April 18, 2024

Your Brain’s Snapshot Reference Bank

In planning this essay, I kept returning over and over again to the most helpful concept I know in horoscope analysis: seeing social-psychological developmental patterns, by far the most productive way to achieve fine holistic work, as opposed to the fragmentary this-means-that approach.

This becomes spotlight-clear as soon as we set eyes on a horoscope! We usually seek out something most familiar, some measurement we are comfortable with, and we think “Aha! That’s where I’ll start!” And then the process is this-means-that around the wheel.

Look at it this way: when someone you don’t know walks into the room, what happens in your awareness of this person? You don’t measure the distance from one nostril around the cranium to the center of the occipital bund! —You get an overall impression. That impression registers within your perception, your sensorium.

Let’s not be afraid to work with that.

I like to think that the brain, with its enormous beyond-words storage capacity, is actually doing all kinds of work automatically to tell us much: is this person friend or foe?; is this a type of person I’ve seen before? Am I attracted to this person or am I not? Why? What do the person’s mannerisms suggest about inner poise within the developmental pressures we all face together in the culture we share? Etc.

This happens for us in a flash; but it has always been there for the person, in every new appearance to others.

As astrologers, we can presume that the planetary symbols in their grand wisdom will arrange themselves somehow to trigger our brain’s snapshot reference bank. We’ll get the picture. The planets want to come down to earth.

Patterning You know about the pointillism technique of the impressionist painters (Monet, Manet, Pissarro, Degas, Renoir and many others): dots or areas of color were juxtaposed so that as the viewer backed off from proximity to the canvas they would come together to form substantive visual statements. This is the same principle in photography, where dots of light registration are assembled on the film (the grain) and, depending on camera settings and film make-up, form a picture at a distance, to one degree of sharpness or another. –Two thousand years ago, artists did this with stone mosaics; today, pixel art is accomplished with computers.

The point is that things come together to make a statement.

Students in my Master’s Certification Course learn to analyze a horoscope without planets! [Please see “Connecting the Dots”, Notebook Archives, September 30, 2006]

This is accomplished by respecting one very very important teaching: a planet under high developmental tension from another planet (intrinsically slower-moving) will call attention to the House(s) ruled by the planet receiving the tension. –If you have Saturn square Venus, and Venus rules the Taurus 11th and the Libra 4th (see that in your mind’s eye), you immediately appreciate the high probability of anxiety about being loveable, taken on probably through the mother relationship, the hindrance of expressing emotions comfortably, carrying the problem over into adult relationships (since Saturn probably rules the 7th) etc. –Bang! The snapshot comes together instantly.

Seeing patterns … is the support stratum of analytical astrological art.

How about Hemisphere emphasis first (the person has just walked into the room) … please see Analytical Techniques archives, July 15, 1999 … see the DVD “15 Indispensable Keys to Analysis”, etc.

How about the Sun-Moon blend (the person makes himself known) … please see analytical Techniques archives, November 30 and January 30, 2000 … DVD #1, etc.

How about dominating characteristics (the person is pursuing need fulfillment)? ….It’s all there among the essays and in all my writings. –The key point is that it’s all there in your brain as well, through understanding/learning the acculturation process.–When you practice astrology, you should activate the patterns of personal development. This way you are bringing astrology literally and figuratively TO life. You are getting a whole-view.