Joyce Hopewell answers her own questionnaire, which aims to elicit what motivates people to write books about astrological psychology. Joyce is author of the books The Cosmic Egg Timer, The Living Birth Chart, Using Age Progression and Aspect Patterns in Colour.
1) What inspired you to write your books?
I’d wanted to write The Cosmic Egg Timer, my first book, for some time before I started work on it. The idea had germinated over a number of years while I was tutoring students, giving talks and running workshops on astrological psychology. There was no introductory book on the Huber Method available for newcomers to astrological psychology, and I was often asked to recommend what to read so interested people could learn more. At that time, the only book which offered a reasonably comprehensive introduction was The Astrological Houses by Bruno & Louise Huber. As it had been translated into English from the original German it was rather formal in style and not an easy read. The Cosmic Egg Timer was written with this in mind; I wanted it to be readable, easily understood, with some optional practical exercises, and illustrated with examples using the charts of real people. I asked Richard Llewellyn to co-author it with me – Richard being the person who had written the original courses offered by the Astrological Psychology Association, and had introduced the Huber Method to the English-speaking world.
With subsequent books – The Living Birth Chart, Using Age Progression and Aspect Patterns in Colour – I stayed with the same approach: that they should be readable, easy to understand, with practical exercises, and packed full of real life examples.
2) What did you enjoy about writing it?
Setting down what I’d learned from my own experience of astrological psychology, first as a student, then as a tutor, speaker and workshop facilitator was very satisfying. It felt very important to share and get it “out there” and make it available so others could benefit. I drew on my experience as a qualified teacher and I did enjoy creating what I hoped would be a useful tool for readers to enable them to work on their own self-development.
3) What – if anything – surprised you in the writing process?
I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed researching the material I put into the all books. I looked at a large number of charts, many of those belonging to students or clients who I’d worked with, as I needed a lot of examples of how various aspects of astrological psychology were experienced in real life situations. Without exception, those I contacted were generous with their help and pleased to be involved.
4) What was challenging?
The discipline of writing itself. There were many times when doing the dusting seemed infinitely more attractive!
5) What did you enjoy most?
Once the writing mojo was activated and the dusting could be ignored, I gained a huge amount of pleasure and satisfaction from simply getting on with the task of creating and making real the ideas I’d had in my head for some time.
6) What did you learn about yourself in writing this book?
I will probably always be discovering something new about myself from working with and living out my chart. New insights about my Dominant Learning Triangle popped up, but probably the most significant thing was a new respect for the importance of the empty circle at the centre of the chart. I felt this place was the most important and relevant place for me to come from when I was writing the books.
7) What new insights did you gain about astrological psychology?
The depth of this approach to astrology, created by Bruno & Louise Huber, can never be underestimated. They blazed a trail towards deeper self-awareness and towards including a spiritual dimension in what we do in life. Simply writing from my own experiences of using and teaching this method, I saw how astrological psychology can be a springboard for the future if it encourages people to live more caringly and inclusively.
8) What impact would you like these books to have?
Well of course I’d love them to read far and wide and for people to get interested in understanding themselves so that they grow and develop into more generous, compassionate and spiritual beings. Realistically, only a small percentage of people will be attracted to studying astrological psychology, and I suspect that it’s the quality of those who are drawn to this approach that is important, not the quantity. I also think that nothing is lost, however small, so it’s more important to get it “out there” than not bother – which is why I wrote the books.
9) What are you working on now?
I occasionally write astrological articles and pore over charts of people/events I’m interested in. I’m developing my writing skills, producing travel articles and flexing my creativity on my blog where I write about what interests me, sometimes with my astrological hat on.
Joyce, from my heart I would like to thank you, not only for the books you have written, but for sharing with me personally as my tutor and mentor the incalculable wealth of self-knowledge that can be gleaned from the works of Bruno and Louise Huber. You have indeed shared this information in an interesting, manageable and easy to understand way…. something that for my own part I needed! I certainly felt that your writing, mode of presentation, and counsel too, always came directly from the heart. In writing these books, and in your teaching, you are undoubtedly participating in the process of changing lives by providing people with the means of understanding themselves and above all, their inner, spiritual connection. I’m so glad that you were frequently able to ignore the dusting, as my life has been immeasurably changed and is still changing due, in great measure, to your efforts.
All Joyce’s books have complemented the foundation and diploma courses and also stand on their own as introductions and extensions to the Huber method and books by the Hubers. Joyce has made good use of her teacher training, experience in communicating with students, and desire to share what she knows in books that are written simply and meaningfully. The Cosmic Egg Timer is fun, but the book I have valued most is The Living Birth Chart for its insightful exercises that can both be worked with individually and in a group.
Thank you both most kindly. It’s satisfying to hear they have been helpful – and enjoyable too! For my part, I enjoyed writing them all, but the book I probably would have as my favourite is The Living Birth Chart as it’s based on workshops attended by real people who were willing to take risks, work on their own charts and share their experiences and insights with others.