Astrology and psychology come together to function through a term known as Psychological Astrology. We can define astrology as a mythical and magical language and, as with all languages, every astrologer will develop their own way of interpreting and communicating its meaning. These terms are primarily sourced on the work of Carl Jung, who has given us a particular vocabulary which enables us to restore astrology to what can be its rightful place, as one of the four great pillars of western esotericism, along with kabbalah, alchemy and magic. In the esoteric traditions, the universe is perceived as 'as organic, alive and sacred whole, in which everything is woven together in one cosmic web, where all orders of manifest and unmanifest are related, because all share in the sanctity of the original source'.
For psychological astrologers the relationship between astrogology and alchemy seems to be particularly significant. Historically, these twin sciences were not only strongly linked, but inseparable. The alchemists were practical people, and their approach is useful for the psychological astrologer since it encourages our active participation and personal engagement with the natal chart. In other words, there is a job to be done. The basis of alchemy is that all in nature is created in perfection. But due to descent into the darkness of ignorance and forgetfulness we have lost the memory of the state of spiritual perfection. In this material forgetful state, we are 'a confusion of spirit, soul and body', unconscious of ourselves to a large degree, and therefore, according to Jung, capable only of collective functioning. The astrological birth chart remains eactly the same for our entire lives. There is no guarantee that we will be any more integrated, evolved, or conscious by the time we die than when we were born. In our material forgetful state we live under the sometimes tyrannical dominion of the planets. But what we do with our birth chart, and how we choose to live it, is up to us. A psychological approach works to awaken the soul in the service of increasing consciouness. The alchemists were deliberately working within the natural order of things by working in harmony with Nature, but speeding up the natural process.
Nature produces everything with the seed of perfection within itself; man must bring that seed to its perfection - this work is called 'alchemy'.....Things are created and given into our hands, but not in the ultimate form that is proper to them....In the seed is inherent from the beginning the purpose and function....For alchemy means: to carry to its end something that has not yet been completed; to obtain the lead from the ore and to transform it into what it is made for.
Alchemy is fundamentally optimistic. The operation of alchemy perfects the inner inherent Nature, and brings to perfection human eistence. Like the alchemist and the magician, the psychological astrologer participates actively in a dialogue with nature. A psychological approach is not unlike the great work or 'magnum opus' of the alchemists. Both involve a careful and deliberate cooperation in the task of transforming consciousness. This is no easy option since it involves prolongued periods of self analysis, the courage to confront and integrate our own hidden darkness, to recognize our self righteousness, defensiveness and deepest fears, and the decision to take personal responsibility for ourselves, rather than being content to live as passive victims of what we suppose to be our pre-determined 'fate'.
The process of psychological differentation is no light work; it needs the tenacity and patience of the alchemist, who must purify the body from all superfluities in the fiercest heat of the furnace.
The illusion that all our problems are caused by outside forces or can be blamed, for example, on our birth charts, comes to an end when we start to take back our projections and to look at things from within. The process of individuation, of - deliberately working against the conditioned order of things, to align with the natural order of things - leads to the creation of what Jung called the 'Self', an internal structure which gives us a 'feeling of standing on solid ground'.
The magnum opus has this aim: 'the rescue of the human soul to bring it into alignment with the cosmos'. This means that, however small and unimportant our individual efforts may seem, we will nevertheless be playing our own part in helping humanity align with the life supporting forces of nature:
Once a vision of life as an organic whole is accepted in principle, humanity becomes in one sense a co-creator with Nature, in so far as it can foster, ignore or destroy its identity with Nature, for humanity's continued existence depends ultimately on its alignment with the vision of life, and the kind of consciousness humanity brings to bear upon itself.
The Wood Fairy - La Fée des Bois