Stellium in the 3rd

Interesting to think about the amount of spare time that we all suddenly have at our disposal, and the job that we are all probably having to redesign our routines at the same time.

Everything seems to be a little disorientating at the moment.

The multiple conjunction between Jupiter, Mars, Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn seems to be reflecting very well our current situation. The polemics created by some of our leaders trying to prioritise the economy over ‘a small number of deaths’, the collective response to the situation, if any. The general panic shopping around the world, and someone observed, I think maybe Lynn Bell, the interesting connection between the conjunction of Pluto with the planets mentioned and people stockpiling toilet roll…

Pluto is connected with purging and detoxing, release, defecation… Richard Swatton used to call Pluto the ‘cosmic toilet’.  There you go. Astrology in manifestation once more.

All of these big transits happening in the 3rd house of my horoscope and the MA Im currently doing seems to be connected because it sure is bringing me a lot of food for thought.

These days I’ve been, for the first time in a long time (maybe ever to be honest), questioning my desire to continue defining my career path as an astrologer. Quite shocking at first, as I always had that certainty. But to be honest, my certainty remains in the fact that astrology is my passion. What I am not so sure anymore is perhaps astrology as a profession.

Im working on an essay about the decline of astrology in the seventeenth century and it is bringing me a lot of questions regarding my profession.

According to Patrick Curry there are 3 types of astrology, high astrology, middling astrology and low astrology. Sounds quite simplistic putting in this way, but I feel that this being my blog, differently from my essays, I don’t necessarily need to go much deeper into it.

High astrology is the astrology of the scholars and theologians, the big philosophical questions about the universe and how the planets affect terrestrial affairs; the middling astrology is judicial astrology, reading charts to clients for example. The last one, low astrology, is connected with the popular horoscopes written in the newspapers, etc.

According to Curry what happened in the seventeenth century was a decline of both the high and middling, and the rise of its popular version, low astrology, which was highly criticised by some astrologers, scientists and the church as well.

With that in mind, we start to have an idea about the complexity of astrology’s history and process of development.

In addition to this picture, we also have a myriad of techniques, and types of astrology practiced around the world. Perhaps even because of that astrology has failed in producing a professional organ with cohesion, at least in the seventeenth century.

During this quarantine I’ve been questioning myself and my choices regarding profession. At least I’ve been realising the frustration in having to decide on so many intricacies within my profession because I need to explain to people what is that I do.

And what is that I really do?!

(Do I believe in fate? Do I believe the stars are causing something or are reflecting something? Can I foretell the future? Is there any positivity in telling someone about the future? Do I psychologise astrology too much so it fits within the capitalist/secular paradigm? …)

 

Explorations on what we do as astrologers

Here I am writing again, still trying to keep a flow of blog posts, but the truth is that if Im not feeling like writing I just don’t. It reminds me of Billie Holiday refusing to sing in prison because she just did not feel like singing, even though everyone was begging her to do it. Not that people are begging me to write, haha. I guess is just a part of myself, a part that wants to be more consistent with blogging, that tries sometimes to put the pressure on writing more frequently.

Anyway, the topic that I’ve been thinking about is connected with the module Im currently doing for my MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology, ‘Researching Contemporary Cosmologies’, and Im doing a research project about the view of the outsider on astrology.

I cannot stress enough how mind blowing the whole process has been, and I currently have the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn happening in the third house in my chart, reflecting also this deep journey towards new ideas and ways of thinking. I feel that not only my view on astrology is changing tremendously, but also my entire world view I think.

Ideas are becoming clearer and more palpable regarding what I do as an astrologer, or rather, what I don’t do as an astrologer! I feel more confident in my communication skills, and I also feel less and less the need for validating astrology through having a discussion on the topic with random people, specially the ones that strongly don’t ‘believe’ in it.

I recently have been thinking a lot about the different methods for social research, the qualitative versus quantitative, because of my research and all the academic material that I have been reading for my literature review. I think that the names already give away the meanings in the context of research, quantitative being connected more with numbers and counting results, whereas the qualitative is more subjective and involves depth interviews for example, placing a strong emphasis on people’s stories being told with their own words.

Each method has its place depending on the remit of your research, and they say actually that mixing methods can be quite good for achieving a more ‘complete’ result.

What I find very interesting is that in the qualitative method you are not in search of ‘the truth’ for when it comes to people’s beliefs there is not such a thing as an absolute truth. Individuals are complex and cannot be put all together in the same box without missing out precious bits of information about their unique story and views of the world.

Its is becoming clearer to me that science and scientism are two different things. Science is a method, it is one of the many windows that we can use to perceive and understand the world, and when appropriate it is a great method. But scientism is the paradigm, the belief that this is the one and only way to get to the only possible truth. It is an unbalanced and dogmatic view on how the world works and how we should think. Scientism defends that there are only two possibilities: ‘the truth’ (quantified and classified by scientific method) or ignorance.

Most of the time we are conditioned at school to see the world through scientism’s lens and made to feel stupid if we dare seeing the world with a different frame of mind.

In Patrick Curry’s words: “There is no ‘objectivity’ that could even exist for us, let alone mean anything, without subjective selfhood – and there is no ‘subjectivity’ without a world to sustain it and be aware of. As Merleau-Ponty wrote, ‘All my knowledge of the world, even my scientific knowledge, is gained from my own particular point of view, or from some experience of the world without which the symbols of science would be meaningless’ . Experience is unavoidably embodied, embedded, perspectival and, given the existence of more than one subject, plural.”

With this in mind I cannot help but feel that trying to squeeze astrology under scientism, by claiming it to be a science and making use of statistics and quantitative methods to prove its worth, is a big mistake. (not to mention the belief that there is pure astrological knowledge without the personal lens used by the interpreter!)

It’s like trying to eat soup using a fork.

Geoffrey Cornelius talks about that in ‘The Moment of Astrology’, a great and thought provoking book that I believe to be invaluably important for the astrologers that would like to explore what we do from different perspectives.