Astrotherapy
Astrotherapy, also called clinical astrology, is a practice
which integrates astrology and clinical psychotherapy. While
astrology is still not an accepted practice within mainline psychological
disciplines, it has found a place within psychotherapy
and is currently utilized in this field which itself is radically
divided into different camps based upon variant and even contradictory
approaches to the human psyche. Thus defined, astrotherapy
‘‘includes any form of treatment utilizing astrological
precepts to treat emotional and behavioral problems,
remove or modify existing symptoms, and promote positive
personality growth and fulfillment.’’ Attempts have been made
to integrate astrology with various schools of psychotherapy.
Psychotherapist Carl Jung’s (1875–1961) stated appreciation
of astrology provided contemporary astrology with an additional
set of credentials and his theory of synchronicity assisted
astrologers in their movement beyond the deterministic
worldviews that had dominated astrological practice in centuries
past. Jung stated that he had found that astrology illuminated
aspects of his clients’ personality that he had otherwise
been unable to understand. He saw the astrological signs and
the planets as symbols of the powers operating in the unconscious
aspect of the personality, and was often amazed at the
manner in which a person’s horoscope coincided with observed
psychological events and manifest character traits. Horoscopes
demonstrate synchronicity, which he defined as ‘‘The simultaneous
occurrence of a certain psychic state with one or more
external events which appear as meaningful parallels to the
momentary subjective state.’’
Dane Rudhyar began integrating Jungian psychology into
astrological practice in the mid-1930s and his 1936 volume,
The Astrology of Personality, is now seen as a watershed in the
post-scientific astrological revival. Rudhyar understood the
human personality as a dynamic entity that held a variety of opposing
forces in more-or-less equilibrium. The human psyche
was developing toward wholeness (understood in Jungian
terms as individuation) and self-realization. The horoscope
pictures these opposing forces and their distribution and relative
strength in the individual.
Rudhyar was a voice crying in the wilderness until the 1960s
and the emergence of humanistic astrology. Previously, psychotherapy
had almost totally concentrated on individual paEncyclopedia
of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed. Astrotherapy
111
thology, but humanistic psychology focused upon creating and
improving the basically healthy personality. It also provided a
model for understanding the purposeful activity of human beings
as they operated within a meaningful world. Again, Rudhyar
was the first to see the potential of humanistic psychology
for understanding the truth of astrology and for freeing astrology
finally from its deterministic past. He initiated the humanistic
astrology movement and in 1969 founded the International
Committee for Humanistic Astrology. He found an
immediate response from a new generation of astrologers including
Stephen Arroyo, Zipporah Dobbins, Liz Greene, and
Robert Hand. Their combined efforts would remake astrology
in the 1970s.
Through the 1980s, astrology was recognized as one of the
tools for transformation that facilitated individual transformation
and movement into a New Age consciousness. Astrotherapy
was integrated into the movement as if they had been
made for each other. At the same time, practitioners dealt with
the problems inherent in the introduction of such a questionable
tool as a horoscope into the therapeutic environment and
answered the most frequent challenges to their practice posed
by colleagues. Rudhyar, always on the cutting edge of the
movement, began to call for an integration of the findings of
transpersonal psychology and its exploration of transcendent
states of consciousness.
A variety of professional structures were created to assist
contact in the small but growing number of astrotherapists, including
the Rudhyar Institute for Transpersonal Activity. In
the United Kingdom, the Centre for Psychological Astrology,
founded in 1982 as the Centre for Transpersonal Astrology by
Liz Greene and Howard Sasportas, emerged as an organization
offering classes both for individuals who wish to gain personal
insights and for colleagues seeking professional training. The
centre also publishes Apollon, the Journal of Psychological
Practice. Just as psychotherapy is a dynamic field, astrotherapy
continues to grow and change as it integrates fresh psychological
insights into astrological practice.
Sources
Arroyo, Stephen. The Practice and Profession of Astrology. Sebastopol,
Calif. CRCS, 1985.
Dobbins, Zipporah. Expanding Astrology’s Universe. 2nd ed.
San Diego Astro Computing Services, 1988.
Greene, Liz. The Astrology of Fate. York Beach, Maine Samuel
Weiser, 1984.
Hand, Robert S. Essays in Astrology. Rockport, Mass. ParaResearch,
1982.
Perry, Glenn. ‘‘Astrotherapy.’’ In James R. Lewis. The Encyclopedia
of Astrology. Detroit Gale Research, 1994.
Rudhyar, Dane. Astrological Study of Psychological Complexes
and Emotional Problems. 2nd ed. Wassenaar, the Netherlands
Servire, 1969.
———. The Astrology of Personality A Re-formulation of Astrological
Concepts and Ideals, in Terms of Contemporary Psychology and
Philosophy. New York Lucis Publishing, 1936.
———. Beyond Individualism The Psychology of Transformation.
Wheaton, Ill. Theosophical Publishing House, 1979.
———. From Humanistic to Transpersonal Astrology. Lakemont,
Ga. CSA Press, 1972.

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