Archetypal Astrology: A Glimpse of 2022

To welcome in the New Year, I will be offering a presentation for the Institute of Psychedelic Therapy, the same organization involved in publishing the book Psychedelics and Psychotherapy: The Healing Potential of Expanded States, to which I contributed a chapter last year.

The presentation is titled Archetypal Astrology: A Glimpse of 2022, and will provide an overview of the planetary transits for the coming year. I would be delighted to see many of you there!

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Archetypal astrology is the practice of studying correlations between the movements of the planets and the unfolding of human events on Earth, a celestial synchronization that intimates the deeply ensouled nature of the cosmos. This keynote presentation will explore the foundational principles of archetypal astrology, before taking a look ahead at the transits for 2022 to get a picture of what archetypal potentials may transpire. Such knowledge can help one navigate the collective zeitgeist with grace, integrating the challenges that may arise, the opportunities that may unfold, and the areas for growth that may be awakened.

This spectacular image of the Orion Nebula star-formation region was obtained from multiple exposures using the HAWK-I infrared camera on ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile. This is the deepest view ever of this region and reveals more very faint planetary-mass objects than expected.

Imagination as Birthright

Originally published in Imaginezine on October 9, 2021.

Close your eyes and turn your gaze inward. At first the image is dark, a soft warm glow behind the eyelids. But before long, a vision begins to take form.

The light increases and colors begin to differentiate: greens and yellows, deep browns and a hint of pale blue. The interplay of dappled light and shadow dances before your gaze. The edges clarify, crisp lines and measured dimensions extending in all directions around you. You look down and notice your feet nestled in cool grass. A meandering pathway stretches before you, winding around the roots of majestic trees, towering above you and filling the sky with their leafy branches. You take a step forward and hear water falling to your right. A short distance into these woods, a small stream begins to flow parallel to the grassy path you tread. It gathers in lilting pools, and the slim beams of sunlight that escape between the tree branches send dazzling sparkles across the surface of the swirling waters. As your focus on these glimmers of sun softens and blurs, the vision fades, and before you could mark the transition you find yourself seated back at your desk, physical eyes open, wondering where you just went.

This is the power of the imagination. The faculty of imagination has the ability to take our consciousness anywhere: to any time or place, from every region of the Earth to the farthest reaches of the evolving cosmos. We can visit the birth of time when the universe flared forth into being. We can enter into a yet unlived future, imagining a dystopian urban wasteland or an ecologically balanced utopia. We can cross the threshold into other worlds, whether Middle-earth, Narnia, Earthsea, or Wakanda.

In the modern era, the philosophical and scientific perspectives on imagination defined the products of this faculty as something unreal—simply made up, a mere fantasy. When speaking about imagination, the modern mind needs to use disparaging words to make clear that such expressions have no validity: it was “just your imagination,” “merely a fantasy,” “only a dream.” Such words rob the imagination of its power, or at least attempt to do so.

For without the imagination there would be no innovation, no scientific or technological breakthroughs, no great works of art, literature, and architecture. Civilization itself is built upon foundations of imagination, dreamed into being and imagined into reality.

The time has come to reclaim the imagination, to nurture its innate abilities in children and teach once again the techniques of its cultivation to adults. Imagination is inherent to humanity, and perhaps even to every species of the Earth community, a hidden property of the cosmos itself. Just as we need disciplines to hone our crafts and spiritual practices—from writing and painting, dance and carpentry, to meditation and prayer, yoga asanas and qi gong—so too we need disciplines to hone our ability to imagine: active imagination, lucid dreaming, visualization, intuitive art-making, and automatic writing.

So close your eyes and see where your inner vision and senses take you. The journey into the imaginal realm is your cosmic birthright.

December Astrology Forecast 2021

A Venus Retrograde-y Christmas

A dream came true for me when I was invited to be a guest co-host on The Astrology Podcast for the December 2021 forecast with legendary astrologers Chris Brennan and Austin Coppock!

The astrology of December features Venus stationing retrograde in Capricorn conjunct Pluto, a Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius, and the third and final exact Saturn-Uranus square alignment (although Saturn and Uranus come within 1° square to each other in October 2022 and the transit stays in orb through 2023).

Jupiter also departs from Aquarius and moves into Pisces late in the month, while Neptune stations direct, there is a Full Moon in Gemini, and Mars ingresses into Sagittarius on the same day Mercury ingresses into Capricorn. At the beginning of the episode we review some stories that happened in the news which correlated with the astrology of November, and then dive into the astrology of December.

For those who haven’t yet seen my last appearance on The Astrology Podcast, I discussed the archetype of the planet Venus with Chris Brennan, which was such a pleasure and an honor to do!

Encountering the Archetypes in Astrology

This upcoming Saturday, October 30 I will be offering a presentation for Acyuta-bhava Das’s Nightlight Astrology School entitled “Encountering the Archetypes in Astrology“! The talk introduces the concept of archetypes from a philosophical, psychological, and spiritual perspective, demonstrating how a perception of archetypal principles can be applied to one’s astrological practice. The presentation will be hosted online, at 9:00–11:30 am Pacific time, 12:00–2:30 pm Eastern. Please visit the Events page of the Nightlight Astrology School for details on how to register for the event!

About the Workshop

What is an archetype, and how does it relate to astrology? This presentation will introduce the theory of archetypes from a philosophical and psychological perspective, exploring a lineage that extends from Plato in ancient Greece through C.G. Jung in 20th century Switzerland, to the contemporary disciplines of transpersonal psychology, participatory spirituality, and archetypal astrology. Learning to perceive the archetypal principles in the particulars of everyday life can deepen any astrological practice, and be applied methodologically to any branch of astrology.

Register for the Workshop!

Return to Middle-Earth: Reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings

When dark times are upon us, we need support to sustain us through the long night. The myths and great legends of our cultural heritages provide tales of courage and heroism, beauty and sacrifice, and offer an archetypal pattern to follow in our own lives. Far from escapism, the literary imagination can carry us towards wise ways of taking on seemingly unsurmountable challenges, rebirthing ancient knowledge into new times and situations.

As the weight of the world seems only to grow heavier, I invite you to join me on a journey to an imaginal time that resembles our own more and more by the day. After a hiatus last year, it is my honor to offer for the third time my Nura Learning course Journey to the Imaginal Realm: Reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Whether you are new to Middle-earth or are familiar with its well-trod paths, we welcome you to join our literary fellowship, traveling through Tolkien’s chapters in good company. We depart on our journey on the autumn equinox, Wednesday, September 22—a day affectionately known as Hobbit Day.

What does it mean to be a Ring-bearer in such times? What humble heroic role do we each have to play in our own fellowship? I am sure many of us are asking the same questions as Frodo, wishing such events need not have happened in our time. But we can remember, as the wise Gandalf himself says: “…so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

Learn More and Register

Course Description

The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien has been a beloved story to several generations since its publication in the mid-1950s. The story has a timeless quality to it, and engages with a complex struggle between good and evil, death and immortality, power and freedom. The Lord of the Rings blends otherworldly romance with the high rhetoric of epic mythology, at times interwoven with the internal depths of the nineteenth century novel and the political climate of the twentieth century. As Tolkien’s close friend and colleague C. S. Lewis once said: “Nothing quite like it has been done before. This book is like lightning from a clear sky . . . here are beauties which pierce like swords and burn like cold iron.”

The Lord of the Rings is a text treated by many as a sacred text, one to be returned to year after year, or read aloud with loved ones. The Lord of the Rings has become a myth for our time. This course, now in its second year running, offers a journey through Tolkien’s magnum opus in a community of learning, guided by a scholar who has spent more than two decades engaging Tolkien’s writings and artwork. This course is designed both for newcomers to Tolkien’s narrative, and for veteran travelers through Middle-earth’s many realms. Together we will explore the grand themes and hidden nuances of Tolkien’s epic story, connecting The Lord of the Rings to the larger mythology of Middle-earth, and situating Tolkien’s process of writing within his own powerful experiences of the imaginal realm.

To learn more and register, please visit: Nura Learning: Journey to the Imaginal Realm 

Astro Magia

A Symposium of Art, Academy, Philosophy, & Practice

September 17 – 19, 2021

It is my joy and honor to be offering a keynote presentation at the conference Astro Magia: A Symposium of Art, Academy, Philosophy, & Practice. This online symposium draws together an inspiring pantheon of voices on the subject of astrological magic, exploring the praxis of participatory engagement with a living, symbolic sky.

My keynote will take place on Saturday, September 18 at 4:00–5:30 pm Pacific time. The presentation is titled “The Sacral Hour: Archetypes, Synchronicity, and Magic,” and offers a contemporary philosophical and psychological perspective on astrological magic.

The Sacral Hour: Archetypes, Synchronicity, and Magic

Synchronicity is the meaningful coincidence of an inner experience with an outer event, in which there is no direct causal connection and yet there is a core archetypal symbolism informing the interconnected events. Astrology is the ancient practice of reading the archetypal story playing out across the heavens night after night. While by definition synchronicities are rare events, astrology can be understood as a continuously ongoing, collectively verifiable synchronicity: the meaningful coincidence of the positions of the planets relative to the archetypal unfolding of human events on Earth.

In the modern world view, synchronicities are seen as mere anomalies, chance events despite their extreme improbability. But synchronicity points towards a deeper meaning, one inherently familiar to ancient, medieval, and traditional paradigms: the cosmos is saturated with purpose, meaning, consciousness, and intelligence, an archetypally patterned web eternally woven by the co-arising divine soul of the world. To align ourselves with these archetypal threads is to participate in a magic that is thrumming every moment from the hidden heart of the cosmos.

While astrological magic has ancient roots, practicing it in the contemporary world requires a synthesis and integration with modern philosophy, psychology, religion, and spirituality in order to bring forward language and concepts that can speak to our place in an evolving cosmos. Archetypal theory, synchronicity, and participatory spirituality are all foundational concepts that can support the praxis of astrological magic in a paradigm reawakening to cosmic enchantment.

Learn More & Register for the Symposium!

Jung’s Red Book and Active Imagination

This Wednesday, June 9 at 7:30–9:30 pm Pacific time I will be offering an online presentation for the C.G. Jung Society of Vancouver entitled “Jung’s Red Book and Active Imagination.” The presentation is based on the chapter I wrote for the fourth volume of Jung’s Red Book for Our Time: Searching for Soul Under Postmodern Conditions, edited by Murray Stein and Thomas Arzt.

Register for the Event!

In this talk I will speak about Jung’s Red Book, and how the active imagination fantasies Jung experienced can be understood as a co-creation of the human faculty of imagination in participatory relationship with the archetypes of the collective unconscious. After the presentation we will have time for questions and dialogue!

Jung’s Relationship to Astrology

This Saturday, May 29 at noon Pacific time I will be offering a presentation for the Jung Archademy on “Jung’s Relationship to Astrology.”

Register for the Event!

In recent years, new scholarship has been emerging demonstrating the essential role the discipline of astrology played in the development and practice of C. G. Jung’s analytical psychology. In 1911, Jung wrote a letter to Freud in which he said that his nights were occupied with the study of astrology, to which Freud responded that Jung would be “accused of mysticism.” Jung kept his practice of astrology relatively concealed, but based upon evidence in his own writings, as well as statements he made late in his life, Jung was drawing on astrological wisdom regularly for both personal use and with his patients.

Drawing on the research of Liz Greene, Keiron Le Grice, and Safron Rossi, this presentation will demonstrate the role astrology played in Jung’s analytic practice, as well as the significant ways in which he drew on astrological symbolism in the transformative process of creating The Red Book. By understanding how astrology influenced the development of Jungian psychology—and how depth psychology has subsequently shaped modern astrology—we can see how the astrological discipline can complement, enhance, and deepen the psychotherapy practiced today.

Awakening to Archetypal Astrology Course

This year has already been full of several major projects for me, and one that I am especially eager to share with you has just been launched: my first online introductory course to the practice of archetypal astrology. The course is offered through the Academy of Oracle Arts, a Nevada City-based center for higher and deeper learning. In many ways this course is a culmination of more than a decade of astrological learning and practice, and it is my joy and honor to be able to present it to you.

As I was writing the lectures, I came to recognize how much the course itself is an homage to my father Richard Tarnas, who has been my greatest teacher in this work. I chose to build the course around his foundational text Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View, giving a new generation of students the opportunity to explore deeply the book that was being written throughout my entire childhood.

The course launches on May 1, and each of the six modules of the course will be released weekly over the next month and a half, and will be available in perpetuity. This is an evergreen course, meaning it will be available for students to enroll in at any time, and to study the material at one’s own pace. You will be able to return to the lectures again and again so they can support you in developing your own engaged astrological practice.

Register for Awakening to Archetypal Astrology!

Course Description
Archetypal astrology is a discipline that emerges from the interweaving of the astrological tradition with depth psychology and transpersonal spirituality. This introductory course lays the foundations for an astrological practice, beginning with an examination of world views and the history of the archetypal perspective, followed by a study of the basic principles and techniques of archetypal astrology: the meanings of the planets, aspects, and zodiacal signs, how to read a natal chart and explore the world transits, and how to calculate personal transits and keep a transit journal. Participants in the course will be given the tools for their own ethical astrological practice, cultivating the capacity for deep inner reflection, relational understanding and growth, and an archetypal perception of the cosmos in which we are all embedded.

Course Outline

Class 1 – Introduction to course material
• A brief history of astrology in the West
• World views and synchronicity

Class 2 – Planets and aspects
• Archetypes in philosophy, psychology, and astrology
• Saturn and Uranus cycles

Class 3 – Signs of the zodiac
• World transits
• Uranus-Pluto cycles

Class 4 – Natal charts
• House systems and angles
• Saturn-Pluto cycles

Class 5 – Personal transits
• Reading an ephemeris and using software
• Jupiter-Uranus cycles

Class 6 – Ethics of astrology
• Uranus-Neptune cycles
• Living in an astrological world view

Register for the course Awakening to Archetypal Astrology:

Transits for the Aries-Taurus Lunation

The plum and cherry trees are bedecked by white and pink blossoms, the branches laden with the potential of summer fruit. Warming sunlight calls forth new growth from the Earth, and the thick green grasses are bedazzled with daffodils and narcissus flowers. The spindly elven branches of the delicate dogwood trees are just starting to show forth the star-like white blossoms that bring the forest to enchanted life. Spring really is here, and Taurus season is nearly upon us.

The zodiacal sign of Taurus is full this lunation cycle, with Venus coming home to her domain and playing host to the Sun and Mercury, and to the lingering outer planetary guest Uranus. While this February a stellium of planets in Aquarius squared Mars and Uranus in Taurus, now a stellium of planets in Taurus forms the reciprocal square to Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius. The tensions between Saturn and Uranus continue to be the dominant archetypal complex shaping our zeitgeist, the old making way for the new—sometimes with unexpected schisms and breaks and sometimes with awakened maturity and responsibility. Orient towards creativity and innovation, but do not forget the lessons of the past, for it is only in the synthesis and integration of the two that a sustainable and regenerative future can be conceived.

Transits of the Aries-Taurus Lunation

*April 11 @ 7:31 pm PT* The New Moon in Aries aligns with Venus in a square to Pluto in late Capricorn, impelling a powerful infusion of sensuous, erotic, and aesthetic energies into the birth of a new celestial cycle that will ripple forth into the next lunation.

*April 13 @ 4:09 pm PT* The Sun in Aries sextiles Mars in Gemini, as the Moon conjoins Uranus and squares Saturn. The impulsive force of will to achieve and get tasks done may have to contend with feelings of heaviness and emotionally erratic behavior. Take action, but also tend to the emotional body with care.

*April 14 @ 11:22 am PT* Venus sashays into her home sign of Taurus, draping her gossamer gown over the flowering grasses, and settling into a throne woven of apple blossom branches. A crystal bowl of fresh strawberries and white rose petals rests by her side, while a glass of rare champagne sparkles in her radiant diamond light.

*April 15 @ 9:59 am PT* The Sun in Aries sextiles Jupiter in Aquarius, bringing warmth and joy, quiet celebration and subtle excess, an exuberance of being in the golden glow of life’s elevated heights.

*April 16 @ 6:27 am PT* The Sun in Aries squares Pluto in Capricorn, while Mars in Gemini forms an airy trine to Jupiter in Aquarius. The boxer comes charging into the ring of life’s competition, and while good sportsmanship may prevail and darker, hidden contention may come to light in uncomfortable, shadowy ways.  

*April 17 @ 9:00 am PT* Mercury in Aries has a highly active day, forming sextiles both to Mars in Gemini and Jupiter in Aquarius, and a square to Pluto in Capricorn. Digging to the bottom of the well of ideas may bring a great expansion of insight, but arguing the point too fiercely might lead to ostracization rather than a change in perspective.

*April 18 @ 6:50 pm PT* The Sun and Mercury conjoin in late Aries, directing the light of insight and awareness clearly and potently towards actions, activities, and activations of intellect.

*April 19 @ 11:59 pm PT* Both Mercury and the Sun ingress into Taurus, with fast-paced Mercury just ahead of the Sun by a few hours. A minute before midnight, the Moon in the first degree of Leo forms its waxing square to the Sun, making the opening move in a game of chess where thought and feeling play each side of the board.

*April 22 @ 6:01 pm PT* Venus conjoins Uranus in Taurus, and the Moon in Virgo forms the waxing gibbous trine to the Sun, marking Earth Day’s celebration of our life-giving home planet. Unanticipated desires may arise romantically and relationally, the heart beating with the pulse of dazzling fireworks, and eccentric aesthetics revolutionizing the way beauty is perceived.

*April 23 @ 4:49 am PT* Mars splashes into Cancer, and sizzling steam hisses off the warrior’s armor as the planetary archetype of action and fiery will cools off in the emotional waters of the Moon’s zodiacal domain. Find assertion through gentle paths and relational avenues, aligning actions with the emotional flow of life rather than trying to swim fiercely upstream.

*April 25 @ 3:19 pm PT* Mercury, Venus, and Uranus all conjoin in Taurus, forming a square to Saturn in Aquarius. Communicate relational boundaries with precision and clarity, lest unexpected cracks and schisms arise. Talk honestly about change, implementing it intentionally and with integrity, rather than after you have crossed the breaking point.

*April 26 @ 8:32 pm PT* The Full Moon in Scorpio marks the last full day all the planets are seen moving direct, for Pluto stations retrograde the following day and appears to traverse in reverse for the next several months. The multi-petaled lunar flower blossoms to its fullest, but the petals are a deep hue, tinged with shades of secret intimacy and yearning.

*April 29 @ 7:27 pm PT* Mercury in Taurus sextiles Neptune in Pisces, sanguinely singing poetic passages of heavenly harmonies, saturating the symbolic skull surrounding the mind and flooding it with fantastical images and symbols.  

*April 30 @ 12:54 pm PT* The Sun and Uranus conjoin in Taurus, awakening the ingenious insight, igniting the impulse to revolutionize change, and striding forward heroically into a new and brilliant dawn of awareness.

*May 2 @ 3:38 pm PT* Mercury in Taurus trines a Moon-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn, while Venus in Taurus sextiles Neptune in Pisces. Dreamy and fantastical webs weave from heart to heart, deepened by profoundly vulnerable emotional dialogue and communion.

*May 3 @ 12:50 pm PT* The Sun in Taurus forms the waning square to a Moon-Saturn conjunction in Aquarius, while Mercury in late Taurus squares Jupiter in Aquarius. By day’s end, Mercury leaps into its home sign of Gemini, opening up channels of abundant communication and rapid dialogue. The intellect may be active, but with Moon-Saturn square the Sun a more introverted, introspective, quiet space may need to be nurtured in order for conversation to feel welcome.

*May 6 @ 4:25 am PT* Venus in Taurus forms an earthy trine with Pluto in Capricorn, as the waning balsamic Moon in Pisces sextiles the Sun. As the Moon’s light declines into a sliver, Bacchus’s dryads dance in the dark woods, sensually swaying amongst the silvered shadows.

*May 8 @ 6:38 am PT* Venus in late Taurus squares Jupiter in Capricorn, before crossing the threshold into Mercury’s domain of Gemini. Graciously crowned in all the glory of her home sign, Venus takes a final celebratory bow before stepping into the more intellectual and airy realm of her cousin Hermes’ home.

*May 11 @ 12:00 pm PT* The warming spring soil of the New Moon in Taurus invites the planting of fertile seeds of blossoming intention, while Mars in Cancer forms a sextile to Uranus in Taurus. Sparks of impulsive energy move the soul to action, initiating the unfoldment of the next lunation cycle into motion.