Reviews of Life Passages: When Age Point Aspects and Dreams Coincide
Review by Marilyn Burnett
This book by John D. Grove contains a mere 108 pages, but it is jampacked with valuable astrological and psychological material concerning the human psyche and our path to self-awareness. He states that this book was written for those studying or already practicing the Huber method of Astrological Psychology and he hopes it will “attract seekers, psychologists, social workers, and astrologers”. As a Huber astrologer I, for one, wholeheartedly endorse that dream. Following his first book, Dreams and Astrological Psychology – The Way through the Maze of the Unconscious, this latest work cleverly combines the Huber’s Life Clock method and its seventy-two life phases with Eric Erikson’s Eight Stages of Man as an additional means of understanding and guiding us towards psychological development and spiritual growth. I found it particularly helpful to have these two ‘developmental life phases’ pooled. In this new volume, Grove gives further guidance on how to establish what our dreams are telling us and emphases how important it is to take notice of them.
As a practicing psychotherapist with over forty years’ experience, Grove is constantly dealing with the physical and mental wellness of clients and their ability to function in life, and to help them he uses both psychology and astrological psychology’s Age Point (AP) progression. In this book, he reaffirms that problems or crises in our lives can be understood as a process of development and that consulting the AP in a horoscope analysis tells us of a way out of our dilemma. However, he believes this is only a beginning and not a complete answer. He asserts that our dreams can reveal processes and complexes happening deep within our unconscious that we would otherwise miss when trying to understand them with our conscious mind and chart analysis alone because our conscious mind usually denies or suppresses them. Also, by using only our conscious mind, our ego could direct a chart analysis where it wants to go and not where our inner self needs us to develop.
As Grove points out, because dreams come as unadulterated images directly from our unconscious they can provide additional invaluable information and spiritual guidance as they tell us where our unconscious is trying to alter our ego-image in the direction of wholeness. Thus, by including dream interpretation, we can arrive at a much truer picture. As he says, “dream content analysis and their symbolic pertinence to the soul’s growth cannot be overstated” and (as I believe Freud once stated), “dreams are the royal road to the unconscious”.
As an introduction, Grove leads readers through the journey of self-awareness towards wholeness and the transpersonal by drawing on the works of Jung, Huber, Erikson, Maslow and Assagioli in order to explain our psycho-social and psycho-spiritual tasks and these are all clearly referenced as endnotes. The book itself is interspersed with colourful diagrams, including a particularly useful one combining the Huber’s twelve life stage houses with Erikson’s eight psycho-social stages, it also contains plenty of supporting Huber-style birth charts. As well as encouraging astrologers to consider the value of incorporating dream analysis into a client consultation, this book reinforces the phenomenal tool we have available to us in the Huber’s Life Clock and AP progression method.
Chapter one describes AP progression and how our dreams can correlate with the aspects it makes to planets in their houses as it transits CONJUNCTION No. 68, December 2017 Page 23 or already practicing astrological Psychology birth chart. By comparing AP progression phases with Erikson’s psychological tasks, Grove shows how, used together, they can be invaluable for identifying our dream contents, thus giving insight, validation and direction to our lives. As an example, the chapter culminates with an important dream the author had aged twenty-four, together with the AP indicators and appropriate life tasks. Grove advises us in chapter two that part of our natural development involves raising our consciousness beyond what we consider to be normal reality. However, he warns that before we can do that safely, we must have developed and strengthened our ego adequately. Here he helpfully relates astrological psychology’s three ego planets, Saturn, Moon and Sun to the first four bars of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – Physiological security and Safety, Love and belonging, and Self-esteem – as a means of identifying where we are in our ego development.
He states that the needs of these three planets must be adequately met before we can safely raise our consciousness to higher realms, which is what our inner self really wants. In this chapter, Huber’s Intensity Curve method of identifying the strongest leading ego planet and Dynamic Calculations are referred to as reliable aids astrologers can use for understanding the potential for healthy development and identifying where there are deficits. He also describes the three stages of initiation and awakening on our path to transpersonal awareness, self-actualization and achieving non-material goals. Capturing dreams, dream amplification, dream recall exercises and how to interpret dreams in context with Age Progression are the subject of the third chapter. A quote from G. Globus is shared to emphasize the magnitude of dreams and the importance of taking notice of them, “our dreams are first hand creations… they represent a microscopic reflection of the universal one-mind, and to ignore the guidance from the source of all things would be a mistake”.
Grove asserts that dreams do not occur at random, some can occur at critical times in our life and using them to address developmental problems is dealt with in chapter four. The dreams of six volunteers are included and correlated to AP progression and the developmental challenges presented at important periods in these people’s lives. These effectively demonstrate how revealing dreams can be and how valuable and validating it is to be able to relate them to our life tasks.
Here, I have to admit to having a vested interest in Grove’s work as I contributed one of my own precognitive dreams, which has been included and perceptively assessed. The final chapter outlines the steps and benefits of using a Huber Method of astrological psychology consultation together with dream interpretation to achieve ego integration and psychosynthesis, thus preparing us for higher consciousness and a spiritual path. As a non-academic and with no psychology training, for me a negative about this book was that the style of writing is heavily jargonized and sometimes one piece of information did not link well with the next, which unfortunately distracted from the extremely valuable meaning contained behind the words.
Having said that, all-in-all, I highly recommend this book as invaluable for anyone studying or practicing astrological psychology and for anyone attempting to understand human psychology through the medium of astrology. Besides the message it conveys regarding the importance of dream analysis and incorporating it into our consultations, it serves as an extremely valuable overview of Huber method as a means of understanding human psychology.
Review from Booktasters
Life Passages: When Age Point Aspects and Dreams Coincide by John D. Grove is a most impressive and comprehensive study. As an astrologer and a psychotherapist, John D. Grove shares his knowledge and expertise in this well written and thorough book. The visuals, including charts and diagrams, are helpful learning tools as well. The author also provides techniques in remembering dreams. This book will be appreciated and understood by all–from the expert to the novice.