Let me congratulate you for being chosen as our GD of the summer season! This is our new project in which ISAR will express its gratefulness to Global Directors who performed exceptionally in the previous season.
To get started we want to know more about you. If you have any pictures of your service to ISAR and in UK, we want to see them and a description about the picture.
How did you get into astrology?
I was 15 years old. I made some new arty friends one night and one of them asked me what my sign is. I said, “surely you don’t believe in that stuff, how can there be only 12 kinds of people?”. My new friend explained that a proper astrological birth chart considers the positions of all the planets at the time of your birth. I knew enough about the solar system, since science had always interested me, to realize that that would make each chart as unique as a fingerprint. I was intrigued and started reading everything I could find. The rest is history, as they say.
What type of astrology are you involved in?
I use all the geometric methods of Western astrology, but in terms of working with houses, basic Jyotish methods would be my default setting.
Although I’m interested in the academic dimensions of astrology, it is for the most part, in my world of astrology, a tool for helping people orientate through my consulting practice.
How long have you been practicing astrology? – How did it start?
It’s over 30 years now of actively doing astrology for others. I was about 18 years old and working as a waiter, and I would from time to time look up planetary zodiacal positions for my co-workers and tell them a bit about what I thought it meant. One day one of them said “You always tell us these things, but I forget a lot of it, won’t you please create a written report for me and I’ll pay you”. I knew there was a lot I didn’t know and that I was far from being a qualified astrologer. I tried to decline this request but my friend insisted, and so I tried to oblige. The commissions kept coming and it was wonderful pressure, because I then figured out how to calculate a complete chart by hand (everybody did not have a laptop and smartphone in those days), and all the other technical basics you need to do relatively proper astrology.
Tell us about your educational background and degree?
I didn’t finish high school. I’m tempted to blame it on my Sun Conjunct Uranus; I was a rebel in that way. Whatever I’ve learned has been through my own study. My formal qualifications are scant.
I did receive an honorary title/degree (Jyotish Martanda) in India from the Krishnamurti Institute of Astrology. I cherish it as a symbolic token of recognized ability from ‘the universe’, rather than as a formal qualification of any substance.
What are you doing, seeing more clients, teaching more?Please explain.
It’s easy to become too busy as an astrologer. I’m always seeing clients and that’s my primary focus. Just when I think I’m forgotten about, an avalanche of work comes in. I love what I do. Even if I’m exhausted and don’t feel like it, minutes into a session I’m usually enjoying it and I feel energized afterwards. I teach a few private students and also occasionally run courses and workshops. More interestingly I’m working with Ehsan Khazeni on creating advanced and versatile report generating systems, software and research tools for astrologers.
What are the most important interests and peculiarities of astrology in the United Kingdom?
The United Kingdom has a very rich and fascinating astrological history. It deserves to be the subject of a book, in fact.
The United Kingdom has some of the most established and respected astrological institutions in the world. The Astrological Lodge of London, founded by Alan Leo nearly a century ago, presents weekly lectures and publishes a periodic journal to this day. The Faculty of Astrological Studies in the UK offers tuition and certification in astrology that is highly prized and regarded throughout the world. There are many solid and active regional organizations in the UK.
Even though astrology is given little respect and attention by the general public in the UK, there is a large and well organized astrological community.
Who are your heroes or heroines in astrology?
There are many, of course. I’d have to acknowledge Robert Hand, the undisputed Maha Guru of Modern Astrology, as a major influence in my astrological outlook. I have great admiration for Nicholas Culpeper, the English astrologer-physician who brought a very practical approach to using astrology alongside his herbal and medical knowledge to serve his community, in defiance of the prevailing medical orthodoxy. I’d like to think I’m a practical astrologer, interested in how to make sure astrology really serves people well. I have great admiration for James Braha’s ability to use simple language to point to the most subtle nuances of what various planetary placements indicate. His work, alongside Light on Life, by Hart de Fouw and Robert Svoboda, first opened up the gates to Jyotish for me, and for many others.
What would you consider your three favourite astrological books?
Planets in Transit by Robert Hand, because it’s the most practical astrological reference you can ever own, and it teaches you about a lot more than just what specific transits mean.
Light on Relationships, by Hart de Fouw and Robert Svoboda, because it fills a gap in looking at Synastry holistically, and because some parts of it are a synthesis of Western and Jyotish principles.
The Combination of Stellar Influences, by Reinhold Ebertin, because it’s a very useful reference with very clear language and lucid thinking, and the fruit of a very empirical approach. It also has some very good medical astrology in it.
Going forward, we are interested in your perceptions or ideas as a Global Director. How did you start to take an interest in ISAR?
I feel I was naturally absorbed into working with ISAR, because I’m in complete alignment with ISAR’s mission and goals; to foster international as well as local cooperation and sharing in the cultivation of astrology’s wonderful potential. I became aware of ISAR, and became connected to ISAR, through my involvement in astrological conferences in India and South Africa.
Could you please list the many skills and training you bring to ISAR?
I guess I’m enthusiastic about astrology, and that makes things happen.
I’ve had the good fortune to work within organizations such as the Theosophical Society in South Africa at a young age, and later serving as the chairperson of the Cape Astrology Association. I like working as part of a team. I have been involved in organizing and in fact designing conferences, such as the Astrology Restored conference in Cape Town in 2015, featuring Robert Hand as the primary contributor, keynote speaker and guest of honor. I was part of the organizational team of the famous IVC conferences in Calcutta, hosted by the Krishnamurti Institute of Astrology, which ISAR as an organization was closely involved in. This sort of past experience has made it possible to understand the scope and practical requirements of a great project such as ISAR, and to hopefully make a useful contribution.
ISAR wants to know how you are fulfilling those responsibilities. Can you comment on what motivates you to be such a successful GD?
I don’t always succeed spectacularly, but I do try to be consistent as far as possible. I also enjoy the work involved, and so it isn’t too difficult to find inspiration and motivation.
As ISAR’s Global Director for UK, tell us about that and what you enjoy?
My work as ISAR’s GD for the UK brings me into contact with really brilliant astrologers, particularly through the UK Star Club webinars I host. I get to listen to excellent lectures I may otherwise not have attended and this helps my own astrological understanding to broaden and evolve. I also find it a great pleasure being part of a team of dedicated colleagues, and I feel great kinship with my fellow ISAR Global Directors. We’re all very supportive of each other.
What is difficult about this role and is there something you would like to see changed/modified?
What do you consider a real strength of yours?
I honestly can’t think of anything that’s really difficult or that needs changing. I have found that ISAR’s team is open and receptive to feedback and suggestions on how specific little things can be improved. There are always challenges in working on such a large project with so many people involved, but ISAR does a great job of adapting systems and structures as required.
As you get longer in the tooth, so to speak, you learn to be patient with little obstacles and little frustrations in this sort of work, and keep the focus on improving your own performance and supporting others where possible. It’s the long game that matters.
What do you think you have accomplished so far in your profession as astrologer?
I have managed to (most of the time at least) make a fairly decent living doing what I love, and I have a large clientele that appreciates what I do for them. I don’t do much to advertise my services, and almost all my consulting work comes through referrals. Through such projects as ISAR and the conferences and seminars I’ve been part of, I feel I’ve managed to make a contribution to astrology’s rich diversity, particularly in bringing Jyotish and Western astrology closer together. However, I need to finish the books I have in the pipeline before I’ll feel I’ve started to reach my most important life goals as an astrologer.
Do you see the importance of certification by an organization? If that’s the case, why?
This is quite a complex question. I think certification, such as the CAP ISAR qualification, helps to establish a high standard of basic proficiency and can give prospective clients and the general pubic some assurance that an astrologer is credible. However, as a largely self-taught astrologer I’m also aware that the absence of such formal qualifications, particularly in a field such as astrology, does not mean someone is not capable. Astrology is a vast subject and it takes many years of experience to master it. The level of knowledge and skill required to gain accreditation is really just the beginning. So, some people get a false sense of being ‘qualified’ simply because they’ve received some sort of diploma.
Certification is a good thing, but it isn’t the ultimate means of measuring an astrologer’s skill and credibility.
What other organizations are you affiliated with?
Although I am a member of one or two other astrological groups and organizations, I’m not very active in any others apart from ISAR. My own practice and my work for ISAR keeps me busy.
What else is there that your colleagues and clients don’t know about you but might find interesting to know?
Apart from astrology my other passion is growing food, and I’d love to be a farmer.
Finally, is there a specific message you would like to share with the ISAR membership?
I think I would like to say thank you to my global astrological family for the love you all bring to astrology, and thank you to ISAR for being a great conduit for this inspiration and passion. With my Moon in Aquarius – tropical and sidereal- being part of this community is deeply nourishing and heart-warming.
I am honored to serve you.
Zorana Stanojević ISAR CAP
ISAR GDs Coordinator