Astrological Musings

Happy Equinox 2009!

Before I complete the post on Carl Jung’s Red Book, which I promise I will post either tonight or tomorrow morning, I want to wish everyone a happy Autumn Equinox.

The equinoxes take place when the days and nights are of equal lengths.  This marks the end of summer, when the days are longer, and the beginning of autumn which takes us into the darker season.  The astrological charts for the turning of the seasons, which are marked by the entry (ingress) of the Sun into 0 degrees of the cardinal signs in the tropical zodiac, often serve as a predictor for the season to come.

The chart for this year’s Autumn Equinox and Libra Ingress chart reveals an exact square between the 0 degree Libra Sun and Pluto at 0 degrees.  This is a fairly intense aspect for an equinox chart, and suggests a high level of continuing change and transformation as structures (Capricorn) that no longer work are destroyed in order to clear the decks for something more real to occur.

We also have the Scorpio Moon forming a square (challenging aspect) to the Triple Conjunction of Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune in the chart.  This will be a season of feeling things deeply, and not letting go of the matters that are deeply important to us.  With the Scorpio Moon and the Pluto square, we will be spending some time in the Underworld where life is not the way it may at first appear.  When we travel in the Underworld we must let go of our ideas and expectations as we forge a new direction.

On the positive side, though, we have an exact trine from Venus in practical Virgo to Pluto, showing that our alliances and relationships to others (Venus) will be a tremendous help to us in this process and that we will be forging new connections with people to reflect our new understanding that underpins our very sense of reality.

An exact conjunction of Saturn to retrograde Mercury (in Virgo) shows a down-to-earth and practical approach that will help us to assimilate all of the data that the Pluto transformation provides, and order it into a plan and philosophy that will help us to make sense of it all.  And a trine to the North Node is a grace card that suggests the ability to move forward with strength and discipline in the direction of our goals and dreams.

Finally, a trine from Uranus, lover of change and liberation to the Moon encourages us to free ourselves from the past.  That Scorpio Moon has difficulty letting go and can get stuck in an effort to completely and totally eradicate the unwanted.  But Uranus opens up the windows and brings in fresh air and light, pointing the way to a new way of feeling about life.

This kind of combination of challenging and harmonious aspects is ideal for successful transformation.  It ought to be a very interesting ride!

By | 2009-09-22T08:48:17+00:00 September 22nd, 2009|Astrology|Comments Off on Happy Equinox 2009!

The astrology of Carl Jung and his Red Book

A secret book written by Carl Jung nearly one hundred years ago will be released next month according to the New York Times.  Known as the “Red Book,” it was jealously guarded by Jung’s descendants until it was recently found in a bank vault and negotiations with the Jung family ultimately permitted its publication.

The work of Carl Jung transformed the field of modern psychology by incorporating the concept of archetypes and synchronicity into the mystery of the workings of the psyche.  The Jungian process involves delving into our dreams and the symbols that weave a web linking the conscious and the subconscious.  In doing so, we are able to venture on a path of self-discovery and facilitate the process of what Jung called “individuation” in which lost parts of ourselves are recaptured.

Jung’s awareness of the synchronicities in life incorporated the use of dreams, ancient symbols and archetypes, alchemical symbolism, and astrology.  He wrote:

“The collective unconscious appears to consist of mythological motifs or primordial images, for which reason the myths of all nations are its real exponents. In fact the whole of mythology could be taken as a sort of projection of the collective unconscious. We can see this most clearly if we look at the heavenly constellations, whose originally chaotic forms are organized through the projection of images. This explains the influence of the stars as asserted by astrologers. These influences are nothing but unconscious instrospective perceptions of the collective unconscious.”

from Jung’s lecture “The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious,” Collected Works.

In 1913 Jung “found his psyche starting to teeter and slide, until finally he was dumped into what would become a life-altering crisis.”  He began experiencing visions and hearing voices, and in what he later called a confrontation with the unconscious he used the experience to attempt to tear down the wall between his rational self and his psyche.  “He found himself in a liminal place, as full of creative abundance as it was of potential ruin, believing it to be the same borderlands traveled by both lunatics and great artists.”  Quotations from the New York Times article.

Carl Jung’s birthchart reveals his extraordinary cpmmectopm to the archetypes of the unconscious.   His Sun was in the sign of Leo, reflecting the ultimate need for self-expression and self-understanding.  His Sun was angular, sitting right on the cusp of the seventh house of partnership (or Descendant), suggesting that he defined himself through the Other.  His Leo Sun was therefore exactly opposed to his Aquarius ascendant which requires the transcendence of the Self into an experience of the Collective.

With Aquarius on the ascendant, Jung’s chart was ruled by both Saturn (the traditional ruler)  and Uranus (the modern ruler).  This is a complex combination because those two planets are so different, and it gives the Aquarian nature a double-edged sword.  On the one hand there is a need for order and discipline with Aquarius under Saturn, but the Uranian influence gives Aquarius its love for the unconventional and the embrace of the collective.  With the Leo Sun exactly opposite the Aquarius ascendant Jung would have been torn between the individuation, as he put it, of his Selfhood (Leo), and the sublimation of individual consciousness into the mythology and symbology of the collective (Aquarius).

Angular planets are more significant in the birthchart, and Jung’s Sun was angular because it sat right on the angle called the descendant at the seventh house.  His sun formed an exact square to Neptune, the planet of dreams and the subconscious, fantasy and illusion.  Neptune was also angular, sitting right at the cusp of the fourth house of home and inner life, the point that we call the Nadir or the Imum Coeli.  Neptune at this point brings an intimate connection with the our ancestral past that transcends the boundaries of ordinary reality.  Any planet found at the Nadir of the chart affects our inner world and our very sense of being incarnated in a body, and Neptune at this point suggests a tenuous anchor between body and spirit. Neptune, like the Sun, formed a square to Jung’s ascendant, which exacerbated the thinness of the veil between Jung’s conscious Self and the subconscious and transcendent (Neptune).

The square from Neptune to the Sun has been a topic of great debate over the past couple of years because we find this aspect in the chart of President Obama.  Because Neptune has a tendency to blur boundaries and confuse the issue, when it forms a challenging aspect like the square to the Sun, which represents the development of the Self and the Ego, there is a challenge to the formation of that sense of individuality.  We already see that with the Sun sitting on the descendant, the point of the Other, Jung has a tendency to lose himself.  The square from Neptune exacerbates this.

At the time Jung descended into his journey of darkness, transiting Uranus was crossing the ascendant of his chart and setting off this whole dynamic that challenged his Selfhood.

According to the article in the New York Times last Sunday, the unraveling of Jung’s psyche began in 1913, a period of time that coincides with the transit of Uranus over Jung’s ascendant, the point of personal identity.

Uranus is strong in Jung’s chart, since it forms a tight square to his Taurus Moon.  The Moon in the birthchart represents our emotional security, and in the fixed signs the emotional nature can be quite rigid and resist change to the breaking point.  The challenging square from Uranus, planet of sudden change and shock, to the Moon suggests an early shock to Jung’s sense of emotional security and an unpredictable relationship with his mother.  In fact, Jung’s mother spent a great deal of time alone, disconnected (Uranus) from the family and in contact with a variety of spirits and apparitions.  He later said that his concept with women was one of “innate reliability,” something that is echoed here in the square of Uranus to the Moon.  He also likely felt abandoned by his mother with Pluto in conjunction to his Moon in the natal chart.

Jung’s study of psychology brought him into contact with Sigmund Freud, and the two had a close association for several years that ended in 1912 as Uranus made the first pass over his ascendant and opposing his Sun.  The Sun in the chart can represent one’s relationship to the father, and Freud was a father figure of sorts to Jung.  Uranus transiting in opposition to the Sun likely created a rebellious (Uranus) desire to forge his own way and express his own ideas (Sun).

Jung’s perilous descent into the dark land that straddles the conscious and subconscious between 1912 and 1917 has been called a “creative illness” by his biographers.  He retreated from public view, studying Gnostic writers and psychic phenomena.  He write, “It would be no exaggeration to all it a state of disorientation.  I felt totally suspended in mid-air.”  (Memories, Carl Jung.)  This is a very apt description of the experience of a Uranus transit, in which everything we know and hold on to may be turned upside down as our soul and psyche attempts to reveal the truth that lies within us.  At this stage Jung, having rejected the paradigms of religion and psychoanalysis, was left without a theological leg to stand on and had to make his own way through the darkness.

The transit of Uranus over Jung’s ascendant set of a rebellion within him against his own identity (ascendant/Sun) but also set off the square to Neptune in his chart.  It’s no wonder that his subconscious became filled with dreams and fantastic images as the collective subconscious (Neptune at the nadir of the chart) exploded under the Uranian influence.

Jung’s descent into creative madness culminated in December of 1913,  He had visions of falling into a hole in the earth in a shamanic experience that he later postulated was a sacrifice for the greater good (natal Sun square Neptune is the martyr or Christ figure).  At the time, transiting Jupiter was in an exact square to Jupiter in his chart which as we now know opposed Chiron exactly.  An opposition of Jupiter to Chiron in the natal chart suggests that the shamanic experience that Chiron provides facilitates the development of the construct of meaning for the individual (Jupiter).  There is a powerful inner connection to a deeper reality, and this can sometimes overcome the experience of material reality.  When Jupiter transited over this sensitive point, at the height of the Uranus cycle, Jung was liberated (Jupiter) from the boundaries of physical reality and freed to travel into the mysteries.

When we are in the middle of a transformational experience it can be so uncomfortable that we don’t recognize its value.  Later on, we often look back and say “what an amazing time that was.”  This is powerfully true for this experience of Jung’s.  Jung’s biographers have debated this period in his life for what is now nearly a century.  Some said that Jung was clairvoyant and predicted World War I.  Some say that Jung experienced temporary insanity.  Some say that Jung had a Christ complex and believed he was sacrificing himself for the good of humanity (again, Sun/Neptune).

The astrological symbolism reveals something much more magical: the opening up of a soul to the shamanic experience that revealed the depths not only of the personal subconscious, but the transpersonal subconscious as well.  Without this soul journey Jung would likely never have been able to connect so deeply with the archetypes and symbols that formed the foundation of his work that viewed psychology as an alchemical process.

On a personal level we can also imagine that this experience, which took him on such an incredible transpersonal voyage, also provided him with a healing crisis of his own that accelerated his inner work so that he could later set aside his own personal issues to explore the transpersonality of the psyche.

During this period he wrote very little of a professional nature, but instead poured his visions and thoughts into 1330 pages of notebooks.  He included paintings using pigments that he himself produced and wrote in the style of the fourteenth century (Source:  The Wounded Jung, Northwestern University Press).  He  later put together 600 pages of these writings into the Red Book which was then jealously guarded by Jung’s heirs after his death, as you can read in the Times article.

Jung brilliantly utilized his descent into madness in order to transform the field of psychology forever.  This concept of the alchemy of personal transformation provides the foundation for the work that I and other transformational astrologers do in our client work.  Rather than look at an illness as a disease, whether mental or physical, we look to see what planetary dynamics are at work here and how they can be used for transformational purposes.

We have Carl Jung, and his descent into the underworld of the subconscious and subsequent return, to thank for that.

For more on Jung’s alchemical transformation and astrology, see my previous article here. 

By | 2009-09-21T06:41:39+00:00 September 21st, 2009|Consciousness, Favorite posts, Longreads|Comments Off on The astrology of Carl Jung and his Red Book

Saturn/Uranus: Revolution in Iran

Just after the opposition between Saturn and Uranus culminated last week, tens of thousands of protesters filled the streets of Tehran on Friday in a rare show of opposition against the pro-Palestinian rhetoric of Iranian president Ahmadinejad whose anti-Israeli speeches on Jerusalem Day gave rise to chants like this one:  “Not Gaza, Not Lebanon, I’ll sacrifice my life for Iran.”

Tension has been fomenting in Iran since the Iranian elections in June when Ahmadinejad won in a widely disputed landslide over challenger Hussein Moussavi, and we can see the events on the ground reflected in the astrological signatures.  The progressed Sun (national identity) in the chart of Iran last year conjoined Chiron (sensitivity and wounding/healing) at the very top of the chart, the point that we call the Midheaven, the point that represents the national government and its place in the world community.  Iranian dissidents are more and more sensitive now to their place in the global environment, and more and more open in their disdain for the oddly apocalyptic ideas of their President.

We are in the third phase of the opposition between Saturn and Uranus, and this conflict between the desire to return to the safety of the past (Saturn) and the desire for that which is new and revolutionary (Uranus) is clearly seen in the leadership of Ahmadinejad.  He is both a  revolutionary (Uranus) and a reactionary (Saturn), wanting to return to repressive conservative values (Saturn) while blowing Israel off the map (Uranus).  This phase of the opposition of Saturn to Uranus is aspecting exactly Mars in the chart of Iran.  Mars is the warrior – the aggressive instinct that seeks self-preservation and the gratification of desire.  There is a tremendous amount of anger in that country at the moment that will need to find some kind of release.

By | 2009-09-20T08:39:09+00:00 September 20th, 2009|Politics|Comments Off on Saturn/Uranus: Revolution in Iran

Astrology and Rosh Hashanah

Here is a fascinating article about the astrological correlations of the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah:

According to rabbinical lore, Adam and  Eve, our primal parents, were created on Rosh Hashanah, which traditionally falls on the New Moon of the seventh month (see quote above). A closer look at the biblical text reveals that God did not only create Adam and Eve on the sixth day, but also gave birth to the concept of relationships. Friday, Veneris in Latin, named after Venus, is the day Adam and Eve were born. The fact we were created under the influence of a benevolent planet is a reassurance that we cannot be that bad after all.

Since the biblical and zodiac year begins in Aries, then Libra, the seventh sign is the month mentioned in Leviticus. Libra, ruled by Venus, is the sign of relationship, marriage and contracts. The fact that our common ancestors, Adam and Eve, were created on a New Moon in Libra is a great sign for all of our relationships. It means that embedded in our mythological “DNA” is the potential of having harmonious and balanced relationships. To this affect, at least according to Astrology and the Bible, we are innately good.

On Rosh Hashanah it is a custom to blow the Shofar, the ram’s horn. This ancient ritual is multi-layered and carries a great deal of symbolism. The Ram is associated with Aries, the sign that begins the biblical as well as Astrological New Year. On the zodiac wheel, Aries is located opposite Libra. Together they create the first set of opposing signs. You can say that Aries (ruled by Mars, the archetype of Adam) falls in love with Libra (ruled by Venus, the archetype of Eve) on Rosh Hashanah.

The symbolism of the New Moon of the Seventh Month goes even deeper considering the fact that Rosh Hashanah is celebrated precisely halfway through the zodiac. With six signs before and six signs after, Rosh Hashanah is a watershed of energies. According to astrology the year is divided into two main parts. The first half stretches from spring to the end of summer and is masculine and active, while the second half stretches from fall to the end of winter and is feminine and receptive. The borderline between these two halves is the Fall Equinox when the day and night, the masculine and feminine, are equal and balanced. That is the mythos-logic of having the Fall Equinox mark the beginning of the sign Libra, the sign of the scales. This year the Equinox takes place on September 22, a few days past Rosh Hashanah. Astrology asserts that in the masculine extrovert part of the year, which is now coming to a close, humanity is busy acting, doing, building, sawing, reaping, working, collecting and creating. During the feminine introvert part of the year, we are focused more on assessing, reevaluating, deepening, editing, processing, dreaming, healing and assimilating everything we have done in the active part of the year.

Read more here, including an explanation of the place that Saturn, Lord of Karma, has in this celebration of the Jewish New Year.  And let’s try to leave Israel out of the comments for today.

By | 2009-09-19T08:37:16+00:00 September 19th, 2009|Religion|Comments Off on Astrology and Rosh Hashanah

Gerald Celente: Revolution or Renaissance?

One year after the fall of Lehman Brothers presaged a worldwide economic crisis, futurist Gerald Celente is predicting that a revolution has already begun in the United States. Many are decrying his “doom and gloom” predictions, but he is saying exactly what I have been saying myself: that you can’t keep repairing a house that is built on quicksand.  The house has to be taken down and rebuilt on a firmer footing.

To recap the astrological history: The entry of Pluto into Capricorn in January of 2008 led to a panic in the stock market as it became clear that the expansion of the Pluto in Sagittarius era could not go on forever.  Pluto brings cultural transformation, and astrologers knew that when Pluto entered Capricorn the structures on which we base our lives (Capricorn), including government, financial and educational systems, and religious institutions would be forever transformed.

But even before this Saturn was paving the way to an increased sense of thriftiness when it entered Virgo back in the fall of 2007.  Suddenly there was the beginning of a shift towards savings and conservative attitudes towards money as the subprime mortgage fiasco began to build.

Evidently Celente couldn’t get anyone in the US to listen, so he has taken his message to Russia Today:

“It hasn’t ended. That was only the beginning. We are going to see a lot more. There is no recovery, it’s a cover-up. They’re covering it up with stimulus packages, with buy outs, with bailouts – it’s not going to fix the problem.”

I personally don’t believe that the coverup is intentional – I think there is a desperate attempt to get back to where the financial system was a few years ago, using the same tools. But as financial analyst Max Wolff says, as quoted in this article:

“Let’s put it this way: in order to have a 20 to 30 trillion dollar global blow-up, you don’t have a few bad apples and you don’t have a few simple mistakes – you have everybody basically bought in on a system that’s fundamentally unsound.”

In this video interview of Celente it is clear that he’s not an alarmist.  As far as I can tell, he is merely trying to get people to wake up to the fact that the times have changed.  Astrologers are looking ahead to the upcoming square from Uranus (revolution) in Aries (war and aggression) with Pluto (transformation, death and rebirth) in Capricorn (social structures) and realizing that some kind of revolution is going to take place.  For some time I have felt that the period from 2010 to 2014 (especially 2012-2013 when this aspect is at its tightest) will bring revolutionary conflict between those who have (Capricorn) and those who don’t (Uranus in Aries).  This won’t be traditional war as we have known it, between countries.  This is a people’s revolution that will spread all over the world.

Celente says that it doesn’t have to be like this.  If the governments of the world recognize what’s going on here and work to rebuild the financial system, this collapse can lead to a renaissance and transformation of our world.  Like me, he says “let’s the banks that are too big to fail, fail.”  Let’s start again from scratch on a solid foundation.

Unfortunately, though, the powers that run the banking system have too much to gain by retaining the status quo.  If you’re not convinced, take a look at the Vanity Fair article about how the bailout money (approved by previous president George Bush, remember) has been wasted.  And our Congress, supported by lobbyists and special interests on both sides of the aisle, just go along with it.

Celente is predicting the emergence of a new third party which he’s calling “Progressive Libertarian” in 2012.  To me this follows the astrology nicely – the Uranian influence will increase the desire of Americans to be liberated (Uranus) from the clutches of the two party system (Capricorn).

Watch the video and see what you think.

Update: here is an interesting interview with Celente.

By | 2009-09-18T08:33:59+00:00 September 18th, 2009|Money and markets|Comments Off on Gerald Celente: Revolution or Renaissance?