Exegesis Volume 07 Issue #020

In This Issue:

From: "JG or DF"
Subject: [e] CURA latest

Exegesis Digest Fri, 08 Feb 2002

From: "JG or DF"
Subject: [e] CURA latest
Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2002 20:04:27 +1300

The last few days I have been checking out the latest edition of Patrice Guinard's increasingly impressive web-site. This time a major advance has occurred. Not only in respect of the continuation of his excellent discussion of the relevance of semiotics to astrology, but there is also a most interesting list of capsule biographies of the most influential French astrologers of the past century. Patrice has also compiled numerous points he has made in Exegesis into a list of `aphorisms', many of which relate to his manifesto and can serve as either food for thought or a springboard to further debate.

I feel more inclined to bounce a few comments off the 4th new entry, a review of his manifesto by Shelley Jordan, with whom I am not familiar. I must say I enjoyed her enthusiasm for the subject, appreciated her caustic comments about modern astrology, and was impressed by her insight into the material of the manifesto - which I personally have had some difficulty grasping. Nonetheless I quickly found myself differing from her opinions on various details - indeed, I have had to restrain myself from yielding to the temptation of writing a review of her review!

Shelley Jordan writes: "Concerning the phasic nature of the cyclicality of planetary periods and their impregnation of the psychic field, Guinard states:

"The cyclical structure is imprinted on the neural organization, which reproduces the periodic variations of the planets. Neuro-psychological integration of geo-solar rhythms translates itself into a continuous psychic stimulus – astral incidence – and into a structuring of the nervous system through pre-conscious mental states, which in turn give rise to psycho-mental representations." (Chapter 5)

In other words, the psyche is activated with subtle astrological symbols at the substratum of awareness, in resonance with the cyclicality of the planets. Astrology’s object is one of structuring relationship between the human psyche and the cosmic environs within it which it is situated."

The only immediate criticism I would make of this fine description (that she and Patrice here produce in combination) is the appearance of the word "symbols" in that particular context. The description is of how the planets seem to manifest internally - the crucial issue of contemporary astrological belief. This issue is `as above, so below' in our times, the ancient macrocosm/microcosm, heaven/earth duality transformed into trinity by the pattern of the whole. The picture painted in the above description is similar to the one I had in mind when I presented my own theory a decade ago, except that the astrological archetypes are here called symbols.

I feel this is wrong, and will be interested in any comment from Patrice on this. Symbols, I believe, primarily function in the conscious mind. I'm aware that Jung promotes the view that they may appear in both the collective unconscious and personal subconscious, but it seems to me that such are of minimal cultural import. Since Jung never managed to develop his concept of archetypes into features of nature, readers confused between symbol and archetype may be reflecting Jung's inner confusion. If he did provide functional descriptions that differentiate the two, and someone can reproduce them here, they will prove me wrong about this.

My preliminary understanding of the semiotic relation is that the archetype underlies the symbol. When the symbol appears in the psyche, it signifies the archetype. It is the planetary archetype that plays a key part in the interior structure and function of the psyche. The `planet within' is a figure of speech which represents this archetype. The name is a symbol, just as it is also a symbol of the planet in the sky (as within, so without).

A symbol is merely a secondary consequence of the primary agent. Sure, it is all we `see', and it is what we recognise. So what? I am not my name, and you are not yours. Better to focus on what is identified, not on the identifying symbol. My reading of Patrice's manifesto suggests to me that he is well aware that the active agents that catalyse psychic states operate at a deeper level than symbols.

Dennis Frank


End of exegesis Digest V7 #20

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