Heather Roan Robbins
I am a ceremonialist, spiritual counselor, author, and a practical, intuitive, choice-oriented astrologer and palmist with 30+ years’ experience. I practice in Ronan MT, MN, NYC, NM.
I’ve been on a lifelong interfaith spiritual search and have had an intuitive counseling practice since 1978 (I share my approach to the interfaith spiritual path and the use and function of intuition, astrology, and palmistry in nearby pages). I’ve had the opportunity/challenge to live in many parts of the country and in wildly different cultures, from NYC to rural North Dakota, from New England to New Mexico, and loved every place. I now live in the beautiful Flathead Valley, on the Salish Kootenai Reservation, just north of Missoula, Mt. My sense of what is possible, and of the enormity of soul, has been stretched and fed by the wild bouquet of humankind that I encountered on this journey, and I bring this breadth to my work.
This is my story, how I got to this work and this place.
Early years-Philadelphia/New England: My mother was an artistic psychiatric nurse, my father was an abstract mathematician; our family joke was that you put them in a blender and get an astrologer. I grew up wandering the halls of anthropology and art museums in Philadelphia, fascinated by the Sumerian and Egyptian sections; those images filled my childhood dreams.
The first numeral my father taught me was the one for infinity- tough on my childhood brain but auspicious for my path. I was rather haunted as a child as I noticed presences and feelings that those in my scientific surroundings did not recognize. During an early health crisis I had a few clear out-of-body experiences which viscerally let me know we are more than our body. As a child I collected myths and folktales, and produced my first zodiacal calendar at 11 years old.
In my first year of high school, the school’s telephone operator was a niece of the famous astrologer Caroll Righter; with her astrological books open she was a better counselor than the school therapist, and I wanted to know how she did it. I hung around to pump her for information and one day heard her mumbling concern over some impending tough aspects. She stopped two teachers whose transits were particularly challenging (she had everyone’s chart on file) and asked them to be a bit careful this weekend. The elder drama teacher died of a heart attack on stage and the younger one fell downstairs and broke a limb. I asked her to tell me everything she knew.
A few years later, at another school in the Berkshires, I had an art history teacher, Sushil Mukherjee, who was a palmist, natural mystic, and great counselor. I asked him to teach me about palmistry, he gave me few details but got me oriented, told me to peer into each hand as if it was a window into the soul. I started collecting handprints and palmistry books along with astrological information.
I took my ephemeris (a book of planetary positions) everywhere from 14 years on, looked up everyone I met, scanned their hands, and researched my way through an adventurous life. I studied with every astrologer and intuitive whose path I crossed. I carried this work through my work in human resources and human potential fields in southern New England. Palmistry, astrology and other intuitive arts were a natural way to broaden my toolbox and help me be of service. They were invaluable tools as I raised two children, one with special needs, and negotiated through their adolescence. As a staff astrologer with a family therapy group in RI I did some fascinating supervised work exploring the patterns of family dynamic back through generations.
New Mexico: In the late 1980s a friend of mine took sick in Santa Fe, New Mexico; I came to visit, and found she had four months to live. I stayed to help her through her transition and fell in love with the wild terrain and the warm hearts of New Mexico. Hospice is a great way to get past tourist traps and get real with the people.
An astrologer has a respected profession in Santa Fe, and I was considered a grounded and pragmatic one (which is not an oxymoron there). The Santa Fe Professional Astrology forum was a great collection of astrologers to work with, learn from, and befriend (Marcia Stark, Edith Hathaway, Merrylin LeBlanc, Alan Oken, Ariel Gutmann, Kenneth Johnson, Martin Goldsmith, Azlan White, to name a few). Alan Oken, Ariel Gutmann and I worked as a trio presenting monthly talks and symposium. In 1993 Edith Hathaway and I started writing Starcodes, one of the country’s first columns for the general public not on Sun sign astrology but on the astrological weather of the day. Edith soon left to pursue Vedic astrology, and I’ve been writing it every week since. Writing Starcodes has been fabulous research, it pushed me to know where the planets are at any given moment, predict how they will express in the week ahead, and then watch what actually unfolds– week after week– for decades.
Santa Fe abounds in holistic, mind-body work; what is cutting edge and New Age elsewhere was normal there, if not always so grounded. I studied hypnotherapy, applied kinesiology and met with a shamanic journey-work study group. New Mexico has a vibrant native community, tribes that were never moved off their home territory and have an intact tradition and pulsing traditional and contemporary native art scene. I attended dances and ceremony on the Pueblos and listened with my mind, heart, and spirit. With Kate Greenway and others I co-directed WomanWise women’s spiritual community, leading women in a year-long transformative journey and doing solstice and equinox rituals for the public. The NM landscape remains my heart’s home.
New York City: Around 2000 I began to have repeated dreams of a voice saying “I’m sending you back to the front lines” I remarried in 2001 and the next week my mate was offered a job near NYC. We landed there two weeks before 9-11-01 which was one hell of a wake-up call. NY was a humbling, expanding, and toughening journey that reaffirmed my faith in the human spirit. I volunteered to counsel an EMT working those first few months down at Ground Zero: she needed to download daily and it was a relief to find some way to help.
Post 9-11 NYC carried so much ambient pain and searching angst that I wanted more tools to offer my clients. I wanted to walk with them through their crossroads in rough waters and celebrate their turning points, not just map them, and so I went back into an interfaith seminary to expand my spiritual counseling tools and ceremonial skills. The New Seminary was founded in 1975 by Kabbalist Rabbi Gelberman, Course of Miracle specialist Rev. John Mundy, wise priest father Giles Spoonour, and Swami Satchidananda. I felt so at home I stayed on to work as teacher and registrar while I grew my practice.
NYC also has a vibrant astrological community; I joined the NY NCGR chapter, spoke at a few conferences and studied. NY Astrologers Mark Wolz, Anne Ortlee and I formed Access Astrology, a group dedicated to making quality astrological information available to the public; we did a weekly astro-talk at the East-West Center, and still do a blog-talk radio podcast together every Wednesday night. They now run a group at the Open Center in NYC, I work with them when I go back to NYC to see my clients.
North Dakota: After six years in NYC we long for the wide-open spaces of the West again. Dreams took us to Turtle Mountain ND, a stone’s throw from the Canadian border, where my mate helped start a science-teacher training program for tribally-owned Turtle Mountain College (Aanishinaabe). I tutored writing skills for future teachers. We walked with an herbalist, worked behind the scenes at a powwow, attended sweats, sat at the spirit fire for friends who died. We had so much to learn.
Warmth had a whole new meaning out there on the prairies at -20°. Our house was sealed tight. Solid workmanship is admired in the small Dakota towns as much as an honest handshake and a person who does what they say they’ll do, and with no fuss. Neighborliness; in a blizzard, at -26, our neighbors plowed our drive without saying a word, which brought tears to this former New Yorker’s eyes.
The ecosystem there is shuffling back from overuse, over hunt, and overly tidy farms; now the Aspen thicken and beaver and Fox drift back to Turtle Mountain even though western North Dakota is being ravaged by oil drillers. I had a chance to sidle up near a bald eagle chewing on marmot not far from the tribal heard of bison.
One sunny day by Fish Lake we watched whooping cranes swoop and swirl in a spiral of light, looking like a Japanese print and singing a resonant haunting song. All of nature stopped and listened, and I got a hint as to why Crane was the totem of the Aanishinaabe leadership clan.
St Paul, MN: In 2007 moved to the Twin Cities so my mate, Dr. Wren Walker Robbins, a two spirit of Mohawk dissent, could continue her work training science teachers in a multicultural approach to science education. We dove back into city life, and worked together in our search for the intersection between cultures and spiritual paths, science, intuition, and art. The Twin Cities have both the largest Urban Native community and the nickname Paganistan for its collection of alternative and earth-based spiritual groups; a place with a wonderful, questioning, gender-fluid accepting, creative, yet mid-western wholesome, spirit. The astrology scene percolates here; I presided over MN Stars, the Minnesota chapter of the national astrological organization NCGR for 4 years and wrote my first 4 books.
Ronan, MT: In the summer of 2016 we gathered our clan for a week in Montana, the mountains sang to us and our hearts never returned. Wren took a job directing the science teacher training program at Salish Kootenai tribal College in Pablo Montana in Nov 2016, and I joined the next summer after I finished up in Minnesota. A bear wandered through our field a few weeks after I got here, wild turkey and deer wander by every dawn and dusk. Coyote howl when the moon is up and soaring mountains form the backdrop.
I stay connected to all these homes, these places that fed my soul; they all inform all the work I do. The internet keeps me connected to my far-flung friends and clients. What can I do for you?
- 2017- started practice in the Flathead Valley of Montana
- 2008-present: Access Astrology Blogtalk Radio with Anne Ortlee and Mark Wolz
- 2005-present: Interfaith minister (counselor/celebrant)
- 1997-present: Writer – WeMoon Calendar
- 1993-present: Writer- Starcodes column
- 1978-present: Reader and teacher of astrology, palmistry, and the intuitive arts
- 2013-2017: Reader: Eye of Horus, Minneapolis
- 2011-2015: President, MNStars-NCGR (National Center for Geocosmic Research)
- 2012-2018: Presenter- Paganicon, and Woman and Spirituality Conference, MN
- 2007-2009: Writing tutor, TMCC, Turtle Mountain Reservation, ND
- 2005-2008: Teacher/Registrar- The New Seminary for Interfaith Studies, NYC
- 1999-2004: Teacher, Alan Oken’s Wisdom School, SF, NM
- 1998-2001: Director: Ursa Major School of Intuitive Arts SF, NM
- 1998-2001: Planet Waves weekly radio show on KSFR, SF, NM
- 1993-99: Co-Director, WomanWise Woman’s Mysteries School
- 1993-98: Human Resource Director, Ten Thousand Waves, SF, NM
- 1994-98: Board; Santa Fe Astrology Forum (member- 1990-2001)
- 1990-1998: Consulting Astrologer, Human Dimensions, Prov, RI.
- 2012-2015: Member, OPA (Organization for Professional Astrology)
- 2001-present: Member, NCGR (National Counsil for Geocosmic Research)
- 2010: Reiki 1 and 2, Rugby, ND. Bodytalk Access
- 2006: Spiritual Insight Training 1 & 2, Fellowships of the Spirit, Lilydale, NY
- 2005: Ordained, The New Seminary, NYC
- 1998-1999: Voted “Best Astrologer in Santa Fe”
- 1994-2000: Shamanic journeywork study group – Creative Alternatives, Santa Fe, NM
- 1991: Ericksonian hypnotherapy, Weisz Hypnotherapy clinic, SF, NM
- 1989-90: Hospice training
- 1979-1988: Ceres Center for Metaphysics, member and boardmember
- plus countless workshops and retreats along the way