Sunday, January 24, 2010

Archetypal Astrological Analysis 9

A few last comments

Every planetary combination has a problematic side as well as a more obviously beneficent and productive side, and I always attempt to describe both as clearly as possible. But particularly the hard aspects between planets (both in the birth chart and in transits) are likely to challenge one to come to terms with the energies involved, and in describing these one should not sugarcoat them so that it would seem as if you have only marvelous personal qualities and your life has been and will always be an uninterrupted series of wonderful experiences. No one's life or character is like that. The birth chart provides a vivid portrait of one's self, and its usefulness is dependent on how clearly and fully you are willing to face your true character, including parts of yourself and your life that may be difficult or hidden. An astrological chart provides a kind of x-ray of the soul and its movements, which cuts through the more superficial levels of the psyche to reach the archetypal foundations of one's life and being.

The main thing to understand here is that astrology is not concretely predictive, but archetypally predictive. That is, the birth chart and transits indicate which universal principles are emphasized, in what combination, and when. They do not give information such as "You will get an offer of a job as editor-in-chief for a large publishing firm on April 26, 2004," or "You will meet your soul mate on the beach at Waikiki at sunset on New Year's Day in 2005." It may not be impossible for a gifted clairvoyant to do something like this, but astrology has a different character.

Along the same lines, some archetypal dynamics symbolized in our birth chart we recognize as true, but not so much of our own character as of the kinds of experiences we have drawn towards us, the character of events and relationships that are in our life. This is because the archetypal patterns in our birth chart describe the quality of our life experience. One cannot know for sure whether the particular archetypal energies will be something one is conscious of in oneself, or whether they express themselves in the larger sphere of one’s life in the events, relationships, and circumstances that are to some degree external to one, yet ultimately reflect one’s own consciousness. Particularly if we have not psychologically "owned" those qualities in our chart, we will tend to project them onto others--and thus draw towards us others who will fulfill those energies in our life. As Jung often said, what is forced to remain unconscious comes to us as "fate."

The value of a good astrological analysis is that it can shed a more coherent light on the many diverse and often chaotic particulars of our life, so that we can see clarifying archetypal patterns in it. In terms of the more problematic qualities suggested in the chart, some of these will no longer seem relevant to us simply because we have already lived them through, fully experienced their challenges, and outgrown them. More than that, we will have integrated those aspects and made them work for us in a more positive way. And that of course is as it should be. An analysis like this is meant to further encourage just this process. As an ancient esoteric dictum put it: "The sagacious person enhances the workings of the heavens in the same way a farmer enhances the workings of nature."

Finally, it is important to realize that, at least in one crucial sense, astrology operates beyond good and evil. All archetypes are Janus-faced, with positive and negative sides, and as the foregoing discussion suggests, no astrologer can look at a chart and, simply on that basis, conclude whether that person is "good" or "bad." The birth chart does not determine the moral vector of personal character. Nor does it determine ultimate "success" or "failure." It portrays rather the basic nature of the archetypal dynamics that inform that individual's life and character. How the individual copes with and grows through those particular dynamics, how she or he creatively embodies and integrates the diverse potentials of the birth chart, depends in the last analysis on the individual. The same archetype can express itself benignly or destructively, in an exalted way or an ignoble way, and to a great extent which of these occurs will be affected by the kind of consciousness that is brought to the situation. The god needs to be honored, the archetype will manifest, but there is considerable latitude as to how that may happen.

And herein lies the importance of astrological insight, for the very act of knowing the nature of the particular archetypes that are seeking to manifest, combined with an awareness of their potential timing, can play a significant role in positively influencing the outcome. Then life becomes more of a dance--a subtle interaction between archetypal forces and human awareness, a play of consciousness between the gods and the human mind and will and heart which they inform.

Richard Tarnas wikipedia page
Cosmos and Psyche home page
Cosmos and Psyche: Tarnas' third book, Cosmos and Psyche, for which The Passion of the Western Mind was an introduction [19], challenges the materialistic and dysteleological assumptions of the modern world view, and sets forth evidence for a correspondence between planetary alignments and patterns of human history. The book is thus an example of archetypal astrology. It is also an attempt to supply an archetypal cosmology to accompany his proposed participatory epistemology. [source: Wikipedia]


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