Ingrid's Quest, Part IV

Pivotal Moments

This post is in some ways a continuation of the one about cancer. I have entitled it "The Odyssey" which, in this instance, has a double meaning. It is so symbolic that I will tell a short story about the very early days when I was still in the process of becoming a medical astrologer.

I had been through some terrible times and was trying desperately to purify my mind. Though I was relying predominantly on Buddhist practices, a rather wide mixture of Theravada and Tibetan techniques that seemed suitable at the time, whenever I sat down to meditate, I heard the words "Eridani, Eridani, Eridani." Eventually, I just had to go into the space that would clarify the reason for hearing this. There is, of course, a constellation called Eridanus. It is a very long constellation and is sometimes regarded as the Celestial River. It stretches from Rigel in Orion to Tucana or Pisces. There are many mythological associations with Eridanus: feel free to draw your own interpretations; but, truth be told, I created a non-profit organization for astrological research called Eridani Foundation, and for a while, I wrote under the name of Eridani.

The odyssey about which I want to write now is not about Argonauts but rather patients. There are two more cases that I wish to sketch for you. Both of these have been mentioned in past posts, but the account in the previous post had not been discussed in print until a couple of days ago.

There is no history of cancer in my family, but a family friend. Karl Axel de Flon was diagnosed with runaway cancer. He was a specialist in Pacific art and was helping Hawaiians to prepare an exhibit for the World's Fair. Of course, the Hawaiians would never have allowed the ancient statues to leave the islands so they had to make replicas. To make the tiki gods look old, he was beating them with chains. The Hawaiians told him not to do this. In a matter of days, he developed cancer. He was told he would only last a week or ten days. He flew back to Sweden and died in even fewer days than had been predicted. I was in my late teens at the time and remember being shocked both by the horror of beating the statues as well as his totally unexpected death. Many years later, I spoke with his widow and perhaps got another view of his life, but at the time, I believed that cancer could be caused by a curse or by violating some traditions that are regarded as sacrosanct.

The second case made an equally indelible impression on me. In a kind of a way, he was actually my first cancer patient, but as you will see, he was never actually my patient. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer and told he would die in three months. If they removed his spleen, he would probably live six months but spend the last three months in a wheelchair. He left the hospital and went to Mexico for laetrile treatment. On his re-entry into the U.S., he was arrested and put in federal prison for daring to bring apricot kernels across the border. They offered him a chance out of prison if he would provide information leading to the arrest of others using laetrile to beat cancer. He declined the offer and faced his issues head on, with just a tiny bit of moral support and encouragement from his girlfriend as well as me. There was an incredible flow of energy on a very inspired level; and when he was finally released, he was completely well despite having undergone absolutely no treatment and, of course, despite not being permitted use of the laetrile upon which he thought his life depended. It might also be pointed out that he recovered while eating prison food, i.e., there was nothing about his experience that suggested that what has worked for others was essential for him. He is today alive and well and tells me he has never looked back.

With these three cases, the one I discussed a few days ago, and these two, you can see why I was not looking for a physical cure for cancer. The tales people were telling along with my really personal insights suggested that we did not actually need to rely on anything else for treatment and that astrology alone might suffice. Perhaps there is a better way to word this. At that time, I had no aspirations of becoming an herbalist or doctor since I believed that astrology was important enough in its own right that no further specialized training was required, at least not for me. I simply wanted to be a truly competent astrologer; and I felt I would be working mainly with what we might call subtle therapies.

This was not, however, the whole picture because I was highly clairvoyant at the time and had many other abilities that were not understood by others, including those who were often traveling great distances to confer with me.

There was a theory that the manual task of using mathematics to calculate the house cusps and positions of the planets was a kind of attunement process. If one relied on others to do the math, the alignment between one's right brain and the client would not occur. Since many people hate mathematics, there were those who were quick to dismiss this theory, but even after computers obviated the need to perform these tasks oneself, I have felt that one still needs to synthesize the information so some study of the positions, note making, and so forth helps to form an alignment. In short, the horoscope can be a psychometric device, but if it is to be so, the person using it must be able to function with tools that are purely subjective.

These tools are forged as a result of spiritual practice. There are types of meditation that aid alignment as well as forms of meditation that allow the seeker to track down missing pieces of information. Obviously the reason for the third level of the course is to share some of these techniques.

Keep in mind that what an astrologer traditionally did was to take a birth chart and map out an entire life. In fact, in those days, I often did what we might call a life chart. I was helping couples to plan conceptions. Sometimes this involved overcoming stubborn sterility, and sometimes it was more of a psychic or psychological endeavor. I enjoyed the work with fertility because there were no serious diseases and therefore the entire atmosphere surrounding the effort was lighter than with cancer or paralysis or other issues people were facing.

In any event, to keep on track here, the babies would be born and, of course, they had to have horoscopes. I would write out points for the parents to keep in mind, such as times to introduce new ideas or expose the children to interesting hobbies. I would include warnings about times to avoid danger or arguments as well as when to use encouragement and when to be more strict. These were done more or less in chapters with seven years in each chapter. The point is simply that when we have an accurate time of birth, we know from birth when someone will fall in love, when he or she will leave home for the first time, and so on and so forth. It is all very clear. However, it is not clear to someone whose life is unfolding that certain events were knowable in advance of when they occurred. Thus, the astrologer is faced with a phenomenon that is actually very strange. One could say that until an event happens or perhaps until an understanding of that event matures, words just bounce off walls. They are meaningless.

Therefore, the art of astrology involves management of the information and how to impart it to clients in a manner that will make sense to them at the point they are. This has to be done without blocking the future, i.e., we want to prepare clients to unfold more of their true selves in the future, but we do not want to do this in a way that leaves them disoriented in the here and now.

In short, while it is generally possible to find words parents will understand, we have to think about what patients will hear when they are in the middle of life and death challenges.

When developing my very first web site,, I wrote that were I ever the patient, I would do nothing. I would sit under a tree and contemplate and reflect. It is inevitable that if we are still, we will process what has been more or less deferred for future time and effort. Ultimately, therefore, this kind of "doing nothing" is actually proactive, not "nothing" but something quite valuable, perhaps also precious and life saving.


So, what I would like to say at this point in order to put more pieces together is that I was often in the position of "knowing" on some intangible level but not having the practical skills necessary for communicating what I knew. I had incredible understanding on a level that was usually considered absolutely irrelevant to the patients. Let's see if I can make some sense of this. There is another case, very unusual case and quite famous person so I will be cautious.

She had had over 100 operations for cancer, and she had had a number of remissions. These occurred when she was traveling. I had the idea that travel causes Jupiter to act on another level so there is less pressure on the tumor to grow. When she was slipping very fast, friends asked me to see what I could do. It was Christmas Eve. I was in a cabin in the mountains in Hawaii and she was in a hospital on the Mainland, parents on one side of the bed and doctor on the other. I heard him say that she would not live until morning. Her mother said, "You mean she will die on Christmas?" I looked around the room and saw her soul off in a corner, actually on a chair in the corner. I asked the soul what it was doing over there. The soul said, "She doesn't work with me." I offered to help if permitted. The soul gave me a list of issues to bring up and agreed to go back in the body for six months if I would talk to the patient. The soul then went to her head and entered the body. It flowed like a beautiful white river from her head to her toes and then back to the head again. She recovered instantly, and I heard the doctor say, "There has been a miracle, the chemotherapy is working."

In those days, I was working by post, not e-mail or skype. As tactfully as I could, I relayed what the soul asked me to communicate to her conscious mind, but she was furious. I felt totally responsible for the task I had agreed to undertake so I tried one more time to explain what the soul had told me. She was completely dismissive, perhaps even hostile, so I reluctantly gave up further attempts to help. Exactly six months to the day, she relapsed. Cancer broke out everywhere and she succumbed to the disease.

I am not going to sit here and say that I was right and she was wrong. I am merely going to say that I was functioning in a way that others could not understand so some of what I felt was important was rebuffed.

The World of Astrology in the 1970s

Now, let's look at the astrological world in general at that time. It was not yet in a state of recovery. It had been underground for a long time and was more or less in disarray. There were a few shining lights and depending on one's perspective of the whole, there were three particularly important persons with vastly different areas of specialization.

There is room for a lot of difference of opinion, but Ivy Jacobson restored techniques. For all intents and purposes, astrologers had lost their tools. To make this clear, we could take some very popular books, such as those by Grant Lewi, and see that he was putting pieces together in an interesting way, but he used very few techniques to do so. In the course itself, the first lesson actually, I will give my opinions about why astrology went underground, but for now, let's just say that a big library on astrology was still something like an archaeological dig in which some pieces had been found and others were missing.

Instead of resurrecting medical astrology, emphasis was on using astrology in a psychological manner. Dane Rudhyar is generally credited with having contributed the most here, but several astrologers were on board a train that was picking up more and more passengers at each station. Many of those interested in astropsychology were trying to get astrology recognized as type of psychology. They were seeking to offer courses in astrology within the psychology department of some relatively new alternative universities.

The third area of profound neglect was spiritual astrology. There was a prophecy surrounding the Secret Doctrine that a future body of work would provide the psychological keys to the Secret Doctrine. This was generally regarded to have been A Treatise on Cosmic Fire. Later, there would be someone else who would provide the astrological key. Many people were familiar with that prophecy and many hoped to be chosen for that task. The purpose of astrology is to help people not only to understand themselves but also their relationship to their souls. I do not think this task has been completed, but I believe that Isabel Hickey held the torch when there was more darkness than light. There are huge and complicated stories to tell, and I will try to tell them as we move closer to the start of the course, but, with Pisces rising, it almost goes without saying that there will probably be some stories that I will continue to withhold because my life has already been complicated enough.






Poulsbo, Washington

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