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My name is Michael Erlewine and I will be your guide through this course on astrology.

As for my qualifications, I have been studying astrology for over 40 years, and during that time have worked as a teacher, rogrammer, author and counselor. !ou can read about my background elsewhere in this course, but right now let"s get down to it. Astrology is ancient, robably as old as when eo le first measured time. It is resent in some form in all countries and cultures, and always has been. In fact, the ma#ority of the world"s o ulation uses astrology at the day$to$day level, and not #ust for entertainment, as we do here in the %est. &efore we begin our study of astrology, it might be im ortant to clear away two o ular misconce tions about astrology. 'ne o ular misconce tion about astrology is that the lanets out there in the heavens cause events to ha en down here on the earth. (rofessional astrologers who I have known )and I have known many* do not hold with these theories of +celestial influence,, that lanets somehow make things ha en to us. Instead, modern astrologers see the heavens and the earth as one whole entity, inter enetrating, and sharing the same s ace and time, which in fact is the case. -hey do not see the various lanetary configurations as causing events to ha en here on earth, but rather see the earth )itself a lanet* and all the other lanets as interacting in the very same s ace, and as sharing whatever events are occurring. In other words, whatever events taking lace out there in the heavens are also ha ening down here on earth. .either is the cause of the other/ both are ha ening simultaneously. -he lanetary configurations are #ust grand signatures )like writing in the sky*, signs of events ha ening right here in our own lives. &oth are the roduct of the same moment, one acted out in the heavens above, the other here on the Earth below. In other words, there is only one grand + lay, or moment. -he great drama enacted in the sky above is also acted out )in e0act detail* here on Earth, and in the same moment. Another way to say this is that the Earth is art of the cosmos and shares in that cosmic moment. Astrologers tend to feel that all ma#or cosmic events )ecli ses, etc.* are interactive/ they re resent an activity also taking lace within our self and consciousness. Another misconce tion about astrology is that to be an astrologer, you have to somehow +believe, in astrology. Astrology is not a question of belief, any more than you believe in sychology. It is not a question of belief, but one of use. I often find astrology useful in my life as a way of understanding who I am and what my life is about, lain and sim le. I don"t +believe, in astrology. I use it when I find it useful, and leave it alone when I don"t 1#ust like any other tool. In summary, astrology is a study of heavenly cycles and cosmic events as they are reflected in our earthly environment and vice versa1a vast cosmic clock. Astrologers find the cosmic atterns revealed in the rhythmic motions of the lanets useful in shedding light on the seemingly helter$skelter quality of everyday life. Astrologers do study the skywriting in the heavens, but only to better live life here on Earth.