If astrological practice really can do this - in a manner analogous to meditation, yoga, or tai chi - then you would think that it's value would be more generally appreciated. But this is hardly the case. Astrology - at least in the West - is far more likely to be maligned than appreciated. So why this gross discrepancy between my claim of astrology's transformative potential and our culture's negative perception?
The answer to this question is not the one that many persons today who've been highly educated in the Western paradigm seem to prefer: that astrology is nothing more than a naive, outdated pseudo-science; and that if anyone suggests otherwise, they're an ignorant fool! When the National Science Foundation released its 2014 list of Science & Engineering Indicators, and reported that "fewer Americans rejected astrology in 2012 than in recent years", Mother Jones was quick to publish the usual kind of dumbstruck incredulity that I and other astrologically-aware persons in this culture have come to expect.
So what then is the correct answer to my above question? Well, this incessant debate over whether astrology is or isn't a 'science', and the way in which it completely misses the point, actually steers us right towards the correct answer. In stark contrast to the mainstream of Western intellectual interests - with science heading the list - astrological practice didn't originate as a by-product of the invention of the alphabet and an expression of the form of consciousness that alphabetic literacy conditions. Instead it was something much, much older that long pre-dated the Literacy Revolution, and whose origins lie deeply buried in the somewhat obscure history of pre-literate human consciousness.
This means that the practice of astrology is really a time-capsule of sorts, handed down to us from a very different way of being human. And because of this, astrology's analogical, participatory manner of perceiving the world and thinking about it and ourselves remains forever a baffling anomaly to the analytical, conceptual thinking of the literate Western mind. Now this particular example of epistemological 'apples and oranges' would be of no more than historical interest were it not for two further considerations - both of which, to the best of my knowledge, are simply not recognized, either in the culture-at-large, or in contemporary astrological circles, even at the highest level.
The first is that over the course of the last 3000 years the psychology that accompanies the acquisition of alphabetic skills has systematically obliterated the pre-literate psychology from which astrological awareness originally emerged. As a consequence, even astrological practice, this seemingly perennial 'stranger in a strange land', has been thoroughly colonized by the the thought-habits that have become synonymous with thinking itself during the literate phase of the history of Western consciousness. Few astrologers today seem to understand the profound implications of what was essentially a 'hostile' takeover due to the pervasiveness of these thought-habits and our complete lack of awareness as to how they have determined our current forms of astrological practice.
The second follows from the first and has to do with the fate of literate humanity and, therefore, with that of the astrology of the book as well. As the Digital Revolution unfolds around us, all the empires of literacy are rapidly disintegrating; and, one-by-one, its cultural institutions - literate astrology included - are sliding down into the dark, fecund waters of the Racial Unconscious from whence they originally issued forth.
These same astrologers had another phrase to describe how a disappeared planet once again becomes visible as it leaves conjunction. I've borrowed this description for the title of my blog because it so aptly sums up the change in astrological awareness as we learn to better distinguish its unique reason for being from that of Apollo's gifts. And so, liberated from the objectifying constraints of philosophy, and from any need whatsoever to prove itself a science, a new post-literate understanding of astrological practice is now ‘emerging from the beams of the Sun’.
So uncharted waters lie ahead; and the literate understanding of human nature is no longer adequate to this next phase of our journey. Just take a look around you! Does anything work anymore? Astrology fulfills its transformative potential when we use an exploration of how the practice was originally thought and languaged pre-alphabetically as our vehicle to learn to think and language post-alphabetically. Adopting alternative energy technologies won't disarm the worst case scenarios of climate-change if the gains are offset by the kind of exponential increase in worldwide consumption we're currently seeing. Only a major change in consciousness can save us now. And changes in collective human consciousness always begin with changes at the individual level.
Everything on this blog then is support for my conviction that the key to our post-literate future lies not in the history of our literate entrainment, but in the mystery of our pre-literate origins. Therefore all these postings reflect a spirit that’s quite different from the one informing mainstream astrological practice today - both West and East. So be forewarned. Leaving 'the reservation' may prove hazardous to your literacy- conditioned understanding of this time-honored celebration of participatory human consciousness.