It's all in the stars

2011-10-03 00:00

IF you attend one of Dion Van Zyl’s astrology talks, you have to be prepared to suspend disbelief and go with the flow. Not only will you be discussing the stars, planets and other aspects of the zodiac, you may wander off into uncharted territory where you feel as if you are living in a science-fiction movie.

In one session we talk about

aliens, crop circles, weather patterns being controlled by radio transmitters, mind-controlling fluoride in the drinking water and, of course, astrology.

Van Zyl is not one to beat about the bush. When I meet him giving an astrology lesson at Dovehouse ­Organic Farm in Howick, he looks “alternative”, wearing a tie-dyed shirt and sporting a blonde pony tail. However I later find out that he is not a fan of the new-age movement and thinks crystals, angels and all that stuff is “out to lunch”.

His piercing blue eyes and rapid-fire speech leave you playing a game of catch-up, and his knowledge of the stars and their alignment is vast and impressive. But today’s workshop lesson begins with a small diversion; on the projector we are looking at some recent photographs of crop circles that were taken in England.

Van Zyl says that it is widely ­believed that these crop circles, which have evolved into intricate patterns, are actually messages from folks from other solar systems. The crop circles which appear in many places around the world are a global phenomenon.

Some say they are created by alien spacecraft using sound technology that under an audio field organically bends the plant. Some believe these messages are sent from kindly aliens to warn us of earthly catastrophes like the recent Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Having caught our ­attention, he directs the class’s ­attention towards other forecasts — this time in the skies.

You don’t have to be a mathematical genius nowadays to calculate the position of the planets and stars — there are computer programmes that do the legwork. Making sense of it is another matter. “When the moon is in Gemini it means moods alternate quickly, things get very moody; they can change frequently from one way to another. When Mercury moves into Gemini, we will all be able to communicate much better with each other, and there will be less disagreements and arguments,” he tells us.

Van Zyl explains that in astrological terms, the moon is the mother figure and the sun symbolises the ­father figure. The planet Saturn ­represents the home, and also represents the stability of your life.

When he talks, his hands move expressively. He says that astrology is not neccesarily a tool for predicting the future, but rather for helping us to understand that whatever is happening on earth is usually reflected in the heavens. He scoffs at people who read daily astrology predictions, looking for direction. He says it is more useful to look at their birth charts, and to find out what shaped their personalities during the span of their youth.

“Everyone can use this information to help them maximise their skills and talents, and to also avoid and downplay their weaknesses in times of trouble.” He does not believe implicitly in destiny as a path that is carved in stone. He says we can react to any given situation in a number of ways, and we are shaped by the greater circumstances of our lives. The place where we were born and the era into which we were born can affect a lot of things, like our political situation.

Van Zyl shows examples where tragic events in the past have sometimes been linked to the appearance on the charts of the ominous “Denebola Star”. This was seen on the horizon at the time of the Titanic’s launch. And the sun passed this star on the day when the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre ­collapsed on 9/11. It was also seen on the horizon on the day Hiroshima was bombed, and in John F. Kennedy’s moon at birth.

He also pointed out that Julius Malema and Eugene Terre’blanche share the ”death of the king aspect”, which is the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction. This means they share the same fiery leadership qualities.

Van Zyl says the skies also predicted the collapse of the banks in the United States, and the economic depression in 2007 when Pluto entered Capricorn. “Pluto is known as a destroyer, it is associated with death and the underworld, and Capricorn is associated with Babylon wealth, stability and financial abundance.”

For some the skies spell success, and Madonna, the pop icon and ever-successful “Material Girl” is apparently enjoying the effects of a ­20-year Jupiter-Saturn cycle. Van Zyl said: “When she first hit the charts with her songs she was fresh and raunchy, and now twenty years later she is back in fashion.”

“You cannot predict when things will have a great outcome,” say Van Zyl. “You can only look at the astrological position of the stars and planets, and see that when Mars and ­Uranus are in position in a chart, it means the person has a lot of energy and power over that period, so the odds are good that they will strike or perform well.

“That would probably be a good time to ask your boss for a raise,” he adds, smiling. Van Zyl’s mission is to help people demystify the science of astrology, and to use it as a tool for everyday life.

He first became interested in astrology when he was on the club scene twenty years ago, and taking LSD. He realised that he was able to see people’s auras. “I became aware that there was something else beyond just the physical. It opened my eyes.”

He became interested in reading tarot cards, and he worked with a tarot deck that had many astrological symbols on it. “I developed an interest in astrology, and I would do a tarot reading and use astrology as well in the reading. I learnt that my knowledge of astrology would help me interpret the cards accurately.

“People would say: ‘wow, how can you know that?’”

“It is all in the stars, if you know how to interpret them.”


• To contact him, phone 082 745 3078 or e-mail: dionvan

• You can read his blog at

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