Astrology et al [the bookstore] was a dream and a hobby that bloomed into a retail outlet, along together with my husband's desire to have his own collectable Postage Stamp store. We started with three titles, and a bunch of children who were eager to help. By our tenth anniversary, we had grown to a point that we had expanded into the whole retail storefront, and Noubar did his collectibles at show on the week end. In 1998, we moved our store to ... the Wallingford District of Seattle. In 1993, I gave half of the business to my son, Gregory, so I could focus my efforts onto my other endeavors, NORWAC & Kepler College.
Maggie began NORWAC, The Northwest Astrological Conference, in 1984. This conference has been held every year since then and is is still continued through the work of her daughter, Laura Nalbandian.
In the early 1990's Maggie decided that she was not going to just listen to astrologers talk about their desire for an actual college of astrology. She wanted to make this dream a reality. In 1991, she collected a group of astrologers in the Seattle area and began to work. In October of 1992, Kepler College of Astrological Arts and Sciences was incorporated and Maggie was the first chairman of the Board of Trustees. Nine years later, in March 2000, Kepler's received authorization from the Higher Education Coordinating Board of Washington State to offer bachelor of arts degrees.
Maggie was also active in the astrological organizations. She was an AFAN coordinator as well as a president of the Washington State Astrology Association. And she was a lecturer, counselor and teacher.
Below is a video interview of Maggie where she talks about the founding of Kepler College. Risha Denney, a Kepler student, created the video as part of her senior project to earn her BA.
"We need the college not just for the education but to give to the astrologers out there a sense of pride."
My story about Maggie is tiny in that I had no major contact with her, though much appreciation. I took some classes at Astrology Et Al back in the late 70s?? I was in my mid-20s when I had a reading with Jeffrey Wolfe Green (at the store) who encouraged me to investigate astrology. Learned to cast a chart manually at a workshop in the store. Some of the memories are not clear. Besides many books, including The Autobiography of a Yogi and Seth books, bought a mystical card by Rob Schouten that I still have framed and carry with me every place I move. I remember learning about phases at the store. Had a past life regression in the store. Gregory made and sold me a necklace made of crystals. Much of my initiation into astrology and metaphysics happened through Astrology Et Al. Very much appreciate the start of my journey in Maggie’s store in the U District.
Took 30+ years to get to Norwac to appreciate Laura Nalbandian skills. Appreciate the on-line classes at Kepler. Little or no personal connection, but lots of exposure to and learning about astrology courtesy of the efforts of Maggie Nalbandian and her family.