Frequently Asked Questions
What is your astrological background?
I started learning astrology as a teenager. I was interested, like most young people, I suppose, in what the cosmos had to say about my life. So I read everything I could find in new age bookstores. I got an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Texas, in large part because of my astrological interests. In 2000, I decided to get a Master's degree in astrology and enrolled at Kepler College (of Astrological Arts and Sciences, at the time). There are a handful of us in the nation who currently hold post-graduate academic degrees in astrology, largely thanks to Kepler College. At Kepler, I was fortunate enough to study with some of the most talented practitioners and historians of astrology of our time and dove deeply and passionately, into astrology's technical and historical roots. I emerged from my studies with a particular interest in astrology's Babylonian origins and its linguistic structure. I have also been trained and certified in astrological ethics and counseling methods.
What kinds of astrology have you worked with?
All kinds. I started out as a psychological astrologer and then I studied the traditional methods – Hellenistic, Arabic, Renaissance. But I'm not a dogmatic or theoretical astrologer. I collect and submit techniques to evidence-based testing, keeping the ones that work and throwing out those that don’t. I find that the strengths of modern approaches do not tend to compete with the strengths of the traditional methods. They are different tools for different purposes. I use the best tool that’s called for in a given situation. For that reason, it's important to get clear on what a client needs.
What is LINCOS and how does it differ from other types of astrology?
LINCOS stands for Lingua Cosmica, which is Latin for "cosmic language". I felt our way of looking at a chart needed a new name because it was understood and developed as an evidence-based language system. This is not how astrology has evolved over the millennia. Traditionally, astrology has developed primarily through theoretical teachings passed down over time. Someone thinks of a good theory or a reasonable model and it gets taught from teacher to student, whether there is much evidence for it or not. Many of the interpretative methods astrologers are using are not reliably communicating the information they need. The language itself needed to be re-examined with a more critical approach. So I worked backwards from the charts themselves using a phenomenological and syntactical approach in order to understand the structure of the language. Over the years, my students and I examined many of the traditional concepts and found many of them to be useful. But the linguistic concepts handed down from antiquity were poorly defined. What I do is to reverse-engineer their functionality by examining how they are communicating real world events. It is a tedious task that has taken years to perfect because there are many concepts to examine and to test. This research has progressed since 2002 and its fruits are currently being turned into a student handbook. So the LINCOS system differs from traditional and modern astrology mainly in its approach to interpretation. I have kept many of the traditional techniques, but I've redefined how to interpret and apply many of them. I have also streamlined the timing techniques we use to make our work more reliable and practical.
Is this astrology predictive?
There are a lot of important aspects to this question. Prediction just means "to pre-dict" or " to say beforehand." All astrology can be predictive because every chart is meant to be a roadmap for an imprinted moment. The moment tends to be the beginning of something, whether the start of a meeting, a nation, a birth or a cycle. When that moment becomes the imprint for a person's birth moment, the chart then becomes the roadmap for that person's life. And once you have a roadmap, you have the potential to navigate it in time and see what lies ahead. Since the LINCOS language was developed from the birth chart's expression in terms of a person's outer life, then it is very suited to interpreting and predicting that roadmap as a person's outer life. However, the same chart indicators that can communicate life events, can also be examined as inner psychological and spiritual motivators that give origin to those outer world expressions. This is where we get the Hermetic dictum of "as above, so below" and we should add: "as without, so within". To put it more simply: a planet can indicate both a change in one's life, as well as the agents of the psychological dynamics that gave birth to that change. So even if we interpret the chart in a more psychological manner, we can also say beforehand (that is predict) how a person might tend to INTERNALLY experience his life next month or when Saturn crosses his Midheaven. Thus, whether one uses traditional tools or modern tools, any type of astrology can be predictive. Whether an astrologer does it successfully, depends upon the client's need and/or the astrologer's inclination and expertise.
Having said that, there are limits to how much astrology can predict. This gets into the important question of fate and free will. From what our research has shown, it appears to look like we do have a sort of "fate" (I call it a roadmap) outlined in our chart. But this roadmap is outlined in broad strokes or categories, if you will. So what we can say with certainty, is that we have A SET of different ways which are available to us from which we can choose to shape our lives. These categories change depending upon the times. Sometimes we are working on one thing, and other times we are working on something else. But we are compelled to stay within those parameters set for us. An astrologer with a reliable language and a deep understanding of a person's prior life, can often figure out which expression from that category set, the life or the native might express in his or her future. But astrologers must be careful not to interfere with a client's right to choose the specific shape of their own lives. And clients must understand that astrology cannot allow them to abdicate from their responsibility to do so. A good astrologer is a guide to one's roadmap. But the client is always the driver.
Do you use traditional or modern methods?
Both. Techniques are like software tools: you use the ones that best fits a need. If you need to write a letter, you might use a document editor. But if you need to make a call, you might use a phone app. They've required some interpretative modifications, but in general traditional astrology has a richer syntax and is better for what I call "outer world astrology". This is the chart as life: your career, your family, your relationships, children, health etc. Traditional techniques are much more numerous, complex and nuanced. Modern astrology is technically simpler, but richer in vocabulary and better at "inner world astrology", which looks at the chart as psychology, personality, motivation, drive, emotion etc. Both of these approaches are important. I use the outer world approach when I first work with a client. But if they want to continue to work on chronically unproductive patterns, we can take those already-established outer world problems and examine the same indicators from an inner world perspective.
Do you teach astrology?
I teach astrology on a individual or small group basis (2-3 maximum if they all know each other) for students who already have some basic knowledge. If you know what a chart looks like, know how to identify all the glyphs, and have a basic working vocabulary for the planets, signs and houses, then you are eligible to take our grammar course. This is a 7 week course designed to walk you through the fundamentals of the grammar that we use to read a chart. Each week, I meet online with a student at a prearranged time and we go over the material in a Powerpoint format. Practice exercises are assigned for homework, which I review and correct via email. More advanced courses on horary and timing methods are also available, but everyone starts with this course. I prefer individual and small groups because I can accompany students' progress more directly that way. Because of this and my current writing schedule, I am only taking on a limited number of students per week. If you are interested, please contact Maria directly for more information and pricing.
Do you do client consultations?
I'm currently only taking on new clients by referral. Please contact me if you have been referred by a client or colleague.