Sunday, March 16, 2014

Ecstasy and the Limits of Mundane Astrology

9/11 evokes strong views/feelings in probably most of us. So how possible is it to read a chart in those circumstances? Many think it was a US government conspiracy, and when they read the chart, that is what they see. I don’t think it was a conspiracy, and when I read the chart, I see something closer to the ‘official’ explanation.

Maybe this is a problem that applies particularly to mundane as opposed to personal astrology, because we often come in with strong views. Take the Ukraine. Lots of astrologers have been analysing that country’s chart in the light of the recent political events. We may not know much about the Ukraine, but Russia is playing a decisive role in events, and how can we not feel one way or the other about that?

So again, can we really do astrology effectively in those circumstances? I think we can, but it requires considerable self-mastery.

It’s like doing a reading for a close friend or family member. To read effectively we need both emotional neutrality and emotional engagement. But with close friends and family how can we be neutral? There are things, for example, that annoy us about them, that we probably see as their faults, but our view of those ‘faults’ is coloured by our emotional response. And if someone is your wife/husband/partner, well it’s a tangle of smoke and mirrors, it’s a crucible that we are in looking out of, and to do astrology we need to be out looking in.

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I’m not ruling out astrology for family and close friends (by close, I mean you know them well enough to behave badly towards them, and you still remain friends!) Not at all, I do some good astrology round the dinner table with a few glasses of wine in me. But maybe I need the wine to take me out of myself in that context?

Astrology is divinatory. It is grounded in certain rules of interpretation, but that is just the launch pad for the really powerful stuff, when something speaks through you, your intuition, the gods, guides, whatever. In a good reading this always happens to some extent, and you may not even be aware you are doing it. I’m liable to protest: “But I can justify what I said in terms of the rules, I wasn’t being intuitive!”, but that’s just my rational bias.

Astrology is in this sense ecstatic, a word which comes from the Greek meaning to stand outside oneself. And we probably all know that feeling of bliss that comes with it, how after doing a reading you feel like you’ve been somewhere else, and we all have our own ways of coming back and absorbing what has just happened.

Which brings me back to mundane astrology. You do not have a living person in front of you, you have a chart for a country that is perhaps thousands of miles away. I think it’s possible to read the chart ecstatically, to be a mouthpiece for the gods of that country. But I think it’s very difficult. It’s more natural to follow the rules of astrology in these cases. But then we are liable to interpret using our ordinary human emotions, and see what we want to see. Because any astrological configuration has a number of equally valid and even opposing interpretations, if we are just following the rules.

Mundane astrology can be one-sidedly rational. I was on a short course in it many years ago, and we certainly learned some of the rules, but at no point did we use them to delve into national character, which I had naively thought was the whole idea! I still do think that. To read accurately, you need to get inside the chart, you need a sense of what it feels like to be a Ukrainian, or its government, for example (which can just be an intuitive thing.) There has to be feeling there, like in any reading, but not too personal.

So with mundane astrology there seems to be an issue around bringing Fire and Water (intuition and feeling) into the reading, along with Earth and Air (accurate data and rational interpretation). For example, you could have seen at its inception that the EU was going to go through a major crisis around 2012. That is basic astrology. But would it cause the EU to unravel, or come together on a new basis? You would have needed Fire and Water, which go beyond the ‘rules’ of astrology, to be accurate about that.


Palden Jenkins said...

Yes indeed, a lot of standing back is needed. And also a sense of wider history, and an ability to step outside the habit of foreseeing the future on the basis of the past.

With Ukraine, and Syria, and UK, I'd say the overall pattern concerns the death of nations and the rise of continental/cultural blocs. The underlying issue is world governance - which raises the hackles of many people - since the primary issues are global. But since we humans are avoiding that, we're forming into blocs instead. And Russia is consoidating its position in distinction to EU, China and the nascent Middle East bloc, also forming out of the dust of 1920s Euro-defined nation states.

How fast or slow this will go is anyone's guess, but my estimate is that emergencies will define it, though we still have choice as to whether to face the music or engage in avoidance strategies such as wars and diplomatic posturing.

The big one that no one wants to face is migration - mass scale. And Bris are not exempt from that because our two major risks are climatic and toxic, and either could make even us proud Brits into refugees quite quickly. But this relates completely to other defining factors such as climate extremes, resource and economic issues and many more.

Fact is, in Ukraine, we're simply talking about two different totalitarian systems (EU and Russia) competing - both of them rather tired and lost, and seeking to find a purpose, though still through the old picture of economics and geopolitical influence. We're talking of a nation with inappropriate boundaries - and this is the case for probably half the nations of the world at least. So a lot of wrenching is to be expected - Korea, Congo, Middle East, Korea, Europe, Canada and USA (the list continues....)

flame93 said...

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Moira said...

The astrologer who taught be best, taught me the most simplistic rule: source the strongest aspects of the luminaries, then toss the chart aside for the reading. The minor themes will reveal themselves in discussion. The discussions will evolve where they should.

A brilliant astrologer, with brilliant intuitive skills.

As to mundane astrology, I agree that an appreciation of the people/culture is necessary to inform a reading. Studying a country's rulers is as close as we generally get, unless we're personally familiar with the culture.

Should we be ? Is familiarity necessary ? Based on my cold readings of strangers' natal charts (they are like random and unfamiliar cultures) I think you can apply the same intuitive skills to a mundane reading.

But until certain ah-hah placements like Lilith, for instance, become acceptable in mundane readings, we're going to have to admit we were going on a hunch when we looked it up.