What brought you to astrology?
I had a lot of difficulty fitting in when I was growing up, but did manage to find a close knit group of friends at a new school who had a wide range of eclectic interests – traditional Norse music, river dancing, numerology, tarot, and astrology. As I spent more time with them I started finding myself drawn to tarot and astrology, but astrology moreso, and I think the reason is because it had a mathematical element to it. I appreciated the premise that life is full of hidden patterns, but not so hidden than we couldn’t find them for ourselves if we chose to look.
So astrology became something of an obsession, even as these friends of mine grew out of their esoteric phase. My interest in astrology took a full-on shove into serious in my final years of college when I discovered branches of astrology that were previously unknown to me on the Skyscript website – horary, electional, mundane.
Why do you practice astrology—what makes it juicy for you?
I’m not a religious person, but I’m deeply moved by the spiritual dimension of life, and I think working with astrology is about as close to religious as I’ll ever get. Astrology, I think, more than anything else, is the study of Nature’s inner workings, and humankind’s relationship to who and what Nature is. Astrology has helped me understand the connections between seemingly unrelated things. Working with astrology as an astrologer or client requires constant growth. It’s a process. There’s never a point where you’ve “arrived,” because there’s always more to uncover, more to shape up, more to develop.
Astrology has helped me identify the root in patterns that seem disparate, and has therefore helped me create an “unlock” in solving certain problems that seemed unsolvable. A friend of mine, when I was much younger, said to me, “Everyone needs a filter to help them understand life. I think astrology is yours.” I think she summed it up pretty well.
What is your specialty or focus?
When I started I was all over the map, but now I focus primarily on horary, electional and mundane, and I’m beginning to get myself involved in the medical aspect of classical technique. What I love and appreciate are the underlying philosophies and theories that aided Western astrology’s development over the centuries, so I also spend a lot of my time researching how and why certain symbols got their meaning.
Is there a planet, sign, or aspect you’ve been exploring lately that represents an archetype or energy that feels important to you right now?
I absolutely love this question. Lately I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what it means to have a planet in debility. When I say debility, I mean having a planet or luminary in a sign where it is classically said to suffer. The Moon, for instance, is said to be strong in Cancer and Taurus; one is her sign or domicile, one is her exaltation. The Moon is in her familiar surroundings, and has the ability to call on those resources that are innate to her. In Scorpio or Capricorn, however, the Moon is more uncomfortable because these signs are opposite to her home.
In a horary chart, it’s a relatively easy thing to delineate – this would describe someone who is lacking efficiency in getting things done, not well suited to their environment for different reasons, unappreciated generally, etc. But how can we say that about someone’s birth chart? If someone is born with a Moon in Capricorn, for instance, what do we notice about them? We see someone who is diligent, someone who is remarkably attendant to the “grown-ups” in their lives. This doesn’t sound like the same kind of Moon in Capricorn I see in horary consultations. What needs to be highlighted, though, is that the native doesn’t just become diligent, thoughtful, meticulous. It is a result of a lot of early disappointments in life, a general feeling of being constantly let down and a realization that you never want to flip that disappointment on someone else. Moon in Capricorn realizes that they need to be their own support, their own backbone, so as to avoid the feelings of being unappreciated that often accompany the early life. And this is just one way this could manifest – it really depends on the Moon’s relationship to Saturn when she’s in Capricorn, and where Saturn is, as he rules that sign.
Of course, traditionally, the Moon in the birth chart might have described the brother or spouse more specifically than the native him- or herself, so it’s bit more nuanced than I’m making it out to be here. Still, these are the kinds of questions I’m exploring right now on a personal and professional level.
What is your picture of astrology in the future?
I’m still trying to figure that out, if I’m honest. I think traditional techniques are making a strong comeback. But I don’t side with those traditional astrologers who are in favor of abandoning developments made in psychological astrology in the past three centuries. The best astrologers speak to what they resonate with, and incorporate as much into their symbolic toolkit as they can. Personally, I’m proud to have studied with a modern astrological school – the Mayo School of Astrology – and a traditional astrological school – Deb Houlding’s School of Traditional Astrology. I find that my path is focused on understanding our history and our foundation, and allowing new developments to fold into that, instead of replace it. I think that’s generally where our future is headed. But right now I do worry about divisions in our community, and hope that astrologers on all sides recognize how much we need each other to grow and develop and take astrology forward into the future.
If you discovered a new planet, or asteroid, what would you name it and why?
Oh, you wouldn’t want to leave it to me to name anything. I have always had a remarkable lack of creativity in that department. I used to try and write short stories when I was younger, and ultimately didn’t get past page one or two because I was never satisfied with the names for my characters. But I always did love the Sleeping Beauty fairytale, and all its cinematic adaptations, so if I had the ability to name a new fixed star, I’d likely call it Charakha, which is Hindi for “spinning wheel.” I’d say it must have the quality of Mercury and the Moon, neither fortunate nor unfortunate, but connected to the stories that are woven slowly over time, connecting generations with generations. I think that would be a powerful astral symbol in the nighttime sky, and can already imagine the kind of interpretive use I’d get out of a significator conjunct that star.
Wade Caves is an astrological consultant, speaker and educator specializing in horary, electional and classical astrological technique. Wade received his certification as a horary practitioner from Deborah Houlding’s School of Traditional Astrology (STA), and now serves as a faculty member and tutor for the STA in North America. Prior to this he has was certified with distinction from the Mayo School of Astrology in London, and is well-versed in both traditional and modern psychological methods of chart delineation. Wade maintains an astrological practice based in San Francisco, CA. He can be found online: http://wadecaves.com and http://solarspindle.com.