(c)2009 by Karen McCauley
Dear Friends of Astrology:
We have, in the past, agreed that the inclusion of astrological studies in academia is a necessary condition in validating, legitimizing, and maintaining our diverse profession. As many of you know, for four years I have served on the Kepler College of Astrological Arts and Sciences faculty. While it’s an honor and joy to teach there, it’s also provided me with an opportunity to give back to the astrological community I dearly love. As a retiree since 1995 and on a fixed income, my previous financial support of Kepler was limited. In volunteering my teaching, I have finally been able to more substantially support the Kepler experience.
For those of you who don’t know much about it, Kepler College is a liberal arts college authorized by the state of Washington to grant AA, BA, and MA degrees. Kepler’s mission is to create an online learning environment conducive to the promotion of the best practices of liberal arts in undergraduate and graduate education. The College seeks to prepare students with the attitudes, skills, and habits of lifelong learning, enabling them to be useful members of a global society. Kepler’s objectives are to provide a sound, liberal intellectual basis for students to gain knowledge, to think critically, to communicate effectively, to appreciate many cultures, to achieve personal growth and to gain technology skills.
Historically, astrology has been the most common application of cosmological understanding to human concerns. To understand how astrology has been used and has changed from ancient to modern times and in different cultures, Kepler College believes that we need to know how astrology has influenced and been influenced by the cultures in which it is used, how its underlying philosophy has changed over time, and its relation to modern science and skeptics by examining how astrology was and is practiced.
At Kepler, astrological techniques are studied in an academic context, generally historical or cultural. For example, if you are studying Hellenistic astrology then it is important to understand this form of astrology in the context of the societal structures of Hellenistic Greece – Hellenistic cosmology, religion, society and mythology. The same principle applies to the tenets and practices of Jyotish or Vedic astrology, Western Medieval astrology, or Jungian astrology.
Unfortunately, during the past four years, Kepler’s support from others in the astrological community has dwindled. The only “professional” organization that has made a contribution ($360) in 2009 was the Oregon Astrological Association. (Thanks to the OAA!) Not one other local, state, national or international group has made a donation in 2009 though several have given scholarships to activities benefiting their own organizations.
Kepler’s professors and staff earn less than 50% of normal college personnel salaries and several have donated major amounts of their services to the college. Kepler has only a very part-time office staff. Our president, Enid Newberg,has made heroic efforts to cover for the staff reductions and has been putting in an enormous amount of extra and unpaid time in doing so this year. Kepler tuition has remained reasonable ($170 per unit) considering that there are minimal scholarships to help our students, most of whom are now attending Kepler only part-time.
Fostering Kepler’s continued existence and growth is integral to our community’s cultural status. The poor economy has affected us all, but even so I’ll bet each of us can spare five or ten dollars for donations to Kepler a few times per year. Those dollars add up to cover the $7000 monthly overhead at Kepler.
Please consider making a donation to Kepler this month. Any donation is tax deductible and will help Kepler keep its doors open for current and future students. You can send a check or money order to Kepler College of Astrological Arts and Sciences at 4630 200th Street SW, Ste P, Lynnwood, WA 98036. Or, you can call 425-673-4292 and make a donation over the phone using your debit or credit card. (See a video about Kepler here: http://www.kepler.edu/home/index.php/home.)
Blessings to you all this holiday season,