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See also: Liz Green, Howard Sasportas & Friends
and: Donna Cunningham

THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS: A search for the self in the mirror of relationships - Richard Idemon, $31.00


Preface by the trustees of the Richard Idemon Trust
Foreword, by Liz Greene
Editor's note, by Howard Sasportas

Part 1: The basics of relating:
Your personal mythology, basic ground & hidden agendas
The moon: naming your inner child
The parent-child relationship: breaking the psychological umbilical cord
Lunar aspects: what you need to feel nurtured

Part 2: Realizing the self:
Eros & projection in adult relationships
What is this thing called love?
Mars: self-assertion in relationship

Part 3: Practical applications of synastry:
Relationship significators in the natal chart
Relationship significators in the chart of Isadora Duncan
The art of synastry: comparing the charts of Zelda & F. Scott Fitzgerald
Group discussion & conclusion


Richard Idemon lived to the age of 49, from 1938 to 1987. He died of AIDS. He was the principal teacher of Donna Cunningham, when they were both in New York in the 1970's. He subsequently moved to San Francisco, where excessive use of amyl and/or butyl nitrate most likely killed him, as it killed a lot of men at about that time. (Use of those two drugs has since been sharply curtailed.) While in San Francisco he studied Jung, which, one way or another, brought him to the attention of Liz Greene's Centre for Psychological Astrology, in London. There are two books attributed to him, both originally published by Samuel Weiser, in Maine, both consisting of lectures transcribed posthumously. This one, Through the Looking Glass, was edited by Howard Sasportas, who himself died in 1992, aged 44. The other is The Magic Thread. Both of these have now been reprinted by Margaret Cahill at Wessex Astrologer, in Bournemouth, UK. Margaret thinks like I think: A bookstore is just a bookstore, but a bookstore that also publishes is a lot better, in good times & bad. And as it's bad times at the moment, Margaret is eagerly printing books that she likes. As am I. I think we are fortunate that two stores, one in England, one in the US, have both figured this out, and that they have such very different tastes in the many books they print. Makes for better selection. But I digress.

Books like this are strange to me. On the back it says, In this book, Richard Idemon teaches us how to look at the natal chart to gain rich, new insights into our deepest nature so that we can gain greater understanding of our 'personal mythology' - the hidden agendas, childhood patterns, and the belief systems . . . & etc. (A poorly constructed sentence, by the way.)

We open the book & find it to be about relationships. Which, for most of us, is about whatever we can get away with without overmuch troubling ourselves. So let's start at the beginning, with Part 1, Your Personal Mythology.

The first sentence in the first paragraph of the first chapter of the book declares, My main topic today is the parent-child relationship. . . but then immediately starts to wander. In part this is because this is a transcription of a lecture & the speaker felt like wandering. In the first ten lines he wanders to Einstein, and then to Newton & apples, and then, a few lines further, back to Einstein. On the second page he brings up myth. Bottom of the second page, what people would think of Joan of Arc if she were alive today (a kook, clearly, but remember that Joan was an enemy of the English). Top of the third page, an old friend snubs another by accident. All of which, by the bottom of the page, are examples of mythology & mythologizing. "Mythologizing" the Free Dictionary (on-line) defines as constructing myths, or interpreting or writing about myths. Since that wasn't very clear, I looked up the word myth itself to find it was, 1. A traditional, typically ancient story dealing with supernatural beings, or, 2. A popular belief or story, or, 3. A fiction or half-truth, or, 4. A fictitious story, person, or thing. I see that these definitions are of two sorts: One refers to generally accepted beliefs, the other relates to privately invented lies, for lack of a better word. So I would deduce that if we apply privately imagined fictions to our personal selves, the result would be delusion. No? Where did I go wrong, then?

But we're still in the first chapter & we're still attempting to construct Our Own Personal Mythology, because that's the title of the chapter we're reading. Bottom of the third page of text (which is numbered 5), Richard says, The point I am making is that every person carries around their own system of myths, and that every person's reality is founded and based on their mythical system. In Sociology, which Richard didn't study (I only studied a little, and long ago), there are names for this, and they're not so hot. Idemon then says that you can't discover one's individual myth from the natal chart. Which is pretty much a cliff-hanger, since we're Astrologers & we study charts, so I presume he's going to resolve this.

But first Richard defines myth. There are collective myths, like that of Adam & Eve, or Jason & the Argonauts. There are social myths, which is to say, my school is better than your school (Richard flubs it slightly), and then there are family myths. Which I suppose explains families that feud with each other (Hatfields & McCoys, etc.): Competing mythologies that got out of control. Idemon says the combination of collective, social & family myths are your very own personal myths. Which makes Richard an only child, methinks. I have four brothers & four sisters & we sure as heck don't all have the same personal myths, and, yes, I'll spare you my details if you'll spare me yours.

Still in the first chapter, Richard goes for the astrology. Richard says that a woman with Sun conjunct Mars conjunct Jupiter in Aries in the first house will have one sort of life if she was born in America, and a very different sort of life if she was born in a Chinese commune, where, according to Richard, she would be a peasant. I know something about this, as I have Jupiter in Aries, but Mars in Scorpio. In the year of my birth, by the time Mars got to Aries, Jupiter was in Taurus. Which makes a Sun-Mars-Jupiter conjunction in Aries a rare event. Just how rare? It wasn't 1916. It wasn't 1928. It wasn't 1940. It wasn't 1952. It wasn't 1963. It wasn't 1976. It wasn't 1987, the year of Richard Idemon's passing. It wasn't 1999. It wasn't 2010. Which is as far as I have printed ephemerides handy.

It was 1904, March 27th. (Were there communes before Mao & the Communists?) Jupiter & the Sun conjuncted at 6 Aries, while Mars was at 22 Aries. Hey! Close is for horseshoes. Aren't you glad that Mr. Idemon used an example from real life? If the lecture in this book dates from, say, 1985 (it's not dated, and the book was first published in 1992, posthumously), that woman was by then 81 years old. If she was, in fact, Chinese, she had quite an eventful life. (Makes me wanna read Pearl Buck's The Good Earth, but I digress.)

Idemon is by this time slowly settling down to business. On page 9 he tells us of a chat he once had with his brother, about their mother, and how the two of them saw her in a completely different light. Which he explains as two contrasting mythical views. Which means that not only was Richard not an only child, but that his theory, that one's personal myth is based on factors larger than oneself, is contradicted by his own experience, because if two brothers cannot agree on the mythical conception of their own mother, then what myth can they agree on? Remember: It's a myth if more than one person believes it. It's a private opinion if it's only you. Which I think is a good guideline.

I regret this is about as far as I want to go in this book. It's a ramble. If you like rambles, then this is for you. Most people are better speakers than writers, so that when they pass away, they are immediately lost. My apologies to Donna.

Wessex Astrologer, 284 pages.

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I found this book to be one of the better reads in psychological astrology, and the reading experience left me wishing the man was still alive - he had so much to share. His psychological insights are thought-provoking escapades into love and relationships, which he has integrated well with signs and planetary combinations. This no doubt came from a very well-loved life himself.

To address Dave's critique...

Notwithstanding the example of the Chinese woman with the Sun conjunct Mars conjunct Jupiter in Aries - does it really matter if he was using a real person or a hypothetical - to make a point? In response to the posted comment, the reader is not interested in whether communes existed in pre-Maoist China, and I found these criticisms insulting to the author and reader.

Our myth could indeed be better termed our narrative - but either way it is our story - and how do the planets support our narrative? To browbeat over terminology is to detract from the essence of the author's meaning. Myths are filtered by our perceptions, which is why siblings will never see the parent in the same light, which is intrinsic to the creation of our own personal myth. This has been severely misinterpreted or misunderstood within the critique...

"...a chat he once had with his brother, about their mother, and how the two of them saw her in a completely different light. Which he explains as two contrasting mythical views. Which means that not only was Richard not an only child, but that his theory, that one's personal myth is based on factors larger than oneself, is contradicted by his own experience, because if two brothers cannot agree on the mythical conception of their own mother, then what myth can they agree on?".

...Indeed I believe the critique contradicts itself, when prior to the above comment, it states...

"I have four brothers & four sisters & we sure as heck don't all have the same personal myths..."

...which infers that the critique does agree with Richard, that there are (to quote the critique) "contrasting mythical views".

Given that we are human, have decision-making abilities beyond that of reflex and the drive to procreate, and are propelled by freewill or stuck with one's fate, how can we use our potential to enhance and understand our relationships and create a personal mythological narrative? Well done, Richard Idemon.

24 July 2011

THE MAGIC THREAD: Astrological Chart Interpretation Using Depth Psychology - Richard Idemon, $29.00


Foreword, by Gina Ceaglio
Preface, by Richard Idemon (this book was first published posthumously, nine years after the author's death)

1. Myth, psychology, astrology & method
2. Dominant & inferior personalities
3. Following the Magic Thread: step by step interpretation
4. Shadow issues
5. Personal identification: death & polarities
6. The case of Lynnie Ozer
7. Incest in the family
8. The ascendant as mask
9. Weaving the Magic Thread into the tapestry of a counseling session


This is a transcript of a week-long conference, given, I presume, in San Francisco in the early or mid 1980's.

I found Through the Looking Glass (above, another lecture transcribed) to be a ramble with some fairly good Questions & Answers at the end. So, when the new printing of The Magic Thread arrived (another set of transcribed lectures), I promised myself I would skip the gibberish in the front & go straight for the Q&A in the back.

But here I was pleasantly surprised by the editor, Gina Ceaglio, who has done a splendid job of shaping the transcript of The Magic Thread into something readable. So I can skip the Q&A's & go straight to Chapter 3: Richard's Step by Step Interpretation of the chart, using a magic thread of some sort. So here goes:

The chart Idemon interprets is for December 11, 1931, 5:13 pm, 21N, 77E. It has 13 Gemini rising, 0 Pisces on the MC, and a nice cluster in Capricorn in 7 & 8. Forgive me if, like Richard, I withhold the name & birthplace for a moment. It is someone we all know quite well.

Remember: The goal of chart interpretation is to describe the man in terms that make him recognizeable to us. As if we were artists, sketching with charcoal. Here is Richard Idemon's interpretation:

  • A lot of planets in Capricorn: Lopsided.
  • Saturn in Capricorn as final dispositor. (True) A wise old man, one who eats children. (False)
  • Something of the nature of stability, inertia, gathering, hording, bringing in together, pulling in, is going to be an issue for this person in his life. . . Aren't you getting curious, or would you rather not know yet? (No. Not curious.)
  • Something that erupts from the unconscious at a critical time.
  • Zeus can be sneaky & get other people to do his dirty work.
  • Someone who is kind of royal. (Wrong metaphor. Was this deliberate?)
  • Enthusiasm, prana, creativity, vital energy flowing all over the place, but it's a closed system. (Some useful hints, but also misdirection.)
  • The eternal optimist. (True)
  • A great or brilliant communicator on some level and yet something may be missing. (More misdirection.)
  • A glib person with nothing inside to back it up. (False)
  • Pluto in Cancer in the 2nd are breasts flowing with milk, money, things, objects. (Over-reading the planet, and more misdirection.)
  • Capricorn is the urge for perfection. A yogi, perhaps. (True in this case. Very true.)
  • Not a person in an ivory tower. (More misdirection. Remember that magic is all about misdirection.)
  • Some gibberish about Uranus. It's by itself in Aries in 11. Richard picks up the idea that planets have an impact on the house opposite to where they are domiciled, but I'm not certain he's worked out the details as to why.
  • Moon/Saturn conjunct in Capricorn means you had a bad mother. (Major bad marks for Moon = mother. That's not even trying.)
  • Moon/Uranus square: Fear of abandonment (emphasis in original). It's an exact square, but the signs are Capricorn to Aries & the houses are 8 to 11, so how do you get mommy from any of that? Is that all the Moon is? Mommy?!
  • Moon/Pluto opposed, six degrees applying: the devouring mother (emphasis in original) Idemon ignores that the Moon disposes Pluto, and that, as a result, there is an implicit Moon/Pluto conjunction in 2.
  • The native as guru who doesn't have any answers.
Well, that's Richard Idemon's sketch (pgs. 73-84). Did you guess who it was? You have to have guessed!!! It was so obvious!!

The native's birth place was Kutchwada, India. The time was Indian Standard (IST). This was the chart for Rajneesh, also known as Osho. One of the most brilliant thinkers I have ever come across. And yes, for the longest time I thought he was a cheap clown, selling sex. Once I read his writing, I discovered Osho was far more than that.

To be fair, Idemon's "Magic Thread" technique is to note the overall emphais in the chart. Break it down by quality & element, by quadrant, by kinds of aspects, etc., noting carefully what there's a lot of, what there's not a lot of, what's missing. With this, Idemon constructs what I (not Idemon) term Dynamic Contrasts. This was not unique to Richard Idemon, and it is not magical, but mechanical. In the case above, Rajneesh has no air (Idemon says the ascendant, in Gemini doesn't count, and ignores the south node, in Libra), therefore (dynamic contrast interpretation) he has no ideas. He has only one planet in water (Pluto) so (dynamic contrast) has no feelings, ignoring the MC in Pisces. As Uranus is isolated by quadrant, and as Jupiter is the only planet in fixed, these loom very large in the interpretation. Dynamic contrast demands this, as it works by means of what you lack. And we all lack something.

In such an interpretive framework, what Rajneesh lacked was much more important than the Mars, Mercury, Venus, Moon, Saturn stellium in Capricorn, spread between the 7th & 8th houses. And this is because Richard did not know how to read a chart using rulerships & dispositors. The reason stelliums are powerful is that the planets that make up the stellium will always rule the rest of the chart. Rule the other planets. Rule the various house cusps. Stelliums suck the entire chart into themselves. Whenever you see a stellium in a chart, note carefully if its dispositor is part of the stellium itself, or if it is located elsewhere. In Rajneesh's case, a stellium in Capricorn will have Saturn as dispositor. If Saturn is in Capricorn, then the stellium disposes of itself, it is self-contained, as it were. It is therefore single-minded, and, if in a cardinal sign or angular house, might well exploit the world for its own benefit. In plain English, leave a big mark on the world. If Saturn had been in some other house & sign, then the focus of the stellium would have been split between itself, and the sign & house of its dispositor. If Saturn had been in, say Gemini in the first, Rajneesh would have oscillated between the stellium in 7-8, and the ascendant. Regardless whether there was an aspect between the two or not. An aspect (of any kind) would only have made the oscillation stronger, and would have qualified it by the nature of the aspect itself. Is this clear? It seems so simple to me.

For example, Rajneesh had Cancer on the 2nd - his possessions. He, a yogi, got his possessions from other people (yogis beg for a living). Which is clearly shown by the ruler of 2, the Moon, in the 8th (other people's money), in Capricorn. People felt good (Moon) when they gave things to him. He felt good (Cancer on 2) in receiving them. That he ultimately came to have an organized structure for receiving such gifts, and that he had a lot of traditionally valuable things given to him (fancy cars, etc.) is shown by Capricorn on 8. Pluto in Cancer in 2 hints of the danger of being "poisoned" by possessions. Since Pluto was opposed to the Moon, and as the Moon rules one's physical body (this is invariable), the poison Pluto produced would tend to catch Rajneesh by surprise (opposition). Cancer being a pack rat, Rajneesh had a tendency to collect too much, thus setting up Pluto for a rather bad ending - a lethal sting, if you like. Does this sound like Rajneesh? Pity that Idemon had no idea. (This one tiny vignette is more astrology than anything in Richard's book.)

The problem I have with astro-psychobabble is its advocates rarely have more than a superficial understanding of astrology. They back up their lack of knowledge with a strong ego. In this example, Richard Idemon, who believes himself to be smart (for reasons unknown) has taken someone he doesn't know, doesn't understand, and, so far as I can tell, doesn't like, and used astrology to destroy him. Make him a laughing stock. Invents details about his psychology & family that he, Idemon, has no evidence to support. So far as a "Magic Thread", something that connects everything together, I couldn't find it. The thread was whatever Richard said it was, the interpretation amounted to character assassination.

Which might be where the real magic comes in. You wanna be a Great Astrologer, like Richard Idemon? Well, that's easy. Stop being weak & defensive! Build up your ego! Astrology is Magic! It's whatever you decide it to be! When you read a chart, there's no need to stumble over the strange symbols & their hidden meanings! No need to study the fundamentals! You are empowered! You have the magical right to take what you think you know about the native & project it into the chart!! That's how the Great Astrologers do it!!

As astrologers, we get enough black eyes when we're right & we have the basic astrology to back us up. But when we use astrology merely to project private fantasies, we not only discredit ourselves, we harm astrology itself.

Wessex Astrologer, 263 pages.

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List of illustrations
Foreword, by Erin Sullivan

Part 1: Setting the scene:
Introduction: The philosophical foundation of the counseling practice
1. Making contact - creating the unified field with your client
2. Communication - getting to your client's core issues
3. Evoking inner resources - empowering your client

Part 2: The major players - planetary combinations
Introduction: The inner & outer planets
4. The Sun - existential challenges
5. The Moon - cradle of the unconscious
6. Mercury - making connections
7. Venus - bonding
8. Mars - warrior & lover
9. Jupiter through Pluto - the collective framework

Part 3: Transformatioin methods
Introduction: Astrology that works
10. First impressions - winning the client's confidence
11. Awareness of the problem - and seeing it in a new way
12. Reframing - an empowering intervention
13. Memory - Helping clients recall core material
14. Past, present, future - challenging with the time continuum
15. Deeper intervention techniques
16. Other intervention techniques - secret therapy, metaphor, and direct feedback
17. Synastric consultations
18. Points to remember

Appendix: Meditation on the four elements


Comment: On the back of the book, it says this:

Astrology: Transformation & Empowerment is dedicated wholly to the practice of counseling astrology. Going far beyond using astrology as a diagnostic tool, this comprehensive work shows how to harness perception and sensory states to create positive change by reading horoscopes and astutely observing the client. By accessing the basic energy patterns that form identity and inform behavior, reality can be transformed for the best.

Adrian Ross Duncan, a pioneer with over fifteen years experience practicing counseling astrology, deftly shows how to empower clients and create transformation by harnessing horoscopes. Concisely written & amply detailed, Astrology: Transformation & Empowerment carries the counseling astrologer and his or her clients to begin positive change in only one session! Duncan shares case studies and includes over 40 planetary charts and figures to guide the user. Part One, "Setting the Scene," explains how to read clients' body language and tone of voice prior to reading their charts. "The Major Players," Part Two, depicts specific planetary combinations and how they relate to emotional response, relationships, and the future. And Part Three, "Transformation Methods," further teaches ways to expand awareness of the challenges at hand, reframe the reading, expand sensory skills, and discover new communications systems.

There's some nice stuff in this book. The author's method of interrogating his prisoners, I mean clients, is revealing. Since it's probably unique to him, I was curious about his chart. He publishes his wheel on his website, but without date, nor time, nor degrees. It works out to about 11 am in York, England, on Sunday, July 17, 1949. (I could get it to the minute, but I would only be showing off.) He says he's quite normal except for his Sun on the Uranus/Pluto midpoint, and Uranus culminating. I would add his Neptune/Moon opposition (1 to 7) and the Venus/Pluto conjunction in the 11th. What he has written is not a book for beginners, but will amply reward the experienced.

Weiser, 314 pages.




Part 1: The Moon & its nodes
1. The Moon: reparenting the inner child
2. Moon signs
3. New Moon, full Moon
4. The lunar nodes: our life's purpose

Part 2: The outer planet transits
5. Transits: The next step in our becoming
6. Neptune: How to swim through cosmic waters
7. Pluto: From darkness into light

Part 3: Astrology & self-development
8. Principles of depth astrology
9. Misuses of astrology
10. Beyond fate & free will


Appendix: Eclipse & lunation tables by zodiacal degree, 1960-1995, and, as a supplement, 1996-2015
Selected bibliography
About the author

Comment: This book was first published in 1985 & has now been revised & updated. I regret I do not have a copy of the original edition, so I cannot tell you what has been changed. In the Introduction, the author says chapter 10, Beyond Fate & Free Will, is new to this edition. In the Introduction, on pg. 1, she writes:

The ideas presented in this book are an integration of depth psychology (including psychosynthesis, gestalt therapy, Jungian psychology and object relations), spiritual teachings and traditional astrology, with learnings derived from my own professisonal work, psychotherapy, and self-therapy through my adult life. I draw from my own experience, intuition, and the knowledge gained through study, inner work, and in-depth interactions with other people.
So we should have a good book here. The early chapters sound a lot like the mid-1980's. Among other things, in the 1980's there was interest in scientific evidence that supported astrological principles (the Gauquelin books, among others), which we see in this book. I was curious about her notes on new & full Moons, as well as eclipses, as Tracy was born on a full Moon (Sun Libra, Moon Aries), roughly twelve hours after a lunar eclipse. I myself was born on a full moon, Sun Aquarius, Moon Leo, six hours before a lunar eclipse. I was expecting personal remarks on these factors. She had none. I was disappointed. Tracy discusses lunations & eclipses only as transiting factors.

Much of the book is written like this:

A Transiting Double Whammy
Occasionally, we will experience a transiting double whammy, such as transiting Pluto squaring our natal Saturn while transiting Saturn is squaring our natal Pluto. Such a combined transit is telling us that we must integrate the influences of Saturn & Pluto in terms of both their natal & transiting placements. We might do this by totally involving ourselves in our work or Saturnian commitments or by clearly putting an end to a situation related in meaning to one of the houses influenced by Saturn and Pluto, and by allowing ourselves to fully experience the "death" of one phase of our lives. (pg. 132)
Which, to me, just doesn't say anything. But let's move on. Let's skip ahead to the final chapter, on Fate.
When I was in my 20's & 30's, and writing the earlier edition of this book, I believed - or wanted to believe - that if we attuned ourselves to the most constructive expression of a transit, we would cooperate with planetary cycles and minimize the negative influences. To some extent, I still believe that this is true - or at least believe that conscious listening to and focusing upon the highest potentials of a planetary combination will serve us. But I do now acknowledge that at times, no matter how deeply we meditate, set our intentions, and make active constructive choices, we may sometimes be creamed, blasted into bits, leveled, discombobulated, flattened, tormented, and flagellated by life circumstances.

WHY? Why do bad things happen to good people? .... (pg. 285)

On the very last page of the book, Tracy gives enough of her chart data that construction is not a problem. So I did that. What happened to Tracy? First, March, 1995, Pluto went stationary directly over her Mars. (To the minute. Ouch!) Then, in 2007, Pluto made three passes over her ascendant. That will sober anyone.

I made an interesting discovery about my full Moon over the summer, I will pass it along to Ms Marks. Full Moon people have a "black box" aspect about their lives. Things that are one way, solar, perhaps, have a mysterious & unknown (ie opposition) way of turning into something quite different. And the reverse, from the lunar perspective. This is based on the house positions of the two luminaries, and can be used to rectify a chart where the Moon is exactly on the IC, as it is in Tracy's chart. If the "black box" obscures the relation between brilliant thoughts (Sun in 9) and everyday life (3rd house), then the Moon is in 3. If the "black box" obscures brilliant thoughts (9) and "where's my daddy?", then the Moon is in 4. Given Tracy's profession, I'd guess her Moon is in 4: Intellectual effort (9) to understand one's psychological origins (4).

Full Moons grant objectivity. This is inherent. There is You. There is Me. The full Moon sees both sides clearly. This is weak in Tracy's case as the two bodies are six degrees past opposition. Which, when one of them is the Moon, is a lot. The awareness of the objectivity comes by means of "helper planets", ie, planets that are in aspect to both. In Tracy's case, Mars is trine & sextile. It also disposes the Moon. Uranus is square.

And, no, Tracy, your moon is not heavily afflicted (pg. 192). It is opposite the Sun, which is not an affliction. It's opposed Neptune, which ought to be a good thing, as, with it, you can see the con man coming a mile away. It is trine Mars, which rules it, which is good. It is square Uranus, which isn't. A square aspect is defined as a relationship that ought to work, but doesn't, for reasons that are never quite clear: stress. One bad aspect does not make for serious affliction. Inconjuncts from Virgo (Mercury, Venus, Saturn) are not aspects, not unless you have a 3rd house Moon, which you do not.

Ibis/Nicholas Hays, 314 pages.

ASTROLOGY & MEDITATION, The fearless contemplation of change - Greg Bogart, $20.00
Contents: Acknowledgements; Quote from Dane Rudhyar;

1. Astrology, meditation & the fearless contemplation of change;

2. Astrological & planetary meditations: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto

3. The technique of symbol amplification in astrological counseling: Symbol amplification in dreams & birth chart interpretation, Symbol amplification through derived house analysis, Openness to multiple levels of meaning, Symbol amplification & chart rectification

4. Astrology as a spiritual practice: Strategically timed action, Conscious suffering, Astrological alchemy & the formative use of will, Detachment & commitment, Lessons of love, A final meditation.

Appendix A: The twelve yogas of the zodiac; Appendix B: Understanding the Jupiter-Saturn cycle; Footnotes.

Comment: Bogart is an accomplished meditator & mystic, but this is not a book about meditation. Bogart believes meditation to be as natural as falling asleep, and as sure-fire as sexual orgasm. Hence he offers no instruction.

Chapter 1 tells the story of a lawyer with transiting Pluto conjunct his 10th house Mars. The man's life was erupting into a non-stop brawl. A lesser astrologer said merely to endure it. Bogart got the man to meditate & in only weeks he had quit his job & went to work at an international human rights organization.

Chapter 2 is a look at difficult outer planet transits to the various natal planets, where the answer is generally to meditate upon, What is the highest outcome of this transit? (pg. 16) Bogart relates anecdotes from his practice, as well as his own personal experiences. Telepathy between blood relatives (his father & himself, pg. 49) seems to surprise him. He offers dream analysis.

Chapter 3, The Technique of Symbol Amplification, continues with multi-level dream analysis, pulling it back into multi-level analysis of transits to the natal chart.

Chapter 4 is how we can infuse spiritualized astrology into all our waking activities.

There are some 45 charts in the book. None of them are sourced, and none are complete. Bogart gives an empty wheel, and then places into the proper houses only the planets (natal & transit) he is dealing with. Degrees are never given, signs only rarely. This forces us to accept Bogart's analysis instead of making our own.

Wessex Astrologer, 142 pages.

ASTROLOGY, PSYCHOLOGY & THE FOUR ELEMENTS: An Energy Approach to Astrology & Its Use in the Counseling Arts - Stephen Arroyo, $17.95
Contents: Prologue

Part 1: Astrology & Psychology:
1. Modern science & psychology today
2. The limitations of the old framework
3. Different approaches to knowledge & the question of proof
4. Archetypes & universal principles
5. Approaches to astrology
6. Humanistic psychology & humanistic astrology
7. The uses of astrology in the counseling arts
8. Notes on education & the training of astrological counselors

Part 2: The Four Elements: An Energy Approach to Interpreting Birth-charts:
9. Astrology: A language of energy: The zodiacal signs as energy patterns; The planets as energy regulators; The astrological theory of personality; Key concepts & definitions

10. The four elements: The basic energies of astrology: World-wide recognition of the elements; Modern descriptions; A spiritual perspective; Classification of elements; The element of fire; The element of air; The element of water; The element of earth

11. Psychology of the individual: The elements in the healing arts

12. Elements in interpretation: Imbalance of fire; Imbalance of earth; Imbalance of air; Imbalance of water; Self-expressive or self-repressive emphasis; Other element combinations

13. Potential for integration: Aspects & planetary relationships

14. Planets in the elements: Mercury; Venus; Mars; Sun, Moon & ascendant; Jupiter & Saturn; Other considerations

15. The elements in chart comparison

16. The elements & the houses: A key-word system: House classification; The water houses; The earth houses; The fire houses; The air houses; Astrology: A tool for self-knowledge

Appendices: A. Scientific data; B. Astrology & modern research in energy fields; C. Astrology & polarity theory; References to Part 1; Suggested readings

Comment: Part 1 of this book was originally written as a master's thesis in the department of Psychology at California State University in Sacramento. It essentially sums up the woeful state of the world & offers astrology as the logical solution.

Part 2 reduces astrology to the four elements. This is a rather limited view of astrology, with few of the details that give it life. In 1973, this book was awarded the Astrology Prize by the British Astrological Foundation.

CRCS, 186 pages, paper.

HEALING WITH THE HOROSCOPE, A Guide to Counseling - Maritha Pottenger, $14.95
Contents: Acknowledgements; Preface: Open letter to the reader; Foreword; Introduction: Therapy in 2050 (what kind of counselor are you?)

Section 1: Theory: 1. What is reality? 2. The question of meaning; 3. Theoretical model; 4. Information from other models of counseling; 5. Research on positive outcomes; 6. The reality of interpersonal relationships; 7. Who me? Projection; 8. Displacement & repression; 9. Responsibility & free will; 10. The issue of power; 11. Universal processes of counseling, step 1: establishing rapport; 12. Step 2: Gathering the evidence; 13. Step 3: Changing paradigms; 14. The importance of language; 15. Similarities of astrologers & other counselors; 16. Our expanding universe

Section 2: Applications: Preamble; 17. What is reality? 18. The question of meaning; 19. Theoretical model;

20. Negative effects: How will I know if I'm doing harm? A checklist; Possible astrological correlates of counsseling pitfalls; Checklist; Factors to avoid; Enjoying the world; Ethics; Sample contract; Post session questions

21. Positive outcomes: Examples of high, medium & low level empathy & respect; Examples of genuineness or congruence; Examples of concreteness; Empathy exercises; Genuineness exercises; Concreteness exercises; Successful counseling environment; A checklist

22. Projection: My favorite client; My least favorite client; Projection through the horoscope - abbreviated

23. Displacement & repression; 24. Responsibility & free will; 25. The issue of power; 26. Establishing rapport

27. Gathering evidence: Introduction; client checklist: What do I already know?; Checklist: When the client arrives; Notes on visual, auditory & kinesthetic types; Nonverbal exercises; Paying attention to client feedback: checklist; Generating hypotheses

28. Changing paradigms; 29. Putting it all together with cosmic glue

Section 3: Demonstration: 30. An example consultation.

Bibliography; Index.

Comment: One of her first books (1982). Compare to Donna Cunningham's Counseling Astrologer's Guidebook (sadly, out of print) for a contrasting view. Donna is more down to earth, Maritha is more academic in tone.

ACS, 240 pages, paper.

THE CIRCUITRY OF THE SELF: Astrology & the experimental model - Bruce Scofield, $12.95
Contents: Introduction: Comparing astrology with pyschology; Scientific model building

1. Where is the person in the astrological chart? The limits of psychology; The common sense of human nature; The multiple selves; Planets as a map of the self

2. The mapping of the self: Self, ego & personality; Identity, soul & psyche; The modern psychoanalytic map of the self; The biological perspective; Caveman consciousness; Temperament

3. Instincts, emotions & biological rhythms: Instincts & imprint vulnerability; Emotions & the biological imperative; Circadian cycles & lunar periodicities

4. The developmental model: Freud; Rudolf Steiner's developmental stages; Erik Erikson's Freudian extension; Piaget's developmental model of learning; Building on Piaget & Freud; Comparing developmental models; Timothy Leary & Robert Anton Wilson

5. Astrology & the developmental model: The role of the sun; Giving up the ego; The inner planets; An explanation for astrology; The outer planets; Other factors in the birth chart

6. The lunar bio-survival stage: The lunar world of babies; The moon in traditional astrology; Lunar imprinting; The lunar aspects

7. The Mars circuit of individual power & autonomy: The Mars imprint; Mars & other planets

8. The Mercury circuit: Learning & language: Piaget's theory of learning; Cycles of Mercury; Mercury & the other planets

9. The Venus socio-sexual circuit: The cycles of Venus; Love, sex, fashion & culture; The aspects of Venus

10. Jupiter & Saturn: Planets of socialization & culture: Socialization & enculturation; Jupiter contacts with other planets; Saturn contacts with other planets; Reaching maturity & adulthood

11. The outer planet higher octave circuits: Neptune, Pluto, Uranus; The Neptunian holistic circuit; Neptune & the other planetary circuits; The Plutonian power-generating circuit; Pluto & the other planetary circuits; The Uranian conceptual circuit; Uranus & the other planets; The 8th non-local consciousness generating circuit

12. Epilogue


Comment: The author thinks I have been unfair in my previous remarks, so he has caused me to concentrate my efforts. I am not certain he will be more pleased with the results.

The Developmental Model has to do with how children grow up. They go through stages. Which, strictly speaking, are based on their individual natal charts (of course!) but only if you can read them in detail, which most astrologers cannot.

Therefore many generalizations are made. The "terrible twos," for example. Classical astrology accounts for this in the Ages of Man, which Ptolemy gave to the planets, starting with the Moon at birth and continuing, based on speed. The Moon rules from birth to age 4, Mercury rules from 4 to 14, Venus rules from 14 to 22, etc.

Not understanding this, or perhaps thinking they have a better idea, modern psychologists have proposed various other systems with various other timelines. Scofield surveys these in chapter 4, The Developmental Model.

He ends that chapter with his favorite of the modern systems, the Eight Circuit Model of Timothy Leary (1920-1996) and Robert Anton Wilson. Leary is famous for his work with LSD in the 1960's, before it was outlawed. Leary also advocated Transhumanism, which is the (revolting) idea that one can live forever. (This is revolting in part because, as one ages, he and his chart become more and more out of synch with current events. There is no solution for this. Even the Church, the oldest single institution in existence, is showing its cracks.) As Transhumanists do not believe in souls (which I myself can easily demonstrate, merely by liberating one in distress and watching that release bring everyone in the room to tears), Transhumanists are unaware of the advantages of dropping an aging body and reincarnating in a sexy new one. Wiki says the Eight Circuit Model was taken from an Indian source, but Wiki is silent as to exactly what that source was. Leary's theory was designed to incorporate various earlier psychological theories into it.

Robert Anton Wilson, 1932-2007, was known primarily as an avante-garde novelist. He had many interests.

On to the theory itself, which in this book comprises chapters 6-11.

Chapter 6, The Lunar Bio-Survival Stage takes us from birth to age 2. Scofield puts this under the rulership of the moon.

Chapter 7 is The Mars Circuit of Individual Power and Authority. As with the Moon chapter, Scofield does not spend a lot of time on the infant child, but instead focuses on adult expression of Martian energies. As with the previous chapter on the Moon, it includes a section of Mars aspects. It is amusing to compare identical aspects:

Moon-Mars: Security and attachment must be fought for. . . (pg. 113)

Mars-Moon: Autonomy is linked to caring and protection. . . (pg. 123)

Chapter 8 is The Mercury circuit: Learning and Language. The ages that Mercury rules seem to be distinctly vague. In the opening paragraph, Scofield cites ages 1 through 7.

Chapter 9, The Venus Socio-Sexual Circuit. Theorists want to give this a discreet starting point in terms of age, but it actually starts with puberty. There is no discussion of, say, high school, which is supposedly the Venusian period in our lives. The aspect section includes (+) and (-) aspects, which presumably relate to soft or hard aspects.

Chapter 10 is Jupiter and Saturn, Planets of Socialization and Culture. This is an overlapping period, as it seems to start around the age of seven. As befits a murky subject, much of the chapter is taken up in speculation. In the aspect section, we learn the Mercury circuit lasts from 6 to 13. The aspect section does not cover Jupiter aspecting Saturn, nor Saturn aspecting Jupiter. It would be of interest to plot the onset of puberty against the Moon in the various elements.

Chapter 11 is The Outer Planet Higher Octave Circuit. Neptune is the higher octave of the Moon. Some of you will remember Neptune as the higher octave of Venus. I would prefer that we thought of Neptune as Neptune, rather than use crutches like this. In the aspect section, Moon and Neptune may make you a very sleepy fellow.

Pluto is the power-generating circuit. Scofield associates it with Mars, and then apologizes for not linking it with Venus, which is presumably a nod to Jeffrey Green. In this section Scofield discusses death and as he seems to be a Transhumanist, he ascribes past life memories to actual memories transmittted by means of DNA from one generation to another. There is abundant hard evidence to suggest this is wrong, I myself can supply some.

Uranus is the Conceptual Circuit. Scofield sees it as the higher octave of Mercury, which is the traditional view. When it is functioning, it launches the individual into some abrupt change of consciousness. Scofield relates this to Gurjieff's levels of awakening, or to various Zen states. A more practical example might be the sudden awakening that occurs to Jesus Freaks, accepting The Lord as one's personal savior, but Scofield does not mention this.

The 8th and final circuit is the Non Local Conscious Generating Circuit. Scofield does not have a planet to cover this circuit, which, remember, was postulated by Timothy Leary, among others. Leary had different names for the various circuits. His name for the 8th one was Cyber-Nano-Tech Piloting Atomic Info and said that bodies were no longer necessary. Robert Anton Wilson called it Non-Local Quantum Circuit. The description that Scofield gives, to me, are artifacts of common astral projection.

In the Epilogue, Scofield suggests his book can be a model for the scientific testing of astrology. I will always think this backwards. Science is a bathtub. Astrology is the ocean itself. The author is presumably unhappy I do not find this to be a great masterwork. I would suggest he read old science texts. As libraries commonly throw away science books that are 20 years old or older, he should read old collections of science magazines. Unlike astrology, science is intensely faddish. Always has been. Always will be.

There are four blurbs on the back of the book. The author himself has asked me to include them. There is one from a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and another from an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts, neither of which concern us. There are two from noted astrologers, which do. Here they are:

Drawing on his years of experience in counseling clients, Bruce Scofield uses the birth chart as a map of the self to expound a new theory that integrates natal astrology with developmental psychology. I would highly recommend this book to any astrologer intersted in the inner workings of the human psyche. - Anthony Louis, psychiatrist and author of Horary Astrology: The History and Practice of Astro-Divination, and Tarot Plain and Simple

Scofield gives a new and much-needed conceptual framework for astrology that clarifies the interplay of planetary symbolism in the birthchart. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in how the planets are reflected in the structure of the psyche. - "Tem Tarritar" publisher of the The Mountain Astrologer. (Should be Tem Tarriktar - Dave)

Also from the back of the book: BRUCE SCOFIELD, C.A., NCGR, is a professional astrological consultant who works with clients in the United States and abroad. He has authored 12 books, has Level IV certification from the NCGR, and is on the faculty of Kepler College.

One Reed, 191 pages.

Counseling Astrology: Page 1 Page 2 Page 3

See also: Liz Green, Howard Sasportas & Friends
and: Donna Cunningham

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