The Recent Revival of Astrology in Romania

Hi, my name is Chris Brennan and this is episode 219 of the Astrology Podcast In this episode, I’ll be talking about the revival of Astrology in Romania over the course of the past 30 years so in June of 2019 just a couple of months ago, I traveled to Romania from June 6 through the 10th to attend and speak at an Astrology Conference that was being hosted there by the Romanian Astrologers’ Association so on June 9 I conducted several interviews and some of the interviews with the younger astrologers I already published and released in Episode 213 of the Astrology Podcast but that day I also conducted some interviews with the founders of the astrological organisation there and two of those I’m releasing in this episode of the Astrology Podcast so the first interview was with Firicel Ciarnau and the second with Mihaela Dicu so one of the things I learned about during my trip to Romania was the recent revival of Astrology over the past 30 years after the Revolution took place in 1989 and that’s kind of the focus or the large part of the focus of this episode and of these 2 interviews I’m about to present so what happened is that while there were a few Astrology books published in Romania in the early 20th century, right around the time Astrology was being revived in the Western countries after a long slumber of a few centuries after it fell out of a sort of intellectual usage after the Renaissance so although there were some books published in Romania in the early 20th century after WW2, Romania was taken over by the Communists, of course and during that time,Astrology became outlawed and was no longer permissible and part of the background behind that was that in the USSR they promoted atheism and they were generally against religions and religious practices in general and Astrology was classified as a form of divination or a sort of superstition or a pseudo-science and therefore was generally prohibited in the different Soviet Bloc countries Eastern Bloc countries which included Romania so evidently Romania from what I was told, was one of the countries where the suppression of Astrology was the worst or was in some instances the most extreme and astrologers were not only prohibited from practicing or studying the subject, but also Astrology books were burned and prohibited in general so despite that there were still some astrologers who studied the subject privately to whatever extent they could, and occasionally they would come across Astrology books that had survived the suppression and would do what they could to study the subject given those circumstances then in 1989 there was a Revolution and the Communist government was overthrown and then, as a result of that, during the course of the 1990s, Astrology started to have a revival and it was suddenly permissible again to study and practice the subject so the people I interviewed were two of the people that were in the first generation of astrologers, who were studying and practicing and promoting the subject of Astrology again publicly after the Revolution took place and they helped to set up certification programs for the subject they helped to make it an actual occupation that was recognised by the government and in 2004 they created the Romanian Astrologers’ Association in order to help promote Astrology to help translate different astrological texts into Romanian and publish them and also to host Astrology conferences so they currently host 2 Astrology conferences each year in Romania so I wanted to interview both of these astrologers in order to help document some of this history because Astrology goes through phases of acceptableness in different societies periodically over time and it’s important to remember and recognise those who have helped Astrology to survive and to revive itself periodically, even during the hardest of times So I did want to say thank you to Carmina Amza for her translation and transcription services she both helped me to translate the interviews that day on June 9 when I was doing these interviews and she also helped me to translate them into the transcripts that were used, that will be onto the Astrology Podcast website and they’ll be used in the subtitles for the video version of this episode I decided to go with subtitles which you can turn on if you’re watching the video version by clicking the CC button and then we will have some specific… there will be a good translation of what’s said because I wanted to preserve both the original statements that were made in Romanian as interviews, but I also wanted to have the subtitles, of course, for the English-speaking listeners who are watching this episode in the audio version I also wanted to thank another friend, his name is Adrian Tarhon for his help in translating the audio versions of this episode where we had two people read the transcript and the translation that Carmina had made in order to have just a purely audio version of this episode that you can listen to on the Astrology Podcast website so, finally, thanks to the Romanian Astrologers’ Association for hosting me and for all the great work that they’re doing, there’s a lot of great people in that organisation that made my trip to Romania great and are just doing fabulous work in their country and and bringing Astrology back after it was suppressed for so many decades so, with that introduction out of the way, let’s begin with the interviews! Chris Brennan: Hi!
Thank you for joining me today. What is your name?

Firicel Ciarnău. Firicel: That’s more difficult to pronounce in English,
but it is what it is. Chris: Sure. Chris: How old are you and do you share the details of your chart? Firicel: I was born February 16, 1962, and in my chart, I have a great number of planets
in Aquarius and the 11th house, That endows me with lots of energy,
particularly in the areas Aquarius is responsible for, And I’m happy about that. I jokingly call it ‘a bucketful of planets’,
but it helps a great deal. However, I don’t have any trines, sextiles, I have an amazing stellium, Mars and Saturn
also there in Aquarius, with Mercury between them, And on the opposite side,
the Nodal axis is also Aquarius/Leo And Uranus is there. Uranus, the ruler of Astrology,
in the 5th house which is also education, So naturally I was somewhat pushed
to teach Astrology. Aries Rising provides the necessary energy
to put any project into practice. Chris: And before you were an astrologer, What is your primary profession or educational background? Firicel: I’m a mathematician. I attended Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj, it is considered the strongest University in Romania, I was a math teacher for over 20 years, then I gave up the education system to dedicate myself solely to Astrology, to Esoteric sciences, Numerology, and so on. Chris: So I’m just learning about the history of Astrology in Romania, And I was wondering if you could explain a little bit about Astrology being suppressed And how you found it during that time and how you became an astrologer? Firicel: During the Communist era, so before the Revolution in 1989, Astrology was forbidden. Even though other countries who were communist allowed Astrology to exist, In Romania, there was no such thing. So it was just difficult, as you couldn’t even own books. State Security, Police, Militia which was the Police denomination back then, Would perform searches, take the books on Astrology or esoteric topics, They burned them and the owner could even go to prison. However, in 1985, I found in the attic of a friend’s house, very well hidden, some books on Esoteric topics, including Astrology. I couldn’t say that I already learned Astrology then, but at least the spark was ignited. Out of curiosity, I would go through those books. And because I insisted, he eventually gifted me one of those books. After the Revolution, I knew enough Astrology to come forward I came forward, and was among the first to write texts in various magazines And to try to make Astrology more popular. Obviously, Romanians had no idea even what their Sun sign was, Not even what the zodiac signs were, They knew next to nothing about Astrology, Because they had been cut off from this science for so long. At first, it wasn’t easy, especially due to the dialectical materialism Which was typical of communist thinking, People were used to look down on, or to mock those who were involved in esoteric sciences, metaphysics, astrology and so on. I didn’t cave in, I moved forward, as I was convinced that what I was doing was amazing, And step by step, I succeeded, And today, almost every Romanian knows their Sun sign, Almost every TV station has their horoscope section, the commercial horoscope, any magazine, People are already used to it. It was difficult in the beginning until they became accustomed, But now they are accustomed. And we can carry on with our activities. Slowly, politicians and those who were involved in writing the official Classification of Economic Activities in Romania took Astrology into consideration And officially recognised it as an ‘occupation’. It’s not a ‘profession’, just an ‘occupation’, but we are very happy to have at least that. The difference between ‘occupation’ and ‘profession’ Is practically non-existent. There is a difference, however, in regulations, Because an ‘occupation’ is officially acknowledged, You may receive an official certificate, But one can’t create, for instance, a University, higher studies in Astrology. Not yet. But we are patient and working on it. After the year 2000, I personally founded the Fidelia Astrology School. It was the first official Astrology school in Romania, And as soon as we could, we started granting certificates That are officially recognised by the Ministry of Labor. Romanians can use that to officially perform this profession, or occupation. I was happy to have achieved that. To boast, I was the first in many directions. In Astrology, I was the first to create a school, the first to issue certificates, I like being first, it’s nice, And I still have resources. I surely still have much to do And I will do it all. I plan that, when the time comes to be able to create an Astrology college, You can make sure that I’ll be attempting to. Chris: So So how did you come to create the first certification program in Romania for Astrology? We had to wait until the officials created that Classification of Economic Activities in Romania, So that the occupation of ‘astrologer’ would be included in that list, So that it exists. As soon as it existed officially, obviously, I was waiting for it, I created the project, I submitted the paperwork, and so I was the first to be able to offer that. Nowadays, there are also others offering these certificates, I am not the only one anymore, But I’m happy, the majority are former students of mine, So I’m happy for them, And thus, Astrology is developing in Romania. It’s also interesting, as an anecdote, The Law stipulated that those who wish to offer such a certificate, to already have a certificate, However, at the time I did it, nobody had a certificate, But I managed to persuade them That somebody had to break the ice. That somebody needed to be first. And I convinced them. Chris: There’s sometimes debates in the astrological community whether certification is a good idea or a bad idea, How do you feel about certification at this point, Or … you argue in favour of it, what would you say to those who are against certification? Firicel: Not all astrologers in Romania attended my school. Not all of them have a certificate. In actuality, most astrologers were self-taught, And thus, many of them move forward to organised studies, in an organised school setting, Or they stubbornly seek individualism, they want to be on their own two feet, Neither one of these options is wrong, The Law allows them to activate as astrologers even without a certification, So for now, that is a good thing, as they don’t feel hemmed in, But as time passes, certification will be required. The same happened with the Astrologers’ Association, We were a handful of people who collaborated, And we got to thinking… generally, astrologers in Romania and worldwide Are a bit more individualistic Each works on their own and usually keep their knowledge to themselves. We thought we could gather all astrologers in Romania under the same umbrella Not for them to be directed, or led, But for them to collaborate. So we thought: if we, the few, 4-5 people, Can cooperate, We are certain there are other astrologers in Romania Eager to collaborate And in this way, we created the Association, We created magazines, online or printed, And here we are, a good number of astrologers who collaborate And by exchanging ideas, we learn from each other, So it’s a great advantage, it’s a plus. Chris: Definitely. You are a first generation astrologer, but you’re not the only astrologer
In your family, right? Firicel: I was among the first astrologers, but once a younger generation appeared, I personally considered, and gave myself as an example, That the younger generation should decide the fate of the Association, what to do with it and where to direct it, And us, the elders, who created the Association, we should take a step back. Not everyone from the Association, from my generation, took that step back, I did, just so that I could set an example. It’s true, many interpreted this step back differently, As making room for my daughter, who is now President of the Astrologers’ Association. It’s not true. I took that step back before she became President, People like her, they love her, and she became a great astrologer through her own studies, And not because of her father, But through her own studies, through her own work, which naturally made me very happy. She is respected for her own work and talent. Not for the fact that her father founded the Association. I took a nice step back, I am at their disposal any time, to help, And I consider myself a fulfilled individual, I consider that what I have done and am doing in my current position Is an honour and brings me joy. Chris: So what are the different approaches to Astrology in Romania, or are there different groups or how has Astrology grown and developed in the past 20 or 30 years? Firicel: In Romania, the majority – 90% of people – use Tropical Astrology. Sidereal and Hindu Astrology is used very, very little. There are some astrologers using Sidereal and Hindu Astrology, but very, very few. So when we talk about Astrology in Romania, we talk about Tropical Astrology. However, some currents appeared: some prefer Hellenistic Astrology, others Modern Astrology, how should I say this, my firm, my company, Is the largest provider of astrological services in Romania. I have a team, I can’t work by myself, I have a full team providing these services, not just classes, But also personalised studies And what I noticed: most of us use Placidus, But where the time is unknown, or where a certain type of study is needed, We use Whole House Signs. From what I noticed, after thousands of studies, based on the feedback from clients, I concluded that Placidus provides a greater degree of accuracy in describing the person, in Natal Astrology so it’s much more accurate, positive feedback is much more numerous than when using Whole. Because of that, in my school, for instance, the house system taught is Placidus. Why? Because there are some calculations there, It’s a bit more complex, Placidus, and so, better that they learn what is more difficult And then they can decide if they want to move to Whole Sign Houses Because it will be much easier. rather than me teaching Whole Signs and should they wish to switch to Placidus, it would be much more difficult so I teach the most difficult one, and then, if they wish, they can switch to other systems So even if Placidus is the foundation, we also present all house systems… Not all… I mean a few, we chose a few house systems including Whole Just so that they can choose afterwards. So we grant them the freedom to practice whatever they choose, and what suits them. Chris: I think the final thing is just… 100 years from now, if astrologers are still practicing Astrology in Romania, and it’s been around for a century, what do you think you would like them to remember about the past two decades, when it was revived, Or what should they know in order to understand how it got started again? Firicel: I would like them to understand and realise That we, the post-Revolution generation of astrologers, Made a huge leap, from not knowing Astrology, From zero, we took it to a level they can build on. That was our mission, to leave the past behind and From zero, to take a big enough leap so that they have something to develop on later. Chris: If there was anybody that ever had to do that process again and start over from scratch, somewhere else, is there any advice you would give them, Or things that you would have done differently if you had a chance to do it again? Firstly, to such people I recommend… From my own experience… Firstly, to have patience, then to not give up because of people criticising them, If they feel they have this mission and have to do this, And feel what they do is right, Then they should do no matter what, regardless of the obstacles. What would I do if I had to start over? I think I would accelerate, I would do everything faster, I stretched things out over too long a time, I think I would have accelerated. That is all. Chris: Do you have other esoteric interests beside Astrology? Firicel: My first interest was Numerology. I’m a mathematician. It was easier to write my first book on Numerology. It was written in 1995, and published the same year, And there were no serious books on Numerology, in Romania, So I was a pioneer even there, I can say that all Numerologists in Romania learned from me. My Astrology book came out only in 1999, So later, I was already involved in Astrology, but I felt I needed more time to gather information to be able to write a book. During that time, there were no books available in Romania, I was studying from photocopies, Or typewritten translations of books from abroad, Sometimes not even knowing who the author was, So I simply learned everything I could get my hands on. Speaking of Numerology and Astrology, I strongly recommend that people, astrologers, also study Numerology, And that they somehow combine, When they have to provide certain services to people, Let’s say, they need to help someone with advice, They may notice Astrology does not suffice, Just as they may notice Numerology does not suffice But having them together may bring the answer. Often times, I combine Astrology and Numerology, I also handle Divinatory Arts, Esoterism in general, I teach Kabbalah, Occultism, a lot… all these esoteric sciences are necessary For the astrologer to understand Astrology and how planets work, Eventually, one needs to understand they don’t influence us, It’s all about archetypes, analogies, synchronicities. That’s what Astrology is based on. Chris: Brilliant!
Thank you so much for joining me today! Chris Brennan: Hi, thank you for joining me today. Mihaela Dicu: Hello! Chris: What is your name?
Mihaela: Mihaela Dicu Chris: And you are an astrologer? Mihaela: Yes, I’m an astrologer. Chris: How long have you been studying Astrology? Mihaela: I started studying Astrology in 1974, when I was 15, I started out with general horoscopes… … and after that I made progress
according to what was available. Chris: OK, and where are you from originally? I’m from Craiova,
Craiova is the capital of a south-western Romanian province, and Romania is in Europe… former Eastern Europe, former Communist Bloc Chris: So you are the President
of the Romanian Astrological Association? Honorary President. Chris: And when did you start that organisation? In 2004… 15 years today…Today, June 9, 2019, marks 15 years of the Court Order being issued
to create the Romanian Astrologers’ Association Chris: Right… and you founded the organisation with a friend, right? Yes, it had all started a long time before and the bricks were laid progressively… and the bricks of the foundation the Association was built on were laid progressively… In 2000, I created an Astrology discussion group
on Yahoo Groups, this group is called Acubens, it currently has almost 1000 members, it’s not as active as it once was, but it used to be very active in the beginning… and it was the first online Astrology discussion group
in Romania, we talked a lot about Astrology
and we formed friendships. It’s there I met a few astrologer colleagues from Romania, from various cities, among which Firicel Ciarnau, who was located in a certain city, then Val Dragu who was not actually an astrologer, but he owned an Astrology portal,
the largest astrology portal/site at the time, and he would hire astrologers to write pieces for the respective website, and then there was Fulop Laszlo,
Romanian of Hungarian origin, from Transylvania, also Romania, and then there was Adrian Mândruţă-Tănăsescu
from Eastern Romania, and there was also Radu Moisoiu,
also from Transylvania… Anyway, we met and some of us… eventually we all became friends, we started exchanging private messages
and talking on the phone, And at some point one of the participants
said – Why don’t we make an Astrology magazine? That was Adi Mândruţă. So we decided to make an online Astrology magazine. This was happening in 2002… in the beginning of the year, I believe. We grouped up, we were probably 5-6 in the beginning and we published the ‘Astrele’ magazine on the Spring Equinox in 2002… the first issue. After two years of co-working on ‘Astrele’ magazine – we wrote all the articles, we proofread one another, so I proofread Firicel’s articles, Firicel proofread Adi,
Adi proofread Radu, and so on, as a circle, so we all did everything for the magazine, so after 2 more years, Adi again said: ‘What about creating an association?’ Let’s make an association of Romanian astrologers – there was none at the time. How to create the association? The process of establishing an association was very complicated at the time. It required a big pile of paperwork… and the papers needed to be filled and signed by all the founding members, so there was a big fuss about doing the paperwork… the documents needed to be submitted to the Court, they needed validation by Court Order, and so on… we had to create bank accounts, which needed to be registered with the Tax Authorities, so the recipe to establish such an organisation was quite complicated, and someone had to do it. Who will take care of the paperwork? We were all spread out in different cities. Firicel said: I’ll take care of it. Firicel is a very active individual, he founded the first Astrology school in Romania, he is running an Astrology business, he is very active. But being so active, he was also very busy. At the time, I was working for several glossy magazines, that were very trendy back when written press had not collapsed… I worked from home so I could somehow
manage my time as I desired. At some point Firicel said: ‘I don’t have time to take care of it’ ‘Who’s going to do it? Mihaela, you take care of it since you are such an entrepreneur.’ So I said ‘What can I do? I’ll do it!’ And so, for some full weeks and months,
I worked hard with paperwork, from the first step which was to submit a request to some Ministry for the denomination to be approved… in Bucharest, the capital… so really, it was very, very complicated… So we reached the moment when the folder
had all the files, and they all needed to be signed… How to sign?
As we were all in different cities. So we said: ‘Here’s what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna create a chain.’ I sign the document, I mail it to Firicel,
who in turn signs and mails it to Radu, and Radu signs and mails it to Adi,
who signs it and sends it to Val, and so on. So that’s what we did. Now, you know that things happen when they happen, not necessarily when you want them to. We had this burst of enthusiasm of: let’s do it! But because this paperwork process took so long,
we couldn’t choose the day we wanted, to make a proper electional chart for the moment
when initially submitting the papers. What I could choose – because, you know, you choose what you can, and the charts of the time were pretty agitated, perhaps that agitation gave us the push – when I put the first signature on the founding document, before mailing it, I placed the Ascendant on Spica… in my natal chart, the Ascendant is near Spica, so I thought it would be fine, it would work well, so we kicked it off. Anyway, several weeks later,
the Court Order was issued, and as I already mentioned, it was issued on the date of June 9, 2004. Later, I found out from a Court clerk that the Order had been validated by the President of the Court sometime between 1- 1:15 p.m. So we kind of know when it was born,
we know the Ascendant for sure. And that’s how we set off. We started promoting the Association, people from the Acubens discussion group started to subscribe,
and year by year, we started growing… We were established in 2004, and we were legally bound to hold a General Assembly within a year. So in 2005, in Bucharest, we held the Members’ General Assembly, along with the First Congress of the Romanian Astrologers’ Association. The following year… since I’m from Craiova, and I have this entrepreneurial spirit, I thought – what would it be like to organise here in my own city a second annual event, to call it AstroFestival, and have the AstroFestival during summer,
in Craiova. My colleagues had already opted that the Annual Congress along with the General Assembly would take place in autumn. So I said – great, we’ll have two events. And that’s how the Association has its Congress in the fall, in Bucharest, the capital, and an AstroFestival during summer, usually in June, in Craiova. In the meantime, Astrele magazine continued to be published, it’s still alive today, it has its own website,, there’s also a section in English, if English-speaking astrologers want to share some of their knowledge, some of their research and experience and should they wish to publish, we’ll be happy to translate, we have a team of translators… Perhaps Astrele is the Association’s most important project… but we also have other projects, we became involved in other things… we have to yearly events, we the Astrele magazine, we have a translation project called Tradittore, where we sometimes translate articles for Astrele magazine, and through which we translated two books that were already published by important publishing houses in Romania… we started with Vivian Robson… actually one of them is still in the works… Vivian Robson – Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology – such a book was missing from the market, and we also focused on a work that would be free of copyright – something classical, something free of copyright, something we could publish why did we do that, to look for something free of copyright? it’s because the Association exists only via members’ contributions
and donations, and we generally try to direct the Association’s funds towards organising events, so that we can organise Congresses and AstroFestivals, as great as possible, where people come, and where we can, according to our possibilities, bring internationally-renowned astrologers that would enrich our knowledge and broaden the horizons of Romanian astrologers, and if possible, to also increase our worldwide notoriety Chris: Could you tell me how… Give me the history of Astrology in Romania over the past century, starting from the beginning of the 20th century, and how it existed, but then Astrology went away and then it came back? Mihaela: Unfortunately, Astrology does not have a consistent tradition in Romania. It doesn’t. There are some old chronicles, maybe from the 18th century… at some point they mention a star reader
who made a prediction for the country’s rulers, but it was a very brief mention,
and not very relevant. In the early 20th century, according to my and my colleagues’ knowledge, there were only two astrology books by Romanian authors published in Romania before the communist era. One was a book called – Stars and Glands,
written by Constantin Eratostene, the other was a book written by Armand Constantinescu. These are two astrology books that stop after some basic notions of Astrology, they don’t go into much detail, let’s say Armand Constantinescu has a sort of manual where he gives examples, but here, I have to make a distinction: the book published before the communists came,
before WWII, is a book that mainly presents zodiac signs and where there are maybe 2 or 3 or 4 charts analysed but it’s not a manual. However, Armand Constantinescu had a manuscript
that couldn’t be published during communism and was only published post-mortem,
in the years following the Romanian revolution. That is a more consistent manual. But why did Armand Constantinescu’s book remain unpublished for so long? Because during communism, Astrology was forbidden in Romania, same as any other esoteric science. So during the communist era,
one could not officially access any astrological information, books were not being published, people who owned such esoteric, astrological literature were persecuted… the few people who were interested in Astrology at the time kept their books hidden, and there were people like me, who throughout communism, although they were interested, they could not access any Astrology book, and could not contact anyone else interested in Astrology. Chris: So Astrology was suppressed,
it didn’t really exist during that time for several decades, and then how did it come back? Mihaela: During communism, one could not travel. One could not exit the country, unless visiting the other countries in the Eastern Bloc. There very few people granted travel to the West. So one could not bring in information, one could not reach information. After the Revolution of December 1989,
borders opened up. People started travelling, those passionate about Astrology started getting into contact with one another, gaining access to information. For instance, my good friend from childhood… in 1990, shortly after the Revolution,
she went to France. And she asked me: ‘What can I get you from France?’ I said: ‘Bring me the Ephemerides’. She said: ‘Are you crazy? Don’t you want perfume, lipstick?’ ’No, I want the Ephemerides’. And that’s how I got the Ephemerides,
because before that I used to work according to a book. I don’t know if I should say it, ask him if I should say it now, how I learned Astrology on my own? Chris: Tell me how you got interested in Astrology and how that intersected with the revival of Astrology in the 1990s? Yes… Mihaela: In the Spring of 1974, I don’t remember the exact month… it may have been March, or April, or May… one of my classmates, the son of some actors from Craiova Theatre came to school with an old book, belonging to his grandmother. It was the book by Armand Constantinescu,
the one published before the war. It was love at first sight, an attraction… I saw it, turned some pages, and borrowed it – with great difficulty, because… Anyway. I took a big notebook and hand-copied the entire part with all the characteristics of zodiac signs… and that’s how everything started. From there on, I started to interrogate everyone I knew about their birth time, in order to observe and compare with what I was reading… in the respective book, the description of the signs was very brief, succinct, and pretty puerile, looking back on it now, in retrospect, but it was something, it was a beginning. I had no other source. With great difficulty, French magazines such as Paris Match or Cosmopolitan entered Romania… Romania was more French speaking at the time. so more of that came into Romania… those books and magazines in French were more successful, and somehow, through my mother’s friends, ect., a few Paris Match magazines reached me as well. Paris Match is a weekly magazine, and they had a Horoscope section, where it was written… for instance,
for Pisces: Venus enters your sign, so you’ll feel the need to be more elegant, to buy jewellery, you’ll be more liked, more surrounded by people, your love life will go well. So I would write that down in my notebook:
Venus in your sign… Or in a different issue from another week: Mars enters your sign so be careful, you’ll have lots of energy,
but you may also have conflicts, accidents… so I would write down in my notebook: Mars in your sign… and so I started accumulating bits of information
which I wrote down and tried to piece together, to connect, to digest, to process, and they layered on, they gathered little by little, so that I could get an idea about who does what. Things started to improve when I came to Bucharest,
to go to University. As a student, I lived in a dorm, in a student campus, I believe that’s what it’s called, and one of my room-mates showed up one day
with an Astrology book her aunt brought from France. That book was a zodiac, but a more complex one, where zodiac signs were analysed in a more profound manner, and which also had an extra precious bonus, following the description of each sign: a table with the time intervals of the Rising signs, as well as the description of the Sun sign – Ascendant combo. The book also had a solid foreword, presenting the characteristics of male/female signs, cardinal/fixed/dual signs, and also nicely and extensively presenting characteristics of
fire/air/earth/water sign traits. A great step forward. This was taking place when I was a student in my second year, say around 1980-1981. In 1982 or 1983, I befriended the adoptive daughter of a famous Romanian neurosurgeon, Arsene. She had an Astrology book, also in French, titled – How to Interpret Your Own Chart in 10 Lessons. I had some French magazines that interested her, so we exchanged. So… later on… I befriended the daughter of a famous neurosurgeon in Romania, the adoptive daughter, who had an Astrology book in French, How to Interpret Your Own Chart in 10 Lessons. So we exchanged, I gave her some French magazines
and she gave me this book, which was very valuable because it had House tables and also Ephemerides. But what kind of Ephemerides did it have at the end?
It had Ephemerides of every 10 days. You can imagine what was happening to the Moon or Mercury placements… anyway… so I was making great efforts to interpolate, to make some calculations, luckily I was studying engineering so calculations happened easily, converting hexa-decimal systems to decimal systems so that you calculate and interpolate and then turn it to degrees, minutes… really crazy. The respective book generously addressed planetary traits, and it contained a great amount of information, so that was a great step forward. After having completed my University studies, I was assigned to work as an engineer for a company, and at the time, the Renault car company had an office… a factory in Craiova, where French engineers worked. And one of those French engineers brought me another Astrology book, a manual. You can imagine how I used to work the charts, using a set square and a pencil, and everything was calculated by hand, and how I went through great lengths with these four Astrology books until the Revolution came… When the Revolution came… I’m sorry I didn’t bring one of these four books, or all of them… their edges are worn out, they are rounded, I probably know all of them by heart… four Astrology books over the span of so many years. After the Revolution came, borders opened, we had access, my friends started to travel, they brought me books first, I had many colleagues and childhood friends that had emigrated to the United States so they… they sent me books, they helped me a lot… Myself, since 1998, I joined a French-speaking discussion group, and later on, at the end of 1999, I joined an France-based association, CEDRA, who had their own discussion group, and my French colleagues helped me. They were very reluctant at first, I had landed there from a former communist country, the French are pretty elitist, they looked at me quite doubtingly, but I was very zealous, I would write and reply, and little by little, they adopted me… and they sent me books.
Many of them. And what is extraordinary,
they sent me an audio tape of the workshop presented by Robert Hand in Paris, it must have been in 2000. And after that, I started buying books myself, and so they started piling up… Ellen Black, Robert Schmidt’s wife helped me, she gifted me the first five volumes of the Vettius Valens English translation, and… yes, I was helped by a lot of people, and then when I started… You know, it was necessary for them to help, because after the Revolution, our income was extremely low… our monthly wages were around USD 50-100/month… USD 100 was a lot, I could not afford to buy books. Later on, in 1996, I started working with a company that was the city’s first internet provider, so I was present online since the early stages of Romanian internet… and… anyway… things opened up. I bought many books by myself. I owned several hundreds of Astrology books at some point, really a great number, many of them I donated because some of there were outdated, they were no longer useful, I only kept what I deemed valuable. But, the beginning was very difficult. I was alone, I had no-one to exchange ideas with, it’s really awful to struggle by yourself, to have no-one to ask for advice… My colleagues and friends, they were not interested in this. My opinion is that you really need a calling to study Astrology, otherwise you can’t… it’s a vast domain where you only enter if you’re passionate. After the Revolution, I managed to get into contact with two older astrologers from my city, they also had a few books in French… I couldn’t previously get in touch with them because they were afraid. I was aware that one of them existed, I tried to contact him, but it wasn’t possible. So afterwards, it was probably the many years of lonely study which caused the hunger and need to create astrology groups,
to become involved in creating an association, in sharing with others. In the discussion group, everything I studied, I would share with the others. Over the years, I probably wrote countless volumes in e-mails On that group And always, afterwards, during congresses, during various astrological gatherings I felt the need to share. Chris: What are the four books that you’ve written? Briefly? Mihaela: There are two books for the broader audience, one is a very complex Zodiac, and very well received by the public, it’s already at its third edition and it’s been selling continuously since 2007, It first came out in 2007, A book on the planets and asteroids in the signs which is accessible to the broader public Because I included tables where anyone can find out What is their Venus, Mercury, Moon sign, And two books that are more specialised, One on Horary and the other on Relationship Astrology.
I also translated a Predictive Astrology book from French, And I contributed to the translation from English Of Vivian Robson’s book on Constellations and Fixed Stars in Astrology, Book which I added notes to and curated. I love books and I love working… Because I have a friend who works in a publishing house, As a hobby, I also did proofreading on books, Translation under a pseudonym and even book editing, But time does not allow me to get involved, However, in the process of publishing my books, I worked very closely with the publishing house. All my books, as well as the one I translated, and the one translated with my colleagues from the Astrologers’ Association Were printed by a famous Romanian publishing house, The respective publishing house incurred all costs, And they were promoted through special events And have good visibility. I started teaching the class pretty late, Maybe around 2009 or 2010, I started teaching courses in a classroom
in Bucharest, There were many years where I travelled to Bucharest monthly to teach in a classroom I have class modules… I started with a Relationship Astrology class, My courses were generally taught during the weekend, Saturdays and Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with very short breaks, So two days each, And I also had modules on Relationship Astrology, Predictive Astrology, Medical Astrology, Electional Astrology, Horary Astrology,
Fixed Stars and Nodes, I had about 12 to 14 Astrology modules. Actually, the books on Horary and Relationship Astrology are based on, are constructed around the class material. I give consultations, And I do everything an Astrologer can do, I’ve been writing incessantly since 2002, since its creation, for the Astrele magazine Chris: So my final question is that in the 1990s, you first started talking to a lot of astrologers online, And then you started meeting in person, And with some of the younger generations of astrologers, They only meet other astrologers online, And they don’t know the value of meeting in person. So if you had to talk to someone
to explain the value of meeting other astrologers in person, What would you say? Mihaela: The greatest gain, when meeting other astrologers in person, Is that tighter bonds are formed, Friendships are formed, Events are created, And a certain atmosphere is ignited, You enter a sphere where you breathe Astrology, The in-person meetings are very valuable. But you should know that we collaborated for years without ever meeting in person… and it was feasible. Communication is of utmost importance. I believe that the most important thing is to communicate as much as you can. To share opinions, to ask, to explain, to give to the others through your knowledge, To try and organise things, do things together, Even at present, we, the Association,
We organise things remotely, via e-mails… But of course, it’s always wonderful
To be able to meet face-to-face, To be together, touch, see
and breathe the same air as those you met online. It’s a different feel, and it creates an environment
That strengthens the bonds even further. Because I took care of practically establishing
the Association, I was designated as President in the first term. During the following elections,
I no longer wished to candidate, And then I recommended, and he was elected,
My successor, Dan Ciubotaru. He’s a well-known astrologer in Romania, And he had a vision. That same year, during the same General Assembly,
When I said I no longer wished to candidate, The members of the Association decided to grant me the title Of Honorary President, Since I was the founding President and had the first term. Dan Ciubotaru is a very broad-visioned astrologer, He has Jupiter on the Ascendant
And the Chart Lord is in Sagittarius. He was the one who came up with the idea
To invite someone from abroad. Up to that point, we would only meet and organise events amongst each other, But in 2011, he said – let’s invite someone from abroad,
Since he had participated, the previous year, To the Great Britain Astrologers’ Congress,
Where he had met some astrologers, So he said – let’s invite Deborah Houlding.
So he invited Deb. And that was the opening, the first step Towards events where we had top guests
From abroad. Nicholas Campion was next, And in 2014, when the Association celebrated its 10th birthday, We organised a royal event where we invited
Deb Houlding once again, Benjamin Dykes, each presenting day-long workshops, Oner Doser from Turkey who represents the biggest
Astrology school in Turkey, And who had a half-day workshop, And my old acquaintance from the forum,
From the CEDRA French association, The President of CEDRA, Maurice Charvet
From France. It was really great, we had a masquerade ball even At this era-themed restaurant, with many mirrors,
Beautiful. Afterwards, we invited astrologers from Italy, Norway, Spain, And this year, we had the great joy of having Chris, We had invited him last year, but then he couldn’t make it, we are thrilled he is here now, And we hope to continue like this. Each guest from abroad enriched us with knowledge And added to our joy and pride, and consolidated even further this Romanian Astrologers’ Association, As well as Astrology knowledge in Romania, Chris: So do you have family and what do they think about your interest in Astrology? Mihaela: It’s a cute story… To practice Astrology when I became passionate about it, that was rare in Romania, and even exotic, It seemed pretty eccentric. My parents were a bit skeptical, My mother was a teacher, my father, an economist, But eventually, as long as they saw I was still grounded and I carried on with my school studies, And that the passion for Astrology
does not negatively influence my life, As they had initially feared, Then they learned to accept and look kindly upon it. I met my husband in the first year of college So he was there next to me
when I got to hold my first zodiac book. He was completely against it: ‘This is silly’. He’s a Gemini.
And I kept telling him – look at this person doing that, That is a Leo doing that, and so on. So I was just telling him everything. A little later,
I surprised him going through the Zodiac book. That’s as far as my husband went, But he’s capable of saying ‘This person looks like a Scorpio.’ That’s all he knows, other than that,
He always supported me, he understood, There were rough times when I was working very hard, And he helped with everything at home, in the household, So he was a great support for me in my Astrology career. Chris: And one last question: do you share your birth chart details? Mihaela: Yes. Chris: What is your birth data, and what is your Sun, Moon and Rising? Mihaela: I turned 60 this Spring, I was born March 14,1959 The maternity records show 8:45 p.m. It may be plus/minus 5 minutes off, While researching maternity archives,
to find the data of various people, I realised that during the Communist era,
Birth times were rounded out, So quarter past, half past, quarter to, or the hour. Therefore it’s possible I was born a bit earlier or later, Maybe later, because my mother remembers 9 p.m., 9 past… So I’m a Pisces with Libra rising,
Rising can be anywhere between 20-23 degrees My Moon is in Taurus, in the 8th,
It’s a very good Moon, For a night birth, Moon is in haiz It was this Moon that helped and supported me a lot, Ascendant Lord Venus is in Aries, on the 7th cusp
With Mercury Jupiter is in the 3rd house Mars is in the 9th house Mercury is aspecting everyone,
Good or not so good aspects, But regardless, the thirst for knowledge is very well mirrored In this natal chart. I always feel like my brain cells
Are sort of like baby birds in a nest With their beaks open, waiting to be continuously nourished. That’s what led me to Hellenistic Astrology. That’s what you should ask. Chris: How did you become interested in Hellenistic Astrology, or Ancient Astrology? Being in that group, in that French Astrologers’ Association, CEDRA, and on their forum I befriended French astrologers and one of them sent me the audio tape of Robert Hand’s presentation in Paris, in 2000, I believe. And that was the beginning. At that point, I had read and gone through every stage of Astrology – Asteroids, Karmic, Sidereal, and anything you can think of. But I felt I needed more, and I needed a more profound knowledge that would somehow meet my cultural needs, Academic-type information. So I had deeper interests. And that workshop of Robert Hand
where he talked about day/night concept, sect, Opened up the gate. What followed was a hunger for information on Hellenistic Astrology I gathered it from everywhere I could, And of course I started talking about it on the Acubens discussion group, where everyone was, It was cute because at that time, everyone in Romania practiced New Age Astrology, Psychological Astrology, Karmic Astrology And when I showed up with Hellenistic Astrology information, everyone had something to say. Luckily, because over time I had discussed enough modern Astrology, and they knew my Astrology knowledge was solid, In time, they started paying attention. So I started learning and sharing what I had been studying since the year 2000. In 2004, I took part in an esoteric event in the West of the country, in Timișoara, Where there was also an Astrology section,
And there, I started talking about the subdivisions of signs, Terms, Dodecatemoria, and so on. What I got was an internet article, by one of my peers, Saying that some people came to the Astrology Symposium in Timișoara To do serious astrology, while others came to look smart. All I wanted to do was share. Little by little, on the forum, We talked, we wrote articles in Astrele, One after the other, for years, During the AstroFestival I presented
Hellenistic-themed conferences, during congresses And little by little, people started getting used to the idea. The greatest thing was me starting to teach Hellenistic Astrology. I forgot to mention it, I teach a Hellenistic course where a lot of people learned something. So in a way, the Romanian public
became gradually accustomed to Hellenistic Astrology, And a coronation for Hellenistic Astrology in Romania,
and for classical Astrology, Was the visit of Benjamin Dykes, and Chris’s visit They both contributed a lot. As far as I’m concerned, the passion for Hellenistic Astrology remains alive, I read a lot, but I realise
That there is so much to learn, That it’s very likely
we have to keep digging for the rest of our lives. Alright, that’s it for this episode of the Astrology Podcast. So, for more information about the Romanian Astrologers’ Association, please visit and you can find out more information about the conferences and other events they organise in Romania Thanks to our patrons and sponsors who support the production of the Astrology Podcast through our page on that’s pretty much the only way that we’re able to do episodes like this and in order to fund the translations and trips and other things associated with making sort of high-production episodes like this. in particular, thank you to patrons Christine Stone, who’s one of our new patrons supporting us on the Producer tier and also thanks to Astrogold astrology app which is available for the iPhone, ioS and Android devices, you can find out more info about that at thanks also to the Portland School of Astrology who’s another sponsor who teach Astrology classes both in=person and online in the Pacific North-West, you can find out more info at so for more info about how to support the production of future episodes of the podcast, and become a patron, getting access to subscriber benefits like early access to new episodes and please consider becoming a patron through our page at for more info about that, visit so thanks for watching or listening to this episode of the Astrology Podcast and that’s pretty much it, so we’ll see you next time. Thanks!

  1. Hello Chris, hope to see you in Romania again, this time in the capital, in Bucharest. In this way you will meet many other astrology practitioners.

  2. Awesome stuff! Thank you so much for pioneering in bringing more diversity to the English speaking astrological community🙏🌈

  3. at Min 9. reminds me again of the importance of Paper Books and the power they have. We should never take that for granted.

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