Astro Basics

An introduction to astrology through the lens of your birth chart.
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Before electric light, human life was guided by the Sun, Moon, and stars. Before horoscope columns and astrology memes, before the science of astronomy, people governed themselves by the movements of the planets. Before astrology for the individual, there was astrology for communities. Over four sessions, Astro Basics will cover the fundamentals of this simultaneously ancient and contemporary discipline through the lens of the natal chart (a map of where the planets were when a person was born). We'll ground our inquiry in traditional Hellenistic astrology while also introducing other astrological traditions.

This course will use a discussion-based and participatory approach. The spiritual and philosophical outlook of each participant is valuable source material. To hold the examination of individual and collective psychological realities, including trauma, we will create an atmosphere of care between us.

Instructor Bio

Catherine Leigh Schmidt is an artist-designer and cleric. A child of Evangelical Protestant clergy, her healing requires a grounding in Christian mystical traditions, particularly Quakerism, that see individual spiritual practice as synonymous with anti-capitalist political action and community care. Her current research investigates Western esotericism and land-based religious practice of the European deep past through rave culture. Her work is informed by Advaita Vedanta and the American Indian movement. Catherine works as a consulting astrologer and uses astrology and tarot as imaginal tools in her spiritual practice.


Week 1
Historical overview, Sun & Moon, the planets, intro to the zodiac, opening questions

Week 2
The ecliptic, sect, the elements & modalities of the zodiac, the houses part 1, discussion on free will and determinism

Week 3
The houses part 2, aspects, spirituality & astrology discussion

Week 4
Transits, survey of astrology applications, ethics discussion


Index scholarships are designed to benefit underrepresented groups, BIPOC members of our community, and those for whom the class price is not accessible. These need-based scholarships will go to the candidates who best demonstrate why they should be chosen for the free spot to our class based on the following criteria:

The selected applicants:

  • Belong to groups that are traditionally underrepresented in the graphic design and creative industries
  • Do not have jobs that would pay for these courses as professional development
  • Cannot independently afford the class at list price
  • Share our value of intentional community
  • The number of selected applicants chosen is subject to the discretion of Index and the instructor, but every course will select at least one.