Graduates & Success Stories
Ainara Ugarte Palomero ~ Certificate ~ Spring 2021
One day, alone at my parents’ house, I came across 4 tapes and a folder in a drawer. One of those tapes had my name written on it. It took seconds to insert the tape on the stereo. The voice of an astrologer started describing me in detail, but not only this, she was telling very accurate things about my past. And she was talking about my future to come! You have no idea how many times I’ve listened to those 10 minutes.
Inside the folder I found, beautifully handmade, was placed my natal chart. That was the beginning of a fascinating journey, first reading here and there, and then deciding to start studying astrology in a “serious way”.
It was a great joy to find the FAS on internet, in a time where Astrology was not so widespread like it is today, and then to immerse myself in this wonderful art at my own pace, for some periods, spending more time, and at others, pausing due to lack of time.
Studying astrology helps me to understand more and more who I am, who my children are, who others are. The more I learn, the more I discover. The information was always there, just hidden in the chart until the time arrives when I’m prepared to understand.
Currently I have already reached, officially, Module 5. My profession doesn’t have anything to do with astrology. Studying and reading about astrology is my hobby. Many times when I come across someone who has a prominent personality trait, I ask directly about his/her birth data. I love to find out where in the natal chart can I find that personality trait, and, if the person is interested, give a glimpse of his/her personality in return. Usually people are very thankful. It is very rewarding. Having that data is like opening a window to their souls and becoming aware of who they are. A gift given to practice and develop empathy and compassion about oneself and others. Somehow knowing astrology makes everything have more sense – and real meaning.
Elaine Wright, D.F.Astrol.S. ~ Spring 2021
I am very thrilled to have successfully completed the final exam with the Faculty of Astrological Studies (FAS). I am a remote student living in Canada and the program has literally been a 10- year journey for me. When I entered the program in 2011 I may not have fully appreciated the amount of work and dedication it was going to take to complete the program and to pass the final exam, while holding down a full-time demanding job. I knew when I started the program my ultimate aim was to finish with the FAS credential, but despite my best efforts and all the support and dedication from the FAS tutors, there were many forks in the road, which came through diversions related to family, career and serious health challenges.
However, none of these diversions would ultimately come between my goal of completing the program. I approached each stage of the program with determination and perseverance, tackling the work and exercises with enthusiasm, and working diligently to synthesize feedback from my tutors in an effort to improve my interpretation, and hone my skills.
One of the highlights of the program was when I attended the FAS Summer school in 2015, to be honest I did not know what to expect! it is set in the beautiful and scenic city of Oxford and the summer school program surpassed my highest expectations. It was advertised as an annual highlight of the school’s calendar, but I never expected to meet so many internationally like-minded students & practicing astrologers of such high-caliber & from so many professional walks of life – I highly recommend this experience to all students.
To students who are currently in the program or contemplating joining the program, what I can share in terms of my experience with FAS is this:
- FAS is amongst one the most robust programs that exist (I know because I did a lot of research ahead of my commitment).
- It provides a comprehensive body of basic and advanced knowledge that will provide you with a solid background in astrology.
- FAS has a strong ethical commitment to the practice of Astrology which I believe is tantamount to providing credibility and standing within the profession.
I would like to thank the Faculty for the outstanding content of the program, the high quality of the exams and their ethical commitment to the practice of this ancient art. It has been an amazing journey completing the program, and I am very proud to successfully become one of the newest Diploma Holders.
Maria Simeou, D.F.Astrol.S. ~ Spring 2021
My journey with Astrology began at the age of 18 with my first birth chart. My love of it and other esoteric practices, were then buried a couple of years later as I went on to build my corporate career. Looking back, I realise I had chosen a fork in the road that had led me down a path that was not soul aligned for me and in my early 40’s a life changing Pluto transit turned my world upside down. This turned out to be a blessing as once the dust had settled, the seeds of growth and learning began to germinate and my calling and passion for Astrology took life again. I began to teach myself basic Astrological principles and realised very quickly that I needed to study formally so that I had a good foundation to build on.
So in 2017, I took the plunge and began my journey at the Faculty. It was the best decision I had made in many years and it began to help me reconnect to parts of myself, my spirituality, my soul, that I thought had been lost for decades. It felt like coming home.
Being a student at the Faculty was incredibly rewarding in so many ways. It was a life enriching experience as the teaching gave me sound principals, guidelines and techniques to help me find my own unique way. As a London class student, I loved feeling the energy and vibrancy of the city and classroom contact was so valuable as we shared our own journeys with each other. I also had the opportunity to take classes online (due to the Pandemic) and particularly enjoyed the distance learning for module 9 as I learnt far more than I realised at the time, so I have experienced Faculty classes in every way!
Now that I have gained my Diploma I feel an immense sense of accomplishment and excitement at what is to come. I have grown tremendously during the past few years and am grateful for the teaching that has steered me along the way. Astrology imparts such a gift of incredible self-awareness that reaches deeply from the heavens to our very core. Whilst peering into the Cosmos does not offer solutions in a straightforward way, it does offer a lifelong process of self-reflection and discovery. My wish and heartfelt desire, is that I continue to work towards my highest good and through my growing practice, help others to find their own unique way and do the same.
June Orr ~ Certificate ~ 2021
As a teenager I read Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs and was struck by how uncannily she captured the essence of some of the people I knew! With 4 planets in in Gemini the rational side of my brain thought there must be a logical explanation as to why this was the case so I remained a bit cynical about the veracity of astrology until years later, urged by a friend, I went for a consultation. There began the lifelong interest! I took informal classes becoming familiar with the strange and fascinating world of symbolism and archetypes. I was amazed that people could look at what were to me mysterious signs and squiggles and make some sense of them! I wanted to learn this strange and beguiling language.
However, as work and family commitments overtook my life I did not return to fully explore astrology until later in life when I resumed some classes and decided to pull together the different strands of my knowledge through taking the Certificate Course. This gave me the consolidation and I needed to be able to reflect on the different aspects of a chart and to begin to make sense of it all. I now have a pathway to follow when looking at a chart and reflecting on the many exciting possibilities inherent in these astrological maps of our lives.
Shelley Madsen ~ Certificate ~ Spring 2021
The study of astrology as a means to better understand others was the motivation at age 18, with a group of friends, to take a series of classes studying the birth chart with a local teacher. Life, career, parenting became the focus until years later after what turned out to be a significant transit from Pluto and Uranus, I returned again to the study, first through many books and then through a local teacher, Toby Aldren. It was Toby, a graduate himself, who recommended The Faculty of Astrological Studies when the online classes were offered. I started studying with The Faculty while on a first adventure through Europe and was equally excited about both.
I have absolutely loved everything about The Faculty of Astrological Studies, from the wisdom of the tutors to the meaningful and therapeutic explorations of our own charts and experiences as reflected in the cosmos. The material is rich with depth and presented in such a sequencing that the information is layered logically. I look forward to the challenge and opportunity of the Intermediate and Advanced exams.
Currently I am enjoying having time to read and reread some treasured astrology books while gaining more experience with forecasting. Research into family patterns is appealing and the study of Jung and mythology are also calling.
Colin McPhillamy ~ Certificate ~ Spring 2021
I’ve always been receptive to the mantic arts and have brushed against them all my life.
It started with a maths teacher in Australia who read my palm when I was fifteen and began by saying, “You’re an actor”. He was right. Acting has been my life for the past forty years.
But I’ve always known there was something else that I would eventually study and practice. I just didn’t know what it was. The reason I knew this was that a gifted psychic told me so when I was twenty one and had just graduated from acting school.
This knowledge of “something else” (but what was it?) became a subconscious theme in my life as I progressed through the decades. Then in the summer of 2015 with a fiery grand trine involving a pile-up of transits in Leo, and Mars applying to natal Uranus, I finally got some clarity.
I recognized that a call to astrology had been there all along. Reading accounts from fellow-students I see that this experience of a persistent call through the years is not uncommon. When I read Clare Martin’s “Mapping the Psyche” I saw that she describes this exact process in the very first paragraphs.
I experienced a rush of energy. Part recognition of the magnificent art that astrology is, part enthusiasm of the novice, part relish at the prospect of new knowledge (I have a Gemini Moon in the 9th, and the 9th House cusp is in Taurus) – I get the sensation of enjoying a delicious meal when learning new things.
So I read too many books at once, and enrolled in the Foundation Course, and I began to read charts for anyone who would stand still long enough.
I was always intuitively sure that astrology is a portal to wisdom, even when I knew very little about it. Since I began studying with the Faculty the revelation has been to glimpse the immensity of this mysterious art which is as wide and deep as the spaces of the solar system and beyond.
It seems to me that it’s not only a study for the mind. Accomplished astrologers (and here I reference the excellent Faculty tutors) become somehow more authentically and uniquely themselves. Acorns become oaks. So the Certificate is a first plateau in the study, and at the moment I am taking a pause, time to digest this awesome gift of inter-planetary insight. I hope to continue studying with perhaps less rush and more depth.
Speaking of hopes and wishes; among the seers, psychics, and star-gazers I have been lucky to know, I remember an elderly Scottish sculptress who, although not an astrologer, was certainly a wise woman. She read tea leaves. Her mode was gently empowering, her readings always ending with “Now I want you to make a wish…” Then she would slap the tea cup, inspect it closely her eyes twinkling in merriment, and quietly exclaim, “Oh yes, you’re going to get that!”
Tracy Jenkins ~ Certificate ~ Autumn 2020
For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated by the mysteries of the cosmos. Drawn, as a small child to gaze in wonder at the moon and stars, I had so many questions about my own place within the universe. I became familiar with my birth chart and, eventually started to study astrology in my early twenties.
Life and career as a psychotherapist took over and it was nearly 30 years later when, fuelled by a Uranus transit to my 9th house and searching for meaning and context in my life, I was drawn back to learn more.
Starting with the London classes the first tutor I met was Kim. Inspired by her passion and immense knowledge along with the way she was able to bring astrology, comprehensively, into everyday life experience, I was hooked. As I soon realised that there was so much more technical information to absorb than I could have imagined, I was grateful to move to online classes, earlier in the day, which fitted in well with my schedule and energy levels.
Having read astrology extensively over the years I find the Faculty articles some of the best resources available. The clear structure of the module material appeals to my Mercury Saturn intellect.
Thanks to the encouragement and endless patience from Stevi and Rosemary during module 3 and a national lockdown, I felt confident, when presented with the time and opportunity, to spend many sunny hours immersed in the exam material.
This experience, immensely rewarding and enriching, consolidated my knowledge in a way that otherwise might not have been possible. I would advise anyone who wants to deepen their knowledge of Astrology to embark on this challenge.
I am continuing my journey of discovery through the online modules and I hope to be able complete them all. Whatever happens I know that astrology will always be part of me and, thanks to the Faculty I have a solid foundation upon which my I can deepen my knowledge and understanding of this wonderful subject.
Goran Pejkoski ~ Certificate ~ Autumn 2020
With natal Sun conjunct Mercury in the 12th house, I have always been seeking understanding of the invisible patterns that permeate life. My first encounter with astrology was at the age of sixteen through three newly made friends that were great astrology enthusiasts. Their chart readings were intriguingly accurate and revealing. It seemed that astrology provides access to and understanding of the relatedness in the cosmic order. Having captured my attention, astrology continued to fascinate me ever since.
I read about astrology throughout the years and instinctively pieced the information together. Despite my great fascination, I saw astrology as an informal interest until transiting Uranus entered Taurus in my 9th house. One evening I came across a mention of the Faculty of Astrological studies. I was based in London and the realisation that astrology studies are at my doorstep, sparked a desire. Without a premeditated plan or intention to formally study astrology, the next morning I enrolled for the London classes.
The initial years of my studies were paired with bewilderment by the discovery of the depth and vast array of possibilities that astrology has to offer. The study material is well structured and provides with systematic and comprehensive introductions delivered by insightful and passionate tutors. It is through the studies at the Faculty that the infinite beauty of astrology started flourishing in front of me. Each module is a revelation and the further I advance into the intricacy of the craft, the more I recognise a calling.
Certainly laborious, the certificate exam was an extraordinary experience. Following hours of extensive study and writing, in hindsight, it worked out wonderfully. I love the mathematics and geometry as much as I love the intangible dimensions of human experience that astrology entails. Deriving a narrative through analysis, associations and symbols is what makes astrology a unique combination of analytical and imaginative processes. I take much joy in working mentally yet applying other significant parts of my being – my creativity and intuition.
While facilitating a connection with the cosmos, astrology becomes significant when placed between humans. Connecting with people through the symbolic language of the universe is an utterly rewarding relationship. It is with much eagerness and excitement that I anticipate the unfolding of this fascinating journey of discovery and growth.
Lise-Lotte Jaktlund, D.F.Astrol.S. ~ Autumn 2020
My astrological journey started around my first Saturn return when I stumbled upon a book in the local library. I was at a point in my life when I was reflecting on who I was and what had shaped my personality. Having a few personal planets in Leo and Scorpio, the book helped to understand that there were more layers to my Cancer Sun.
The first couple of years I was only reading different astrology books on my own in my spare time. There was no astrological community or courses to take where I was residing, but I was thoroughly enjoying reading and in particular Liz Greene, Steven Arroyo and Robert Hand. Then in the mid 90s my interest in this ‘celestial language’ had to be put on the backburner due to family and work obligations.
Fast forward 20 years and I reconnected with astrology. I had moved to London thanks to a new job and as transiting Uranus made a trine to my natal Mercury in 2015, I started studying with the Faculty of Astrological Studies. I have enjoyed the London classes immensely. The tutors are excellent and inspiring. As an extra bonus I have also made some good friends who share the same passion for this magical art.
Now I am passed my second Saturn return and I am immensely proud of having achieved the Faculty Diploma. I am relocating back to my native country during 2021 and hope to set up a small practice offering astrology consultations. Astrology is indeed a lifelong learning that for sure will keep me curious, interested and busy for years to come.
Constance Avery ~ Certificate ~ Autumn 2020
I started studying Astrology later in life. Big surprise, Saturn is my chart ruler! My first astrology teacher thought Saturn to be such a formidable force, she routinely used a generous 10-degree orb when considering its influence. She was quick to point out that I had signed up for her class exactly to the day when Saturn finally separated 10 degrees past its natal position following my second Saturn Return. How could anything be so precise? That did it and I was hooked!
Unlike others who started their studies early in their adult lives, I had much catching up to do and quick! I stumbled on the Faculty’s website, signed up for the Taster Course and was immediately impressed by the quality and professionalism of the material. I started with the distance learning program and quickly moved to the online format once it became available. It has been a true joy working with my new Astro Family from around the world; I have learned so much, not only from the instructors but from each and every member in the class. This is our third year studying together and this coming Spring we will push onward all the way through Module 9. I am so thrilled to be part of the first group of students to go the whole distance all online! I truly do not think I could have made it this far without the personal interaction, expert weekly instruction and valuable personalized feedback. I look forward to the remaining coursework and plan to complete the intermediate and diploma exams.
After having spent a lifetime working in medical research and with retirement now on the horizon, I would like to eventually transfer my skills into the area of original astrology research. I have so many astrological interests and ideas to explore. It is too early to know how this will continue to unfold but I am very excited and open to all possibilities! When I started this program, I had no idea I was preparing for a late-in-life second career but now, with the goal of completion in sight, it just feels right!
Lirio Gutiérrez Rivera ~ Certificate ~ Autumn 2020
I became interested in astrology when I was studying literature many years ago. I didn’t study it as I got involved in other things and then it disappeared from my radar. I entered the academic world, which I love because it’s intellectually stimulating, but I felt I was moving away from creative part of myself.
I got in touch with this part of myself, knowing that academe, though important to me, was not the only thing I wanted to do. I made time around five years ago and started buying books on astrology. I realized at one point that I needed more formal study to deepen my knowledge. Around that time an astrologer read my chart and I was struck by her reading. I asked where she studied astrology and she told me that she had a Diploma from the Faculty of Astrological Studies. I decided to enroll in the foundational modules; the experience has been wonderful. Connecting myths and archetypes to a natal chart, its planets, signs, aspects resonate with my background in literature. I feel connected to a symbolic world that nurtures my creativity.
I recently took the certificate exam, and my plans are to finish the modules at the Faculty and take the intermediate and final exams. Astrology started as a very personal journey, a form of connecting to my symbolic world. I want to be certified, personally, that is important to me, owing to Saturn, my chart ruler, and my love for structured learning. It may lead to setting up a consulting practice. I am open to what may happen.
Tatiana Komarova ~ Certificate ~ Autumn 2020
I have been fascinated by astrology for as long as I remember – reading the weekly “stars” in a Russian newspaper as a teenager, and later on the daily “horoscope” by Jonathan Cainer in the Melbourne Herald Sun. I had a couple of Natal reports done when I was approaching my Saturn return, and they made some sense, but not enough – with a stationary Pluto in 3rd house, I needed more in-depth knowledge.
It’s funny how, when one habitually reads the same author in the newspaper every day, they become accustomed to their presence. When Jonathan passed away in 2016, I found that something in my day went missing with his passing. Oscar Cainer took over the column, but, as I was to learn later, every astrologer has their own style – it was not the same.
Having numbed through my Saturn return, I found myself at a bit of a loss 3 years later, in 2017, when my life stopped giving me joy, things that used to work for me before no longer did and I felt directionless and at sea without a rudder or a compass. I did a co-creation workshop that my Yoga teacher was running at the local studio and came home sure that I needed to learn more about Astrology. After some research, I decided that I would enrol in the same school that Jonathan went through, since he has been such a massive astrological influence in my life – it seemed auspicious.
As I started to learn more about Astrology and study my own natal chart, other spiritual and esoteric avenues of knowledge started to pop up for me – I have trained in Reiki, Sacred Soul Alignment techniques, studied and practiced Tarot and am currently obtaining a Diploma in Hypnotherapy & Psychotherapy. I hope to finish my Astrology Diploma in the next few years – I think Astrology would go marvellously well with Psychotherapy – if not for the client, then for me as a therapist – imagine having an energetic map for the client’s emotions, thoughts and psyche and tailoring the treatment to that…
I still work as an Engineer and Project manager, but only when my partner needs help with a project.
The Sabian Symbol for my Mc is A Man Possessed of More Gifts Than He Can Hold. As Pluto is moving away from the conjunction with my Lunar Nodal Axis, I am starting to become aware of Saturnian limitations in my life – Astrology may be the last bit of equipment I put into my toolbox so that I can deepen into the experience of building a meaningful life and therapeutic practice.
Natalie Noren ~ Certificate ~ Spring 2020
Choosing to study with the Faculty has been one of the most important decisions I’ve made in my life. As someone with a strong Saturn retrograde, I’ve always relied on my own capacity to learn and develop as a professional astrologer, and I didn’t recognise a need of getting a formal astrological education.
When I became a student of the Faculty, I soon discovered the benefits of being lectured and taught by the best astrologers in the world. The amount of insightful information is incredible, the approach to each student is individual and attentive. It helped me to not only establish a strong foundation in the study, but also to keep an open-minded approach for developing a personal style of consultancy.
Now I’m strongly sure that academic education in the field of astrology is a must for everyone who decides to step on this path. If we want to be taken seriously, we should be taught by the greatest minds of our time, and the Faculty gladly delivers such a possibility.
Tinna Bisbo, D.F.Astrol.S. ~ Autumn 2020
I am glad that I did not realise how much writing is involved in studying with the Faculty before I started. Blessed with no air (except for the angles) in my birth chart, putting thoughts and ideas into words on a piece of paper (a screen these days) is not my strongest trait. However, if one means serious business it requires an effort. To quote a famous fellow-countryman, Piet Hein:
Our so-called limitations, believe,
apply to faculties we don’t apply.
We don’t discover what we can’t achieve
until we make an effort not to try.
Astrology is a fascinating study because it embraces everything. It has given me a much deeper understanding of history and philosophy and my ability to appreciate the bigger context of living has become more nuanced.
Studying with the Faculty forces one to engage in a number of subjects that one might not otherwise have come across. I am so very lucky to have a husband who shares my interest in astrology (and incidentally holds the Diploma as well), and thus it is a rather integral part of our day-to-day life.
Together we strive to spread the word as it were and introduce astrology into mainstream awareness in every aspect of human existence.
Nuria Quitt ~ Certificate ~ Autumn 2020
My first more serious exposure to astrology came in my mid 20s when a boyfriend used an early clunky computer program to print off my chart and those of my family. He was into Jung, had read some Liz Greene and I was hooked. Living in London then I was fortunate enough to attend a few open-to-the-public seminars by the CPA diploma course and had my chart read by an eminent astrologer. Then events (major Pluto, Uranus and Chiron transits) changed my life completely and astrology became a background hobby amounting to no more than browsing passages in my astrology books during times of crisis.
Some 25 years later I found myself at a crossroads once again and, a year after my Chiron return which brought healing in the shape of losses, I decided to move on from sun sign astrology and learn astrology properly. Having abandoned city life some time earlier I found that, reviewing my options, the Faculty ticked all the boxes for me and I started my Distance Learning Course, aiming to pull off the Foundation Course within nine months.
Ah, but fools rush in where angels fear to tread and this baby required a longer gestation! Like in therapy something happens when you start to engage with astrology beyond the intellectual level. Over the next few years the cosmos gradually came alive to me, both externally and internally. Nearly six years after starting Module 1 (I’d also completed Module 4 – Diploma course – meanwhile) and one Open Day, four Summer Schools and many Faculty webinars later I sat and passed my first exam. I’d like to think that the best things in life cannot be hurried, and growth and understanding work according to their own schedule so there is little point in stressing over clock-time.
Looking back I can see – and value – the tremendously positive influence my Foundation Course tutor Carole Taylor had on me, plus my Module 3 tutors at Summer School – Polly and Penny – as well as other tutors and students I have had the good fortune to meet at the annual rich feast known as Summer School in the Magic Castle at Exeter College, Oxford.
In fact, the combination of the availability of distance learning, live online learning, webinars and Summer Schools (as well as live classes for London residents) is a fantastic combination that makes the Faculty stand out from other training providers, in my view.
Astrology has changed my outlook and understanding of myself, others and world events. It has opened my mind and heart to a different perspective and reality, and it is through the skilful teaching and support from my tutors at the Faculty that astrology has come out of the realm of ‘New Age’ for me and into a grounded reality.
I am looking forward to the day when I shall be able to assist others in letting the symbolic language of astrology enrich their lives and foster meaning-making.
Yana Yanovich ~ Certificate ~ Autumn 2020
My name is Yana Yanovich. I was born in Kurgan – a small town in Russia, just East of the Ural mountains. My interest in astrology is a long-standing one. I think I was about 10 or 11 when I mentioned something about Zodiac signs to my friend and she brought me a book her mom had. It was Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs. I became so enthralled with it that I started asking my parents to give me an astrology book for my birthday. They got me a sort of “all-in-one” thick volume that had Western Zodiac Sun Sign descriptions, along with Chinese 12-year Zodiac, Celtic (Druid) Tree Horoscope, chiromancy and Nostradamus’ predictions. It was one of my favorites throughout my teens.
In my twenties I continued reading up on the topic from time to time, but it never went further than Sun Signs, although I became well-familiar with the elements and planet rulership for each sign. It was in the summer of 2016 when I have discovered that there is much more to it. It started with coming across the concept of Moon signs. When I looked up my own, it was like a revelation and gave me a deeper insight into myself and into the complexity of astrology as a body of knowledge.
Since summer of 2016 I have been self-studying astrology via the internet – a vast amount of articles and blog entries, hours and hours of videos on YouTube, participating in multiple forums, translated one astrological site/forum from English into Russian and even started my own astrological blog!
I decided to sign up for the distance course with FAS for several reasons. Firstly, I felt that my knowledge, while vast, was still quite scattered and shallow. I wanted to deepen it and make it more structured. Secondly, as I am considering astrology as a professional occupation, I want to obtain a formal training (certificate and, later, diploma). Finally, I felt that I was lacking controlled practice in chart interpretations. The downside of self-study is lack of technical feedback. Thus, I felt that FAS Certificate (and Diploma) Course would be a wonderful opportunity to fill the gaps that needed to be filled.
So far, the experience has exceeded my expectations! I am really happy with my choice and I would like to express deepest gratitude to my tutor Beatrice and to all members of the Faculty for their work in creating the course and the distance learning opportunity!
Wendy Blume ~ Certificate ~ Autumn 2019
Astrology has been a constant in my life since the 1980s when I first eyed off my chart, courtesy of my dad’s secretary, who had drawn it up and provided a written interpretation. I poured over it, trying to better understand my teenage self.
My sister trained as an astrologer years ago, so astrological chat has been a normal part of my life. Keen to understand it more deeply, I started into study in 2007, but a couple of kids and a career in publishing waylaid me. A decade on, I decided to put more time into my hobby, and the Faculty’s course leapt out as a viable and thorough distance learning option that I could fit between work and family.
As with all the students in this section, the course is taking me longer than I anticipated. The learning process takes twists and turns with many ‘Rumsfeld’ moments, where you start to get an inkling of all there is that you don’t know! But the structured course and encouragement from tutors keeps me going – particularly while learning the difficult sections such as calculation. Unlike other study options, it’s the homework and tutor feedback that elevates this course into proper professional training, forcing you to apply your knowledge and make concrete progress.
There is a great amount of pleasure when the hard work starts to pay off – charts are now speaking to me, and while there’s still a long way to go, my appetite for astrological knowledge continues to increase. With the certificate under my belt, I’m working through my next modules, keen to eventually gain my full diploma and start up as a consulting astrologer.
Jackie Chen, D.F.Astrol.S. ~ Autumn 2019
I started my formal training with the Faculty in late 2015. I started as a Distance Learning student as I was working in Hong Kong at that time. With the guidance and support of my amazing tutors, within three short years, I was lucky enough to have grown from someone who barely knows anything about astrology to someone who was qualified to sit for the final Diploma Exam, and thereafter, receiving my Diploma in 2019.
Back in 2015, my life has come to a point that the inner need for self-discovery and self-understanding has become greater and greater. I wasn’t really interested to know what’s next, though. I was always more into the psychological aspects of things, i.e., the how and why. The inspiring and groundbreaking application of psychological approaches to astrology was why I decided to study with the Faculty at the first place.
As a Chinese, I am also interested in I-Ching, especially its relationship with its western equivalent. To me, these ancient teachings all present us with a map of potential, that is to say, what we might become and how generally it is going to look like. Most of us live our lives in a linear way. We finish one thing before we start another, and that’s why sometimes we inevitably miss the big picture. People nowadays are obsessed with using different divination methods to predict “what’s next”, hoping to avoid the “downs” and only keep the “ups” in our life. Unfortunately this is not really possible. As I-Ching says, “out of the depths of misfortune comes bliss; beyond the extreme, joy begets sorrow”. However, with a map in hand, we might be able to step back and see all those seemingly linear life milestones at the same time, more importantly, to see ourselves in the map. Instead of letting others tell us what our life is going to be, we are now equipped to understand the pattern ourselves. Certain unfortunate events may never need to happen if we have a big picture in mind from the very beginning. From this perspective, these events were indeed “avoided”.
The Diploma “is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the tutors who have guided me along the way. Without them, it wouldn’t have been possible. I would also like to thank the Faculty for providing the world with such a great platform so that people all over the world are able to have access to this first-tier, top-quality astrology training, and to understand the brilliance of this ancient technology.
Geerte Groen, D.F.Astrol.S. ~ Autumn 2019
I started my astrological journey late in my life, in my late forties. A Dutch friend gave me a reading with an astrologer for my birthday. At that time I was working in Moscow, Russia. On one of my returns to The Netherlands, I visited an excellent astrologer, who received her education from Karen Hamaker. I hardly knew anything about astrology at that time. Listening to what she told me, swept me off my feet; she seemed to know me better than I knew myself. I was immediately sold.
My busy work at that time did not allow me to think or read much about astrology. However, the thought of it stayed with me; I said to myself, that when I don’t work anymore, I shall study astrology. In 2008 I moved with my American husband to the United States. And how lucky I was, I did not need to work anymore and my dream to study astrology became a reality.
I investigated several options for an astrology study, in the United States as well in other parts of the world. The high standard of the Faculty’s education attracted me straight away. Moreover, the Faculty and I have both our Ascendant in Sagittarius and my Sun is conjunct the Faculty’s Jupiter in Sagittarius. And although I was not aware of this synastry then, I felt intuitively that the Faculty would be the right choice for me.
In 2009 during my second Saturn return (Saturn 9th house), I enrolled in the Faculty. Pluto was transiting through my first house and I had a Jupiter return (in Aquarius). A few days after I started my mother passed away, quite suddenly. It was a time of beginnings and endings. My mother’s passing delayed the start of my study in a Saturnian way, but my tutor Mark Fountain was patient, compassionate, and encouraging.
The study at the Faculty started to play a big role in my life. I could not live without astrology anymore. Except for Module 6, I did all the modules by Distance Learning, which was for me the perfect way to learn. The Faculty program is thorough and very well structured, a thing I need with Mars conjunct Saturn in Virgo in 9th house and Mercury in Capricorn. I learned a lot by doing all the exercises and receiving the feedback from the Faculty tutors. Slowly but surely I progressed to the final exam.
When Jupiter crossed my Ascendant and entered my 1st house, I thought that the energy of my chart ruler would be very supportive to work on the exam for the Diploma. It was a huge challenge, and it dominated my life for months. The hard work I put into it paid off when I received the e-mail that I passed.
A dream came true; but I also feel a kind of emptiness, saying goodbye to the study that was with me for so many years and gave me a goal to work to. Of course I continue to study on my own; I am especially interested in mundane astrology, but it is different without the Faculty tutors by your side. I thank wholeheartedly all my tutors for their patience, for sharing their knowledge and astrological wisdom. Thanks to Mark Fountain, Laura Andrikopoulos, Carole Taylor, Cat Cox and Glòria Roca!
In addition to the online study I try to visit Summer School every year. It is a true highlight for me in the year. Entering Exeter College through the big front door, you enter a magic castle. You can leave behind the busy, outside world for a few days. It is wonderful to spend some days with people with whom you share the same astrological language; it feels like coming home to family and friends.
Gill Beighton ~ Certificate ~ Autumn 2019
I’ve been interested in Astrology for a very long time but apart from having my natal chart done with ‘Cosmopolitan magazine’ when I was 26 and subsequently reading Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs and one or two other books over the years, I had never taken my interest any further until recently. I had always been convinced there was real value in what astrology had to offer but life and work just got in the way! Now, I’ve been retired five years already and I started studying by Distance Learning with the Faculty in October 2017. I’d been learning to play the saxophone from scratch and overdone it with the practice, so had to lay off for about 6 months while my shoulder and arm strain got better… An ideal time to embark on something less strenuous physically – though of course much more strenuous mentally!
I absolutely loved the Foundation course and am fascinated by the depth of understanding the study of a natal chart can bring. I found it particularly interesting to work on the charts of famous people in the exercises, only discovering who they were at the end and being amazed by the accuracy of the interpretation.
I’m now coming to the end of Module 4, so have gained a better understanding of transits and the solar return chart. What an amazing experience that has been, particularly working on my own transits and my solar return chart for this year – June 2019 – 2020. Looking back at key times of change in my life and seeing planetary transits that fitted perfectly was a true revelation. The solar return chart has suggested that this year would be a good time for broadening horizons through study/travel and focussed effort on study and communications, maybe bringing more concrete manifestation in a public sphere… That seems to fit quite well with my achievement of the Faculty Certificate in December and plans for a trip to Cape Breton, Quebec and North Carolina in June!
I embarked upon my studies through sheer fascination with the whole subject and idea of astrology, without any particular plans for where I would take them. Now that I can see the direction that the Diploma studies are going, I think I will certainly continue at least to the Intermediate stage and who knows, maybe I’ll even go for the Diploma. With a Gemini IC/4th and a Sagittarius MC/10th maybe this is a part of my destiny!
Lise-Lotte Jaktlund Enström ~ Intermediate Exam Success ~ Spring 2019
In the beginning of the 1990s I stumbled upon an astrology book in the local library in a small town in northern Sweden where I was living at the time. I was at a point in my life where I was trying to find answers to questions like “who am I” and “what is my life’s purpose”. Later I would learn that this was my first Saturn return.
As most people, I knew my Sun sign but had no idea about all the other important planets and points in a chart. In the library book there were instructions how to erect a chart, which I followed, and then it presented suggestions for interpretation. I will never forget the overwhelming feeling of joy and astonishment when reading the delineation of my Moon. It resonated so much with me. I was hooked.
A couple of years followed where I devoured different astrology books that I bought from the Astrology shop in Covent Garden. I studied in my spare time on my own and was particularly drawn to books by Liz Greene and Stephen Arroyo. However, I also became a mother and juggling family life and work life meant that astrology was put on the back burner.
A new phase of my life was initiated in 2013 when a job opportunity in the UK appeared and I decided to take the leap and relocate. Now I could also rekindle my relationship with astrology and in 2015 as Uranus was making a trine to my 9th house Mercury I signed up for Module 1 at the Faculty of Astrological Studies.
I have thoroughly enjoyed attending the London classes and I cannot enough praise the tutors I have had. I have also done a few Modules as distance learning and that has been very good too even though I personally has preferred to do the classes. The curriculum is very well disposed and together with the excellent study material the Faculty has given me a sound basis for the different astrological building blocks. I have now done all the Modules offered by the Faculty and at some point, I hope to go for the final exam. In any case Astrology has offered me and continues to offer me an opportunity to connect with something deep, meaningful and magical.
Karen Shan ~ Certificate ~ Spring 2019
I had the courage to set out for Bali in December 2015, my first FAS course. As a Chinese who was born and grew up in mainland China and did not have a long time to study and live in English-speaking countries, it is really a great challenge for me to attend an all-English astrology course. At that time, I learned that there was a Chinese student very good in English participating in this course, and I thought that if I could not understand the course, I may ask my classmate to help translate — Of course, soon I found that this was impossible, the course had been in progress and no one has time to do translation for anyone.
After a short period of tension, I decided to take things as they come. Before that I had seven years of astrology studying, I believe it will be helpful. Then I relaxed and concentrated on studying. Very fortunately, in Bali I first met Cat, Carol and Melanie, who were such excellent tutors, they were not only warm and friendly, but also had very rich teaching experience. During the 10 days in Bali, I gained a lot, and I was very impressed by FAS tutors and courses.
After returning home, I began to think about whether to continue to study in FAS. After months of serious thinking and after carefully reading FAS website, I decided to enroll for distance learning. Thanks for my Aries rising — that is one of the bravest and most correct decisions I have made in my life. As I completed my registration and began to read the articles from FAS website, I found myself falling into the treasure cave of Alibaba, I was deeply moved by the wonderful words and incomparable contents of the articles.
It’s hard and long to learn astrology, but it’s worth your time and effort to learn and listen to this language from the sky. Over the years, I have insisted on studying in FAS, in addition to the long-distance learning, I attended summer school several times, that is really a warm and grand astrologer party. Astrologers from different countries and cultures around the world gather and communicate here, and we trust each other without estrangement because we all have the same language: Astrology. As a Cancerian, I feel contained and safe in FAS family.
Astrology is not only my career, but also a part of my life. There is no accident in the universe. Under the guidance of the sky, I wait for the scroll of life to open in sequence.
Thank you Astrology, thank you FAS, thanks for everything you brought into my life.
Stella Bogliani ~ Certificate ~ Spring 2019
My first contact with astrology took place at the age of 19. A friend, student of astrology, brought me to a conference and introduced me to a completely new world. I began reading books and taught myself how to draw birth charts. I was fascinated by the planetary glyphs and by the original shape emerging from each chart. Years went by and I wondered about the possibility of studying within a classroom / group setting, and that’s when I found out about the Faculty and the Oxford Summer School. I enrolled in Module 3 at Summer School and later went on to take the certificate exam.
What I most love about my journey with astrology and the Faculty is precisely this combination of group and solo work, as was the case for the exam preparation during the course and afterwards on my own. One of the most memorable and precious moments was during the writing up of the exam, as I was literally perceiving my brain adjust in the search for new pathways to put together symbol and meaning, in ways that had not previously been done and thereby finding my own creative voice. I think, ultimately, this is one of the greatest gifts of astrology, a way to hone a very fine type of intuition that allows for unexpected elements to emerge.
I am very grateful for having found a way to develop and share my astrological intuition under the guidance of truly insightful and supportive tutors and in connection with a group of like-minded people who speak the same language and without which the astrological work wouldn’t be complete. I look forward to continuing the journey through the next stages, hoping to gain yet new insights and deepen my understanding of my inner world.
Stefani Gutwenger, D.F.Astrol.S. ~ Spring 2019
Ever since my teenage years, I have been fascinated by the art of astrology. Back then, I calculated and drew my birth chart manually with the ephemerides and tried to interpret it with the few available astrology books from my local library in my small hometown in South Tyrol (Italy).
After working for a few years in the city of London, in 2006 I decided to follow my passion and study astrology. I loved the Wednesday evenings where I escaped the rational world of banking and dived into the vivid and rich universe of astrology. Looking at the transits retrospectively, I noticed that Jupiter was conjunct my natal Uranus in the 3rd house opposing Mercury in the 9th. Furthermore, transiting Neptune squared my natal Mercury / Uranus opposition. I attended the first six modules in the London classes and thoroughly enjoyed the excellent teaching methods and the lively discussions amongst the students with their very diverse backgrounds and stories to share.
Once my first daughter was born, we decided to move to Vienna, I continued parts of my studies as a distant student. Studying by myself and working on all the exercises was a different but very instructive experience. The personal feedback of the distance tutor for each exercise was very helpful.
I found it difficult to make time for astrology in my busy life as a working mum. One evening I asked my husband’s advice on whether I should sign up for the intermediate exam as I was not sure I would have the time and energy. In exactly that instant the light bulb went off. I took this as a clear Yes from Uranus in addition to my husband’s support.
I attended Module 9 in Oxford at summer school. The direct and practical support of two tutors and the exchange with the colleagues was a very valuable and encouraging piece for training as a professional astrologer.
12 years after signing up for Module 1, Jupiter came back to my natal Uranus / Mercury opposition and I enrolled for the diploma exam knowing it would be a major challenge. Now, I am super happy that I passed the exam. This achievement gave me the courage to start working as a professional astrologer. At this point I would like to thank all my tutors – particularly my first tutor Kim Farley – who supported and encouraged me on my astrological journey so far.
I am glad that summer school in Oxford offers us the possibility to connect with liked-minded people from all over the world and learn more about this fascinating art. It is a place of wisdom where I feel very happy, enthusiastic and connected to something greater.
Astrology has strongly influenced my way of viewing the world and people around me. I very much believe that astrology can contribute to more tolerance, openness and free us from limiting expectations. I hope that the acceptance of astrology in our society will increase and more people benefit from its wisdom and wealth of knowledge.