Astrology of the Soul, the Psyche and Misconceptions

The Hermetic axiom, “as above, so below”, describes a universe all of whose parts and dimensions are integrated into and intelligible whole. –R. Tarnas

Many folks misunderstand astrology, totally and completely.  Here’s my contribution, my effort, to clear up old out-dated misconceptions on this topic. Prior to any attempt to bring clarity to counseling astrology (and please notice that I did not say fortune telling), can we first agree that creative and responsive intelligence, spirit and soul, meaning and purpose is everywhere?  If you decide that there’s at least some truth to that statement, then we have a baseline to proceed.  Maybe we do.  I type, you read and decide.  Deal?

Further, I’d assume that we could we also agree that there still exist many on planet Earth who have a narrow understanding of self as it relates to the whole and whose approach to life is manipulation and control of the natural world (nature) for the purposes of attaining security (albeit a false sense of safety) and creating a barrier of containment against which they attempt to protect the self against the vast unknown?  If you agree it may be because you, too, have been witness to those who would falsely empower the self through strengthening personality (ego) in such a way that they solely rely on their own “wits” so-to-speak.  And we often see in the small will, in order to control and win out against the vast unknown of which there is so much fear, that mere reflection or contemplation of the universal energies is avoided like the plague.  Thus, the avoidance of astrology is apparent too.

There are those, however, who have (via soul evolution) expanded their consciousness to such a level that meaning and purpose is everywhere in their world, especially in the stars and planets to which we are inevitably connected. Wait!  Is she saying that if I don’t accept astrology that I’m not evolved?  No, I’m not saying that.  All I’m saying is that those who are more evolved are more likely to see the interconnectedness of all things, including astrology.  There’s no ‘convince and convert’ here; my intention is to clear up misconceptions.

Generally, fear dissipates when the consciousness expands.

How that expansion happens is a whole other topic altogether; but, generally I see it this way. We could say that the small ‘self-contained bubble’ of narrow consciousness becomes punctured by life experiences. Sudden shock, unexpected experiences cause a new way of seeing life and our beliefs, out of the necessity of evolution, change.

The old belief system that was containing the self, that narrow view of self in relation to life, is released into the flood of the expansion itself.  Then the belief system becomes restructured, after recovery from the shock has occurred, and this new system is larger, more expanded than before.  We could call it the forces self-reflection.

This is the process of evolution and the more attachments we have to our narrow beliefs, the more dramatic the shock seems to be.  This is apparent through observation of life generally.  These dramatic expansions and contractions and further widening perspectives are part of the evolutionary experience to expand consciousness.

As that occurs, we are brought to the realization that opened this essay:  That there is creative and responsive intelligence, spirit and soul, meaning and purpose is everywhere.  At this level of understanding, then, we can begin to embrace a new appreciation of things like soul astrology which does NOT have a fatalistic or futuristic premise but rather one that is interactive and revealing of one’s own inner psychology.

We find that many who have become disenchanted with controlling, patriarchal, fundamentalists types of organized religions (this almost has to happen as the consciousness expands; there’s no way it cannot), feel a sense of loss when letting go of the old paradigm.  This disillusionment is necessary as we move out of the Piscean age; yet there are those final “hanger-on’rs”; the result of which we see in the current religious wars on the planet.

Others, those who are not hanging on, seem to feel an underlying anxiety and disorientation which I believe is the result of old lingering human made beliefs in an idea that we live in a meaningless cosmos without connection or order.  This destabilization creates a deeper search for meaning, just as it has over and over throughout the ages as human consciousness evolution has occurred.

Those still hanging on to the old paradigm falsely believe that the universe is not conscious and has no purpose.  It is just there—separate from us; dead to us!  They feel lost and small and abandoned; and so latch on to something to feel secure, yet find eventually that the particular something also lacks meaning and ultimate purpose.  The ego begins to shatter and has to realign, restructure as it is realized that the old paradigm of being superior to nature, to the cosmos can no longer be held.  Where does this idea of superiority over nature come from?  Let’s just frankly put it out there and say it clearly.  From our acceptance of a human made belief in a “god” who sees us as inferior to himself and lacking in intelligence and purpose.  The cosmology that we are moving toward as an evolving humanity is one in which we see ourselves as worthy and as mysterious and magical as the universe and the multi-verses themselves—a part of the whole and not “less-than”—a union and unity from which new creative energy can emerge from the depths of that connection.

In the face of that, we still see the consensus religious preach that astrology, the connection to our ability to regain our sense of worthiness and purpose, as something to run from, be fearful of and avoid.  There are other reasons for misunderstandings about astrology however and so now let’s look at those.

Let’s start with the obvious one.  The daily newspaper-type sun sign predictions and blurbs.  Many people will read the one or two sentences and sometimes relate to the words—this seems to be enough to have folks believe that there just might, maybe, something ‘to’ this astrology stuff.  But most people find the information to be invalid, misleading and frankly hogwash.  You cannot, then, fault folks for dismissing astrology altogether because of that.  I, too, felt that way once:  if astrology cannot even get my sun sign information right, the rest of it would be really mess up; so, forget it.  It’s all nonsense. The truth of the matter is that one cannot possibly get a ‘read’ on an individual psyche from one piece of a very large pie.  The Sun is huge; yet the degree and the placement with other planets will affect its unique archetype.  Just reading a Sun sign report alone is never enough and often very misleading. If we saw it in relation to a community, the Sun could perhaps be compared to the community center but there’s much more to the community than that one building or place.  Here’s another quick example, if someone’s Sun is in Aries but at the 29th degree, they’re essence is likely to be more Taurus-like (the next door) or perhaps a combination of both.  A newspaper blurb isn’t going to know this information about an individual and thus that person doesn’t relate to the Aries Sun, they “feel” more like a Taurus.  This would even be truer if they also have a number of other personal planets, like Mercury and Venus, in that sign as well.  So it’s no wonder that Sun sign horoscope blurbs are so often un-relatable and have given astrology a bad rap.

Anyway, back to the astrology as it relates to the evolution of consciousness. I believe that there exists within all of us an underlying desire (albeit still unconscious in some of us) to bridge the gap or chasm between the psyche and the rest of the universe.  A deeper look at astrology with its partner psychology (soul astrology) can begin to bridge this connection.

So it comes to pass that, when we pursue an inquiry beyond a certain depth, we step out of the field of psychological categories and enter the sphere of ultimate mysteries of life.  The floorboards of the soul, to which we try to penetrate, fan open and reveal the starry firmament. – Bruno Schultz

As you probably already know, in the course of Carl Jung’s career he was increasingly drawn to a study of synchronicity and also to the ancient cosmological correspondence between planetary positions and the correlations of the events of human existence.  He believed, as many in our culture are now more readily accepting (soul astrology), that the universe is so ordered that the movements and patterns of the heaven’s planets and stars are synchronously correlated with human affairs in such a manner as to be both intelligible and meaningful to the human mind.

In a letter to Freud he wrote, “My evenings are taken up very largely with astrology.  I make horoscope calculations in order to find a clue to the core of psychological truth.  Some remarkable things have turned up…”   Eventually, his interest developed into a major focus of investigation, resulting in devotion with great passion to astrological research.  He stated: Astrology represents the sum of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity.

Actually, it’s quite easy to see the correlations of the outer planet’s aspecting one another as they relate to historic human events over generations.  The connections are quite astounding and have made believers from the most intelligent skeptics.  I didn’t know it until recently, but Jung’s research into archetypical theory, synchronicity, and philosophy of history as it relates and correlates to his astrological studies influenced many of his most significant theories and formulations.  In his last decades he used the analysis of birth charts and transits as a regular and integral part of his clinical work with patients in analysis.

Other high caliber intellectuals like Plato and Aristotle, Hipparchus and Thomas Aquinas, Dante, Kepler, Goethe, Yeats to name just a few, also supported astrological theories. Affirmation and acceptance of the multidimensional nature of reality, holistic understandings of reality, the deeper acknowledgment of a deeper spiritual dimension of existence and the appreciation of the mythic, symbolic and archetypical meanings in human experience correlate with ancient thought systems.

One only needs to, him or herself, directly experience the astrological signatures that are obvious in their own life.  The proof is in the pudding as they say.  Then one is renewed and refreshed and hopeful after seeing that astrology posits an intrinsically meaning-permeated cosmos focused on the human life as the nexus of that meaning.  One can rejoice then, really rejoice.

One also sees the psychology of astrology.  Soul astrology is not predictive and disempowering.  Rather it is archetypical in nature; we could say archetypically predictive.  It is based on the discernment of archetypical dynamics and their complex unfolding in time.  The planets and stars do not have power over us—they represent energy which can manifest dependent upon choice and how one consciously interprets and acts upon life.

There is a long-standing issue surrounding astrology regarding the question of fate versus free will.  Soul astrology offers a valuable insight.  It describes the archetypes of human experience as it relates to any planet or combination of planets (aspects).  All planets have both a positive and negative side to them just as human consciousness itself does.  The planets are contained within our consciousness—as above, so below. Soul astrology can indicate which archetypes are active as part of a pattern of psyche and behavior and educate one on the higher side and shadow side of any planetary archetype.

The greatest benefit of soul astrology is that it can help to bring what is unconscious into the light making it consciousness.  This is what the evolution of consciousness is about.  Once this happens it frees the conscious self from being a puppet of unconscious forces. There can be, as a result, an opening up and higher levels of communication between the conscious mind and the unconscious.  This, as you can see, has less to do with predicting future or becoming disempowered.  On the contrary, it can be very empowering.  One can understand the patterns of one’s life and through the guidance that the planets and chart points offer, and one can have a clearer glimpse of the direction of the soul, working more in harmony with that direction.  These are often pointed out by the north node of the Moon as well as the polarity point to Pluto in the natal chart.  The emotional past of the soul can be described and transformative self-understanding can be achieved.  While the past life details cannot be described in exactitude, unless the astrologer is also an intutitive/psychic clairvoyant, the emotional past can clearly be described via the archetypes.  Clients will be able to validate those soul feelings that are still running as emotional patterns in the current life and in counseling soul astrology through the opposite polarity archetypical description, the client will know how to work through breaking the pattern so that healing and evolution can occur.  It’s fantastic stuff actually!

Nothing is necessarily spelled out in a literally predictive manner in soul astrology, but instead the benefit comes from the intelligible pattern of meaning of the archetypical forces being disclosed.  As these disclosures are offered by a soul astrologer who reveals the meaning of the archetype of the planet/signs/houses of a natal chart, the application of that meaning in one’s life can bring forth those moments of “ah-ha” as the light bulbs go on and one suddenly hears, “So THAT’S why!”

Then the past begins to not only make sense but begins to be released like fresh air blowing through a suddenly open window—the window to the soul. As one’s life experiences begin to correlate to the archetypes present in the natal chart itself, one could nearly cry with the beauty of it seeing the divine plan acting out, perhaps not in its entirety but enough to give one faith, once again, that we ‘do’ live in a meaningful cosmos with consequence and purpose.  The haze of confusion clears and clarity dawns in ways that one would not have imagined possible.

The greatest misunderstanding is that planets “cause” circumstances or events; they don’t any more than the hands of a clock “cause” a specific time.  The planetary positions are indicative of the cosmic state of archetypical dynamics.  As already stated, each planetary archetype contains within itself both positive and negative charges and forces; it is up to each of us to determine how we use these forces.

More importantly, if we know what those forces are, how they have worked in the past (patterns created) and how and where we can apply the energy currently (planets, signs, houses, aspects), we can make the unconscious more conscious and work in harmony with our inner and outer world.

The stars are like letters which inscribe themselves at very moment in the sky… Everything in the world is full of signs… All events are coordinated… All things depend on each other; as has been said, “Everything breaths together.”