The Heart of the Huber Method: the central core

Central core (2)

“The true essence of the human being is directed by the circle in the middle of the horoscope.  This is where we look for the potential of man.” (Huber,Bruno and Louise, p. 21. The Astrological Houses).  When an individual is born according to this theory, this circle begins to beam energies radiating in all directions which first meet the aspect lines of the overall aspect picture and then forms angular aspects to the planets that connect with the core.   See below my chart which has red lines running to the core or center.  The aspect patterns formed by this pattern forms the circuit plan for vital energies in the individual.

john-chart

Psychologically, the aspect patterns form the beginning of self awareness which defines the direction life is to take, the interests, the essential concerns of life, and what one wants to make of his life. ( Hubers, The Astrological Houses, p. 22).  Talents that are inherent in the individual and ones that will not provide difficulty are reflected here by the following 2 aspect patterns, one forms an irregular square and the other is lineal:

core aspects

 

 

If you click on the above, you will see that not all aspect patterns are equal because only the patterns which meet up with the core are significant to the individual soul. The rest of the aspects in the chart are environmental and form aspects in houses which  are an exterior not primary influential configuration reference. (Hubers, The Astrological Houses, p. 23).

In the figure above, there is one quadrangular aspect pattern called the Double ambivalence figure and a lineal aspect between Uranus and Venus.  The planets involved in the first figure are Neptune oppose the Moon square the Sun conjunct Jupiter which confers on me the action to make use of my dream symbolism in a way that leads to  ego enhanced self- worth and growth.  I use this to illustrate the way certain aspect patterns to these planets as life organs or instruments to make  a human being establish contact with the world (Huber, The Astrological Houses, p. 22).

Consider the horoscope below in which there are no connections to the central core.  In this case the configurations will be “stamped into the behavioral traits through the upbringing in the personal environment”.  (Hubers, The Astrological Houses,p. 23).

Cynthia

The individual mentioned had been sexually and physically abused and was unable to marshal an individuality beyond what her environment dictated.  Note the empty spaces are in the 5th through the 8th houses which has to do with expression and experience with others in partnerships- what is referred to as the YOU side of the chart.

” An open area in one sector of the chart between the center and the periphery then energy can flow directly, and unfocused  a) from the center of the chart out into the world, and b) from the environment into the center of the chart.  This may have the effect of creating a sense of vulnerability, insecurity or inadequacy, depending upon which area of the chart is open.” (Hopewell, Barry, ed. Astrological Psychology, the Huber Method, p. 38)

In conclusion, our purpose of the article is to emphasize the specific inward- directness of the Huber method of Astrological Psychology in which one learns to dis-identify with the environment and strives to minimize the symptoms that emerge in the individual traits and the behavioral problems which can prevent normal developmental milestones from being met.  That would be if focus of any psychotherapy in a case such as Cynthia the one described above.

Psychotherapy and Addiction

In this age of psychotherapeutic accountability, we therapists are forever obsessed with therapeutic outcomes.  And for addiction problems, the life or death outcomes become especially poignant because if efforts fail to stop a patient’s harmful use of substances- lives could be on the line.  And it is in this effort that I address resistance, transference and countertransference issues even though many in my field see these as useless anachronisms of a bygone psychoanalytic era no longer germane.

But it is to this literature and interventions that I return to again and again because they so often emphasize how difficult it is to develop therapeutic rapport with drug/alcohol addicts or abusers.  These encounters with patients are especially painful because they can engender feelings of failure in the psychotherapist when you cannot stop the self-abusive behavior; or control your angry feelings toward the patient when one has been lied to again and again on the slippery slope of patient resistance to stopping or slowing down abuse of substances.

Relationships with a drug is a form of attachment in which the drug user does not have to compromise, negotiate or make concessions.  It is a relationship with an object in which the fusion with a drug is superior to available human forms of contact because- it is reliable, always predicable and will produce results that are on a tissue level, immediately gratifying.[i]  Thus, through alcohol and drug use patients can be their own ‘Doctors’ using a drug to minimize symptoms of anxiety and depression in the short run.  They can use whatever dosage works to reduce feelings of despair and taper doses when their coping is going well.  However, patients become unreliable ‘practitioners’ when they attempt to use this coping method over time because, drug tolerance and physiological urgency when he is abstinent becomes a moving target.   As time goes on, they need more of the drug to achieve the same effect and then habituate their bodies to crave the drug of choice as they become physically dependent.   I have deep sympathy for addicts because they have found the exact answer to their dilemma of finding emotional equilibrium albeit in an illusionary attachment to their drug of choice.

Dealing with abandonment issues is true for premature infants who have been separated from their mothers for any length of time exceeding a month (in incubators, etc.); infants who are separated from mother for medical problems as infants; and those who were in foster care or an orphanage directly after birth.  Loneliness, fears of abandonment, issues of resentment for lack of attentiveness all represent a primary narcissism that is deprivation at a very deep level.  This is like a post traumatic stress disorder but the anxiety of being alone is more related to separation anxiety and borderline states.  The symbiotic phase of union with the mother had been disrupted in these cases and therefore, the symbolic separation from relationships actually causes a re-enactment of an abandonment depression with separation anxiety.

The gestational and birth experience of the child and bipolar dilemma of fusion or separation

I will use the development of the gestational fetus and birth of the child to illustrate the dilemma of alcohol/drug dependency.  And how, in many ways, the process of active addiction re-enacts the union experience in the womb with the ‘Great Mother’ and how birth is a separation from this oceanic experience into the cold reality of the world demanding more independence.  The trauma of the birth experience makes possible the separation from a state of physical/ psychological dependence on the mother.  In this the fetus’s development from womb to birth, the experience is a microcosm which encapsulates the dilemma of the human beings psychological/physiological dependence vs. independence.  This archetype is a universal conflict and is symbolized in the creation myths of all cultures.  For example, separation from the deity and reunion with God through redemption and forgiveness are from Christian stories; consider also the return of the prodigal son.

I will explain the bipolar nature of attachment/detachment from objects.  In the womb a fetus is in symbiotic contact with the mother.  In the process of such symbiosis, the fetus is taking in (introjecting) both good and bad sensations, emotions, and thoughts in a rudimentary state.  All these are associated with the fetal experience in the womb.  Is the experience full of loving assimilation with excellent nutrition, or toxic assimilation based on an illness in the mother?  Once contractions begin, the safe womb environment turns into a vessel which breaks apart that symbiotic state of attachment.  Passing through the birth canal is a terrifying experience for the fetus and represents a kind of descent into hell where breathing is suppressed, the child is covered with blood and secretions, and has to escape into a world where she has to take a breath for the first time. [ii]
This abrupt detachment from the merger from the mother can be traumatic.   This is an oversimplification of the experience of the fetus but it makes the point that in the womb assimilation can be both positive and negative.  And birth can be terrifying; It therefore sets the stage for both attraction/ repulsion toward objects of attachment in the human experience based on the unconscious memory of the fetal experience.

All relationships then, have degrees of both symbiosis with the object of attachment and complete detachment/separation as first exemplified in the birthing experience.[iii]  Consider new couples who seem to have a dependency with each other that excludes all other relationships. Then after the relationship matures, the couple becomes more distant and are not merged to the same degree.  This bipolar dynamic of relationships consists of attraction and repulsion toward the object of attachment whether it be a lover or a family member.  Metaphorically, a hit of heroin, a toke on a joint, or to get an alcohol buzz on attracts us to a temporal union of oneness as an undifferentiated being.  It is only later with continuous use of drugs that we find disenchantment and want to stop consuming the drug.  But with obsessional use for whatever reason, it becomes harder and harder to maintain control of the drug of choice.

So, the physical and psychological ability to deal with the ambivalence of fusion or separation in relationships becomes a recurrent theme in all relationships based on the birth experience. This is true for relations with humans and with drugs (objects).  And the intensity on a continuum from fusion with the person or thing to separation with the object intensifies the dramatic nature of all relationships.[iv]

Transference/Counter-transference

Transference includes patient’s unconscious thoughts and feelings rooted in the past parent figure.[v]  Counter feelings are thoughts and feelings which the therapist experiences in direct relationship to the patient’s presentation in which he/she is asked to validate, fulfill and participate in the acting out of the client’s transference projections. [vi] Projections are the attribution of feelings or thoughts of one’s self to another to whom one is in a relationship with usually based on a recapitulation of the feelings a patient had toward male and/or female parent figures.  It is an unconscious process and does not go away with either education or self-awareness.[vii]

When the therapist enters into a relationship with an alcohol or drug dependent patient, he/she enters the dramatized emotional state of ambivalence between wanting to be empathic and understanding vs. wanting to maintain an objective therapeutic distance.[viii]  The therapeutic goal for the psychotherapist is to help the patient recognize patient’s triggers that occur that predict behavioral acting out with the drug of choice and to reduce the harmful effects of abusing the drug of choice.  These goals occur simultaneously.    This is a re-enactment short of total union with the patient and the healthy separation that characterizes any nurturing relationship leading to independence from the patient’s presenting problem leading to successful termination.  If the transference behavior by the patient is positive; it is characterized by healthy defenses by putting off impulses that are destructive, focusing on identifying vulnerable triggers that consciously or unconsciously trigger relapse, a voluntary dependence on the psychotherapist while in recovery, building up constructive support systems of relationships, and finally wanting to self-rescue or get better (Eros).

Many theorists agree that drinking or drug use may represent an unconscious denial of separateness.[ix] With separateness can come rejection, abandonment and loneliness, if not fears of annihilation.  On the other hand, continuing a dependence on one’s drug of choice can ultimately lead to a fear of being devoured or merged with the drug like a puppet on a sting which is reflected in the love addicts have with their drug of choice.[x]   Often the defense of denial is so strong that the patient refuses to submit to these positive attitudes toward the psychotherapist.  He/she rejects efforts to get better due to inferiority, worrying about symptoms that occur such as anxiety or depression that rebound when he/she stops abusing the drug of choice, and traumatic factors that cause acting out angry behaviors. This then , can induce in the therapist counter-transference behaviors such as helping the patient to avoid negative emotional states for the sake of keeping the relationship going, ignoring the hostility on the part of the patient toward therapist for taking away such a reliable source of gratification, and experiencing guilt over not being able to help the patient.

Guidelines about neutralizing negative transference and negative counter-transference include the therapist reflecting on the induced feelings that result from negative transference;  setting boundaries limited to the therapeutic sessions; therapist reducing over-compensatory behaviors such as blaming the patient for the problem; being aware of therapist’s own subtle gestures to rationalize termination (i.e. the patient is not motivated); and involving support of the family to act as ancillary therapists between sessions designed to reduce self-harm as part of a safety plan.[xi]  

Therapist counter-transference when acted out can lead to sexual relations with clients; as one survey indicated (Mason 1983) 15% of therapists have sex with their patients.[xii]  A therapist acting on angry feelings rejects his patients often resulting in a closed case, transfer or referral.  The existence of these incidents is an iatrogenic aspect of psychotherapy and supervision is often warranted to reduce it incidence.  What is attempted here is to minimize negative reactions to patients that prevent patient’s needs from being met.

Compensation as a theory of a cause of drug and alcohol abuse:

I have made the point that there are opposite motives for the need for attachment and independence in the human psyche.  All human beings have a need to belong, to develop self-esteem and ultimately achieve self- actualization by being their own authority.  The process of individualization in western society involves maturing from child- like dependency to more mature independence as the needs to love and to belong co-exist with the needs for self- realization.   These needs remain relevant throughout the developmental life cycle. Attachment to drugs and alcohol through addiction is one side of the patient’s problem of physical/psychological ambivalence to merge with the object; addicts are struggling to be independent of their drug of choice.  Whether the defensive structure of the patient’s demand a delusion of the undifferentiated state or fear of being killed for being on one’s own; the problem is translated in the therapeutic encounter in ways that threaten the patient’s core of self-preservation.

Jung had illustrated that complexes in the unconscious are contained of opposite contents each with an emotional valence: i.e.  submission/dominance; expression/suppression; action/inaction; authority/disqualification; identification/disidentification, etc.  What he emphasized was that in dreams, we find compensations at the root for understanding the contra-position of the dream against the patient’s conscious attitude.[xiii]  What I find in the conscious attitude of the addicted patient is the unavowed need to remain dependent on an object.  However, the compensatory behavior they engage in consciously is quite the opposite bordering on social isolation and attitudes of extreme defiance of dependency on others.

Management clinically of patients who are addicted vacillate from session to session.  Positive transference toward the therapist can go on for months, then the patient can quit therapy all together.  What is behind this fluctuation is related to the defense mechanism of splitting.  “Splitting is the failure in a person’s thinking to bring together the dichotomy of both positive and negative qualities of the self and others into a cohesive, realistic whole.”[xiv]  At one time he sees the therapist as good for his recovery and then he comes to the conclusion that he is an impediment for his mental health.  This is an inability to merge the good and bad traits of a person into their concept of the self and see the other as either all good or all bad. Splitting can bring to a halt a therapeutic process and needs to be discussed with the patient and brought to his/her awareness.

Hitting bottom and Recovery:

When a patient becomes dependent on drugs or alcohol, there are unmistakable symptoms that are used by the therapist to educate both the patient and the family..  They are as follows[xv]:

  1. Alcohol abstinence syndrome: when not drinking urgency of first drink leading to relapses
  2. Blackouts- yes; able to function but forgetting the events while intoxicated Emergence of the ‘sincere delusion’ which is not remembering how impaired one is when intoxicated.
  3. Psychomotor rebound effect- drinks to quell anxiety/ depression and agitation but that does not work
  4. Medical problems: e.g. belches a lot; esophageal varacies, gastric inflammation, ulcers, eventually hyponatremia, liver disease, etc.
  5. Legal- citation with public drunkenness, dui, assault, etc.
  1. Family worried about his drinking and concerned he seek treatment in rehab.
  2. Abnormal changing tolerance- takes more and more hard stuff  or drug to achieve oblivion.

Once these symptoms are apparent the disease process is in full swing.  There are psycho-social losses that are compounded.  And in this process the patient may still deny the destruction and deterioration of his/her life style.  Losses include but are not limited to; legal issues and fines; occupational losses- time needed off work for recovery and poor work performance, losing jobs; loss of relationships- people who are scared or embarrassed by intoxicated patient’s behavior; hospitalization and other medical problems; acute  mental health problems; socialization only with peers who  get drunk or  high; self-care deterioration; suicidal behavior when intoxicated or high;  near death experiences or overdose

These kinds of losses lead to a phenomenon of hitting bottom when the patient realizes he cannot go on living with the obsession of drug abuse and seeks treatment.  Detoxification is a medical intervention and is recommended to occur in a hospital where one is observed for withdrawal signs and treated.[xvi]

Then comes a period of formal rehabilitation which can last 30, 60, 0r 90 days.  In this period, concentration on the following[xvii]:

  1. Letting the brain recover from addiction requires assessment of medication and psychotherapy needed to lessen symptoms of an underlying mental health issues. Helping the patient cope with his losses and active mourning over the loss of the drug in his/her life and its purpose in maintaining the illusion of safety.  Taking care of physical losses incurred through addiction.
  2. Learning to identify emotional states which the drug /alcohol masked; to express negative and positive emotions and learn to regulate them.
  3. Dealing with the denial that the drug of choice compelled the patient to avoid the fact that separation from others actually made the problem worse. And that in early recovery, he/she  would benefit and sustain sobriety by fellowship.
  4. Realize that fellowship such as AA or NA is a voluntary dependency and necessary for recovery long term. And it admits that the will of the patient is not enough to sustain recovery.  In fact, submission to a higher authority such as Divinity is a necessary component to ensure recovery.  Actively working on the 12 steps of recovery and admitting powerlessness over the drug of choice.  Going through a ritual initiation forgiving others for the wrongs that they have perpetrated on one, the betrayal, the power moves, etc.  and the desire to surrender one’s will to a higher power taking care to humbly recognize one’s dependence on others- getting a sponsor.
  5. If recovery is to last, one has to recognize triggers that cause relapse and understand that relapse can be an educational event to eliminate from your life those persons, those activities, and those events or places that tempt one to lose focus and abuse the drug of choice again.
  6. Continue throughout life to learn to grow psychologically and spiritually so that recovery is a continual effort.
  7. Learning that alcohol/drug addiction is also a social problem in which in a capitalistic society, there are mores, customs and beliefs that sustain the abuse of substances to cope with the pressures of life. Learning that the historical tradition rituals of drinking and getting high is a natural part of cultural life but that the patient cannot participate in that ritual and come to no harm to him/herself.  One has to learn to substitute other cultural rituals to create a sense of cultural self-realization.

In summary, I have identified my theory of addiction and relied on traditional methods of recovery including psychoanalytic models and AA/NA for recovery.

References:

[i] Graham, Alan; Glickafus- Hughes, Cheryl “Object relations and addiction: the Role of Transmitting Externalizations”. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, March 1992, Vol. 22, Issue 1, pp. 21-23.

[ii] Grof, Stanislav, Healing Our Deepest Wounds: the Holotropic Paradigm Shift. Stream of Experience Productions, May 2012

[iii] Kernberg, Otto. Object Relations Theory and Clinical Psychoanalysis.  Jason Aronson, Inc. NY, NY. 1976

[iv] Searles, H.  Countertransference and Related Subjects. International University Press, Ny, NY. 1979

[v] Schwaber, J. A. “introduction in  The Transference in Psychotherapy: Clinical Management. International University Press. NY, NY, 1985

[vi] Valenstein, A. F. “A Developmental Approach to Transferences: Diagnostic and Treatment Considerations”, in
The Transference in Psychotherapy: Clinical Management, Ed. Schwaber, E. A. International U. Press. Ny, NY 1981

[vii] DSM 5, American Psychiatric Association. 2013. Arlington, VA. USA

[viii] Arlow, I. A. “Interpretation and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy: A Clinical Illustration”. In Transference in Psychotherapy: Clinical Management. Ed. By E. A. Schwaber, MD. International University Press, Ny, NY, 1985 p. 107

[ix] Little, M. Transference Neurosis and Transference Psychosis, Jason Aronson, Ny,NY. 1981. P. 188

[x] Chetnik, Morton, “the Borderline Child”,  Nosbpitz, J. D. Ed. In Basic Handbook of Child Psychiatry. Vol 11, Basic Books, NY, NY, 1979 p. 306

[xi] Racker, H. Transference and Countertransference, International U. Press, Inc. NY, NY, 1968, p. 144

[xii] Wray, H. “Has Therapy Gone Astray?”, Psychology Today, A book review. Oct 1988 p. 70

[xiii] Jung, C.G. Memories, Dreams and Reflections, Jaffe ed. Winston R. and Winston C. translators, Vintage Books, NY, NY,  1989. P. 133

[xiv] Kernberg. Op. cit. p. 176

[xv] Larson, E. “Stage II Recovery: Life Beyond Addiction- Self Defeating Learned Behavior”,  Videotape. 1988, Kinetic Film Enterprises. LTD. Buffalo, NY.

[xvi] Ibid.

[xvii] Ibid.

The correlation between dreams and Age Point Progression at critical life moments

  1. Age Point Progression

Astrological psychology identifies timing of predictable psychological crises in life.  These events correspond with an ‘Age Point’ as it travels through the 12 houses of the horoscope (Age Point Progression) at the rate of 6 years per house. It takes 72 years for the Age Point to go full cycle.

scanage progressionFigure 1 Life Clock

There are times, determined by the placement of the Age Point, when it may be appropriate to charge ahead and times when it may be better to look inward. When the Age Point travels through the cusp of a house, it is a time of reaction to outside stimulation and one gains fulfillment through the environment.  When the Age Point reaches the cusp of a house, there is more likely potential for accelerated activity. On the other hand, the low point of a house is a point of weakened expression into the environment located in the mutable zone of any house; it signifies a time when the individual may find this an appropriate time for reflection and looking inward. Throughout life cycle the Age Point progresses through the houses which represent contexts for outer world activity as defined by the content of each of the 12 houses.  [i]

For example, the 10th house represents the individualism process and expression in the outer world as one gains inner authority ;  the 4th house represents the sense of belonging to collective tradition or family. There are cusps and low points in each house and a corresponding cycle of inner and outer psychological orientation.

“Of the techniques used in Astrological Psychology, Age Progression – using the chart as a Life Clock – is often the one which most captures the imagination and interest. Age Progression is the Huber method of timing in the horoscope… The four Cardinal points – the Ascendant, the Descendant, the IC or cusp of the 4th house, and the Midheaven – are high energy areas of the high energy curve… there is a huge surge of energy at each of these four points, like a thrust or push out into the environment and the outside world… In time after this the energy falls off and is at its lowest at the Low Point, approximately two-thirds of the way through each house.”[ii]

In the Huber Method of astrological psychology every 72 years marks a complete Age Point cycle; psycho-physical development starts at birth. The Age Point journeys around the circle of the 12 houses, each one representing an area of environmental influence on the individual. The 360-degree circle ends with the return of the Age Point to the ascendant, the point where it began. As the Age Point prepares a return to the ascendant lessons learned by outer experiences can enrich the soul spiritually. At this stage of life, the cycle returns to the original point, “the autonomous personality is purified and can begin to live according to spiritual values, developing a relationship with the Higher Self, spiritual/divine”[iii]  Astrological psychology provides a structured, practical way to understand one’s life journey during and after the ego-identifications begin to break down while one is still active and of the world.

The movement of the Age Point forming aspects to transpersonal planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) can highlight opportunities to transcend ego attachments associated with the relevant house. For example, if the Age Point is in the 10th house, the house of public image, personal authority, managerial responsibility and Uranus is in square aspect in the 7th house, then she may have shocking insights into how she conducts managerial affairs in her life. It may come to her awareness that she had been controlled and stifled, and needs independence to break out of these confined circumstances in her public life.

Astrological Psychology tracks Age Point Aspects to ego planets as they effect the ego strengths of a person. The Hubers defined the Sun, Moon and Saturn as ego planets.  They have to do with the ego attachments of thinking and willing (the Sun), the need for love and mutual love (Moon), and the need for safety and security (Saturn).  One of them is dominant and reliable for integration of the ego so that one is balanced in thinking (SUN), feeling (MOON) and taking care of the body (SATURN).

2. Dreams events and Age Point dynamics on the ego planets

Carl Jung determined that dreams play a role in highlighting the individual’s psychological ego complexes in his/her personal unconscious.[iv] The definition of a psychological complex is that it is an unconscious encapsulation of two opposing feeling states, each with a valence of positive or negative feelings. The complex dynamic generates psychic energy from the unconscious. Some examples are:

  1. independence vs. the need to be taken care of;
  2. assertion vs. passivity or aggression;
  3. suppression of thoughts and feelings vs. expression of thoughts and feelings;
  4. in human produced trauma, the need to relate vs. the intention to do harm.

On more archetypal levels, dreams represent a mother complex (stay with mother or leave); father complex (listen to authority and do not question it or be your own authority); God complex (spiritual ego fanaticism or be guided by the Divine within/without you). The unconscious structures of the shadow, animus and anima archetypes are also activated by dreams and can take the form of projections onto people by the unconscious ego.

Dreams play a role in transient ego identity attachments. They can have a compensatory or balancing role in the psyche between the conscious ego and the Self which generates all dream content. See the figure below.  Typically, a trigger event in the environment usually confronts the ego which stimulates an already existing ego complex in the unconscious to produce a dream.

img_0252 Figure 2

The dream content usually coincides with an Age Point aspect to one of the ego planets from one House to another. When the dream occurs, the ego identity of the individual involved is infused with images from these ego complexes represented by the planets involved coming through in dream content. For example, one is fighting with various unknown figures of the same sex in a dream and one is threatened by them which triggers the ego need for self- protection.  We look at the Age Point aspects and discover that Saturn is in square or opposition to the Age Point in this instance and the aspects are opposed from House 1 and 7.

The unique perspective of my approach combines Jungian techniques of dream analysis and relates these to dynamics of chart interpretation using the Huber Method to understand the timing of events of developmental crisis in the life of the person and the identification and resolution of the conflict between our inner and outer worlds.

Developmental challenges are revealed by the critical times when the Age Point transits planets that are in aspect figures, or to other sensitive points in the chart; thus creating a challenge to complete a developmental tasks.  See figure  3.  [v] This process is paralleled in the timing of certain dreams which usually identify the crisis to the native’s dream ego as he/she comes up against losses or challenges. Personal identity losses (family role), occupational identity losses, and physical body losses through illness, to name a few, come up in dreams. The recording and amplification of dreams, and the date they are dreamed are correlated with critical periods or crossing points and aspects of the Age Point. By this synchronistic correspondence, we can identify meaningful ways in which dreams are preparing the ego for losses, which can have implications for healing and personal transcendence.

3. Life events, dreams and Age Point aspects

Below are examples of my dreams taken throughout my life with corresponding interpretations in the context of developmental challenges as reflected in the HUBER LIFE CLOCK.

Age Point 5th House cusp conjunct cuspal Node at age 24:

June 1973: “Standing on the edge of a cliff with Mother on my back; I could not jump a chasm and reach the other side with her on my back. I put Mother down and jumped to the other side myself”. This dream occurred right before my joining the Peace Corps and going abroad for 2 years. Astrologically speaking, I was compelled to journey as a hero. To leave home and strike out on my own. The Age Point had moved to conjunct my North Node in the 5th house of my natal chart. The correspondence of this aspect and this action spurred me to create my own destiny.

At the time of this dream, my Age Point in the 5th House on the cusp conjunct Node means developing a definite commitment to professional life.  By taking risks to join the Peace Corps for two years, I was  aware of the need for constructive action;  I took on the opportunity for self-expression as a teacher in the Middle East.  The Age Point in the fixed sign Taurus I am motivated to persevere in willful action defending myself against my family’s objection to travel to conflict-ridden Middle East.  It is a do or die situation and the crisis in existential tests are very real indeed as I left home for 2 years into the unknown.

Age Point on the cusp of 8th House oppose cuspal natal Sun on 2nd at age 43:

11/30/1991: “I was at a social work agency (the image in the dream looked like the hospital where I worked) and had clerical staff working for me. I gave an orientation to a new group of new students and new employees. Our offices were in a large room that had a number of desks. Very similar to a library at a college. There was a revolution.”  (Pre-cognitive dream)

At the time of this dream, my Age Point was on the cusp of the 8th House which was 3 years before mid-life/ frustration crisis when professionally I was stuck at not being able to do my life’s mission psychotherapy.  I was in a large VA hospital system and was transferred out of the Mental Health outpatient unit.  This dream hints at this time in life where one has to transform oneself, have a rebirth experience or remain stagnant.  My will and thinking function was thwarted by a supervisor who moved me to a Surgical ward against my wishes. The dream pointed to a future time when occupationally I would be in charge of training of new employees and this task would revolutionary.  In fact, in 2005  (14 years later from the dream), I would be appointed Chief of Social Work.  In that position I trained and oriented 44 master’s level staff to new jobs at the VA hospital.  The dream was hinting at constructive regeneration professionally at a time for me when I was depressed in my job function because I was not fulfilled.

Age Point conjunct Nodal Age Point in 9th House square Uranus in 7th House a age 48:

3/20/1997: ‘ Was in a room with a clerk. There was a box load of cattle coming to the hospital (where I worked) for a surgery unit with a well-known surgeon. I was taking orders off charts laughing to the clerk (about my role, now like a nurse) saying to the clerk, ‘at one time I didn’t even answer telephones!’

The time of the dream was when the Age Point was conjunct the Nodal Age point (Huber’s crossing age point concept) is a time when past Karma and present conditions coincide into a critical life pause demanding a decision.   It was a time of reckoning and specific events happened essential to the experience my personal development.  . This conjunction of two Age Points happens only once every 36 years.[vi]

The dream points to a common intrapsychic conflict of being in a submissive role which was paradoxically  a role reversal.  Taking orders being a clerk was not professional.  At this time I left the VA hospital and took a job as a Clinical Director of a partial hospitalization program at another hospital in another town.   Because of corruption and illegal activity on the part of the CO at that hospital, I was told to falsify my client’s records to make more money for the unit.  I hired  a lawyer and defined my professional ethics that would guide me through the rest of my professional career (9th house polarity with 3rd house called the Thought Axis).   After 6 weeks I returned to the VA where I originally was and had to accept a lower position.  A readjustment and sufficient braking power was needed.  My return to the VA just after I took on a Director position was very fateful.  And my return set the stage for further professional development later (2005 when I became Chief of Social Work).

Age Point on the cusp of the 12th House at age 65:

1/19/2014 I had a dream “I was going to climb a mountain with some people. We were ascending but I needed clothes. I needed pants and long underwear (security of Saturn). I had a paper bag of money (cash) in which I was going to buy stuff in a store. I left other people I was with to find my gear and got a sense of relief from this. As I wandered through the store alone, I picked up my underwear and jeans. After a discussion with a clerk about something unimportant, I got in line to pay for my stuff. At once I realized that I lost my paper bag of money (security and protection of Saturn). It was gone. I went looking for it. I went back behind the counters and thought one of the clerks took it. I could not find it anywhere. In the end, I had the jeans and the underwear on a table but they belonged to me all along. I did not have to pay for them.”

At the time of this dream, the Age Point was on the cusp of the 12th House of loneliness, isolation,  and self-undoing.   My life challenge at this time was to take constructive action in a retreat mode and retire from public life. On January 31, 2014 I retired from my employment.  In that transition to possess material security and at the same time  find wholeness; I had to let go of attachments represented by money worries. As most of us know, when one retires, one has less material resources.  Retirement means learning to live on a fixed income, letting go of occupational identity attachments, and living with less.  The dream supports the idea that I have no need for anxiety and insecurity. The dreams promises  that I would not have enough money to get by.  In fact, in the end of the dream,  there would already be enough provisions for my trip “up the mountain”.

These above dreams and their Age Point aspects correlations was a discovery I made. Everyone has a life journey that is developmental and significant.  Just follow your dreams and note the timing and the rhythm of the planetary aspects in your life.  Below is a figure representing Age Point psychological crises that is from my book Life Passages, 2017.  Note that I have incorporated Erik Erikson’s Crises in Adult life in the figure.

 

circle2Figure 3

[i] Huber, Bruno and Louise, The Astrological Houses, Samuel Weiser Publishing, New York. 1998

[ii] Hopewell, Joyce and Llewellyn, Richard, The Cosmic Egg Timer, Hopewell , Knutsford, UK, 2004

[iii] Ibid. pp 144-145

[iv] Hall, James, Jungian Dream Interpretation, Inner City Books, Toronto Canada, 1983. P. 128

[v] Hopewell, Joyce and Llewellyn, Richard, The Cosmic Egg Timer, pp127-128

[vi] Huber, Bruno and Louise, Moon Node Astrology, Hopewell, Knutsford, UK, 2005.

The waning of ego-centered models of consciousness; the waxing of the reflective, introspective models of mental health

For centuries Western societies have framed the cultural definition
of mental health. The universal acceptance of English as the language
of science has created the psychological norms as to what constitutes
healthy individual adaptation. Further, the ability of United States
and Western Europe to dominate, with English spoken as the key to
business institutions, has enabled us westerners to dominate the economic zeitgeist
or ‘spirit of the times’. This has amounted to a monopoly  on universities’  curriculum, on collective banking and global markets 1 with a western bias.

But now that is breaking down, as the recent
dominance of Western societies is being challenged the world over.
We shall now evaluate on individual and collective levels what
have been the prevailing sociological trends that have captivated both
psychological man and his economics since the Enlightenment. And
we shall point out how they are breaking down in the face of the
equalizing effect of globalization and the universal internet. We are
searching for an answer to the dilemma facing modern man and need
to take him out of the illusion that the ego is the center of the psyche;
the answer is more comprehensive than the narrow view propagated
by academic psychology and economics.
When we survey Western models of treatment of the pathological
psyche, the academic and treatment focus is concentrated on building
ego strengths. The assertions and conclusions that are research based
are backed up by empirical studies and a medical model of pathology. Accordingly, psychotherapies emphasize statistically relevant truths. They are called ‘evidenced
based psychotherapies’.

Most psychotherapies are designed to build a healthy ‘executive
function’ of the ego through cognitive strategies.2
Healthy ego functioning is perceived by mental health professionals as the focus
of treatment. The norm is treating maladaptive behaviors that are the
result of poor ego development, such as confused ego identity, low ego
esteem and unhealthy defense mechanisms. This is appropriate for ego
development in youth and early adulthood. But this treatment focus 5
on ego building falls short when it is applied to the whole life cycle and to other cultures.

The underlying assumption is fallacious, because the ego strength model that
is important to survival at the youth and young adult stages of the life
cycle in the US and Western Europe, is increasingly not applicable universally. As this model is applied to the life cycle, it is irrelevant in mid-life, retirement and old age development.

How adaptive would it be for a 46 year old man to start an identity
search for the first time? Although mid-life crises at this age create the
desire to find a new identity, isn’t it based more on existential searches
for meaning; rather than finding higher status, a new wife or occupational
niche? For a woman aged 65, is it adaptive for her to concentrate on
her health concerns to lengthen her life and beauty to the exclusion
of finding the meaning and purpose of those culturally defined
desires?

I propose that this cognitive ego based intervention model is
unsound for the healthy psyche, putting too much emphasis on
youth and western societies without including the rest of the life cycle and the diversity of cultures in our world– especially when
ego energies wane and spiritual energies wax, as in later life. The
approach of the prevalent ego psychology ignores the symptoms of psychic
disturbances due to crises of a spiritual nature – on which it is silent
and ignorant.3

The value system of this Western psychological treatment approach
supports the beliefs that individualism is the end-all and purpose of
man in society. This view is supported by the clichés that ‘time is
money’ and one has to develop his/her ego potential and dominate
over others or else lose to competitors, ‘you have to take your chances,
you may not get another one’ and to be successful one has to possess
the conscious attitude of the all-important and ‘youthful’ approach
to life.
These views as applied on the world stage imply metaphorically that
capitalistic, imperial dominance of one country over another, usually
through military means, is the answer in the global competition for
limited commodities and resources. This view is an anachronism based
on Social Darwinism. To perceive that one nation state can dominate
others – exploit them – is no longer pragmatic in a global society
where the rights of sovereign states are supported by international
law and the United Nations. To survive today, we must learn global
cooperation or else we shall extinguish our existence by war, famine
and disease thus ending humanity as we know it on earth.

When the ego fails to serve our survival needs, when chaotic
losses enter into our lives, the ego breaks down – and all the support
which that psychic structure has given us fails. Futile attempts to
find reasons why bad events happen to us fill the case notes of many
psychotherapists. The suffering ego may cause us to avenge those 6
who are the ‘reasoned’ causes of our pain. We have borne witness to
the attacks on Afghanistan and then Iraq by former President Bush’s
administration in retaliation for 9/11 based on a faulty assumption that we could destroy militarily those who tried to kill us.  And 17 years later we are still fighting Isis and the Taliban, al qaeda and getting no where.

That outmoded path only perpetuates conflict. Profound self-examination is called for by our leaders and individuals in our society.
For that to happen, psychological insight into our spiritual roots
is needed so that assertive, not aggressive interventions may do for individuals and
nation states instead of hurting our people and our sovereignty. Thus a
spiritual journey awaits us and our leaders – and humility is called for,
not ego-bound self- righteousness. Reflecting on observing ourselves
and learning to be receptive to intuitive guidance is the answer – even
when doing so may on the surface seem to humiliate us and defy reason.4

This new paradigm can go a long way to creating a new world view to support the survival of humanity.
But these changes need to occur on both an individual and national
level to be fully implemented. Carl Gustav Jung in his last work The
Undiscovered Self, points to the problem:
Our (collective) psyche is profoundly disturbed by the loss of moral
and spiritual values that have kept our life in order. Our consciousness
is no longer capable of integrating the natural afflux of concomitant,
instinctive events that sustains our conscious psychic activity. This
process can no longer take place in the same way as before, because our
consciousness has deprived itself of the organs by which the auxiliary
contributions of the instincts and the unconscious could be assimilated.
The organs were the numinous symbols, held holy by common consent.”5

Historically, conscious spatial perceptions in the West were
structured according to guarding and protecting land and property
rights. This had psychological implications creating vigilance and
mistrust toward our competitors. We still have the view that land we
bought with money is our possession. And thus we develop a collective
defensive attitude based on protectionism, exploitation of resources
and imperial power. In the last Iraq war, these assumptions came to
light as we intruded on a sovereign country to kill a terrorist regime,
to democratize them and to prevent the expansion of their  apparent nuclear
capability.  Also global warming phenomena has heightened our appreciation that we are accelerating carbon emissions to our own destruction and must cooperate internationally to curb these emissions.

On a macro-level ‘manifest destiny’ is just a global form of
egocentric narcissism. And the underlying, covert rationale for these
actions was the motive of taking resources that did not belong to us.

On a individual and national/collective levels the self-study of our unconscious as it influences our conscious make-up will help guide us thorough the labyrinth of concepts that have been identified by theoretical psychiatrists like C. G. Jung, E. Erickson and R. Assagioli; and astrological psychologists like Bruno and Louise Huber.

If we study our horoscopes, our dreams and recognize in humility our shadowy sub-personalities; we can navigate through relationships with mutual respect and awe at the wondrous majesty that is human kind.  But if we ignore this process, we are doomed to  perpetual conflict as we project our own ego’s as individuals and nations on a global stage.  That would result in a mere repetition of  the colonialism and social Darwinism of the past.  We must not  neglect to respect and seek justice for the cultural diversity of all peoples in this world of ours.   My book Dreams and Astrological Psychology  (Hopewell Publishing, Knutsford, UK, 2014 , is avaiable onAmazon.com) paves the way for a syncretic methodology of these concepts so that we can become our own psychologists and thrive in the 21 Century.

Note: This is an excerpt from my book listed above with minor modifications so references are not included here but are in my book.

Astrological Psychology Consultations

maslowFigure 1.2 Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Clients may or may not be motivated to face up to their basic needs both in therapy and in astrological consultation, instead of gratification of their fantasies, wants or desires.  To accomplish this, their ego needs must be recognized and supported by the therapist or consultant as they present them.  First, there is the physical need for safety and security, which is achieved by building trust in the first encounter. The consultant expresses that this is a private and confidential session and returns requests for service promptly.

There is a correlation between Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and astrological psychology’s development of ego planets.  On the first two bars of Maslow’s pyramid are Physiological needs and Safety (See Figure 1.2).  These refer to nourishment and growth in the first four years of life, where 70% of development is physical.  A parallel situation for the client in psychotherapy or astrological consultation relates to the provision of a secure framework in the client-consultant relationship where confidentiality, privacy, physical comfort and relative anonymity are the social norm.[i]

This physiological bar correlates with the genetic endowment of the human being and relies to a great degree on the ‘average expected environment,’ based on the client’s early parenting on which the fulfillment of her/his hereditary endowment depends.  The connection with astrological psychology is the correlation of the client’s psychological drive for security and safety with the planet Saturn’s horoscope placement.  Saturn’s placement and aspects are symbolized by the daily routines leading to safety and security of the child initiated by the mother. Saturn’s patterns and aspects are identified in the natal horoscope and represented by the Mother’s caretaking of the child. The Mother makes sure the child is fed, comfortable as to warmth or cold, clean and hygienically cared for, and established in the routines of the sleep-wake cycle. Saturn’s quality in the horoscope can yield a great deal of information about the nature of the relationship between Mother and child, and form the structure of safety and security of physical functioning relating to Maslow’s physiological and safety needs. Thus, in the astrological psychology consultation, the consultant provides safety and security for the client, a Saturn role, as a nurturer in this relationship.  He/she provides consistency, structure based on the client’s needs, and routine care for his/her client based on set appointment times. The office décor meets her needs for comfort, a nurturing environment, and relative security.  The client is physically place in the office nearest to the door so that he/she can find easy exit if needed.

The second ego need is to be loved and have a sense of belonging.  The love/belonging bar on the Maslow pyramid (Figure 1.2) correlates to the Moon in astrological psychology. This is the drive to contact others for the purpose of getting sympathetic love and emotional connection.  Good emotional development means the child can reach out with trust to others, expecting a return of love and understanding. The Moon with its aspects and placement in the natal horoscope reveals the subjective point of view of the child as to how his emotional needs are met/not met. Thus, in an astrological psychology consultation, as in therapy, application of Carl Rogers’ concept of ‘unconditional regard,’ given by the consultant to the client, must convey empathy and understanding, not judgment.[ii]  In this way, we allow the spontaneous inner child in the client to contact the therapist.

The third ego need is correlated with the self-esteem and self-actualization bars on the Maslow pyramid (Figure 1.2), and is symbolized by the Sun in astrological psychology. Qualities of the Sun refer to the psychological drive for thinking, conceptualization, and willing, which eventually can bring about self-realization and give a sense of purpose to the individual, once basic needs are met. Assessment of Sun principles by the therapist, can help determine whether the client has clear thinking, good problem- solving capacity, and the potential to awaken the strongest ego planet. The astrological psychology consultant sets goals that align with the clients’ strengths, not his/her own. Therefore, at the beginning of a consultation, one must ask why the person is seeking consultation and try to focus on ‘the presenting request’ during the session, using the chart inferences to direct the flow of communication.  A respect for the independence of the client is paramount to a good consultation.  For the therapist, aligning with the presenting problem of the client is the initial goal of treatment. When the client suffers from a negative feeling or ego state in a consultation, the astrologer does not ‘rescue’ her from her struggles but, using empathy and applying active listening skills, is gently supportive as she works through her struggles.[iii]  Once he leaves the consultation, he/ she must function independently so we do not encourage dependency of any kind in a consultation.                                                                                                                                        [i] Langs, Robert, MD, Rating Your Psychotherapist, Ballantine Books, NY, NY, 1989. p.209.

[ii] Rogers, Carl. Client Centered Therapy, The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass. 1951.

[iii] Gordon, Thomas, Parent Effectiveness Training, Three Rivers Press, NY, NY, 2000.

Information on the quality of the ego planets as they relate to the meeting of basic needs is determined by the exact birth time, place and date of the individual, and this data is calculated on a computer program by the astrological psychology consultant to erect the natal horoscope. The consultant’s assessment of the client’s strongest ego planet is determined by its placement in the house system and its planetary aspects.  Ego growth and development through identification and development of the this strongest ego planet must be recognized and strived for enhancement if personality integration is to be met.

Are the will and thinking (Sun) determined to guide the individual through life as a thinking type?  Are the body (Saturn), presentation of appearance and rituals of a physical nature the features that secure the personality through sensation and the nature of reality? Do the emotions (Moon) and their value judgments determine which of two alternatives subjectively feels right when making decisions?

In my practice, both as astrological consultant and therapist, many of my clients are confused by distortions of their ego needs, which hinder their awareness of the strongest ego planet or psychic faculty that will provide consistent behavior and choices. They can be distracted by their wants/ desires in an environment that may not support good development. Their sub-personalities take over, creating an inauthentic self.  Whether a client is in psychotherapy or an astrological consultation, the goals are the same.  Huber was wise to recognize the priority of ego integration and development before the achievement of higher levels of consciousness. Regression to meet desires, passions or wants on a continual basis, hinders our awareness of higher consciousness attainment. That is because these behavior patterns cannot be sustained and are not stable enough to lead to an authentic level of self-esteem that will allow for receptivity to the more transcendent vibrations of universal love (Neptune), universal humanitarian improvement (Uranus), and transmutation of the ego (Pluto). So, it is vitally important for the consultant to identify and support the predominant ego function that guides the personality toward achieving confidence and building self- esteem through its application in the real world.

Astrological psychology supports the concept that we build on our ego strengths through our awareness of them which results in how well we adapt to environmental pressures or not. We gain confidence in the one ego planet that consistently works for us. Then we apply our efforts to integrate our personality by application of the body, or the emotions or the mind as faculties bringing a consistent method of understanding and working into our place in the world. This is an unconscious process for some, conscious for others, facilitated by an astrological consultation and the awareness of the individual concerned. Integration through identification of the strongest ego planet or archetype is the most important type of goal setting, and is the focus of psychotherapy as well as astrological consultation because it seems to build into the integration of the lesser developed, two ego planets.

As we mature we find that ego strengths and dominance is not enough to sustain us.  Because as we age, we lose our ego attachments to our jobs; our relationships through deaths of parents; close friends and/or lovers; our bodies through weakening and disease and finally we may lose our mental sharpness for accessing our autobiographical memory information efficiently. As these psychosocial realities that we built our lives on diminish through aging, we can find that the Huber method of Astrological Psychology discovers more psychological growth ahead as we continue to preserve our physical and mental health in old age. Achievement of a healthy ego is a precursor to the next stage of awareness: the deliberate realization of Self through understanding of the universal archetypes of the transcendental planets as they relate to and expand ego consciousness. Thus, the goal of self- actualization (Figure 2)  involves putting some distance between one’s ego desires and gratification of them, so that one can be receptive to higher levels of awareness.

Self-esteem that results from surmounting the crises and opportunities, brought about by achievement of psychosocial tasks, is the foundation for the next step in awareness—self-actualization. It is true that a degree of intuition is needed to be motivated toward achieving non-material goals. A yearning based on the realization that there is something more, beyond mere ego gratification, can be realized once basic needs are met. Identification with spiritual and universal principles that are beyond  our self-interests in individual ego gratifications alone (see Figure 1.2); this is the goal at this stage of development.

Huber’s Psychological Age Point Progression through the 12 Houses, exemplifies the struggle with ego conflicts in 12 environments that can enhance our development when we complete the psychological tasks inherent in each House.  A consultation using astrological psychology’s AP progression and transits can trigger an awareness that there are higher states yet to be developed beyond the levels of ego attachments. States of consciousness that are beyond healthy ego development and good self-esteem can set the stage for one to reach into the transpersonal realm of spiritual awareness. The consultant is tasked to re-frame the threats to ego integrity that identification with transcendental realms represent for older clients and, at the same time, reinforce for the client what she has already accomplished. Steps of passing through to a transcendental awareness and experiencing the higher realms of consciousness requires completion of the 52 Life Passages.  These are not accomplished neatly and perfectly but noisily  with the banging of drums, the  playing of music, and working out much inner conflict. There are stages of awakening on the way past psychosynthesis and awareness to the transpersonal Self between the field of consciousness and the middle and higher levels of the unconscious.  These require quieting of the ego because the ego corrupts and distorts the higher vibrations from higher realms.

For those coming to an astrological consultation, integration of the personality and receptivity to spiritual experience can unfold only with psychosynthesis, as the sub-personalities lessen their influence. Those clients can become aware, with a therapist’s or a consultant’s prompting, of the existence of their sub-personalities and learn to decrease their power. But work on developing ego integration and putting to rest ego distortions is not within the scope of practice of an astrological consultant. It is totally in the hands and efforts of the client.  Consultants can refer clients to psychotherapists, who can work on these issues if a client is receptive. This is especially pertinent when a client’s behavior leads to distortions of reality and maladaptive or self-injurious behavior.

 

 

 

Neptune Part 2

New post on The Astrological Psychology Website

The Astrological Neptunian Character 2

by Barry

Post by John Grove

This is the continuation of John Grove’s explorations into his Neptune, following on from the previous post

A complex is an inner state of opposition between these two contrasting energies within the psyche; based on my personal psychological past of early attachments. The way a complex works in the outer world is that a bipolar behavior pattern is expressed. When one side of the complex is expressed at one time you get one presentation and when the other opposite side is expressed you get another presentation. I had this complex that was forgotten and repressed in my personal unconscious. i A complex is not caused by an aspect pattern in a horoscope. It is caused by a traumatic event. “An experience of high emotional content… with great dynamic power.. an event which hits a vital point of our psyche and our ego structure.” ii

In my 12th year I was with my father who was driving drunk and we were hit by a car traveling 60 miles an hour broadside. This event (occurred when my Age Point was at the crossing of the Nodal Point at the cusp of my 3rd house in Aquarius). This event shattered my sense of value and feeling toward my father by fear and anxiety. I adopted a rigid state with a tight ego shell within me which helped me to avoid hating my father for this irresponsible act. I could also deny that he was responsible for my anxious state. As a coping defense I developed a rigid pseudo self-confidence (Neptune self-deception) and toxic values. I behaved as a substance abuser adolescent in identification with father.

So I had to dig deep using my Capricorn focus and determination to discover that I expressed love and sympathy based on a need of belonging (to father) through a drive for selfless egoic surrender as a calling (as reflected by the opposition between Neptune and the Moon). This required endless sacrifice of my ego need for authentic expression of spontaneous anger-based resentment toward my dad which caused repression of these feelings. All this was generalized in the service of a higher ideal: to sacrifice my needs for the needs of others.

As denial began to lift about my inner complex I realized, I had to balance both sides and accept myself as I was- a contradiction. By the way, all people have contradictory sub-personalities but they may not all have trauma complexes so they may not be forced to understand themselves unless they dig deep into self-analysis. iii That is unfortunate because that application of self-study is not readily done today…our shadows are usually repressed parts of ourselves which we can project on people we love to hate.

How this played out in my youth was that my father was an alcoholic who I thought needed unconditional love from me; my mother who was my main caretaker was depressed and felt that my childhood presence “kept her young” as she would say. The way my complex chose to express itself was that I could not build self-esteem in an identity without giving love to both parents which took a lot of psychic energy. So even when parents were at odds with one another over father’s affairs, his continued alcoholism and selfishness, I actually did shuttle diplomacy giving love to one and then the other in total denial that I was giving up a major part of my striving for independence. It was a totally misplaced and confused loyalty to them, especially when I should be on my own. The only way to work this conundrum out was to encounter the world. (the Huber’s give reference in their book on Houses that to deal with in inner polarity, one develops a third pole, in this case the Encounter pole). iv Joining the Peace Corps and leaving home was my encounter with the world.

Encounters with reality in Huber’s perception can have the result of teaching you to see Neptune and the Moon as an initiation ritual. In their book, The Planets, Neptune in aspect to the Moon we see that:

The path of Neptune and the Moon speaks to the experience of love and suffering that one must go through in relationships when one subordinates one’s ego for another. This initiation leads to the subsequent refinement of the ego needs. When one does not get reciprocal sympathy and unconditional love, yet still loves and forgives another, this changes consciousness. Ego based love is conditional and selfish. But when one suffers from a betrayal of love and yet still continues to love without resentment and is able to forgive, then one is able to elevate one’s emotions beyond petty ego wants and desires. He/she can transcend opposites and avoid the projection that promotes conflict; because emotional identification with either extreme of two opposites can bring resentment. This requires a dis-identification from the emotional ego. The suffering of the ego and its ‘death’ brings about the dark night of the soul, causing one to feel abandoned and hopeless. As a purification experience, Christ was baptized to love all people, despite being persecuted. Through the betrayal of Judas and his crucifixion, He was able to forgive those who persecuted him. Because the experience of suffering and continuing to love is a continual process throughout the life cycle, there is an ongoing struggle to let go of the childish ego for the sake of ideal love. The passing phase of being betrayed and forsaken can last a long time and, during this process of purification, we are asked to let go of hope and what we consider are legitimate demands of reciprocal love. This process puts one in a completely different situation and changes consciousness. One surrenders to God’s will and that process is transformative. Transits of Neptune to an ego planet can trigger these experiences and crises. v

So, as I encountered the world, I had to figure out who I was because I had given so much attention to my parents, I was confused about what I had to do to grow up. All I had to go on was the ego identifications of father that I had incorporated into my false self-identity. Neptune was guiding me to encounter my cousin who introduced me to astrology and actually told me that I really had impressive dreams. I took those beginning bits of truth and went on with gusto to study in depth both subjects. After many years I found my own new identity as a psychotherapist, a depth psychoanalyst and astrologer which I practice this to this day.

So many times, in my encounters with the world I had to defend why I studied astrology. Those days are over now as I am confident in my craft; but I realize, I was guided by Neptune all along, an archetypal guide that presented me with experiences that helped heal the split within me and at the same time confused me because I believed all I had to go on was an ego consciousness that demanded self-expression of my ego identity against the world.

As I studied Jungian psychology on my own, I incorporated it into my practice on myself through dream analysis early on in my 20’s. I kept journals and dream diaries over 30 years. My service to others had been a calling and before I even had the license to practice, I was helping other people with grief, with separation and loss. My journaling with Ira Progoff started with a workshop he gave when I was in graduate school. vi My dream theme was water in many forms; Neptune was presenting me with tidal waves, rivers, seas images that evolved over the years. My emotional reactions to these dreams were mostly fearful and threatening at the beginning as they represented a threat to my striving toward development of individuality which I was afraid of accomplishing due to my split allegiances to my parents. I did not want to incorporate conscious identifications with either parent into my psyche. Later on, I developed a lofty and loving relationship with water and enjoyed water adventures in my dreams and put my relationships with my parents in proper perspective.

Since I have a Capricorn Sun it focused my complex to a point of achievement where not only did I make my living dealing with Neptune’s realm, but I also became the recipient of many of Neptune’s cloudy and murky influences which induced confusion, stormy days of hypersensitivity that sometimes triggered me to deny all emotion actually making me afraid of my ‘affects’. For a long time, I thought I was a thinking type and gave myself over to that for a while doing research and empirically based studies. vii But then there was the other me, that subpersonality that was receptive, loving, daring to question the status quo in my profession… a feeling type. I was angry that I seemed caught between two worlds: one of accountability and the other of dreamy and emotional rapport with myself and others so that I did not always know where I stood.

All through my life I had struggled with what thoughts I created that played out the scenario that people were going to deceive me, betray me, and hold back secrets from me. These thoughts would spontaneously get in my head and make me suspicious of others. I felt that maybe I did not to deserve love from others without having to save them or nurture them. That template based on guilt I re-enacted from my childhood onto relationships with others.

If I ever wanted to have the security that I could perceive reality without self-deception or without illusion, or without confusion or false hope; I needed to be clear minded and withdraw my projections from my past onto others.

If I ever wanted to give and receive love, then I would have to give up fantasies that are elusive and unreal shimmering in allurement but always too far away in the mist to chase.

Consider this dream: 7/18/2019

I am Christine Amanpour on a mission, on assignment. I have to choose a photographer for my next news cast. But I want no drama, no confusion of roles, no partner who will deceive me with promises to be the best ever reaching the ideal of photographers of the perfect picture. I want someone just right for the role. So, I stop this photographer; he is a man in his jeep driving on the road and I interview him hoping to nail down once and for all that this partner will not be… A chameleon who deceives me. A lover who confuses me.

But then I realize, illusion is not in him; it permeates all around me, is in me and projects out of me. I can’t get rid of it; I carry the self-deception factor everywhere I go.

Only living with the uncertainty of the unknown, not having anything solid beneath my feet, nothing to hold onto – that is my karma. That is the nature of Neptune the planet of mystery, of gaseous foam and the last bridge to the mystery that is deep space. We may never break it down and understand this: “I, Neptune am everywhere, all the time permeating every part of your existence as a fact.” I could no longer get rid of my uncertainty than to amputate my arm or my leg.

It is an illusion, that I could have Neptune out of my life. I have to make peace with the Master of the sea and waters. I have to learn to accept his dissolving of everything that as a Capricorn (where my Sun is located) I hold dear. His earthquakes break up the ground I am standing on. My therapy work represents everything I strive for and what I hold dear and that is the only solid thing I have. But that too will disappear as if an apparition. Going forward I will have to go on knowing my ego death will happen over and over that he will spread turpentine over the vision of my master works. And eventually when all is gone, I too will become one in unity with outer space that is beyond the boundaries of Neptune.

Maybe that is what I yearned for all my life.

i Hall, James A. Jungian Dream Interpretation, Inner City Books, Toronto, Canada, 1983, p. 120

ii Rudhyar, Dane, An Astrological Study of Psychological Complexes, Shambhala, Berkeley, 1976. P4

iii Parfitt, Will, Psychosynthesis: The Elements and Beyond, PS Avalon, Glastonbury, Somerset, UK,2003, p. 29

iv Huber, Bruno and Louise, The Astrological Houses; A Psychological View of Man and His World, Samuel Weiser, Inc. York Beach, Maine,1978, p.86

v Huber, Bruno and Louise, The Planets and Their Psychological Meaning, Hopewell Publishing, Knutsford, UK, 2006, P111.

vi Progoff, Dr. Ira, Intensive Journal Workbook, Dialogue Hose Associates, Inc. NY, NY 1968

vii Jung, Carl G. Psychological Types, Bollingen Foundation, Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J. .1958Barry | October 17, 2019 at 10:03 am | URL: https://wp.me/p7ktCb-1gLCommentSee all comments

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Neptune the Mystic

 

Part I The Astrological Neptunian character

What is written here is an example of my life-long project to understand the effect and siren call of the planet Neptune in my natal horoscope.  The struggle I have had is nothing less than a battle with my own ego, first caused by the disillusionment that comes from recognizing the force of the Neptune energies in my chart and then going beyond the limitations of my own ego identifications to include a universe of possibilities that Neptune represents.  This amounts to nothing less than transcending ego consciousness and learning to perceive non-duality against the backdrop of my personal history of taking a stand against the chaos that comes in when I allow Neptune energies to influence me in negative ways.

When Neptune was discovered in 1846 there were synchronistic events on the world stage of technology with photography and moving pictures which paved the way for movies and the illusion of art imitating life.  Concurrently at that time, the study of the unconscious psyche was advanced by C. G. Carus.[i]

Steven Forrest in his Book of Neptune wrote that a “sextile between Neptune and Pluto took place during the 1940’s and this sextile will break up by 2030. This will continue to have the effect that all people living on the planet will have this aspect which… they will have (the energies of these planets) consciously integrated into the collective… and in sextile these planetary drives induce spirituality and psychology to excite one another…the synthesis of which is a relatively new development…having the consequences of inviting us as a people to move to the pole of consciousness that is opposite the ego.”[ii]

The Myth:

During the Etruscan era in the 8th to 2nd Century BCE, Neptune (Netphones) was associated with wells, rivers, springs, the ocean and was worshiped as a god. The god had two aspects: a tranquil water type and a gushing water type. He was the god of moisture and also of the sea.  Later in Greek myth, he was known as Poseidon and he was the god of the sea.  He had the qualities of striking his trident and with one blow could split rocks and cause earthquakes.  Later in Roman myth, he was known as a god with violent temper who could change forms ( shape shifting); he was charged with ruling over the Sea.[iii]

God Neptunedownload (1)

[iv]

To understand the nature of this planet we want to study the symbolism of Neptune in myth which was refined and condensed over the centuries.  Recently there are four psychic aspects of Neptune which Dr. Maureen Demot first identified.

  1. Its psychological function was to create an affinity with the collective unconscious, the imagination, dreams, intuitions, and empathy.
  2. The psychological processes in action were to transcend, to surrender, to sacrifice, to rescue, to envision, to inspire, to escape, to deny, to vacillate, to sabotage, to confuse, to mystify, and to deceive.
  3. Psychological ego states are selfless love, unitive awareness, empathy, compassion, forgiveness, inspiration, GUILT, passivity, confusion, uncertainty, grief, sickness, victimization, helplessness, and delusion
  4. Environmental events associated with Neptune are spiritual pursuits, aspire to ideal, rescuing or helping victims, victim of fraud and deceit, losses, endings, working with grief, use of the imagination, imagistic art forms. [v]

My Personal Journey:

Neptune is so prominent in my chart hitting with hard aspects to both my two ego planets, the Sun and the Moon.  Below is my horoscope where I shall explain how Neptune in my chart effects my character and psych.  Below is also a depiction of the glyphs of the Planets.  Neptune is in the bottom row, second from the left.

john-chart

Look at the glyph of Neptune in my chart above.  Neptune the planet is near the top of my chart with a red line opposite another Glyph, that of the Moon.   That is called an opposition aspect with the Moon.  Any opposition aspect produces tension, repression and pressure.

According to the Huber Method, the Moon represents our emotional response: the spontaneous inner child, compassionate, sensitive part, reaching out for love and sympathetic understanding.  And it can be associated with the Mother as a caregiver but could represent any caregiver who nurtures and gives love back to the child reaching out for love.  It is associated with our ego needs for total acceptance and it is very sensitive to rejection. [vi]

Psychologically, Neptune represents transpersonal love, uncertainty and is associated with mysticism, paranormal and the selfless, non-ego state. In analyzing Neptune aspects to the Moon, it helps to consider that Huber designated hard and soft planets.  The hard planets are Mars, Sun, Pluto, Saturn and Uranus; the soft planets are Jupiter, Neptune, the Moon, Mercury and Venus.  Huber astrology determines that activating red lines to sensitive planets (like the Moon and Neptune) could irritate and lead to bad reactions of exaggeration, hypersensitivity.[vii]  Potentially, one could deceive oneself by over-identification with significant others in relationships; through empathy and compassion  one could rescue them from themselves.  These negative qualities of Neptune were more prominent with opposition and square aspects to my Moon and the Sun, respectively.

I have given you some of the astrological psychology principles above.  But now you will see how this horoscope was set up to influence my development.  Below is a figure of the House system, if you look at my chart, Neptune and the Moon are in the 10th and 4th houses respectively (At the MC and IC positions on my horoscope). It is called the individuality axis and has to do with the polar opposites of being an individual vs. belonging to the collective (family, tradition, society).[viii]

Central core (2)

The opposition between the planets Moon and Neptune show a tension between tradition and the family vs. the authority that comes from individual development in American society.  So, I would have a tendency to overidentify with family members at times and then at others assert my individuality causing tension, repression and confusion in both areas.  As one area gets attention, the other area of life suffers.  You can imagine the cognitive dissonance these behaviors caused in myself and others as I vacillated between these environmental domains. 

Neptune also has a red square aspect to my Sun in the second house which is in conjunction to my Jupiter.  A square aspect has qualities of friction, stress and deployment of energy.  The Sun which is a hard planet and the focal planet of an achievement square (a T-square) is stimulated by Neptune; but the Neptune square can also deplete and sabotage the Sun’s need for egoic self-expression.  Assertive ego identity vs. a selfless identity within myself created friction for me as I tried to navigate my actions in the outer world and become self-supporting.  Jupiter also receives Neptune’s red square aspect too so it expands its energy to be generous to others which causes friction in the arena of personal resources and this generosity and kindness can deplete my resources.   (Jupiter in 2nd house).  I could tend to promise others more than I could deliver; or attract people who would take advantage of me. 

Neptune opposed the Moon square my Sun and Jupiter slowed down the developmental achievement of leaving home because the complex created guilt and a sense of vacillation in going forward with my individualism process- becoming my own man.  Part II will cover in more detail the continuing working out of a  complex through dream work and self-analysis.

[i] Le Grice, Keiron, The Archetypal Cosmos, Floris books, Edinburgh, UK, 2010, p. 202

[ii] Forrest, Steven, The Book of Neptune, Seven Paws Press, Borrego Springs, California, 2017 pps. 23, 24, 37

[iii] Mythology.net, Neptune by Professor Geller, 2017

 

[v] Demot, Maureen, in Dreams and Astrological Psychology, Grove, John, Hopewell Publishing, Knutsford, UK, 2014, p. 107

[vi] Hopewell, Barry editor, Astrological Psychology The Huber Method, Hopewell Publishing, Knutsford, UK. , Cheshire, WA 2017, p. 33

[vii] Huber, Bruno, Louise, Michael, Aspect Pattern Astrology,

[viii] Huber, Bruno and Louise, The Astrological Houses, A Psychological View of Man and His World, Samuel Weiser, Inc. , York Beach, Maine, 1978, p. 85