Cosmology and Navigating the Night Sky in Arizona

Beginner’s Corner with Sheridan

October 6, 2022

I just got back from our first TOTAMS live event in Arizona! What a pleasure to be together again, under the dark skies. Awen (our managing director) and his wife Hanh’s land is wide, alive and feels sacred. We were blessed to spend time in community gazing up while communing down and in. 

Equinox Sunrise

I arrived ready to see old friends, new friends, and zoom friends. How exciting to gather in person for such a signature event of the Shamanic Astrology paradigm, learning about and watching the sky together. We were treated to an expansive sky, viewed from stone circles and geodesic domes. We gathered and quickly fell into a mutual love fest, sharing ourselves and each other. Incredible food, beautiful land, dark skies, and amazing people, what more could an impending TOTAMS graduate want?

Nearly every night, I was able to camp without my rainfly, treated to broad sky viewing throughout the night. Getting away from my own slice of Colorado, mountain-filled, sky was a treat and a teacher. Experiencing Jupiter following the ecliptic from rise to set is a mystical experience. One that grounded me into the constant turning of the earth. To see so much of the sky was amazing after so long in my own backyard. It’s incredible how much bigger the sky is without mountains blocking the view. I came home to truly understand what a difference the mountains really make in my slice of night sky watching.  

Crescent Moon ahead of the Sunrise

I woke early each morning, treated to the nearly new Moon, last waning crescents, rising in the east. The second morning the crescent Moon was rising with the royal star Regulus, the heart of the Lion constellation. This star was rising when I was born, sitting exactly on my ascendant. It was a powerful experience to see the Moon rising with my rising star. That is the beauty of the Cosmology class, learning to see your chart in the night sky. That experience anchors you into the earth and sky. It places you within the greater whole of the sacred movements of our planet. It helps to ground you into your place within the cosmos. It feels humbling and expansive simultaneously. It is a deep experience.

Awen quickly let me know that he and Hanh have been able to see Venus… still! I was so excited as he pointed her out to me. She wasn’t easy to spot, but once I did, she was unmistakable. The last morning, after the graduate’s vision quest, we stood, wrapped in blankets, looking for Venus and the Moon, waiting for the rising Sun. I felt transported through my DNA into my ancestors lives, standing, watching, revering together. To me, this is what life is supposed to feel like, connected, in communion, living in community. It was an insightful awakening and remembering.

Waiting for Venus and the Sun

The final night, five us of graduated as full initiated Turning of the Ages Astrologers, in ceremony by the fire. We are the first graduating class of TOTAMS I didn’t expect to feel any differently, but I did and do. That ceremony and graduation helped me step more firmly onto my path as a Shamanic Astrologer with deeper understanding, passion and empowerment.

We spent our days in the classroom, learning the mechanics of the sky, how we came to understand it, and what it means for us throughout time. We learned why we are at a turning of the ages and what that offers humanity. Each night Erik anchored the teachings into the visual, alive sky. 

Thank you so much to Daniel, Erik, Hanh and Awen for an incredible event. Hint for you: if you’re ever offered to eat anything Hanh is cooking – say yes! Amazing food! Thank you to all the participants for your hearts and sharing. I am blessed to know you all.

At home now, I wake to see the light and walk under the stars, often on my own, grateful for the practice and the knowledge TOTAMS has given me, but also alone remembering our group standing in the gathering light honoring Venus and the sunrise together.

I hope one day you’ll share in the experience with us too!

Sheridan Semple

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