The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 19, titled:
Objective Versus Subjective Reality in Astrology
With Chris Brennan and Benjamin Dykes
Episode originally released on July 29, 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 Gülşen Altay
Transcription released May 15, 2016
Copyright © 2016 Chris Brennan
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hi. My name is Chris Brennan and you are listening to the astrology podcast. Today is Sunday, July 27th 2014 and this is the 19th episode of the show. You can find the show at the astrologypodcast.com and you can also listen to the show on iTunes.
My co-host today is Ben Dykes and we will be talking about issues surrounding the objective nature of astrology versus the subjective nature of human experience so Ben, wellcome back to the show.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Thanks for having me. Glad to be back.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Yeah, so before we get started there is two pieces of news and announcements. The first is that I just finished recording and part of the motivation for doing this show or part of the material that I am drawing on it from, is that I just finished recording a new 8 hour lecture that demonstrates how to use the rulers of 12 houses in order to delineate different topics in a person’s life based on what house the ruler of a specific house is located in and I ended up using over 70 example charts, many of which were celebrity charts, in order to demonstrate how the delineations work out in practise so you can check that out to welbow through part of my Introduction to Hellenistic Astrology Course on the Hellenistic Astrology website at www.hellenisticastrology.com. In other news, Ben also just released a new lecture on the Arabic Parts and I was wondering if you could tell us a little bit what that covers.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Yeah, this workshop is meant for all astrologers, you don’t have to be a traditionalist, you don’t have to know anything about Lots in order to understand this workshop. I focus on 5 or 6 Lots that you might commonly look at in someone’s charts, the Lots of the Father and Mother, Friends, Marriage and Work and Children and I show how to calculate Lots and a bit about why they are calculated the way that they are and then I have a number of examples on how to understand how each Lot works and what kinds of information we can get from Lots and a bit about what is the difference between a Lot and a house?, what is a Lot’s say that is different from what a house says? and I think we will actually touch a bit on our topic of today.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Yeah, I think that actually provides us a nice segway for transition into our topic which is something that I have been thinking about a lot as a result of putting together this new series of lectures as part of expanding my course on Hellenistic astrology where I needed to demonstrate some of the techniques by using a wider range of chart examples so one of the things that I did, I spent past several months building up a library of two or three hundred charts that had exact birth times and researching the biographies of those individuals in order to use them as chart examples for different placements but also sort of more deliberately talking the clients and starting to set aside some of the charts that I was getting from clients when they made good examples for certain techniques and obviously asking them if I could use their charts as examples but one of the things that came up during the course of doing this research is this issue where often times I found that you can’t necessarily ask a person about how a specific topic or how a range of topics manifests in their life because the person themself, the native or the owner of the birth chart can’t necessarily view those areas of their life objectively and that sort of spread discussion that we had last week which we thought turn into an interesting, would be interesting for podcast and you had some interesting thoughts to share on that topic yourself. Right?
BENJAMIN DYKES: Yeah, it goes to the idea that the astrology especially in traditional astrology through the use of time lords for example but in your workshop through the lords of the houses, the astrology is trying to say something objective about the course of your life and what different houses will ultimately mean in your life? The problem is that all of us everyday because we are subjective individuals, we have a kind of narrative idea about what our life is and where it is going, sometimes based on reality, sometimes based on visual thinking or other things, emotions and so there is a question how to bridge to get between what the chart is saying and what the narrative description of life is that is coming from the client.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right. Yeah and specifically, especially this is an issue I think that is becoming more and is more difficult for people like you and I for traditional astrologers to deal with because our astrology tends to be more event oriented and also more oriented towards being able to make specific statements about things that will or will not happen in a person’s life or about their concrete external circumstances and because that is kind of a new field because of the revival of traditional astrology over the past 15 to 20 years, it is kind of an area where some people like us are kind of pinoeers and kind of exploring what that even consists of or how to operate within the confines of doing that type of astrology and this is one of the things that is actually a surprising challenge about that which is, sometimes you will make a specific statement about a specific part of the person’s life and I have had this happened a few times in consultations where we make a specific statemet or at least relatively specific statement to whatever extent you can you know how …far you can go a certain tecnique which I think is usually, surprisingly specific and sometimes the person will come back and say ‘No, It doesn’t ring a bell or No, that is never happened in my life’ and then later in the consultation we will be talking about something unrelated and then they let drop a fact about their life when we make a statement about something is happened in their past that perfectly fits exactly what you said, probably would have happened based on a certain chart placement in their life and they say you know there is various responses but the general just of is … just is incredibly from the perspective of a consulting astrologer it is incredibly frustrating that, that happens at all but from the perspective of researching technique, if techniques in astrology for to talk about this more from a research standpoint or even from the standpoint of you know let’s say if you are a scientist just trying to determine the validity of astrology by applying some of these techniques that we apply everyday, that is an incredibly problematic facet of trying to research astrological techniques. The fact that sometimes even when talking to people to trying to determine if the technique is working or how is certain things worked out in a person’s life, you can’t necessarily validate it just by asking the person themself because they may not be able to view their life from the objective standpoint to the extent that they can tell you honestly whether or not that is true in reality.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Yeah, I think this brings up a number of issues. I mean, first of all what is the client willing to disclose or I mean what is the client…, how does the client prioritize different topics in lives for to begin to recognize what you are saying, I think it also in a broader sense sort of pull back and think philosophically, I have two thoughts: One is, comes from the Platonic view of astrology which is that what astrology does, is it makes your life intelligible which means that it is making sense of your life is a whole in the course of your life, well in Plato what is from a cosmic perspective and that is hard to do within in your own life either because all of us have our sense of you know where life is going and what is about, we may not recognize what the chart is saying about our life as a whole and how it is intelligible, the other thing is something that Aristotle says that is that in his Ethics which is you know we are concerned about happiness and how to live a happy life but he says really in the end you can only say that someone’s life is truely happy at or near the end of life because then you have the full range of what is happened so that our challenge as astrologers is, we see the birth chart which is ideally is the intelligible life all there in front of us in the diagram and how to we communicate that to a person who is living through time because the chart is in a sense timeless, it is the natal chart is.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right and how do you get passed their subjective, sometimes the subjective narrative that they build up about what their your own life is actually about…
BENJAMIN DYKES: Right.
CHRIS BRENNAN: … which sometimes and then actually brings up a seperate question which is, sometimes is it ethical or is it necessary do you need to push through and do you need to remove the client’s narrative about what their life is about if that something that is protective of them or that is necessary for them in order to get by? I mean some people have for example incredibly difficult lives or there are certain things about people’s lives that might be difficult or traumatic and they might tell themselves certain things about the nature of their life in order to maintain a sense of optimism or a sense of hope or what have you.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Yeah.
CHRIS BRENNAN: And sometimes that is the thing that is actually blocking your ability to make statements about them or your ability to make a statement that they perceive as accurate because it make contrast with that narrative that they tell themself in order to get by or in order to portray their life in a more positive light than you know somebody else whose standing outside of their life might portray it.
BENJAMIN DYKES: One example, I can think of this chart of someone that I know where the lord of the fifth was in a very difficult house and it indicates some kind of illness for the child and I said this to woman ‘No…, No…, that doesn’t ring a bell, doesn’t make sense’ and after you know some plotting and promptering in stuff I finally gave up and then afterwards she said well you know my child was diagnosed with a serious illness when she was very little but she said we got treatment for it. Well, the chart was correct.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right.
BENJAMIN DYKES: And I was correct with the child had an illness but the sense that she was able to do something about it overroad her recognition of the accurate statement about what was going on with the child.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right.
BENJAMIN DYKES: So that is…, that goes that idea of optimism and hope and the chart may show a problem even if you fixed the problem or you are dealing with the problem but the problem is still there and the chart can actually, can accurately show it.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right and also… Yeah, it is like that is an issue where sometimes they don’t realize it and sometimes there is also this seperated or related issue where they assume that because they have experienced that, because they have kind of like internalized that experience that sometimes they take it for granted that, that is like an experience in their life and even sometimes somebody mentions it they can’t identify that or they think it is something that everbody goes through that, sure everybody has that experience when in fact it is not necessarily like some people, there is a lot of different types of events that happened in individuals lives that do not happen to everybody and that is often what the astrology is describing is the way in which an individual might have a specific type of event that occurs in their life that is unique to them and that might set them apart from everybody else or at least from the vast majority of people and sometimes people will have a hard time distinguishing between that or realizing that, that thing that happened to them hasn’t happened everybody else or that is not a shared experience that everbody has happened.
BENJAMIN DYKES: So well, that reminds me of may be this goes a little too far field but how a lot of contemporary astrology is carried out, particularly in its use of the outer planets which are functionally treated as malefics and because so many things were meant to be really key to the soul and psyche is that people might aspect that certain house placements have got to be really dramatic which is not necessarily true.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right.
BENJAMIN DYKES: It might be true in certain kinds of charts but one obstacle is, you might be describing something that is subjectively true about the person’s life, but they are expecting something really dramatic and again with the contemporary emphasis on you know transformation and all of that, the fact is that most people don’t go through dramatic transformations, at least they don’t go through multiple times or all the time and so we may say something that is accurate, but if a person is expecting something really dramatic in psychological that is also a kind of barrier to recognizing this astrological narrative about what their life is about.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Sure and that doesn’t even though..,, even if it can make like a settle statement about the person’s life, that is true that important ended up of itself because you shouldn’t able to do that. I mean you shouldn’t be able to look at you know chart that reflects the alignments of the planets at the moment of a person birth and say something about you know that one of the examples I used in my lecture somebody who had the ruler of the 10th in the 3rd and at one point they worked together in own their business with their siblings and it didn’t end up becoming like a major life long thing and it wasn’t a huge part of their life in the long term and in the sense that they ended up having other 3rd house type careers but that was still an accurate delineation even if somewhat settle, I mean that is actually not a good example in the sense that is not very settle, that is actually a pretty major example but I understand what you mean in terms of people sometimes will misinterpret what the astrologer says because they may not think of the actual settle nuances of the ways in which their statement might be correct because they are thinking that it must be something huge that is happened in their life rather than something may be not that impactful even if it was unique to them.
BENJAMIN DYKES: It seems to me, there is two ways we can also look at this objectivity topic and the one is what does traditional astrology contribute us? but I am thinking of especially time lords that has to do with making your life intelligible through periods and the other is what are some of the barriers in a lot of contemporaray astrology the seeingness namely the idea that the chart is a picture of your soul? Both of those I think we need to talk about to make sense of the subjectivity theme.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Sure. Okay so, yeah, there is two topics, the one of them is persistent versus like discrete events and the other is modern astrologers conceptualization of the birth chart typically is representing different parts of the person’s psyche so that might be a good starting point…
BENJAMIN DYKES: Okay.
CHRIS BRENNAN: …to begin with which is one of the major differences between the type of astrology that we are doing with traditional astrology versus how most modern astrologers conceptualize the birth chart is that most modern astrologers view the birth chart as a map of the person’s psyche and as being mainly representing different psychological impulses and different things about the person’s character or personality.
BENJAMIN DYKES: All of which is, it is true to a point. I mean, we have to, you know we do have to acknowledge that. Sure.
CHRIS BRENNAN: And yeah, I don’t think most of the traditional astrologers would reject that.
BENJAMIN DYKES: No.
CHRIS BRENNAN: They would just say, it is also…, that is the big discovery about the traditional astrology is over the past 20 years is you know, surprise, it can also indicate concrete events about the person’s life and circumstances.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Right.
CHRIS BRENNAN: So it does do character analysis and psychological analysis, you can do that but it is not limited to that which is the position I think that a lot of contemporary like late 20th century astrology had really gone to the direction of saying that, that is all it is and that is actually not true or that is what we are finding is not true and we can also describe events in a person’s life and that is actually especially when you are dealing with clients or with people who have some background in astrology regardless of how extensive or how limited it is, that is actually one of the things that you are fighting against as well, as a traditional astrologer when you are making delineations because when you conceptualize the chart as an extension of the person’s psyche there is this expectation that every placement must indicate something that is persistent or that is always true about the person’s life in someway whereas with traditional astrology if you are doing a more event oriented astrology, when you are looking at specific placements that is not always the case because sometimes a placement could just indicate a single event in a person’s life or a single circumstance or set of events in a person’s life that are not persistent through out the entirety of it but that nonetheless were indicated in the birth chart about a specific important thing that might happen at some specific time in the person’s life.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Yeah, I think one way we can think about it is that if the chart is a picture of the soul or the mind, then because you carry your soul and mind around with you 24 hours a day then whatever the astrologer tells you should be always true or should be always true and constant at least by age 15 or 18 or you know when people’s characters really get formed and mature and so what the traditional astrology is saying is, certain parts of that are true because we do character analysis, we talk about people’s skills and talents and how the mind works and that kind of think but there are other areas of the chart and with other techniques that no, they aren’t things that are happening all of the time so when you liberate yourself from the idea that everything in the chart is something in your mind, you are opened up to the rest of the world in a sense, a lot of which is not under your direct control.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Sure.Yeah.
BENJAMIN DYKES: And it is not just the reflection of your thoughts and your mind and attitudes.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right, projection of your …, I mean this episode, it is funny because I guess this episode is gonna follow up on the debate that I had with Eric Meyers in the last episode so our discussion about this in rejecting that actually ties and interestingly just because the position if you are taking, doing in more event oriented astrology and that is one of the positions that I adopted kind of strongly in that debate which is that it is not true that the everthing that is indicated in the chart is just an extension of the person’s psyche or that the person brings about all events in their lives simply…
BENJAMIN DYKES: It is not all about you…
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right.
BENJAMIN DYKES: … you know, it is all your life so it has some to do with you but it is not all you.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Yeah, because that is a supremely egotistical, ironically egotistical position to take to assume that everthing is just an extension of your psyche or that whatever advance that are occuring in your life you are drawing those events into your what have you, it is like well some of that may be true in some instances to just assort that, that is true in every instance for every type of event that occurs in the world for every life and every person, no matter what level of fortune or misfortune they experience, it is just a weirdly like I said egoistical type view to adapt but that is almost sort of strength away from our point which is this issue of persistent versus discrete events that might be indicated in the chart and I am starting to develope this category and I think we have to develope a better way of categorizing that topic where sometimes you can have something indicate in the chart that may only happen once in the person’s life, sometimes you can have somethings that is in the chart that might indicate a reoccuring theme that occurs more than once but not that often let’s say may be 2 or 3 times in the person’s life, give or take and then of course the extreme or you do have some placements that are clearly indicating persistent themes that if not being constant themes, things that happened throughout the course of the life that stick with the person sort of permanently, there at least themes that come up over and over again in different ways sort of symbolically.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Like if you had for example a planet that is right on the Midheaven, I mean not going to be a persistent theme because it is, as the Arabs would say, it is advancing and the word that they use mental like ‘step forward’ or ‘step up’ and sort of announce itself and it might do that for the whole life but there might be other things that you only see through profection once every twelve years or so or through some other time lord technique, it is real, it is meaningful but it doesn’t happen all the time, it only happens occasionally.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right. Yeah, and that’s…, I think I will support the other access point that you are trying to bring up which is what traditional astrology can bring to the table and in addition to just being able to interpret the basic placements better and being able to interpret how they might manifest in a concrete form, is also having some access point for determining when with greater certainty that specific chart placements and the potential or the promise that is inherent in certain placements, will actually be delivered or will manifest in the person’s life using various techniques.
BENJAMIN DYKES: This is something that would with clients very useful to use something like profections or distributions or the bounds or other time lord techniques If you are trying to figure out what a planet is doing and it is supposed you have. .. I don’t know the lord of one house in another house, this is what your workshop was on, you might be talking to someone who is may be a 30 years old and doesn’t really ring a bell to them impart because they are only thirty and you know may be their narrative is interfering but if you can look back to the last time that the planet or house involve was being activated by time lord technique that can help you understand how that planet is operating objectively in that person’s chart even though they are not recognizing at on a day to day basis and it is more of an occasional and intermittent influence rather than a persistent one.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right. Yeah, that is really good point, especially with profections because of that twelve year profection cycle and effect that you can see sometimes some of those placements getting activated and then clearly you can determine whether the delineation in some instances is correct just by looking back through a person’s life when that placement was activated by profection to see what types of events occured in those years.
BENJAMIN DYKES: It seems to me also that there is a kind of a moral aspect to this and by moral, I mean something that impacts people’s happiness and how they are adjusting their expectations and their plans and so on, to live a happy life and that is that again one of the things that traditional astrology can contribute to this, is that if you have like a set of time lords, profections whatever happens to be, you can talk about the fact that the energy of some planet isn’t going to be activated for certain number of years may be three years from now, it is real, it is meaningful for their lives but in a way it can help people live a happy your life to know that, this is not the time to really draw on this energy or this is not the time to make plans in some area because this chart placement, the circumstances, the objective circumstances in life aren’t going to be in place for several years and so it can help people get a sense of all right for the next few years I am working on these projects and this is the energy of the chart that I am working on and then it is gonna change in several years and I can make plans and advance my life and these other directions then …
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hmm.
BENJAMIN DYKES: …so that making your life intelligible isn’t just about making a bunch of pronouncements what their life is about, it is also about helping people have made prudent planning.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Sure. Yeah, that makes sense.Although that brings up…, I actually brings up a ethical issue I was struggling with and I talked about a little bit towards the end of my lecture and I was talking actually about with Demetra George the other night which is sort of a another unique ethical issue that traditional astrologers get into which is this issue of if astrology is accurately describing a person’s reality and if it is capable of describing a person’s reality to what extent and in some instances is that useful as if the person just wants to be reassure that everything will be all right or that things in a specific scenario, let’s say will turn out well. If by well we mean you know how the person would ideally like it to turn out and that sometimes becomes an issue because it is not always the case that traditional astrologer can just look at a chart and say you know ‘Yeah, everthing is gonna be fine’ like that is gonna work out just fantastically…
BENJAMIN DYKES: …or it is all up to you, if you decide it is gonna be good, it will be good.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right. You can just create your own reality and if it goes wrong then that was your fault because you didn’t create your reality correctly.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Right.
CHRIS BRENNAN: That is also I mean to our benefit that is not something a traditional astrologer would say but then the downside to that is you know what sort of position is that put you? and what should you say? or shouldn’t you say? when met with that kind of inquiry. We don’t necessarily have to answer that question but it is just something that was raised for me recently and may be my personal approach at this point just to be really honest if a person is coming to me or it is interesting having a consultation say that they do wanna be reassure that such and such topic will work out, I will just say I can’t guarantee you that if I looked at the chart and if you want me to be honest with you about what I see in terms of how this might worked out or what the probabilities are, I can’t necessarily promise you that it is gonna be good or what I see is gonna be positive and I don’t necessarily wanna freak you out so in that instance may be it is not necessary for you if you are really not looking for…, if you are really not looking to find out what actually will probably take place or what is gonna play out, if in study you just looking for like encouragement or if you are looking for hope or optimism in someway, you know I am not entirely sure if that type of astrology consultation is necessary for you or is necessarily the best thing. Although I am still trying to figure out what the…, I don’t know, what the outlines are of that really in terms of the ethics and in terms of what the purpose of astrology is or the purpose of a more event oriented astrology is in that context.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Yeah, what I deal with clients you know in that kind of situation I will say, you know I don’t mean to scare you but I am an astrologer and I am reading the chart and I have to talk about the what these themes mean and so I will be honest with people and you know sometimes it depends on where they are in life, you know I may see something in a chart and you know become a kind of nervous about talking about with the client but the client may be let’s say 62 years old and as soon as I started to talk about it, they will like ‘Yeah, I know all about that’ so sometimes it depends on the person stage of life, sometimes it is more of a feeling or what are they really there to know? Another I mean the funny thing is that this kind of discussions, everyone’s concern about how do you deliberate bad news? Nobody it seems to be objecting to traditional astrology wanna gives good news, you know there are only concern about the bad news, but one other thing that traditional astrology which is with this idea of making life intelligible and dividing into stages that kind of thing, is that when we are having problems or I suppose having good times but when we are having problems it is very easy because we are in the situation to globalize it, ‘…so well I guess, life is just awful.’…
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right.
BENJAMIN DYKES: …‘but I guess, this just will never work out.’ and one of the…, for me personally, one of the ‘aha!’ moments I have, I was having a very difficult eighth year profection and I think I was near the end of it and I realized ohh! but next year the profection moves on the something else so this isn’t a description of everything in my life all of the time because this is just the stage then I am going through…
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right.
BENJAMIN DYKES: …and the chart is telling me that in order to make my life intelligible, this is a stage that is going through.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Yeah, that is definitely, that is probably one of the main benefits honestly of the more event oriented forms of astrology especially working with some of the time lord techniques is that often times you can put a specific time frame on certain things and certain experiences and certain stages in a person’s life and just a realization in many instances that most things are temporary can be very helpful and can be very reassuring for person who is going through it and you know isn’t sure if it is gonna end or when it might end.
BENJAMIN DYKES: It is a different thing from some predictive techniques like certain ways of doing primary directions for you are looking for a hit, you are looking for a hit on a certain day or certain month or something and you are looking for a specific event. The interesting thing is that even in Ptolemy in Book IV when he does his description of how to use primary directions, he uses primary directions as time lords and so if there is a direction of let’s say the Ascendant to let’s say Venus, he doesn’t look for a specific date for just a one time event, he says that the aspect of… the direction to Venus will continue on until the Ascendant hits the aspect of body of something else…
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right.
BENJAMIN DYKES: …so even in the ancient period even with something like primary directions that people are used to thinking about a momentary event, this was always understood as being the begining of a period that would went after time move into something else.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Sure but that is instead of being like a singular specific thing that sometimes it can extend for a duration of time until somethings else takes over?
BENJAMIN DYKES: Right.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Yeah, that’s a important and big concept and that is one of the big things that is you know different about the time lord systems and that Indian astrologers are familiar with, that is one of the big draws that many Western astrologers have for Indian astrology is having something like that with the Dasha systems.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Right, but it is already there in Hellenistic Egypt, the people like Ptolemy and Nechepso &Petosiris and it is already there.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Sure, so that brings us back the issue of sort of persistent versus temporal or temporary type things as well as this broader issue, I guess, really what this all comes back to something that Robert Zoller said to me years ago back in like 2006, 2007 where he was on this kick about how and he just presented this a few years before that given this presentation in Amsterdam in front of a bunch of academics, in front of a bunch of historians where he gets up and.. he gives us talk and he asserts kind of dogmatically that something to the fact that astrology is the only true means of determining what is actually happening in reality.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Objective reality. Yeah, that is what he said.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Objective reality, it is the only true means of determining objective reality and at the time when he is like telling me this I found that idea really offensive and really distasteful because….
BENJAMIN DYKES: As did the academics said this, mostly academics at the conference where he said it.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Yeah, we are completely discussed it in addition to the fact he was one of the two astrologers there, the other one being Holden, James Holden and he gets held out of the room or something like that because that is not even what the conference is about so even though why he would have got up there and present that, but nonetheless the basic point though which he still maintain outside the lecture that astrology was the only true means partially because of you know this topic we are talking about now about the difficulty of individuals actually getting perspective on or asserting the truth about their life because of their subjective experience of it and inability of the individual, sometimes to step outside of that and I found that idea really distasteful at first but the more and more over the past ten years since then I have come to work with clients and pay attention my own chart, pay attention charts of people around me the more and more I have sort of warmed up to the idea and start to realize that he was right, that the problem ultimately what it this all boils down to everything we are talking in this episode, the ultimate problem is that astrology is depicting reality in a way that is much more objective than any of us or usually typically used to being able to deal with or are used to and therefore there is something that is off-putting about it or that we have a hard time getting used to when somebody starts making statements based on it because sometimes it can be so drastically different from the narrative’s that we think about our own lives or even about the lives of the people that we know or familiar with.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Well and what he also said, may be not in that talk, but he also said before is, he talked about the experience of doing life charts at presentations and taking charts from the audience and if you say something about the chart and then the person says ‘No, that is not true’, then they are lying.
CHRIS BRENNAN: That was what he would assert?
BENJAMIN DYKES: Yeah and I also found that really shocking and offensive but I have also found that to be true in some instances. It is not that people awakened, sometimes they are blinded by you know through various reasons, sometimes it is the fact that traditional astrology can say things about a person’s life that you don’t want to announce in front of a crowd.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right, so in terms of privacy issues you are not feeling comfortable acknowledging that?
BENJAMIN DYKES: Right.
CHRIS BRENNAN: or I mean in some instances may be really is something that the person doesn’t want you know people to know what have you
BENJAMIN DYKES: Hmm
CHRIS BRENNAN: I mean, that is an interesting statement because we are just different shades of that and different variations of it that I have seen or that are true in certain instances even if Zoller’s, you know still takes it kind of in almost two extreme of a direction and saying that across the board if a person, if you make a delineation and person says no that they are lying, obviously that is not always true but there might be instances in which that might be true for different reasons or for various reasons.
BENJAMIN DYKES: And to go back to Zoller’s statement about astrology is the only true measure of objective reality, I think that was his phrase of something along …, I mean those were almost the words that he used as I remember, I mean obviously when we are talking about objective reality even astrology won’t tell me whether you know how many hairs I have on my head even though that is an objective reality or you know how many protons are in a certain atom? It won’t tell you that kind of thing.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right.
BENJAMIN DYKES: But in terms of this the intelligible narrative of your life, we have been using this word narrative, in terms of the overall objective narrative of life, I think he was right.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Sure. Yeah, I mean I have come to that conclusion as well that probably is correct that to whatever extent whatever is saying is probably much closer to and he is inaccurate depiction of reality sometimes even when that contrasts what you think, often times what you will find out is what you thought previously was wrong or will turn out to be wrong…, can turn out to be wrong in someway, I mean the other area that this comes up is sometimes you can make a statement about a person’s life based on their chart but it could be a discrete event that hasn’t occured yet that is something that is still, is coming up in their future and I have had this in a few instances actually with clients and with friends and that has been kind of irrealy accurate or irrealy impressive which isn’t so useful at the time because you know you are making statements about a person’s life and you want to be correct I guess on some level just in order to demonstrate the ethicusy of your approach or your techniques you know I mean that is an event that hasn’t really taken in my life yet then later you will find out that this thing happened perfectly matched that sort of symbolism of that placement.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Now I think we should add though that among what we are talking about objective reality, I wanna bring up a phrase that I used in a recent book which is part of my theory of astrology in natal astrology, is a determinism of types that we have to admit a great deal of determinism in the universe in whatever astrology to work and that just simply means that there are certain categories of things, people’s lives that are shown in the chart that would be activated in certain times and that a part of the flow of the whole cosmos.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right.
BENJAMIN DYKES: But that doesn’t necessarily say because obviously when people would think about it…, when people would think about event oriented astrology and think okay, this will happen to you this state, this will happen to you the next state and the question is what is that mean about being happier?, what the meaning of life is, it seems like a bunch of useless events outside of your control, don’t help you be a more, I don’t know, little more meaningful life and more deliberate life but I think what we can say is that when we do predictive stuff, when we do delineation it is not always clear whether certain events or certain classes of events are initiated by the person or initiated by other people so that if you are life for this year or whatever is being ruled by Venus we don’t always know whether now you are doing venusian things or venusian things are happening to you, we don’t always know that, but what we can say is that part of the intelligiblity of your life is that venusian things are happening during this certain period and that is what contributes to what your life is about.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right. Yeah, I mean that is really important point in the way that is phrased or the way that framed for example by Richard Harness, by the modern astrologer Richard Harness, he says that astrology is archetypally predictive, that is the phrase that he uses.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Similar thing. Yeah.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Yeah and I think that is true, it is just that with traditional astrology well still being archetypally predictive you can go, there is means of constraining the symbolism or specifying the symbolism down much further from you know very broad archetype to more specific ones so that even though it still we might say only symbolically or archetypally predictive, there is still a level of specificity I guess or it narrows it down within a certain range that is still is pretty impressive and pretty specific relative to what you should be able to know or could be able to know without astrology.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Well, in one area were that works is the Lots. This goes back to the theory of Lots and the theory of Fortune which Aristotle had promoted, I am not gonna go on those details but the point is that what the Lots do which the natural sciences can not do, is that the Lots have to do with describing specific types of circumstances and events that are not near direct control what happened to you but are opportunities for you to act in various ways…
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hmm
BENJAMIN DYKES: …so, for example the Lot of Marriage, it is a common example that I use, the Lot of Marriage that is attributed to Hermes, it is a Saturn Venus Lot, the location of the Lot and the nature and place of its the lord of the Lot and aspects to the Lot describing often a great weird, almost creepy detail how you meet partners…
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hmm
BENJAMIN DYKES: …so, for example if Mars is…, I am gonna give an example, If Mars is the lord of the Lot, usually means either that you need people through relocation and travel, because traditionally Mars is a travel planet or to some kind of normal marsial event like fight so I am thinking of an example someone I used in my workshop where the lord of his Lot of Marriage is Mars.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Okay.
BENJAMIN DYKES: His first partner he met at anti-war rally and she later moved to foreign country, his second partner was a firefighter…
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hmm
BENJAMIN DYKES: … and then they broke up around the time that she moved across the country and then his third partner was a marsial type person that he met after he relocated across the country so that there are techniques that we have in traditional astrology in particular that specifically identify objective events and being in the right place at the right time for things to happen that are not of your own choosing.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right.
BENJAMIN DYKES: That go beyond your subjective wishing and I mean a person could take that under advisement and only go for certain kinds of people but the point is that Lots describe external events that you find yourself in without you are actually having planned it.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right, so that it is actually capable of describing the external circumstances…
BENJAMIN DYKES: Right.
CHRIS BRENNAN:…that are outside of the person’s control.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Yeah, not just about what areas of life mean for you and whether they will go well for you which a lot of its under our subjective a supervision but objective events that we stumble into that we didn’t choose and that is something that in terms of that concept of Fortune, Aristotle explicitly said, natural sciences can explain that because the natural sciences don’t explain all of the millions of causes that going to making an event happen but astrology we can study that kind of objective reality where people are put in a right place at the right time for something to happen…
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right.
BENJAMIN DYKES: …so Lots, the whole field of Lots, is one area where that happens.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Yeah, in that ability is definitely important. I mean what is even more impressive and more startling from a philosophical standpoint is also being able to look at the things sometimes and say when it is pointing to something that is within the person’s control like I am thinking of like zodiacal releasing from the Lot of Spirit as being able to describe different periods and different times and which the native is able to more effectively actualize their internal potential or there will or what have you.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Yeah, but even then as far as I understand how you are doing the Lot of Spirit now is that you are taking the angles from the Lot of Fortune, you are looking at when the periods fall into the angles of Lot of Fortune, isn’t that right?
CHRIS BRENNAN: Yeah,so…
BENJAMIN DYKES: And the whole idea of the Lot of Fortune is periods in which you are placed in the right place at the right time for you to do something about it but you didn’t create the circumstance.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Well, it is that you created the circumstance but also that you are in the right place at the right time so you are doing the right thing in the right place so that what are you trying to accomplish is actually received well versus a time period in which, let’say you are in a zodiacal releasing period it is not an angle from Lot of Fortune, and sometimes you will be doing whatever you are trying to do but you just won’t be in the right place at the right time so won’t be effective or successful.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Right and that is a way of astrologically interfacing with the external world in a way that is internal to astrology what I mean is, you don’t need a seperate theory about the world in order to understand how those Lots work because the astrology itself tells you to the theory of Lots itself that here is where you are interfacing with you know external events and being in the right place at the right time, it is something internal to the astrology rather than like when people do, let’s say Jungian astrology, they are overlaying Jung’s philosophy onto astrology, but the theory of Lots it is something that is internal to the astrology, it is making a statement about objective reality.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right, definitely.
BENJAMIN DYKES: That’s my view at least.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Yeah, I think that make sense and that is something I try to argue and the debate last time that traditional astrology one of the benefits of its, it is more directly tight into some of the traditional philosophies and the traditional views of, viewing the world and viewing the cosmos rather than taking something that developed in the modern period and sort of like tacking it onto astrology which sometimes results in like weird mutations like you know taking young’s, some of the young’s theories about you know the person is projecting the unconsciousness outward, applying that everything and saying you know the entire world is just a projection of our unconscious.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Right. Yeah. Well take you know, tell that to someone who in the recession just loss their job despite their best intensions you know.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right. Yeah. No, I don’t think…
BENJAMIN DYKES: Sorry to be snarky. I mean, that was a little bit of a bi.. escaped there.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Yeah, I am trying to decide if we should review some of that. I mean, did you have any thoughts on the debate? I am not sure if that is relevant to our topic here. Our topic is what the objective nature of astrology versus the subjective nature of human experience. I mean, one thing you started to do that I think it might be good for me to do a little bit is the backtrack of, you know Zoller that made me statement about astrology being the only objective means of viewing the world objectively or what have you but to backtrack from that a little bit, well I think, that is true or well it may be true that doesn’t necessarily mean that astrologers that astrology provides omniscient or that astrologers can fully access or comprehend that in a given point in time even if astrology in all of its complexity is actually describing reality, the astrologers ability to fully understand the scope of everything in a given moment in time is still limited which introduces this element of and this is actually where there is almost like this element of something approaching like a deterministic conceptualization of free will is because as the astrologer ultimately you can’t ever ultimately know for sure in a sense that it doesn’t actually provide you with like a crystal bowl that gives you a glimpse like a literal, like you are watching a movie, you can see precisely how things will play out in the future.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Right.
CHRIS BRENNAN: And to the extent that it doesn’t do that there is always this level of uncertainty even though with the more traditional or more predictive forms of astrology you can take astrology much further than most modern astrologers would even dream that you ever cute or thing is possible with astrology even at that there is still limitations.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Yeah, I agree and that goes back to this idea of a determinism of types. I mean, if you have a Venus period, not every Venus signification will be activated and the chart doesn’t necessarily tell you exactly which Venus signification will be activated or rather the person is doing it him/herself or its coming from without you know with more techniques we might be able to narrow that down, I guess what it comes down to is, astrology is accurate but it only captures what astrology is capable of capturing.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right.
BENJAMIN DYKES: I mean and there might be a difference in branches like if I would do a horary and a lost object and I would expect the chart to tell me roughly in what area of my apartment you know my lost keys are in, but that doesn’t mean that in a Venus period the last for six months, I can absolutely say whether you will take dancing classes or whether you have lots of great sex or eat out at lots of good restaurants or whether you just feel more social, we don’t always know no doubt down that level of detail and that is where…, but we know that Venus will be activated.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Sure.
BENJAMIN DYKES: And then the theme of the period is Venus.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right. Yeah, I mean sometimes when you also incorporated additional techniques you can further specify that like that it might be important in a venusian way within the context of a person’s career or with this additional transits that were having that there may be well venusian, you may also be having difficulties with your finances at the time or other things that when you get these multiple techniques that are giving you multiple perspectives on different parts of the person’s life that sometimes it does narrow down the range quite a bit.
BENJAMIN DYKES: So yeah, like what you said it isn’t omniscient, it isn’t omniscient about every possible detail, but we are trying to do is make people’s lives and course of their lives intelligible through these techniques in ways that is both accurate beyond what people often see and in some cases can give comfort as to where they are in their lives and what is happening next, what projects are they done with?, what projects they have coming up.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right. Yeah and I just realize that I was actually originally Zoller statement so I need to attribute that to him as well, he said…, because it was one of the most striking statements that I have ever heard from him and I sort of internalize that over the years, he said that specifically astrology does not provide omniscients but it allows the astrologer to know and to say things that they shouldn’t be able to know or that they otherwise without astrology shouldn’t be able to know so and then it is just a matter of how far you can take that and how much you can find out that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to know and how further down you can sort of specify it, is the next sort of step.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Well, I feel…, I mean speaking of Zoller I feel is though we should give credit to Zoller because he is someone who throughout his career and especially in his natal course and I know you spent a lot of time with him when he was at Project Hinsight, emphasizing and reflecting on these topics that I think a lot of…, I know that…, I am admited to him greatly in some of my ideas and a lot of people are in traditional astrology because he thought philosophically about these topics that we need to recognize him as someone whose explore these areas a lot.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Yeah, definitely. I mean, well I am not necessarily as indeaded to him from a technical standpoint as you are, some of his students are definitely because he was one of the first people you know already publishing his book on the Arabic parts back in like 1980 or 1981, he was one of the first astrologers to go back and start using traditional astrology and start using more predictive event oriented type of astrology which point naturally, he startled wrestling with a lot of these issues that were you know I am just talking to you about today you know 2014 and they are coming up for me and doing research or working with clients, he was dealing with this you know way back in the early 80s.
BENJAMIN DYKES: And which again he was dealing with them primarily from a natal standpoint. I mean like I said I would fully expect that if I had a horary chart that told me where my lost keys were that would have level of you know specific information that I wouldn’t expect from a nativity but he was grappling phylosophically with what it meant to have a nativity and predictive techniques, what that meant as an astrologer and what that meant for people’s lives and I think we allow him a lot of credit for that.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Yeah, definitely because even with just you know some of those quick one liners that we have been mentioning in this show, there is a lot of insight into those that, that is like to direct conclusions that one starts coming to just as a result of practising and more event oriented astrology as opposed to an astrology that is more psychological or more about character analysis and that sort of what a lot of people that are getting into traditional astrology and even a lot of the people that are leaders in the field, are still exploring and are acting as sort of pioneers and setting the tone for and exploring the boundries of how far you can go with that but also what the implications are what is appropriate within the consulting setting and so on and so fort.
BENJAMIN DYKES: I wonder if we can go a little bit further with that and circle around the Plato?
CHRIS BRENNAN: Sure.
BENJAMIN DYKES: The idea that the chart is saying something objective and intelligible about your life and its life course and you know if Plato…, I mean he didn’t talk about natal charts but it is very easy to get this kind of conclusion from Plato is that your natal chart is a kind of time slice of the mental life of the divine and what do you call the world soul on the planet?, they were part of the world soul, what they are doing is they are reflecting to us in time and telling us that we need to live out in time something that is timeless from the divine perspective and what Zoller always said was astrology is not a religion but it forces you to ask this theological questions about what the universe is about that these ultimate principles that are translated into moving planets or saying about your role in the divine life. I mean in someways it is a way of going beyond the idea that well if you have a chart it has predictive techniques and this is your life and fated and if you are kind of depressed about that, I am in a way to arise beyond that is to say these are the advanced that are projected for the world which lives in time but they are moments of the eternal divine mind and I am living that out and I am in a way living out the divine mind by living my life.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Yeah and that was one of the things that was striking to me about going through the chart examples is these two categories that seem to come up after going through seventy chart examples and looking at the ruler of the ascendant and what house it was placed in and how some of the specific topics of that house would often come to the forefront of the native’s life or that the native’s life sometimes would become directed towards the topics associate with that house and one of the things that was striking to me is that sometimes these were like personally, were often times they were personally relevant topics or just somehow the topic became more personally relevant to that person just as sort of in terms of events in their life or in terms of what their focus was on but sometimes in looking at those placements and looking at also the rulers of houses in different houses that it would sometimes translate into not just a personal experience of the native in their own life but something about the significance of that person’s life in a more universal sense about the way that they impact to the world or the way that they impacted other people around them and what the broader significance of their life was in some universal sense was already a kind of impeded in the birth chart itself.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Talk a little more about that. I know you mentioned it in your workshop but talk a little bit more about that sense that looking at the chart, sometimes it is things particularly you, sometimes it is about your role in the greater world, what are your thoughts about that?
CHRIS BRENNAN: I mean, one of the ways that came up for me in this lecture was in the birth chart for like one example were came up was in birth chart of the French philosopher Michel Foucault and he had Scorpio rising with Mars in the 7th whole sign house, the place of relationships, in a day chart and Mars was the ruler of the Ascendant as well as the 6th house of illness and it was located in the 7th house of relationships and I thought that was really interesting because part of his life obviously he is known primariy as prominent French philosopher but in terms of his personal life what ended up happening towards the end of it, is that you know he went out took a teaching position in California in the late 1970s or early 1980s and he was very active in the local community there and having a lot of relationships with people and he ended up and this was in the middle of AIDS epidemic so he ended up developing HIV/AIDS and then he ended up sick coming to that so literally the delineation of having the ruler of the 6th house of illness in the 7th house of relationships worked out at least from a personal standpoint in a very stark and in a very dramatic way for him.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Your relationships make you sick.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Yeah, exactly. But then what was fascinating about that to me is that there ended up being this broader more universal implication or side effect of that as well which was that he did have like a long time on in and off partner and who was with him when he finally died and his partner was so moved by his death and by his illness and what he witnessed that he ended up going on to found the first national HIV/AIDS organization in France shortly after Foucault’s death and he subsequently, his partner, Foucault’s partner, became well known or became a well known AIDS activist after that point for the next few decades so that there is something indicated in Foucault’s birth chart not just about the personal significance of that but ended up having much wider significance in terms of the implications that his life and his birth chart had on his partner and what his partner went on to do as a result of what happened in Foucault’s life.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Now based on your research do you feel like you can tell a difference between personal effects and let’s call them legacy effects of a person’s life?
CHRIS BRENNAN: I think that there are and certainly like traditional astrologers do say that there are ways of doing that. I think I am still developing means of and trying to figure out ways of determining you know whether a placement will just be personally relevant or whether this will refer to the broader impact that this person has in the world in general so I am still sort of exploring that.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Yeah.
CHRIS BRENNAN: But I think I am getting to the point where I do think it is possible and that is actually one of the most exciting potential areas of research for me is, if you could figure that out you could start making those sorts of distinctions, it really start to putting astrology in a much different light or it is not just about the traditional and event oriented astrology in much different light, well it is not just about the personal subjective experience of the native has as they are going throughout their life but it is also that the chart could tell you about the broader impact of the person’s life in general on other people in it or on the world as a whole
BENJAMIN DYKES: Let’s call that the legacy effects since I just coin the phrase.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Okay. That sounds good. We will have to copyright that immediately before… That sounds good…
BENJAMIN DYKES: Yeah.
CHRIS BRENNAN: … so anybody who uses that phrase just attributed to Ben from now on. All right, so looks like we are up to one hour and 5 minutes so I am trying to think of if there is any specific topics or things that we meant to mention or sort of other things connected with this that we didn’t cover yet. Is there anything that you wanted to mention?
BENJAMIN DYKES: Well, I think as a kind of summary statement we need to say that traditional astrology is not opposed to the modern view of looking at placings in the chart as far as states of the soul or psychological dispositions and so on but that the traditional astrology has extra tools that can help make life intelligible and in some cases can help liberate a person from what they are feeling about their chart in their life that can help them have a sense of the course what their life is about. It is not about dictating every detail and there is a widespread, there is a wide rate of choices that all we make in life and no astrologer can tell you that some choices is impossible.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Sure.
BENJAMIN DYKES: That the concept of choices is impossible which I think is a misconception and a lot of people have about traditional astrology in its way of trying to make the chart objective.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Sure. Well, at the same time we would say that the chart probably is depicting the realities about a person’s life in a much more concrete way than people might be used to thinking or they might be used to conceptualizing the chart is being more malleable in some areas than it actually might be in some cases and that is okay.
BENJAMIN DYKES: And that a lot of things in the chart are not due to our choice. I mean, one really nice example that you had, was the father of JonBenét Ramsey, the little girl who was murdered and the lord of the 5th was in the 10th and the lord of the 8th was in the 10th…
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right.
BENJAMIN DYKES:…which in traditional astrology, well in the Arabic tradition is called ensembly when two planets are in the same sign but you would call it copresent and the idea you know he was clear of involvement in JonBenét’s death but those planets in the tenth meant that his public reputation was strongly affected by his…, well his first daughter I think you said died in a car accident?
CHRIS BRENNAN: Yeah, she should like 20.
BENJAMIN DYKES: She died in a car accident, his second daughter was murdered so he had lords of the 5th and the 8th, children and death, in the 10th and those things greatly effected his reputation even though he had nothing to do with it.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right, even though they are outside of his control
BENJAMIN DYKES: Right, outside of his control.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Yeah, and there is a lot of sort of instances like that I mean that is I guess the other thing is one of the things I am starting to do more deliberately and I think I am excited about as an additional area of research is the possibility of being able to distinguish between those things that are outside of the person’s control versus those things that might be within the person’s control or where it might be indicating that the person themself actually is the source of the problems in some instance which is not necessarily always the case but for example sometimes the case where if it is like you have the malefic that is contrary to the sect and it is the ruler of the Ascendant that sometimes it can be the person themself that brings about the problems in that specific part of their life rather than something that is external to them that is causing them problems in that part of their life like the difference between you know somebody that has the ruler of the Ascendant in the 7th and they are abusive towards their spause versus somebody has like the malefic contrary to the sect in the 7th and their spause is abusive towards them and being able to make those distinctions and make that sort of statement, I think, is exciting because of the level of specificity that it brings to it, that it brings to the table.
BENJAMIN DYKES: You know one thing I wanna mention since we are kind of closing is something that Demetra George said a while back, which was the idea of you know you have a 50 year old client and you talk about the chart is, everthing is all in their mind and so you are focusing all of your talents and all things it could done and then they go away from the reading feeling worse than when they came in thinking man even the astrologer thinks I am a loser because I have activated all of my potentials.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right. That is one critique of modern astrology.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Right. When in fact whether we are talking about just the chart in general, lords of the different houses or whether we are looking at Lots, not everthing in the chart is under your direct control or due to your own choice, we can respond in various ways but there is something healing and humanizing and relieving about the idea that astrology can be objective because the fact is we are not constantly in control of everthing that happens in our lives.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right and everthing in the chart does not necessarily refer to you. I mean that different parts of the chart actually do concretely sometimes refer to the other people that are in your life and that you don’t necessarily have control over.
BENJAMIN DYKES: And put it simply, it is not all your fault.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right. Yeah and that is very important I think also well in the context of the last episode with that debate with Eric where seemed like, may be he would trying backtrack on this but it seems like he ultimately would say that everthing is your fault and I think there is something highly problematic about that from an ethical standpoint, from a philosophical standpoint and even from practical standpoint because it is just plainly, obviously not true but…
BENJAMIN DYKES: Yeah.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Go ahead.
BENJAMIN DYKES: I don’t know if this is the place to say he hasn’t ever exactly a chance to respond but just kind of as a conclusing thought about that debate.
CHRIS BRENNAN: And I did give him a chance for follow up debate but so far he is not taking me upon it so just…
BENJAMIN DYKES: Okay. I mean it would be one thing to say that when bad things happen to you…, again, people don’t complain when good things happen to them you know but if something bad happens it would be one thing to say, if something bad happens to you it is up to you about what role that thing plays in your life.
CHRIS BRENNAN: In terms of your internal like conceptualization
BENJAMIN DYKES: Yeah, this is more of a stoic idea.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hmm
BENJAMIN DYKES: What things mean to you is a lot of that is up to your own value system but the way I understood it was…
CHRIS BRENNAN: Okay. Sorry, the audio cut out on Skype so we are starting over again so start where you left back of.
BENJAMIN DYKES: So I mean it would be one thing if the message was bad things happen to you but the role that they play in your life is up to you and your value system and what you make of it, I mean that would be more stoic where you are looking at it but the message that thing through was the bad things happen to you because you are not evolved enough.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right, because of your level of your spiritual evolution that was ultimately where he went with that and that is something I have like a huge problem with this assumption that the types of things that happen to people reflect partially their spiritual evolution but also…
BENJAMIN DYKES: Right.
CHRIS BRENNAN: …it is even implicit because it ended up saying afterwards on a discussion on facebook he said and if you are more spiritually evolved, those type of things wouldn’t happen to you…
BENJAMIN DYKES: Right
CHRIS BRENNAN: …which is ultimately like the underlying thing that sometimes comes up some of those statements by certain people they are adopting certain spiritual approaches to astrology is they make that, that is the ultimate underlying conclusion and …
BENJAMIN DYKES: Right and you know there were ancient philosophies like the Hermeticist who we said that through ritual techniques and meditation and teaching and so on, you could wise above at least personally some devices of the planets but the fact is that we are I think what traditional astrology teaches us we are part of the incarnated world and not everthing is due to us and so you know astrology is about helping counselling people about things to expect, somethings are not under the control, somethings you can plan for, somethings we can decide what to make of them so there is a huge range of flexibility there that I think a lot of people don’t understand when they have this sort of stereotype idea of traditional astrology says this is what will happen, this is what will mean period.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right…Right… Yeah, it is definitely not that symplistic or that two dimensional as I think we have sort of demonstrated through the some of the things that we were discussed things and some of the things we have talked about as coming up in terms of our research because it is able to and what is so fascinating about because this is kind of a new … because sort of pioneering an approach that hasn’t been used hundreds of years that is very much were starting to outline what is some of the different interesting facets of it are as we discover them
BENJAMIN DYKES: Actually I am glad brought that up, may be this is a nice closing, kind of closing piece here is that we are resettabling the tradition, we are trying to understand how the astrologers would doing things they were doing, how they were thinking of them but in a way we have a kind of advantage over them because since we don’t belong to that culture which all these things were written because we are forced to recreate a kind of reunderstand where they were coming from, we are able to explain things in ways that they didn’t bother to, I mean may be if you went back and talked to Rhetorius or Theophilus or somebody, they would say similar things to what we are doing right now. If you read the textbooks it doesn’t come across that way because they were teaching the techniques so in a way we are in a very exciting period now because we are trying to put the flesh and blood on the bones of the techniques in a way that is realistic and sympathetic to the human condition.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right and that is much more sort of nuanced and detailed than you might think just based on the delineations which often give…
BENJAMIN DYKES:..stereotype, yeah.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Yeah, like extreme examples.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Right… Right…
CHRIS BRENNAN: Yeah, I think that makes sense. Okay. Well, that is probably then a good place to leave off, I think we have come to the conclusion that well we have come to several conclusions so I have almost be kind of futtle to try to summarize them.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Well, we have opened to the gates to lots of other conversations about worked with clients and what traditional astrology is and does…
CHRIS BRENNAN: Yeah.
BENJAMIN DYKES: And we are gonna learn more from ancient texts and we are gonna learn more through looking at our own charts, client charts but this is part of the grand new fun tear of traditional astrology.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Right and I guess the last thing to mention is just at brought up something that I talked about on a previous show with I think Kenneth Miller which is the debate over whether it is better to use celebrity charts or client charts and this issue is actually very much tight into that because of you know what charts you are drawing on when you are trying to demonstrate or research some of these techniques and I usually do more of a 50/50 approach although this is one of those instances where because of this issue that we have been talking about sometimes celebrity charts have the advantage because the people whose lives are documented sometimes by themselves if they write like an autobiography and sometimes by external people who are will sometimes challenge you know the celebrities own narative about their life and say no this event actually happened or this is what this was about at the time and on some level that almost gives you an edge when using celebrity charts because there is at least an attempt to have a more objective view of the person’s life or at least the opportunity for that,, the downside of course sometimes you don’t know about the narrative and whether the narrative is true and ultimately you can’t know especially when you are just looking at somebody’s else life, a celebrity’s life who is removed from your own and you don’t have the ability to talk to or to be present for the events in their life you can’t necessarily know what happened like one of the charts I am researching right now is Rubin Hurricane Carter and who was imprisonment for almost twenty years for murders that he was later exonerated for and I was sort of researching this today because I found one of the indications that seem to clearly refer to his imprisonment for those murder charges but then in trying to research is life more and I realize that there was actually a debate about whether some of his supporters who are former supporters who know they say that they think he actually did commit the murders that he was originally charged for and that ultimately it is like I can’t know and I can’t know in terms of from a historical standpoint because this is a historical debate about what it did or did not happen. It is not necessarily something that you wanna base your astrological research or conclusions on because I guess sometimes with celebrity lives that narrative of a person’s life can be altered in order to accomplish something or in order to present a certain thing to the public that the person doesn’t, may not wanna acknowledge about their private life.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Well, and one thing I would say to audience in favour of your workshops, lord of the Ascendant in the different houses and lords of the other houses is and this goes to an objection that I have, long standing objection that I have to using celebrity charts at least in front of live audience is that often times when you present a celebrity chart instead of looking at the astrology people instead were worked to their own opinions about the celebrity whereas what I found in your workshops is that you will say okay this person is famous for this stepmill or the other however what they are biography shows is and then you fill in the details using lords of the houses and that often gives…, it gives a more vivid and accurate and concrete sense of what their life was about rather than the impression a lot of people get through the kind of glow of the celebrity and so I think that is a real value of the workshops that you are putting out right now.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Yeah.Right and yeah, I do that because it is like the celebrity I am using their life because it is documented and then what is nice about that is, you can use the fact that their life is documented in order to explore some of the different parts of their charts, some of the lost or unknown things that people might not know about their life but because they are documented for whatever their career was you happened actually know, you know, important facets and facts about other parts of their life that might be demonstrated in their chart.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Right, I mean especially for celebrity, you might expect…, you know most celebrities are either artists so you might expect something about Venus or something about the Sun because they are in the public view but their lives, their actual lives as they are lived by the people themselves, have a very different kind of tone that is illustrated really well by your workshops.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Good. Well, I am glad to hear that and I guess then I am gonna end on that endorsement note, always good to end on a high note and yeah, well thanks for talking with me today and will have to follow up some of these different threats that we sort of left hanging and pick them up in another show sometime.
BENJAMIN DYKES: Well, it was a pleasure as usual.
CHRIS BRENNAN: Okay. Excellent. Well, everybody can obviously…, you can check out my workshops on my website hellenisticastrology.com and I definitely recommend checking out Ben’s workshop on the Arabic Parts on his website which is located at bendykes.com so that is it for this episode. If you enjoyed the episode, If you enjoyed the show then definitely subscribe so that you will get emails next time there is an episode and make sure if you are listening to at on iTunes that you give it five star rating so that is it for this episode.
Thanks for listening and we will see you next time.