I was first introduced to the work of Adam Sommer through his Exploring Astrology podcast when I was beginning to explore astrology seriously a few years ago. There is hardly a book or an astrologer I haven’t been introduced to through Adam’s show. I can’t recommend listening through the archives enough.
Adam Sommer is an astrologer who never planned on being one. Plants had all of his attention before Planets did: ethnobotany, plant spirit medicine, strains of Shamanism, and even a training in Medical Qi Gong. After an encounter with Richard Tarnas’ Cosmos and Psyche, he chose to go pro and became certified by Maurice Fernandez. Now he’s a full time astrologer, writing and podcasting, giving readings and teaching to open minds all across the planet. It’s surreal. It’s unreal. It’s exactly the real thing he always dreamed of doing.
In this conversation, we talk about Adam’s origins, Cosmos and Psyche, his research on eclipses and the nodes of the Moon, and karma.
Kristy: So, how did you get into astrology? You've mentioned on the show that you were initially interested in it as a diagnostic tool, right?
Adam: It was Bob Dylan. In my late teens, when I was first getting into songwriting, I was also systemically listening to Dylan's entire catalogue. It was a major moment in my life (Progressed New Moon). One night, I was over at a friends house who had that Birthday Book. I opened to my birthday, and there was Bob Dylan. Strange. I kept reading and what I discovered in there blew my mind. Still, to this day, I don't fully understand how so many characteristics (body, mind, spirit) could correlate to birthday alone, absent of year and also the chart. So that was the seed. It laid dormant for many years, until I got my hands on Cosmos and Psyche by Richard Tarnas. It was at a time when I was starting a practice doing Medical Qi Gong. And all of a sudden, the seed that was in the sleeping depths of my own Psyche began to sprout. It wasn’t too long after when I met my first astrology teacher, Maurice Fernandez, and began to use astrology as diagnostic tool in my practice. Next came the podcast, and here I am now, sitting beneath a fully grown astrology tree, giving readings and teaching it to people all over the planet. I never could have imagined such a thing would come from that innocent day with the Birthday Book and obsessing over Bob. I'm eternally grateful.
Kristy: Woah! That is an incredible synchronicity.
I'm not familiar with the birthday book. A quick search brings up The Secret Language of Birthdays. Is that it? Was there something particular in the book that resonated for you?
Adam: I believe so. Here is a link.
I've never looked at it since. But what stuck out most to me were the physical strengths and weakness. At this point, I know where they were pulled from, yet all the other Gemini birthdays didn't have the same. For example: a propensity to injuries to fingers and wrists with a possibility of arthritis (which I had an early onslaught of), a unique strength of ones lung capacity, yet paradoxically an attraction to smoking (always has been true), and just the subtle way the overall mental state was described was quite intriguing to me. There was more, but this was nearly 20 years ago, so my memory fogs over a bit.
Kristy: That's uncannily specific--especially, like you said, without access to the chart. You're making me want to check it out.
Cosmos and Psyche! You know, that book came along at the right time for me, too. I'd been studying astrology for a couple of years, and I was like, "Okay, if I can find a really serious academic who has done a meticulously researched book on astrology, I think I can really dive into this." I'm pretty sure you mentioned Cosmos and Psyche on the podcast, but whatever happened, I stumbled on it a few weeks later and knew immediately that it was the book I was looking for.
Adam: Happy to hear that you have read Rick's work as well. There is nothing quite like it. I have a feeling that in a thousand years, it will still be a reference guide for Astrology students. Such an amazing tome for the field of astrology.
Kristy: So, how did you connect astrology and Qi Gong?
Adam: As far as Qi Gong and Astrology, the main element I can distill about that is simply sensitivity to energy. Astrology is a study of energy--or, Archetypal complexes in life in humans, in everything, and I believe that the more tapped in you are to these movements, the better comprehension you have--or capacity available--to truly read what is actually going on. Also, working with clients can strangely be a draining experience. I had an old astrologer once tell me that if I didn't take at least 3 months off of the work, I would die young. Surprised and astounded by such a statement, naturally I inquired deeper. He educated me on the way in which you can unconsciously take on other people’s karma in the work. But it's not inclusive to Astrology. Also, therapists of all kinds, healers, psychics, etc etc. I do my best with this, but I haven't perfected it as of yet.
Kristy: Speaking of karma--since I'm one of Steven's apprentices, I hear karma and immediately think of the nodes (haha)--you've been doing a lot of work on the nodes and the eclipses lately, right?
Adam: I have. I'm intrigued by the nodes of the Moon and their connection to eclipses. I've studied lots of Vedic astrology as well, and I really appreciate their perspective on the Nodes. They even have a name: Rahu and Ketu (Rahu being the North, Ketu the South Node). They are considered "Shadow Planets." Essentially, they are a severed Dragon constantly vengeful for the Sun and Moon for cutting him in half and also immortal. (Google the story/myth, it is fascinating). These Nodes also create eclipses. So when there is an New or Full Moon in close proximity to them, an eclipse happens. I like to think of them as Dragon Holes. To add, I don't think it's just the Nodes that relate to karma. It's the entire chart. The Nodes tell the Evolutionary tale. They are our personal mythology which seems to have lots to do with our spiritual development as well. The goal in my eyes is not one or the other, but to figure out how to assist Rahu in finding its tail, Ketu, creating the Ouroborus, and manifesting perfect balance between our inner and outer journeys.
Kristy: I totally agree with you about karma, for what it's worth. I'm reminded of what GK Chesterton said, “The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.” I think everybody who tries to go at all deeply into astrology is a poet. We all look at the sky and take one small section of it and say, "That's my way in." It's hard to get very far from your point of origin in one lifetime that way, but it's impossible to handle the complexity otherwise.
Adam: That's an incredible quote! Gonna use it, no doubt. The great astrologer Geoffrey Cornelius speaks of the field in this way as well. I can't quote him properly, because I heard this in an interview, but it goes something like, "Astrology belongs to the realm of Poets!" He was discussing how Astrology is a form of Divination and that because of the nature of what Astrology really is, science will never be able to prove it. It's much stranger, living and breathing and weaving from another realm. Perhaps some archetypal realm. But these forces are no doubt alive and well. We could call them Gods and Goddesses again if we were so inclined. Just good not to forget what lies beyond them: That ineffable, blinding life and eternal love we all are. The Great Reminder.
Kristy: Wow, that’s beautiful. You have such a way with words. Rahu and Ketu is a beautiful story, too. Where are you at with your work with them at the moment? Are you exploring anything in particular?
Adam: As far as my work with Rahu and Ketu (the Nodes) and Eclipses go, I have begun research. I have theories, they are being tested. I am watching and learning and being blown away by the depths of the World Dragon. Every culture has their version. Learning to be a dragon rider, I am.
Kristy: Are you looking for any data or stories in particular? Anything astrologers or folklorists might be able to send you, if they stumble on something in their work?
Adam: Definitely. The three major focal points of focus are:
- People born on Eclipses;
- Eclipse stories--both actual and in myth;
- The thread which connects all the world's cultures to this World Dragon idea.
Lots of people have been sending me stories and links and leads. It's a bit overwhelming, in that I have never written a book before and I'm not much of a researcher, more an artist in the way my mind functions. As a Virgo rising though, I'm up for the challenge. I'm thinking I've got 10 years. Feels like a safe window....I think I'll be 42 then? Great way to usher in my "midlife Crisis" Uranus opposition. I might be setting myself up though! (hahaa)
Kristy: Well, if you want to create your own crisis instead of leaving it up to fate, I'm sure there will be a few writers reading this who will see "writing a book" and "crisis" in the same paragraph and nod sagely in agreement.
Adam: I can imagine there are lots of writers nodding their heads to that last remark (hahah). Writing is somewhat of a grueling process. I think it was Hemingway who said, "...The writing is only 10% of the process, the other 90 is all editing." (Or something like this; I love botching up quotes). I've learned to love the process way more than in the past. So we shall see what happens.
Kristy: Thanks for talking with me, Adam. Is there anything you’d like to add?
Adam: Thank you for this interview Kristy. It has been fun and enlightening answering these questions of yours. If I were to add anything, it would be to point those interested in my work to www.Holestoheavens.com where you will find many free articles on astrology and hundreds of podcasts as well. I am also offering a Chart Interpretation Course starting at the end of January 2016 entitled, "Reading Charts in 12 Parts." It's meant for both beginners and advanced students of astrology. It's my second go at it, and the first was a huge success. I've upped the technology for it, the group is bigger this time around, and I feel quite excited about teaching my secrets of Chart Interpretation once more. That's all.