Encounters with Animals: Symbolic Process in the Astrological Consultation

Encounters with Animals: Symbolic Process in the Astrological Consultation

With Jason Holley

As astrologers, we recognize that seemingly unitary people are at the same time multiple: each of us brings a circle of animals – the literal meaning of ‘zodiac’ – everywhere we go. This includes the astrological consultation itself: it’s always a crowded room when astrologer and client meet. Not to mention what the animals in the sky are up to that day!

Psychological discourse of the 20th century and the psychological astrology that grew in dialogue with it often became caught up in a very Day-organized practitioner stance of objectivity, neutrality, and distance – yet these concepts actively reject the premise of astrological imagination: that we are saturated at all times, through and through, with creatures of psyche and cosmos – and there is no space where they are not at play, including the consciousness of the astrologer and the consultation space. Rather than put aside the subjective, how can we accept its invitation into a deeper relationship with symbols, with clients, and with the sky itself?

In this webinar we will actively contemplate the space of the astrological consultation as a place for symbolic exploration. A place where the various creatures in both astrologer and client appear. And we will look at how to actively engage that field in readings which follow and engage that space rather than merely describe it or speak about it. We will consider the place of subjective process and association in astrological encounters: of memories, images, dream figures, body sensations, action urges carried by both people. We will also consider at length the relational configurations that activate between astrologer and client and how these reflect the voice, or call, or footprint of the many creatures within – and how we can welcome these creatures into the consultation. These experiences, which often have the appearance of accidents or ‘getting in the way’ of the reading, may in fact be the moments when the symbol speaks directly, rather than we speak about it.

Drawing deeply from multiple client and chart encounters and from the well of Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Greco-Roman myths; inspirations from the world of theatre; and from naturalists and others who work in the animal world, we will explore some frameworks, metaphors, and ways of creating safe and rich habitat in the consultation to engage the many creatures within us. How are we already inside the chart? Who speaks, and how? And how can seeing this be meaningful and ultimately ensouling for both astrologer and client? These will be our questions.

This video is taken from a live online webinar given for the Mercury Internet School of Psychological Astrology (MISPA) by Jason Holley in 2021. Duration: 2 hours 28 minutes