Hidden Dangers of The Hero’s (mythological) Journey

images-1This weekend, I was privileged to participate in an academic conference, The Talking Sky, hosted by the University of Wales and The Sophia Centre. The purpose of the conference was to explore the cultural aspects of diverse myths inspired by the heavens.

Whilst many important points were made, one surfaced time and time again – i.e. although we are fascinated with the sun (ever-popular Celtic fire festivals come to mind), we also fear it and for good reason. Although a source of life, the sun is also deadly dangerous. Myths such as that of Phaethon, son of the Greek solar deity, Helios, who was killed when he foolishly drove his chariot too close to the sun, illustrate this.

** Equally dangerous, perhaps, is our cultural preoccupation with empowerment of the (solar) self? **

320px-Heroesjourney.svgConsider the work of Joseph Campbell and his book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, which explores the culturally recurring mythical motif of the hero’s journey. Not only was this motif popularised by films like Star Wars, but it also forms much of the basis of Jungian psychology, the centre-piece of which is ‘individuation’, or the transformational process whereby the (lunar) unconscious is melded into the (solar) consciousness to achieve an integrated personality and (alchemical) psychological growth.images

As Liz Greene acknowledges (The Luminaries), the hero’s journey is a solar process wherein the individual actively and  consciously  drives to develop his worldly goals. Having studied with Liz, I’ve never questioned the value of using this motif in my astrological work; it ticks all the boxes necessary for survival in western culture. But apparently, the well-respected psychologist, James Hillman, has questioned this and, it would seem, with good reason.

Hillman argues that not only is (1) Jungian ‘individuation’ a ‘developmental fantasy’ but also that (2) the solar focus of the hero’s journey is dangerously reductionist. In his book, The Soul’s Code, Hillman promotes what he considers to be the healthier, more holistic (pluralistic) ‘soul-making’ to be our psychological aim. Not only is this in keeping with the cosmology of the ancient Greeks, who saw numen, or the divine, in everything, but also in line with Platonic ideals (Myth of Er), which still underlie so much of western culture.

Arguably, as the speaker at the conference pointed out, contemporary natal (psychological) astrology does not look solely at solar functions. We leave that to the popular Sun Sign columns in magazines and newspapers, which, as another speaker at the conference has suggested, have become a myth in their own right.

images-2Whilst I agree that responsible astrologers do honour the entire natal chart (along with its multitude of inherent mythologies), I acknowledge that Hillman makes valid points which ought not to be ignored. As I’m about to embark on a new career as a ‘coach’ (utilizing astrology), I worry about the stated goal of contemporary coaching – i.e. empowerment of the individual. If, as a coach, what I will be empowering is solely the client’s solar self (or ego), then if Hillman is right I will be doing him or her a huge (reductionist) disservice. However, since that is what it would seem that most coaching clients want, how do I dare to offer them otherwise?

Once I’ve commenced my coaching studies at the University of Cambridge in this autumn, I hope to be in a better position to address these concerns. Watch this space, I suppose.

Psychoanalysis and Critical Literary Theory

There are several important ways in which both Freudian and Jungian psychoanalysis can serve as a model for literary analysis as for example looking for the subversive in women’s literature – i.e. that which is not explicitly stated (for any number of good reasons) but nonetheless is still present.images

Most certainly if Austen felt so constrained to so as not to publish her novels under her own name, she felt constrained to express some of her real concerns. If we wish to potentially identify some of these concerns, we might turn to Jungian Literary Criticism which usually begins with the question – ‘what psychological factors (whether an image or complex of concerns) might have been responsible for that text. If for example we wish to identify any feminist concerns that Austen might have held, we would look for clues suggestive of recurring feminist themes. In this regard it is prudent to look to ideas of feminism in play during the period in which Austen was writing (rather than to modern constructions of feminism); one such idea would have been application of the same moral code to both sexes.

In Emma, despite being ‘handsome, clever, and rich’, we find a heroine morally flawed (the citizens of Highbury are not impressed with the way that she treats them). When Emma undertakes to morally improve herself she does not do so on her own but instead seeks instruction from Mr Knightly. This in turn leads to his estimation of her to rise so much that he wants to marry her. In Mansfield Park, Fanny Price is also a heroine flawed and although in many respects she is portrayed in feminist terms – i.e. as speaking her own mind and refusing to marry as her guardian would like, when she seeks to improve herself. Like Emma, Fanny turns to her love interest, Edmund – who not surprisingly like Emma’s Mr Knightly decides that now Fanny, reformed in his own mould, is the girl for him. Arguably Catherine Morland in Northanger Abby is cut from a different mould – for the most part she is left on her own to develop her own ‘understanding’ of what is morally wrong and right – unfettered either by fathers, lovers, or husbands.

Jungian theory might suggest that we make the most of ‘meaningful coincidence’ in respect to these seemingly recurrent themes in Austen’s work. Even if she were not consciously replicating this theme of moral code in line with love interest = marriage, she was most likely unconsciously doing so for the Jungians would be quick to demonstrate that statistically these same motifs regarding equality amongst the sexes (especially in a society when there was almost certainly none) should not have occurred otherwise.

Jungian literary criticism has also highlighted archetypally inspired literary themes that recur across a broad cross-cultural spectrum – for example as with the process of ‘individuation’ whereby a protagonist struggles to experience the ‘triumph of consciousness over the unconscious’ and hence make his or her psyche whole. Individuation is depicted as the ‘Hero’s Journey’ and hence is often associated with the Bildungsroman or classic coming of age novel which has in turn been associated with classic accounts of stifled individuation such as with Dickens’ hero, David Copperfield. Most certainly his nasty stepfather, Mr Murdstone, tries very hard to mould David into his own (rotten) image and when he fails to do so sends him off to work his London-based wine-bottling business. Luckily David escapes this situation and hence commences on his process of individuation allowing him to fulfil himself in his own right – by not only getting the girl of his dreams, Agnes, but also with being a commercial success through expression of his own talents.

Freudian literary criticism also pays close attention an author’s unconscious motives and/or feelings in order to tease out ‘covert’ themes. The assumption is that these ‘covert’ themes are just as important if not more so than the ‘overt’ themes (i.e. those consciously expressed by the author) and also that they demonstrate classic psychoanalytic symptoms of blockage in the emotional /sexual development in the author and/or his/her characters.

Freudian literary criticism asserts that all art and literature fulfils some repressed infantile desire of its creator which it turn almost always relates to the Oedipal complex whereby the son wishes to murder his father because he sees him as a rival for sexual congress with his mother. There are obvious parallels in great literature with, for example, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, where when the character by the same name is called upon to avenge the murder of his father by his uncle who in turn married Hamlet’s mother, Hamlet spends all day musing about ‘to be or not to be’ instead of committing what ought to be the fairly straight forward act of revenge-driven murder. Using Freudian theory, some critics have seized upon a possible explanation for such ‘irrational’ behaviour in the sense that Hamlet can not kill his uncle for doing that which he himself wanted to do.

Perhaps a less straightforward application of Freudian literary criticism may be found in the poetry of Christina Rossetti. With a women, the Oedipal complex takes a different form suggesting that once bound to her mother by homo-sexual desires, a young girl like Rossetti would then need to turn her desire toward father and the wish to have his baby. I would suggest that her signature poem – Winter: My Secret may reflect such an urge – and that naturally repressed because she was so religiously inclined – her Oedipal instincts remained her jealously guarded secret, preventing her from developing (1) other poetic themes (she predominately favours religion and the fallen women) in her work and (2) her life – in a society where women were expected to marry, she mystifyingly turned down three suitable marriage offers.

In summary, Jungian-based psychoanalysis can serve as a model for literary theory by rooting out subversive feminist themes in women’s literature, as for example, moral equality as demonstrated in the works of Jane Austen. Likewise Jungian-based literary theory seeks to identify underlying archetypal themes such as the process of individuation – or the Hero’s Journey – that recurs across a cross-cultural spectrum. The Bildungsroman is perfect for this. Freudian-based psychoanalysis also can serve as a model for literary theory likewise rooting out unconscious literary themes relating to sexually repressed desires that prevent either the author or his/her characters from moving forward with their personality development.

The Astrological Fortunes of Richard III

IShakespeare's Richard IIIn the times of William Shakespeare, the ‘stars’ were always a force with which men must reckon. There’s no doubt that in those days, the world was viewed as ‘fated’ – and whether this was a reflection of the ancient cosmos where the gods pulled all the strings or an inherent recognition of what Carl Jung would later posit about the covert operations of the unconscious, we will never know.

But we do know that the idea of ‘fate’ as shown in the ‘stars was woven oft through his work:

Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie,

Which we ascribe to heaven: the fated sky

Gives us free scope, only doth backward pull

Our slow designs when we ourselves are dull.

(All’s Well that Ends Well, 1.1.209), Helena

Having just finished reading Shakespeare’s play Richard III, I wondered how Richard was ‘fated’ to stack up?180px-Richard_III_of_England

Ptolemy identified six levels of fame/success:

  1. Kings & Princes

Both luminaries in masculine signs and at least one of them to be found in an angle. This alone is pretty good. However – as well, they (both) be attended by a doryphory (including rays)  composed of all five planets – then this is REAL GOOD. In addition this rank is helped if the planets in the doryphories are also in the angles or configured with the MC.

  1. Chieftain

The Sun only masculine with the Moon feminine and only one of them in an angle. If both, however, have good doryphories as described above, then the person will reach chieftain level, with the power to judge life and death. NOTE – a good doryphory has  benefics in good shape or on angles (or ruling them).

  1. Governor or Commander

If the natal chart has the luminaries as for a Chieftain but the doryphories do not involve the angles, these people will not be invested with sovereignty, but will reach eminence.

  1. Civil Leader

If neither of the luminaries be in the angles, but both have good doryphories which are in the angles or ruling the angles, they will have a leadership role in their community. Councillor, President of a club, Mayor of a small town and so on.

  1. Undistinguished

If however, neither luminary is in an angle (Sun still masculine and Moon feminine), and the attending planets are not involved with the angles by placement or rulership, then the person will lead a humble life.

  1. Lowest Level

If neither luminary be found in a masculine sign, nor in an angle, nor attended by any benefics they will live lives of “quiet desperation” and obscurity.

Richard III

  1. Sun in Libra (in fall) in a masculine sign succedent in the 11th house – OK – but could be better – the 7th house Moon in Taurus is in a feminine sign but it is angular and exalted) so overall this is pretty OK.
  2. This might get him to Chieftain level if the doryphories of one or both of the luminaries is strong.
  3. The doryphory is an interesting technique focusing on the ‘retinue’ of helpers either of the two lights or luminaries (i.e. sun or moon) have in their ‘train’. The more planets in the retinue, the more helpers and if additionally those helpers were themselves strong the more help they could give. Imagine yourself a feudal lord trying to raise an army to fight a foe – the more rich/strong neighbours (i.e. able to raise their own armies) you have supporting your cause, the more likely you were to succeed.
  4. Note that when considering if a planet throws a ‘ray’ into the doryphory, benefics (Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, and the Sun) can only do so by sextile or trine and the malefics (Saturn and Mars) can only do so by opposition or square.
  5. Richard III’s solar doryphory (i.e. attendants to his sun at 17 Libra) is as follows: Because the sun’s retinue PROCEEDS him, we look to other planets in either Libra (18 -30 degrees) or Scorpio:
    1. Saturn in Libra (exalted) and succedent
    2. Mercury in Scorpio
    3. Venus in Scorpio (in detriment) yet angular
    4. Jupiter in Aquarius (retrograde) throws a ray into Libra by trine
  6. Richard III’s lunar doryphory (i.e. attendants to his moon at 28 Taurus is as follows: Because the moon’s retinue FOLLOWS her, we look to planets either in Taurus (29-30 degrees Taurus) or Aries:
    1. Mars in Aries – strong by rulership but not angular
    2. Jupiter casts a ray into Aries by sextile
  7. A solar doryphory of four planets isn’t bad – but none of these four are in rulership by sign or term – and although Saturn is exalted, Venus is in detriment (alternative) – but she rules the DSC angle (Taurus). Mercury is reasonable shape and also rules the MC angle. Likewise Jupiter is in reasonable shape in Aquarius and rules the IC angle – so overall pretty good
  8. A lunar doryphory of only 2 planets is not so good – But that Mars is so powerful (albeit also retrograde) that it alone could win the day – not to mention that it is the chart ruler because Scorpio is rising. This means Mars rules this angle. Mars is further empowered by being in reception with the Sun (the Sun is exalted in Aries so that Sun in Libra- charming and strategic – gives all it has to Mars. Being retrograde does not impede its power but will effect the outcome in the sense that this power is never really under control.
  9. Overall, this gets Richard III to chieftain level – but not to King – and that shouldn’t be surprising because although he was crowned king, it was only because he killed off or pushed aside all others entitled to wear the crown. He held the throne for only two years before being toppled himself by Henry Tudor (who’d been smart enough to remain in France whilst Richard was bumping folks off), whose claim to the throne was much stronger.

Looking for God Through Astrology

Pisces-Sept07-DE7863sAR800Is the urge to spirituality innate?

Carl Jung certainly thought so.

He suggested the need to make connection with something greater than yourself is only make you feel truly alive.

One way to look for this connection is through your natal birth chart. You must be prepared, however, to look further afield than Jupiter and Neptune –  the ‘usual’ astrological significations of spirituality. Remember that every planet represented in your chart, was once a god or goddess in his or her own right.

Naturally this isn’t easy – getting in touch with the numinous. It could even be dangerous. As Liz Greene has always been quick to remind us, personally expressing the energies of outer planets like Uranus, Neptune and Pluto can not only be overwhelming but pathological.

So for now we’ll stick to the inner planets – are you up to the challenge?

To get an idea how this might work for you, look at your strongest and most influential planets (by sign and house placement)– and don’t forget the ruler of your ascendant – your chart ruler. For example, with Libra rising focus on your Venus. If your Sun is in Leo (the Sun rules Leo), then look there. If your Jupiter is in Cancer (where it is exalted) then focus on that.

While reading the rest of this post, lease keep in mind that for these purposes, ‘spirituality’ = finding a sense of meaning and purpose through connecting with that which lies beyond your ken.

 

Sun Solar energy is key to how you bring spiritual urges into personal expression  – this is accomplished not by sacrificing your ego, but by honouring it. You are every bit as much a part of creation as everyone – and everything – else. Because, as myths of ancient Egypt remind us, the Sun passes through the underworld (below the horizon) each and every day, your solar experience of spirituality could even manifest as a life and death struggle.

 

For example, with Sun in Scorpio you might undergo psychoanalysis –or act as a therapist (or shaman) for others in this way. That which you extract from working with your unconscious (for example, by dream work) may give you a sense of that which lies beyond.

Moon Lunar energy manifests through feelings of belonging and shared experience. Get tactile – get earthy – even organic – the lunar experience of spirituality is not about flying off to some lofty place – but about embodiment. The connection here is through the circle of life – in this earth plane.

 

For example, with Moon in Taurus you might  go to classes in yoga, undertake communal gardening, or even practice Zen Buddhism. The more you get in touch with your shared physical world, the more you’ll feel in touch with the lunar version of the divine.

Mercury With Mercury, spirituality is about discovery, solving problems, and making connections.  This doesn’t have much place in Piscean religions like Christianity because to question too much is considered to destroy faith. But as the great astronomical shift from the Age or Pisces into the Age of Aquarius progresses, Mercury can be expected to again take centre stage. For the power of ‘comprehension’ was worshipped as a god by the ancients– through the development of language and the discovery of how to harness ‘tools’ like the wheel.

 

For example, with Mercury in Gemini you might take up blogging – not just the kind where you shoot off the first thing that comes to mind, but that which takes research and serious consideration.

Venus The key to Venusian spirituality is not only that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but also it can be found everywhere. In this regard, beauty is not just pretty or cute or nice – but that which literally brings tears to your eyes. Real beauty (once a key component of the ‘sublime’) by the very nature of the experience takes you ‘out of yourself’. Take your cue from the Renaissance whence art was considered not only the most natural expression of spiritual feeling but also the containment of the quintessence of reality.

 

For example, with Venus in Libra, you might take a course in art history or even learn to paint and draw. If it’s beautiful to you, then it carries some aspect of the divine for you and your job is to appreciate that for what it is.

Mars Most are familiar with the image of an angry god – just have a look at the Bible’s Old Testament. But Martian spirituality can also manifest in heroic undertakings like ‘fight’ for what is ‘right’. The trick here is to make sure you’ve really got a grip on whatever it is that for which you’re fighting = with Mars, it easy to get lost with  ‘might’ makes ‘right’.  Important civilizing qualities like tolerance and understanding are not Martian things.

 

For example, with Mars in Aries you might volunteer to work in a rape crisis call centre or train to work as part of an ambulance or other rescue team– anything what will get you into touch with the many manifestations of violence and aggression will help you to understand that the divine truly has many face.

Jupiter Astrological Jupiter can function as your personal connection to the ‘divine plan’ – however it is that you perceive it.The idea is to plug into the ‘global context’ – to become connected with that which is truly outside yourself. When you find meaning in the greater patterns of the world, you’ve found the path to your own spiritual growth.

 

For example, with Jupiter in Sagittarius, you might take up the study of comparative religion – with the expectation that learning about the many manifestations of ‘Divine’ across time and cultures might will help you to get a grip on what’s right for you.

Saturn Saturn is oft associated with the teachings of traditional religions because it is so keen on ‘following rules’. But don’t forget that Saturn can also focus its quest for spirituality through other types of laws like those of science or society.

 

For example, with Saturn in Capricorn, you might  become involved with your local church. Not just in a superficial way like as an usher, but perhaps as a layman or Sunday School teacher.  Similarly, if you don’t already have a career in law, you might want to become a magistrate or justice of the peace. You’re looking for anything that takes you out of your ordinary sphere of influence while still retaining structure.

Uranus Uranus imparts the need to get a glimpse of what lies beyond the veil (i.e. the tarot  High Priestess).  The mystery lies in how all the parts fit together – the here and the now and the above and beyond – there’s a connection for certain – and it’s the job of Uranus to find it. Unlike with Saturn, Uranus can never do this through organised religion. Structure and form are merely bonds for Uranus to break – it its urge to greater and more powerful revelations.

No example is given here because the energy of Uranus is considered too strong and dangerous to be channelled individually.  If you have Aquarius rising, look to Saturn as the traditional ruler.

 

Neptune

 

Neptune searches for unity through ‘meltdown’ and dissolution of the ego/self. Christianity is perfect for Neptunian seekers – especially the mystical side of the tradition.

 

No example is given here because the energy of Neptune is considered too strong and dangerous to be channelled individually.  If you have Pisces rising, look to Jupiter as the traditional ruler.

Pluto Pluto represents the face of spirituality bound up with evolutionary processes – this is the ultimate of the survival of the fittest.  Read the work of Teilhard de Chardon – who not only was a Jesuit priest, but also a first class philosopher and palaeontologist.

 

Again, no example is given because the energy of Pluto is too strong and dangerous to be channelled individually.  If you have Scorpio rising, look to Mars as the traditional ruler.

 

The Makings of a Good Character- Individuation and the Art of Change

character-arc-1During the course of a novel or film, a good character needs to change.

We all want to be a better person.  Change, transformation, is a constant in our lives and if you can impel some kind of emotional change within your character, it creates an arc of behavior and adds another dimension to who he or she is. Syd Field – The Screenwriter’s Workbook

While there many paradigms through which you might view character arc change, the one that appeals most to me is based on the concept of Jungian ‘individuation’.

I will try to explain the term “individuation” as simply as possible. By it I mean the psychological process that makes of a human being an “individual”- a unique, indivisible unit or “whole man.” Carl Jung

While admittedly this journey to one’s destiny – or ‘true self’ – is a life-long process, it does move in fits and starts;   not all the phases occur chronologically.  They can overlap each other or run parallel.

The individuation process begins with becoming conscious of the Persona, the mask we take on in our every day life.[1] After this we become conscious of the Shadow, the repressed characteristics of the ego.[2] Then we become conscious of the Anima, the inner woman in each man, or the Animus, the inner man in each woman.[3] Then the image of the old wise man (the Conscious), or the old wise mother (the Unconscious) appears, and if the union of the two, or the Coniunctio, is successful the experience of the Self occurs.

In terms of psychological astrology, this process is well-characterized by what is referred to as ‘growing into your sun sign’.

Sun sign columns would be much more worthwhile if they began with the underlying premise that the Sun sign represents qualities which you need to build and develop in a constructive way in order to become who you uniquely are… Howard Sasportas – The Luminaries

This transition might be dramatically depicted by movement from the more negative to the more positive emotions associated with the character’s sun sign:

  • Aries               Bored–afraid–angry–eager–brave–enthusiastic
  • Taurus           Greedy–lethargic-stubborn–mellow–safe-comfortable
  • Gemini           Restless–nervous-curious-interested–informed–proficient
  • Leo                    Humiliated-defensive–wilful–playful–proud–self-assured
  • Virgo                Obsessive–skeptical–competent–modest–productive–helpful
  • Libra                Uncooperative–indecisive–dependent–balanced–engaged–pleasant
  • Scorpio           Vindictive–paranoid–wounded– vulnerable–passionate–powerful
  • Sagittarius    Disbelieving–righteous–benevolent–expansive–jovial–optimistic
  • Capricorn      Isolated–inadequate–anxious–determined–focused–successful
  • Aquarius        Aloof-rebellious–tolerant– altruistic – objective-open
  • Pisces               Guilty–passive–inspired–blissful–elated–compassionate

The emotional trigger for a successful transition from the negative to positive emotions is the Coniunctio which can be viewed astrologically as the successful harmonisation of one’s natal sun (representing conscious thought) and natal moon (representing unconscious instinct) – (See Liz Greene and Howard Sasportas, The Luminaries).  For some this will be easier than for others.ros3

For example, in my novel, The Curve of Capricorn, the sun sign of my heroine, Abby, is Capricorn.

Therefore one of her main (solar) purposes in life is to develop her Capricorn qualities: ambition, authority and determination to achieve and succeed.

True to form, throughout the first half of the novel, Abby’s Capricorn qualities are at the negative end of the spectrum; she feels isolated, inadequate, and anxious.  Accustomed to living in the shadow of her highly powerful and successful (and authoritarian) father, how could it be otherwise?  Achieving personal ambition and authority has never even been a possibility for Abby much less a realistic goal.

With Daddy dead and all that  for which she believes he’s has stood for in tatters, she realises it’s time for her to ‘step up to the plate’.  But a life on auto-pilot hasn’t prepared her for the challenges ahead and initially, instead of success she faces failure and despair.

In order to proceed, she must successfully cobble together (i.e. the Coniunctio) an integrated ‘Self’ from the ashes of her parent’s ruined relationship (symbolised by her natal sun and moon in hard aspect – the square).

Her challenge is to integrate that which she got from (1) her father (Sun in Capricorn) – the need to find enough stability in her outer life so that she can live authentically and not simply conform to societal norms and (2) her mother (Moon in Aries) – the need find the courage to stand up for a cause for the greater good and the conviction to succeed at it despite the personal cost.

If she’s successful, she can save her country as well as the man she loves.

However if she fails, all is well and truly lost.


[1] According to Jung, the Persona is a mask of the collective Psyche, a mask that only appears to have individuality.  In effect, it’s only a clever piece of playacting  – a compromise of the tension that naturally exists between the individual and the community – so that she only appears to fit in.

Astrologically the Persona is symbolised by the MC–IC axis  (4th–10th houses).  For my heroine, Abby, whose MC-IC axis involves Libra/Aries –  this means a constant struggle to find balance between autonomy and compromise.  While she appears (MC) to live in perfect harmony with others, in reality (IC) she has a strong need strong need for personal freedom and autonomy.

[2] Astrologically, the Ego is identified with Saturn which represents the boundaries and structures (both psychological and physical) we put in place in order to keep us whole and safe.  When one’s Saturn functions well, she is organised ad ‘together’ in pursing her goals for success.  When Saturn is not functioning well (the Shadow side), she may find herself beset with (often self afflicted) delays, limitations, blocks, and restrictions.  To the extent she perceives these as unfixable, the more she’ll procrastinate and the deeper she’ll sink into the melancholy that so often afflicts under-performing Capricorns.

[3]  According to Jung, the anima or animus is unconscious or true inner self of an individual (as opposed to the persona or ‘outer’ self).  In the unconscious of a man, the anima find expression as a feminine inner personality and manifests in his dreams as well as his attitudes towards women.  In a woman, the animus is the personification of her masculine tendencies.  As the archetypal masculine symbols within her unconscious, it likewise manifests in dreams and attitudes towards men .

In psychological astrology, (1) the anima is assigned to the eighth house (which represents the intense emotional experiences and encounters that will change us forever) and (2) the animus to the twelfth (which according to Jungian psychologist and astrologer Karen Hamaker-Zondag, is the ‘hidden power in the horoscope’).

My heroine Abby has Uranus in the 12th house and as such, her image of men is of movers and shakers – they shock, shatter, destabilise – for (hopefully) altruistic and humanitarian reasons.  What she doesn’t yet realise is that this is what she herself is meant to do.

Uranus in Aries – (or why I’m so angry…)

Dear friends,

It’s time to explain why there’s so much anger in my recent posts.

Uranus is in Aries = anger is in the air.

But more specifically, transiting Uranus in Aries  (in my–very public– 10th house) is now making a direct opposition to my Libra sun (in my–very private–4th house).

  • Keywords for Libra are ingratiating and amiable.
  • Keywords for Aries are assertive and angry.
  • Now is the time for my anger to go live.

According to Howard Sasportas, in his excellent book, The Gods of Change, my Uranus – Sun transit suggests a time when I am in accord with my inner need to develop and expand in ways I’ve not done before.  Astrologically, I’m in the mood to open up and experiment with life.

Because Uranus is in opposition to my Sun,this comes at the price of upheaval and pain. I can  also expect to feel restless and bored–trapped by circumstances beyond my control. My inner Self is demanding change and if I deny it, my world may collapse on my head (or worse I will get ill). But if can go with the flow, then I can make way for a brand new me.

My Uranus–Sun transit is also about finding “the father inside me”– i.e. the ability to take charge and direct my life, rather than adjusting (as I always have done)  to others’ needs. The anger generated by Uranus in Aries allows me to do this.  For the first time, I’m standing up for myself big time.   If this seems abrasive, antisocial, and discourteous, then so be it – to apologise would be too Libra – and that’s not what I’m meant to be about right now.

So until December this year, when my Uranus-Sun transit comes to a close,  please support me as best you can.

If I can accept this new influx of energy, and make the necessary changes in my life, then I will have taken a major step forward in the process that Carl Jung has coined, individuation.  In other words, I will have done nothing less than to have discovered the Divine in me.

 

 

For more information on the process of individuation see http://www.thesap.org.uk/Individuation.

Today you can win back your dignity and self respect

With the sun in Aquarius  (breakthrough and reform ) and the moon in Libra (  harmony and peace), today is Six of Swords Day.  It is also the first day we’ve seen the sun in Oxford for some time.

The Six of Swords is not a happy card.  Yet it does suggest some sense of harmony resulting from coming to terms with yourself.  Each of us has strengths and weaknesses.  But in today’s world of constant competition, it is all to easy to identify with what you do wrong rather than what you do right.

The serene state suggested by the Six of Swords does not spring from the tranquil heart as it might do with the Six of Cups, but rather from a tranquil mind.

In his essay ‘Answer to Job’, Carl Jung suggests that physical reality is just one kind of reality.    If someone holds a belief (regardless of whether it is possible or not of physical manifestation) and such belief holds meaning for that person, then that belief is as real as anything else.

Scary – when you come to think about it.

Even scarier if you’ve come to believe that you don’t measure up.

I win – you lose.   For better or worse, this is the world in which we live in today.

On a Six of Swords Day, you can utilise your mind’s capacity for understanding to help come to terms with the negative beliefs you’ve piled on about yourself.   On a Six of Swords Day,  you can win back your dignity and self-respect.