|A personal quest for ancient lost knowledge...|
PART ONE A brief history of time, rhyme and events beyond reason
PART TWO - Jonathan's mystical quest leads him to an enchanted enclave of Tibetan monks
PART THREE - The meaning of the prophecy and a Wish-Fulfilling Jewel...
As appeared in the Daily Express in year 2000
I have just had my birth chart drawn up by an old acquaintance. I do not know him well. How then, can he know so much about me and my past? Perhaps he has been talking to some of my friends. There must be a conventional explanation. Because, otherwise, I have just had my first encounter with a very peculiar power. Studio City, Los Angeles, September, 1981
I am managing a nightclub while I try with my brother, to make an inroad into the American music business. Once again, I have my fortune told, this time by a psychic who collars me in the bar.
Apparently, I am to have a career in publishing, doing something esoteric and unconventional. I am later told that I have been talking to Charles John Quarto, a poet friend of Graham Nash (as in Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young). But California is full of people who claim famous connections. It is also full of people who will tell you anything. I dismiss the encounter. I don't even bring it back to mind till 1989. Hollywood, California, August 28, 1982
Despite the glamorous location, I am having a tough time. The nightclub has folded. I am sleeping on a friend's floor. Over the road there is a bookstore. I wander in one morning and eye is caught by Instant Astrology - No Maths Or Special Training Required.
I pick it up and put it down, reluctantly. Almost as a reflex action, I slip my hand into my inside pocket. My wallet is empty. But next to it, I am amazed to find a $50 bill. I buy the book. And then, a slice of pizza.
Two days later, I am still trying to work out where the money came from. I have been broke for weeks. I have also been wearing the same jacket. How can it have just turned up from nowhere? Oh well. At least it is keeping me nicely in burritos and milkshakes. Before I blow all the change on food, I decide to visit a second-hand bookshop to get some more reading material. Venice Beach, California, October 5, 1982
I am now sleeping on a different couch in a different part of town. And, to my own disbelief, I am giving astrological readings. Things happen fast in this city. Word has go out that I have a new interest. Friends of friends are asking me to read their charts. The more I protest that I don't know enough, the more they mistake my honesty for modesty.
As October progresses I start to feel like a fraud. I am casually telling fortunes on the strength of a handful of books that I have hardly finished reading. I also now know that those instant look-up tables are not strictly accurate. Yet I cannot calculate the correct planetary positions. Leeds, England, December 18, 1982
I have returned home with a purpose. I feel that I have been abusing a noble, ancient art. Now, I want to honour it with the serious study that it deserves. England may be colder than LA, but there is an "enterprise allowance scheme" here. Maybe I can wangle that as a way to put myself through a kind of unofficial college. Christmas, England, 1982
My mother has been a medical secretary all her life. Apparently, while I have been away in LA, deciding to become an astrologer, she has identified an inner calling to become a spiritual healer. North London, April, 1983
I move into a tiny bedsit. Two days later, I visit the local library looking for books on astrology. Guess what. This library houses the biggest collection in Europe. I spend days on end there reading. At closing time, I return home and cast horoscopes, long into the night. West London, June, 1983
Another coincidence. My brother has a demo tape that needs to be copied. At the tape duplication centre, the air is full of squeaky noises. They are producing computer cassettes for the early, mass-market home computers. We chat and they invite me to design a horoscopes program. I point out two problems. I know nothing about computers and my knowledge of astrology is patchy. Don't worry, they say, we will put you together with a programmer - and we will help you study as you work. North London, February, 1984
I am still reading books, casting charts and designing software. I am also attending workshops, seminars and evening classes. At one of these, the lecturer puts up my chart as an example. Apparently, astrology is shown clearly in my Venus/Uranus opposition. No big surprise there. It is now my chosen profession. But three people, plus the teacher, all take one look at Jupiter/Neptune conjunct the midheaven and insist that my future lies in "broadcasting or publishing". North London, April, 1985
As I prepare to take my first set of exams with the Faculty of Astrological Studies, I become a little snobbish. Not only am I quick to criticise newspaper astrology for being too superficial, I am tough on tarot, clairvoyance and other "esoteric arts". These techniques I decide, are just too easy. Astrology is much more complex logical and scientific. Central London, March, 1986
I am now obliged to be a little less snooty. Like George Benson - a hero on the jazz scene who went on to record a string of simple, night-club-soul hits - I have changed my tune. I have even started to produce daily sun-sign forecasts for Today newspaper. I am diligently employing all that I have learned in the past six years. Yet I know that some of my colleagues are outraged. Shipley. Yorkshire, November, 1989
As I produce my daily column, I am sticking strictly to the astrological principles I have been taught. I am though, getting a lot of readers' letters, asking about "matters mystical". In reply to them all, I point out that astrology has a logical basis - whereas other, traditional ways to read the future (such as tarot) do not. I am similarly critical of mediumship - or "past life experience" - or people who claim to have "spirit guides". To me, this is all just so much imaginative nonsense. Yet my partner Melanie, takes this kind of thing very seriously. She tells me to be more open minded. We agree to disagree. North Yorkshire, August 1992
Melanie dies in surgery after a car crash. Even in my grief, I realise the irony of the situation. I did not "see it coming". Nor would I have wanted to, unless it could have made a difference. What I do see though, is Melanie; as clear as a TV picture in the corner of the room. I hear her too, telling me about what is happening to her. We converse many times in the first weeks after her death. My friends think I am crazed with sorrow. I though, feel calm, inspired and reassured. Maybe I am just seeing what I want to see. But it feels as real as anything I have ever experienced. Kathmandu, Nepal, April 1994
I am now working for another newspaper - and I have a weekly spot on GMTV. My conversations with Melanie (and by now, a few other departed loved ones) are not preventing me from speaking clearly to the public. But they are inspiring me to travel. One weekend, as a birthday present, I have whim to take my daughter Jessica to India. I have never been there before. I only have five days before I am due back on TV. We go briefly to Delhi and on to Nepal. In the process, my eyes open even wider to a world of mystical possibilities. I have another "bookshop moment". Near the hotel in Kathmandu, I find a book about the ancient eastern prophecies. And thus begins the start of a whole new quest for knowledge. TRYING TO READ THE COSMIC CLOCK
It may surprise you to learn that most astrologers do not see themselves as mystical. Conventional science may not accept us but we still hold science in the highest regard. We make our diagnosis on the basis of very strict criteria. We demand evidence before we ever accept a new theory. Astrology though, is based on a mystical supposition. We believe that the sky is a cosmic clock. By learning to read it, we can race a hidden link between events in the sky and events of the Earth. We also believe that time is rather like a hologram. Even if you break it into fragments, you will find, in each tiny piece, enough information to recreate the whole picture. In other words, we believe that the answer to every question, ever asked, can be found in this very moment. Provided, of course, that you know how to look for it. In this regard, whether we like it or not, we have something in common with the oracles, alchemists and visionaries. Yet intriguingly, we also have something in common with today's top physicists. Reluctantly, they too have recently become obliged to explore - and prove - the very same assertion! It is this which has recently led me to expand my own horizons in the quest for a deeper understanding of the true nature of time.
PART THREE - The meaning of the prophecy and a Wish-Fulfilling Jewel...
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