Astrologer in Training – My Teachers

By Cindy Fadoir that our journey through the twelve zodiac signs is complete, I have turned my attention to learning, exploring and practicing reading natal charts, starting with my own. With this in mind, I attended a weekend workshop in New York City titled “Reading Relationships”, a weekend workshop from Access Astrology featuring three astrology professionals Heather Roan Robbins, Anne Ortelee, and Mark Wolz. Not only was I instructed on reading natal charts but also I learned the keys to relationship comparisons and compatibility (well, still learning). I’m also attending an online class with one of my favorite young astrologers, Christopher Witecki. Christopher has a fresh, unique view of how to use astrological information and shares with his audience in a very entertaining way.

I first became aware of Heather Roan Robbins through the We’Moon Datebook ( an “earth-spirited astrological moon calendar”, a “collection of women’s creative work”. There are many women astrologers contributing to We’Moon but I enjoyed Heather’s writings the most. Her beautifully written weekly blog “Starcodes” and annual overviews have helped me better understand the planets and how their aspects influence us all. “Starcodes” is available through We’Moon website, her Facebook page, as well as through her own website Heather currently hails from Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The other two astrologers that make up Access Astrology were somewhat new to me. They both reside in New York City, New York and are quite knowledgeable. Anne Ortelee writes a weekly weather column and various radio shows and loves Tarot and Palmistry as well. Find out more at and her Facebook page is a great source of timely planetary aspect guidance. Mark Wolz is a yoga teacher as well as an astrologer integrating body and mind and cycles of change. He astrological understanding is inspired by Tarot teachings and Hermetic laws. He first became interested in Astrology while studying for his BS in Psychology at Michigan State University. His website is

These three astrologers, making up Access Astrology, also collaborate together in a weekly podcast, online radio show on Blog Talk Radio on Wednesday evenings at 10:00 pm CDT (11:00 pm EDT). During this half hour show, the three combine their talents giving an overview of the week’s “astro-weather” and offering mini readings to those who call in.

While researching this article, I found that each of these three astrologers were also “Facebook friends” of Christopher Witecki, who is another of my favorite astrologers and teachers, who lives in Costa Mesa, California.  Christopher is a very high-energy Taurus who has been broadcasting on since 2006. His videos are also found on His daily video called “Namaste, Today” (along with the day and date) includes important astrological information and direction for the day and the Zodiac Weather for each of the signs. Christopher calls himself the Sensei to Sirius*Joy and I find him ‘siriusly’ entertaining and delightful. I am currently involved in a training course, “Sirius*Joy Camp”, taught by Christopher, to learn his unique approach to astrology counseling and understanding with emphasis on the degrees of planetary placement. He is also beta-testing a personal texting advice service called “Sensei to Sirius*Joy” which provides inspirational guidance, based on your birthdate, time of day and place of birth information, texted directly to your phone throughout the day. I have been a part of the Beta program for a few months now and find this service encouraging, motivating and quite valuable.

Other astrologers I follow for daily and weekly astrological explanations are Stiorn ‘Storm’ R. Castavani, who writes the “Your Daily Dose” astrology blogs on his website  and Chani Nichols, who writes a blog and weekly horoscopes on her website Storm’s website has a great Astrology 101 section answering many basic questions and Chani often offers tele-classes relating to current astrological events.

As you can see, I believe in obtaining various astrologers views before making up own mind about how to use the information offered by each for my own life. This is also how I write my Astrologer in Training articles for Star Nations Magazine ( and, of course, for the Higher Self Bookstore monthly newsletter, by researching various astrology authors* and then restating the knowledge in a way I can remember and you may more easily understand. We are all at choice, even with the stars and planets. Astrological counsel is only advice, guidance and maybe even caution flags, but we are still the ones to choose what to do with that advice, whether to take or not and how to implement. So even when you read my articles, I don’t expect you to take everything I say as gospel, just my own understanding being shared with you. Mediate on the teaching and guidance and find what rings true for you.

Before I close, I’d like to give thanks to another great teacher of mine, Denise Iwaniw (, co-founder of Star Nations Magazine, whom I first met while she taught an “Art of Being a Seer” course at Higher Self Bookstore, Traverse City, Michigan. She is not an astrologer but she is a visionary who reminded me to look to the Star Beings for wisdom, believe in myself and share what I know. Her sage advice has assisted me through many troubled and doubting times. I am grateful for having found her bright Star.

Next month, I will attempt to share my knowledge of relationships, the good, the bad and the beautiful. Until then, may the stars enlighten you and the moon guide you closer to your dreams.


*Astrology Authors – for the basics:

Judy Hall (The Astrology Bible, 2005)

Joann Hampar (astrology for beginners, 2007)

Myrna Lofthus (A Spiritual Approach to Astrology,1935)

Trish MacGregor (The Everything Astrology Book, 1999)

Julia and Derek Parker (Parker’s Astrology, 1991)

Linda Goodman (Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs, 1968)

Linda Goodman (Linda Goodman’s Love Signs, 1978)

Dennis Oakland (Your Planetary Personality, 1992)

Marion D. March and Joan McEvers (The Only Way to Learn Astrology, Volume 1, 1976)

Sylvia Browne (Astrology though a Psychic’s Eyes, 2000)

Heather Roan Robbins (We’ Moon Datebooks, 2014, 2015)

Jim Maynard (Jim Maynard’s Astrologer’s Datebook, 2014, 2015)




The Circle of Life Norma Zelenko

“In peace and joy I now depart…for death is but a slumber” from Martin Luther’s writings (1525)

From the Beatles, co-opting a poem written by Thomas Dekker in the 17th century, “Once there was a way to get back home, Please pretty darling, do not cry and I will sing you a lullaby” to Bon Jovi: ” Until I’m 6 feet under, Baby I don’t need a bed, Gonna live while I’m alive . . . I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”

Death is a topic which envelopes us in this culture from the moment of conception to that very last breath, but we so rarely talk about it, until circumstances demand the conversation. Somehow it’s easy to get poetic and talk about winter being the graceful and necessary death of the plants, since we so clearly picture the spring flowers and the juicy joy of our home-grown tomatoes. It’s true, the season of slumber is now giving way to the awakening of the Mother and the Light is back and we soon celebrate in our churches or covens or secret gardens; The Resurrection. Whether it’s the resurrection of the seed, or Osiris or Jesus – the list does go on – it is the endless cycle of death and re-birth. We begin again to begin.

And looking at the Death card in the Tarot at this time of year, as it’s not about physical death, but about change. Change can be just as scary to some as physical death, but this card speaks of the opportunities we still have, in this lifetime, for new self-awareness, to take back our power, and to honor this lifetime by savoring each day with all our senses. And Death is the card of Scorpio, so we have the Phoenix rising from the ashes and we can soar beyond our perceived limitations. It can also signify simply the ending of one situation and the beginning of another, but it is indicative of some kind of re-birth. You may have been hung out to dry, but now we have the chance to change and move on. Moving on here and now.

Still and all, we return to where we started, that very last breath. And the many ways we experience the death of a loved one; the unspeakable mystery of discerning why the tiny soul of a baby would choose to emerge and then suddenly go back “home” – a life lesson which can sometimes never be understood, only accepted. Or how we sit with the dying and then hold the hands of our deceased loved one and whisper again how much we love them. Or sometimes we breathe a sigh of relief that this person who was never there for us in life, is now literally gone from our sight and good riddance. It’s so personal. And the grieving is just as personal for the loss of a beloved animal companion. The list of experiences is endless, and it reminds me of our limited time to bloom and grow and make things beautiful within us and around us. So, the “death or rest” of winter has now become the return of the spring, and we are still here. Now what?

For me, I think it’s time to break ground again. To remember, in peace & joy, I am staying on the planet for a while. So might as well get out of bed and start digging again. Whether we resonate with the sacred circle of Native American culture or Celtic tradition, or we’ve just celebrated the festival of Holi in India or Easter or Passover; we have indeed lived through the Spring Equinox, and celebrated the egg and now we prepare for the dance to come at Beltane. We are alive.

And by the way, Thomas Dekker, the 16th/17th century guy, also wrote a poem which starts,” O, the month of May, the merry month of May, So frolic, so gay, and so green, so green, so green . . .

May we all go in peace, with those who remain, and those who have departed, and begin again to rejoice at the promises of Spring. And we’ll see you around the Maypole next month!