About Dena

My interest in astrology started with my parents in the ‘70s.

There was a sweet spot between about ‘74 and ‘76 when my twenty-something Mom and Dad would throw parties every few weeks on our small farm property in Sonoma County, California. Dad would get out the Tarot cards and sit in the corner doing short readings. I’d crouch on the floor next to his chair, scrunched as tightly as I could so I wouldn’t be noticed, taking it all in.

My mom had a close friend who was a professional astrologer. They would sit together at the kitchen table while she taught my mom how to interpret all the crazy looking lines and symbols. I’d sit there at her elbow, trying to understand.

It sounded like a foreign language they were speaking. But I was fascinated.


Then my parents divorced, my mom became a Born Again Christian, and there were no more parties. My mom suddenly became afraid of the Tarot and of astrology. For many years, she would call these things “Tools of the Devil.”


But my own connection to them never went away. I would practice reading cards with Dad when I went to his house on the weekends.  And I remember laying on the floor of my room as a kid, reading an astrology book. I can still see the page of the book dedicated to the sign of Cancer (my Sun sign). Like most of us, I just wanted to understand: Who am I, and why am I here?


My mom came to her senses later, sometime in my late teens. She welcomed astrology back into her life, and she even started reading charts again herself in the years before she passed away. It was she who suggested that I could be a professional astrologer. Thank you, Mom.


What I have always known is that Astrology, the Tarot, and other oracles are not "The Dark Arts." These tools can help us understand ourselves better, and can guide us during in times of indecision, challenge, and crisis. They are "Ways of Knowing." They have helped me on my path, have given me comfort, and have guided me toward right action over and over again.


Informative Experiences

I sought out a mentor a year or so after I began reading charts professionally, in the late 90’s. I found a woman named Paula Benton who was kind enough to show me some techniques that were truly helpful. She also shared with me the knowledge gained from her years of experience as an astrologer. It was so great to have one-on-one help. And it was extremely valuable to be encouraged by someone who believed that I could do it.


A couple years later, I attended NORWAC, an astrology conference near Seattle. I went to a lecture by Steven Forrest, and I was impressed. I wanted to learn from this guy. He was saying things that felt so true to me. Things about past lives, karma, and spiritual evolution through working with the birth chart. I found out that he had an Apprenticeship Program in Southern California, and within six months, I was there.


I spent a couple years going to Steven’s AP and have continued keeping up with them via audio files since then. What I have learned from Steven and from other members of the AP has been core to my practice and development. I am regularly grateful that I came across him that day, and that I followed the call.


For many years, I followed my childhood interest in writing and reading to become an English Major with an M.A. in English. I thought I’d teach college English and do astrology readings on the side. I did that for about 8 years. Then I came to a point where I needed to choose between them, and I chose to pursue astrology as my sole career.


I got a second M.A. from Marylhurst University in Liberal Studies with a focus on Spiritual Traditions. This degree also pointed me toward training in Spiritual Direction -- a type of pastoral counseling that is centered on contemplative listening and providing questions for reflection. I went on to earn a 2-year certificate in Spiritual Direction from the Urban Spirituality Center, Portland, in 2009.


I've also spent the past seven years participating in various "Dream Groups" wherein we use the Projective Dream Work model to experience the wisdom of our night-time dreams. 

  • I obtained a Master's Level Certification in Steven Forrest's Apprenticeship Program.

  • I wrote a master's thesis on the topic of Divination within the Christian tradition. 

  • I spoke on this thesis at a Graduate Symposium at Stanford University in 2008.

  • I’ve published several articles in The Mountain Astrologer and was an associate editor for the magazine for three years.

  • I’ve appeared several times on local radio shows over the years here in Portland, talking about astrology.

  • In 2007 I created The Sirius Astrology Podcast. It includes interviews with fellow astrologers as well as my own discussion of various topics such as difficult transits, midlife transits, and Mercury Retrograde. It can still be found at iTunes with close to 50 episodes remaining available.

  • I appear regularly on the podcasts Shift Your Spirits and The Big Séance. I have made other podcasts appearances as well.

My Life Now
  • I live in Portland, Oregon with my husband, Brad, and our three kitties.

  • I love animals, all animals. (Okay, but especially cats). I donate to a few animal charities. 

  • I just completed the final draft of a Middle Reader Novel (Fantasy Genre), and I'm sending out the query letters to agents.

  • I took mandolin lessons for a few years, and I've been taking vocal lessons for a couple years now. Music is something I really have to work at, but it is a satisfying endeavor.


I look forward to being of  service to you!

Warmly, Dena

I want you to know how helpful this reading was for me: right time, right information, right person. Or to put it a different way, I was able to hear and absorb the information. I love that your readings are so calm, thorough and insightful. See you next year!

K. Williams

Portland, OR

Dena’s innate intuition and depth of knowledge is astounding. Her way of not only delivering the reading, but her whole persona and soul, is so strong in a gentle way, and gentle in a profoundly centered kind of way. I just feel really safe with her and her style of looking at things.

Michelle Wirta

Portland, OR

Dena gave me a specific and articulate look into my personal being. I received information that confirmed, validated and strengthened who I am on the inside. Having recently gone through major life changes, I was so pleased to see clearly that the choices I'm making are lining up perfectly with who I am on a cosmic level.

Valerie Malcolm

Portland, OR

I've been seeing Dena for readings for several years now, and she has helped guide me in some of the major decisions in my life. Through her readings, I was able to find my true passions. She has guided me in fearlessly striving to reach my goals. She has also helped me see where I may have some weaknesses and how I can work toward overcoming them. She has opened my eyes to ways that I can achieve the things I was meant to do in this life and has helped me through some bumps and difficult times as well. I will always love seeing Dena for readings, and I am so grateful to have found her!

Anjelle Ruppe

Los Angeles, CA

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