|Management of Measurement Constructs
Notebook – August 31, 2007Astrological Theory, Astrological Truth
In the title of this essay, there’s a strategic comma between the two concepts. This comma protects us from the split of an “either/or” perception, the cumbersome challenge of an “and” position, or a tangled “within” fusion. As it is, the title presents the concepts in parallel; they co-exist just as “education, learning” do, “cooking, eating”, “love, sex.” We could say that theory intends and truth happens. It’s close to a “tell and show” presentation.
Managing these concepts of theory and truth can be problematic. It is very very easy for an astrological theorist to propound what is designed through measurement at the expense of what actually manifests through experience. It is very easy for the existential wish-fulfiller to float away from the empirically reinforced discipline of structure. The untenable position of cause and effect returns too easily.
In studying music theory, for example, the learner delights in recognizing the energy-feel of a 7th or a 9th chord leading to the tonic, to a sense of conclusion; in the energy-feel of a diminished chord of three or four notes allowing modulation to any tone (key) a half-step up from any note in the chord. –But the theory presented in music study is, in the end, an accompaniment for melody or successive chord colors. The truth of the composition is in the music being made. Embellishments, even departures from theory then become the stuff of inspiration.
Every astrologer yearns for theory. Theory is security. We need to know how this means that. And then, not infrequently, when placed in the forum of popular experience, we encounter the individual nay-saying that denies the theory in the experience of individual truth: “When this measurement happened for me, it wasn’t like that at all!” –Here, both theory and truth suffer. It is one thing to note an exception to the norm; quite another to discard the heavily substantiated theory because of the exception.
One key way to help the fit of astrology to client experience is to ask ourselves, “Within the frame of measurement experience and emerging record of the client’s life development, what is realistic? What fits the pattern we know in our society? And, what individual twists might occur?”
The vocational profile channeling in a woman’s horoscope reads MH Cap; Saturn in the 8th squared by Pluto, ruler of the 8th. Theory within the Midheaven Extension Process tells us to see the need to be in the business of alternative healing OR involved with banking, like a loan officer or insurance salesperson (depending on other parts of the horoscope). –But, from other measurements in the horoscope, we see that the 9th House (education) is jeopardized. The education was probably interrupted. How can the lady reach the Level the horoscope projects? We can not blame astrological theory for underachievement in reality. Without the extra education beyond high school, this channeling of potentials may never have got off the ground.
What is realistic?
Isn’t the channel of MH Virgo.Mercury.Pluto in triple conjunction with Mars and Saturn in the 9th House, ruled by the Sun, itself in touch with the Midheaven, a profile that speaks poundingly of Laws, government, the power of dogma? Especially with Jupiter* in touch with the Midheaven???
For Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, this is a very realistic “read” indeed! But it might not be for the person with a developmental background less privileged, supported, and focused. Clinton’s reality allows the portents of the horoscope to bloom.
We know that astrology illuminates best when it is related to the reality experience of the individual, not to a theoretical code-book under a potted palm somewhere. We must be realistic, and we must be imaginative. Our art is an interpretative one.
Next Update: September 30, 2007