Astrological Shorthand or Short-Circuit?
Updated: Jul 17
I've noticed that when astrologers and people interested in astrology are talking about themselves to other people who have any familiarity with astrology, they resort to using the astrological symbols of their charts to explain themselves. There is an assumption that the listener will automatically understand what is being felt and experienced; but, given the very wide range of possible expression of the astrological archetypes, this may not be so! In addition, using the symbols can have a distancing effect for both the speaker and the listener. The vulnerability of true sharing is blanketed by the symbols.
Recently I was listening to an astrology friend who was sharing a difficult experience. When I asked her if she could say more about it, she began using her chart symbols to explain herself. Interrupting, I asked her to use regular language rather than the symbols. She paused, took a deep breath and proceeded to do so. She found that she was able to explain what she was feeling and experiencing, and I could listen with greater empathy rather than focusing on trying to interpret the symbols. In addition, when she was finished, she exclaimed, "Wow! I've never really explained that so well before. I've never really thought it through that well before!" Focusing on her true feelings of the experience was a revelation for her and a much more accurate understanding for me. It also gave her a deeper, clearer understanding of the relevant symbols of her chart.
There are times when the symbolic language of astrology is very useful. It is especially so when listening to a client's story with their chart before us. The client's language allows us to readily see which archetypes are being expressed and experienced, and how they are integrated with the whole. But when sharing with each other as astrologers, to use the symbols to communicate an experience can short circuit the process of true sharing and understanding.