His purpose written in the stars

SUN BAY SOUTH- In a past life, Martin Montes says he was a scribe for an astrologer in ancient Egypt.

Initially, he was stunned when a psychic informed him of that at a party in New York City. But it made total sense. It explained how Montes knew the symbols of astrology before learning them. It explained his deep fascination with the solar system. And why he had chosen to be a spiritual astrologer in this lifetime.

“Where the planets were positioned at the time of your birth triggers events in your life,” says Montes, 37, with a hint of his native New York accent. “I basically show people what their purpose is in life.”

Montes left New York 10 years ago, drawn to Florida by his former employer, Citigroup, and his natural attraction to the peninsula state.

After all, Montes is a double water sign.

“I’m a Cancer born with a moon in Pisces,” he said. At his birth, “the moon was transiting in the zodiac sign of Pisces and the earth was in the sign of Cancer.” Both are water signs. As a result, Montes says, he is in tune with the earth’s subtle energies and intuitive by nature.

“He’s very sensitive,” said his sister, Marie, who gave him his first book on astrology. He was a gentle child who loved insects and animals.

“He has a rare quality; he sees the best in everyone,” she said. “He won’t gossip.”

This nonjudgmental quality encourages people to trust Montes.

A handful of clients from near and far connect with him each week through his Web site, cosmiccuisine.com. He helps them navigate obstacles and live consciously.

At his home office computer, he types in a precise time of birth and location then hits print. Behind him, his completed manuscript, a spiritual self-help book, fills a plastic bin awaiting a publisher. Over his shoulder, a degree hangs on a red wall from the French Culinary Institute. He also boasts a degree from the American Federation of Astrologers. By his keyboard, a sign reads: Remember we work for God.

A few seconds later, the printer spews a customized chart of symbols, and Montes begins his interpretation.

“All I’m doing is interpreting science,” he tells a reporter. “I’m not a predictor.”

“You were born during Saturn,” he continues. “You have to be careful what you deem to be a chore …”

“Does that make sense?” he asks.

Bad news: Saturn moved into the sign of Leo and could bring loss.

“The lesson here, there’s always a lesson,” he said. “You’re not being slapped around for nothing. Saturn’s a teacher. Are you being realistic in life?”

A 90-minute consultation runs $90. Montes also interprets for parties and by mail.

Two years ago he quit his financial management job with Citigroup to delve into astrology full time.

Part of what fuels Montes is his grief from losing a close friend during the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. The two had shared season tickets for the New York Knicks.

Through his sadness, Montes awakened to his spiritual mission.

He says he became aware of angels and the spirits of people he helped in past lives. The psychic who revealed his past as a scribe told him these spirits are giving him guidance.

“It’s fascinating to know there’s a script encoded in us,” he said. “There’s these talents we can’t explain.”

Elisabeth Dyer can be reached at edyer@sptimes.com or 813 226-3321.

[Last modified April 6, 2006, 14:27:53]