Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Facebook Smorgasbord

I’ve recently been putting comments on the UK Professional Astrologers Facebook site. I’m not allowed to quote anyone else, but I can quote myself! So here are some of them:


To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, there would only be one thing worse than astrology being derided by the ‘establishment’, which would be if they took it seriously! And regulated it, and set the canon in stone, and ironed out the misfits and so on. I value our craft being the subject of derision, it forces me continually to create for myself a worldview that can incorporate astrology, and to understand the cultural forces opposing it. We have a worthy opponent. Let us drink to that!


I was once told at a workshop that rectification is 'intellectually indefensible'. Which of course is true. It's a Dark Art, as I cheerfully refer to it. But I think it maybe also depends on your notion of what astrology is. Take the US Sibly Chart. A symbolic, rather than literal time is used, but it is held to be a valid chart because the methods used to generate it were traditional and sensitive to symbolism. And it works. That any chart works is due to symbolic rather than literal relationships between the planets and people/events. Astrology is primarily a symbolic rather than a literal/linear art. And because you are using symbols, even if you are using a chart that is not based on an accurate time – even quite an inaccurate one – the chart often has a way of working for that person/event, and more so over time.

Maybe if you do not have a sufficiently accurate birth time, an answer would be to create a symbolic chart, by for example putting the planet that rules the event on the Ascendant, which is a traditional method. Hence the Gemini Rising chart for the USA, which has revolutionary Uranus on the Ascendant. So if you or your mother nearly died when you were born, try a chart with Pluto on the Ascendant. Or if it was long and difficult, put Saturn there. Caesarean? Maybe surgical Mars. Or maybe focus on the atmosphere around the birth, maybe that is more important. An accident? Put Uranus there. The product of a great romance? Put Venus or Neptune there. It could be an interesting exercise in recreating the past.

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Below is my response to a favourable review of the Norwegian Existential Philosopher Zapffe, beginning with a quote from the review. I am interested by existentialism and existential psychotherapy, but I have my reservations, as becomes clear:

“The process of life is oblivious to the beings it makes and breaks in the course of its perpetuation.” I like the central idea of existentialism that there are certain givens with which we need to live in accord for a fulfilling life. But those givens need a light touch, they need to change with the day of the week, as it were. And they seem to me vulnerable to the demonised view of the universe which science, at its worst, implies, as well as its simplistic existential certainties. The above quote, I think, is an example of that. Life is so much bigger than we are, so unknowable in its purposes. The Greeks, with their gods and their idea of hubris, understood this.

I don’t know how existential therapy generally treats its ‘givens’ of existence. But I was watching Irvin Yalom on DVD, who is clearly a gifted therapist, I’ve enjoyed some of his books. And he encourages his patients, clients, whatever you call them, to see death as an extinction, and that any other view offers false comfort. Now we don’t know what happens after we die, all we know is that we will die. In my view the false comfort here is the certainty itself about what happens after we die: extinction. For some, any certainty can be better than no certainty.

He also wants his patients to understand that any meaning they find in life is something they alone have brought to it, it is a human construct against a meaningless background. Again, the universe is a mysterious place to which we are profoundly connected, and who knows where the experience of meaning comes from? We need it, we need to find what gives us that experience, and that is probably as much as we know. What I want to know is what happened to Irvin Yalom that he has such a bleak view of existence? (I would say the same of Richard Dawkins, with his universe that exhibits ‘blind, pitiless indifference’.)


The Mountain Astrologer put up a piece pointing out that we have just had the heliocentric square from Uranus to Pluto (only one of them occurs), as opposed to the series of seven which occurs in normal geocentric astrology:

It's occurred almost at the mid point of the series of 7 squares of geocentric squares. Maybe that always happens? And it's coincided with movement in 2 crises: the nuclear deal with Iran, and the anti-filibustering law in the US, which may make things better or worse!

There's an ongoing political crisis in the US, due to the right wing of the Republican party being obstructive with the Democrats, and bringing government and legislation to a halt. The US Sun is at 13 Cancer, so it has ways to run yet. But it is interesting that Obamacare has been caught up in it, because the US Sun is in Cancer square to Saturn. The crisis is, in a sense, does the US want to take care of its people, in a way that in Europe we take for granted?

It's almost like they have an exaggerated patriotism (Cancer) because the healthy expression of Sun in Cancer is denied by Saturn.


Responding to a comment about how conservative 'revolutionary' Uranus can be:
Well mythologically Uranus wasn't very revolutionary! He was more like the Tea Party! Maybe there's a difference between revolution and rebellion. With revolution a new order is brought in that resolves the past, but with rebellion alone the past is not resolved: you remain fighting against it and in a sense longing for it. That is maybe why America loves British Royalty.


Comment on the publication of Donna Cunningham’s new book The Stellium Handbook.

A stellium occurs when you have at least 3 planets in a chart joined together by a series of continuous conjunctions.

I haven't read the book, but I guess there is a difference between stelliums made of personal planets and those that are generational. I guess the former would give a personality that is strong in a particular way, and maybe imbalanced in others. Whereas the latter, if connected to a personal planet or Angle, would give a personality that derives its power from its connection to the collective, something speaking through you.


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Kenna J said...

I don't agree that rectification of charts is intellectually indefensible. If you just stick to evaluating the personality relative to the natal chart, then yes, but if you make progressed charts for highly significant events, you can rectify.