Saturday, August 20, 2011

Astrology & Jungian Archetypes

This is only a half-formed idea that's bopping around in my head at the moment, so please forgive me if this post is a bit unfocused!

I've been studying astrology for a few months now, using it not as a divinatory tool but as a method of psychological exploration. I'm really intrigued by the idea of how the Jungian conception of archetypes fits into this model.

I'm only familiar with four archetypes directly attributable to Jung himself: the Shadow, the Anima/Animus, the Self and the Persona. But the idea of the archetype has been expanded by various psychologists to include others. The most obvious way this fits into astrology is that each planet represents an archetype within the psyche (Mars -> the Warrior, Venus -> the Lover, etc.). After a visit with my brother recently, he passed along a book by Carol Pearson, who developed a system of twelve archetypes. For each archetype in Pearson's system, there is a "shadow side" and a "shallow side" that seem to roughly correspond to Jung's idea of the Shadow and the Persona.

The number 12 also plays a pretty significant role in astrology, with the twelve signs and the twelve houses, as well as the twelve "planets" (the eight actual planets, plus sun and moon, chiron and the true node). I'm intrigued by the idea of how Pearson's set of twelve archetypes might fit into the astrological approach. In addition to the number twelve, she also divides the archetypes into four groups of three that she arranges along two axes (an axis of Belonging-Independence and an axis of Stability-Mastery) that seem like they might align with the East-West and North-South hemispheres of the natal chart.

So I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on how Pearson's archetypes might match up with the signs, houses and/or planets? I just wanted to bounce some ideas off of folks to see if my intuitions are confirmed (I'll share my own thoughts once they've settled down a bit more!).

The twelve archetypes Pearson lists are:
- The Innocent
- The Everyperson (Every Guy/Every Gal)
- The Warrior*
- The Caregiver
- The Explorer
- The Lover
- The Revolutionary
- The Creator
- The Magician
- The Ruler
- The Sage
- The Jester

*The Warrior is sometimes called the Hero, but Pearson instead views all twelve archetypes as stages of the Hero's journey.

Love to hear your thoughts!

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