I am not sure if astrology is the right word but I am reading there is a partial lunar eclipse (along with other "rare conjunctions’). @LaWanna has shared a David Brooks article for me in the past that 29 percent of Americans believe in astrology (this number actually seems low to me). While I know the moon affects the earth and I think emergency room visits spike, how much stock can we put into astrology? Thoughts?
I’m going to come clean here: I studied Vedic astrology extensively when I was in college, and don’t know anything about western astrology (other than that Vedic folks are always bashing it). Some readings that I did for people were extremely accurate and they were utterly stunned by how well I knew them based on a star chart; others were wildly off and made me look like a fraud. I have largely dropped the astrology lens overtime, and Vedic astrology is chalk full of magical thinking, but I did find some of it helpful.
One thing an astrologer can help people with is to reframe bad planetary combinations/effects into positive psychological strengths. Every planet, like stages in Integral, has benefits and drawbacks, healthy and unhealthy qualities, and a “bad” chart is when the planets are arranged in such a way that their negative effects tend to predominate. The astrologer than can flip weaknesses into strengths by helping the client to rechannel planetary energies and covert it from unhealthy into healthy, to put it in Integral terms. One astrologer famously said “there are no bad energies, only energies used badly.” This has carried with me into integral as something like “there are no bad stages/Vmemes, only stages used badly.” So I used astrology as more of a map of the psyche that depicts our tendencies/psychic constitution rather than as a predictive method, and brainstormed with clients on how to creatively transform bad planetary alignments into healthy and positive expressions, so they could better manage the subtle forces that ultimately govern much of our lives. That was probably me at my best; other times it was total hocus pocus.
Thanks for sharing Ryan. I forgot, until now, that you studied this. A couple of things I thought about while reading this is 1) “There is no bad energies.” I just read that there is “no place for evil in the [Indian] cosmology”-nice little synchronicity. Also, 2) my thoughts also drifted to trans-rationality. I still get hung up on this idea as to what "trans-rationality points to. Pre-rational could be the hocus pocus stuff, but maybe post-rational points to the baby (energies) in the bathwater (hocus pocus)?
One of the things I found interesting in the Brooks article was that people he spoke with who were really into astrology (and if I recall, millennials are the population most into it) said they used it primarily as a way of determining who they were compatible with (as in “what’s your sign?”), which speaks perhaps to the lack of connection and isolation people feel, and the divisions and echo chambers in culture (although I think it’s probably always been used in this way).
From an integral theory point of view, astrology, I think, is for some people a typology, much as the Enneagram or Meyers-Briggs or feminine-masculine are typologies for others.