Couples counseling and subpersonalities

Today I was interviewing a couple when Mary asked me…”Why do I hold back from people and not communicate but push information that is unpleasant back in my mind and let it just sit there? ”

Mary was explaining that she has a split between what negative feelings she has and does not communicate to others vs. what she thinks others want to hear.  These two versions of reality are not comparable, not compatible.

Then I introduced the concept of subpersonalities and self-expression.  In a course by Will Parfitt, I learned that of “all the contributions of psychosynthesis, the sub-personality model is the most well-known.”

I asked Mary to consider first how she likes to come across to others.  She said the behaviors she shows is as a confident, determined and a non-dramatic person.  She said she dampened down her emotional side, thought of it as weak and not useful to show her vulnerable side to others either in her work or with her family.

The psychosynthesis model looks at the start of the subpersonality patterns of interaction being set up in the family of origin.  (Parfitt, Will. Sub-Personalities and Self Expression, Lesson 3, page 3, Course I Elements of Psychosynthesis)

One example , Mary traced her behaviors back to her family of origin as a child when she knew her father had extramarital affairs and she addressed it with him once but then stopped.  She stopped because her inner child felt she would not be loved and be censured when she contacted her father if she kept telling him things he did not want to hear.   She risked rejection from him if she continued.  So, a pattern was started way back in which she buried aspects of herself that she found unacceptable and unable to show for fear of being unacceptable to others in some way or another.  So, it happened that her feeling, vulnerable side was buried and repressed and formed a sub-personality of its own sabotaging her relationships by holding back important negative information about herself.  But Mary’s subpersonality was unconscious not available to her conscious scrutiny.

Then she met Gus.  Gus grew up in a family newly migrated from United Kingdom.  His father was a self-employed businessman in the technical field. Gus was taught never to lie.  He expressed one episode in which in 3rd grade, he lied about doing his homework.  He would tell his parents every school day that he left the homework at school.  This behavior resulted in the pattern that he never did it the whole year-long.  When Gus’s parents had a parent-teacher conference and they found out that Gus never once handed in his homework that school year.  Gus’s father came home with all his unfinished homework and told him that he had all weekend to do it and he would sit beside him the whole time while he was finishing it.  Gus worked all weekend with his father looking on and on Monday, took his finished homework back to the teacher. He anticipated the shame he would feel in giving the teacher the homework and by that act was admitting that he lied to everybody.  Gus was vomiting when he got to school that Monday morning, he was so anxious.  Thus, Gus developed a sub-personality to never lie about anything and he learned to hate this behavior in others.  It was so conscious of a pattern of behavior that it was like a laser in the most formative part of his awareness.  And yet there are hidden parts of Gus that form a shadow subpersonality.

When Gus and Mary got together, they formed a relationship based on emotional intimacy except in one area.  When Mary could not communicate negative facts that did not fit into her self-concept, Gus would eventually find out and see Mary as lying which would infuriate him.  Mary was in fact not lying but withholding information that was negative because that information seemed to her to risk their continued relationship.  At one instance,  she even told a court judge that she had school loans paid off so she and Gus could move away with the custody of her son; when in fact she did not pay them back. When the judge found this out, she was not allowed to move out of the area.  Gus was furious and felt that major trust issues were broken by Mary because she lied.

The shadow is defined as an unconscious part of the psyche that we don’t want others to see.  Mary had conjoined her emotional, feeling side of herself with the shadow part of the psyche because she saw emotional vulnerability as negative to her self-concept; thus, she kept hidden an important part of her feeling side and when Gus repeatedly found out these patterns, he called it lying and told Mary he did not trust her.

I have the goal with this couple of freeing Mary’s sub-personality from her shadow and tampering down Gus’s self-righteous sub-personality which is joined with rage so he can stop projecting onto Mary that she is lying when in fact she is dealing with a splitting of her feeling side into her unconscious which she is not aware of.

Here is an example of Mary and Gus’ subpersonalities:

Mary Subpersonality Name: Image Role Want Need
Drama queen Fanny Weak-kneed emotional weeping mess To avoid risking rejection To be loved even when I’m bad To belong, be loved
Manager Mary Calm, cool collected professional Deal with all problems To be respected Self-Esteem
 Gus Subpersonality Name: Image Role Want Need
Righteous rageful Black Knight A Revengeful warrior  using a  Knife to cut Liars To punish bad ones To have honesty in relationships Self- esteem, respect
Harry Helpful Hospice worker To support others To be accepted Belonging and to be loved

Mary’s Astrological Psychology natal chart


Mutable shaping : “Such people live for the present and , are happy with a changing world, and easily adapt to situations of crisis.  They can be creative and have the ability to transform their surroundings.”  (Astrological Psychology, The Huber Method, edited by Barry Hopewell, 2017. p. 59).

According to the shaping of Mary’s chart we see a mutable triangle figure encompassing what is known as a dominant learning triangle.  Mary is motivated to be dynamic , able to adapt and is capable of  being change-oriented all in the service of learning life-long lessons and gaining a new perspective on a recurrent problem which is presented by Mary’s Pluto. (Astrological Psychology, the Huber Method, Hopewell, Barry editor, p. 82).  Pluto in the first house is compelling transformation of Mary’s personal outlook which is at first resisted but she is forced to change by a square with (Saturn in the 4th house) challenging her family patterns which make her avoid responsibility yet want to escape from binding ties to her family that burden her.  Her understanding and the slow process of change (Quincunx Saturn and Moon) involves her to think about her inner child (the Moon) which as the tension ruler of her chart, (in Cancer) wants to  resolve these stubborn family insecurities to find freedom and emotional release.  She can realize that her guilt over being independent from her family, only prevents her from finding significance in her life and keeps her constantly depressed.

Mary’s moon is the tension ruler or singleton of her chart.  The can be indicated as the inferior function (Internet Cafe Astrology, Singletons)  and  a sub-personality which is repressed and unconscious.  The Moon as inner child who wants contact with others for love and understanding does not want to be independent from the family and resists.  Thus this understanding to take responsibility and stand on one’s own is delayed but it is such a driving force, it cannot be ignored.  The  resistance to change puts Mary in a situation that causes resentment when she can’t strive for independence. (Pluto 1st house and Saturn in 4th house square).  Yet her dependency on her family and the need to be taken care of are jeopardized by her independence.  It is as if all the energy of the stellium (6 planets in one sign) in Capricorn telling her to be aloof, a manager and independent is thrown up against an extremely dependent inner child who wants to belong and is not emotionally ready for independent thinking.


Gus’s chart:

Here we have  a pattern of a quadrangular shaping in which he is looking for making things stable, balanced and secure.  In addition he has a Leo ascendant which brings a goal of wanting to be in charge and to express himself fully without limitation.

He has a stressed Sun before the 10th house which according to Hubers:” the ego is strongly emphsized…The cardinal energy wants to be expressed at all costs.  Sometimes the ego is inflated and asserts claims of uniqueness.  Other people who can not keep up may be viewed as rivals, pushovers, idiots”.  Gus’s focus is so much on individual competence that he cannot accept anything but his best” so he sees others as competitors or dummies when they cannot shape up. “( Huber, Bruno and Louise; Transformation, 2008  p. 56)  This subpersonality can engage in actions of power expression when setbacks occur. Then he goes all out to win; and he sometimes wins and sometimes suffers defeats.  Gus can attract a crisis which then brings about a change in his consciousness. Gus has the potential to put his power and will into a more spiritual perspective submitting to a higher power.

Gus has another subpersonality in which he sacrifices his assertiveness for the sake of helping others.  His aggression can be masked by a subpersonality which experiences a passive dissatisfaction in life.  He can take on the persona of the “Incredible Sulk”, a victim who vicariously enjoys violence toward others  through dreams and fantasies of a destructive nature.  This energy can be expressed in deceptive and shocking ways, unconsciously in his shadow personality.
Gus has a trapeze aspect pattern which involves his need for security, his need for love in contact with others and his need for expression of his will which makes him a dominant quadrilateral personality.  “It is an impregnable kind of figure which is like a knight holding two shields.  Such people can be models of self actualization as they tower above others due to their stable, work on the foundations of their personality, and show deep wisdom.” (Aspect Pattern Astrology, Huber, 2006, p.   But this may not show if he does not remain true to himself aligned with his inner convictions.  Thus he can adapt to the outer world without becoming internally dependent. Gus wants to start his own business and he could develop this task depending on a balancing of internal ego issues that would want to be transcended and addressing his shadow side that would beg for understanding.

Taken from Psychosynthesis: the elements and beyond by Will Parfitt, PS Avalon, Gastonbury, UK,2003

  1. Within the person there are many sub-personalities which clashes with one another.

“Our subpersonalities know what they want and are determined to get it.  They really look out for themselves.  This can be all right in itself, but problems arise when what one subpersonality wants is in conflict with the wants of another one.” P. 35

For example, part of Mary wants to be independent yet part of her won’t let that happen because her desire to be loved and popular with everyone so she can’t say anything that increases her separation from others and jeopardizes her popularity.

And Gus wants to be free to be truthful and make decisions on his own but his self-sacrificing subpersonality puts others wants before his

We receive qualities and inspiration from the transpersonal level:

Courage to be independent

Humanitarian help to people in need through service

Morally honest with others

But these qualities become degraded by the use of subpersonalities which always engage our egos.

Courage becomes foolhardiness

Humanitarian help becomes enabling and self- pity

Truthfulness becomes blunt superiority

Many of the conflicts of subpersonalities both within the individual and between couples in disagreement happen as they act out the dynamic between Love and Will.

  1. 2. Conflicts between subpersonalities among individuals

Between people the sub-personality of one person can conflict with the sub-personality of another person; for example,  Mary may act out her need for love and to be taken care of by suppressing any contradictory thought; that would , her subpersonality believes, jeopardize her  want to be included, listened to and be taken care of.  Gus wants to be able to choose, at any given moment, and express his desire for truth and not be restricted from any decision he feels is right.  Yet when he comes up against what appears as lying by another; his Righteous subpersonality kicks in with a bluntness and blame toward the other person that takes on a superior tone.

To harmonize the wants of different subpersonalities, it is necessary to get behind them to a deeper level of needs.  Needs are more inclusive than wants.  “I want you to love and respect me right now” (Mary); I want you to stop lying and tell me the truth even if it hurts. (Gus)”.

Use the hierarchy of needs by Maslow as an aid to determine the real needs behind ego based, wants and desires:

What Mary needs is Love and belonging; and she is responsible for finding intimacy by being self-disclosing, taking risks and letting people hear what she says and still connect with her and accept her.

What Gus needs is self-esteem.   His ego desires for the other to accept his brand of honesty; it is an effort to control others.  What he needs is to recognize his need within for honesty as a form of self-respect rather than desire for others to give him his brand of honesty.

To focus on our own needs moves us to our true self rather than distorting and confounding our wants by expecting changes in others to meet our needs.

“To do subpersonality work, dialogue with each of the conflicting parts of yourself and realize the qualities of each subpersonality; use your will power to stop from slipping mindlessly into different subpersonalities so that you become the driver of the car rather than just the back seat driver. P. 36

This couple has benefitted by understanding their invisible motivations expressed through their sub personalities. This insight can postpone blame and negative judgements which can harm trust and the longevity of relationships. I hope to bring this awareness of sub-personalities to those caught in a web of conflicts so that they can resolve them.


The Psyche in action and present dangers of psychic inflation


Some Christian groups which believe in the rapture believe Trump will usher in the end of the world.  These Evangelicals believe that the end of this millennium will result in the Second Coming of Christ and that believers will be transported to heaven.  It is an eschatological concept of certain branches of North American Christians.  Their belief is that there will be an end time event when all Christian believers who are alive will rise along with the resurrected dead believers into Heaven and join Christ.  Apocalyptic events would result in the extinction of humanity, a collapse of civilization, or the destruction of the planet.  The Last Judgment ,  Second coming of Christ, and Great Tribulation are common events described in the Christian scriptures.  A poll conducted in 2012 across 20 countries found over 14% of people believe the world will end in their lifetime.   Global weather phenomenon which occur with warming of the atmosphere has ushered in more belief in this area ; but these are man-made events and they often become conflated with eschatology.

Historical and prophetic examples are that Jean Dixon, psychic predicted that the world would end in 2020.  F. Kenton Beshore predicted the second coming of Jesus between 2018 and 2028.  The Messiah foundation International is a spiritual organization that predicts the end of the world in 2026 when an asteroid collides with Earth.  There are other sources too many to mention that predict the End in 2129, 2239, and 2280.  (Wikipedia).

Some see the Administration of Donald Trump as president representing important events leading to the Second Coming of Christ.  Mike Pence the Vice President is pushing this movement along.  The moving of the US Embassy to Jerusalem and the expressed sovereignty of Israel to the Golan Heights are revealed as steps toward gaining land to set the stage for Armageddon for some Evangelicals.  ” For many US evangelical Christians, one of the key preconditions for such a movement leading to the ‘rapture” is the gathering of the world’s Jews in a greater Israel between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River.  It is a belief, known as premillennial dispensationalism or Christian Zionism and it has very real potential consequences for US foreign policy(  The Guardian, Jan 11,2019 by Julian Borger).

Announcing the strategic recognition of “sovereignty of the Golan Heights, a plateau east of the Sea of Galilee known in Bible times as the region of Bashan, …the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said it is possible to help save the Jewish people from the menace of modern-day Persia, Iran.” (Dipsensationalists delight in Trump’s Golan Heights statement”, Bob Allen Baptist News Global, March 25, 2019)

Dispensationalism which is the collective movement, a theology and metanarriative for the Bible.  The theology states there are ages to which God has allotted distinctive administrative principles to be manifested on Earth.  Each age of God’s plan is administered by a steward during that time to do God’s will.  Who are the stewards to usher in the period when God judges humanity and introduces a new period of probation under a new administration?  I leave that to the reader to speculate. (Wikipedia).

Some even say that Trump is a flawed leader but vessel of God like King Solomon of the Old Testament.  Actually Donald Trump is an opportunist who needs the Evangelical vote to be re-elected in 2020.   He was raised Presbyterian and represents to the Evangelicals a bright spot for their values.  80% of Evangelical Christians voted for him in 2016.

Mike Pompeo, secretary of State says,  “I keep the Bible open on my desk to remind me of God and his word, and the truth”.  In a Cairo, Egypt meeting Pompeo spoke about America’s innate goodness.  In fact, Pompeo called on the congregation of a Kansan mega church three years ago to join a fight of good against evil.  “We will continue to fight these battles’ the then congressman said at a Summit church in Wichita.   “It is a never-ending struggle…until the rapture. Be part of it.  Be in the fight.”

This conjunction of Evangelical religion with politics does not bode well for the Jews and Arabs in the Middle East. In fact this conflation of religion and politics is against the Jeffersonian idea of separation of church and state.  This conflation of relgion and politics makes the US unable to be a neurtral broker in the Middle East conflict.  Prominent evangelical leaders, like Robert Jefferies who is a Christian Zionist goes on record as saying ‘Jews, like Muslims and Mormons, are bound for Hell’.  Many see the Netanyahu government, the lack of balancing sympathy for the Palestinians and the insistent demonization of the Iranian government as part of Trump’s administration policy that would usher in a Holy War.  (The Guardian, Jan 11, 2019 by Julian Borger)

Psychic inflation can occur on a collective level and that is what I can see happening at these times among paranoid people, dispensensatonalists, and evangelical Christians who believe the American way of life threatened by diversity and the global involvement of Islam in our government.  But I think evangelical nationalism is a real threat to democracy.  Tolerance and cultural relativism which are very common in today’s cultures in America and Western Europe is frowned upon by evangelical nationalists.  What is described below is the process in which individuals become radicalized by archetypes which then create psychic imbalance first on an individual level and then collectively.

The process of psychic inflation by the archetype of the Self.

Sometimes the Self (see diagram) becomes innervated with archetypes ( ex. prophet/false prophet) that overwhelms the ego with contents through complexes in the personal unconscious.  One part of the complex for example, the False Prophet part can eclipse the ego complex of the person.  This causes an inflation of the ego identity of the person.  This inflation of the ego becomes contaminated with unconscious contents so powerful so as to make the person appear fanatic.  He can become apparently psychotic or unable to function as well in daily life because he is preoccupied with the grandiose delusion that he is a prophet of eschatological events, divinely inspired.  A powerful delusional identification of the person with a prophet can result when unconscious contents from the Self archetype flood into ego awareness thus creating a challenge to current ego identity of the person.  Moods and attitudes can change abruptly and the person is bewildered by a new state of consciousness.  Obsessions and manic behavior may take hold and create a physical imbalance creating insomnia and psychic states that appear unstable. When these delusions are coupeled with politics an operational catastrophe is waiting to happen.  These conflations  are manifestations of the Self and its teleology toward wholeness.    This experience  can be described by the metaphor of a ‘psychic storm’ that unless there is counter compensation from another part of the psyche to  create balance again the person(s) will deteriorate in relationship  and  occupational functioning as well as in reality testing ability.

The inflation  that arises here is from ambition and desire for recognition to solve the Israeli – Palestinian conflict.  Both manifested in the politicians and religious individuals, namely Donald J. Trump and John Hagee.  The ego of person(s) become obsesses with Armageddon happening in our time.

Trump believes that the solution to the Irsraeli-Palestinian conflict lies with his son-in-law , Jared Kuschner, who will negotiate peace in the Middle East.  Trump is ambitious to pave the way for this to happen and receive favor from Christian Evangelists before the 2020 election.

John Hagee predicts  a religious war with those countries that oppose Israel. In his book, Earths’s Last Empire (2018),  John Hagee has said,  those who do not vote for Trump are going to be punished by God.

I  suggest that it is these two mens’ joint  ambition is a form of psychic inflation that attracts entities from the astral level that feed on the life force’s of individuals who are stimulated by ambition and desire for it… desire for a world-wide Christian theocracy that comes from Apocalyptic visions of Armageddon which John Hagee sees as coming soon.  In John Hagee’s mind, this  grandiose and paranoid vision of End of Days will result  with tribulations.  There will be a great war involving Russia, Germany, Iran, Syria against Israel which will usher in the greatest world destruction in history involving the Antichrist, Satan and false prophets.  Armageddon is nothing but a  vision and predicted eventuality that will elevate Hagee and his believers into a elite position in the eyes of God.  Further the rapture will deliver the true believers before major tribulations prior to Jesus’s second coming.

“But alas, ere they are aware of their danger, an army from the Principality of Ambition rushes through and captures the citadel of their hearts, and they are carried away captive; so it is with all the other principalities when we open the door through harboring or contemplating their characteristic thoughts.” From Realms of the Living Dead, Curtiss, Harriet and F. Homer, 1926, p. 140.

I am not qualified as a spiritual leader but am a psychotherapist.  I believe however, that to create balance in the psyche caused by inflation, that a ritual prayer and spiritual intervention is called for by those qualified individuals who are called to do so.  I also believe that in the collective field there can be entrained, Guides or entities who can provide assistance as I explain below.

It can be that Guides can be  constellated by prayer from the collective field, sentient beings like the archangel Michael (who leads God’s armies against Satan), to help with psychic inflation.  And the person(s) willingness to accept a prayer that may help restore psychic balance is of course a necessary precondition.  However, that is unlikely because of the ‘certainty’ that events are unfolding to reveal historical biblical prophesy of the Second Coming of Christ.

Even if these actors are not receptive to balance, those who are concerned about this unprecdedented development of marriage of religion and politics in modern times can pray for balance, restoration of sanity to the US.  One example of a counter treatment to his psychic imbalance is to invoke an Archangel archetype through prayer  as follows:

St. Michael the Archangel, illustrious leader of the heavenly army,

defend us in the battle against principalities and powers,

against the rulers of the world of darkness and the spirit of wickedness in high places.

Come to the rescue of mankind, whom God has made in His own image and likeness,

and purchased from Satan’s tyranny at so great a price.

Holy church venerates you as her patron and guardian.

The Lord has entrusted to you the task of leading souls of the redeemed to heavenly blessedness.

Entreat the Lord of Peace to cast Satan down under your feet, so as to keep him from further holding  man captive and doing harm to the Church.

Carry our prayers up to God’s throne, that the mercy of the Lord may quickly come

and lay hold of the beast, the serpent of old, Satan and his demons, casting him in chains into the abyss, so that he can no longer seduce nations.

Source: Roman Ritual


The Changing , Emerging Consciousness

Having practiced psychotherapy as a clinical social worker for 40 years, I have felt torn between the life of my professional identity and the studies I have pursued outside my profession.  I have lived two worlds which became increasingly difficult to resolve: the world of empirical psychotherapy in my daily work  vs. the world of astrological psychology.

Of course the usual justifications existed and I could prepare my defense.  But Astrological psychology was not able to be brought out in the sun to be scrutinized by my peers.  It was too vulnerable and would only be measured for efficacy by standards that were not suited to it.  So I had to be cautious and preserve its precious caldron of meanings, insights and faith engendering proclamations.

Today I have written this article to state my position and make it clear to myself what I believe and why.   I feel less threatened by being labeled kooky, charlatan or mentally ill.  So here is not my defense but the foundation of a new way of finding meaning in life in pursuit of being mentally healthy.  I propose to make us all our own psychologists for it is possible for anyone inclined to look inside and try to understand the puzzle of their own psychic existence.

The Prevailing Waning Collective Consciousness:

The conscious psyche in the life of people is the focus of much attention especially as it relates to mental health of individuals in the constantly shifting and changing world of the 21 century.  The Western development of therapeutic treatments to heal the imbalance of psychic troubles has been only in existence since the early 1800’s and only systematically studied since the 1900’s.  The 20th Century had seen the emergence of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders, which is a compendium of atheoretical behaviors, in which patients have presenting problems which they bring to consulting rooms of psychiatrists.   With the advent of psychotropic medications in the 1960’s many people who were institutionalized were discharged because the medications they were given controlled their symptoms well enough for them to live somewhat independently.  These two developments: a classification system of mental disorders and psychotropic medication have shaped the field of psychotherapy in the Western world but not for the best. Diagnostic categories pigeonhole people and medications try to make delusions and hallucinations extinguish when they can provide insights into life’s quandaries during the modern-day.  We have settled for a mediocre standard  of mental health rather than being focused on helping our people find meaning in their lives so they could be integrated, balanced human beings.

Western societies define pathologies of their people in relation to  the degree of negative adaptation they exhibit in their societies.  Maladaptive behaviors can be looked at as social anomalies depending on the evidence of a lack of functioning defined by negative survival skills. Generally positive survival skills are those that have high social value in capitalistic societies: ability to hold a job, to have a partner and be able to distinguish between what is real and what is fantasy.  These judgments of  good mental health are assumptions based on mores and values of the majority of society.  Dominance of  these value-based assumptions of what  in society constitutes as the healthy occupational, relationship and reality testing is evident as the world becomes more homogenized through globalization.  For centuries  Western Societies have framed  the cultural definition of mental health.  United States and Western Europe’s  ability to conquer ,  with English spoken as the key to business institutions,  and to define the major cultural Weltanschauung or spirit of the times is well documented.  But now  that  world view is breaking down, as recent dominance of Western societies is being challenged the world over.

When we survey  the Western models of treatment of the  pathological psyche,  the academic and treatment focus is concentrated on building ego-strengths. Most psychotherapies are designed to build a healthy “executive function” of the ego through cognitive strategies  (Ego Psychiatry, Anna Freud).  The ego then is perceived as the center of the psyche with ultimate say in the every day functioning of life.  And this is appropriate for ego development in early adulthood. But in America and the Western world ethos,  ego building is the model for the whole life cycle. That assumption is fallacious, because, ego strengths are important to survival at the young  and middle adulthood stages of the life cycle but actually maladaptive as one reaches mid- life and retirement age. I  shall propose that this value system is an unsound model for  the healthy psyche putting too much emphasis on youth without an alternative for the rest of life cycle when ego energies wane as in later life.

The value system of this Western  psychological treatment approach supports the beliefs that individualism is the end-all and teleological purpose of man in society.  Along with this view is supported the clichés that “time is money” and one has to develop his/her ego potential or else lose to competitors, “you have to use your will to take chances, you may not get another one“ and to be successful one has to possess the conscious attitude of  the  all important ‘youthful‘ approach to life.  These views are based on social Darwinism.  They represent  one way to view today’s societies;  but  they are not pragmatic because they assume that people are pitted against people to compete for limited resources.  In the reality of today’s job market, not everyone has access to the competitive market place to make a survivable living.  To survive today we have to learn cooperation or else we shall limit our existence by war and end 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 that structure has been given us, fails.  Futile attempts to find reasons why bad events happen to us fill the case notes of many psychotherapies.  The suffering of the ego may cause us to return the pain to the “reasoned” sources of our pain but that is only revenge.  Profound self-examination is needed.  Self esteem may be attempted by some by making supplication to God to give them Grace through prayer.  Thus a mystical journey awaits some and a humility  is needed in that case to give up our ego-self-righteousness.  In this way, what can lead to real healing is spiritual not psychological.  By reflecting on observing ourselves and learning to be receptive to intuitive guidance is an answer even when doing so may humiliate us and defy reason. (Caroline Myss, Defy Gravity, 2010).

Conscious spatial perceptions in the West are structured  in terms of seeing land that is guarded or infringed upon (through Imperialism) by the ever watchful eye of the collective conscious ego.   Protecting land boundaries and building walls between sovereign states is a common defensive stance to allow only those in who can contribute to the economy as immigrants.   And by imperialists, intrusive forays into the borders of nation states to “democratize them” belies the underlying motive of exploiting their resources for selfish state-sponsored materialistic ends.   Notice the American business practice of  the cement curbing off  of restaurants from competitors that makes it impossible in a strip of chain restaurants to drive /or walk from one parking lot to an adjacent competitor’s parking lot in order to compare menus or prices.  Add to this the rights of property owners to defend themselves against perceived intruders by ’the gun’. It is now a right that if someone enters your property without just cause, you can shoot them.   This has led to tragic results even fathers killing their own sons.

Today’s social fabric of education and upward mobility promises more than it can deliver.  A meritocracy like the United States promises more than it can deliver.  There is no American Dream within reach in 2019.  Ego inflation is endemic to society; in that the higher one goes in the stratum of society in career advancement, the more one is able to violate the ego boundaries of others and dominate them, through  the exercise of sex and power.  For example, wealthy Politicians, Actors/Actresses, and Sports stars are known for multiple sexual liaisons and not conforming to the boundaries of monogamy which is the norm in common society.  Witness the ‘me too movement’ which tries to balance the field of equality in the marketplace.

Overemphasis on the development of the individual  conscious ego is valued over development of society with the assumption  that all are given equal opportunity to survive and fulfill themselves materially.  Supporting this egocentric mind warp is the myth that there is a ‘top- down’, trickle down economic benefit to the lower classes from the sterling enterprise of wealthiest among us.   Thus, we should be grateful that the wealthy create jobs for the rest of us.  History has shown us, this does not work for the middle class as wages have been stagnant since the 1980’s for working class Americans.

As stewards of this  popular political illusion, the wealthy tells us that people who are poor are lazy, and they just want a hand out. It is only they with their positive motivation and enterprising spirit as capitalists who  are virtuous ones.  These views are “democratized” in a preferentially pluralistic society where only the wealthy can get access to lobbies that promote legislation that support and sustain their status quo and world view.  The political result, for example,  is  to cut medical access to the poor  and to cut budgets for education for the young  rather than tax the wealthy.  Head start programs for children  and subsidies to Universities are cut before raising taxes.

The computer has for decades replaced human workers on the job through automation and artificial intelligence.  And more than that, statistics have become the language to justify,  measure goals and award pay for  good work performance.   Algorithms are employed by physicians to treat presenting medical problems with the mixed outcomes.  Now people in the work force  are evaluated on how much they conform to performance measures, thresholds of achievement and productivity standards. Because this is often the only measure of work performance, it has dehumanized the process of  workplace trust among people and created a lack of social responsibility in others. This one-sided way of measuring human achievement creates an imbalance in the individual and society leading to more alienation and mental illness in the workplace and society as a whole. This is due to the way the ego has dominated consciousness in the western world and it has become inflated.   As societies have become inflated, narcissistic and devaluing of humanistic values and institutions becomes common normative social behavior.

The dominant values that this collective consciousness represents are now reaching a nadir as new developments occur in perceptions of mental health.  The emergence of these new forms of consciousness has been revolutionized by the Internet, which equalizes the playing field for all people as long as they have access to information.

  1. The New Consciousness:

We are heading to a paradigm shift, some call it a new Age of Aquarius where deterministic values are becoming subservient to a more holistic approach that takes into account measurable, objective realities plus humanistic considerations. As humanistic values seem to threaten the hold on materialistic and measurable approaches to truth, the anxiety increases among the stewards of the old order.   W.I. Thompson describes the phenomenon known as “the sunset effect“ that occurs at the end of a  millennium, when the tenacity to hold onto waning values becomes more desperate as we move closer to the future with new values emerging.  Within the collective consciousness of the culture,   there is a powerful tendency to see life through a rear view mirror and hold onto old worn-out values in the face of  threatening changing times.  “Make America Great Again” becomes a byword of a passing generation.  Myths that reflect the Weltanschauung  and mesmerize our people into glorifying the times gone by  are “The Fountain of Youth”, “The Spirit of Capitalism” , The “Magic Bullet” , “God and Country” and “The Cowboy” to name a few.   In this environment,  nativist movements and nationalism replace a cooperative world view.

The propaganda proposed by the proponents of reactionary politicians   are using our fear of change to prevent us from realizing a  “reality we are living in (which) remains largely unconscious, but (which) we acknowledge  by grabbing back onto the sentimental things of the past” (William Irwin Thompson,  New Story , “It Has Already Begun- The Planetary Age is an unacknowledged daily reality“, 1986).

But there is a counter movement.  Consciousness is becoming less bound by fear of  poverty and pride in material wealth  and more focused on courage to be. (Hawkins, David Transcending the Levels of Consciousness p. 167) What this present reality means to the individual is that he/she can let him/herself  be led by his personal dreams to prepare for critical periods in his life.  But this is really a new process because it is possible only by a  loss of  old, ego identifications.  This is such a new awareness, to be able to stop our striving and look at subtle images, revealed by  our personal visions.  But it is also much  more. It is also gaining a perspective that involves personal  timing of events in our lives as revealed by Astrology, namely the Huber method of Psychological Astrology  (The Cosmic Egg Timer, Hopewell, Llwellyn).

Dreams have been relegated to a small corner of the psychological reality for individuals in our study of the psyche.  But dreams are important to development as they contain vital personal information and insights that can guide our inner and external goals.  When dreams are interpreted  in conjunction with the Huber method’s timing of nodal and radix age point aspects and Cross Points in the horoscope , they can help increase personal power addressing psychosocial crises.  Age point aspects in the horoscope mark critical shifts in the developmental understanding of ego attachments and when aligned with dreams of that time. They can yield important psychological insights about when to act and when to retreat in the external world.

To hold back, to withdraw and retreat by reframing losses in external affairs is the mix that is needed to negotiate the world of today.  However, few Westerners can  achieve the emotional detachment to persevere with the losses of occupational  identity, role identity in the family or bodily identity through illnesses that threaten ego integrity as narrowly defined by the West.  Dreams that occur at these critical times that indicate a reversal and change from dominant ego identities to submissive ego identities resulting in different tactics of engagement with the external realities are facing us.  They are blessings and curses but they can be clues to upcoming losses and gains.  Getting rid of the illusion of the ego as the seat of consciousness is most difficult without a road map.  But being  able to understand one’s dreams, put them in the context of critical periods astrologically and finally relinquish  the ego attachment that allowed one to believe in the ego dominance in the first place, can be a source of fulfillment and renewal.

Most Westerners face a crisis or  depression when facing such losses in occupation, relationships or their hold on reality.  And the more they attempt to hold onto the ego identity that is threatened and  forge ahead in another direction blaming external factors for an internal process, the more mentally unbalanced they become.  We westerners are psychically one-sided with amalgamation of the ego identity to the  persona or dominant function of our psychological type (Jung, Psychological Type ).  We do not have the broad-based foundation of wholeness with which to withstand  losses when our dominant ego function is thwarted.  This is because we know little of our personal  inner processes and how our own unconscious can interpret for us through dream imagery how to time and apply ourselves to real life events. Plus, we do not know alternative rituals to help us cope with the losses so that we still feel psychologically secure.  So this is the challenge that this work will try to accomplish:  helping people at critical times with the relinquishment of the force of the ego illusion as a dominant focus in the person.  Thus, we can find the true meaning of what is mentally healthy and balanced.

Flexibility in psychic attitudes is called for but not the ego’s total annihilation.  This shift is true on individual as well as collective levels.  W. I.  Thompson  illustrates  that the world in the present is a world of an integrated planetary consciousness in which all the old forms of industrial might: defense, territorial imperialism, and the work ethic break down.  In his article in New Story, he notes the new era:

“In the emerging planetary world, what counts can’t be counted and so you don’t have a world of objects that are separated in space – wealth and mansions here and dioxin dumps over there. You have a world of interpenetration of presences; you have a world in which consciousness is immanent in matter in that matter isn’t separate from consciousness. You have a world of play, of performance, of a willingness to lower your lifestyle if that will increase the joy, and the spontaneity, and the innovation and the risk-taking, and the imaginative fun of being.”  (William Irwin Thompson,  New Story , “It Has Already Begun- The Planetary Age is an unacknowledged daily reality“, 1986)

On a macro- level, paralleled to the individual loss of ego identity, one can assume that with these dramatic shifts of Collective power in governments, the change to being a second or third-rate nation, not being dominant as a world power will be felt as having  devastating effects on the unsuspecting nation states and individuals within their boundaries.  “Look at what we have lost” becomes a nostalgic rallying conversation among those who cannot embrace a new vision of humanity.

How shall we endure such a shift of consciousness on so many levels without losing our psychological security our self-esteem?  With the advent of self-psychology mostly propagated by Carl G. Jung and the Jungian, comes the small, but vigorous movement to re-define the nature of the psyche rather than focus on  the narrow conscious mind of the behaviorist and  on ego strengths alone.  Coming from it roots in Hinduism, the Self is seen as the center of the Psyche, not the ego.  And it is mostly unconscious.

“The recognition of this civilizational unconscious, this hidden cultural reality, is the end of a process that began intellectually in the early 20th century. Freud began with the instinctive unconscious. Jung followed him and reflected the instinctive life into consciousness as it was created in the collective unconscious and reflected in patterns of imagery that would occur in science or poetry or dreams or the rest of it. It wasn’t instinct. It was instinct reflected in imagery creating consciousness“ (Thompson, William, see above reference).

TAken from my book Dreams and Astrological Psychology by John D. Grove


Psychosynthesis Using Dreams and Astrological Psychology Life Clock

This process of dreaming and using the images to navigate life’s challenges throughout the life cycle according to one’s needs for psychological growth can be most effective using Huber’s Life Clock to determine the context of the issues involved.

This post has two theoretical basics: Use of  the psychological model of Assagioli’s Psychosynthesis and The Huber method of Astrology.  This approach is determined by why people visit astrologers in the first place…”one is a crisis situation of some kind and the other is due to awareness of something in the person needing to change that comes into consciousness.” ( Astrological Psychology, The Huber Method. Barry Hopewell editor, Hopewell Publishing, Knutsford, England. 2017.)  This blog has therefore, the use of astrological and psychotherapeutic skills of this writer to guide the reader him/herself to deal with both of these situations.  I am a clinical social worker with 40 years clinical psychotherapeutic experience as well as a trained Huber astrologer having a diploma in advanced Huber theoretical astrological psychology obtained in 2015.

To understand psychosynthesis, it is best to use the “Egg diagram” below to identify parts of the psyche that influence our behavior as individuals.  Broadly, the top part of the EGG diagram represents the Future, the Middle Part is the Present, and the lower part is the Past.

The past (section 1 at the bottom of the Egg diagram below are the forgotten influences, personal complexes, long repressed memories and instincts over which we have little control.  These experiences have conditioned us to  yearn for the need for security (Saturn), the need for belonging (Moon) and need for Self-Esteem (Sun) as explained by Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs.

Section 2 refers to all states of mind easily brought in consciousness.  It is made up of sections 4 and 5.    The ego needs are represented in the horoscope by the planets Sun, Moon and Saturn respectively.  ( See section 4 which represents the field of awareness of which we identify with the consciousness of one of the three ego planets).  Psychosynthesis challenges  the individual : to integrate one of his/her ego needs in the ‘personal self ‘so that he/she can have confidence in a preferred consciousness such as  thinking, feeling or sensation in meeting his/her needs (Section 5).     This is determined by which of the ego planets is the strongest quantitatively by placement in the horoscope by house, sign and aspects number. The field of consciousness is dominated by one of the 3 ego planets (section 4)  that influences either our  thoughts, emotions/desires and sensations.  If the strongest ego planet is integrated, then the  personality  is induced  to act or not to act in a consistent manner.   This determines our choice of occupation and partner relationships and many other areas.

Section 3 of the EGG refers to superconsciousness, the evolutionary future and our receptivity to illumination and inspirations.  It is not determined by ego needs but instead is associated with the 3 transcendent planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) in the horoscope and their aspects to one or more ego planets.

Section 6 represents Transpersonal SElf and the realization of that which lies beyond conscious awareness, the Divine Self.  This can influence our behavior through grace and intervention of archetypes out of our control.

Section 7 represents the Collective unconscious which is a field of other sentient beings.   These archetypes can influence us through dreams as visitations or other forms of psychic phenomena.

4 is the conscious I which is the field of consciousness

Dreams:   For many years I have been recording my dreams and it  wasn’t until I took a course in Astrological Psychology using the Huber Method and a course in Psychosynthesis by Will Parfitt that it all came together.  Yes, the Egg diagram is somewhat obscure without knowing how to use it.  Consider section one, the Past and its unconscious memories and associations.  This is the area that dreams come from.

At the time a person enters young adulthood, he/she is entering the phase of individualization.  That is, the functions that are amalgamated with identity are forming and becoming specialized.: thinking, feeling, intuition or sensation. (Jungian Types).  Usually there are dreams with some anxiety about making it in the outer world, making a living and starting a family.  I discovered that I used water as a symbol of the unknown in my dreams and that covered these anxieties at that time.  So in my young adulthood, I had recorded many dreams with water themes but they were threatening:  I had water dreams in which I was fearful of violent waves or tidal waves with their full destructive fury unleashed on coastal villages (circa 1976); I dreamed  of water seeping through my house and breaking up the plaster walls (circa 1978); I dreamed that i was overcome by a wave that crested over my head as droplets fell to my head then I woke up (circa 1980); I dreamed I was finally brought under the water by a wave that crashed down on me as I tumbled about underwater but to my surprise I could breathe underwater! (circa 1983).  So these themes evolved over time but finally transformed into an element I could handle I could survive in the water medium.  From that time on in the 1980’s I dreamed that I could ride on the water in a swift boat going fast down a canyon river; I could scuba dive underwater and find treasures; I could change ice into water by taking heat from nearby hearth fires of the dwellers near the frozen river; I could cross the great river and go to a new-found land.

What force was changing my relationship with water, an experience that previously terrified me?  Some say the Self guided me on to transform my fears to adventure; I say it was God through Love who changed me from within.  That whole process Jung called individualization was guided by an invisible hand into roles as a father and a psychotherapist and I was transformed with a confidence and faith in Divine Will.   This transformation in me had occurred with the element of water being the medium because as my horoscope below indicates, I have no planets in water signs so it is a deficit.  John chart

Water symbolized my feeling function; as a thinking type, my emotional side was the least developed my personality.  I was guided by Divine intervention to have faith in my inner processes of development that I so needed to balance out thinking with the relationship feeling functions.  Thus started the inviduation process for me around the age of 37.  That was the goal of individuation:  to bring about balance, wholeness, equity in relationships, justice, harmony and love beside my pragmatic thinking nature.

Age Point Progression and Dreams:

Age Point progression in Astrological Psychology is a time-based method in which the passage of a point called the Age Point (AP) traverses all twelve houses of the horoscope starting with the ascendant at birth.  As it starts in House 1 when the child is born, it takes 6 years to travel through the first house and 6 years for each of the 11 subsequent houses.  One full revolution around the horoscope takes 72 years as it passes through the 12th house and returns to the ascendant once again.  Below is a chart with the twelve houses.  0 on the left is where the child starts her age AP progression in the first house of the Life Clock depicted below as a time piece.  At Age 6, she is moving into the second house, and so on every 6 years until the whole cycle is completed at age 72.  The the AP starts over again in the first house, moving at the same pace through each house 2nd house at age 78 and third house at 84, etc…

As the AP highlights sensitive points in the horoscope, certain challenges, issues and opportunities confront us.
This process continues throughout life and determines behavioral outcomes and consequences as one experiences the world.  scanage progression

I believe that unconscious processing of complexes in the personal unconscious, (section 4 in the Egg) as revealed in dreams when timed to sensitive points based on  AP progression can reveal much to show the developmental conflict that the AP progression highlights.  Dreams inform the ego, based on triggers in everyday life experiences, of the context of life problems beyond the external stressors we encounter.  Dreams come from the core of the individual, the Self and from God.  Through the psychic structure of the Self, the dream images lead the identify of the ego of the person.  Knowledge of one’s dreams as they coincide with AP progressions, along with techniques of amplification can provide solutions to life’s problems.


Life Clock, Bruno and Louise Huber, 2006 , Hopewell Publishing, Knutsford, UK.

Dreams and Astrological Psychology, John Grove, 2014 , Hopewell Publishing, Knutsford, UK.

Life Passages: Wen Age Point Aspects and Dreams Coincide, John Grove, Hopewell Publishing, Knutsford, UK, 2017

Psychosynthesis: the Elements and Beyond, Will Parfitt, PS Avalon, Glastonbury, UK,2006


2017 Published book on Amazon

This newly published book has contents which correlate the Huber Age Point Progression in the life cycle with sensitive points in the horoscope. There are psychosocial tasks which must be accomplished based on Age Progression Point traveling around the horoscope beginning at birth and going till age 72.

This book identifies these passages but also finds that interpreting the dreams at these times more likely leads to a better dream interpretation. In this way the context of dream interpretation with Age Point Aspects is a much more thorough way of identifying problems and psychological developmental issues.

Here is the preface to the book written by Sue Lewis, MA.


I was very pleased to be asked to write the preface to Life Passages, in which John Grove synthesizes age progression through the twelve houses of the horoscope—the method devised by Bruno and Louise Huber—with the eight stages of psycho-social development identified by Erik Erikson—the German-born, American psychotherapist who coined the phrase, ‘identity crisis’—and he applies these methods to the processing of personal material that arises from within at strategic times of change accompanied by vivid dreams. John is a psychotherapist with extensive experience of working with veterans and interpreting dreams, who has a Diploma of the Astrological Psychology Association and is ideally qualified to write this sequel to his earlier work, Dreams and Astrological Psychology: The Way through the Maze of the Unconscious. Time Passages is a more tightly constructed volume that concentrates on establishing connections between the Life Clock of astrological psychology, developmental psychological profiles, and dreams that represent a turning point in the lives of individuals. A selection of revealing case studies illustrates John’s findings. 

The quest to identify correspondences between astrological significators and dreams has a long history, dating back to classical and biblical eras. Notably, the Renaissance astrologer Girolamo Cardano kept a dream diary on which the psychotherapist C G Jung gave a series of lectures in the 1930s. Cardano’s dreams stimulated him intellectually, and he looked for clues to understanding the immediate future, so he took a different perspective from Jung, Huber, and Grove, who use astrological and dream interpretation to guide the individual towards wholeness and strength.  

The Huber Life Clock adds all-important timing to events in the outer and inner lives of individuals. Its location in house and sign, and its relationship to specific planets can help client and counsellor to make sense of images that emerge in dreams at pivotal moments, and connect them with the motivational patterns shown on an accurately drawn astrological chart. As well as being rooted in esoteric wisdom and attuned to the hermetic maxim ‘as above, so below’, astrological psychology’s birth chart is a precise psychological map, and its method is assimilated with the psychosynthesis of Roberto Assagioli, as reiterated by Louise Huber in her interview with Verena Bachmann (2003). This volume emphasizes the importance of using visual and symbolic language to develop a healthy ego in preparation for the spiritual path, and images that arise from the unconscious in dreams can be assimilated into consciousness with the help of astrological interpretation.

Following the Introduction, Chapter 1 presents the seventy-two-year cycle of the Life Clock with its loud and soft phases and rhythms, together with psycho-social tasks from infancy to late adulthood. Notwithstanding the acknowledged need to revise Erikson’s dated definitions of sexual identity in a contemporary context, overall the combined framework of reference stands up well. This first chapter culminates with an analysis of an important dream the author had at the age of 24, just after his age point entered the fifth house. At this time, he finally left behind the security of the family home and took a challenging job overseas.  John is at his very best when illustrating his points with case histories, and giving honest portrayals of himself and those who are willing to share their experience with a wider public.

Chapter 2 takes a closer look at life tasks, and emphasizes how necessary it is to differentiate between wants, desires, and self-gratification on the one hand, and what one actually needs to do to develop a healthy ego on the other. The threefold personality of Huber astrology and Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs provide helpful tools for working in a supportive therapeutic environment. Tensions between inherited behaviour traits and environmental pressure are explored in some depth, with a couple of illustrative case histories, testing the ego as it strengthens and prepares for initiation.

In Chapter 3, the focus is on dream patterns, how to create the right environment for capturing dreams, and how to assimilate such ephemeral material from unknown worlds into waking consciousness. This sets the scene for the six case histories of dreams at critical moments in life, featured in Chapter 4.

The final chapter sums up the advantages of using the Huber method of astrological consultation with dream interpretation to achieve personal integrity and psychosynthesis, preparing the way for a spiritual path, a perspective on life supported by astrological interpretation that I fully endorse.

Sue Lewis, MA (Western Esotericism), DipAPI, DFAstrolS

7 April 2017