An Astropoetic Approach to Dreams:

Reaching Beyond the Known Into Astrology's Magical Dimension

unpublished / written March 2015

 

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While I can acknowledge that there is a hallowed tradition going back thousands of years that gives rise to a certain shared understanding of astrological symbolism, I have also come to appreciate the capacity of that symbolism to reveal itself in ways that are fresh, unexpected, and outside the bounds of tradition.  The ever-changing astrological pattern of the sky, in other words, is alive – revealing itself anew in each situation in which it is considered.

 

I have learned over 40 years of practice that the best way to approach anything astrological is with beginner’s mind.  It helps to have a good working vocabulary, but then the job becomes simply showing up, paying attention, and observing how the symbolism reveals itself in the moment.  I call my approach to astrology “astropoetics (1)” to emphasize that the most potent insights often reveal themselves poetically – through simile and metaphor, image and symbol, suggestion and allusion, rather than direct, dogmatic statement of fact.

 

When astrology is approached in this way – as a right-brain contemplation of imagery and symbolism, rather than as a left-brained interpretative system based on preconceived ideas – it becomes a potent language of soul that allows for the possibility of ongoing self-discovery.  Like good poetry, the language of astrology can surprise us with its capacity to unveil seemingly endless dimensions of truth using familiar “words” – a truth that shape-shifts in bewilderingly imaginative ways from one chart to the next, or even in relation to the same chart considered over time.

 

The Birthchart as an Invitation Into the Realm of the Imagination

 

As Carl Jung once observed, “A symbol is an indefinite expression with many meanings, pointing to something not easily defined and therefore not fully known (2) . . . I do not regard the symbol as an allegory or a sign, but take it in its proper sense as the best possible way of describing and formulating an object that is not completely knowable (3).”  

 

If we stop to consider that an astrological birthchart is a description of the interplay of symbols, then we must also begin to suspect that the birthchart may likewise be something that is not completely knowable.  Rather than a coded script to be interpreted or explained, I prefer to think of the birthchart as an open-ended invitation to an exploration of the mysterious ways in which the imaginal realm intertwines with the life of an individual soul.  At its best, such an exploration will engage us for a lifetime, without yielding a definitive or ultimate truth.

 

James Hillman takes Jung’s idea one step further by warning us that “We sin against the imagination whenever we ask an image for its meaning, requiring that images be translated into concepts.  The coiled snake in the corner cannot be translated into my fear, my sexuality, or my mother-complex, without killing the snake (4).” 

 

If Jung and Hillman are right, then perhaps as astrologers, we too “sin against the imagination” when we attempt to interpret the birthchart – that is to say, translate it into concrete terms the conscious mind can grasp.  Obviously, most clients come for help with specific issues, and we would be doing them a disservice not to spend some time discussing those issues in specific terms.  Perhaps, however, we also do them a disservice by not also showing them just how deeply the rabbit hole goes into mysteries that are ultimately incapable of being fully known or even fully articulated.

 

Dreams as a Portal to a Deepening of Astrological Symbolism

 

Another perhaps more familiar name for the territory in which these elusive mysteries dwell is the unconscious.  Ever since Sigmund Freud postulated the existence of the unconscious to explain a bewildering array of symptoms beyond the reach of his patients’ conscious volition, it has been this subterranean repository of strange imagery, mythopoetic themes and illogical imbroglio that has provided the motherlode for psychological investigations of all kinds – including those of psychological astrologers.  Carl Jung postulated the existence of a collective unconscious that held various themes and archetypes universal to the human condition, as well those that were more idiosyncratic to each individual.  Roberto Assaglioli spoke about the power of autonomous sub-personalities, each with its own psychological persona and function, and the complexity of interaction between these sub-personalities.  Milton Erickson developed a set of tools for speaking directly with the unconscious and bypassing the usual guardians of the threshold with a kind of artful psychological aikido of acceptance and permission.  Other psychological pioneers have found other points of entry into what is essentially a strange land in which the conscious ego is a stranger, yet in which the enigmatic mysteries that make each individual the unique being of quirky peccadilloes, internal contradictions and idiosyncratic anomalies that she is, comingle in endlessly fascinating ways. 

 

Astrology at its best helps us to explore the mystery of this uniqueness.  Astrology, however, has not typically been recognized as a pathway to the unconscious either by psychologists or by astrologers.  Nor is astrology normally practiced as a point of entry into shape-shifting mysteries.  Quite the contrary – most astrologers begin with something mysterious to the client and aim to render it a known quantity.  If our goal instead is to show how a given life is rooted in the imaginal realms, where a bottomless vitality generates fresh meaning with each new turning of the wheel, then we need a different point of entry into the symbolism than what our tradition has to offer.

 

One such possibility – and an endless fascinating reservoir of fresh imagery – is the realm of dreams.  Dreams were called the royal road to the unconscious by Freud – and embraced as such by nearly every approach to psychology that has arisen since.  Is it possible then that by correlating astrological symbolism with dream imagery we can find a more astropoetic point of entry into the unconscious and the deeper mysteries of soul?  As transiting Uranus opposes my natal Neptune, this has been my quest this past year, and in this article I wish to share some of my observations.

 

A Non-Interpretative Approach to Dreams

 

Just as my interest in astrology tends toward a non-interpretative, exploratory approach, so too does my interest in dreams.  While there has been a strong interpretive tradition in the psychotherapeutic use of dreams that has evolved since Freud, there has also emerged in recent years a different school of thought (5) in which the object of dream work is not to figure out what the dream means, but rather to engage the dream on its own terms the way one might do, say, as a traveler visiting a foreign country where one does not speak the language, the local customs make no sense, and just about anything unexpected can happen.  This in fact is no small part of the allure of travel.  As a metaphor, this is also a much more alluring approach to dreamwork, in which the dream itself sets the agenda. 

 

Some dreams ask us to linger and savor an experience that would otherwise evaporate in the morning light.  Others propel us into the day with an energy that is ignored at our peril.  Certain characters in our dreams invite further dialogue; certain objects or situations that cannot exist in this world invite further scrutiny.  Some dreams seem to point backward in time; other dreams point forward; still others hint at a non-linear concept of time that defies our very notions of past and future.  Similarly, the dreamscape itself jumbles interior and exterior space the way Picasso paints a still life.

 

Such a world cannot be approached with the rational mind, which is precisely what makes it such a fertile field in which to find fresh meaning in familiar symbolism.

 

Dreams and the Inconjunct

 

Dreams are essentially an invitation to see what otherwise cannot be seen by the conscious mind.  In what might be an astro-logical point of entry to this strange possibility, classical astrologers likewise consider inconjuncts – defined as aspects of 30° or 150° – to be those in which two planets cannot “see” each other, because the angle between them creates a blind spot.  Claudius Ptolemy considered planets in such an angular relationship to be in aversion to each other, rather than aspect, since by analogy of sign placement, they hold neither gender, element, nor modality in common (6).  Contemporary classical astrologer Chris Brennan notes that it was Kepler – intrigued more by angular relationships than by the zodiac – who began the modern practice of considering the inconjunct an aspect (7).

 

Most modern psychological astrologers accept the inconjunct as an aspect – some as a major aspect – but acknowledge the awkward, irreconcilable nature of the dilemma that they pose.  Jungian astrologer Karen Hamaker-Zondag calls them “troublesome” because “the planets involved don’t understand each other’s worlds at all (8).” Or as Donna Cunningham explains it (9):

 

Oppositions can balance one another – with sufficient give and take, there’s a kind of partnership. Squares butt heads because the two planets are in competition with one another, yet clash in part because they want some of the same types of things. The quincunx, however, is an ‘it does not compute’ aspect. The wants and needs of the two signs involved have no real connection –instead it’s a disconnect. They’re unrelated by element or mode, so there’s no natural point of contact, no easy affinity or resonance.

 

What better aspect, then – or aversion, if you prefer – to signify the intersection between astrological symbolism and the unconscious.  It has, in fact, been my informal observation that my personal dream recall seems to increase during periods of heightened transiting inconjunct activity in my chart.  My sense of this is that these are time when what normally can’t be seen finds some ingenious way to make itself known.

 

Inconjuncts and the Magic Beneath the Appearance of Things

 

During such periods, we might speculate that the unconscious is proactively seeking to reveal what otherwise is invisible or incomprehensible to the waking state mind.  Consider the following dream symbols, which I would associate with transiting inconjuncts to planets in my natal chart:

 

With Venus quincunx Mercury (10), I hear Bill Clinton talking about something I don’t understand.

 

With transiting Mercury quincunx Moon & semi-sextile Sun, in the middle of a dream, I enter an altered state of consciousness in which I hear someone recounting something that happened to me that I don’t remember.

 

With Mercury quincunx Mercury, I am unable to read from a book, because I can’t see the words.

 

With transiting Sun quincunx natal Mercury, I see a face in the mirror that is not my own.

 

All of these experiences point toward something unknown and unknowable.  Underlying each of these images is a disturbing suggestion that what we take for granted as our basic understanding of things is at best only our perception of appearances – an explanation that we give to things to make them accessible.  If I don’t understand what is being said, or don’t remember something, or don’t even recognize myself in the mirror, all my usual perceptual bearings are gone, and I am lost.  Being lost is – for most of us – an uncomfortable place to be.  Being lost in these sorts of ways, in fact, is generally taken in the waking state to be a sign of insanity, or dementia, or at the very least some sort of mental defect.

 

Yet, just as traveling in an unfamiliar land can quicken us to a quality of attention that we don’t normally muster in everyday life, or feel the need to muster when everything is familiar to the conscious mind, so too can allowing ourselves to simply be with the discomfort of a disturbing dream image – and with the awkward aversion signaled by the inconjunct – lead to something interesting and enlivening.  The dream containing such a possibility, in fact, can be understood as an invitation to move beyond the discomfort into another kind of experience. 

 

Eco-philosopher David Abram calls this possibility magic (11):

 

Magic doesn’t sweep you away, it gathers you up into the body of the present moment so thoroughly that all your explanations fall away: the ordinary, in all its plain and simple outrageousness, begins to shine – to become luminously, impossibly so.  Every facet of the world is awake, and you within it.

 

If I look into the mirror and see a face not my own, what do I see?  Maybe I see the luminous being that lives behind my face, behind my identity, the animating Spirit that I Am beyond all conditioning of space and time.  Maybe I see something that I would rather not see.  Or maybe I see something that has been there all along – as plain as the nose on my face – but invisible to me, because I have my face memorized.  I know what I look like, and therefore I have stopped looking.  What if look again, as though for the very first time?  What do I see now?

 

The very act of looking again makes me attentive, alert and awake in the present moment.  In this state – which is the goal of all meditative practices, as well as on a very primal level, a state necessary to our survival – I gain access to a deeper sort of knowing than the knowledge of the world (including myself) that I take for granted.  As noted psychotherapist and dreamwork pioneer Stephen Aizenstat puts it (12):

Over millions of years, human beings evolved the capacity to dream, to imagine and to envision.  Before we even learned to talk, there were images.  For most of human history, it was these images of mind, not written language, which appeared on the walls of caves or were displayed on ancestral masks.  The dreaming psyche is the source of an expansive, primal knowledge.

 

Astrology as a Magical Point of Entry to Primal Knowledge

 

Is it such a leap to suggest that just as image is primary to the dreaming psyche, it is also primary to an understanding of astrology?  We sometimes romanticize about the projection of images and stories into the sky that underlies our knowledge of the zodiac: or of the gods and goddesses for whom the planetary bodies – Hermes, Aphrodite, Zeus and all the rest – are named.  What if we were to actually practice our astrology this way – as though the image were primary?  What if we were to assume that the source – whatever that might be – that first generated this imagery and the astrological symbolism that evolved out of it is still projecting, constantly generating, perpetually revealing itself, forever attempting to catch our attention in new and unexpected ways?  Could we not gain entry to the same sort of expansive, primal knowledge that our dreaming ancestors understood to be magic?

 

But how, you ask?  By being alert to the images that show up in relation to astrological cycles – perhaps especially during inconjunct periods – and then considering them to be portals to primal knowledge.  If I have a dream about seeing a face in the mirror not my own while transiting Sun is inconjunct my Mercury, then perhaps this image extends an invitation to me to understand the relationship between Sun and Mercury in my chart in a new way.

 

In my natal chart, Sun and Mercury are conjunct across my Ascendant in Sagittarius.  In many ways, I identify with my mind, my intelligence, my capacity as a writer, teacher, and maverick philosopher.  But what if I look in the mirror and see none of these things?  On one level, this is, of course, a terrifying thought.  On another level, however, there is a certain freedom to it, and I feel curious.  Who was I before I became all these things?  Who will I be after I shed this particular identity and lose the face in the mirror that I recognize as me? 

 

If I can dare to entertain these questions, then my imagination is free to create something new.  Was not Mercury – Hermes in the Greek – a potent creative force?  According to the myth, before he was out of diapers, he had stolen Apollo’s cattle, charmed a tortoise into giving up its life so Hermes could invent the lyre, which he then gave to Apollo to appease his anger at the theft.  They became the best of friends, and Apollo went on to become the patron saint of music, while Hermes went on to become the patron saint of liars and thieves.

 

What if this habitual face in the mirror is a lie?  What if somehow I’ve been robbed of my true face, and don’t have the courage to face the music?  What if I’ve been as slow as a tortoise to recognize the truth?  What if it’s too late?  These are crazy questions, I know, but they are also intensely alive in a way that merely taking for granted that the face in the mirror I see today will be the same one I have always seen is not.  If I can dare to stay with this aliveness, as uncomfortable as it is, perhaps some sort of awakening to the magic beneath the appearance of things becomes possible.

 

The Impossible Identity Dream

 

A second kind of dream I have noted during inconjunct periods is what I call an Impossible Identity dream.  Perhaps if I am willing to entertain the kind of loss of identity precipitated by the first dream, the Impossible Identity dream can point the way toward something new, something else, something undefined but intensely alive – perhaps an exciting step forward into my own never-ending journey into the unknown vastness of identity beyond ego.

 

With Jupiter semi-sextile Moon & quincunx Sun, I watch a college professor morph into a Jewish rabbi.

 

With transiting Pluto semi-sextile my natal Venus/Jupiter, I meet a character that is a cross between Neil Young, the Count de Monte Cristo, and a neighbor down the road.

 

With Venus quincunx Mercury, I encounter an intelligent creature with bluish skin.

 

With transiting Sun semi-sextile my natal Moon and quincunx my natal Sun, I dream about a heroic figure in a black mask and cape – dressed like a cross between Batman and Tinkerbell.

 

These sorts of dreams leave me with puzzles to solve – the kind of puzzle where unbeknownst to me, pieces are missing; or perhaps where two very different puzzles have been mixed together in the same box – astrological koans, of a sort, with no neat answer the rational mind can completely embrace. 

 

I could ask myself, “How is Batman like Tinkerbell?  How are they different?  And what would it be like if they co-existed in the same being?”  But this sort of analysis can only take me so far.  Analysis, in fact, is not the point.  Maybe in some way, as yet unknown to me, I am both Batman and Tinkerbell.  I have an opposition in my natal chart between Sun and Moon and my rational mind tells me – oh, this is about balancing the internal Masculine and Feminine within me – an assessment which appeals to my Jungian sensibilities.  So this is an obvious and safe place to begin, even though I already know it will only really take me to the trailhead of the journey to which it beckons me.

 

Batman is often depicted as a dark, brooding character, focused on seeking revenge for the death of his parents by fighting crime – not with superpowers, but through cunning, physical prowess, and sheer force of will.  With my Sun in Sagittarius (square Saturn/Mars), I can see my tendency to occasionally brood with a dark cloud over my head as I fight some dire crusade in the caricature of Batman.  I often rail in my darker moments about the impending doom of a world going to hell in a hand basket.  In the land cooperative where I live, I am often the one to insist that the emperor has no clothes, and often wind up the proverbial messenger riddled metaphorically with AK7 bullet holes for conveying the message.  As an imaginal astrologer with a background in science, I often argue fruitlessly with combatants in both camps, each of whom think I belong to the other.  The dark knight prepared for battle – moi?  Absolutely.

 

Meanwhile, Tinkerbell is an ephemeral fairy – fickle, unpredictable, and fond of sprinkling others with pixie dust that helps them fly when they think happy thoughts.  With my Moon in Gemini (trine Neptune), by stark contrast on the other side of the impossible identity, I can see my tendency to take flight in magical, wishful thinking and fantasy:  Yes, the world is a dark and foreboding place.  But I am invisible, can move through it undetected, and am immune to its evil influence. Yes, almost everyone I know, and I am sure most of those I don’t know are suffering.  But with the magical pixie dust of my insights as an astrologer with pointy hat, poring over ancient maps etched by starlight, I can make it better.

 

Going Beyond Rational Analysis

 

Clearly I have my Batman side and my Tinkerbell side.  But, the actual task of holding both Batman and Tinkerbell in consciousness at the same time is harder than it ought to be – and would be if this were an opposition or a simple balancing act we were talking about.  It’s not.  It’s an inconjunct and a blind juggling of mismatched parts.  If I center myself in Batman mode, I cannot “see” Tinkerbell.  Tinkerbell does not compute or make sense.  And vice versa.  I cannot easily brood about the state of the world and think happy thoughts at the same time.  I cannot remain invisible and transcend the dark gravity of the world if I am embroiled in a battle that seems worth fighting.

 

Can these two parts of me work together in some more synergistic and consciously intentional way?  I don’t know, but I do feel that this is what the dream is challenging me to do.  Dutch Jungian dream pioneer Robert Boznak points toward one approach to this impossible task when he speaks of making a transit – “a spontaneous shift of the location of consciousness from within one dream person to the interiority of another (13)” – or in other words, of being able to see the world through the eyes of another, in this case, completely foreign point of view, a point of view that does not compute.  This is not just a matter of empathy, but rather of an actual shift in the center of your consciousness, so that you actually experience what the other experiences, including their experience of you.

 

Although Boznak is speaking about working with characters in a dream, my sense is that the same thing ought to be possible in relation to the birthchart as well, and in this case, in relation to the birthchart as understood from within the fresh symbolism of an inconjunct dream that illuminates it.  If, for example, as I center myself in my Sagittarian Sun – that is to say, in the language of the dream, in “Batman” mode – and make a transit to my Gemini Moon in “Tinkerbell” mode, then an opening is created for the unlikely synthesis of the two.

 

All transits of the kind that Boznak is talking about begin with dialogue, but as the dialogue proceeds, it generally becomes harder to keep the two entities separate.  It is at this point, that one begins thinking in uncharacteristic ways like the other.  The depth of this exercise – and its myriad possibilities is beyond the scope of this article to illuminate, but the following brief dialogue is meant to be suggestive of what an experiential approach to making a transit into impossible identity might look like.

 

Batman: Man, I’m working hard here, and all you do is sprinkle pixie dust.  How exactly does that work?

Tinkerbell:  I have no idea.  It just does.  Would you like me to try it on you?

Batman:  No, no, no.  Don’t come near me with that stuff.  But I am curious.

Tinkerbell:  It only works if you think happy thoughts.

Batman (speaking sarcastically):  Happy thoughts.  I’ve heard about them, but can’t say I’ve had many.  Do they hurt?

Tinkerbell: (laughing) only if you keep your shoulders hunched and your eyebrows knit like that.  You want to fly, you got to relax.

Batman:  Not true.  When I want to fly, I just push off with sheer force of will.

Tinkerbell:  Yeah, but look at you.  You’re a wreck.  Think of the wear and tear.  The maintenance.  How long you think you can keep this going?  Another 5-10 years max?

Batman:  You’re right.  I’m beat.  I need some pixie dust.

Tinkerbell:  Remember – happy thoughts.

Batman: Happy thoughts.  Hey, maybe if I got rid of some of this gear, I could float a bit.

Tinkerbell:  Close your eyes and imagine.

Batman: Wow – I can feel it.  But now I’m a bit dizzy.  That’s a bit much.

Tinkerbell:  It just takes getting used to, that’s all.  It means you’re getting lighter.

Batman (a bit surprised):  Well, I think I like it….

Of course, this conversation is just getting started, and at some point, Tinkerbell will also want to enter Batman’s consciousness and then adapt what she learns there to her own sensibilities.  But as the two explore each other’s realities, something about the promise of the inconjunct and the impossible identity it harbors is realized.  Or astrologically speaking, something about the dynamic between Sun in Sagittarius and Moon in Gemini comes alive in me, in a new way – not through interpretation, but through an actual experience of something unfamiliar.

 

The Impossible Task

 

The third dimension of the intriguing interface between the inconjunct and exploratory dreamwork I have discovered this past year is what I call the impossible task.  The following are examples of imagery associated with impossible tasks, as they appeared to me in dreams I had during transiting inconjuncts:

 

In a dream with Venus semi-sextile Pluto, a man asks his wife to hold a cigarette at one end, while he cuts it with a table saw.

With transiting Sun semi-sextile natal Neptune, I am driving down the freeway in a boat with a lion in the back.

 

During a transit of Saturn semi-sextile Mercury, I find myself battling the Nazi influence on astrology.

 

When transiting Jupiter was semi-sextile Pluto, I must fight a young Mafia boss skilled in voodoo karate, who can hurt me without touching me.

 

The dream in which my Batman-Tinkerbell image appeared, I call “On the Run With the Muggle-Born.”  In J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, the Muggle-Born are those without pedigreed witches and wizards for parents, considered by some in the world of magic to be inferior.  In the dream, the Muggle-Born are being persecuted, and with the help of the Batman-Tinkerbell character, my job is to lead some of them to safety.  In the waking state, I don’t feel up to the task.  In fact, I feel a bit embarrassed by its presumptuousness.  But in dreamtime I am thrust into this awkward position nonetheless.

 

I have a choice here.  I can wake up and be thankful it was just a dream, or I can consider what power I do have to help those are suffering because the world is every bit as dark as the Harry Potter movies suggest it is.  Within my own comfort zone, I have and surely can continue to make a difference.  But in the face of the impenetrable darkness of the world – of which it is not hard to see evidence everywhere I (the Batman side of me) looks – I feel my breath taken away merely contemplating a larger or harder role.  I suspect that neither the clever resourcefulness of a Batman, nor the pixie dust and happy thoughts of a Tinkerbell will be enough for me to rise to the challenge the dream seems to be thrusting upon me.  But perhaps some combination of the two might just work, in some mysterious way I can’t begin to fathom now.

 

Like the inconjunct that reflects it, this thought feels awkward and uncomfortable.  But if I am willing to live with this discomfort, perhaps leaning into the unknown can empower me in ways I can’t imagine on the safe side of that choice.  I wish I could say that I have had some kind of breakthrough experience, but instead it seems I am being propelled by my discomfort to reach for something more than my conscious mind tells me is possible.

 

In late 2011 (with transiting Pluto quincunx my natal Sun and semi-sextile my natal Moon), I went on a vision quest in the Utah high desert country and lo and behold, I came home with an impossible vision to carry.  I have since been working with others to create a mystery school and sanctuary for those wishing to transmute their core wounds into a sense of visionary calling.  Perhaps the potential students of this vision are the Muggle-born of my dreams.  In any case, one very large question I have been considering is where in the world might I find an hospitable place in which to root this vision – and perhaps in some way that is not yet clear, “lead the Muggle-born to safety” as my dream suggests might be the impossible task of my unlikely identity as Batman/Tinkerbell. 

 

One day, around my birthday last year – with transiting Pluto quincunx Moon & semi-sextile Sun; transiting Jupiter quincunx Saturn/Mars; and transiting Mercury quincunx Uranus – I had a dream in which I was searching for a place in a university town with reddish orange brown colored building, lots of bicycles, and a restaurant serving a Norwegian delicacy – an acquired taste, as I understand it – called lutefisk.  Subsequent research led me to discover a town in Norway with lots of orange brown colored buildings, where bicycles are omnipresent, and an inordinately high percentage of students (over 20% of the town’s residence) that would be perfect for the kind of retreat center I envision.  Googling images of this place sent shivers up my spine, as I recognized the landscape of my dream.

 

I’m not prepared to say this is the answer to my question, but in following the trail of imaginal breadcrumbs that are being laid out before me, I feel encouraged to take a bold leap into the unknown.  I am planning an exploratory trip there this summer. 

 

Batman is excited about this trip – as any true Sagittarian would be – because it is an adventure with roots in real world possibilities.  Tinkerbell is also excited because it is also an adventure propelled by an inner sense of magical calling – just the sort of thing a wild-eyed pixie drunk on happy thoughts might do in her delirium. 

 

I don’t know what lies within the unknown waiting for me at the other end of this adventure – as none of us ever can – but as an astropoetic astrologer, I do know that none of this would be happening if I had stayed on the safe, predictable, known side of my birthchart.  In daring to step to the other side – that place where familiar astrological symbols are endlessly trying on new faces – my lifelong interaction with astrology remains a living force, propelling me into a deeper pool of primal knowledge than any amount of rational interpretation of decoded symbols can ever provide.

 

References

(1) I first started using the word “astropoetics” in 2001 – as I was writing The Seven Gates of Soul.  In 2014, as I was in the middle of writing my fourth book on the subject, I learned that Michael Mayer was probably the first to use the term in his book, The Mystery of Personal Identity (San Diego, CA: ACS Publications, 1984).  His intent in writing this book (originally a Ph.D. dissertation) was to create “an astro-poetic language by using celestial metaphors to speak of personality . . . (as) a possible alternative to the current medical terminology” (xix).  We share this intent, although our approaches are necessarily somewhat different, since our usages of the term “astropoetics” were developed independently of each other, and without prior knowledge of each other’s work.  Having since read Michael’s book, I would recommend it as a complement to The Seven Gates of Soul.

 

(2) Carl Jung, Symbols of Transformation, Bolligen Series XX, The Collected Works of Carl Jung, Volume 5, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1956, p. 124.

(3) Carl Jung, Aion: Researches Into the Phenomenology of the Self, Bolligen Series XX, The Collected Works of Carl Jung, Volume 9, Part II, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1959, p. 73.

(4) James Hillman, Re-Visioning Psychology. New York, NY: Harper & Row, 1975, p. 39.

(5) See, for example, The Dream and the Underworld, Dream Animals or Pan and the Nightmare by James Hillman; Dream Tending by Stephen Aizenstat; A Little Course in Dreams and Tracks in the Wilderness of Dreaming by Robert Boznak; The Practice of Dream Healing: Bringing Ancient Greek Mysteries into Modern Medicine by Edward Tick; and Conscious Dreaming and Dreamgates: Exploring the Worlds of Soul, Imagination and Life Beyond Death by Robert Moss.

(6) From Tetrabilos, quoted by Peter James Clark, “Al Buruni & Ptolemy on Aspects,” Classical Astrologer Weblog, January 31, 2013.  Retrieved 8 December 2014. http://classicalastrologer.me/2013/01/31/4140/.

(7) Chris Brennan, “The Importance of Yods in Astrology,” The Horoscopic Astrology Blog, July 26, 2010.  Retrieved 8 December 2014. http://horoscopicastrologyblog.com/2010/07/26/the-importance-of-yods-in-astrology/.

(8) Karen Hamaker-Zondag, The Yod Book, York Beach, ME: Samuel Weiser, 2000, p. 11.

(9) Donna Cunningham, “Heinous Hybrids – Why the Quincunx is No Minor Aspect,” Skywriter, April 3, 2011.  Retrieved 28 October 2014. https://skywriter.wordpress.com/2011/04/03/heinous-hybrids%E2%80%94why-the-quincunx-is-no-minor-aspect/.

(10) All aspects mentioned in this article are of transiting planets in aspect to natal planets, unless otherwise noted.

(11) David Abram, Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology, New York, NY: Random House, 2010, p. 224.

(12) Stephen Aizenstat, Dream Tending: Awakening to the Healing Power of Dreams, New Orleans, LA: Spring Journal, 2011, pp. 52-53.

(13) Robert Boznak, Tracks in the Wilderness of Dreaming, New York, NY: Bantam Doubleday Dell, 1996, ebook version: page 77 of 495.

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