Our earth is but one planet in a galaxy of many, so who are we to believe that it can exist singularly, and without effects from neighboring worlds? Astrologist and writer Anne Ortlee left her business career in computer programming to pursue a path that was more celestially oriented. She sat down with BTRtoday to discuss what sparked her transition, what she’s learned from the practice of astrology, and what her expertise can tell us about our very selves.
BTRtoday (BTR): You came to astrology after beginning your career in business, what was it that first piqued your interest in studying astrology?
Anne Ortlee (AO): I was at the end of a 14 and a half year relationship, he’d met somebody else, and I worked with him. So it was kind of like multiple chapters of my life collapsing at the same time. So my friends said “Hey, you’re at this turning point, how about you go see this astrologer?” and I said “What’s an astrologer, and why would I do that?”
They nagged me a bit, because I was at a big crossroads. And I went. He was brilliant, and I learned a great deal, and about halfway through the reading I told him about the guy. He opens up this book of numbers, and he looks in the book, and he starts talking about the relationship; telling me what it was like, and how it worked, and when we had problems. It was like he had a video camera in the house, like a reality TV show, just by looking at these numbers.
So, I was like “Okay, I need to know how you did that.” Because I’m a Virgo, I don’t like making mistakes. My friends told me that the astrologer taught the craft.
BTRtoday: And then you started learning about astrology?
AO: I was dumped, no boyfriend, moaning in my tea, so I started studying astrology that fall. About two months in, I was thinking, “Why do we not get this taught to us when we’re five years old? We should learn this like reading and math!” We should learn our charts; it’s like our instruction manual. It’s who we are, it’s why we’re here, it describes what we’re going to work with and what we’re going to do, including the major turning points–like having your partner of 14 years run off with somebody else.
I continued to study it, and it was like programming for people! I had started my career in statistical analysis, and then had moved to computer programming (because PCs were just coming out) and it was an up and coming exciting thing. I had been doing it for a while, and I was good, and I liked it, but then there was this new thing in town.
Astrology is like computer programming, except it’s people’s programs instead of businesses. And people are imminently more interesting than businesses are. So I started studying it, then eventually decided to do it for a career, then I took the leap in 2001 to be full time. I started studying in 1994 and went full-time in 2001.
BTRtoday: Are there common characteristics shared among those who choose to pursue astrology?
AO: I think there are a few different kinds of astrologers. So it’s going to vary. There are people that are counseling astrologers, like me, who talk to people about their charts. There are people who are business astrologers, there’s quite a few in the United States. There’s a couple who make over a million dollars, two million dollars a year, providing consulting services in financial markets. Because financial markets work with astrology.
There are the woo-woos, we call them the Neptunians, I’m a Saturnian one–I’m like, okay this is how your chart works, the Neptunians go, “Whatever you want, you can have it!” They’re more optimistic, and they’re more artistic, they have an artistic bent….Then there’s the Plutonians; those are the ones that have really used astrology to help heal a lot wounds in their lives, they work with the really wounded ones. There’s a wide variety…
BTRtoday: To an un-experienced person, astrology might seem somewhat unattainable, yet many still have an inclination towards believing in celestial energies and their effects on us. What would you say the overarching view of astrology is among the uninitiated?
AO: I think it’s a couple of things. I think there are people that actually are tuned into energy…that feel the energy really potently. There’s a lot of people that are completely unconscious, and they roam the earth; some people call them the reptiles. We’re all different.
We do know that the moon rules the ocean, and runs the ocean twice a day (high tides, low tides) and we know that the sun affects the growing seasons on earth, and what you wear out the door, whether it’s winter or summer. So those are two planets that have an impact on your behavior. On full moons the police staff up, the hospitals staff up, even the bus drivers know when the full moon is. Because people go a little crazy with the lunar tick. And we are water, so we feel those tidal shifts.
All this is saying is that the other planets have a wave of energy that we feel on earth. In the case of Saturn, it’s a 28 year wave. As we were building our science out, a lot of people said, “You can’t prove it works,” and I’m like, “Hey, they couldn’t prove the world was round or that gravity existed until they had instruments qualified to measure it; but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.” So, when you start studying astrology, and you see it in play, you start to go “Wow, this stuff really works.”
The other thing I look at is that it’s been around for 4000 years, 5000 years. Cultures have used it, our culture doesn’t because astrology got killed out by the Catholic church in the dark ages. They told people to use it for growing and health, but not to do predictions because they’d be fighting with God. But the other cultures use it, it’s part of their culture!
Our Western culture has an attitude of “Oh, you believe in that stuff?” But you don’t have to believe in it, it’s still going to have an impact. The same way gravity has an impact, the same way the earth spins. And yet, there are still people who say that the earth is flat and we didn’t go to the moon and the sun goes around us. There’s beliefs for everything, but I do think, when you watch astrology, when you learn it a little bit and you start paying attention, you really become very tuned in.