|Management of Measurement Constructs
Let the First Impression Help You!
You’re waiting eagerly to meet someone for the first time. The anticipation is built upon alerted perceptions: “What will he/she be like?” A beautifully portrait is shown to you before the actual meeting; you learn much about the person … a curriculum vitae for example. You stare at the portrait, study the information, and you take in a first impression.
When you actually meet the person, as you refine and adjust your perceptions, that initial first impression prevails as the basis of your relationship with this person. –What does the phrase, “Your reputation precedes you!” mean? It describes a first impression. Or, what about, “You’re exactly as I thought you would be?”
Another fascinating dimension of the first impression is that it stays with us for the longest time. It seems that, since all of our perceptive faculties are enlisted in forming the first impression –sometimes in a flash, the glance upon someone in the car next to you, parked at a red light; the look across a crowded room— it will take dramatic evidence to the contrary to change that impression! Just review your first impressions of your spouse, your best friend, your boss, your friends, impressions sometimes formed long, long ago!
This adds up to the fact that we’re pretty good at sizing things/people up, in a flash! We need to be in order to live together, of course; perception is the foundation of value judgement. –But it is so easy to overlook this faculty we have when we introduce the involved magic of astrological symbols!
I have long maintained that astrology is portraiture [the very first words of my Principles and Practice of Astrology some thirty years ago!] I train my Master Class students to seek out that first impression when looking at the horoscope; to nail it down with certain techniques and KNOW that it will permeate the entire horoscope –the life development—as measurements accumulate.
One of the key, key, key “flashes” leading to the first impression is Hemisphere Emphasis. Please see “Analytical Techniques” on this website, Archived essay from July 15, 1999. [Also: the subject is covered extensively in Synthesis & Counseling in Astrology, beginning on page 5.]
The orientation of the planetary lay-of-the-heavens focuses not only on primary zones of life experience within the grand astrological Metaphor (the Houses) but also establishes one’s psychodynamic posture within development.
To this is then added other key considerations that punctuate, modify, and expand the initial impression.
As we study the accumulating analysis within the first impression, we must keep in mind the sense of developmental scenario. We have to link observations developmentally, behavioristically, to one another as development takes place within the influences of the parental model, early social interaction, education, relationship outreach, professional experience, etc. We are like playwrights projecting plot and character development within a drama. We inferentially animate cause-and-effect; we conceive developmental pattern.
The outlines of this developmental scenario-process are so clearly presented in The Creative Astrologer and in Intimacy, Sexuality & Relationship.
The final step for analysis is putting the developed first impression together with the actual reality of the subject (your client), through the subject’s disclosure of actual developmental reality. This is the final focus for the horoscope; much like the turning of a kaleidoscope, clicking perfect pictures into view.
Here is where the astrologer’s art of communication takes over: speaking probingly and supportively with the client, assembling corroboration, making creative connections among all the symbolic variables. Leaving the jargon out of client dialogue allows us to say things of importance. Within one to two minutes miracles of disclosure can begin, close bonding can occur, the client is no longer alone with his or her concerns, the planetary symbology has literally and figuratively come to life, and astrologer and client appreciate the times that were and the times to come.
***Realize how this attitude/approach/process not only speeds up your entry into a horoscope, your preparation of the analysis but also deploys your instinctively perceptive faculties in a lightning-flash of first-impression discernment. It is exactly how you look at a portrait painting when you come upon it at a museum!
Your alternative option is to look at isolated this-means-that measurements, searching for a magical inspiration –which will never come with such a fragmented approach. Please practice trusting yourself, your perception. Take your reading and specialized study onto the stage of astrological symbolism and assume you will form a valid, important, lasting impression. This confident approach builds analytical skill very, very quickly.
Next Update: March 1, 2002