a Distance Learning student. The material for the Foundation Course was excellent. My tutor, Laura, was inspirational, knowledgeable and patient with my somewhat elliptical orbit through the modules. At times, it seemed as if I would never finish!
Learning astrology is very much like learning a language: everything seems fractured and slightly disconnected at the beginning. Until the magical moment when everything finally starts to come together and the birth chart is transformed into a fluid, living, breathing entity
I highly recommend the Faculty, particularly the Distance Learning programme, to anyone contemplating the study of astrology.
Maxine Wan - Diploma Holder
I have always found astrology enchanting but the idea of becoming a professional astrologer did not seriously enter my mind until my second Jupiter Return. With a psychology degree under my belt and enjoying my teaching career in Japan, I felt I have done all that I ‘should’ and now it’s time to do what really makes my heart sing. My progressed Mercury had just ingressed into Aries and was about to traipse into the 9th house as I earnestly researched into learning astrology formally and came across the Faculty. The prestige of the establishment, experience of the staff and the flexibility of the course made it an easy decision for me to commit myself as a long distance student.
My foundation tutor, Annie Lionnet, was the first to guide me through the archetypal messages encrypted within my birth chart. A sound basis of astrological knowledge was built up as my astrological map unfolded before my very eyes.
I was back in the UK by the time I progressed onto the intermediate level. However, my astrology education was completely unaffected due to the flexible nature of the course. My next tutor, Nancy Angell, continued to assist me on the journey of expanding my inner Universe via the deciphering of astrological cycles.
In 2008, as my Saturn Return became exact, I attended the annual FAS summer school and attended live classes at Exeter College, Oxford. Having been a long distance student, I found it exhilarating to be able to mingle with other astro pals from all walks of life. I knew then that astrology would play a significant part of my life.
Finally, as I embarked onto the advanced level, I was once again in a different part of the world, this time teaching in Hong Kong. I was delighted to learn that Gloria Roca was assigned to be my tutor, accompanying me on the final leg of my astrological studies with the Faculty. Her guidance and expertise added another dimension to my chart delineation skills.
The news of my diploma arrived as I approached my third Jupiter Return. Having spent over a decade studying with the Faculty, I was ecstatic to see ‘DFAstrolS’ after my name!
The path of self-discovery and personal growth via astrology does not stop here. The mastery of the astrological language is a lifelong task and I thank the Faculty for providing a platform for like-minded individuals to share the love of astrology with one another.
Ruth Hadikin- Certificate Holder
Although I have taught myself astrology from books most of my life, and more recently the internet and various webinars, this was still a very valuable program for me to undertake. It is easy to 'collect' confusing and conflicting information when you are teaching yourself and so it was refreshing (and a relief) to see that right from the start this course places everything in context, clarifying any conflicting concepts so that everything fits together nicely and makes sense!
The quality of the course content and tutorial support is second to none - quite outstanding really. The material is presented in manageable modules, in a logical linear sequence, which makes it very easy to understand and progress from simpler to more complex work. It is a very comprehensive program that covers all the essential pieces of basic chart interpretation with nothing left out. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who is seeking a clear understanding of the foundational elements of chart interpretation. I would like to say a big thank you to the excellent tutorial staff, whose crystal clarity cut through any confusion, making this complex subject very simple and easy to understand!
Adrianna Peric- Certificate Holder
Working on the Certificate Interpretation Exam was an interesting, demanding and fulfilling experience. Waiting for the result wasn’t an easy task.
I was very happy the result came out a bit earlier than I expected and the outcome of my work was rewarding. I am endlessly grateful to the tutors and other members of the Faculty for their guidance, inspiration and generous sharing of their knowledge.
My journey with the Faculty began four years ago when I felt the time has come to structure my knowledge of astrology. I always wanted to bring astrology closer to a broader population in a simple and meaningful way. The formal astrological education and contacts with experienced astrologers were learning experiences I was looking for. I had many questions and doubts, needed proper direction. The best way to progress was to enroll in a course where I can widen and deepen my knowledge and gain competence. The Faculty of Astrological Studies was a perfect choice for me.
The night sky of my childhood days still continues its enthralling hold over me.
I am excited about delving deeper into the beauty of The Universe and Astrology through further studies.
I look forward to my continuing association with the FAS, tutors and dear fellow students for many years to come.
Elaine Wright- Intermediate Holder
I am excited to be moving into the final stage of completing my astrological studies with FAS, the journey so far has proved demanding and stimulating, and there has been no shortage of challenging exercises to broaden and deepen my astrological knowledge.
Many thanks to Cat who was my tutor throughout the Intermediate modules, her timely feedback and coaching kept me on track, especially while I tried to manage the completion of the modules within the timelines, while juggling many other personal priorities.
As I head into the home stretch I am looking forward to working with my new tutor Dragana, and I am excited about the ability to choose modules and sub-modules that interest me, offering me an opportunity to tailor and specialize in areas of my choice.
My experience with FAS and the quality of the program has motivated me to attend the Summer School session later this year, being able to participate and interact with the FAS tutors in person will surely be the highlight of my program experience.
Ana Paula Pestana- Certificate Holder
When my progressed Venus in Capricorn (my chart ruler and 6th house ruler) entered my 9th house I was pulled to a long wished for study of Astrology and I started my astrological journey in Portugal in 2007. At the same time, Neptune was transiting my MC in Aquarius and a strong need to do something inspiring out of my career was deviating the course of my life to the place I am now, an Astrologer and an eternal astrology learner.
It was progressed Venus in Capricorn in the 9th, so I was looking for a solid, respectful and reliable institution where I could develop some structure in my knowledge and broaden my values. And we should be thankful for what we wish for. The Universe was guiding my way into the Faculty of Astrological Studies. By then I had no doubt, it was the one! In deed I found all of these traits in the Faculty. I needed Saturn in my knowledge. Well, engaging in the Distance Learning course is, by itself, a “Saturn” enrolment. You need discipline, responsibility and maturity to put yourself in it till the end. But it also rewards you like Saturn, it gives you a sense of accomplishment and work well done, a solid base of knowledge from where you can build yourself upon. At the time I remember thinking; “how is it going to work? Will I be able to understand the exercises? And in case of doubts? Will they be able to clarify and elucidate me?” In fact, I loved every step of the way. I felt supported in every module and exercise. The teaching method is very thorough and as time went by my confidence in the Faculty was even stronger. My work was revised with respect, never diminishing my achievements and always upgrading my knowledge. All of this gave me confidence to put myself to the test and to apply to the certificate exam. In the Faculty I found the “Wise Saturn” and not the “Old one”, the one that works with us and guides us to the top, to the achievement of our goals.
I thank the Universe for my Certificate achievement and I feel compelled to continue my studies in the Faculty as I couldn’t have had a better experience than I did. When we love Astrology we need to find those that honor that which we love, and I am honored to have had the opportunity to study in the Faculty of Astrological Studies. I believe it is its love for this art that has made possible her existence since 1948 and to maintain such quality standards.
Vanessa Couto - Certificate Holder
When I saw the email from the FAS stating that I had passed my Certificate Exam, I felt it was the culmination of a key initiatory phase in my astrological journey, which started 14 years ago. More than a Jupiter cycle ago, I had started my astrological studies in Brazil, and then continued them in the US. But the highlight of that seminal time, was when I attended the Faculty’s Summer School in 2001. That experience forever changed my life, as it opened new vistas for me, while it was the place where I met one of my best friends.
Thus my decision to return to the Faculty to complete my astrological studies has been a combination of factors: the superb quality of the education, the talented group of tutors, the international community, and its attention to excellence and ethics in the astrological profession. Also my experience at that Summer School back in 2001 showed me that the Faculty was the place for me. However, life had other plans, and for many years, I left my love for astrology on the back burner, unsure if I should still pursue it.
During those lost years, I may have strayed from astrology, but it seeped back into my life via art. I returned to it by drawing personalized natal charts and via art my love for astrology was reawakened. I just love being able to have a reading with a client, and then to see their faces when I give them their hand-drawn charts. It’s always a joy for me.
Then in 2012, under the influence of an interesting combination of transits, I decided to go back to astrology and improve my skills. The Faculty was the obvious choice, without a doubt. I’m very grateful for the attention and encouragement I got from Laura Andrikolos, who was my tutor for the first 3 Modules.
Unbeknownst to me, embarking in the Distance Learning program turned out to be also an education in self-discipline and determination. Many times I wished I lived in the UK, so I could participate in the live classes, meet the other students and exchange ideas. The online forum does address some of that, but nothing substitutes a live connection. This is a situation I’m trying to remedy where I live, by reaching out and trying to meet other astrologers in town. No wonder the time spent at the Summer School can feel so magical and enriching.
The immediate result after receiving my Certificate is that I feel more confident and determined to follow through with my studies and go for ‘gold’: the Diploma. Studying at the Faculty has revitalized my love for astrology, given me a better understanding of how important it is to my life, and how I can be of service to others as an astrologer.
Hopefully I will get to participate in the Summer School again. I would love to meet my tutors in person and make new friendships.
Vanja Sfiligoi - Certificate Holder
First, many many thanks, it took hard work and now I can celebrate my Certificate achievement. I am so grateful to the universe to let me know about the Faculty organisation. In my teenage years I studied astrology by myself, with the only support of some Italian astrology books, which gave me an old 'traditional' naive astrological foundation.
I worked as a drama actress, but always astrology was going along with me as a trusting spiritual guide, as a 'silent' hidden mentor. Over time Saturn knocked on my door, Uranus upset my life, and they drove me to put structure on my life and to face the truth of who I am. Everything changed, I left my theatre career (really in spite of being told I was gifted, I was not a successful actress) and decided to get involved in astrology on a professional basis. I wanted the best school to learn, and I thought what better than the famous and honorable Faculty of Astrological Studies of London. And the FAS did not disappoint my expectation.
Finally, I discovered the new way to study astrology. Its humanistic and psychological approach. The depth and reality of archetypes inside the myth. And most of all, I understood the essential need and urge to make a connection with the sky above our heads; the natural link we have with the stars and their ancient symbolic signification; how to find the theme of our individual and collective past.
I have met lot of people totally unaware of this possibility. It seems as they don't know there could be a way to come out with one's own potentialities to become a better human being. I am sure that astrological discipline could 'save' us... please I take the liberty to whisper it to you and to everyone who is prepared to understand this 'language'. This is a 'vertical thinking' (cit. 'Mapping the Psyche ' Clare Martin)
I personally believe through testing and intuition, that the Faculty courses are one of the best way to start the never-ending journey of life towards one's consciousness that astrology walks naturally at one's side. I have had the delight to meet a very experienced tutor, Janet Dare, who guided me warmly and with discipline. I will never lose her precious teaching.
Now I am arranging to go on with my Diploma studies. I feel confident in all the Faculty team to be there to drive me through this marvelous stars studying journey.
Toby Aldren - Diploma Holder
Astrology teaches us that we are each on our own path, with life playing out according to our own cycles. Sometimes, though, that's in spite of our own plans. I began my studies with the Faculty in January 1997, thinking that, hey, I would have my Diploma in a few short years. Well, that journey stretched out to seventeen years, and if it hadn't, I likely wouldn't have met the wonderful friends, colleagues, and teachers that I know today.
Living on the west coast of Canada, my studies with the Faculty were primarily through Distance Learning, although I did earn a few credits at Summer School. I found the Distance Learning modules to be well-written and thoughtfully sequenced, with materials focusing on some very interesting people and events throughout history. The articles form a valuable collection of resource material in my astrology library, and I imagine they will be continue to be close at hand in my practice.
I have attended Summer School three times so far. It has been a pleasure to meet my tutors, other Faculty members and patrons, and I am grateful to have gained incredible friends from many parts of the world. The learning at Summer School is intense, rich, and so very enjoyable. It will continue to be on my list of preferred destinations!
The Faculty Of Astrological Studies exists for the purpose of studying, strengthening, and promoting astrology. I know that it continues to thrive in great part due to the dedication of the people involved, and to them I give great respect. I can say with confidence that the training I received has been, well, stellar!
With kindest regards, I would like to acknowledge my tutors: Wynne Jordan from the '90s, and more recently, Carole Taylor and Cat Cox. Your astrological wisdom, your encouragement, and your friendly support have been most appreciated.
Clair Bentley – Diploma Holder
It feels unexpectedly bittersweet to have come to the end of the formal course which has been such a significant part of my life for the last 7 years. I remember being hugely excited to embark on my new educational adventure at the start, researching a number of schools before settling on the Faculty as the right one for me and waiting eagerly for my first course material to arrive.
I had no idea then of the scope of the personal journey ahead of me. I was attracted to astrology with a naive and somewhat unconscious belief that if I could just figure out how the universe worked I would somehow be safer in my life and my world. I could avoid the many pitfalls and traumas which seemed to have been the hallmark of my life so far and choose only the happy and sunshiny experiences! Little did I know that astrology's role in my life would turn out to be helping me begin to make a measure of peace with life's vast and unfathomable complexity and the limits of the my ability to control it.
Because we learn astrology first and foremost through our own experiences, my coursework projects sent me delving ever deeper within in search of the threads of astrological meaning woven through the significant events of my life so that I could eventually begin to recognise them in other contexts too, beyond the strictly personal. With my Scorpio ascendant fully engaged at the start of each exercise, I found myself frequently in dark and scary territory, wrestling with the most recent of my buried demons to be dug up for examination, and this is one of the reasons I am so grateful to have had the privilege to study with the Faculty. In addition to the outstanding quality of the course material provided, I was blessed with tutors who proved exceptionally skilled at acknowledging and honouring my personal journey of not always entirely comfortable self discovery without ever compromising on the excellence of the Faculty's standards with regard to the quality of my work. I felt simultaneously challenged, inspired and supported every step of the way and will be forever indebted to them for so skilfully holding the space for me to learn and develop a sound personal foundation for my future astrological growth.
Of course I am extremely proud of my shiny new diploma as a symbol of my astrological progress to date. However I am also aware of how much work goes into providing the structure and substance of a course of this quality and I am immensely grateful to the Faculty for giving it tangible form in the world and for providing a stable, sacred space for me to benefit from that educational opportunity. These years of study have unquestionably been the most rewarding of my life so far and I am immensely proud to be affiliated, through my diploma, with a school which holds itself to such high standards of educational and ethical excellence.
It feels unexpectedly bittersweet to have come to the end of the formal course which has been such a significant part of my life for the last 7 years. I remember being hugely excited to embark on my new educational adventure at the start, researching a number of schools before settling on the Faculty as the right one for me and waiting eagerly for my first course material to arrive.
Philippe Sibaud - Certificate Holder
The turning point was when I read Cosmos & Psyche by Richard Tarnas in 2012. Until then my interest in astrology had been sporadic. I had read a few books by Liz Greene in 1990 then it all went underground for a good 20 years. I suppose the seeds had been planted and waited for the right time to produce a few shoots!
I remember vividly the exaltation that I felt reading Richard's book. It was as if a veil had been lfited revealing a new universe, one brimming with colours, perfumes and magical sounds. I was riding unicorns! Suddenly reality had a depth that I had never before experienced - the rich tapestry of life appeared in all its glory!
Next thing I know I was googling "astrology courses in London" and fairly naturally landed on the FAS website. I liked its design, the "feel" of it, and was comforted by the names of former students and of the patrons of the Faculty. I knew then that it was the right place for me to learn. I registered for module 1, not really knowing where that would lead me, or even whether that would lead me anywhere at all, but here I am 18 months later about to embark on module 5 and loving every bit of it.
The Faculty has a very thorough and methodical approach, and not knowing much about astrology, this is exactly what I needed. I know that I am putting in place solid foundations on which to build at a later stage. Most importantly I appreciate the fact that we students are not spoon-fed ultimate truths that must be taken at face value. The Faculty encourages a critical, adult approach and asks everyone to step back and think: what is astrology? Why am I sutdying it? How does it tally with my beliefs? How should I practice it?
This is invaluable. We are given the tools to carve our own path and this is exactly how good teaching should be (and so rarely is).
My tutor truly cared about my progress with my foundation studies; he was especially concerned with preparations to write the certificate exam.
His guidance was professional and objective. I became aware of my strengths, but most importantly learned where I needed to apply myself. I’m so glad I decided to write the exam;
it was challenging but doing so further advanced my studies and interpretation skills. Holding space and considering potentials and possibilities for another offered many opportunities for contemplation. It was enlightening, an absolutely rewarding experience – I’m so pleased to have passed and realised this milestone.
Cecile Morel van Mourik - Certificate Holder
The easy-to-navigate website and the list of alumni attracted my attention at a time when structure was needed.
Participating in the FAS distance learning method and having an enthusiastic teacher who believed in me proved to be a life-altering experience for me, just when I needed structure.
Carol Mentyka - Diploma Holder
At the start of my studies in 2006 I felt I would never complete all the Modules - now the time seems to have passed in the blink of an eye. As joyful as I feel at having been able to attain the Faculty Diploma, I feel somewhat sad that this portion of the journey is complete. I am already missing the rigor of having to turn in assignments and keep to a timetable - that was good for me!
Summer School is exhilarating and nourishing to be with like-minded people - yet I found that I truly learned the material via Distance Learning, not least of which was due to my tutors' guidance. My everlasting thanks to Martin, Laura and Carole for their knowledge and expertise offered and patience extended to me. I especially appreciate Carole's rooting for my success in the final lap, when my confidence was lagging.
I am proud and happy to hold the Diploma, a mark of astrological learning not otherwise available in our society. I hope to remain involved with the Faculty's astrological community, perhaps taking the new module Astrology of the Family for study and enjoyment.
Evangelos Chaikalis-Petritsis PhD - Certificate Holder
It is an honour and a privilege to be writing a testimonial about my experience of studying with the Faculty and gaining the
Certificate. Astrology drew my attention for the first time around 2007 when people who believed in it started to enter my life but I only heard about the Faculty a few years later in 2010 when I was going through a life-changing period. My progressed Saturn was stationary direct while my Chart Ruler (i.e. Mars) was receiving a three-hit conjunction from transiting Saturn as part of a cardinal t-square involving Uranus and Pluto; the latter being the apex planet. It was as if the universe was telling me that it was high time I set new goals and take relevant action which meant I had to put my past behind for good. Only this way would it be possible for me to embrace the radical change (Pluto) that would lead to a brand new and exciting reality (Uranus), especially in professional terms (Saturn). Indeed, that year I completed my PhD in Social Psychology at the University of Kent and moved to Lisbon where I spent two years of my life formally studying what I secretly yearned to study during my PhD, that is, astrology.
The decision about studying with the Faculty had already been made by March 2010. That's when I attended the Faculty's Open Day in London, a captivating even that gave me the opportunity to listen to Clare Martin's inspirational speech and to socialise with like-minded people. Moreover, the Open Day made it plainly obvious to me that the Faculty was able to provide me with a rich and systematic body of astrological knowledge that met the high quality and sophisticated standards that I would have expected from any educational institution. Thus, a few months later I enrolled with the Faculty and started the Foundation Course. From day one I was amazed with the breadth and method of the curriculum.
Additionally, throughout my studies I was always satisfied with my tutor's constant support and constructive feedback. She was quick to provide me with insightful thoughts regarding the building blocks of astrology (i.e. planets, signs and houses) and she was also able to suggest ideas that helped to fine-tune my interpretations. I strongly believe that her excellent support and thorough feedback greatly contributed towards my gaining the Faculty Certificate with Merit. Preparing for the Certificate was a significant challenge given the detail and method expected from the Faculty, which is why I feel ever so proud to have been awarded the Certificate. I am looking forward to continuing my rewarding experience with the Faculty by preparing for the Diploma and I highly recommend the Faculty to anyone who wishes to gain a broad, structured and in-depth knowledge of this fascinating subject called astrology.
Louise Vergette-Lynn - Certificate Holder
Astrology has always fascinated me. I remember reading Linda Goodman's Sun Signs when I was at school, and knowing my
classmates' Sun-signs, but it wasn't until I was at University that I really needed to know more. I took an evening class in Exeter, and then looked for a more in-depth training. I worked my way through the Mayo School certificate course in the late 80s, but never took the exam.
Over the years, at times I drifted away from astrology but, as I hear so many of us say, it always pulled me back. I found like-minds in Exeter, and becames a long-time member of Exeter Astrology Group, and in 2004 I decided I really wanted the DFAstrolS letters that had seemed so impossible back in my 20s. If I wanted the best astrological education, I knew I had to go to the Faculty. That year was my Nodal return.
It's taking me a long-time! I have a tendency to go off at tangents within my astrological studies. I was lucky enough to have already bought most of the books on the reading lists and taught myself for quite some time, but the Faculty course confirmed and clarified a great deal for me and I've been really impressed with the quality of the information and with how regularly the already comprehensive materials are updated. I'll know, when I come to take the Diploma exam, that all my training is up-to-the-minute. I handed in my Certificate exam in March 2013, and was over the moon when my results came through in June. Two more exams to go.
Whilst working on the Faculty Foundation course and Certificate by distance learning, the advice and encouragement I received from my tutors was excellent, but the intense and unforgettable experience at Summer School this year gave me a real sense of belonging in the astrological community. I highly recommend both!
Daliah Roth - Certificate Holder
Out of all Astrological schools I chose the Faculty because of its extraordinary teaching staff line-up, its histor
y and heritage, and its exceptional summer school which takes place in the magnificent Exeter College in Oxford. Having compared the curriculum in other schools, I have found the Faculty to be the most demanding - but also the most rewarding.
The extensive knowledge and skills taught here and the nurturing and motivating care from the brilliant teachers and tutors has made this a one-of-a-kind learning experience for me. I am sad that I am nearly at the end of my studies (Diploma). This has been the most enjoyable learning experience of my life - and being the "eternal student", this is quite a feat.
Daliah first encountered astrology in 1990 when she had a natal chart interpretation from Liz Greene through the internet. Since 2000 she has been passionately interpreting charts of friends, public personas and countries. Daliah started studying with the Faculty in 2011; she gained her Certificate in 2013 and is now studying for her Diploma.
Zinnia Sanchez - Certificate Holder
The most beautiful moment across my way in Astrology was when I finally understood, deeply inside, that when I look upon the stars I can see within myself, in the most pure literality.
Astrology has been part of my life since I can remember. My parents studied it, my uncle was a great astrologer and I am their heir, taking the responsibility to continue their efforts. I studied for many years in my native Mexico, initially as a self-knowledge process. Nevertheless, with time, my relation with the art and craft of Astrology became deeper and meaningful to the point where I decided that it was time to formalise and structure my learning to gain the honour of being called an "Astrologer".
After some research, I chose the FAS because it is an institution of tradition, international recognition and supported by a large number of great astrologers who have been part of it. The program and method of FAS is structured, thorough and applied strictly and rigorously.
So, I left everything behind, gave up my job and spent all my savings to move to London to study the FAS live tuition. I found the support and structure that I was looking for and to experience it first hand was a lifetime chance. I met wonderful teachers and peers and I learnt so much Astrology. But above all this, I learnt about my self and my teachers helped me to discover insights that now light my way. My life truly changed.
Gaining the Certificate has been a really satisfying achievement for me on my way to the Diploma. Astrology calls for had work and devotion; it is exciting and demanding, but it opens the doors to the understanding of the divine order to all those privileged who hear the call of the stars.
Hiroko Oshida - Certificate Holder
The big turning point that made me think seriously about Astrology was the subject I chose for my University's graduation essay: Metal music and the Greek war god Ares. Metal music is one of my favourite types of music; that loud, powerful, energetic and aggressive sound fuels my inner energy in a way that always makes me wonder why or how.
While researching the relation between this Greek god and metal music, I came across astrological stories about the god Ares and the planet Mars. Then I thought that I needed to study astrology in order to know the deep reason for my inclination to metal music. Time came and I started to study astrology with the Faculty in 2010.
When I started the Foundation Course I realised that astrology is not a simple subject; it is actually really profound, complicated and psychological. But at the same time I felt that it was really fun and interesting, and astrology has become a kind of art to me. Above all, learning something new about planets, signs, gods, houses and so on works as an inspiration for me, being able to feel the deep influence that Mars and other planets exert on me.
I am happy to study astrology with the tutors of this Faculty - they teach me everything kindly and they put precedence in my understanding. This motivates me to overcome my language barrier. I am really thankful for my tutors: Cristina Alvarez, Martin Lipson and Laura Andrikopoulos. They are very helpful and encourage me every time, and without their warm support I wouldn’t have been able to pass my first exam! I was over the moon when I obtained my certificate, and having accomplished that has given me even more motivation and confidence to continue studying astrology in the future.
Elaine Wright - Certificate Holder
“Astrology is like gravity. You don't have to believe in it for it to be working in your life” ZOLAR, Zolar's Starmates
It would be fair to say that I have always had a deep interest in astrology, even at an early age I would actively seek out books and reading material on this most intriguing subject.
During the mid 1990’s while living in South Africa (during the time of my first Saturn return), I studied astrology with Cynthia Thorburn, and completed Cynthia’s rigorous Diploma program. Over the next several years I made a number of international moves and continued my academic education while still practicing and studying astrology. Being an avid student (Natal Saturn in Aries in the 9th) one of the most familiar sights in my home has always been my academic books mixed in with all my astrology books, which I have always considered an effective combination of ancient and modern knowledge.
The most fascinating aspect of astrology for me has been uncovering the key themes and repeating patterns in a persons life, and the more I studied astrology the more convinced I became that each and every one of us has a distinct “theme”. I have often joked with people saying, “You think a Doctor who has someone’s DNA can tell you a lot about a person, try giving your Natal Chart to a talented Astrologer”
Since completing my astrological studies in South Africa, I had looked into pursuing my studies further one day through FAS, but as things turned out, and the business of life took over, that day was going to have to wait for quite a number of years. At the time of my second Saturn opposition (to Saturn) the “stars aligned’ as they say, and the right mix of life circumstances and flexibility emerged to allow me to finally contact FAS and start the foundation program.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the Foundation Program, the courses offer a comprehensive volume of material covering all the basics of astrology, while the exercises offer the right mix of review and challenge, to keep new and seasoned students solidly engaged. I was most impressed with the quick turnaround on submitted exercises, and the valuable commentary that was provided by my tutor (a special thanks to Gloria Roca for all her insights and coaching).
Studying astrology like any other discipline requires commitment and dedication, and when you study something you really enjoy the more time and energy you invest in it, the more rewarding the outcome. Whether it was completing the module exercises or preparing my Certificate exam paper for submission, I tackled each stage with maximum enthusiasm and supplemented the FAS material with the recommended reading lists. Completing the Certificate exam with a distinction is my confirmation that the Faculty and their program is the correct choice for me, and I am looking forward to continuing my astrological studies through FAS.
Maria Stiopei - Certificate Holder
Astrology has been part of my everyday routine for many years, now. It has helped me to understand the human being, the motion of the World and the complexity of existence. It fascinates me to analyze chart after chart, to discover the abilities and potential of others, and also to comprehend the way they manifest it all.
I'm very glad that I chose to study at the Faculty of Astrology Studies because it has helped me to improve and organize my knowledge as well as point me in the right direction. Therefore, I send many thanks to all of those people with whom I have interacted during my studies, with special appreciation to my tutors, especially Gloria Roca. Moreover, I would like to mention that I am intrigued by the work of Robert Hand, Liz Greene, Melanie Reinhart and Richard Tarnas. I admire each of them, and all those people who dedicate their time to sharing their impressive work with us.
Currently I am pushing hard in this direction. I’ve been spending a lot of time to research and study, collecting and analyzing birth charts, and events charts, believing that one day I will be able to add something significant to this science. I strongly believe that Astrology can play an important role in the field of Criminology and that there are many possibilities for effective analysis in that area. One of my big dreams is to establish a clear relationship between these two fields and to share my research and statistics for the benefit of others.
I can’t express how much the Certificate means to me. Just when I started to analyze the preliminary notes for the exam, my father passed away. It was an unexpected death and premature. Even though it was an extremely difficult time for me, I could not conceive of giving up on the exam. I simply knew I had to continue my efforts and complete the examination papers. I am very proud that I completed the work, and passed the exam. Moreover, I am convinced that I had my father’s full support throughout the entire process.
Guna Bundule - Certificate Holder
My path to astrology formally started in 1996. However, much earlier than that being a young girl I wrote poems and watched the starry sky. My feelings were twofold. On the one hand I felt a tremendous joy looking up and intuitively penetrating the vault of the heaven. On the other hand the idea of infinity of space and time was something completely inconceivable for me.
At some point during my adolescent years I got the idea that there must be some way to explain events and situations in our lives. It was a kind of relief to learn about the existence of universal laws. It was still the time when my country was part of the Soviet Union, and no occult astrological literature was available. However there were bits and pieces of popular sun sign horoscopes. I had my first natal chart made and interpreted when I was in my twenties. The chart was hand-drawn and typed on a typewriter. Reading the interpretation was a very emotional moment for me as I could fully identify with it.
The introduction to the main fields of Astrology took 2,5 years. The course was over and I continued to read all possible and already available sources on Astrology. I could use my knowledge for the family, closest friends and myself. Then once again an astrologer advised me to go much deeper into the subject.
By now astrology has become a way of thinking for me. It presents an unlimited, and therefore still unexposed, source of archetypal symbolism. Revelation of the depth of insights and multi-dimensional character of explanations gives me a thrill. Only a symbolic language can be universal and cross-cultural enough to be useful for all people. There is an aura of mysticism, poetry and intelligence around Astrology. It combines knowledge and intuition, and opens a whole new world for revelation and penetration.
By choosing Faculty of Astrological Studies I know that I have joined one of the best schools in the world. The first period of studies has been a real pleasure and challenge and the result of the Certificate Examination – a surprise and a joy. The Foundation Course spent together with Beatrice Boucher helped me to create a solid basis and structure for further studies. I highly appreciate her support and knowledge as well as her tact and sensitivity during the process of cooperation and co-creation.
Vassil Sotirov - Certificate Holder
It was a little over 2 years ago, autumn of 2010, when during a transiting Uranus square to my natal Sun I felt that my life path had to change which is when I made the decision to pursue astrology professionally. I hardly had any understanding of what astrology actually was prior to that moment, other than having been to an astrologer a few times and having read Marion March and Joan McEvers’ ‘The Only Way to Learn Astrology’.
About that time, I decided to find and join an astrological course in my native country which signified the beginning of my fascination and obsession with the subject. First hearing about the Faculty through my very first astrological teacher, who happened to have studied there, I took the decision to enroll as a distance learning student a few months later in early 2011. I wanted to study with renowned astrologers and get an internationally recognized diploma.
Right from the start I felt completely comfortable with the process and the way it was made to work. Thorough review of my work by the tutors, a nice rhythm and pace to the correspondence and perhaps for me most importantly the style of writing and structure of the material used. Applying standard pedagogical principles to teaching astrology is a hard task due to the different and unusual nature of the subject altogether compared to most others. I feel most astrological courses, schools and practices offer different types of astrological knowledge and understanding, some of which contradict each other and this could pose a serious problem to the beginning student of astrology. Yet the Foundation Course at the Faculty offers astrological knowledge in a very pure form, sticking only to things that probably any astrologer from around the western world would agree upon. We all agree that astrology is a language yet few actually teach it as such and I believe this is the second key element that appealed so much to me at the Faculty during my first three Modules. Doing all the writing, repetition, calculation, chart analysis, etc. the Faculty helped me ingrain the building blocks of astrology to the point where it is now instinctive knowledge which provides me with a sense of confidence I felt was lacking before when I would look at a chart.
I am now glad to hold the Certificate as an official testament to the knowledge I’ve obtained and work I’ve done thus far. Attending the live London classes for the last few Modules has been both fun and educational, offering a more personal interaction with the different Faculty tutors which I believe is invaluable. I’m looking forward to finishing all Modules by this summer and taking both Intermediate and Advanced exams by the end of the year.
Astrology is truly life-transforming if looked at with an honest heart and a certain amount of humility. It offers a specific and uniquely intimate clarity to both emotional and existential issues which we all, as human beings, have on one level or another. I think practising astrology professionally can truly be fulfilling when it is comes from the position of responsibility – a responsibility to those whose lives can potentially be touched and transformed positively by this mystical system of symbols, a responsibility which the Faculty takes very seriously!
Karen Arnone - Certificate Holder
I came to the Faculty in January 2011 with absolutely no knowledge of Astrology other than the Sun sign columns that I frequently read in the newspaper. What a difference two years can make! Within that time period, I earned my certificate and a whole new world of Astrology was opened up to me. My journey continues as I begin my studies at the diploma level.
Starting immediately with Module 1, I was pleasantly surprised with the depth of information provided in the study materials written by FAS. The articles were rich in detail and I frequently refer to them even though I am much farther along in my studies now. Each time I re-read them I can always take away something new or see a different perspective that may have previously escaped my notice.
Along the way, I had the kind and attentive guidance of my tutors, none of whom would allow me to perform at less than my best. Even as a Distance Leaner there was a true sense of collaboration and I always felt well supported in my studies. My tutors were quick to offer kudos, encouragement, words of wisdom and additional explanations whenever necessary or appropriate. I found it surprisingly easy to cultivate these online relationships despite the fact that I wasn’t sitting before them in the classroom.
My study of Astrology has been marked by intense periods of study interspersed with episodes of quiet reflection that allowed the material to sink in. The most fascinating thing is that my eyes were opened to a whole new world where, once aware of the archetypal energies, I began seeing them everywhere! On a personal level, I began to see how my own Saturn and Neptune revealed themselves in the light of day.
The intense study of the natal chart has given me a real sense of appreciation of what unique traits and potentials each of us can bring to the planet. The information acts to open your mind and creates space for other points of view and behaviors. Having this knowledge onboard, you are urged and prodded to maximize your own potential and face life with additional wisdom, courage and compassion.
I thank my tutors and FAS for offering me this wonderful opportunity to study Astrology!
Lindsay Gladstone - Diploma Holder
Throughout my life I have been searching for a satisfactory way in which to link my enduring passions of star-gazing, archaeology and spiritual enquiry. The unfulfilling pursuit of a variety of disciplines finally culminated in my choosing to study astrology. Eureka! Much to my delight I had finally found a subject that encompassed all of my interests and offered so much more in terms of personal exploration and growth.
6 years ago I decided to formalise my studies through the FAS. Its syllabus clearly offers the opportunity to learn about a diverse range of astrological techniques that allows for and encourages creative thinking and imaginative application in terms of the study of cosmological aspects and the complementary relationship of simultaneous terrestrial events.
Supported by my three knowledgeable tutors, Diane Marcus-Page, Gloria Roca Riera and Dragana Van de Moortel-Ilic I enjoyed the course work immensely; designed as it is to stimulate the mind and inspire further research of one’s own. How well informed my tutors were in answering my endless questions! Thanks for all your patience guys!
I highly recommend partaking of the FAS exams as making that extra commitment to one’s studies certainly helps to crystallize and instil the knowledge garnered from the course work.
Receiving positive feedback for my Distance Learning input and gaining the FAS Certificate spurred on my Mars/Capricorn/6th until finally I achieved the goal that my Aries/MC had been aiming for - the Faculty Diploma! Deep joy!
The future goals of this Diploma holding Scorpio Sun are two-fold. My first objective is to act as a person-centred astrologer, endeavouring to promote self-awareness to those who actively seek it.
Secondly, through combining the profound symbolism of astrology with untrammelled research, gaining insight into the arcane knowledge that earth mysteries encapsulate would be an awesome bonus in contemplating mankind’s future!
The International Space Station is fact. The exploration and planned human colonisation of deep space is no longer fiction. What excites me is the prospect of how astrology will evolve in an interstellar interpretation of the indomitable psyche. In what format will a natal chart be erected? Will the role of shaman continue to be revered? What will our midpoint “DNA” comprise of by then? Yet more questions requiring answers!
“ It is good to have an end to journey towards - but it is the journey that matters in the end.”
Ursula K. Le Guin
Henrik Bisbo - Diploma Holder
Monday 17 December 2012: Saturn conjunct my ME/JU conjunction forming part of my all-important 5th house Stellium: The mail from Laura ticked in at 6:21 pm Singapore time. The subject field read DFAstrolS after my name, so the gist of the content was given away instantly. A deep sigh escaped me as if only now could I finally exhale after holding my breath for three months.
21 November 2003: with Saturn sneaking up on my ASC from the elusive 12th house I started on this voyage. Living in Singapore I had Helen Gretton as my first tutor, and wherever you are now dear Helen, please receive my sincere thanks and admiration for your never failing support and your kind nudging me in the right direction even when my ME/JU conjunction in Scorpio got the better of me and I rambled along with keyboard happy fingers and no boundaries in sight.
Saturn spot on my ASC and halfway through Module 3 I was seconded to Lagos in Nigeria, as always with my wife and daughter in tow. En route we stopped by Oxford for our first Summer School in August 2004. Afterwards we just knew we had to come back as often as at all possible. Lagos turned out to be quite cruel, work-, travel- and otherwise, so I had to ask for an extension of Module 3. Thanks Carole, even if it took a serenade on my part. The better part of the Certificate exams (yes, in those days we had to pass 6 (six) separate exams to obtain the certificate!) were done there nevertheless.
With Saturn sextiling my Sun sitting right in the middle of the Stellium, we left Nigeria in December 2006. Truth be told, that was probably Uranus making his last hit on my worn-out MC doing his thing, since we left for Denmark without a guaranteed job. I had one by January 2007 (developing e-learning programmes! – thanks Uranus, hadn’t seen that coming). The final exam paper for the certificate was done at the kitchen table in an old borrowed house while the rain was pouring during one of the wettest winters in living memory.
The following years were relatively peaceful with me plodding along with my studies, Summer School as often as possible, UAC in Denver in 2008 and, not least, those wonderful Winter retreats at Gaunts House. Eamon, my wife and me forming a whole Module 5 class with Carole as our tutor was certainly a highlight. But maybe I wasn’t working hard enough. My first attempt at the Intermediate Exam resulted in a resounding fail. Ouch! I DON’T FAIL! Or, I didn’t until then. By then, in June 2011, Saturn was beginning to make his presence felt bearing down on my Stellium. I could take a hint, so I dug in my heels, ordered a new exam and got down to work. By December 2011 I had passed with transiting Saturn exactly on my Sun and, believe it or not, my progressed Sun sitting exactly on my natal Saturn. That combination was not to be held down. Summer School 2011 doing Module 9 had done its part, thanks to Peta, Cat and my wonderful fellow students.
Now back in Singapore I have come full circle with Saturn about to leave my Stellium alone for the time being. He’s one strict master, but then, he rewards you if you are willing to do your part.
Thanks a lot to all my Faculty tutors and other staff, among them Helen, Laura, Cat, Carole, Clare, Gloria and all of the curious, probing and plain lovable people I met along the way. But most of all, thanks to my wife, Tinna, now herself immersed in the Foundation course and to our daughter, Marie, introduced to Summer School at the age of 9 and to astrology at the age of nothing. May that be a blessing for her.
Joanna Grant - Diploma Holder
Hatching from a child’s awareness of an intimate connection with the cosmos, my fascination with understanding my position within creation has been a constant. Inspired to seek a recognised qualification in Astrology after purchasing “The 12 Houses” by the late Howard Sasportas, I joined the Faculty in the 90’s with the dream of achieving those coveted letters, DF Astrol S!. Although I only completed the certificate at that stage, the dream remained, while life continued at a furious pace.
Years later, in 2007, it dawned on me that it was time to get back on track; I contacted the Faculty again, and I am happy to report that even after 15 years, I did not have to pay my joining fee again! Things had certainly changed with the birth of the internet, and I began all over again from the beginning, relishing the entire experience quite deliciously, in a way that my 25 year old self would never have been able to. Having overcome youth’s fascination with the “future”, I had, over time become my future, and was able to devote myself to illuminating my ‘present’. The personal reflection that is required to get the most out of this course was, I felt, a huge opportunity, with qualified tutors always on hand to give an opinion, answer questions and thrash out the finer points of an issue.
The eclectic mix of teaching styles guaranteed by my three tutors was something I initially had difficulty adapting to, although I can see now that this helped to develop a more rounded approach. The unique mix of enthusiasm, challenge and nurturing encouragement that I received, together with their very individual angles and strengths, opened my eyes to Astrology in new and unexpected ways, helping me to develop a broader understanding of the craft. In addition, the introduction to different branches of Astrology was fascinating, and has left several tempting doors ajar, begging for my deeper consideration in the future.
To achieve such a good result in my Diploma is a huge personal achievement for me, as much as I could ever have wished for. News of my results were accompanied by the New Moon conjunct to my North Node, and echoes of T.S Eliot:
"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time."
Rosemary Smith - Diploma Holder
I first heard of the Faculty of Astrological Studies when I read Robert Currey's glowing endorsement of the Faculty's Diploma on the back of an Equinox Personal Horoscope I bought in my early teens. So when the time came for my interview with the careers advisor at high school, I was able to meet her scepticism about astrology as a career path by showing her the research I'd taken with me about the Faculty Diploma which I intended to study.
Well, over the next decade that initial Aries Sun conjunct Midheaven determination took a circuitous swim around the waters of Mars in Pisces in the ninth ruled by Neptune in the fifth, as I followed the creative side of my vocation and studied for an art degree. But I eventually made it to the Faculty, and for the next three or four years my fortnightly pilgrimages from Cardiff to the astrological Mecca that is London became a central part of my life. I remember during the first class how I felt intellectually 'home at last,' since here was a style of academia which did not place dry logic over the wisdom of intuition, and where a spiritual tradition so often debased was treated with the reverence and rigour it deserves.
One of the values of the Faculty which has made a lasting impression is its emphasis on the sacred nature of our art, positioning astrology as a key tradition within Western esotericism. Astrology is a language which forms a bridge between our mundane reality and the inner realms which underpin it, from which we can draw guidance and healing. The Faculty's client-centred, non-dogmatic approach to astrological counselling is something that I believe to be crucial. When I started doing readings for clients this is something that I had foremost in my mind, to respond sensitively to the client's own perspective so that they are empowered to create the life they choose. It is exciting to see charts come to life within a consultation through the eyes of the people who live them, and to know that my astrological understanding will continue deepening throughout my practice as an astrologer in the years and decades to come.
Thank you to all the Faculty staff for your inspirational teaching and support.
Alessandra Herrmann - Certificate Holder
I have always been fascinated by astrology, but only during the period of high school, I started to notice that astrology meant more than the simple question “What’s your sign”? When I saw a birth chart for the first time, I realized how personal it is and how much it can say about someone. I believe that more or less everyone, sometimes, feels inward struggles, dissatisfaction, discomfort, without exactly knowing why and how to fix this kind of situations.
One day I decided to have a consultation with a professional astrologer and was really surprised by how much she was able to tell me about my past and present life situation, so I decided to start learning astrology.
It was not easy to choose the right course, because I was looking for a school which teaches astrology from the very beginning. I only found courses where a basic knowledge was required. I suddenly found The Faculty of Astrological Study through a very well-known astrological web site in my country, so I decided to enrol, as a distance learning student, for Module 1, followed by Module 2 and 3. I was given the chance to understand the basic principles of astrological meanings and was introduced to the reading of a birth chart and finally I learnt how to draw one by hand.
All this gave me also the opportunity to deepen the knowledge of myself, in order to better understand me and the people close to me. I was followed by a very qualified and patient tutor who was able to clarify all my doubts. Every course is accompanied by a list of recommended books that I found very useful, in case I needed to understand more. In August 2012 I took the opportunity to attend the summer school at Exeter College in Oxford (UK), where I met very experienced astrologers, teachers, tutors and, of course, other international students. I finally had the opportunity to share my knowledge and my enthusiasm with other people. It’s an experience that I strongly recommend. I realized there is an immensity of history, mythology, philosophy, psychology and thoughts around the word “Astrology” and I’d like to learn more. For these reasons I decided to enrol for the Certificate Interpretation Exam, in order to continue my studies and I’m really satisfied with the result. Although I’m only a student, with a basic knowledge, I’m really happy every time I see a chart and I can finally understand what it’s telling us.
Carlton Blythen - Certificate Holder
I began the foundation course in 2005, but found, upon attempting the astrological history essay, I was lacking in writing skills and overall motivation because of a lack of financial incentive. I thus embarked on a short and rather tedious journey with the Open University to gain the basics skills of writing lengthy scripts. So, at the beginning of 2010 – after a messy divorce and the realisation that money was not my astrological motivation – I decided to finish what I began in 2005 and complete the only educational activity that has held my interest for any length of time; I achieved a merit in December of 2012.
My experience with the Faculty and its tutors has been a good one, and if, like me, you are interested in astrology, then the foundation course is a good place to begin a formal study of the subject. The course sets a high standard and gently pushes you to explore astrological concepts which you may otherwise skim over in a less than structured learning environment.
Completing the foundation course has given me the confidence to begin to “feel like an astrologer” and to know the areas of birth chart interpretation I need to strengthen in order to progress further and make the most of the learning material.
I found the cost of the foundation course fairly steep…for me anyway. But to acquire similar astrological knowledge and wisdom in so compact a form would probably be a harder task than the completion – with a pass – of the actual foundation course! You would also not have access to such knowledgeable and understanding tuition either.
So, all in all, I am very pleased to have got to the summit of what began at the bottom of a mountain called the foundation course, and from here I hope to better my efforts through diploma levels one and two.
Thank you to my tutor Paolo Cortucci for your wise guidance along an unusual road.
Alexia Roditou - Certificate Holder
I appreciate the opportunity I have been given to describe my experience with the Faculty and the Certificate Interpretation Exam. Astrology is popular nowadays, and should one be interested in obtaining further information on this subject, numerous books and references are available addressed to the general public. However, the breadth of gnostic data related to the art of astrology and the compilation and organization of it into a comprehensive discipline seems rather a profound and sophisticated task; in my opinion, the Faculty maintains a bright methodology in unfolding gradually and systematically the teaching of astrology to students, in order to ensure that they will eventually grasp, if not be initiated into this subject. I feel grateful and privileged to be a student of astrology under the auspices of the Faculty.
With reference to the Interpretation Exam, obtaining the Certificate is certainly an honorable thing which pleased me very much. Initially, I would like to warmly thank the examiners for the precious comments in their feedback. I am sure that I will benefit from it and will improve and progress in astrology.
It was one month prior to the deadline to submit the exam that I started writing it and I thought that I had plenty of time for this task; actually, that would have been the case had I not overlooked a clear note in the exam guidelines whereby I had ‘to keep my astrological notes up to 15 pages’! In fact, my astrological notes for Paul, in Module 3 exam were about 18-19 pages. Very bad estimate indeed!
After a while, I had the feeling that was participating in a race, because suddenly the initial abundance of time became too short a period to finish all this elaborate and amazing work. However, I had already developed a feeling of real familiarity with Eva, the case study, through all this arduous exploration in her chart.
In the context of time limit, due to my over-extended notes, the synthesis in the Final Report was made upon the last moment’s impulsive idea, in a kind of arbitrary manner, without utilizing the Major Chart Themes. Of course, much of the conclusive material in the notes was not possible to be included in the Report.
Finally, the teaching I may obtain from this experience is firstly to be more cautious and attentive about whatever I deal with, and the realization that in the study of astrology exacting work and devotion are required.
Elena Dall’Olio - Certificate Holder
Needless to say I was very happy when I learned that I had passed the Faculty Certificate exam and was also awarded a Merit! It took me a few years to go through the Foundation Level and I had to work quite hard for my exam paper (kind of a Saturnian challenge for me!) During all these years, I received the support, knowledge and kindness of my teacher and I take this opportunity here to thank her for that. I also want to add that the structure of the Foundation course is very good and the content of the course is really enlightening.
Ira Georgia Kiourti - Certificate Holder
Introduced to the subject at the age if 12, I have been studying and practicing astrology for the best part of 26 years, my mind captured by its mythical symbolism, its demand for rigorous analysis, and its scope for synthesis using both reason and the creative imagination to glimpse an underlying divine order. Above all, I fell in love with this subject matter as I saw it: consciousness bound in space-time, the nature of incarnation itself.
Having gone into it so young, I often felt that my astrological knowledge lacked structure, buried as it was under layers of childhood memories, bound up with my own growing up process. I dreamt that one day I would consolidate my training through studying at the Faculty, following in the footsteps of many of the best in the field. This I put off until, completing my doctoral studies as I came upon a progressed New Moon at 29 Gemini, I took the plunge and enrolled with the Faculty, aiming to return to basics and strip my understanding of blind spots that may have developed over the years.
I found the Faculty to be everything I had hoped for: thorough, rigorous and well structured, with insightful, intelligent, and (importantly) well-grounded teachers. With every class I learned something new, understood something better and allowed old knowledge to click into place. I thank my Faculty tutors for sharing their expertise, and for their inspiration, encouragement and patience. And of course, there is no better way to learn then putting yourself to the test. Taking the certificate exam, essentially a written work the size of a small dissertation, and no mean feat at any level, has been a truly rewarding experience, a validation of all that has gone before, for which I am grateful. It is a learning curve I heartily recommend.
I believe that the rigorous Faculty curriculum offers a solid basis for taking on the great responsibility any astrologer carries when another human being places trust in their words and comes, often in times of crisis, seeking meaning, insight and reassurance. Astrology at its best is empowering for the individual. And it is this which makes its practice worthwhile.
Belinda Lai - Certificate Holder
To put it simply, I enrolled in the Faculty’s Foundation Course because astrology had changed my life. To help changing the lives of others through astrology, I decided to acquire the necessary professional knowledge and skills.
My interest in astrology began as soon as I had learned enough vocabulary to read the Sun sign columns in the newspapers as a small child. Fascinated with people, I chose to study Psychology for my first degree, but I found the “scientific” psychological models proposed unsatisfactory and gave up my original idea of becoming a clinical psychologist. After graduation, I went into a totally different field. Though my job was very stable, I had never found much inner satisfaction and yet could not quite say what was missing and what my alternative career could be.
My whole outlook on life began a total transformation in mid-2009, after I had first heard of “birth charts” from a friend who was taking astrology classes at that time. I started learning astrology in great earnest: first by surfing websites and reading books on my own, then in the fall of 2010, I decided to take the Foundation Course through distance learning.
Astrology was nothing short of a revelation for me. It not only enabled me to see my life in perspective, but also helped me understand my life’s purpose and meaning and the direction it should take. It also allowed me to see people from a radically different (and a more empathetic) point-of-view. With astrology, I definitely felt like “home coming”! It was exactly the branch of knowledge about human psychology that I had been trying to find for years.
The journey through the Foundation Course was tougher than expected, however. With a busy job, I really had to put in much self-discipline and hard work to complete all the assignments within a reasonable time, as some of them were pretty demanding and required lengthy analyses. However, “no pain, no gain”. I have learned a great deal and must thank my tutor Martin Lipson. His speedy and detailed feedback throughout the course was most helpful in my learning process.
I also would like to thank the Faculty and all those who have carefully prepared the learning material and made sound, solid astrological learning accessible to people living thousands of miles away from Europe.
Annemette Pedersen - Certificate Holder
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. (Lao-Tzu)
My interest in astrology started many years ago. I read a good deal of astrology books, I took classes and I did astrology-software-programming, but I continued to have problems interpreting and synthesizing a horoscope. Therefore, in 2008 I decided to enroll with the Faculty. I later found out that it was almost exactly when transiting Saturn entered my 9th house that I did that, and now, that I have my Certificate, transiting Saturn is leaving my 9th house. Transiting Saturn through the 9th house can be interpreted as a good time to consolidate your knowledge, and I feel that it has been so for me.
It has been a positive experience for me to take all the Foundation courses. The course material has been clear and logical, and the exercises have been good training. I would like very much to thank my tutor Polly, who has been positive, constructive and very encouraging all the way through.
Transiting Saturn has also, for the second time, reached my natal Saturn right now, and when I seriously started my journey in astrology and began taking classes in Denmark , transiting Saturn was in opposition to natal Saturn. I therefore see the Certificate as a sort of result of a journey that started half a Saturn-cycle ago. You may now think, that this is a thin result of fourteen years work, but there have been many other things in my life, so the astrology has been sort of on-off, but I have never doubted that I would do more astrology when my time allowed it.
As I see things right now, I will continue my education with the Faculty, and I hope it will not take another half Saturn-cycle, before I get new results, but you never know what happens – even with astrology.
Astrology is a big subject, and as Lao-Tzu says, you have to start a big journey with a single step, and that step better have to be firm and solid. I feel that the step I have taken now, with the Foundation Course and the Certificate, makes me stand solid on my feet, and I am ready for further steps on this lifelong journey.
Baiba Sturite - Certificate Holder
My astrology foundation and life in general have been synthesised by two major societal traditions - Eastern and Western. Born in the West, I have always been attracted to the East. Since 2004, I have pursued interests in mysteries surrounding human lives which have been complemented with astrology related studies aimed at enhancing my knowledge and aspirations. First, I obtained my Esoteric Astrologer diploma from the Esoteric Astrology school of Tibet based in Latvia.
More recently, I enrolled with the London-based Faculty of Astrology to enrich my current experiences. I completed the Foundation course as a distance learner which allowed building self-motivation and strengthening concentration skills. I then studied Diploma modules 4, 5 and 6 in order to enhance interaction and discussion practices. I would highly recommend both types of studies towards developing those key skills a prospective astrologer should possess.
I had a great chance to meet various people throughout my studies. I would like to express my acknowledgments to my Diploma courses tutors Carole Taylor, Cat Cox, Sue Farebrother and Kim Farley. A special thanks goes to my Foundation level tutor Diane Conway for the valuable and irreplaceable contribution towards the development of my astrology expertise.
Going forward, I aim to complement my astrological knowledge with other spiritual growth practices. This development shall focus on the very nature of our human purpose. Therefore, the ability to interpret astrological charts with the added value offered by other practices may raise awareness for periods of deep crisis and lower confidence - thus allowing understanding of ups and downs in our lives. I hope my expertise and assurance can provide at least some confidence and some meaning to life. This would make it worth working as an astrologer.