Can astrology tell us who we are and what we are meant to do?
A narrow view of soul confines it to the inner nature. How do we account for the relationship of soul and the larger world? How do we define “soul” and to which “larger world” are we referring?
Meets 6 Wednesday evenings 5-7 pm PST / 8-10 pm EST
Conducted by Joseph Crane and Enid Newberg
All live sessions are recorded. There is also an online course site with additional materials.
The essence of the soul’s journey is the discovery of a larger sense of who we are and how we live in the world. The experience of being "called" asks that we trod the difficult path to transform ourselves and our world. Whether or how we act upon that call that is our soul’s “vocation.” There is an entire cultural history around these universal experiences.
This is such a great course!!! I would recommend that anyone interested in astrology take it, it is fascinating and has something for everyone!!!!
-- Iva Podrug, Facebook review
The experience of being "called" asks that we trod the difficult path to transform ourselves and our world, for this constitutes our soul’s “vocation.” Sometimes the journey is lonely and dry as we experience alienation from the expectations of others; sometimes we hold on too tightly and narrowly and need to relax and expand. We often fall and need to climb back. We possess an entire cultural history around all these experiences. Astrologers understand the many expressions of soul within astrology’s symbolism, and will see how natal charts can depict one’s calling and subsequent journey.
We’ll explore transformation through ritual, art, and life within nature – material, cosmic. We’ll also look at our many expressions of living together – cultural, social, and alas, political. How can these involvements be soul-diminishing or soul-enriching?
The first two classes uncover the soul’s sense of calling, how we fall from that calling, and how we return. The three following classes are about transformations of soul and world, looking at alchemy, ritual, magic, and art. The final class is on the soul as inclusive, belonging to nature and to society and culture.
Calling, Fall, Return
What is calling?
Some individuals act early upon their calling and carry it out successfully. The rest of us occasionally hear “messages from the universe” followed by much trial and error, and finally understanding. We begin to grow from the personal to the global – or cosmic – and appreciate that we too can make a difference in the larger world.
Is it part of the soul’s nature to fall and return?
In modern thinking, the “call” is away from unconscious conformity and habitual thinking and behavior and moves us toward authentic being, a process that can occur many times in our lives. The traditional metaphor, however, is cosmic and personal – the soul descends from the heavens downwards and lands on earth; and return is a literal journey back upwards through the heavens. We will compare different approaches from long ago that have strongly influenced our understanding today, that are part of our “cultural DNA”.
Transformations of Soul and World
There is the “mono-myth” – not Joseph Campbell’s hero – but fall and redemption, alienation and reconciliation. The symbols of astrology provide a template for this process. In modern times, the “call” is away from ignorant conformity and habitual thinking and behavior toward authentic being. The traditional metaphor, however, is cosmic and personal together – the soul descends from the heavens downwards and lands on earth sometimes with a thud; return is a literal journey back upwards through the heavens. We will compare different approaches from the past that influence our understanding today.
Many traditions and interpretations of alchemy illustrate the transformation of the world’s matter and the individual soul simultaneously. In this course, we will focus on the Alchemical Marriage of the Sun and Moon as symbolic of the reconciliation of soul and world. Alchemy, consisting of material and spiritual processes, works directly with and en-souls material nature.
When done right, ritual integrates solar movement beyond with lunar movement that uses whatever material is at hand for purposes of transformation and inclusion. We’ll touch upon ritual practice and theory from Eastern Tantra to Western Theurgy (“god-making”) to neo-pagan practices that some of us do. A question for students to ponder: What are the ritual elements in music and the arts?
This course looks at magic and magical practices in astrology, showing connections and distinctions between sympathetic and ceremonial magic. The Renaissance gave us an oasis in time when magic and astrology and philosophy fused to create the strongest expressions of soul within the Western tradition. In particular we’ll look at how this tradition was used to enhance life in concord with the heavens. We’ll also note the role of music and dance, mediated by astrology, for the cultivation of soul.
The Included (not Occluded) Soul
There are strong traditions, East and West, traditional and modern, asserting that life in nature enhances soul – and degrading nature diminishes soul. These express themselves from the ancient Chinese to the western Romantic movement to today’s environmentalism.
How does our being in human community – societal, cultural, political, and global – enhance or diminish soul? How does place enhance or diminish soul? Does not our cultural and political life also represent a calling from the cosmos? Can astrology help us understand how we apply this to ourselves?