China 2017

The Faculty Goes to China…

Drawing Down the Heavens:
Creativity and Craft in Astrological Practice

Temple, Beijing

Beijing, China:
Friday 20-Sunday 22 October &
Friday 27-Sunday 29 October 2017

A workshop organised and hosted by the Academy of Astrology

Tutors: Carole Taylor and Cat Cox

The Faculty has been invited to teach a workshop in Beijing at the successful and now well-established Academy of Astrology, co-founded by Rodolphe Chang and Jupiter Lai. This is an exciting venture for us and we are looking forward very much to this collaboration with the vibrant community of the AOA in China.

Overview of the Workshop

Astrology is an ancient divine art which weaves together creative imagination and technical craft to bring the world alive with meaning. The astrologer works with charts which represent the heavens and their symbols which connect us to the gods, to explore and make sense of the mythic themes and patterns in the individual life and in the world around us.

The art of astrology requires the use of both imagination and technical skill, for symbols can only be fully understood through the imagination and this is how we make a deep connection to the symbols and to the chart before us. And as a craft we apply our method and technical knowledge to build the container within which the chart and astrology itself can come alive.

The workshop will take place over two consecutive weekends.

Stargazer, British Library Harley 334 f.95v

The first weekend weaves together the key threads of chart work. We will explore various factors in the natal chart, and in particular those things which are the most challenging, such as the angles as axes of incarnation, the inner marriage of the Sun and Moon, chart imbalances, and difficult aspects and aspect patterns, with a focus on thinking creatively around these. We will use a system of working which allows us to engage creatively but systematically, working to find the inner themes and narratives and the deeper levels of meaning.

Our second weekend explores transits, seeing them as catalysts for the unfolding development of the individual, as we integrate them into the natal chart. From a strong technical foundation, we will build up our understanding of the natal chart as a reflection of the life as a work in progress, with the individual called to live out the unique pattern inherited at birth.

Our work will be practical and thorough, but rooted always in the idea of the planets as symbols of living energies, so that we honour and bring together both these aspects of our craft. We will use case study charts to practice the skills, but there will also be time to work on the participants’ own charts during the workshop.


Course Content

Weekend 1

Dragon, Beijing

This weekend begins by exploring how we approach the chart as an encounter with the cosmos. We think about the rituals and ways of working that create a container for working with the chart, drawing on the alchemical idea of the alembic as the vessel for a magical process of transformation and the temenos as a sacred place where an encounter with the divine can take place. Symbols are the gateways into the imaginal realm through which we meet the archetypes and planetary deities, so within this philosophical and practical enquiry we will consider the nature of symbols and symbolic perception, exploring what the symbols are and how we access their meaning.

Next, we will begin to work with the chart by exploring its various features to build up the layers of meaning. We begin by exploring the four angles and the notion of embodiment and the soul’s incarnation. Next steps take us into the heart of the chart via the Sun and Moon, looking at the relationship between them as the core of the alchemical work of uniting opposites within ourselves. Then we move into the rest of the chart as we explore aspects and aspect patterns paying particular attention to the more challenging patterns and how to interpret them. We will then integrate the components and threads, laying out a method for finding the main themes within a chart which incorporates both a logical way of working and the development of our unique astrological imagination. This vital process of synthesis is the core to finding meaning. At the end of this first section, we will then work with case studies and with participants’ charts to practice and embed the process.

Red lanterns

Weekend 2

In the second weekend, we will focus on transits as we explore how a chart unfolds and develops over time. We begin with a philosophical approach as we reflect on our personal view of fate and consider the ethics of forecasting. We then ground these ideas in practice as we work with transits, looking at how to integrate these with the chart. Finally, we gather together the whole process of exploring a chart and its forecasting on the final day of the weekend.

Throughout these weekends, the emphasis will be on developing practical chart skills with the ability to convey the material to another person in a way which is empowering but also honours the unique pattern of the chart. There will be a small amount of experiential work woven into some of the sessions, and overall the chance to work with your own chart as part of the learning process.

What You Will Need

In order to benefit from the workshop, you should have some prior knowledge of astrology and of working with charts – a basic working knowledge of transits would also be useful but is not essential. You will need to bring an ephemeris with you – this should be for the years 2000-2050.

If you have any questions about this, or about any other aspect of the workshop, please feel free to contact either Cat at or Carole at

Gaining Faculty Course Credits for the Workshop

For anyone who might wish to work towards the Faculty’s prestigious Certificate and Diploma awards, this workshop attracts 40 credits (360 are required for the final Diploma qualification). You will automatically be awarded the credits for Modules 1 and 2 of our regular programme of courses. Thus, you would be able to move straight into Module 3, a module which you can take either by Distance Learning, at our classes in London or at our annual Summer School in Oxford.

If you have already taken some of our modules, contact the tutors, Cat and Carole, to discuss your credit options for the workshop. For more information about the Faculty’s courses, including the syllabus, examinations and qualification process, go to the ‘Courses’ pages on this website.

The Tutors

Cat Cox

Cat Cox MA DFAstrolS is the President of the Faculty of Astrological Studies. She has served on the Faculty Council since 2008 and also holds the role of Head Tutor. She teaches at the annual Oxford Summer School, in London Classes and by Distance Learning. Cat began studying astrology over 30 years ago and was awarded the Faculty Diploma in 1996. She has studied horary astrology with John Frawley and was awarded the MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology from Bath Spa University in 2007. She has an interest in the philosophical perspectives which inform contemporary astrology and is also interested in the experiential dimension of astrological practice and how we work practically with symbols and myth. She has a practice in London and loves teaching workshops and groups.


Carole Taylor

Carole Taylor BA, MA, FFAstrolS is a professional astrologer living in the UK. She runs an astrological practice from her home in West Sussex and gives lectures in the UK and abroad. She has co-taught workshops for ‘Heaven & Earth Workshops’ in Bali and Goa, including in October 2016 alongside Brian Clark. In addition to her own private work, Carole has worked for the Faculty of Astrological Studies for over 16 years. A former President of the Faculty, she is currently its Director of Studies, responsible for the syllabus and course material. She also oversees the Oxford Summer School programme and teaches on the Faculty’s Foundation and Diploma courses. In recognition of her work at the Faculty, she was awarded a Faculty Fellowship in 2012. She contributed a chapter to the Faculty’s recent book, Journey Through Astrology.

Carole has a long-standing interest in myth, symbol, divination and the Western esoteric tradition. She recently gained an MA (with distinction) in Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred from Canterbury Christ Church University, studying under Geoffrey Cornelius and Angela Voss.

The Academy of Astrology

Zodiac, British Library

The Academy of Astrology (AOA) was founded by Jupiter Lai and Rod Chang in 2008. The institute is dedicated to astrology teaching and promotion in the Chinese community. In 2016, Mayumi Sakuya joined AOA and established AOA Japan. We hold courses in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Japan and online, at the same time inviting globally famous astrologers to Asia for seminars and courses.

For More Information

Contact Brian Fung at the Academy of Astrology at for more information and to book your place.



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