Creative Connections & Client Communications
Counseling Insights, April 30, 2009The Holistic View
Literally tens of thousands of measurements –developmental pressures, opportunities—accost us throughout our lives. Most are absorbed by our conditioning, our routinization of responses, our defenses, our social structuring. Just as our mind can wander to another world entirely while we are driving a car, while our motor reflexes and perceptual senses do their job to keep us safe entirely automatically, so our lives can continue on in automatic drive while pressures and opportunities swoosh by us, around us, bump us and push forward or back. We change gears and get going, or we pull into the shop, automatically, by reflex, for reconditioning.
What do our clients hope for? To where is their mind driving?
The answer is that we/they hope for change. We hope for something to make life interesting, challenging, meaningful. Through that, we hope to find personal significance. There are clichés about this (so it must be true enough to be stereotyped) within the fortune-teller’s most heard question, “Tell me when I’ll meet the love of my life; tell me when I’ll be rich.” These are also the questions William Lilly heard 350 years ago, as did astrologers before and after him.
But maybe that particular time of inquiry with the astrologer is not the time when that particular hope could have a chance for fulfillment. The measurements may suggest that it may happen … or maybe the measurements are suggesting what is in the consciousness, what is being projected forward, what is being wished into being –and visiting the astrologer is part of that projection to make it happen.
Is the astrologer supposed to address “all of the above,” if you will? But how can the astrologer see everything? Are we expected to? Who do we think we should be, anyway?
Let’s remember two things about this in the main. First of all, Lilly pressed our awareness to see that our view of life must be rational and practical: that a child does not conceive children, nor do the very old; you can’t take on the world if you are feeble and debilitated, etc.
Second, Einstein is supposed to have said, “Genius is knowing what is important.” Within the myriad measurements facing the astrologer, within the myriad complexities of life facing the client, being shared by both during consultation, perhaps knowing what is important is the best way to economize the astrological effort and focus the astrologer’s skill. Getting to know the client ordinarily reveals what is important. This is critical in counseling.
In medicine –so that we astrologers do not feel so alone with these problems—researchers only recently have begun to discover that traditional cardiology, for example, was making the wrong generalizations about irregular heartbeats, inadvertently using superficial classifications to obscure deep causes. These discoveries were made by experts who were “out of the ordinary,” according to Jame Gleick, author of Chaos –Making a New Science, by researchers trained in physics and chemistry, in physiology and mathematics as well as medicine. Other points of view were being brought to the specialist subject.
One of these researchers, Leon Glass of McGill University in Montreal, was trained in physics and chemistry, completing his doctoral thesis on atomic motion in liquids before turning to the problem of irregular heartbeats. He found that typically specialists diagnose many different arrhythmias by looking at short strips of electro-cardiograms. “It’s treated by physicians as a pattern-recognition problem, a matter of identifying patterns they have seen before in practice and in textbooks. They really don’t analyze in detail the dynamics of these rhythms. The dynamics are much richer than anybody would guess from reading the textbooks.” [Chaos, page 281] --In other words, the patterns go just so far; holistically there is much more.
There is such a parallel here –a creative connection—with astrology, the patterns we see in the measurements, those patterns that we study in our textbooks. But there is so much more that is “dynamic” in all these patterns, and those dynamics of significance are seeded in the human condition.
We must get to know the client. We must ask the prudent question. We must appreciate the conditioning structure defined by the early development and corroborated by the measurements in the horoscope. This is astrology’s dynamism. This is astrology keeping pace with the times in the psychological centuries, in the Information Age. [Please peruse the Archives in this department, immediately following this essay.]
We must personalize and individualize astrology. And we must risk being positive: the least we accomplish in the situation of leaning toward the client’s wish projection is that we recognize the light in a dark situation. That light need not be reached; it is helpful in communication as potential release from the dark; it is helpful as reflection back into the dark to illuminate lost potentials, to bring problems to rest, to awaken solutions. There is hope.
Next Update, May 31, 2008