Name: Steve Nelson [Steven Lonnie Nelson]
Age: 62, born 4 July 1947 in Cherokee NC
Occupation: Professional Astrologer, Writer
BA in Psychology, BS in Biology from UNCC
Radar Electronics Training in the Air Force
Arcane School Training with Rachel Smathers
Astrology Instruction with Dane & Leyla-Rael Rudhyar, Robert Zoller and Bernadette Brady
I was born in Cherokee NC on 4 July 1947. My mother was part Cherokee so I got to be born free in the Cherokee reservation hospital! After my mother crossed over a few years later I was raised by my Aunt Maude who immediately started teaching me about the Moon Signs. While I didn't think too much of such "superstition" at the time, this early education in astrological folk wisdom ultimately played a big part in what I do. In addition to my Aunt Maude I was taught by her elder Aunt Tine (actual name Plutina!!), a much sought after expert on living by the Moon signs. I find many of these old teachings valuable now. One of the keys I learned is that the best time to break habits (or wean babies) is "the going out of the signs." This is the time each month when the Moon passes through the signs from Sagittarius (the Thighs) to Pisces (the Feet), all signs ruling parts of the body lower than the vital organs. This time of the lunar cycle is ideal for releasing old patterns from body and mind.
I call myself a Mythic Astrologer or Astromythologist. I believe our destiny is written in the stars and planets at birth and that the pattern of our natal lights tells the mythic stories of our lives. I have an activist view of astrology: our future isn't fixed or determined by the stars, the stars and planets simply reveal to us a range of possibilities to be realized as we choose. The more we know our cycles, the more at choice we become. The way of enlightenment and transformation is written in the birth map, this is a key understanding I enjoy sharing.
In the early 90s I wrote and published a series of annual astrology guide books titled The New World Cycle of Celebrations. These books draw together many cross-cultural celebrations in context with the zodiacal circle of the year. This work also integrates several ancient oracular systems meaningfully with the cycle of the zodiac and year. These key oracle systems include the Tarot, the I Ching, the Norse Runes and Druid Tree months. All these traditions are brought together in an integral astrology system I've developed and named GAIA Astrology.
Currently I work out of my home/office in the Myers Park neighborhood of Charlotte where I've lived for over 25 years. My long time house mate Darley Adare and I are vegetarians and we follow a Chinese 5-element "food alchemy" system I count as key to my physical and psychic health. My interests include natural cycles, natural lifestyles, natural power places, hiking, drumming/dancing, celebrations, sacred geometry, esoteric Freemasonry, cosmic history, star gazing and astrological research.
3) You are somewhat of a cosmic icon in Charlotte. A lot of locals refer to you as “The Wizard.” What’s that about?
Well, there are several angles to this question. The first thing that comes to mind is that my approach to metaphysics and astrology is activist in that I believe we are more or less free agents in our own life story and we can become more free or self-determined the better we understand natural cycles generally and our personal cycles in particular. I belive cycles are key to our successful creative manifestation and that this is what many people would call magic or wizardry. More to your point, there is an old tradition about the four male archetypes King, Warrior, Magician and Lover. Every man is a mix of these four elements more or less and I've always identified most closely with the Magician. Finally, I've followed wizard myths of every culture, I believe in magic and think the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter series accurately reflect the realities of the astral world. So I do think of myself as a wizard but also think every man and every woman has a little wizard inside.
4) You have vast knowledge across a diverse range of subjects – astronomy, astrology, metaphysics, chemistry, psychology, mathematics, history and mythology to name a few - how does one acquire and retain such an array of material?
Many people ask me how I hold all this stuff in my head and the simple answer is I don't. There's a trick for recalling such seemingly complex information, a technique that anyone can learn. As to crossing different areas of study this actually helps because you find the same parallel patterns in all areas of knowledge. One example that's mind blowing is how the Tarot cards (Rider-Waite) numbered 1 through 78 exactly mirror the chemical elements by atomic number. This discovery makes chemistry way more interesting! Esoteric study integrates all mundane knowledge according to the doctrine of correspondences. One good example is the connection between planets and colors. Mars is red so all things red in nature have a Mars quality. Mars is the god of war and iron is the metal of Mars. Iron in the Martian soil makes the planet red as iron in the blood makes blood red. Mars rules the blood and all red plants and herbs (cayenne etc) purify the blood. Mars is passion, red stimulates passion, etc etc. Following this way of thinking you discover the memory tree, an integrating symbol set that all these diverse bits of information hang on in an orderly way. This memory tree is called Kabala, the Tree of Life or Tree of Knowledge. As you think along these lines this Tree becomes just like an antenna connecting you to the "cloud" of universal knowledge. Tune in when you need it and it's there, you don't have to keep it in your head. This is exactly how the Druids knew so much without ever writing anything down.
5) Your work as an astrologer is unique in the sense that you combine traditional astrology, moon cycles, tarot, mythology and history. (Did I leave anything out?) How did this style come about and how can you assist people with it?
When I was a kid and up into high school I was fascinated with everything about astronomy. I didn't believe in astrology but was still interested in how the physical properties of the planets so neatly mirror the qualities of the gods and goddesses for which they're named. You know, Mercury the messenger is fastest, the goddess of mystery Venus is clouded, Saturn god of boundaries is ringed etc. But then how did the ancients know Venus was covered with clouds and that Saturn has a giant ring? Around age 13 I drew up a family tree of the gods and goddesses to see how they were all connected, I was a total nerd. Far later on after a techy tour of the Air Force and completing college (psychology and biology) I was lucky to find an awesome metaphysical teacher in the NC mountains. Among other things, Rachel taught me how to relate the meaning and numerology of a person's name with the birth chart to get a whole view of their life story. Rachel also keyed me into Jungian psychology and Dane Rudhyar who I afterward followed for my education in astrology.
6) How can we use moon cycles, ancient knowledge and observation of rituals to benefit us today?
Cyclic manifestation is the source of everything and the Moon cycle is the ultimate creative cycle key. You can't raise your symbol tree antenna without tuning to the Moon. In Kabala, Yesod the Moon sphere is the first step up the Tree. Living in rhythm with the Moon opens up the psychic vision and this is why knowledge of the lunar cycle was suppressed during the time of the Inquisition. We're only now beginning to recover from that dark age as we rediscover cycles. Cycles are key to creative manifestation and magic. All cycles are similar, learn one and you know them all. The primary cycles of creation and growth are the moon cycle and the year. How a cycle begins is most important, all the magic is in the beginning, begin well and the whole cycle goes well. The best way to begin the Moon cycle is to be quiet and go within to find the magic center. Referring to our new age, Nostradamus wrote "the day of Diana will be a day of silent rest." Diana is goddess of the Moon, her day is the day of the New Moon. The Full Moon on the other hand is the best time to have a party, this was one of my more fun discoveries about the Moon cycle.
7) You also call yourself a celebrationist – what does that mean and why is it important?
Celebration is key to keeping the soul free. The powers of oppression are always trying to stamp out celebration, the Taleban ban everything that frees the soul, everything from drumming and dancing to flying kites. In the absence of celebration psychic and physical tension build up that make us more vulnerable to astral influences and external manipulation.
I believe rhythm and ritual celebration are key to awakening and living our true destiny. Rudolph Steiner once said that it is through celebrations in the seasons that the deeper powers of human nature are realized. We've been doing these annual celebrations out at Sacred Grove. All are invited to join in this circle of celebration.
8) You have a deep knowledge of Charlotte’s origins and history. What is special about the Queen City and what do you think the future holds for her?
The short answer is everything about Charlotte is special and her future looks bright indeed beginning this month and for many, many years to come. Anyone who says Charlotte has no history or that the future looks bleak is just plain ignorant. The future grows from the past so only as we come to appreciate Charlotte's history does the future (a beautiful future!) become clear. First we should know that this was from the beginning a planned community by cosmic design. Charlotte's founders were Scotch-Irish Presbyterians and Freemasons who dubbed themselves "the Covenanters" believing it their mission to found a city and align churches to build connection between Heaven and Earth. Toward this end, Freemason Thomas Polk (Charlotte's first Mayor) surveyed Charlotte laying out the four wards in the traditional City of Revelation design. This design is based on a nuclear square of 360 acres (granted to Thomas Polk on request by the royal governor) divided into four 90 acre sections (the four wards) to compose the "city four-square" described in the book of Revelation. After Charlottetown was laid out in this cosmic design the streets were paved with tailings from local gold mines in keeping with biblical tradition of the city paved with gold. Following this Thomas Polk built the first court house at the cosmic center of Trade and Tryon where was signed the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence on May 20th 1775. This led to the Philadelphia declaration one year later.
Cycles repeat. Charlotte led in revolution and freedom then and Charlotte will lead in revolution and freedom in this new cycle. In large part this means willingness to think outside the box, we got that. This also means being challenged to change, we're experiencing this now. Banking and the arts have long been favored in Charlotte, now it's time to perfect these talents and discover new pathways to our success.
9) How do you view the role of Charlotte in terms of the emerging consciousness surrounding alternative healthcare and sustainable living?
Charlotte led in revolution before (the Meck Dec date is on the NC State Seal and Flag!) and Charlotte will lead in revolution again. This will be a revolution in consciousness leading to greater independence, independent energy resources and enlightened self care in relation to newly developing medical arts centered through Charlotte. Building on banking, Charlotte's developing primary focus will be energy resource development including hydrogen fuel cells. Technological innovations here in Charlotte will lead the world in new energy development. That's my prediction.
Conversation: Steve Nelson gets Cosmic in the 4 Wards
|Written by Celina Mincey|
He answers to wizard, magician, astrologer, and consultant. A conversation with Steve Nelson also reveals him as a scholar of many disciplines, and a Charlotte historian with a broad view. It is a common sentiment that Charlotte has a very short history, which may be why the debate over preserving older buildings and neighborhoods continues so strongly; it reveals urgency on the part of some to protect what little history we have. But Nelson’s thoroughly researched version of the Queen City’s past surpasses century-old buildings. He has provided a rich and deeply rooted record of the city’s origins that connects Charlotte to ancient knowledge.