Education Institution

Archetypal Astrology and Its Complexities

Another excellent book to get an in-depth perspective is by Richard Tarnas, "Cosmos and the Psyche". I attended his workshop at Pacifica Graduate Institute, October of 2006. The portion that stands out for me is when he chose particular music for certain aspects of planets. It touched the vibration of my soul!


Today, I was reading from "Innerwork" by Robert A. Johnson. At the moment I am engaged with a Dream Group as one of the Facilitators. Quite interesting! It has kept me more aware of my dreams.

Johnson stated, "Ancient astrologers formed a practice of speaking symbolically of the "house" of Mars or the "house" of Saturn or some other planet. It meant that your psyche had fallen under that planetary influence: You were visiting in its house. When you enter into one of these symbolic houses, you enter a different psychological environment, a different field of energy."


When looking at your astrology chart it is divided into 12 "houses". Begin on the left below the horizon and go counter-clockwise. The First house is Aries/Fire/Cardinal. Second house is Taurus/Earth/Fixed.

Third house is Gemini/Air/Mutable. Fourth house is Cancer/Water/Cardinal. Fifth house is Leo/Fire/Fixed.

Sixth house is Virgo/Earth/Mutable. Seventh house is Libra/Air/Cardinal. Eighth house is Scorpio/Water/Fixed. Ninth house is Sagittarius/Fire/Mutable. Tenth house is Capricorn/Earth/Cardinal. Eleventh house is Aquarius/Air/Fixed. Twelfth house is Pisces/Water/Mutable.


Each house contains the archetypal energy of the sign's characteristics, element and quality.

Short version: Fire represents a thrusting and creative energy.

                       Earth represents practicality, dependibility and (of course) earthy energy.

                       Air represents logic, intellect and airy energy.

                       Water represents an emotional, intuitive and watery energy.

Qualities: Cardinal - Creation, active and initiate action.

                Fixed - Preservation, passive and hold events on course.

                Mutable - changeable, destruction and can be fluid.

That is all for now. Thoughts anyone?


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  • Interestingly, in Ayurveda and the Vedic literature generally (of which astrology is an important subject) the three modes of nature are

    Rajas, Sattva, and Tammas (passion,goodness and ignorance)

    They are presided over by the three main deities of the Vedic pantheon

    Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva respectively.

    And these deities directly are responsible for the

    Creation, Maintainence and Dissolution of the cosmos.

    These directly relate to the cardinal, fixed and mutable concepts in astrology. 

    Interesting correlation.



  • Hi, what a wonderful list of questions for the inner world. I have been thinking about them since I read them. That is a fascinating way to go deeper into the planets. The deep psychological questions that lie at the heart of the energies. And so like a Scorpio to ask the hard ones. I would probably want to know the taste of pomegranates, and how they grow in the underworld without any sunlight? That might be a fun exercise to do some time.

    I leave on Wednesday to Journey's Conference. I am doing a preconference with Richard Tarnas. It should be lovely in the cool fall mountains of North Carolina.



  • L travel to some very interesting places both inside and outside, within and without!

    I'm up for discussing this subject in whatever way works.  If I could just get the hang of how to get around this site confidently..... I've been thinking about Hades/Pluto throughout the day, and curiously reflecting on relational and behavioral aspects of the myth. It has  been soo enlightening. I found myself thinking about when, where, how and why I enact aspects of Hade's story within myself and with others,  For ex:do I hold myself and others hostage?  Does my inner world turn  brown with loss and disappointment? Do I withhold feelings and intensity inside(aka underground?) Where , when and how  do I need to be raped into a commitment.....Do I hide my riches?..Those are some of the psychological/inter/intrapersonal qualities of the archetype of Hades !   That conference you attended on astrology in the south sounded wonderful. How lucky for you !

  • Hi, here is my Full Moon Letter if anyone wants to read it just click on the link that follows:       MOON LETTER

    While I like the Moons (obviously!) it might restrict discussion to have to have it be around the Moon. I was just thinking anyone could talk about and reply to anything one wants, it would just be all contained in one Discussion tread each week, instead of a bunch of different discussion threads where we are tending to get lost and no able to find people's posts. So maybe something someone would want to discuss would be the Moon, but it and all other discussion would be contained in the same place. Just a thought.

    I love Hades and actually read a very fun book that was a new telling on the Persephone story. It is a mythic bodice ripper, but fun. It is by P.C. Cast and is Goddess of Spring. Has such a lovely description of Hades and the Underworld you just want to go there.


  • Hi Lucille, I noticed you added something very recently in the archetypal astrology group forum..But alas I find that either it is hiding under cover or has escaped me due to my own inept computer skills....Can you tell me/us where it is and/or what it is? Would love to know..Judie

  • Hello all,

    I've been out of the loop for a few days and wanted to jump back into the conversation. I see Bonnie's question about  the planets and the signs. Many people are much more familiar with the zodiac signs than they are the planets. I think that is because of the Sun Sign columns in the newspaper. But in Astrology, and I would say, especially in Archetypal Astrology, that the planets are the most important. The planets contain the major archetypal energy (like Mars is the warrior, Venus the lover, and so on) and the signs are how those planets are dressed, or costumed, or decorated (as the word Bonnie uses for the different expression the signs bring to the houses.) The planets "rule" the signs. Each sign is ruled by a planet, so Aries is ruled by Mars, Taurus is ruled by Venus, Gemini is ruled by Mercury, and so on. And each house is "ruled" by a sign, so the 1st house is ruled by Aries, the 2nd house is ruled by Taurus, the 3rd house is ruled by Gemini, and so on.

    So, there is a real correlation between Mars, Aries, and the 1st house; between Venus, Taurus, and the 2nd house, and so on. So while Astrology does seem complex at first, it really all comes back down to the planets. Once you understand the planet Mars, you also understand the way Mars expresses itself in Aries, and makes itself at home in the 1st house.The energies are very similar, just different levels of expression of the central archetype of the planet.


    I went to a talk by Matthew Seltzer last weekend on Archetypal Astrology. He is a student of Richard Tarnas's. (I think Tarnas is brilliant by the way, and have assigned his book Passions of the Western Mind in my humanities class at the university). I enjoyed the talk a lot. But one of the things Matthew said that got me wondering was when someone asked him a question about signs. He said that he (and Richard Tarnas) don't really use the signs or the houses. They only look to the planets and the aspect relationship between the planets. That really surprised me. I understand that the planets are the most important, but the signs color the way the planets express themself. Like Mars is the warrior energy. When it is in Aries, it will be pioneering and risk taking and pushing forth into new horizons and ideas. But when Mars is in Cancer, its warrior energy goes into protection of the home and nurturance and caring, and when Mars is in Pisces it might fight its battles in the spiritual areana (or drink too much!!)

    So I think the signs are very important, and not using the signs would give me less information. I can understand in a lecture or workshop that sticking with the planets is a good thing, since too much astrology can be overwhelming to newcomers. But he made it sound like he really doesn't use the signs or houses much at all.

    What does anyone else think about this?



    • Hello everyone! 

      I've recently joined DPA in search for collaborators, and stumbled across one of my passionate curiosities - Astrology.

      Reading this post about the importance of the planets and the relationship between houses and signs sparked something within me. 

      There's importance to all - planets, houses, and signs - but in the way that it makes understanding the Planets, their roles, influence and characteristics. The houses and signs are another way of seeing, experiencing, and understanding the Planets. It's the same with any 'body' that exists - in order to gain a greater depth and understanding of it, here are some characteristics to provide you with a better view. 

      You have the Moon [for example] that represents the emotional make-up, unconscious part of ourselves. It rules Cancer, and Cancer is in the 4th house. In the language of metaphors, the sign Cancer and the 4th house are different ways the Moon expresses itself. There's more than one way of being; there's a time and place for everything.

      So when the Moon travels to the house ruled by another sign, which is ruled by another planet, those qualities show up differently. When any planet enters the 'space' of the Moon, it will show up in a different way, than when it is 'home'.

      Anyway, those are my thoughts. If we think about it, the use of symbols is perhaps the oldest language of mankind. 

    • Hi again Lilan,
      I found your thoughts on the planet, sign house trilogy and R.Tarnas and M. Seltzer's observations quite provocative. Yes, it does seem to be that part of the circuit is missing when the signs/houses  are eliminated in discussion and analysis.  I agree with your assessment of  planetary expression. It feels as if part of the dynamic   territory (houses) and signs (color)  are too thin and non-descriptive.  The  where of the experience  and the basic essence (signs) contribute soooooo much.  I wonder if the signs are kind of like one's nationality?  As  a Scorpio (sign) I find an astrological identity.  Perhaps Hades/Pluto drives the engine, but Scorpio is the core of what I am. I'm not totally discounting what Rick and Matthew propose. On the contrary, I find/ found it terribly provocative to effect a deep communion with the god/archetype.  .  I'm going to try thinking about myself for the next days as a cosmic resident of Hades/Pluto... I now  have my archetypal citizenship in hand and  I'll report back. So stay tuned! JH
    • Hi Judith, thanks for your reply. I love your idea of thinking as a resident of your Sun Sign's ruling planet, so as a Pisces, I'm going to think of myself as a resident of Neptune. I will be thinking about what the other residents are like, what we do there, the atmosphere, ecology, etc. Fun idea.Of course I just watched the Little Mermaid 3 times last week with my little niece, so I might tend to see an underwater kingdom!

      Also, I sent a friend request to you about 2 weeks ago and haven't gotten a reply. I wanted to send you a message, but you must be my friend to do that. I had a thought about a different way to organize the discussions, since we all seem to be getting quite lost. Maybe you could start a new discussion each week, and label it October Week 2 or October 8-15, or such, and then anyone who replies to any of the different conversations would all be found in that week's discussions. So whether we are talking about Aquarius rising or sign placement, or myths of Pluto, they would all be located chronologically rather than topically. 

      Just a thought.



    • Lilan..First off..please forgive my non-reply to your friend request. I have no recollection of having rec'd it. If I did perhaps it got lost in the shuffle and /or I responded to it incorrectly. Of course I'll be your friend. Try asking me officially  again, OK? I sit here with toast and peanut butter  buttressed by undone housework and patient  billing that cries for my attention. But what the hell,  says  Hades/ must make time for soul and reflection according to both James Hillman and Thomas Moore.As regards your idea about chronological locations, does that mean by date,, instead of alphabetically arranged? I think I got to this thread by following archetypal astrological discussions ....I would certainly be willing to start a new discussion each week, and it seems that one way to do that   would be to start it around the topic of each new moon, and continue it weekly for four weeks. So the next new moon in which we could start would be Scorpio (we're in Libra already) Although Venus just entered scorpio and oddly enough down here in Hades, my Hades/Pluto actually is feeling quite comfortable there. One advantage, although it may require more work, reflection and research, to be immersed in this notion of identifying  oneself as mythic figure as  opposed to a sign, i.e. Hades/Pluto instead of Scorpio, is to really become familiar with the mythology surrounding that god or goddess.  Indeed a deeper approach  to the art than saying one  is a scorpio and is concerned with sex, death ,  birth, taxes,  inheritance,  money, suffering and/ or getting even...Yikes...Is that me? Yes, well sometimes...Read the mythology and the story of Hades/Pluto Persephone and the other figures and now you've immersed yourself in the real  richness and mythological depth that can then interplay on the stage of real life.Actually now that I think of it..once the mythic perspective comes to life it then automatically transfers into and interfaces with the details of one's daily life....Story cannot help but become soap opera so to speak.  But why not start in the depths? As a representative of Hades/Pluto I've really gone off on a tangent here and now it's time to get that billing (scorpio)so I can generate income (scorpio)), to buy more books on myth!So Neptune/Poseidon what are your thoughts?
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