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Astrologer Gary Brand provides guidance with centuries-old method
[This article, by Alice Jett (staff writer), appeared December 20, 1990 on the front page of the Features section of the Tallahassee Democrat, the daily newspaper in Tallahassee, Florida, where Gary lived from 1977-1998 and where he has lived since October 2007.]

"The cosmos is a vast living body of which we are still parts.  The sun is a great heart whose tremors run through our smallest veins.  The moon is a great nerve center from which we quiver forever.  Who knows the power that Saturn has over us, or Venus?  But it is a vital power, rippling exquisitely through us all the time." - D.H. Lawrence.

From the moment humans first gazed into the heavens, they have been fascinated and intrigued.  Travelers have used the stars for guidance.  Fishermen have looked to the cosmos to determine the best times for casting their nets.  And, for centuries, farmers have sworn by the influence of the moon over their crops.  Those theories don't sound so far-fetched.  But when the topic of the planets' influence on people's lives comes up, some may grab their coat and head for the nearest exit.

Overall, 20th-century society seems to have given little, if any, credit to astrological predictions.  Nancy Reagan received hearty guffaws for following the advice of an astrologer.  But to Gary Brand, a Tallahassee astrologer, Nancy was far from foolish.

Brand's house/office on Silver Lake Road [where he lived from 1983-1998] is well over a century old.  There, he advises those seeking insight into their souls - those who want to know what the planets' positions at their birth reveal about them.  Over the past nine years, he says he's seen more than 400 soul-searchers, with a return rate of 65 percent.

Far from the generic "you will meet a tall, dark stranger" newspaper horoscope, Brand's predictions take many factors into account.  "I use all the planets, the sun and moon, and their orientation to [the horizon at] your time and place of birth."  His guide is an ephemeris, a figure and glyph-filled book listing each planet's position for the beginning of every day of this century.

The process is extremely complex, requiring technical knowledge and a love for research.  The product - the chart or forecast - resembles a pie.  Each piece ["slice"] represents a House, defined by Brand as "how we interact with the world - our attitude toward money, our relationships, creativity, sexuality, interests, work setting."

Scattered or grouped (depending on the individual) in the houses, are the planets, which, he says, further illuminate one's personality.  Brand provides a number of charts based on individual needs.  The birthchart is an overall personality profile; a solar-return forecast gives a glimpse of the year to come.  Then there's the six-month forecast that deals with specific dates.  An astro-locational reading reveals what parts of the country [or specific cities] offer the best opportunities for a career or relationship.  A comparison chart tells how a relationship "will flow or aspects where it will be more challenging."

Brand emphasizes that what he does "is not fortune telling.  The forecast doesn't abrogate our free will.  It gives us a picture of potentials and we have to either act or not act on those."

An active member of Unity Church, Brand says to him astrology "is not a contradiction to religion.  I emphasize the spiritual in my readings - people's life purpose, life goals from a soul level."

In "an effort to support one another as men," Brand has organized a men's group that meets twice a month.

On Jan. 27, [1991] Brand will present an Astrodrama in which each performer portrays a planet of a famous personality.  He says the audience will be called upon to unveil the subject's identity.

Brand says his goals "for this life are to grow as much as possible both personally and spiritually and to help others get more in touch with themselves."  And of course, he will continue his mission to dispell the myths [misperceptions] associated with astrology.  "It's unfortunate that people think the [newspaper/magazine] horoscope is what astrology is.  [Most] people don't realize that there's a lot more to this."

Democrat staff report                                                                                          

Here are a few well-known people who also happen to have been into astrology:

Ben Franklin - He picked the date for Washington's inauguration based on an astrological [election] chart.

Sir Issac Newton - The scientist who developed the theory of gravity chose to study mathematics at Cambridge because he wanted to test [judicial] astrology.

Theodore Roosevelt - The nation's 26th president was 10 years old when he had his first chart read.  His birthchart, mounted on a chessboard, stood on a table [in the oval office] at the White House.  "I always keep my weather-eye on the opposition of my seventh house Moon to my first house Mars."  (That's easy for you to say, Teddy.)

Hippocrates - The "Father of Medicine" and author of the Hippocratic oath said, "A physician without a knowledge of astrology has no right to call himself a physician."

J.P. Morgan - The wealthy financier said, "Millionaires don't consult astrologers, but billionaires do."

Ronald Reagan - in 1966 during a heated California gubernatorial campaign, Gov. Edmund Brown accused Reagan of using astrology to unseat him.  Reagan merely smiled.  When asked by reporters how he came up with such an odd inauguration hour (just after midnight), again Gov. Reagan just smiled.
Good Timing and Location are Keys to Success

Gary Brand, Traditional Astrologer
Tallahassee, Florida