Adams offers up her unique knowledge of the stars and planets all year long. She’s also co-founder of the Emmet County Night Sky festival, and is working to establish an internationally recognized Dark Sky Park on six hundred acres of land near Mackinaw City. MyNorth talked with Adams about what the New Year might hold for those of us who are willing to look skyward for answers to many of life’s most baffling questions.
MyNorth: Let’s get this out of the way at the get-go: what is an astrosopher?
Mary Adams: Well, in order to understand astrosophy, you have to put it in the context of the history of star wisdom, which really begins with astrology: the speaking of the stars to humanity. That idea prevailed for thousands of years, until we got to the fifteenth century with the introduction by Copernicus of the idea that the earth is not at the center of our cosmos. That’s the beginning of astronomy, which is a body of knowledge about physical planets and distances and the chemical composition – the science that pretty much predominates, still, here in the 21st century. Astrosophy is the divine wisdom inherent in our star knowledge. It’s looking both at astronomy and astrology historically to see how it relates to the developing consciousness of being human. So it doesn’t confine itself to just the science of the physical world, or just to spiritual ideas that were useful thousands of years ago. It’s trying to understand what is the direct human relationship now.
MyNorth: Have you always had a special relationship with the stars and planets?
Mary Adams: I originally started picking up some of this study from my mom, but I remember the moment, sitting in my sister’s bedroom, looking at the books on the shelf, and I picked up this astrology book and opened it up and read the description of one of the planets when it was in a particular sign, and it was like all the pieces of the puzzle came together, and I realized if you know the character or the mood of the planet, and you couple it with a certain star, then you can interpret that relationship, just like you would say “oh, this girlfriend goes with that guy over there, and this is the kind of relationship they have.” So I started studying it, just because I thought it was fascinating. At the time, I was an English/Literature major at U of M, studying a lot of poetry and writing for the newspaper. It just all really turned into a very culturally rich experience: understanding that the main symbolism and imagery that comes out of the stuff you have to read in the core English literature is inspired by the oldest stories about the stars. I mean, every civilization had their star wisdoms that inspired their poets and their storytellers and architects. I couldn’t get enough of it.
MyNorth: Do you believe that the stars and planets guide the direction of your life, then?
Mary Adams: I wish I could say yes or no. I believe absolutely that the stars have something to do with us, and that the pattern that they arrive at, at the moment we’re born, has a bearing on human life, but I don’t believe in pre-destination. Human beings are endowed with free will, and I believe there are certain events that we will encounter in our life no matter what. Each of us is born with a destiny, but how we meet those experiences is entirely up to us. Something can present itself to you, and you’ve either developed an ability to see it, know it, and work with it, or you might just pass it right by. Life has a way of circling back around and clunking you on the head if you miss the things you were supposed to be paying attention to! And the way I look at it is: if I can pick up the planetary rhythm related to the experience, then I can – for myself or for another – gauge how long is it going to take for this process. Mars is on a two-year rhythm. Saturn is on 28-year rhythm. So you can see that there are different events. that happen in life that sometimes are life-changing, and sometimes more immediate or day to day, closer rhythms. For me, it’s really about understanding that the basis for a healthy life is a consistent rhythm, or at least acknowledgement of the rhythm. The breath is rhythm, the beating of the heart is rhythm. We wake, we sleep, we eat our food, we even digest in a rhythm. All of life is based on a particular rhythm: the sun rising, the sun setting, the moon waxing, the moon waning; the stars rise and set in their own seasons. So what I do as an astrosopher is to affirm the human rhythm in its relationship to this larger universal rhythm, and it doesn’t make sense to think we stand alone outside of that rhythm.
MyNorth: So –tell us more about the conversation at Boyne Mountain on January 1st?
Mary Adams: I will give a talk about what we can expect in 2010, both what can be seen in the night sky and what, from the perspective of an astrosopher, can it mean in human life. We’re living in a really dynamic time, from 2004 to 2012, and as we get closer to 2012, there’s this quickening of planetary forces. I will explain why that’s happening. It’s not just something that was predicted in the Mayan calendar, or that is some happenstance. There are actual planetary configurations that are happening that from my perspective, the more we know about this, the more we can understand the seeming chaos that happens in the world.
MyNorth: OK, just give it to me straight: is this going to be a good year or a bad year?
Mary Adams: We’re starting 2010 with Mars and Mercury both retrograde.
MyNorth: Uh-oh, wait, isn’t that supposed to be a bad thing?
Mary Adams: Well, it’s an opportunity to look back, and so it kinda seems like a contradiction to start the new year with this backward look, but I think that’s very healthy, because 2009 was tough. We have to be able to say, “OK, I learned my lessons. I want to go forward cautiously, and I want to make sure I have everything in order.” Mercury retrograde really supports cleaning out the closet, refilling, getting everything set in place. It’s a wonderful way to start the New Year. Alcyone, the brightest star in the cluster of the Pleiades, comes to its highest point in the night sky on the 31st of December, which is absolutely, so poetically, beautiful. The name of the star means “foundation stone”, and it’s directly overhead as we start the New Year.
MyNorth: So – (sigh of relief) – this is a good thing.
Mary Adams: It’s a beautiful thing.
Mary Stewart Adams holds a conversation about the story written by the stars in 2010 at Solace Spa at Boyne Mountain at on January 1. She is also available for private readings on Saturday, January 2. The cost is $ 15 for the Friday conversation,$ 45 dollars for the private readings on Saturday. For an appointment, call Solace Spa at 231-549-7946, or go to Mary Stewart Adams website at fairytalemoons.com.