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Archetypal Astrology

Author: Mirjam

Brought to you by Archetypal Astrology
keions@telia.com


Jungian Psychology |
Archetypal Astrology |
The Myths


The Horoscope



What is below is like what is above. And what is above is like what is below, so that the miracle of the One may be accomplished. -Tabula Smaragdina







This is not an explanation of all the planets and signs as there are lots of good sites elsewhere. It´s only what I think is important and why I have chosen to use Astrology in this way. This information in no way claims to be complete, the subject is too complex to put down here, and I must refer you to other books!


Astrology goes very far back. The first traces are about 4000 years old. In all periods of time Man has gazed towards the skies and watched the movements of the sun and the moon. He saw them as divine beings who could create light and darkness, and master the movements of the waters and the growth. Out of this the mythological stories grew, and much later they inspired the names of the zodiak and the planets. In myth Man found an explanation to the mysteries he experienced in the world around him in his day and time.


We know these explanations are not valid for us today, but that is not the important thing. The symbols and stories connected to the planets and their properties tell us more about the psyche of Man and his needs than about the actual planets. Today the important answers for Man is to be found inside his soul and psyche.

An Image of the Soul



The horoscope is sometimes called an image of the soul. I would prefer to call it an image of the potentialities of the soul. At the moment of birth the individual seem to take on the qualities of that moment, as shown by the horoscope. With those qualities he meets his parents and his cultural heritage. If he can take advantage of what lies embedded in his horoscope, utilize what is positive, and pay attention to what could turn out negative, then he is much better off than if he were wholly unprepared.


Archetypes, Mythical figures and the Horoscope



Every sign in the zodiac can be associated with a mythological story and every planet with a divine figure, a "god", with certain properties. This divine figure can appear in different guise and under different names. Thus the moon can be regarded as Hera, Hathor or Ishtar. It can also symbolize other concepts, like the womb, the World Tree and the underwaters. These symbolical figures have their roots in the archetypal, mutal layer in the psyche of Man, according to Jung.

This is how we can see that figures from mythology are associated with archetypal images and actually can be said to have an influence over us. Maybe your life has been overshadowed by a too dominant "Zeus-figure", or you might have acted out the rage of Medea at times. By drawing parallels to mythological figures and C.G. Jung´s theory of the archetypal images when studying the horoscope, your individual, mythological drama can be easier to understand in a new way that you might not have given much thought to.


Jungian Psychology



Jungian Psychology is a vast and complex topic requiring much study. It´s only possible here to touch upon a little of what is needed to explain the subject of Archetypal Astrology. So please keep in mind that there is a wealth of study and information to dig into! Some tips can be found on the Links&Books list.



Two Layers Within Us


According to the theory of C.G. Jung, there is in our unconscious two layers, a personal, upper layer, and an impersonal, deeper one. The personal layer is coloured by our own life, our experiences and our surroundings, but has its roots in the impersonal layer. In this deeper layer, which all humans have in common, there is a "creative force", out of which emerges myths, symbols, images, dreams and fantasies. In Jung´s terms this is the depths from where "the archetypes" rise.



Our Human Heritage


When studying the myths, we see that they have many themes in common regardless of which culture they originate from. They tell about the creation of the world, about Man´s relation to gods and goddesses, about heroic quests etc. They tell about important human issues, situations that everyone of us encounters at different points in our life, like birth, marriage, funerals or choice of occupation, of living place, or ideas about religion and politics. All of us put our personal emphasis on these situations. They have the same, "archetypal" roots but their variations are unique for every person. It is the collective human voice, speaking out of the assimilated experiences from all those generations that have gone before us.



Personal


Each one of us have his or her own reactions and attitudes to these "archetypal" situations in life. They are coloured by personal experiences, habits and circumstances. Mostly we go through these changes smoothly and life goes on as it should. But sometimes this "archetypal" force can manifest itself in strange ways, maybe as a strong reaction to someone we encounter, like a spiritual leader or a partner. We can become quite fascinated by this perosn, in certain cases it can make itself felt almost like a "magic" spell so that your thoughts are occupied with the matter constantly. Just think of the way we react when we fall "desperately" in love!



Superhuman


Whomever the motive of our devotion is, we must remember that this person is no more and no less than a human being! The great fascination is hardly due to the individual, human properties of that person. More likely the object for our fascination assumes too large proportions - the person is almost elevated into a godlike state, and so it has assumed properties out of the common, deeper mythological layer. And there we see the archetype in action!



The Child and the Archetype


At birth the childs´ perception of his parents is coloured by an archetypal concept, the psyche´s expectation of "The Great Mother" who is the nurturer and fulfiller of all needs.

If the personal parents can´t measure up enough for the child to have his individual emotional and bodily needs fulfilled, the archetypal image will not witdraw. It should, so to speak, be "conquered" by reality, i.e. the personal mother. If that does not happen, the child will remain unsatisfied and will continue to search for someone to give him whatever he thinks he is lacking.


But as the shortage is charged with the force of an archetypal image, no ordinary human being can take that place and so the child will continue to go on chasing after an unattainable ideal, even as a grown up.

Let it be said here, that it´s not fair to "blame it all" on the parent. The child can have an extra needy character and hard to satisfy.


The Horoscope


The Horoscope can be called a lens through which we look at reality. The lens is facetted individually and the placement of the planets tell something on how we go about our daily life. The horoscope can give us clues to how we have perceived our parents, the archetypal images connected to them can come alive and some questions might be answered. This is Archetypal Astrology.



Archetypal Astrology





The image to the right shows a glowing being in the middle of a system which takes its nourishment from above as well as from below, from darkness as well as from light. In the middle is a watching eye. The energy seems to be circulating so that one side of the being gives out and the other can pick the fruits of its own efforts.

Archetypal astrology is a way of looking at the horoscope with the theory of the archetypes from Jungian Psychology in mind. The archetypes can be described as psychical forces which generates "inner images", concepts and ideas which the whole of humanity have in common, regardless of cultural belonging.

Archetypes, mythical figures and the horoscope


Each sign in the zodiac can be associated with a mythological story and each of the planets can be associated with a divine character, which takes on different forms and shapes. The god or goddess has many masks, the moon is at the same time both Hera and Isis as well as the idea of the womb or the world-tree. Different in shape and name, their symbolical meaning has the same roots, the archetypal layer, common for all of mankind. If we look at the horoscope from this viewpoint, the archetypal images seem to come alive and we are able to glean out some of their secrets. We can begin to appreciate which mythological figures have had an influence over our life.

Looking at the stories connected to the constellations in your horoscope makes these forces assume a clearer, more individual meaning.


The parents in the horoscope


The parents in the horoscope are represented mainly by the Sun and the Moon. Their placements tell us something of how we have "interpreted" the relationship with our parents. Here the archetypal forces have the most influence. As the relationship to our parents is so important, forming our attitudes towards most areas of life, even determining the choice of our partner, it usually takes up much attention in the dialogue.


The Myths



An Ancient Voice


The myths are the ancient voice of Mankind, bringing us their concentrated knowledge, handed down from generation to generation. In earlier times this knowlegde was used as a source of wisdom, from which was drawn advice and guidance for our human life. They are stories telling about attitudes towards the world, about morale and virtue, about the responsibilities the human being has to assume in order to be a worthy member of his group and his society.


Today these myths are no longer in our minds and we can no longer refer to them. We live our lives surrounded by the events of today and as development speeds on ever faster, we lose our common historic perspective. Our human roots are therefore slipping further and further away from our consciousness - we become more and more lost.


Not Alone


For thousands of years, in all ancient civilisations Man has received support and knowledge from the myths. Their themes have always been important all through the ages and so they are even today. The myths are keys to our common history as well as our individual one. When we consider these stories, we can draw parallelles to our own individual life. That helps us to see life from a wider perspective and to realize that we are not alone with our hardships and challenges.


Archetypes and Myths


The mythical themes are always the same ones, even though their form varies through time and space. The stories seem to be generated from the archetypal layer in the human psyche and so can influence both the collective and the individual level. Just like in C.G.Jung´s theory about the two layers of consciousness, the myth assumes personal aspects and can be recognized in the fate of the individual. Issues like "The Hero´s fight against Evil" or "The Great Mother" appear on our way towards inner development. By overcoming what is threatening to destroy us, whether by dominance or by irrational fear, whether it is coming from our inner selves or from people and circumstances in our surroundings, we have the chance of developing ourselves and grow spiritually. The examples abound, Medea or Oedipus are driving on the highway or shopping at the mall, they exist today as they did thousands of years ago. The wisdom inherent in the myths is still there and it is just as valid in our day and time. They have only changed clothes to suit the cultural environment.


Archetypes, Myths and the Horoscope


Every sign in the zodiac can be associated with a mythical or divine figure who appears in different guises and different names. This godhead appears in many guises, and at the same time it shows itself as different kinds of symbolic concepts. The Moon is at the same time Hera, Hathor and Ishtar and also the symbolic concept of the womb, the Tree of Life and the Great Waters.

If we look at the horoscope from this point of view, we can get clues as to how the archetypal images can affect a person´s life. That´s when we can start to discover his own unique mythological story.

Suggested Pdf Resources

Archetypal Astrology and Transpersonal Psychology:
Archetypal Astrology and Transpersonal Psychology: The Research of Richard Tarnas and Stanislav Grof. Renn Butler.
Holotropic Research and Archetypal Astrology
Archai: The Journal of Archetypal Cosmology • Volume 1, Number 1 (Summer 2009). 50. Holotropic Research and Archetypal Astrology.
Millennial Archetypes ? Astrological Views
Millennial Archetypes - Astrological Views. Lecture for the C.G.
1 Planetary Symbolism and Medieval - The Astrology Institute
me to think about astrological symbolism and the concept of archetypes. The distant roots of archetypal astrology can be found in the Platonic tradition.
Archai

Suggested News Resources

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Suggested Web Resources

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Feb 11, 2008 Archetypal Astrology: Embodying the Planetary Gods with Sherene Schostak.
ISIS Institute - Archetypal Astrology and Transpersonal Psychotherapy
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