I continue to be blown away by the new crop of astrologers who have grown up in the craft with so many tools at their disposal and made good use of them. Chris Brennan, a recent graduate of Kepler College, is one of these and he has a new article up on his site questioning the use of mythology in astrological counseling. He writes:
While the planets themselves were named after the gods of the Greek pantheon centuries before horoscopic astrology came out of Alexandria, nowhere in any of the Hellenistic astrological texts is there made a direct correlation between the mythology of the gods and the significations of the corresponding planetary bodies that bare their names. The connection between the names of the celestial bodies and their corresponding myths in an interpretive astrological context does not appear to have been made in the western astrological tradition until sometime in the 20th century, and thus it is a relatively new innovation with respect to the history of horoscopic astrology as a whole. As a relatively recent development in the western tradition, this method of chart delineation should be reexamined within the context of ancient and contemporary astrological system alike in order to determine the applicability of mythology to the astrological construct as a whole, from both a theoretical and a practical standpoint.
Chris traces the use of mythological concepts in modern astrology to the work of Liz Greene, who of course has been a major influence in shaping my own transformational approach. Dr. Greene is a Jungian analyst who incorporates the use of archetypal language in her astrological interpretations, as do many other psychological astrologers. Chris adds,
Perhaps the archetypes or concepts inside of that consciousness are available for all of humanity to draw upon and they are somehow intertwined with the thoughts of the cosmic mind, as expressed by the movements of the celestial bodies. The archetypes are somewhat general in character though, because they are essentially broad, undirected concepts, of a universal nature and they are not as specifically focused because they occur everywhere in our world and not just through the specific language of astrology.
I have to say, though, that for me the use of the mythological archetypes goes beyond providing a methodology to explain the workings of the planets in our lives. To me the planets ARE living gods, each of whom have something to teach us. The Greek mythological sources are imperfect in their corrolation to the astrological symbolism of the planets, but an understanding of the nature of these gods is invaluable in processing the psychospiritual systems of the chart and the unfolding planetary cycles that we face day after day. What god are we working with? What does he or she come to teach? What gifts does this god seek from us? Understanding the chart in this manner opens up a new world of meaning to the client in a way that allows us to interact more significantly with the chart and our unfolding planetary cycles as well.