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Ed. Frog Ltd., 2007. Size 23 x 15,5 cm. State: Used, excellent. 404 pages
Astrology is astronomy applied for psychological purposes.
—Psychologist Ralph Metzner, Ph.D.
Anyone even looking at this book, I must assume, will have to admit to at least some curiosity about whether he or she can find in astrology something interesting, incisive, or at least titillating about his or her personal life. Hence, if you are honest with yourself, you will probably acknowledge that, in your conscious mind or deeper feelings, you -aspect that astrology may hold something of value or interest, even if you are somewhat dubious or skeptical about much of astrology’s content or the way it is ordinarily presented.
I would like to emphasize to you that I completely shared your caution and skepticism when I began to investigate and experiment with astrology more than thirty-five years ago. In fact, still today, I have strong reservations about many assertions that astrology publications or practitioners express. I retain my skepticism about many attempts at prediction or the simplistic analysis that one often encounters in the astrology field. And yet, although at one point decades ago I literally threw a couple astrology books across the room, swearing that I would not spend any more time on this frustrating subject, in spite of myself I was continually lured back to reexamine its core insights and truly awesome revelations that no other field of study could equal. And especially in the perilous but endlessly fascinating and crucial realms of human nature, motivation, personality differences, and relationship needs, even after studying innumerable psychological theories and therapeutic systems, I could not help but ultimately rely on astrology more than any other tool for solid psychological insights, reliable methods of understanding people, and measurable levels of assessing compatibility. Astrology, when properly understood, is capa¬ble of providing a unique combination of simplicity and complexity, imagery and measurement (art and science), the qualitative and the quantitative dimensions of life, and the personal and the cosmic that is perfectly attuned to the multiple levels of human psychology and human nature.
So, I congratulate you on having overcome the biggest hurdle to being able to freely access the insights and understanding that intelligent, modern astrology can provide. You are obviously in a perceptive minority of people in the Western world in having achieved objectivity and realism in your view of astrology, rather than unthinkingly expressing the common reaction of voicing strong opinions about astrology without having investigated the matter whatsoever! Astrology is a unique system of human understanding. As Professor Paul Feyerabend of the University of California at Berkeley said when he refused to sign a document in which a number of «scientists» condemned astrology in the 1970s, «Science is one of the many modes of thinking developed by man, but not necessarily the best» (IHH, p. 339). Professor Feyerabend, considered by many to be one of the most original thinkers of the twentieth century, therefore acknowledged the crucial fact that there are a multitude of modes of thinking, and that astrology may be another significant method of representing life. For example, I view astrology as a remarkably accurate language of life experience. Professor Feyerabend was also courageously taking a stand against the modern religion of scientism that pervades the Western world and that often tries to dismiss astrology as if it had been «proved» to be inaccurate and merely an obsolete relic of the superstitious past. And yet, when all those «scientists» were sent a letter from a professional astrological organization asking them to submit the studies of astrology upon which they had based their «scientific» opinions, not one produced even the slightest evidence of having examined any part of the vast field of celestial correlations to human experience.
In fact, Professor Feyerabend (trained in astronomy, physics, and philosophy) was quite controversial because of his extensive writings sharply criticizing the limitations and «totalitarian» power-seeking of the rigid worldview of modern science. In Against Method (1988), he wrote, «We must Stop the scientists from taking over education and from teaching as ‘fact’ and as ‘the one true method’ whatever the myth of the day happens to be» (p. 168). And in Knowledge, Science and Relativism (1999), he pointed out how «science» has become the new religion, the ultimate authority of the modern world that punishes heretics and easily gets media attention to exaggerate its successes and benefits, or to denigrate any field of inquiry (such as astrology, or cer¬tain alternative healing methods) that it finds threatening. Consider the following quotation about the role of science in modern education from the volume just mentioned:
«Scientific «facts» are taught at a very early age and in the very same manner in which religious «facts» were taught only a century ago.
… But science is excepted from criticism. In society at large the judgment of the scientist is received with the same reverence as the judgment of bishops and cardinals was accepted not too long ago.
…science has now become as oppressive as the ideologies it had once to fight, (ibid., p. 182)»
The organized, highly publicized blanket condemnation of astrology noted above by completely biased and uninformed scientists and academics was especially shocking and disillusioning because it revealed such an appalling ignorance of the history of science and astronomy. As Arthur Koestler pointed out in his brilliant work on the history of science, The Sleepwalkers, our current use of the term «science» does not carry «the same rich and universal associations which ‘Natural Philosophy’ carried in the seventeenth century in the days when Kepler wrote his Harmony of the World and Galileo his Message from the Stars.» Koestler explains how the «cosmic quest» of such pioneering visionaries was often called then the «New Philosophy» and was directed mainly toward understanding, not conquering, Nature. Astrologers in ancient times were turned to for guidance because they were regarded as the scientists of their day able to measure and predict the movement of the planets. In a sense, as history professor Theodore Zeldin points out, astrology was the «technology» of many periods and cultures of the ancient world. As he writes,
«It was Ptolemy of Alexandria (fl. AD 127-51), the most successful writer of textbooks of all time, who made astrology into an inter¬national creed. All that was known on mathematics, astronomy, geography, history, music, optics, was laid out in Ptolemy’s works, which were the world’s do-it-yourself manual of information for 1,400 years, and astrology was included as a branch of science. (IHH, p. 340)»
Psychologist C. G. Jung, a controversial scientist of the twentieth century, not only published a statistical study of astrology’s traditional indicators of compatibility but also used astrology quite a lot in his personal and professional life, although in a rather low-key way since his works in depth psychology were already regarded as extremely controversial. It was in fact Jung who said, «Astrology represents the summation of all psychological knowledge of antiquity» (from Commentary on The Secret of the Golden Flower), and he inspired many educated and unprejudiced people to inquire further into what astrology has to offer as a way of shedding light on human psychology I myself was one of those who was led to investigate astrology by reading Jung’s views years ago, in fact going so far as to study in depth more than half of his vast collected writings and eventually visiting his daughter in Switzerland, where she was a sophisticated and intelligent practitioner of modern astrology.
Many of the astrologers of the ancient world believed in living in accord with nature’s laws and cycles, and they found that astrology was instructive about those very laws. Even though one no longer hears such phrases as «living in accord with natural laws» or «aligned with the rhythms of nature or the cosmos,» especially from scientifically oriented people, the core principles and correspondences of astrology persist as realities that millions of people worldwide find extraordinarily and uniquely useful in understanding their daily lives. In fact, after four decades of working with and testing astrology, I can say unequivocally that astrology (when used correctly!) is far more precise and indeed «scientific» for understanding people—their modes of perception, innate values and prejudices, personality differences, crisis periods, relationships, motivations, times of intensive growth and challenge, clarifying decision-making, etc. —than any other method, including any type of psychology with which I am familiar.
The centuries of ridicule and anti-astrology prejudice that have ensued since the time of astrology’s peak acceptance not only stem from the advance of a materialistic science and a rigid semireligious animosity toward ancient systems based on the planets, but also— somewhat justifiably—are due to the unfortunate mixing of astrology’s ancient truths and correlations with fortune-telling and other superstitious practices. As Professor Zeldin writes, astrology «grafted itself on to the traditions of the oracle and reinforced fascination with the exotic» (IHH, p. 341). And, even more unfortunately, generations of astrologers» (by which I mean the entire range—not only serious students, systematic experimenters, and sincere truth seekers, but ilso superstitious occultists, egocentric exhibitionists, and mercenary charlatans) far too often continued to prefer the mixture of real astrology with prediction or other questionable practices to the more remanding work of clarifying and utilizing astrology in a purer, more exact form: namely, as a precise, disciplined science based on specific principles and measurements, the application of which to human life is vast and particularly reliable in its descriptions of individuals’ personal experience.
Now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, there is a body of work on astrology that can legitimately be seen as constituting a real science of human nature and psychology. And there are currently thousands of practitioners in the Western world (and now also slowly spreading through Russia, Eastern Europe, Turkey, India, and even Korea and China) who have freed themselves from the superstitious and irresponsible old methods of fear-mongering, fortune-telling, and rigid, fatalistic advice that have so often given astrology a bad reputation among intelligent people. Over the past thirty-five years, I have developed a kind of astrology, defined and explored in detail throughout my previous seven books, that includes both the symbolic and the precise mathematical frameworks and which can be accurately used for a wide variety of purposes: understanding human energy attunements with their accompanying variations in motivation and consciousness; analyzing the complexity of both individual and relationship dynamics; measuring and timing with reliable accuracy the cycles of change and growth in individuals’ lives; and yet still maintaining the awe-inspiring simplicity of the solar system’s symbolic portrayal of infinitely varied individual life patterns.
One of the beauties of astrology and part of its appeal is its inspiring simplicity, and yet I must clarify that it is a complex field of study—one reason why some book’s or computer programs general description of a particular astrological factor that is not at all individualized sometimes does not ring true. Accredited degree or certificate astrology courses on both sides of the Atlantic can take three to four years. I mention this to point out that you should give astrology some time to resonate within yourself and not make too rapid a judgment about its accuracy or usefulness. After all, if you do not understand physics, meteorology, or economics after merely reading one book or taking a weekend course, should you blame the science itself or the superficiality of your investigation? And if astrology is difficult to «explain» on the basis of our current state of knowledge, that is no reason to dismiss it and thus deny humanity its many benefits. As Winston Churchill, who was always open-minded to anything that was truly effective, said to a famous herbalist who treated him from 1950 to 1957, «Just because you can’t explain a thing is no reason to deny it» (Maurice Messegue, Of Men and Plants, p. 149).
The inherent complexity of real, sophisticated modern astrology leads to the following essential facts and observations that I hope the reader just beginning to explore astrology will seriously consider, and perhaps refer to periodically while reading this book.
Author’s Note: A Personal Invitation to the Reader
Important Guidelines for Those New to Astrology
Chapter I: Compatibility and the Language of Relationships
Chapter II: Should I Really Take Astrology Seriously? Replies Throughout the Centuries
Chapter III: Love, Sex and Relationships: Throughout History and Today
Historical and Cultural Background
Social Trends, Standards, and Hipocrisy
Social and Sexual Roles and Reality
Men’s Little-Appreciated Need for Women
Surveys and Silliness: How We Understand Sex, Love, and Relationships Today
Chapter IV: Astrology in the Twenty-First Century: A New Viewpoint
Chapter V: How Astrology Amplifies Our Understanding of the Energy Interaction Between People
-Energy Interactions: An Experience, Not a Metaphor
-Visualizing the Elements and Their Interactions
-Facing the Facts and the Limits of Therapy
-What Is a Chart Comparison? Assessing Interpersonal Energy Dynamics
-Some Key Factors in Chart Comparison
Chapter VI: The Four Elements, the Twelve Signs, and the Rising Sign
-The Fire Signs: Aries, Leo and Sagittarius
-The Earth Signs: Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn
-The Air Signs: Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius
-The Water Signs: Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces
-The Ascendant, or Rising Sign
–The Fire Signs Rising (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius)
–The Earth Signs Rising (Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn)
–The Air Signs Rising (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius)
–The Water Signs Rising (Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces)
–A Few Guidelines for Understanding the Ascendant
Chapter VII: The Moon: The Moods We Can Live With
The Moon, The Feminine, Passivity, and Dependency
The Moon in the Fire Signs
The Moon in the Earth Signs
The Moon in the Air Signs
The Moon in the Water Signs
How the Moon’s Element Is Expressed: Results from a Discussion Group
The Moon, Inner Security, and Self-Image
Chapter VIII: Mars and Venus: Not All Men Are from Mars and Not All Women Are from Venus
-Venus and Charm, Mars and Anger
-The Contrasts Between Men’s and Women’s Expressions of Venus and Mars
-Venus and Mars in the Elements
–«Feelings» Contrasted with «Emotions»
–Venus and Mars in the Water Element (Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces)
–Venus and Mars in the Fire Element (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius)
–Venus and Mars in the Earth Element (Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn)
–Venus and Mars in the Air Element (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius)
-Compatibility on the Elements’ Energy Level
-Venus, Mars, and the Sun’s Energy
Chapter IX: Venus in the Fire Signs
Venus in Aries
Venus in Leo
Venus in Sagittarius
Chapter X: Venus in the Earth Signs
Venus in Taurus
Venus in Virgo
Venus in Capricorn
Chapter XI: Venus in the Air Signs
Venus in Gemini
Venus in Libra
Venus in Aquarius
Chapter XII: Venus in the Water Signs
Venus in Cancer
Venus in Scorpio
Venus in Pisces
Chapter XIII: Mars in the Fire Signs
Mars in Aries
Mars in Leo
Mars in Sagittarius
Chapter XIV: Mars in the Earth Signs
Mars in Taurus
Mars in Virgo
Mars in Capricorn
Chapter XV: Mars in the Air Signs
Mars in Gemini
Mars in Libra
Mars in Aquarius
Chapter 16: Mars in the Water Signs
Mars in Cancer
Mars in Scorpio
Mars in Pisces
Chapter 17: The «Aspects»: The Energy Interactions Between Planets
The Major Aspects
Guidelines for Distinguishing and Understanding the Most Important Aspects in a Chart Comparison
-Other Key Factors in Interpreting Aspects in Chart Comparisons
Chapter XVIII: Using Astrology and Chart Comparisons Wisely and Reallistically
-A Comment on the Research for This Book
-Approaching a Chart Comparison
–Further Guidelines for Interpreting Chart Comparisons: A Concise, User-Friendly Checklist
-Where Do I Go from Here?
Appendix A: Astrology: A Language of Energy
Appendix B: Chart Calculation Services
Appendix C: Moon Sign Tables
Appendix D: Venus and Mars Sign Tables
Appendix E: Tables for Estimating the Ascendant (or Rising Sign)
Appendix F: Bibliography and Abbreviations Used in the Text
About the Author