In a letter written by Jung to Freud a hundred years ago he explains his views on ‘astro-mythology’ as he termed it then. He sees that the Zodiac is an imaginal projection of the human psyche on to the heavens. You can see what he means. There is clearly an analogy between the process of human birth, maturity and death, and the rising, culmination and setting of celestial bodies. And, incidentally, since these bodies rise again it seems quite legitimate to infer that we too are reborn.
Those of us who speak the words of projection claim, by doing so, a position as spokesperson for a small part of the collective unconscious. For thousands of years a small number of people in their community took it upon themselves to keep alive the ongoing evolutionary interpretations of what the Zodiac means. It is happening still and embracing larger numbers of people than ever, and expanding in depth too. There is great subtlety brought to bear on planetary meanings, signs, houses, aspects, Sabians, and so very much more.
It is our task as part of this powerful tide of opinion to do two things: First and foremost to keep it alive, secondly to express through these symbols our best hope for the future. Astrologers carry exceptional weight especially when it is considered quite how ill-defined, ambiguous and unproven the concepts that we juggle with are. Yet, by the million, clients come and change their perceptions, and sometimes decisions, as a direct result of a consultation.
There is not one placement or aspect that is inherently bad news – each one can be interpreted in a helpful way. Life includes struggle and without it would lack meaning and be devoid of purpose. So challenging aspects are exactly what is wanted at certain times because without them we could not struggle. Deep emotions, troubles and even grief can be seen as important, helpful parts of the larger life-journey that we are all on.
I once witnessed a mature woman astrologer interpreting the chart of a young single woman and she actually said this: “You will not ever settle in a relationship with x planet in y house”. I was so angry with her that I actually interrupted the reading and told the young client how better to see that aspect in an entirely positive light. I also explained to the older woman what the phrase ‘black magic’ means. Of course we all must face our demons at some point – and we can guess what kind of demons they might be by looking at the horoscope – so the astrologer has a duty to help the client come to terms with the darker side of their character – but this can be done with humour and empathy, and above all else with a positive approach. It is our job to help people not curse them.