The TOTAMS Astrology Paradigm


The Eight Main Principles of the TOTAMS Astrological Approach

Formulated by Daniel Giamario

Below are the eight main principles of TOTAMS Astrological Approach, also known as the GiamarioApproach™, and previously known as the ShamanicAstrologyParadigm™. The Turning of the Ages Mystery School™ provides transformational teachings designed to further activate the original intent for global humanity through personal and planetary empowerment.

1. The foundational philosophical truth of TOTAMS Astrology ™ (and arguably of everything) is from the opening lines of the Emerald Tablets of Hermes: “As Above- So Below, As Within-So Without”. This is considered to be literal, kinesthetic, organic reality, not an intellectual or spiritual abstraction. The patterns of the constellations and the cycles of the Sun, Moon and planets are the same as the patterns and cycles of the human psyche and the seasons of our lives. The relationship is not cause and effect. The practitioner of TOTAMS Astrology™ is at home with this magical and geomantic intuition.

2. TOTAMS Astrology is experiential and Earth-centered. The sky that can be directly experienced without telescopic or cybernetic enhancement has the greatest importance and power. Therefore, TOTAMS Astrology would be as effective in a non-technological age. This view can be termed Neo-Ptolemaic, an astrology for terrestrial humans experiencing the sky, perceivable with unaided vision without light pollution*. The modern scientific reality of the heliocentric, Copernican worldview is essentially irrelevant to this approach. The practitioner of TOTAMS Astrology™ is trained in the unaided eye knowledge and experience of the night sky, and the sacred rhythms, cycles and motions of the cosmos.

3. TOTAMS Astrology™ is ceremonial and participatory, and operates from a mythic perspective.Shamanic cultures around the world tell us that authentic shamanic ceremonies are mythic re-enactments of cosmological events.

Over time, the cultural ceremonies and mythic stories created by the various civilizations are draped onto the actual physically observed cycles of the planets and patterns of the constellations. The practitioner of TOTAMS Astrology™ actively participates ceremonially with as many cosmological cycles as possible, which rejuvenates and reanimates the ability to source and co-create with the emerging mythos of a new epoch.

4. The death and rebirth motif of shamanism inspires TOTAMS Astrology™ in two basic ways:

  • The understanding and experience of the natural rhythms and cycles of the planetary bodies are linked to the initiatory process in human beings.  The universe is supportive of, and power is accessed by, human beings who consciously participate with the initiation cycles.
  • Planets (especially Venus, Mercury, and Mars) disappearing below the horizon, are seen as entering the underworld, dying and later being reborn when they rise above the horizon.

5. The practitioner of TOTAMS Astrology™ is trained to track and understand the planetary cycles and their relationship to the process of initiation.TOTAMS Astrology™ links to modern psychology through the use of archetypes. An ancient shamanism using gods, goddesses, spirits and animal essences, can now be expressed through a comprehensive, cross cultural, full spectrum approach to archetypes, inspired by astrologers like Rudhyar, and archetypal psychologists from Jung, to Ponce, Perera, and Bolen. The practitioner of TOTAMS Astrology is trained in a thorough and comprehensive non-hierarchical view of archetypal possibilities.

6. TOTAMS Astrology™ values the totality of the human experience with all its light and shadow, equally honoring evolution and involution

7. TOTAMS Astrology™ especially values the Divine Feminine, the Circle of Grandmothers, and that the “Earth Mother” is ultimately whom we serve at this Turning of the Ages.

8. TOTAMS Astrology™ believes that the greater history of global humanity embraced collaboration, cooperation, and a system of non-ranking (gylany) between men and women, with little or no hierarchy or dominator ideals. 300,000 years of our common DNA still reflects this, and these realities can still be accessed. Only in the last 5000 years have we seen the quadruple aberration of hierarchical patriarchy, patrilineal family structure, dominion over nature, and more recently, monotheistic dogma. Universally, for a far greater time, holding the Earth sacred, and valuing the Feminine, was fundamental to society. It is an objective of the Turning of the Ages Mystery School™ to restore and then dream forward this reality through the Renaissance of the Sacred Feminine.

* A phrase frequently used by astrological astrosophy, a form of stellar science inspired by Rudolph Steiner, and elucidated through the works of Willi Sucher, Norman Davidson (Astronomy and the Imagination and Sky Phenomena), and Joachim Schultz (Movement and Rhythms of the Stars)

The TOTAMS Astrology Paradigm

By Daniel Giamario

With an introduction by Barbara Taylor

TOTAMS Astrology is an evolving system of astrology sourced and developed since 1970 out of the direct experience of founding astrologer Daniel Giamario. Since that time Daniel’s experiential and ceremonial work with the night sky has invited widespread participation, shaping and informing a philosophical and theoretical framework unique in the astrological community.

As with any paradigm*, TOTAMS Astrology does not impose a rigid or mechanical approach. Rather, it is a distinct and open-ended framework that invites creativity and flexibility in future contributions to this particular field of astrological theory and practice.

As a pattern or a model, the TOTAMS Astrology paradigm has unique features that form the foundation of this particular approach to astrology. The purpose of this article is to briefly enumerate these features at their current stage of development. A more in-depth exploration of this material can be found in The Shamanic Astrology Handbook, and Origins of the Shamanic Astrology Paradigm.

Part 1: The TOTAMS Astrology Paradigm – Essential Principles 

There are two underlying assumptions that inform the TOTAMS Astrology paradigm:

  1. We do not incarnate into this life as a ‘blank slate’, as expressed in the idea that individuals are born without mental content and therefore all knowledge comes from one’s life experience or perception. This approach holds that attitudes, habits, addictions, and expectations exist prior to encounters with our parents or the culture or historical time period we grow up within. In other words, there is a (personal) nature before we experience nurture. This nature includes DNA, family history, possible past-life material, and a mysterious “other” component which could include a karmic package separate from DNA or family, similar to what author James Hillman described as the “acorn” in referring to the mysterious daimon, or inner awareness of divine powers of guidance in a person’s life.


  2. Our life has meaning and purpose, which includes an “original intent” that directs us toward our life purpose. TOTAMS astrology is therefore more like Jungian psychology in that the bottom line for TOTAMS Astrology is the quest for meaning and purpose, rather than the pursuit of sex, will, power, or even survival.  Even if there were no existence of a higher meaning or purpose or some transcendent, implicate order, our essence as a human being is nevertheless to create meaning and purpose.  


Part 2: The TOTAMS Astrology Paradigm – Philosophical Framework


  1. The priority in applying TOTAMS Astrology is to describe the intent of the soul’s journey. This intent can never be quantified, thus this paradigm cannot be proven by the use of statistics or deterministic scientific methodology, which would be somewhat irrelevant.


  2. Within this paradigm, there are no dualistic or hierarchical judgments of good-bad, higher-lower, or right-wrong. Further, this system perceives the doctrine of “rulerships” (including astrological concepts such as detriments and exaltations) as a relic of the past that traps an individual in historical relativity. The evolution of TOTAMS astrology includes a continuing attempt to eliminate all manner of hierarchical language.


  3. TOTAMS astrology is not a system of prediction, but rather an inquiry into original intent that leads us to consciously align with our personal intent (as revealed in the individual chart) as well as with universal intent (in co-creation with Great Mystery).


  4. TOTAMS astrology recognizes that objective time does not exist, therefore it is ultimately not possible for even the most gifted astrologer or the best astrological system to completely know or predict what will actually happen. This is because the astrologer is also a part of the greater unfolding of the One Reality (Great Mystery), and can therefore never be truly objective to it, or outside of it. It is, of course, possible to get rather close to this knowing and this is a good part of the thrill and value of astrology. 


    Part 3: The TOTAMS Astrology Paradigm – Foundational Elements 

    1. A unique understanding of the natal Moon: In this paradigm, the Moon position represents one’s lineage, or who we were before our encounter with parents, culture, or the historical time frame we incarnated into. In TOTAMS Astrology the view of the Moon has no connection to gender, including Masculine and Feminine elements. The Moon most clearly indicates the Mystery School we have previously mastered or have most closely identified with in the past. 

    (When I began using this approach, the only other astrological school that had a view somewhat similar, but by no means identical, in seeing the Moon as related to the past was Esoteric Astrology. However, they also considered the Moon as something dead or spent, with no relevance to current life.) 

    Within this paradigm, the Moon is our lineage and comprises our attitudes, addictions, expectations, and a skill set that we come into life with. The Moon is our instinctive foundation, but it is ultimately not to be over-identified with. Our Moon can instead be used in support of current life purpose. 

    (More recently, I have noticed other astrologers beginning to share in this view. Much of mainstream astrology nevertheless maintains a rather patriarchal view of the moon as exclusively female or mainly connected to feelings and emotions.)

    2. A unique approach to the Ascendant, as well as the other chart angles: In the 1970s, much of how mainstream astrology interpreted the Ascendant included things like: physical appearance; how a person presented him or herself to the world; personality features; or the persona.

    The TOTAMS astrology paradigm sees it quite differently. The Ascendant clearly indicates the Mystery School being explored in the current life. The directional flow of the soul’s journey is toward the Ascendant and it is almost always something quite new to the individual. Esoteric Astrology also sees it this way. It’s interesting to note that in the original formulation of horoscopic astrology, the word “horoscope” meant the Ascendant and did not refer to the rest of the chart. This paradigm has a specific way of viewing the other three angles on the chart as also being entirely about current life intent.  

    3. The use of the Lunar Nodes by house position to create the 144 storylines of lineage (South Node house with the Moon) and the 144 storylines of current life intent (North Node house with the Ascendant). The 12 house placements create 12 different versions of each of the 12 signs. 

    The resulting 144 possible storylines, which are nuanced expressions of the basic archetypal patterns of life, are revealed through the interweaving of the core meanings of the Moon, Ascendant, Lunar Nodes, and Houses. In this paradigm, whether referring to the lineage or the current life intent, these storylines are referred to as “the 12 jobs in the 12 tribes”, or “the 12 majors in the 12 Mystery Schools”.

    4. TOTAMS astrology uses the Whole Sign House System exclusively, since 1999: This is an ancient system that simplifies the houses and eliminates confusion in several areas of chart interpretation. A discussion about this preference can be found in The Shamanic Astrology Handbook.

    5. In TOTAMS astrology, there is no emphasis placed on Sun signs: The over-emphasis on Sun sign typecasting is viewed as a remnant of patriarchal and monotheistic consciousness and is therefore limiting and outdated. Instead, this paradigm views the Sun as the symbol for the manifest expression of Great Mystery itself. It is therefore not to have any archetype projected onto it, including soul, self, or ego.  Rather, the Sun is the energy or fuel that the seasons of the earth’s cycles contain and express. 

    6. The dynamic and evolutionary flow of the soul’s journey is described using the technique of viewing the chart as three movements in a symphony, or three acts in a play, or a dialectic of thesis-antithesis-synthesis. This view reinforces the priority of intent, as opposed to a rigid and static description of personality. Further, this approach describes the soul’s journey as a developmental process symbolized by the birth chart.  

    7. A unique approach to the use of Venus and Mars: Rather than the popular over-emphasis on the Sun sign, the TOTAMS astrology perceives the sign of Mars on a man’s chart to be the archetype of current life intent for a man. Similarly, the sign of the Venus position on a woman’s chart indicates the archetype of current life intent for a woman. There are therefore 24 different and specific expressions of Masculinity and Femininity and these hold considerably more archetypal significance than the Sun sign.

    Note: Topics 1-7 are covered extensively in the TOTAMS Understanding Birth Charts: The Journey of the Soul course and webinars.

    8. The Inner Sacred Marriage Process:  In this paradigm, the Mars position by sign for a woman initially indicates a projected longing, or the archetype of relationship that she will tend to look for outside herself. A man’s Venus position similarly indicates his initially-projected archetype of his longing for wholeness. Whether successful or not in literally manifesting this projection, these archetypes offer a major clue for what needs to develop internally in order to arrive at inner wholeness. 

    TOTAMS Astrology, therefore, posits that the path of a relationship can become an addition to one’s wholeness, rather than maintaining that a partner is necessary in order for a person to feel complete. 

    9. The Six Relationship/Partnership Axes: The TOTAMS Astrology paradigm uses an innovative approach for discovering the current life intent for partnership and relationship. These six paths are derived from the pairing of the six pairs of Ascendants/Descendants. 

    Note: Topics 7 – 9 are covered extensively in the TOTAMS Relationships: Chart Comparison & Inner Wholeness course. 

    10. Transit cycles are perceived as indicating the varieties of initiation: This paradigm divides the cycles of initiations into three worlds or realms of experience: a) Upper World (Celestial World), using Neptune and Uranus; b) Middle World (the ordinary, apparently linear world of objective reality that occurs in real-time) using Saturn, Jupiter, and the Lunar Nodes; and c) Lower World (or Underworld), using Pluto and Chiron. 

    During the course of a lifetime, these cycles of initiation do not flow in a linear fashion.  Any type of cycle could conceivably follow any other type of cycle. And importantly, as with all other aspects of the TOTAMS Astrological paradigm, the various initiatory processes are never perceived as being either “good” or “bad”. <link to 3 worlds doc>

    11. The Shamanic Timeline: In addition to the cycles of initiation as indicated by the transits of the outer planets, TOTAMS Astrology uses a unique approach to the planetary cycles as measured from their positions of birth (such as the Saturn Return, the Jupiter Return, etc.). Using this technique, it is possible to know which initiatory processes a person is undergoing simply by knowing their age. 

    Note: Topics 11 and 12 are covered extensively in the TOTAMS Tracking Transits: Seasons & Cycles course.

    12. The use of Synodic Cycles of Venus, Mars, and Mercury: TOTAMS astrology pioneered the reintroduction of the use of synodic cycles into modern astrology.  The knowledge of the phases of these cycles helps to place an individual chart into the context of a much larger story. In addition, the synodic planetary return cycles are a crucial ingredient of the Shamanic Timeline. TOTAMS has an entire training dedicated to synodic cycles.

    13. Knowledge of the Turning of the Ages:  Daniel Giamario introduced the phrase “The Turning of the Ages” in the 1980s. This knowledge and direct experience of the intersections of the zodiac and the plane of our galaxy with the solstices and equinoxes over time provides a larger context in which to understand the importance of this particular time in history (the end and beginning of a 26,000 year cycle). From this foundation, we have the basis for understanding how the astrological signs and symbols, as well as the human and mythic storylines, change over time.  

    Note: TOTAMS Cycles of the Inner Planets/Navigating the Night Sky courses address these issues in depth.

    14. The TOTAMS Astrology Paradigm integrates the sign (seasonal or directional zodiac) with the Sidereal zodiacs (the 12-fold divisions as well as the constellational versions):  One of the logos of TOTAMS beautifully illustrates this integration (see the cover of The Shamanic Astrology Handbook or the TOTAMS website to view it). 

     Note: Topic 14 is also detailed in TOTAMS Cycles of the Inner Planets/Navigating the Night Sky courses.

    15. TOTAMS Astrology stems from the unique chart analysis techniques combined with continual connection and direct experience with the night sky: Including regular, kinesthetic experiences of the seasons, the cycles of the sun, moon and visible planets, and the constellational patterns. The insights of TOTAMS are derived primarily from this personal, direct relationship.  This approach equally values astrology and astronomy. In fact, the full certification track for an initiated Shamanic Astrologer requires the night sky component. The aim of TOTAMS is for practitioners to form a personal relationship with the planetary and stellar patterns. 

     16. TOTAMS has a ‘naked eye’ emphasis: This form of astrology is designed to be functional at any time in history, with or without the aid of technology or telescopic enhancements. 

    17. TOTAMS recognizes as its foundation the Hermetic dictum, “As Above, So Below, As Within, So Without”: With this approach, this is not merely an intellectual philosophy but an actual reality, requiring the knowledge and experience of the seasons and cycles of the earth in space. This reality is part of a perennial, magical worldview and is not the same as the scientific, cause-and-effect, and more deterministic ‘modern’ world view. 

    * “Paradigm,” as defined in Wikipedia.

    For additional material on the TOTAMS astrological paradigm

    Please reference The Shamanic Astrology Handbook, by Daniel Giamario (with Cayelin K. Castell), revised and updated in 2014, or Origins of the Shamanic Astrology Paradigm by Daniel Giamario.

    Note: The TOTAMS Astrological Paradigm was previously known as the Shamanic Astrology Paradigm ™ and also known as TheGiamarioApproach ™, which are protected by a legally issued service mark.

    By Daniel Giamario

    In developing the TOTAMS Astrology Paradigm™, I borrowed from “Shamanism 101”, the nearly universal motif found in animistic and shamanically oriented cultures, of three worlds: namely the Upper World (or Celestial World), the Middle World, and the Lower World (or Underworld).

    In the initiatory understanding used by the TOTAMS astrological approach, I noticed over the now 52 years of my practice that outer planet symbolic meanings, and their cycles, correspond with these three worlds. Uranus and Neptune correspond with the Upper World. Saturn, Jupiter, and the Lunar Nodes correspond with the Middle World, and Pluto and Chiron (and likely Eris) correspond to the Lower or Underworld. The deeper understanding of the synodic cycles of Mercury, Venus, and Mars reveal that all three worlds can be found when looking at the entire synod of each. Those expressions are not part of this current exploration but can be found in our Synodic cycle online course. 

    Let’s now look at these three worlds.

    Upper World (Celestial): Uranus and Neptune

    Originally, in ancient animism and shamanism, this was the sky realm, above and free of the Earth. This would include the starry firmament, including the movements of the Moon and planets. In more modern times, including archetypal psychology and astrology, a number of different kinds of altered consciousness states, or non-ordinary reality can be seen as part of this “celestial realm”. In Shamanic Astrology, Uranus and Neptune symbolize two different kinds of upper world access and experience.


    The Self is empty. The material world has no substantial basis. All is transitory, rising and falling in and out of manifest existence. Clarity and certainty are impediments. Seemingly infinite lines of probability arise. Narrowing any down and defining becomes impossible. The trick is to not mind this and relax around it; confusion and “not knowing” are to be embraced. All possibilities are allowed for, and there is nothing to prove or to accomplish. 

    This is very much an ultimate Buddhist perception. It also corresponds to philosophical “idealism”. At its best it’s the great truth that “all is well”, and “the universe is unfolding as it should”. At its worst, it is spiritual bypass and light polarization. Like all expressions of the Upper World, they exist outside of our ordinary experiences of linear time.


    Unpredictable, unknowable, and unexpected events happen that we are usually at the effect of.  Generally, always these are beyond our control. It’s always freedom from the “known”. The best approach is to roll with the “punches”, trust that you are going in the direction your soul intended to go, and be not attached. Be at the front of the wave. At its best it’s like “being hit by lightning in a good way”. Change is good, and is not a referendum on some kind of deficiency or failure. 

    Synchronicity abounds and expects that we pay attention. In Shamanism, this indicates an “assemblage point” shift. The ultimate purpose of Uranian initiations is to propel us to “other worlds” (not the underworld).  At its best, it is extreme novelty and high adventure. At its worst, it’s a massive unwelcome disrupter of our well-laid plans. Like Neptune, Uranian experience lies outside of ordinary linear time.

    Middle World: Jupiter, Saturn, and the Lunar Nodes

    This realm of experience is our ordinary, material 3D experience, apparently linear, logical, and rational, and generally experienced that way. It is the realm of philosophical “materialism”. It has been variously called the “real world” and objective reality. We develop a functioning personal identity, ego, and persona to be able to function here. This is not a shabby achievement! Three planetary processes describe this middle world.


    Phases of life that provide optimism and enthusiasm towards our life purpose. Experiences that value and validate our genuine gifts, and greatest joys about being alive. Often it’s a time and a means of expanding our lives to a higher octave. It generally will describe and inspire our connection to our life’s dharma and true genius. At its best, it’s a great high point in the story of our lives. The downside can be too much expansion, and at its worst, megalomania and narcissism.


    This is an organic 3D symbol of how to grow, change and evolve via limitations and boundaries.  This need not be thought of as negative or depressing, though it can sometimes feel that way.  It’s best to think of it as a process of maturation, or like a snake shedding its skin, a totally natural process. Often it’s an indicator of stages of life and of time, often quite literal. It’s really the key to NOT view it as a judge or critic, but as a reality check, saying “get real”. It’s one of our best guides as how to survive and thrive here in 3D “reality”.  

    From a spiritual perspective, this is our greatest teacher for escaping the wheel of Karma, otherwise known as the “matrix”. But that will require seeing through the hoax of Saturn, which involves believing its judgments, and inducing feelings of shame, guilt, the brainwash of “original sin”, and alleged deficiencies. This has been the “Saturn” of more recent times, the “superego” of Freud. At its best, Saturn is a great guide for accurate assessment of the reality of our life experience. At its worst, it traps us in a mechanistic and deterministic machine-like wheel of Karma, unfortunately, these days having morphed into a Christianized version of karma, based more on guilt and reward and punishment, now far removed from the original views from India.

    Lunar Nodes

    The meaning of the nodal axis and its cycles is really paramount in one of the other foundational elements of the TOTAMS Astrology Paradigm™, the 144 storylines of lineage and current life intent. As a symbol and initiatory middle world initiatory process, it, like Jupiter and Saturn, indicates time-frames and storylines of current life purpose. The Nodal Return has a more Jupiterian flavor of re-aligning with original intent and entering a field of all possibilities, whilst the nodal reversal is more Saturnian, with a greater necessity to change course if one discovers that they are no longer aligned with their original.  

    Unlike Jupiter and Saturn, these Nodal initiations are more visionary, and often less actional.  It’s a time to trust the transmissions, dreams, and intuitions that are coming into awareness.  It’s like the “future self” reaching back to get our attention.

    Lower World (Underworld): Pluto and Chiron (possibly Eris)

    Originally, in animistic and shamanic culture, this was the “underworld”, meaning the deep undercurrents of the ocean, under the Earth, and especially the caves and the chthonic realms.  In more recent times, within archetypal psychology and astrology, this domain of experience includes the deep unconscious, the “shadow” from the Jungian perspective, and the “Id”, from a Freudian perspective.

    It is the realm where the ego and where the normal levels of awareness are not in control, or aware at all. With this feature, it resembles Uranus. Like the Upper World initiatory process, the underworld initiations are outside of linear time and our usual objective reality. But the intent is quite different, as we shall see.


    Although the underworld process of initiation was well known to the ancients, the discovery of Pluto in 1930 brought a potent astrological symbol of this world to the modern age. Like Uranus, this kind of experience happens beyond our control. It is also typified by irrational and chaotic events, externally or internally. The intent is to introduce the conditions for surrender. There is no technique for surrender, otherwise it’s not surrender. 

    Challenges arise, and the three main ways of handling them are useless. You cannot use strength or will to power through; you cannot use your mind to figure it out and solve the challenge; and you cannot pretend it does not matter. Spiritual bypass or other forms of denial are useless. These kinds of initiatory experiences are not logical and are not to be taken personally, though it’s likely to bring up deep feelings and unknown and uncontrollable emotional experiences.  

    Unlike the Middle World that exists ostensibly in a linear and logical place, the Lower World is off the world stage, and, like the Upper World, outside of time. Although this kind of experience is utterly natural, the current modern age seldom teaches us about it. There are time periods when composting is necessary, and surrender can be near the final stage just before freedom and self-realization. At its most intense, this Pluto can symbolize a “dark night of the Soul”, an utter annihilation of self and any material ground.  

    However, the goal is transformation. Out of composting comes new life. A phoenix rises from the ashes. Also what arises is an organic connection to life force rising from the underworld and the revitalization of our energies and passion rising from the core and from the contents of our unconscious that had not been brought to light. Pluto also has an etymological connection to “wealth”. This does not mean money per se, but strength and aliveness.


    Also well known to the ancients through the constellation Centaurus, knowledge of this initiatory process only came back into modern astrology with the discovery of Chiron in 1977, the first of a new category of planetary bodies, called Centaurs. Within this paradigm, Chiron is a teacher who assists in the digestion of our “wounding”, most of which are the usual human issues that we all have one or more of, such as: Separation from unity, violation, betrayal, abandonment, lack of self-love and others. 

    In some cases, he is especially helpful should you have a unique and very specific wounding.  Importantly, it’s not allopathic healing, but rather a compassionate integration of these ‘sacred fractures” into our wholeness. This digestion of our experiences then can easily be part of our medicine for helping and healing others, but first with ourselves. Chiron is an in-between symbol: in-between Saturn and Uranus, part immortal and part human, and part human and part animal.  

    The mysteries of life and death are part of this medicine, both completely honoring our humanness and vulnerability, as well as our eternal divinity. He is allocated to the Lower World of initiation and experience also due to the irrationality of his actions, and the inducement to surrender, without taking it personally. Like Pluto, there is great emphasis on the feeling function, with a requirement to feel everything that you feel without judgment or bypass.

    The Three Worlds Approach

    With this understanding of the three worlds, what then is the approach? It is nothing less than to somehow hold all three words in awareness at the same time. This can be such a powerful way to make sense of the current times; without which the historical and astrological events now happening, that have not been seen for 12,900 years at least, are understandably overwhelming. 

    This is no easy task, as few persons are balanced in all three, or even aware of these three worlds, that were intimately known to the ancients. And also, even if known, human beings tend to have their preferences, either from their culture or from the archetypal uniqueness of their own charts.

    All three worlds are real and true, within their world. But only there is it completely true. For example:

    In the Upper World, the “all is well and the Universe is unfolding as it should” view is a reality.  The Buddhist “self is empty” view is accurate, relative to the celestial. But not at all helpful if this results in fear or failure to look at the middle world or underworld. This is how spiritual bypass happens with an aversion to anything not idealistic, hopeful, or love and light. Too much of this actually causes an increase in the underworld’s energy, as well as rendering that individual incapable of facing middle world realities.

    Only emphasizing the Middle World consigns a person to the presumed reality of linear logic, rationality, materialism, and often the “myth of progress”. Or the opposite: the End Times, the end of Kali Yuga, the end of the 26,000 year cycle etc. This ignores the miracles and the novel events outside of time from the Upper World. It also can ignore the irrational presence of Chaos, the need for surrender, and the inevitability of annihilation and death. But then it’s within this world that our 3D life unfolds within structures and laws, none that are eternal, without change.  

    With a lot of Saturn, we can perceive innumerable examples of end game scenarios. All have a measure of objective truth. A great amount of Jupiter provides an extremely optimistic view of all the practical ways to save the planet.  All of these have a measure of objective reality also. The objective reality of global humanity in 3D is as important as the Celestial, as this is, after all, our school, in this world, in these times…otherwise, we would have remained angels, devas, or still in our lucid dreamtime.

    It is less common to overemphasize the Underworld.  But as global humanity itself is undergoing its own “Dark Night”, it is extremely important to give this equal standing to the other two. The sudden ending of ourselves, and in fact, the entire galaxy could wink out at any instant. And few can argue that so much about the current world does indeed deserve composting (and renewal). 

    The Underworld dimension has very little to do with what humans are or do. It’s all natural forces way beyond our power to control or have dominion over.  The underworld is an ultimate antidote to hubris, that is, the over-weaning pride of humans believing they are god. My view is that Great Mystery, through the agency of our Primal Earth Mother, is ultimately the force and intelligence that is directing the show.

    There are many who have become victims of what has been called the “new age highjack”, who believe that this approach is just too negative and just instills fear. To be conscious and aware of “worst-case scenarios” does not cause them, or magnetize them. In fact, it’s a courageous test of awareness. And can eliminate the scourge of denial. It is reminiscent of the Buddhist view that any day that goes by without you contemplating your own death is a wasted life.

    So our goal is to hold all three at once.  

    There is one additional complication that may arise. Seldom is any individual in all three kinds of cycles at the same time. And as I mentioned, you can have your personal preferences. These can be exacerbated if your personal cycles are dominant in one or two of these three worlds, but not all three. Great awareness, courage, and focus is required. The greatest gift of all from working with this approach is developing a neutral center point, a place of peace and equanimity, without judgment that can begin to see all of these words together. This is a great use of Aquarius!

    I hope this has been of assistance in the challenges of navigating these times. Now you can understand why this is such a foundational element of the TOTAMS Astrological Paradigm™.  You shall certainly hear more of this in the coming years, with the bottoming out of the Kali Yuga being eminent, and the Pluto Return and the Fourth Turning of the United States, just in front of us. Find your purpose and be grateful to be alive at such a momentous and extra-ordinary time.


    These three worlds are what are experienced within the context of a human lifetime with a body.  All are experienced within the stages and seasons of the Shamanic Timeline, and with planetary transits. All are natural and will be experienced on multiple occasions. Thus these are not to be confused with the Netherworld (land of the dead), the Bardo Planes between lives, or the “Otherworld” of Celtic mythology. These are also not heaven or hell realms that may be encountered when we have no body.

    Daniel Giamario is the Founder of the Turning of the Ages Mystery School™ and creator of the TOTAMS Astrology Paradigm™, also known as TheGiamarioApproach™, previously known as the Shamanic Astrology Paradigm™. He joined together an academic background in Comparative Philosophy and Spirituality, with teaching meditation in two worldwide organizations in the 1970’s, and extensive world travel throughout his life.

    Daniel learned astrology in the late 1960s and was part of Dane Rudhyar’s humanistic and transpersonal astrology movements in the 1970s. After a vision quest experience on Mount Shasta in 1981, his astrological vision and spiritual path became more Earth-centered and a shamanically-oriented astrology was born. For many years, his specialty has been connecting astrology to the night sky at secluded locations and sacred sites in an “As Above -So Below” direct experience. He has been a full-time astrological consultant since 1984.

    TOTAMS Astrology has evolved as a rich blend of psychological, mythological, spiritual, and shamanistic elements, specifically designed to assist in the unfoldment of the individual’s life purpose and in navigating this pivotal point of the Turning of the Ages.

    During the 1980s, under the umbrella of The Harbingers of the Turning of the Ages organization, he traveled the world developing his unique astrological approach. This often included a land-based workshop then known as the “Astrological Vision Quest”.

    In the early 1990s, with the help of Cayelin Castell, the Shamanic Astrology Mystery School™ was conceived as a land-based, nomadic, and virtual curriculum for training counseling and therapeutic professionals in the use of the most important and transformational astrological tools and techniques.

    Daniel’s first book, The Shamanic Astrology Handbook, first appearing in the early 2000s, was revised and updated in 2012 and again in 2014. In 2013 he authored The Shamanic Astrology Divination Card Deck. His second book, Origins of the Shamanic Astrology Paradigm™, became available in 2017. All can be ordered from the Turning of the Ages Mystery School™.  A variety of other Shamanic Astrology books are currently in development. Daniel has written numerous articles for Mountain Astrologer magazine and other publications. 

    Throughout the 1980s and through early 2020, Daniel traveled extensively, teaching workshops in over thirty worldwide locations. He currently is traveling less, due to the current world conditions. His in-person International events with the School and his contributions to his other organization, the Renaissance of the Sacred organization, have been curtailed, hopefully temporarily.

    Daniel lives with his wife Lynne in Southeast Asia. He is available for personal and phone consultations, summits, lectures, and workshops. He is also a lively and stimulating radio and television guest and has hosted his own radio show on the Seventh Wave Network. He has an active engagement with mentees and apprentices, and working with many new students on their path towards certification. Recently he has been working on updating all of TOTAMS online courses.

    Daniel’s passions are the growing of the Turning of the Ages Mystery School’s body of knowledge, further evolution of the TOTAMS Astrological Paradigm, also known as TheGiamarioApproach™, and continued research to obtain answers to his life-long question: “Who are we? And what the hell happened?”