My name's Davi, I come from Brazil. Uh, ok, so let's see what I can tell about myself. I first got interested in astrology as a way to rebel against my mother's religion. I was raised as a Jehovah's Witness, and after being angry at mom for moving to a different place and having to say good-bye to my childhood friends at age 12, I got some astrolgoy books to read, more as a way to confront her for all the frustrations I had back then, than a sincere interest for the subject. I knew that astrology, amongst so many things like meditation, tarot reading, etc. were all commonly placed under the collective term "occultism" in Jehovah's Witness teachings and were strictly forbidden.
I cut ties with the J.W definately at age 15 after deciding that I couldn't agree on their stance to forbid their members to learn about the occult arts. And it was after that that I started to pick up this wonderful science to study seriously. I spent from age 15 to 19 learning about the signs, their typical characteristics, and identifying those traits on the people that I met. This has led me sometimes to guess what a person's sign is simply by observing their behavior (the easiest to identify for me being Librians and Leonians). It was after years of attentive observation and of being looked at as an eccentric for having the habit of wanting to know what everyone's birthday was, that I became convinced that people indeed do show traits of their solar sign (including myself) and became convinced that Astrology was a valid science and worth further pursuing.
Currently, 21 years old, and I have revived my interest for Astrology and I have made the decision to seriously dedicate my time to study this science further and become an Astrologer myself. What kept me from this decision before was what I considered as a difficulty in understanding some of the mathematical principles involved in it (math is not my strongest field of interest). I have been trying to study by myself for the past month, but I thought - what could be better than learn with other people as well, as there are certain questions I have that internet articles have not answered, and I'd need to talk to someone who has much more knowledge than I to clear these doubts. So, here's the steps that I have set forth for myself in this path of learning:
1) I'd like to know first what I feel is essential to this science. I'm already familiar with the characteristics of the signs, planets, and houses. Now, I'd like to move on to the practical side of astrology, that is - know how to cast charts manually (though I have an astrology program, I do feel that it is necessary to learn this by hand, as it is an important knowledge). I want to get a grip on things like knowing how to read an Ephemeris (all this degree things confuse me), interpreting charts, how transits, progressions, things of this type work, etc. I feel that it is important first to concentrate on the practical side of astrology, and then I'll feel better about moving on to other areas that would also apply to it - psychology, archetypal astrology, history, etc.
2)After having learned the practical aspects, I'd like to apply them to myself in order to interpret and learn about my own chart. This is about a personal search about self-knowledge and self-discorvery and wish to fulfill wholeness in this lifetime for me. I want to know everything about my chart - what my difficulties in life are and will be, with what things will I have the most ease, how my life cycles work and how to deal with them, etc. I'd also like first to apply predictions to myself.
3)After I feel personally comfortable with the workings of an astrology reading, I'd like to start applying this knowledge to help friends. If I succeed in this, I eventually want to become a professional astrologer and I'll want to start doing private readings.
I know there's much to learn, and I'm not sure yet how much I'll be able to learn by my own efforts. This is why I am seeking the company and knowledge of those who are more experienced in this field. I hope I don't have to resort to an astrology course in order to learn all that I want to learn. Besides the city I'm living in not having any astrology courses being taught anywhere, I wouldn't have the financial means to do so at the moment. But I see there's much (good) information on the web, and I'm also counting with the books I have. I hope to make many friends here and learn, as well as share the little I have learned of this wonderful science!