Statement of Purpose

The mission of the NCGR-Professional Astrologers' Alliance is to serve as a trade association to promote the common interests of astrologers and to improve the status of the profession of astrology primarily through the implementation of a certification program, the promotion of high ethical standards in the practice of astrology, as well as any other matters relevant to the professional astrologer.


NCGR & The Birth of the NCGR-PAA

An Exercise in Mundane Astrology from Our Own Backyard
Astrology organizations have transits too.  And the ones that have been occurring in the natal chart of NCGR so accurately depict the recent establishment of NCGR-Professional Astrologers’ Alliance as well as the development of astrology in a larger social context.  This article is presented as a short and sweet example of mundane astrology in action.

Here’s the background:  The IRS audited NCGR on October 16, 2006, at which time, it was “suggested” that NCGR separate its professional promotional activities, including the Certification Program and the Professional Empowerment Program, from its other membership benefits, in order to create two distinct organizations.  This would ensure the latter’s non-profit status as an astrological education and research organization, as it always had been; and the former would be an organization for the purpose of trade and promotion for professional astrologers.

The IRS suggestion became official in January ‘07, and on May 5, 2008, at 11:57 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, in Boston, MA, NCGR-Professional Astrologers’ Alliance (NCGR-PAA) was incorporated.

Of course, this new organization did not arrive fully formed in the world.  It was given time to gestate in stages, i.e., forming a Board, launching a website, accepting its own members, offering the Certification Exams and sale of study guides, to its full-fledged form at the time of this writing on July 1, 2009, as an independent trade organization in its own right, addressing the concerns of professional astrologers.

When we apply basic techniques of forecasting to the natal chart of NCGR from the start of the story in the autumn, 2006, to the summer of 2009, here are some of the highlights, taking into account the key theme from the IRS is “trade,” which has an affinity with Mercury, Gemini and the 3rd house, and astrology has an affinity with Uranus, Aquarius and the 11th house.
  •  In October, 2006, NCGR’s progressed Moon entered Scorpio, the sign of the IRS, and like clockwork, the audit began!

  • Transiting Pluto in ’06 began to conjoin natal Mars in Sagittarius on the 3rd house cusp, and the idea of NCGR as a trade organization was unearthed.  Of course, this transit immediately gave way to the square with natal Pluto, furthering the maturity and evolution of NCGR by having to create, not just a new identity in the larger social context of the 11th house, but a whole new entity!

  • Throughout most of this process, progressed Venus was conjoined the NCGR’s natal Sun and Mercury.  Venus, ruler of the chart, progressed to the Sun, ruler of the MC, indicates a new professional identity can develop with fertility and a bit of divine protection.

  • September, 2006, brought a lunar eclipse at 15 Pisces on NCGR’s natal Sun and Mercury, plus a solar eclipse at 29 Virgo hit the Pluto-Mars square.  These reiterate the aforementioned theme of trade as well as NCGR’s evolution, but adds more “fatefulness” to the story.  The next set of eclipses in March, 2007, at 12 Virgo and 28 Pisces also move this story along.

  • The transiting opposition of Saturn and Neptune in ’06 and ’07 conjoined NCGR’s Nodes in houses 4 and 10 in Leo and Aquarius.  The reader can apply the various karmic interpretations there may be for this transit, but suffice it to say in practical terms, NCGR caught the eye of an authority, and was directed to go back to its roots in order to re-invent its reputation in the world.  And as for the funny combination of these planets, maybe it’s a good thing to get clear about one’s confusion, so to speak.

  • Through 2007, transiting Uranus conjoined NCGR’s natal Sun and Mercury, and KABOOM!  The planet that represents astrology, itself, as well as break ups, breakdowns, breakthroughs, fractures and restructuring, came to the very core of NCGR and, once again, Mercury, the god of trade, is also at the scene.

  • The progressed Ascendant conjoined NCGR’s 2nd house cusp for most of this process, indicating the “readiness” for advancement in the manifestation of financial potential, an increase in self-worth, and more substance in the world.  In an individual, this is an important sign of professional maturity.

  • In May, 2008, the incorporation of NCGR-PAA, the transiting Nodes returned to the natal Nodes of NCGR.  Again, the karmic interpretations are left to the reader, but a practical one might be the successful return from the aforementioned journey back to our roots in order to re-invent our reputation in the world.

  • In 2008, transiting Pluto entered a narrow orb of a sesquiquad to NCGR’s natal Saturn, and it continues to run through 2009 and ’10.  Such a minor aspect can have major significance in predictive astrology, and indeed, in this case, it represents the re-working of NCGR’s infrastructure, especially in area of trade, with Saturn as the co-ruler of the natal 3rd house.

  • The ingress of Pluto to Capricorn:  No one nowhere will escape it.  Every individual and every institution will feel the impact of this major planetary trend and will be called into some sort of transformation for better or for worse, or more accurately said, for worse and for better.

  • Earlier in 2009, NCGR’s progressed Moon entered Sagittarius.  Not only did this progression wind down the stage that began when the progressed Moon entered Scorpio in 2006, but it also coincided with the next developmental stage, namely, launching of the NCGR-PAA’s website, i.e., the dissemination of information, as well as the initiation of its Certification Program and membership.

  • Transiting Saturn opposed NCGR’s natal Sun and Mercury from September ’08 through June ’09.  Oppositions are often described as a make-or-break situation, either by crossing the distance and coming together, or by just separating.  And for which way it goes, when Saturn is involved, we can always add the expression, “It was just a matter of a time.”  Indeed, this transiting opposition formalized the division between the two organizations.  Although NCGR-PAA was incorporated as a separate entity from NCGR in May ‘08, it was given some time to gestate.  Sure enough, Saturn passed from this opposition, and days later, NCGR-PAA made the leap completely on its own.  This is an excellent example, too, of Saturn’s trustworthy timing.  It is also interesting to note when transiting Saturn follows in the path, so to speak, of an outer planet, in this case, Uranus.  The outer planet brings chaos, and in short order, Saturn follows up with order.

  • The other transit, which indicates separation, was the South Node over the MC of NCGR’s natal chart at the end of June ‘09.  This separation, though, is more akin to a passage; in other words, the end of an era and the beginning of a new era.

  • The spring/summer of 2009 found transiting Uranus in square aspect to NCGR’s natal Mars in Sagittarius on the cusp of the 3rd house, which has been already described as an indication of trade.  In fact, July 1,, 2009, was the day of Uranus’s station, just minutes from the exact square!  If Saturn can be described as the gestation process and birth, then Uranus can be described as the cutting of the umbilical cord.

  • Transiting Saturn moved back and forth over NCGR’s 11th house cusp between the autumn of 2007 and the summer of 2008, in the midst of which time, NCGR-PAA incorporated.  The transit through this house continues until August, 2010.  All too often, the 11th house is minimalized by astrologers as simply groups, clubs and associations, hopes, wishes and dreams.  When the 11th house is occupied with challenging planets or transits, however, we see the magnitude of such matters and more.  Even more important to us, astrologers, the 11th IS the house of astrology!  Therefore, this transit in the natal chart of NCGR is very meaningful in the formation of NCGR-PAA.  In short, it was only a matter of time before we had to fulfill further potential as a professional organization.  Not that we hadn’t done so before this transit.  Indeed, NCGR and the rest of the astrological community has come a long way from the last time Saturn moved through our 11th house in the late 70’s, which, ironically, made for the initial steps of Certification Program!  These days, Saturn is just calling for more.

  • In the bigger picture, there is an important secondary progression to take into account.  As far back as January, 2005, NCGR’s progressed Mercury turned retrograde at 3 Taurus 47, forming a very close square to Venus, ruler of the chart.  This heralds a time when Mercury’s functions turn in new directions, not necessarily for the negative; in fact, in many instances, the turn can be valuable.  The emphasis is on the new, and in this case, the aspect to Venus affects the organization’s identity.  (Venus is also ruler of the 8th house, so the change was instigated by the IRS).  True, progressed Mercury had to move a few minutes off its station for the story to unfold, but as it picked up some speed, the process also picked up momentum.  To reiterate, Mercury is the planet that represents trade, and in the natal horoscope, it’s especially noteworthy as the ruler of the 11th house.

The most significant indication of the formation of NCGR-PAA, however, is not just personal to the chart of NCGR, but rather, on the collective level too.  It is in the symbolism of the transiting opposition between Saturn and Uranus.  Most simply put, Saturn, as social institution, rules and regulations, standards and practices, is coming face to face with astrology, as represented by Uranus.  Astrologers can turn and separate from a new level of professionalism, or we can cross the distance and cooperate with a few conventions.  Oppositions make for choices; choices make for awareness; and awareness makes for compromise.  And compromises always make for prices to pay.

Such planetary cycles should also be considered in their entirety, and not just in a single aspect because outer planet cycles weave a long yarn that affects the collective.  When Saturn and Uranus met in their most recent conjunction in 1987-88, astrology also met up with the government….and the media.  To some people, it was shocking.  To others, it was silly.  But to astrologers it was quite the hullabaloo and a boom for business, not unlike what many of us experiencing on this opposition, albeit for different reasons, namely, the economic crisis.  In any case, it might be meaningful in light of NCGR’s current circumstances in having to establish NCGR-PAA.

The conjunction of Saturn and Uranus was the period when Nancy Reagan, then first lady of the United States, was “outed” for consulting astrologers during her time in the White House as well as way back in her Hollywood heyday, to the point of even planning the President’s calendar astrologically!   A seed was planted then, maybe not consciously by the astrological community, but by the powers that be, as conjunctions often are.  Now, however, our responsibility is to reap what was sown, (whether or not we indeed planted the seed).

Over the years, some astrologers have hemmed and hawed about certification.  Other astrologers just beefed about it along with other forms of becoming “legitimate.”  And of course, some appreciate the idea of becoming more conventionalized.  Differences in the astrological community should be acknowledged, but none of them are the purpose of this mundane exercise.  This is simply to say when Saturn and Uranus meet up at the critical points in their cycle, the themes of Uranus are bought a little more down to earth, and when that includes astrology, then astrologers have to respond.

For those of you who are not “in the know” about the distinctions between NCGR and NCGR-PAA, here is a brief definition.  NCGR continues to exist as a non-profit organization for astrological education and research.  NCGR-PAA, on the other hand, is an astrological trade and professional promotion organization.  And both will aim for the highest ethical standards in the use of astrology.

Ultimately, we will work cooperatively, but independently, to serve all the needs of our community and, most important, advance astrology!

For further information please visit both websites: and

Birth data:
NCGR, March 6, 1971, 9:02 P.M. E.S.T., Wareham, MA, 70 W 43, 41 N 46
NCGR-PAA, May 5, 2008, 11:57 A.M. E.D.T., Boston, MA, 71 W 04, 42 N 22

John Marchesella is Education Chairman of the New York City Chapter of NCGR and the Chairperson of NCGR national. He can be reached via