An Introduction To Astropsychology by Glen Perry

The Zodiac is the foundation of the astrological language. The signs are symbols of life processes reflected in nature. Similar to Plato’s forms, Carl Jung’s concept of archetypes also applies to zodiacal signs. Archetypes are structural elements of consciousness; they are not limited to human consciousness.

Planets are described as psychological processes geared toward satisfying the needs of the signs they rule. The context, or setting, within which these processes play out are the houses.

As Jung points out, at root our consciousness is collective, at our deepest strata we are all composed f the same fundamental energies.

The first six signs are where the days are longer; they are about the individual, the emergence of the self from the whole.

The second six signs are where the nights are longer; they are about the participation toward a larger network.

These two groups are related through the interplay of complementary opposites.

He describes the four elements Fire, Earth, Air and Water and points out that they parallel Jung’s Intuition, Sensation, Thinking and Feeling. Fire gives faith in oneself, in others, and in the Universe. Earth represents our capacity to be practical, realistic, and productive. Air gives us objectivity t make distinction, separate ourselves from our experience, and make the compromise necessary to live harmoniously with others. Water is the unifying element that binds us all together on a “gut” level. It is the urge to love and the need to be loved.

After talking about the modalities (Cardinal, Fixed, Mutable) and the polarities (Yang, Yin) he points out the relation to Jung’s belief that the constant interplay and tension between opposite poles of conscious and unconscious makes for the integration of the psyche – individuation.

He explains that every individual is a replica in miniature of the entire Universe. He sees the task of evolution to integrate the parts into a balanced and functional whole, and in so doing become one with the whole.

After explaining the conjunctions in detail he describes the planetary aspects as core beliefs that relate to the individual’s convictions about the relative likelihood of meeting basic needs. In other words, they are dialogues between the different needs and drives that make up the whole of the human being.

The goal of the psyche, as symbolized in the zodiac, is the ever more effective and balanced integration of these energies into an dynamic and unified whole. In other words, the goal of the psyche is to integrate the self with others, the individual with the collective, in order to achieve psychic balance and wholeness

He also talks about Buddhism and explains in this context the Conscious as the relation between subject and object or self and not-self. The subject cannot exist without object and vice versa. The ego exists because it accepts this polarity. Buddhism holds that liberation from duality is contingent upon the ability to recognize that such opposites are ultimately a trick of the mind, a self-created illusion (maya), the reconciliation of which allows for unitive consciousness an liberation. By neutralizing opposites through awareness, the illusion of duality is extinguished and the individual attains nirvana.

Perry writes about Jung’s discovery that much of the content of individual consciousness such as dreams, fantasies, and thoughts see rooted in a collective consciousness shared by all human beings. In addition he explains Jung’s concept of synchronicity – simultaneous occurrences of a certain psychic state with one or more external events that appear as meaningful parallels to the momentary subjective state.

Perry says that as an integrated totality, the zodiac symbolizes the potential for wholeness.

An archetype can manifest externally as a character in three different ways – as a personality type, a role or an occupation.

A core principle of astrology is that character produces events consistent with itself. This is supported by Jung’s concept of synchronicity, which implies that any idea held long enough will attract whatever conditions it needs for its expression.

A planet’s sign position not only tells us how the planet is doing its thing, it also tells us what the outcome might be.

Five criteria for interpretation:

1) Psychological function of the planet

2) Motivation behind the behavior

3) The behavior itself should be described

4) A planetary affect state should be related to the domain of its sign position

5) Empirical consequences of a planet’s action

Jung’s theory about marriage as a psychological relationship emphasized how each person’s unconscious image of the opposite sex is projected onto the partner for purposes of bringing the unconscious into view. Marriage was a vehicle for healing and transformation.

The ideal of wholeness is something that one approaches gradually, possibly even over a succession of lifetimes.

While each archetype has its part to play in the life story, it is the task of every human being t integrate these parts into a unified whole. The ego initially thinks it is separate from its parts, yet it must incorporate them to become the Self – a complete, balanced integrated human being capable of expressing all the archetypes (Hero’s journey).

The Zodiac can be thought of as the archetypical structure of the psyche.

Therapeutic intervention should help the client to integrate repressed needs, develop more constructive beliefs and behave in a more positive and successful manner.

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