The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 18, titled:
With Chris Brennan and Eric Meyers
Episode originally released on June 16, 2014
Note: This is a transcript of a spoken word podcast. If possible, we encourage you to listen to the audio or video version, since they include inflections that may not translate well when written out. Our transcripts are created by human transcribers, and the text may contain errors and differences from the spoken audio. If you find any errors then please send them to us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Transcribed by Tracy Thornton
Transcription released May 15, 2016
Copyright © 2016 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
CB: Okay. All right, well, let’s go ahead and get started. Welcome, everybody, to the June meeting of the Denver astrology group. If this is your first time here, we always meet on the second Saturday of each month at 3 pm here at the Mercury Cafe. Today’s meeting is going to feature a debate, a friendly debate, between myself and Eric Meyers over the topic of modern versus traditional astrology. I think most of you have read the description so I don’t really need to outline that. We’re both going to open with position statements. We’re both going to read or talk about, sort of open and try to set the context of view for the nature of the debate and what we’re going to be focusing on today. After that point, we’re going to actually launch into discussing a few specific points, or a few specific differences between modern and traditional astrology and try and understand each approach’s different take on that specific issue. We’re going to do that for about an hour and a half, a back and forth on these specific topics. And then around 4:30, we’re going to switch into a question and answer format. So if the audience has any really pertinent questions that have come up for you during the course of the debate, then we’ll have about 30 minutes between 4:30 and 5 o’clock in order to have some audience members ask those questions, and then perhaps Eric and I can talk about them or give our own responses to them. So the genesis of this debate is that Eric actually came, he gave a really excellent talk on his book, which is titled The Astrology of Awakening, last fall, I believe it was in September. And he presented what I think is a unique and innovative paradigm that presents the fullest development of a certain form of modern astrology and takes some of the things that modern astrologers sometimes say and he really puts a conceptual structure behind it that’s a lot more lucid and a lot more impressive than I think some other versions of that paradigm are. And so that’s what interested me in having this debate with Eric, because I think he’s a really viable and excellent representative of modern astrology who can sort of present that view in this context. And I’m going to contrast with that in presenting the traditional view, which I’ll define in just a moment when I start my opening statement. But before we get started, so Eric has some books on the back table and I definitely would encourage all of you to check them out after the debate. If you’re impressed, and if you’d like some of the ideas, even if you don’t, or if you disagree with some of his ideas, I would definitely recommend taking a look at Eric’s work because it presents a very compelling case for some of his arguments for modern astrology. Okay? Do you have any other prefatory….
EM: (No.) Thank you.
CB: Okay. So we’re going to start with opening statements. We both have about a page, page and a half of written statements, mine’s written, I think his is notes, so….I guess let’s get started with the debate. Okay. So, opening statement. For the purpose of this debate, I’ll define traditional astrology as a collection of astrological doctrines that coalesced into a system for studying fate somewhere around the first century BCE in Alexandria, Egypt, and was practiced, refined, and expanded upon until the late 17th century. So traditional astrology is approximately the type of astrology that was practiced from the first century until the 17th century. While there were a number of different traditions and variations in both the practice and conceptualization of astrology during this period, there was underlying continuity in the main doctrines of the approach. Hellenistic astrology in particular—which was the earliest tradition of this type of astrology, of essentially Western astrology, or this system that we all still know and use today—represented a synthesis of the scientific, cultural, and spiritual trends of the Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Greco-Roman traditions. This syncretic form of astrology that was produced by these cultures was practiced within both a practical as well as a spiritual context, equally giving room to both the practical and the spiritual spheres of life. In the 17th century, astrology fell out of favor culturally and intellectually due to a variety of different reasons. It was not revived again until the late 19th and early 20th century, at which point it was largely taken up by proponents of Spiritualism and Theosophy. There were deliberate attempts at this point to simplify the technical apparatus of astrology in order to make it easier to learn and to disseminate, and these efforts resulted in the decline of the system from a technical standpoint compared to what had been practiced before. At the same time, changes in the education, which made it so that Greek and Latin were no longer taught in primary schools made it so that the texts of the earlier tradition were inaccessible to modern readers, thus further isolating them from the tradition. This lack of familiarity with the actual practice of traditional astrology made it an easy scapegoat, and reformers have continually used it as a kind of boogeyman in order to justify their own further modifications of the few fragments of the system that they inherited. While those in the scientific community could generally say they were standing on the shoulders of giants and making some of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century, modern astrologers could not share the same sentiment, as they only stood on the ashes of their 2,000 year tradition of astrology that existed prior to their time. The Uranus-Neptune conjunction of the early ‘90s coincided with the revival of traditional forms of astrology in the West, as astrologers began setting up translation projects and recovering the primary source texts of the Hellenistic, Indian, Medieval, and Renaissance traditions. During this period of recovery, astrologers found many useful techniques that complimented and enhanced concepts that were already in use in modern times. For example, such as the distinction between day and night charts known as sect. And they also found some powerful timing techniques that could do things that astrologers didn’t even know were possible, such as zodiacal releasing and the Hellenistic time lord systems. The end result of this revival of traditional astrology is that astrologers are once again rebuilding a system of astrology that is capable of making specific statements about the concrete, external circumstances of a person’s life with surprising accuracy. However, traditional astrologers do not simply focus on external events, but they draw on their historical connection with many different religious, spiritual, and mystery traditions in order to provide a deeper spiritual and philosophical context for astrology as well—one that is rooted in the genuine philosophies of the Western exoteric and esoteric tradition, rather than just the more recent appropriations of some pieces of those traditions by the New Age movement. This ability to address both external circumstances as well as internal dispositions results in an astrology that is more holistic than astrology that is only capable of dealing with the psyche. From a technical standpoint, traditional astrology is more oriented towards the subjective experience of the individual, and many of the techniques are designed in order to be able to explain both how the native will experience events personally as well as what the broader meaning and purpose of those events are in the person’s life. While modern astrologers reject distinctions such as benefic and malefic in order to attempt to empower their clients, traditional astrologers utilize these distinctions as necessary tools in giving a proper level of respect and credence to the wide spectrum of human experience, which includes extremes of both positive and negative, as well as many shades of gray in between. Far from being too simplistic or black and white, traditional astrology employs more technical distinctions and nuances than modern astrology, which allows it to more accurately describe the full range of possible manifestations of a specific chart placement. The purpose of the revival of traditional astrology is not to go back to the past and simply stay there. But rather, the purpose is to reconnect us with what was a continuous, living tradition of knowledge, wisdom, and experience that was passed down from generation to generation until this link was severed a few centuries ago. The revival of the ancient traditions and their subsequent synthesis with whatever the prevailing modern paradigm is at the time, is a reoccurring theme in the history of astrology in the wake of every single Uranus-Neptune conjunction going back over 2,000 years. In my opinion, the syncretic approach to that this represents is a far better alternative to astrological fundamentalism of any sort, either of the old or of the new. That’s my position statement.
EM: Great. Thank you so much for having me, Chris, and thank you all for coming. And this is a fascinating discussion. In contrast of looking at things from the past, I want to, where I’m sitting, is look at the advancements within consciousness, within the 20th century, has been striking. Really what we now understand is that the psyche, your consciousness, is entangled, is the word that physicists use, is that every thought, every subtle emotion, every intention that you have in every present moment, connects in with the whole universe. And there’s a whole range of consciousness that we have access to. We have a hand to play. And so the analogy that runs through my work is that the chart itself is more or less the car that we’re driving. And you can have wonderful descriptions of the nature of the car, and how it might function and Lamborghinis are different than pickup trucks that are different from sedans. But my focus, the consciousness is the driver, and the driver cannot be found within the chart, it’s kind of like the vertical dimension of depth. So you have the horizontal dimension, which is the chart, it’s pretty much a two-dimensional document. And the whole chart comes alive at the vertical dimension through a very glorious, sophisticated, humongous spectrum of nuance of consciousness that cannot be found, in my view, within the two dimensional document. And so there’s a co-creative quality between the chart owner and the chart, just like the DNA, there’s a co-creator if you can do whatever you want to do, but you have a certain genetic code, just like you have a certain astrology code. But you can’t see within the genetic code if someone’s going to jump off a cliff when they’re 15 years old, because we have free will. And so Chris is talking about things being fated, and this is what really the fundamental discussion is about, is do we live in a mechanistic world, where everything is fated, and the astrology would just illuminate how that would play out, or do we more or less live in what I call even a dream world or a movie, where we’re making it up every single second, uniquely, by our consciousness and decisions in every present moment. And so my view is that it isn’t a competition, actually. We’re both right. This [traditional astrology] is the Saturnian level, and I’m looking at the transpersonal level. And so it’s silly to say that one would be right and the other would be wrong, it’s just a different layer of the onion, a different facet of experience that would be analogous to classical physics versus quantum physics. It’s just another level of reality. However, the issue, though, with Saturn, is that at the classical level of separation, Saturn can either be a wall or a gate, meaning a wall is that we’re going to protect what’s been established and not bring in the transpersonal, the idea of the fundamental ground of all of being as consciousness, that interacts in a co-creative way; either that’s going to be a wall into the separation of Saturn, or, I mean, sorry, a gate, or it’s a wall. And I’m interested in seeing, see it be a gate, where we understand astrology at the level of separation of make distinctions of something being good or bad, or this, that’s all relevant on one level, but hold it within the broader context of the transpersonal, which is not about value judgments or predicting things. It’s more about process and about spiritual lessons. And so the overarching point of my work is what are we learning, I really don’t care if the ego considers something to be good or bad, I care about what the purpose is, what are we learning. And I have experience, and many of you have too, that the most difficult experiences of my life have taught me the most, and so, when astrology brings in a lot of judgments of different things, it sometimes, for the lay public, and I’ve seen this all the time, every week of my practice, I’ll have a client that says, “Oh, I hear I have a bad Moon.” And I think that’s impossible, to have a bad Moon. Where are they getting that from? And to me, there’s nothing at the level of spiritual growth that could be considered good or bad, all of it is grist for the mill for your growth. Let’s see if there’s any other major points….Yes. We have to look at the origin of the consciousness of the people during the time that things are developed says a lot about the type of astrology or any field. And Saturn was the most, the outermost planet up ’til 1781, when Uranus was discovered. But also do remember, back then, people thought the earth was flat, they believed the Sun and Moon were the same size, both orbiting around the earth, and they called the Moon a luminary. None of that’s accurate, but that has been imbedded within the consciousness of the approach. So my view is that we, like any other field, from medical technology to computers to economics, every field that has ever existed, adapts to the current realities that we now know. And my view is that we should integrate the understanding that Saturn’s not the final authority but is a gate to what’s beyond it, everything actually revolves around the Sun not the earth, the Moon reflects the light of the Sun and the Sun is 64 million times bigger than the Moon. And so having a different orientation I think is not only appropriate but necessary for evolution. I don’t find that within a lot of the traditional astrology, as incorporating a modern understanding of the world into how things are actually looked at. So that’s my position, is that we should advocate for that modernization, just makes sense, like any other field. That the basic idea here in evolutionary astrology is that we are evolving. And if you look around, we’re not that evolved yet, really, I mean, come on, let’s be honest, look at the state of the world, and even less so back then. And if you were to think about it in a, as a line, hypothetically from one to a hundred, let’s say that that’s the evolutionary motion, if you’re going to bring in that analogy, I think we’re maybe at a one or two. So I’m much more interested in the 90 or 99 goes forward, rather than preserving the one or two because it’s at risk of consolidating that at risk, and that’s the challenge of Saturnian consciousness, is the wall. Where I think we need to continually be pushing it forward and where we’re headed is a lot, lot, lot, lot more vast than the teeny, tiny little (memory?) of evolution we’ve already been. Not saying it’s invalid, but it’s saying that it is, it’s only has its own context. And there’s a lot more that it doesn’t account for, such as the modern understanding of consciousness, which really became evident in the 20th century. So, we’ll get into this more and more, I don’t want to be too rambling, I mean, you’re the hero, Chris might say. So why don’t I yield to that, and I’m sure there are some other points that I have that I’ll get to as we go.
CB: Okay. All right. So we’ll start a back and forth. We’ve sort of agreed on a few topics and sort of a rough order to do them in, but we’ll be, we can deviate from that, obviously, and just see where things take us. Part of the purpose of this, I want to say, even though, if I come off as adversarial, but the point of this is to contrast two opposing viewpoints, and I think something positive can come of that. So even if this feels tense or even if it gets tense, I think people should understand that it’s coming from a place of tension in order to produce growth, not animosity or something like that. Okay. The first topic that we wanted to talk about was the role of consciousness in astrological interpretation, and this is one of your big points; that is sort of an overarching point for you. One of the things you said is that the inclusion of consciousness is as the prime variable of how astrology manifests and that we’re in a co-creative relationship with astrology, the chart is the car and the person is the driver. And I think that’s a really interesting analogy because dating back to the very first century, they actually had a similar analogy, that’s not a new analogy, because ancient astrologers actually conceptualized the chart, they didn’t have cars back then, but what they did have in the Mediterranean was boats. They conceptualized the chart as the boat, and the soul is the captain of the boat that they thought entered the body at the moment of birth. So there was some conceptualization of the person’s consciousness coming into the person’s body and animating it and sort of being in charge of things in some broader context in ancient astrology. However, they thought that certain parts of the person’s consciousness, which include their character, their character traits as extensions in some sense of parts of their soul, were indicated by the chart. So the original Greek term, the term that psychology and the study of psyche comes from, is the Greek term psukhe, which means soul. So ancient astrologers did have an approach and were very much interested in the study of the soul through the birth chart and they thought that that was possible. So that’s an interesting point to talk about then; my contention would be consciousness has always been part of astrology, but the difference between us, I think, is that you view consciousness as something that’s separate and not accessible by the chart, whereas traditional astrology seems to view consciousness as something that’s almost indicated, that, partially, to a certain extent, by the chart…
EM: So, your question then is do you believe that animals have birth charts?
EM: Okay. So, how would you understand a gerbil’s consciousness in the chart versus a human’s?
CB: I mean, I don’t study gerbils’ charts, so that’s not something I could speak to. I study people’s charts, that’s…
EM: Right, but that’s, but if you’re saying consciousness can be seen, where would indicate this is a rhinoceros versus this is a human? How would you see that with the symbols?
CB: Astrology wasn’t designed to study, like, animal consciousness, though. I’m staying that theoretically, yes, I think you can cast a chart for anything, any living entity or even non-living entities like a corporation or a country or something like that, and it will tell you something about the future of that….
EM: Right, so the point then is that the nature of the consciousness enlivens the chart, so you have to look at the context. So you can have a chart for the beginning of the building of the Mercury Cafe has a chart. You can have a chart for, and I’ve studied animals’ charts, I’ve done consults for people for their dogs and cats, and it’s striking, and it works. And so you have to look at the chart in the context of a cat’s consciousness or a human’s, or an election chart for the 2012 election. You have to look at the context of (a content?) which you don’t see, in my view, within the chart. So when you go into, we’re going to get into these distinctions about the essential dignities. A lot of the mindset there, and the way that I understand it is, everything being equal, if everything was equal, then you can make these designations that tend to be more favorable or not in certain ways. But my question is, if it is valid, that I see that an animal has a chart, why would a cat with Mercury in Virgo be a better poet than Maya Angelou with Mercury in Pisces? Because you have to look at the content that isn’t in the chart. So unless we can see from what Chris is saying that all the different animals, and all the possibilities in everything of infinite ranges of consciousness, unless we can see specifically how they’re located within the chart, then, I’d love to know how to do that.
CB: Well, and one of the reasons that this is important for you is because you believe that people are projecting the chart, that the chart is largely just a map of the person’s psyche, which they’re projecting outward onto the world, right? Which is the importance that consciousness plays?
EM: I don’t believe that it’s just all projected, but I believe that these energies are not just within a person but they’re all around. Just like the Sun is. I believe that astrology actually functions in a co-creative energetic relationship outside of our consc…I don’t believe that we’re all contained within the parameters of our skin. And so now I wouldn’t agree that it’s all just projected. I believe that it’s the actual energies, like Venus is our Venusian energy, just like my arm is my arm, Venus is my relating function that operates through me and outside of me as well.
CB: So then if it’s not just all projections you would agree that a birth chart, a person’s birth chart, does indicate some things about their objective, external circumstances in their life.
EM: I don’t believe there’s anything that’s objective. I disagree that there is an objective reality, with quantum science, which would say that this is all a subjective pool of our self. And all of us have our own ego-dream, or movie that, yes, there is, if you want to use that language, projection, but it’s not just coming from inside, it also connects in and [is] reflected by the external world. So, at a Saturnian level, just like the analogy being with classical physics, there is illusion of objectivity, but at the quantum level and what we understand now about consciousness, that’s now not the way we understand reality in the present day, is that we are in a subjective pool of our own, we’re projecting our own consciousness and that’s what gets reflected back. So to make a distinction or a judgment or a quality about something external being bad or good does not take in the co-creative element. And so that’s the fundamental issue is that at the transpersonal level, beyond Saturn, life is understood more like a dream. It’s all consciousness interacting with this stuff, there’s no objectivity, and Saturn within is the level where we can be with this separation and we can be more finite and analytical. So my view is not that it’s one or the other. Classical physics is relevant, so is traditional techniques within the Saturnian framework. But we’re at a point now where Saturn’s not the outer planet. It’s now, you could consider it an inner planet, because Sedna actually orbits a hundred times further than the farthest reaches of Saturn. And so we have to expand and include the understanding that consciousness is what is held within, Saturn is held within the outer planets.
CB: I mean, if that’s true and if you acknowledge the Saturnian realm, which you associate with things being relative and subjective…
CB: …then that means that you would have to acknowledge that there must be some things in the birth chart that do say things about objective reality, but you seem to be denying that.
EM: Objective….no, I don’t believe there is an objective reality. And because Saturn, if you call it that, is held within Neptune, which is the dreamscape, and so it’s only the illusion without seeing the further layer of the onion and then extrapolating that that’s what I’m in. But it’s unaware of the energies that are actually being enveloped, that that’s all enveloped by other layers of the onion. And so without the inclusion of those other layers, then Saturn is the wall. And I want to advocate that Saturn can be a gate. But my fear is that this approach keeps Saturn as a wall, and therefore that limits evolution, because it doesn’t bring in the modern context of the nature of consciousness that we now know.
CB: I understand the point of transcending through the gate of Saturn, and seeing Saturn as a gate, but to me it seems like even though you’re paying lip service to the idea that there should be both realities, and we should acknowledge both, really you’re emphasizing and saying that the only thing that’s real is the transcendent realm that is completely nonmaterial…
CB: …and there’s nothing objective about our lives, none of the events in our lives are actually objective or mean anything, at least in…
EM: No they mean a great deal. I wouldn’t say that at all.
CB: But the birth chart does not tell you anything about them is what you’re saying.
EM: It can’t. (Laughter) So, I do work with people very much at the relative, that’s the whole fundamental, it’s like yes, that completely acknowledges, completely brought in, saying, yes, this is hard. This is painful stuff. This is something that you might call negative. I totally get it. That’s real. Pluto hitting your Moon, that’s a beast. And this is going to hurt like hell. And it’s not just something that we’re going to bypass by all this spiritual…no, we have to be, and we mainly are rooted within the separation level of the mundane world, where we do judge things. And we can apply that. That’s all real. And, at the same time, let’s now have the broader context of understanding the spiritual curriculum, that these challenging events to your ego might be about. But it’s not to bypass that at all. In fact, I have two degrees in psychology, and I have 20 years’ experience as a counselor; the overarching point of my point of my work is to connect with people at the human level, where it’s hard not to give them all this stuff like, oh, here’s this, oh, don’t worry about it, it’s all good. Nah, that’s not the point. Fully acknowledge the Saturnian realm, and also bring in the broader perspective as well.
CB: Okay. So then maybe I can restate it. There has to be some agreement then here between us in terms of, that you’d have to agree that sometimes, for example, let’s just say a transit, that sometimes astrological correlations of things that are going on in the sky will correlate with, however you want to phrase that, some things that are happening in a person’s life at a specific point in time…
CB: …and that broadly speaking is coinciding with an objective event in their life.
EM: Yes. But, as Rick Tarnas says, astrology is archetypally predictive, not literally predictive. On 9/11 you had airplanes hit a dualistic structure. Pluto in Sagittarius opposed Saturn in Gemini. Fits perfectly. There’s also zillions of other things that happened or could happen, and so when we say something will happen, you’re collapsing the wave function, to use the quantum physics example. And so yes, you can see things that do, all the time, it all correlates. But exactly how it correlates depends on the context of the consciousness. For instance, there was no airplanes 3,000 years ago, you’re never going to predict on that day, when Pluto was in Sag opposed Saturn in Gemini, let’s say 3,000 years ago, you would never predict a plane flying into the World Trade Center, because that was impossible. And so all predictions are relative, then, to a certain perspective and a certain level of evolution and what’s possible. And so the more that we try to predict, the less we’re strangling the infinite possibilities of this co-creative relationship. So yes, archetypally predictive, but not literally.
CB: Okay, but still at least that gives us some ground to talk, because I feel like we can’t even get onto the discussion of is benefic and malefic a valid distinction or good and bad or preferable or unpreferable a valid distinction, if we can’t agree if astrology even sometimes correlates with actual events or circumstances.
EM: Oh, it totally correlates. Every day.
CB: Okay, so it correlates. So we’re in agreement on that. The next step then is the question of, does astrology just correlate with, let’s say, psychic or psychological states and how we experience events, or does it sometimes correlate, like for example, you used the example of the World Trade Center, but I don’t know if you meant to use that as a literal example, where the archetypal symbolism correlated with an actual physical event, of the World Trade Centers being destroyed, or if you meant that more like a symbolic or psychological sense. Were you admitting or saying at least, conceding to a certain extent, that in that instance, astrology, the astrology coincided with an actual external event?
EM: It does every day. I have no problem with that. Astrology manifests at all levels. It manifests at mundane levels, it manifests at emotional levels, it manifests at spiritual levels, it manifests at all levels. There’s no level it doesn’t manifest on. I have no problem with that at all. But the issue though is that life now, in 2014, is a lot more nuanced and sophisticated with a lot more options than there used to be. So earlier in history, things were more organized in a Saturnian way, there was order, there was logic to things, there wasn’t a variety of choices. And therefore, predictions tended to be more accurate, because there was less range of the human condition. You know. Nowadays, for instance, someone in traditional astrology might look at the Moon as being the Mother. Nowadays, you can have an egg donor to a surrogate mom who donates the baby to two lesbians who raise…who’s the mom? We live in a totally different world that is completely different on every conceivable level, that you can’t understand that level of complexity with simple pat descriptions, because things have changed so dramatically. And so because of that, to look at it more thematically rather than literally. If Moon issues, there’s something around nurturing, it’s not necessarily about your own mom. But issues around lunar issues seems a lot more accurate about how to address that than pointing to one specific manifestation.
CB: Sure. And ancient astrologers would completely understand the point. They also viewed astrology as acting through symbolism or through signs, not necessarily just through causes. So there certainly, they would say that the Sun represents the person who is a father figure in the person’s life, for example. So there’s some negotiableness there in terms of the symbolism. But fundamentally one of the disagreements I think traditional astrologers would have with what you just said is I don’t think most people, most traditional astrologers at least, would agree that the fundamentals of life are that different, at least in terms of the way that the structure of astrology is set up, in terms of the 12 houses. All of those 12 houses are still just as relevant today as they were 2,000 years ago….
CB: …we still have health, finances, siblings, parents, children, illness…
EM: Right, right, but what I’m saying…
CB: …marriage, death…
EM: It wasn’t part of the consciousness to understand something like surrogate parenting, or genetic cloning, or so many things, or the internet, or computers even, there’s just so many things that are not part of the consciousness, so a lot of it is then contracted to the mindset of the origin of where they were coming from. Which is what we see with the planetary orbits, is that there’s an expansion into more layers of human experience that we now have access to. For instance, a lot of people are doing a lot of work with altered states of consciousness. Shamanic things. Things that were not even understood or talked about. You know, the outer planets—Neptune, Pluto—have a lot to do with this. They’re not part of it, of ancient astrology. They weren’t discovered, the understanding wasn’t part of it. So obviously my view, we need to bring in these things, and we discover these energies, we bring them in. That’s what every other field does. Why wouldn’t astrology expand in such a way? Why does it need to go back to the original construction from a couple thousand years ago? So, why is that so important, is my view. Why would someone who knows a lot about psychology, depth or Neptunian, different layers of consciousness within hypnosis, why wouldn’t those people have more to say about those functions than trying to locate that within this system to preserve it from a couple thousand years ago?
CB: Well, the point is that you’re, you and every other astrologer living today is using a system that was invented by a group of people 2,000 years ago. It did not exist prior to that point. Western astrology literally was invented in the first century BCE. And you’re still, even despite some of your modifications are still using that system, but you don’t have any conceptualization or understanding of where it came from or what the conceptual motivation was underlying it. You’re just using the techniques and taking them for granted and modifying them to adapt to some of your own viewpoints, or your own cultural standpoint, but you’re still using a technology, essentially, that’s 2,000 years old.
EM: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, the astrology I use has the planets, signs, and houses, and there’s general agreement of what the basic underlying meanings of those are. And so that format, that structure’s in place, and terrific. And then you have the basics in place and then you bring in, my approach is to bring in life experience, bring in wisdom, bring in spirituality, bring in quantum physics, bring in everything that we have access to, modern, today, into that basic format, that is quite simple, of 12 signs, 12 houses, and, well, how many planets depends on how you want to count from what is historical epoch, but bringing in the planets as well to that basic, fundamental framework. Yeah, I mean, that’s totally part of the astrology. That’s like the alphabet. And so, we can make up language nowadays, we have English, we can make up Swahili, or this, and it’s all using letters and sounds, but there is that ability, we don’t all have to speak the same English that we all had 2,000 years ago. We use a basic, fundamentals of language, and then we improvise, and that’s what all cultures do. So why does it need to go back to a certain way? Why can’t we improvise?
CB: Sure, you can, I guess; maybe to use your analogy, the difference is like you can grow up knowing English and never actually study English or know anything about grammar, but still be able to speak it pretty well. But, there’s something to be said for actually knowing what the rules of English grammar are in order to be able to write a more compelling sentence, or to write, let’s say, a book. Your approach to using the English language is going to be much better if you understand the mechanics of it in terms of what’s going on.
EM: So you’re saying that I don’t understand what I’m doing?
CB: I’m saying that, back to my original point, that if you’re using a system that was invented 2,000 years ago but you don’t understand where it came from or what the conceptual motivation is underlying many of the techniques that you’re using, then even if you’ve developed some attempt to sort of conceptualize them in a modern context then…
CB: ….there is something that you don’t understand about the system you’re using…
EM: Right…the point that I was saying before is that the origin of this stuff is within a Saturnian framework. And because of that, and I come from a trans-Saturnian framework, to be too ensconced in that Saturnian thing contracts it to the mindset of that. Whereas the viewpoint that I’m bringing in comes from a trans-Saturnian perspective that is not included by virtue of these planets not discovered until the 18th century and beyond, and the modernization of consciousness from that time informs it. But it comes down to not following rules. It comes down to what resonates with clients. That’s the point. What actually resonates? Right? That would be, to me, the indication of what is actually hitting home. And at risk of however it’s going to sound, but what I’m told almost every day of my life is why does this astrology resonating more than all the other astrology that I’ve been exposed to. That’s what I’m asked by other people every day of my life. There’s something here that you’re touching in with that hits home a lot deeper. And so is our focus going to be following the rules from 2,000 years ago, or touching in profoundly with clients? That’s my question.
CB: I don’t think that we can resort to what clients say in terms of their subjective experience because that cuts both ways. Traditional astrologers also have the experience of getting clients, especially now that traditional astrology is on the rise, who are coming back from the evolutionary, the psychological approach and saying, I can’t believe that you, this actually makes a lot of sense of my chart. My problem with psychological and evolutionary astrology has always been that they look at my chart and say all these great things but I have all these difficulties in my life and they would never acknowledge that. They would never acknowledge that there were actual areas of hardship or difficulty or in some instances….
EM: That’s not my approach!
CB: Well, you, your approach indirectly, and unfortunately, leads to essentially blaming the victim, because…
CB: …you refuse to acknowledge that there are things that happen in our lives that are not our fault or are not in our control.
EM: Yeah, there’s no blame. It’s the idea that everything functions at a very broad spectrum of consciousness and I would never sit with a client and just point out everything in the most rosy way. Now, like I said before, the human approach, yeah, this is real. These are challenges. These are significant, big-ass deals. There’s no minimization of it whatsoever. And having counseling credentials, which many astrologers don’t, which is a whole other issue, is should we really work with clients without having counseling credentials. Another issue. But the point is, there’s no blaming the victim. The whole approach that I have is that we all emerge from unconsciousness. Just like a baby does, in the spiritual journey. And it’s not wrong or bad to start out unconsciously and learn as we go. That’s the whole curriculum that is all set up. So there’s not blaming anybody for anything unfortunate, but it’s putting it into a context of a curriculum of awakening and becoming more conscious. What did you learn from that experience? What did it teach you? It’s not blaming. It’s saying, let’s look at it as fodder for our evolution. For our advancement. And so it’s empowering to people that they have control over their decisions, and the nature of their consciousness, and the amount of love that they have becomes radiated out and reflected back. And so that idea of that reflective nature of consciousness is, in my understanding, that’s a trans-Saturn kind of idea, it’s not part of it. And so the viewpoint here is that things are external that happen to you, and I’m saying that everything in the external world is you. And that’s the fundamental difference, is that you are connected to everything, you have a co-creative relationship with everything, and everything is going to interact with you based on your own consciousness. So if you’re bringing things into your life to teach you something, and those teachings happen to be challenging, it’s not blaming anyone, it’s saying, here’s a tough lesson. And so it doesn’t judge it even as good or bad. What did you learn? But this approach judges everything as good or bad, and jockeying to have only the good experiences which negates the whole curriculum in the first place, of what we’re drawing in to learn. So my approach is to support people’s awareness of why they’re creating the lives that they do.
CB: Well, I mean, while I have sympathy with the broad sort of spiritual approach that says that ultimately everything works out for the best, and everything happens for a reason, I think in some broader contexts, there’s something ironic about the fact that traditional astrologers today are put in the position of having the more compassionate approach because they do not say that all events or that most events, even, are drawn into a person’s life by their own consciousness. And I think when you say that, theoretically, it sounds good. But when I think about like, if you actually follow that philosophy through to completion, that it means that if you’re sitting with, for example, a rape victim, you would say, you drew that into your life….
CB: …and I think that’s completely inappropriate.
EM: Okay, well here’s what I say to that, is that from an evolutionary view, which isn’t part of this perspective, someone might have countless, because we all start unconsciously, we all start out spiritually just like we do in our current lifetime as an infant. Nothing wrong with it, nothing wrong with being two years old. It’s beautiful. But when we’re two years old, we don’t have actual awareness about the world. We don’t have much knowledge. We then are approaching things unconsciously. And then we might get hurt. When I was young, I was beat up a lot. I got hurt, I got Moon opposed Mars. And I had a lot of martial energy come at me when I was young because I didn’t love myself. And I attracted energy that wasn’t very loving. Part of my spiritual curriculum is to love myself more and then, guess what? I don’t get beat up any more, because I’m much more loving to myself, I don’t need that [same] reflection coming from outside. And so therefore it’s not so much we’re blaming anyone, but saying, okay, this is just how your chart manifests less consciously. And these are the lessons that are involved with that, to help trigger the consciousness. So, go back to the rape victim thing that you mentioned. From an evolutionary view, we’ve lived countless lives, and we started all from being less conscious than we were today. I got beat up, somebody else got raped. That isn’t processed through, goes into the unconscious, that turns into the Moon. You reincarnate. You have boundaries, all dark unconscious stuff getting your Moon, getting it to come out now. What’s going to help that stuff come up now? The trigger of it so you can be free of it. So when we don’t judge it as something bad but we judge it as something actually that can, that actually furthers spiritual growth and health, just like when you have phlegm in your lungs, and when you cough, it comes up and out. It’s yucky, blech, but it gets the crap out of your system. So when things that someone might judge as being negative come along, it’s helping you resolve what is in process from before, to further your evolution. So when we stop judging everything as good or bad and seeing what’s it teaching us, what’s it supporting, and we can see that with the astrology chart, Pluto coming to the Moon. You’re going to have a lot of stuff come up. You might actually get raped. Oh my God. Or many other things. What is this going to teach and release and to further evolutionary growth. Because it always does. And like I said before, I know for me, the experiences that have helped me grow the most have been all the ones that someone might call negative. Every single one of them. My marriage, my challenges with my career. You name it. I’ve had a lot of challenges that have been difficult, and if someone were to tell me we need to strategize so you don’t have difficult experiences, I wouldn’t’ve grown. And so my focus is on growth, not about egoically-friendly experiences.
CB: Okay. And this is my problem with this position about consciousness being the end all and be all, is that it strikes me as a profoundly arrogant approach to say that you had some minor instances with bullying early in your life, but you, because your consciousness implicitly is so evolved, that you….
EM: I’m not saying it’s so evolved, just more so than when I was ten, like everyone else.
CB: Well, you’re saying that if you, let’s say for example somebody’s continuously having suffering or misfortune, for example, I don’t know that we should keep using it as the example, but a rape victim. Let’s say it happens once, but it happens multiple times in a person’s life, are you saying that that’s because the person’s consciousness is not evolved enough, because they otherwise would have good experiences?
EM: You’re labelling it good or bad, that’s within the Saturnian realm that you can label those things. And I’m saying that there’s a whole other layer of reality that isn’t at the Saturnian realm. And so, at the realm of consciousness is analogous to a dream. And what I’m saying, which isn’t part of this mindset, so it’s very difficult to have this conversation, is that if you look at this whole thing, this being a dream, is that everything that you experience is your projection. I’m having an experience of the Mercury Café that is my own complete experience, that’s totally different than any of yours. Everything in your dream, in your consciousness when you’re asleep, is you. I’m saying that everything is me. Fundamentally. I am everything external to me, because I’m projecting that onto this person, I’m interacting with my […], everything is reflecting back a part of me, because there’s only one consciousness at this level. This is the level of oneness, this is the transpersonal level, there’s only oneness. Everything is a reflection of everything else that is showing all of us who we are, triggering things that are unconscious, going back to unresolved lessons to work through them, and some of those are difficult, some of those are beautiful, but at this level we don’t judge those things, so whatever comes up is to work through it, to come together, and it all has to do with love, actually, is this viewpoint. That the more that we learn to love ourself, the more we learn to love the experiences that we’re co-creating, the more we grow. The less we love ourselves, we’re in fear, we’re going to attract fearful things, and we’re going to strategize and hunker down and look to when the Jupiter transits, everything to be better, which is just the perpetuation of the issues on a merry-go-round indefinitely. I’m interested in supporting people to use in the vertical level of consciousness to finish, to graduate from whatever those lessons are and move on to the next ones. Rather than to have egoically-friendly experiences within that.
CB: Right. And, I think this is one of the fundamental areas of disagreement, is the traditional standpoint is that you can have spiritual evolution. That’s not unique to the modern period. But you can have spiritual evolution while at the same time you can hold that paradigm and that understanding philosophically or from a spiritual standpoint, but you can also acknowledge that people have subjectively difficult or…
EM: Of course!
CB: …negative, or…
EM: As I spend a great time doing.
CB: Well no, because you’re rejecting this idea that we should label those. You’re saying that labeling…
CB: …labeling is apparently bad, and I don’t think that’s true.
EM: No! No no no….I’m saying it’s all true but it’s only within Saturn. That’s my point. Is that that level is valid, compassion is a lot better than murder. Getting a hug is a lot better than a stab in the heart. There’s no question about it. But that’s only within the Saturnian level. At the Uranian level, at the transpersonal level, everything’s just energy. That’s it. It’s just energy, and everything that you have to say about it is a story on that energy. But the, at this Uranian level, it’s just energy bumping into other energy. That’s it. It’s not sexy. But that’s it. And there’s no judgments on the energy, it just is. Winter isn’t any worse than summer. Three isn’t any worse than 15. It’s just energy. Yellow isn’t any worse than brown. You know. It’s just energy. Without any judgments or distinctions on if it’s good or bad. That’s within Saturn. So what I’m saying is fully acknowledge that and see it as a layer of the onion, a pretty inward layer now, Saturn used to be the outermost, now Saturn is basically an inner planet. We have so much beyond this. And in order to get beyond it, we need to relax the judgments. A spiritual teacher Byron Katie says, whatever happens is always benevolent. It’s your stories that turn it into something else. Everything is helping you grow. Everything. And so when we judge things as negative, we are staying within the Saturnian framework, at the, creating a wall to the broader curriculum that we ourselves are co-creating.
CB: That is not the case. A person can make a judgment of an event in their life as being negative such as a rape, such as the death of a child, such as the death of a spouse, what have you, while still acknowledging that ultimately that negative event has a positive overall meaning and some long term or universal significance….
EM: Why even bring in these terms? Positive, negative? Why can’t we just…
CB: Because you….
EM: …change our language. See, my view is….
CB: …that’s not necessary. You want to reject all of these terms and remove them from our astrology but then that removes our ability to look at them in the chart and be able to identify and talk about them with clients.
EM: You do. And I do. I talk about things within the Saturnian realm all the time.
CB: You can’t if you remove those distinctions.
EM: Yes, you can.
CB: If you remove the distinction of negative or positive, you cannot say that this event was negative or positive, you….
EM: Okay, yeah, okay, well then so it’s the other issue, is that we can remove that, because it doesn’t take the range. So is there a bright Saturn? Have you ever had anything good happen when, with a Saturn transit? Of course. All the time. People get promoted, Kobe Bryant won the MVP when Saturn hit his sun. Things that you might consider good happen all the time. You cannot make the blanket statement that Saturn’s bad. And you can’t say the blanket statement that Jupiter’s good. I got divorced when Jupiter in its exaltation of Cancer hit my Cancer Sun, and then last year, same thing, major six year relationship ended when Jupiter hit my Sun in Cancer, exalted, 12 years apart, 12 year Jupiter cycle. So what I’m saying is that we throw out these designations, I’m glad we’re moving this direction, because of the range. So when you are conscious, and so if we change things from good and bad to unconscious or more conscious, then we’re getting somewhere. So the way that this works is that if we’re not very conscious, and you have a Saturn or a Jupiter event, you’re probably going to manifest a lot of challenges, because you’re not very conscious yet and you need to learn some lessons. But if you are much more conscious, then Saturn or a Jupiter event will manifest in ways that someone might judge as positive, because we’re doing it rightly. And so the astrology of awakening is the emergence from the darkness of unconsciousness to the brightness of awakening, and then everything manifests in a very beautiful, very life-enhancing way, no matter what it is. So to judge something without that range keeps us at a very basic level of consciousness. Bringing in this nuance expands it beyond Saturn. It creates it to be a gate rather than a wall to that other reality.
CB: And this is where I think, where you’re going with this in terms of inserting consciousness, is based on a technical misconceptualization in astrology, because modern astrologers have pointed to this and have said, obviously we see Saturn and sometimes Saturn can be associated with negative or difficult transits, but sometimes Saturn can obviously be associated with constructive events, and no ancient astrologer would disagree with that statement. The only difference between traditional and ancient astrology is that modern astrologers don’t realize that there used to be a technique, a fundamental technique called sect, as well as several other techniques that could tell you exactly what range of the spectrum Saturn would work out on. And if it’s going to be, if you’re going to have a Saturn transit and you’re going to have the constructive, sort of building up structures in your life or hitting a peak of achievement type Saturn transit, or if you’re going to have the more difficult or negative type of Saturn transit that causes hardship or suffering or even loss. One of the distinctions with sect, which is simply that Saturn functions differently, that it tends to be more constructive in a day chart and it tends to be more problematic in a night chart, and that distinction is completely missing from, in modern astrology, so of course you can understand why they would then try and come up with excuses for why Saturn seems to manifest more constructively in some charts and more destructively in other charts. And what they come up with is, it must be consciousness. The person’s level of spiritual evolvement must be such that that’s what’s causing Saturn to manifest differently in the chart. But that’s not it at all. It’s just that modern astrology has been simplified so much technically speaking that they don’t have the tools to fully understand the chart placements as astrologers used to be able to do, to say as much as they could.
EM: It goes down to, are placements indicative, or are you in charge? And when we are, when we take back our power, say, no, we’re not helped, it’s not about blaming the victim, that you’re going to have bad things happen because you have Saturn in the sixth house or whatever. Or if it’s under the horizon, so that’s responsible. So it, when we (stumbles over his words)….bleh….Mercury retrograde! I want to go to the other two points of these levels of consciousness, of what wasn’t understood a few thousand years ago, but what we do understand now, with great cross-cultural agreement, and the work of Ken Wilber, Sri Aurobindo, or some, many others, of understanding the range, a very well-understood, mapped out levels of consciousness that are out there. There’s cross-cultural agreement around this, this is where there’s, there’s just great consensus, we see it in your lives, in your consciousness at two years old did not have that access to concrete thinking that it did when you were older, it didn’t have access to abstract thinking; there’s clearly the development, and the field of developmental psychology, and these cross-cultural understandings of levels of consciousness were simply much further than a couple thousand years ago. This is what we’ve arrived at. And so in The Astrology of Awakening, I bring in Wilber’s model of basically nine levels of consciousness. Level four is very easily applied to the traditional egoic level of judging things as good or bad, and looking at things as separate than you, that have an impact on you, and how can you strategize to get things more preferable, that’s level four consciousness. But what is, we have five, which is much more world-centric, where your views are just as valid as my needs. Level six has a lot to do with, or Chiron, actually, about healing and the integration of the body-mind system. Level seven goes with more Uranian consciousness, the idea that the world actually is you, it’s not separate than you. That’s a challenging one for people, but that’s the leap into the outer planets. Level eight has a lot to do with Shamanic experiences, transpersonal experience, hypnosis, things within subtle and deeper levels of consciousness. Level nine has a lot to do with the, I don’t know, I’m not there, but it has to do with one light consciousness of pure being, and just a [real] relationship to all of life in an inviting way which is pure presence and awareness. Those nine levels, I would like to know, how do you find those within sect? The nuance, the subtlety of that, versus a gerbil, versus a giraffe, and all of the unbelievable variation of consciousness. You can’t find that on the traditional paper. It’s just impossible.
CB: Well, one of the things is that contrary to what you asserted in your book, astrology did develop in a spiritual context 2,000 years ago. One of the things that I found really interesting about your nine models, which you put forward as this new thing that’s unique and that…
EM: I’m not, I’m not….
CB: …ancient astrologers didn’t…
EM: I’m not saying it’s not unique, it’s the cross-cultural consensus that’s out there throughout…you know.
EM: Yeah, that cross-cultural, this is the consensus. If you look at models of psychological and spiritual development in different cultures, within different times, what Wilber did was say, okay this was how it all fits together. So it isn’t my idea, or I’m just saying, let’s bring that into astrology because I don’t see it as part of astrology.
CB: It’s already there. It was already there but you guys lost it, we lost in the Western tradition. In the original Hermetic and Gnostic traditions, there was a belief, and astrology was contextualized partially from “The Myth of Er” in Plato, because we did have a reincarnation tradition in Western astrology, and in Western philosophy, which is, there’s this beautiful narrative about the souls that are coming into incarnation, sitting on the outskirts of earth, and casting lots for what life they would pick, and what life would be assigned to them, or what they would choose as their life, and what lessons they wanted to learn in that life. And then each of the souls would descend through the planetary spheres and they would live their life and do what they came here to do. And then in death, their soul would re-ascend through the planetary spheres. One of the things that’s fascinating if you actually study the early Western Hermetic and Gnostic mystery traditions, is they conceptualized there as being nine levels. There were nine levels in the original mystery and Western traditions, going back 2,000 years ago. So that is there. It is part of astrology. It’s just that modern astrologers aren’t aware of it. They think, in some instances they’re coming up with new concepts or they’re integrating something that’s not astrology but it’s just that you lost it along the way and you haven’t taken the time to look back and see whatever was there…
EM: So you’re saying then, an understanding of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto was established a few thousand years before their discovery.
CB: I’m saying that if you looked at the way that they described the eighth and the ninth sphere, and the ninth sphere is the point at which you return to oneness…
EM: What I’m saying with these terms is different use of language than he is. I’m using Ken Wilber’s model and he’s talking about a more traditional kind of framework. So people might be confused with the eight or nine, but we’re talking about two different systems. Basically. What he’s discussing is completely different than what I mentioned. What I mentioned has a lot to do with the layers of consciousness that we now have more understanding of in modern times, that correlates with the discovery of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. The field of psychology correlates really with the discovery of Pluto. Freud was around beforehand, but still, the proliferation of psychology was around, you know, the early part of the 20th century. The proliferation of Spiritualism and hypnosis, Mesmer’s work, and deep forays into consciousness happened in the 19th century around the discovery of Neptune. Discovery of Uranus brought in democracy and looking at things from a less domination mentality, where it’s more democratic, it’s not all about me and self-gaining, which is basically the Saturnian model. So it makes more sense to me that we’ve progressively discovered these things and integrated them rather than trying to fit in hindsight, these understandings that we have now back and say, oh, it was there all along, you just didn’t see it. No, I don’t really think we understood, psychology’s pretty new. I don’t think that the real nuances of psychospiritual development that we have today were around 2,000 years ago. That would be shocking to hear. Why would, why would’ve psychology been new? Why wouldn’t that be, oh yeah, we knew that a few thousand years ago? No. It was brand new. The idea of the unconscious to people in the 19th century, what Freud was talking about were striking, because it was, like, oh there’s stuff going on underneath my awareness that I didn’t even know about? So the general understanding that was in place even a hundred years ago, for the consensus reality, did not include these levels of consciousness. We just take it for granted because it’s such a part of our life. But how could it possibly be there, and you could find a technique on paper, that could illustrate all of this? That seems extremely hard to buy into. Stuff that we’re not going to know 2,000 years from now, that we’re going to be able to have, and give you all the details of it? That seems really hard to believe.
CB: Well, first, just to respond to that, you wouldn’t know because you haven’t take the time to look to see if it could have existed, you don’t know what’s there. And that’s a large part of this debate…
EM: So, you’re then arguing then that in those texts would have deep psychological theory that would make, that is consistent with what we know about psychology today?
CB: Do you think that religion and spirituality and metaphysics were invented in the 20th century?
EM: No, I’m not saying they were.
CB: Do you draw on the metaphysical traditions of Eastern philosophers, metaphysical…
EM: Of course. What I’m saying is…
CB: …Buddhism and Hinduism….
EM: …Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto were discovered within the last couple hundred years, and they are the frequencies that have a lot to do with the further levels and recesses of consciousness. And since the discovery of those planets, our understanding of those energies and consciousnesses has grown enormously. And what I’m saying is that growth cannot be 2,000 years ago, with what we understand about history and about the way evolution is done. It just wasn’t there.
CB: The majority of the philosophical and metaphysical concepts that you employ in your book that are being drawn from things like Eastern religion or Western philosophy predate the discovery of the outer planets. I mean, a lot of this stuff is core concepts of Western philosophy that’s been there for a very, very long time.
EM: Why isn’t it part of the consensus understanding?
CM: It’s still not part of the consensus…you can’t claim that it’s part of the consensus…
EM: …And therefore wasn’t part of the astrology that’s developed, which is based on the consensus understanding….
EM: …within the Saturnian realm.
CB: Astrology was never part, it was not, astrology was not developed in part of the consensus understanding, it was part of the mystery tradition that was originally only developed….
EM: But then the way that…
CB: ….by the select few….
EM: ….it plays out, just like the way Sun sign astrology caters to the consensus, you know, consciousness of all people, it’s a reflection, my view is that everything is a reflection of consciousness. Just like, so the type of astrology reflects the person doing the astrology. So there isn’t one right or wrong astrology, there’s infinite types of astrology that all reflect the consciousness of the astrologer. And so, nowadays, we have much more integrated these outer planet functions since their discovery. And so, obviously they weren’t part of that a few thousand years ago. There’s no way they could be.
CB: Okay, well they did exist. They were discovered and things have come more into consciousness, but the planets have always been there, as long as humanity has been there.
CB: So, and additionally, if you follow the planets and their cycles backwards in history, continue to correlate with events on earth….
EM: Sure…but they weren’t part of….
CB: …the planets didn’t just start working all of a sudden…
EM: But they weren’t being used in, as they are now. Like, since Uranus, you, certainly you can notice technology since the late 18th century, 1781, if you look at the trajectory of technology, things really took off around the discovery of that planet, and then now it’s only been developing exponentially since then. And so the discovery of these planets brings in more to the consensus or functional consciousness of the collective. It was a lot less, I’m not saying it wasn’t there, but it wasn’t predominant as we have more access to now.
CB: But the point is, is that it was not completely inaccessible, and astrology, to say that it was not developed in a spiritual context or that many of the concepts you’re talking about were completely foreign 2,000 years ago…
EM: I’m not saying they were.
CB: …spiritual or mystery traditions is not true.
EM: Nah. I’m not saying they were completely foreign. Is that they weren’t more, they weren’t more realized. There was more unconscious in the collective consciousness is what I’m saying.
CB: Okay. I think we could go back and forth but we might get stuck on that. So we have about, what, 30 minutes left of the debate. Okay. So, there’s some other concepts that, did you want to get into in terms of this list of specific things? We have the role of free will, we’ve kind of touched on that; zodiacal dignity and debility schemes…
EM: Yeah, let’s talk about that.
EM: We’ve touched on this already, and because Maya Angelou just died, so she’s one of my, my favorite examples. So Maya Angelou has the North Node in Gemini in the 10th house. She was here to be a writer. And ruling that Mercury, that Gemini North Node, was Mercury in Pisces in the 7th house. So her spiritual curriculum was to be a writer, and to take it to the next step, is to then be a visionary. To be somebody who uses intuition, Pisces, to be someone who brings in a lot more compassion and a lot more humanity that Pisces brings in. And she did that beautifully and that was the intention of her chart, is to have Mercury in Pisces as the principle planet of her spiritual curriculum in this lifetime and she did that beautifully. Now, if she had Mercury in Virgo, she might have been a technician, she might have been a computer scientist. Right? Different. Now what I’m saying is that these different sign placements all have a purpose. Mercury in Pisces has a beautiful purpose that Maya Angelou did extremely well, and we’re all richer for it. And that spiritual purpose is no less important than someone with Mercury in Virgo, who is serving as an engineer. They’re using Mercury in a way that is more consistent with the fundamental nuts and bolts of what Mercury is about, but this is what makes astrology and spiritual growth so beautiful, is that when we have things that are a little bit different, like Mercury in Pisces, the potential for unbelievable, novel, creative uses is greatly enhanced so that to have any negative, which these terms do, exaltation and fall have positive and negative judgments. So if you were to have any negative or positive spin on that, someone might be defeated. Maya Angelou—oh, maybe I shouldn’t try to be a poet, because my Mercury’s not in a good placement. Or Roger Federer, the best tennis player who’s ever lived, his Mars is in Cancer. No, Roger, your Mars isn’t in a good placement. Or Muhammed Ali, his Mars is in Taurus. Or there’s zillions of examples. And so what I have found is that you can look at all of these placements, all of them, and see just as many misuses of the ones that are considered good, and, and just as many wonderful, incredible contributions for the ones that are considered bad. And the astrologer may point out just a few, but in my understanding, there is no bearing whatsoever on your placements determining how you’re going to work with that energy. It’s up to you. You can be a good poet like Maya Angelou, or you can be a totally not-so-good poet either. But that’s not going to be indicated by the placement. That’s indicated because you’re the driver of your chart. And so I don’t think it’s useful to judge any placements as good or bad, because it takes away someone’s free will, of how they might do it consciously.
CB: And again, like with the sect issue, I think this in an issue where because modern astrologers are missing some of the technical distinctions that traditional astrologers would’ve used together, with concepts such as exaltation and fall, as necessary and as actually required in order to be able to use those concepts, that there’s some misconceptions here in how it’s being applied and how it’s being studied. So Eric, for example, just looks at charts and he says, okay, if you have one planet, if you have a planet that’s in its fall or in its exaltation, that’s either good or bad, you don’t look at anything else.
EM: No, I don’t look, do that at all.
CB: Well that’s what you’re doing by pointing, you didn’t mention almost anything else. Like how is, where is Jupiter placed, and is it configured to Mercury in Maya Angelou’s chart. Where is Venus placed? And is it configured….
EM: But the underlying thing is that you’re going to do all of this, what I call the shell game, is you look for all these other factors on the chart to distinguish the outcome, rather than the person. And so I don’t care how many things you look to in the chart, you’re still negating the whole point, that the driver indicates how it’s going to go, not the chart. So you can bring in sect or aspects or what have you, and there’s a righter way to do all of that.
CB: And the only reason you can say that is because you’re ignorant of the other technical distinctions that would allow you to say how the placement will work out. That’s true, for example, you used Roger Federer’s chart, you say Mars is in fall in his chart, and that must mean it’s bad because it has no zodiacal strength according to the concept of dignity. But you ignore the fact that the Moon is in Scorpio, which is traditionally ruled by Mars, which means that the Moon and Mars are in a mutual reception, which immediately….
EM: Which is all found on the chart, and I’m saying it’s not all found on the chart.
CB: Well, you overlook that that’s found in the chart. You didn’t even realize that probably until I just said that.
EM: You can’t find consciousness on the chart. Like we’ve been talking about before. And so, outcomes, because it’s all unknown. And so a lot of the focus here is that we’re going to see outcomes. I don’t think you can ever see outcomes. You can only see process. Astrology reveals the questions, not the answers. His approach is that it can give you answers. No, it can’t. It only gives you questions. The answers are up to you. And that’s the fundamental difference here. That’s the shift. And so this astrology that I do promotes free will, that you have a hand to play in what actually happens in your life, and this type of astrology doesn’t. And it all goes back to what we understand, what I opened with, around a modern understanding of consciousness revealed by quantum physics, and consciousness studies, your every single thought, intention, and emotion, and nuance that’s going on has an interactive relationship with all of your experience, all around you, throughout all of time, in fact. And you have a role to play, is unmistakable nowadays. And if that isn’t zealously promoted by the astrology, then my fear is that we’re limiting that. And that disempowers people. And no, you have this thing in your chart, sorry buddy, it’s going to suck for you. To me, that is poison. And to me that sabotages spiritual growth rather than promote it.
CB: I understand the damage and I can sympathize with the modern position and there’re certainly things that needed to be done to update traditional astrology to make sure that it’s done appropriately and as sensitively in a modern consulting setting within the cultural context of the 21st century. I mean, that’s a given and I think most traditional astrologers are aware of that. But at the same time, not acknowledging if a person does have a difficult placement, and that that’s coincided with hardship in that part of the life, is just as destructive, just as problematic….
EM: And I acknowledge it completely.
CB: ….in the consulting setting.
EM: I spend a lot of time on it, actually.
CB: Okay. Well you….that’s fine….
(From audience): Now I would like there to be some moderation so you don’t keep interrupting. Thank you.
CB: Okay. You mentioned a few other examples in your book and actually I thought we were going to use these, so I brought the charts. Because one of the problems with traditional astrol…one of the problems, I’ll actually say, is that you need to take the entire chart into account in order to make statements about specific placements. So for example, one of the things that you focused on was Venus in Virgo in J.K. Rowling’s chart. We don’t have a timed chart for her, so we can’t actually look at the entire chart. But you use that as an example of somebody who is an excellent writer. Right?
EM: No, I’m saying that Venus has a lot to do with popularity, and with money. And it’s an example of somebody who has enormous popularity and money, who has got Venus in a so-called bad placement. And so it doesn’t hold water. And there’s countless other examples. I mean, there’s an enormous amount of popular people with Venus in Virgo. Hundreds. Millions, you know. So yeah, I agree with you, you don’t want to take one piece of information at the exclusion of the chart. Agreed. And what I found is that when you bring in consciousness, then it trumps, because it brings in the outer layers, beyond Saturn, and when you don’t have that brought in, and then we can only view things within the Saturnian framework, and within the Saturnian framework, these designations have validity. But that’s just not the only layer of the onion. And if we’re going to get beyond a Saturnian framework, we need to get beyond couching everything within the Saturnian framework.
CB: In order to get beyond that framework, I think we should first accept the limitations and the reality of the person’s situation. And then if you want to go beyond that, you can. But, for example, J.K. Rowling, I think, with this example and with many other examples that you’re focusing on one aspect of the planet in order to make your point about the exaltations and the falls, but you’re ignoring other aspects of their life. For example, she has Venus in Virgo and it has some difficult placement, and she got together with her first, and she got married, she had a child, and then her spouse became abusive towards her. She was in an abusive marriage and she had to leave. And she actually wrote the first Harry Potter book as a single mother that was on welfare. That was not like a great time in her life. Yes, things, positive things came out of that, but in terms of her subjective experience of relationships, at that part of her life, she was having difficulty. And I think it’s okay to both acknowledge the difficulty that she had in that area of her life with the relationships, and say, okay, that was a negative experience for you. But then also acknowledge that some positive things may have come of it.
EM: Right. And the difference again, this is what we bump into and I know we would, is that the difference here is that that all can be seen in the chart. Is that because of a square, because of placement in a certain house, because of a placement in a certain sign, that explains your situation. And I’m saying no. Absolutely not. Is that when we are less evolved, the whole chart’s going to manifest darker, and then the squares’ll manifest in a challenging way. And when we’re more evolved and awake, the squares come into the greatest strengths. And opportunities. Because you are harnessing your chart from a bright, powerful, awake way. So it’s not the placements, it’s the consciousness. So Chris’s argument is okay, you’re cherry picking, if you really want to get more information from the two dimensional chart to understand consciousness and I’m saying no. You need to get off the chart and give people permission, or responsibility, to manifest on the broad spectrum. So that’s the logic that we’re at. And, and what I’m saying is that his view is analogous to classical physics, which is Saturnian, which is true, and there’s another layer of the onion called quantum physics that’s at the Uranian level, which is also true, and here’s why these things don’t matter because the Saturnian realm orbits within the Uranian. And so it trumps it, it supersedes it, and so as we evolve, we need to then also understand the classical physics isn’t the final reality, and the chart and the two dimensional world, we need to yield to the broader reality that encompasses it, not create it as a wall but as a gate. And so this is the, this is the wall, this is the gate. That’s what it all comes down to. I don’t refute any of it. I just say it’s within a very small framework where it used to be the most outer planet, now it’s an inner planet. We need to also make that change.
CB: Well, and you said that, you just used an interesting phrase. You said it doesn’t matter. And that’s ultimately, the underwriting position of your philosophy is coming from, which is that the events in this life, the events, whether good or bad or whatever, don’t matter because there’s this transcendent spiritual realm…
EM: No, no, no. It does matter. To the ego. And the ego’s a very valid layer. And again, as with two degrees in psychology and 25 years working with people in a counseling context, I spend a majority of my time not bypassing things that these don’t matter about crying with my clients and connecting with them around the human condition, that it all matters deeply. So to have the perception that they’re trying to project here, that that is included in my work, is not accurate at all. I’m a counselor. And I have advanced degrees in psychology. That’s what I do, is working with people on a very human level about the difficulties of their chart. And it also can be brought to the broader perspective at the same time as well. And so good and bad are relative. If someone, if there’s a bet, is that a good or bad experience, well it depends what side of the bet you’re on, right? It’s that all good and bad is relative to a certain preferential, ego preferences. And when spiritual growth isn’t about ego preference. So we don’t look at events as good or bad. What are you learning? This approach looks at everything as good or bad, but keeps strategizing and jockeying from an egoic perspective. That’s Saturn within, my approach is to acknowledge that and say, yes, but now if we don’t judge it as good or bad, what can we learn from this event. And people are interested in growing, not just having positive events. And so this is what I was saying is that could we arrive at the conclusion that both of our approaches are completely fine and valid but different contexts. Mine is about promoting spiritual evolution. This one sounds to me, is helping people have positive experiences. There’s, there’s different, if someone wants to see when they’re going to have positive experiences to promote egoic needs, great, go here. If someone wants to grow and learn their spiritual lessons, while also acknowledging the egoic level, then it would be more appropriate to come here, I think. Or no.
CB: I think it’s a misconception that…for example, traditional astrology was largely contextualized within a framework of providence, of everything that occurs, especially the Stoic conceptualization was viewed as everything happening in the world happening in accordance with providence, and every little thing that happens in the world happening for a reason and for a purpose. So traditional astrologers actually do have an access point to an actually very similar philosophy in conceptualizing on some broad universal level everything happening for the good ultimately, or happening for some reason. Even bad events. But that doesn’t stop them from acknowledging that people living their lives make distinctions, make subjective judgments about events that they prefer in their life versus events that they don’t prefer, and that there’s nothing wrong, you can’t, you don’t need to reject those conventional values or conventional distinctions in order for the broader spiritual or universal view to also coexist. And that’s what….
EM: […]….I’m sorry…
CB: ….I would like to promote in this context is just that even though I feel like you pay lip service, that ultimately you want to and technically speaking your book has had the effect of rejecting the parts of astrology that would allow us to make the distinctions about those subjective events in the life in favor of focusing on the spiritual realm. And that’s really, I think, ultimately probably our main point of argument, that maybe there is some ability to reconcile there at some point.
EM: Yeah. Right. Because as I said before, is the events that help [you grow are] the ones you might call negative, and to jockey with clients to avoid events, then you are commiserating with the regression of avoiding your spiritual work. So these judgments are unhelpful. They get in the way. Even toxic, I would say. If Saturn’s coming to your Venus, you’re going to be learning about maturation. It’s not the time to stay out of relationship. This is what I prefer. You might want to stay out of relationships, Saturn’s coming to your Venus, because you want to be comfortable, that’s going to be uncomfortable. My focus is, oh, absolutely, embrace relationship. Because you want to grow. You want to learn lessons. You want to show up to actually do the spiritual curriculum that your chart outlines. So here’s, you’re probably going to have situations where you’re going to need to learn some things. It might be challenging in relationship, but that’s your curriculum of your chart. This is going to be a timeframe to do that. And here’s how it might look with a certain condition of your Venus, say when Saturn hits it. And so here’s what to look out for, here’s how we can strategize to learn that lesson optimally, is my approach. Rather than say this is a bad event and we want you to be happy. That’s the astrologer’s agenda for the person. Is that the agenda, that we want you to be most happy and comfortable at all points of your life. Nowadays, not everyone wants to always be watching TV on a recliner. There’s actually a lot of people who want to grow spiritually. And to have the value system that they should be most comfortable with their experience is coming from the astrologer, may not be coming from the client with this approach.
CB: I think that there’s many different astrologers that practice different types of astrology and have different approaches to what they’re doing. And also different types of clients that want different things, that’s also relevant in terms of what the client’s looking for. I think you’re mischaracterizing and doing a caricature that you’re trying to apply too universally to such a broad and diverse group of astrologers that it’s not accurate to paint all traditional astrologers in that way, just in the same way that I don’t think you’d appreciate many caricatures of modern astrologers. But I think we should, we’re almost to the time for the question and answer session, so maybe let’s touch on a final question.
EM: Okay, but I have one more final point then.
EM: My experience in the field of astrology for 15 years, I’ve gone to a lot of lectures, and one of the things that I do is draw a little line every time the astrologer, the presenter said this is good or this is bad. And this will be good or this will be bad for the client. And it happens well over 50 to 100 times in every single astrology lecture that I’ve ever seen by conventional astrologers, whether most of them are modern astrologers that I disagree with, you can have humanistic astrologers that are not bringing in the transpersonal, it happens all the time. And so a more authentic spiritual astrology is different than a lot of modern astrology that I also have a lot of issues with, as do you. But especially in the more traditional stuff, that’s what you hear. And all of those judgments are only relative to the Saturnian world. At the transpersonal world, yellow isn’t any worse than blue. Yellow’s got a beautiful kind of purpose, or brown, you know, brown’s not as sexy as scarlet. It isn’t any worse of a color to bring to make soil, and to paint houses perhaps. And so when I met Saturn, it’s not bad, it has a function. And so anyway, back to your point is that that’s what I’ve heard, from astrologers, is repeatedly, almost without exception in the astrology lectures that I’ve attended…
CB: From all astrologers?
EM: From all astrologers who are bringing in that language into things, and in my view is it’s all relative to egoic preferences of a certain value system.
CB: Sure. And I actually really respect you because you are somebody who is a modern astrology who’s stepping outside of that and criticizing, because that’s actually pervasive, that’s like a cultural thing, that’s just going on in the astrological community today, and I think you’re very consistent in doing something that modern astrologers say but then they’ll in practice actually step back to saying good and bad and what have you. You’re actually going all the way and saying we can’t, we shouldn’t make those sorts of distinctions and I actually respect that because you’re being consistent conceptually….
EM: Nah, I’m saying that your ego can make the distinction, but it’s not an absolute truth. Is that it’s a relative truth here, this is the whole point, is it’s not denying this level of reality, it’s saying it’s relative to what is comfortable at the egoic level and there’s also another level. And so, it’s easy to look at what I’m presenting and saying, oh, I’m dismissing it all, because that sets it up where you can win. But I’m not. It’s all relevant, just at a contracted, very basic egoic level that’s all relative to your ego preferences. And it has truth there. But it’s not absolute truth, and the same thing, then Saturn’s not an absolute truth that Saturn’s malefic all the time, Saturn’s stuff will manifest in a […] way. It’s only a relative truth, not an absolute truth. But it’s presented as an absolute truth. And that’s the problem.
CB: Okay. So I’d like to respond, but let’s move on to the final question, or final topic, which is what is the purpose of astrology in general, or astrological consultations in particular. What is the purpose of astrology for you? Or, let’s say both, let’s say, because that’s sometimes those two discussions get mixed up, what is the purpose of astrology or what does, what can astrologers do, versus what should we do with clients in consultations, if you agree that those are separate things. Maybe you don’t?
EM: Yeah, oh, they are very different things. I mean astrology is incredibly broad. There isn’t any one purpose. I mean, you have astrology counters everything. You have mundane astrology, electional astrology, you have all types, I mean it’s so broad, there isn’t one purpose. It’s multifaceted, happens at multi levels, and we have people within the field doing various things in different ways. The issue that I have is that if you take some principles that are not, at least in my understanding, about spiritual evolution, and you’re sitting with clients interested in spiritual evolution, that is a misuse of astrology, is that if you want to look at things at a more mundane level, that’s the application for Saturnian astrology. But for clients, see where I’m coming from, is clients that are interested in spiritual growth. That’s who I work with. And a[n] astrology that is suitable for clients interested in spiritual growth, in my view, goes beyond a Saturnian organization. But it’s not to say that any of these other astrologies aren’t valid, it’s just what is the appropriate application and use of these astrologies, and let’s not mistake that for the sophistication of consciousness and spiritual growth. And so to put something that might be relevant for another application onto consciousness and spirituality to me is the issue. So the purpose of my astrology is about promoting that, but it’s not to say that other astrologies have different purposes, the Stoics on…of course they’re not. They’re perfect and beautiful and terrific. But let’s not, let’s have the proper function or purpose.
CB: Okay, sure. So I guess, fine. I think it’s a good idea to restrict it then to just, since I think we both agree that there’s many different types of astrology, many different applications, and that’s okay. Let’s just say what’s the purpose in an astrological consultation.
CB: And you would say spiritual growth. Obviously that’s narrowing it down, or making a very concise….
EM: That’s the way I work with people, is around spiritual growth.
EM: And that’s the type of clients that I tend to attract, is people who are interested in growing spiritually. People who are looking for predictions might go elsewhere. And here’s a curious thing about prediction. If astrology really could be literally predictive, then why aren’t every single astrology multibillionaires? Obviously it doesn’t work that way because of co-creation. We’re not in a big machine that is predicted by put in a coin and jing, joong, jing, joong and that’s what happens. That’s the Saturnian view. That’s the classical physics. You hit the billiard ball in this one direction and see what happens, you can predict that. But because of variable consciousness, predictions don’t work. And most astrologer predictions I’ve ever seen were not accurate. And because that’s not the way it works, because of the variable of consciousness. So that’s another issue. So astrology…what’s a consultation about? For me, it’s about spiritual growth, it’s about supporting people to do their curriculum that they themselves signed up to address.
CB: Okay. I like that. I liked that last statement about doing the curriculum that they signed up to address, because to me that is really also the primary focus of traditional astrology, which is, even if traditional astrology is contextualized in a philosophical or spiritual context—for example, with Plato and the Myth of Er and the notion that each of the souls gathered together at the outskirts of the earth, and chose their lives ahead of time and then went into incarnation at the appropriate moment that matched the birth chart, that connected with the life that they chose—even if that’s true, the point is that, and in a metaphysical sense back then for many of the Platonic astrologers, was that once you’re born, you forget, and you come into this life not necessarily knowing what you’re doing here and what your purpose is. And so traditional astrology at least is very much event-oriented and very much about trying to determine things about the contours and the outlines and in some instances the specifics of a person’s life in order to give them a greater sense of meaning and purpose, but also understanding of the events of their life and where they’re headed and as well as where they’ve been. That I think broadly speaking would be the purpose of traditional astrology. Yes, it’s informing the person about the specifics of their life, which in effect or as a side effect also gives them some insight into the meaning or purpose that’s built into their life as well.
EM: And I would say that the specifics of their life is their hand that they play, and astrology cannot reveal at the more minute level, that’s the person’s hand that they play. So.
CB: Sure. Okay. Well, I think that’s a good point then, let’s do the question/answer session now.
(From audience): I have comments!
CB: Okay, let’s….and make sure we keep them all….
Audience: I’ll do it real quick…
CB: …nice. Well, quick, but also nice.
Audience: You’re talking to me! (laughter)
CB: Nah, I’m just…
Audience: I’m so damn Saturnian….
CB: I’m not talking to you specifically, I was talking around the room… (laughter) Okay, go ahead.
Audience: Okay, I have a couple of comments. Okay. Saying “right” and “wrong” is different than saying “good” and “bad.” Okay? And I hear you saying that when he says something’s good or bad, that there’s a judgment put on it. The other thing I’d like to say is you seem like, Eric, that this reminds me of something earlier in my life. You know the term that God never gives you anything you can’t handle? I detest that. It is absolutely a lie.
Audience: The most heinous of lies. I’ve seen people that haven’t handled things well…
CB: I don’t want to have to sit like, have people criticize either of us right now, so…
Audience: No, I’m…
CB: If you have a question, but I don’t want to….
Audience: No, but what I’m saying, the question here is that being in control always isn’t available to someone. So, to say that you’re the victim here, you said it earlier, can’t really always be the answer, can it?
EM: I’m not saying there are victims.
CB: Well, she, I think she’s asking are we always in control, even in instances….
CB: …in which we’re supposedly the victim….
EM: It’s just a fundamental different worldview about what’s happened, is that when we view things as separate than us, then we don’t feel a sense of control. In my view is that things are us. Everything is everyone. We’re all connected, in consciousness, to everything.
Audience: And I didn’t mean to sound like I was insulting you, I just….
EM: No it’s fine, but it’s….
Audience: …it just sounds like something that would come out of your mouth…
Audience: …from what you said about it, it’s just….It’s just so hard for people…
EM: Right, it is very hard…
Audience: …to always just take control of things.
EM: It is hard, but that’s, again, there’s different layers of the onion operating at the same time, is that at one level things are separate; you’re a separate person than me. That’s true. And at the same time, you’re a reflection of a part of me that I’m connecting with, and we share energy, we share a consciousness, and we have a connection that is at the transpersonal, which is the Uranian, outside level. I’m saying that there’s multiple realities happening at the same time. That’s all. It’s not to negate the separation level, but there’s another level too.
Adam: Let’s see if I can summarize this succinctly. Okay, so, I’m kind of curious about the idea, I guess, drawn from the tradition in order to understand present practice, and I…so you basically started by referencing Newton, right, this phrase, “standing on the shoulders of giants.” One thing I’ve observed in most fields, though, is that it’s pretty rare that you see an economics major, for example, actually read Wealth of Nature, or Wealth of Nations, in its entirety, or a political activist who really has in-depth knowledge of basic political philosophy, and yet these folks seem to be able to continue. And even in the debate today you noted that Eric at times brought up concepts that you’re able to draw from traditional, I guess, texts or your research. And he didn’t really know the basis of his ideas, yet they’re still there, and he’s still bringing it into his practice, and it seems that what he does works. So I, how important do you think it is if everything seems to work without really even having this round knowledge, how important do you think it is to go back to the tradition?
CB: Sure. I think the difference there I’d make in, for example, economics or something like that as a field is that it didn’t have the same break that astrology had. One of the things is that astrologers don’t often realize how severe the link in, the break in the tradition was in the 17th to the late 19th and early 20th century, where astrology literally stopped being practiced for two centuries. So eventually it was revived and they had some of the basic techniques, which I’m not saying don’t work, I think that’s actually, the fact that you can have just some pieces of the system, which are the basic four-fold approach of planets, signs, houses, and aspects, and the fact that you can use that effectively in order to do some very impressive things is actually just evidence of how impressive that system that was invented 2,000 years ago was. All I’m saying is that there are certain ways in which we’re recovering certain techniques that can help to, not emphasize, but help to enhance some of the techniques that modern astrologers are already using and don’t have to contradict them. Like sect, for example, as a technique, is such an obvious and simple astronomical phenomenon—just is it daytime out, like it right now, or is it nighttime, and the fact that that changes how the planetary significations manifest in the chart—that’s something hugely important, and it was also the first thing that any traditional astrologer would look at. So in many of these instances, I’m saying it’s important just because there are techniques that could help to enhance, techniques modern astrologers are already using, and that’s why it’s important to go back and look. Because we may have lost something valuable that we didn’t even know that we lost. Does that…
EM: Can I say something?
CB: Yeah…Does that answer your question, more or less?
EM: Is that, I have read a lot of astrology that is older stuff.
CB: What, wait? You’ve read traditional texts?
(Pause, then laughter)
EM: I…Well, maybe, I don’t know which ones in particular, but I’ve….
CB: Anything prior to like the 18th century?
EM: I’ve been familiar with some of Lilly’s work and have read, you know, lots of articles that you and others have written. But the problem is that once you get your mind in there, it’s all couched within the separation consciousness that things on the chart are going to indicate the outcomes. And so it’s not helpful for me to spend countless hours in scholarship with a paradigm that has been, in my view, refuted by modern understanding of consciousness, or co-creation. And so it doesn’t, it’s not helpful for me to learn all the shell game of this aspect […] outcome. I don’t want to spend my time doing that. And I think it’s actually a very good use of time to study, as I have, things such as quantum physics and consciousness study and transpersonal psychology, and informing about how we understand consciousness that isn’t so developed here. That to me will be more instructive, because that’s about how consciousness works right now. So.
CB: And I feel, just to respond to that, I feel like that’s a bit of a cop out because you still do chart delineations and you still actually do try and make statements about people’s life, because we saw that after your lecture in September, that you tried to do some chart examples, and you tried to make some specific statements about the people’s lives.
EM: Some generalities, that this is the general way the energies work, and it’s up to you to create the outcomes. But yes, if you have Saturn conjunct Mercury, there can be more of, you know, focused thinking. Or more conventional thinking. You have Uranus, Mercury like I do, questioning. You can make general statements but you don’t know exactly how that might play out, so how are you going to use your Uranus-Mercury or Saturn-Mercury? You know, there’s two good examples, …I’m a Uranian, he’s a not Saturnian, if you haven’t noticed. (Laughter)
CB: For an Aquarius rising and Uranus conjunct the Midheaven? You know that, right?
EM: Yeah, but you have Saturn with the South Node, right?
EM: Saturn-Mercury with the South Node?
CB: Mercury on the South Node.
EM: With Saturn.
CB: Saturn’s a few degrees off it.
EM: Yeah. And I’ve got Uranus square Mercury.
CB: Well, I have North Node, ruled by Venus, conjunct Uranus. (Laughter)
Audience: I see it. Wait. (Laughter)
EM: So yeah, let’s maybe do other questions.
EM: Elizabeth, maybe.
CB: Okay, sure.
Elizabeth: Hi. Great debate, but I think, like a lot of people, just enjoying the back and forth and learning from both of you, and I want to move it forward and ask which writers are each of you interested in in terms of the asteroids and how we’re starting to integrate those into our practice?
CB: Sure. My favorite writer…on the asteroids, you asked?
CB: Is Demetra George, who had pioneered the field of asteroid studies and the integration with also women’s studies. But she, after that pioneering work on asteroid studies, she actually went back and learned Greek and got into Hellenistic astrology and has actually found Hellenistic astrology as a valid way to integrate, she integrates both traditional Hellenistic astrology and the asteroids into a synthesized practice. So I think Demetra George would be the person I would recommend for that.
EM: Yeah, Asteroid Goddesses, great book, I use it for major asteroids in my consultations every day. Influenced heavily by that text, and also Chiron asteroid, that I think is highly relevant and valid, and so there’s lots of good books on Chiron actually out there. But…yeah, I don’t have too many others about the… I think her book is the principle one. And, yeah. So I agree.
Elizabeth: Thank you.
Doug: I have Saturn in Libra, so I’m always looking for the balance here. And, you know, I’m also very interested in modern physics, quantum physics, and especially in the role of consciousness in quantum physics. So that is a big interest of mine. However, in trying to find balance between your two positions up here, one thing I do note is that the old Saturnian physics, Newton and Kepler, you know, versus the new physics. The new physics did not negate the old physics. It went beyond. The old physics still not only exists but is extremely important.
Doug: I can explain 99.9% of my interactions with the physical everyday world today from Newtonian physics. Now do I think that that’s all there is? No, I don’t. I think that, you know, we’ve moved on, there is quantum physics, there is some consciousness involved in quantum physics. So I think we’re not…However, Newtonian physics is still extremely important. So I think there’s a reality there between…
Doug: …the two points, two positions here. And what I mean by that is I do agree a hundred percent that, I like the idea of co-creation, consciousness co-creation, I like the idea of how our consciousness interacts with events. However, I do feel from a plain old Newtonian, mechanical astrology or physics, that if you say Mercury conjunct Saturn or Mercury conjunct Uranus, that that does mean something. It means something objective, not I think that our co-creation is, you know, isn’t what we do to that. But I think it does mean something….
EM: Yeah, it does. Can I comment?
Doug: Uh, yeah.
EM: What I’m saying, my position here is that there’s numerous levels of consciousness, and astrology plays out differently at these different levels. It’s not to negate the Saturnian level. That’s one of the levels, it’s just not the only level.
Doug: Well, my point…
EM: So what I’m saying is that, like everything Chris is saying, I agree with, it is valid at a particular level. And you can call it Saturn if you want, or what have you. My position is not competitive; it’s and-also. And his, my sense is, is competitive. In fact, even on Facebook, he set it up as a boxing, which is a competitive thing, where you have a winner and a loser.
CB: I was just joking. (Laughter)
EM: I know, but it goes to the heart of, there’s something underneath there. What mine’s saying is completely valid, but it’s not the only level. There’s many other levels of consciousness.
Doug: And what I’m saying, Eric, what I’m saying is that the Saturnian level is not just a level of consciousness. It’s a level of reality. Now, old astrology versus new astrology, I think that with, and I have great interest in quantum physics too, I think the rise of new astrology not only coincided with the discovery of the outer planets, I think it coincided with the discovery of quantum physics, which is a little over a hundred years now….
Doug: …and I, so I think that did add an element of uncertainty and probability and relativity in…
Doug: …so it became part of our consciousness in the world. However, again, I think it’s kind of dangerous to say that, you know, our old consciousness was Saturnian and our new consciousness is other things. I think our new consciousness, our consciousness contains both those. It contains…
Doug: …the Saturnian level and it contains an outer planet level. And so I think they’re both important and….
Doug: …and here’s my prediction. Just as I feel that probably after my lifetime, that there’s going to be a new new physics, that’s going to make quantum mechanics look old.
EM: Hopefully. Sure. We’re continually evolving.
Doug: So, right. And so I think astrology, the understanding of astrology and the way we look at astrology and the way we turn to astrology is probably going to continue to evolve also.
Doug: And we don’t know what’s going to happen because we don’t know the future. We don’t know the unknown…
EM: And so we can either evolve along with it, or keep the same principles from 2,000 years ago which might limit that expansion in evolution.
CB: That’s not necessarily what I’m advocating, though….
EM: It’s not….
Doug: I don’t see as either/or. I guess my point is, you know, Saturn in Libra, I don’t see it as either/or. I see it as complementary, just like the Newtonian physics complements the…
EM: That’s what my point is too.
Doug: ….quantum physics. Yeah.
CB: And as I said in my opening statement, the point is, of most traditional astrologers is not to go back to the past and stay there, but the point is recognizing that approximately, interesting, at Uranus-Neptune conjunctions, about every 175 years, there’s always a revival of older forms of astrology and then they’re synthesized with whatever the prevailing or modern paradigm is at the time. And I think that’s what needs to be done now, but I think…
EM: Then we agree.
CB: Well, I think that you’re rejecting, you need to go back and study the tradition first, that way you can determine what to keep and what to throw away because right now you’re throwing away too [much] stuff without having to go back to see if there’s anything of value…
EM: I will throw anything that determines consciousness can be found within the chart, you’d better believe that was not something I’m going to bring in. Because that is happening in the head here, that’s not happening on, you can’t understand the driver in the car.
CB: If you don’t know the techniques to see if that exists, then you’ll never know. If you don’t look to see if you could do it, then you’ll never know….
EM: As soon as you can give me the gerbil distinction that I mentioned earlier, I’ll look at it. But until you can explain all the variation and nuance of all the different types of consciousness, that’s pretty infinite, as soon as you can give a framework to understand that, I’ll look at it. But I’d like to see a cat versus the giraffe, and all the spider consciousness and how you find that, and that is the wild variable. Because what I’m saying is crazy, right? It is. You’re not going to have a spider’s consciousness! That’s stupid! That’s the point, though, is that consciousness is that complex, and it can’t be found on the traditional paper.
CB: But you already made that argument with some of these charts, and it was refuted because you were overlooking technical things that could have told you why that placement….
EM: I don’t think it was refuted.
CB: It was refuted because you said this placement is obviously working out well, but traditional astrology says it should work out bad. But I can show specifically why traditional astrology wouldn’t make the statement that you’re assuming it would make.
EM: All I’m saying…
CB: It’s based on a misassumption about what traditional astrology would say.
EM: Okay. What I’m saying, and I anyone can research this, is look at the so-called favorable placements, and the unfavorable, look at all the historical, go to Astrotheme.com, you can put in a planet in a placement, and look at all the people who have it, and you’ll see for any placement, you’ll have people who are doing it consciously and people who are doing it unconsciously. And it’s not the placement, it’s the, because it’s a wide variety of human condition. That’s the point.
CB: And what I’m saying is that traditional astrology is not that simplistic. Like the exaltations, one of the points that you’re missing is that you always have to pay attention to what the ruler of the sign of exaltation is doing because the planet in the sign of exaltation depends on that. And if you’re not doing that, and you’re just saying a planet in exaltation is good and a planet in fall is bad, that’s not going to work, obviously.
EM: So it comes back to finding stuff within the chart. Rather than within the person.
CB: Okay. Sure. Well, then that’s our disagreement. Yeah, I think you were next…Marilyn? You, on your left? Sorry I don’t remember your name?
Lou: Old expression, when your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail? There are a lot of tools in an astrologer’s toolbox, and if you have a very specific use for your astrology, as you’re counseling, you have a very specific style of astrology designed to meet your client’s needs. There’s many different kinds, you try using that same tool on something else, and all the different things that astrology can be used for, like electoral, use electoral astrology for that application. The gentleman was talking about looking for balance. My Mars is in Libra, and my reaction is why not both? (Laughter.) Depending on the application, use the style of astrology to fit the situation, and they’re all valid depending on what you’re trying to accomplish.
EM: That’s my point too. And so, one of the other things I wanted to mention about the actual, what we do with clients, is, you might have heard the term astrology reading. I don’t say I do a reading. I give a consultation, is the language.
CB: I also say that.
EM: Because, well, a lot of astrologers use the word reading.
CB: I explicitly don’t use that.
EM: Okay, I’m not talking about you. But a huge majority of astrologers use the word “reading” in my experience. And the connotation is that there’s an objective thing that I’m going to read. That I have an ability to decipher the fates, and you get into, it’s right there, you can read it if you know how to read it. And my approach is that there is no objectivity, there isn’t one way to read it, and that’s a one-way street. You have to understand a person’s consciousness. And when you do, you are able to consult with them based on where they’re coming from to make sense of their chart. And that’s the variable that all of this comes down to. Can you read a chart, or are you consulting? He doesn’t use the word reading, but a great majority of astrologers use that term and that’s the underlying mindset. And what we know now, from quantum physics, is that there isn’t an objective thing. It’s all based on probability fields and based on your own consciousness will activate those probability fields in a very unique way.
CB: I think Marilyn was next.
Marilyn: Go ahead and make a comment….
CB: She was actually next, over here on the right.
Audience: Yeah, go ahead.
CB: Are you sure?
Audience: I’ll speak to it.
CB: Go ahead.
Audience: My question is that when you’re involving the consciousness of the driver in a consultation, are you going by your intuition or are you going buy what they’re telling you, sort of like you would in a counseling session, how much does that play into it, as opposed to using the knowledge that you have about astrology and archetypes? And Chris, when you do a consultation, do you also use anything intuitive or additional information the client might give you, or is it strictly, you know, the strict interpretation of just the chart?
CB: Sure. Do you want to go first?
EM: Yeah. So the way that I work is I tend to attract a certain clientele that wants to grow spiritually. So it’s self-selecting to begin with. However, I ‘ve worked as an astrologer for 15 years, I’ve worked with a wide variety of people, and I’ve worked with plenty of people who are not really interested in spiritual growth, in terms of, they’re much more within when is the good stuff going to happen. And so I connect with them around that, and I empathize with them, and I validate the humanity that’s coming from that. And I present things at that level with them. And then I also say that here’s something that you might also learn. And here’s the curriculum as well, when we remove those value judgments, is, you know, because I get asked that a lot. Is this, is that going to be good or bad? And I say, I don’t know, it’s up to you. If you have a conscious response to this astrology stimulation, it will be good. And if you don’t, it won’t, and here’s the range for this event, and you get to choose where in the range you’re going to activate things. That’s the (cough) play, so I empower people rather than telling them, here’s how you’re going to manifest that, it’s going to be bad. That takes away their free will. I’m not going to do that. So I generally have a sense when people ask the questions about what they’re asking, what do you want to accomplish during our time, and if they say, when am I going to win the lottery or meet Mr. Right, I know that they might be coming from a more egoic focus. If they say, I really want to grow and learn my spiritual curriculum, then that’s a different approach. So I, it is self-selecting with what I do.
CB: Sure. And I guess I, ahead of time, I want to know what topics the person wants to focus on just so I know what techniques to apply. And most of my consultations will focus on a Hellenistic time lord technique, for example, like zodiacal releasing from spirit, and I will send that to them as a PDF that already contains all of the time periods, and then I’ll write notes next to them that tell you certain periods that might, both in the past as well as in the present and future, that might be experienced as more subjectively challenging or more subjectively positive, as well as periods that should be peak periods of their career or periods that might not be as active career-wise, for example. And then I will take time to sit with the client and go through their past chronology to see how that’s actually played out in the past, and if they responded to the technique in a way that I would anticipate, and will alter things based on that if they have or haven’t, because that tells me how certain placements in their chart are working out, and then I combine both the theory as well as the observation of how they’re experiencing it, and then project that in the future in terms of what looks like it’s coming up. However, in terms of taking into account the person’s level of consciousness, the only way that I would say that I do that is the extent that I think that there are some people that you do have to be more, some people are prepared to and want to talk about certain things and are sort of capable of going there, and there’s other people who might be in a more fragile state, and that you clearly have to be more careful about what you say and what directions you go, and how you present certain things. And so in that sense, I will adapt what I say to where the person is coming from and where they’re at in their life at that point in time. But that’s, I think that’s….
EM: There is one other issue that, I mean, a lot of focus was on getting the nuts and bolts of the tradition or not, and I was saying yes, a lot of that is couched within the Saturnian framework, is a reason why that you don’t want to get too immersed in that, because then you’ll get contracted into that. The other big issue, on the other side that I’m interested, is about counseling, of how important, it’s not a reading, if it’s not an objective experience where you read the stars, and the astrologer is actually involved and you’re dealing with people’s emotional, spiritual lives, is having a counseling background necessary? My view is absolutely. In fact, I would say that it would be irresponsible not to have that and a lot of traditional astrologers in my understanding, correct me if I’m wrong, do not have master’s or any credentials in counselling. They have their degrees in astrology, how to be an astrologer, which is very, very different. Because remember, the field of psychology is only a hundred-some-odd years old. Very different than having credentials as someone who is skilled working with people in a counseling context. And so, do you have any counseling credentials?
CB: I’m an astrologer. I mean, there are some people, there are some astrologers that prefer to practice astrology primarily, and there are some astrologers that are primarily counselors. It sounds like you’re primarily a counselor.
EM: But you’re supporting people in living their life. And if you agree that is a co-creation between astrologer and client, and it’s not that because you don’t do readings…
CB: I don’t do readings? Oh..
EM: That’s what you just said before, that you don’t do readings.
CB: I do consultations. I…
EM: Right. And so to me, a consultation would go along with a counseling background, and if there was an objective thing that you read, well, you don’t need that, because you’re just interpreting the fates from the heavens. And I believe that’s been discredited, because that’s not the way the universe works, we’re not in a billiard ball, whatever the analogy would be, the pool table, classical physics, it’s much more complicated. And so how shouldn’t astrologers who are working with consciousness be trained within the field of psychology and consciousness. Or not.
CB: Sure, yeah, I think there’s many different fields that are valuable and could be incorporated into astrology. I don’t think astrology is purely about consulting and I think that there’s some astrologers, I think that astrology is about telling people about things in their life, and being able to identify things in a person’s chart, and some astrologers are more focused on being able to do that, and other astrologers are more focused on the counseling model and acting as a person’s psychologist. And I understand the value of that, I’m not dismissing the value of that, but that’s not necessarily what every client is looking for, or what’s appropriate for every client, nor is it what every astrologer is looking to do.
EM: Right, that’s the big difference. Is what Chris said. Telling people. And I don’t tell people. I work with people and what they bring rather than telling people. I’m in a co-creative relationship with the client, not in the position of the expert telling them what’s going to happen or the nature of their own consciousness. That’s the big difference. That woman with the blond hair?
Audience: Hi. I just, maybe this has been brought up to you, Eric, and maybe it’s sort of simplistic [and naïve], but say you have a group of people who experience a factory explosion or a factory collapse or a massive bombing. So these are Mars events that a group of people have experienced. Are all of those people who experienced that event expressing an unevolved consciousness with Mars?
EM: I don’t know.
CB: Where that question is coming from is that in your book, and in your talk, you said that as people grow more conscious, less negative events happen in their environment.
EM: I don’t view things as negative and positive. See, that’s the whole thing, is that…
Audience: Okay, so unevolved. If you’re going to view it as higher, more evolved consciousness or less evolved consciousness, are a massive group of people who experience the same…where some people might….
EM: The whole point is this, no matter what the experience is, can you learn something? I have yet to see any second of any day of any experience where there isn’t something we can learn. Is that this viewpoint is that this is a school, and everything that happens is part of a curriculum. And there’s learning available at every second of everyone’s life, no matter what is going on.
Audience: That’s not my question.
EM: And so, therefore, is there something hard about Mars explosions and energy? Sure.
Audience: My question is are they, do they have a less evolved consciousness?
EM: I don’t know where people’s consciousness are. They’re drawing an event into their life to learn from it at some level. I’m not going to judge their account, who knows? But can it teach them something? I think every experience can. And when we judge everything, we’re a little bit less open to the learning, because we distance, there’s a natural inclination to distance ourselves from things that we judge negatively. That’s bad, that’s yucky, I don’t want that. And then we’re not open to learning what it’s teaching it us.
Audience: I think that it’s kind of, for someone to experience a bombing, or a factory collapse, and have it be viewed by a counselor as something they drew to them as a learning experience is a judgment in itself.
EM: How is it a judgment?
Audience: That it was something, somehow they needed or wanted.
EM: Okay. Because I’ve heard numerous times, people who have tragic things happen, I’ve had things that are extremely negative in my life. And when I look back….
Audience: Isn’t that a judgment?
EM: From the Saturnian level, yes. When I look back, and yes, that taught me a lot, it strengthened me in hindsight. It sucked at the time, but holy cow have I grown since then. And I think part of being more awakened, what those teachers had to say, like Byron Katie or Adyashanti or Eckhart Tolle or many others, is that we actually choose these experiences. Is that when we choose our reality, no matter what it is, then we’re learning, and even have gratitude for it. And it’s very difficult to have gratitude and to choose whatever happens in your curriculum when you label it negatively. Even though at the Saturnian and internal level, that is valid. That sucks. It does. And there’s something to learn too.
CB: Okay, so we’re after five, so these are going to be the last few questions, is it all right if we do a few more questions, Marilyn?
CB: Okay. So there’s two people that have, are there just two more questions? Does anyone else have a question? No? Okay, then Doug and then Jen….
Doug: I just want to mention that the gentleman here, Lou, had touched on something that, you know, astrology is not just counseling. Astrology is mundane, talking about political events, talking about the world, it’s horary, it’s setting up electional charts for companies, all those sorts of things. And those sorts of things have probably less to do with consciousness and are more Newtonian, mechanical kinds of things…
Doug: And yet astrology works. So traditional astrology there seems to work even when we hold consciousness out. And I also….
CB: I mean, that’s actually a good question. Do you view those as valid forms, other branches of astrology, as valid forms of astrology that are more directed towards looking at concrete external events, like horary astrology, answering if a question is yes or no?
EM: Yeah, that’s what I said earlier, didn’t I. I did a whole big thing on how there’s many different types of astrology that have different applications and different uses. Didn’t I? Yes. Of course. But the problem is that people sitting, who are interested in growing spiritually is different than the election of when to build a building. And we have to take into consideration that nuance of consciousness that we’re different than when to build a building.
Doug: But who caused this? I mean, if I drop this pen (drops pen), Newtonian physics says it’s going to fall, quantum says that the probability is it’s going to fall. But the probability it’s not going to fall, while it exists, is so slim as to be virtually nothing. So if I say, we talked about the example of the Mercury-Uranus, Mercury-Saturn, so let’s take Mercury-Saturn, because I’d bet a hundred percent that consciousness is a big factor in astrology, I’m not denying that at all, I think it’s a big factor. But so if we talk about Mercury and Saturn together in a natal chart, for example, the two levels of consciousness might be, somebody might be very fear based. They might be very fearful, very constricted in their thinking, they may not try to go to college because they’re fearful they’re not smart enough, and so it’s kind of this circle event. On the other hand, somebody maybe with higher consciousness, whatever, might become brilliant, by very thoroughly examining things…
Doug: …in a Saturnian sense. Okay. But here’s the deal. So the consciousness is there, obviously. I mean, that can manifest itself in different ways, Mercury-Saturn, according to a person’s consciousness, that’s true, and according to maybe some free will. However, it doesn’t negate the fact that in plain old Newtonian, Saturnian astrology sense, Mercury-Saturn is going to be different than Mercury-Uranus.
EM: Yes. Einstein has Mercury conjunct Saturn, and when he was young, he had learning problems and couldn’t express himself very well. And then he turned out to grow, and this is the type of astrology that there’s a huge range. And then he became an intellectual, Mercury, authority, Saturn, is the high end of that. Because you’re not going to manifest that when you’re six years old. You cannot do the high range of anything really, because your consciousness is not that evolved yet. It’s not there yet, it hasn’t ripened. And so everything in the chart dynamically changes throughout your lifetime. I’ve got Mercury square Chiron. I could not talk when I was young. I stuttered. And I would never be on a stage. I was fearful, I was a total public speaking phobia. And now there’s a lot of healing, Chiron, that I now speak quite often and I find it to be very healing, is the high end of that. And so everything dynamically changes depending on your level of growth and maturation and how you activate your chart.
CB: Einstein is an example you use of that because he has Saturn in Aries, right?
EM: Well that’s a different issue, but that’s….
CB: Well, it’s I think one that you use, and example of somebody who you said according to traditional astrology then Saturn…
EM: Has a negative placement, then here’s someone who was a person of the century because he took it upon himself, Saturn, to mature as a leader, Aries, as an individual that’s going against the grain and being a pioneer, which is the spirit of Aries. So Einstein’s Saturn in Aries was his greatest tool, to be who he became a person of the century, whereas that’s a conventional placement that is negative. Saturn in Aries is in its fall, so, you’re not going to amount to anything or whatever they might say about someone in the fall, the person of the century, probably contributed more than anyone else. And his Saturn’s in a so-called negative placement.
CB: Well, what you overlooked about that so-called negative placement is that Mars is in Capricorn, so Saturn and Mars are in a mutual reception, which negates the fall or the difficulty that would be indicated by that placement. And any traditional astrologer would know that immediately because they know the rules of traditional astrology they wouldn’t make snap judgments before looking at the full chart.
EM: And so, so again, that, outcomes are seen in the charts.
EM: And I’m saying that outcomes are up to you. That’s, that’s the difference. Astrology gives you answers, astrology gives you questions. That’s what it all comes down to.
CB: I mean that’s a pretty easy choice to me. I would like more answers. (Laughter). I understand the point of questions. People come to me with…
EM: But the problem is that the world is not a big machine where all the answers are there. It’s up to us to create it with the universe. So if the mindset that goes beyond, behind your belief system was actually the way the world works, terrific! We could all figure out the machinery. But it’s not a machine. It’s a dreamscape of co-creation. That’s the difference.
CB: Okay. So I’ve got to cut off the questions. Lou, did you have one, because you had your…No?
Lou: It’s already covered.
CB: Okay. All right, last one, Laura, and then….
Laura: Okay, I’m just asking it.
Laura: You know enough about psychology that if you knew someone needed to see a psychologist, you’d refer them, correct?
CB: Yeah, I’d refer them to a psychologist…
Laura: Okay, if, if…
CB: …but not to an astrologer.
Laura: If someone, yeah, if you’re looking at someone’s chart, and they’re, you can sense what’s going on, you know enough about psychology that you would pass them to someone that had, if they needed a psychologist. The same if they needed a spiritual leader. Right?
CB: Yeah. Right. If somebody….
Laura: You would pass that on. Like I would. In my practice, I would do the same thing.
CB: Yeah. If somebody came to me and either…
Laura: I can’t be…
CB: …obviously needed….
Laura: … all of those things. I can be their astrologer. And I have taken enough, a few psychology classes, enough to know when someone needs to talk to a psychologist.
EM: I’m saying that the nature of the subject matter when you go, what astrology reveals, is the deepest, unconscious, emotional, psychospiritual material, and to have emotional and psychospiritual background and understanding how to work with that is absolutely critical if you’re going to open up that material.
Laura: And that’s why I would pass someone on.
EM: Nah, I’m saying that you do that in general. If you do the type of astrology that you’re working with people around their development and their life path, the nature of what is revealed is extremely sensitive, emotional, psychological material.
Laura: And sacred to them.
EM: And so if you’re an astrologer, that’s forecasting events or weather patterns or things that are more mundane about how to build the Mercury Café, you don’t need a background in psychology. If you’re working with people and their consciousness and you don’t have that background, I believe that that is not ethics. Is my view.
Laura: And at the same time, I believe that to astrologically work with someone and also be their spiritual leader is pretty heinous as well.
EM: Who wants to be a spiritual leader?
Laura: Anyone who holds somebody’s spirit in their palms.
CB: Okay, Marilyn, since you’re the owner… and then we’ll close it out? (Laughter.)
Marilyn: Thanks. Okay. I’ve often thought that it is not, I would not use a word like malpractice, but that any psychologist or psychiatrist who doesn’t have astrological data in front of them is really working handicapped.
EM: Well, that’s the other side of the coin.
Marilyn: Yeah. Really, but even more so, because the astrology that’s taught gives you a real psychological depth, just learning the basics of astrology, you learn all kinds of psychological depth.
Marilyn: And that that’s not the case when you’re a psychiatrist or a psychologist. You’re not, you have no exposure to the realities that an astrological chart can give you. So it seems to me that that counselor is working blind, compared to an astrologer who actually has the good data.
EM: Sure. Yeah. Rick Tarnas has a great quote on that. He said, future generations of astrologers will look at, future generations of psychologists will look at modern-day psychologists who are not using astrology like we look at ancient astronomers who don’t have the access to a telescope. And so yeah, it’s incredibly powerful. So eventually it will be much more, and it is, it’s starting to proliferate a lot more within the field of psychology. But over here I want to say, I’m not interested in being anyone’s spiritual leader, I don’t talk about spirituality or religion, I talk about lessons, where we learned, and I welcome people into embracing their curriculum. There’s nothing about leadership, there’s nothing about anything that is dogmatic about spirituality or religion in any shape, sense, or form. It’s all about hey, you’re a human, this is what you’re learning, here’s how we can frame it as the curriculum. That’s it. And that is not heinous in my view. It’s very loving. What I do comes from love and that’s what I’ll back off with, my final thing. Is that I use the word love in every consult. I’ve never, ever heard in the astrology lectures that I go to, the way that people approach it, is framing the human condition from the foundation of unconditional love. This is my whole focus. And I don’t hear that from astrology. They’re missing the whole point. The whole point is that we’re learning to love our self and accept the self, and love everything outside of us as a reflection of us, and so love is where I’m coming from. And what I hear from most other astrologers, what I’m looking for, no astrologer’s talking about love. They don’t. They don’t bring it up. Ever. That’s the foundation, that’s the big difference, that’s what I do, is rooted in love. It’s not about being some dogmatic, eehhhh, spiritual leader. That’s not, that’s not what I do.
CB: And I would say what I do is just attempt to give clients a greater sense of meaning and purpose about their life, and that’s my goal. And I guess that’s the difference. So with that, I think we can wrap up this debate. So first, thank everyone for coming, all of you’ve been a great audience. Eric, thank you very much for doing this, I really appreciate it.
CB: Does anyone have a camera? Would you mind taking a picture of us? Because I feel like this was a good debate, and like, I think this is important in terms of the history of astrology and the development of astrology and the interface between these different traditions, and something interesting will come out of it. So, I’m glad we could do this event.
EM: So, can I ask you one question then?
EM: So do you see traditional astrology as a wall or a gate?
CB: A gate to what?
EM: The outer planets and what they mean.
CB: I mean, I use the outer planets. I don’t not use the outer planets.
EM: Okay, so you don’t think it constricts it into that old framework that…okay. So you see it as a gate.
CB: I see it as, traditional astrology as the basis, and then you can build on top of it with modern astrology. It’s the foundation.
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