Personal development invokes change; astrology doesn't cause this
change, but the change will typify the astrological energies that
accompanied it. Thus a woman with a certain astrological configuration
may experience a tyrannical father or an intolerable husband or
a threatening, domineering, bullying boss. Her experience of life
demands she confronts that from which she most shies, her aspect
of self worth.
Another woman, cradled by a different astrological
configuration, may attract totally different experiences from life,
like loss of a child, or bereavement, or marital desertion - or
she may be orphaned; both experiences will be characteristic of
the pattern of psychological and spiritual growth that can be read
from their astrological chart. And each will have to work with these
issues in their lifetimes.
Astral energy was a strong element in primitive societies. The
sun was the all-pervading force in the affairs of primitive man
and the most visible form of cosmic creative energy. It still is.
Sun gods abound in tribal history. As late as 1,200 AD the Incas
were ruled by emperors they believed were descended from the Sun.
The earlier Mayans, from 2,600 BC, set their ritual calendars by
observation of the planet Venus. The Moon too had an important symbolic
role, and traditions handed down through the ages associated all
these bodies with individual human characteristics.
Early mankind's astral awareness can be noted from the engraving
of prehistoric bone fragments which recorded the moon's changing
phases; but it was the Sumerians in 3,400 BC who were the first
to chronicle their astrological and astronomical learning, and had
a sophisticated understanding of the stars and their changing positions
and their bearing on humanity. Studies continued throughout history
with the Babylonians, the Egyptians (who built their first pyramid
in 2,500 BC in accurate alignment with astronomical placements),
and the Greeks and much later the students of the great Arab cultural
flowering of 700 AD to 1,400 AD.
The concept of astrology doesn't come easily to everyone; how could
some distant planet possibly have a bearing on our inner personality?
Is Moon madness a figment of film makers' imagination or a clinical
condition which gives its name to lunatics and the lunacy of past
eras? Can we accept that our moon, one of the smallest in the heavens,
can affect mighty bodies of water with their daily tides in a feat
of unparalleled power and energy....
Astrological columnists mislead us, in their enthusiasm, by stating
"our stars will cause this event or that...." Rather, we should
consider that the things we do and the way in which we do them are
typical of the astrological configuration we came in with, whether
we are aware of them or not. The real proof of the working of astrology
comes retrospectively, after the event, when we can see a whole
shift of consciousness occurring at a certain time, or at a certain
age or in a certain place. All of it will be characteristic of the
planetary influences affecting our changing experience of life.
An astrological chart or birth map is an accurate computation of
the placement of the Sun and the Planets at the time, place and
date of birth. The astrologer's skill lies in interpreting the complex
and often contradictory properties associated with those placements.
Our aspects to the Sun, Moon and Ascendant correspond, respectively,
to our conscious expression, (Sun), our unconscious expression,
(Moon), and our behavioural predilections, (Ascendant). Or put another
way, the Sun represents what we want, the Moon what we need and
the Ascendant the way we go about getting it.
A well read birth chart will generally surprise even the most sceptical
of clients. The pertinence and relevance of information read out
by a total stranger armed only with our date and place of birth
can be quite a levelling experience. Fortune telling this is not....
The most valuable tool in astrology is the initial Birth Chart.
This tells us in inner terms what we are about and where we are
going. A well interpreted birth chart, prepared by a psychologically
orientated astrologist, is a valuable key to inner understanding
and will probably be all the astrology that most people need or
Of primary importance in the encounter of astrology is the revelation
that we are all born socially, psychologically and spiritually different.
We have different needs, different values and differing perspectives
on the reality of life. Astrology points to these differences and
often describes our inner perspective and character with disquieting
accuracy. It may show our inner experience of a parent, for example,
to be very different from our outer experience, conditioned as it
is by convention, loyalty and social niceties. A son might worship
his father, as most sons do in childhood, but the father either
does not or cannot reciprocate on an inner emotional level. The
visible tableau reveals a dutiful father and a doting son. The son's
inner experience, however, reveals an absent father, a lost role
model, a negative paternal image - and he may spend the rest of
his life looking to his teachers, his boss or his friends for this
In teenage he is willing prey to anyone who even notices him and
his feelings - the one thing his father failed to do. Exploitation
of this deep inner need by drug dealers, sexual deviants and law
breakers is just a short, ugly step away. Our streets are full of
unhappy young dropouts all trying hard to be noticed. Such people
are destined to be let down by everyone they meet until they withdraw
their involuntary and unconscious projections from the world and
encounter their own inner feelings.
Astrology can throw valuable light on those aspects of our inheritance
that may take us the rest of our life to reconcile.
And so it is with other family relationships as well as the complex
projections of the young with each of their parents in turn. This
is an area to which Freud attached great importance and includes
such tangles as the Oedipus complex where a young man's awakening
passions become directed towards his mother in a subconscious desire
to challenge the father for her attention. In girls this is called
the Electra complex. Both experiences are usually resolved in later
childhood, but the few that aren't are very likely to show up on
the astrological birth chart.
Revealed, too, will be the inherent tendency towards our contrasexual
development, which for males resides in the inner, creative, anima
side, and for females in the outer, acquisitive, animus side of
our developing personality.
The ancient practice of Astrology, developed over its 5,000 year
history, uses symbolic language to identify 'types' of people, whose
perspectives on life fall broadly into the four elements of Air,
Water, Earth and Fire. C.G.Jung used the parallel distinctions of
Thinking (air), Feeling (water), Sensation (earth), and Intuition
(fire) to describe mankind's primary and secondary personality traits
THE FOUR FUNCTIONS OF PERCEPTION
Which are you....?
Considers the needs of the world
Considers his response to the world;
it, I dont like it'.
Embraces the facts and misses
Indulges the feeling but
overlooks the facts.
Air and Water can't live together without a conscious
effort of will.
Earth and Fire will exasperate each other until they
can consciously respect their differences.
The problems arise when we begin to evaluate our experience of
life from a different standpoint to that of our parents, our spouse
or our maturing children. We may from a Fiery disposition wish to
subjugate a given situation with outrage and indignation. An Air
type will assess a situation with compassion and subtle tolerance,
and bend to accommodate the unbendable, unchangeable experiences
of life. The Earth sign won't react, won't comment and won't notice
he's upset everyone, while the Water sign will see the problem,
feel the problem and fall ill under the strain.
What unhappy bedlam would soon prevail if we didn't have the balancing
input of all four functions.... It's when we get out of balance
that troubles start. Too much respect for others (Air) and we wouldn't
achieve anything at all, and too little (Earth) and we would suppress
the input of everyone around us, then wonder why we find ourselves
This is the familiar scenario of family life, the last of the great
Blood Sports. While sons emulate their fathers for their attention,
daughters clone their mothers...and their parents are flattered.
Both are doomed to failure, however, as we are all incomparably
different and need to live out those differences in our everyday
life. We are uniquely and individually responsible for our own development,
and no one can do it for us. Many a family is locked in mortal combat
over this one premise, that we all differ in the way we experience
and deal with events in our lives.
These incompatible aspects of
our inherited character traits are so clearly forespoken by astrology.
They are also recognised, all these centuries later, by the schools
of modern psychology. Each of us has a primary function which governs
his perspective on life. Our two secondary functions will have become
more or less developed by mid life. The dormant function may remain
unconscious but will activate a conscious perspective whenever raised
to the conscious level. The unfolding pattern of our astrological
development shows us the potential for bringing all these attributes
FATE AND FREE WILL
Astrology doesn't tell us our fate, as some would have us believe,
but plots the pattern of our developing potential for inner awareness.
Astrology is the persona's celestial mirror. We are all children
of fate until such time as we accept, or are ready to accept responsibility
for our spiritual empowerment, our maturity, our redemption. And
this acceptance, this coming of grace will correspond with one or
more astrological transits which would reveal, to a trained astrologer,
one of the benchmarks of destiny, like birth, adolescence, marriage,
parenthood, divorce, bereavement, breakdown, redundancy, death.
The astrologer can't and won't say which, only that the triggers
of change are imminent.
FATE chooses our path through life,
FREE WILL directs
One such trigger is known in astrological parlance as the Uranus
return. The curious planet Uranus12 was only discovered in 1781 and
symbolises the unconscious urge for inner change and expansion,
a change of perspective, a change of life. This period is marked
by the beginning of the Industrial Revolution which would be typical
of the break with the centuries of cultural stagnation that preceded
it. This planet takes 84 years to encircle the Sun and forms an
opposition to its natal position, therefore, at around 42 years.
12Uranus has a fifteen month revolution from east to west, the opposite of most other planets, and its magnetic pole is tilted from its axis of spin, not concentric...
MID LIFE CRISIS
This is the time, succinctly described by Jung, of mid-life
crisis, when unlived aspects of the psyche awaken and demand a hearing.
Uranus doesn't cause this awakening, it is symbolic of it. We may
respond to this urge to change or we may suppress it, enduring sustained
stress and reacting variously with depression, drink or drugs. Or
by walking out of a good marriage, or abandoning an established
career, or taking a lover in our search for a new, deeper understanding
of life. We wonder why we can't control our thoughts, our feelings,
our dreams. This is a dangerous time for the unenlightened, a time
when inner pressures disrupt the happy balance of our ego's timelocked
dream, the false face of immaturity.... Uranus doesn't forecast
our reactions, only the energies affecting our changing personality.
Other planets represent different energies and recur on different
cycles. Saturn's shorter 28 year cycle powers a seven year influence
(Conjunct, Opposition and two Squares respectively) and activates
the child's desire to develop ego-awareness at around 7 years, sexual
identity at around 14 years, goals and values at 21 years and career
and destiny at 28 years.
And so it is, in one respect or another, with all the planets and
their houses and their squares and their interrelated aspects which
plot the symbolic and gyrating energies of our incarnation; and
working alongside psychology (C.G.Jung was a student of astrology
and many astrologers, notably the illuminating author and broadcaster
Liz Greene, are also Jungian analysts) astrology can give an invaluable
insight into the realities of psychic inheritance, family karma,
incarnation, growth, maturity and redemption.
Astrology also reveals the unquestionable fact that we are both
fated and free in a cycle that does not belong purely to natural
chance. For many, the subtle nuances and dovetailing of family traits,
characteristics and needs prove the existence of an intelligent
and highly conscious order - the existence of a universal energy