For quite a while I’ve been thinking about how I view astrology – my personal philosophy concerning astrology and how it works. That it works has been proven to me over and over again in the charts I’ve read for many people. I recently came across an article entitled James Hillman on Astrology. I was amazed how close his views were to my own, and he articulated them beautifully. I especially resonate with the following quotes from that article:
“I think the job that calls the astrologer is to think more poetically and metaphorically, and less causalistically, as if astrology had to obey Newtonian science. I do not think we need to accord causal properties to the planets or to their constellations, and therefore we do not need to explain how astrology works. Rather we can let the chart work like a mantra which affords revelations, a gaze into the beyond, a map of the unseen, a compendium of invisible powers working in consort.”
“So, we humans, aware that we live only in half-truths and see only through a glass darkly, turn to astrology to find a way back to heaven, to the invisible source affecting our bodies and our maladies.”
“Each time an astrological consultation can return a characteristic to its divine character, polish a problem so it shines in a different light, reveal the God in the disease, let the client see clearly for a moment that other heavenly half, the astrologer is performing an epistrophe’, returning a mess in the human to a myth in the Gods.”
I liken the study of astrology to the study of art. I studied drawing and watercolor for several years. I learned the tools of drawing and watercolor, laboring for hours over line, perspective, color and design. In my last year of study my instructor said now I want you to forget it all! I, at first, thought she was nuts. She, of course was brilliant. It was time to give myself over to creativity, trusting I had the basic skills to create my vision. No more technical thoughts. Time for that “invisible source” to work through me.
I’ve now spent years studying astrology. Many great teachers have helped me on my way and I have a bookshelf filled with wonderful books. It seems each book brings a new perspective or a new tool. Humbling. And, yet, I think I’m a pretty decent astrologer. After a reading people tell me they feel affirmed, more aware and helped along on their journey here. I feel my way through a reading – I listen closely and my intuition kicks in. I honestly believe astrology somehow lets me tune in to “the beyond” somehow through the chart itself. It is art. And, sacred space. I look at a chart and it humbles me to know I am looking at a soul or at least a soul’s choices for this lifetime.
The metaphor I like and the one I use with my clients is life as school. Our soul chose the classes it wanted to study prior to incarnating in this lifetime. That’s what we can see in the chart. Lots of majors and minors from which to choose. Some classes we are making A’s, some we may want to drop. Problem is in this life school, we really can’t drop a class. Some of our most difficult times may simply be one of the “advanced” classes we chose. Where’s the learning in the pain? It seems once we pass a class that particular issue dissolves – until next time around when it may not be so difficult. And, the wheel turns!
I think it is incredibly important we each step into our own power. Accept responsibility for our lives. Learn our lessons. Fly high. Astrology is a map, that’s true. It’s also much more than that. It can be a guide book or cliff notes. Helping us on the journey, not just pointing the way.
I am interested in psychological astrology which I define as helping people become more aware, to wake up to who they are and to their potentials. I enjoy putting psychology and astrology together. It helps me help others in a deeper way. The whole area is fascinating to me.
My thanks to James Hillman (1926 – 2011) for so beautifully expressing my thoughts in the above quotes. He studied at and then guided studies at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich. His focus was the psyche and the soul and he was interested in fantasy and myth and what he termed soul-making. He used astrology regularly in his work.