Signs and Symbols: A Doorway to the Holy Place

The question is, why consult signs and symbols when we are modern citizens of the Scientific Age?

What possible benefit could come from an examination of planetary positions at the moment and place of birth?

Did we not leave such superstitious ideas behind when Darwin and Descartes came along?

Granted, Carl G. Jung did much to restore interest in alchemy, astrology, Eastern traditions and the realm of the intuitive. He studied dreams in himself and thousands of clients over the years, and even sent his most challenging clients off to have a horoscope drawn up. He recognized through his theory of synchronicity that there is no such thing as randomness, that everything in this reality unfolds along archetypal lines, and that this unfoldment occurs according to alchemical cycles that appear to have been embedded in the collective unconscious of humanity. Jung was not afraid to look into the dark past for insights into psychological pathologies of modern existence – and what he found during this search was that the ancients were far better equipped to understand the workings of the mind and soul than are scientifically-conditioned “experts” of current times.

Jung paid a price for his rediscoveries, of course, in that his work was marginalized and discarded by the psychotherapeutic establishment, which retains a Freudian perspective to this very day.  So-called “Jungians” are typically regarded by the mainstream with a wink and a nod, at best.  Nevertheless, Jungian ideas have infiltrated the field of psychology in subtle (yet profound) ways, even as these ideas have done wonders in establishing astrology in the West.

Dane Rudhyar, whose work spanned the middle 50 years of the 20th century, crystallized Jung’s revolutionary perspective and combined it with the ancient art of astrology, publishing in 1936 one of the truly original – if nearly-unknown – works of psycho-spiritual synthesis ever produced: The Astrology of Personality. In this book (as well as in most of his writings), Rudhyar showed that astrology is not about predicting future events, but about bringing order out of chaos, giving the individual a roadmap for psychological unfoldment along organic and cyclical lines.

In my consultations, then, it is this ideal of “bringing order out of chaos” that informs the proceedings.

Through this “higher ordering,” something profound and mysterious occurs, and it is this deeper process that gives astrology its true value.

We spend so much of our lives “in the middle of it,” plugging away, often just surviving what seems like a random mess of external influences that push us here and there. We are conditioned, in fact, to believe that this is how life really occurs – that things just happen, and we should respond as best we can. The idea that life unfolds in cycles that may be interpreted through signs and symbols is not something to be taken seriously – so we just push ahead, doing what we can within our limited range of vision.

If nothing else, these past 18 years of working with astrology have shown me that life is not random, that it does unfold according to a collective framework that manifests cyclically, and that these cycles have been expressed through the signs and symbols of astrology for thousands of years.

Astrology puts the individual in touch with the collective, the micro with the macro, and it gives us the opportunity to avail ourselves of a collective perspective that is literally infinite in scope. It is like being put in a spaceship, flown way, way up into our local solar system – into the realm of the Archetypes – and given the opportunity to see life from the point-of-view of higher understanding. From this higher platform of knowledge, order is introduced into what the individual experiences as chaos.

While it’s true that, in identifying certain cycles running through the client’s chart, an occasional insight will arise that may be taken as a “prediction” for future events… what is actually happening is that the client and I are arriving at a synchronistic point of understanding. Together we “see” something clear and obvious, even though it may have been sitting on the client’s nose for years and years. This is an alchemical process, such that, when the two of us climb into the “alchemical crucible,” we have availed ourselves of a Mystery that expresses through signs and symbols. We have immersed ourselves, in fact, in a sea of signs and symbols, submitting to anciently-derived collective wisdom that comes to bear on the present moment.

As I explain this and describe that during a routine survey of astrological data springing forth from the chart, signs and symbols are transmuted into insights that trigger connections and associations within the client. These connections and associations then trigger a similar process within me. In short order, the client and I are seeing one another as an uncanny mirror, sharing in this deeply intimate moment a recognition of an otherwise unconscious human heritage.

There is something profoundly healing in the intimacy of this meeting, beyond even what the signs and symbols represent. It is as though the signs and symbols create a doorway to the holy place of awareness before we take birth, and in this holy place we find a spiritual connectedness that is independent of the form and drama of our current life. We have agreed to spend an hour or so in this place, suspending our conditioning and our beliefs about the should’s and shouldn’ts of life… and we make ourselves available to a wisdom that can’t be accessed in any other way.

Perhaps this description sounds forth as memory and resonance from beyond the chaos of your everyday life.

If so, perhaps the alchemical crucible may be calling you.

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