Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Astrology, Carl Jung and the Precession of the Equinoxes (BOOK REVIEW)

One of my Christmas presents last year was a book called Jung on Astrology - a collection of essays and letters from his family’s private collection. It was published by Safron Rossi and Keiron le Grice, both professors at Pacifica Graduate Institute (the depth psychology school that I hope to attend later this year). The book is wonderful, though it helps if you already know how to read a natal chart. Great for energy healers, counselors, astrologers, and anyone who wants to go deeper with astrology and psychology ✨✨✨ 

Astrology Buff? Something is off with this photo...

One of the things I appreciated was Jung’s explanation of why natal charts can still be accurate, even though the Sun is no longer in the Sign of Aries every March. It would have been 2000 years ago, but the backdrop of stars moves gradually, coming full circle every 26 thousand years. This is due to the Earth shifting on its axis and our view of the sky changing with it. The Precession of Equinoxes: historically, the position of the Sun and stars was mapped on four days each year: longest and shortest days (Solstices) and half-way points (Equinoxes). 

A few thousand years ago, if a person was born on the Solstice in December 21st, the Sun would have been visible in the constellation of Capricorn. Nowadays it is likely two signs over, but we still use that ancient map to read natal charts. One of the questions asked is why we use a Zodiac map that should be out of date, but somehow still fits our personalities. A poetic answer could be that it takes thousands of years for starlight to reach us; Jung had a better idea👇🏻 

The ancients used the stars to find their bearings geographically and psychologically, noticing that the energy on Earth (or in their lives) had specific, action-oriented and fiery qualities after the Spring Equinox each year, and other characteristics in the following months. They would have imagined and projected the archetypal concept of Aries onto the stars that were behind the Sun at that time of year, doing the same with the rest of the astrological months. The specific energy of those calendar weeks is unchanged by the moving backdrop of stars, which only ever served as a reference point. 

If you have seen a natal chart, we also study the position of the planets to learn about the unconscious and what makes us tick. The natal Moon in Water (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) needs relationships to feel secure, whereas Moon in Earth might be focused on work or material things. When the rest of the planets travel through that place the in the sky, they too are painted with that energy. For example, when the planet of thought, commerce and communication (Mercury) is in Aries, thought patterns and speech are ruled by Mars/Aries. 

This idea of linking the Zodiac signs to the calendar seasons and to the natural world resonates because my tutor at The College of Psychic Studies in London, Demian Allan, had us think of Zodiac signs in terms of their ruling planet, their Element (Fire, Earth, Air or Water) and whether its corresponding calendar month came first, second or last in the season (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter). We can work out a sign's personality with these three building blocks. 

The Zodiac signs that kick off a calendar season tend to be full of leadership and beginnings. We see this reflected in Nature around us, with flowers blooming, the heat of summer, the fall of leaves, or first hints of snow. The signs that correspond to the middle month bring stability and a fixed sense of purpose (hello Taurus!). And finally, the Zodiac signs (or months) that close the Season are blessed with the flexibility and adaptability needed to finalize projects in our lives. Ideally, our ten planets and luminaries will fall in all of these so that we have leadership, determination and adaptability. Typically our Sun, Moon and Ascendant have more weight in the personality. 

We did study the Zodiac in Demian's class, but this approach gave us an intuitive read of the energy in each month (Zodiac Sign). So for example, if we look at Aries we have the confidence, charisma and action of the Element of Fire, taking lead as the first month of Spring, with the planet of war, competition and drive as its ruling planet. The Zodiac sign of Libra also has leadership qualities as the first month of Fall, combined with the sociability and intellectual nature of Air signs and the friendly influence of Venus. We went through the same exercise with all of the Zodiac signs to get an intuitive feel for their characteristics.  

I am not done reading Jung on Astrology but I would recommend it. As far as I can tell, Jung approached astrology as the projection of the unconscious onto the sky. The influence of the planets represents the archetypes that we see in ancient myths, tarot and movies. As a psychologist, Jung steers away from some of the more superstitious and deterministic elements of astrology, trying to root it in science (and in what can be explained). His approach will ground those of us who are into the magical side of astrology (HERE)

Reiki hugs, 


2022 Update! I’ve since discovered that Ptolemy had the same take on the stars being signposts for the Seasons, way back when. A lot of ancient greek texts were translated in the 1980’s. You’ll find these in Chris Brennan’s book, Hellenistic Astrology.


Regina Chouza is an Energy Healer, Angel Medium and author of A Personal Guide to Self-Healing, Cancer & Love and Chakra Healing & Magick. She studied angel intuition and astrology at The College of Psychic Studies in London, and qualified as a healer at the School of Intuition & Healing UK. Her passion is bringing the qualities of self-love, joy and empowerment to healing pursuitsRead her books to heal yourself.  


Image: Canva.com

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