Mychal Bryan teaches the philosophy and practice of classical western astrology at his online school Oraculos School of Modern Alchemy
Astrology is a word that has long been looked at with cynicism by some, and of course acceptance by others. There are those who flip through the newspaper daily to read what advice their daily horoscope has for them, and others who view astrology as a “crockpot of fool’s gold”.
For Mychal Bryan, 26, astrology is the study of unity that underpins all life, and he has gone the distance to get the answers to what astrology is – its philosophy and goal. The certified professional astrologer, hypnotherapist and Qabalistic Tarot consultant says astrology is the study of the objective movement of the heavenly bodies in outer space, and how those movements subjectively influence people’s lives on earth.
“When we study astrology, we are studying nature and seeing the specific ways in which the same natural forces that guide the movement of the planets also guide and shape our lives,” said Bryan.
“Astrology is the study of the universe as it manifests within us and it teaches us that all life is sacred, because anything that has life also has a story that was written in the stars. This universe beneath our skins is an exact reflection of the universe within which we live, breathe and have our being. When we view everything from this heightened cosmic level, we can’t help but be loved and see love in everyone we meet.”
In that sense, he said there is nothing particularly magical about astrology at all.
“Both the astronomer and the astrologer are looking at the same starry vastness of space – the ambient as the ancients referred to it. The astronomer seeks to measure and catalogue stellar bodies and their properties, speed, distances from Earth and their location; the astrologer seeks to study the stars and planets to see how an understanding of the heavens can bring about a greater understanding of what happens to those of us who live beneath them.”
Bryan said his interest in astrology was piqued from a study of the wisdom of the ancient world.
“I found that all ancient cultures had a deep reverence for the vastness of the night sky and that at their core, ancient spiritual teachings all shared a fundamental awe of nature that encompassed everything between heaven and Earth.
“All my life I’ve wanted to partake in that ancient awe, wonder and reverence – and ultimately I found that no matter what I studied or what I practiced, all roads led back to the vault of heaven.”
According to Bryan, the heavens do actually reflect events on Earth, or the Earth reflects the symbolic meaning behind the movements of the planets from an Earth-based perspective, and that in this sense, he said astrology can be seen as being a magical study. But he said it is rooted in a rigor and mathematical precision, compared to any other science or study.
“In astrology, we aren’t studying dancing unicorns in the twilight zone, we are studying the actual, tangible, objectively perceivable movement of the planets against the backdrop of the fixed stars. What you see when you look up at the night sky is the exact same thing that the astrologer sees. The difference is what we do with that information. The difference is that we actually gain information from it in the first place.”
He said astrology is based on the premise that people live in a mirror universe.
Last Autumn, Bryan opened his online school Oraculos School of Modern Alchemy where he teaches the philosophy and practice of classical western astrology and Qabalistic Tarot.
As an astrologer, tarot consultant and spiritual counselor, Bryan said his job is to give people the experience of having received answers to the questions that trouble them the most.
“My job is to show people where they are stuck, that there is a reason for being stuck, and to show them how to move beyond the blockages in their lives into spaces of greater freedom and possibility. As a teacher of these powerful traditions, my job is to teach other new students how to do the same and how to hold these powerful spaces of healing insight for others.”
According to Bryan, there are many people walking around unsure of their purpose in life, not knowing their passion, without a true sense of direction or center of gravity to give their lives meaning, and ultimately not knowing where they fit within the grand scheme of things, or even if there is grand scheme to begin with.
“I do believe that it is virtually impossible to go to a proficient and skillful astrologer or tarot consultant and leave feeling as if your life has no greater meaning.”
Bryan attended the United Astrology Conference (UAC) in Chicago, Illinois. It was at UAC that he learnt about the international certification exam for practicing astrologers and there that he met his mentor Meria B. Epstein, chief lecturer in the National Council for Geocosmic Research (NCGR) and its educational body – the Professional Astrologer’s Alliance (PAA) online education program, who would train him step-by-step in all aspects of the rigorous examination process.
“NCGR-PAA have for many years been the golden standard of professional excellence in astrological education and research. In my opinion, their examination is superb in that it tests both an astrologer’s technical and interpretative skill. Knowing how to interpret a chart and describe the type of personality or life a person may have is one thing. Knowing how to mathematically calculate the exact positions of stars and planets in relation to an exact latitude and longitude on Earth right down to the minute is a completely different ball game. In order to pass the NCGR-PAA certification exam, you need to have proficiency in both.”
Bryan has passed Level I of the NCGR-PAA exam and has his eye set on passing the final exam (Level IV) by the end of this year.
Besides studying for the NCGR-PAA exam, he is also regularly mentored by Dr. Lee Lehman, who he says is one of the leading authorities in classical astrology and author of one of the best-selling books on Horary Astrology, “The Martial Art of Horary Astrology”.
“Mentorship and apprenticeship are the most important things in the world to me. It doesn’t matter what field you are in, where a mentor can take you in one month is often substantially further than where you can take yourself in one year. I invest heavily in my continued education as a professional classical astrologer because I not only want to be the best classical astrologer I can be, but I also want to be the best teacher I can be to those who entrust me with their education in this important field,” said Bryan.
Bryan, who also practices and teaches yoga, said the philosophical basis of astrology is that whatever changes are occurring within the environment are also occurring within people in some way or another.
“Living comfortably on Earth, we tend to forget that the actual environment within which we move, breathe and have our being is the actual universe that our planet is only a miniscule part of. There are titanic forces in nature that impact our physical environment in perceivable ways. Since time immemorial, we have known that there is a relationship between the phases of the moon and the ocean’s tides. Annually, we see the increase and decrease of sunlight throughout the year and the ways in which the sun not only affects our physical environments, but also the way it psychologically affects our moods, especially if you have the opportunity to live in countries where you can experience the stark contrasts of the four seasons in a powerful way. Even 2,000 years ago, the ancient father of astronomy [who was also an astrologer], Claudius Ptolemy, in his book the ‘Tetrabiblos’ wrote that on a humane level, we can perceive that people who come from warmer climates tend to be ‘warmer’ and people from colder climates tend to have a disposition reflective of their home environment.”
He said the microcosm of people’s lives is in every way a reflection of the macrocosm of the universe because they are that same cosmos, which he said is why astrology works.
“In studying astrology, we are essentially studying ourselves.”
Bryan studies classical astrology, and within it the specialized field of Horary Astrology, or the Astrology of Questions. He says he been a student of traditional forms of divination (the art and science of communication with the divine via a symbolic language) for over 13 years, beginning with a study of the Qabalistic Tarot and said he naturally made his way to Horary Astrology.
“We do it (divination) all the time in our daily lives. We grow up knowing that when you ask a question and flip a coin – heads means yes, and tails means no. When you ask for a sign from the universe or God or whatever you choose to address the Divine as, and when you actually receive that sign in a way that is only understandable to you, that is divination. When your grandmother makes the statement that when you dream about fish that means someone you know is pregnant, that is most assuredly grassroots divination at its best, albeit questionable how accurate it actually is. Horary Astrology is the branch of astrology that is concerned with divination. An Horary Astrologer creates a chart of the heavens for the exact moment that you the client (known as the Querent) asks a question and from that chart can determine the past, present and the natural unfolding of the future of whatever question you asked about,” he said.
“The word horary means of the hour. For the Horary Astrologer, things that happen at the exact same moment in time bear a relationship to each other. Astrologers know that the life story of a baby is written clearly in the Nativity (astrological birth chart) of that child for the exact time and location of that child’s birth. In a similar manner, for the Horary Astrologer, the reason and the answer for your question is to be found in the Horary Chart cast for the exact moment your question is born in your mind and delivered from your mouth. There is no difference. For every Qabalistic Tarot reading I give, I also deeply study the Horary Chart for the moment. The Horary Chart always elucidates things that the tarot didn’t reveal and it gives a definite answer to whatever the querent’s concern is.”
Bryan offers private consultations and weekly classes online or in-person. He can be contacted at 242-813-4553, or by visiting his website at www.TarotDharma.com.