I last interviewed astrologer Jason Flemming of Sagittarian Mind about two and a half years ago. Recently, he and I had the opportunity to catch up and the result was this conversation. Jason is a consulting astrologer, writer, and teacher. His work has appeared in Hexagon Astrology Magazine, and he writes deep analyses of planet/sign combinations on his blog. In this conversation, we talk about his work as a teacher, what happens when Sagittarius and Cancer have to work together, and how neglected planets (try to) get your attention.
KH: I'm going to pick up with where we left off on Twitter: What have you been up to astro-wise since our last interview?
JF: Hey!! It was really good to see you. Actually, I've been doing a lot of teaching. I offer beginner's and intermediate classes in Astrology. I'm finding that I get just as much joy out of teaching classes as I do working one on one with clients.
Also, I had a few articles published in the spring and summer of 2016, in Hexagon Astrology Magazine. One of the articles was about the Birth Chart of hip hop, which I really enjoyed writing.
So, in general, writing, teaching and counseling seem to be the areas that I gravitate towards where the use of Astrology is concerned.
KH: That's fantastic! It must feel nice to be able to reach more people at once. What's one takeaway you hope all of your students will leave your classes with?
JF: Everyone takes the classes for different reasons. Some people want to learn more about basic astrology for self-development, and some because they eventually would like to counsel others using it. What I hope they all take away from it is to learn to honor and value the person in relation to the birth chart.
I hope they learn that the person and the chart are two separate entities and it's important that you don't lose the actual living, breathing and decision making individual in a morass of symbols. Our chart is a map, or a guide but it's up to us to follow our instructions on order to utilize the contents of the chart most effectively.
So, it becomes not a matter of reducing or limiting people because of what's in the wheel, but rather understanding how the unique arrangement can be used holistically to better our lives and those around us.
KH: That's powerful stuff. The last couple of years have been a wakeup call--for me, at least--to the horrors of depersonalizing people. It's encouraging to hear you're taking that on.
Are there misunderstandings about astrology that you find yourself facing a lot? If so, do you have a particular pet peeve?
JF: LOL!! What a question.....
I think the most common misunderstanding that I face is that a particular placement or aspect "makes" you act a certain way, as if those two planets or planet + sign is literally pulling your strings and you have no control. In essence, this sounds rather silly, but you may be surprised how many people approach Astrology through that lens, and ultimately, I think it does more harm than good and we could get so much more out of Astrology if we expanded our paradigm and elevated our discourse.
If I were to list something as a pet peeve, it would probably be the way in which people seem to ignore their complexity and develop complacency with just being seen one-dimensionally. We have so much that we can use and take advantage of and for us to reduce ourselves to a mere zodiac sign is unfortunate.
KH: Is there a time when you've particularly confronted the complexity in your own chart?
JF: Yes! Absolutely. Even though they're in two different signs, I have a Sun-Moon opposition. My Sun is at almost 29 Sagittarius, while, I have a 0 degree Cancer Moon; Not to mention, both the Sun & Moon Square Pluto. So, the themes that have played out for me deal with the freedom to explore all facets of life along with intensified needs of emotional security.
Over the span of my life, I've had to help these two needs "reconcile" or make friends because at times, adventure and discovery weren't really "talking" to one another. As I matured and realized that "travel" takes many different forms, it's helped me immensely to realize that mental and emotional exploration also suit these needs, not just globetrotting.
KH: I feel you! I have Pluto in Scorpio square my moon in Aquarius and AC in Leo. If my Saturn wasn't in Scorpio, too, weighing the whole thing down, I think I might be writing glittery rock opera tragedies with lots of electronic instruments instead of sci-fi and fantasy about sad people having intensely transformative experiences.
But that is such a powerful combination, Cancer and Sagittarius. It makes me think of the submarine in Steven Forrest's description of Cancer in The Inner Sky. (I think he calls it a bathysphere?) My Cancer is empty, and you have much more Sagittarius in your chart than me, so tell me if this resonates with you: By itself, it seems to me like Sagittarius can be tempted to get absorbed in exploring Big Ideas and lose track of where they are personally. I imagine Cancer and Sagittarius on this submarine trip together, and they're going down and down, exploring the depths of the mind. Sagittarius is taking pictures and collecting ideas and totally focused on what is visible on the other side of the windshield, and Cancer is like, "Excuse me, where am I in all of this? I don't know how I feel about that squiggly thing over there. Is that glowing?" Does that sound like your experience of those archetypes at all?
JF: That sounds accurate!! Also, I've had to make sure that Cancer doesn't get lost in all of that Sagittarius. So, it's like "hey.... don't forget about me over here..."
KH: Does your moon have a way of waking you up when you forget? My moon has the tendency to get lost, too. Being in Aquarius, I think my moon sometimes just throws up its hands and is like, "I don't even know." Occasionally, though, I'll find myself giving this passionate speech about some Issue In The World like I'm about to start the revolution, and then I have a sinking feeling that says, "Oh, crap. This is actually about me," and I have to stop and be like, "Okay, what is it moon?"
JF: Ha!! I think the way my moon lets me know that it's not getting it's "just due" or fully being acknowledged is through my relationships. If I feel like there's an excess of emotional energy built up, that means that I've been neglecting some facet of lunar experience that I need to pay more attention to . LOL!
KH: I can see that! I always forget about the relationships side of Cancer. With Cancer in the 12th, my view of that archetype is definitely skewed toward me and my hermit (crab) hole.
You had the greatest thread on Twitter recently about Saturn. You were talking about the lessons you learned while Saturn was in Sagittarius about self-acceptance, self-improvement, and maturity.
Is your Saturn school still in session since Saturn moved into Capricorn, or is the old man giving you a chance to absorb what you've learned?
JF: I have Jupiter conjunct my North Node in Capricorn at 15 degrees, so I'd say school is definitely still in session!! Pluto crossed it earlier and now Saturn is soon to follow, so there's definitely a lot of learning taking place over here.
KH: Anything you're ready to share?
JF: I think I'm becoming more comfortable stepping into the teacher/mentor role. I identify with that strongly and now the question for me is: how can I best assist others in locating and utilizing the gifts and talents they have? After all, education is simply helping someone bring out what's already there. I'm learning the value of asking questions and not having to have a final answer, which always keeps the great conversation going.