Within Orb Episode 33 with George Coutts

Astrologer and researcher George Coutts joins host Jenn Zahrt from Toronto to discuss books and more! Join the hilariously self-named George Quincunx and Jenn Inconjunct for: the Bible and astrology; Sabian astrologers; the five enemies of the scholar; the history of gender and sexuality in astrology; Ficino’s personal life; how astrological writings are married to time and place; and a great tip on how to find the perfect beginner book. Plus: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, rubbing wine on your temples, and the Reagan administration!

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Transcripts available upon request.

Song “Wake Up” used with permission by The E-Block Band.


Episode timestamps (conversation recorded Feb. 2024):

00:31 – George is an astrological researcher, writer, and occasional playwright from Toronto. He is a grad of UWTSD’s MA program in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology where he wrote on the use of gendered language through astrological history. He’s currently en route to his PhD, studying the history of gender and sexuality in astrology! He spends his days delving into astrological, religious, and sociological texts whose myths describe —and create— our sense of what it means to be humans living together on a small planet.

00:48 – George’s first astrology book was The Secret Language of Birthdays: Your Complete Personology Guide for Each Day of the Year by Gary Goldschneider and Joost Elffers. Or was it?? George credits growing up in a secular family and learning about a magical, mystical world through Bible stories (hello, Joseph with his flamboyant dreamcoat)! Also mentioned: The Messianic Star: New Light on the Star of Bethlehem (Studies in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology) by Martin Wells.

04:01 – If George were stuck in Antarctica, what books would he bring? The first in his satchel is De Vita Libri Tres (Three Books on Life) by Marsilio Ficino, because it would offer important tidbits as a practical manual. (And be sure to check out My Dear Boy: Gay Love Letters Through the Centuries, edited by Rictor Norton.)

11:34 – Interlude: Join CAELi and snag yourself a Saturn stress-relief ball. (Yes, you read that right!)

12:21 – George’s second text is Relating: An Astrological Guide to Living with Others on a Small Planet by Liz Greene. This one lit a fire in George that got him onto his current research path! And become a CAELi member to receive a copy of The CAELi Review and enjoy SJ Anderson’s article!

21:21 – Presidential intrigue? Check! Saving the world with astrology? Check! Bringing about world peace? Check! Celebrity drama? Check! George’s third selection is What Does Joan Say?: My Seven Years As White House Astrologer to Nancy and Ronald Reagan by Joan Quigley. Run, don’t walk, for this one, you Real Housewives fans!

26:09 – For beginners, George recommends first deciding what you’ll be using astrology for and going from there! History is important, though, so you can’t go wrong with A History of Western Astrology, Volumes I & II by Nicholas Campion. George also offers this advice: Don’t limit yourself to titles with the word “astrology” in them, but rather, investigate general histories of what interests you – which is how he found A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft!

30:08 – Connect with George via email: grgcoutts (at) gmail (dot) com.

30:39 – 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.

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