Fate vs free will in astrology: Part I, a history involving Pluto

modern astrologyEven though Pluto was not discovered until 1930, its influence is evident in the evolution of modern astrology. The renaissance of astrology in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries began with Alan Leo and the birth of the publication “Modern Astrology” in 1895 when Pluto was in the information gathering sign of Gemini.  Gemini is more concerned with the sharing of information than finding any kind of ultimate truth, and Alan Leo, who was a Theosophist, was primarily concerned with spreading the language of astrology to the masses via what we now call horoscope columns.

In England, astrology under Pluto in Gemini was a more academic affair but the “cookbook” texts of Charles Carter similarly helped to spread the language of astrology to more people than ever before. Carter’s words on fate illustrate the way in which the idea of predetermination was beginning to fade:

As regards the higher part of man’s nature, his rational, moral, and aesthetic faculties, it is my firm belief that, if we chose to unfold them, no stellar influence can prevent us, though it may place obstacles and hindrances in our path. There are parts of our lives which the stars do seem to a large extent to dominate, and there is a yet greater part which they undoubtedly can affect, both favourably and adversely. It is for us to place our treasure where they cannot penetrate; no easy task, it is true, but probably the one most worth performing.

The discovery of Pluto in the 1930s coincided with the scientific breakthroughs required to release the atomic bomb which symbolizes Pluto’s destructive force which sometimes requires complete annihilation followed by a necessary rebuilding phase.  But it also coincided with the groundbreaking work of […]

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By |2019-11-10T19:20:13-05:00January 11th, 2018|Astrology, Fate|2 Comments

The music of Dane Rudhyar

Many of my readers will recognize the  name Dane Rudhyar as the father of twentieth century”humanistic astrology” that led to the psychological astrology many of us practice today.  Rudhyar was the author of many astrology books and a noted Theosophist, but he was also an acclaimed painter, musician and composer.

Rudhyar’s musical talents are largely forgotten, but an event this week in California includes performances by pianist Sarah Cahill of some of Rudhyar’s compositions.  Cahill quoted Rudhyar: “The inspiration for the music stems from a sequence of psycho-spiritual states of consciousness, not from anything resembling physical movement. Music here is a nonverbal speech aiming at communicating or inciting inner experiences.”

The group hosting the event is called Other Minds, and it would be wonderful if a recording of this music could be made available to the public.

 

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By |2019-11-10T19:20:01-05:00September 28th, 2010|Astrology in the news|Comments Off on The music of Dane Rudhyar

Traditional vs. “Modern” Astrology

astrologyThis article was originally posted in July of 2007.

Somewhere along the line astrologers split into two camps as some moved forward into humanistic or psychological astrology (leading into evolutionary and transformational astrology) and some moved backwards towards traditional or medieval astrology. Rob Hand was one of my favorite authors, and his book Planets in Transit is still one of the very best resources available on that subject. In 1992, just as Uranus and Neptune conjoined in Capricorn where the flood of new ideas (Uranus) confused and befuddled (Neptune) established conventions (Capricorn), Rob began a study and collection of ancient astrological texts called Project Hindsight. I’ll come back to Rob Hand in a moment.

Modern astrology has its roots in the work of Dane Rudhyar, who pioneered the concept of self-actualization through the astrological system in what he called “humanistic astrology” which was more psychological in nature than the predictive astrological system of the past that was more event-oriented than person-centered. Although Rudhyar had studied and written about astrology since the 1920s, it wasn’t until the Uranus/Pluto conjunction of the 1960s that he revolutionized the astrological world with his book The Astrology of Personality. Rudhyar had been influenced in the 1930s by the archetypal studies of Carl Jung and depth psychology, and he utilized these ideas in his revolutionary approach to the new astrology.

Chiron’s discovery in the late 1970s brought with it the ancient idea that the key to healing is found within the wound, accelerating the movement towards an astrological system that
provided healing of psychological wounds. The outer planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) became known as the “transpersonal” planets which accelerated that personal growth and healing from outside of the individual, and the inner planets were revealed as functions […]

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By |2019-11-10T19:20:01-05:00May 28th, 2009|Astrology|Comments Off on Traditional vs. “Modern” Astrology

The Chiron/Neptune conjunction: Part II

When Chiron and Neptune are working together, they combine to assist with the work of the soul.  The body,, the mind, and the ego are all most interested in living a life well-grounded in the material world that offers the maximum of pleasure and the minimum of pain.  The soul does not pursue pleasure and avoid pain; instead, there is an embrace of experiences that will assist us at the deepest level to completely learn the lessons that are presented to us so that we can release the past and move forward with greater wisdom.

Chiron facilitates this aspect of soul work by uncovering any wounded places that have been left unresolved so that we can be freed of the blocked energy that our unreleased wounds hold within the body/mind/spirit system.  Neptune assists by reminding us that there is a world of experience that lies beyond the boundaries of the material world.  Under the influence of Neptune we either open up to experiences of a powerful mystical nature, or else we become confused and deluded as the nature of our personal reality is blurred and we have nothing to replace it with.  Neptune bestows creative genius and a spiritual connection to our Divine self as the physical world is transcended, or it can cause us to indulge in escapist and addictive behavior in an effort to escape the prison of our own mind.

As in everything else in the astrological language, there is a both a higher and lower manifestation of both Chiron and Neptune, so when they combine in a conjunction there is the potential to for a transcendent experience of healing spirituality, or a confusing descent into the hell of the unknown of the psyche.

I suspect that the epidemic of mass shootings we have seen over the past […]

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By |2019-11-10T19:20:31-05:00April 9th, 2009|Planetary cycles|Comments Off on The Chiron/Neptune conjunction: Part II

The Chiron/Neptune Conjunction of 2009-2010

Chiron NeptuneOne of the big astrological events for 2009 is the triple conjunction of Chiron and Neptune with Jupiter that will culminate at the end of May when all three planets are within 1 degree of each other in Aquarius.  Although the exact conjunction won’t occur until February 17, 2010, Chiron and Neptune are within a degree of a conjunction now, so this planetary event is definitely well underway.

So what will this mean for us?  Chiron teaches us to face the old wounds of our past and allow ourselves to be healed, opening us up to greater wisdom and understanding that we can then pass along to others.  Neptune inspires us towards a more transcendent experience of our lives that encourages us to recognize the impermanence of life’s mysteries.  However, each of those planets have a darker face as well that can arise.  If we resist the Chiron experience we can become stuck in our own wounds, unable to see that they are of our own making and unable to let go.  If we resist the Neptune experience we can feel confused or become deluded by our fantasies and illusions.

Both Chiron and Neptune pose difficulty for the expression of the ego.  Chiron requires that we process the wounds of the psyche before the ego can manifest in a truly healthy form, and Neptune calls for the transcendence of the ego into the divine unconscious: “from a drop of water to the endless sea.”  In Aquarius that transcendence of the ego is even more important as Aquarius is a transpersonal sign; the sign that loves mankind but isn’t so crazy about people as individuals.  The new “transhumanism” is a signature of Aquarius, in which technology and innovation […]

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By |2019-11-10T19:20:01-05:00April 6th, 2009|Planetary cycles|Comments Off on The Chiron/Neptune Conjunction of 2009-2010
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