Creative Connections & Client Communications

Counseling Insights, May 31, 2009

Framing and Imagination

“Framing” is establishing context. With good framing, we set up perspective and values for information. It makes what we say interesting.

Recently, I was captive audience to a lady highly enthused about a movie she had seen the night before on television. She proceeded to tell me every detail of the movie’s development; I had to listen; and it took 35 minutes (yes, I timed it; I could see the long tale coming!). --That shows no framing at all; rather, it’s a run-on flow of descriptions that loses significance almost immediately; it’s clutter. –“Where’s she going with this? Why’s she telling it all to me? When will it end”.

Properly framed, she could have shared, “My oh my, last evening I saw the movie Cold Mountain on television, with all the horrors of the Civil War, with all sorts of dramatic separations and returns of loved ones, North and South. It was captivating; please watch out for it. I’m sure you’d love it … it was history brought to life so powerfully.” Thirty seconds. –I certainly could have asked questions to push the conversation further … and we would have been on the same wavelength. The point is, with framing, communication comes to life. It is given significance and purpose.

So many astrologers totally neglect the framing of the consultation discussion about to ensue. They opt for detailed, jargonized technical descriptions of the horoscope … bewildering the client … perhaps they avoid discussing significances because they really have nothing to say about values within life development.
For example: I recently had a client with the Sun in Aries and the Moon in Leo at the Midheaven. Here is how I framed the discussion about to begin: “Harry, tell me how splendid you are!!! What do you do that’s just great for the people around you?”

You are as startled as he was! --This client was delighted to share information about THAT! Two or three sentences came forth aglitter. –I then followed up (led by developmental tensions suggested elsewhere in the horoscope) with, “How did you manage to break away from those early home times when there just wasn’t any support for your specialness?

Within forty seconds, we were off and running with significance. The horoscope was alive.

Almost invariably, with pronounced Aquarian statements, usually focused on the Moon and or Saturn in Aquarius, strong 6th House emphasis, Uranus prominent, I begin, “To begin our discussion, tell me please, George, how do you help people?

--Just think how powerfully this acknowledges the client, how corroboration is given or not given for the vocational profile you’ve prepared. Imagine if your client replies, “I don’t. I wish I could, but I was pulled off track when I was 18 ….” You would be ready to swim those currents of change with your client, guided by the measurements you’ve prepared. You are bringing the horoscope to your client’s life experience.

Without a doubt, three or more quintiles anywhere in the horoscope demands the framing question, “It’s so nice to see this in the horoscope: tell me, please, Claire, what is your creative outlet?” --If there isn’t any, ask, “Where did those energies go? Why weren’t they reinforced early on?” And you’re off and running. –What can be done to tap into those energies now?

This is framing. Framing makes what we say important, interesting, and memorable.

And it requires imagination. Imagination is a vital part of astrology. Without it, our symbols are meaningless and insignificant.

Anyone who has spent any thought-time whatsoever to dream interpretation, recalls the inside-track thrill from making connections from the dream to reality. We can hear, “I had this big dream last night involving a buffalo chasing me across a field … it just never stopped, until I woke up to go to the bathroom." –And where had you ended up running from the buffalo?

"I was at home … I was a teenager … and I was taking with my father about … about college.”

Certainly the connection between the buffalo, its threatening pursuit, and the discussion with the father is clear … because of our imagination. We give meaning to the symbols, and the meanings come from within. –But why would that dream pop up at age 50? What is it saying in adult chronology? What feelings and behaviors have persisted in the mold of parental perusal, perhaps coercion that affected an entire life development? When we open imagination, images will build themselves.

Think how often we hear “Well, I guess it’s an omen!” --THAT comes from the imagination as well.

Yesterday, I was walking through a tall-grown garden area on my way to a restaurant. It was lovely indeed. And I saw two cardinals; so vividly red. I stopped to appreciate these rarely sighted birds all the more. –And my mind triggered some free association; it said, “how exciting it was to watch the Super Bowl while I was in Sydney in February. The Phoenix ‘Cardinals’ should have won!”

--If I had seen this just before the Super Bowl, before my trip, I would have said, “THAT’s an omen for sure; the Cards are going to win!”

Imagination is fleeting. It is harnessed when we want it to be. It is often tied to what we want things to be.

The means for astrological skill is the imagination. Imagination is the creation and application of images. We do this constantly in remembering, anticipating and participating in all kinds of human events. –How interesting are our astrological presentations?

My first client tomorrow shows Midheaven, Mercury, the Sun, Mars and Pluto all in Virgo trined by the Moon in Taurus! As I was doing the preparation, my imagination so nicely framed an opening for our discussion together … I may well say, “How has all the organized, detailed, righter-than-right thinking paid off for you, Sam?” --Think that statement through in terms of what he could reply.
I know I will hear something about the symbol of Saturn in the Ascendant square to the Midheaven bunch (and that Saturn is quindecile the Moon). It all hangs together … seven measurements … within the imaginative, framing question I will ask!

We will have a marvelous discussion. We will understand things.

Remember: your client is your captive audience. Seize his/her interest. Provide context. Discover development points of significance together.


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