My name is Florence Boissenin and I was born in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. My journey into astrology started on 1 January 1988, on the 2nd pass of my first Uranus square, almost to the day. I had been backpacking on the most Western island of Brittany but was forced to return to the mainland by an upcoming winter storm. It was New Year’s Eve and pouring rain.
I was hitchhiking and starting to resent the tricky situation my adventurous spirit had yet again gotten me into when a car that had just passed by stopped, drove back, and its driver asked if I needed help.
This man, who became a dear friend, turned out to be an astrologer, so the first thing he did the next day was to draw my chart. I don’t remember anything about the reading he gave me but when I got back home, I hung his drawing above my bed. In the weeks that followed, Neptune started appearing in my dreams.
It was really intriguing because the dreams were clearly connected to the drawing and it was as if Neptune was teaching me, showing me things about my chart. I talked to one of my teachers about it, who had an interest in astrology, and she recommended that I read a book by Liz Greene she lent me. I liked Liz Greene a lot, but still had no idea what was going on. In the next months of that year, I had the opportunity to look at many books on astrology, first at my friend’s in Brittany, and later in California, where it turned out that the stepmother of the friend I was staying at was also an astrologer.
My friend in Brittany had showed me how to calculate charts (since there were no computer programs available back then) and I was able to do so, but I couldn’t bring myself to actually read any of those books from the beginning to the end. All I did was gather bits and pieces of information from them to try and connect the dots and understand my chart better. So when some people I had met and told about this asked me to read their charts, I said I couldn’t. But they insisted and I tried.
To my surprise, they loved it and the next day people started lining up behind my door asking for readings. To this day, I do not know how I gave those readings, I can’t remember a thing I said, nor what method I used. This went on for a few years, first in California, then back in Switzerland. I was even asked to give a course at an adults’ evening school, and I did.
Surprisingly, perhaps, it did not elate me to be in that position. There was a part of me which was extremely reluctant, extremely aware of the fact I had no idea what I was doing, and I always felt that I had to be very careful. However, I could see that the readings were helpful for people, and I sensed that it was not right to refuse doing something that was helping, even if I had no clue why. I decided I would continue until the day this stream of clients stopped or I would feel I was not helping anymore.
I acted with great care and integrity but nonetheless remained very uncomfortable, so at one point I decided I had to get some sort of ‘official’, ‘proper’ training. Back then, there weren’t too many options available to me in Europe. I couldn’t travel to London to learn at Liz Greene’s school (which I would have done, otherwise, since I liked her Jungian psychoanalytical approach) but there was a school in Zurich, the Huber school.
I went there for an introductory weekend and at one point Mrs Huber, the founder of the school, glanced at my chart. This old lady, whose wrinkles – believe it or not – formed a Neptune glyph between her eyebrows, at first looked puzzled, then shook her head and handed me back my chart saying: You don’t need this training.
I couldn’t believe it. Here I was, trying in good faith to figure out what to do with this astrology business which had ‘fallen on my head’, and the only person I knew of who could have given me some ‘legitimacy’ and peace of mind was refusing to teach me. So I asked her: What am I supposed to do, if it’s not what you do? She simply said: I have no idea. This is when I gave up on learning about astrology the ‘normal’ way.
I later did find someone who seemed to be able to tell me more and for a few years practised something different which is called ‘Shet’, an ancient Celtic word which means ‘knowledge of the forces of the planets’. This was more like channelling short messages from planets, stars and constellations to help people with the issues they were currently working on. But at one point I felt it was not right for me to continue, so I stopped using astrology professionally and only kept track of my personal transits and those of the people close to me, all the while still remaining curious about understanding my own chart better.
At the very beginning of my Chiron Return, I was ‘grounded’ by illness and realized that my life had to change or I would not survive. This is when the idea of doing astrology professionally came back to me and I decided to give it another go. I studied with the Faculty of Astrological Studies in London (which could now be done via the Internet) and passed their Certificate but realized that this kind of work was making me ill because it is much too intellectual and it depletes me of my life force. So I tried other approaches and this is how I came across Gemini Brett, who mentioned Shamanic Astrology and talked about Virgo during a session I did with him in a way which really intrigued me. Curiosity about the Virgo Mystery School led me to take all the online SAMS courses.
The Universe helped me by throwing in the Covid lockdown, which gave me time for this which I was not supposed to have. When I looked at the cover of the Handbook, I couldn’t believe it: Here was the Callanish stone circle I had visited the summer before, where I had received such a powerful transmission: The stones greeted me into their Sacred Circle and called me one of their own. I remembered the pledge I had made in that circle long ago to return to the Light.
To me the stones felt like Living Beings, and they bowed in respect as I took leave. For a reason I cannot explain, it had felt then like I may never be able to return and be with them, so I had said farewell, but they have been accompanying me ever since and knowing of their presence I feel I am never alone.
Finally, in May 2021, I was blessed with being part of the beautiful certification ceremony we did online and have been immensely grateful ever since for being a part of the SAMS community. For yet another reason I cannot explain, on this long journey which has been mysterious from the beginning, and I suppose will remain so to the end, it really feels like this is a kind of astrology and a group of astrologers I can call home.
This is why I say ‘Thank You’ from the bottom of my heart to Daniel, to Cayelin and to all of you who make up SAMS, not least for giving me a chance to tell my story and for listening to the end.
Florence, certified in 2021, based in Switzerland
P.S.: For those who might be curious, I have the Taurus Job in the Aquarian Tribe and yes, I have been desperately trying to land on this planet. Venus at 29° Leo was conjunct Regulus when I was born on the eighth day of the eighth month (the famous Lion’s Gate which is NOT such a big deal, apparently, as we read in a recent newsletter).
And, as you will have gathered by now, I have been trying to figure out what the heck my Sacred Work is, like any other Virgo Rising person, except that in my case it’s even more of a headache since I have Jupiter in Virgo conjunct the Ascendant, so that no extra hint can be gleaned from the ‘Dharma planet’… except that Sacred the Work must be, and that I did not land on Gaia by chance: There clearly is a Pattern to it all. However, as you certainly can guess from the story, Neptune has been making the whole thing completely fuzzy (yet oh so magical): I am an honorary Piscean who has no planets in Pisces but Sun-Mercury, Venus and Mars in Leo in the 12th house, with Neptune squaring all of them except Mars (which it trines)… so at some point I WILL achieve radical, radiant Self-Love and Sovereignty, but there have been many delays…