Integrating Astrology with Psychology: Problematic

June 10, 2019 at 17:34 (UT/GMT)
(Scorpio) ancient_astrology
Integrating Astrology with Psychology: Problematic
1)Astrology, at least by the time it arrived in the hellenistic world, had a psychological component. For example, we can expect a person with a prominent Mars to be bellicose, aggressive or assertive.

2) Given the above, we can correctly say that psychology was a component of “western” astrology from early on, certainly by the time it reached the Hellenistic world.
However, my problem with the recent attempts to bring psychological theory into astrology is that it is an attempt to integrate astrology into an entire school of psychology (in most cases, Jungian) .

3) My problem with this is two fold:

a)Which school of psychology should we choose to integrate? I like Terence McKenna’s statement that the various schools of psychology are like medieval hawkers at a faire. Which one do you choose? Now most people seeking to integrate psychological into astrology are Jungian( i.e. Liz Greene and Richard Tarnas). I can see why. First we know that Jung used birth charts on some of his patients. Jung also sought out advice from astrologers. I happen to know that one of these was French astrologer Andre Barbault. Also Jungian archetypes fit nicely with astrological ones. Mercury: Trickster, Venus: Anima, Mars: Anima, Saturn: Shadow, etc.

b)However, I have a problem with trying to merge two systems. The problem is that that the psychological schools put astrology into a procrustean bed and make astrology fit their system. It wouldn’t be the first time such thing has happened. Look at the nonsense by tarot readers try to fit their system or vice-versa into the cabalistic tree of life. Dont’ get me wrong. I get the temptation to try to integrate two systems together. Prima facie there does seem to be some similarities between astrology and jungian archetypes. However, it is a logical error to jump from seeing similarities to seeing them as identities or integrating the one into the other.


So, these are briefly some of the issues I have with the attempts of some astrologers trying to integrate astrology with a particular school of psychology. I would have more to say about this, but will leave it at that for the moment.

Posts in topic

Sort posts:
June 15, 2019 at 15:20
(Scorpio) ancient_astrology » astro-flame
I will for the moment not respond to certain things you´ve said here. I haven´t listened to Liz Green´s recording that you cite, but I will.

<<"I do have a problem when they put astrology into the procrustean bed of their system."
Like I mentioned earlier, everyone views and understands the world and everything in it (including astrology) through the prism of their own chart/psyche>>

Yes, it´s indeed true that at any moment in time we view the world from our particular perspective. However, there is the possibility of viewing it differently also. If we choose, we may remain enclosed in our narrow, limited point of view. In that case, any new information can be twisted to fit our present worldview. However, there is the possibility, if we are brave enough, to consider the information from another perspective and that instead of it reenforcing our present worldview, the new information may change it. The former is a closed-system. The latter is an open-system.

This is a potential problem even with astrology. Well, maybe not a problem with astrology but with people who practice or use astrology. That problem is one of over-identifying with the chart....becoming your chart.
June 12, 2019 at 01:26
(Aries) astro-flame » IIyyaarr13
My favorite thing in it all is that there are many versions of the same myth in virtually any story in Greek or Roman history.

So, the same idea of filtering everything through a prism of one´s own perception: the ones who put down the myths on paper chose the versions they liked/identified with the most. So we have some of the versions preserved (but not all, because myths were an oral tradition before they were written down).

Then, whoever chooses to study them pulls out of the multitude of meanings and associations whatever (s)he identifies with. And another person has their own understanding of the same archetype/God...

Anyhow - astrology is a symbolic language and I personally don´t see a problem with elaborating on the meanings, including the myths. I don´t think any given planet has only a limited number of meanings attached to it, so elaborating on the myths helps you to get to a wider range of principles connected with the planet.
June 11, 2019 at 23:59
(Sagittarius) goldenlion32 » IIyyaarr13
Shocking. I tell you. :75:
June 11, 2019 at 23:53
(Taurus) IIyyaarr13 » astro-flame
This is the 2nd time Entheogens has tried to "dis-identify" planets from Gods.
Gauquelin did it as an Empirical Logical Positivist researcher and was attacked for "lack of faith" in Astrology. :156: :194: :159: means the Superbenefic vs. the paranormal and creative; For that there are no winners and few prisoners! :39:
June 11, 2019 at 12:03
(Leo) pixel » pixel
For me, Psychology is like a layer in which we gather the inner energies of astrology, the power of biology, and the external energies of the environment (perhaps it is at this crossroads that the so-called soul is and free will?!) ... all in interaction to evolve, transform and mutate ... but as it said above: everyone is locked up his own psychology and his ego ... we have a lot to do before finding a way to truly open our minds and be able to work with all these dimensions without struggling to be the best (ways of thinking, relgions and different versions in all things).

:17:
June 11, 2019 at 11:15
(Leo) pixel » astro-flame
;)

Only for exemple: Astrology and psychology in this context are like an equation with an entry and an exit in both sides for Inner and outer circulation of energies (with Environment contacts)... both of them isn´t static... and the whole picture is the human being... it´s a world of fractals : an Infinity of Swiss army knives in a continous evolution.
June 11, 2019 at 10:07
(Aries) astro-flame » pixel
Thank you! Glad to hear we´re on the same wavelength! :37:

Astrology is super-helpful but definitely not THE ONE AND ONLY means of explaining things. As for that that Swiss army knife analogy - I´ll keep astrology as the entire knife with multiple tools in it, but look at it in the perspective of real life: does it help to do many different things? Sure. Does it help to do absolutely anything? No. You can´t plant a tree with it - you need a spade. You can´t paint with it - you need a brush. You can´t measure temperature with it - you need a thermometer. And so on, and so forth :3:
June 11, 2019 at 08:29
(Leo) pixel » astro-flame
Thank you YC88. This is the vision I have of everything that concerns the human being in all fields.

One thing disturbs me on all sites of astrology: any explanation is centered on astrology and charts (transits, etc.) ... But we are not only that !!! I would say that astrology is one of the tools of the Swiss army knife that you talked about, to help discover the concerns and potentials of a person each time (but we can only generalize a little bit). I see astrology only as a doorway to a single whole world that gives clues to open consciousness to lines of thought. Astrology is not THE tool that gives answers to all things, or all kinds of things !!!

:17:
June 11, 2019 at 02:28
(Aries) astro-flame
!!! MULTIPLE USER´S QUOTES !!!

I will comment on the several replies in one post... hope it won´t be too long :6:
but then, again, if it is - oh, well :98:

entheogens: "Jung also sought out advice from astrologers .... Also Jungian archetypes fit nicely with astrological ones"

The advice he was seeking wasn´t on his patients. From about the age of 36 Jung was studying astrology seriously, so his correspondence with both Western and Vedic scholars was essentially what we are doing now on this forum :3: The archetypes don´t FIT nicely, they are based on the Zodiac signs (ever wonder why there is also 12?) For obvious reasons in his day and age he couldn´t clearly demonstrate his affiliation with astrology in published work and in his diaries says that he sort of "had to invent the term" to mask what it was really about. Most of it wasn´t known to the wider public all the way till 2009(!) when the Red Book (Liber Novus) was published...

I could go on for another 5 pages, but it will be basically re-telling you the 13-hour recording of a seminar on Jung´s lifelong involvement in astrology. You can ceck it out at the link here (don´t know if you are interested enough to dish out 100 GBP on it, but I was and I think it was worth it) https://www.astrology.org.uk/liz-gr…

Now, yes, I know it´s Liz Greene. She spent a ton of time not only studying Jung´s published work, but also the documents his family still keeps unpublished.

To sum up here: Liz is not trying to integrate, she just has her own take on what Carl already did. In one letter to an American colleague he wrote "a therapist who is not using astrological chart of the client is missing out on a lot" (not a direct quote, but something along the lines LOL)

As to Liz Greene having "her own take" and I am using a quote from Morningstar´s reply here:"Astrology is a more direct method of psychological analasys to me, because it deals with the interaction of energies, whereas psychology is based on an individual´s (the psychologist´s) subjective opinions, theories, etc."

Well, here is the trick: every astrologer ALSO has subjective opinion, different theories on how things work, what do different placements and aspects represent and so on. Hell, we can´t even all agree on the orbs! :61:
So every astrologer views a chart(an the entire world) through the prism of their own chart, they have their own subjectivity.

Another one from Morningstar: "I still wish modern psychology would embrace its etymological roots though, and become the "study of the soul" it is supposed to be."

I hear you on that one. This is actually one of the disagreements between Freud and Jung - Freud didn´t believe in soul, only instinctual drives. Jung thought that there must be more to it, which led him to astrology. He called the natal chart "the map of the soul". I really like that term :17:

entheogens: "I do have a problem when they put astrology into the procrustean bed of their system."
Like I mentioned earlier, everyone views and understands the world and everything in it (including astrology) through the prism of their own chart/psyche. And changing and twisting an idea or a discipline to fit one´s own world view is only natural to ANY human being. There is no person out there who sees the absolute pure unchanged truth, idea or concept, including you and me. Everybody´s reality is different. Unfortunately, in some cases it takes very extreme and unpleasant forms (think - organised religion). However, in case of psychology and astrology and their integration, it hasn´t come that far...yet :21:

Anyway, to sum up my opinion on the subject of integrating the two - it´s already done. When we read the chart to understand the person - we take psychological approach. When we read transits, solars, progressions - we take predictive approach. When we do horaries - we do divination. Astrology is like a Swiss army knife - has multiple uses. But there are other disciplines that try to tackle the same task - psychology, other divination techniques (Tarot is just the most known), dream interpretations....
June 10, 2019 at 23:43
(Pisces) fishscales » ancient_astrology
"Psychology is meant to get people in shape so that they can produce and consume. I´m not saying that psychotherapists always have that aim or that is their only aim, but it´s an unspoken substrata of therapy, I believe."

I think getting people in the optimal state to produce and consume is the unspoken substrata of pretty much everything these days. ?
June 10, 2019 at 21:19
(Scorpio) ancient_astrology » fishscales
<<I still wish modern psychology would embrace its etymological roots though, and become the "study of the soul" it is supposed to be.>>

Well, yes, but there is a problem. Modern psychology is a modality meant to "cure" people. And as I think the maverick Jungian, James Hillman, has shown, the soul does not always want or need to be cured in the way psychology wants to cure it. Psychology is part of the capitalistic framework that it is born from. Psychology is meant to get people in shape so that they can produce and consume. I´m not saying that psychotherapists always have that aim or that is their only aim, but it´s an unspoken substrata of therapy, I believe.

And, of course, Jungian and Freudian therapy have proven themselves to be less capable in "curing" people than say cognitive behavioural therapies, and so both are losing any foothold they once may have had.
June 10, 2019 at 21:11
(Scorpio) ancient_astrology » pixel
I want to be clear. I have no problems with a therapist looking at a chart in order to understand their client. It is when they try to combine the two systems (their school of psychology and astrology) into one coherent system that I start to have problems. Liz Greene and Richard Tarnas appear to do just that. The planets in the astrological system are meant to be suggestive of the mythological characters but not identical. So when Liz Greene starts elaborating on the mythological character Saturn ad applies that to the astrological Saturn, I think she goes too far.

I hope my position is clear. To repeat, I have nothing against Jung or any other therapist using astrology. I do have a problem when they put astrology into the procrustean bed of their system.
June 10, 2019 at 20:13
(Pisces) fishscales » pixel
"What I read about C.G. Jung (and one of my therapists told me that too) was that he was looking at the issues that the charts presented : he was paying attention to the difficult aspects and was looking for the best way to help his patients to overcome by adapting treatments and therapies. This is another reason that led me to astrology."

This is a good example of the strength of both disciplines when used in tandem.

I still wish modern psychology would embrace its etymological roots though, and become the "study of the soul" it is supposed to be.
June 10, 2019 at 19:21
(Leo) pixel » fishscales
I agree with you about the fact that astrology and psychology share something in common : human.

But they treat different subjects, even if the main object they put lights on is human being, in current life, and "other lives"...that´s why I don´t think we can gather them in the same "bag".
June 10, 2019 at 19:12
(Leo) pixel
What I read about C.G. Jung (and one of my therapists told me that too) was that he was looking at the issues that the charts presented : he was paying attention to the difficult aspects and was looking for the best way to help his patients to overcome by adapting treatments and therapies. This is another reason that led me to astrology.
June 10, 2019 at 17:55
(Pisces) fishscales
I can see how astrology and Jungian psychology can share an affiliation--to an extent--because they both deal with archetypes.

Astrology is a more direct method of psychological analasys to me, because it deals with the interaction of energies, whereas psychology is based on an individual´s (the psychologist´s) subjective opinions, theories, etc.

I am not going to trash psychology because I think that getting someone to communicate about what is going on inside of them, especially if it´s something difficult, is a good thing. Better than bottling it up, to be sure.

The birth chart is a different way of getting at what is going on in a person. I would say analysis of the birth chart in addition to directly talking about a person´s issues could, in some cases, provide some constructive help. (Providing the subject wants to be helped of course.)

I just find psychology hard to take seriously as a science, because it only acknowledges events that occurred in an individual´s present life as having an impact on their personality and inner attitudes.

What about what happened in all their other lives? :3:


Current Planets, Astrology Transits, Chart of this moment
Current planets
Planetary positions
Show chart »
Lunar calendar 2022
Moon calendar
Moon in Leo Leo
Show calendar »