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AstroPsychology Articles

The AstroPsychology Blog contains concepts and thoughts relating to AstroPsychology and the natal chart.

It also contains personal reflections concerning planetary archetypes.

Please feel free to make comments and to share posts.

Please don't ask me my Sun sign! I believe there is an assumption in that question that if you know my Sun sign, you will know me! Or that if I know your Sun sign, I will understand you. This is a myth which has been perpetuated by Sun sign columns and books which write such descriptions as if they were fact. There may be a trait or two which fit, but for the most part you and I are far more complex than our Sun signs. The Sun, although a very important part of my astrological chart, is just that--a part--not the whole. My chart, with its ascendant sign, ten planets in various signs and their inter-aspects plus the 12 houses, isn't even who I am! It's only a symbolic map of my potential, the gifts and challenges which can contribute to my overall growth and development. By looking at my chart you cannot tell how I am actualizing that potential. You can get a sense of that only by talking with me and hearing my life story, listening to the choices I have made, my struggles and successes, and the beliefs which underlay those choices; and it's a story that continues to evolve throughout my life.


We are each so much more than our Sun sign! In AstroPsychology, each of the 10 planets symbolizes a psychological function which strives to meet the particular needs of the sign it rules. For example, the Sun represents the psychological function which strives to meet the Leo needs for self-esteem, creative self-expression, validation of identity, attention, and approval. It is that part of me which makes choices and has intentions in the interest of meeting those needs. The Sun is that part of me that wants to feel proud rather than feel shame and self-doubt. How the Sun goes about meeting those needs is colored by the sign in which it is located; but it is also influenced by its aspects to other planetary functions, the house where it is located, and the house with Leo on the cusp.


My point is, that how I function, who I believe myself to be, my identity, my sense of self-esteem, is far more than my Sun sign. To tell you my Sun sign would be like telling you that a piece of cake is an egg, ignoring the flour, butter, flavoring, decoration, and shape. For example, a Sun in Pisces conjunct Venus and Mars in the 8th house will have very different concerns and ways of functioning from Sun in Pisces conjunct Mercury in the 5th house, or Sun in Pisces in the 10th opposite Pluto in the fourth. There is an entire story--and even an indeterminate range of possible stories--which can correlate to each of those configurations. Add to that any further aspects which the Sun makes to other planets in other houses, and the plot thickens. Add the chart as a whole, with its nine other planetary functions and their configurations, and the complexity of an individual becomes evident! So I repeat: I am not my Sun sign or my chart; and my chart with its Sun in a sign is not me. It is a map of possibilities only, possibilities which are endlessly and continually evolving as I live my life. As for your Sun sign--you, too, are co much more! Lets appreciate your complexity!

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Updated: Jan 17

Some people go to an astrologer because they are curious. Others go because they are in crisis and want answers or guidance. In any case, it is wise to realize that astrologers differ from one to another. In Western Astrology, there are different kinds and levels of training and expertise, and different beliefs as to what the role of an astrologer is. There is mundane astrology which deals with cycles of geopolitical events; horary, which is astrology for the moment a question is posed; electional, for deciding the best time to begin an enterprise; financial, which deals with cycles of economics and market investing; and natal, which focuses on the individual person. Within natal astrology there are even more specialties such as: medical, vocational, locational, spiritual, evolutionary, predictive, relationship, and psychological. Likewise, there are different schools of astrology which focus on various specialized techniques for analyzing and interpreting the natal chart. These may offer rigorous, supervised instruction and examination.


Astrologers also continue to be self taught through books, conferences, lectures, and individual teachers. In order to create and maintain standards of excellence, differing professional astrological organizations offer testing for certification. For example, ISAR (International Society for Astrological Research) and NCGR (National Council for Geocosmic Research) offer testing for various levels of expertise. It is highly recommended that a client consult an astrologer who has been educated through a professional program or who has passed the examinations for professional excellence.


Astrology has evolved considerably over the years, and depending upon training, philosophy, and ethics, astrologers differ in how they perceive their role in relationship to the client. Some astrologer continue the practice of looking at the chart and using the symbols to describe a client’s personal characteristics along with possible challenges and gifts. This seems to be the kind of “reading” which many of the general public still expect. There are also those astrologers who focus on describing past life influences, karmic lessons, and one’s path or purpose in life. This kind of reading is increasingly being sought by the general public.


As a psychological astrologer, I can best explain the less well known counseling or “therapeutic astrology”. This kind of astrology session is usually conducted by an astrologer who has had training in counseling, human development, and psychology as these relate to the astrological symbols. In theses sessions, the astrologer uses the chart as a guide while listening to the client describe his or her concern about their life experiences. As the client tells their story, the astrologer hears the chart symbols being spoken and can zero in on what part of the chart, or what planetary configuration(s) may be especially involved and needing further exploration. One goal of this kind of astrology session is for the client to develop insight into their psychological functioning, insight into the kinds of beliefs they have about themselves, and what kind of stories they are telling themselves which may be hindering greater fulfillment and expression in life. In the process, this kind of astrology session may also explore the client’s perception of early childhood experiences. Another goal of this kind of session is for the astrologer to be able to explain more integrated and functional ways that the client may express the astrological symbols related to their concern. What are the requirements or skills which the client may need to develop in order to better integrate the challenging configurations symbolizing the client’s difficulties? A client may desire two or three sessions in order to delve more deeply into various ways of understanding the chart symbols or to discuss different areas of life.


In looking for an astrologer, then, it’s important to have clarity about what you wish to accomplish or how you wish to benefit from an astrological session. It’s important to learn ahead of time what the astrologer offers and what their training is, rather than assume that all astrologers work the same way. Decide if it is important for you to be able to ask questions and to be able to dialogue with the astrologer, rather than having to assume that they have all the answers or that they are necessarily right in what they say. Research the different kinds of astrology to help you decide what kind of relationship you want to have with the astrologer of your choice.




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Updated: Jan 11

When Uranus contacts a personal planet by transit, it is often described as disruptive or shattering, as breaking up what is no longer serving one's life. After all is said and done, one often discovers the experience has actually been liberating. But Uranus is more than that. Uranus symbolizes that part of our psyche which functions as the observing witness striving to meet the Aquarian needs for a holistic perspective and mindful awareness. As one develops these and learns to detach from the outcome of Solar intentions and choices, to allow experiences to occur without judgment or resistance, one can develop the Uranian states of tolerance, flexibility, resilience and equanimity. I like to think of these as the gifts of Uranus.

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