Archetypal Astrology – The interface of science and spirituality
zodiac (zo´deak´) n. ‘a circle of living beings’ from zodiacus, a Latin term derived from the Greek zodion, itself etymologically connected with the word zoon, which is linked with the idea of ‘life’ or with ‘living beings’.–The arkana dictionary of astrology
As fellow creatures of the Universe, our species is posed with a particular dilemma: How do we honor both our physical and spiritual natures? We are all–as souls embodied– part of an indivisible whole, and yet we are individuals with unique qualities.
For the last 500 years, we have perceived our world through the Newtonian paradigm. We have gained enormous understanding of the Universe by using reductive, mechanistic measures. However, we are at a cusp of consciousness. This turning point augurs a shift in perception. We are beginning to understand that our scientific world view has left us cut off from the very thing we have been striving to know better–the mystery of life.
My approach to archetypal astrology incorporates the theories of new physics along with the Jungian concept of the collective unconscious. The physicist Wolfgang Pauli was struck by the correspondence between physics and psychology that Jung’s most original contribution to psychology created (Peat, 1987)
Jung used the Gnostic term pleroma as a key to cosmogony. Pleroma , meaning “godhead” is both empty and perfectly full like Bohm’s implicate order (Peat, 1987). This is also commensurate with theories in new physics, such as holography where wholeness does not imply that the Universe in one undifferentiated mass, but that things can be part of an undivided whole and still possess their own unique characteristics. Every portion of a piece of holographic film contains all the information necessary to create a whole image (Talbot, 1991). Likewise, the horoscope or natal chart is a microcosm of the cosmos represented in the circle of creatures of the zodiac.
Archetypal astrology views the natal chart as a tool for understanding the workings of the psyche. It sees the relationship between psyche and cosmos as acausal…not just cause and effect. The activity of the heavenly bodies reflects the workings of the psyche. This is consistent with Jung’s concept of synchronicity–an acausal connecting principle. As physicist, F. David Peat asserts, “Causality and synchronicity are not contradictory but are dual perceptions of the same underlying reality.” (p. 57)
Creatura is not in the pleroma, but in itself. The pleroma is both the beginning and end of created beings. . .We are, however, the pleroma itself, for we are a part of the eternal and infinite. But we have no share thereof, as we are from the pleroma infinitely removed; not spiritually or temporally, but essentially, since we are distinguished from the pleroma in our essence as creatura, which is confined within time and space.
Yet because we are parts of the pleroma, the pleroma is also in us. Even in the smallest point is the pleroma endless, eternal, and entire, since small and great are qualities which are contained in it. . .
. . .Our very nature is distinctiveness. If we are not true to this nature we do not distinguish ourselves enough. Therefore must we make distinctions of qualities (Jung, pp. 8-10).
Gettings, F. (1985). The arkana dictionary of astrology. London: Arkana
Jung, C.G. (1963). VII Sermones ad mortuos (H.G. Baynes, Trans.). London: Stuart & Watkins
Peat, F.D. (1987). Synchronicity: The bridge between matter and mind. New York: Bantam
Talbot, M. (1991). Holographic universe. New York: Harper Collins