© Kit Constable Maxwell

Chapter 7.


The story of mankind's spiritual awakening, and of the part we play in it.
© Kit Constable Maxwell


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 want.

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 lost love.

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 or functions.


Which are you....?

Considers the needs of the world
and adjusts to them.
Considers his response to the world;
'I like it, I dont like it'.
Embraces the facts and misses
the inner feeling.
Indulges the feeling but
overlooks the facts.

Air and Water can't live together without a conscious effort of will.
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 alone.

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 into harmony.

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 our destiny.

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...

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 force....

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Table of Contents - click on any chapter to open it
Prologue                   Click here...
Space and Matter
Evolution of Life
Birth of Awareness
Spiritual Goals
Evolution and Astrology
Astrology and Fate This page
Light, Love and Feeling
Primal Scream
World Religions
Ethics of Caring
Thought Conditioning
Miracles and Prayer
Shadow and the Unconscious
Journey in Spirit
Pantheism and Matter
Appendix I
Glossary of Terms
Appendix II
Appendix III