Astrology has its origin within the mists of ancient times, and was studied almost universally by most advanced cultures and civilizations. At an early age in history observers were able to distinguish between stars and planets, and chart their motion through the heavens. Cultures that kept accurate records were able to predict where the planets would be at any given time, and the horoscope came into being. In the Western world it was the early Greeks that clothed the other worlds with mythical, god-like attributes, and the concepts of astrology took root.
Because planets are real beings, there is something inherent in the nature of the planet that has stirred a chord deep within the human psyche; the results are names and qualities that have been recorded and passed down through the ages. The Archetypal character of planets is a reality, and their distinct nature and workings are maintained within the collective unconscious. 36
Planets are unique and individual entities, and there may well be a physical cause-effect relationship between them and us. But the only way we can have any awareness of planetary beings is through our perception of them; yet, their subjective reality is bound within our mental constructs. All we can ever know are our ideas; our view of the universe, and our astrological concepts are primarily subjective. Fortunately, we can be assured that the physical universe really exists, and that the sun, moon and planets were out there long before we arrived to perceive them.
The same thing cannot be said about the Signs of the Zodiac; that is, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, etc. There is a distinction. The story goes that the early Greek shepherds would lie on their backs at night and gaze up into the sky while tending their flocks. The brightest stars seemed to make patterns in a band of space that the planets travel in their orbit around the sun called the ecliptic. This band of space was divided into twelve sections and named after the figures from their favorite legends. These myths were projected out into the heavens as a product of the human mind. Planets are objective; the signs of the zodiac are subjective, and they are not considered to have any cause-effect relationship between them as groups of stars, and us as human beings. As material for Archetypes they work within the collective unconscious, and synchronicity is the active principle behind them.
Astrology operates simultaneously on two levels that I have defined as objective and subjective. As opposites there is always a state of tension that is resolved through what is best understood as synchronistic events or physical/mental states. We think of the relationship between the physical facts of the sun-planet system and the subjective mental states of man as bound by an acausal connecting principle that produces "meaningful" results.
When the archetypes of astrology become activated and take on numinosity the chance of an acausal sequence of events corresponding to the psychic state becomes more probable. This probability becomes even greater if psychic contents constellate around an archetypal nucleus increasing the energy level to a "complex." The astrologer pondering the depths of the horoscope has engaged the synchronistic machinery linking the contents of the archetypes.
The synchronicity theory lends itself to astrological forecasts since time is the prime factor of both. A Mars influence coming to bear at a predetermined moment indicates activity that follows a linear path of causal events described by its orbital motion. Should a person's horoscope indicate this activity, then the line of events guiding the person's life will intersect with the Mars activity at the forecast time. On a global scale, a line of events leading a country to a state of war [Mars] may configure another nation's Mercury [messages] and result in a 'call to arms'. A person's anger excited by Mars may lead to a dispute with a lover's Venus. Two separate and unrelated lines of events intersect at the forecast period and highlight activities indicated by the astrological factors.
Since planetary motion is essentially circular and predictable, their exact positions can be determined for any given time. As has been shown, the solar system, as divine triad, [Macrocosm] is an image of the human soul [Microcosm]. Human nature is an expression of planetary and solar qualities, and is held divine within the soul. The horoscope is a blue print or image of the soul as viewed from the solar system. There is constant communication between the two although it is not at or on the conscious level.
The archetypes of astrology are never noticed or "felt" by the general population, and thus remain at the unconscious level. Archetypal contents never attain numinosity by individuals that reject or are unaware of astrological tenets. This is not to say that they are exempt from planetary influence, since all things on Earth come within our heavenly environment. Astrology becomes active and eventful when the archetypes rise to numinous energy levels. The study of astrology activates the archetypal content to a level of awareness that the astrologer or student can work with.
Most people can tell you their Sun-Sign. Depending on the date of birth, the sun will always be in one of the twelve signs of the zodiac. Some people come to know themselves very intimately through the characteristics of their Sun-sign. It is not difficult to see psychic processes at work here. The most powerful image or archetype of the Self is the sun and its various symbols. The Self in seeking a perfect state of being or wholeness comes to identify with the positive characteristics bound up in 'their' Sun-sign. Synchronicity is at work also in providing the verification that these characteristics are at work and thus confirmed. Furthermore, it is often not how a person relates to their Sun-sign characteristics, but how one perceives his or her own self-identity first, and then see a relationship in the sign. If circumstances are appropriate, and archetypal contents are raised to the proper energy level, then synchronistic events will confirm the astrological relationship!
Although the sun, moon, and planets participate as archetypal symbols, they are also a fact of existence. The objective side of astrology postulates that these bodies have an independent 'influence' on us. Many astrologers think electromagnetism may play a part, but I'm not sure how this would work. On the other hand, gravity is a universal force that pushes as well as pulls, as we shall soon see, and just might be the mental medium acting on everything throughout the cosmos.
My major thesis points to a Spiritual Solar System, and that Spirit works in its own unique way. Collin Wilson describes it this way: "... For if one planet moves his heart today, another will move his reason tomorrow, and a third his passion the day following. The humanitarian movement he launched under Jupiter becomes scholastic under Saturn and bloody under Mars. The heavens play scales upon his keyboard, and he cannot but sound the notes they touch." 37 How this is to be understood in a strictly scientific way is not known, but there is no problem in discussing a cause-effect relationship from the standpoint of Soul, Mind, and Intelligence as aspects of active Spiritual powers. As Plato pointed out, Soul is an independent and self-determined principle, and fundamental to everything else that comes after it.
Astrological influences can be thought of in the same sense as Plotinus' three hypostases. They are not spatially separate from each other, but present together everywhere. We live and have our being within these influences, and since these influences are inborn within us, we emanate a field of energy corresponding to the heavenly bodies around us. Our existence as spiritual creatures is a result of the sun-planet system; it would be odd to think of this special relationship as somehow unconnected. We are in them and they in us; Soul is identical in both, yet we are separate and uniquely different as physical Beings. It would seem that our purpose is bound up with their purpose; in this case the expanding universe depends on similar relationships in which the proliferation of life is the dominant theme throughout the vast cosmos.
The signs and planets are in heaven, and it is not unusual to think that people come to hope for celestial blessings that will complement and complete the fulfillment of their lives. It is not simply just a matter of fate; the soul has its work to do, and its operation is at the cosmic level.
The Jungian archetypes correspond to the Forms of Plato, and the Intelligible Realm of Plotinus' Divine Triad. As mentioned earlier, the Platonic Forms at the Ideal level are without content. They take form in particular things. Good deeds or good acts participate in the Ideal of Goodness. For Plato this world of Ideas or Forms constitute a greater reality than the individual things of the world.38 Jung's archetypes are similar to Plato's Forms in that they are empty of content until activated in the psyche. An archetypal pattern, which is universal, is like the pattern a crystal will take when it begins to form; once formed the archetype becomes recognizable, active, and functioning in consciousness. The archetypes of astrology can be thought of in the same sense.
Within the Intelligible Realm [Second Hypostasis] the planets represent the full range of archetypal content that give character and quality to human expression. The spiritual state of the human soul is fashioned in the image of the solar system. Thus the planets as physical beings hold and focus the essence that makes for individuality within the human entity; as a product of our own existence we understand it psychologically as archetypal material. Individual souls are uniquely different yet share similar attributes. The planetary fields emanate and blend their influences to mold the composite human soul.
Mars bestows certain qualities that find expression in human nature: boldness, daring, strength, stamina, drive, energy, determination, and a passionate nature. Mars can be contentious and give rise to anger, fighting, and violence. Mars also has an affinity for heat, fire, war, strife, riots, soldiers, surgeons, police, and weapons of war, especially explosive devices.
Venus represents the kinder loving side of human nature; compassion, charity; a cheerful and happy outlook; creativity in art and music. Venus is the beauty in our lives, and oversees social affairs, pleasure and romance. Mars and Venus are contra-polarities within the human composite and produce emotions of love-hate, and states of war and peace.
Saturn and Jupiter form the other contra-polar power in the human soul. Saturn is stern, hard working, cautious, and a staunch conservative. Jupiter is great fortune and easy-going, jovial, sympathetic, benevolent, honorable and just. Jupiter creates stepping-stones and Saturn stumbling blocks; Saturn makes us gloomy and sad--Jupiter happy and joyful. Saturn would have you poor, Jupiter rich.
The sun is the seat of the Soul, and the center of the Self or Selfhood, the source of universal consciousness, and the life-giver. The sun denotes fortunate circumstances, fame, health, and positions of power. The inner light of the solar power shines forth on the path of revelation and union with the ONE. The archetype of the sun is found in mandela symbolism and suggests wholeness, completeness, and a well-integrated individuality. Popular astrology relates the position of the sun to the sign of the zodiac at the time of birth, and reads the character of the individual from the nature of the sign.
The moon is a strong influence on home and family; it rules fertility, growth, nurturing, and maternal instincts. The moon is receptive, versatile, intuitive, emotional, and an influence on the human personality. The moon rules the night by the reflected light of the sun, and is an important counterpoint in balancing the various planetary and solar forces as they vitalize the Soul.
Mercury is thoughtful, congenial, and associated with the mind. Methods of communication, and means of travel are within Mercury's domain. He was known as the messenger of the Gods in mythology, but is better known now as a bringer of new ideas, and of correct reasoning. Mercury has an influence on accountants, teachers, booksellers, secretaries, and clerks.
Although Uranus, Neptune and Pluto have not been in the collective unconscious for very long, they seem to have found their place in astrology as if guided by an unseen hand. It is thought among astrologers that the human psyche has matured to a higher level, and expanded to accept these higher vibrations.
Uranus bestows a mind independent, original, and not easily controlled. There is an inclination toward inventiveness, and unconventional, altruistic behavior. This planet makes one intuitive, prophetic, philosophical, and scientific. Uranus is electric, magnetic, and unpredictable; it rules inventors, aviators, astrologers, psychologists, and metaphysicians.
Neptune is the planet of mystery and the mysterious. The planet of illusions, dreams, and fantasies. Neptune rules spiritual initiation and progress, artistic talent, intrigues, deception, fraud, and secrets. His domain mythically is the oceans of the world; all things of the sea; sailors, ships, and fishing. That which is hidden, transformed, or altered by drugs, comes within the sway of this planet.
Pluto represents death and rebirth; the end of an old era, and beginning of a new one; the Phoenix that rises from its own ashes. He is ruler of the underworld; keeper of souls of the damned, and Karmic debts; also, wills, legacies, and goods of the dead.
Since the Signs of the Zodiac have arisen from the human imagination and lack any origin in physical form, their reality is strictly archetypal. The sun-sign readings so popular in books, newspapers, and magazines are of this nature, and generally known to the population at large.
It is not expected that the people of the world should relate to the mythological content of Western culture, nor should they. Astrologers of India, China, and other societies have their own astrological symbols and archetypal patterns that reflect their view of reality. Yet what is universal to all things on the planet is easily understood through philosophical and mystical insight based on the sun-planet system. How this knowledge is understood will be based on the heritage, cultural values, and national self-image of those that accept it.
A well-balanced astrological foundation requires both an objective and subjective understanding of basic principles. The solar system exists for us objectively since we are in it, and subjectively since it is within us. Only through astrology do the inner realities of the mind and outer reality of the universe come together in mutual equilibrium, and elegant symmetry.
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