Astrology is participation in the cosmic dimension of existence

Italian version

Astrology orientations

Diffusion of simple elements: sun sign, planets in the zodiac signs and interpretation of the transits in terms of popular psychology

This may include newspaper astrology and summary interpretation based on the mentioned elements.

Integrating astrology with scientific thinking through statistical comparison

We can define it as a tendency to astrological scientism through the use of statistical parameters, i.e. countless repeated tests. The difference between humanistic and scientific astrology lies in the fact that the statistical datum has to do with sampling, with a quantitative image which results in an average value without being interested in the integrated aspect of the human being. Secondly, in the scientific approach to astrology, the causal dimension is to the detriment of the symbolic one. The concatenation of events, from celestial to terrestrial and then individual – a necessary foundation of the theory of causality – is incompatible with the synchronic fact, which is essentially celestial-terrestrial sharing. It is also true that we ascertain the cause-and-effect phenomenon through daily experience. However, the causal chain between celestial and terrestrial phenomena would give rise to something completely different (as if a specific seed could give rise to any plant).

Association between astrology and esoteric-spiritualistic doctrines of Eastern and Western origin

The flaw lies in the tendency to create the improbable fusion of elements between various doctrines, which in themselves constitute an organically structured corpus responding to different social and personal needs (even astrology, from this point of view, is an esoteric discipline). However, through this relational procedure, it is possible to highlight the spiritual soul of astrology rather than exclusively favouring its predictive aspect.

Recognition of the symbolic nature of astrology

Observing the celestial motions is a way to order an otherwise chaotic and disorganised existential whole.

Purpose of integrated astrology

It seems interesting to briefly discuss the ontological consequences of humanity’s desire for order, which according to Rudhyar [1], justifies the development of astrology as a “technique of understanding”. The author identifies the universal order with the Principle, the Self or God. It is a fact that cosmic rhythms contrast with the uncertainty of earthly phenomena. Thus arises the opportunity to order the chaotic horizon of existence by ascending towards the light and then looking down to discover that the world is only apparently disordered. Time becomes cyclical, and space bends; to define God or the Universal Principle this vision of reality is only vital from the point of view of personal attitude and faith. Self-knowledge brought about by astrology is a prelude to experiencing one’s meaning and the universe’s purpose. In fact, Hermes Trismegistus stated that: “as above, so below”.

The relationship between astronomy and astrology

The primary function of astrology is to show the correlation between cosmic and individual facts. Astronomy is the scientific study of the phenomena of the universe. Therefore, we cannot speak of events caused by one or more planetary configurations as we would be adhering to a primarily scientific approach to our matter. In the integrated approach to astrology, we observe the coincidence of celestial and terrestrial phenomena and the synchronism between the two orders of magnitude.

According to humanist astrologers, astrology has nothing to do with planetary electromagnetic influences, which would be, for others, the necessitating cause in the human and cosmic relationship. Indeed, such forces exist (think of the relationship between sunspots and the incidence of psychotic states; or the cases relating to the aggravation of psychic disorders in conjunction with the moon’s phases). However, that doesn’t explain the individual; instead, they describe the relationship between external causes and the statistical population (a study that falls entirely within the purview of scientific research).

Rudhyar rightly states that astrology is the study of time fragments, i.e., planets which, as time fragments, allow us to follow the level of maturity and evolution of living organisms. In this perspective, each individual has within himself, expressed by the birth configuration, a specific capacity for resonance which guarantees the development of their goals over time. These goals align with the individual’s genetic, ethnic, and cultural background. In a sense, human beings carry an expectation, and astrology allows them to become aware of it.

The formative role of human organisation

Human beings are living creatures endowed with a structure limited by the bodily horizon. The same is true of related systems that deserve the nickname of “organic totalities”, i.e., groups of closely related individuals who form a recognisable basic structure (couple, family, state, people with a common purpose and ideas).

The underlying structure of a “singularity” (individual or grouping of individuals) results from the activities of an organising principle aimed at rhythmically forming and shaping according to space-time patterns. From the Sphere and the Sky, symbolic representations of the space-time continuum, individual apparently isolated structures take shape, finding their raison d’etre in their mutual correspondence until they include each other in the structural organicity of the universe. This relationship of interdependence also applies to the functionality expressed by individual organs or cells and the reciprocal relationship between parts and wholes of the body and psyche. In this sense, health represents the organism’s integration and the individual’s adaptation to the intrinsic structural balance.

The object of study of astrology

The integrated human being – considered wholly and not only at a partial and incomplete level – is the main object of astrological interpretation. The integral organism includes various types of activity, bodily, psychic, mental, emotional, etc. But the separate analysis of its components does not do justice to the holistic concept of interdependence between the parts unless the single attribute actually preludes to a discovery of one’s way of being integrated (for example, physical discomfort can involve an imbalance of the psyche). The astrology interpretation can also extend to couple or collective situations (synastry and mundane astrology) and the study of natural phenomena (Astro meteorology), but always as part of the collective human experience. The study of atmospheric phenomena and telluric events such as earthquakes, etc., is a function of the degree of integration that man can achieve in the terrestrial context (and whose equilibrium gradient creates an “ecological” habitat).

Suppose the astrologer aims to order the chaotic experience of a shattered ego. If so, he knows that the integration process is in the hands of the individual and in his ability to adapt to the cosmic order. Rudhyar also speaks of the spiritual principles which direct the “host” organism towards harmonious realisation. It is a fact that the horoscope emphasises both the integration and disintegration of the personality in equal measure. It all depends on knowing how to present horoscope data to make its use constructive. The possibility of an astrological prediction follows the cyclical development of celestial motions and their interpretation in human character and behaviour.

The existence of a cyclical order can undoubtedly give rise to the suspicion of determinism; however, beyond the structural conditioning to which he must necessarily submit, the human being is free to the extent that he is individualised, an organic microcosm that follows an intrinsic rule. It is not determinism that inspires fear; on the contrary, we often invoke it to safeguard and protect our existential continuity. But it’s the idea that nothing can happen outside a planned path. Discovering your own order means getting out of every rule and concept to free yourself, like the wise men, from the will of the stars, which is nothing other than our will to depend on self-created structures to protect us from an illusory separation. Integrated forecasting is the reading of a person’s stages of development. To avoid being destructive, one must aim to understand their life, define their boundaries, and then suggest openings.

The responsibility of astrological knowledge

Astrological counselling arises from balancing learning about the meaning of astrological symbols in the individual and presenting them informatively. The intimate union between the client and the astrologer overturns the one-way work, the thesis based on the acceptance by faith of the figure of the seer astrologer who imprints the bond of a prophecy. In terms of profit, this attitude wins and guarantees continuity in the request for information; it does not care about the client’s assimilative capacities. The surplus of information creates favourable conditions for the split of cognitive and conscious processes. In other words, the resulting knowledge is no longer adequate to use one’s potential deliberately; it does not integrate the individual into the flow of becoming. Instead, it breaks them down into a series of incomplete processes that sharpen the sense of irresponsibility, settling into a knowledge devoid of collective and universal reference points.

The astrologer’s authority

The astrologer, therefore, holds power. This power derives from the use of a knowledge made up of enigmatic symbols and planetary energies which, in the vision of everyday life, are projected with alarming force and against which common defences are worthless. The need for an ethical directive is evident. The crisis of judgment and direction that occurs when penetrating the inner self through symbolic means requires skilled guidance.

Astrology and fear

Fear is generally associated with change. A stable life instils the relative security of a known situation, which trains the self to perceive one’s life as non-pain. But this condition, in the changing landscape of existence, is unnatural. Suppose we are following in detail the psychological consequences of a change. In that case, we see the initial nervousness give way to the fear of seeing old recognition patterns broken, to the desperation of those who feel forced to cling to the feeling of terror in a world devoured by chaos. But in such cases, fear is intimately evoked rather than event-induced. It is the spectre of a crisis necessary to overcome the evolutionary impasse. The astrologer consulted in one of the client’s critical phases, especially in the initial phase of the discomfort, must avoid crystallising the fear in objective presentations such as the planetary aspects; he/her doesn’t have to reinforce the client’s pain. For example, we could tell the client that transiting Saturn square Mercury requires the utmost attention because it could cause illness or misfortune; from then on, the client will focus on an expectation of inevitable tragedy to happen dominated by remote and unattainable planetary powers. It is very different from presenting this aspect as a possibility to redefine and integrate the values of Saturn in the context of the personality through the effort of change.

Astrology and divination

Astrology as divination of the future is an example of how the astrologer can indulge in vanity and self-satisfaction by relying on the client’s curiosity and existential insecurity. We cannot deny that astrology appears as divination. Still, the event is always represented by an impersonal factor, a neutral force whose meaning in positive and negative terms acquires meaning through the conscious being. It is the individual who happens to the event, and not vice versa. Therefore, the primary purpose of “divination” is to insert the individual in the human and universal collectivity. Stopping halfway by introducing the individual to a series of events that preserve a purely informative purpose means ignoring the interdependent relationship between the subject of analysis and their being in the world. However, making them feel responsible does not mean offering the possibility of escaping the change cycle. Instead, the future will change with them when awareness reorients perceptions and expectations of their existence.

The birth chart

Erecting a horoscope involves choosing a significant moment by which we bring the heavenly and earthly situations in the natal chart. For the birth of a human being, this moment finds its expression in the first wail, the emission of air that follows the first inhalation. Such is the response of a new being to the impression that the universe, through inspiration, transmits to the unborn child. In a sense, this first breath carries the universe within oneself, and the cry is the potential response of the unborn child to the inhalation of the universal pneuma. This potential will then be refined and diversified with development. A reminiscence of this first individual act finds a singular confirmation in Mithra’s rituals. At the end of his initiation, the officiant emits a bellow to the testimony of his reintegration with the cosmic principle  [1].

Astrological reference frames

Operational astrology tools are selected based on meaningful frames of reference we use to input specific astronomical data. The two-dimensional structure of the horoscope is the selective representation of a much more complex astronomical situation. The frames of reference within which the characteristics of the solar system acquire an anthropocentric interpretation (horizon, meridian and ecliptic) have the highest symbolic value. Next, we extend the concept of the frame of reference to the cyclical development of human beings to give meaning to their transitory experiences (through transits, progressions, solar returns, etc.).

Horizon and meridian

The horizon is the dividing line between heaven and earth. Psychologically, the horizon symbolises the limit within which an organic totality operates, a limit that allows us to define its formal and structural qualifications. At the same time, besides being a line of demarcation, this limit is also a point of contact between the single instances it contains and the cosmic manifestation. As in the figure of that psychological test where we can alternatively perceive the shape of a chalice as two profiles, the cosmos is mirrored in the contours of the human figure, activating an organic response which consists in the unfolding of an existence adhering to the cosmic model.

The meridian symbolises the individual’s development. Astronomically, the meridian is the great circle with the polar axis as its diameter and on which the Sun is located at noon. While the horizon defines the structural organisation of the human being, the meridian deals with the organism’s evolutionary trend or the balance between human and cosmic factors. With the meridian, human existence acquires order and reaches maximum elevation by entering the social context. In this way, we divide the horoscope into four parts; it is a reference system that guarantees the reading of the personality based on its physical-psychic elements.

The Zodiac

The zodiacal function is essentially a field function. It is a place or a matrix where space adjusts according to solar energy patterns. The different incidences of solar rays during the year determine the trend of the seasons, defining by extrapolation a reading of the particular energy phase. For example, we associate the Taurus sign with the neck. Taurus is not the neck; however, the solar function in the Taurus phase “governs” an energy emission whose field of action falls within the symbolism of the neck and related function (first phase of assimilation).

Planetary dynamics unfold according to the respective positions of the planets in the solar energy field. Planetary activity differentiates solar energy along functional lines determined by its distance from the system’s centre. The placement of the planets in the zodiac signs helps delineate the scope of this differentiation. For example, Sun in Taurus refers explicitly to a solar energy phase. Venus in Taurus means the Venusian structural function is implemented in the solar matrix field. Therefore Venus, regulating planet of the homeostatic functions of balance and harmony in the individual and between individuals, manifests itself in Taurus as a formative element linked to nourishment and to the instinctive and sensual expression values of spring symbolism.

The House system

As for the house system, we must point out the differences between them and the zodiac. As noted, the zodiac and planets are archetypal expressions of vital dynamism and functional differentiation. The house system originates the orientation of these archetypes in the local anthropocentric context; thus, domification creates a space within which the zodiacal field finds its expression. The fundamental axis of the house system is the Ascendant/Descendant line (representation of the local horizon, meeting place between Heaven and Earth). It describes the inception of an individuality partaking in the archetypes of the Earth (the zodiacal hemisphere obscured by the Earth’s body) and Heaven (the visible hemisphere). The duodenary subdivision of the house system is necessary to date the experience-based evolution of human personality. The individual first experiences each zodiacal portion at the level of unconscious participation and then becomes aware of their being in the world, assuming the rhythm of the objective context.

Precession of the Equinoxes

As regards the precession rhythm, the phase shift between the zodiac and the current constellations finds its raison d’etre in the cyclical rotation which changes the purpose and instances of the zodiacal energies according to the conception of the “Ages of humanity”. While the functions of the seasonal zodiac remain unchanged, the human community finds itself experiencing a global instance, like the current one of the sign of Pisces, representing the birth of Christ’s spirit.

[1] Dane Rudhyar (1895-1985, born Daniel Chennevière), before initiating the current of humanistic astrology in the modern era, was the author of fantastic fiction, orchestral arranger and painter of transcendental art based on Jungian archetypes. Born in Paris, he suffered from a severe disability in his youth, which prompted him to devote himself to studies at the Sorbonne and the Parisian Conservatory. In 1917 he left for New York, where he became acquainted with occult, theosophical and oriental philosophy circles. He began writing about astrology, mainly influenced by Jung’s concepts of archetypes and synchronicities. In 1926 he became an American citizen. He was little known as an author of astrology books until 1969, when, with the rise of the New Age movement, his reputation came to light, influencing the movement itself. In the mid-1970s, Rudhyar changed his orientation towards humanistic astrology towards what he called “transpersonal astrology”. One of his most influential writings by him was ‘The Astrology of Personality’, which focuses not on predictive astrology but on one that fosters inner understanding. He died in San Francisco at the age of 90.

[2] The cult of the bull-god Mithras had a significant following in the Roman Empire from the advent of Christianity until the fourth century AD. This rite is a succession of states which lead the initiate to overcome the Bull’s nature up to the integration on the Eagle’s throne, the final elevation and liberation from the dominion of the instincts. The ‘bellow’ that resounds from the officiant’s throat is testimony to the Bull’s yoke: through the regained self, the human microcosm becomes an exact semblance of the macrocosm.


  • Dane Rudhyar – The Practice of Astrology – New York 1968