Astrology as a Paradigm Shift
In the last several articles I have been writing about Chiron. It has been thought of as ‘the wounded healer’, but I think this definition is much too narrow. In its highest expression it can be seen as a doorway to a different kind of consciousness which is symbolized by the outer planets of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. What I want to write about now is how big a shift this really is and also about how astrology itself needs to be conceived of and practiced much differently than it has been in the past. This is an important issue for the field of astrology to face or it will always be considered by science and the modern mind as mere superstition. I don’t think it has to stay this way.
A Brief History
Historically, the only purpose of astrology was to make concrete predictions. This ‘service’ was usually done only for the Kings, Queens, and noblemen of the medieval world. Astrologers were ‘paid’ mostly by benefactors rather than being able to have a ‘client base,’ as we do now. And when they did have clients, barter was the primary method of payment. Their needs were everyday, mundane ones which was understandable as survival was what people had to pay attention to most. At that time, astrology only used the Sun and Moon and the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. That’s all the planets they knew about and their system worked within the needs of that period of history. What is interesting is that medieval astrology, also known as ‘traditional astrology,’ continues to be practiced today. In fact, one astrologer, John Frawley, regards this type of astrology as the only ‘Real Astrology.’ He also doesn’t use the outer planets. So, apparently, the outer planets are not useful in making concrete predictions so instead of finding out what these giants (Uranus and Neptune) might represent, they are simply disregarded as an inconvenience.
My view of this ‘state of affairs’ is that we are at a pivotal point in history, including the history of astrology, when we must either discover and use what these ‘irrelevant’ outer planets are concerned with or simply remain stuck in an outworn paradigm. Another indicator of the unfortunate state of things is astrological education has been seriously hampered by this return to traditional astrology. Kepler College, the first degree-granting college in the U.S. had to close its doors in part because they chose to emphasize medieval astrology instead of becoming relevant to the needs of the modern mind. They chose to go backwards in their curriculum and emphasized traditional astrology over other alternatives, such as the great philosophical approaches of Dane Rudhyar and other psychological or transpersonal astrologers. In my view, it was a very big mistake and prevented them from being accredited by other colleges.
In other words, in my view, the full use of these outer planets is not irrelevant. It is, in fact, what makes astrology truly relevant in today’s world. I admit that many people who cannot conceive of states of higher awareness and consciousness will not care what happens to astrology or how it is used. So, for them, the following discussion isn’t relevant at all. The School I am creating has one central purpose. It is to assist those people who in their hearts know that human potential goes much further than where we are today. And it shows how astrology can be a very important part of the development of this potential. This School of astrology is intended for those who want to transform and evolve and who are willing to look at themselves and the world in a fundamentally new way.
As a professional astrologer who watches how astrology is being perceived and received, I see all sorts of openings possible, but not if we retrograde back into an out-worn past. This will happen if the potential vibrancy and aliveness of the outer planets become woven into the very fabric of every aspect of astrology. That’s when people will turn towards this field. My guess is that Ken Wilber rejected astrology in his form of ‘integral work’ because he saw the way it focused on concrete prediction and Sun-sign astrology. I doubt he knew of its potential to serve more than a predictive function.
I get emails and letters from all over the world from people calling for a new form of astrology that enlivens us and expands our ability to participate in our life in a fuller, more complete and satisfying way. People truly interested in evolving and becoming freer, don’t want to be told what their fate is, as if we live in an unconscious machine-like world where there is no free will. The modern mind rejects it. So, using astrological terminology let me say it this way. It is the outer planets that give us the ability to break free from the ‘old ways,’ the ‘old paradigms,’ etc. If we don’t use them consciously, we are stuck in time and denied the fundamental changes we need to make in order to evolve.
A New Paradigm for Astrology
Let’s start by simply defining the first two outer planets, Uranus and Neptune.
This planet refers to the archetypal process that leads to the development of true ‘Individuality’ and ‘Uniqueness’. This process separates us from the mass consciousness, its programming, etc., and thus allows us to discover truly new understandings of our purpose for being here. This is how we can open up to tremendously new opportunities.
This planet refers to the archetypal process that leads to the awareness and experience of true connectedness, which results inevitably to the emergence of true Compassion. This is how one becomes aware of the principle of ‘Unity’ or ‘Wholeness.’
Please, if you will, imagine what astrology must be like without having these concepts be a central part of astrological understanding. Wouldn’t astrology without these concepts be a purely fated one? That’s the astrology of the so-called ‘Real astrologers.’ They don’t see that the outer planets bring to us the possibility of real transformation. We don’t live in a time period where physical survival is the only factor controlling us. We are capable of resonating with the sense that there is more to life than just living, procreating and dying.
Dane Rudhyar wrote a book entitled “The Sun is Also a Star.” This book suggests that Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are gateways or portals to a different kind of consciousness. He refers to it as ‘Galactic consciousness.’ He is referring to a real paradigm shift in one’s very being, isn’t he? The discovery of these planets represents a possibility that more of humanity might be able to connect with these ‘new forces’ than in the past. By the way, I do not believe that all human beings were denied access to theses transformative principles before the outer planets were discovered. Some people undoubtedly were living from and in these principles. What is changing is that more of humanity can align with these than ever before.
This new paradigm has certain qualities that, when developed, take a person into totally new territory. Here are just some of these qualities:
1. Thinking in holistic ways that go beyond dualistm, such as ‘either-or’ thinking , ‘right-wrong’, or ‘good-bad’ ways of thinking.
2. Being able to discover how we are ‘beings’ in our own right, able to live in full presence, able to think for ourselves and free from the programming of the society in which we are born.
3. Able to ‘see-feel’ the connection between ourselves and our fellow human and even the world itself.
4. The ability to combine #2 and # 3 so that we learn that being truly an independent, fully functioning person AND being aware of how we are connected to others and to greater ‘Wholes’ is possible and which represents a new stage of human evolution.
5. Discovering that the need to always be in control is the result of being disconnected with our own ‘inner knowing’ and that we do have the potential to connect with that.
The development of these new understandings and the realization that the outer planet forces can help us move towards being able to live in this new way has hardly ever been associated with astrology. But, this is not the failure of astrology itself. It has always contained these attributes and more. In a sense it is also not the failure of astrologers since perhaps they have not seen how astrology is able to contribute to this ‘paradigm shift’ to which I refer.
The use of astrology in these new ways is the beginning of the emergence of the new paradigm itself. Chiron is opening the door, creating the bridge for many of us to really apply the transformational changes possible for humanity as a whole. It is my belief that the 3-year transiting square between Uranus and Pluto is when this paradigm shift can emerge more strongly. At least, this concept could lead us to a positive change instead of feeling that chaos and disorder is all that these turbulent times will produce.