|Management of Measurement Constructs
Notebook, November 30, 2005The Measure of Confidence
Three points can be very helpful in guiding us to do our best work most efficiently.
Measurements Repeat Themselves Students in my Master’s Certification Course learn in the First Lesson that, as in real life, the first impression of the horoscope prevails thoroughly and protractedly in our assessment of an individual’s make-up. –Think of the first impression you had of your spouse, your friends, people you work with, Pope Benedict coming out onto his balcony for the first time! In a flash, that first impression registers with long-lived impact. It doesn’t evaporate, and it rarely changes much!
In our astrology work, we are led instantly into the process of synthesis by the first impression, which is based upon hemisphere emphasis. [See “Analytical Techniques,” Archives; July 15, 1999, “Hemisphere Emphasis”; see Synthesis & Counseling in Astrology, pages 5-34.]
An Eastern orientation suggesting defensiveness will pervade the whole persona. Every further observation keyed by the planets --the Sun-Moon blend, major statements like heavy planet modifications of the Sun or Moon, etc., tension deployed through rulership dynamics— every further observation will be colored with the sense of defensive posture in life; they will repeat the theme. The objective becomes to find out the root cause/origin of this profile and how it is played out in life development.
This is the “stuff” of consultation: acknowledging the first impression, tracing its roots, and measuring its efficiency or inefficiency. Objectivity rules the day in consultations, as we know, and conversational skills lead the way to understanding, adjustment, and fresh patterns of development.
Measurements are adapted into Behavioral Patterns By definition, the process of synthesis (the collection of parts to create the whole) works to organize unity. All of us are wholes created from many parts and developed over time. The planets describe needs that propel behaviors for their fulfillment.
In a defensive posture, several measurement archetypes may be shown linked together in a Grand Trine, suggesting a closed circuit in one of the Elements (emotional, motivational, intellectual, or practical self-sufficiency [See Synthesis & Counseling in Astrology pages 284-302]. This circuit of behaviors, this behavioral pattern, will work like a three-sided moat around a castle, defending the center very well but isolating the person from relationships, often to a very high degree.
A Stellium can bring together three or four or five planets into a clearly defined area of life experience, and that House will be the strategic battleground for development, defining a highly focused behavioral pattern.
A major conceptualization for the astrologer is to realize that paying attention to the Houses whose rulers are under high developmental tension will immediately key the concerns of the individual, reveal the patterns of behavior that define the identity.
For example: take an empty horoscope wheel (or draw one quickly on your pad, with the Houses). Put a small check mark on the Asc, the 2nd, the 11th, the 4th, and the 7th. –These check marks are all you really need for the most substantive awareness of synthesis: they define areas of life development that will take on high developmental tension through time.
What this says to the creative astrologer is this: there is tension within identity development, with concomitant self-worth anxieties, focused on the feeling of being unlovable, all brought on through difficult interactions with one parent in particular, and, to one degree or another, projected into adult relationships, unsolved or as an echo of the early-home model.
Yes, measurements are adapted into behavioral patterns, without any doubt. Seeing those patterns and enriching awareness of them through archetypes (the needs) of the planets involved, takes us immediately to the core of identity development. [See Synthesis & Counseling in Astrology pages 225-270.]
How many Measurements do we really Need? The third conceptualization that helps with our confidence and efficiency is to answer the question about how many measurements are really needed to begin a significant conversation with the client?
The role of astrology is not to describe a person, to wrap them up nice and tightly with all kinds of details and send them off to the land of incredulity! --Astrologers who attempt this are trying only to prove themselves and their craft. They usually hide behind conspicuous amounts of jargon; the horoscope becomes a control panel instead of a mirror.
Look at it this way: when we take a motor trip to a new place, all along the route, we are constantly vigilant to espy every single road sign guiding our way. With a long distance to be traveled, it seems that there are always fewer signs than we would like, but the signs are bigger, more emphatic, bolder.
In astrology, the measurement signs we follow are bold and emphatic in their own way. We must know that and believe that. --When we see Neptune square the Sun in the 7th and the Ascendant, for example, we must know that that “T-square ‘route sign’” suggests a diffusion of identity development for some reason; perhaps being disregarded all too easily, a muting, a sense of suppression or embarrassment about Self. AND we must believe it. This sign is guiding us into synthesis and appreciation of the individual’s development.
To take the onus off our insecurity, it helps to see how other measurements will echo that impression. We then remember that measurements do repeat their essence very frequently; there are many signs to reassure us! –And we are ready to hypothesize a cause of this muting, if you will; we find it quickly (confusion, bewilderment in the early home, etc.); and our creative thinking is focused not on any performance insecurity of ours but upon serving our client with a rich and perhaps first-time-in-a-lifetime conversation about this issue!
**These three conceptualizations can help you streamline your astrological performance almost overnight! Have a good trip!
Next Update: December 31, 2005