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Practical Astrology

MYTHIC RESIDUES?
by Stephen L. Gerringer
The Joseph Campbell Foundation

Do popular forms of divination today employ active, effective symbols, or are they merely the traces of fading myths mistakenly read literally, taken as concrete fact?

Even today, people who still believe in astrology fall almost without exception for the old superstitious assumption of the influence of the stars. And yet anyone who can calculate a horoscope should know that, since the days of Hipparchos of Alexandria, the spring-point has been fixed on O degrees Aries, and therefore the zodiac on which every horoscope is based is therefore quite arbitrary, the spring-point having gradually advanced, since then, into the first degrees of Pisces, owing to the precession of the equinoxes.
Carl Jung, Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious, p.6

What was commonly thought in Carl Jung's day is not nearly so universal today, thanks no doubt to these observations, widely shared by Campbell and a number of contemporary astrologists. (In fact, the anticipation of "the dawning of the Age of Aquarius," celebrated in a sixties rock opera anthem, is rooted in this awareness of the precession of the equinoxes). And yet Jung by no means discounts astrology, but suggests moving beyond a literal reading of the stars as determinants–recognizing in the archetypes of the constellations a resonance between inner and outer worlds, rather than any causal relationship.

The zodiac in one sense seems an accumulation of thousands of generations of collective patterns.

The Enuma Elish, for example, discovered in the library at Ninevah, records how Ishtar–the planet we call Venus, the Morning and Evening Star–guides passion and love. This is a powerful mythic image.

Does that mean the planet (Ishtar/Venus) causes love?

Not necessarily–but there are times of the year when this planet appears in the evening sky: lovers have met and embraced beneath Her light since time immemorial–part of the collective human experience across countless generations–so it's no anomaly that this planet, the target of thousands of years of archetypal projections, is associated with Love.

Similarly, for millennia people have been noting traits shared by those born at certain times of the year–and when we look at how the winter can effect the growth of a tree or the thickness of an egg's shell, or how the menstrual cycle parallels the lunar cycle, it's not a far stretch of the imagination to conceive an association between time of year and the development of a child born during that season.

I'm not stating a scientific fact, but am offering possibilities suggesting how certain traits and patterns may have been projected into the images of the zodiac.

Projection, here, is the key term.

It is projection–projection of my unconscious–that makes astrology–or any oracle–work for me.

Gerard

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 55 Murfreesboro, Tn.

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

Re: Practical Astrology

As I mentioned before, my brother uses the astronomical i.e. current scientific data to calculate ephemeris, hence most modern interpretations which rely on inaccurate data are themselves inaccurate.

I do not believe that the planetary alignments necessarily influence us, more that they suggest trends/likelihoods in ourlives. None of us should live by 'the book', we must learn to interpret ours and other intuition. I like to think that free will plays its part in our lives, But the free will and determination argument is a lengthy one...


Although my brother and I used to read Tarot (I have not done tarot for 20 years) and my brother then went on to be pulled in by some weird philosophy cult which had all sorts of bizarre affiliations (Kabbalah/OTO/Aleister Crowley/Golden Dawn) and seemed to rely heavily on cult ideology to suck in highly intelligent, yet vulnerable university students, he managed to get away from them and sort himself out.

From what I can see, many whom 'dabble' seem to look for only darkness and negativity. call me naive, but I always looked for nice, pure, light things. (And is it any surprise that my friends used to tellme I was gullible and lived my life as if it was a Merchant Ivory film i.e. white linen, rose lawns, nice manners, idealism, compassion etc).

I used to givemy brother 'blind readings' i.e. I would give him date, place and time of birth of someone and leave him for the day. He would not know their identity. He would be able to pick out every single specific detail about their lives, parentage, psychology, interests, tiny little secrets Hewould write it all down and present it to me and it was 100% accurate every time - especially as the subjects themselves had not told me most of what my brother had concluded about them. It shocked them and they would inevitably want to knw more, but my brother said that they should lern more about it themselves and thus about themselves (much like the suggestions on this site).

He also was extremely good at Jungian Dream analysis, which is what prompted me to type this in to Google, after looking at banal dream dictionaries online. Hey presto I came upon this site.

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 39, UK

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Female

Re: Practical Astrology

Gerard,

An interesting discussion topic.

For me Astrology and the I Ching both facilitate development of aspects I seek in working toward development of the psyche. With the rational mind in control for much of the day, one way to remove the blindfold and open the door to the inner self is focus on the ‘non rational’. Opening the pathway of the inner psyche to the outer experience is an endeavor to open intuitiveness, spirituality, connectedness, understanding and the list goes on…

Different avenues are useful tools for the inner self, the psyche, to connect the outer sphere of existence to the inner sphere. My inner self, still in the infancy of discovery, seeks ways to communicate and understand the outer self, the outer existence in sameness to the inner experience. Perhaps by seeking to correlate outer experiences in a similar method the inner psyche seeks to establish and maintain that connection.

For me oracles and divination facilitate intuitive insight for those questions that I seek answers. It’s not so much the oracle/divination ‘answer’ as the intuitive insight it brings about in finding my own answer.

Astrology may represent our attempt to place the universe within a sphere of psyche self understanding. Possibly a method to facilitate an inner connection to the natural world. The undiscovered enormity of space in combination with the familiar cycle of known planetary celestial movement could be that which the psyche identifies. The seemingly endless region of exploration resonates as the life journey. It’s as though the psyche recognizes the physical universe correlates to our ongoing cycle, over and over, as a constant in this physical realm. To the eons long natural life cycle of the universe the layman experience is virtually the same, seemingly unchanged, through successive lifetimes. With each life cycle, the universe is there, calling for deep exploration symbolic of our inner call to deep exploration of self.

Along with that call for exploration is a symbolic assignment of life traits or aspects in a recognition. Recognition of the unknown universe in correlation to our own inner unknown facets. Hence these facets of being are then represented in Astrology.

By assigning an esoteric quality to these areas perhaps we attempt to, and sometimes do, trick the Ego. The Ego rejects these as so much nonsense so in a way relinquishes authority by disregard. By placing these areas outside the social mainstream the Ego rejects where the unconscious accepts or at least is drawn to explore. There in as much unknowingly opening the path to the unconscious. Which the unconscious welcomes because without the Ego filter, other than the blanket rejection, the unconscious is free to receive unfettered information.

Here comes the tricky part. The raw information is just as important as the unfettered pathway. The dated computer acronym, GIGO, garbage in garbage out, is ever more relevant in this situation. Perhaps an initial reaction of the unconscious to the freedom from ego filter could be described as running wildly amuck trying to experience everything without discrimination or limitations. It will take in, or latch on to, what ever it can without first pausing for introspection to what it really seeks, a defining purpose.

Through introspection I believe what many find is the unconscious seeks further development of itself in support of development of the whole psyche. Then with further examination the unconscious can set limitations and criteria of information to receive in support of that development. For example, a psyche may recognize a need for spiritual development, therefore astrology with a strong spiritual designation is most appropriate and sought. For others, perhaps it’s a need for security, although false as there is no security!, so seeks an astrological forecast with strong inclinations for specific ‘future’ events. (Although I believe this is a situation where Ego surreptitiously sneaks back, in order to purport it’s own objectives.)

Many thanks,
K.

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 43 Central OH

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Female

Re: Practical Astrology

I would agree that divination professes do not offer an 'externa;' reosurce, but are more, as you state, a mode of which to hone/channel our intuition.

Some people swear by tea leaves/dowsing whatever, but even without these emotional 'props' they would be able to reach the same conclusions.

What does interest me about astrology is that although the intuition/divination theory can be applied, how can the 'divinator/reader', especially a remote one, i.e. not with the subject and knowing nothing about them, intuit that which is set in the firmament so to speak. i.e. astrological data is scientifically calclated, thus X person, born at X time in X place with have Y planets at Z degrees in relation to certain constellations. Although birth is 'random', how can data that is 'fixed' in advance of birth, separate to birth, also be regarded as random?

Tea leaves/tarot etc - random events (or are they?, some would ask) which leave the reader to 'intuit' meaning.

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 39, UK

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Female

Re: Re: Practical Astrology

Good point. Perhaps the divinator/reader’s psyche, in all the divination methods, connects to the collective and remotely reads the real individual as opposed to the astrological data. Although each individual possesses a nearly unique combination of traits they are all, when viewed collectively traits inherent to human personality.

In past I’ve encountered astrological profiles that are very, very close. A near bullseye hit to my personality & life experience. But I found this is the exception rather than the rule. I, too, see Astrology as information pertaining to trends/likelihoods. And I do use it as an external ‘crutch’ when I can’t release the conscious to center the inner self.

There are several schools of thought on fixed vs random. Or predetermined vs chaos. I subscribe to both which appears to be a schizoid episode. But consider the following. Is birth random? Or could our soul choose the life experience we need in order to attain a higher level of consciousness. If so, we choose when & where with fore knowledge of what that life experience will be. This is the fixed point. The general outline of the life, with the choices that are likely to be made, are there. Then the challenge of the soul is to have those experiences and make the choices that normally wouldn’t be made to attain the knowledge, the unfixed life, the higher consciousness. With each fixed choice generating a fixed life, no progress. Each random choice generating a step toward the random life. But then another choice and another, each with the fixed or random equation.

Perhaps Astrology is a representation of that fixed vs random combination. While the universe moves in a fixed cycle there is more unknown than known about the universe. Astrologists must ‘re fix’ their points of divination with each new discovery of planets and planetary objects. This could be how the random factor applies to Astrology.

And I suspect, as I think you stated, that random events are intuitive events.

Best regards,
K.

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 43 Central OH

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Female

Re: Practical Astrology

My mother used to say that children choose their parents - a spiritual insight or a convenient mode of abdicating responsibility?

Actually my mother was very responsible, hysterically funny, highly intuitive and intellectual, so there goes that option!

When my son was a baby, old people in the villagein which we lived would say 'oh, he's been here before, he's an old soul'. He certainly has an awareness about him which I did not see in other babies. Or maybe I was just being a 'precious mummy'!

I do not think that I was an 'old soul'. Does one know if one is though?

2 years before I became pregnant my mother told me that I would have a baby boy, born very close to my own birthday, with brown wavy hair and blue eyes. (brown and green eyes predominate in our family).

Self fulfilling prophecy or prescient statement?

There are 6 days between our birthdays and her description of him was correct.

Intuition or chance/random event.

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 39, UK

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Female

Re: Practical Astrology

s,
I think of one word to explain such coincidences.

Synchronicity


Synchronicity
A term coined by Jung for a postulated "acausal connecting principle" to explain the occurrence of meaningful coincidence, i.e., whenever an inner psychic happening (dream, vision, premonition) is accompanied by a cor responding outer physical event which could not have been causally connected with the former. Most cases of extrasensory perception are considered to be examples of synchronicity.

Kathy,
I believe you put in the best terms by saying that logic comes first. Jung was a scientist first and foremost but he never let logic get in the way of 'truth'. When one looks at dreams and sees a mystical aspect, Jung looked at the dreamer and saw logic. We need only look to the lunar cycle and compare it to the tides of the oceans and women's menstral cycle to see the mystical influences. This may be mystical to some but logical if we think beyond the norm. The ability to interpret dreams is both logical {by using Jung} and also mystical because of the need of the intuitive self to see and understand the metaphors and symbols.
There are those things that can not be explained {as yet}. Edgar Cayce had abilities that were beyond the norm. But when you calulate the logic of the intuitive psyche and admit there are those with extra-ordinary sight, there is both logic and the mystery.
It is a matter of understanding. And that requires a knowledge {gnosis} that is not taught in text books. I believe in a spiritual soul but not in a biblical God. The first is a mystery that can be experienced but can not be explained and the other is an unknown that can be explained {all religions are myths}. My logic can prove God is a myth but my intuitive mind can experience the soul when I work with dreams. The same can be said when working with astrology or tarot ot other so called mystical thinking. MJost of those ideas can be explained by not fully. The mystery remains.

Buddhism does a great job of combining logic and the mystery. Being a psychological discipline it has explored the mind from its conception. And from that exploration is has presented an alternative to heaven and hell that is more logical. It relies on psychic knowledge {gnosis} for its philosophies. Of course it can not be proven either, thus it remains a mystery. But because it relies more on experience and less on faith I believe it has more merit. But I do not subscribe to the belief either way. I practice the discipline and believe in the mystery.
Being an extravert I require proof. But having realized my intuitive Self I do not dismiss any possibility.

Carl Sagan said of those who claimed he was an athiest; I can neither prove or disprove there is a God.


Gerard

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 55 Murfreesboro, Tn.

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

Re: Practical Astrology

All in all, when it comes down to the final findings, astrology is not 100% correct. There are many theories and some of the horoscopes are horrendous. I am 56 years of age; going to be 57 in December and one day my horoscope said that I should look into taking a long hike on the appalachian trails. Lol, with my health condition, this is highly impossible.

Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 56 - long island, new york

Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} female


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