Astrology as a mediator

Be yourself, everyone else is taken      (Oscar Wilde)

Our horoscope is a map of the sky from the exact moment and place of our birth. We carry this unique picture within us, in our psyche/soul.  That’s why the ancient hermetic aphorism “as above so below” is so frequently used in relation to astrology.

We can imagine the planets – the symbols of our horoscope – as musicians playing their own characteristic instrument. Together they are an Orchestra and we are the conductor. This conductor is our conscious mind, the way we perceive the world and our relationship to it.

As a conductor we might have a preference for some of our musicians caused by our upbringing, heredity and the conditioning of our mind. Having that preference we easily put all our attention towards those musicians. Trying to get them play as loud as possible and only focusing on their improvement. This can upset the other players because they feel not guided and appreciated. Accordingly their music sounds out of tune and rhythm. If they don’t get our attention they can get quite furious and start making as much noise as they can in an attempt to have their say.

A typical reaction of the conductor is to let his favourites’ play even louder while becoming increasingly stressed about the background noise that he is trying to overhear. In the end there can be quite some chaos and a very fragmented sound.

To stay with our allegory here, this is the state many people find themself in when they feel inwardly and/or outwardly pulled in all kinds of directions. It’s the feeling of the fragmented Self, where a multitude of needs want to be satisfied. It’s difficult to navigate them when they don’t harmonise and we can’t even think clearly through that mental „noise“.

Our Orchestra is unique and the sound that it is able to play can only be played by this one orchestra. But in order to let our own unique music become alive the conductor should turn his attention towards all his members. When he sees them all and gets to know them more and more intimately, he becomes aware of all their strength and weaknesses and then he knows when to let them play piano and when fortissimo. Instead of trying to play something that he has already in his mind because he has heard it somewhere else, he can discover his own orchestra and compose a beautiful Symphony with them together. Because in this allegory he is not only the conductor but also the composer.

Astrology and its symbols can be the perfect mediator between the conductor and his orchestra, between you and your inner Self.  On a very deep level nobody knows your inner Self as good as you, but I believe it is part of our life-journey to unearth that knowledge which we seem to have forgotten somewhere between our souls journey to earth and us becoming conscious of our self. I  often hear terms like: “I still have to find myself“ or “I need to have some time alone so I can get in touch with myself“.

The other big part of our Journey is to create our self anew. As I described it above, the better we know our orchestra the better the symphony that we compose will be. So it goes both ways, it is a finding of oneself in the creation of oneself.

The Horoscope

Our inner landscape ❋ The Psyche

When we enter the world-stage,  we become the hero of our own life-story. A tale that has yet to be told. The outcome is still unknown because it is entirely up to us what we make of all the potential, promises, tests and challenges that are already written down – at that moment of our birth – in the symbolic language of our own unique mandala: our horoscope.

It’s a picture of the interwoven patterns that the celestial bodies posed at that crucial moment.  This cosmic dance calls to existence the stage for our personal quest that we call life. Our inner landscape and its inhabitants: the flora, the fauna, the gods in the mountains and the sky – or wherever they are in your story – are there.  And now its your time to roam through this arena. It takes time to find the way around in this adventure.  Sometimes we can get quite lost. Maybe in a thick forest full of wild creatures or at a steep mountain with no apparent path up or any other difficult terrain.   Thankfully, in the horoscope we have a map for all those areas, the obvious as well as the hidden.   So we can find our way around a lot easier and quicker, which means we can cover far more distance in the time that is given to us.

But not only that, it also describes the denizens of our psyche and explains their customs and behavior. This helps us to become acquainted with them  so we don’t have to feel like strangers in our own world. Furthermore it translates the sometimes thunderous distorted or just to feeble voices of the gods.  These voices often manifest in the so called “coincedences“ or synchronicities of our life.

Relating the horoscope to everyday life

In the above description I tried to create a picture of what we can encounter on our life-journey.  Of course this more imaginative description rather talks about  our inner experience. But this inner experiences always relates to what we attract in the outer world.   Inner and outer are the two halves of our one whole being and our horoscope can act like a bridge that connects this two halves.

When we relate it to our inner world it describes the “agents“ of our psyche. It’s these “agents“ that the field of psychology devotes itself to. I described them above as “the inhabitants of our inner landscape“.  The Psychologist C.G.Jung termed them Archetypes and the ancients defined them as their gods.  Getting to know the Archetypes that are most active in and trough us is a meaningful experience.   Life this way can be full of discoveries and adventures.

When we relate the horoscope to the outer world it helps in understanding the events and people in our life.  Giving those events meaning and realising that other people are often mirrors of our own inner drama helps in drawing the right conclusions and we can move on always a bit wiser than we have been before.  That’s how personal growth and maturation unfolds, both very rewarding developments.   Life isn’t always a smooth ride. But realising that there is a inner need for test and challenges because we want to develop  and grow, completely changes the perspective. We are no longer victims of fate but active participants in it.

The archetype of the warrior in our modern world

Tyr - warrior god related to the north starThe Teutonic man in my soul is the archetype that draws together a long lineage of   german/nordic ancestors. Warriors and hunters assuring survival in a harsh environment in harsh times. Of course those times of the Teutonic warrior have long gone, he was not needed anymore when the north of europe got christianised.  With Christianisation came a much more organised society, where survival was more depended on adhering to man-made laws. So the Teutonic man slowly disappeared from the world – where he once was free to roam – into deep recesses of the collective mind.

I discovered him in a wild and unredeemed form deep inside my own psyche. This is the first time I met him there because before that I only met him outside of me in the external world.

Well, this is not entirely true, he was rising up before during my teenage years. At that time I expressed him by acting out my rough side. Those where wild years and I felt absolutely free but I also showed a lot of irresponsible behaviour and realising that, I slowly grew out of  those habits.

But back then I wasn’t consciously reflecting on internal forces. So to put it more correctly, I should say, that now is the first time that I consciously meet the Teutonic man in my own soul.

Back then I could see him in the external world and I didn’t like what I was seeing there, I actually hated him. I saw him in those skinheads with their Teutonic symbols and nazi ideologies and an important part of my youth was about fighting him. It was us (the punks) against them (the nazis).

Well, its easy to hate something that shows itself  in a unredeemed and ugly form but it doesn’t change the fact that it is a projection.

I recently lived in an area where I came a bit closer to that projection. Not in a radical form (I would probably not have been ready for that), but I came into contact with people who at least entertained some extrem ideologies.  They embodied the warrior archetype quite fittingly: big strong man who used their fighting spirit to stem as much iron-weights as possible in rooms filled with raw male energy.

If you want to keep your enemies than don’t get to know them.  That certainly came true for me and although I couldn’t come to terms with right-wing ideologies, seeing the humanness of those man, made it impossible to project my anger on them. One of them even became a real friend to me. I guess this was an important step in facing my own warrior in a more friendly way. But initially it wasn’t a friendly encounter. He made himself known trough strong feelings of rage and outbursts of anger. Only slowly did I realise that I can’t make my environment responsible for that rage, it only had to do with myself and my passivity.

 

The warrior archetype has always been there: Ares, Mars, Tyr, Thor… there is a long list of gods associated with him. He is in every one of us and he won’t go away only because we think we are such advanced and civilised people. Full of reason and moral behaviour that assures that everything stays just and fair. No one needs to get hurt if everyone sticks to the laws! And if someone doesn’t? Well we just punish him a bit harder next time!

But it doesn’t work that way. We only need to look at the terrible destruction that wars still cause in our world today. It’s the pure expression of our unredeemed collective warrior. Our ancestors still knew that the gods become furious if they are not honoured. Humanity witnessed how furious they can become during Nazi-Germany. Isn’t it telling that we germans, who are rather known for being law-abiding, organised, able to take orders and always emotionally controlled suddenly showed such a monstrous face? Those attributes I mentioned above are all qualities that exclude the warrior in us. No wonder he became enraged and distorted, we certainly didn’t knew our shadow.

I hope humanity as a whole will get to know its shadow in time. Because this plutonic force of Mars doesn’t need to be that destructive. We can assert ourself in much more constructive ways. Imagine using that powerful force that causes so much devastation in the world, for something constructive instead. We really could achieve anything.

Its possible!

I feel that we should make friends with our own warrior, instead of despising him or trying to forget him which only makes us passive  victims and bystanders. Giving him some form by supporting our favourite sports-team doesn’t help either.

This world needs change, everyone knows that. Yet there is still so much passivity and old habits resist. If  we can claim our warrior we can take action! We don’t need to kill or hurt someone for that, we can just stand our ground and be the change that we want to see in the world, even when challenged.

The modern hero doesn’t has to sway the sword, he just needs to assert himself in the world for what he beliefs in.

The woman with the red dress

On the weekend I was passing a beer garden. There was a blues band playing – nice swinging tunes. So I stopped and had a look.

The place was not crowded but there where quite a few people sitting around the tables in the garden and some woman dancing in front of the stage but rather towards the side of it – except for one.

She was the woman with the red dress and she was an inspiration, dancing joyfully right in front of the band.

Here body proportions weren’t even close to the idealised and dehumanised image of a woman in our current culture. Far to much mass on a very short stature. But she obviously didn’t mind, she even wore a dress that highlighted here proportions. The way she moved was confident and beautiful. Even doing the “Uma Thurman – dance- figure” from the Pulp Fiction-movie (moving right hand in front of the face from left to right and vice versa), seemed congruent and not silly.

The whole scene was a symbol for the truth that when you are truly you, then you are just beautiful regardless of trends and fashion. Shine, be yourself and give others the chance to be inspired.

Holding yourself back serves no one, this world desperately needs people that are alive. Should you be criticised for being just you, its only from people that are reminded of their inability to shine themselves when they see you shine. Everyone has a choice to either be inspired or to feel his envy but thats not up to you and by saying you I am also talking to myself.

For those who like to see the world trough the lense of Astrology, it might be intresting to note, that the Sun was entering the sign of Leo when I and all the other people in the beer garden witnessed that dance. This ingress of the Sun into Leo was exact.

Meeting with the Trickster

On Carol Leigh Rice ‘s Blog Silk Road Visions, which I highly recommend, I found a post called: Synchronicity, Trickster,  and the higher Self. Reading this post I made a connection to a personal life-expirience where I met the archetype of the Trickster. I’d like to share that experience here.

The Trickster is the initiator and guide of a transition between two different states.
He is not the kind of pleasant guide like the Higher Self.
The Higher Self relates to revelatory experiences that are incorporated to new levels of consciousness. That is the psychological experience of “growing towards the light”.
 The Trickster serves the same purpose: the expansion of consciousness (which is why I like Carols suggestion on her blog to see the Trickster as an Assistant Higher Self or the shadow of the Higher Self). But the Trickster prefers a more radical approach.
He causes a state of reversal.
In modern psychological literature this reversal has been called  enantiodromia which is, as Jung states, synonymous with “the emergence of the unconscious opposite in the course of time.”
The Trickster likes to enter the stage suddenly, often- but not always- in a clownish way.
And once the ego is thrown from its throne, he presents it a mirror so that it can see itself in that new situation, looking from the bottom up.
So whenever we are too sure of ourselves, we create a psychic environment that invites the Trickster.
Of course this doesn’t mean that anyone being sure of himself automatically meets this archetypal figure.
A few years ago there was a time in my life where I was quite sure of myself.
I had become a father of a beautiful son delivered from his beautiful mother. I was living in a place that I considered paradisical and happened to be on the other side of the world from where I grew up (considering the nature of immigration laws that was quite an achievement).
But most importantly, on my inner journey, I had come to a very fulfilling point. I had recently finished a 10 day meditation-retreat where I had some real revelatory moments.
There was for example that moment where after several days of meditation I suddenly had the experience of my body being just space and I could observingly float through it in any direction. This was followed by a great desire to enjoy that same experience again only to realise that that very desire was pushing it away from me.
After a full day when that desire left and I came back to pure observing the feeling of being space came back.
Then there was this peak moment where all boundaries blurred and my perception was that of a cohesive oneness, everything vibrating and alive and things just arose and passed away through changes of frequency.
It was only a short moment but enough to give me the impression that I glimpsed eternity. And enough to gave me the believe that I arrived somewhere, that I “achieved” something and that now despise whatever would happen, I would just stay centred and buoyant.  I somehow was blind to the fact that this wasn’t about achieving.
Time for the trickster to make his entry.
That happened when my little family and I where about to return to Europe for an expected 6 month (it turned out to be 3 years).
We where packing our belongings into a storage and because we lived in a sub-tropical climate it was raining since days with no end. Our whole yard was under water so I was packing the car barefooted.
The last thing I put in was our 60 cm high and 30-40kg heavy Buddha statue. When I arrived at the storage and opened the trunk the statue had moved and came falling out. It crashed to the ground directly on my foot.
One of my toe nails got teared out and Buddhas head broke off.
I was shocked because of my nail, the little blood puddle that started to build up and because I loved that Buddha, he was such a peaceful presence in our house.
Consciously I smiled that incident away, but a bit deeper I felt that it had some symbolic meaning and that my earlier thoughts of “anything can come now” might get a test.
The symbol of that moment was: “the peace is over”.
From that paradisical spot we moved to the other side of the globe to a quite depressed area into an inherited huge property that we had to renovate. The house was full of the emotional and physical baggage of generations.
Transforming that place while releasing the baggage was energy draining to say the least. We where quite isolated too, everything was dragging along slowly and for the first time after a long run of being in the right place at the right moment I was suddenly cut off from the cosmic cornucopia.
What happened to me was, what in the field of psychology would be called, an abaissment du niveau mental. The controlling elements of my psyche slowly collapsed and content from the unconscious could rise up.
It was a feeling of invading powerful energies. Almost like a rape.
I would never have thought that I can feel so much rage and anger. I had anger tantrums like a child that hurt me and my family.
Quite humiliating especially after I had such a firmly established picture of myself:
I was this centred, calm and patient man. Very resourceful and always on top of everything. And not only that I was also convinced that spiritually I had arrived at a safe harbour.
But then I really got to know aspects of my shadow and it was Trickster who guided me there.

Tarot: The King of Cups

This post is a result of an impulse to write down my own associations to a Tarot card I drew this morning from the Rider-Waite deck. I am not an expert of the Tarot and I only have a basic understanding of it. However I did delve a lot into the world of symbolism, from this and from the associations that came up by meditating on the image of the card, I brought forth the following text.

I feel that the Tarot is a perfect tool to work with ones unconsciousness by becoming aware of the associations one makes with the cards and how they relate to current life -experiences.

Tarot: King of Cups

The King in the element of water. In the realm of emotions. Emotions are turbulent always moving, this is suggested by the ocean his throne sits on. So the King has his firm seat in midst of a moving ocean. He appears as someone who has mastered this turbulent sea and found a point of stillness from which he is able to reign the emotional realm.

He knows about the nature of emotions and how they emerge of the unconscious depth, often in a terrifying way (symbolised by the sea-monster emerging on his right hand side). Once they are observed and if necessary expressed (i.e. given a form), they are so to speak navigated and can pass freely (Like the ship on his left hand side navigates the ocean always on ist way to different parts of that ocean). The emotions come and go and this becomes obvious if you are observing farsighted and from a point of stillness  (his eyes are firmly set to the horizon).

So he is that point of stillness in the turbulent sea, reigning supreme which is indicated by his staff representing the axis mundi, the world axis around which divine energy spins into manifestation (since he represents the element of water it is the manifestation in relation to emotions). Yet he is not detached from the emotional realm, his cloak and dress merge with the background ocean in colour and form.

His right foot sits on the edge of the slab of his throne, so he knows where the firm ground ends and the abyss begins. The right side of the body relates to the cognitive mind which is also the organ that creates the navigating ship.

The slab has a square shape. The square is a symbol for the manifested world and the manifested world always represents a moment in time and space since it is subject to change and transformations at all times.

The bottomless sea on the other hand is that eternal now out of which all forms manifest and into which they go back after they have done their time.

So the King sits there with one foot grounded on that edge between the unmanifest and the manifested ready to be the creative agent that gives that unmanifest a form.* In this process the divine descends into matter so it can know itself and thus dissolving again by releasing the divine spark within form. The creating is the descending principle and the knowing is the ascending principle.

The fish on the kings necklace is another hint for this process. The fish is the symbol of Christ.

Joseph Campbell writes in the hero with a thousand faces:

 (…)The hero, the waker of his own soul, is himself but the convenient means of his own dissolution. God, the waker of the soul, is therewith his own immediate death. Perhaps the most eloquent possible symbol of this mystery is that of the god crucified, the god offered “himself to himself“. Read in one direction, the meaning is the passage of the phenomenal hero into superconsciousness: the body with its  five senses is left hanging to the cross of the knowledge of life and death (…) but also, God has descended voluntarily and taken upon himself this phenomenal agony. God assumes the life of man and man releases the God within himself at the mid-point of the cross-arms of the same “coincidence of opposites,“ the same sun door through which God descends and Man ascends – each as the other’s food.

*In astrological symbolism the king relates to the sun which is the creative force in the chart.The Sun has the assignment to find ones own essence, that inner, divine spark and bring it forth in the process of individuation. The crown of the King is a symbol for the sun door trough which God descends and Man ascends.

Conclusion

To conclude I like to bring the card in to a real life context by explaining what it means to me in my current situation.

Sometimes it is important to quieten the mind if it is agitated from a constant emotional flux. This turbulent flux makes it difficult to discern what wants to come forth from the inner realm. To stay calm in midst of the constantly shapeshifting realities of the emotional realm, enables one to keep a clear focus, until one can take hold of that divine spark that wants to be realised and illuminated by the Sun (brought to consciousness) that is the King.

Coming down the chute

Why do I write this blog?

Do I hope that others may benefit from my personal insights and I in return can benefit from the feedback and insights of others? To be honest, there is a part of me who is hoping for that but it isn’t a part dominant enough to urge me to really do it.

But there is another part of me, more obscure, difficult to grasp.

This part wants to come down the chute, wants to be born to see some daylight and transform myself in the process. At least that’s the idea I have of it in my current state of ignorance.

I was always travelling with my mind to the deepest possible parts of my psyche constantly probing and analyzing and i guess it brought me a fair way in terms of self-knowledge but then again maybe it didn’t, because often I come to a point where I feel to know nothing at all and that my perception of the person Ture Schmidt is an illusion anyway.

Well I guess the probing and rational mind has its limits and it’s worth nothing unless it can also let go of  its ideas and connect with a deeper, intuitively knowing part of the Self. It’s this intuitive mind, my instincts who build up pressure on the threshold of my consciousness, begging to be integrated.

This is a process that has been on its way for a long, long time but it reached a boiling point now. I know that because I let my dreams talk to me echoed from my astrological observations of my chart, and of course I know it because I can just feel it.

I want to share my latest dream in a series of dreams showing the conflict between my socially and culturally condoned self and my primordial, intuitive nd instinctive Self, which is the Self waiting to be individuated:

I am at a family estate. The family is running a company here. The father is the ruler. He is a dislikable figure to me and I am not at ease with his energy.

It’s my first day on this estate and I am here to find a role in this machine-like system. I am anxious and excited about that because I want to find my place so I can feel secure while at the same time feeling an inner repulsion against the whole thing.

It’s morning and people arrive for work, many people. I observe a few young girls, lifeless puppets with too much make-up, they register at a check-in with an exaggerated ,enthusiastic “good morning”.

There is a morning ritual: everyone sits on the yard of the estate in a big circle. One !has! to sit cross-legged. I don’t like that position and I feel that I have to retreat.

There are many bungalows on the edge of the yard and I enter one. On the bed lies an absent man. I realise that it is William Wallace from the movie Braveheart (played by Mel Gibson and looking exactly like him).

He is weakly begging me to drive a ballpoint pen into his head. I am appalled but I do as he wishes.

As soon as the pen sticks in his head he comes to life. He starts throwing himself around  in the bed in wildly twisting convulsions.

A mobile phone rings in the bathroom adjoining the bedroom. He tells me to pick it up. So I answer the phone and a voice is asking me a question. I  intuitively answer something and the voice says that everything is ok.

I realise that this was a security call because I woke up the „monster“ and that I provided the correct code so the „monster“ is  now free to roam.

I am scared because I also realise that this wild man who is a force of nature will now go out and create  carnage, slaying everyone to take revenge for his captivity. But I am not only scared I also feel positively excited in anticipation of the slaying because his freedom is my freedom and I can’t wait to see this authoritarian system being wiped out.

I am only scared for being caught as the one unleashing the monster, so I quickly leave the room.

In the moment I leave the bungalow other people enter, instantly realising what happened. They are shouting something and quickly a big vacuum cleaner is brought to the scene with a hose big enough for a man to fit through.

I can not see it but I think they vacuum William Wallace through the hose and in a strange way I am relieved while also puzzled about the fact that I feel relieved.

Then I wake up.

I can not get that dream out of my head.

Just a few days earlier I dreamt that a primitive man showed me how to make fire with a stick.

So I know that the archetypal primordial man, living from his instincts wants to be integrated into my psyche to keep my spiritual fire and purpose alive. But my socially condition personality seems to have trouble allowing for that and is always around the corner with ist vacuum cleaner, eager to clean up situations that could create conflict.

And how to integrated something that wild and raw into this civilised world anyway?

Asking myself that question one symbol of the dream stuck with me:

Driving the ballpoint pen into his head.

We are born into this world head first. Astrological Mars rules over the forehead and Mars is also the symbol for an energy rushing forward, something coming into the open, being born. A separation and victory over the anonymity of the womb.

So I hope writing about anything that takes hold of me, that wants to be realised, starts the process and something more authentic and truly me will come down the chute.

Writing and putting it out there no matter what comes back and how.