Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ain't Mis-Behavin': An Open Letter To Maurice Fernandez

Ain't Mis-Behavin': An Open Letter To Maurice Fernandez
mumin_bey@yahoo.com, myspace.com/muminbey

2:48 AM 04/22/2008 Tue

As the torch is passed from the Baby Boomer generation of astrologers to the GenXers, as we are called and beyond (the much ballyhooed "Millennials"), an interesting contrast emerges; one side of the new bunch seems enamoured with an astrology from a more ancient and some would say, elegant, age, the Hellenists; and on the other side, we have the "Evolutionaries", as I like to call them.

Of course, what I am referring to is is the form or style of astrology popularly called Evolutionary Astrology, a term originally coined, ironically enough, by Financial astrology specialist Raymond Merriman, but has been adopted by astrological legends Jeff Green and Steven Forrest. These two men have formulated their own principles and concepts, cobbled together from a patchwork of Eastern philosophies and spiritual disciplines, and is now quite popular in the astrology community today.

For some time I was curious to get to actually interact with this bunch, since both Forrest and Green seem to be elusive men, and besides, what interested me more was whether the "new generation" of "EAs" as they are known, would have anything to offer on the topic, as well as to engage in some hard question and answer with regard to their technique. As you might guess, I soon found out.

Maurice Fernandez is perhaps the better known of the GenXer lot of EAs; he lectures quite a bit, has a burgeoning website and has a book out, though I cannot say for certain how popular that is. It seems that Dave Roell over at the Astrology Center for America, perhaps the country's largest seller of astrological books, didn't think very highly about the tome in his review, and to which I've heard Fernandez didn't take to kindly to. But then I can't really blame the guy, even if what Roell said was true; we all are a bit touch feely about such things.

Anyway...

A colleague and peer of mine, Raymond Andrews, had mentioned my name on Fernandez's site; I had ran accross it last month while doing a Google search for my name, which I do every so often to see what comes up (and if you haven't done this yet, you really, really should). Since I was being talked about, and since Fernandez was an EA, I decided to spend a bit of time there.

And boy oh boy, what a time it was.

Because you see, I've always had my deep suspicions about "Evolutionary Astrology", and to save the reader the time of wading through my reservations I'll just kindly refer them to Dr. Glenn Perry's excellent critique of this approach which appears in several internet venues, as well as his website. I should like to also note, that to my knowledge, Perry has yet to receive a rebuttal in writing, to his paper.

That makes someone like myself very, very wary. By the way, in case you missed it, you can check out my rebuttal to Perry's critique of Vedic astrology on my blogsite, muminspeaks.blogspot.com.

OK, so going back to the point of this open letter, the cheif premise of "Evolutionary astrology" - to be open to the wonderous possibilities of human manifestation, to be open and tolerant of all points of view, to be open to this, and to be open to that - is all a crock. As Perry points out, rightly in my view, EA is a way for people to convince themselves of how "spiritual" they are, sans the rigamorole of conventional religion. Which isn't a crime per say, but it is deeply problematic. Why do I say that? Because astrology is one of the first sciences known to man, governed by many of the same principles that science adheres to, such as comparison, observation, method, and above all, REASON. And Reason, which involves questioning, critique, inquiry, are strenuously stamped out in EA. Perhaps this, more than anything, explains why there has been written response to Perry from any EA of any repute - and that includes Fernandez - to date, nor is there any likelihood that such will happen.

If one goes to the "Forum" section of his website and scroll though the past month or two of the postings, one will find my name there, making contributions and posing questions challenging Fernandez's thinking and method. Read for yourself his responses. Compare and contrast.

And while I'm on the point, please note that at no time did I say that EA should be run outta town on the rail; that Fernandez was a criminal; that he didn't have a right to exist or earn a living, or that those who wished to consult him didn't have a right to do so; that I didn't crack on his Momma; none of that. I simply but forcefully (as I'm a vociferous man, what can I say?:) ) presented a counterpoint to his positions, backed them up astrologically, and then questioned the validity of the "Evolutionary" method beyond his simply saying "because I said so". Again, go there and see for yourself - mauricefernandez.com - provided of course, he hasn't deleted all evidence of my existence yet.

On April 7 2008, Fernandez issued his "Forum Rules", his way I suppose, of bullying me into silence; my responses to his "rules" will appear in paranthesis:

MF: In the light of multiple misunderstandings currently occurring on the forum, I believe it is time for more clarifications. (Clarity is more preferable to agreement; its the words I live by)

MF: Before we get to part II, please read Part I:
http://www.mauricefernandez.com/forum_eng/topic.asp?ARCHIVE=true&TOPIC_ID=8852 (I haven't done this, but if anyone out there wishes to do so, have at it!)

MF: I'm stressing out once again that this forum is designed for the study of evolutionary astrology, as I teach it. This is not a multi-discipline medium where other techniques are learned and discussed, though it is acceptable to mention them if they add to the given context. (Which is what I did, give context and texture to the topics discussed, and in any event, please note that at no point in the direct exchanges between MF and myself, was he "teaching" any discernable EA principles. If anyone out there sees something I dont in this regard, please inform me! Thanks!)

MF: The forum is not a place for political, social or any other form of debates. If you have ideas, articles, or views you would like to share or propose (not impose) - use the GENERAL FORUM. The ideas discussed will have to be considered appropriate according to my standards, and if these debates derail to personal accusations or negative charge, they will be systematically deleted. (Note the totalitarian tone here - you cannot question anything, you must accept EA dogma without question, or you will shown the front door; also, please note that MF brings up political issues all the time - it's just that it's OK FOR HIM TO DO IT, no one else, and especially not for someone like me)

MF: Adding to the above - Debates about the validity of Evolutionary Astrology will not be tolerated. If you are here, it means that you respect this discipline and find value in it. If you have doubts, educate yourself first and ask learning (not judgemental) questions. If the answers do not satisfy you, you are not meant to resonate with Evolutionary Astrology and your place is not here anymore. (Again, please note the above; you must accept, without question, the EA method, full stop. Aren't these the same characters who give us Vedheads a workout about "Free Will"? Wassup wit dat? Also, note the patently anti-intellectual modality here, which is also easily explained in MF's astrology, which I'll be getting to in a moment)

MF: Consider that since this is my forum, its content and quality will naturally be colored by my personality, insights and value system. While different ideas can surely be discussed, the main orientation will naturally go with those who resonate more with my approach. As you know, noone forces you to stay if this is at odd with your personal value system... You are encouraged to find a more suitable forum/website for you or create your own; doing so, you will naturally attract participants who will resonate with your orientation. (In other words: Segregation. I happen to know quite a bit about such things, don't you know. People have died to end it, and rightly so. I want everyone to be in the same room - then we'll see who's on point, and who isnt. But even if you don't agree with my take on it, notice the Scorpionic power play in evidence here. Scorpions sting when they're pressed into a corner. Hard questioning of a Scorpionic "Evolutionary" astrologer will do that)

MF: LENGTH OF POSTS: consider the flow of the forum depends on being concise and to the point. Harness your Mercury (3rd House issues) and avoid getting carried away in unecessary details or unrelated discussions. People (myself included) don't have the time to read overly extended posts or stray into the different corridors of your brain. I will not define what long or short consist of... I trust you will know what is reasonable and within context. If you are out of line, I will let you know! (As w/everything else of an "Evolutionary" sort, nothing can be defined in any actual terms that can be measured and thus HELD TO ACCOUNT. Nice, huh? Gotta love Spirituality! And oh, please note that MF is free to opine, at will, ad infinitum. Where I come from there's a word for such a practice)

MF: Those who know me and my work, know that I'm usually flexible and do not "enforce" these rules, unless things really get out of proportion. These days, they have and for this reason I will be much more rigorous in applying these rules. (Again, checkout the site and my direct exchanges with the man, and come to your own conclusions)

MF: I don't mean to offend anyone, but the flow of the forum has been upset and it has generated frustration among participants (and myself). I don't have the luxury of time to deal with these dramas and address the emails I received charged with concerns. (Meaning, please don't confuse me with any facts or data which intrude on my idyllic notions of how Life works, thank you very much)

MF: Thank you for understanding! We all mean well, but we have to understand each other and the space we are in.

I sincerely hope that participants will continue to contribute meangfully to the study in adapting to those requirements.

Blessings (Ahh, there's the "Blessed Be" kiss-off...like I said, what a joke.)

Perry has said that the main problem with EA is that it is a "self-sealing doctrine", meaning, that since it refuses to play be any established rules of astrological investigation, there is no corresponding way to critique it - and that is the point. It is clearly evident here. And woe be to the person who does question such a practitioner like Fernandez - they're likely to ban you, in a most loving, kind and nonjudgmental way, of course.

And, true to his 12th house Asc ruling Moon in Gemini, that's exactly what Fernandez did, around April 18 or so. Guess he couldn't take the heat - but with an exact square between Mercury in Scorpio and Mars in Aquarius, both at the very last degrees of their Signs, he certainly can dish it out! LOL!

Looking at his synastry with mine, its interesting to note that my Pluto tightly square his Moon, while his Saturn opposes my Sun. My chart is Earth dominant; he has none. In fairness, I have very little Water element, he has quite a bit. We both share Neptune=Sun/Moon - Ideological differences writ large. And, his Sun is opposed my Moon.

Well, you might say, Mu, the man has a right to run his forum anyway he wants! And who are you to question him?! And of course, you'd be right. Absolutely.

But you see, my point is that I care very deeply about astrology, not just where it is now in this time, but for its future - and from where I sit, from what I see, that future does not look very bright at all. So much of what goes on in the astrological world simply is not relevant to the lives of people being lived on the ground. There persists a "Boy in the Bubble" mentality, a gross and patent denial of so many things, like Race and Class, to name only a scant few, to say nothing of the strident anti-intellectual and kneejerk reactionary stances taken on by so many in our midst. That this is at least AS evident among the much vaunted "next generation" as it is among their Baby Boomer predecessors, is prima facie evidence that the fruit don't fall far from the tree. As I've said before, and I maintain the position, the ONLY thing that has changed between the Astrological Generations, is there are now fewer wrinkles and male pattern baldness. And of course, they remain virtually all White. Almost forgot to mention that part.

I thank Mr. Fernandez for continuing my ongoing studies in my education on the state of the astrological community, Spring 2008.

Comment and reply, invited!

Salaam
Mu

8 Comments:

Blogger Melody said...

Mu, although I see and understand much of where you are coming from, as an “evolutionary” at heart, I would say that the chief premise is actually not “to be open to the wonderous possibilities of human manifestation, to be open and tolerant of all points of view, to be open to this, and to be open to that”. I’m not sure where that idea originated, but if I were to give a chief premise it would be that there is an underlying assumption that souls are journeying through time learning and growing (the evolutionary part) which of course relies on the idea of past lives. The chart is a representation of the evolutionary intentions of the soul coming into this life and so looks at the deeper question of “why?” we are here. This is the “spiritual” aspect in the sense it tackles the deeper questions vs. the mundane personality description.

However, what I have personally discovered because I give many readings to people who are not comfortable with the idea of reincarnation and past lives, is that the same principles apply to the womb and first three years experience, which I can easily interpret as being born with the energy that one leaves off with last relevant time around, if one needs to stay with the past life paradigm. I personally can take it or leave it just because we all know that time is only linear in this dimension and there is probably much much more to the story than we can grok with our limited understanding.

10:52 AM  
Anonymous G said...

Hello Mr. Bey,
I think you choose to look at the word "Spiritual" the way you find it comfortable for your own needs.
To be "spiritual" has more meaning than what you think.
For me it's to respect others first, and to understand that there is a place for everybody on planet Earth.
You are considering yourself a controversial Astrologer, but is it really to learn or just screaming your opinion in order to get some attention?
If it was to learn, then listening is needed. but you are so busy in making yourself valid so you don't have time to listen and learn.
Have you ever tried to accept other people for who they are, or things that are not the way you think or live your life?
Have you ever asked yourself why you are being controversial by definition, and what need does it serve in your life?
Controversial people are all over. you are not unique in this category.even MF is controversial some would say. does it mean that he have to argue about every little thing? I don't think so.
What he know to do is to accept and forgive, so he gave you another chance to stay on the forum (the Forum that he created to teach his way of understanding Astrology), but you cannot accept Rules, or anything else that can prevent you from being "controversial".
This is of course the way I see what happened, and maybe for once you will read what other people have to say and ask yourself is it possible that they are right, and there is something for me to learn here, more then I really think?
You have a lot to say Mr. Bey, but sometimes all you have to do is just listen.
And I do send you my blessings, because we are all hear to learn from one another, not to waste time on fighting.

5:10 AM  
Blogger Mu'Min M. Bey said...

Hello "G",
While you are certainly entitled to your opinion, I take a differing view. You see, I've "listened" for a very long time; its only been in very recent years, most notably since the creation of this blog, that I've taken to the soapbox as it were.

Additionally, I find it very interesting that there are astrologers who's stock and trade is to be as vociferous, loud and boisterous, as possible, and no one, apparently including you, says absolutely nothing about that. Where is the condemnation of Astroworld.us? Jessica Murray rails on and on against the current administration, to say nothing of other astrologers, of which I can run off a list off the top of my head. Where's the excoriation, the calls for reflection and introspection? Ahh, but you see, they parrot views that are accepted in current day astrology circles, you see. So they don't count.

The problem isn't that I'm as vociferous, its that I'm vociferous about "the wrong things". So I've decided to add my voice to the astrologically colloquiy, by any means necessary.

And I will be heard.

Thanks for your comments!

Salaam
Mu

1:54 AM  
Blogger Mu'Min M. Bey said...

Oh, and G, one more thing: you're right I am a bit argumentative, but where I come from that ain't a crime, in fact it's something to be lauded. As I've told Fernandez and I repeat now, Astrology is chockfull of intuitives; it needs thinkers. I accept nothing on face value; everything is subjected to the acid test of reason, debate and questioning. It's far too easy for astrologers, especially of my generation and the ones coming along right now, to get sucked into romanitcized notions of "rightness" without thinking things through. That requires a rigorous process of debate and questioning, and guess what it will often be unpleasant because the very nature of debate and questioning is unpleasant.

But again, I thank you for your comments, you are most welcome to post them! Please stop by again.

Thanks.

Salaam
Mu

2:00 AM  
Blogger Mu'Min M. Bey said...

Hi Melody,
Yea, I kinda figured that out by the time my foray into an EA's head came to a close, LOL! But it's cool. The world will not end, but it does give me a bit of insight into how EAs think, er, feel about things. Again, not saying that it should be run outta town on a rail, just saying that when it comes against some hardnosed questioning, it falls flat on its face.

But to each his or her, own...

Thanks again!

Salaam
Mu

2:02 AM  
Anonymous eris said...

MuMin, I am inclined to disagree with some of your statements about EA and about Maurice's forum in particular.

You write that "at no point in the direct exchanges between MF and myself, was he "teaching" any discernable EA principles."

Maurice often uses that forum to teach EA principles. Many forum members are current and former students of his. If you hang around there long enough, you begin to realize that there are ongoing dialogues, spanning multiple threads, about astrology in general and EA in particular.

"MF: The forum is not a place for political, social or any other form of debates. If you have ideas, articles, or views you would like to share or propose (not impose) - use the GENERAL FORUM."

Here the key phrase is "GENERAL FORUM." Maurice's forum is split into two parts; the EA forum and the general forum. I don't know if this relates to the specific posts between you and him, but with this instruction he is simply directing people to make their posts in the proper forum.

You write: "Note the totalitarian tone here - you cannot question anything, you must accept EA dogma without question, or you will shown the front door"

Once again, the place for topics not based on a presupposed acceptance of general EA principles is the GENERAL FORUM, where I have made and continue to make my share of controversial posts, sometimes directly criticizing Maurice if I see fit. For an example, just follow this link... http://www.mauricefernandez.com/forum_eng/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=10050

11:10 PM  
Blogger Mu'Min M. Bey said...

Hi Eris,
While I can see your point I maintain my position; at no point in my time there w/direct exchanges between myself and MF, did he specifically note any EA principles. Compare and contrast with this blogsite and the UOA where I constantly layout my positions and the basis on which they are based. Now, you and others may disagree with that, and many often do, but you can't say what I just did about MF.

My time w/him has given me the distinct impression that EA comes alot closer to a form of religion in its best light, and more like a cult in its worst. Being the free marketeer and free association advocate that I am, I would say that people should be free to do as they will with both their money and time. But that doesn't mean that I don't get to put the laser pointer on the foreheads of folks like Maurice Fernandez. I'll be keeping my eye on him and others.

It's time Astrology had a gut check.

Salaam
Mu

3:34 AM  
Anonymous eris said...

Mumin, perhaps you can imagine a “scientific” adherent of the prevailing cult of empiricism snickering derisively at the Vedic astrologer who insinuates that the evolutionary astrologer is running a religious cult. Would you disagree with my suggestion that ALL forms of astrology involve necessary leaps of faith? (You could argue the same about all forms of “knowledge” of the world around us – the Jupiter principle…)

You are critical of MF for not maintaining your personal standard of stating up front your methodology and presuppositions. Perhaps there is actually a good reason for this: the nature and purpose of MF’s website is completely different from yours. Maurice is running a private school, which is a business. The purpose of his website is to interface with the general public, but his FORUM is primarily an adjunct to his teaching activities. If you want an in-depth look at evolutionary astrology, you could pay a few thousand dollars to enroll in his comprehensive seven-stage course, and then test for yourself if it works or not. Are you familiar with Jeff Green's Pluto books?

I imagine that from MF’s point of view (right or wrong), when you showed up at his forum, you were looking for “freebies” that you could criticize, disrupting a service (the EA forum) that he provides primarily for his paying customers.

If you are indeed a 39-year-old Sagittarius with Taurus Moon, then you have the ruler of your North Node (Mars) conjunct your South Node, and the ruler of your South Node (Eris) conjunct your North Node. This is an eye-catching “feedback loop” – a rather striking marriage of opposites – that would be an interesting subject to which to apply the principles of evolutionary astrology.

peace,
eris

4:42 PM  

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