In The Loop October 2015
In The Loop is the Astrological Association's monthly email newsletter. To get it delivered to your inbox every month, subscribe here.
This month's edition coincides with Halloween - or does it? It has been suggested that instead of sticking rigidly to 31st October when marking this festival we should instead link it to the Scorpio Full Moon - this year it was a 'Blood Moon' on 27th October.
Roy Gillett kicks off this edition with an urgent plea for assistance with the AA's chart database. Please help if you can.
Patricia Godden is back with more on the Astrology of crystals, and from the Faculty we have a review of its first book publication in the 21st century. In a future edition we will feature another new book 'Leo Rising' by Kim Farnell - telling the story of the Astrological Lodge of London.
Next we have an intriguing item of research by Dr Pat Harris into the myth of a 5th House Saturn, and finally a fascinating archive item featuring an in-depth conversation between Dr Liz Greene and Suzi Harvey.
Please feel free to forward this October 2015 issue of The Astrological Association's monthly newsletter In the Loop on to friends, peers, students and anyone else you think might want to read this information or subscribe to the e-letter. Send any feedback to In The Loop
Robert Anderson - Treasurer
Sponsor an issue of In The Loop
Sponsoring an issue of In The Loop will have your organisation/business seen by every AA member and their friends; your link will also be on the Astrological Association website. Email In The Loop for information.
This month's articles
The Astrological Association Reference Library
The Library is now once again available to members and joiners. Located in South East Cornwall, the library can be visited by appointment with our librarian Trudie Charles. For those unable to visit, enquiries may be made by email or telephone 01752 852193
From 1983 to the present day, the Association has built up a library of over 850 recordings of talks and workshops given by leading astrologers of the day, including many great minds no longer with us. Go to the AA's shop to browse and order from our easy access listings. 2015 recordings are now available!
This month's articles
Volunteers have digitalised MP3 recordings of the Association's annual conferences sessions (1983 to the present day). Now a wealth of wisdom from expert astrologers is available on a CD or by downloads from the online shop.
Early 2015 the new login system was launched, giving all members control over their records and PDF access to every Astrological Journal (1959 to now). Correlation subscribers can access every one of their issues since (1968 to now). Files were uploaded by volunteers.
More recently we added a new tool for the Association's Chart Data Base. This offers vastly improved accessing, plus the ability to edit and add new data. We can now restore the precision of David Fishers manual index cards with Rodden-ratings and full notes. We will also add important data from The Astrological Journal and ensure that news items are inputted as they occur.
This is where you come in! Can you help update and input data; a really rewarding task that will be used by all of us for years to come? To find out more about what is involved, email Roy Gillett. It's fun and so satisfying to see our improvements on the website and know they are benefiting colleagues.
by Patricia Godden
Sun in Libra
The soul lesson is brotherhood in action. As the cardinal air sign and ruled by Venus, energy is channelled into creating harmony. This manifests on many levels. The individual can be charming and graceful, kind and fair. These qualities enhance interactions with other people. Wanting to please others can draw others to the person who is often friendly and sociable. While time spent alone can be enjoyed, companionship may well be preferred.
The person likes to be in a harmonious environment and feels uncomfortable when there is a discordant atmosphere not only if it is directed at him- or herself but also when between other people. When the Sun is in Libra, there is a good sense of fairness and justice. By understanding where each person is coming, there can be appreciation of both sides of an argument. It is the nature of the air element in Libra to remain impartial but there is also a natural desire to want to moderate and reconcile opposing parties. This person has the ability to harmonise conflicting opinions more easily than many people. Maintaining harmonious liaisons with and between others is positive use of the creative energy of the spirit as represented by the Sun. It contributes to sociability and augments personal relationships. Nevertheless, it is helpful for this individual to be aware of balancing this with his or her personal needs. A person with the Sun in Libra can be indecisive and find it hard to make a decision. There may be prevarication or delay in deciding what to say or do. One of the reasons for hesitating and wavering is that he or she does not like to upset anyone by taking one side over another. There may also be the hope that the problem may go away and the need to make a decision avoided all together. This is frustrating for the person and may be annoying to the other people involved. Progress in life can be affected by such vacillation. The person is learning that acting considerately does not mean giving way to all others, but rather deciding on the best course of action with love and wisdom and then being able to implement the decision. Assertiveness is a lesson that includes fairness as well as courage.
As Libra is a cardinal air sign, fresh ideas can lead to action to bring beauty and balance into many areas of life. A logical mind that can think about consequences and work out the best way to approach different issues is integral to the way a person with the Sun in Libra operates.
Libra is ruled by Venus, which represents the soul's love of the Creator and source of life. When the Sun is in this sign, the aspirations of the higher self manifest by bringing that love into human life through creating harmony between people and beauty in the surroundings. These facets of the native's life are closely associated with its identity and so the person likes the effort made to smooth interactions between people to be recognised and appreciated.
Rhodochrosite is manganese carbonate with calcium, iron and zinc. It is trigonal or hexagonal and made by secondary formation. It is a beautiful crystal that ranges in colour from pink to raspberry pink and red. It can also be yellow, orange or brown. The pink of the crystal used in this section resonates with pure unconditional love. There is a feeling of selfless loving that is warm, strong and powerful. This can be helpful when a person with the Sun in Libra is overly tempted to please others or is unsure of how to act without hurting other peoples' feelings. The loving and active energy of this crystal can help a person be more decisive while remaining kind. Holding rhodochrosite assists blending love and wisdom to produce assertive but right action.
The stronger pink colours of rhodochrosite resonate with more active characteristics of the cardinal quality of Libra. They bring a sense of wanting to be able to show the power of heavenly love through the human vehicle and extend that love to other people. When holding this stone, it is possible to feel how a person is able to facilitate reconciliation between opposing people, issues or points of view. This resonates with the strength and warmth of the Sun as it manifests through the sign of Libra ruled by Venus. Rhodochrosite helps a person to arbitrate between people in a just but kind way.
Rhodochrosite can awaken the mind in the heart so logical intelligence is coloured by divine love bringing wise and loving action. There is a degree of detachment in what is done so it can be done for the highest good of all concerned. The image of a rose open in the sunshine, actively expressing its beauty, is evoked. Each petal represents facets of life that combine and interact in perfect harmony and are part of the beautiful whole. This can be likened to the way the aspirations of the higher self bring divine love to the physical level of existence, manifesting through the different areas of life, balancing and integrating them, to produce overall harmony. The yearnings of the spirit of a person with the Sun in Libra resonate well with rhodochrosite in this respect.
There is a richness and fullness to the impressions created with rhodochrosite; a feeling of life being complete. This can be likened to the life of a person with the Sun in Libra who has learned how to balance consideration for others with the needs of self. Far from being selfish, it leads to a better understanding of the role a person plays in the process of living on earth, neither subjugating self nor ignoring others. In this way, rhodochrosite facilitates better awareness of individual identity within the oneness of all life.
Sun in Scorpio
The Sun in Scorpio brings the soul lesson of peace through love. While Scorpio is known for its intensity and passion, the underlying experience is one of learning how to love self, others and life so that the emotions are calm and inner peace is found. The creative energy of the Sun finds outlet in all the facets of the person's life, manifesting as a vast amount of physical, mental and emotional energy. When this is channelled positively, he or she feels happy.
The water element of Scorpio leads to powerful intuition and there is heightened awareness of what is going on around the person. A 'sixth sense' can often detect if things are not what they appear to be, for instance if someone is not telling the truth or there is an ulterior motive behind what is being said. This level of sensitivity also helps appreciation of what others are feeling and to be able to intuit the reasons for their emotions. A person with the Sun in Scorpio likes to see into others, almost like reading another's soul and seeing what is going on there.
The person enjoys getting to the bottom of things, digging deeply and leaving no stone unturned in the search for meaning. The desire to research what is happening applies not only to everyday events but also goes beyond these to include a strong urge to understand the mysteries of life. This person wants to find out more about the very foundation of life, that centre that is common to all creation and then merge with it. Through doing this, he or she increases awareness of his or her own identity. This is integral to the relationship between the soul and the spirit. The personality works to achieve this through relationships including sexual relationships. The compelling need to be intense in interactions with others, be they physical, mental or emotional, comes from the rulers of Scorpio with Mars bringing a great deal of energy that is passionately applied while Pluto is deep and probing. The outermost heavenly body confers an interest in questions of birth, life and death, beginnings and endings, and spirit in the whole scheme of life.
The nature of Pluto can also be associated with compulsive behaviours. If this energy is directed positively for the benefit of self or other people, much good can come out of it. However, if there is no such positive outlet, it can lead to difficult behaviours that affect the life of the subject and others. Obsessive tendencies can develop. It is helpful for the person to be aware of this huge amount of energy and find constructive ways to use it.
The soul that has chosen the Sun in Scorpio is learning to find inner peace, which is closely linked with overcoming fear. One deep-seated fear is of losing control. The fixed nature of this sign is associated with a dislike of change as this can mean being out of control, which brings a degree of vulnerability and fear. Being secretive is one way of maintaining a sense of control. Similarly, avoiding being open is a means of preventing others seeing inner emotional turmoil and so is a method of coping with fear. These behaviours limit free interchange of energy with others and can inhibit progress in life. It is helpful for a person with the Sun in Scorpio to really understand and trust that the higher self is in control and guides the soul through every experience it needs to grow. The energy of Pluto ruling Scorpio works with the aspirations of the higher self associated with the Sun to bring about whatever is necessary in order to lead the soul forward. Deep and profound transformations that supersede the fixed nature of Scorpio take place.
Topaz is a rhombic crystal of aluminium silicate made by primary formation. It is transparent to translucent and has a vitreous lustre. Colourless topaz is associated with the Sun in Scorpio. The piece used in this section was clear. Holding it brings a feeling of looking right into the depths of life, to the core of existence and seeing what it is about. There is a sense of understanding the transient nature of physical life, that it comprises beginnings and endings and that all that starts also has an end. Working with clear topaz helps a person who feels the fixed nature of Scorpio appreciate the temporary nature of conditions on Earth and accept that nothing stays the same. It is then easier to recognise true identity as that of the spirit. Clear topaz re-establishes connections to the higher self, the spirit, and so assists a person with the Sun in Scorpio look at the deeper meaning of life and how the spirit is integral to this.
The clarity of topaz lets a person see those issues the higher self wants to work on. Aspirations, even deeply buried ones, can be brought to the surface and faced with courage and determination. This resonates with the Sun in Scorpio and the two rulers of this sign. The transforming energy of Pluto coupled to the active energy of Mars working with the perseverance of this sign give the soul the initiative and drive to effect change and remove the hindrances that occlude the true identity of the spirit. The light of the higher self can then shine through clearly. Topaz brings clarity and truth of purpose so the person is more sure of what has to be achieved and better able to act accordingly.
Not only does topaz help a person look deeply into the nature of life and the higher self but also into the intentions, interests and lives of others. This resonates with the deep, penetrating approach of a person with the Sun in Scorpio. However, clear topaz helps him or her to study and explore life in a wise and thoughtful way. Rather than wanting to look at others to find things that could reassure the self, there is greater focus on seeing how his or her own experience could benefit or reassure others. Instead of looking for information to allay personal fears and vulnerabilities, an inward looking approach, there is an outgoing of energy. The lower symbol of Scorpio is the scorpion that can sting itself but a higher symbol is the eagle that can fly above a problem and see solutions from a broader perspective. Clear topaz helps raise the vibrations from the lower self of the personality to the higher self of the spirit and be able to accept the infinite wisdom contained there. This facilitates resolving personal problems and enhances compassion and understanding of those of other people.
Topaz helps a person see that control issues and compulsive behaviours come from fear and are something other than pure love and wisdom. The fears can then be recognised for what they are, insubstantial worries about things that may never occur but which use up much energy. By holding clear topaz, a person is better able to get in touch with higher, finer energies and feel the safety of being an integral part of the process of life, of spirit and of the support offered by the universe at all times. This brings a feeling of increased confidence and trust that all is well and allows the person to find the longed-for inner peace. Clear topaz helps a person be less secretive, more open and able to enjoy interactions with others knowing that all are enfolded in universal love. This happens as the soul accepts its spirituality.
Moon in Taurus
The Moon is in exaltation in Taurus. This is the sign where the aspirations of the highest self to give service are reflected with love into the world. Venus, the ruler of Taurus works with the Moon to do this. It can manifest in several ways. The person can be warm and affectionate but, being practical and down-to-earth, is unlikely to be showy in demonstrating what is felt. Deep feelings may only be entrusted to worthy people. There is a strong sensual interaction with other people and the world of nature as the person has refined physical senses. Sensations from smelling, tasting, touching, listening and seeing what is nearby can evoke feelings and emotions. These reactions are closely interwoven to create the wholeness of the sensory experience.
The Moon tends to bring out the softer side of this sign, reflecting an inner awareness that can be masked by material interests. Taking time to savour sensory information leads to inner contentment. There is a feeling that life can be enjoyed without rushing so reactions can appear to be somewhat slow. However, this has the advantage that the person can remain steady and constant, not giving way to flighty emotions or thoughts. This is key to being grounded and practical regardless of the circumstances.
This individual tends to have a conservative outlook and likes to react to situations in conventional ways that have been tried and tested. It brings a sense of safety and security; that all is well in the world. He or she feels comfortable when life is predictable. As a result, there can be resistance to change, both to the external environment and in the person's reactions to situations. This can lead to a false sense of security in what is known even if the known is no longer any good or useful. Resistance to change can also be due to laziness in avoiding the effort to make change. Avoidance of change for whatever reason leads to stubbornness and obstinacy. The nature of the Moon is of constant change and the person could benefit by watching the cycles of this luminary and those of nature in general and working with them. The Moon in Taurus brings lessons in learning to flow and adapt in practical ways, integrating the advantages of tradition and flexibility.
The need for security may be satisfied by collecting things. These can be objects or people and result in materialism and possessiveness. However, one of the fundamental lessons this person is learning is inner security and the absolute safety and indestructibility of spirit. When this is experienced, the personality feels safe no matter what happens in the outside world. Practical reactions can then be based on an understanding of what is best for the prevailing situation rather than only on personal security. There is greater freedom to respond in more appropriate ways that provide greater pleasure.
Selenite is a form of gypsum, hydrated calcium sulphate. It is transparent to translucent and forms diamond shaped crystals, which are striated. Transparency helps a person to see the nature as it really is. The regularly shaped crystals of selenite correspond to the rigid structure of life often deemed necessary for security by a person with the Moon in Taurus. By holding selenite, the person can feel inner security and may be able to let go of the external strictures. This allows greater freedom and results in more enjoyment of life.
Due to the internal structure, selenite can have a shimmering appearance. This resonates with an awareness of the inner light in the person even when external actions are practical and methodical. Holding selenite can encourage greater awareness of the cycles of nature and the Moon. This in itself can be a pleasurable experience. It can also facilitate greater flexibility and less resistance to change. Light reflects off some of the striations in selenite as rainbows. This extends the feeling of comfort and safety to include a sense of hope and joy when experiencing change. As such, selenite can make a profound difference to a person with the Moon in Taurus.
The rainbows of light in some pieces of selenite resonate with the warmth of personality that can be shown by an individual with the Moon in Taurus. These rainbows are not always visible just as the person is not always able to demonstrate this warmth. However, it is always there, underneath the mask of being down-to-earth and practical. These lovely colours link with the beautiful service that this person likes to give many other people. It is part of the intrinsic nature.
There is a feeling of comfort when holding selenite, which is similar to the comfort sought by this sign in earthly life. However, comfort goes beyond physical comforts to reach an inner peace and security that are part of contentment. While helping a person manage the challenges of the Moon in Taurus, selenite deepens contact with the spirit and allows this to be reflected into the world as service through love.
by Pat Harris
In 2006, after receiving my doctorate in astrology applied to health psychology (Harris 2005), I set up practice as an astrologer health psychologist specialising in the use of astrology to help women undergoing fertility treatment. Since that time, I have advised a lot of clients and supported them through several years of trying to have a family or expand the one they already had. Some of my clients have an understanding of astrology and, several times, during the past nine years, the question has been asked (with some degree of anxiety) "I have Saturn in my fifth house: does this mean that I can't have children?"
There are astrological texts which list astrological conditions that indicate barrenness in women.
Cornell (p.43, 1984) in his medical dictionary asserts that "the Sun, Saturn and Mars deny children, or allot but few, especially when in the 5th or 11th houses and afflicted."
Alan Leo (p.176 , 1975), after defining malefic as Mars and Saturn, writes that: "Malefics in the 5th house nearly always cause barrenness in a woman or sterility in a man".
William Lilly defines barren planets as Saturn, Mars and the Sun, and writes (Lilly, p603, 1647):"If a sterill Planet be in the 5th, and a prolificall one in the eleventh, this signification rather imports barrennesse, or no children, than otherwise."
It must be acknowledged, here, that all these writers provided additional rules and conditions in relation to the presence of the malefic in the 5th house
Modern writers on the subject are less absolute in their presentation of the association of the malefics with the prevention of children and discuss other considerations that qualify, for example, Saturn's presence in the 5th house, describing them as infertile planets and suggesting what might be the cause so that the problem can be constructively addressed (Sellar 2008). This is very different from the earlier astrologers, such as Lilly, who were accustomed to use absolute and brutal terms like "barrenness". This term can be very alarming to a non-astrologer with a little knowledge of astrology who is hoping to find something in their astrological birth chart that confirms that they will have children, and who finds that they have the dreaded Saturn in the 5th house! Having a little knowledge of astrology means a poor understanding of the conditions and rules that should also be in place and how the old absolute views can be mitigated modern lifestyles and medicine.
As I was asked the simple question regarding Saturn in the fifth house and lack of children I thought that I would put together a sample of women who had become pregnant naturally and compare them with a group of women who had had babies through IVF to see if Saturn was more likely to be present in the 5th house of women who needed IVF in order to have children compared with women who had had their children naturally.
Table 1 is a presentation of my findings on a small sample of women. This is, at this stage of my research into the Saturn in the 5th myth, is purely exploratory and no significant conclusions can be drawn from these findings but they are sufficiently interesting for me to expand my research question and to put together a much larger sample to see if the suggested pattern can be confirmed and better understood.
|Table 1: Incidence of Saturn in the mother's 5th house and birth of children n = 47|
|Mothers||Saturn in 5th||Saturn in 5th|
|Babies born naturally n = 31||5||26|
|Babies born through IVF n = 16||0||16|
All the women in the sample provided their time, date and place of birth, some reported as accurate, some between half an hour to an hour's approximation. In the cases of approximate birth times, the natal chart was checked to see if the approximation made a difference to the absence or presence of Saturn in the 5th and I found that it did not do so.
This exploratory enquiry is normal practice when looking at astrology applied to other disciplines as it helps to clarify the research question or, as in some cases, suggest that it is an avenue of exploration that has no value in relation to the way in which the research question has been framed.
I found it intriguing in the above small sample that, where we might expect Saturn to be present to some degree in the charts of women who had to resort to IVF to have a child, we find it is absent in every case. In the charts of women who had had children naturally, Saturn is present in 5 cases.
What can I take from the findings, at this stage, in relation to my question? The absence of Saturn in the fertility treatment successes may suggest that there is something in the Saturn in the 5th myth but it needs more investigation. The presence of Saturn in the 5th house in five of the charts of mothers of babies born through natural conception suggests that presence of Saturn in the 5th does not signify absence of children in the life.
In two of the five cases where Saturn is present in the 5th house of mothers whose babies were born through natural conception, I found that one had Saturn in the 5th but within a degree of the 6th house cusp (Placidus house system). She reported having children very easily when not using birth control methods. That is to say that conception was easily achieved in all three of her pregnancies. It may very well be that the Moon, Venus and/or Jupiter were in particularly fertile positions in her chart but, here, we are looking at the simple issue of absence of presence of Saturn in the 5th house. However, in a more detailed study this information would be helpful in developing the research question further. In the second case, the mother had miscarried in both her first and second pregnancy before achieving success and going on to have two children.
Just using Lilly's rules regarding the considerations of fruitful signs and planets that might mitigate the effect of Saturn in the 5th, I found that in each of those five Saturn in the 5th mothers who had conceived and given birth naturally all have qualifications that would suggest one or two children are possible. The case with three children also has Jupiter conjunct the 5th house cusp and Jupiter is a fruitful planet associated with large families. I am very intrigued by this possible supporting evidence for Lilly's astrology but I do need a lot more cases and a collection of women who have reached the end of their childbearing years and have no children so that I can see what Saturn might be doing there and whether there are any of these mitigating factors present or absent in sufficient number for that group compared to women with children in order for it to be statistically significant.
Again, this information could be helpful in creating a good study design and more comprehensive question in order to explore Saturn and fertility further.
It would also be interesting to put together a group of fertility treatment women who have decided not to have any further treatment and who have accepted that they will not have their own biological or birth children, in order to see if Saturn in the 5th without fruitful mitigating factors is significantly present in their charts when compared with other groups. So, once more, this is a consideration for further research with a more detailed study design.
To sum up, I hope I have managed to show how important exploratory studies are, in relation to researching astrology. Even an exploratory study that starts off with a relatively simple research question can help the researcher to think more comprehensively about the issues that the question raises and then to plan a better study design as a result of it.
As a result of my little exploratory analysis, here, I would like to make a request for data for a more detailed study.
If you are mother, either through IVF/other fertility treatment or have had children through natural conception and would like to contribute your data for a more detailed exploration of the findings presented here, please do contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Similarly, if you are a woman who has reached the end of her childbearing years and has no children and you would like to contribute your data to this research project, please do contact me at the above email address.
Cornell, H.L. 1984; Encyclopaedia of Medical Astrology; Publishers: Samuel Weiser Inc, USA.
Harris, Pat 2005; Applications of Astrology to Health Psychology: astrological and psychological factors and fertility treatment outcome. Doctoral thesis: University of Southampton; Access: The British Library
Leo, Alan 1975; How to Judge a Nativity; Publishers: L.N. Fowler & Co. Ltd.
Lilly, W. 1647 1985; Christian Astrology; Publishers: Regulus Publishing Co. Ltd., UK.
Sellar, Wanda 2008; Introduction to Medical Astrology; Publishers: The Wessex Astrologer, UK
The Faculty of Astrological Studies has just published its first book of the 21st century. Entitled Journey Through Astrology, it is a rarity in astrological literature for addressing the inner experience of studying this beautiful but challenging subject.
The book was launched at 7.10pm BST on Wednesday 17th June 2015 in London. What follows is the Introduction to the book. More information about it can be found at the Faculty's website at www.astrology.org.uk
The Faculty Press has been long in gestation. Founded in 1948, the Faculty of Astrological Studies has been dedicated to excellence in astrological education for over sixty-five years and has been committed to providing each successive generation with sufficient training to understand the central elements of astrological theory and practice. It has achieved this by developing a rigorous set of courses and examinations, designed to ensure that its prestigious Diploma is gained only by those who are truly dedicated to their astrological studies and craft. Over the years, the Faculty has published a few works, yet, in contrast to this book, these have been of the nature of teaching material, often concerned with the practical skills and techniques of astrological interpretation.
What then makes this book so different? We believe this current work is unique amongst the currently available astrology-related publications, for this work is not concerned with techniques or interpretation but addresses the inner experience of the astrological journey. It interweaves the personal reflections of the authors with their specific chapter theme.
We might say that Venus had a hand in this book. In the Faculty's chart, Venus lies retrograde in Cancer in the 8th house. Her gentle, mysterious and deep beauty is turned inward, away from the outside world. To find her you must first penetrate the outer shell - commit to a rigorous process of study and examination. This might make it seem as though enrolling as an astrology student were just like enrolling for any other course. But this is far from the case.
Those on the inside of the Faculty, who are part of the Faculty family - our students, tutors, Council, alumni, patrons and friends throughout the international astrological community - well understand both its inner and outer beauty. But there are many who may not quite understand the nature of the subject they are attracted to, and who believe that they can easily gain knowledge and qualifications in astrology just as with more conventional subjects, without substantial inner change. The outside of the Faculty and other astrological schools may speak of rigour, taxing examinations and qualifications but the inner story of astrology, the finding, learning, loving, despairing of it but then falling in love with it over again, and living it, is one that is not so easily captured by a formal educational process. Yet it is there, awaiting discovery, awaiting communication.
And so, as Pluto in Capricorn opposed the Faculty's Venus, the Faculty Council explored and debated the question of how to transform the inner beauty of the journey through astrology into tangible form. This book is the result. We hope you will enjoy its 8th house Venus in Cancer flavour: the joy of finding astrology and its esoteric secrets, of being captivated and bewitched by its numinous archetypal allure, of developing one's own relationship to its mysterious and sometimes maddeningly irrational components. In this book, the journey through astrology awaits you, the journey that each who is called to deeply enter the heart of this ancient practice must take.
The book consists of ten chapters, each written by a different author. The first eight chapters each seek to explore some aspect of the journey through astrology whilst the final two offer reflections on their lives in astrology from two of the world's most respected astrologers: Darby Costello and Melanie Reinhart.
Chapter one explores the initial awakening, that process of becoming acquainted with astrology for the first time, the realisation that one has stumbled upon something of momentous import. This can be a rather jolting experience, as the world around one begins to appear somewhat different and the symbolic mode of perception starts to awaken. Chapters two, three, and four describe the process of learning to interpret astrological symbolism and horoscopes, of grappling with the issue of forecasting, and of really starting to become one's own astrologer.
With chapter five we move to a consideration of the ethics of astrological knowledge and practice, of navigating the perils and pitfalls that could await the budding practitioner. Chapter six goes on to explore how the astrological experience may be shared with another through the medium of a consultation or reading, and the journey that accompanies that sharing.
The question of integrating astrology into one's spiritual journey forms the basis of the richly poetic chapter seven, whilst in chapter eight we consider the realities of astrology's place in the modern world and how each person who makes the journey through astrology comes to terms with being a citizen of two seemingly discordant worldviews.
The joys and sacrifices of a life in astrology are recalled in the final two chapters of the book, as we travel with Darby and Melanie on their own journeys.
We have dedicated this book to the student of astrology. It is for all who are journeying through various stages of their astrological lives.
Journey Through Astrology is available from The Atlantis Bookshop, the Astrology Shop, Midheaven Books, Amazon and Waterstones, and from the Faculty website.
Liz Greene is well known throughout the world as one of the foremost thinkers and practitioners in psychological astrology. She is the author of several books, including Saturn, Relating, and The Astrology of Fate. In this article Liz shares her thoughts and concerns about astrology, its philosophical basis, where it's come from and where it is going.
Susan Harvey: So Liz, you were saying you began your study of astrology in America, but that when you came to England you realized it would be a good idea to get a qualification.
Liz Greene: There was nothing like the Faculty in the States, and at that time very few organised groups: mainly isolated teachers. After being introduced to astrology and having a few classes, I decided for various reasons to teach myself.
SH: But once having met astrology, it made you want to learn more. Was this a bit like opening a book - did you take to astrology readily because it all felt familiar?
LG: There were two levels. One was that I was studying psychology at the time and was very aware that the psychology I was being taught had huge holes in it - primarily behavioural-psychological theory. Having already read a lot of Freud and some Jung, I found it very incomplete and sometimes quite useless in its applicability to human beings. I saw the potential of deeper understanding in the glimpse I got of astrology. Secondly, yes it was very familiar to me. I think a lot of people have that experience: a sense of "Hang on, I know this" . It was as if I was remembering it, and it was such an intense sense of remembering that there was no doubt in my mind that I would have to find out what I was remembering.
SH: Which, I suppose, brings on the notion of the innate ideas of the soul, which are here to be awakened and remembered . It has often seemed that when people come in to astrology it is like finding a raft on a very stormy ocean. Do you think this means that it can easily be used as a defence for people in pain, or is that innate yearning to find order, to find something meaningful, untarnished by our experiences in life? How these two impulses are intertwined is fascinating and I remember you saying how pain is the essential ingredient.
LG: I think it is. I don't think that pain is the same for everybody, but I think there has to be a mis-match between one's initial vision of reality or need and what is actually experienced . . a kind of gap into which something else can come. I suppose l'm used to moving around between different languages. If you want to talk in Platonic language, I'm happy to do that: if you want to talk in psychological language, I'm happy with that - just different vocabularies. I think there is some kind of innate understanding of pattern which exists in people. Plato would have called it remembering the intelligible world and the divine ideas in it. Jung might call it archetypal patterns through which we perceive life, and I do believe that is innate from what I have observed from over 30 years of working with people. These patterns are there, even when great effort has been made to eradicate them from childhood; and I don't think they come from a hurt or sick place, but that they are part of the fabric of the soul. But I think that by choice we would really much rather stay asleep. The easiest route is blind instinct. Not that this is morally wrong. It's just the condition of another aspect of human nature.
SH: Paradoxically, though, isn't it true that this position of blind instinct is the one which invites the most pain? Living at that level, we fight against other instinctive expressions .
LG: Oh yes, you inevitably create conflict, Even the instinct to separate and form as a person puts you in conflict with your instinct to stay fused with mother, so you have your experience of pain within yourself from day one. I don't feel it is pathology which makes people go on a quest. But there is a very strange chemical mix that comes out of the individual's relationship with reality. Every person has a completely different set of receiving mechanisms, even though we may share basic instincts; we experience these things differently. This is one of the reasons I am very suspicious of claims that 'we must stick to our experience' rather than dealing in constructs. The problem is that what may sound like a construct to you may be my experience. So everyone comes in with a different, complex, very refined, beautifully delicate set of responses and perceptions which I think is innate: and then you mix that with an environment which may be more or less difficult. Since the world is not perfect-there is no such thing as perfect parents or the perfect family. The nature of life is that it is full of people struggling and making a lot of blunders. Somewhere along the line there is this very individual mix of a person's innate responses and what they meet out there.
SH: Very individual. And yet we observe that there is this universal impulse to make sense of it all. And I suppose that is what astrology does for us. It speaks to our own individual experience.
LG: It does for many people, but a lot of people make sense of it through a completely different channel. Yes, astrology speaks that way to many people who resonate to that way of presenting order. I think that behind it - Nick wrote this very well in The Great Year - is this fundamental need to experience order in a chaotic world, and he is looking at the origins of astrology in Babylonia and Sumeria as a collective desperate need for some promise of order, which I think is very much there in everyone. Some of us look to the heavens for it, others look elsewhere. Some of us attribute that order to something outside and larger than ourselves, others attribute it to their capacity to control. You get both within the astrological world.
SH: I suppose part of the mystery remains in the fact that we actually do find and see that order in astrology. We all experience chaos, feel pain in life and yet we find some sort of ultimate order in the meaning of Mars, for example. It comes from an intellectual understanding,
LG: Yes, intellectual understanding and experience. It doesn't let us down. l think that's why astrology is so very powerful for so many people who work with it, because it's the one thing that doesn't break down under stress. Mars remains Mars.
SH: Exactly, so we find here a piece or the realm of the unchangeable. This is the Platonic view of the universe. I've often heard you say before that you don't know how astrology works. None of us does. It's a mystery. We adopt models to try to explain the unexplainable. Is there for you a particular world-view which allows astrology its rightful position - whatever that might be?
LG: I don't know if could attach it with one particular world view. I think that certainly there is a great deal in the Platonic model which I respond to very strongly. There are also some elements in it that I don't find quite resonant. One of them is the devaluing of the physical world. In that sense I suppose I start moving away from Plato and I'm a bit happier with later Hermetic ideas which lend to balance the value of what Plato saw as spiritual as against what he saw as physical. I don't have a sense that one is higher than the other. I can't really say that there is one philosophy that covers it all for me - any more than there is one particular psychology that covers it all for me. I'm no more orthodox Jungian than I am orthodox Platonic. There isn't any one model in the end.
SH: All that you are saying reminds me of the physicist David Bohm's ideas about the implicate order, where he uses the image of a coin. One side is the informed order or pattern, the other side is the manifestation, the living of that pattern. The inter-dimensional experience of that. It's as though they are separate and not separate at one and the same time. For me, this is an image of how difficult it is to capture in words the essence of the mystery we grapple with. This image also takes me to an aspect of your work, which is that you have kept your therapeutic work separate from your astrological work.
LG: Yes, in the practical sense; no, in myself I don't keep them separate. My reasons for keeping them separate on the external level have to do with the particular method in which I was trained to work as an analyst and the issue of transference. If you do a horoscope for someone and then you work with them analytically, you've set up an enormous block which you then will have to struggle to dismantle, because you've deprived your client of the right to relate to you as a person like them. But they are not separate things in the sense of the way I think about things, not separate at all. And likewise, if I am going to read someone's chart, whatever psychological understanding I have is going to come out in the reading - whatever language I use.
SH: yes, so the marriage of the two things lakes place inside yourself.
LG: Right, and different astrologers have different ways of working . For some therapists working with the chart can be very valuable, using the chart as a basis for gestalt work - playing the parts of different planets - it can be enormously creative. It's just a different approach. This is really to do with techniques rather than the basis of understanding that the practitioner is working from. I think that we are all limited in one way or another, in terms of the kind of knowledge we are prepared to take on board and the way we are able to articulate it. Knowing your limits is extremely important in this kind of work. I think we need to be able to live without our charts as well. I think there are very complex reasons why people move into astrological work, and likewise for people who become helpers of any kind. There is always a shady clement to it. No one in their right minds would spend their lives carrying other people's suffering without some very deep reasons for doing it, otherwise we would all be sailing yachts or opening jewellery boutiques, something amusing, bringing home a lot of money . . you know. We would not be putting ourselves through the stress and the heavy-duty training if there were not something very compelling going on inside. And the thing that is compelling us is not just wonderful altruism, it's always very complicated. Because of that I do think we get addicted to astrology because it has given something to us. And we therefore assume that it will give the same thing to the people who come to see us and of course it may not!
SH: In your lecture about the astrologer and the sceptic, you said sceptics accuse astrologers of being dependent on astrology, and yet it might be a far healthier sort or addiction than some of the others on offer in the world . . . for example, the addiction to having absolute answers, absolute control which some scientists suffer from.
LG: I think that is an addiction. I think all people are addicted to something that alleviates anxiety for them, because anxiety is a given. It is an endemic human state. We simply live with it. Anyone can see that life is a very difficult thing to manage. Astrology is certainly a more benign addiction than many. An addiction it is nonetheless, l don't think that that in itself is a bad thing, but I think it is a great mistake not to notice, because otherwise you assume you should share your needle with everyone who comes to see you.
SH: Right. But l am aware of how often we as astrologers short-change ourselves by taking on board criticisms about dependency and assuming we should be perfect and not have any addictions .Yes, being aware makes all the difference, and as you say, we should be able to let go of our charts and just live.
LG: That's really the point. l think astrology in its best form can generate compassion and tolerance and a broad- based understanding of human differences and similarities. Some addictions narrow vision and breed intolerance. So the point is, this may be the salvation of your soul but it might not be for your client, and if you are working in the counselling fields I think sometimes you need to be able to think and speak in a language that is non-astrological. You mentioned this already - astrology can be a massive defence system because it is a language that in many ways is seamless. I still remember one of the early A.A. meetings I went to when I first came to England. We were all in a queue for coffee and biscuits, and a chap in front of me gave me a penetrating look and said "Where is your Venus?" Being rather naive at the time I told him, whereupon he gave me another long, meaningful look and said "Your Venus is trine my Mars". I remembered this for a long time afterwards because l thought, well, if he had not been able to mobilise this very seamless language he would have had to expose himself - if you'll excuse the expression - to the same trepidation of any other bloke who says what are you doing tonight? Or 'I find you attractive, could we meet later?' And then I might say "No" to him and then he might feel hurt, whereas using astrological jargon effectively protected him from all of that. I hear astrologers doing this constantly. You know, 'I'm feeling rotten today, Saturn is squaring my Moon' instead of saying 'I'm feeling rotten today, my mother has just died' or 'I feel lonely or I'm depressed because I'm having trouble with my work' or whatever . . it is all the time covering one's feelings with a Language which is so beautiful and elegant that it works brilliantly for that purpose.
SH: In that sense it's a controlling mechanism which cuts one off from real relating. That creates a very dead situation . . I suppose that somehow the challenge is to find the happy medium between accepting and living one's humanity, one's vulnerability, as well as having this rich framework with which to understand. It's a bit like the Platonic image of the position of the soul, which is half way between the objective and subjective realms. It's a very fragile position to try to remain in as it seems 10 demand a wu wei consciousness . At its highest I suppose astrology can take one to a very religious position, in the true sense of religio, meaning to hind back to the one, re-connecting to one's source.
LG: I do feel like that, but I suppose that like religion it is a lens. I'm with you in the sense that astrology is a mediating place which one can look either up or down with. Psychology at its best can also be a mediating place. lt uses a different language, slightly different perspectives . . so does art. I have a profound and enduring love of astrology it will always be one of the most important media for me for that middle ground, for connecting what is above with what is below, but I suppose the fact that I've also had very profound experiences of this kind through poetry, through fiction, through drama, through music, and through nature, tells me that all these mediating places arc in some way related to each other. Dimensions of the same Thing, Even science in its most creative form is a mediating phase. It's whether or not one has a religious eye through which to look. But where I get in trouble is when I'm around a group of psychologists, or a group of astrologers and I hear the declaration that this is the one true mediating place . l think that this sounds like a lot of people prepondering their religions. Each of these things is a wonderful lens through which we can perceive life in the round, but each of them is subject to the limitations of the person who devised the lens. Each lens is incomplete without the others. I angered many people a while back when 1 said I thought a practising astrologer should be in psycho-therapy; I still think they should be in psycho-therapy. Not because I believe astrologers should practise a certain type of astrology and include Freudian oedipal patterns or Jungian archetypal patterns or use mythological jargon or Kleinian jargon. It's not any of that, but what it does to the inner person, opening up an understanding of one's own complexities and foibles. This generates respect and compassion for the client. I also feel that it is tragic that more astrologers do not have an acquaintance with the arts. I can't see the separateness any more than I can see the separateness between astrology and psychology. To watch a production of the Magic Flute and the initiation through the four dements: to listen to Holst's planets - put away the textbook and listen to Mars, because it will tell you far more about the planet than anything written by the most erudite of astrologers. Whatever use you want to make of astrological symbolism, that is your own business in terms of your expertise, etc. The world is very wide and there is room for many different kinds of astrologers, but the broader one's own being is, the deeper and the richer the subject becomes .
SH: What you are saying conjures up the image of the Renaissance man or woman as the astrologer. The need for an awareness of the rich variety of man's creativity, and the different ways we can express the stuff of life. Is this a clue as to how you feel astrology could or should develop? How would you see a more ideal educational development?
LG: I'm not very good at planning global educational structures . But I suppose here I do go with Plato. I agree with the idea of education as an extremely broad-based thing. You know, there is really only one knowledge, and that knowledge comprises an inter-locked series of specialised areas, none of which can function without the other - this makes a great deal of sense to me. If I were going to conjure up some kind of dream of the ideal astrological college in some imaginary future world, it wouldn't be unlike one of the academies where music and geometry and politics and drama and philosophy and probably a few things Plato never thought of would be included along with astrology and psychology, as a ground base for then developing a more purely astrological series of perceptions and techniques. Without that, I think we are severely limited, not only in terms of what we can offer other people, but also in terms of what we ourselves are able to enjoy from the study.
SH: Do you feel hopeful about the future of astrological development - that this might be a way it could go?
LG: Oh yes - I think it already is for individuals who see things that way. Obviously, I know that what might please me is not going to please everyone. So I would be very happy if such astrological schools existed amongst other kinds.
SH: You seem to be very liberal-minded . So it would just be good to have this sort of thing available, wouldn't it . . and encouraged.
LG: Yes, I would like to see it available for anyone who felt resonance with that approach. I can also see a place for a more strictly practical approach as well. The issue about the psychotherapy I still hold by. That's the one area where I'm not liberal. The main reason being that I think unconsciousness is a great destroyer. It's the only real sin that I can think of.
SH: I suppose what you are talking about is the real meaning of the ancient axiom: 'man, know thyself' - lack of self-awareness is the root of all our evils.
LG: I think it is. Those evils are not just in war-zones, they also exist in the little injuries we inflict on each other under the guise of professional competition or a lapsed friendship or a difficult relationship. This is especially important to understand for those working in the helping professions. Any offering of advice or guidance to another human being involves so many complex factors, not least the client's great vulnerability. No matter what the issue or the kind of help sought, you are still dealing with another person, and unconsciousness is dangerous.
SH: In a sense, I suppose we are all martyred to the profession if we are working in a helping capacity - and why are we there, what are our motives.
LG: I also think it is very specious to say 'oh well, I don't deal with psychologically disturbed clients, I just deal with people who want specific answers to specific questions.' There's no such animal. What are the unspoken questions behind the simple one? And what is it in you that makes you feel you are the human being who should be able to give them an answer? All these things are in between the lines of visible type. To ignore them is very silly, and it can be very destructive.
SH: I think that sometimes it comes under the guise of an extreme positivist position, where an astrologer takes the view that the chart maps only potentials and the only direction is up .
LG: But it can also go down. Extreme positive thinking isn't realistic. It is not the way human beings are made or behave to each other. And it's an ideal that is not very connected to reality. I think the only way you discover reality is to start at home. The only place where you can get a direct, naked, un-doctored experience of human reality is inside oneself through the mirror of another person. You can't do it staring at a mirror by yourself.
SH: This verges into the whole area of ethics - which is being discussed a lot now as we approach the 21st century and feel the need and the pressure to become "respectable" and "accepted". We are a very Uranian lot. Our identity is counterculture, and most astrologers recoil at the notion of becoming a closed elitist system like other professional bodies. We're Saturnian, too: we do and we don't like rules and regulations. A basic code of ethics takes the view, for example, that the client's right to confidentiality is an absolute given, but there are many different educational paths to astrological work, and perhaps as Uranians we find it almost impossible to arrive at a consensus view Are we naturally renegades?
LG: I don't think it's unique to astrology. You find problems in many academic professions: there are chaps running around claiming to be doctors. You get renegades everywhere .
SH: Somehow astrology gets blamed more for it.
LG: I think astrologers are in themselves perceived as renegades from a collective perspective, and astrologers perceive themselves that way, perhaps even more than they need to. There is an investment in being seen as a renegade. With all professions you get this problem with internal policing. I think it is right that professional organisations attempt to create an internal structure; if they don't create it then they'll get one imposed from the outside. Hence you get the Association of Professional Astrologers. But then you have the other danger looming, which is self-appointed judgement on those who simply don't agree with one's viewpoint. I'm very aware of this clement in the astrological community.. On the one side you have renegades; on the other you have those who would love to rap the knuckles of anyone doing 'wrong" astrology - 'wrong' in that it does not accord with the judger's view of acceptable astrology - even though they may be practising in a very responsible way. I don't have any solution to sort that one out - except for the individual to at least be conscious of his or her own human fallibility .
SH: We're back to self-awareness
LG: Yes, back to self-awareness, and all the unconscious power issues and all the other lovely motives we have mixed up in it, so that at least when we do try to judge our colleagues we judge them as objectively as possible. It is important to get to a basic competence, which is what the Faculty is there for - and I would always promote the Faculty as an extremely valid method of getting to a certain level of competence. If you can get through that Certificate exam, better still the Diploma exam, you know that you are competent on the technical side and with the basic interpretations. But beyond that, the quality of the person matters more than the way they have chosen to apply their knowledge. Someone who does a sun-sign column with insight, with compassion, and an understanding of why people read sun-sign columns, and the ability to bring in deeper elements in a way that is digestible to a public which will always choose to watch Coronation Street rather than The Jewel in the Crown, I think is as valid, and possibly even more valid, than the very up-market astrologer who has a very specialised clientele and deals with "serious" astrology, but who has never been in therapy and pushes their own power issues onto others. Thank you very much, but I'll take the sun-sign columnist - if he or she has real integrity and is a more decent person - because that is what comes through in the end. This makes me a renegade in some ways, because I'm supposed to be at the serious end of it, so how can I possibly have sympathy for this down-market stuff, but that's not the issue.
SH: It's the human being behind the role . . .
LG: In the end what we get is the person behind what's being said . . . which is a heavy issue, because we are all flawed. I don't think astrology will ever become 'respectable'; it never was and it never will be. Even in ancient times - yes, astrologers were priests but priests aren't respectable, neither are artists. Whenever you work in a profession which deals with archetypal things, and the three big ones are religion, the arts, and the healing professions, the practitioners will always produce disturbance, whether they like it or not.
SH: lt's something about the fact that it's part of astrology's function to shock. This is similar to the purpose of the mass or a religious experience which is to throw you out of the ordinary and into the
profundity of the terrible mystery. It is not meant to be palliative and cosy. In that sense, I can see that it is not destined to be a "respectable" profession ...
LG: "Respectable" changes according to the epoch, but even your Babylonian astrologer probably got funny looks on the street, because when you deal with this level of life, people project things onto your subject and onto you. The moment you become a mouthpiece for patterns that are larger than the human ego, you will evoke negative reactions, regardless of what era in history we are talking about. Even when astrology was part of the state religion, it still provoked difficult responses. These were debates that went on and on throughout Greece and Rome: was astrology philosophical or was it divinatory? Should we view it as a subject for meditation and an opening up of consciousness or do we use it practically and to help jockey the fates along a bit and prepare for what's coming? And as long as there are these kinds of issues at stake, what does respectability mean? You can't traffic with anything that has energy and life in it without being provocative. What you can do is to be competent, and avoid getting yourself in lawsuits, but you will not stop people projecting funny things on you.
SH: I think one of the motives behind the desire for acceptance is the feeling that astrology could be used by more people, arid although this may smack of a missionary zeal, well it's there for the taking.
LG: I agree with that. I think it's a crying waste that it is not used in many areas where it belongs, especially in the education of children, as well as medicine, job placements, etc. But the thing is, it's not going to get used because someone comes along with a begging bowl saying 'please, I'm really normal after all'. I think it is more likely to be the authenticity of the people doing astrology which will make the difference.
SH: Going back to the ancient mind and the role of the astrologer thousands of years ago, do you feel that the present drive to retrieve what has been lost in our tradition is going to have a significant influence in the renaissance of astrology in the future?
LG: I think it is very important. I do think we have lacked a sense of our own history, and it is a positive move that we are recognizing now that we have probably the oldest system of thought that is still extant in the world. I think that an understanding of how astrology has developed will enrich both our perception of it and the ways in which we use it. But I don't think it's a good idea to look back over one's shoulders to some imaginary golden age when astrologers had all the answers. That would be a kind of fundamentalism. When we come out the other side of this we will have learned a great deal, not only about valuable techniques that we've lost - but also an honouring of our history. A better balance will came out of it. The division has never made any sense to me.
SH: What sort of division?
LG: Well, traditional versus modern. Anything that evolves in modern times is rooted in something older; we are processing and developing knowledge all the time. So artificial polarisations don't make any sense to me. At any time in history you have individuals interpreting astrology. It isn't the word of God; it's the word of astrologers writing down what they perceive according to the epoch in which they live. So Ptolemy was a creature of his time, so was Vettius Valens, so was William Lilly, so was Alan Leo, etc. We are all in some way expressing not only our individual understanding but also the collective of which we are a part. Techniques that may have worked once don't work now, techniques that work now might not have worked then. Consciousness changes, values change, the world changes.
SH: Do you think we are seeing a harbinger of educational revolution in Pluto's entrance into Sagittarius?
LG: Probably. Religion and Knowledge arc the Iwo big packages in Sagittarius's cupboard. Not in the Geminian sense of knowledge, but in the Platonic sense of The Knowledge. I think the whole basis from which we understand education will go through enormous changes, as will our understanding of what constitutes religion. I'm sure that both are now due. Pluto is within orb now of that entrance and you can see it coming.
SH: This applies to what is happening in astrology; re-evaluating our history seems so important.
LG: Yes, I totally support Rob Hand's project and eagerly await each volume he produces. He's performing an invaluable service. It's like not knowing your family. You know, we're not self-engendered.
SH: And with Uranus entering Aquarius, despite the potential for great advances with the Uranus-Pluto sextile, Uranus in its own sign could increase the sense of uncertainty that the world is feeling, with so many basic structures disintegrating... which could give rise to a fanatical searching for utopias it feels. As if we have to re-invent ourselves ...
LG: Yes. I agree. But I do place value on the idea of the equinoctial point moving from one constellation to another. If you study the history of religion you find that the gods do tend to rise and fall in roughly 2100 year cycles. You get very profound changes in what we envisage as the very highest thing towards which we can strive. I think we are at a turning point, as we were at the dawn of the Christian era. We have a lot in common with the Romans who were rushing about also trying desperately on the one hand to create synchretistic cults, and on the other hand the dawning fundamentalism of the new Christian Church in Constantine's proclamation. Whenever you get these major shifts you get a few hundred years of real chaos, where in the face of great anxiety one will embrace anything if it works - the other will say 'where is The Truth, and Iet's get rid of anybody who disagrees with it'. Between the two there's a huge spectrum of people wandering around in the middle trying to work out which of those extremes to identify with. It is very edifying to look at what was going on in the Roman Empire in the first century. All hell was breaking loose.... Our gods are dying ...
SH: As our gods die and evolve again, do you think we develop different ways of coping with fate?
LG: Yes, I think we do. There are many aspects, both natal and by transit and progression, that symbolise events over which we can exercise no choice. And there are many other things which I have seen screamingly clearly in working with people over many years that have been brought down on a person through their own unconsciousness. And it is this inter-face which has always occupied me with astrology: that is right at the core of my deepest questions about it. It is probably better to assume that we can make a difference by going inside and looking, otherwise we just self-victimise. And if we refuse to acknowledge that there are things which are bigger than us, then we are arrogant fools. Somewhere in the middle is the sane attitude of admitting that we don't know. 'What is hard to accept is that knowledge of the psyche is an on-going business that you keep working on until the day you die. Many people would prefer to have just one nice sentence, a recipe, to tell them how to cure their difficult Neptune aspects.
SH: We seem to keep coming back to this middle position. This sounds a lot like the position of the mystic. A lot of your views have the quality of the mystic.
LG: I know they do. Around this area of fate and freedom, I have always felt that the only sane place we can stand is in the middle.
Dr Liz Greene & Suzi Harvey - AA Journal 1995 37 01