Astrological Therapy is counselling augmented by psychological astrology assimilating the client’s natal chart in sessions.
[The article below can be found on the UK's Counselling Directory website, which lists registered counsellors and psychotherapists: http://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/counsellor-articles/counselling-with-psychological-astrology]
Astrology, used as a self-diagnostic tool, affords personal direction and insight. A birth chart is a map of the solar system at the exact moment, day and year of birth relating the eight known planets, sun and moon to the horizon and meridian of the earth. Unique to the individual, the birth chart maps conscious and unconscious behavioural and thought patterns. Astrology gives the therapist and client an abstract language to define and externalise different parts of ourselves, e.g. our feeling world – Moon, our intellectual world – Mercury. Transits help to determine timings in our life when transformation or crisis is likely and there becomes a need for introspective work.
Benefits for the client when referencing the natal chart:
- Help pinpointing where to start; especially if clients have been in therapy for a while feeling stuck.
- Speeds up the time spent in therapy. Months can be spent in therapy avoiding the real issue but the chart clearly identifies issues.
- Discovering our Shadow. Through counselling we can learn what drives our shadow.
- Understanding our wound (Chiron). Through counselling we can learn to own our wound and transform ourselves from victimhood. The wound highlights what we can do for others but what we cannot do for ourselves.
- The natal chart itself (i.e. the pictorial map) depicts our oppositions and internal conflicts and to visually see this on paper, adds another dimension to the therapeutic process and can have a powerful effect on us.
- Self-Care. Understanding our makeup and our limitations. Through counselling, if we can reach a point of acceptance, we can provide ourselves with the necessary self-care needed.
Astrology will not:
- Reveal your story.
- Explain the ‘cause’ behind your reoccurring theme(s).
Cause & Effect. Astrology alone is limited; although it helps to pinpoint personal patterns, it does not answer why we do this. However, if used as a self-diagnostic tool in conjunction with a counsellor, the counsellor can facilitate understanding by engaging with the client and their story.
But what is astrology?
‘Astrology is, in general terms, the discipline of the discovery, study and utilisation of the constant relations which exist between the state and movements of the sky and terrestrial events or processes’. Marianne Verneuil.
Astrology is a geocentric, northern hemisphere subject and its conception helped man to farm, to work with nature and the constellations provided a fixed cosmic backdrop to capture man’s projections (aka myths). Astrology is interwoven with Greek mythology and the Greeks revered the planets as gods; the gods express certain traits and characteristics, which today’s psychology refers to as ‘archetypes’. Most familiar to folks is one’s birth sign or sun sign, the part of the zodiac (the 12 fixed constellations) or band around the earth (Aries, Taurus, Gemini etc), which the sun is perceived to pass through when you are born. The zodiac tells a tale and acts as an annual reminder of man’s myths which are aligned to nature. As the seasons unfold, change and re-emerge so do we. Nature’s rhythms help to remind us that we too have cycles. Nowadays we tend to forget the moon and the 8 planets however, an astrologer references and plots the entire solar system when working with a birth chart.
I regularly consult my own chart during difficult phases and astrology helps me to manage myself. One of my aims is to help clients to understand their own chart in order to use this tool for themselves. I trained to become a counsellor and astrologer at the same time and from my personal experience, I can vouch for the effectiveness of combining a relationship theory (counselling) with this ancient self-diagnostic tool (astrology); the two complement each other and work hand in hand. I am able to interpret planetary aspects in a client’s chart, but naturally, only the client knows their unique life story and is the only one able to bring their map into meaningful context. Here’s what one client had to say about the process:
“I have always been interested in astrology and so was drawn to this form of counselling as it appeared to offer something slightly different. In practice I became very interested in the combination of astrology and counselling and did some further reading around it and was astonished to discover that Carl Jung was also influenced by astrology. Over the course of my sessions I found the counsellor used the astrology almost as a means of identifying issues or a check point for our mutual understanding of my personality and my concerns. Even if astrology is not for you the process is almost a short cut for getting to know the client as the astrology is used as a way of checking out issues to which the client can agree or disagree – so a useful tool. I feel happier, healthier and stronger emotionally and I feel I know myself better as a result of working with Liz.” – Carol, Suffolk
In psychological astrology planets (e.g. Mars, Mercury, Jupiter) are regarded as archetypes and archetypes can be defined as a universal principle or force that affects, impels, structures and permeates the human psyche and human behaviour on many levels. One can think of archetypes as primordial instincts and the birth chart reflects how these instincts operate within our own psyche. For example:
Mars – Warrior/Champion: Take action; Go after what you want; Express desires; Use your will wisely; Steward your physical vitality.
Mercury – Communicator/Messenger: Receive and express data; Process information; Analyse and discern how to make whole; Be open to change.
Jupiter – Teacher/Quester: Belief System; Expectations; Exaggeration; intuitive mind.
SESSIONS & BIRTH CHART
A single consultation lasts 90 minutes and costs £70. Here a client can typically expect to have their current feelings, senses and challenges reaffirmed – almost mirrored back and difficult patterns identified.
In short term work ~6 sessions, there is time to deeply explore patterns in the hope of bringing about personal change and transformation. For example, a course of six weeks exploring a combination of natal, progressions and transits; each 50 minute session costs £45. To compile your chart, I will need your date, place and time of birth (if you don’t know the time, a map can still be compiled but without the House system). You will be provided a copy for reference.
Diploma, Mercury Internet School of Psychological Astrology, June 2016
Intermediate course, Centre for Psychological Astrology, London, June 2015
2 years with Kairos School of Astrology, Glastonbury, Sep 2013
Website logo design – as above.
Janus is an ancient Roman, composite, obscure god who is associated with doorways, beginnings, and transitions. A usually two-faced god he looks to the future and the past and he his associated with the Ascendant of the natal chart, which is my favourite point. The Moon’s nodes known as the dragon’s head (north node) and dragon’s tail (south node) demonstrate a pattern of karmic inheritance. It shows where there is a lack of balance in the soul, the south indicating the area of greatest imbalance and karmic debt, while the north node shows an area of neglect.
“The wise person rules their stars, the fool obeys them”.