"Sucipe" A Prayer I suffer against my will, I am not obedient to God, I am in accord with Him, And the more so, Because I know that everything takes place In virtue of an immutable law Proclaimed from all eternity.
Spiritual Exercises St. Ignatius
Far from the Shallow
The Shallow is everywhere today. A divide between people grows wider and wider, threatening to swallow us in the process. Some of us, like Fools, pay more attention to the mindless chatter in our heads, and ignore our better instincts. The smallest and most ancient part of the brain, yaps at our heels as if there were lions and tigers and bears chasing us. We are unfazed. We ignore the warnings. Dismiss the noise. Unafraid, we take the plunge. We are unindividuated consciousness. We step off the edge of a cliff, innocently, and without a care in the world. We are catalysts! Scholars and intelligentsia do not scare us. “Ha!”, we scoff at them, while at the same time we laugh at ourselves.
“The innocence of the Fool touches deeply on the theme of personal transformation because, in the heart of each individual, lies the spark of the Fool, the spark that sees through the pretenses, effrontery, and supercilious nonsense of merely inherited forms.”1 The fool embraces change. There is no need to cling to old forms. There is no interest in hybrid religious sentiment. The fundamentalist mindset is unappealing. However, moving away from the shallow is easier said than done. An inner trust and centering of self within Self is required. Therefore, only a Fool would have the courage of conviction necessary to express “CHANGE” for all the world to See and hear.
The song Shallow, from the remake of a Star is Born, could be the Fool’s anthem. “Ally” leaves little room for doubt that the longed-for change is here, as she takes the leap, “off the deep end.” We watch her “dive in,” encouraged by her stepping up and stepping out, we identify with her as she conquers her own fear. Confident that she won’t crash, that she’ll “never meet the ground,” she sings, arms raised in a “V.” The Virtruvian Man comes to mind. His/her arms forming a cross with his/her body, all four corners touching the circle. Who isn’t moved by her heartfelt cry? In a state of enrapture, immersed in listening, there is a moment when something stirs deep within… A powerful song that harkens back to a time of the Sacred Feminine, an inspired voice that raises the Spirit and touches the heart. When Ally lifts her voice and proclaims her intention to crash through the surface of things, she is announcing her purpose for going deeper into the matter. Deeper into relationship. Deeper into life, and the deep significance of communication. She is no ordinary Fool.
Suffering a fall and plunging into the deep end, she willingly accepts her initiation. Her intention is to soar with the Spirit of things. Shallow is the story of the horoscope in some ways because it describes the same process that brings meaning and purpose to life. Astrology, when done well, is like listening to the “harmonies of the Cosmos.” Astrologers let the human experience lead the conversation, because life is what moves us, not the stars. Still, the correspondence between what is above and what is below time and again proves miraculous. But knowing ‘how’ we are in “accord with Her,” where Astrology comes from, isn’t necessarily all that important because any astrologer who writes songs can tell you. The transmission of the horoscope comes from the same place songs come from, and Astrology has probably always come from that place. I remember struggling with this concept until one day I fully embraced Astrology as a process, a life process. Suddenly, I could hear the music and my practice took a turn. It is why I practice “Astrology rooted in the reality of the world.” My aim is to bring the high flying esoteric ideas of the Sacred Art in for a landing; back down to Earth.
Lady Gaga mentions that Shallow was written during the confirmation hearings of Justice Kavanaugh, when Christine Blasey Ford stepped up and off the edge to testify. She did so despite great odds against her. She found her voice and had the courage to speak up publicly. Fiona Hill is another example of a voice speaking up, and she does so again in her new book There is Nothing for you Here. Daughter of a coal miner, her father encouraged her to “step out,” and she soared to become an official in the U.S. National Security Counsel specializing in Russian and European affairs after graduating from Harvard in 1998.
Another type of Fool steps into the arational but defends images without reflection. They see no bottom! The Sacred Feminine is not Seen or recognized. Theirs is a big first step, into the abyss. Constructs like “dominance hierarchy” for example, become a mantra. Rationalizations from behind a blindfold, intellectually effete assertions that fail to SEE the relevant writing on the wall so to speak. Their lens is too narrow and encompasses a biased view that is predominantly influenced by a Greco-Roman, or Judeo-Christian ethos, as the end ALL. Astrology falls victim to a similar intellectual vise, but is so much broader, “Her” expanse of time so much wider. We need to SEE Astrology in evolutionary terms, not just in historical terms, in order to fully understand where we stand on the Circle. Only then will we hear the music, and SEE the significant strides being made in the march against an old consciousness, beyond the falsity of a Boolean choice, beyond the binary.
Writing this series has been an eye-opening experience. My perspective on Astrology has widened. In the process my practitioner’s sensibility has been piqued by the nostalgia for throwback traditions, but also by an all too easy embrace by some astrologers for magical thinking; a nonsensical astrological approach saturated with all sorts of woo woo. A trampling Christian ethos stamped out astrological tradition 1,500 years ago forcing the Sacred Art into decline and darkness, occulted, then buried within religious mythos. Before that, some 2,000 years ago, scientific thought was seeded, creating a gulf between spirit and matter. A time that sparked a great divide when the separation began. A “widening gyre” 2 grew, and split philosophy and science apart, but also divisions within divisions occurred. What could possibly close the gap(s), and fill the void? It is too simple to acquiesce with weak justification that “everything works” in Astrology. Attempts at “synthesis” end in half-hearted attempts to sing, in pidgin English, kumbaya together. “Let’s just agree to disagree,” leaves an indigestible stew of agnosis on the stove. It is true that most Astrology “works” to some degree or another, but the point being observed here is that our powers of study have been hobbled by a glass half-full, a partial seeing.
Far from the shallow, the struggle is both personal as well as universal. The cliff is real! We share the same entanglements. The question is whether or not planetary constructs are useful in explaining every biological burp and psychological hiccup in our lives. Or are the stars incidental to experience and not entirely determinative? Does the individual have choice in the matter, or is each person assigned their fate, their Karma, where the stars are completely in charge? With all we know about modern life, opinions are still all over the map. For this astrologer it seems most important to account for the energy and force of being that each individual is capable of expressing, irrespective of the birth chart. It is essential in my experience to not confine a person to what I know about Astrology. Despite what the natal chart might suggest, challenges can be overcome, and weaknesses can be strengthened. But in practice this view is sometimes difficult to communicate. Ironically, it is easier to make up a past life story that is strangely more digestible than something real, or something more tangible from the present life. There is too often a predilection by both astrologer and seeker to consider planetary influences as more relevant than individual agency, to always fall back on what the chart has to say, instead of listening to the “harmonies of the Cosmos;” the intersection of Astrology with the lived experience.
Fate and Folly
A favorite example of a self-agency story is the horoscope analysis of Kobe Bryant. Of course, Kobe was born into a family where both parents played basketball at a very high level, yes, he was a star right out of high school, but that’s not the focus of the analysis. Instead, the discussion revolves around the process and how he applied himself. His life experience describes his chart well and illustrates how he empowered himself to change, to create a better version of himself. His example is instructive of an individual who canceled extraordinarily difficult aspects in his chart. The analysis inspires a way of communicating the horoscope that does not describe the planets doing things to us. Such a conversation leads to a more productive discussion about “who decides”; The humanistic allure of a will to change, to change an outcome by the dint and force one’s personality, by expressing one’s individual power, presents a future that cannot be denied. Perhaps it is no surprise then that this same power, expressed and aggrandized in the form of excessive ego energy, is also the cause of much devaluation and destruction in the world. Too many people get hurt by the imperfections of ego running roughshod over their individual universe, not seeing that they themselves are tools of a Cosmic Energy, the Divine Shakti. So, I am unpersuaded by superficial understandings that the ego decides. Perhaps a higher authority is available for guidance, beyond Fate and Folly. Perhaps this is what is meant by our ability to “crash through the surface,” to break boundaries and come in for a landing, to safely “touch the ground.”
Not everything is “programmed” by the diagrams we study as astrologers, but some things ARE hard wired and seem predetermined. For example, woman have a slight curvature of the spine at the five sacral vertebrae (S1 to S5). Studies suggest this biological structure provides a particularly aesthetic appeal to the opposite sex. Like a subliminal yield sign, biology can stop a guy in his tracks. Miraculously, these five vertebrae fuse and grow together while a baby is in utero. So, the curve is nature’s way of flagging male attention, signaling to potential mates that a woman is fertile and has potential to bear children. If the attraction is mutual, some theorize that it is the female and not the male who selects a mate, based on a theory called dominance hierarchy. 3 But the psychological arguments for the value (dominance) hierarchy4 model of attraction is inconclusive. Dominance hierarchy research claims that women select mates based on a potential male partner’s ability to climb the hierarchical ladder of success, for dominance. Other research counters this conclusion, finding that women are “unaffected” by an attraction to dominance, although the study did find that some males do seem to prefer subordinate partners. (Note: A preference for subordination from a partner by a suitor is not the same as the ‘target’ preferring dominance. The counter study revealed more neutrality by females on the issue than the dominance narrative suggests.)5 Whatever the case, in terms of relationships there is a strong suggestion that nature decides which encounters will become consummated, and it seems that women on average do hold an important veto power. But the entanglements in relationships are so complex that they cannot easily be seen in the chart, and explains why astrologers with experience eschew synastry charts, or at least approach them with caution. Biological and psychological viewpoints of attraction may be valid, but perhaps in deference to the attraction of the SOUL.
Soulmates was written by Thomas Moore, best selling spiritual author and psychotherapist, probably in 1993, corresponding with the Neptune-Uranus conjunction. He first introduced readers to the Renaissance astrologer, Marsilio Facino, in 1982, when Moore wrote The Planets Within. 10 years later Moore published his breakout book, and #1 New York Times Bestseller, Care of the Soul. Citing Facino’s brilliance on page 252 of Care of the Soul, he mentions Facino’s insightful commentary about the polarizing split between spirituality and materialism in his Book of Life. Facino posited in the late 1400’s that the only cure for the growing polarity in life is to embrace SOUL. There may be an “invisible soul of the cosmos that holds everything together,”12 (p. 231) but we are not discussing the world’s soul in this case as much as we are discussing and honoring the individual soul contained within each of us, which of course at a metaphysical level is one and the same thing.
Far from the Sacrum
The sacrum is a triangle shaped bone that attaches to the hips and tail bone. The tail bone is made up of four bones known collectively as the coccyx, which are in turn supported by the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments. Everything is connected! We can trace the word sacrum back through its Latin root to its Greek derivation, heiron osteon, meaning “sacred bone.” Ancients believed that the soul lived within this inner sanctum of the womb. There is an interesting corollary in Ireland in the shape of stone structures that are strewn about the landscape and which archeologists call passage tombs. These mysterious sculptures to my eye resemble the anatomy of the “sacred bone,” predating the Hellenistic period by more than 5,000 years. We see a triangle (3) supported by four (4) pillars, and what looks like a replica of the sacrum and coccyx. For all eternity there is perhaps nothing more sacred than bringing a new life into this world, nothing is more revered. Perhaps the Ancients recognized and appreciated this power, this mystery of life, affirming the ‘act’ by creating a reproduction of the birthing passage in such a way that they believed also worked in reverse. Upon death, the burial ritual may have been designed to assist the soul’s safe passage, back to its resting place, back to the place from whence it came, back to the secret sanctuary of the sacrum, the holy place, the place that contains the seed of life’s miracle.
The problem with a purely biological thesis is that it doesn’t explain non-monogamous or same sex attraction very well. But in the same way that reproductive variance cannot explain mate selection entirely, we must appreciate the potential for sexual expression beyond the binary choice. We can anticipate that love has greater depth and a far wider range than either biology, or tradition describes, and that analysis limited by the sex act, sexual preference, or identity, hardly touches the deeper significance and meaning of relationship. On the other hand, distortions in sexual expression, from rape to sadomasochistic behavior, to illicit enrichment,6 signals an attachment to lower vibrations. Some of the more absurd expressions perhaps demonstrative of the human propensity to cling to an old consciousness, or in some cases a lack of consciousness altogether.
Clearly, life is complex. An ordinary astrologer will cling to the old ways, and in some ways ‘identify’ themselves as the author of a horoscope, precisely because their mindset claims that “I am the authority.” However, Astrology is most powerful when we relate the horoscope to the life being lived; when we see the horoscope as a reflection of individual experience, and a force and power of being that transcends previously defined representations. In other words, what one knows about life informs Astrology much more than what one knows about Astrology. Yet most Astrology fails to communicate this or teach students to See in this way… likely because there is no advantage perceived in such wisdom, because the light of celebrity doesn’t shine well on humility, and there is no power to be gained or fame to be won.
Deep in the Shallow
With the proper map an astrologer can easily see that we entered the Gemini triṁs̒āṁsa in the Age of Aquarius by precession, precisely in 1998. The present nostalgia for all things past is perhaps more of an echo than a revival, a rehashing of old consciousness energy to address some unfinished business. A “re-membering’ of history. Gemini energy is prone to keep all options open, and will think in reactionary ways. But when one looks deeply into certain representative movements, there appears to be an aberration of Spirit, a hangover of sorts from previous ages. The reference above to illicit enrichment is perhaps one such example of throwback behavior. The sex act as an attempt to manipulate fate in the guise of approbations to the gods, a form of ritualized witchcraft really, that for example, combines “sexual transgression” with the multilayered allure of life’s “sweetest taboo” (Sade 1985). Cameroonians gave this phenomenon a name, “anusocratie,” which is the worship of another ‘passage’ altogether, and an example of dominance hierarchy run amok. The complete objectification of a partner in order to gain advantage and exercise control over another. In the process of expressing “dominance,” their ‘partner’ is supposedly depleted of energy, in an act that is purely self-serving and selfish. The distortion presented by this example may be shocking in its crass lewdness, but the practice of such sexual voodoo isn’t really all that different from the “magical thinking” some modern astrologers pretend to practice. There is a certain backwardness to the popularized approach astrologers employ whose main aim is to accumulate personal fame and power, sometimes at the expense of others.
Svoboda wrote about soulful tantric work in the Aghora trilogy. The Cameroonian practice is not that… Aghora is a sacred practice aimed at assimilating the dark side, “anusacratie” appears to be a distortion of “worship,” a defilement of the sacred, and gives ‘magic’ a bad name. Some transgressions, but certainly not all, in practice express the lowest common denominator. The energy transference corresponds to the lowest chakra. On some level the revival of ‘magic’ stirs up similar sentiment, unless of course the practitioner has the depth and understanding of an Aghori. I wrote about the Aghora here. One of the main points I presented in Assembling a Cosmos, intimates the necessity for deep Soul work, and that progress cannot be made without Neptune unveiling Spirit, where we pointed out the dissonance, or interlocking passion between Venus and Mars.
Evolution has arrived at a transition requiring humanity to raise the Soul Level of the collective, the force and power of being, to the point where our Core Passion no longer requires a mask for protection. Said with no small amount of irony since much of the world today are donning masks to protect against Covid. The Divine gets a little too metaphorical sometimes — the symbol is the thing symbolized. The metaphorical mask shields the ego, protects it against emanations too pure and powerful for the body to handle, but at some point the mask will no longer be necessary. Until then the higher energies of Truth might otherwise annihilate creation and the human instrument in the process because the physical body has been unprepared for such Truth. These esoteric lessons were first conveyed to me in the The Gnostic Circle, and perhaps hard to wrap one’s head around because most of us tend to cling so desperately to what we know, we reconstruct from the past, defending a certain point of view in a way that better justifies our present. Psychologists describe this tendency as reconstructive memory. Analogous perhaps to how we might reconsider our own experience, what they call “time slice error,” we re-create our own re-collections of what happened last week, never mind what happened to us in our childhood. Even more fantastically, the power of the mind can Re-create the happenings as remote as the inner work done in the Chauvet cave 40,000 years ago in southern France. So, that we might weave together whole cloth, with a few threads written on ancient scrolls from a 2,000 years ago, is no surprise, my own conjecture above about passage tombs notwithstanding.
The concept of a SupraNatal chart may be foreign to astrologers and probably won’t win anyone a spot on the lecture circuit. But Knowledge of Astrology cannot be separated from the Lived Experience, there must be a conception of an Integral Horoscope, one that supersedes all others. My approach to practicing Astrology assumes that Life informs Astrology, and that Astrology maps life. Meaning derives from the lived experience as suggested by the map, not from the map itself.
“Suicipe” is the title of a prayer St. Ignatius taught initiates, in reverence for an “immutable law”; a poem really that introduces this essay, and concluded his “Spiritual Exercises.” The exercises encompassed a four-week initiation period: in week one — Self-Awareness, in week two — Self-giving, in week three — Self-sacrifice, and in week four — Self-understanding. Aspirants learned to REVIEW, REFLECT, and RECALL, through daily meditation. Ignatius provides an interesting example of where religion re-connected with Astrology during the Renaissance because we know that St. Ignatius founded schools that taught the “science” of Astrology and Alchemy. Astrology was a core subject in some of the earliest school branches that the Society opened in Europe.6 Embedded in the learning of the Spiritual Exercises, were principles for how the self relates to the world, and spirit, informed by the exercises but with wisdom that Ignatius borrowed from the occult and that has stood the test of time. His FOUR founding precepts relate to THREE powerful aspects, keys, or tools to access the same life lessons that a good astrological consultation might provide. The Jesuits practice a special breed of spirituality, representative perhaps of the midpoint between philosophy and science, Spirit and Matter, Facino’s placement of SOUL. Embedded in their teaching is a cosmological view point best exemplified by another Jesuit, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. He wrote right here in the Hudson Valley, where today the Culinary Institute stands and where he is buried. He said that “… everything is the sum of the past”. Teilhard believed in evolution and that the development of man occurs over time when great transitions are reached, and that we have and will continue to reach these transitions at measured intervals he called critical points.
Sri Aurobindo was an evolutionary Avatar and wrote in The Life Divine that “all experience is psychological since …what we receive by the senses, has no meaning or value to us till it is translated into terms of the sense-mind.” He points out that in Indian philosophy the manas are akin to the processing power harnessed by the mind and that the ability for computation, reason, and interpretation resides in the sense-mind, a type of sixth sense. Think of this facility as a point of synergy where all the senses combine so that they can work together somehow to augment one’s sensate abilities with intuition. Most people can easily relate to this insight with understanding from their own experience. We might appreciate a low-level expression of these powers as premonition on one end of the scale, to attunement with the environment, to full blown psychism on the other end of the scale. In a ‘sense’, our emotions are affected by what we perceive in the world, what we see, feel, and hear. These inputs push our being to interpret experience by creating narratives that quite literally “make sense,” even when the explanations are nonsensical.
Stories told well, survive and become myths, the stuff of legends. However, Sri Aurobindo adds to this power the notion that reconsiders the direction of inputs, perceptions received by sense-mind using a top-down approach. His realization was that there is something above the mental that is possible. This reversal in the flow of inputs supersede the bottom-up constructs that are both more common as well as more connected with our instincts; our primordial being. The old consciousness is married with the lower passions of our emotional senses and physical needs. Interpretation of experience begins by uploading inputs to the processor from our senses, but Aurobindo suggests that it is now possible to download Knowledge Directly as it were, from what he called Supermind. In this conception the senses are not only capable of feeding the sense-mind but are also capable of receiving, “Sucipe,” a Direct Transmission from Supermind. A nascent example of this force, prior to its descent into the world, was perhaps experienced in the somatic system of the prehistoric artist, drawing and painting on a cave wall, accessing Super Natural energies from stone, perhaps an inner calling that compelled the artist to create and make pictures, to ‘commune’ with the energies of Spirit. The bottom up transmission exemplified in its purest form and a process that describes perhaps the very beginning of myth making.
Force of Being
A brilliant Tarot Card reader, or psychic might demonstrate something close to this ability, but even then, it is mere intuition, it is not quite up to the level that Sri Aurobindo was discussing. His Supramental Yoga was precisely aimed at identifying Supermind, to be and become that Force of Being. In essence his goal was not so much to download an upgrade to the system but to install an entirely new system altogether. Although the aim of his work was intended to give birth to this ability, so that it would become widely accessible, until the completion of Aurobindo’s yoga the five senses as extensions of the sense-mind were not yet capable of receiving Direct Knowledge.7 The sensate world essentially runs things still because the Supramental is in its infancy. This point is essential to understand as we move forward in the analysis and review what the ancients could have possibly known regarding occult science. Below, we’ll point out extraordinary feats accomplished by Paleolithic Shamans, marvels in evolutionary terms when we consider that humanity occupied the 2nd manifestation for the first time, 47,520 to 41,040 years ago, when the Mental Being was only beginning to germinate. The “sense-mind’s” attunement with nature was growing in leaps and bounds, perhaps “feeling” at-onement with the Earth, and the physical sheath of the body, fully alive. Evolution had just traversed the mental quarter, the 2nd manifestation of The Great Circle, on its journey through the Signs by precession. Many astrologers are aware that there are 2,160 years in an age, but few think of how the ages themselves map. Traversing 3 Signs, one Quarter of the Circle, requires 6,480 years. This is called 1 Manifestation. There are 4 Manifestations in a complete round of the Zodiac, or 25,920 years. One Great Circle is comprised of 3 Rounds, or 36 Signs over a period of 77,760 years. So, with this framework we see that Humanity was preparing to enter the second quarter of the circle, the 3rd manifestation by precession, just over 40,000 years ago. The 2nd quarter of the Circle governs emotions, the Vital quarter which corresponds with the Vital Sheath of the body, opposite to where we are now. Presently, we are in the 9th manifestation, a time “when the child is born,” the 9th cosmic month so to speak. We are in a transition or critical point akin to what Pierre Teilhard de Chardin wrote about, a leap analogous to the discovery of clothing and shelter, or fire.
The interpretive powers of the Paleolithic Shaman through the 2nd to 3rd manifestations, represented the formation of a capacity for telling stories, and by definition this Being would feel matters intensely while under the influence of the Sun and Moon. The 2nd manifestation corresponds with Taurus, the 2nd Sign of the Zodiac where the Moon is exalted, and of course Taurus is ruled by Venus. The 3rd manifestation corresponds with Gemini, the 3rd Sign of the Zodiac and is ruled by Mercury. The Earth and Moon also correspond with the number 3, being that they occupy the third orbit together — a binary planet. The Sun rules Leo and clearly plays a role in the evolution from the start, exalted in Aries and ruling the fixed Sign of the 3rd manifestation. I tried to paint the picture here as broadly as possible, a sketch of the development of humankind, from the physical up through the emotional bodies guided by the map, and to intimate how the inner planets, plus the Sun and Moon helped shape and form the essence of humanity. In a sense the “Genesis” of the transmissions ‘up’ to sense-mind from the sensory inputs of being, from the lived experience, correspond to the inner planets, and may have been purer in the sense of their attunement with nature at the time under discussion. More recently, within say the last 2,000 years, as we journeyed through the age of Pisces, from Ancient Greece to Modernity, we traversed an age of negation, energies affecting our instrument with incomplete realizations and distortions due to the powers of the inner planets and the Sun and Moon being in a bind for the sake of survival. The ego had work to do! Fears, limitations, and constraints govern the ego by applying motivational pressure because developmentally ego strength, power, and drive are determinants of success in material terms.
It is true that experience is interpreted based upon perceptions received through the senses, and like tentacles of awareness, these portals are really specialized channels of observation: vision, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. But as discussed above there is a nascent capacity growing for an inmost action of alignment capable of a more direct experience. However, the nuanced study of mind suggests that psychological experience is a doubled edged sword. On the one hand, there is the potential for a “sense” of illumination, while on the other hand, cognitive dissonance can distract one from the Truth. Seekers explore their inner world to become more aware (St. Ignatius) of the Spiritual Self, or explore the external world of objects, taking a more skeptical approach to life by generating ‘reasoned’ personal responses. Reaction to a sensate world is overly mental, binary, and usually the interactions create tensions with the self and others; Cause and effect — science. In the first instance we “sense” a purer activity, where the subjective mind “acts in itself and is aware of things directly by a sort of identity with them.”8 By becoming more aware of our feelings, for example, joy, we are aware of joy precisely because we become joy. In the latter instance, sensory inputs and perceptions are dependent on the forms that are based on the existential evidence presented, based upon objective proof… All personal development follows this rationale, this mind view. Awareness of our own existence becomes tied to our understanding of the nature of things and of experience by identity with those things. All experience, at its Core, is truly understood by identity…I am aware of anger precisely because I become angry. I am aware of being an author precisely because I become authoritative, an ‘expert’ on a subject.
The true link between the mind and our identity with a “thing” is unseen because of a chasm that has grown between us and the world. The divide is exacerbated in the digital age by social media. People connect with each other only partially, the “social” part of the term “social media”, only a metaphor for a mindset that is caught in reductionist thinking. Reason and logic only see one part of the whole, a “this means that” mentality that permeates astrological thinking, a world apart from a more holistic view. Astrologers See everything in terms of Astrology.
Vision represents 90% of human sensory input and dominates perception while the other 10% of our sensory capacity is shared across the remaining 4 modalities: hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Although birds of prey, cats, and even goats have better eyesight, human vision is more specialized when coupled with the human brain, and still the mechanism of sight is not fully understood. Vision is lacking in some respects, because we tend to peer through a lens that is too narrow and out of focus, “the wrong end of the opera glass” astrologer Grant Lewi quipped.
There is a sense of me (ego) that is distinct, exclusive, and separate from the world. The egoic-self senses that the rest of the world, everything outside of ‘me’ really, is at odds with the True Self, the Astral Core. This view reveals a binary perception that is often out of sync with itself; a subjective experience that is at odds with objective observation. Regardless of one’s natal chart, this imbalance is universal to one degree or another. Any external chaos witnessed in the world accurately reflects an internal turmoil felt within, and vice versa. Focus narrows on an eclipse, on a rare outer planetary transit, on “My Moon,” “My Sun,” or “My Planet ‘X’.”
We resist the admonishment that people not planets explain the ‘mechanism‘ behind planetary aspects in the natal chart. The axiom ‘as above, so below,’ almost becoming a mantra that handcuffs the will to pre-determinism, instead of embracing the mysterious. The mysterious being how transits and progressions relate to sensitive points on a personal or mundane chart and sometimes, but not always, seem to sync up. Like pendulums on an old grandfather clock, Time-Spirit entrains with the universe. Christiaan Huygens‘ noted this natural phenomena in the sympathy of clocks. There is a synchronization in the case of clocks/people explained by a transference of energy. The ratio of the total mass of the pendulums to the total mass of the coupling bar determines the rate of transference for example, or when they share a common structure (i.e. sit next to each other on the same table), entrainment occurs. The synchronization of clocks follows a model that remains somewhat mysterious, so applying this concept on a planetary scale, to the level to orbits, using differentials in gravity, planetary distance and size, is even more perplexing. The idea of a planetary “coupling bar,” or a shared “common structure”, i.e., the solar system, might explain the transference of energy but is an idea that is resisted by science, despite scientific evidence of lunar effects on tidal cycles or planetary effects on solar cycles that indirectly effect organic life on Earth. And science has a point here, despite these measured effects, because gravitational forces have absolutely zero effect on electricity due to gravity being 4 billion times weaker than electromagnetic force. Understanding the force of being, as a type of energy, like electricity, suggests that Truth Consciousness would be less prone to fate or determinism than the old consciousness suggests. Gravitational lensing (the bending of light by gravity) notwithstanding, we are light, or at some level we are pure energy. From this perspective each Individual is potentially much more than the natal chart suggests, although it is helpful to learn where correspondences lie within the lived experience, where there is resistance versus conductance for example, to help identify where the energy or the light might be blocked, or set free.
Although the human condition has transformed dramatically over the past 5,000 years, a time frame often cited as the beginning of recorded history (beginning with Sumerian Cuneiform scripts), the physical instrument has evolved much more gradually and over much vaster periods of time. Remarkably, some scholars and academics draw conclusions about the transmission of Astrology based on bits and pieces of manuscripts unearthed from ancient ruins, that mostly date back only to a brief cluster of time that surrounds the turn of the Common Era. However, we know that oral traditions from around the world predate and far exceed the scant evidence we have from recorded history. By comparison unrecorded oral traditions predate and exceed that of recorded history by a magnitude of perhaps 100 times or more. Oral traditions for example, might represent tens of thousands of years, where perhaps only a sliver of that expanse of time is captured in the shards and relics that have survived as artifacts. Stephen E. Nash a historian of science and an archaeologist at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science makes this point about the necessity of re-dating the Hebrew Bible after the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Seeing isn’t the same as believing when something appears other than it seems, and this in a word, is the trouble with the written record. Correcting one’s vision to embrace the circle in lieu of linearity, to broaden our perspective well beyond the puniness of our self-absorbed timeline can help. But let’s stay with the concept of the timeline for a minute. I defer to Tim Urban’s incredible blog WaitButWhy. He makes the point in a creative and entertaining way in his post called Putting Time in Perspective.
First, consider the “Common Era” from which most of the genre of sources for Astrology are derived. A common defense used by astrologers of one tradition versus another is to challenge the veracity of an approach by leaning into the justification of the preferred method being the older method… “…this approach has been working for like 2,000 years…” The implication that older is better, tradition is assumed to be sacrosanct. An attitude that has gained particular attention of late.
Things get a little trickier when we stretch our “line of sight” out over the recorded history timeline. At least during the Common Era, we have a few scribbles to help us solve the ancient crossword puzzle of sources. Still, the problem appears to be that scholars endlessly debate both the dating as well as the interpretation of the “debris” they’ve found. I am reminded of the introduction of asteroids into the astrological discussion, asteroids come from a part of the solar system regarded as the dustbin of the Solar System, and even so, asteroids have been a focus that has launched more than one astrological career.
Hard wiring in humans has remained essentially the same for the past few hundred thousand years. Yet scholars and academics seem to agree that all of life’s ‘knowledge’ was created and began with the written word, despite the Bible invoking logos as the “Word of God.” Religious claims aside, can we seriously dismiss entire cultures and civilizations that existed in previous ages just because we have no written record? Despite the presumption of ignorance, ancient people left traces behind that convey a sense of an emerging intelligence, and as in the Chauvet Cave (Le Trou de Baba) there is more than an inkling for a capacity to structure stories. We know that aboriginal people handed down extraordinary traditions and customs throughout the eons using rich and elaborate myths. We “know” that these people had access to a type of knowing that could link the macro (tracking the solstices and the equinoxes, the “four corners” of the Circle, with the year and seasons) with the micro (the sacred, relating the structure of soul, or sacrum, of the body with life and death; cycles and cosmos).
Shamans of Prehistory
A researcher at Chauvet hypothesized, “The world of Paleolithic man existed on two planes,” he continued, suggesting that Paleolithic man lived in “a world of sense and touch, and a spirit world that lay beyond human consciousness; rather than serving as dwellings for ancient man, caves such as Chauvet—dark, cold, forbidding places—functioned as gateways to a netherworld where spirits were thought to dwell.”9 It’s worth repeating that this time period, the 2nd to 3rd manifestations, had a certain resonance with the Sun and Moon, the second Sign, Taurus, and Venus, and as well the third Sign Gemini, and Mercury. The capacity to feel and sense would be exalted. What Jean Clottes and his co-author David Lewis-Williams present in their book, Shamans of Prehistory, rings true with the scale and breadth required of an astrologer, which is to SEE over the line of sight, and beyond the linearity of things, by appreciating the spherical shape of the universe. Coming full-circle, in a manner of speaking, how extraordinary to contemplate and then understand that we traversed the Age of Libra at the time the paintings in Chauvet were created. Venus ruler of Libra, and Saturn, exalted in Libra resonating with the idea of social structure, and a correspondence that describes well the ancient shaman and the shape of things to come. The exhibits on the walls of the cave were perhaps the first expressions of a structure of Unity Consciousness, a profound sense and feeling that All is ALL. A consciousness opposite the Greco-Roman world and the reductionist thinking born of science where the split occurred. The ancient Shamans of Chavet Cave immersed themselves into the dark forbidden depths to commune inside the belly of the Creator Being, the womb of Great Mother.
Cottes creatively connects the inexplicable and breathtaking images on the walls of Chauvet, with pictures in his mind that he was already familiar with, because like any of us he filtered what he was looking at with what he already knew. What we know is that the wall paintings, altarlike platforms, drawings and pendant sculptures connoting animism perhaps, suggest that the cave was once a sacred place of significance. Just reading the story of the cave’s discovery carries an emotional charge, and easily ignites fascination that somehow, we are ALL connected, that the Shamans of Prehistory were telling a story captured in their symbolic paintings of animals, which perhaps became a “circle of animals,” the zodiac. We share that story, and in some ways continue the story today, but we are now moving toward the final chapters, and the birth of an Integral Being. Hence, the need for SEEING the ‘chart’ as a SupraNatal ‘map.’
Imagine being one of the first humans in tens of thousands of years to lay eyes on the inner chambers of Chauvet. One interpretation holds that the cave was a place of transformation and power, a sort of Paleolithic church. Clottes hypothesized that the cave was a place of worship, where ancient people went to connect with the spirit world. He goes further and suggests that the ancient artists were perhaps not all that different from modern-day shamans and that they possibly attained altered states by means of reaching a hallucinogenic trance. In such a state they would open up a channel of creativity, connecting with soul consciousness, and begin to paint. (Interesting that Anil Seth’s new book called Being You, refers to consciousness as a kind of controlled hallucination…) Clottes’ conjectural ruminations about the cave are brilliant. Analogous to the evolutionarily model of the Gnostic Circle, we SEE that creation was moving through the 3rd quadrant, and 2nd quadrant, at the time. Again, a period representing an early Mental and Vital formation, in the 2nd and 3rd manifestations 40,000 +/- years ago. Evolution was on the horizontal axis of the map, aligned with the Equinoxes, in preparation for fully submerging into the Vital. As previously discussed, the capacity to feel and sense would be optimally attuned to the environment, instincts would be piqued, for relating and for survival, i.e., for fulfilling the most personal and physical needs. Cottes describes a phallic pillar adorned with paint, where a woman’s legs and the head of a bison and bear morph, Echer like, evoking a representation of her vulva beneath the facsimile of a triangular (3) pubic bone. A human hand is superimposed on the body of the bison. All of this is incredibly titillating stuff when we consider the time expanse and the early recognition of humanity’s identification with animals, connected with our own nature. The birthing process from orgasm to conception, to labor and delivery, was and is an expression of nature’s fiercest power. We are ALL in the most literal sense a “force of nature.” The exhibit described here is known as the Sorcerer, it communicates awe and veneration for life. An echo perhaps of an earlier chamber called the Sacred Heart, which depicts the anachronistic image of a cross (4).
There is another exhibit that displays 10 red dots… rotating the picture sideways shows an uncanny resemblance to Pleiades. But such an interpretation makes me guilty of Pareidolia, a tendency to place cognitive significance to an image when the correspondence may be random, or incidental. The rational is simple enough. We have to appreciate that the Shamans of Prehistory used the sky to navigate like generations of descendants who came after them. Heading “down” into the cave, they would want to mark which way was “up” in order to get back out of the cave. Directionally, the shamans would move toward the “underworld” by heading in the direction of the base stars and move back to the Earth plane by reversing direction and following the stars at the top of the cluster. Although I am aware of this psychological response to phenomena and the tendency to give significance to an image that might not be real, I am also willing to give the shaman the benefit of the doubt. He would have seen the open cluster in the summer night sky, in what is today southern France. He then would have carried the replication of the star positions into the cave the next day, an approximation with only his memory serving as a model, much in the same way he reproduced the animal figures, not an exact replication but an extraordinarily close analog.
Cottes theorized that the images on the walls of the Chauvet Cave evoke a people with advanced capabilities beyond anything previously imagined, communing with Spirit, for guidance, for protection, and likely for eliciting help. “There [were] no barriers between the world where we are and the world of the spirits. A wall can talk to us, can accept us or refuse us,” he said. “A shaman can send his or her spirit to the world of the supernatural or can receive the visit inside him of supernatural spirits…you realize how different life must have been for those people from the way we live now.”10 We already discussed the large mural composed entirely of red-pigment called the Sacred Heart. It was made using handprints… From the Paleolithic man’s point of view, nightlife may have in many ways resembled the journey into the caves. Each day the sun would set, submerging the world in darkness, like the sacred journey into the “underworld.” But ‘thankfully’, the sun would always rise again. On clear nights, the only light to guide ancient peoples were seen in the fiery stars of the heavens. Are these strange paintings abstractions of an ancient night sky? In addition to the red mural there are 6 straight red lines that make a mark, resembling a signature of sorts and similar markings are found at other prehistory sites. The meaning of the marks is unknown. But the mysterious six lines found at these sites might simply represent the 6 planets, not including the sun, that are seen with the naked eye. While other “clustered” red (fire) hand prints and marks may represent the night sky, like Pleiades, or perhaps the Crux,** described above. The strange parallel straight lines were traced with a finger, to reveal a path, one path, that all six lines share, together. They do not express movement per se, but they also do not appear as “fixed” like the other clusters of red hand prints and dots. Could they be rudimentary planetary squiggles, pre-symbolic impressions of the gods? The lines like the handprint clusters are red also but distinct in that they were drawn using a finger motion, or perhaps traced with a tool. Even today a young teenager with enough curiosity, will hold their hand up to the night sky and take measure of the stars with their hands. It’s tempting to conjecture therefore that the strange scribbles are nothing more than an abstraction of the ancient sky using the hand for good measure.
**(The Southern Cross would have been visible to the Shaman during this time period)
The panel exhibiting the red hand painting is situated near the original entrance to the cave and so would have been one of the first works created by the shaman, as well as the first exhibit experienced by visitors to the cave. The red pigment brings to mind a remarkable description by Carl Jung where he writes about alchemical Sulphur… a paragraph that helps us conjure up the seedling idea of a Renaissance alchemist in the form of an ancient Paleolithic Shaman, perhaps the ancient lineage of Facino, or Jung himself.
“… the sun signifies first of all gold, whose [alchemical] sign it shares. But just as the “philosophical” gold is not the “common” gold, so the sun is neither just the metallic gold nor the heavenly orb. Sometimes the sun is an active substance hidden in the gold and is extracted [alchemically] as the tinctura rubea (red tincture). Sometimes, as the heavenly body, it is the possessor of magically effective and transformative rays. As gold and a heavenly body, it contains an active sulphur of a red colour, hot and dry. Because of this red sulphur the alchemical sun, like the corresponding gold, is red. As every alchemist knew, gold owes its red color to the admixture of Cu (copper), which he interpreted as Kypris (the Cyprian, Venus), mentioned in Greek alchemy as the transformative substance. Redness, heat, and dryness are the classical qualities of the Egyptian Set (Greek Typhon), the evil principle which, like the alchemical sulphur, is closely connected with the devil. And just as Typhon has his kingdom in the forbidden sea, so the sun, as sol centralis, has its sea, its “crude perceptible water,” and as sol coelestis its “subtle imperceptible water.” This sea water (aqua pontica) is extracted from sun and moon…. The active sun-substance also has favourable effects. As the so-called “balsam” it drips from the sun and produces lemons, oranges, wine, and, in the mineral kingdom, gold.…”11
Make Your Mark!
We no longer draw diagrams on cave walls. Instead, we post on virtual networks. An outcropping perhaps of those same drives and instincts expressed by Paleolithic Shamans. Although the ancient posts appear enigmatic to us today, there was clearly communication going on, commentary perhaps not unlike SAMO, Jean Michel-Basquiat’s early graffiti work, who was relating the experience of his life for all the world to see. In his earliest “markings,” Basquiat’s crude drawings actually reveal less skill at drawing than the ancient shaman, but Basquiat could surely tell a story. The shaman on the other hand was uninterested in Warhol’s 15 minutes of fame, his target audience was small and ethereal by comparison. It’s remarkable that these works survived the 10,000-year occupation of the cave by early humans and then another 40,000 years of obscurity without being vandalized. The shaman’s posts do have the appearance of being more purposeful than the rantings of a fringe artist posting attention seeking memes today. In the “Sacistry” section near the end of the cave there are sketches of horses and lions. This astrologer finds it odd that these specific animals are found together. Something an archeologist might not consider, nor an astrologer lacking a proper map, but these images correspond precisely with the Signs of Sagittarius (Horse) and Leo (Lion) on the Map of Manifestations. The exact expanse of the map corresponding to the time over which the cave was occupied by humans. Not only can the arc of time be seen on the graph but the period is also corroborated by cosmic-ray exposure dating. The point of making a “post” back then it would seem was compulsive. A need to express in an accentuated way an awareness of nature’s cohesiveness, to show in participation with that which is illustrated, an understanding of how everything is connected. There is a distinct impression that “human beings” were only ‘just’ beginning to see themselves in the picture, but barely. Other than animals, there are no complete human forms drawn. They saw ‘animals’ and ‘parts’ of others without seeing themselves. The word zodiac comes from a Greek word that means, “a circle of animals.” As just mentioned, the ancient shaman may have been the source of this perspective. Human beings identified with animals and nature before anything else. These images were then identified with the seasons, and portions of the sky, or star clusters that would become the Signs of the zodiac.
Although today we live in the age of the ‘selfie,’ Astrology as a service can be extremely beneficial as a way to help people better understand themselves. Despite the labeling of the age, most of us do not see ourselves, we only see parts of ourselves. Astrology can help provide a complete picture, a more holistic view. The shamans may have experienced life with a certain cohesion and rhythm, that helped them realize a sense of belonging, of being a part of nature and the universe. We seem to be missing that today. The Individual was not fully shaped, but felt a part of the Great Spirit, the Animal Spirit, and The ALL. The intention of these ancient paintings was perhaps to create a sacred ritual space, where connecting with Spirit was routine.
Today people are compelled to ‘join up’ using artificial organs, artifices of communion, in an effort to reclaim all that we’ve excluded from ourselves, by disconnecting from nature, and from each other, we find ourselves “longing for a change.” The aim is to see and feel more. The seed urge is to truly See one another again, but we may only have a toe hold on the first leg of a 10,000-year journey into the future. Individuals are, unfortunately, more disconnected in our hyper connected world than ever before, groping ineffectually because the communication is indirect. There is no substitute for Direct Knowledge. We fail to See that one thing, related to another thing, does not make either or both things true. The true truth of things covered over by untruths, still, cannot be true. Paleolithic Shamans may have experienced this intuitively. One can easily imagine how the ancient artist(s) was perhaps closer to Spirit, themselves and each other, in part out of necessity, and in part due to a purer essence of Spirit, of a more direct ‘feeling’ unadulterated by mental perturbations that separate people from each other today. Despite “posting” something that would not be seen on any screen for 40,000 years, and something that received ZERO “likes,” there is a strength of soul exhibited in the paintings that is rare even today. Ego was not yet fully formed, whereas today there is a fundamental weakness in ego, a faulty “sense making” machine, that defends personal bias against the “hallucination” of reality.
The origin question of Astrology cannot be answered by following a DNA trail. We only have the written record. In addition we have phrases from scripture that clearly correspond to the zodiac, a part of a deep and rich narrative that embeds astrological code in holy books and cultural myths from around the world. Our collective account for the origin story of Astrology has resulted at best in only a partial view, supported by bits and pieces recovered from history, and periodically repackaged or heroically reassembled and then presented with fresh analysis. A cadre of dedicated researchers with one specialty or another have made extraordinary contributions to the Sacred Art all along the timelines discussed above, deserving of the accolades they’ve won. The Ancient Shaman deserves our praise and admiration too. As interesting and important as the research is however, just as as many questions as answers emerge. The biggest challenge for new astrologers is to figure out how to process all the information, in fact too much information. The problem is not that there are too few measurements available, but that each new technique or rediscovered technique may add more noise than signal. The true practice and purpose of Astrology gets lost. Too much information can be a distraction, and in precisely the opposite way that Sun Sign Astrology can be short on detail in an attempt to distill ‘real’ Astrology in an abbreviated form. Research has done a remarkable job in telling us where Astrology has been. So far its not adequately addressed where Astrology is going.
The father of linguistics, and the adopted father of code by some computer scientists, was an ancient scholar named Pāṇini who codified Sanskrit sometime between the 6th and 4th century B.C.E. The end of this period roughly coincides with the same time period we have of the earliest birth charts on record, 410 B.C.E..12 The ancient scholarly discipline taken from the Vedangas, called nirukta, is essentially a science in etymology and interpretation. Nirukta is a part of sa.hitya, or the literature, and systematically traces the origins of Sanskrit by studying the form and structure of the language, to show how the primary, secondary, and tertiary forms and rules by which they developed influenced each other. Every meaning of every word in Sanskrit, traced from its original root sense, is checked for any and all correspondences and “identities of sense,” even in the case of unexpected divergences, for example where Greek and Latin are separated from the Indian dialect. Reasons for such divergences are accounted for and the definition and connection of all Dravidian forms (there are three) of speech are made. Pāṇini’s great contribution was to painstakingly transform Sanskrit from an oral form into a written form. The “revival” of ancient astrology makes the presumption that natal astrology began when symbols and the written word were recorded and kept, and the proof of this is presented by the supporting artifacts that have survived. But of course, the oral tradition is much older than the written tradition, and without the convenience of a written history the “proof” of transmission is impossible for scholars to demonstrate without those DNA samples. What written records we do have appear concentrated around Ancient Greece and the Mesopotamian Valley. I think it is a plausible deduction based on the evidence in hand that natal astrology did take shape in this area, but that other genethiacal forms may have existed elsewhere. Also, the natal view itself may have been a “divergence” from the cosmological view already in existence in India, a Direct transmission of Knowledge received as ‘code‘ by Ancient Rishis as recorded in the Vedas.
Astrology is a language. And just as the spoken word existed before the written word, Astrology as an oral tradition no doubt existed long before anyone wrote any of it down. There are certain interesting parallels that connect language and the brain, especially when we consider the brain to be a sophisticated bio computer. Language is in a sense a programming language for our brain, our system. The system, as well as the language, has evolved over time and will continue evolving. Any language adapts to its own time and place. So, the software that runs the brain, i.e., the language (including Astrology for a given time period), in a way ultimately programs consciousness. This process happens automatically for the most part, like “artificial intelligence” routines. Aurobindo did refer to the force and power of being, but clearly his demonstration of this potential as truth consciousness was more the exception than the rule. The rule suggests that we are all prone to aberrations and contaminations of the system, that ‘system infections’ are much more common than not, like “bugs,” or “viruses” in the software. Serious divergences might even render the hardware inoperable or cause the system to crash.
Old languages die like old buildings, they crumble under the weight of change. Age and exposure to the elements take a toll. Decay and a process of neglect begins where disintegration sets in. Exogenous shocks may strike at the core structure of the edifice (i.e., 9-11), accelerating the disintegration, the disappearance of an icon or a language. But like all human forms, nothing stands forever. Revival movements then are extremely important to set the record straight as best we can, to realize some unfinished business, to better understand our lack of perception, to course correct and build something better. Such animus may be seen in the reemergence of populists’ attitudes around the world and in the radicalization of people to hold and act on extreme views. Unsettled issues that were previously not fully resolved nor completely assimilated are of necessity being revisited. Old, tired beliefs have resurfaced to be dealt with more decisively, with conscious awareness and in the light of day. In the process, we’ll learn something new and significant about the old consciousness, not the least of which is that we are no longer that. We’ll learn that time has already moved on and that these mundane upsets and hysterias are truly now more distraction than threat to the progress being made. But to be fair this reality is still very difficult to See. Fundamentalism is all the rage. Revivalism bedevils the establishment. Old theories being reintroduced are demanding a certain turn in direction, but from an incomplete perspective. Astrology transmissions for example, like ancient migrations routes, are much older than previously believed. The origin of Astrology is not necessarily the Mesopotamian Valley, even though a certain brand of natal Astrology might well be from that area. At the end of the day the matter is far more complex, and Astrology much deeper than conventional thinking suggests.
Far from the Shallow, part II
“These happenings ‘are visible only to a very deep vision of things – very deep, very comprehensive, very vast…One must already be capable of following the methods of the Grace in order to recognise its action’… Coupled with the ability to perceive deeper than the surface phenomenon, there must be the ability to follow the action over vast periods of time. ‘It is an inner, psychological possibility which has come into the world, rather than a spectacular change in earthly events.’ ‘Patience is required,’ she tells her disciples, and ‘a very wide and very complex vision to understand how things happen.’”13
In the realm of astrological research, scholars attach their bias to conclusions in advance of what is uncovered so that the result matches their expectations, so that hypotheses fall within the bounds of those expectations and are understandable within the habitual mindset of the familiar, without introducing unease. Research is fraught with the “genre of sources” problem. Economists cite other economists. Astrologers cite other astrologers. We are shouting at one another from within our specialized silos. Not really widening our perspective but arming ourselves with affirmation bias. Astrology, like the ritualistic practices found in illicit enrichment, is distorted in practice from its purpose when the seeker’s desire is blinded by magical thinking, or when that desire is fed false expectations by the astrologer. Astrology, astrologer, and seeker are all ill-served in the process. The future of Astrology will certainly not be found by driving with the rearview mirror, it will not be recovered, revived, or rescued from an improper burial in a dirt mound, or re-emerge from a cave in Southern France. Astrology is SEEN and expressed in the lived experienced, as Direct Knowledge. So, let’s begin to talk about Astrology in this manner.
Fate has its limitations. But so too does the will. Despite increasing emphasis on Individualism, most of our understanding about the motivations of people are in ways that describe how we are broken, and the focus all too often is how this admixture of brokenness can be fixed. Part of the goal in the present age is to break these artificial boundaries, and exceed those limitations that are confining the Spirit. Old consciousness respects those barriers too much.
When an astrologer has accumulated enough experience to observe that not every aspect in a chart is expressed exactly according to the textbooks, and that not every progression manifests as expected, or that some transits do not appear to register in the least, a curious opening may occur. The suggestion is that there may be something more going on. There may be something more than the natal chart, something more than the planets, or for that matter something more, or rather something above and beyond the individual who is deciding to act or not act. Something more than the ego. Something else too besides Karma. But this Knowledge is still quite rare since the ego clings so tightly to what it already knows; The notion of fate versus the notion will power.
Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet points out that:
“Powers of Ignorance are characterised by their conviction that they are the doers of action, they decide, they choose, they determine the way. They ignore entirely that they are merely the instruments of the Supreme Shakti, even in their negation.”13
It is a hard message for the Humanistic Astrologer to reconcile but appears to describe the human condition accurately and well. What is lacking is a true center, a true assemblage point: The Astral Core! Because Ignorance perpetuates over such matters.
“a true centre is lacking,” she wrote, “which can unveil that Golden Seed, centre of the new alignment.”13
I see myself as a modern shaman, emerging after long hibernation, perhaps from a dark cave, and standing at the cusp of a new age. My job is to help clients paint their story, to draw the connecting lines from one element of that story to another element of that story, and in some small way help interpret the representations they make, to better understand themselves. The goal is to help people make their lives better. My gift is listening with the third ear. My hope is not to confine you by my interpretation of things but to help you harness your Power, and to be a catalyst so that you might release an unbridled Spirit, prepared and eager to breakthrough any barrier. I’ve been blessed with a gift. I consider it a privilege and an honor to share this space with readers, and to have an opportunity to go even deeper together, in a consultation.
1. Irwin, L. (1998). Gnostic Tarot:: Mandalas for Spiritual Transformation (1st ed.). Samuel Weiser.
2. Yeats, W. B. (2019). The Collected Works in Verse and Prose of William Butler Yeats. Wentworth Press.
3. Peterson, J. B. (1999). Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief (1st ed.). Routledge.
Peterson’s conception of value hierarchy or dominance hierarchy is decidedly Judeo-Christian in the European tradition. Although he does explicate a wider perspective on page 208. I elaborate on these points but question his righteousness: “Every culture maintains certain key beliefs, which are centrally important to that culture, upon which all secondary beliefs are predicated. These key beliefs cannot be easily given up, because if they are, everything falls, and the unknown once again rules. Western morality, western behavior, is for example predicated on the assumption that every individual is sacred. This belief was already extant in its nascent form, among the ancient Egyptians, and provides the very cornerstone of Judeo-Christian civilization.” The idea that the individual sacred life was present only in a nascent form in ancient Egypt is wrong. The conception of the sacred feminine for example predates the ancient civilization of Egypt by a few millennia, Cleopatra perhaps the last vestige of a previous age. I never quite understood Sri Aurobindo’s Aphorism #76 until I read Jordan Peterson:
76 – Europe prides herself on her practical and scientific organisation and efficiency. I am waiting till her organisation is perfect; then a child shall destroy her.
4. Peterson, J. B. (1999). Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief (1st ed.). Routledge.
5. Brown, S. L., & Lewis, B. P. (2004). Relational dominance and mate-selection criteria. Evolution and Human Behavior, 25(6), 406–415. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2004.08.003
6. Rose, S. (2012). St. Ignatius Loyola and the Early Jesuits. Ulan Press. p.299
7I am not an expert on Sri Aurobindo, but two of my teachers were.
8.Aurobindo, S. (1990). The Life Divine (1st ed.). Lotus Press. p. 841
9. Clottes, J., & Lewis-Williams, D. (1998). The Shamans of Prehistory (1st ed.). Harry N. Abrams Publishers.
10. Clottes, J., & Lewis-Williams, D. (1998). The Shamans of Prehistory (1st ed.). Harry N. Abrams Publishers.
11.Jung, C. G. (2014). THE COLLECTED WORKS OF C. G. JUNG: Mysterium Coniunctionis (Volume 14): An Inquiry into the Separation and Synthesis of Psychic Opposites in Alchemy (2nd ed.). Routledge. P. 92
12. Brennan, C. (2017). Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune (First Edition). Amor Fati Publications. P.4
13.Norelli-Bachelet, Patrizie: The Vishaal Newsletter, February 1988, p. 21