If you are a graduate of APA or an advanced diploma student of APA, studying astrological psychology, maybe using it with others for practise and almost certainly applying it to yourself, you may find yourself being asked to talk about it. Talking about it informally will (in my experience) certainly arouse interest and possibly a bit of scepticism too. People who have never studied the subject sometimes think they are extremely knowledgeable about it and will argue every which way with you about it. Be fearless. You have studied or are studying it, and you will always know more about it than they purport to.
You may be invited to give a talk – maybe to a local group, maybe at an astrology conference. Again, be fearless (although it will probably help if you get your butterflies flying in formation beforehand, and the best way to do this is prepare, prepare, prepare). You will certainly need to know your stuff, know what you want to say and how you will present it, but once you’ve embarked on your talk don’t allow yourself to be distracted or side tracked by someone in the audience who has their own particular pet technique and wants to interrupt you, confront what you say and hijack your talk. Be fearless. Remember, you know a whole more about what you are saying than they do. This is your talk, your session, and experience suggests that the best way to deal with this is to politely thank them and suggest they come and discuss this with you after the talk.
The same applies to someone in your audience who interrupts or raises their hand to say something complimentary – thank them warmly and say you’d like to hear more about their experience afterwards. Don’t forget that people can add priceless nuggets of personal information of how they’ve experienced something in their own lives/charts. This happened when I was speaking at an astrology conference in Australia. A lady in the audience was very excited when I was speaking about Age Progression, which she’d never heard of before, and which proved very relevant to her own life. Hers was a positive contribution to all present, and to me too, but I kept it brief so I could finish saying all I’d planned to.
If you are invited to appear on local radio, talking about astrological psychology, all the above applies, but you will probably feel even more nervous! A couple of things to bear in mind are
- You know your stuff but make it accessible to all – use appropriate language, not astro jargon
- Beware of agreeing to make a recording. Live broadcasting is always better as it can’t be edited, altered, changed, even manipulated. Of course, live broadcasting is both scary and exciting, so get those butterflies sorted out well in advance
- On air remember you are speaking to just ONE person, not the entire population, so treat your few minutes of air time like you would a one to one encounter
- Prepare, prepare, prepare. The DJ on National Talk Radio who was to interview me on a controversial issue in the news sounded like a tough nut when I tuned in to listen to him the day before I was to be interviewed live by phone. I did my homework. I had my answers and what I wanted to say firmly in place and the interview went better than I could have hoped for; he even agreed he’d be interested in me doing his chart!
The points raised above can be applied to all astrological encounters, from live broadcasting to giving talks to seeing clients (although you’ll need to have some additional skills here) to writing articles about astrological psychology. You have studied, and will continue to study, your own chart. You know your stuff and you’re learning more about it all the time. So be fearless, and proudly fly the flag for astrological psychology.
Featured image ‘Climber rappells from the summit of a challenging cliff’ by Greg Epperson, courtesy of Shuttlestock
It is re-assuring to read Joyce’s piece about presenting Astrological Psychology to the world. Here in America what I have discovered having a year under my belt after being an APA graduate is that there are many Astrological “experts” out there. But what they lack is theoretical coherence. They lack an underpinning by a philosophy that has a solid concepts applied in practice that leads to an objective. In the case of APA, the objective is self-realizaton based on eventually letting the ego illusions go (after one is strengthened by them through developmental learning based on one’s natal chart).
The method of Age Point Progression, the growth and development of three ego planets is at first a self-identification process. This helps with survival in the real world and is a necessary first step. Then add the Psychosynthesis effort to deveop, as a last step, a way to dis-identify with ego states of: Saturn: the body; Moon- the feelings; and Sun- thinking; then intermittently , we arrive at being receptive to transcendental energies (Pluto, Uranus and Neptune). So this further step which most American Astrologers do not recognize: the process of dis-identification with these ego planets which can lead to the search for spiritual attainment. This principle is found in esoterism. In the works of Will Parfitt and David Hawkins, they discuss the process of detaching from these three ego states: of the body, of feeling and of thinking so one can attain higher states of consciousness. Hawkins states: “A simple two step escape from the negativity of the ego: the mechanism of truth- (1) Disidentify with the body/emotions/mind as “me”. Be truthful and admit they are yours but not you . While this may seem strange, foreign artificial in the beginning, the basic reality is that it is truth of a higher order, which makes it a very formidable and powerful tool. The mind (based on ego) will try to deny this reality to the world as well as truth (that is what is’s supposed to do0 because Truth is intuited as its nemesis (Transcending the Levels of Consciousness, p. 345, Hawkins, David R.). (2)Then surrender negativity and invoke God’s help in doing so.” This is reminding me of being receptive, submissive and true to the empty center of the chart which represents the central core, causal body, source of being, doorway to universal energies and petitioning god’s help to align ourself with Divine will (Lewis, Sue p. 6, Astrological psychology, Western Esotericism, the the Transpersonal).
So when explaining to others, I find I have to go back to the theoretical roots of estoteric thought; when building on this, the explanation of the ego planets and our transcendendence of them puts our practise on pretty solid ground. That is why our methods and practises are difficult to understand by most astrologers because they have borrowed from the traditions of the past but their objectives are ego-based solutions on how to navigate in the world to be successful in body, mind and feelings. But we know that is a limited path subject to inflation and does not go far enough. So I would have to communicate the whole “tamale” to those who I communicate with. Maybe it will take some effort but it is well worth the explanation.
Thank you, John, for articulating that important point. With its esoteric foundations and aim of a transcending personal growth, astrological psychology is coming from a very different place to many more traditional astrologers.