EL1ZABETH TESSIER, M.A., PH.D. CAN, Founder of the Institute of Astrological Studies, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

By Robin Armstrong

Elizabeth Tessier is one of the first true astrologers to become respectably established in Toronto. She is a strong willed, determined person who has persevered through much opposition and unwarranted criticism. In the 1960’s in Toronto, astrology was far from being accepted in any terms of the word.

Originally setting out to disprove astrology due to the excessively positive attitude of her mother—in— law, she finally had to acknowledge the ,to her, somewhat embarrassing fact that astrology was valid and did actually work, although there were and still are many incorrect assumptions being made in the field. This propelled Mrs. Tessier further along the path of astrological research which she had embarked upon as early as 1940 in Holland. Mrs. Tessier used to have private meetings during the war and says that they had to be private because astrology was not allowed by the nazis. She says firmly that Hitler had nothing to do with astrologers, in fact he outlawed astrology during the war. Anyone practising astrology during the war (especially for money) was jailed. She has checked with many other European astrologers regarding Hitler’s use of astrology and found the same conclusion.

Elizabeth Tessier was born in Indonesia and has lived in many places throughout Southeast Asia. She went to Europe to study medicine but World War II interfered with her plans. She finally completed her studies in psycho-analytics in Holland under Dr. J.G.

H. Holt, and did several research projects one of which concerned astrology. In 1951, she came to Canada where she obtained degrees both in psychology and anthropology. She practised psycho-therapy for close to seven years, authoring a book and several articles in this field. During this time astrology was a personal study and was in no way used for financial gain. In fact she felt that this would have been a detriment to the quality and depth of her astrological research.

Twenty-five years of personal astrological study and research is not a thing to be taken lightly. Too few astrologers today have even five years of personal study before they set up their professional practice. And Mrs. Tessier was not taken lightly. Quite the contrary. Certainly she was subjected to much criticism but all was not in vain. In 1968 she was asked by Dean I.B. McCauley, of Centennial College of Applied Arts and Technology, to teach a non-credit course in astrology. Mrs. Tessier agreed and set up an introductory astrology course.

It wasn’t long before her students wanted to go on to more intermediate and advanced levels of astrological studies, and so in 1969 Mrs. Tessier founded the Institute for Astrological Studies, as a non-profit, incorporated organization. In the Institute, Mrs. Tessier developed second and third levels of astrological instruction and has established a very rigid system of testing, requiring an 80% passing mark to qualify for a diploma.

The early days of the Institute operated on a starvation diet, but was able to survive from tuition fees and chart interpretations. Research work continued. The long hours of involvement could never be paid for, and such research work is costly. By virtue of her own dedication and the dedication of her students, Mrs. Tessier has continued to compile astrological data over the years, and it has only been over the past year (1975-76) that she has been able to publish some of this material. As she has said, most astrology books don’t have enough accurate and researched data …. if anything, Mrs. Tessier has too much.

The Institute for Astrological Studies has a rigidly laid out plan of study and the standards are tough. Students must get their final diploma before doing charts for money. If anyone is found charging for their work before they have their diploma, they are expelled from the Institute. They are free to do as many charts as they like, but they are not free to charge until they are certified. Mrs. Tessier is a hard line supporter of standard astrology and getting rid of charletans. She feels strongly that “there are too many people being hurt and wrongly advised by shysters who know nothing about astrology”. This is true enough, and many people have said so but how many have ever done anything about it? Elizabeth Tessier is certainly not a person for idle chatter. She stands firm behind her words.

Through the combined efforts of her classes at Centennial College and at the Institute, her influence has spread tremendously since she first began teaching in 1968. Sheridan College of Applied Arts & Technology (Toronto) also enlisted her services to teach an astrology course. Today several of her students are teaching astrology courses at other colleges and schools. Through her combined courses alone (both at the Institute and at the colleges) Mrs. Tessier teaches over 300 students a year.

Through steady work, tough standards, persevering discipline, and dedication, Mrs. Tessier carried on her work. Again she was subjected to many slanderous attacks by less established and less experienced astrologers, who were no doubt jealous of her growing credentials and achievements. (Too few astrologers today are prepared to stand up on the basis of their own work without having to become known by putting down or attacking other astrologers A DEDICATION to those who stand up strictly on the basis of their own work.)

Nonetheless, Elizabeth Tessier carried on. Her determination had already gained acclaim in England by well known astrologer William Tucker, who was encouraged to carry on his work when those around him were advising him to stop. There are many astrologers today who are grateful that Mr. Tucker did not stop. In gratitude Mr. Tucker has dedicated one of his first books to Mrs. Tessier (then Pollmer).

In 1975 Mrs. Tessier’s perseverance paid off and she made astrological history in Canada in cooperation with the Institute for Astrological Studies, George Brown College of Applied Arts & Technology agreed to set up a credit course in astrology. This marks a major advance of astrology In Canada. This is the first time a Canadian college has offered a credit course in astrology as part of their curriculum. What a remarkable turning point. It is now only a matter of time before other colleges and universities follow suit.

The curriculum consists of three two-semester courses. Examinations are written at the end of each semester. The student must pass all of these exams. After these three courses have been completed the student must participate in a research project and prepare a thesis on the project.(The project usually consists of a collection of close to 100 charts of a particular classification, such as air pilots for example; These charts are then taken apart, piece by piece and tabulated into categories such as: Fire, water, air, earth; cardinal, fixed, mutable; house positions; signs; aspects; etc and then these are studied and presented as a thesis. After completion of their thesis, students graduate to apprenticeship under direct guidance of Mrs Tessier, where they calculate and delineate charts. They continue as apprentices until they are ready to pass the final test. The final test consists of interpreting a horoscope verbally before an exam committee. Each person on the committee has a complete history of the person’s life whose chart is about to be interpreted. After the interpretation the committee asks questions to further evaluate the interpretation. The student has not seen the chart before interpretation, and therefore has not done any specific preliminary study of the case. The student must score at least 80% in order to pass and obtain a diploma.

The course material deals with astronomy, history, anthropology, philosophy, and psychology, but these topics are not part of the exams. The Beginners Astrology Course deals with the elements of astrology; the origin and history of astrology, the meanings of signs, planets, houses, and their interrelationships. The Intermediate Course deals with chart making…. geography, measuring the position of stars and planets, logarithms, mathematics of astrology, as well as aspects, and an introduction to chart interpretation. The Advanced level covers planetary patterns and interpretations; establishing birth times; chart corrections; problem charts; psychology in a chart interpretation; and the Ethics of Astrology.

This of course is followed by the research work, thesis, apprenticeship, and final oral test.

Certainly this is a rigorous format and sets very strict standards, but then Mrs. Tessier KNOWS that PEOPLE WHO HAVE HER CERTIFICATE KNOW THEIR ASTROLOGY

In her own work, Elizabeth Tessier has become quite a controversial figure, and like so many other prominent astrologers who have made new discoveries, she has been exposed to much unwarranted criticism and attack from many of her contemporaries. Yet she stands solidly on the results of her own research (25 years) and is more than prepared to back up her findings.

Like Grant Lewi and Evangeline Adams, Mrs. Tessier has rejected the symbolical progressions, and works exclusively with transits for her astrological timings. These she yields effectively.

Mrs. Tessier has evolved her own House System, which she claims has improved her accuracy in interpretations and rectifications considerably. She uses a system called the Sun—dial Method of House Division. This system seems to be a derivative of the equal house system but anchored onto the midheaven instead of the ascendant. In times past only her closest students were allowed to become familiar with this system. Recently however, she has published a book describing the system and comparing it to other house systems. The book is part one of a six part series entitled, ASTROLOGICAL STUDIES. Part one is co—authored by William Tucker of England, and is subtitled, Casting Horoscopes — Past and Present. Be it suffice to say that she has opened many a closed eye to the validity of astrology, and has gained the support of many top academics in the higher educational systems of Canada. She also has a tremendous demand to do consultations and a large number of clients who return again and again obviously more than satisfied with her accuracy.

Mrs. Tessier, who is now completing part three of her series Astrological Studies, has had quite a rough time with the printing of the books themselves. Part one was co—authored by William Tucker in England; the manuscripts had to be passed back and forth. On the last exchange before going to press, the manuscript was posted in Toronto the following day a fire was started in the central Post Office, and her manuscript went up in flames. Undaunted, she prepared another manuscript and the book was finally published. Her second book also encountered disaster. It had been sent to the printers, was actually printed and bound, when the printing plant burned down and all the books along with it. This created another delay, but 5 weeks later the book was printed again and is now available. Book Two, of Astrological Studies, is an excellent book dealing with the meanings of the twelve houses and the planets. There are too few books of this calibre on the houses. Much of the information comes from her personal research and study, and it is solid data, excellent for students or as a teaching guide. So excellent is this series that the A.F.A. (American Federation of Astrologers) quickly grabbed up distribution rights for her books in the U.S.A. Book Three, of Astrological Studies, deals with “Sign qualities and Planetary Influences in combination with the Signs”… It is just in the process of going to the printers and will be available soon. These books can be purchased from your local astrology outlet. Bookstores wishing to make orders can order from, The Institute for Astrological Studies, 60 St. Clair West, Suite #8, Toronto, Ontario, M4V 1M7. Persons wishing to contact Mrs. Tessier can do so through the above address.

Certainly her accomplishments to date are of no small consequence. Certainly she is a leading figure in Canadian Astrology and deserves our respect and congratulations. Elizabeth Tessier is ahead of her time. She has led the way and opened new trails, trails which many will follow a pathway to the future and to better astrological standards.

Books By Elizabeth Tessier

Astrological Studies, Number 1, ‘Casting Horoscopes — Past and Present’ $5.00

Astrological Studies, Number 2, ‘The Meaning of the Houses & the Planets’. ..$5.00

Astrological Studies, Number 3, ‘Sign Qualities and Planetary influences in Combination With the Signs’ $5.00