“My evenings are taken up very largely with astrology. I make horoscopic calculations in order to find a clue to the core of psychological truth. Some remarkable things have turned up which will certainly appear incredible to you.”
~Carl Jung in a letter to Sigmund Freud (June 12, 1911)
I offer astrological counseling for psycho-spiritual exploration, understanding, and transformation. Astrology utilized in this way can be a missing key for deep inner work and can shed light on the path towards greater harmony with the natural rhythms and cycles of one’s life journey. My approach to astrology is to share the potentials and opportunities I see while exploring how the symbols and archetypes are manifesting uniquely for each individual. Astrology is a wonderful tool for self-knowledge and a help in times of challenge or transition. It can facilitate tremendous insight and peace, as well as provide timelines for certain archetypal or energetic influences reflected in our lives and inner states of being. Consultations available for birth chart exploration, current influences, relationship dynamics, and timing for important events.
Along with the elements (fire, earth, air, and water) the qualities (cardinal, fixed, and mutable) are an important classification in astrology. The cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn) are the initiators and pioneers with the drive to make something happen. The fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius) are the ones who concentrate and focus their energy to build on and sustain what is already there. The mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces) are flexible, adaptable, and changeable, depending on the situation.
Signs of the same element are trine one another, and the trine is usually thought of as an easy, harmonious relationship that just flows. Whereas signs of the same quality are square or opposed one another. The square, for instance, is usually thought of as a more challenging, tense relationship that requires work. However in my experience, signs that are of the same quality, even though they are square or opposed one another, also have an affinity with one another, sharing a significant commonality in way of being and in values. Read more...
For instance, Leo (fire) and Scorpio (water) are both fixed and square one another. So they can both be stubborn, which can create problems, but they are also both known to be loyal, another fixed quality. That may actually create a deeper harmony than is typically attributed to signs that are square. In contrast, Leo and Aries (both fire) are trine and may be in the comfort zone together in their fiery, enthusiastic, and spirited temperaments. Yet, Leo is fixed and Aries is cardinal, so on the one hand the difference in qualities may compliment one another — for example, Aries will start something new and Leo with keep it going. But the difference in qualities may also be a point of contention — for example, Aries will be onto the next adventure while Leo is still attached to the old one.
Another example is Gemini (air) and Pisces (water). They are both mutable and square one another, so they might both be so changeable that there is no solid ground on which to stand. Yet on the other hand, they also both share an openness to all walks of life, adapting as necessary; Gemini is curious about all and Pisces naturally intuits the underlying oneness of all…
It is my practice to remember squares are not only negative, and trines are not only positive. All types of aspects, either within an individual birth chart, or when comparing two charts for compatibility, provide opportunities and gifts.
On Feb 3rd, after going back and forth over the cusp in 2011, Neptune entered Pisces ♓ to stay for approximately 14 years (Neptune hasn’t been in Pisces since 1848-1862). Neptune and Pisces, sometimes referred to as “the 12th principle” in astrology, (i.e., Pisces is the 12th sign) share many of the same archetypal significances: numinous dreams, mysticism, unconditional love, and the melting away of boundaries between self, other, and the Divine into an oceanic Oneness. This is a beautiful, cosmic experience. Yet Neptune and Pisces both also correspond with challenges such as confusion, unending nebulousness, delusion, deception, addiction, and difficulty separating fact from fiction. With Neptune and Pisces together like this, I imagine this archetype will be strengthened and emphasized in a quantum way. It will be interesting to watch how the felt experience of it will unfold over time, individually and collectively.
Mars represents an aspect of the inner masculine. He is the archetype who initiates, assertively and confidently. Mars is the drive to go after what you want, even to fight for it if necessary. Mars is active, dynamic, and decisive. When Mars is retrograde, this natural drive is turned inward. Instead of acting on a desire, we may find it is a time to simply “be with” the impulse. This part of the Mars cycle is supportive of observation, stillness, and analysis (♍) of one’s motivations — as opposed to hasty behavior or unconsidered action. Also, the nature of one’s desire might undergo a change in direction or object — toward fulfilling an inner need that has been on the back burner for awhile, but now calls for an avenue of expression. Contemplation during this period will create greater clarity about what to pursue, what to let go of, and the wisest, most efficient (♍) way to take action that will serve (♍) the greatest good.
The Sabian Symbols are 360 symbolic vignettes each corresponding to a degree of the zodiac. Many astrologers use them in chart interpretation to get a richer sense of meaning for any important planet or point in a chart, such as the Sun, Moon, or Ascendant. For instance, when I was born, the Sun was at 5º41’ Leo. The corresponding Sabian for my Sun is:
Leo 6*: A sweet old-fashioned belle, and a pert and attractive modern flapper, stand in mutual envy of each other.
From the time I was a child and my mother told me this was the symbol for my Sun, it always resonated deeply. As I got older and came to understand my chart as a whole, I began to see how not only did it capture the essence of my core (the Sun), but interestingly it also captured other prominent themes in my chart, such as my Libra Ascendent (balancing opposites, seeing the other side of the story, and a focus on aesthetics etc), my Sun conjunct Saturn (Saturn represents tradition, and therefore is “old-fashioned”) and my Sun/Saturn square Uranus (Uranus represents breaking free from old structures, and therefore fits “a modern flapper.” In some mystical way, the specific Sabian symbol for the degree of my Leo Sun acts as a holon** for my whole chart. Not everyone resonates as obviously and spontaneously with their Sabians; sometimes it takes some contemplation to penetrate into the meaning of the symbol. Read more...
To look up the Sabian Symbols relevant for your chart, click here.
I happen to use this longer, more poetic version of the Sabians, because they seem to hold more meaning for me, personally. But there is a concise version that is more well known. In that version the equivalent of my Sun is:
Leo 6: An old fashioned ‘consevative’ woman is confronted by an up-to-date girl.
I dont feel this version captures my essence as well, but some feel the concise version is the more original version. To look up the Sabian Symbols in this version, click here.
Regarding the different versions of the Sabian Symbols, here is an excerpt from Diane Applebaum:
“The story of how the Sabian Symbols came about will be found in the second chapter of Part One in Dane Rudhyars ‘An Astrological Mandala.’ Briefly put, on a day in 1925 Marc Edmund Jones and a well-known psychic, Elsie Wheeler, sat in a quiet area of a San Diego Park, yet a spot not far from the bustling world. He had a stack of 360 index cards, each with a degree of the zodiac written on it. Jones would shuffle the pile, and then, as he drew an index card, without either of them seeing which degree was written on it, Wheeler communicated a scene that came before her minds eye. In connection with each card, Jones ‘made a brief pen notation of what she said.’
[One version of the Sabians is the concise wording that Jones jotted down on the notecards and another is a more expanded version that Jones later wrote.]
Although Jones felt moved to repudiate this later version, it is also said that early on he doubted the validity of the Sabians in general. Nevertheless, a circle of astrologers around him began working with the vignettes and found them uncannily accurate and informing. Which version is the most ‘credible I leave up to the reader to choose. In my experience the different versions work for different people. In connection with this, my mind always goes to the point in the story of events in the park that day in which Jones is said to have felt that one of the symbols that Wheeler had seen internally was incorrect. He asked Wheeler, who he apparently felt was channeling a representative of the ancient Mesopotamian brotherhood with whom this ancient system of symbols had abided, to inquire about the accuracy of this symbol. After making the inquiry Wheeler conveyed to Jones that the Brother’s answer was to the effect that it was up to Jones to discover.
I believe that this detail in the series of events indicates a significant aspect of the event that took place at that momentous point in time, and should not be discounted as an irrelevant detail or of no account. The meaning or meanings of this occurrence are not something minor or inconsequential to be cast aside as simply inscrutable or without implication to the subsequent unfolding of the phenomenon of the Sabians coming forth to be formulated. It is my opinion that that question and answer indicated the next phase after the park event — of bringing the conception to birth. The uncertainty that was expressed by Jones and the question he put forth are part of the profound and esoteric living dynamics of the advent of these symbols in their reappearance, now in the modern day world. As they unfold in this ‘incarnation,’ the symbols are ‘stamped’ with this seed-developmental phase, much as a natal chart illustrates dynamics that become stamped upon the incarnating soul at the moment of its first breath in this life, and the unfolding shown by the progressions.
It may be noted that it was Jones who wrote down the particular words on the note cards, the brief descriptions. I wonder what all Wheeler said in connection with each card. And even if the case may be that she spoke only those few words which he wrote on each card, the Brother may have implied that Jones had a designated destined role to play in the rich and more descriptive formulation and presentation of the Symbols to the modern day world.
Each version has adherents and resonates with intuitive knowing and insight. Each may serve as a tool that has the potential to spark inspired and accurate imagination in different people. The version I work with is the longer more descriptive formulations which Jones circulated not in book form but in manuscript form. They are titled Lecture-Lessons, and, according to the dates at the tops of the pages, were issued between May 18, 1931 and November 9, 1931.”
*Always round up to the next degree when working with the symbols. Dane Rudhyar’s explanation: “if the symbol is referred to the position of a planet in an astrological chart, Cancer 5º begins at 4º 1” (four degrees and one second or minute) and ends with Cancer 4º59’59”; just as the first year (year number 1) of a life begins at birth and ends with the first birthday. We are dealing with a process, and ‘Phase One’ starts the very moment the process begins.”
**A holon is something that is simultaneously a whole and a part (Wikipedia).
“The waxing crescent moon and the dazzling planet Venus are the first two celestial lights to appear after sunset on January 25, 2012. Look low in the west to see the shining pair at dusk and early evening.” ~EarthSky.org
The 2 feminine archetypes join — The Moon, shimmery and reflective, and Venus, beautiful and receptive.
“I do believe that astrology’s greatest value resides in its insights into human behavior. By ‘insights’ I mean information that reveals to the individual (1) a deeper understanding of his or her basic needs and core beliefs, and (2) the habitual patterns of thinking, feeling, and behavior that derive out of these deep structures. But these insights can be integrated with knowledge of transits & progressions and the various opportunities for growth they provide… Read more...
It seems to me that the real difference between psychological and predictive astrology comes down to the question of why are we here? From a psychological perspective, the answer would seem, to realize more fully our human potential. A strictly predictive astrology, however, implies that one’s fate is more or less fixed and that one’s ultimate good lies in avoiding pain and maximizing pleasure. Whereas psychological astrology assists individuals in discovering how they are creating their own fate, predictive astrology merely describes fate without relating it to the inner, psychological life of the person. From this perspective, events have no meaning beyond being ‘good or ‘bad. To say that they are “karma” from past lives, to be suffered and endured (or perhaps avoided through the cosmically informed counsel of one’s astrologer), does little to help people live more constructively in the here and now. I believe that fate can be positively altered through a process of internal healing and integration. The real meaning of events is that they constitute ‘feedback that reflects back to the individual where s/he is at in terms of health and wholeness. And their real value is that they stimulate growth in precisely those areas where the individual most needs to change.” ~Glenn Perry
“The Star of David, still used as a sacred symbol by Jews worldwide, is based on the horoscope of King David, who was said to have been born with two fortunate grand trines, which interlocked to create a six pointed star. To intimidate his enemies and imply he was unbeatable, it was engraved on his armor. It must have worked, because he seems to have won all his fights and become a powerful monarch. Read more...
In modern times we still see the grand trine as a favorable pattern in the horoscope because it links all the qualities of a particular quadruplicity together - all the earth signs, or all the fire signs - in 120 degree relationships, thus providing the individual with talents in particular areas.
However, we also realize that while the grand trine implies a talent, it is a lazy aspect and the individual with such a pattern may not do a great deal with it unless a large spur is applied to the backside in some manner...
Fortunately, few people have grand trines with so little impetus. Most charts with grand trines show one or more of the three key positions receive a square or opposition. The hard aspects of square and opposition are exactly the spurs that work best with the grand trine: problems that come along regularly enough to keep the lazy aspect engaged and using its talent.”
To read the rest of this article about different aspect patterns in a chart, click here
As the planets move through the sky and through the zodiac, they affect each one of us differently depending on how they connect with one’s individual birthchart. There are some astrological events, however, that happen to everyone at approximately the same age, which mark important rites of passage and correspond with certain life phases. Here is a list of a few of the major ones:
Saturn return (Saturn conjunct Saturn), first one at age 29:
This is the symbolic entrance into adulthood — new structures are built or current structures break down if they are not in alignment with one’s proper track in life, responsibility increases, and/or obstacles must be overcome.
Second one at age 59: This is a time of passing on the torch to the next generation — all that has been learned and achieved can now be shared fully, and let go of, as one prepares for the last third of life.
Pluto square Pluto, varies due to Pluto’s irregular orbit, currently takes place at age 35-37, but in certain other eras, it was around age 62:
This is a significant turning point involving the integration of one’s shadow — can be experienced as intense pressure, forced growth, or having to surrender. This eventually leads to regeneration, transformation, empowerment and finding new purpose and meaning in life.
Neptune square Neptune, age 40-41:
This is a spiritual turning point — the need arises for direct experience of something greater than the ego self. Initially it can manifest as confusion, doubt, or escapism, but leads to a shift in consciousness.
Uranus opposite Uranus, around age 42:
Uranus brings freedom from that which is limiting or preventing one from being true to oneself. Sudden changes and shock often accompany this transit, but culminate in the awakening to a new life.
Moon’s Nodal return, every 18.6 years, at approximately age 19, 38, 56 and so on:
The nodes have to do with the soul’s direction in the larger scheme of one’s life. The nodal returns are moments in time that may be particularly destined and feel like they have a karmic quality to them.
Jupiter return, every 12 years, at age 12, 24, 36, 48 and so on:
These are times of growth, opportunities, blessings, and abundance connected with the area of life where natal Jupiter is in the birthchart.
I would love to hear about people’s experiences with these major passages through time. Feel free to contact me with questions or comments.
The Spiritual Implications of the Astrological Birthchart
Upcoming workshop with Randy Wasserstrom
At the heart of the astrological birthchart is spiritual karma and from this karma comes a perfect compassionate design for each one of us. Our mission is to feel the perfection of the design and to guide our lives by it. In this workshop, “The Spiritual Implications of the Astrological Birthchart”, we will discuss how to interpret planets, signs, houses and the lunar nodes from a spiritual perspective while comparing this perspective to the psychological model. Participants will have the opportunity to look at their own charts (voluntary) “piece by piece” from this perspective. This workshop is for all astrology students — beginning to advanced.
Randy Wasserstrom, MSW, a professional astrologer from Cary, NC will be the workshop leader. He has 22 years of experience as an astrologer, has taught many classes in beginning to advanced astrology, and started the Network of Triangle Astrologers.
The fee is $45.00. For further information and/or pre-registration, call Randy at 919-467-4043 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When: January 28, 2012 from 1-4pm
Where: A Far Away Place —16 Battery Park Ave. Asheville, NC 28801