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wide is the scope of astrology? Certainly it addresses the workings
of consciousness or psychology—but how exactly do we define consciousness?
Is it only an internal phenomenon or does consciousness extend into the world?
Could there be a physical level to astrological energy? There’s the
field of mundane astrology and many of us are intrigued by Astro*Carto*Graphy.
So, is astrology just an archetypal or symbolic system, or could there be
more to it? We are accustomed to viewing astrology 2-dimensionally as in
the analysis of charts, but this is a multi-dimensional world.
One of the central themes of my new book, The
Arrow’s Ascent: Astrology & The
Quest for Meaning, is that astrology is a multi-leveled system. The Sun represents
the centrality of the life force, what some would call the ego function, but
don’t we all shine into the world like the great fireball in the sky?
Perhaps we symbolically understand the innate disposition of the psyche through
analysis but also embody and radiate the chart into the world.
Carl Jung divides psychic functions into: sensation, feeling, thinking and
intuition. Other methods of organization have classified four levels of reality:
physical, emotional, intellectual and soul or spiritual. In the astrological
system we have four elements: (earth, water, air and fire), which precisely
match up with both Jung’s classification and the levels of reality mentioned.
We can think of four elemental levels that build toward the oneness of Spirit:
earth (physical, body), water (emotional, life), air (intellectual, mind) and
fire (spiritual, soul). Astrology, when most commonly used as a symbolic system,
functions at the air (mind) level. We are familiar with how the elements take
on psychological qualities at this level of mind: earth is industrious, water
is sentimental, air is rational and fire is daring. When we experientially
interface with the world, we continually relate with the elements of earth
(tangible objects), water (liquids), air (to breathe) and fire (light and heat).
Just like the elements interrelate at the intellectual (mind) level to form
a cohesive psyche, they also join together at the experiential (water, life)
level to form the world of our surroundings.
In the philosophy proposed, there are four elemental levels of reality and
each of the elements (earth, water, air, fire) take on different qualities
at these levels. We engage with the world at the water (life) level and comprehend
our experience at the air (mind) level. The earth and fire levels also contain
expressions of each of the four elements. At the earth (physical) level, the
elements compose the building blocks to matter as seen in the atomic structure,
and at the fire (soul or spiritual) level, they correspond to different evolutionary
lessons for spiritual growth. A complete discussion of how the elements function
at these two levels is somewhat more complex—it can be found within The
Evolutionary growth, how our souls incarnate to learn lessons to further both
individual and collective development, is a journey upwards through the elemental
levels (earth to water to air to fire). We develop body, heart and mind to
mature and integrate the clarity and radiance of our souls and the greater
embrace of Spirit. The “Perennial Philosophy” is a term used to
describe the basic idea of matter gradually evolving back to Spirit—which
initially catalyzed the manifestation of matter, and is carried throughout
its fabric. Different versions of the “Perennial Philosophy” form
the basis for just about all religions and spiritual paths and The
Ascent brings this conception to the field of astrology.
We are rooted to the lower three levels that have a personal orientation: earth,
water and air. The personal unconscious is located here with the water level
serving as the center and activator. Correlated with the physical element of
water, the unconscious (Moon) is rooted to the body. The Moon tends to be irrational
and instinctual, prone to habitual patterns of behavior.
The fire level is transpersonal, how the soul connects to Spirit. Fire has
the properties of both light and heat. Light is associated with awareness and
heat is understood as vitality—being energetic. Just like the speed of
light is the only constant in the universe, an individual’s light of
awareness is dynamic and eternal. We are forever a part of the endless expanse
of vital energy in the universe, and one’s personal energy is like an
individual flame connected to the larger inferno. One’s Sun profile suggests
the nature of personal awareness and how the life force tends to radiate its
energy—how we continually strive to be more luminous.
Consciousness is the meeting of the unconscious, physical lunar self with the
radiant, present and aware solar faculty. When awareness and vitality (Sun,
fire, metaphysical) interacts with unconsciousness (Moon, water, physical)
the result is what we experience as consciousness—a marriage between
the divine connection (transpersonal) and the instinctual (personal). Sagittarius
the Centaur is the portrayal of this merging, as seen in his animal and transcendent
The relationship between the water (heart, Moon) and fire (soul, Sun) levels
connects the personal to the transpersonal parts of the self. Gary Zukav eloquently
captures this dynamic in The Seat of the Soul. “Feelings, as we shall
see, are the means through which we can discern the parts of itself that the
soul seeks to heal, and through which we come to see the action of the soul
in physical matter. The road to your soul is through your heart.”
We may think of the energy (fire) that composes us as the soul, which is eternally
connected to the endless reach of Spirit (the totality of energy). Although
we embody the energy of our souls through awareness (light) and vitality (heat),
the heart deepens and allows us to feel and activate its longings and spiritual
impulses within our familiar dimensions. We evolve by integrating awareness
and vitality (light and heat) into the unconscious depths of our personal legacy
to further a conscious use of Spirit.
The physical (earth) and intellectual (mind) levels connect consciousness to
the structure of consensus reality established in the world—both tangible
(earth) and intangible (air) frameworks. Tangible frameworks include the organization
of the physical world (four directions, spectrum of colors, the basic laws
of classical physics, etc.) Intangible frameworks include logic, reason, mathematics
and analytical thinking. These levels serve as stabilizers that balance the
dynamism of the Moon (water) and Sun (fire).
There are four elemental levels: earth, water, air and fire. Astrology has
been a phenomenal exploration into the spiritual intelligence (air) that pervades
our universe. Now that Uranus has entered Pisces, perhaps we are moving into
the direct experience of feeling (water) astrology.
Eric Meyers, M.A.