When I was born” my mother cried;
but then there was a star danced, and under that was I born.”
…..from Much Ado About Nothing
Act II scene 1 by William Shakespeare
It all started on a day in the mid 70’s when I realized that I would never be successful in this world doing what I was supposed to do so I might as well do what I want to do. The first thing to come to mind was astrology. That very same day (truth to tell) I got on the subway (it was New York City at the time) and there was this man reading a book called Love and Addiction. I thought it looked interesting enough to risk contact. I did. He then noticed the book I was reading, The Astrological Houses by Dane Rudhyar and mentioned that he had actually read it. I told him I would love to learn astrology and he reached into his pocket and handed me the card of Eleanor Bach, my first astrology teacher. One of the most fortuitous days of my life! (Uranus conjunct my ascendant at the time.)
For the next few years I studied and practiced and turned myself into an astrologer.
Although I didn’t realize it at the time it is clear to me from the perspective of being an astrologer for the last 3 1/2 decades that my formal education (a BA in English from William Smith College) was the perfect training for an astrologer. Not that my professors would have agreed!
In 1978 I left New York and moved to Portland, Oregon where I studied with Diana Stone who polished off a lot of my rough edges and encouraged me to choose between being a professional astrologer and a waitress who did astrology on the side. Very helpful! At that time I also became a registered massage therapist in Oregon. I felt astrology was too heady and touching people would balance out the energy. For the next 7 years I practiced both astrology and massage but eventually my love for astrology won out over my life as a masseuse.
In 1981, I came to visit my sister in Toronto and have lived here ever since.
In the early ‘80’s I was Jade Athena With Today’s Astrological Insights! on Q107 on the noon hour show. In 1987 I wrote a book called Passion Signs for Pulse books a (short lived) subsidiary of McClelland and Stuart. It never got promoted but it did pay for my maternity leave and I have many copies in the basement! In 1987 I also became a mother — an experience that has truly been one of my best teachings — astrology in action!
From the early ‘90’s until recently I was the astrologer for Flare Magazine. I currently write a monthly astroloigical column for Vitality Magazine (a Toronto based alternative publication). I used to be Jollean Shaffer but am now using my real name. From October 1997 till September 1998 I self-published a newsletter called the Divine Design which links mythology and fairy tales to astrological signs. I hope to soon have Passion Signs and the Divine Design published as ebooks.
I teach classes and workshops as well as public speaking and at times you can find me as the local oracle at fund-raisers. I see astrology as a great navigational tool in a world that seems rich in information but poor in meaning. I can’t say I know the meaning of life but it seems to me that we come to planet earth to awaken consciousness rather than be comfortable. (Although I like comfort!) Astrology is not a religion. It doesn’t tell me what to think. Its rich imagery and ancient tradition keep me mindful of the need to wake up and give me suggestions as to how I might do that.
I am truly blessed to be able to share this with my clients and students.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada