Alan Oken (1944 – 2022)

“It is my sincere hope that all who work with Planetary Pathways will come to the awareness of their own essential divinity and through It, will create ever more widening fields of service for Its expression in the world”

~ Alan Oken

My favourite Astrologer, Alan Oken, passed away yesterday.  An Aries, his work was full of vitality and clarity.  He was also an interpreter of the abstruse writings of Alice Bailey on esoteric astrology.  I can still recall my excitement when I bought my first of his books “Astrology, Evolution and Revolution” in 1976.  And many of his phrases have stuck with me over the decades, as being not necessarily absolute truths, but expressing truths as closely and exquisitely as I would like.

Birth Chart

As a Sun sign Aries, Alan Oken was a leader in life, and undoubtedly in astrology.  He was authentic, and found his path early in life.  His planets were placed mainly in the elements of Fire and Air, and as such was a very energetic and active force, especially early in life.  His Sun and North Node were sextile Uranus, so he was also an innovator.  The Sun in his chart was also closely trine Pluto, so he understood himself and others in great psychological depth.  The Sun’s trine to the North Node gave him an understanding of the cycles of karma and reincarnation.  His Moon conjunct Uranus in Gemini combined rationality, imagination, and futuristic thinking.  Mercury trine Jupiter is always favourable for an expansive teacher, and he travelled the globe widely in his career (with Jupiter in his 9th House of Foreign Travel).  He was able to speak and write in seven languages.  Jupiter sextile Saturn gave him balanced judgement.  Uranus was trine Neptune in his chart, showing an ability to handle complexity.  Uranus also squared his Midheaven, depicting his career as an Astrologer at a time when to be so was in no way mainstream.  Uranus sextile Pluto gave him the ability to handle transformation in his life – he was born in New York City, but spent his final years on the spiritual island of Bali.  Neptune exactly sextile his North Node pointed to the dimension of his being a spiritual teacher and leader, in the realm of Theosophy.  And Pluto conjunct his North Node underlines his karmic mission in teaching about life and death, and emphasizes the importance of his passing for the astrological community.  He had 0 Earth planets, and had a definite mystical orientation.

Life and Career

Alan was born in 1944, and became a student of the astrologer Isabel Hickey.  It was she who passed the baton of astrology down to his generation.  In their synastry, her chart made important aspects to his natal Saturn in 7th House of close relationships, Saturn there representing his teacher: her Jupiter squared his Saturn, her Uranus opposed his Saturn, and her Pluto conjoined his Saturn.  In addition, her Pluto was sextile his natal Mercury, an indication of deep study.  They also had a warmer, more personal, square between her Venus and his Mars.

He reported that he received his calling to become an astrologer on 24th October 1967 at 10.15 p.m. in New York, at the age of 23.  At the time, Jupiter was sextile his Mars (great enthusiasm allied with energy), Pluto square his Saturn (an immense pressure), Saturn trine his Pluto (firmness on the path) and Neptune on his Ascendant (an important personal spiritual realization).

His broadcasting of astrology took off very quickly and spread geographically; he found himself in great demand as a refreshing new voice.  In 1973, he published his first work “As Above, So Below: A primary guide to astrological awareness” billed as “a new key to unlock your expanding consciousness”.  This was followed swiftly by its sequel “The Horoscope, the Road and its Travellers” in 1974.  I was introduced to his work by the third in the trilogy “Astrology: Evolution and Revolution” in 1976, and was utterly enthralled.

In August 1980, the trilogy was republished in one volume entitled “Alan Oken’s Complete Astrology”.  It was lovely to have all three books under one roof, so to speak.  I just marvelled at his clear ability to teach aspects such as astrological symbolism, and the range of material covered, e.g. the traditional interpretations of the Fixed Stars.  This was an inspiring addition to the available textbooks of the day, and to this day I always recommend it first and foremost when asked for the title of a good astrological textbook.

In 1988, he published “Soul Centred Astrology: A key to your expanding self”, based on the work of The Tibetan through Alice Bailey in her book “Esoteric Astrology”.  He is a member of the New Group of World Servers. In that book, he attempts to make this area of thought more accessible to astrologers.  He has said of this work: “Our task is not…just to individualize our egos but to unite the ego of the lower self with the Soul in order to create people who, in the words of the Tibetan Master, Djwal Khul, are ‘Soul-infused personalities’ “.  For Alan, “Astrology is much more than a mental exercise; it is an evolutionary tool for the development of consciousness.”

Recent years

Alan was aware of being homosexual from the age of 7, but had a child and married in his early 20’s.  He moved to Bali about 15 years ago.  He now has grandchildren, and lived in Bali with his husband Wira.  His movements have been constrained by the pandemic, but he continued to work in webinars, and gave a detailed podcast interview with astrologer Chris Brennan in 2019.

In his commentaries and in the podcast, he hinted at preparing new books, e.g. on prediction.  In his last Facebook post, he wrote:

“My dream life has been wonderful as structures for the remaining chapters of my two volume set of books appear crystal clear”.  His natal Moon conjunct Uranus would have been predisposed to such experiences, but,  as energy transforms itself,  these ideas will take other forms, and he may communicate with other astrologers from the other side of the veil.  The teachings of Alice Bailey are clear and detailed on the subject of telepathy, which he would know.

I have been following his commentaries from Bali on Facebook in recent years.  In November last year, he commented that the partial eclipse fell on his Ascendant/Descendant axis, and then in his last post of February 13th he mentioned that both he and his husband had tested positive for covid, but that he was battling more symptoms than Wira.  His cause of death is not known, but may be related to this illness.

So. I bid a fond and affectionate farewell to one who I have always declared to be my favourite Astrologer…

“For me, a teacher of the metaphysical, I find that I can anchor myself in the Middle through my work in astrology which allows the conscious and functional link between my lower finite mind and my higher mind, with its links to the infinite while staying centered here in service.”

~ Alan Oken


Today is the most packed day of the week in terms of astrological activity, so I hope you catch the blog in time to read it!

Mars entered Aquarius this morning), and you may feel that you have tied up some loose ends while Mars was in its recent stint Capricorn, and are able to turn your attention to wider social ventures, such as supporting the underdog or encouraging community projects – there are many worldwide efforts to support Ukraine at this time.  Mars in Aquarius is about teamwork, but also about activating friendships (e.g. engaging in shared leisure interests together).   Mars will be in Aquarius until 15th April.

Following hard on the heels of Mars, Venus also entered Aquarius this morning, which is quite an event in terms of a change of energy.  This may lighten the social mood, and you may have some extra mental energy at your disposal, such as the telepathic superpowers of Aquarius through its ruler Uranus.  You will feel more connected to people, but not in a clingy way, more in the mode of a higher evolutionary consciousness.  Alan Oken would approve.  Venus occupies this position until 5th April.

Shortly afterwards, moreover, Venus caught up with her companion Mars.  This could spell romance for some.  Their position at 0 degrees Aquarius could reveal truth, or future vision.  Tell those you love how you feel about them, and tell yourself how you feel about yourself. Sensuality and hedonism are other possibilities when Venus and Mars get together.

A very different energy also manifests itself today, that of the Nodal Axis squaring Mercury, which brings in a karmic theme including karmic information, and the need to attend to detail in your work and communications.  A time of karmic recalibration, especially in relation to groups.

In the early hours of Thursday (10th) Mercury enters Pisces, bringing the mental focus on to compassion, as applied to the most vulnerable in our society.  The focus in the world right now has moved from the pandemic, to the plight of Ukraine and its valiant population.  It is a good time to apply your mind to wider perspectives and solutions generally, and those that can turn compassion into practical action.  Mercury is in this sign until 27th March.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – community action; telepathic and empathetic powers; sensuality; karmic information
  • Thursday – mental focus on compassion