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Graduates & Success Stories

Karla Miranović ~ Certificate ~ Autumn 2023

My interest in astrology began in my high school years, once I realized the complexity and depth of this fascinating subject, coming to understand that there is so much more to astrology than the Sun signs that the general public tends to identify astrology with.
In those early years, I developed my knowledge through reading astrology books, magazines, as well as researching the available online sources, blogs and astrology-related YouTube channels.
Throughout my formal education, in school and university, my approach to learning has always been very serious and thorough. Some years after my interest in astrology started developing, I realized that I would like to apply that same approach to my astrological studies as well, which is why I started researching options for getting a formal astrological education.
The Faculty of Astrological Studies (FAS) immediately stood out to me, for several important reasons. Its longstanding tradition, good reputation, excellent tutors, and a clear, well-structured curriculum, all led me to choose FAS.


What I especially appreciate about the Faculty is the possibility to study its programme from anywhere in the world. As someone who comes from Montenegro, I benefit from the possibility to study online. I have had very positive experiences with both “distance learning via e-mail” as well as live “online classes” that the faculty offers. While the first significantly contributed to the development of my skills in written astrological analysis, the second brought me the exciting opportunity of dynamic interaction with tutors and fellow students, which in itself constitutes an important learning experience, in addition to the studied material.
I am beyond happy to have completed my Certificate Exam. It represents a substantial piece of work and a very important milestone in my astrological journey.
Completing the exam requires effort and disciple, but also allows a special opportunity to engage with astrology creatively and, for many of us, produce our first in-depth natal chart report.
Being among the younger recipients of the Certificate adds another layer of significance to this achievement. In many ways, the development of my astrological knowledge coincides with the period of active personal development and growth, making this process all the more special.
Having had a very positive experience of the Faculty thus far, it is my goal to continue with my studies. I am currently studying the seventh of the nine modules and look forward to all that is to come, meeting new tutors and fellow students, deepening my knowledge of this wonderful subject and dedicatedly working towards the Faculty Diploma.

Wendy Blume ~ D.F.Astrol.S. ~ Autumn 2023

Astrology has been a constant in my life since the 1980s when I first eyed off my chart, courtesy of my dad’s astrologer secretary. I poured over it, trying to better understand my teenage self. I started into formal study in 2006, but two kids and a career in publishing waylaid me until the Faculty’s course leapt out as a viable and thorough distance learning option that I could fit between work and family.


I’ve loved immersing myself in this course. Over six years I’ve had many eureka moments along with more despairing times when I felt overwhelmed by all that I didn’t know. But the structured course and tutor feedback kept me going. I realise now that you never learn it all and that’s part of the joy – each year of working in astrology builds more personal and professional wisdom.

The course is rigorous and the final exam is a huge amount of work that I initially baulked at. But I decided to commit and I’m so glad I did – the satisfaction of having succeeded is immense. The diploma training has equipped me to be an effective, professional astrologer, which I now do full-time – consulting with clients on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Australia.

Alison Boulton ~ D.F.Astrol.S. ~ Autumn 2023

I’ve been immersed in Astrology since I was about 8 years old when my mother said that I was a typical Pisces. There were a couple of astrology books on our bookshelf which I instantly read – and then and reread, adding books from the local library when I got a bit older. 
In my early twenties I encountered Liz Greene at a Religion versus Astrology ‘debate’ in London and booked myself in for a reading. It was through Dr Greene that I discovered the FAS and signed up for the Foundation course. In those days we had to sit the exams in a hall and on the first sitting I failed the calculation section! That year it was a New Zealand birth place which elicited a generalised groan when everyone turned over their paper. Fortunately I got through the following year and passed the Certificate course in 1987.


At that point, I left London and decided not to continue by correspondence. I kept reading, however, devouring Liz Greene’s books and attending the occasional CPA seminar in Regents Park.

Fast forward many years and Covid caused the FAS classes to go online – just as Uranus was transiting my tenth house Moon. Time to reconnect with the Faculty. I excitedly picked up where I left off and in 2022 took the intermediate exam finally completing the Diploma in 2023, three Jupiter cycles after I passed the Certificate. Needless to say, I’m absolutely delighted and I’m busy building my consultancy practice.


Mark Brafield ~ Certificate ~ Autumn 2023

As a child I always had a curiosity about astrology, which, like many of my generation, was only confirmed when I came across a copy of Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs. I became fascinated by the uncanny accuracy of her character studies when I read my friends’ Sun signs, expressed in her unique and exuberant style. Her book still earns its place on my shelf beside my ephemeris and a battery of books that take themselves far more seriously.

I thought no more deeply about it, although it meant that I was open-minded when a bohemian girlfriend of mine bought me a professional reading of my horoscope for my thirtieth birthday. I went along with no more than a relaxed curiosity, but for the next two hours I was literally dumbfounded when the astrologer told me things about me that no-one else knew, then things about me that I did not know myself, and finally things about me that no-one else could possibly have known.


That experience stayed with me, although I had no plans to take it further until a few years ago when I was able to leave a demanding full-time career as a solicitor to work part-time. Amongst other things this enabled me to devote more time to my second career as a professional musician, but having always enjoyed studying I was also looking for, perhaps, a Masters or some other qualification to expand my horizons.

A casual internet search one day threw up a number of astrological courses and bells started to ring. The idea of studying astrology gained traction in my mind, although there were a number of considerations I needed to address. One of these was whether astrology was incompatible with a religious faith which has always been important to me. I was reflecting on this one day as I happened to be walking around York Minster and found myself standing in front of an astrological clock. There was my answer; for me, the two are entirely compatible aspects of a unified cosmology and I took that as a clear sign that the path was now open to me. Astrology also drew together other strands which have been woven through my life; a degree in mediaeval literature, an immersion in Jungian thought; and that love of music.

Having looked at a number of courses I chose the Faculty because of its academic rigour, and this was certainly reflected in the Certificate Exam. It is an intensive test which is not to be taken lightly. I took the examination directly after completing the third module, and on balance I am glad I did so. With the benefit of reflection I can see that if I had taken the examination later in my studies I would probably have produced a more mature and nuanced reading of the chart, but the exam forced me to thoroughly revise everything we had learned in the first three modules, and that in itself was an excellent platform from which to continue. I particularly appreciated drawing the chart by hand. Some might consider this an outdated skill but I felt myself powerfully drawn into the world of the symbols and the magical ritual of the chart. I was, naturally, delighted to pass, and the feedback of the examiners was, as always with the Faculty, encouraging and supportive whilst offering rich food for thought as I continue and deepen in my understanding of this entrancing world.


Sue Brayne ~ D.F.Astrol.S ~ Autumn 2023

My journey into studying astrology and the occult started in the mid-eighties after I was involved in a life-threatening accident. I am still astonished that I didn’t die. Obviously, the Universe had other plans for me because the experience catapulted me onto a profound healing journey, which started with going to Taos, New Mexico, for a week-long Warrior’s Wisdom workshop with Stuart Wilde (at the time, Stuart was one of the world leaders of the New Age Movement). The workshop was designed specifically to confront fear, involving toe-curling tests such as firewalking, high ropes challenges, and a vision quest. It was, quite simply, life changing.

I returned to London and signed up to study mediumship and psychic development at the College of Psychic Studies. Soon, I was giving tarot card readings, first to friends, and then to paying clients. This became my main source of income, which involved working at psychic fayres, private parties, and society balls at places like the Dorchester Hotel. I also became the resident tarot reader at a New Age shop in Chiswick. Around this time, I was commissioned by mainstream publishers to write non-fiction books on women’s magic. My research deepened my growing interest in astrology, and I included information in the books about how to use astrological signs and symbols in ritual work.  In short, I was immersed in the world of divination and magical practices, and I subsidised a six-month trip round Mexico and Guatemala by giving tarot card readings to fellow travellers.

When I returned from my travels, I moved to Dorset to work at a spiritual centre, where I was fortunate to meet and learn from some of the world’s leading spiritual teachers. They helped me to strengthen my healing journey, and I met and spent time with several highly respected astrologers who inspired me to learn more about myself through astrology.

Life changed again when I decided to do an MA in the Rhetoric and Rituals of Death. This meant embracing the rigours of academic study and becoming neuropsychiatrist Dr Peter Fenwick’s honorary researcher into one of the first studies of end-of-life experiences. In turn the study encouraged me to train and work as a psychotherapist, specialising in trauma, death, and grief. Even though I parked my fascination for the occult during this time, it never left me. My bookshelf swelled with astrological and magical texts, and I would often attend astrology workshops with Aquarius Severn in Cheltenham.

Life continued to flow and ebb until Covid hit. And, I had a pressing realisation that I wanted to consolidate all my knowledge about astrology. I found the Faculty of Astrological Studies online, and, as they say, the rest is history. At first, I thought attaining the certificate was enough. But I now firmly believe that when astrology calls you, there’s no escape. So, four years later of intense learning, and at the grand age of seventy, I am the proud holder of the Diploma with a busy practise specialising in esoteric astrology. Not just that, I have the good fortune to interview master astrologers for the Astrological Journal on a regular basis. When I reflect on this, I realise that training as an astrologer in my latter years has pulled all the threads of my life together, which, for me, is truly magical.

I would say to anyone wanting to learn astrology, ‘Go For It!’ It’s damned hard work, and the learning curve is endless, but astrology takes you deep into yourself and will open doors you never knew existed. The Faculty of Astrology Studies is a great place to start this journey because it will give you an excellent grounding. The exams are tough – there’s no doubt about that – but it’s a great feeling of accomplishment when you pass, and the tutors couldn’t be more caring or supportive.

Rositsa Ivanova ~ Certificate ~ Spring 2023

My first encounter with an astrologer was during a Uranus transit over my 12th house Cancer Sun and, as happens with most people visiting an astrologer for the first time, it was a jaw-dropping experience. There wasn’t any particular reason for that visit. As a person who’s been constantly looking for symbols and omens, I wanted a validation that I was on the right path and had processed all significant events in my life in the most meaningful way. But what I heard from that astrologer was just unbelievable. How could she have possibly known that I had this inborn sense of rhythm and dancing was my way of both self-expression and self-transcendence.

Of course, this was the least important thing I heard at that session, but I was blown away how she nailed such a tiny personal detail. She was able to articulate my most inward experiences, motives, and aspirations and to put my life story in an archetypal perspective. So, there I was, 2 years later at my Uranus opposition, becoming a student of that astrologer, who somebody had called the Bulgarian Liz Greene.

A few years later, I studied psychology at that time, and I can’t remember how exactly, but I came across the FAS webpage and saw an announcement about a Summer School in Oxford. I felt such a strong urge to attend that event, without having the slightest idea where I was going, and I took part in it 3 years in a row before I enrolled as a Faculty’s student. I can hardly find the right words to describe my first experience of participating in the Summer School in Oxford – the unique blending of the most amazing tutors, presenting mind-boggling topics in front of most engaged audience at such loaded with knowledge and ancient wisdom venue – everything was so fascinating and unreal that when I heard Carole Taylor reciting at the Gala dinner my most favorite poem, Wild geese by Mary Oliver, I knew I belonged to that space. Later, already a Faculty’s student in online classes, I was privileged to be taught by other wonderful Faculty tutors like Rosemary and Toby at Foundation course, and Deborah, Frances and Cat at Diploma I course. All of them very skilfully and patiently have guided us in our attempts to articulate chart peculiarities in an archetypal language and have helped us understand Faculty’s strict rules on chart interpretation in terms of using definite and overly specific expressions. I’ve now completed six modules and I plan to continue my education and enroll on the Advanced Exam one day. I know it won’t be easy, as I already know how difficult the Certificate Exam was, but there is so much more to learn along the way that it’s worth it.

Alison Finlay, D.F.Astrol.S. ~ Spring 2023

My astrology journey first began because of my Mum who started going to local astrology classes in Glasgow where I still live. This was back in the day when charts were still being drawn up by hand. I was intrigued by what she was studying and wanted to know more. Working full time did not allow me to go to a daytime class. However, I approached her astrology teacher to ask if she would run an evening class if I could find some interested people to make up the numbers. Somehow that never got off the ground. Although, I did manage to have my chart read and that inspired me to learn more.

Looking around for alternatives, I discovered that my home town of Glasgow ran and still runs an enthusiastic astrology group. I went to all the meetings, not understanding much, but just hoped that by being amongst others interested in astrology that I’d somehow soak it all up.

Then, in 2005, I managed to persuade the group secretary to start classes and that really kickstarted my more formal astrological studies. All this happened, by no coincidence, at a critical point in my life and understanding more about my own chart was hugely empowering. I studied with other reputable teachers, went to workshops by astrologers visiting Glasgow, subscribed to the TMA as well as gradually building my own library of books.

Some ten years later, approaching a significant birthday, I decided to study with the Faculty of Astrological Studies. I knew of the Faculty, by reputation, from my teachers here locally. By this time, I was self-employed and the distance learning route seemed the best solution for me.

I was exited to attend Summer School in Oxford in 2016 where meeting the tutors and students alike was fabulous in the most incredible of settings. I continued the distance learning modules through to Module 6 and had decided thereafter I’d travel to London for the next three modules. Just at that time, the pandemic hit and I was fortunate to be able to do the online classes with other students from around the world. Being in a group with others who were passionate about learning astrology was so captivating.

I’ve learnt so much from my studies with the Faculty. I feel really fortunate to have been able to learn in this way, as I feel it has helped me to honour the craft of the astrologer and to appreciate the importance of continuing the tradition today. The professionalism and dedication of the tutors is empowering and has enabled me to feel more confident about the rigorous training I have received. The discipline of writing the module exercises and exams, culminating with the Diploma in June 2023, has honed my skills and has contributed to me thinking about the language and words I use. As a result, I am more self aware of my role as a practising astrologer, particularly as I enjoy one-to-one client work.

Phillipe Sibaud, D.F.Astrol.S. ~ Spring 2023

Me, an astrologer? I never thought I would utter these words one day. But as has become abundantly clear with the passing years, life works in mysterious ways. I suppose I had always been marginally interested in the subject but never more than as a quirky interest. I remember buying a book on Pisces symbolism (my Sun sign) one full Saturn return ago – not a very good one either. And Liz Greene… yes, some of Liz Greene’s books had landed on my lap all these years ago and for the first time I had felt that I had stumbled on ‘intelligent’ astrology, for want of a better word.

But it took me another twenty years to cross paths with it again. This time (the year was 2012) it was by reading Cosmos and Psyche by Richard Tarnas. I was blown away, absolutely taken over and for the first time I seriously considered studying the subject. But really, study astrology? Could I do it? Astrologers still conveyed an aura of mystery, an ability to magically attune to the cosmos. They were a tribe of spiritual wanderers, the depositors of an art inherited from the long forgotten past of humanity – an art, besides, that in no way could be practiced by everyone, let alone by me!

I remember sitting in the cafe near my home, one fine Saturday morning. On the walls were hanging 40 or 50 frames of different subjects, totally unrelated with one another. There I was, sipping my coffee, absent-mindedly pondering whether I should study astrology, when, raising my gaze, my eyes fell on a frame I had never noticed before. It was a black drawing of the universe, with a few stars scattered across the canvas, and in bold characters were written the words : “The future is in the stars”. It took me a few minutes to realise. There was my answer! My future was in the stars!

The rest, as they say, is history. I immediately registered with the Faculty. Why the Faculty? I do not know the answer to that. I think I liked the website, the air of professionalism, the pedigree of the patrons, the history….who knows. All I can say is that it was the perfect place for me. Starting as I was with very little knowledge, I really appreciated its thorough and methodical approach. The building blocks were patiently put in place so that we might move forward with confidence. Yes it is hard work but it is also incredibly rewarding. I had the good fortune of attending the London classes and over the years this meant a deepening connection with my fellow students, from whom I learnt so much. And the tutors of course, all first class, all passionate, all dedicated. I cannot recommend it enough.

So blessings for everyone at the Faculty for creating this gem of a place, a spiritually uplifting container, a sacred grove where members of the tribe may gather and swap stories under the stars!

Carrie Bramen ~ Certificate ~ Spring 2023

Like many in my generation, I first discovered astrology through Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs when I was a young teen. The well-thumbed book sat on a shelf in my mother’s extensive paperback library alongside other bestsellers of the era such as Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Fear of Flying. In the gray world of adolescent angst, Goodman’s book gave me a language to understand myself and to navigate the perplexing social world around me. I even read her cringe-worthy poetry with the same care that others devote to Shakespeare’s sonnets. When I look back at it now, her book gave me an early narrative of self-acceptance: that it was perfectly fine to be bossy, impatient, and opinionated. Perhaps this is why when I later discovered that we shared a birthday, I wasn’t at all surprised. READ MORE

I had been wanting to develop my astrological skills for many years, so I decided to enroll in the Faculty of Astrological Studies online courses during the height of the pandemic when we were isolated in our homes. The weekly live online classes with students from all over the world provided a much-needed sense of community, and it also made learning more dynamic than listening to pre-recorded lectures. The Faculty also offers a well-structured course of study through a series of carefully designed modules. As a cultural historian currently researching the history of nineteenth-century astrology, I wanted to be able to calculate birth charts by hand using an ephemeris. This is one of the many important skills I learned during the Foundation course.

I am about to begin Module 4 towards the Diploma Level One, and I look forward to learning about transits, progressions, and other tools of timing from the Faculty’s engaging and knowledgeable teachers.

Rendy Fudoh ~ Certificate ~ Spring 2023

At first, I learned astrology through some literature and tutorials before learning at the Faculty. Even though it was ‘back to basics’ at the beginning, the course material gave me a deeper insight into natal astrology – a great way to read and refresh the basics, always finding some new insights along with our own experience in reading astrology charts.

By learning astrology with the Faculty, I also learned a different approach to astrology compared to my own study. The structured curriculum also helped me to understand which part we need to know first in the natal chart, for making a learning process more approachable to astrology students, which also inspires me when I’m teaching astrology in the future.

In the near future, while I’m still enrolled in the Faculty, I’ll also learn astrology with several approaches and branches, including mundane, election, horary, and any other astrology field that interests me. It’s a lifetime learning after all.

Mercedes Simón, D.F.Astrol.S. ~ Autumn 2022

Since my childhood, I have been fascinated by the spiritual realms and how the cosmos relates to humanity. In my youth, I used to read the horoscope columns, which sparked in me the need to understand more about the stars. Driven by this curiosity, I bought all the astrology books that I could find in a very small esoteric shop in Madrid. However, dedicating my life to astrology was not something I imagined possible when, at the age of eighteen, I decided to pursue a career in architecture. Still, my interest in astrology never stopped growing, so I continued to learn about it through the information that I could find in books and on the internet. READ MORE

In 2009, a few years after graduating as an architect, profound events happened in my life that led me to change my career path and pursue what I finally came to realise was the truest, deepest calling of my soul: the knowledge of spirituality and astrology. I moved to London and enrolled in the Faculty in 2012, amazed by the fact that a school of a such high standard of astrological tuition could exist.

I describe my journey through the Faculty as one of self-discovery, companionship and inner growth, through gradually deepening my knowledge of astrology. Throughout the 9 Modules towards gaining the Diploma, I was honoured to encounter wonderful, supportive and wise tutors, who were wholeheartedly dedicated to the teaching of this art: Penny de Abreu, Polly Wallace, Peta High, Sue Farebrother, Carole Taylor, Darby Costello, Kim Farley and Cat Cox. My deep gratitude goes towards them.

With every Module that I studied at the Faculty, I was amazed by the thoroughness of the material imparted, pertaining to both the theory and practice of Astrology, which included multiple astrological techniques as well as a systematic method of unveiling the symbolism of a natal chart.

As my learning at the Faculty progressed, it became noticeable that this interpretation method truly meant a quantum leap from the extended practice of reading the planetary positions of a chart in a fragmentary way. As opposed to this, through the Faculty’s method, all the chart symbols are integrated and grouped together in “chart themes”, as similar threads appear in different parts of the chart when it is studied in-depth. Also, when applying the various astrological techniques, layers of meaning are added to the chart interpretation, from which profound symbolism emerges. The method and techniques learnt at the Faculty are, in my experience, invaluable tools for practising Astrology.

Other outstanding skills taught at Faculty are the ability to translate the symbolism of a chart into a “common language” that the consultant can understand; the perception of non-verbal communication during a consultation; or the non-judgemental approach to a reading. All these reflect the ethical integrity taught at the Faculty, which highlights the importance of the consultant’s perception and feelings and of creating a meaningful human experience during the consultation.

In my journey of study through the Faculty, I have also encountered moments of hard work and difficulty, as nothing can be truly learned without a certain degree of struggle. Yet, the time, dedication and hard work needed to develop the astrological skills taught at the Faculty were for me counterbalanced by the feeling of expansion in my heart with every bit of knowledge gained. This is something that cannot ever be taken away from my soul and will continue to grow through the never-ending knowledge contained in the art-practice of Astrology.

Irene Stojko ~ Certificate ~ Autumn 2022

I have always been fascinated by our relationship with the cosmos, but it wasn’t until I discovered The Faculty that Astrology really came alive for me.  The quality of the modules and tutoring provides me with a strong astrological foundation to expand my studies, as I consider astrology to be an ongoing learning experience.  There is always more to discover.  It has also been a joy to participate in Summer School with the tutors and my fellow students in a warm and welcoming environment, attending great lectures and events.  I am grateful to have met so many wonderful people and to have found an astrological home with FAS.

Lynn Legein ~ Certificate ~ Autumn 2022

Born November 5, 1988. Having Sun conjunct Pluto in Scorpio always made me think that I came into this life with ‘a needing to dig deeper’ attitude – stronger than anything else. Recalling my childhood, I was curious, ‘full of energy’ , never afraid to explore but at the same time deeply sensitive to my surroundings. Growing up I was pulled into the images and stories I found in the books my father used to own – books about history, religion, philosophy, metaphysics and the occult. READ MORE

When Covid-19 hit, being forced into the worldwide lockdown. For me it was the universe giving me the much needed time and peace to get really clear about my future. From that moment I realized and decided I wanted to study Astrology, but in a serious manner. I was drawn to the Faculty because it oozed professionalism. Participating in the online classes got the fire in my soul ignited again. And studying with the Faculty is like coming home. Being able to share thoughts with all these lovely people from around the world, nurtured a sense of belonging that I did not felt in a very long time… I am very grateful to participate and learn within this community. The Faculty has a wide range of integer teachers that draw upon their experience.

Astrology makes a human being humble in the first place, learning that we are a part of a living, sacred Universe. For me, we are all connected in some way, originally being ‘star dust’. I believe the planets do affect all things here on earth. And looking at a birth-chart is something very magical to me. I learned to hand draw one like the ancients did. Being pulled into a micro-space where one can connect with gods and energies present at that particular moment of time. I ALWAYS FEEL AT AWE.

Learning this Sacred Language, inspired my to my deepest core. And it gives me a great sense of meaning. There is so much to discover, and the beauty of this study is ever expansive – something we cultivate with time and patience. I would love to deepen my knowledge and understanding, so that one day, I can guide people to shed light on their own unique constellation which is filled with unlimited potential.

Gabriella McDaniel ~ Certificate ~ Autumn 2022

I took my first plunge into astrology when I was living in Portland, Oregon, and working at an alternative health clinic. I was introduced to Five Elements Chinese Astrology and enjoyed it so much that I made a big spreadsheet for everyone in the office and we had a fun luncheon looking at the results. When I moved on from that job, they gifted me a natal chart reading and that is when I really got into Western Astrology. I had multiple readings over the next few years and enjoyed the self-reflection process and the confirmation that the readings provided. READ MORE

I asked my astrologer about quality astrology schools and she directed me to the Faculty. But it wasn’t until the pandemic hit and things seemed so bleak that I actually took the leap into formal astrology studies. I did my first three modules via distance learning during lockdown and while going through my first Saturn Return followed by transiting Pluto conjunct my natal Saturn. It was a time of many changes in my life including moving countries and I am very thankful to have had these classes as an anchor during so much personal change and worldwide chaos.

I took Module 4 in the online format and really enjoyed getting to connect with other astrology students and form study groups to help us continue to hone our skills. I am currently working towards the Diploma Level I and enjoying deepening my knowledge and gaining practice with the skills I already have.

In the past I have used some basic astrology with student groups and women’s leadership clubs. I love getting to hear people reflect about their own habits and see how these impact group dynamics. I look forward to exploring more group dynamics via astrology and seeing how my studies continue to open up new connections for me.

Stefano Stracuzzi, D.F.Astrol.S. ~ Autumn 2022

Astrology changes one’s perception of the world. Once you embark on the astrological journey, the sky becomes an essential part of life, and its unrelenting cycles start living symbolically within the inner landscape. In this idea of cosmological symbiosis, which draws many of us to great institutions such as the Faculty, I find the best way to describe the ideological calling of the stars. READ MORE

As Bernadette Brady explained in one of her lectures for the MA Cultural Astronomy and Astrology at the University of Wales Trinity St. David, we often engage with the sky either in awe or wonder. It seems fascinating to me that the astrologer treads along the mysterious boundary which separates these two experiences, one being contemplative, the other investigative.

I started my journey with the Faculty in 2017, at a time in which I really wanted to bring some structure into my cosmic research. I took that decision after attending Summer School in Oxford, which really turned out to be a watershed moment. At that event I found myself in front of the immensity of philosophical nuances and academic richness which exist beyond the mere symbolism and technicalities we use in our practice. It became clear that I needed to start exploring the depths of our complex relationship with the cosmos with more dedication.

The Faculty’s program is extremely well structured, and it gives the student an opportunity to utilize astrology in a fair, productive and realistic way. I really appreciate the school’s ability to assist us in developing a proper “astrological language”, which eventually allows us to assist both clients and future students in a constructive fashion. Thanks to the tutors’ dedication and ethical approach, the student can truly develop a refined understanding of cosmic synchronicity.

It needs to be said that every committed astrological journey is complex and profound, because it truly exposes the sensibilities of the Soul. The Faculty, with its rigour and optimistic emphasis on personal choice, teaches us how to step beyond fatalism, encouraging us to see the future as a pathway to new opportunities.

Catherine Larimer ~ Certificate ~ Autumn 2022

My first real encounter with astrology took place after a particularly challenging Saturn return. At that time, a professional astrologer helped me process those challenges and understand how my childhood had influenced many life decisions and patterns. Looking back, I see that our sessions helped me move forward with a greater sense of my own identity and calling. It was truly an important turning point in my life. READ MORE

Since then, I’ve been fascinated with astrology. However, a busy career and family life left little time to give it the depth of study I felt was necessary. Then, about 3 years ago, I had time to devote to more serious exploration and began taking workshops taught by various astrological programs. Although they were certainly informative, I felt that much was missing. Specifically, a comprehensive, ‘bottom-up’ approach that could ground the concepts and symbolism in a way that was easy to absorb.

After researching several schools, I begin the Foundation Program at the Faculty of Astrological Studies (FAS) as an online student. I’m now a year and a half into the Program and currently participating in Module 5. It’s been a fascinating journey of learning and self-discovery made even more enjoyable with an international group of fellow students. We share ideas, offer support, and trade comments that have deepened our learning experience. Currently, I’ve passed the Foundation exam and am now working towards the Diploma.

Astrology is a complex, multi-layered system of symbolism that can be overwhelming. To facilitate learning, the Faculty offers a comprehensive, high-quality approach with materials that are well written and organized. All readings and lectures are structured in a way that’s logical and easy to process. Every teacher and tutor I’ve worked with has been knowledgeable, patient, accessible, and interested in making sure that the concepts are understood. I feel so thankful to Carole Taylor, Lisa Stockley, and Toby Aldren for the commitment they’ve shown to me and my fellow classmates. Although those were my teachers, I’ve heard from other FAS students that the entire Faculty has the same exceptional standard of teaching and student engagement.

The decision to study astrology is like embarking on an amazing journey that can take you as far, as deep, and as wide as your own curiousity. The Faculty offers a robust and outstanding program that will support you along the way.

Judith Jibb, D.F.Astrol.S. ~ Autumn 2022

I first became enchanted with Astrology courtesy of the sun sign column glyphs in small-town 1960s Canada print media. Curiosity about the magical symbols of the emergence of a New Age (for me, at least) grew into a daily ritual involving learning Astrology for life. First, following the ephemeris motion of the Moon through the Zodiac signs nourished an early deep drive to find meaning. Later, comparing celestial cycles to life events and directions fed a profound hands-on quest for understanding, netting ample epiphanies and synchronicities. Much later, it still does. READ MORE

The Faculty of Astrological Studies (FAS) came to my radar after meeting Diploma holder Shelagh Kendal (1924-2005) in the Yukon in the 1970s. Taking Shelagh’s suggestion, I began the happy study in my remote home. I tackled the Faculty’s ground-breaking distance learning program, juggling working for the government and raising three children with no mod cons at minus 40. I achieved the Certificate and began the Diploma. Then I was sidelined.

Fast-forward past relocations, retirement, and 8 grandchildren, I embarked on a related learning opportunity at the University of Wales MA Cultural Astronomy and Astrology (MACAA) Program. A promotional conference in Zurich in 2011 presented lectures and meetings with Nick Campion, Liz Greene, Bernadette Brady and other contemporary Astrology leaders. I enrolled and completed the journey to the award of MACAA in 2016 partly from research on Sacred Geography in northeastern Canada. Then, the Faculty’s Sacred Geography module lured me back; I reapplied for Diploma studies at FAS. The syllabus had changed a bit over the decades, but the work was again joyful.

The teacher-student relationships stand out in Faculty studies. Tutor Alan Annand’s airmail letter exchanges critiqued my character analysis of Carl Jung in the ‘70s. More recently, Tutors Stevi Gaydon, Mónica Teixeira and Glòria Roca engaged me in powerful written word interactions. The exchanges can get deeply personal if you choose to go that way. Self-analysis exercises were motivational and valuable. The application of advanced techniques was stunning. There is no end to the learning of this language.

Astrology is the ultimate power tool (language) for understanding and finding focus. In addition to its primary use to understand individual cycles, Astrology works with Tarot and other methods to enhance validity or confirmation when helping others. My interests continue to focus on researching sacred geography and the dynamics of group relationships, such as in families and music collaborations. Also, research on the history of Astrology in Canada via the newsy publications of the Fraternity for Canadian Astrologers 1979-1989 is an ongoing project.

FAS studies benefited in many ways, but in particular, by building adherence to a particular successful methodology. The Faculty formula has survived with cultural and technological adaptations since 1948. The proof is in the pudding!

Stacey Plank ~ Certificate ~ Autumn 2022

Gaining my Certificate has been a rewarding process. The Faculty has supported and provided me with the tools and building blocks to work towards some concrete goals. The tutors are excellent and offer their personal expertise and experience, which contributes to bringing to life this complex field of study. Participating in classes has anchored me to the work in a way I could not have achieved on my own.

Katrin Tchana ~ Certificate ~ Autumn 2022

Around my first Saturn Return my stepmother died unexpectedly. Going through her belongings I found a pack of Tarot cards, which I decided to keep. Over the next years I learned the language of Tarot, and did readings for friends and at festivals and country fairs, completely wearing out that first deck of cards. I had friends who practiced astrology and encouraged me to learn it as well, but at the time it seemed too complicated and not worth the effort. Then in 2019, shortly before my second Saturn Return began, I was suddenly possessed by the sky gods. READ MORE

I felt compelled to learn astrology, and started exploring all the trash and treasure that’s available on the internet. One night I was listening to Chris Brennan’s Astrology Podcast and heard Carole Taylor speaking about the Faculty of Astrological Studies; I immediately knew I would study there. So far, I have completed Module Six, and this year I will take the intermediate exam. I plan to complete the diploma, although getting to that point is far more difficult than I imagined.

Professionally, I am a licensed Social Worker with a busy psychotherapy practice. Studying at the Faculty has profoundly changed how I think about my work. Astrological knowledge offers a structure and perspective that allows me to support my patients so much more effectively. In my opinion, contemporary psychology lacks a meaningful theory of adult development, and astrology fills that gap. The major midlife transits provide a series of opportunities to recalibrate and redirect our life’s path, and astrologically sensitive psychotherapy can be a powerful tool to achieve this. I feel incredibly grateful to all the teachers I’ve encountered during my studies at FAS, who have helped me deepen my ability to work with my patients in such a magical way. I am also grateful to my online classmates who have kept me company through the journey and helped me survive the pandemic with my sanity at least partially intact!

Eric Fischmann, D.F.Astrol.S. ~ Spring 2022

I feel fortunate to have come across Astrology at 21 when I was handed my chart for the very first time. I was drawn to it out of confusion, which is said to be the mother of knowledge. The first thing Astrology helped me do was draw oxygen and breathe amidst a muddled world lost in translation. For the next seven years I tried navigating my way on my own, through countless Astrology books that would help me decipher the mystery I was to myself that surrounded me, with a sense that I still had not landed anywhere near firm ground. READ MORE

Then Saturn returned at 29, and a new spark was ignited, as Astrology knocked on my door once more in the person of an Astrologer, who read my chart in the most astounding way. This definitely rooted my interest and I carried on studying even more avidly with my newly found friend. Very much like bees fertilising flowers, Astrology was 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 the Faculty of Astrological Studies that was going to lay groundwork anew. And yet again here was another beginning. The beginning is a very delicate time. I soon discovered the Faculty’s approach to our art and understood what strong foundations were needed if I wanted to buttress my grasp and bring forth any sense of mastery to my skills. Throughout all nine modules, I was made aware of my potentials, my limitations, my transgressions and my illusions, of what I needed to let go of if I wanted to enjoy a sense of renewal and growth. Astrology has its grammatical rules, its syntax, and its broad lexical fields that translate the language of our surrounding world, yet simultaneously mark the way to true knowledge, discovering what is yet to be known and not what we already think we know. My studies with FAS gave birth through an academic framework to dreams of understanding and a new state of contemplation.

As Carole Taylor once pointed out at Summer School, 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 the Faculty has helped me consider Astrology as a relationship in its own terms, 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, all of them. Their true benevolence, their insight and wise recommendations, have helped me draw out the confidence I needed to delineate proper boundaries and express values now ripe to unfold.

Viktoria Mirilo ~ Certificate ~ Spring 2022

I started to learn astrology after I met my husband, whose “second mother” told him to send me to her friend, who was an astrologer. After reading my chart, this lady invited me to participate in her course, where she taught astrology. She said I should work as an astrologer.

I enjoyed the lessons very much; the company was excellent, and I loved the conversations during and after the classes. Although, in those days, I didn’t put much effort into learning it.

Suddenly the lady died, and a year later, my daughter was born, so astrology disappeared a bit from my life.


I always wanted to study it, but life was too busy, and my calling was not strong enough.

Years later, my life circumstances changed, and after a couple of years, all of a sudden, I felt an urgent call to study astrology again. The feeling was so strong and urgent that I knew I must start studying astrology as soon as possible.
I put much effort into finding the right school – this is how I found the Faculty of Astrological Studies. I was part of the first online classes – a Fast Track group that, in those days, met twice a week.

I’ve just finished Module 6, and I can say that all the Faculty teachers are excellent. They are patient and create an encouraging atmosphere during the lessons. Whatever you say, they always find a way to respond to it most positively. Here you never feel weird yourself. They all have tremendous knowledge and experience that they want to share with love. They give you all the support you need for this journey.

I won’t say there are no other good astrological schools. Still, I feel that I made a good choice and would like to study here till I get my final diploma, and I’m sure I will be very proud of it as here, you have this helpful environment surrounding you, but you must work hard for it!

Kelvin Khemery ~ Certificate ~ Spring 2022

What started out as a coincidence became really something remarkable for me as I first enrolled in the programmes of the Faculty. I have been involved in metaphysical studies from a young age and I have been teaching for more than two decades in the fields of Divination and Energy work. Yet, just when I thought that I had studied enough, the astrology programme showed me another world beyond the stars. What surprised me was the depth and the broad coverage of the topic which I am not exposed to in Singapore.

As I delved into the first 3 modules of the programme – it was a self-study course and very informative – the tutor Mark was patient with me and my study pace. There was a lot of interesting information about manual chart drawing and calculations which the tutors taught well. However, the course helped me to achieve yet another level when I was able to attend it online. The live interactions between the tutors and students really made the modules easier to understand and it was a grace for students who did not have the chance to study it onsite because of the pandemic.

I enjoyed every lesson taught by my tutors even though we are of very different cultural backgrounds, and the explanations were very detailed to help us to unravel the full potential of the charts. The variety of tutors that the Faculty engages are all well trained and they offered detailed analysis of the techniques. I have already completed all of the modules of the Faculty, and I can only conclude that this course is indeed so profound as it has helped me to understand a deeper dynamic between the human consciousness and the celestial movements.

The work with the Faculty does not end with the modules but with the examinations which I am embarking on to complete the diploma. This offers a good opportunity to relearn and reintegrate what has been learnt, and also provides a personal challenge to push the limits that we confine ourselves within. I sincerely thank Cat, my tutor, and all the other teachers of the faculty for putting up such a beautiful course and I look forward to meeting them again in workshops or at the Summer School.

Irina Groven ~ Certificate ~ Spring 2022

The decision to study Astrology, and to do so with the Faculty’s guidance, became perhaps the most significant unfoldment of my lifelong path.

Quite unexpectedly, a whole new world was opened to me. I see Astrology as a magnificent field of knowledge that holds the keys to a multitude of realms that commonly lay under the radar of our consciousness in everyday life, and therefore realms we commonly are unaware of. Astrology can be seen as a hermetical art, the essence of which is the process of evolution of our own soul and personality. As offered insight into the depth of the psyche is so profound and invaluable, that it inevitably transforms and immeasurably matures, both one as human being and the way one sees the workings of the outer world. It adds a touch of magic as you start to realise the unity and interconnectedness of every dimension of our existence.


Embarking on the studies of astrology coincided with Uranus transiting directly over my Sun, even though a general interest in the subject has been ongoing for over 20 years. The first astrological book that I read was Liz Green’s Saturn, which was followed by a book on Neptune by the same author. These books fascinated me and compelled me into learning how to be capable of interpreting the meaning of the planets metaphorically and into becoming able to read my own chart.

After a thorough research of the various western astrological schools, I was convinced by the Faculty’s credentials in the form of their notable patrons and tutors and by the fact that they are the oldest western school on astrology.

Being a student of the faculty for the past 5 years, I can testify that this school provides a very sound level of education and that its standards of tuition are exceptionally high. It gives a particularly strong focus on ethics and responsibility, which is essential to the practicing astrologer.

I see each tutor of the Faculty as a precious gem, which emit their unique value of personal knowledge and insights and it is up to the student to participate creatively and consciously in the dynamic process of learning.

My main mistake was in underestimating the vast amount of information that astrology offers. To name but a few, I would like to mention mythology, philosophy, theology, psychology, and metaphysics. One cannot expect to rush through the studies, nor would one perhaps want to once initiation into this hermetical art takes place. It is best to prepare for an enjoyable, highly rewarding life-long journey that the field of Astrology is, with its explorations, amusements, intrigues and sometimes chills, when logic fails to explain how this art works.

Lorraine Worrall ~ Certificate ~ Spring 2022

My interest in astrology dates back to my late teens when I was inspired by my brother’s fascination with the interpretation of the natal chart and the inferred connections between the cosmos and our own inner world. The meaningful symbolism that the chart gives rise to has consistently enriched my view of life, functioning as a guide towards achieving what I can best become and helping me to get back on track when I have lost sight of myself on route.


My interest has never left me, but now after retiring from a career in Psychotherapy, I have embraced the opportunity through the Faculty to engage with the study of astrology. On recent completion of the Certificate Exam through distance learning, I am looking forward to continuing my studies through to Diploma level. I have consistently found the tutors to be knowledgeable and supportive with an emphasis on developing a psychologically minded approach to an archetypal understanding of the symbolism and cycles inherent in astrology.

Throughout my life, astrology has always brought another dimension to my life experiences, particularly during painful and challenging times, helping me to see crisis or conflict as an opportunity to let go of what is not working and to use these experiences as a means towards development and growth. There is something deeply meaningful and also comforting to me in this. Even amidst all the chaos of modern day life, a sense of purpose can be found, a point to it all and a unique map to find the way.

My own chart has a deeply Sagittarian and fourth house emphasis. With a drive to develop meaningful connections, I am most fulfilled by delving into what is on the inside, feeling most at home while engaged in study towards this. What better way to achieve that than through astrology.

Nicola Revolta ~ Certificate ~ Spring 2022

From the time I first became aware of astrology in my teens from my Mum’s copy of Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs, the subject has fascinated me. It’s always been a love of mine and has helped me to understand myself and my relationships and given me comfort, companionship, and meaning.

For me, astrology represents original and ageless wisdom, as well as being relevant now and tomorrow. It appeals to my intuitive and rational sides, and I have great respect for it. Looking at charts – the circles of life, and their possibilities and potentials is the most exciting aspect of astrology for me. 


Throughout my life I’ve dipped into and out of finding out more about this powerful, profound, complex, and mysterious way of thinking. Fast forward a few decades and the time is right to pick up my personal astrological journey again…

Learning with FAS is challenging, inspiring, stimulating and especially rewarding when I achieved my Certificate. I’ve experienced distance learning, online classes, workshops, and Summer School remotely, and found all to be of excellent quality, enjoyable and fulfilling. I’m now studying at Diploma Level and plan to take my studies as far as I can. From the strong and supportive team of tutors, to interacting with other students from around the world, being part of the FAS community is wonderful and I hope you consider joining us.

Wanchun Zhang ~ Certificate ~ Spring 2022

I found myself curious about Astrology when I was young. There was a day when I was reading some newspaper and suddenly an article about the twelve zodiac signs came into my view. After that I started to read some books about Chinese horoscopes and Western Astrology. The learning was on and off.

Just before my first Saturn return, I decided to explore a bit more about Astrology. This was the reason I chose the Faculty of Astrological Studies.

Now I have finished the foundation modules and have started the Diploma I modules. I feel lucky that I met my tutors, Carole Taylor and Lindsay Gladstone, in the London weekends Foundation classes. They were inspiring and willing to help students to understand the astrology materials and practising skills on the natal charts. The atmosphere of the class had been cheerful and exciting. The handouts and the lectures are structured and great for beginners. Then I chose Distance Learning via Email for my Diploma I modules during the Covid pandemic periods. It was convenient for someone who is not able to go to London classes and good for learning at one’s own pace. Mark Fountain, my current tutor, has been giving me valuable suggestions and great guidance. It is a great experience and training for self learning.

Studying with the Faculty is an entertaining experience and I would say the learning experience in the Faculty gives me different lenses of viewing the world in different ways. I feel grateful that I got a chance to study astrology at the Faculty of Astrological Studies.

Now I’ve got the Certificate for the Foundation modules and I’ve finished Modules 4 and 5. I am currently doing some readings about the Astrology subjects by myself and also looking forward to continuing studying with the Faculty in the future.

Rami Bushnaq ~ Certficate ~ Autumn 2021

My interest in studying astrology is recent. Though I’ve had my natal chart and transits read over the years, I didn’t have serious interest in pursuing it until I was introduced to Archetypal Astrology in 2018 at an event in San Francisco. A seed was planted. I recall leaving the event feeling inspired and with a strong desire to explore it further. I was in awe of astrology’s power and complexity, the beautiful way it describes with nuance and depth the complexity of being human and our connectedness to the cosmos.

In 2020 I embarked on distance-learning at the Faculty, enrolling in the Foundations course. The quality and rigor of education, the content of the material, and the support of the tutors has been outstanding. This has been and continues to be a rich learning experience, enabling me to explore my inner life and the many dynamics that have shaped who I am. It is a constant reminder that I am not separate; I’m a part of this universe.

Passing the Foundations exam and receiving the Certificate has been an achievement of which I am very proud and I am looking forward to continuing my studies towards the Diploma.

Zlatina Dimova ~ Certficate ~ Autumn 2021

I’ve been interested in Astrology since I was a child. Of course, I knew only my Sun sign – it’s Cancer. But every time when I got a magazine or a newspaper in my hands, first I opened to the last page to read about my zodiac sign, then I read what was written for my family’s sun signs. I used to love to listen the forecasting of the zodiac on TV too. Most people don’t believe in it, but I knew then that I was related with that magical energy.

My first real meeting with Astrology was when one of my best friends shared with me her experience. She told me that one girl made a natal chart reading for her which included forecasting. I was really impressed. I wanted to try, to go in that “deep ocean” of mysticism. When I had my first session with the girl, I couldn’t imagine how someone who didn’t know me actually knew me very well – maybe better than myself. She ignited my curiosity to explore myself through Astrology. I started to read more articles, to buy astrology books, and to listen to podcasts. Around my Saturn return, I started my journey of studying Astrology in Bulgaria. That was 2017. But when I finished those classes, I needed deeper knowledge.

Then I found The Faculty of Astrological Studies and since 2019, I’ve been studying in online classes. I am very satisfied with the education, sessions, classmates and my first tutors – Toby Aldren and Rosemary Smith. They gave me a good foundation of Astrology in English and different points of view. I am proud of myself that I passed Certificate exam last year.  Now I am at the end of Module 4 with another great tutor, Lisa Stockley, and very soon I’ll start Module 5. My other bestie followed my steps and now we study together.

I wish to get a Diploma from FAS in the near feature and to get a chance to practise as someone with D.F.Astrol.S. I am glad to develop my inner world, skills, intuition, and knowledge in the right place with the right people. Keep learning!

Carina Grama ~ Certificate ~ Autumn 2021

With four out of five personal planets in the element of water, experiencing and understanding life through the realm of emotions is central for me and gives me great joy. My Moon in Pisces animates me to dissolve boundaries and merge with ease on an emotional level with my clients when working as a clinical psychologist, or when interacting with friends and family, helping me to feel what the other person is feeling.

In 2019 I had some intense experiences which made me realise that some of the feelings I was experiencing were emotions of the collective, not only mine or of a close person. It felt at times like experiencing the emotions of a huge stream, being included in it and flowing with it.

Having realised on an experiential level that there are some forces which move large groups of people in a very similar manner at the same moment in time, I found myself driven to understand more about what moves us as a unit, how I fit into the web of the collective, and how our life stories are enmeshed one with another. At that time, I knew nothing about the energies and archetypes of the outer planets or in general about astrology. But I decided intuitively that astrology could be one possible explanation tool in my quest for answers. For astrology’s general premises state that the universe and our solar system have a certain order, that our internal psychic world matches external events and circumstances, and that there is a connection between these factors which could bring us understanding.

So, I enrolled for the online foundation classes at the Faculty of Astrological Studies, where I learned about the archetypes of the planets, the symbolism of the signs, the interplay of different planetary aspects, how to interpret a natal chart, and much more.

I’ve greatly appreciated the clear and well-structured teaching style of the Faculty, based on a humanistic world-view, with an open, non-dogmatic attitude towards students and clients. I had two truly wonderful and experienced teachers, Deborah Morgan and Stevi Gaydon, to whom I am very grateful for their guidance, knowledge, integrity and kindness! I really valued the cooperative learning style, encouraging each of us to participate in the learning process, to be deeply engaged, encouraging reflection and sharing, and creating a safe and supportive group atmosphere.

The study kept surprising me all the way; I did not expect to find so much richness and beauty in astrology. Everything that has a beginning on earth finds a correlate above, on the map of the sky: the birth of a person, organisation or event, such as the creation of a piece of art, getting married or starting a war.

I am still searching for answers to my questions, of course, but now I have an additional language with new concepts and symbols to assist me.

In the future, I want to deepen the knowledge I’ve acquired at the Faculty, by doing my own personal astrological research, for there is still so much to discover. Particularly astrological questions like: how much is fated and how much free will do we have, are near to my heart and occupy my mind. 🙂

Teri Nudelman ~ Certificate ~ Autumn 2021

I grew up in a household where astrology was part of our day to day life, thanks to my late mother. She was enthusiastic about astrology and in the old days of ‘no internet’, we had the books of very prominent astrologers at our home as good sources of information. At the age of 10-11, I already knew that around the time when I turned 35-36 years old, I would have my progressed Sun moving into Scorpio – in other words, the knowledge around me was not limited to Sun sign astrology. Even though I got a degree in Economics and gained a master certificate in Banking and Entrepreneurship, astrology has always been an important part of my life, too.

However, 2018 has been the turning point when I decided to study astrology, since I was feeling that it was time to expand my knowledge and get a different perspective about this fascinating discipline for it to be my profession as well.

After doing a lot of research about where I might study, I decided that the Faculty of Astrological Studies is the best place for me thanks to its excellent reputation, and in April 2019, I initiated my studies.

I completed the Foundation Course as a distant learning student and I was so lucky to have Mónica (Teixeira) as my tutor during that period. In December 2021, I was awarded the certificate by the Faculty, which filled me with joy.

Currently, I am towards the end of Module 6 and I am planning to continue my studies, until I get my Diploma.

I find charts magical and like jigsaw puzzles of which pieces need to be put together and click with each other in a meaningful way, so that we can have the big picture. And every time I am given the opportunity to investigate someone’s chart, I get happy like a child since it may give the chance to give some guidance via archetypal symbols.

In short, astrology is a complete joy for me.

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 ~ Spring 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!

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.

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