INTERVIEW WITH MELLIE UYLDERT, ASTROLOGER AND WISE WOMAN
-by Elizabeth Hathway DF Astrol S-
The following interview took place on Saturday November 27th 1999. The text below is my translation of what was initially a Dutch script. I have tried to bring out the essence of our conversation, though quite some material has been omitted. Initially the conversation was taped.
My motives for contacting Ms. Uyldert ? I wanted an idea of what the astrological community looked like at the time she began working with astrology. Had she met the astrological mega-stars of her time, Dane Rudhyar, Charles Carter, Marc Edmund Jones ? How had the astrological community responded when Pluto was discovered ? How had astrology changed?
At the time of our meeting, Ms. Uyldert was 91 years old, and as sound as a button. Alert, interested, and definitely following her own track, Ms. Uyldert dominated our chat. Once I had accepted this situation, and released myself from any preconceived idea of how the interview should go, I relaxed into our meeting.
It was a beautiful sunny afternoon when I arrived at Ms. Uyldertís house in Naarden Bussum. For a few hours I felt myself outside of time, sitting in a very small, wood-lined, book filled, chamber with an ancient electric heater humming out its warmth. It seemed strange to me that with such a large house that we should be settling down here.
Two chairs stood either side of a small table and behind me an old glass cabinet displayed an array of crystals and fossils. Once seated, I contemplated a bright, eager eyed, open faced Geminian who enquiringly peeked out at me from beneath a fairy like head band, at the centre of which a sparkling stone held court.
Throughout, I recall being distracted by an enormous and incredibly beautiful brown butterfly which repeatedly beat itself against the window pane, while outside a large blue pine basked in the autumn sunlight.
An Interview with M. Uyldert
Q. How did you come into contact with astrology ?
A. Astrology was in me. When I was18 I asked my mother to tell me more about the stars, not astronomy, because I knew there was more than the material. She discovered an astrology course in Hilversum. The tutor was a Mr. Ram, a freemason who had written a book on astrology. It was an established group of old ladies and I didnít fit in, but I managed to borrow note books and wormed my way in. After a while I realised that I knew more than they did. You see, I knew a little about psychology, which is the same subject but from a different perspective. I also followed the advanced course, until I moved from Hilversum.
The funny thing is, if something is present in you, you only have to press the right button and it starts to come out. When people heard that I knew something about astrology and started to ask me questions, to my own surprise, I realised that I knew a great deal about the subject.
Q. When did you actually begin teaching astrology Ms. Uyldert ?
A. In 1928. I enjoy speaking with people, talking to the public. I found when giving a talk, that I would hear myself saying things that I myself was pleased to learn.
Q. Of course, you are not only interested in astrology. You have also written books on all sorts of occult subjects.
A. It was obviously my task to bring people back to a good relationship with nature. I love nature. At first you think that everyone shares that appreciation, but in fact a lot of people donít notice and I wanted to tell them how wonderful it actually is, and that they can trust that everything takes care of itself. If only people werenít so pig-headed.
Q. Am I right in thinking that astrology is your first love ?
A. Yes. You see astrology unites everything. Actually, there is only one science, because in astrology everything comes together. The Greeks had a tremendous knowledge, they didnít need to be taught really. Their Gods actually lived on Olympus. Of course we look at these stories symbolically, but to the Greeks their Gods were actually real beings, the spirits, souls, call them what you will, and they really do have power over people, they play with us and let us carry out plans they have thought out. Then we say that a person has a free will, but that only goes a short way, far enough that we are able to become aware of what their plan for us is. Certain things are present in you and that needs to express itself, but a lot of people are closed, blocked, and I try my best to wake them up, because only when they are awake can they see the point to their lives.
You must take care to not always listen to other people who want to teach you something and who are telling you what their parents and teachers have taught them, because the story then stays the same, when actually so much is changing.
Q. I was going to ask you who your greatest teachers or examples have been. But if I understand you correctly, you have been your own teacher ?
A. Of course I learnt the technical skills, and what the chart might possibly mean. But you are right, the skills were there within me.
Q. Your writing reminds me sometimes of Dane Rudhyar or of Charles Carter. You also talk about the soul and have a humanistic approach. Do you see yourself as an esoteric astrologer ?
Q. Yes. People do not seem to recognise that all our religions revolve around the teaching of one man who saw something of the eternal and told us about it. So, itís a particular vision.What we do not seem to recognise is that we ourselves should make contact with the power of the twelve or seven. The Greeks lived with their special planets, the ruler of the ascendant, for example, which is possibly the most important planet in your horoscope. They talked and lived with this planet God, they could ask questions, ďAm I doing this okay?Ē and they were answered, immediately. This is what itís about. Making direct contact.
R. Why do you think we have lost this direct contact ?
S. We needed to make the journey into the material world. We had to forget about the rest, because if we hadnít all our attention would have gone that way. Of course there were always people who were connected to the invisible world, to higher things.
Things are as they are, and you can get to learn about things as they are, if you arenít stubborn. This is the way of wisdom as opposed to the way of learning. We should make up our own mind about things. Observe, see what is to be seen without judgement. Seen from a certain point, even karma ceases, there is only neutrality. But be sure, existence does not go in a straight line, itís a cork-screw, it spirals upwards, and spirals downwards again.
Q. Is it possible that listening to oneís inner voice is made more difficult by certain aspects in the horoscope ? Immediately a difficult Moon/Mercurius aspect springs to mind, or a hard Sun/Moon aspect ?
A. I see a lot people changing now. People used to keep strict conventions, they were attached to public opinion, to the views of science and to what their teachers told them, now people listen a lot more to themselves.We are all becoming more aware of our powers, each of us is capable of clairvoyancy, clairaudiency, but we have neglected our abilities, pushed them aside. This is changing.
Q. Do you think this is connected to Uranus and Neptune ?
A. Yes, itís their turn now, and they are of a different order to that which we were accustomed to. We are beginning to learn through our own experience.
Q.What is it, that makes astrology so exciting for you personally? Because I understand that you still do horoscope readings for people.
A. Astrology is everything, all that we know is covered by it. The world of the Gods, of beings who together with us inhabit this universe. We are becoming independent, free of what we have been taught. The more independent one thinks, the faster the progress.
Q. Alexander Ruperti said once that astrology should be a ďcounter-culturalĒ force, and it does have something threatening, because it encourages people to think for themselves,to listen to themselves, which means not going with the mass.
A. I believe that everything is perfect, but we humans are just incapable of looking at things in the right way. However, we live in a favourable period. Our solar system presenty finds itself interlocking with a hydrogen cloud, which has been passing through the universe since time itself, and now itís our turn to encounter it. We are a bit like kitchen machines that can knead and slice etc., if not plugged in, the machine wonít do its job. So, to follow this analogy, if we are tuned in, a lot of what is present in us can begin to function. The present activiy is helping us to make a lot of progress, and you do see lots of people coming together in groups that suit their character (as seen in the horoscope). We think this is something new, when of course it isnít, the potential has always been there, but now we are ready to encounter it.
Q. Ms. Uyldert, when you make a horoscope, what are the first things you look at ?
A. Iím not very systematic. I have no system that anyone could follow. Every horoscope is different, and I approach the horoscope differently every time. Yesterday I had a client, and all the planets were in the lower half of the chart, that is very noticeable. I begin actually with the larger picture and gradually refine it, once in conversation I find the reading goes in a particular direction. I let the horoscope define itself. When you begin with interpretations, you tend to think that this or that will be important and then you are using more of the same, but in time you realise that a particular aspect works differently with different people, so now I make no notes, I absorb the chart and try to place myself in the client, how does this feel for him, and once we start to talk, I say almost without thinking, what needs to be said.
Q. In this way you see how the client experiences his aspects. Does making horoscopes for people still excite you ?
A. Yes. But Iím 91 and I have difficulty reading the small figures in the ephemeris, and Iím concerned I might make a mistake. So, now I send the information to a computer bureau, and they make the chart for me.
Q. So, until recently you drew your horoscopes by hand ?
A. Yes, I did. Whatís nice about it is that you slowy grow into a horoscope, itís like being born, and growing up, and gradually finding out more about yourself. I liked calculating the chart, because then you see the person rising up from the horoscope.
Q. By the way, what do you think of Chiron, or the Black Moon which seems to be very popular here in Holland ?
A. Yes, we keep on discovering more personalities, heavenly bodies. I find it enriching.
Q Do you use Chiron yourself ?
A. No, and I also do not use the Black Moon. I see so many things in the chart already, and I am always concerned not to overwhelm the client. If I were younger I would probably chase after them.
Q. You were working as an astrologer when Pluto was discovered. Do you remember its discovery ?
A. Yes I do, and I certainly use Pluto. I have experienced its effects in my own life, and this is the crux, you must experience an energy directly yourself. Of course then you talk with other astrologers and exchange experiences. But to learn how an energy works from a book, no, you need to get to know it, feel it, experience it.
Q. Do you recall if there was a lot of excitement amongst astrologers when it was first discovered ?
A. Yes, although I personally, didnít think too much of it at first. But over the years Iíve gotten to know Pluto.
Q. You have probably just experienced transitting Pluto in opposition to your Sun ?
A. Itís going on now. Unpleasant, one doesnít know which direction to take.
Ms. Uyldert shows me her horoscope. Which shows a full ninth house.
Q. You have a Libran ascendant, which always makes a person lovable, I find.
A. Do you know the book by Janduz ? Both the author and the illustrator were women, the illustrations are inspired by the Kabalah. They are remarkable, if I have a client and he does not recognise himself in the illustration for his ascending degree, then I know the birth time is incorrect. This is the illustration for my ascendant. The figure as you see, is that of an alchemist and astrologer. In one hand he has the globe and in the other a bottle. This book is truly incredible, in fact the details in the drawings carry so much information, that without doubt the illustrator is more than the writer.
Q. Looking at your horoscope, what do you think has been its greatest challenge ?
A. My ninth house has been the most important.
Q. What do you think of astrology these days ? Do you think it is experiencing better times than when you began or do you find it too psychological in orientation ?
A. With the passing of time the world improves. We are reaching a higher level, I must say.
Q. Do you mean spiritually ?
A. Yes. When I began with astrology the level of my fellow astrologers was dreadful. You could hardly say anything that would be understood. Today many more people know something about astrology, but sadly, there are still a lot of people who donít. Many people use astrology for prediction. I dislike the columns in the newspapers where the aspects for the coming week are discussed. But, there you are, these people arenít further than that. I personally find it degrades a great subject.
Q. I read in one of your books that you dislike predictions.
A. I get sent so many predictions. In my opinion, if we believe in something en masse, we can create disasters. No, rather have trust. But, to have that trust, you have to see how providence has taken good care of everything. You have to directly experience it to have that anchor.
Q. So, you have a client, who is having a hard time, how do you approach this situation ?
A. People tend to visit an astrologer when they are having a hard time. Well, the client is sitting where you are sitting, and I am here. Usually, the clientís face is a bit downcast, however, during our conversation I begin to see the hint of a smile, and usually at the end, they are cheerful, because they have enjoyed themselves. I manage to infuse them with a bit of trust, and that gives courage to face difficulties, and as I also work with herbs, I might give them something to help their situation. Usually, they call me again, and say that their situation has improved. I have great trust in natural healing methods, a person should always try to heal themselves, and not rush immediately to a doctor when something isnít right.
Q. Ms. Uyldert, thank you very much for talking to me.
© Elizabeth Hathway, Amsterdam, email: email@example.com