Astrology

Jung’s Astrological Moon

Whilst discussing Jung’s Red Book (Liber Novus), Liz Greene reminds us that when interpreting the Moon in an astrological chart, we should keep in mind Jung’s vision of the Moon as a fluid, living principle, always in flux.

HecateTo assume the astrological Moon corresponds solely to Jung’s Anima is a mistake. Equally, it is a mistake to assume that she is solely the nurturing mother. Indeed, Jung saw the astrological Moon as both deeply complex and ambivalent – the archetypal core of which equates to the triple-bodied lunar goddess of antiquity, Hecate.

Consider four of the Red Book’s female personages:

  1. UnknownSalome – the daughter of Elijah, the wise old prophet who presides of the ‘temple of the sun’. Salome, with long black hair and dressed in red, is never pictured without her father. She is associated both with (1) the darkened skies of the ‘blood Moon’ (reportedly visible at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion) and (2) the blood-thirsty seductive temptress, the daughter of Herodias, who demanded the severed head of John the Baptist from her besotted lover. In this regard, Salome is associated with the tarot card, The Hanged Man, who although still possesses his head, is unable to use it (i.e. it is no longer above, but below) symbolising loss of the rational intellect when confronted with realm of the unconscious. Salome is associated with the dark moon. She is bloodthirsty and dangerous.
  2. Unknown-1Old Scholar’s Daughter – imprisoned by her father in an old stone castle in midst of a forest, this pale and ghostly girl is shown with the crescent moon. Like the Greek goddess, Persephone, she is prevented by her parent from developing into a fully-grown woman. Although Jung considers her to thus be unworldly, she informs him that she knows more about ‘real life’ than does he. At the end of their brief chat, Jung has fallen in love with her and she disappears into a shaft of moon light, leaving behind a bunch of red roses. The roses, Liz suggests, links her to Venus, the erotic goddess of the ancient Greeks, who interestingly does not otherwise figure in the Red Book. But unlike with the dangerous eroticism of Salome, Jung had little to fear from this pretty young girl; indeed, she offered him much to learn. Associated with the tarot card, The Moon, the Old Scholar’s Daughter offers a doorway to the unconscious, a scary place in which wisdom resides. It is tempting to equate her solely with the crescent moon, but she shares this ‘honour’ with the Anima.
  3. The Cook – along with the Old Scholar’s Daughter, the Cook is associated with the tarot card, The Moon, but the Cook takes this proverbial walk on the dark side to a completely new and different level. Large and fat and always pushing food, The Cook seems simple enough, the traditional house-frau. But in reality, she is unashamedly two-faced. After eating the food (nourishment) she provides, Jung falls asleep and wakes up in the underworld (‘the realm of mothers’). In this regard, The Cook is more dangerous than even Salome because what you see with her is never what you get. The Cook is associated with the full moon, also a gateway to the unconscious, but under no circumstances is she to be trusted.
  4. The Anima – although Jung never meets with the Anima, he does depict her dressed in blue and kneeling in prayer. She is at once the celestial mother, the chalice or Holy Grail (drink of her and attain immortality), the spiritual bride and mother, as well as the daughter of the stars. In his tarot deck, Waite shows her as The High Priestess, the guardian of hidden wisdom and spiritual mediator between the worlds, above and below. Notice that the High Priestess sits with the crescent moon at her feet.Unknown-2

In summary, astrologers ought not to consider the astrological Moon as either this or that, but instead as a fluidity that morphs over time. The imagery of the classical triple-bodied lunar goddess, Hecate, is in keeping  with Jung’s complicated (and often contradictory) lunar journeys. In the Red Book, the astrological Moon represents the entire spectrum of the lunar myth and cycle, from the dark of the new moon and back again. Unlike classical astrology that divides the planets into either malefic or benefic, Jung’s astrological Moon at once both and neither. She can be dangerous – even treacherous. Equally, however, she offers the opportunity to plumb the depths for the wisdom that resides in the unconscious- the wisdom each of us must someday tap if we are to further ourselves on that all important path to individuation.

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Greene, L. (2018). The Astrological World of Jung’s Liber Novus; Daimons, Gods, and the Planetary Journey. Abingdon: Routledge.

Greene, L. (2018). Jung’s Studies in Astrology: Prophecy, Magic and the Qualities of Time. Abingdon: Routledge.

Astrology

Transference & Countertransference for Coaches

The psychological realty is that both coaches and their clients come into a session with personal agendas that will feed into the session for better or worse.

One aspect of this is what is known by therapists and psychologists as transference/countertransference, something they are trained to spot as well as to deal with it. Usually, however, coaches do not benefit from such training and hence may mistake transference/countertransference for any number of things.

De Haan reminds us that unspotted transference/countertransference can lead to serious client/coach misunderstandings, mistakes, the gradual deterioration of the coaching relationship, as well as unconscious collusion and/or abuse of power. The thing to keep in mind is that transference/countertransference is perfectly normal as well as, for the most part, completely unconscious. The best that a coach who is not trained to deal with this can do is to spot it when it’s happening and seek appropriate help and/or supervision.

 Jung was convinced that it was not only personal material that could be the subject but also archetypal (Main, 2004, p. 24) This opens the way for astrology, which reflects the archetypal patterns at work both for a single individual or between two persons. As Liz Greene (1997, p. 172) reminds is, projection often has to do with unresolved parental issues (mother and father) on both sides and chances are pretty good that these will show up in both the client’s and coach’s separate and joint horoscopes.

According to Greene (1997, p 177) when a client looks to his coach as mother figure, he wants the coach to make him feel wanted and protected for who and what he really  is – i.e. the client needs the coach to validate for him that it is OK for him to be alive. Astrologically, this generally invokes the Moon and/or Venus Although complexes of the kind that are ripe for projection/transference/countertransference are often shown by hard aspects (squares, oppositions, and sometimes, conjunctions), in reality any aspect (or even a single planet) can form such a complex.Unknown

Father complexes usually involve the Sun and/or Saturn but of course could involve any number of potentialities including difficultly aspected (or otherwise ‘afflicted’) planets in the 10th/4th houses. Also, remember that any/all planets in the 7th house are ripe for projection – being farthest away from the 1st house (essential sense of self).

Also, don’t forget that synastry (planetary aspects between coaches and their clients) will also play an important part in all this, especially in regards to how the coach responds to his client (Greene, 1997, 9. 179). The point is that powerful, unconscious, cross aspects with the client can be played out in any number of covert ways; the client may refuse to look the coach in the eye, ‘accidently’ spill coffee over the carpet, or ‘forget’ to pay at the end of the session. Liz reminds us (1997, p. 181) that whenever coaches find themselves reacting ‘blindly’ to a client, it’s probably an instance of countertransference. Something the client said or did triggered some unresolved complex in the coach/astrologer’s own chart

The following is based on some typical patterns of transference highlighted by Early (2013) as well as a brief suggestion of some the of usual astrological suspects that might underpin them.

For those coaches without astrological experience, consider gaining some. Carl Jung said that all therapists should be astrologers because if they aren’t they are missing important clues although many coaches aren’t therapists, in many respect their relationship with their client’s parallels that of therapists in many, many ways.

Please do suggest any that you think I’ve missed or forgotten!

Pattern Transference

Countertransference

Some Potential Astrological Significators

Dependency

Client sees coach as either a mother/father figure and becomes overly dependent upon coach if he is seen by the client as meeting his needs, he may become too dependent upon coach but if you’re seen as failing to meet his needs, he will feel angry or hurt.

Either coach becomes overly involved with caring for his client (perhaps because of coach’s own dependency needs) or coach become angry and disturbed with the client because of his excessive needs.

Moon/Saturn

Moon/Pluto

Moon/Uranus

Sun/Saturn

Sun/Neptune

Over emphasis of water element (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) in the chart especially when there is little air to counterbalance all this raw emotion.

Libra also has a tendency toward co-dependency.

 

 

 

Care-taking

Client tries to take care of the coach, picking up on clues about coach’s personal issues, struggles, and insecurities.

Either coach allows the client to take care of him more than is appropriate or he takes so much care of the client in return that the client loses interest in (or is unable to) take care of himself.

Emphasis of either: Leo,Cancer, or Pisces

Neptune aspects to Sun, Moon, or angles.

Rebel

Client refuses to cooperate in sessions and/or picks fights and criticizes coach’s approach.

 

Either coach feels ineffective/incompetent and/or hurt by client’s behaviour. Coach may also become frustrated with the client and engages in arguments and/or power struggles with him.

 

Mars/Uranus

Mars/Neptune

Mars/Pluto

Emphasis of Aquarius or Aries in the chart

Mercury/Mars

Moon/Mars

Saturn/Uranus

Emphasis of fire element in the chart especially if accompanied primarily by air (air fans the flames of fire).

Passive-Aggressive

Client experiences coach as pressuring them to do something. The client expresses desire to change but fails to do so over and over and over again. This is his way of expressing anger as well as to defeat the coach’s efforts to control him.

Either the coach feels frustrated with the client for failing to progress or else feels ineffective/incompetent. Anger or frustration might be overly or covertly expressed, for example by being late for sessions, double-booking, or otherwise failing to remain attentive to the client.

Mars/Neptune

Mars in Libra

Mars/Saturn

Venus in Aries

Mars in Scorpio

Mars or Mercury in Pisces

Combination of Aries/Libra planets

Saturn in Aries

Moon in Libra

Mars in Cancer

Victim

Client complains about his miserably impossible situation (poor me, the world is against me, why do I always have such bad luck) attempting to offload the responsibility for finding solutions on the coach rather than taking personal responsibility. Equally, client may blame the coach for his problems and/or inability to undertake effective change.

Either the coach fails to see what’s going on and constantly tries to reassure client all will be fin or he becomes angry/frustrated with the client for not taking responsibility for undertaking necessary change. The coach may also  fail to take responsibility for his own mistakes when challenged by the client, instead choosing to blame the client for being difficult.

Emphasis of planets in Pisces

Pisces rising

Sun/Neptune

Moon/Neptune

Mars/Neptune

Neptune tight with any of four chart angles.

Mars/Pluto

Saturn/Pluto

Mars in Cancer or Libra

Venus/Neptune

Venus/Pluto

Full 7th house

Full 6th house

Full 12th house

Distancing

Client avoids emotional/personal relationship with coach or denies that this is happening.

Either the coach allows client to remain distant even if it impedes progress or he pushes too hard to force a connection resulting in the client back off even further. Equally, the coach may feel that client relationships ought not to have any personal connection and remains aloof from the client.

 

Emphasis of planets in Aquarius or Virgo – standoffish.

Sun/Saturn

Moon/Saturn

Moon/Uranus

Sun/Uranus

Lack of water in the chart makes connecting with emotions difficult.

Cancer rising can be shy.

Emphasis of planets in Gemini can be flighty.

Emphasis of air in the chart (stays in their heads).

 

Self-effacing

Client feels coach is critical and judgemental or otherwise doesn’t like them.

Either the coach becomes too involved in making the client feel liked or he is completely turned off by the client’s insecurities. Equally, the coach may constantly seek reassurance the client likes him or just enjoys the client’s concerns because it boosts his ego.

Moon/Saturn

Mercury/Saturn

Saturn in Fire (Aries, Leo, Cancer, or Sagittarius)

Emphasis of planets in Virgo, Libra, or Pisces.

Moon/Mars

Sun/Saturn

Sun/Neptune

 

Controlling

Client insists upon being in control of the therapy.

Either the coach gets into a power struggle with the client or otherwise stamps out the client’s attempts to deviate from his instructions/suggestions.

 

Sun/Pluto

Sun/Saturn

Emphasis of planets in Scorpio, Capricorn, or Taurus especially Moon, Mars, and Mercury.

Saturn in Capricorn or Aquarius.

Pluto in tight aspect to any of the angles.

Scorpio rising.

Saturn/Pluto

Saturn/Neptune

Saturn/Uranus

Remember that for transference to occur, it only takes the client (and his own natal chart) but if the entire pattern of  transference/countertransference plays out, it takes two to tango so look at the synastry between the client/coach (astrologer) as well as the composite chart (mapping the nature of their relationship as a separate entity).

Finally, don’t automatically assume that transference/countertransference is negative or unproductive, however. Main (2004, p. 81) reminds us that Jung believed that transference/countertransference could be synchronistic, in the sense that it is a ‘meaningful coincidence’ that bears further investigation.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

Burke, J and Greene, L ((1997). The Astrologer, the Counsellor and the Priest. Chippenham: Antony Rowe Ltd.

De Haan, E. (2011). ‘Back to basics How the discovery of transference is relevant for coaches and consultants today’, International Coaching Psychology Review,6(2). Pp. 180-193.

Earley, J. (2013). The Pattern System: A Periodic Table for Psychology. Larkspur, Pattern System Books.

Main, R (2004). The Rupture of Time: Synchronicity and Jung’s Critique of Modern Western Culture. Hove: Brunner-Routledge.

coaching

Raising Client Awareness through coaching – why and how?

Under the Association for Coaching (AC) Guidelines (Rev. June 2012), raising awareness in clients is one of twelve key competencies for coaching. So, what might constitute awareness, why is it important, and how might it be achieved?

According to the OED (n), awareness brings one into a state of consciousness (OED, n, b) which in turn requires obtaining facts and information regarding something about or internal to oneself.

awareness1Eurich (2018), organisational psychology and executive coach, suggests that self-awareness can be defined in many ways but basically, it boils down to either 1) internal awareness – or your own values, passions, strengths and weaknesses or (2) external awareness – or how others view you. Surprisingly, these two levels of awareness share nothing in common and unless you actively work to balance the two, it is likely that you will be deficient in one even if proficient in the other.

Consider Jeremiah, who, after coaching, was in touch with his own values, aspirations, strengths, and weaknesses (Eurich,2018). As the result, he left a good career in accounting to pursue his passion for marketing only to discover that, unfortunately, his new employer did not view him as he viewed himself. For Jeremiah, things did not improve until he brought these two viewpoints in line.

For Eurich (2018), this demonstrates that internal awareness is only one possible truth and based on her research, coaches should focus (1) less on asking ‘why’ (the most popular coaching question) and (2) more on asking ‘what’. The reason being that while answering ‘why’, the client will likely reinforce his fears and insecurities (i.e. why wasn’t I able to turn things around?). But in answering ‘what’ (i.e. what do I need to do to move forward), he keeps his focus on finding future-oriented solutions (Eurich, 2018). Interestingly, this meets another AC coaching competency, that of maintaining forward momentum as well as an outcome-focused approach with clients.

Gourguechon (2017) suggests that self-awareness it is not a ‘clutch of soft skills like authenticity and compassion’, which can be achieved by meditation, journaling, or contemplation. Instead, self-awareness, or at least valuable self-awareness, is a ‘data-gathering and processing skill’ that can be taught and learned.

Hougaard, Carter, and Afton (2018) suggest that attaining self-awareness is worth the effort. It produces better results for executives than gaining an MBA.  A study comparing the organizational performance of 440 top-flight CEO’s showed that performance-wise, MBA’s fared significantly worse than those without the degree. The proffered explanation was that hard skills such as taught in MBA programs will only get an executive so far.

The obvious question is what takes them that extra mile?

Consider the case of Vince who was convinced that he had done a great job as CEO because numbers-wise, he had turned the company around (Hougaard, Carter, and Afton, 2018). Vince was shocked however, when, during the 360-degree review process, he learned that the majority of employees, including his leadership team, believed him to be the source of significant corporate dissatisfaction. Vince learned that hard way that whatever his past accomplishments, he could not further his success until he developed enough awareness to understand why people no longer wished to work with him.  Apparently, Vince is not the only one ripe for such realisations. One study showed that of those who believe they are self-aware, only 10-15% actually fit the criteria (Eurich, 2018).  Interestingly, the more senior and experienced the leader, the more likely he or she is to overestimate his or her skills and abilities. There are many potential reasons for this, but the implications for coaches would seem to be better initial contracting to ensure the client knows the score. Research indicates the easier the client believes awareness is to achieve, the less likely he is to achieve it (Eurich, 2018).

Gourguechon (2017) further suggests that self-awareness only becomes useful when it transforms to self-knowledge, which in turn requires an honest evaluation of gathered facts and information. For example, identify certain recurring patterns which predictably provoke certain troublesome behaviours like losing your temper.  Back-up – consider what happened and what you were feeling just before you blew your top – What might you do to reframe/reprogram your response to such situations/feelings in the future more in line with your conscious wishes?

Interestingly, research suggests that not all insights are of equal value (Longhurst (2006). To achieve transformational change, clients need more than understanding or even realisation. Instead they must experience an elusive ‘Aha’, or life-changing ‘road to Damascus’ moment. Because such experience is felt simultaneously on so many levels (somatic, emotional, as well as cognitive), it is almost akin to a religious experience. This research suggests that awareness gained by problem-solving is one thing, but that awareness gained by a more holistic illumination, is of a different order.

In summary, awareness for coaching clients requires obtaining and honestly analysing facts and information allowing him or her not only to become conscious of his own values, passions, strengths and weaknesses but also of how others view him. Awareness is important not the least because it has been shown to foster and support real and measurable success, especially for executives. Finally, although awareness may be achieved through a variety of approaches, it requires more than just polishing up traditional soft-skills.  Instead achieving useful awareness requires (1) developing data gathering and processing skills that may unearth some potentially difficult to digest feedback as well as (2) even some more holistically inspired moments of life-changing realisation.

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References

Eurich, T. (2018). “What Self-Awareness Really Is (and How to Cultivate It)’, Harvard Business Review Digital Article, 1/04/2018, pp. 1-11.

Gourguechon, P. (2017) ‘The Unexamined Mind Doesn’t Think well: Why Self-Awareness Is A Fundamental Leadership Capacity’. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/prudygourguechon/2017/09/19/the-unexamined-mind-doesnt-think-well-why-self-awareness-is-a-fundamental-leadership-capacity/#1689b32c455c, (Accessed: 16 March 2018).

Hougaard, R., Carter, J. and Afton, M. (2018) ‘Self-Awareness Can Help Leaders More Than an MBA Can’, Harvard Business Review Digital Article, 1/12/2018, pp. 2-5.

Longhurst, L. (2006). ‘The Aha Moment in Co-Active Coaching and its Effects on Belief and Behavioural Changes’. International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring, 4(2), pp. 61 – 73.

Astrology

Psychological projections – uncomfortable gifts for a more authentic you

It’s only natural to assume that the world is as we see it and that people are as we imagine them to be. But the reality is a bit more complicated than that and part of the reason is because of the psychological phenomena known as ‘projection’.

According to psychology folks, projection is an automatic process whereby the contents of your own unconscious are perceived to be in others. According to astrology folks, projection is down to a particular planet (or group of planets) in one’s natal chart that is, in effect, disowned and attributed to others. According to counsellors and coaches, perception is projection and vice versa because it is only then we can become conscious of our projections that we can deal with them and implement desired change.

hqdefault.jpgFor example, if I’m angry at someone but because of variety of reasons I can’t express it, I might ‘project’ my anger (or astrological Mars) onto that other person and then be surprised that I’m a victim of his or her  aggression. Once I understand what is happening, I can work with my coach or counsellor to stop blaming others for my own anger and find a better, more profitable way of expressing it.

Being able to hone in quickly on to people’s most likely projections will benefit (among others) psychologists, therapists, counsellors, and coaches.

Typical places in the  natal chart to look for potential planets or energies ripe for projection are as follows:

  • 7th house – because these planets are the furthest away from your essential self (i.e. 1st house) they are often ripe for projection – for example, consider the client with Venus in the 7th. Because Venus = values, it’s not unexpected to hear her say that she leaves decisions to her husband because she doesn’t really know what she wants.
  • 10th house – this is a perfect place for projections onto role models and authorities both good and bad. If, for example, your Pluto is in your 10th house and you do NOT see yourself as being particularly ambitious, it would not be unexpected to hear you talk about having experience relationships with bosses, teachers, or even public officials (authority figures) with whom you always lose.
  • 4th house –this is the place you’re more likely to project onto family – past, present, and future. For example, one client with her Moon conjunct Saturn in Virgo in the 4th has always found her mother to be bitter and critical. It wasn’t until she had a daughter of her own that she began to realize that she could be as bitter and critical as had been her mother and this was not a welcome realization.
  • 9th house – in this house your look for faith and meaning as well as your own ‘highest good’. If Pluto is in your 9th, you might believe that teachers and professors and priests care nothing about anyone but themselves. By contrast, if your Sun is in the 9th, you might find the perfect guru – one who seems to be everything you’d like to be and more.
  • 6th house – this house is associated with servants, employees, animals and other ‘inferiors’ and so planets in the 6th house may well become part of a power dynamic making us behave in cruel ways to those considered inferior to ourselves (in status). We might also project onto ‘inferior’ parts of ourselves. For example, consider the client with a strong Mars in 6th house – a Mars that she seems reluctant to use for her own benefit. It’s little wonder that she finds herself the proverbial whipping boy of for her employers.

Although these are some typical candidates for projection, we can project anything that doesn’t feel comfortable with the rest of our charts and/or which we have been forbidden to do (i.e. like display anger).

The telltale signs of projections include strong and often uncomfortable (or fearful) reactions to someone or something  – an extra emotional charge that is out of keeping with our usual proclivities. Such reactions may have a luminous – amorphous quality – i.e they don’t make sense – rather like ‘falling in love’ (which is apparently, itself, a projection).

As counselors and coaches, we should resist the temptation to jump in and ‘make it all better’ for the client. Likewise, don’t rush to name or explain. Let clients sit with their the results of their projections with it for a while – because it is through them that they’ll find lost parts of themselves.

 

Astrology

Today and Tomorrow are ‘serious play’ days. YEAH!

With the Sun in Pisces (oneness with life & nature) and the Moon in Gemini (student/child) today is a ‘serious play’ day.

th.jpegIn the Joie de Vivre tarot deck, we find Bliss and her mer-bunny friends, Charity and Innocence, swimming side by side. Oh, what fun! A lovely day spent with best friends playing in the sea.

Naturally Bliss and her friends are enjoying themselves. Why wouldn’t they? But I’m betting that they also have some method to their ‘madness’ and for want of a better term, I’ll call that ‘serious play’.

In a nutshell, this means play done for a specific reason and when we’re working with the Six of Cups, that reason has to do with recapturing memories.

In the world of narrative coaching, play is a construct that allows clients the freedom to be both curious and to experiment – let down their hair – try out how might feel to partake in their wildest dreams.

The idea is that play was how, as kids, we sussed out the world and learned to fit into society. Naturally, when we were born, we had certain traits and proclivities – which, as we advanced into toddler stage, we acted out with abandon. But after that, little by little, we were forced to suppress those  traits and proclivities that were branded anti-social by grown-ups and/or didn’t quite get us what we wanted.

Fast forward to adulthood –  when we discover that a genuine part of our selves has been ‘squashed’ (or otherwise laid aside) in favour of more responsible and socially adept behaviours.

In narrative coaching, we help clients recapture key parts of their lost selves – parts that (for a variety of reasons) would benefit them again in the now.

So on a ‘serious play’ day, you might try the same  – and invite yourself to revisit what probably ought not any longer to be a by-gone era.

Astrology

Why not tell yourself a new & better story?

You’ve worked hard.

But to date, your actions have not delivered the desired results.

More likely than not, this is because of undesirable (i.e. outgrown) behaviours, which in turn, have been driven by undesirable (i.e. outgrown) stories about yourself to which, over time, you’ve become attached.

shutterstock_152680601-2-cat-with-lion-shadow-2It only makes sense that to get desired results, you’ll need to manifest different behaviour that is fuelled by new and better stories.

This is precisely where astrological coaching comes in.

For example, Mr W has struggled to forge a stable career. Every job that he’s ever enjoyed has ended in ‘tears’ – either his or his employer’s, or both. Now, it just so happens that Mr W’s Moon is incredibly sensitive. The good news is that with this, he is easily in touch with not only his own feelings and moods but also those of others. The bad news is that he has tendency to dwell on various typical workplace ‘hurts’  long after everyone else has moved on.

While Mr W cannot change his Moon, he can change the role it plays in his stories. For example, Mr W also has a very strong Mars. With this placement, self-control is the by-word – anger (and hurt) are expressed in a cool, level-headed way. Although Mr W has never identified himself as a cool, level-headed person, he admits that he could be. Indeed, he can now remember certain times when he has been just that. By widening the narrative arc of his story to place his Mars in a more prominent role, he will be better able to deal with workplace stresses in a new – and more (personally) profitable way.images

Consider Ms F, who is hoping to change her career. Although she’s drawn to the freedom and excitement of free-lance work, she’s reluctant to give up the regular pay check. Now what?

As it turns out, Ms F has Saturn (responsibility) in opposition to Jupiter (adventure)– two very different (and opposing) energies. Because of her personal history, Ms F has pretty much identified with her Saturn. Upon learning that her Jupiter was just as important a part of who she is as was her Saturn, she decided to sample some of those new – and exciting – freelance opportunities.

How about Ms B, who is not only feeling frustrated but also very hurt?

For months, Ms B been working extra hard to build up her business only to find herself let down again and again by people she ought to have been able to trust. By it’s nature, Ms B’s sensitive Sun is trusting; she must be extra careful not to be duped. Worse, with her Sun she’s prone to escapist behaviour – it could well be more difficult for her than some to face up to the truth.

Now what?

At the moment, Ms B is still working through her situation although I suspect, that with time, she’ll conclude that it will also be her Jupiter that comes to the rescue.

 

Astrology

Lunar Implications for Coaching

The first step in coaching practice is to create a holding container or space where clients feel safe and secure enough to explore themselves and their situation.

In order to accomplish this, the coach must first feel safe and secure in his or her own container or space.

Astrologically, the ability feel safe and secure is most aptly represented by one’s natal Moon.

th.jpegThe Moon’s placement by sign:

  • Suggests what you need to feel safe and satisfied,
  • Indicates how you ‘nurture’ self and others,
  • Describes your feeling nature – how you interact with your environment and instinctively react to events or changes,
  • Shows where you seek comfort and security when feeling anxious or threatened.

Keep in mind that there are many factors in your chart that will have an impact on how you approach your coaching activities.

But when it comes to ‘holding space’ – creating that safe and supported environment for your clients –  the zodiac sign in which your Moon is located, will reveal much about how you approach this task.

Equally, the sign in which your client’s Moon is located will describe much of what he or she needs to feel safe and supported and how he or she is most likely to react when he or she doesn’t.

Aries

Needs to be constantly ‘doing’  – preoccupied with finding a worthy challenge or other avenue to self-gratification – tendency to be pushy, impulsive – even reckless – when threatened, likely to be provocative and argumentative. Potential place of sanctuary – a sports stadium, battlefield, or boxing match.

Leo

Needs to be noticed, admired, and appreciated – preoccupied with one-upsmanship (“I can do it better than you can”) – tendency to be generous and loyal –  the ‘life of the party’ – when threatened, can quickly become the quintessential ‘drama queen’. Potential place of sanctuary – a party, playground, or theatre.

Sagittarius

Needs everything to be light and lively – preoccupied with travel and finding adventure  – tendency to teach/preach and share ideas – gregarious – when threatened can become arrogant and haughty. Potential place of sanctuary – a university, church, airport, or courthouse.

Gemini

Needs constant stimulation (chaotic and curious) – preoccupied with drawing conclusions and making connections –  tendency to be a ‘jack of all trades and master of none’  – scattered – when threatened, can become gossipy (even traitorous) and cynical. Potential place of sanctuary – a classroom, newsroom, or bookstore.

Libra

Needs to be pleasing and harmonious – preoccupied with attractive surroundings – tendency to redress imbalances – play ‘devil’s advocate’ – when threatened can be critical and judgemental – especially when there appears there is no way to be ‘liked’. Potential place of sanctuary – an art gallery, interior design centre, or beauty salon.

Aquarius

Needs to learn and discover – preoccupied with what makes people tick – tendency to spout own views and beliefs as ‘the truth’ – especially when it comes to politics – when threatened, likely to become disruptive and/or seek an abrupt change of scenery. Potential place of sanctuary – convention hall, conference room, political rally.

Taurus

Needs to feel physically safe and comfortable – preoccupied with retaining control – tendency toward possessiveness – ‘what’s yours is mine but not vice versa’ – when threatened, can become vengeful especially if feeling betrayed. Potential place of sanctuary – a restaurant, farm, or massage parlour.

Virgo

Needs to feel useful and productive – preoccupied with health and well-being – tendency to feel nervous or ill-at-ease when everything is not ‘just so’ – when threatened, can become supersensitive and highly critical. Potential place of sanctuary – the workplace, health clinic, lab, employment agency.

Capricorn

Needs structure and boundaries – preoccupied with clear-cut guidelines and rules – tendency to feel responsible and do his/her duty – when threatened, takes up the drawbridge and retreats behind the castle walls. Potential place of sanctuary – the corporate boardroom, top of a mountain, or in a walled (well-tended) garden.

Cancer

Needs to feel emotionally connected with everyone – like a chameleon, instinctively blends in to his environment – tendency to take up role of caretaker – “Here, have my homemade chicken soup.’ When threatened, clams up  and/or gets seriously  annoyed. Potential place of sanctuary – home or museum.

Scorpio

Needs to keep a close watch on the situation – like a sharp-eyed eagle, always on guard – tendency not to reveal underlying motivations but anxious to fully comprehend those of others – when threatened, can provoke ‘crisis’ as smokescreen. Potential place of sanctuary – a trauma centre, operating theatre, or brothel.

Pisces

Needs to be in a sympathetic, understanding environment – preoccupied with helping others – tendency to fantasize and day dream – when threatened, melts down and/or disappears.  Potential place of sanctuary – rest home, bar, or spiritual retreat.
Astrology

Mercurial Implications for Coaching

MYTHOLOGICAL MERCURY

  • presides over exchanges, barters, and communication. As the patron god of crossroads, he presides over connections of every kind,
  • is the god of thieves (the other side of the business deal),
  • although a god in his own right, he is the winged messenger of all the gods,
  • presides over every aspect of the alchemical process, turning lead into gold,
  • is the psychopomp, bringing that which lies hidden in the unconscious into consciousness.

PSYCHOLOGICAL MERCURY

Not surprising then, that Mercury governs the therapeutic process, dependant is it is on dialogue, transference, consciousness, and integration. Thus, when a counsellor is counselling or a coach is coaching, the primary astrological component he/she can expect to be in play re: his/her own natal chart will be his/her Mercury.

ASTROLOGICAL MERCURY

Mercury’s placement by element and sign:

  • suggests how your mind works – how you think, learn, perceive and digest experience. For example, are you intuitive (i.e. fire) or do you see life more through a detached, rational (i.e. air) lens?
  • describes how you communicate – i.e. exchange ideas and communicate. For example, do you blurt things out (i.e. Mercury in Aries) or are you naturally more guarded or secretive with your choice of words (i.e. Mercury in Scorpio),
  • indicates your primary concerns – what you are most likely to notice or pick up on. For example, Mercury in Libra may quickly notice possibilities for relationship while Mercury in Capricorn will tend to notice that which serve’s one’s career aims and ambitions.

MERCURIAL COACHING

th-1.jpegPlease note that house placement and aspects made by your Mercury to other planets in your chart will have a huge impact on how it operates.

Also, other factors in your chart will also have a role to play in your coaching activity.

Having said that, let’s take a look at what (based on element/sign) your Mercury suggests about your coaching style:

 

FIRE

In general, Mercury in Fire signs does not like ‘facts’ which are usually not the ‘truth’ anyway. Mercury in Fire is intuitive and holistic, albeit not necessarily practical or logical. Mercury in Fire focuses on possibilities – where can things go from here. Mercury in Fire loves symbolism.

ARIES – quick off the mark – initiates and competes, leads, and arouses. The first one to try out new things. Generally, not interested in anyone’s feelings.

 

LEO – self-confident and self- assured – warm, bright, encouraging – makes things happen, tends toward exaggeration and has difficulties focusing on other than his/her own views and ideas. Not necessarily in touch with own feelings.

 

SAGITTARIUS – sparkles with optimism and adores spreading his/her ideas. Assumes the world is filled with meaning. Sometimes talks too much and often is emotionally evasive and defensive. Quickly grasps the bigger picture.

 

 

 

 

AIR

In general, Mercury in Air focuses on ideas. They conceptualise to make important social statements. Mercury in Air tends to be rational, logical, and organised. Mercury in Air tends to make plans not entirely dependent (or in sync with) physical realities.

GEMINI – Mercurial –simultaneous thoughts and impressions all at once – curious and experimental, open to new experiences and ideas. Lively (chatty) communicator with short attention span.

 

LIBRA – preoccupation with relationship and balance. Incisive and rational. Objective and (impractically) fair. Difficulty with resolution – there’s always so much more that could (should) be considered. Loves debate. Shies away from difficult emotions.

 

AQUARIUS – tends to live in own head. Preoccupation with right and wrong, should and should not. Visionary, utopian, rational, inspirational, just, and idealistic. Tendency towards reform although easily wedded to own ideas and perceptions. Often, ‘truth’ (whatever than means) comes before social acceptability. Self-reflective and usually unemotional.

 

 

 

 

EARTH

In general, Mercury in Earth tends to relate best to sensual and material realties. Mercury in Earth tends to be practical in its ability to connect any particular situation to the here and now. Mercury in Earth can struggle with gaining insight from things not made obviously manifest.

TAURUS – slow off the mark and reluctant to commit or comment. Very concrete. Inclined to notice and focus on importance of values such as safety, comfort, and security. Stubborn re: change.

 

VIRGO – needs time to digest and (re) consider – very discriminating (potentially myopic) and practical. Quick to pick up on and point out both good and bad points especially about health and work issues.

 

CAPRICORN – practical and organised, down to earth. Plodding but ambitious and persevering – rather like the tortoise in his race against the hare. Known more for hard work than optimism. Tendency to be cautious and wary. Dry wit and dark humour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WATER

In general, Mercury in Water is emotionally intelligent with a way of ‘knowing’ things that may or may not have been manifestly said. Mercury in Water tends to remain tied into the rhythms and cycles of life as well as to other people’s emotions. There’s also a tendency for Mercury in Water to focus on ‘shared history’ – they do best with others with whom they feel emotionally connected.

CANCER – subjective and depending on mood, can easily pick up on – or completely miss – that which is going on around them. Persuasive. Instinctively knows what to say – focus on survival needs – jobs, security, food.

 

SCORPIO – strategic and probing – looks for motivation – believes there are always strings attached. Cautious and circumspect. Instinctively distrustful. In touch with the unconscious, this is Mercury in his Psychopomp hat.

 

PISCES – perceptive, emotional, contradictory. Can have problems with boundaries. Creative, intuitive (if not telepathic), as well as secretive. Scattered thinking a real possibility yet observations are often of highest accuracy and clarity. Focused on the seriously bigger picture.

 

Astrology

Happy Birthday Aquarius

What might those with Sun in Aquarius expect this year?

  • Goals and values serve each other. With Venus and the Sun conjunct (in Aquarius), you can look forward to a harmonious period. Enjoy music, the arts, anything and everything that not only makes you feel good, but also that is in keeping with your personal values. Not certain what those values might be? Great time for some ‘soul-searching’! You might even have a go at some standardised tests – for example, https://www.valuescentre.com/mapping-values/values.  Key words for Aquarius: dispassionate, impersonal, nonconformist, observant, idealist – sound familiar?animal-orange-aquarius
  • Motivations of self and others. With Pluto conjunct Mercury (in Capricorn), you can look forward to some serious conversations. If ever you’ve needed to get to the bottom of things, now is the time; the motivations of self and others become perfectly clear. The only problem is that you might not like what you find. Power struggles and manipulative behaviour are rife with Pluto/Mercury in combination. Perfect time for counselling or other similar personal work. Even consider coaching if you’ve got a specific goal in mind. The point is that the more self-aware you are, the better your chances of achieving it (Capricorn).
  • Unlimited Potential. With Jupiter conjunct Mars (in Scorpio), you’ve got the power – creative power, that is. Mars in the planet associated with taking action and Jupiter is associated with vision. As long as you’re being (1) true to yourself (Mars) and (2) ethical (Jupiter), the potential is great for you to be hugely successful. The problem comes if you’re tempted to sacrifice one for the other. The task of Mars/Jupiter is to resolve ethical, moral, and philosophical dilemmas.  Prioritise! Believe it or not, there are limitations on your time, energy, and resource.

Based on moment when the Sun enters Aquarius in 2018, the above comments pertain to all Aquarians. But if you’d like to find out more about what is in store for you specifically, a solar return chart would be perfect.

Astrology

The Astro-Reality of Person-Centred Coaching

Originally developed by Carl Rogers in the 1940’s and 1950’s, the philosophy underpinning this approach to coaching is that under the right circumstances, we’re all capable of sorting ourselves out.

Pcp graphicTo achieve this, the coach needs to offer his or her client both a ‘safe space’ for talking and a heavy dose of empathetic listening. Don’t forget, however, that this is an approach to coaching, not a model or technique. Indeed, one of its strengths is that it is  both fluid and non-directional. With careful attention paid to the six conditions Rogers identified as necessary for constructive personality change, coaches can help clients to flourish.

As Ruth L Waterhouse (‘Wild Women Don’t Have the Blues’: A Feminist Critique of ‘Person-centred’ Counselling and Therapy) notes, this approach places great faith in the human ability to be self-determining and ‘to realize agency and responsibility in everyday activities.’

But the reality, according to Waterhouse, is that not everyone has this ability. She suggests that Rogers simply did not understand that personal troubles come not just from within, but also from without (i.e. the real world). The possibility that, for example, a woman might not ever become ‘all that she could be’ in a patriarchal society for reasons beyond her control, was not considered. Waterhouse does admit that ‘cathartic release has its value’. But the problem is that Rogers failed to recognize that throughout history, ‘family life privileges adult men to the detriment of women and younger men’.

So, what kind of client is most likely to benefit most from the Person-Centred approach? For this, I suggest that we look to the astrological significators of the man who pioneered and developed it:

Carl Rogers

No surprise, that five out of ten planets are in Capricorn (including Saturn ruler of Capricorn). Of the remaining five planets, two are in Aquarius, also a Saturn ruled zodiac sign). It’s through Saturn, that we find the strength and wisdom to get through life. Without Saturn, we’d have neither the ambition nor the patience and dedication to succeed. Saturn provides the solid structure through which can express (and manifest) our talents and strengths. Without Saturn, we would achieve little or nothing.

Astrologically, we often equate Saturn with ‘virtues’ such as responsibility, duty, and obligation. Heavy going! This was never going to be easy. Saturn may not be the brightest light on the block (we leave that to Jupiter), but he lies at the base of all our accomplishments. Hence, Saturn is often considered somewhat tedious (bywords include self-control, tact, thrift, and caution). But he is very necessary. In effect, Saturn equates to your backbone.

Equally, Saturn is associated with fault, failure, fear, guilt, and blame and, for this, he gets deserved bad press. When things go wrong, as inevitably they will do with Saturn, it’s easy to blame others. But in reality, when Saturn is in play, you cannot afford to blame anyone but yourself. Tough talk. But it is true that what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger (although I suspect that it was someone with lots of Saturn in his/her chart who first said that).

So, what kind of client (and coach) are likely to most benefit from Person-Centred Coaching? May I suggest one with a healthy dose of Saturn!

NB – also no surprise that one of my coaching colleagues at Cambridge that is very keen on this approach, has Sun and Venus in Aquarius (Saturn-ruled) as well as Mercury in Capricorn (also Saturn-ruled). Interestingly, however, my colleague has a weak Saturn (in Sagittarius). Ok, well, time will tell.

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