|Management of Measurement Constructs
Notebook, October 31, 2006How we progressively do more than collect Data in Astrology
It seems there is a 30-year long generation period in Astrology. There are peaks and troughs of popularity, and book sales and --now-- website visits tell the tale, mark the time.
At present, we are in the trough period of the cycle –remember the peak in the fabulous seventies! Now, authors’ royalties are waaaaaay down: the Internet is supplying superficial astrology knowledge that is faster to come by, quicker to repeat, and as fast to forget ... for a supposedly “hip” public. In spite of the technospeed craze, though, in my opinion, it is the book –holy, enduring pages of paper— that is the enduring factor of learning that will lead our study to another peak period in about 6 or 7 years.
But what about the people in each generational flow? --I see their growth in terms of ten-year profiles.
The first ten years, usually within the decade of one’s thirties, are ignited by data collection and “talking” astrology. Nothing wrong with that; both are essential. But it is very important to study the goal of the data-talk.
I think it is an incendiary spark indeed to learn controlling factors, behavioral descriptions that ensnare individuals in a cloak of astrological description.
“This means that” means “I gotcha!” --This has excitement attached to it; it tells us that the more data we collect, the greater our control is of the controlling knowledge. And if we can talk the data, we really are on top of something! We have a distinctive in-the-know dimension about us that is impressive to many.
In my observation over the years, seeing many thousands of astrologers, working so very closely with their learning phases, data collection (rudimentary learning) begins to sing when it is accomplished with a view to the second ten-year stage, in one’s forties, when discernment replaces description, when data acquires humanistic depth, when the sense of discovery is seen as magical! This is when we appreciate the human condition. Intelligence starts to grow into wisdom. Our talk adjusts itself to understand nuance. The circle gives way to the sphere, to dimensionality, and individuation reveals itself captivatingly.
In one’s fifties –or really, in the third phase of learning, which can be earlier, of course, but all still nestled within the generational span I hypothesize for Astrology-- discovery fosters illumination … and illumination allows reflection. I suggest that the reflection is not only subjective, but objective as well, serving other people, clients, with a reflection of their process of becoming, insightfully, supportively, and memorably. --This is the goal of astrology: the meaningful understanding of life and its purpose shared with others.
The Big Thought When I was going through these stages, I started just at my first Saturn return, but then I accelerated into the second stage quite quickly … because of a Big thought.
I was studying in a vacuum, as an opera singer living in Germany; at that time, I had no one with whom to talk astrology. I was sending back to the United States for every astrology book under the sun; I devoured them; they seemed like old friends coming to visit. I remember vividly resolving to memorize all of them! In that way, I would know everything and be in control of astrology!
Very soon indeed, this proved impractical, impossible, of course. And then it hit me: I didn’t need to memorize everything the theorists were writing, I simply needed to understand thoroughly WHY they said what they did!
Think about that! Look what we learn when we understand why someone says something. We go beyond meanings; we ally ourselves with substance; we enter a fertile place where ideas grow from knowledge. We stop taking inventory and we begin to learn process.
I rejoiced in figuring out WHY Grant Lewi came up with what he did in his extraordinary theorization of the transiting Saturn cycle! What was the reasoning that led Rudhyar to give life to the Lunation cycle? What was Alan Leo saying with “Neptune allows the soul to leave the body”?
So, as I was growing, I wasn’t just parroting these magnificent findings: I was part of them. What I had to say took on a ring of truth, and my words and thoughts found their way into original theorization, testing, and pronouncement: relating Psychological Need theory to astrological symbolism, psychodynamic House delineations, the discovery of Saturn-rx phenomenology, the Nodal Axis significances, for example, etc.
I often think I could not have done this original thinking if I had gone to class every Tuesday and Thursday, so to speak. While some people need classroom discipline, the finding of a satisfactory –indeed inspiring-- teacher can be a daunting task. The human medium through we learn is crucially important in astrology.
I don’t think I would be the astrologer I am today if it weren’t for my deepest appreciation of all those theorists before me, in understanding their thought processes, feeling how discovery supported illumination, how illumination allowed reflection.
So where might you be within these stages? How far do you want to go? How will you get there? Think about it. The more of us who commit and work hard within our development, the grander the wave of astrology’s growth will be in our lives and the lives of others. The leaders to the next peak in astrology are generally speaking in their late thirties now. –Raise your hand!
Next Update: November 30, 2006