Intro to AstroDharma: Awakening Through Astrology

About This Event

Astrology and Buddhism?! These are two powerful tools to help us better understand ourselves as individuals, our lives, the nature of being human, and the universe around us.

The teachings of the Buddha––also known as “Buddhadharma” or just “dharma”––offer us 2500 years of profound consciousness studies. Transpersonal astrology draws on Western Greco-Roman mythology plus Jungian principles and archetypes to help us understand ourselves, others and the cosmos.

Combined, they help you to understand your soul map––your natal astrology chart–– and your unique Hero’s Journey depicted therein.

Learn and Apply – The unique and new combination of AstroDharma gives us unprecedented leverage to draw on personal strengths to transform personal and situational challenges. The Intro to AstroDharma course is designed to support you on your spiritual path and thereby benefit others.


What to Expect

Understand the Map of Your Soul’s Journey & Transform Challenges

Intro to AstroDharma is an online self-study program that supports you as you begin the journey of self-discovery and transformation through the uniquely combined lens of Buddhist teachings (Dharma) and transpersonal Western astrology.

Learn the Fundamentals of Astrology

This introductory course will help you get to know your own astrological birth chart. Along the way, you learn the spectrum of corresponding characteristics that you can choose to manifest in your life and your personality, as shown through the zodiacal signs, the planets and the houses.

If you don’t quite understand what this means, this course offers an exciting learning frontier … and you will understand by the course’s end.

Bonus: A Dharmic Perspective for Self-Realization

Intro to AstrDharma is different from a typical astrology course in that it takes a dharmic perspective.* In addition to learning about how to read your own astrological birth chart, we’ll focus on how to harness and develop its positive elements wisely. We’ll also share how to recognize and overcome those that may be out-of-balance or manifesting in a way that’s slowing down your self-realization.

As part of this course, you’ll be encouraged to meditate on the basic themes of each lesson. This serves to allow you to recognize which elements are helping or challenging you. You can then use this knowledge to redirect your energy into more effective patterns of living.

For a definition of dharma see our YouTube video on What is Dharma?

Course teacher Catherine Pawasarat teaches methodologies for spiritual awakening with her partner Doug Duncan through Planet Dharma. They also focus on living and working in conscious community at the Clear Sky Retreat Center in the British Columbia Rocky Mountains.

Who is the target audience?

If you’ve been curious about astrology but find it too woo-woo, or if you’re attracted to Buddhism but feel it’s too foreign, the combination of AstroDharma may be perfect for you. If you’d like to do some inner work that’s interesting, fun, and that you can apply in many different ways, you’ll enjoy AstroDharma.

What will I learn?

Learn and understand the basics of Western transpersonal astrology and what your personal natal chart reveals about your inner world and your purpose for this lifetime. Learn how this can be leveraged for your own spiritual unfoldment, in order to benefit all beings.


Program Details

As a result of completing this course, you will be able to:

Read the fundamentals of your own astrological birth chart.Identify the 12 zodiacal signs and their most important characteristics.Identify the planets and other celestial bodies, and their major qualities.Understand the functions and main characteristics of the twelve astrological houses.Understand how these features indicate tendencies you may have in your personality, as both resources and challenges.Learn potential alternatives to these manifestations, opening yourself to a greater range of choices in your life.

Aside from the course overview and welcome, this self-study course has 12 modules, one for each sign of the zodiac.

We appreciate the challenge of balancing self-growth and busy schedules. So we’ve aimed to hit the sweet spot of fun and legitimate learning that doesn’t take a lot of time. Thus each module is designed so that it can be completed within two hours.

Read the module content and listen to the corresponding video for each module (less than 1 hour)Study your chart, corresponding planets, houses and aspects (about 15 minutes per module).Do guided meditations on each component of the lessons (about 15 minutes per module).Reflect on and journal around how these characteristics and key words manifest in your life, both as resources and challenges (15 minutes and up, based on how deeply you would like to explore this).Participate in forum discussion (optional).Total approximate time per module: Two hours.

Faculty Bio

Catherine Pawasarat

Catherine Pawasarat has been studying and teaching astrology since the early 1990s, and for more than 20 years has had an intensive Buddhist apprenticeship––rare in the modern West––under the mentorship of Acariya Doug Duncan of Planet Dharma.

She is the Chief Visionary Officer and co-founder with Doug Duncan of the Clear Sky Retreat Center in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia.

She lived in Kyoto, Japan for 20+ years. Before she began her intensive Buddhist practice, she was a student of metaphysics and an ayahuascera, and helped establish Santo Daime in Japan.

In addition to Planet Dharma and Clear Sky, her website (contact info blocked) shares her ground-breaking work on the spiritual traditions and sustainability of Kyoto’s 1100-year-old Gion Festival.


When does this course start?

This course is asynchronous, you can start at any time you like and you will have access to move freely through the materials whenever it is convenient.

How long will I have access to the course?

You will have access to the videos, lectures and courses material for one full year from the date of enrollment.

How does online learning work?

In this program, we open the entire curriculum to you immediately upon your registration. You can proceed with the course material one module each week or choose to move through at your own pace, whatever works best for your schedule. Once a module opens it is available 24/7 for the duration of the course so you can access the content as often as you like.

Each module builds on the previous one. Since human memory can be unreliable (we like the analogy of memory as an ever-changing compost heap), we strongly encourage you to design your own schedule before you begin the course.

One approach is to put appointments to do a module or part of a module – two hours a week, or an hour twice a week, or biweekly, whatever suits you – into your schedule. This helps you stay on track, tweaking the schedule as you figure out what works best for you and your learning style.

We’re here to support your journey and our team is ready to answer any questions you may have. Our goal is to help you feel fully comfortable with the experience.

This course is called “Intro.” Do you offer any more advanced courses on this topic? 

This current course is the result of requests for an introductory AstroDharma course, when we offered an advanced level in 2014. Currently this is the only level we are offering.

If you’re interested in intermediate and advanced courses, please let us know. We listen to your feedback! If you’d like to be notified about such courses when they’re released, or other upcoming courses, we encourage you to join our mailing list at (contact info blocked).

Reviews     To review this event, visit the page for the venue or retreat leaders (above).

  • Elizabeth E MacLean   February 20, 2020

      Inspirational teacher

    The past five years of studying with Catherine have been life changing. Catherine is able to cut to the core of what you need to hear in the moment. I find her teachings light a fire under my aspiration for awakening.

  • Jenai Lieu   February 13, 2020

      Approachable Teacher Taking Ancient Teachings to the Modern World

    Doug Duncan is an incredible teacher because he makes himself accessible and approachable to the people around him. He makes a great effort to take esoteric teachings into understandable lessons that people can use in their daily lives. Something that I really appreciate about Doug is the constant respect he has for the teachings by helping his students understand their origins and the context in which they came from.

  • Geoffrey Haynes   February 08, 2020

      Compassionate and skilled teacher

    I have had the fortune of having several one-on-one meetings with Catherine. She has excellent communication skills -able to be direct, yet still gentle and compassionate, as she tunes in to our needs. She is also very perceptive about the kinds of patterning that keeps us stuck in our old habits. We also share an interest in ecological restoration!

  • Alex Tabler   February 07, 2020

      A place to reconnect

    I found this place about 2 years ago. Its such a beautiful escape from the city, that is warm and inviting. I have completed the Becoming a Work of Art retreat 2x and have went for some karma yoga weekends since. Every time I have been there I come away feeling rested (always a great seep), nourished (the food is amazing and healthy), and connected. They have a great onsite team that are very supportive with any questions or needs you have.

  • Deidre May   January 26, 2020

      Opportunity to practice in Canada or through online teachings/ contact with international sangha

    Practicing with Doug and Catherine, and becoming part of their international online sangha, is an invaluable opportunity. Their multi-dimensional approach encompasses traditional and modern Buddhist teachings, psychoanalysis, astrology, and many other paths of exploration – based on the understanding that complex, modern beings require complex practices to awaken and live deep and meaningful lives. Paradoxically, their style of teaching is also fresh and direct, cutting away illusion and pointing to the simplicity that each moment holds of awakening.

  • Dan O'Brien   January 11, 2020

      Master Teacher at Clear Sky Meditation and Study Foundation

    I have known Catherine Pawasarat for over twenty years. As the Clear Sky Board Secretary, I have experienced her teaching and insight and been amazed at her level of clarity and compassion. Her deep level of insight coupled with a learned and expertise has been very helpful in me professionally. In addition, her leadership has taken many beings forward as she and her co-teacher, Doug Duncan, are on the leading edge of making dharma relevant in the twenty-first century. Their on-site courses are fruitful and their on-line courses professional and accessible to learners of various levels. I recommend her without reservation.

  • Dean Nicholson   December 14, 2019

      Cutting Edge Teaching

    I have had the great privilege of studying with Catherine Pawasarat Sensei and her partner Doug Duncan Sensei for over 5 years at the Clear Sky Meditation Center. Catherine brings a wise and compassionate energy to her teaching, while also having a no-nonsense directness that has helped me cut through some of my resistance to growth. In a spiritual world often dominated by male teachers, Catherine is proof that awakening, insight and compassionate teaching are equally a woman's domain.

  • Eduardo Madrid   November 26, 2019

      Namo Tassa

    The words fall short when describing, just how much of an impact that Sensei has been to my spiritual unfolding. Not only Sensei, but also knowing and having a community like Clear Sky available has been, again, indescribable. Truer guidance I've never received and for this, I could not be more grateful. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Michelle Heinz   November 25, 2019

      Gobal Wakeful Teachings

    In person or online, Doug and Catherine bring practical, fresh and holistic perspectives to dharma- no matter where you are on the planet! Having worked with them for over 16 years, I'm grateful to integrate accessible wisdom and guidance into my daily life without losing the essence of waking up.

  • Michelle Heinz   November 25, 2019

      Compassionate, wise and funny!

    Catherine Sensei cares very deeply about what will help each student, the community and the teachings to thrive. She teaches with wisdom, humour and leaves no rock unturned.

  • Irene Arriaza   August 20, 2018


    I first met Sensei Catherine when she was a student. Watching her become a teacher and flourish has been a great source of inspiration. She has a very clear and practical way of explaining things and her kindness and generosity are evident in every moment. It is a great privilege to have the opportunity to learn from her.

  • Irene Arriaza   August 20, 2018


    Attending Planet Dharma's retreats and online courses has improved my quality of life tremendously. The retreats have provided a great opportunity to attend live teachings and the space to do deep work and a beautiful and peaceful setting.

  • Maryline Fortier   May 31, 2018

      Beautiful heart and soul!

    I have the amazing opportunity to consider Catherine Pawasarat has one main spiritual mentor in my life. She really wants the best for has many people has possible and is really walking the path. I always get a great deal of love and courage when I can spend time with her. She is very inspiring and one kind of soul that is committed to our growth. A person that brings you up, that sees the best version of yourself and will do whatever she can for you to also see and embody it.

  • Maryline Fortier   May 31, 2018

      Planet Dharma

    This website is filled with tools for conscious living. I love their tools that help to gage our level of awareness. Their blog and their vlogs provide a lot of fruits for thoughts and many tips to increase love in our life. I'm very grateful for this great ressource. -Maryline

  • Richard Nathaniel   April 15, 2018

      Great classes with great teachers

    I appreciate how Planet Dharma offers year-round online courses for spiritual awakening. I have taken different classes with Planet Dharma from the traditional Buddhist teachings to the more recent Dharma in Film class where I learned about the Dharma through a modern perspective, which were all great and supported me on my spiritual practice. I live in an area where it is difficult to spend time with other Sangha members, and Planet Dharma offers that space to stay connected with the Sangha and Doug and Catherine Sensei.

  • Richard Nathaniel   April 15, 2018

      A kind and wise teacher

    When Catherine Sensei explains things in her classes, it is wise and always makes sense. Her advice and teachings are invaluable in navigating and getting through, at times, an unforgiving world. She is a very warm and kind-hearted person and is dedicated 100% to helping all beings and eliminating suffering. If you are looking growth, guidance, and support on your spiritual path, you cannot go wrong studying with Catherine Sensei.

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