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Robert Hand and Post Modern Astrology
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Tom
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Posted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 2:02 pm    Post subject: Robert Hand and Post Modern Astrology Reply with quote

This ought to get things rolling Leery

The following four points are a summary of the issues Robert Hand raises in his postmodern astrology talk that I’m going to discuss. There are other things in the article, but let’s keep it to this for now:

1) There is the broad subject “traditional astrology,” i.e. the astrology that existed prior to, roughly 1700.

2) There is the astrology that began with Alan Leo, and included subsequently Dane Rhudyar, Reinhold Ebertin, et al that began to use astrology for what he calls “self actualization”

3) That latter astrology lacks a strong foundation and as a result there is a lot of fuzzy language and fuzzy thinking that goes into it particularly by its lesser practitioners. At its worst, it can mean anything to anybody. At is best it provides “self actualization.”

4) A balance needs to be struck between the contemporary traditionalists, who are attempting to recreate traditional astrology, and the modern or 20th century astrologers for the benefit of astrology.

It should be noted that in his background explanation, probably for time considerations in his talk, Hand leaps from his arbitrary but generally accepted date of 1700 to the late 19th early 20th century era. But something happened here that still affects astrology that was not developed by Alan Leo, Dan Rhudyar, et al. Astrology was taken from the natural world to the occult world. Early 19th century astrologers like John Varley and John Worsdale practiced very much in the mold of William Lilly, and stayed in the natural world. But in the English Astrologer “Raphael,” in Patrick Curry’s words, “ … we pass from Varley’s study in London, with its real enough twilight, curious books and bits of fruit pie, to a study mainly of the mind. And not just Raphael’s mind for, through his pioneering efforts, the astrologer as Romanticized magus, bearer of ancient esoteric knowledge (or an incomprehensible legacy of superstition), became the dominant image of astrology in the age.”

[A Confusion of Prophets, Patrick Curry, Collins and brown, 1992 page 46.]

Not only his age, but, with the help of “spiritualism” it morphed into the astrology of the 20th century, which allowed such things as Theosophy, hypothetical planets, asteroid worship, new age gibberish, psychic readings and “intuition*” to find their “natural” home in astrology.

Hand skims over this or actually sweeps it aside in order to concentrate on more, for lack of a better word, “rational” belief systems within astrology, and by doing so makes his argument more plausible. But can he wish those things away so easily in order to accomplish his goal that he describes as: “… [a] need to strike a balance between the modernist’s attitude and the traditionalist’s attitude[?]” I doubt it. The more fanciful practitioners are not going to let go of the dominant attitude typified by “Neptune is anything we want it to mean,” all that easily. It’s too ingrained.

Secondly and perhaps more importantly, why would we want to do such a thing? Such a balance indicates sufficient commonality exists between the traditional and the contemporary. Yet by Hand’ own admission, he notes:

Quote:
The language of 20th century astrology as a language tends to be imprecise, vague, inarticulate and unclear.


He also notes:

Quote:
“Modern astrology has had one really tragic flaw in addition to its inarticulate language: its complete lack of a philosophical foundation rooted in any coherent philosophical or spiritual tradition of the world, except in the case of Jyotish”


What benefit can come of such a balance? It seems as though modern astrology is the one leaning over way too far as it has insufficient roots to stand on its own. Hand’s answer is:

Quote:
“So, 20th century astrology we keep, in so far as it speaks to the needs of modern humanity.”


First we root modern astrology with the tradition, and then we keep its good stuff to meet the needs of modern humanity. This is an enormous proposal, but let’s put aside the hyperbolic goal of helping all humanity with astrology. The assumption is that the “self actualization” that occurs within modern astrology has profound benefits. That “self actualization” is what is commonly called “psychological astrology.” Is psychological astrology all that profound or all that beneficial?

A better name for psychological astrology is “pop psychology astrology”. Pop psychology is to psychology as Sun signs are to astrology, and maybe not even that sophisticated. And here we must at least note, that the study of psychology is not the same thing as psychotherapy, which is the practice of what is studied by psychologists. Psychotherapy is usually practiced (in the US) by people with Master’s degrees in social work. Psychologists (PhDs) handle more serious cases of mental illness, and if the problem is physical in origin, psychiatrists (MDs) get involved, although the fields do overlap. What passes for psychology in the practice of the astrologers I’ve seen is a mixture of “I’m OK – You’re OK” and pep talks. There is little or nothing in the typical contemporary astrology book that is not better articulated in each of the first three books taken off the shelf at random in the self-help section of any bookstore.

The first question that needs to be answered is this: Does 20th century astrology provide a benefit that is not better handled elsewhere? Now don’t fall off your chairs, but I think the answer to that question is, “yes,” but I can’t dignify 20th century astrology by honestly associating it with psychology or psychotherapy. At its zenith it is self-help. And this can beneficial, particularly if it saves a client from spending enormous sums of money and enormous amounts of time with a psychotherapist when they just have the blues and maybe need a little (and the operative word is “little”) insight. The question of whether or not many astrologers can do this competently is beyond the scope of this essay.

But back to the main question, does astrology benefit if we, somehow, find a balance between self-help and traditional astrology. I think not.

First of Hand tells us:


Quote:
“Why did the tradition – at least the branches of it I have mentioned – not deal with the issue of self-actualization. They did have the tools if they had had the philosophical reasons for doing it.”


This is a fascinating observation that will cause many moderns, should they consider it, to faint dead away. In other words, the tools exist within the tradition to practice “psychological astrology.” He notes that it wasn’t done and goes on to explain why, but passes over the elephant in the living room. Traditional astrology gives us the tools to work with the mind.

Not all traditional astrology is excellent and neither are all its practitioners. But again Hand tells us:


Quote:
” We have not fully digested traditional astrologies – to use the proper term – we have not mastered the techniques. For example, the predictive techniques of Hellenistic astrology, and even some of the predictive techniques of medieval astrology are still not widely used or experimented with. They may turn out to be not too useful; they may also turn out to be a major break-through. I do not really know, but until we have actually systematically examined them we don’t know.”



This seems like a necessary first step before we determine if a balance is even useful, much less necessary. We’ve only scratched the surface of what he calls “traditional.” If that is true, why marry up with Dane Rhudyar? If the techniques may or may not be useful, it is also true they may (or may not) eliminate the necessity of trying to decipher Rhudyar, Arroyo, et al.

He emphasizes techniques, but only touches on worldview, which is another topic altogether, but worldview is essential to understanding pre 1700 astrology, 19th century astrology, and contemporary astrology. He hints at this when he says:


Quote:
“Something is talking to us, and things that talk must be alive and conscious. The idea that life and consciousness are epiphenomenal is the exact reverse of the astrological world view. This is why we are heretics. And by all means, let us remain so!


What is the (universal) astrological worldview? This is important, assuming it exists. How is it different from the contemporary worldview? If these questions can be answered we will have the philosophical basis for all astrology that he seeks. But, and this is the point of his talk, we lack internal consistency and need to get it together. How we go about getting it together is the problem.

Should we do that? Hand is predicting a sort of inevitable merging of traditional and contemporary astrology and pronouncing it as “good.” Is it? It is more likely that we’ll get a watered-down version of one and a beefed up version of the other, neither of which is very good. In short we get the holy grail of contemporary populism: moderation. What is good about moderation? Are there collections of biographies of great moderates in history? Are there moderate ideas that have changed the world? Of course not. Excellence and advancement are the products of pioneering, and original thinking based on what came before. They are not the product of intellectual highballs.

Hand’s definition of postmodern astrology begins, ironically, with a traditionalist, Robert Zoller. And Hand tells us Zoller is trying to recreate medieval astrology. Couple that with Hand’s observation that there is a great deal of available information on traditional astrology that we haven’t touched yet. I see this as evidence that we, you and I gentle reader, don’t quite understand just what astrology is, much less the depths of its potential. Let’s start there, and once we’ve arrived there, then maybe we determine if it meets the needs of modern humanity, and if it doesn’t what can be done to push it along to do what it can do. And may I suggest that we begin by promising to ignore all those who trumpet themselves by declaring they have studied all forms of astrology found them wanting, and therefore developed their own system. They are impediments. Ignoring them, not incorporating them, is a great first step in the right direction

Tom


*Intuitives of all stripes please resist the impulse to have a hissy fit over my use of quotation marks and apparent disparagement of the use of intuition in astrology. Here is my position, after reading feel free to have said fit. “Intuition” is a rapid logical deduction whose steps are so fast the conscious mind doesn’t pick them up, so they feel like a bolt from the blue. I have no problem with this sort of event, but ask how many times do people get such intuitive experiences with subjects with which they have no familiarity? I’ve had such flashes of insight with astrology, but never with auto mechanics, chemistry, or cooking. In my opinion it is a genuine talent if it happens often enough, and it turns out to be correct. My problem is when it becomes an excuse for laziness (“I don’t study; I’m intuitive) or becomes an outright fraud. Would you get on an airplane flown by an intuitive pilot? I’ve met people who have a real knack for putting symbols together in a logical form and for glancing at a chart and making sense out of it. When accompanied by genuine knowledge, this is a gift that I envy. Without the knowledge, it is a fraud.
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GR



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Posted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I pretty much agree with ya, but I have one quibble ...

Quote:
Astrology was taken from the natural world to the occult world.


While I agree that astrology got confluated with all manner of foo-foo ideas, i.e. theosophy, socialism, etc., one has to see just how much "occult" stuff astrology is mixed up with in the previous centuries. Talismans, Arabic magical texts like the Picatrix, Agrippa's 3 Books on Occult Philosophy, Iamblichus' On the Mysteries, etc., astrology is part and parcel of all this. I don't think this is something that can be completely avoided.
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Tom
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Posted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a valid point Gabe, but I think there is a difference, at least in quality, between, for example, Theosophy and say Agrippa. That is also beyond where I want to go, but I will keep your observation in mind next time I write about something like this. Thanks.

Tom
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Coder



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Posted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, Tom, I think you have distorted Hand's view somethat with your personal anti-modern spin.

What his problem is, I take it, is this. At the end of the article he writes:
Quote:
Post-modern astrology will not be a fatalistic fortune-telling astrology, it will be an astrology of enlightenment, self-realization, self-actualization and consciousness, that just happens to include all of the rest of astrology.

Ignoring the post-modern bit for the moment, it's clear he wants to preserve something of modern astrology. Yet he also wrote earlier in the article:
Quote:
Modern astrology has had one really tragic flaw in addition to its inarticulate language: its complete lack of a philosophical foundation rooted in any coherent philosophical or spiritual tradition of the world...

So it seems to me that what will make him a happy man is rectification of that "flaw" (not, of course, in the astrological sense).

However, here is the curious part. The matter curtailed by the ellipsis in the last quote is this:
Quote:
...except in the case of Jyotish. Jyotish does have a coherent philosophical and spiritual background derived from the religions of India.

Am I or am I not barking up the wrong tree in asserting that modern astrology derives in a large part from two different but interwoven strands of thought - theosophy and depth psychology? And that the former at least has appropriated many concepts and ideas from the "philosophical and spiritual background derived from the religions of India"? And if that is the case, is Hand's quandry merely the semantic point that "deriving" is not tantamount to providing a "philosophical foundation"? The occurrence of the words "academic" and "academia" suggest that perhaps it is; and that the "post-modern" part of it all (hyphen or no hyphen) is extending an invitation in that direction - it being observed that university humanities departments are well endowed - some might say infested - with scholars of that persuasion deparate to "self-actualize" by way of their departmental budgets.

(The Golden Rule of a departmental budget is to spend it all, because if you don't, next year it is certain to be reduced).
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Tom
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Posted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Sorry, Tom, I think you have distorted Hand's view somethat with your personal anti-modern spin.


Unlike many moderns, I never deny my biases, but I don't understand how you can read what I wrote and follow up with what you worte and conclude that I distorted Hand's view.

Quote:
It's clear he wants to preserve something of modern astrology.


I know. That was one point, and he made it clearly in several areas. I never denied it. I largely disagree with it.

Quote:
So it seems to me that what will make him a happy man is rectification of that "flaw" (not, of course, in the astrological sense).


I agree with the first part of your sentence. The parenthetical is a bit of a hit and run though. You say "not in the astrological sense," but then how?" That's worth some elaboration. My point is that he wants to use the philosophical underpinnings of traditional astrology to bolster the lack of philosophical underpinnings of modern astrology. That's what I took from the article and so stated. If I'm wrong about that, please feel free to point that out with the appropriate quotes or other resources.

Quote:
Am I or am I not barking up the wrong tree in asserting that modern astrology derives in a large part from two different but interwoven strands of thought - theosophy and depth psychology?


Psychologists are big on the first thing that comes to mind. The first thing that came to my mind when I read this is, "If the statement is true, would the questioner be bragging or complaining?" I have a very low opinion of Theosophy (as should be obvious) and I've seen very little from any psychological astrologer, famous or unknown, that appraoches depth of anything. That is my biggest complaint and concern. Hand acknowledges the problem when he mentions "fuzzy language," and points to the danger of watering modern astrology down to the point that anything can mean anything to anyone. So if you're right, and I think you are to a certain extent, I'm not sure that it says very much. There is much more involved in the development of 20th century astrology, but there are space and time limitations.

Now for the record so we'll be clear on where my bias is coming from, I have a fairly low opinion of psychotherapy. Therefore a psychological astrology that imitates psychotherapy isn't going to make much of an impression on me either. This is not to say that all psychotherapists are frauds or that all psychological astrologers are incompetent. I just don't think that there is all that much value in psychological astrology (based on reading quite a few books on the subject, studying with a few moderns and having my chart read by several of the tribe*), so it follows that I would think that any marriage or correction or whatever of modern astrology wouldn't be of much value either. I think there is far more value in resurecting the 2000 years of history that predates us and work with it to obtain a greater understanding, before we make unfounded assumptions. If I'm wrong there will be positive concrete results that will point in that direction. I'll change my mind then.

Tom


*This is a fun story to relate, and I admit it is purely anecdotal, but it is worth considering. My astrology club has a members week, where a member puts up and analyzes charts for the group. One such event was marked by an astrologer in the group putting up two charts and asking the group to decide which of the two they would prefer for a date for their daughter. Keep in mind virtually every participant is a modern astrologer. Lots of fun - lots of comments, some quite accurate. So it was nearly unanimous that the group chose for their daughter, Adolph Hitler. After all he had Libra rising and the other chart had Scorpio rising and we all know that that means. So Their daughter missed out on a date with Charlie Chaplin (They were born within days of each other. This may say as much about the group as it does modern asrology. Oh and for the terminally curious, I didn't participate when I saw Hiter's chart. I had seen it before and recognized it. My participation would have spoiled the fun
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GR



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Posted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Am I or am I not barking up the wrong tree in asserting that modern astrology derives in a large part from two different but interwoven strands of thought - theosophy and depth psychology?


Well, "depth psychology", definately not, as the psych theories that go into modern astrology are more likely the popular psychologies during the 1960's. These ideas, like transactional analysis, for instance, are often discredited.

Quote:
And that the former at least has appropriated many concepts and ideas from the "philosophical and spiritual background derived from the religions of India"?


Come on, isn't more like theosophy has misunderstood and misapplied many philosophical and spiritual concepts from the religions of the world in order to make a mess of it all suitable for a modern audience, with its own prejudices intact and unchallenged?
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yuzuru



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Posted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally have a big big trouble to think in one thing in modern astrology that is worthy of saving from total destruction.
Modern astrologers invent anything they want like "the 12th house in the uterine life before birth" and got real angry when you put anything diffent on the table, simply ignoring 2000 year of astrology and throwing thenselves at self help books of new age spirituality.
Modern astrology thinks that everything goes, because I am a spiritual person, so I have the light. I think modern astrology needed a little humility before, for example, start changing the dignities... I is "as above so below" and not the other way around !
So I really don´t see how Robert Hand can really believe that a post modern astrology could be any better than modern astrology. I think he was applying modern marketing to sell his books to readers of astro.com
Yuzuru
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carnna



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Posted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

this is rough guys.
the way your banding about the word philosophy is wrecking my usually coherent train of thought.

What I found truly interesting was what he DIDN"T say, except in passing with
Quote:
...except in the case of Jyotish. Jyotish does have a coherent philosophical and spiritual background derived from the religions of India.
.........

commercial break:
I take the time out to read a definition:
Main Entry: phi·los·o·phy Pronunciation Guide
Pronunciation: f-lä-s(-)f
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -phies
Etymology: Middle English philosophie, from Anglo-French, from Latin philosophia, from Greek, from philosophos philosopher
Date: 14th century
1 a (1) : all learning exclusive of technical precepts and practical arts (2) : the sciences and liberal arts exclusive of medicine, law, and theology <a> (3) : the 4-year college course of a major seminary b (1) archaic : PHYSICAL SCIENCE (2) : ETHICS c : a discipline comprising as its core logic, aesthetics, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology
2 a : pursuit of wisdom b : a search for a general understanding of values and reality by chiefly speculative rather than observational means c : an analysis of the grounds of and concepts expressing fundamental beliefs
3 a : a system of philosophical concepts b : a theory underlying or regarding a sphere of activity or thought <the>
4 a : the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group b : calmness of temper and judgment befitting a philosopher

.........
.....to continue,... what Hand avoided saying but implied ....is that western, modern astrologers have divorced G-D from being the author of the heavens. No history, background, teaching/discussion of philosophy, the 8 sphere's, the ESSENSE of the planets, the creator, the humours,.....nada.

I, personally, see those that invent something (such as "Pluto is the power within and your power is in the sign of...." or "mercury is exalted in aquarius" and put it on the market within a year's time as one of those that have helped to create the sense that your mind is your g-d and that free will is exercised through LEARNING LESSONS and if you don't, guess what........you get to come back and LEARN THEM AGAIN. So, the stars are the kindergarten teachers of life for man...blah, blah... and then they move on to quintiles, inconjunctions, right hemisphere, or when a planets retrograde it becomes the opposite of what it is, or how about "A venus mars (what? that's libra mars) makes you decisive as well as calculated in your approach"......yeesh! I could go on and on....etc.

Don't misunderstand me either. I am not talking about the Liz Greene's or Jess Stearn, Grant Lewi and countless other serious students and adepts who look at traditional things in a new way. I loved liz greene's "A new look at an old devil" although it's been years since i've read it I still have it. I can see nothing wrong with applying or trying to distinguish the inner world of someone through the chart. I suspect that the lots were used in such a way.....I anxiously await further translations or I may have to learn latin myself......just my thoughts.

I speak of those wishy, washy life is a playground and here are the rules (made up to make you feel great about yourself, don't worry about bad things.......they just look bad, their really good for you, here's some more cotton candy to take it with- and it's all natural-really)......cause it really works, it's just nobody wanted you to know.
This is how psychotherapy operated when I was an intern in the early 80's, it made me sick, I got out fast and learned something simple like electronic engineering.
(I did keep going with astrology and it was hard cause the cotton candy was a-flying everywhere by the late 80's and early 90's.)

discrimination in today's intra-terra-net is a must or you'll be wading in trash in no time. trash=waste and uselessness.
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carnna



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Posted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...and I'm grateful that I am allowed to air my views........I'd be crucified on any other site.
Hopefully, ya'll just tear apart my reasoning. it's ok, I have band-aids and a hard head.
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skippy



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Posted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carna LMAO. It is virtually impossible not to root anything in philosophy.

For a view of Hellenistic history seehttp://www.astro-guide.com

Obviously Rob you've just discovered Jyotish but you will see that all Indian philosophy is rooted in Hinduism as was Pre-socratic and ancient Egyptian - or rather great minds think alike. In anticipation I don't see that modern astrology has anything to do with Jyotish per se.

Agree with Yuzuru. I await your new book regarde the timeline of modern philosophy and astrology through to Post-modernism. Leery
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Coder



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Posted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wrote:
Quote:
modern astrology derives in a large part from two different but interwoven strands of thought - theosophy and depth psychology?
Terminological clarification follows.

I meant "depth psychology" as an umbrella term to cover the whole area of psychology from Freud, Jung, Adler, thru to TA. logotherapy, etc. This area can be distinguished as different from "experimental psychology" (e.g. http://www.microsoft.com/typography/ctfonts/WordRecognition.aspx) in terms of methodology, and by its stance vis-a-vis reduction of its knowledge base to a basically neurological explanation. But it can also be identified as similar by its rejection of explanations which include concepts and ontologies deriving from religion (exoteric and esoteric) and the occult, e.g. demons, angels, devas, leprechauns, djinns, possession, Tibetans, etc. By that criterion, all modern psychology (of any prima facie credibility) can be distinguished from theosophy, which explains things (Everything?) in terms of an elaborate spiritualist ontology, which, as far as I can tell, is deemed to really be "out there".

Whether theosophy is a "mess" is a good question, but its connections to the UN via its Lucis Publishing arm suggest that many educated people find it more than "just a mess". Equally the proliferation of "pop psychology" does not seem to be a cogent or compelling argument against a program to explain psychic processes in non-reductive terms - indeed, I think it's possible to make the case that the pervasiveness of "pop psychology" verifies what I called "depth psychology" via its successful endeavour to infantilise the masses.

So, previous posts believe that the bath-water is somewhat turbid, but is there any way to keep Hand's baby ("enlightenment, self-realization, self-actualization and consciousness") while throwing out modern psychology and/or theosophy? (And presumably as more than epiphenomena of the mylar sheaths of brain cells?).
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Undoubtably psychological astrology is the dominant force in modern astrology.

However, its important to keep in mind that it doesn't sum up all of modern astrology as Hand points out.

Quote:
I also think there are some other tools from 20th century astrology that are well worth keeping, such as the use of mid-points, the 90-degree dial, and there are a number of schools that have contributed extremely valuable ideas too numerous to mention. Twentieth century astrology is not to be thrown out....


Quote:
One of the strangely backhanded compliments I used to
pay to the Cosmobiology of the Ebertin system was that I liked it because it is one of the few systems of astrology where I
could tell when it was not working."


Other developments in modern astrology such as Astro*Cartography or Astro Locality don't seem to fit into the mould dictated by a psychologically driven astrology.

I happen to believe a reformulated psychological astrology or astro-therapy has it place..its just that it has assumed the dimension of a Cuckoo in the nest throwing out all the traditional basics.

I do think there is scope for developing a psychological approach to natal astrology grounded in traditional principles. This will not appeal to all practitioners of course ( I hear you Tom!) and will not replace the need for extensive study of traditional tools & techniques. However, this could be a part of the kind of post-modern astrology Hand is referring to.

I share Lee Lehman's scepticism about simply transplanting medieval techniques and expecting them to cover all the eventualities of a modern consultation. Like it or not post-1900 we have lived in an increasingly psychological age. Modern psychological astrology is a reflection of this not its cause.

People going along to see a medieval astrologer might have been happy to ask direct straightforward questions and learn their fate from the natal chart. In the Twenty First century though many people in astrological consultations expect more than this. It depends on what kind of astrology interests you. For Natal & Synastry I feel the astrologer should have some basic knowledge of counselling or at least real sensitivity. Lets offer people greater precision through traditional methods but combine this with the insights of modern depth psychology. People often invest an enormous lot of weight into what an astrologer tells them. Its important then that that the Astrologer has the necessary tact, diplomacy and psychological empathy to deliver information appropriately. Obviously , for some kinds of astrology there is less need to change how the art is delivered ie Horary, Electional & Mundane.

While I regard myself as a traditionalist I have studied counselling & psychotherapy. I don't see these two approaches as totally contradictory as some people have suggested. They are different yes..but that doesn't mean the traditional astrologer has nothing to learn from counselling or psychotherapy in relation to work with clients.

This is not the same as a ringing endorsement for all the practices of modern psychological astrology.

I also think its important to recognise that there are numerous approaches to Counselling & Psychotherapy -broadly-Psychodynamic, Cognitive-behavioural, Humanistic and Existential. All of these schools have different philosophical assumptions, models of the self, view of the client-therapist relationship and the means to help someone. So when people are slating psychotherapy it might be useful to know what approach they are actually criticising.

In modern astrology the most influential approach has been psychodynamic through the ideas of Carl Jung. However, one can be a supporter of psychotherapy and fundamentally disagree with nearly all of Jung or Freud's ideas. Up to now I think astrology's interaction with therapy has been far too limited in its its frame of reference.
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Tom
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Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skippy writes:

Quote:
It is virtually impossible not to root anything in philosophy.


Probably, so a little explanation is in order. An idaea, any idea or set of ideas has to be rooted in something otherwise it is religiousi.e., rooted in faith or useless, . I don't have the time and probably not the expertise to go into much depth on this subject, but I can give an example. J.B. Morin based his astrology in natural philosophy. Astrology wokred the way it did because of the natural movements of the planets and the cosmological order. Everything he wrote about astrology had to fit into his model. Whether he suceedd or not is a different subject.

If we say, as Stephen Arroyo did in his book Astrology, Karma, and Reincarnation, that he studied all forms of astrology and decided none of them worked so he developed his own, then we are away from philosophy and into melgolomania or maybe religious belief. Briefly, this is what I mean by being rooted in philosophy and what I mean when I refer to things that are not rooted in philosophy. Obviously Arroyo didn't invent astrology (despite his claims), so there is some philosophical underpinnings, but he seems to regard them as a nuisance.

Coder writes:



Quote:
I wrote:

modern astrology derives in a large part from two different but interwoven strands of thought - theosophy and depth psychology?
Terminological clarification follows.

I meant "depth psychology" as an umbrella term to cover the whole area of psychology from Freud, Jung, Adler, thru to TA. logotherapy, etc. This area can be distinguished as different from "experimental psychology" (e.g.


And followed with:

Quote:
So, previous posts believe that the bath-water is somewhat turbid, but is there any way to keep Hand's baby ("enlightenment, self-realization, self-actualization and consciousness") while throwing out modern psychology and/or theosophy? (And presumably as more than epiphenomena of the mylar sheaths of brain cells?).


Modern astology claims to be psychological or associated with in some way or another, Feud, Jung et al. A claim is not a fact. If we're going to claim that this is the baby that we don't want tossed out with the bathwater, I suggest we look to see if there is a baby in the bathwater in the first place. If there isn't, and I suspect there isn't, what is in that bath water that is worth saving? It is more likely that names like Freud and Jung are tossed around to legitimize what we're doing, than there is any serious successful work blending the work of those gentlemen and astrology.

To be fair I do not expect that anyone can, in a forum adequately refute my observation, and I admit that doesn't mean it is irrefutable. We have limits here and most of what we do is opinion with supporting quotes. I'm throwing mine out there. Modern astrology talks a good game of intellecutual respectability, but do they play one?

Sorry to hit and run but I'll be out of the country on business for a few days and may or may not be able to continue this until Friday or Saturday of next week.

Tom

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skippy



Joined: 06 Jul 2006
Posts: 89
Location: england

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom quoting Stephen Arryo as being representative of the whole of the Modern Astrology canon is akin to Bob Monkhouse lack of funny jokes represents all 20th century comedians. Stephen Arryo and Dane Rudhyar were both very accomplished astrologers before they started to go beyond what was already on offer. Many people have used their methods and swear by them so as much as you would like a Bliztkreig on their offerings you ain't gonna get one.

Quote:
(And presumably as more than epiphenomena of the mylar sheaths of brain cells?).


Or the concomitant spark between synapses and turncoats?
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Mark
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Tom,

You state:

Quote:
Modern astology claims to be psychological or associated with in some way or another, Feud, Jung et al. A claim is not a fact. If we're going to claim that this is the baby that we don't want tossed out with the bathwater, I suggest we look to see if there is a baby in the bathwater in the first place. If there isn't, and I suspect there isn't, what is in that bath water that is worth saving? It is more likely that names like Freud and Jung are tossed around to legitimize what we're doing, than there is any serious successful work blending the work of those gentlemen and astrology.


If I am correct in understanding you here you seem to be suggesting that modern astrologers are only half hearted when they call themselves 'psychological'. Its simply a label to allow all manner of nonsense to be justified by their 'astro-babble'.

This may indeed be true of some practitioners. Equally, some practitioners only seem to be using psychological terms without really integrating this fully into their approach. For example, Noel Tyl claims to be 'psychological' in his technique but to my knowledge he has no formal training in this area. He has adopted the language of therapy but many of his directive methods seem to fundamentally contradict this approach.

I note all the examples of 'Modern astrology' you use are North American i.e Rudhyar ( by adoption) and Arroyo. What about casting your net over the Atlantic?

Here in Europe there do seem to have been genuine, significant attempts to fuse modern psychotherapy with astrology. This has generated success in its own terms ie the development of a what some call 'Astro-Therapy'. Leading exponents of this approach include Liz Greene and Karen Hamaker-Zondag. Both these astrologers are qualified Jungian therapists and have attempted to link this training into their astrological work. The Centre for Psychological Astrology (CPA) founded by Liz Greene and Howard Sasportas in London require all prospective students to undergo personal therapy while studying there. The Prospectus states:

Quote:
In order to complete the In-Depth Professional Training, the Centre asks that all students, for a minimum of one year of study, be involved in a recognised form of depth psychotherapy with a therapist, analyst or counsellor of his or her choice. The fee for the Centre’s training does not include the cost of this therapy, which must be borne by the student himself/herself.


In central Europe in Switzerland another attempt to integrate psychotherapy and astrology has come with the work of Bruno and Louise Huber. Both these astrologers studied personally with the founder of Psychosynthesis Roberto Assagioli. Huber astrology therefore incorporates Psychosynthesis in its approach to astrological work with clients.

I feel you are setting up a Kangaroo court for modern astrology here. Even if these astrologers make the case successfully that they have integrated a fully psychological approach into their work you have made it crystal clear you are then going to argue against the validity of psychotherapy anyway. However, I trust you agree the issue of whether psychotherapy is a valid pursuit is a matter well beyond the scope or competence of this website.

I also don't think its fair to start lumping all modern astrologers together as if they are form one undifferentiated blob.

Generalisations of astrology into 'camps' have their uses but inevitably create oversimplification and blur actual common ground. For example, traditionalists are often complaining about Modern astrology abandoning the traditional rulerships. This is generally true but this assumption can create more of a division than sometimes exists. For example, I understand Huber Astrology uses traditional domicile rulerships and excludes outer planets from rulerships.

I also noticed recently that that the modern American Astrologer Robert P. Blaschke comes out in favour of traditional rulerships in his recent book on Secondary, Tertiary and Minor progressions. Not through love of tradition but just observation of charts Blaschke finds the traditional rulership of signs works best. If I recall correctly Stephen Arroyo also gives primary consideration to traditional rulers too.

I have noticed that the most passionate critics of modern astrology resent its frequent monistic/eastern flavour and nostalgically look back to the days when astrology in the west was underpinned by monotheistic religion. As such the disagreement with Modern Astrology is as much a philosophical one as an issue of the basis of its technique.

Thats a fair enough position to have. I just think people should be open and acknowledge where they are coming from philosophically. To their credit Robert Zoller and John Frawley are very candid in acknowledging a personal Christian belief underpins their approach to astrology.

In my case as a Buddhist by outlook and a traditionalist by technique I have time for both perspectives.

I will now be away for about a week. I look forward to returning to this stimulating thread when I get back.

Mark


Last edited by Mark on Tue Aug 22, 2006 12:22 pm; edited 5 times in total
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