One modifies the form of one's consciousness by intentionally aligning her or his life with the qualitative aspects of time as revealed by the ever-changing patterns of the solar system and the poetic symbolisms associated with them. By inviting this theatre of gods and goddesses to become the organizing principle of your awareness, one learns how to 'think' like the solar system, and discovers the peace that comes with living at-one with nature and in a 'participation mystique' with the cosmos. As the British essayist Thomas Traherne once wrote: "You never enjoy the world aright till the sea itself floweth in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens and crowned with the stars."
Earth is in great peril; and this time around the asteroid is us! The problems we're facing are now so dire, so complex, so profoundly interconnected, and so entirely our own doing that the only solution is to completely change our human nature. Impossible you say! But as you'll see if you choose to further explore this blog, we changed our nature by transforming our collective consciousness once before in human history; and now it's clear that we need to do so once again!
If we were all to make some kind of effort to reconnect with nature, and teach our children to do the same, we could at least mitigate this perfect storm of ecological disasters. Because the practice of astrology could help with this, you would think that it might at least be tolerated, perhaps even appreciated by the Westernized nations of the emerging global techno-culture. But this is hardly the case. So why is this? Why does even the mention of the word instantly raise the blood pressure of almost every philosopher, scientist, and thought-policeman within hearing distance?
The real answer to my question is not the one that usually gets trotted out: that astrology is pseudo-science; and to give it any credence whatsoever is delusional at best. In other words: we're to reject it on the grounds that it's inherently unscientific. When the National Science Foundation released its 2014 list of Science & Engineering Indicators, and stated that "fewer Americans rejected astrology in 2012 than in recent years", the response published by Mother Jones became just the latest example of the quasi-religious belief that the specific kind of 'knowing' perfected by science is the only valid way for humans to acquire knowledge. The truth, however, is that the scientific critique of astrology completely misses the point.
Science, along with every other form of institutionalized inquiry preferred by Westerners, is a by-product of the invention of the alphabet, and an expression of the particular form of consciousness that alphabetic literacy effectively conditions. In the 20,000+ years of its existence, astrology never has been what our culture understands by the word 'science'. Rather it's something much older, and therefore entirely other than science.
Astrology is really a time-capsule of sorts, handed down from a different paradigm of human consciousness and a different style of human cognition. And because of this, astrology's pre-literate, analogical, participatory way of thinking remains forever a baffling anomaly to the objectifying, analytical, conceptual thinking of the Western-educated scientific and philosophical mind.
Over the course of the last 3000 years the psychology that accompanies the acquisition of alphabetic skills has systematically obliterated the pre-alphabetic psychology from which astrological awareness originally emerged. As a consequence, the practice of astrology has been thoroughly colonized by the the thought-habits that have become synonymous with thinking during the literate phase of the history of Western consciousness. Few astrologers today seem to understand the implications of this hostile takeover since we too share the same thought-habits, and because we never stop to consider how the Literacy Revolution influenced our current understanding of astrological practice.
Enter the Digital Revolution. All the empires of literacy, all its time-honored cultural institutions - including the literate interpretation of astrological practice - are rapidly disintegrating as, one-by-one, each slides back down into the dark, fecund waters of the Racial Unconscious. The world built in the image of the literate mind is coming apart at the seams. In the sparse words of the novelist Louise Erdrich: "Everything familiar dissolves into strangeness."
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 astrology's situation as we better learn to 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 paradigm of astrological practice is ‘emerging from the beams of the Sun’.
Everything that follows then explains my conviction that the key to our common post-literate future - both as astrologers and as humans - 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.