Astrologer and Philosopher PHIL BAKER – The One who dares to live his truth

Phil BakerPhil Baker currently living in New York, United States is one of those people who never stop questioning the meaning and mystery of life and look for answers in most unusual ways. He will not give up until his inner curiosity and need to know the truth whatever that truth is is fully fulfilled. Astrology was a subject that took his attention in his early twenties and kept him fascinated to this day. From that was born a certain understanding and philosophy on life and its meaning.
He likes quoting personas like Winston Churchill, who once said, “A fanatic is one who cannot change his mind and will not change the subject.” Phil Baker seems to be a person able to discuss many themes with you on many levels. I see him not only as a astrologer but also as a philosopher who dares not only to talk but also live his truth.

I got intrigued by your huge knowledge in astrology. Why astrology, Phil? What brought you on this path of mystery?

I didn’t know anything about astrology throughout college, never thought about it. After college, where I had written plays, I thought I wanted to work as a writer, journalist, advertiser or such, but there was no work available then. At least I couldn’t find any. Someone mentioned astrology to me, so I casually looked it up. It seemed interesting, though I was sceptical; the more I read, though, the more surprised I was at how accurate it was, certainly about me and then others. More because I needed money than anything else, I started doing horoscopes for friends, charging a pretty low price. I found I was pretty good, and more people came. I thought I would do it for a while, until something else comes along. You know the rest, years later, I still am. Any time I tried to switch, it never worked. The more I got into it, and read deeply, also into psychology, philosophy, history, mystical and spiritual writings, including your favourite Rumi, and others, the more I felt it was a very ancient and very strong way of explaining people and the world. I still do. I have seen virtually every human situation. I love getting to the depths about people and hardly ever take anyone on face value. And I believe that countries, religions, races and beliefs are rather superficial in certain ways, they have their place but people are far more alike deep down than not. Thus, prejudice and hatred are not only immoral but really stupid. They are delusions. Astrology is a universal way of defining people and character in a non-judgemental fashion. And aesthetically pleasing too. I also believe that we have free will, but within an overall pattern really. We are supposed to meet the important people we do, for a reason, and if you have no natural rapport with someone, try as you will, you will never link up with them or stay with them. I have often seen this. Astrology can show this too.

How reliable astrology can be, Phil?

Astrology is reliable if it is used right. Most people think of it in terms of predictions. Regarding this, the rule is no matter what the prediction, nothing can happen potentially that is not in the natal horoscope. You have to have the possibility there for some prediction to take place. If you are supposed to concentrate on religious matters or meditation or such, and that is your path, then no matter how good the predictions, you will not win an Academy Awards or get married or star as a great baseball player. However, within that context, there are many things you can do. If your main path is domestic or maternal or familial or romantic, then even the best aspect for career will be of little relevance. But most people have many outlets for predictive trends, within their blueprint, and so it is very useful for one to know these. But perhaps the most useful part of astrology and reliable is actually the birth horoscope. This is a very reliable indication of the personality, relationship possibility, career, travel, friends, psychology and much else. It is really useful to know this because you don’t waste time on things that have no relevance to your talents and goals. Or people. Astrology is also very useful and reliable in comparison work. It will show how compatible you are with another person, in love, business, friendship or anything. Many times people get involved for the wrong reasons. ‘Love’ alone is not enough, or even sufficient reason for a relationship. It doesn’t even mean much, since people put whatever they want in that word, egotism, jealousy, possessiveness, sex, etc. Ideally, signs, planets and aspects should show reasonably good rapport, harmony and mutual energy and interests. The more the better ,in fact. This is easy to see in a comparison. also ,very reliable. It usually translates into the daily world into really liking the other person, feeling comfortable and strong attraction too. In all these ways, prediction, natal analysis, and comparison, if done correctly, astrology can be very reliable indeed.

How do you do your readings? Are there any special charts of zodiacs that you rely on?

There are books that are called ephemeris, which are collections of planetary placements by years. But now, most astrology calculations are done on computer. There are many different programs. But they all come up with the same basic horoscope to start with. You use longitude, latitude, time, place, day, month and year for the information. All astrologers do this for calculation. After that, the art comes in interpretation.

So if you were to do a reading for me, what would you rely on? Would you like to do a short reading for me for readers to see?

If I were to do a reading for you, I would rely on your birth date, month, year, time and place. If you like, I can do a short reading on you, as an example, certainly. It should give a decent idea of it.
Here is a short reading based on your Sun and moon combination, the most basic of all, the core energy of the horoscope, the real you, so to speak:

You are Sagittarius Sun and Libra moon. You are a very active person, with broad, expansive ideas and schemes though not always realistic. Once you get enthused over something, you will try and follow it through, sometimes ignoring certain practicalities. But you are forceful and idealistic, and often can put your ideas across to the world if you learn tact and diplomacy. You are social, friendly and like to be with people. You really do need affection and love, and usually can get it. The opposite sex likes you, and you should be popular. But you get bored rather easily, and it takes someone quite smart, grounded and interesting to hold you for long. Thus, we often find several relationships here. You are sincere and direct in love as in other things. You don’t like small talk much. You do like big ideas and discussions and debates about philosophy and religion and maybe the arts and world affairs. Your intuition is strong and usually accurate and you do well to follow it. When younger, you were naive, and taken in, but by now you are not easy to fool, and can spot phonies easily. You are a warm and generous person. You are refined and discriminating in the arts and with people and who you spend time with.
You are honourable, idealistic and philosophical. You are ambitious in a way, but your principles are more important to you. You don’t care about money or power for their own sake, though you may use them for other purposes. You love books and ideas, and have a strong imagination certainly. You like to own your own home. In love, also, you look for people to balance you out. Thus, those who are more practical, or stable in some way, or provide reliability and security. You are active, mobile and love to travel. Not only physically but mentally as well. You can handle details but don’t like them especially, as indicated it is the broad, general idea that counts with you. You are democratic, liberal and a true reformer, and despise prejudice, bigotry, materialism and negativity a lot. You love beauty in nature and the arts and people too. You can be too direct at times, and thus can make opponents when you don’t have to. You are loyal to those you love, and would do anything for them. Though very independent, you are quite sensitive and easily hurt, though don’t always show it. In love, mental rapport, mutual respect are the most important things, and then the other, usual factors.

Phil, what kind of meaning does astrology have in your life? What role does it take?

Aside from the obvious that it is how I make my money, Astrology has a couple of roles for me. I have been doing it so long it is like an old friend, interesting, wise and always available. It is aesthetically very pleasing, and harmonious. It is intellectually interesting and very linked to other disciplines in different ways. I even like the historical element in it, since it is found in many civilisations going back around three thousand years or so. And finally it gives a superb tool for understanding self and others. Amusingly, when I tell people what I do, they usually either get very interested, or find a reason to go. More of them are interested, though. And because to many it is different or nonconformist, it has gotten me into pretty exclusive places and people I would not otherwise have been or met. These are some ways it influences me. Of course, I used it for prediction too.

How does it feel using astrology in order to predict future? Do you use it for yourself frequently?

Regarding prediction, I do use it for myself as a good way to watch trends and timing too. However, I am not a servant to it, it is a useful tool that I have found works nicely. It feels pretty natural by now. In a way, it is like the weather, you can tell when it is good to go forward and when it is not as great, perhaps. That is a good way to look at it.

What would you tell to people who do not believe in existence and truths of astrology?

Regarding those who are against it, and such, it depends. If they are really against it, on dogmatic grounds, like extreme fundamentalism or scientific ideology, you can’t do anything, they just want to argue or prove how right they are in that and everything usually. If, however, they are sceptical, as I originally was, I just suggest that they actually have theirs done by someone who knows how to do it, and see what they think. Try it out. Or, they might want to read some good books on it, and do it on their own too. Either is a good way.

Don’t you feel sometimes living life without relying too much on astrology and just going with the flow, being in the uncertainty and seeing what life is about to bring to you?

Absolutely I do. I actually am a firm believer that being in the present and following the energies of the moment are often excellent ways to go. And give great potential as well. I also really like Taoism and the work of Krishnamurti among others. And practically I have often done this, and it has taken me to interesting and unusual people and situations more often than not. But there is not really a contradiction. The horoscope shows you the blueprint or energy to work with in different directions, some easier than others. Thus, you have many choices. It shows possibility, you don’t have to do anything. As to predictions, they show trends, some strong ones it is true. Thus, if you know you have a very good one coming up for something you want, you might want to use it. You don’t at all have to. If, instead, you have some difficult ones, you might want to wait and act another time; but, again, you don’t have to and are free to charge ahead if you wish. In a way, it is like knowing the weather – it might be cold in two days, with a strong wind, still, you can go on a picnic then if you like, it is up to you. Thus, really, you can use astrology as an useful tool in certain circumstances, natal and predictive to make things easier. I do not advocate people who try and control everything by it, first, you can’t, and second, it is a misuse of it. That’s not what it is for. There is much to be said for going with the flow, but it is not universally the best thing to do.

What is your philosophy on life, Phil? How do you live your life, what values drive you and your decisions?

What a question, Jolita, though a good one about my philosophy!
In persecution, cruelty, bigotry, and other such things. Or fanaticism. I am not conventionally religious, and do not attend any church, temple, mosque, ashram or coven for that matter. Though I am a firm believe in religious freedom and have friends from all religions and none. Also from many different countries. I am existential in some ways. I believe we make choices and then follow through on them. Not to choose is to choose. I love books and ideas, and am open to modifying beliefs through them. I do think the US Bill of rights guaranteeing personal freedoms may be the greatest document ever. It is the first 10 Amendments to the constitution written by Jefferson and Madison. Everyone should read it. It is a great goal to aspire to. As to astrology, it is a useful and interesting part of my philosophy, aesthetically pleasing. I have found it very helpful, in many ways. Also in understanding others. But it is just part of the overall philosophy. I favour nonconformity to it’s opposite usually; originality to tradition; questioning to ritual acceptance. Though others certainly have the right to do what they like, I steer clear of gurus, preachers, pastors, ‘sages’ and such. That is, those who claim to speak for a divinity or have it do so through them. Everybody here is here because they are not divine or all wise! To say you are, is a way of avoiding getting into the area and dealing with others equally. We have seen where this leads, in religion, politics, etc. No one is perfect! Think for yourself. Gandhi told England to surrender to Hitler, who he called a ‘good’ man. Mother Teresa was convinced her dogma was infallible, and superior to others, and so on. This is not to deny that in other ways they did very good work; just that they were human, with contradictions and not perfect at all. For me, personally, history is really important. As Cicero wrote, Not to know history is to be a child always. I agree with this. Nations have energies and destinies and personalities. I can be friends with any individual, but there are countries I would prefer not to go to. This is because of their pasts or presents, and the energy therein. As to my own, the USA, I well know we are not perfect; the African Americans, Native Americans, immigrants and women too, have not always been treated well. Though we have made great progress in these areas. But I do think those who founded it, Franklin, Washington, Madison, Jefferson and such, were inspired by noble ideas of freedom, democracy, justice and equality, more than they knew at times, and that is why the US became such a great and strong nation to live up to these, though it has not always. If it is to stay great, living up to these beliefs will do it more than just military or economic power, which anyone can get. A brief look at the 20th Century will show the superiority of Democracy and pluralism and freedom to anything else, I feel. Also the overall acceptance of immigrants and diversity is wonderful. Everyone here comes from somewhere else!! Great mix of cultures and peoples. Finally, I love women and think women make life worthwhile! To the degree that they attain equal rights and security after so many centuries of not having them, it will be a better world. For everyone. And for me humour is really important. I love to laugh, and like satire and jokes. And that, Jolita, in a nutshell, is my philosophy.

From your answer, as I understood, you have certain opinions or stereotypes and live based on them to even such degree that you choose not to go to certain places or countries due to their history. Am I right? You know some people would say that thinking like this creates only limitation. What would you answer to this?

Excellent question. First, I did say I would be friends with any individual, regardless of background or country, if I liked them and would, and do, judge people as I meet them on their own merits. I have friends literally of every religion, and many different countries as well: gay, straight, rich, poor, tall, short and such. Still, it is true I have opinions – you use the word stereotypes, which literally has a completely different meaning that are in fact based either on my own experiences or on people I have met or what I have read. I don’t know anyone who does not. While I am all for broad-mindedness and inclusiveness, and I am, to say that the past doesn’t matter at all, which is what some people are actually saying, and all that matters is now, is to be delusional. We are all products of our past, what we know, learn, study, etc. As George Santayana said, ‘Those who do not study history are condemned to repeat it.’ We have seen this often. While I applaud many new Age concepts, and love many such writers, they are not always aware of this. Yes, there are certain places I would not have any desire to go to due to certain events. Is it limiting? Yes. But why interact with particularly negative energies? For example, I would not go to a Klan meeting, befriend a Neo Nazi or Al Quaeda terrorist, or want to spend a lot of time at Aushwitz, though I would go to the latter to visit for historical and moral reasons. To say, as some do, that everyone is the same, or equal, and we should treat them or even all places as the same, forgetting anything else, is at best naive, and at worst immoral or even foolish. It is a truth that not everyone wises everyone else well. It is common sense. There are, I believe, group energies, just as individual ones, and that is why we tend to be attracted to some groups, ideas and people, but not others much. We see this easily when it comes to choosing friends, let alone lovers romantically. We all have standards and there are some people we simply would never want to be with. Yes, we are certainly closing the door on them, but it enables us to direct our energy to those we choose. If you extrapolate this personal example to a more general one, you can easily see what I mean. This certainly does not mean I wish them negative things, not at all. They are free to do what they want. But what they want, has little rapport with my own interests. I am all for having new experiences, going to new places, reading new books and certainly meeting new people; FB alone is wonderful for that. As is the Internet. I think snobbery, like country clubs and exclusive neighbourhoods and such, that keep people out because of ethnic background race or religion is beyond foolish. But I could easily understand a Bosnian person being very uncomfortable, going to Srebenica, especially if they lost someone there among the 5,000 civilians killed there. Or, say, a Jewish person being uncomfortable going to Germany or a country with a strong history of anti Semitism like Poland. Or even an African American going to rural Mississippi, knowing the history. Again, I am not saying one shouldn’t; not at all. Just to respect what that means to them, and even those who were persecuted in those places. I use the above examples by the way, not arbitrarily, but as actual people I have encountered, as a matter of interest. In reality, there are few places that fall in that category for me, personally; were it up to me, I would love to live in a peaceful, universally prosperous and happy world, certainly! Anyhow, I hope I’ve explained what I meant better, and in more detail.

I appreciate your broad-mindedness. You say, you would like to live in the peaceful, universally prosperous and happy world. How do you understand and see a peaceful, universally prosperous and happy world?

Good question. Again, in a way, you are asking for my description of Utopia, since that is what a peaceful, universally prosperous and happy world would be. But I will answer it. First, and easiest, universally prosperous means what it says. We currently have the technology, organization talent, and knowledge to bring about reasonable universal prosperity. But it is not a priority. Nation states, political leaders and corporations are interested in power, accumulating wealth and control, not the other. So you would need the people of the world, probably led by reformers, intellectuals and socially aware leaders to rebel against this, hopefully through electoral or political means, and work to reorganise societies so that what is important is a certain redistribution of resources such that one per cent does not control 40 per cent of the wealth as is now the case everywhere. To a degree, though not a lot, you see this in the Arab spring, politically. But these societies are still theocratic, hierarchical and relatively authoritarian, having no democratic traditions at all. Likely they will go Islamist. You can see it in Egypt now with the rise of the Muslim brotherhood. Syria is of course killing it’s own people so that Assad can maintain power. If it happens, it will start in the West, and then hopefully spread to others. There is some evidence of this, in the disillusion of young people with traditional parties and leaders, the interest in ‘New Age’ ideas, social justice and interestingly the decline of tolerance of prejudice. Look at Obama as US President, it would never have happened even twenty years ago. Racism is not allowed publicly in the USA or Europe today; and anti Semitism, for 2,000 years a staple of European society, up to around fifty or sixty years ago, is in a general way not allowed or tolerated. Even the universalization of the Holocaust, debated by some, serves an exemplary purpose; this is where hatred and stupid prejudice ultimately lead. Who can deny it? Too, the rise of women and women’s rights, which I am all for, is new and very favourable. And even the fact of divorce increasing, not happy in itself, still gives people more ways to be with each other than traditional state sanctioned marriage alone. Globalisation obviously can indicate potential for economic unification. Thus, national barriers become less essential. So can increased communication and mass media, like FB. You and I would never have met twenty years ago, let alone have conversations like this, happily. So these are some methods. Ideally, a peaceful world would have no wars, period. Currently they accomplish nothing. They are an anachronism. The last war that accomplished anything good was WW II and that ended 67 years ago. There will never ,happily, be another war like that, things have changed. So we have covered prosperous, everyone has what they need, at least basics, without constant fear of starvation or unemployment, etc. We have covered peaceful, no socially approved mass killing any more, wars. Given these, the third, happiness is possible. This is subjective. But as Jefferson wrote, it certainly means each can pursue what he loves or wants in his or her own way. There are opportunities for self expression, creativity and even just fun for all. Coercion is minimal at the least. There are different relationship possibilities for men and women, not one. Children are loved and encouraged however they grow up. Sexual activities are consensual, naturally, but not repressed. And people are accepted for who they are, not as subordinate to another purpose. Access to the arts is freely available. Necessities are guaranteed. Then it would be up to each person to find what they love and want the most or who. We are far from this state of affairs, I know; but it is the best goal to move toward, I feel. That is my succinct answer to your question.

PS. in such a happy society, I might take Jolita out to dinner and vigorously exchange opinions and humour with her. It would be really interesting to see who would out-talk the other!!

You love politics, don’t you?

I do enjoy politics, and follow it, domestic and world. I am liberal usually, but not violently partisan or anything. I have too a good sense of humour for that, I think! But in college I majored in history and more than politics I like that! I like to see how the past influences the present, national characters, and what we can learn from that. I do like modern European history a lot, and also American history. But I read about the ancient world too! People are usually pretty much the same deep down. They want many of the same things as humans, I mean. I also like philosophy, mysticism, spiritual writings, poetry, and literature. As you know, I like many of the books and writers you do, including your writings. Yes, I like Rumi, Maharshi, Krishnamurti, Jung, Seth, Abraham and Eckhart Tolle, among others. And try to use them. I also really like your cosmopolitan perspective from wide travel, reading and imagination.

Please tell me what does astrology have to do with Rumi or Krishnamurti, Jung or Abraham teachings? Anything in common?

Some. Jung was interested in it, and studied it and uses it in his collected works. He applied his ideas of synchronicity and archetypes to it, so do some astrologers. He also used it as an adjunct to psychology. So it is definitely linked to him. Rumi lived in an era when it was common, though I don’t know enough about his biography to know if he was into it. When Krishnamurti was born, an astrologer told his parents, he would be a great man, and very wise sage. Of course, it is big in India. I don’t think he himself used it however. He was into meditation, conditioning, mystical awareness and education reform. Seth talks about it, briefly, but as with everything, to him it is that if you believe it, then it follows through, since thought creates Reality. Abraham is, I think, similar. But I like these books not because of astrology, but because I found them interesting and very original and useful, actually. I do know Krishnamurti’s horoscope and many other of the sages, they are well known. Krishnamurti was a great influence on me. Wise man!

Please tell me, Phil, can astrology explain relationship and people’s compatibility in detail? Can it help people deal with relationships, with its ups and downs?

Astrology can be very useful in relationships. The horoscope, as I have said, is a blueprint of energy and potential. When you put two of them next to each other, to compare in a romantic relationship, and others too in different ways, you can tell, in great detail, how the two people’s energies interact. Unless the two despise each other, in which case they would not need astrology since they wouldn’t come together, or not long, or are idyllically happy, in which case they wouldn’t need astrology or anything else, most relationships fall somewhere in the middle. Thus, you can tell in great detail where they are compatible and good, where conflicts are likely to rise, areas to develop and others not to. Mental rapport, emotional compatibility, sexual mutuality, financial interests, values, religion, travel, friends, home, work, etc., are all areas to compare. For some people age, status, wealth, others’ opinions are important, for others they could care less; this shows up. And most essentially, are there enough YESes to want to pursue it? Or might the NOs cause so many problems one might prefer a more compatible one? Obviously it is a detailed interview. I do not ever tell anyone to stay in a relationship or not; not my job. It is up to them. I give information, and they can do with it what they want. But it is good information and useful and have gotten lots of good feedback on it. The same applies indifferent ways to family, friend, business and other comparisons too. If one person is strong in an element, fire, air, earth, water, and the other not, there would have to be a lot to compensate for that, for example. Though one could, in principle. Thus, one can certainly use astrology as a useful help in enhancing relationships.

Phil, what would be your advice for all of us for the year 2012?

My advice for everyone would not be astrological, simply because to really give advice for a year, you need to do each individual horoscope, personally. I am not one, there are those who do, look at general placements and feel you can predict for the world. That is rather arbitrary. Though I know the theory behind it. That said, there are a few things. First, I am not one of those who think the world will end in 2012 with the Mayan thing, etc. There are all kinds of theories on that, none conclusive. I do know that for thousands of years someone has been predicting the imminent end of the world, and here we are! So I wouldn’t worry much about that. I would also say to anyone interested, this year, don’t take the words of supposed leaders and experts on everything. Think for yourself. You can consider them, that’s all. Also, laugh all you can. A sense of absurdity defuses pomposity, egotism, arrogance and for that matter, boredom among others. Fun is good! Do what you like as much as you can. That does help live up to your potential, astrologically and otherwise. Be kind as much as possible. Oh, yes, you might also consider getting your personal horoscope done! And all the best.

Phil Baker’s link to Facebook page:

Phone: 01585-473-8536 (New York, USA)

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