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Traditional vs. Modern Astrology Debate
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Southern Cross



Joined: 10 Jan 2014
Posts: 49

Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael wrote:
Quote:
The way I see it, the philosophy that we (on some level) form our own experiences requires us to to look into principles of individual and collective spiritual evolution which operate quite beyond human concepts of good and bad, or morality. The purpose of this philosophy is not to to downplay conditions of misery but to understand and treat their causes.

That's exactly what I think as well. It's not Mainstream though and some people feel not comfortable with it because of suspicion that it takes suffering too lightly (which is not the case).

Quote:
However, I think that on a basic soul level we are spiritual beings (it's almost a pun, I know). Our "soul nucleus" clothes itself with various layers of etheric matter in the different dimensions it experiences on its journey. We bring this with us in form of our subtle bodies when we incarnate. The subtle bodies are providing the blue-prints for our spiritual, intellectual, and emotional processes and experiences.


I agree with that and do not see it as a contradiction to when I said that on a soul level we are foremost emotional beings. We are spiritual souls that function to a high extend through emotions. When we are born we are still close to the spiritual world. I think that it is no coincidence that small children are mainly operating as emotional beings. That tells us something.
Also from what I gathered so far our spiritual developement comes mainly through dealing with emotions and working on them (basically cleaning ourselves from the darker layers of them).

Quote:
Hmm... This seems at variance with a widely held metaphysical belief that it is most of all the Earth plane where free will matters, or can indeed be expressed in the first place.


I know that this is quite the opposite of the usual thinking.

I don't know if we have free will on earth at all and if so how much but I do think that on the spiritual planes we decide freely how we will live while we incarnate.
That's something I also got confirmed when reading books that were from channeled sources or from people with near-death-experiences who got disclosed higher insights.

On the other hand in this material world we do not have 100% free will.
Scientists have found out that we already (often) react to something before it even reaches any centres in our brains that could give us the possibility to become concious about it. That also includes difficult decisions beyond automatic body reactions.

Then there is the phenomenon that many people do get information about things that will happen in the future long time before this often wild stuff actually does become true. I had several personal experiences with this but I will give one example from a book here.

William Hewitt writes in his book "psychic development for beginners" on page 68 about him foreseing the death of a certain child on the 2th may 1972. He got this information in february 1972 and did not know the child in person nor was it known to have a deadly disease. It died right on the 2th of may 1972.

Now it is clear to me that some things are not open to our own doing here on earth. To what extend does this apply? I don't know.
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Southern Cross



Joined: 10 Jan 2014
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Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

James wrote:
Quote:
keeping it astrological, it reminds me of liz greenes book "the astrology of fate". not too shabby a title for a modern astrologer( i think that is how many categorize her), i must say! she essentially tried to communicate the idea that pluto is like a planet of fate (some astrologers like to take this view on the outer planets) while focusing in on pluto as particularly dangerous in bringing more fated types of experiences into our lives at particular points in time..


Interesting. I read this book a long time ago. I should read it again in the next future. Still I think that it isn't just pluto who brings fate into our lives but that all planets are connected with that. The possible stories are already written in our charts and are coming into life through the movements of the stars at certain times.

Quote:
the issue of rape is as good a place as any to start when thinking of pluto's role in hard aspects in a persons chart, especially a pluto/mars connection in a womens chart.

Mars/pluto is certainly something to look out for when violence and violations of peoples rights are involved. With rape I also noticed venus/pluto often.

Quote:
but coming from modern and working towards integrating my evoliing understanding of traditional astrology (in my own way- that is the way i do things),


That's how I do it too.

Quote:
this is why i feel that astrology is headed towards an incorporation of elements from both sides of this crazy divide that annoys the hell out of me - modern and traditional.


The division between traditional and modern astrology is unnecessary and not helpful at all. Like I said before we need both.

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turn the lead into gold!!

My motto too. Laughing
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Deb
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Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for publishing that podcast Chris - it was a very interesting discussion and you did a particularly good job in clarifying that traditional perspectives do not suffer from the stifling limitations that some astrologers presume. I was mainly interested in hearing what Eric actually said about the people who suffer the abusive attacks of others, to see if it was as bad as it sounded in this thread. I don't think it was. It seemed to me that his onus is on moving beyond the issue of apportioning blame and guilt for what has already happened, which is not to suggest that he is handing responsibility over to the victim for being the architect of the accidental experiences they suffer. Presumably he allows the possibility of unfortunate chance events, which is one of the precepts of Ptolemaic theory, and is mainly concerned with people who undergo cycles of regularly recurring negative experiences, his concern being how to free them from the suffering of past hurts and get them out of a self-perpetuating destructive outlook. This is a different scenario to that of a child being attacked or killed, or anyone who suffers random abusive attacks from others - so to understand his views on those sorts of issues would have required the discussion to have gone a lot deeper than it actually did.

I was struck myself (before you made the comparison too) of how Eric's views bore parallels with Stoic philosophy - which grants us no control over circumstances but grants the use of free will to find acceptance and peace of mind that frees the soul from the experience of suffering. Putting aside the many irritations of listening to him wrongly characterize traditional technique and appearing to have a complete ignorance of what knowledge was available to ancient astrologers, I did get a lot out of hearing both sides of the debate, and felt he made some important points about not projecting our astrological interests, assumptions or notions of "right or wrong" into the spiritual experience of our clients' lives. I was particularly pleased that you did a good job in pointing out that the role of consciousness is everywhere in the tradition, and there has never been a time when astrologers were not concerned about spiritual or psychological concerns. It is a pity Eric seemed so unaware of how the development of psychology is largely down to the work of historical astrologers such as Alkindi (as this and numerous other easily accessed sources acknowledge).

One thing I didn't like was the way the discussion was promoted as being a debate on traditional astrology versus modern astrology. Two or three decades ago that may have been the way things seemed to be, but now I think everyone has found their voice, so we can get out of the trap of believing that there is only one valuable astrological approach, which suffers at the hands of "competing" approaches. Eric paid lip-service to the notion that his approach is a complimentary or alternative one, rather than a competitor to traditional astrology, but his prejudiced characterization of what astrologers do with traditional technique suggested that he wasn't open to recognizing its value: at least not yet, although perhaps that may change as a result of debates like this. On the other hand, the one time I felt you let your own position slip was when you started saying things like "this is what you guys have done", which left the implication that contemporary astrologers who have not studied certain traditional techniques are responsible for astrological simplications made before their time. At that point I felt the quality of the debate slipped for a while, but then it picked up again and overall you did a superb job which resulted in a very stimulating and informative debate. I also liked the comments made by the audience at the end - many of those mirrored my own views, and showed that in-between the two extremes there is a place where many astrologers feel comfortable accommodating new discoveries and new approaches in such as way that it continues the tradition rather than rejects it (I think you also made a good case for this argument too). There were numerous points where I would have wanted to disagree with something Eric said, but in the end I was more inclined to overlook his ill-informed remarks and give reflection to the merits of those that did have value, and left me wondering where I might sometimes trip up myself. When astrologers stop conflicting and start really listening to each other's views, we usually all end up saying "yes, I agree with that too", as often happened in this debate. So there was a great deal of food for thought in this discussion, and I think many of us will get a lot out of listening in to what you both had to say.
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Chris Brennan



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Posted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed the debate Deb!


Deb wrote:

One thing I didn't like was the way the discussion was promoted as being a debate on traditional astrology versus modern astrology.



Yeah, this may have been a misstep in the marketing on my part, although I should try to explain what I was going for there. I set it up that way partially because Eric kind of laid down a gauntlet in his book and proposed that many traditional concepts should be rejected in favor of his own approach, and also said that he was open to debating the merits of his proposals. I also just thought that it might draw in more people who were expecting to see completely opposing, irreconcilable views, but then might be surprised to see points of agreement between the two camps.

Although I included some polemical elements in my opening statements, I tried to conclude it on a more conciliatory note by saying that I don't necessarily think that the point of the traditional movement is to simply go back into the past and stay there, but instead the point is to unite some parts of the ancient and modern traditions. I did this because ultimately I felt like the opposite to Eric's approach wasn't just hardline traditional viewpoint that says that the old ways are better than the new ways in every conceivable area, but instead the opposite of someone who is saying that only an extreme variant of modern astrology is the best approach is to say that there is something to be said for both ancient and modern astrology, and that we would be better off trying to reconcile the traditions where we can rather than keeping them separate or only arguing about who is right or better.

That was the idea at least, although framing it that way with the title may have set a tone for the debate that was slightly more contentious than I had anticipated. In the future I will have to be a bit more careful about that.
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Larxene



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Posted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris Brennan wrote:
...and that we would be better off trying to reconcile the traditions where we can rather than keeping them separate or only arguing about who is right or better.


In other words, you believe that a Venusian approach is better than a Martial or Mercurial approach to this problem? Smile
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Becca



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Posted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul wrote:
Southern Cross wrote:

Still looking back at it from a distance I understand now that there was something in my way of thinking, emotional being and acting that needed to be corrected as I wasn't really true to myself and my values.

That may be true for you, as I say, often we are instruments in our own downfall - but there are other things which are not in our control. And therefore we are not to be blamed individually for when we are beaten up or raped etc. Enough of blaming the victim, the people who need to do the inner work are the aggressors.

I think that some people continue to enable their abusers consciously or unconsciously. Maybe they stay in the same environment, around the same people, all of which are ultimately are toxic to them. To me, I think of it as a sign of internal self abuse being projected outwardly to attract those types of circumstances or dynamics between themselves and abusers.

If a person fails to be aware of, acknowledge and take the steps to change this, it only becomes a repetitive cycle until they do, but it shouldn't have to because I think that we do have partial control on how we sway the circumstances of our lives. I see the chart as a symbolic map of different roads that ultimately lead to the same destinations that each of the houses symbolize. Its not necessarily about how you get anywhere, but a question of, "Where are you going, who do you choose to bring with you, and why?"

Paul wrote:
Southern Cross wrote:

I see it from from a different perspective. I think that we have multiple incarnations and do bring some "old stuff" into this life that we want to work on.

I'm agnostic about past lives, but I do agree we are not blank slates from birth, we have expectations and a blueprint much like an oak tree has an acorn, that we will likely grow into. I still don't think that the toddlers who are abused or abducted are because they were unenlightened in a previous life or were bringing some "old stuff".

I think that the placements of a child's chart are subject to projection and being lived out vicariously through others moreso than that of an adult's. If a child suffers through a string of 'bad' events internally or externally, directly or indirectly, we shouldn't really chalk it up to, "[sigh]Dear lord, little Rauls just 'bad' and its hopeless!" - Satan's spawn? Neutral maybe, because I think that the 'why' does stem back to the parents and how they aid as guides in 'shaping' and 'evoking' the healthiest expression of their child's chart, or don't. 'Healthiest' as in actions that don't serve as a harmful influence to themselves or others, and are able to fulfil the pursuit of a happy and meaningful life.

I think of kids themselves as a projection of their parents and their Sun signs because they are a blended physical and, I guess, Confused 'spiritual' creation of theirs. Maybe this explains the pressure of why so many are pushed to achieve, the, "Whatever I couldn't or didn't do, you will for you...but, really I mean for us" mindset, with the Sun being a symbol of recognition and the essence of self at the core being. And I think that's what an individual should strive to be, their Self, and not an embodied manifestation of their creator's ego sent out into the world.

Paul wrote:
Southern Cross wrote:
It's not a shallow view but quite the opposite. It is wider than the usual duality thinking of black and white. Because we all are traumatized to some extend and react very emotional to all sorts of topics it's easy to not see the other planes of existence and consciousness that also exist and could explain some of the bad stuff that happens to us and others.

Life is hard enough without piling more problems onto already suffering people. Sometimes bad things happen to us. It's all well and good to say "oh let's not label them bad" - who has ever been raped or stabbed and said "ah it wasn't that bad, I'd describe the feeling as neutral"? Nobody.

Some individuals choose to stay a victim. They continue on after suffering damaging experiences, pause and think, "Hmm...am I going to try to piece together and be the fragments of myself, or am I going to try to be Rebecca today? I don't know...I suffer from an identity crisis", but then what? Where do they go from there?
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Chris Brennan



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Posted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Larxene wrote:

In other words, you believe that a Venusian approach is better than a Martial or Mercurial approach to this problem? Smile


Ha.. yeah, you could say that... Or maybe it is a inclusive Moon thing versus an excluding Saturn thing. Who knows.

I actually outlined my views on this as a sort of meta topic in my speech at the final graduation of Kepler College a couple of years ago, in order to provide a little bit of additional context of where I was actually coming from with the debate, despite the somewhat unfortunate title:

http://horoscopicastrologyblog.com/2012/06/19/speech-from-the-final-kepler-college-graduation/
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Paul
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Posted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb wrote:
I don't think it was. It seemed to me that his onus is on moving beyond the issue of apportioning blame and guilt for what has already happened, which is not to suggest that he is handing responsibility over to the victim for being the architect of the accidental experiences they suffer.


I have to say I did not see it this way. In particular his analogy that his own abuse, in this case being beaten up, was, he says, because of his own lack of self esteem which stopped when he loved himself more. This was when asked about rape. That suggests to me some analogy that if a rape victim loved themselves more she wouldn't have been raped? Or something similar? I think the idea moves one step beyond just "lets move on from what's happened".

It's really this analogy that makes me think that the idea is quite a potentially damaging one and it reminded me of Dane Rudhya's view, which I've always found unsettling at best and potentially damaging at worst, of a brick falling on your head - there are no chance events here, bricks fall on your head because your consciousness affect the brick and caused it to fall. Our consciousness happens to the event.

Rudhyar, The Practice of Astrology, p. 26.
Quote:
If a brick falls upon the man's head as he walks along the street, it is the man's responsibility. He walked into the field of the brick's fall. He happened to the brick, because he is a conscious individual and the brick only a piece of universal nature.


It seemed to me that Eric's view is much more akin to rape being another of Rudhyar's bricks taken perhaps to an extreme view. If Eric's view is more that we shouldn't dwell on blame but should focus on what we can do to move on from there, then great. But it's not the impression I got from listening to the podcast.
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james_m



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Posted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

so many astrological differences seem based on philosophical differences, or a lack of clarity on how others philosophically perceive..
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Becca



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Posted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

james_m wrote:
so many astrological differences seem based on philosophical differences, or a lack of clarity on how others philosophically perceive..

I so agree! Differences in general.
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waybread



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Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I listened to the entire debate, but due to the length of the podcast, I didn't listen to most of the Q and A portion.

I thought it was clear from the broadcast that Meyers is an "evolutionary astrologer." This is a subset of modern astrology, and not to be confused with the whole of modern astrology or any of its other subsets.

Since so much of the debate focused on Eric Meyers's ideas, I think it is fair to comment on them. If Chris has not done so already, perhaps he could tell Eric that this discussion is here, and invite his rejoinders.

I am a modern amateur astrologer. (I sometimes participate on this site due to my interest in the early history of astrology and the overall higher level of discussion. I am somewhat informed about traditional astrology methods.)

I personally take exception to the evolutionary astrology Meyers promoted. We have to unpack so many things about evolutionary astrology, just for starters. What do we mean by "evolution" in this context? According to whom? Whose brand of spirituality are we talking about? Meyers proposes a radical level of cultural and personal relativism in which nothing is intrinsically either good or bad, yet then he assumes that higher levels of evolution (as evolutionary astrologers define them) are better than lower levels of evolution.

Is "enlightenment" or some higher level of spiritual evolution really even most people's life-purpose? The assumption seems to be that "one size fits all." I am not convinced, nor do I think horoscopic astrology indicates this necessarily to be the case.

Judgments about good and evil occur, according to Meyers, in a kind of mentality and astrology restricted by the "Saturn wall." The modern outer planets, accordingly, are the trans-personal ones necessary for spiritual evolution beyond judgments of good and evil to take place.

This doesn't compute, to me, as the spiritual wisdom of traditional faiths developed long before the discovery of the modern outer planets; and most of them involve training disciplines that seem very Saturnine in the conduct. We could equally point to major global problems emerging post-Uranus discovery; and particularly, after the 1930 discovery of Pluto. Modern outers can have decidedly negative consequences in modern astrology, just as, for good or ill, they become highly personal in aspect to an inner planet or angle.

While the "rape" comment did not occupy a lot of air time, I took notes on the podcast and thought its meaning was clear. A rape is but an opportunity for the victim (or perhaps I should say, the recipient) to grow spiritually. The more difficult one's life experience, the more "grist for the mill" she has to grow spiritually from it.

While I would applaud any rape victim who was able to make a spiritual victory out of being subjected to the crime of rape, I found it arrogant of evolutionary astrology to cast rape in this light. Some rape victims can't evolve spiritually from their experience as they struggle with PTSD, clinical depression, phobias, or bodily injury. This is especially the case for rape involving children.

Worse yet was the integration of the concepts of spiritual evolution and past-lives karma. People who have crimes committed against them in this life apparently had it coming, because of their cruddy past lives. If they were more evolved in a past life, they wouldn't get raped in this life, apparently. There is no evidence that this is the case, including from recent scientific research tending to validate reincarnation. (Jim Tucker, Returning to Life.)

Unfortunately Chris Brennan was required to spend a fair bit of his air time correcting misconceptions about traditional astrology. His role was primarily one of interviewer.

It would be nice to see more debates of this type, hopefully with a separate moderator (or traditional astrologer) and with the understanding that modern astrology has different schools of thought that adhere to different paradigms. Some of these paradigms are actually similar to those expressed by traditional astrologers, such as a practical approach to life and chart-reading.

My thanks to Chris for undertaking his series of podcasts.
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Michael Sternbach



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Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All right, folks – I did it. I listened to the whole podcast.

A few thoughts, pro and con.

I resonate with the view that, as Eric says, astrological constellations represent “probability fields” that can get activated in accordance with a person's consciousness. Even just hearing or reading about your own constellations will make their effects be felt more pronouncedly! I like to think of my planets as inherent forces that I can call on in order to deal with situations.

What I don't agree with, however, is the idea that the symbolism in the chart is all neutral anyway – so astrology's traditional intricacies such as the concept of mutual reception would be of no relevance, and it all depends only on one's consciousness whether they would express that Mercury in Pisces as mental deficiency or as artistic genius! There are constellations intrinsically more challenging than others, and with greater destructive potential. However, I strongly believe that people do have a say in how they choose to deal with these challenges.

To criticise traditional astrology without properly understanding its teachings first is poor argumentation!

That being said, I feel that the concept of a planet's cosmic state should be re-examined in a modern context. Traditional delineations don't always seem to hold true in practice without further modification. Specifically, the trans-Saturnians sometimes alter the picture, but that's another story.

The question remains, can we do with our constellations as we wish? What seems to be at work in any case is a complex interplay between the constellations we experience as outer and inner realities and our innermost self representing free (essentially undetermined) will which can be seen as analogous to the centre of the chart.

So, in a sense, the chart is not the boat we use but the sea it's sailing, with its currents, winds and creatures.

I think that astrological influences are often felt on the psychological level, prior to (or simultaneously with) their outer manifestation, Things and events that come in existence on the outer stage reflect the inner stage.

Now, according to Eric, “good” and “bad” have no meaning, metaphysically speaking. That's probably true from a certain perspective – we look at things in these categories because we don't see the role they are playing in the bigger picture. In fact, New Age and Stoic philosophy seem to shake hands with each other on this! But if you are unhappy, then the word “negative” has a meaning, to be sure. To say that this is just some kind of illusion is derogatory.

Rape was brought up as an example, and it has been said that it's cynical or insensitive to conclude that the victim has actually attracted the incident themselves. This is certainly a sensitive issue. I have met women who went through this most traumatic experience once. I noticed that they came from family backgrounds where anything sexual was a taboo theme. It is often the case that repressed energies are met as uncontrollable outer experiences. Did those poor women have some kind of choice? One of them was a child when the incident happened, so she would hardly have known how to deal with something that was essentially a family issue in a conscious manner... This raises the question as to how our personal experiences relate to the themes of our social and natural environment.

And then there is this elusive thing called karma – a quite poorly understood concept, in my opinion, which has nothing to do with punishment for our sins in our earlier incarnations. “Ours”, moreover, not really in a personal sense – because we could not have had the same chart and therefore the same personality ever once before. I think it's the spiritual essence within us or our “Monad” which clothes itself with a new personality each time around on planet Earth. Our internal and external experiences then unfold according to the generic code computed as appropriate by our Soul which at some level blends with the Soul of the World.

Michael
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waybread



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Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael, just for clarification-- are you using the word "constellation" in the German sense, meaning a configuration of planets in a horoscope? In anglophone astrology, a constellation means an imaginative picture in the sky comprised of star-groupings, like Orion or Cygnus. (German Sternbild.)

I am also concerned that crime victims (be it rape or something else) generally go through a series of stages of processing their experiences.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_trauma_syndrome

http://www.secasa.com.au/sections/for-students/the-psychological-adjustment-of-the-rape-victim/

I would think that telling a rape victim in the acute post-rape stage to buck up and turn the assault a learning experience would seem tremendously invalidating to her. The astrologer would need to have enormous sensitivity to her condition, and ideally, clinical psychology credentials. It is precisely the expectation of an invalidating response that discourages many crime victims from reporting the rape or prosecuting it in court.

I don't see the "learning experience" objective, to the extent that it could be helpful to the victim, to be the territory of either modern evolutionary or traditional astrology. There is no reason why a traditional astrologer, for example, could not get a Master's degree in mainstream psychology, social work, or counseling, and then apply those insights to a traditional chart analysis and consultation.

Quote:
I have met women who went through this most traumatic experience once. I noticed that they came from family backgrounds where anything sexual was a taboo theme. It is often the case that repressed energies are met as uncontrollable outer experiences. Did those poor women have some kind of choice? One of them was a child when the incident happened, so she would hardly have known how to deal with something that was essentially a family issue in a conscious manner... This raises the question as to how our personal experiences relate to the themes of our social and natural environment.


Who is to say what behaviour is "repressed" and what isn't? People are creatures of the cultural conditioning. Mores vary from place to place and between religious and ethnic groups.

I do think that astrologically, adults who repress certain unwanted traits or behaviours tend to transfer those traits to other people who seemingly exhibit the disowned behaviours, as the chart has to manifest itself in some fashion. (This is basic Jungian psychology.) For example, if I can't own and accept my Saturn nature, I will tend to attract to me people who seemingly exemplify my unwanted character flaws.

But we can't accept this as an explanation for crimes. For one thing, rape is not primarily about lust or libido, despite its sexual nature. Rape is primarily about one person registering control and power over another.

http://www.d.umn.edu/cla/faculty/jhamlin/3925/myths.html

http://sapac.umich.edu/article/52

Implying that an 11 year old girl got raped because she was sexually repressed is neither supported by evidence nor is it good astrology.

Maybe we should move on from this topic, but it was raised in the podcast, and this discussion has raised questions in my mind as to how well prepared either traditional or evolutionary astrologers would be to advise someone trying to make sense of a life-shattering experience.
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Michael Sternbach



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Posted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Waybread wrote:
Quote:
Michael, just for clarification-- are you using the word "constellation" in the German sense, meaning a configuration of planets in a horoscope? In anglophone astrology, a constellation means an imaginative picture in the sky comprised of star-groupings, like Orion or Cygnus. (German Sternbild.)


Well noted, I was using “constellation” in the way of German astrology. Thanks for the clarification. Smile

Quote:
I would think that telling a rape victim in the acute post-rape stage to buck up and turn the assault a learning experience would seem tremendously invalidating to her. The astrologer would need to have enormous sensitivity to her condition, and ideally, clinical psychology credentials. It is precisely the expectation of an invalidating response that discourages many crime victims from reporting the rape or prosecuting it in court.


I totally agree with you. Integrating such traumatizing experiences in an empowering outlook of co-creating one's experiences would ideally be the result of a sensitive and lengthy therapy.

I was personally working with victims of all different kinds of traumatizing experiences as a certified Bach Flower therapist in the environment of a psychiatrist practice. I was using an eclectic astro-psychological/astro-medical approach as an additional tool for throwing light on my clients' problems and potentials.

Another therapist who was using astrology to these ends was the Swiss psychiatrist Alfred Fankhauser.

Quote:
I don't see the "learning experience" objective, to the extent that it could be helpful to the victim, to be the territory of either modern evolutionary or traditional astrology. There is no reason why a traditional astrologer, for example, could not get a Master's degree in mainstream psychology, social work, or counseling, and then apply those insights to a traditional chart analysis and consultation.


Right, treating cases of severe emotional trauma or mental illness is outside the scope of general astrological counselling practice.

Quote:
Who is to say what behaviour is "repressed" and what isn't? People are creatures of the cultural conditioning. Mores vary from place to place and between religious and ethnic groups.


It should be clear that what is to be seen as repressed depends on the individual, and not on the standards of a particular cultural context. Cultural conditioning plays a major role in the development of personal repressions, without a doubt, and it is in this regard frequently exercised on purpose by religious and ethnic groups. This aspect of cultural influence would astrologically be indicated mostly by Saturn, which functions as the superego (Freud), as the trans-personalized Father (Sternbach), or as an aspect of the collective unconscious (Jung).

Using such terms, I do engage you on purpose, Waybread! Laughing

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I do think that astrologically, adults who repress certain unwanted traits or behaviours tend to transfer those traits to other people who seemingly exhibit the disowned behaviours, as the chart has to manifest itself in some fashion. (This is basic Jungian psychology.) For example, if I can't own and accept my Saturn nature, I will tend to attract to me people who seemingly exemplify my unwanted character flaws.


Yes, and you will also tend to attract people to you that supplement you and exemplify what you are longing to develop (or so I hope for you!). An example being a chap with little emphasis on Earth in the natal chart being surrounded by Earth types all their life. The 7th house will reflect both types of relationships, symbolized by different planets.

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But we can't accept this as an explanation for crimes.


I beg your pardon? When severe legal issues are concerned, astrology is no longer valid? Confused

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For one thing, rape is not primarily about lust or libido, despite its sexual nature. Rape is primarily about one person registering control and power over another.


I agree that power issues frequently play a major role, however, typically in conjunction with uncontrolled outbursts of (sometimes formerly repressed) sexual energy. It is not by chance that both topics relate to Mars (as well as to Pluto, but you may not agree with me on this).

Michael wrote:
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I have met women who went through this most traumatic experience once. I noticed that they came from family backgrounds where anything sexual was a taboo theme. It is often the case that repressed energies are met as uncontrollable outer experiences. Did those poor women have some kind of choice? One of them was a child when the incident happened, so she would hardly have known how to deal with something that was essentially a family issue in a conscious manner... This raises the question as to how our personal experiences relate to the themes of our social and natural environment.


Waybread commented:
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Implying that an 11 year old girl got raped because she was sexually repressed is neither supported by evidence nor is it good astrology.


I did not mean to imply this. This is a complex issue, and I was for the most part simply sharing my personal observations here and asking questions. But let' me try to elaborate on it:
- Basically, repressed energies (whether modelled astrologically or psychologically) do have a way of approaching the individual from the outside (as you admitted yourself in the quote above).
- The foundation for sexually self-inhibiting patterns are largely laid in childhood as Freud and Reich observed (to name but two).
- Children often unwittingly express the themes neglected by their parents. A more common and harmless example being the highly reputed parents having to deal with a rebellious trouble-maker offspring. This mechanism can lead to more extreme experiences. And a child can be at the receiving end of the theme. In the kind of case we are talking about, besides issues of repressed sexuality there would also be questions of power and victimization relevant.
- Karmic themes can enter the picture, such as “past lifes” in a strongly repressive, i.e. Catholic cultural context.

These are just possibilities, every case has to be studied individually.
Moreover, I certainly don't have all the answers, or a coherent theory, I'm only trying to get a perspective on some personal observations here.

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Maybe we should move on from this topic, but it was raised in the podcast, and this discussion has raised questions in my mind as to how well prepared either traditional or evolutionary astrologers would be to advise someone trying to make sense of a life-shattering experience.


This depends more on the astrologer then on a particular system of astrology being employed. However, in a psycho-therapeutical context you would most likely start out with a method of psychological astrology (i.e. Jungian in nature). Whence you could proceed to include suitable elements from traditional and/or evolutionary asttrology.
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 934
Location: Canada

Posted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am happy to engage with you as well, Michael.

Freudian interpretations of infant and childhood sexuality have been thoroughly discredited. You are probably familiar with Jeffrey Masson's or Florence Rush's critiques of Freud's work on childhood sexuality. Freud fabricated his seduction theory because he couldn't believe that respectable middle class men of Vienna would molest their own children, so he inverted his patients' recollections to claim that children fantasized about relations with the parent of the opposite sex.

I don't think we can overlook the role of culture. When I was a baby-boomer child growing up in the United States, there was a huge premium on young women's virginity at marriage. (Their marriages occurred, on average, at age 19.) It was all-too-convenient for self-serving young men with a modicum of education to claim that teen-aged girls were "sexually repressed" or "frigid" if they wouldn't reciprocate his overtures for the price of a date. The men's advances had something to do with libido, but a lot more to do with bragging-rights about their conquests. Girls who got pregnant out of wedlock routinely had their babies taken away without their consent and given up for adoption. Strong, autonomous women who wouldn't play the domesticated, docile role were called "castrating females." The whole history of Freudian psychoanalysis in American gender relationships deserved to be soundly discarded.

We can find comparable restrictions on female behaviour around the globe today, notably in Islamic cultures. It won't do to claim that half a billion young women are sexually repressed, given the very real issues of cultural sanctions and young people's emotional development.

Where I think Jungian psychology can be very helpful to astrologers, whether traditional or modern, is the theory that people can become uncomfortable with certain character traits or behaviours that they see within themselves, that they dislike, and that they try to ignore or disown.

These traits and behaviours can be linked to particular planets. A young man, for example, who believes strongly in being macho and manly (as his culture defines it) might disown his moon and Venus natures. They become "shadow" material, and projected on actual women, whom he sees as weak, overly emotional (moon), and obsessed with clothes and hairstyles (Venus.)

I think this type of projection is common with planets that oppose the sun. A traditional astrologer might find comparable behaviour with a deeply debilitated planet, for example.

I think astrology can be helpful in recognizing that each human being comprises all of the planets in his chart, and seeking constructive ways to integrate them-- whether through modern or traditional techniques.

But we don't need evolutionary astrology of the "Suck it up, Princess" school to get there.
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