|The Manifesto|||||The Dominion|||||Texts and Articles|||||Review|||||Links|||||ACCUEIL (FR)|||||HOME (EN)|
(The Nature of the astrological Symbol)
by Gerry Goddard
The focus of this essay is a particular debate that has occurred within the field of astrology concerning the ultimate nature of astrological principles. In several works, Richard Tarnas articulates an archetypal view of astrological principles ~ a complex mythic, Platonic and Jungian perspective on the nature of the archetypes, conceived within a philosophical framework embracing Neoplatonist, perennialist and absolute idealist elements. On the other side of the argument, from a postmodern, existential, linguistic and quasi-naturalistic viewpoint, Michael Harding, in his Hymns to the Ancient Gods, mounts a forceful critique of the archetypal conception including Tarnas's formulations, maintaining that the astrological symbols can be adequately explicated without the need for metaphysical or transcendent principles. Harding argues that the concept of 'archetype' conceived in the Platonic sense is logically untenable while the Jungian concept cannot reasonably be correlated with the planets. He advances his own theory of the 'Primal Zodiac' grounded in a postmodern scientific view and a view (partly influenced by Sheldrake's concept of morphic resonance) of nature's Laws as learned habits rather than timeless and transcendent truths or formative principles.
When Michael Harding challenges the notion of planetary archetypes as advanced by Richard Tarnas, he engages what is perhaps the most foundational philosophical issue within the field of astrology. This is not a debate between the dominant conflicting paradigms, the modernist Cartesian/Newtonian positivistic and scientistic view versus the systemic, holistic, and postmodern views, but a fundamental conceptual challenge that arises within the postmodern and new paradigmatic perspectives. It's a debate that is reflected in the field of cutting edge philosophy and transpersonal psychology, one that very definitely impacts upon foundational astrology and its eclectic mixture of Neoplatonic and Jungian concepts. At stake, is whether our new paradigmatic astrology reveals an interpenetrating, holistic yet still naturalistic cosmos where astrological meanings are linguistic metaphors woven into time and experience, or whether it reveals a Neoplatonic or 'perennial' Kosmos where a set of transcendent principles are teleologically informing an evolutionary unfolding of human consciousness.
Background - Astrology and the new Paradigm
What is tentatively referred to as the 'new paradigm' appears to be arising out of the developmentally necessary creative chaos and relativism of the postmodern psyche, a state lacking in coherence, cohesion, or consensus, yet largely united by what it agrees to reject, namely mechanistic, atomistic, positivistic and objectivistic modernism. Constituting a fundamental consensus in a world where consensus seems ever more difficult to find, the essential feature of the postmodern view is that the world is unknowable the way it really is, for it is what it is subject to the ways in which we come to know it! The old revered methods of empirical study of the 'objective' world and even the later phenomenology (that supposedly 'unprejudiced' description of the flow of experience prior to abstraction and objectification) now become subject to the 'hermeneutic' standpoint ~ that unavoidably interpretative and shaping relationship in which humans always stand in relation to their materials.
Hence, we are ever increasingly coming to think and operate within this new insight, namely the doctrine that 'that which is known is always a product of the knower and the known, a function of perception and perspective as well as objective existence and essence.' This postmodern 'participatory' cosmology or epistemology (Tarnas 1991, 433-440. Berman 1981, 136-142) which has broken down the rigid boundary of mind and matter, constitutes the inescapable conclusion of many 20th century developments in all serious branches of knowledge including science. It is not simply the conclusion of a particular line of philosophical thought.
Replacing the old subject/object, mind/matter dualism that has for so long plagued us, we can now discern two essentially opposing currents of thought arising from this postmodern insight:
One, a linguistic and cultural relativism and perspectivalism. This orientation emphasizes, in a radically democratic spirit, the endless diversity and plurality of existence locked within history, culture and language in which it is impossible to establish without dominance, any ultimate criteria of truth and value. A rational and open ended pragmatism is its philosophical stance.
And two, a culturally and historically transcendent perennialism ~ though necessarily expressed in terms that are historical and cultural. While embracing plurality and freedom, this orientation emphasizes unity behind the diversity. Here we see a teleologically unfolding and meaningful Kosmos where mind is an inherent and emergent property beyond life and matter, potentially on its way to an eventual higher order spiritually integrated and transpersonal Omega state.
While many of us will agree that astrology, along with postmodern science and transpersonal psychology, constitutes a strong body of evidence against the old mechanistic and atomistic Cartesian/Newtonian paradigm (for excellent accounts of this see Glenn Perry, 1997 & 1997a), there is as yet little agreement as to the precise nature of the new paradigmatic model of reality which astrology reveals, or requires us to adopt in order to adequately explicate its principles.
In conjunction with the general systems perspective and new science concepts with their transformed view of nature, there is a decisive weight of argument which inclines us strongly toward a broadly evolutionary, transformational or spiritual context ~ the perennial pole of the postmodern dialectic; namely,
- concrete evidence provided by certain Eastern spiritual cosmologies along with their empirically testable transformational technologies (e.g. the higher yogas, Vedanta, vipassana, and Zen Buddhist zazen),
- Jungian and humanistic psychology with their blending of fact and value,
- transpersonal psychology and theory (Grof, Wilber, Washburn, Walsh) with its altered and transcendent states of consciousness,
- some of the parapsychological data such as OBE's and NDE's,
Astrology's real power and larger purpose is not to demonstrate scientifically a correspondence of planetary fact and earthly event, state, or process but to deduce the symbolic meaning of any factual correspondence in such a way that constitutes real knowledge and not simply random imagination and invention (though these are an integral part of the epistemological process). What is most remarkable and philosophically significant about astrology is that its symbolism is grounded in a time/space map and not simply projected upon the physical world.
- and not least of all -- astrology herself.
If by 'symbol' we mean something more than just a name or a sign, more than a subjective (culturally and linguistically conditioned) invention, then we need presume that 'reality' is multileveled beyond the simple sensory/empirical level. The symbol is our way of understanding something which is ineffable, yet something 'real' which lies beyond us and is beckoning us 'forward' (or 'higher' or 'deeper' depending upon our preferred metaphor). These symbols appear to 'work' by general agreement, hence astrology becomes a technology of self knowledge and transformation, a direct participatory and largely dialogical process.
This practice presupposes that the astrological meanings somehow transcend and inform who we are, or who we are is unfolding through our conscious participation with the symbols, rather than the symbolic meanings being simply our inventions projected upon the physical reality conceived in terms of the astrological geometry. That is, in order for astrology to be a legitimate and meaningful insight practice, these symbols must somehow connect us up to 'higher level' realities developmentally or evolutionarily speaking (i.e. evolutionarily in terms of larger views such as Teilhard de Chardin or Aurobindo rather than the neo-Darwinist perspective).
A genuine integration of the human sphere of values and meanings with the sphere of postmodern physical science is the great contemporary challenge; as variant as they are, models such as the grand synthesis of Ken Wilber, the perspective of Michael Washburn and Stanislav Grof's transpersonal map of the unconscious are major and central contributions to this process. To the foundational question, "Is reality a multileveled and interpenetrating evolving structure ultimately capable of explication only through principles which embrace yet go beyond naturalistic laws?" the answer that I would give is yes. The important question then becomes, "Within this broadly perennial or Neoplatonic framework, how can the structure(s) of consciousness and its world(s) be most adequately explicated? Here arise numerous agreements and disagreements among Tarnas/Grof, Michael Washburn, Ken Wilber, the new science/mysticism enthusiasts (Fritjof Capra, Renee Weber) and various postmodern holistic, ecosystemic and ecofeminist viewpoints, engaging complex empirical and theoretical issues which a new paradigmatic astrology must be willing to take on. As in every field, the ghosts of philosophy come to haunt us and may never be put to rest. But the most important question for foundational astrology, becomes whether astrological configurations actually constitute the formative and universal principles of the grand process or whether what we call astrological symbols can be adequately understood in naturalistic terms as specific factors among numerous other factors constituting the whole cosmic process.
Astrology serves as a bridge between the objective empirical and the lived experiential with its symbols, meanings, values, intentions, and metaphors. Thus, it links the physical with the mental, the biosphere with the noosphere, and in so doing has much to contribute to the larger new paradigm debate. As such and insofar as it can incorporate the essential ideas of Grof, Wilber and others, astrology is indeed a candidate for a most adequate new paradigmatic model of consciousness. Just as meditation is the transformational technology, the experiential key to the transpersonal and the mystical, astrology may become the key to the conceptual and intellectually intuitive understanding and articulation of the evolving whole ~ in Richard Tarnas's terms, to constitute "a unique and cosmic avenue to a new world view." (1990, 5) While the field of astrology appears to suffer the same relativistic diversity as contemporary culture in general, I believe that its perennial essence can potentially bring an order to the chaos and suggest solutions to some of the most persistent postmodern dilemmas.
I feel that any attempt to articulate the perennialist model of astrology must first answer Harding's forceful critique which maintains that the astrological symbols can be explicated, and their psychological significance can be explained, without reference to metaphysical or transcendent principles. First, we'll review Richard Tarnas' account.
The views of Richard Tarnas
In his essay, The Western Mind at the Threshold, Richard Tarnas analyzes the modern world view as a Batesonian-like double bind, a threefold cosmological, ontological, and epistemological prison embodied in the views of Copernicus, Descartes, and Kant respectively, where the human displacement from the centre, the sense of separation and distinction within an impersonal and 'dead' world, and the ultimate unknowability of this world, together constitute the essence of the modern dilemma. In Tarnas's view, any adequate new paradigm strategy must address all these dimensions, and "only astrology provides the kind of evidence that suggests that all three components of the modern predicament can be transcended. If astrological correlations are real, then the underlying Copernican, Cartesian, and Kantian basis of the modern world view is undermined at its very foundation." (1990, 5) It does this in three ways:"First, in answer to Copernicus, they (correlations) suggest that the universe is patterned in a way that relates in time and space directly to the human species, that centers on this Earth, that centers even on individual human beings...Second, in answer to Descartes, astrological coincidences suggest that the physical universe is patterned according to certain formal principles or archetypes that are not merely mechanistic but are vividly personal and humanly meaningful...and that therefore the world is not a machine but is ensouled, an anima mundi...And finally, in answer to Kant, these astrological coincidences suggest that the universe can indeed be known by the human mind, because the universe's operative principles are principles with which human experience is directly and intimately familiar from within ~ that is to say, the universe's operative principles are archetypes which are both subjective and objective, simultaneously informing not only human experience but also planetary motions. As Plato affirmed, the categories of the human mind are also categories of a universal mind, the two minds being intimately connected." (my emphasis) (pp. 4-5)
In his visionary intellectual history, The Passion of the Western Mind, Tarnas articulates the philosophical view that lies behind his analysis, that of the participatory epistemology where "nature's unfolding truth emerges only with the active participation of the human mind...the world's truth realizes itself within and through the human mind" (1991, 434); this, rather than the human mind mirroring and producing concepts that picture an external reality or imposing its own order upon the world. Thus he describes this view that harks back to the Absolute Idealism of Schelling and Hegel and the spiritual Romanticism of Schiller, Coleridge, Emerson, and Steiner:The new conception fully acknowledged the validity of Kant's critical insight, that all human knowledge of the world is in some sense determined by subjective principles; but instead of considering these principles as belonging ultimately to the separate human subject, and therefore not grounded in the world independent of human cognition, this participatory conception held that these subjective principles are in fact an expression of the world's own being, and that the human mind is ultimately the organ of the world's own process of self revelation...it is only when the human mind actively brings forth from within itself the full powers of a disciplined imagination and saturates its empirical observation with archetypal insight that the deeper reality of the world emerges...Human thought does not and cannot mirror a ready-made objective truth in the world; rather, the world's truth achieves its existence when it comes to birth in the human mind...as Hegel emphasized, the evolution of human knowledge is the evolution of the world's self-revelation. (p. 433-435)
These archetypal principles cannot be located strictly within the psyche as Jung attempted to do in his middle 'Kantian' period. But as Tarnas points out, later on Jung came to adopt a view of archetypes "as autonomous patterns of meaning that appear to structure and inhere in both psyche and matter, thereby in effect dissolving the modern subject-object dichotomy. Archetypes in this view were more mysterious than a priori categories ~ more ambiguous in their ontological status, less easily restricted to a specific dimension, more like the original Platonic and Neoplatonic conception of the archetypes." (1991, 425. Jung 1973, 1959.) Rather than the strictly psychological concept of archetype, it is this more transcendent view of archetypal principles that superintend both consciousness and world, both psyche and cosmos, which Tarnas adopts in his formulation of the absolute idealist or perennialist evolutionary view, a view derived philosophically as an answer to both the modern and postmodern dilemmas and which achieves a confirmation through the reality of astrological coincidence.
Tarnas ties in his evolutionary archetypal model with the work of his colleague, the transpersonal psychiatrist, researcher and theorist Stanislav Grof (1985), describing the course of human history as an archetypal sequence reflecting the stages and deep unconscious structures (perinatal matrices) of the birth process. Richard Tarnas (1991) describes the archetypal process implied by Grof's findings:...the archetypal sequence that governed the perinatal phenomena from womb through birth canal to birth was experienced above all as a powerful dialectic ~ moving from an initial state of undifferentiated unity to a problematic state of constriction, conflict, and contradiction, with an accompanying sense of separation, duality, and alienation; and finally moving through a stage of complete annihilation to an unexpected redemptive liberation that overcame and fulfilled the intervening alienated state ~ restoring the initial unity but on a new level that preserved the achievement of the whole trajectory...In psychological terms, the experience was one of movement from an initial condition of undifferentiated pre-egoic consciousness to a state of increasing individuation and separation between self and world, increasing existential alienation, and finally an experience of ego death followed by psychological rebirth; this was often complexly associated with the biographical experience of moving from the womb of childhood through the labor of life and the contraction of aging to the encounter with death. (p. 429-430)
This process must indeed be 'archetypal' since according to Tarnas and Grof the perinatal matrices themselves cannot be properly understood in reductive bio-psychological or linear causative terms. The re-experiencing of the matrices (through LSD or holotropic breath work) opens us up into both pre-egoic and trans-egoic dimensions effecting not only therapeutic transformations and a potential realization of the mystical but also reflecting the larger overarching trajectory of human history. Reliving the birth process is not simply a regression to a primal biological dimension but an evocation of a multi-dimensional reality linking the personal and the transpersonal, the individual and the collective, the primal and the transcendent. This multidimensional dynamic interpenetration of the physical, the mental, the spiritual, and the (Jungian) archetypal constitutes, in Grof's words, a "creative matrix for all the levels described by perennial philosophy, not just those that seem immediately necessary for the description of phenomena on the physical or biological levels" (Grof 1985, 90) It is the fact that this 'matrix' has been systematically mapped by the deep structures empirically identified by Grof, that clearly demands a profoundly archetypal interpretation.
Again, "...my primary conceptual focus is on supraordinated archetypal patterns that can manifest on many different levels and in many different ways. I do not see any reason to give a privileged position to the events in the material world, in general, and in the realm of biology in particular. Rather than trying to explain certain archetypes from physiological and emotional aspects of birth, I am now inclined to assume that the archetypal dynamic plays a critical role in creating the experience of biological birth itself." (Grof, 1996, 35) What is most significant from our astrological point of view is that Tarnas and Grof have empirically established connections between the outer planet transits and particular experiences associated with the archetypally appropriate matrix; that is, Neptune with the first or intrauterine state, Saturn with the contractions, Pluto with the birth canal, and Uranus with the separation of birth itself. Thus we see all the transpersonal dimensions identified by Grof linked archetypally and empirically to the planetary dimensions. (See Grof/Tarnas, 1990).
In his acclaimed Prometheus the Awakener, Tarnas offers us a most thoroughly researched demonstration of the archetypal correspondence of the planet Uranus with Promethean persons and historical events and periods that display a Promethean quality. While the explicit purpose of the project was to demonstrate that the Uranus principle is better captured by the myth of Prometheus than that of the Greek god Ouranos, what is also demonstrated is the nature of astrological correspondence itself; namely, that such correspondence is a reality, not as a naturalistically describable correspondence of planetary fact and earthly fact (no matter how systemic, a-causal, or new paradigm this may be), but as a correspondence of a planetary fact with certain classes of earthly facts only by virtue of a mythic story which remains consistent in all cases, and for that reason cannot be arbitrary, merely subjective, or projected.
Contrary to Michael Harding whose position we'll now examine, I want to argue that Tarnas's work (and especially his more recent work in conjunction with Grof) actually does demonstrate that planetary configurations are time/space indicators of the reality of certain universal and transcendent principles that superintend consciousness and world.
(extensive use of quotations is made for those readers who are unfamiliar with the particular arguments of Michael Harding. All quotes are from Hymns to the Ancient Gods, and are numbered for later reference)
Michael Harding attacks the notion of archetype on several fronts. In addition to refuting the transcendent Platonic notion of archetype, he questions both the Jungian concepts of synchronicity and archetype and criticizes their importation into astrology. While acknowledged for its outstanding scholarship, Richard Tarnas's Prometheus is criticized for its adoption of the archetypal perspective, a view that Harding sees as quite unnecessary to explain the data. Harding offers us a very different perspective on the nature of astrological symbolism that claims to be adequate without postulating the existence of archetypes.
Relevant to his criticisms of the archetypal perspective, Harding's arguments leveled against astrology's importation of Jung's concept of synchronicity are powerful. This acausal connecting principle is said to operate "outside of space and time. It transcends all physical boundaries and is unconstrained by all known laws of physics." (p. 25) But citing the Gauquelin data, Harding presents a case that the effect is indeed dependent on space/time. (For the cogent argument that Gauquelin's effects are subject to the speed of light and are hence physical, the reader should consult pp. 35-36) Actually, Harding maintains that Jung developed the idea in order to explain synchronous events that are better explainable by astrology itself! As he puts it, "Astrological phenomena cannot be 'explained' by synchronicity, for it is a much too limited concept...it is described as working in a random and sporadic manner, inaccessible to any real observation. This is quite the reverse of astrology's practice and assumptions..." (p. 34) (Of course, if it is the reverse, then just how these events can be better explained by astrology remains unclear, yet it is true that Harding blows a bit of a hole in the concept and demonstrates its inappropriate expropriation by astrology).
In identifying a physical factor in astrological correlation, Harding does not explain how a correlation of a planetary and earthly event explains the meaningful correspondence of mental states and physical events that are causally unrelated to each other on the earth level unless he believes all mental states, meanings, values etc. are reducible to foundational physical states definable through the celestial/terrestrial connection, which are precisely those factors that would show up statistically. It would indeed seem likely that the sort of phenomena identifiable by Gauquelin (and statistical methods in general) are in fact reducible to a hard physical factor, a bio-physical genetic factor which might explain the difference between the simply competent of a profession and the very best. But the fact that certain psychological characteristics, traits and behaviours are strongly interconnected with bio-physical factors does not imply that they are all explainable at this level. In fact astrology would indeed be spurious if we could not demonstrate a concrete and material connection at some level since even the most subtle levels of consciousness (e.g. yogic and trance states) have material concomitants (i.e. subtle brain structures and processes)! Whether Harding's explanations of the astrological effect are adequate remains the question.
Harding mounts a rather formidable attack on the notion of archetype, specifically its endless necessary multiplication and divisibility. As he so amusingly describes it,Q.1) Death is an archetype. Birth is an archetype, so is sexual union, marriage, the Oedipus complex, sibling rivalry, the coming of age, the loss of a parent, the search for God, leaving home, the need to create, becoming a parent, losing a child, the quest for identity...Behind all this...come the massed ranks of Good Mothers, Bad Mothers, Moderately Useless Mothers, Great Whores, Little Virgins, Temptresses, Witches, Wise Old Men, Eternal Youths, Tricksters, the odd Senex and the man from across the road who has finally come to return the mower... (p. 45)
concluding "if virtually anything can be thought of as archetypal in one way or another - and it can - then there is nothing particular or specific about the whole theory of archetypes. In the terminology of Karl Popper it is quite 'unfalsifiable', it can neither be proved or disproved..." (p 47) Certainly, if what we mean by archetype is any universal human theme, then indeed the concept is quite inadequate; that is, unless of course we can establish ~ as does Grof ~ certain foundational principles or structures which organize these themes analogically across multiple dimensions of reality. Nevertheless, I feel that Harding does us a service in deconstructing "synchronicity" and "Jungian archetype" (not his later 'psychoid' concept ~ Jung 1959,1973) as adequate astrological explanatory principles, but he does not succeed in deconstructing the metaphysical notion of archetypal astrological principles altogether.
Citing Jung's alleged collaboration with the nazis, Harding adds an attack on the racial distortions of the archetype concept that he feels readily follow from the idea itself. "If we accept Jolande Jacobi's model of an infinity of hierarchically structured archetypes, which could also be seen as a straightforward projection of existing class and social structures, then the system itself begins to look even more suspect." (p. 58) Harding's attempt to refute the Jungian notion by pointing ad hominem to Jung's fascist connection can be simply countered by pointing to the similar history of one of Harding's often cited authorities, Heidegger. The fact that 'archetype', 'hierarchy', 'superman' etc. can and have been distorted by human power motives (unfortunately often by their originators) does not itself discredit the logic or truth value of these concepts, it only alerts us to be very careful about our formulations.
In speaking of archetypes in light of Tarnas's project Harding writes:Q.2) There can be little doubt that such Uranian aspects as he described do correlate with a specific approach towards life, and one that we could justifiably call Promethean...those with similar patterns do seem to act out a strikingly similar theme...But are we in reality witnessing the expression of an archetype? Is this real evidence that there is something like a blueprint, or an organizing pattern which Uranian aspects have manifested in the lives of those so touched?...If there are similar charts with similar patterns, then these should manifest in similar ways precisely because of their similarity...If a similar arrangement of energies go in, we should expect a similar result to come out. This is what we see happening, and this would appear to be what Richard Tarnas's excellent research has revealed. Interestingly, neither his work nor his findings are diminished if we remove the concept of archetype from them entirely...Recognizing that patterns can constantly re-create themselves anew out of their instinctual, component parts is to recognize that the idea of an essentially static archetypal force lying 'behind' the event is redundant...there is an irony in the fact that the very repetition of astrological effects created the need within psychology for a concept of archetype to be developed in the first place, to account for these observed similarities. (pp73-74)
His general arguments against Platonism and Neoplatonism can be captured in the following quotations:Q.3) ...in expressing or acting out some pre-existing archetype we are to some extent 'being' something other than ourself. (p 60)
Or again:Q.4) From a phenomenological point of view, neo-Platonism makes an erroneous division between a world of pure 'ideas' and the humdrum reality of the world in which we all live. Indeed all theories which postulate an 'above' which moulds a 'below' risk continuing what many would see as a specious dichotomy. In such subject/object splits ~ which hardly exist at all in Eastern philosophies ~ a distorted picture of human existence is created, an existence which alienates the observable aspects of human behaviour from the unobservable, interior, spiritual, or 'higher' components. Such 'higher' components are often relegated to an external source, effectively suggesting that an individual is somehow expressing something other than what that individual is...As with the concept of archetype, the removal of the essence or centrality of a thing to some point outside or beyond the thing is ultimately dehumanizing. (p. 78)
And in the same vein, from a Heideggerian point of view:Q.5) Truth does not correspond to something else, nor does it mirror something else, nor is it a pale imitation of some external idea; it is contained within the nature and experience of Being...As with archetypes, the Platonic concept of Ideas would seem to distance us from the central nature of our being, without materially adding to our understanding of its meaning. (p.82)
In rejecting altogether the need for archetypal explanation, Harding presents his own alternative understanding:Q.6) If something happens again and again, in all corners of the world and at all times in history, this is not proof that the observed or experienced phenomenon stems from the intrusion of an external archetype. It is not proof that there is an imagined energy separate from the thing itself, lying behind the thing itself or representing or symbolizing the thing itself: it is the thing itself. That is how the thing expresses itself. that is how the thing is ...From an astrological point of view, having similar planetary patterns should predispose individuals towards similar activities or experiences. Not because such experiences might constellate an external archetype, but because the planetary patterns symbolize each individual's separate drive towards a specific goal; a goal which others happen to share. (pp. 75-77)
Harding's explanation as to how this occurs draws on Freud's 'archaic memory' concept of the unconscious rather than Jung's, an amalgam of postmodern naturalistic ideas (chaos theory, standing waves, Hypertext, Sheldrake's morphogenetic fields) and a rather unclear notion of 'planetary instincts'. Quite reasonably, he adopts Freud's notion of individual development reflecting or recapitulating historical development where a "cyclical repetition of instances unfolding through the processes of time" and the embeddedness within us of historical events is both extremely amenable to astrology and actually best explainable by astrological effects. Consequently, Harding concludes:Q.7) If Freud is right then these feelings, events, sensations and occurrences are not symbolic in nature, they are not expressions of external psychic powers or mythical beasts: they are real. Each actually happened, at a certain time, on a certain day, in a certain place. (p.96)
In this fashion,Q.8) Individuals expressing similar themes in quite different circumstances may do so because they are activating a common, unconscious experience, rather than an hypothesized archetypal energy...the infant takes on the history of the chart endowed to it by the cosmos. It is as if the individual birth map is a reflection of a Primal Zodiac (Harding's historical time concept) which is alive with the residue of all that has ever happened and is continually modified by the processes of life. (p107) ...As the past changes, so will future possibilities. The individual and the collective interact in the process of evolution, their joint efforts constantly re-drawing the boundaries of its potential. We are seemingly locked into a feedback loop with the universe: what we do may effect it; as we modify our own destiny so we cannot help but affect all that is around us. (p. 109)
The concept that astrological correlations can be better explained as reactivations of historical experiences than as responses to the same archetype leaves open the question of exactly what these planetary principles are to begin with and how they operate so as to 'store' or constellate certain classes of experience rather than other classes. Harding speaks of them in terms of instincts, number and even as the vague but loaded term 'principles.'Q.9) Recognizing that patterns can constantly re-create themselves anew out of their instinctual, component parts is to recognize that the idea of an essentially static archetypal force lying 'behind' the event is redundant. (p.74) ...we can suggest that the planets themselves can be seen as symbolizing instinctual drives, and that these drives operate within us all. In some way (my italics) the planetary drives attach or connect us to experiences and sensations appropriate to their own nature, (my italics) and we participate in their symbolic expression... On the one hand we have the nature, principle, or instinct of the planets and on the other we have the number which...describes the precise phase or state of their current dynamic. (p.100) Number can be seen to operate in the neo-Platonic manner...or it might be seen as representing an aspect of the 'thing itself'... number would appear to be the primary process of astrology... It underlies all astrological processes; in short, it show us how the energies of things 'work'. (p.101)
But in what way do the planets do this, and appropriate to what planetary nature? Such an idea of number is defined naturalistically:Q.10) ...number does not resonate to a primary Idea or archetype, lying behind or beyond that which it participates in, bringing that Idea or archetype into the world, it is inherent within the process of the thing itself. (p.63) ...When a large number of harmonic tones are put or played together, as in the case of all planetary cycles being summed, their interacting wave-forms will tend to produce specific patterns which emerge out of the interplay of their individual frequences. We have often experienced this...listening to the sounds of a city. From an amalgam of discordant and completely disconnected noises emerge a coherent pulse, a pattern of sound which seems to be planned and repetitive, but in fact achieves its regularity solely from the interplay of individual harmonics; there is no one behind it orchestrating everything on our behalf. (p64)
This idea is considered along with fractals where "all connection with the concept of archetype breaks down completely" where what is being suggested "is not so much an underlying, informing principle, but a vision of life exploding out of itself, acting out a process with wild abandon." (p.67) Having established an alternate model (and a seemingly largely naturalistic one) to the archetypal model, Harding concludes:Q.11) Specific spiritual or metaphysical beliefs concerning the ultimate nature of any underlying principles are very much an individual concern. Here we are concerned with how particular images may emerge within the collective, and what they may represent. (p. 101)
So I presume, metaphysics is, like religion, relegated to purely subjective and individual taste and all we need to be concerned with is the scientific or phenomenological how or description of things. But if Harding has actually been involved in attempting to logically refute the notion of transcendent principles, then he is contradicting himself.
On one level Harding's critique is a philosophical attack on perennialism in any form. But the evidence and persuasive arguments for a broadly perennial view come from other fields as well as from astrology, and astrology is not the astronomy itself but the interplay of culture (noosphere) and the holistic physical planetary system. There can be no pure astrology, no astrology per se. We are not to refrain from importing, for it is the nature of the encounter when we so import, that which comes out of the encounter, which constitutes the evolving nature of astrology. Beyond statistical fact/fact astrology, what we bring to the field is steeped in perennialism, a multileveled ontology! If Harding brings to it a monological and 'flatland' thought, then his astrology may not call upon the archetypal ~ except in reality it does because he uses the same complex meanings and metaphors the rest of us use, but he apparently sees them as either a subjective play upon the 'real' or as historical psychological inheritances.
The conclusion that would appear to follow from Harding's case is threefold:
One, that astrology per se does not provide evidence for transcendent archetypes since astrological correlations can be explained without reference to meta-principles.
Two, that, quite apart from astrological considerations, an adequate explication of "reality" does not require meta-principles.
Three, that astrology's categories cannot be archetypal because there can logically be no archetypes since in fact, the very concept is incoherent or unintelligible except if the concept is defined in purely descriptive and thematic terms.
While his arguments do not directly impact on our perennialist concern (with its implicit claim that archetypes are real) as to how and whether astrological principles can be adequately explicated as the meta-principles constituting and informing the grand evolutionary process, nevertheless Harding makes some important points that need to be addressed in formulating our model.
Explicating archetypal meaning in answer to Harding
Harding's attack on the Platonic concept of the transcendent universal legitimately raises some complex and persistent issues. The problem of universals treated by Plato, Aristotle, the nominalists and, in our time, Wittgenstein, cannot, however, so easily be solved one way or the other. The general problem Harding has with the Platonic and Neoplatonic positions is that they set up a duality between a 'higher' transcendent reality and a 'lower' 'this world' held to be but a dim reflection of the higher and conditioned by it. 'This world,' from the existential and phenomenological point of view Harding espouses, is the 'real' world while the transcendent is apparently an unnecessary postulation.
Insofar as Plato exalted the idea 'horse' to a higher ontological level than particular horses, he (Plato) is indeed caught in an error and it is this sort of untenable formulation that Harding takes as the paradigmatic classical archetypal viewpoint. (p.60) Tying in the ultimate metaphysical principles with the unity pole of the polarity, 'multiplicity and unity' is indeed a logical error. But to adopt the nominalist position that the particular is real and the universal is but an abstraction, merely a concept based on noticing the similarities and commonalities among sets of phenomena, is also false. Both the particular and the universal are equally 'real' and equally concepts.
A perfectly adequate perennialism can be formulated (a la Smith, Schumacher, Gebser, Wilber) where the interplay of unity and diversity, universal and particular does not divide the higher from the lower but plays out at each level of the Great Holarchic Chain of Being. For example, the category 'table' and various identifiable particular 'tables' belong on the physical/sensory level mediated by the mental/conceptual level. (i.e. the 'idea' of 'universal/particular' does not arise until the mental level differentiates out developmentally, and 'table' and 'these tables' arise when the mental level operates upon the sensory/physical world). To cite another example, 'Justice' belongs on the higher end of the mental/rational/social level along with particular just acts and intentions. Yet such a multileveled ontology requires metaphysical principles and not simply scientific laws to describe and explicate the nature and relationship of the levels.
Actually Harding's critique of the Jungian archetype in terms of its necessary infinite divisibility and its consequent puzzling relationship to the world of particulars validly applies equally to the Platonic concept. In both cases there is the problem of the duplication of worlds (the conceptual and the concrete) because there is no clear point where the one ends and the other begins; consequently, Harding can show that anything and everything can be an archetype (see Q1). But this does not refute formative principles which are simultaneously both transcendent and immanent if we understand them as manifesting in macrocosmic space-time (at the solar system level) from each of the ontological levels of reality (namely, spirit, soul, mind and matter).
As we have seen (quotes 3,4,&5), Harding argues that the archetypal view prevents us from being ourselves, that the 'above' necessarily molds the 'below,' that the observable level is alienated from the unobservable and supposed higher 'external' component, that the individual is somehow expressing something other than what the individual is, and that the "essence or centrality of a thing" is removed to some point outside or beyond the thing. But the belief in universal principles which inform this world (if defined in a more subtle way than the crudest Platonic formulation above) does not necessarily imply an irreconcilable duality. That a principle is transcendent (Plato) does not preclude that it is also immanent (Aristotle).
What is really up for discussion is whether the 'essence' of a thing is simply a subjective 'made-up' concept not 'in the physical world' or whether the mind that produces such concepts in relation to the sensed realm, is itself something with an at least equivalent, if not superior, ontological status to the sensory/physical realm. If the 'world' or 'reality' includes both mind and matter (and not just matter with mind as an epiphenomenon), then mind is constituted of meanings and symbols as surely as matter is constituted of particular 'particles' and energy fields. Even in a perennialist world of transcendent/immanent principles, the attempt to separate essence and thing is fallacious. One cannot even speak or think of a thing without its essence, so logically, how can its essence be divided from what the thing is? A properly formulated perennialism ~ especially one adequate to comprehend astrology ~ does not commit this separation! But the fact that essence and thing cannot be logically separated neither implies that nominalism is true nor that the notion of an archetypal principle is untenable. For example, a tool, perceived as a simple object and perceived as a tool with a conventional purpose is the same "thing" perceived by different dimensions of mind, namely, sensation and concept. Yet since neither epistemological mode is reducible to the other, we require meta-principles rather than natural laws to explain the relationship!
As for the claim that the observable is separated from the unobservable, who says that the higher levels are inaccessible to experience? On the contrary, these are the realms that unfold or are realized through altered states of consciousness; in particular, through meditation, contemplation and deep prayer. Also, the 'individual' is what the individual is at each stage or level, the higher levels coming to manifest if and when one transcends the ordinary separative egoic level.
On a psychological and existential level, I acknowledge Harding's trouble with the concept of universal principles which harks back to Kierkegaard's problem with Hegel's grand system. Quite legitimately, Kierkegaard saw a loss of self and an alienation from the total human reality of direct experience in the face of such an abstract and dehumanizing rationalistic system. In order to develop and 'grow' as human beings we must be able to integrate all our faculties ~ reason, intuition, imagination, love, vision ~ rather than trying to fit the immediacy of our ultimately ineffable experience into some a priori rationalistic scheme. But the legitimacy of metaphysics and the explication of the vast dimensions of experience by reference to meta-principles, does not necessarily imply that we must become imbalanced in such a logocentric way. The greatest metaphysical or perennial systems have arisen not from a priori reason alone but from states of contemplation and mystical insight where reason and language have served more as the vehicle for their expression than their source.
Harding's problem with the Jungian archetype does not lie in its being understood as a complex evolving deep structure of consciousness within the collective unconscious, but in the claim that it is a universal principle with ontological status. As Ken Wilber (1995, 247) has pointed out, Jung's archetypes ~ archaic rather than transcendent factors ~ would be more correctly named 'prototypes' and I believe this observation is in agreement with Harding. (As Tarnas insists, Wilber is not acknowledging here Jung's later definition of the term). But then Richard Tarnas is not exactly claiming that a straightforward identity exists between what Jung was (earlier) referring to as archetypes (e.g. 'the form of the instincts') and the metaphysical principles. But neither does Tarnas need for Jungian archetypes to be universal principles in order to show that astrological configurations indicate or express transcendent principles. In fact Tarnas states that the Jungian archetypes, the Homeric myths, and the Platonic ideas are different ways of understanding the transcendent principles. Whether Jung had the simple identity in mind doesn't matter, his archetypal constructions, deep prototypical structures of the unconscious if you will, could well be said to evolve through history and experience perhaps much as Harding holds with his Primal Zodiac. But in either case, such an evolution can only be understood as the interrelation of metaphysical principles and concrete contingencies.
Harding's argument that Tarnas's research does not prove the existence of archetypes (apart from the fact that as I understand, it was not intended to do so, only to demonstrate that the Promethean story better fitted Uranus than the Ouranos story) is based on the contention that patterns can "constantly re-create themselves anew out of their instinctual component parts," that "individuals expressing similar themes in quite different circumstances may do so because they are activating a common, unconscious experience, rather than an hypothesized archetypal energy" and that "if there are similar charts with similar patterns, then these should manifest in similar ways because of the similarity." That is, the archetypal paradigm is not necessary to explain the data revealed by astrology, including Tarnas's research, since it can be adequately explained by Harding's historical and more naturalistic instinctual model.
But the reference to instincts and similar causes does not explain or describe the connection itself except to vaguely suggest that it is physical. To define planetary principles as instincts restricts their operation to the bio-physical level, which of course is not a problem for those who believe it is legitimate to reduce the conceptual level of mind (meanings, values, and symbols) to bio-physical events.
While similar chart patterns certainly can be said, in one sense, to manifest in similar ways, actually what is equally pertinent is that they manifest in many different ways from individual to individual. The usual reason given for the uniqueness of the effect is the complex holistic nature of the chart and the total situation (person, history and circumstances) ~ which is why it is so hard to establish these effects scientifically. But the holistic context ~ e.g. Sun square Saturn always occurs within different larger configurations ~ is secondary to the complex multivalence of the archetypal principle itself. Mars in Leo in the tenth house has many meanings that can correlate with an amazing array of psychologically different experiences and behaviours, yet they are all linked, not by naturalistic states or commonly accessed collective unconscious memories, but by abstract principles that themselves have no 'existence' in the concrete sense yet which represent the logical conditions for conversing astrologically in the first place!
That Harding establishes a physical connection does not prove that each within the entire array of phenomena connected with a planetary configuration is physical or reducible to the physical. Accessing past experiences (compatible with Sheldrake's morphic resonance theory) is an inadequate explanation. It is not clear why certain sets of experiences and phenomena rather than other sets should constellate around a particular planetary configuration in the first place without some sort of prior planetary meaning. Or, in the absence of such a prior meaning, what the precise nature of the planetary/earthly connection exactly is at any point underlying this kind of morphic resonance to past experiences stored within the collective Primal Zodiac. If the original connection is physical then it is contingent, so that the 'meanings' of the planets are merely naturalistic accumulations of phenomena through time and could have been entirely otherwise. That is, the astrological meanings become a product of historical human/cultural subjective randomness built like epiphenomena upon a base line cause/effect structure, albeit conceived within a cosmic, holistic, bio-physical system, a kind of Gaia hypothesis writ large to include the whole solar system.
I maintain that both Tarnas's research and general astrological experience indeed demonstrate that the correspondences of earthly phenomena and planetary configurations, while including a physical fact/fact component at one level, exist and are recognizable only by interpreting the planetary configuration as a meaningful abstraction. The sets of earthly phenomena being 'connected' by the abstraction, logically and necessarily lack a naturalistic connection among themselves. Such a meaningful abstraction would remain simply subjective and experiential with no metaphysical claim, were it not that we discover that every time such an abstraction becomes apparent to us, a particular sort of planetary configuration occurs! So we have the correlation showing up in time/space, not simply of a larger cosmic fact with an earthly fact, but of a fact and a meaningful abstraction! This is evidence that reality can only be explicated metaphysically!
What is of significance in astrological truth claims is not the claim of a specific fact/fact correspondence but the revelation of meaning and synthesizing pattern. This is precisely why the truth value of astrology is not scientifically testable. The fact that at some level a concrete fact/fact correspondence can be found (physically, psychologically, spiritually) in no way explains the more subtle and complex levels of meaning, unless astrological meaning is entirely derivative of empirical observation by itself ~ which it is not. It is only through postulating complex (non-naturalistic) meanings that a planetary event can be said to correlate with an earthly condition at all! To cite a simple example, it is only through an abstract universal, force or thrust, that the following list of phenomena may be meaningfully connected; namely, a sudden explosion, a hammer hitting a nail, an athlete winning an event, a boxing match, a display of physical courage, a display of moral courage, an act of social self assertion, a condition of strong intention, an expression of anger, a condition of empowerment, a pure non-egoic yet clear and forceful action of a Zen master. There is no way that this list constitutes a set of phenomena that are naturalistically interconnected. Naturalistically speaking, the concept 'force' does not exist in reality (there are physical forces, bio-physical forces, psychological forces and spiritual powers but no concrete 'force' to be found at the essence of each) but is merely a universal concept, simply an invention of the mind that sees or makes up patterns and which cannot be an existent universal principle in this or in any other realm. But this is precisely how and where astrology comes into the picture and demonstrates that such a universal concept actually does have a concrete concomitant, not a concrete factor that can be demonstrated as physically connected (as for instance through morphic fields) to each of the phenomena that are not physically connected to each other, but as a concrete fact that correlates with each of the phenomena in the set interrelated to one another only by virtue of and through the universal concept! This constitutes proof that certain classes of physical events, namely planetary configurations, correspond, albeit mysteriously, to certain abstract universals. Prometheanism is a highly complex idea, a multifaceted meaning, and if Tarnas's demonstration is valid at the level that Harding acknowledges that it is, then it demonstrates the existence of abstract universals, i.e. archetypal principles. The use of the word archetype in this context is restricted neither to Plato's nor to Jung's precise definitions.
The only alternative to this view is that the planetary meanings are 'merely' subjective (even if shared within an historical collective mental-field) and that meanings and concepts are ultimately reducible, in a naturalistic fashion to physical, albeit cosmic processes, a position extremely hard to argue in the face of transpersonal, mystical and astrological experience. One would have to argue that the Promethean idea was at bottom a bio-physical state like a stomach pain, or that the meanings of Shakespeare's plays were certain neurons firing in Shakespeare's brain plus the physical processes involved in enacting the plays, or the subjective experiences (also neurons) of the spectators. Alternately, to evoke fields a la Sheldrake as the seat of consciousness where organic (brain) structures act as the transducers (his TV example) and to substitute such particular features of the cosmos as habit and morphic resonance for universal "laws," would offer a more new paradigmatic explanation, perhaps closer to Harding's position, but would still imply an ultimately perennial perspective as touched on in the Wilber quote below. All in all, if it is accepted that the Promethean idea is true of the personages cited and not simply a subjective and perspectival invention or a naturalistically reducible phenomenon, then Tarnas's research establishes the strongest case, i.e. evidence of archetypes.
Generally coming from an existential, phenomenological, and linguistic perspective (which I believe simply avoids facing its perennialist implications), Harding presents a model with a strong naturalistic component ~ with its harmonics and standing waves where, as he claims, apparently meaningful patterns only appear to be meaningful. Yet, at the same time, he apparently eschews naturalistic reductionism as is indicated when he states of his model, "This is not the blind evolution of contemporary socio-biology, a remorseless uncoiling of genes towards a randomly selected future but an interactive relationship capable of conscious direction."
Harding's explanation of the Tarnas phenomenon by means of his historical experiential collective unconscious Primal Zodiac simply avoids the question, even though his concept of historical repetition, degrees marked by prior events and experiences, and the whole complex effect of the past upon the present is highly reasonable. Ken Wilber (1995) sheds a clarifying light pointing out that while past repetitions establish a powerful 'archetypal' pattern that guides the formative process of future experiencers, these do not account for the creative emergence of new levels.The more one holon is repeated, then the more 'archetypal' and powerful it is... Thus, the number of 'mother encounters' is enormous since every human being ever in existence had that encounter, and thus the sum total resonance from that 'archetype' is indeed profound...compared with the number of mother or father encounters, the number of genuine mystical encounters is pitifully small. These past mystics have indeed set up a certain holonic resonance for all of us who follow. But as probably the rarest and least common experience of humanity, it would be the weakest and least powerful archetype of all ~ if explained only by that theory... But when real Spirit descends, it blasts to smithereens the mother archetype, the father archetype, and every other itty bitty finite archetype ~ it is coming from the other direction with the force of infinity, and not some merely past and finite evolutionary habit... The more anybody 'plugs into' the higher, transcendental, and actual archetypes, lying now as structural potentials, the easier it is for subsequent individuals to likewise 'plug in'; and that is what the great past heroes of the transpersonal have done. But what they were plugging into was not more past common and typical and repetitive patterns, but future and higher possibilities... Sheldrake acknowledges this by pointing out that morphic resonance does not account, and is not meant to account, for creative emergence... The creative emergence is from the structural potential of the higher and future; morphic resonance is from the past and is established only after it creatively emerges in the first place. (p.594)
The ever new phenomena of the present (experiences, behaviours, insights, events) are not entirely effected, conditioned, or explainable by the past. It is the continuity of meaning that connects the ever new diversity of manifest phenomena and establishes them as meaningful sets which is notably discernible by the astrological effect! These sets are meaningful more in the way we discern an existing feature like a river or a mountain ~ part convention, part independent reality ~ than in the entirely conventional way that we draw the boundaries of a country upon the 'real' physical landscape. Although this physical metaphor is limited, it illustrates the point that the meaningful clusters which correspond to a particular planetary configuration are discoveries as to the nature of the mental/symbolic realm, (like the mountain, with the necessary conventional establishment of boundary in order to even refer to it) rather than subjective inventions projected upon the physical.
Conclusions and inferences
If the arguments I have presented adequately answer Harding's objections to the concept of an archetypally informed world in general and the connection of the astrological effect with the archetypes in particular, the way is cleared for the larger task; namely, to logically explain the nature of the archetypes implied and their connection to the concrete level as well as to establish hermeneutically the adequacy of the astrological principles to explain the evolutionary and developmental ontogenetic and phylogenetic structures and processes identified in such related though rather differing models as those of Ken Wilber, Michael Washburn, Stanislav Grof, Richard Tarnas and others.
Just how the realm of gross physical planetary movement and the cosmic geometric structure come to 'embody' the archetypal principles that manifest at all levels from the bio-physical through the mental to the transpersonal and spiritual remains debatable. Vaguely explicated concepts of the interpenetration of mind and matter, hermetic or holographic resonances of 'above' and 'below,' alleged holarchic containment of organisms within Gaia and Gaia within the solar system, and even Bohm's rich concept of the Implicate Order appear inadequate and contain some incoherences which the prominent transpersonal theorist Ken Wilber relentlessly exposes in his works (1980, 1983, 1990), especially his latest work, Sex, Ecology, and Spirituality. Yet it is here that astrology has a powerful and critical impact upon the formation of a new paradigmatic model by demanding that we take this most mysterious astrological effect into account along with everything else (i.e. altered states of consciousness, mysticism etc.)
We know that even the higher levels of consciousness beyond the mental/social and biophysical sensory/instinctual levels (i.e. the transpersonal and mystical level ~ except perhaps at what Wilber calls the Ultimate and Causal levels that pass beyond manifestation) have physical concomitants in the form of brain activity and measurable physiological effects, which as part of the biosphere are in some way interconnected with the gross physical processes of the solar system. But these human organismic structures represent evolving and complexifying living structure, whereas the planetary framework has not complexified beyond what it has always been. This planetary structure remains apparently a ground condition, a hard time-space structure that sets up the basic framework of what evolves beyond it but which is not in it ~ nor for that matter, as a more highly complexified order, is this organic and later mental order reducible to it. The dynamic planetary geometry has not complexified beyond the physical, pre-biological level. Yet it is precisely that this non-complexified planetary picture is able to constitute such a framework for the time-space manifestation of all events, gross and subtle. The only way this could be explained is to understand it as having been formed by the same archetypal design, a design which includes the planetary structure and everything else that evolves beyond it.
That the same theme (e.g. the contraction/expansion theme of Saturn/Jupiter) happens to appear on all levels or dimensions is itself not significant. But that these archetypally related themes are united in space-time by virtue of certain gross physical factors at the planetary level has profound implications for any perennial model of the cosmos. We cannot reduce the themes to the gross physical structure nor can we relate the phenomena of one level to the analogous phenomena of a prior level by empirically tracing lines of development through successive layers of complexity, as, for example, by tracing the evolution of the brain structures or by following the sequence of Piaget's cognitive functions. In light of this, a particular model is implied whereby we can trace a vertical line, as it were, through the analogical phenomena of the various levels tying them together in space-time to the base physical level of the planetary picture which marks the location in time-space where the event, taking place on transpersonal, mental or physical levels, comes to manifest. According to this model then, the concrete Jupiter/Saturn event can be conceived at the lowest 'end' of an 'archetypal chain' or 'string' possessing 'nodal points' at each level of the Great Holarchic Chain of Being.
From the planetary structure per se we cannot, then, derive any content; only observe -- through our meaning structures -- what is the case at each level. Observation means objective empiricism at one level, phenomenology and hermeneutics at another, and direct meditational experience at another. But we see that whatever unfolds, at whatever level, conforms to the fundamental structure ~ like the organ systems of the body around the skeleton ~ the skeleton remaining critical and therapeutically relevant as in chiropractic. So we are indeed 'reading into' these structures after all which is what Wilber (who is actually unsympathetic and paradoxically closed to astrology) claims. But we are doing this only in ways that are called forth and broadly allowed by the structures themselves, expressing that which is teleologically evolving beyond those ground physical structures yet which has been informed by the same transcendent/immanent principles as the base line structures themselves were formed!
So planetary configurations cannot be naively equated with archetypes. We might tend to comprehend the configurations as integral and almost magical features within an enchanted web, a heterarchical (horizontal) rather than a hierarchical (or holarchical) view of an interpenetrating cosmos. Or, as is most tempting, we might deduce from the astrological effect a holographic model where the whole (solar system) is reflected in the part (earthly individual). But these would appear to be incoherent positions which have been strongly critiqued by Ken Wilber (esp. 1995). Yet the astrological perspective, adequately articulated in terms of the Great Holarchic Chain of Being imposes some important modifications upon Wilber's often truncating position, bringing it more in line with the views of Tarnas, Grof, Washburn et al. At the very least, astrology can profit greatly by engaging these issues and thereby gaining a deeper understanding of its own principles.
I feel we are entitled to say of astrological configurations that they function as the time-space ground condition of the vertical chains of analogous phenomena at all levels of emergent consciousness and meaning only because we live and unfold in an archetypally informed universe ~ where 'universe' includes the physical dimension and everything that lies beyond it. If we can articulate the way in which the astrological principles generate the deep structures of consciousness/world within the evolutionary paradigm, we are then fully entitled to say that, as they unfold at ever more subtle levels of our understanding, the astrological principles indeed are the universal principles which inform the cosmos from the unconsciousness of matter to the divine consciousness of Spirit.
- Morris Berman (1981). The Reenchantment of the World. Ithaca, Cornell U.P.
- Stanislav Grof (1985). Beyond the Brain. U of N Y.
- Stanislav Grof (1996). Spectrum Psychology Revisited. ReVision. 19 (2).
- Stanislav Grof and Richard Tarnas (1990). Transpersonal Psychotherapy and Archetypal Astrology, Cassettes. First International Cycles and Symbols Conference, ISIS Inst.
- Michael Harding (1992). Hymns to the Ancient Gods. London, Arkana.
- C.G. Jung (1959). On the Nature of the Psyche. In, The Basic Writings of C.G. Jung, N.Y. Modern Library.
- C.G. Jung (1973). Synchronicity; an acausal connecting principle. Princeton University Press.
- Glenn Perry (1997). The New Paradigm and Postmodern Astrology and Chart Synthesis (New rules for a new paradigm). In Essays on Psychological Astrology. Ass. for Astro. Psych.
- Glenn Perry (1997a). From Paradigm to Method in Astrological Research. 3 parts. Astrological Journal. 39 (1-3) Astrological Assn. of Great Britain
- Richard Tarnas (1990). The Western Mind at the Threshold. Astrotherapy Newsletter, 3 (4).
- Richard Tarnas (1991). The Passion of the Western Mind. N.Y.,Ballantine.
- Richard Tarnas (1995). Prometheus the Awakener. Woodstock, Spring Pubs.
- Ken Wilber (1980). The Atman Project. Wheaton, Ill.,Theosophical Pub. H.
- Ken Wilber (1983). Up from Eden. Boulder, Shambala.
- Ken Wilber (1990). Eye to Eye. Boston, Shambala.
- Ken Wilber (1995). Sex, Ecology, Spirituality. Boston, Shambala.
Note: Gerry Goddard, lives in British Columbia, Canada. A graduate in philosophy and a former librarian, his special interest is the bridge between foundational astrology and the field of post-Jungian transpersonal studies. He's presently completing a book entitled "In Search of the Philosopher's Stone", which presents an evolutionary astro-transpersonal model of consciousness. Gerry's essays have been published in the ASTROLOGICAL JOURNAL (UK), the WHOLISTIC ASTROLOGER (Australia) and the anthology ORPHEUS: Voices in Contemporary Astrology (editor: Suzi Harvey). His essays in astrology and transpersonal theory can be found at his website, Gerry's Islandastrology.
All rights reserved © 2001 Gerry Goddard