Astrologer Sam Oakwell joins host Jenn Zahrt this week from the heady clime of Ann Arbor, Michigan! Sam and Jenn sit down for a chat about books and more, including: ancient Atlantean astrology; the soul moving through signs; astrological divination; profections, firdaria, and primary directions; a stochastic philosophical approach; astrological magic; planetary rituals; phenomenology; embodiment and lived experience; and a new way to view chart remediation. Plus: hanging with Santa Cruz hippies, a bridge to the future, and… there’s nothing wrong with your chart!
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Transcripts available upon request.
Song “Wake Up” used with permission by The E-Block Band.
Episode timestamps (conversation recorded Jan. 2024):
00:31 – Sam Oakwell is an astrologer and independent scholar, whose approach combines Hellenistic, medieval, and modern techniques. They view astrology as a form of divination and engage with it as part of their larger spiritual practice, which draws from a variety of sources including Hellenistic paganism, Zen Buddhism, and contemporary occultism. In a (metaphorical) past life, they studied philosophy at the graduate level, focusing especially on phenomenology and metaphysics. Their website is launching soon, so watch this space for a live link when the magic is unleashed!
01:49 – Sam’s first astrology book was 2012: Crossing the Bridge to the Future by Mark Borax. They came across this one at a used bookstore, and Sam was intrigued by this strange autobiographical text depicting the author’s experiences with astrologer William (Ellias) Lonsdale.
06:40 – If Sam were stranded on a desert island, which books would they take? First up: Abu Ma’shar Al-Balkhi’s Persian Nativities IV: On the Revolutions of the Years of Nativities, translated by Benjamin Dykes. This comprehensive text for predictive timing techniques never disappoints.
12:02 – Sam’s second choice is The Celestial Art: Essays on Astrological Magic (Western Esotericism in Context), an out-of-print book edited by Austin Coppock and Daniel A. Schulke. Sam enjoys the wide range of traditions and approaches in this seminal text on situating astrology back into occult and magic discourses. Luminaries such as Demetra George, Austin Coppock himself, John Michael Greer, Jason Miller, Freedom Cole, Benjamin Dykes, Al Cummins, Lee Lehman, and Eric Purdue contributed to the volume. If you can’t find a copy become a CAELi member and read it at the library!
18:30 – Interlude: Join CAELi and snag yourself a Saturn stress-relief ball. (Yes, you read that right!)
19:17 – Sam’s third selection is Phenomenology of Perception by Maurice Merleau-Ponty. This is a dense but beautifully written tome that emphasizes the role of the living body in philosophy, taking thoughts out of the heady realm of the mind and back into local, lived space. While not an astrology text, the phenomenology presented here will enhance anyone’s astrological practice.
31:07 – Sam’s recommendations for beginners? First, they’d suggest Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune by Chris Brennan. Additionally, Sam mentions that the transcripts from Chris’s The Astrology Podcast are a great way to learn. A Scheme of Heaven: The History of Astrology and the Search for our Destiny in Data by Alexander Boxer also gets a nod because it’s so comprehensive and provides context from the realm of data science. Finally, a philosophy book that’s good for astrologers and magicians is Technic and Magic: The Reconstruction of Reality by Federico Campagna.
37:12 – Find Sam at their website: https://www.oakwellastrology.com/.
37:39 – Thanks for listening to Within Orb! If you love the show, please help support it at no cost to you: Follow or subscribe wherever you listen, rate it five stars, or write a happy review! And if you’d like to become a CAELi member or support our work with a contribution of any amount, we’d be delighted – thanks!
Show notes by Jen Braun, JJ Boots Productions LLC.