Perhaps we need to stop more to reflect on people who have been very meaningful in our life. I feel grateful that I had the chance to know Robert Blaschke, a brilliant astrologer and skilled teacher. Today would have been his 60th birthday, and I can’t help thinking how so many people do miss him. He had a very caring approach to his work with clients and students, and I’m sure that was true in his personal relationships as well.
I first met Robert in 1996 and saw him again in 1997 when he came to speak at the Astrological Conference of Western Canada, held here in Vancouver in August of those years. I was a relative newbie to astrology at that time and found myself soaking up as much material as possible. There were many great speakers at the conference, but what made Robert stand out initially was that he was such an excellent teacher. He was organized, inspiring, and obviously well-versed in his craft. In addition, during his talks he paid tribute to great astrologers before him (Dane Rudhyar and Charles Carter, for example) and that made me feel like I was being welcomed into a long line of people who devoted themselves to a noble practice. It wasn’t about self-glorification with Robert; it was about helping people understand their cycles and circumstances, and he did so with great love.
Prior to the conferences, my astrological learning was rather scattered. Yes, my library of astrology books was growing at a fast rate, but I definitely could have benefited from some structure! Robert offered a set of 8 cassette tapes — recordings of a beginners’ class he taught — along with his course outline and workshop handouts. I ordered the program and found it to be a tremendous way of managing what I had learned to date while giving me many new insights — for example, the subtle difference between interpreting a waning aspect and a waxing aspect, and whether each was applying or separating. I suppose, then, I could say that Robert was one of my first teachers.
In these early years of knowing Robert, I found out that he and I shared the same chart angles: 21° Virgo Ascendant and 20° Gemini Midheaven. His Jupiter conjunct the MC was directly opposite my Jupiter on the IC, so I felt like I was truly in awe of his knowledge and was happy to absorb whatever I could from him!
There are hundreds of us who miss receiving Robert’s quarterly newsletter. He would tell us about his upcoming speaking engagements and his plan to write a series a books. He would also include personal anecdotes, so we ended up feeling like we were his friends and not just his customers. Robert was really on the cutting edge of social media — and doing so, not by Facebook, but via the U.S. postal service!
Robert was indeed a wonderful writer. His Astrology: A Language Of Life series has many gems in it, planting seeds for future astrologers to nurture. I am intrigued particularly with his theory of progressions. He proposed that times in life are linked by the progressions, first showing up on the mental plane in minor progressions, then on the emotional plane in the tertiary progressions, and finally on the physical plane in the secondary progressions. This made a statement of how very important it is for us to take care of our children; for example, if a child experiences an emotional trauma that is not fully healed (triggered in the tertiary progressions), then ramifications may appear later in life on the physical level when the same aspect patterns show up in the secondary progressions.
I found Volume 3, A Handbook For The Self-Employed Astrologer, to be most helpful when I started setting up my own practice. Robert was forthcoming in this book, sharing with us very personal financial information along with strategies that worked and ones that didn’t. He didn’t sugarcoat anything, and he included some very humorous anecdotes. I loved how he concluded the book with the section he called Remaining Loyal To Your Inner Light. If I may quote from him:
“Your inner light is your power and strength. It comes straight from your heart. No person can take this away from you. If you step into this light, it will protect you, provide for you, and guide you forward as an astrologer. Believe in this Light.”
Thank you, Robert. You’ve been such an inspiring mentor and wise astrologer to so many of us. Happy Birthday.