Review of Transpersonal Astrology: Explorations at the Frontier, produced and edited by Armand Diaz, Eric Meyers and Andrew Smith (US and UK, Integral Transformation, L.L.C., 2013).
Astrologer Jessica Murray has written a chapter for a book of collected works titled Transpersonal Astrology: Explorations at the Frontier.
At the beginning of her article, “The World Moment,” Jessica points out that the astrology of self intersects with the the times one lives in.
“It was a bold move of ours, being born into this particular epoch. Our soulselves deserve every credit for incarnating into an era this intense.” (p. 25)
We are existing at the “dawning of a new zodiacal age” and a “new 26,000-year long cycle.” A lot is happening, and “it feels very important to be psycho-spiritually awake”, i.e., “living through the center of the [astrological] chart.”
Jessica notes that her clients increasingly are asking about their relationship with our times, and she relates our need for epochal understanding to the differences between the inner and outer planets.
Pairing of Inner and Outer Planets
Noting that current thought tends to limit itself to the planets within Saturn’s orbit, Jessica takes on a journey beyond the personal planets towards Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.
Mercury and Uranus
Jessica begins by comparing Mercury and Saturn as two planets that separate and divide us. As a result, our thinking has become limited and we see things very simplistically in dualistic oppositions.
“It is the Saturnine conception of reality and the Mercurial linear mind that have monopolized conventional worldview and its institutions. They cannot, by themselves, take us where we need to go.” (p28)
Jessica asserts that Uranus is a higher “octave” of Mercury. While Mercurial oppositions lead us into “pitched battle,” Uranus instigates “sublime revelation” (p29). Here’s how the dialectical process works when Uranus is brought in:
“With Uranian intelligence applied [to a Mercurial opposition], however, the two halves are seen to be a part of the same whole….The polarized energies reveal themselves to be flip sides of the same coin, giving rise to a previously unseen third meaning.” (p29)
This, of course, appealed greatly to me as it is the underlying significance of the yin yang (taijitu) symbol which inspired the hexagrams found in the ancient I Ching (Chinese Book of Changes).
Moon and Neptune
Next Jessica tackles another pair of inner and outer planets (or heavenly bodies), In this case the Moon lets us find comfort and security, but it doesn’t lead us to more “sublime emotional states”. The “transpersonal receptivity of Neptune, on the other hand, allows it to “accept any and all feelings without the dilution of personal need.”
Rather than remaining on “the first rung of the emotional ladder,” Neptune elevates us so that “our instincts commingle with what our soul knows.”(p30)
Venus, Mars, Jupiter and the Transpersonal Planets
In a nutshell, Jessica believes Venus needs to be inspired by the “trans-egoic”.
Mars needs “unleashing its vitality into righteous acts of courage which arise—by appointment—from the world moment.”(p31)
Jupiter gets itself into the “right or wrong” trap without transpersonal influence. Then Jupiter needs “truth “to set it free.
In particular, spiritual apartheid in the face of modern mechanistic materialism has led to spiritual-secular split that infuses our consciousness with a very limited view of what reality really is. In particular, Jessica points to the way so many of us “put our faith in the over-riding realness of money”. (p34)
She also quotes Rob Hand about the compartmentalization of the practice of astrology—“…many of us think like astrologers when we’re doing astrology, and like modern people when we do everything else.”
Saturn to the Rescue!
Saturn has been misused in many ways and has been an inhibitor of spiritual exploration. But Saturn has a “value-neutral essence” that along with its sense of responsibility allows us to make use of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto to make our world and individual lives better. Says Jessica, “It is hazardous to take on the outer planets without factoring in Saturnine responsibilities”.
Pluto’s lessons too have been “misapplied”, with the results “exemplified by our era’s modern nuclear and chemical weaponry”. (p35) Without Saturn’s mature responsibility Pluto is liable to lead us into mass destruction. The other transpersonal planets too require the taking of responsibility to use them for group as well as individual good.
I suspect someone could do a review of every chapter in this book. All of the chapters relate loosely to the theme “transpersonal astrology,” that is, astrology that goes “beyond the personal.”
A chapter I found particularly intriguing was one by Maurice Fernandez titled, “The Death Chart”.
This chart, the death chart, is the other bookend for the tale of personal existence that I was utterly unaware that astrology could provide.
Using Mohandas Ghandi and Damani’s death charts, Maurice shows ways a death chart can be useful. (Damini was a young woman in India who sparked a movement after being brutally raped and killed by a gang of men on a bus in New Delhi.) The relationship between a birth and death chart can be a measure of the choices an individual made in life. Maurice’s view is that “From an evolutionary point of view, life is neither random nor determined.”
In other words, chaos rules in our world. Thus, astrological interpretation of an individual’s chart does not prohibit free will from being exercised over a lifetime. It only points to possibilities that the individual might manifest.
The possibilities of learning something interesting from the various writings in this book are truly great. I urge you to give it a try.