Some years ago I went on a weekend course about Positive Psychology. I enjoyed it, filed away my notes and then forgot about it ….. Since then ‘The Happy City’ Project in Bristol began and a ‘Happiness Habits’ course was advertised. I enrolled and have to say it was one of the best practical eight week courses I’ve attended – and as a learning ‘junkie’ I’ve attended a lot…… So I’ve been working to develop the happiness and wellbeing themes for my astrological coaching work.
Positive Psychology – an Applied Science – runs a Masters Course in the UK and is supported by a growing research base. For example, it seems that whilst 50% of our outlook on happiness is set by inherited factors and early upbringing, 10% is down to circumstances. That leaves 40% which according to new understanding about neural plasticity suggests we can become more positive in our outlook with commitment and crucially, regular practice.
Where is Happiness to be found in the Natal Chart and what exactly am I referring to? Positive Psychology describes – hedonism and eudaimonic happiness – and I have been focusing especially on the latter which is more than just feeling good. There are many aspects to Eudaimonic Happiness such as discovering meaning, being hopeful, playing to our strengths and savouring the good moments in life- past, future and present; other aspects are building gratitude, connecting and giving; check out Miriam Akhtar’ book, ‘Positive Psychology for overcoming Depression’ (2012), a well-researched, excellent book – and one you absolutely don’t need to be depressed to read!
How does this relate to the enormous problems we humans face at this time – such as environmental and climate change? Many believe there has to be a shift in consciousness one person at a time until eventual we reach a critical mass and there is a collective change. In fact Adrian Ross Duncan in his book published in 2002, ‘Astrology – Transformation and Empowerment’ (page 5) says that “when a (new) force is perceived and measured, it seems to have philosophical repercussions, which slowly sift down through society, until the fabric of collective consciousness is subtly reconstituted”.
This is why I’m so passionate about Astrological Psychology – especially the Natal Chart – and I’m sure the potential ‘Happiness Factor’ can be found in the Birth Chart in many ways. For example, the impact of Natal Saturn in the 5th in Opposition to my Scorpio Moon has had a big impact on me throughout my life; my awareness of how this affects me – especially physically and emotionally – is helpful when I consider practising happiness strategies to help nurture myself in stressful times.
I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts about this and have a new Facebook page, ‘Happy Astro Granny’.
For some time, Maggie has written a regular item in each issue of Conjunction. This was her post for issue 62.
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