I was reading Stephen Arroyos book on professional astrology recently. I have mixed feelings about Stephen Arroyo, he was a good philospher and used astrology very well in certain therapeutic modalities. I believe he threw out to many traditional methods though, or did not take the time to study them well. Granted that the great traditional astrology revival of the 80′ and 90’s directed by the awesome minds at project hindsight had not started yet. So perhaps he just did not have good translations to read.
However, I do like reading his philosophies, and came across this his book . He wasn’t a great astrologer, but he was a wonderful therapist and philosopher. Why would I say that he was not a great astrologer, because he discounted the value of astrology as a predictive tool. In the not to distant past, astrology as a predictive tool was recognized as being quite effective. This was in fact part of the reason the Christian Church turned against it. It was seen during the middle ages as a way of knowing Gods will. What this means is that the world view of the time was not human centric. It was God centric, people saw there lives as being at the will of God. One of the ways to know what that meant was to speak of the fate of the stars. The fate of the stars were Gods will for the individual. What is interesting about this philosophy is that it is not person centric or ego centric. There is value in that. A whole level of neurosis arises by thinking that oneself is the most important thing going on.
For instance, currently mankind is very certain that it is the most intelligent life form in the Universe, that it understands the workings of the universe, and the philosophy of the universe. This is the fundamental view of our current age of science. Religions are seen as products of certain hormonal needs that aid the human brain in propagating the species. This appears to be the mood of the current scientific thought, that we are a process of physical matter, and we are the current end point of that matter. In what is a vast sweeping generalization, we may say that what I would like to term mystic astrology, is recognition that we are a product of multitudes of forces that surround us, and these forces move in rhythmic dance that is based upon the four elements, the seven traditional planets, and the 12 signs that form dynamic archetype. To say we control them or understand them is great hubris. Rather we are students of these forces, be they in the end consciously directed by a great being, or just a natural function of the dynamic nature of universe, is of no concern. The need to understand these forces and live in harmony with them is of great concern. Why is this? one may ask. The reason is that when we go against these forces, acting out of harmony with them, we create static and chaos in the world. We are now living in an age that is the result of that. Who does not feel that life is hectic, extreme, and out of control these days.
We can blame others in a small minded way for that. Or, we can learn to start living in harmony with the universe. Mystic astrology is one path to doing so. It is not the end result, the final path, but it is a path, one that develops reflection, meditation, compassion, and care. One that can be integrated with any spiritual belief system and will aid them all. Which brings me back to why I like Stephen Arroyo. In his book: Astrology, Psychology, and the Four Elements: An Energy Approach to Astrology and Its Use in the Counseling Arts, he begins to touch in one side of the mystic quality of astrology. That is the ability to experience and move energy through understanding the energy of life through astrology. This is half of the mystic quality of astrology. The other half of course being timing, which one will have to go back to older sources to gain deeper understanding of.