Songs of the Spheres: Exploring Music Through Astrology

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During the final month of winter, I will be collaborating with Lydia Violet Harutoonian’s Music as Medicine Project to offer the online course Songs of the Spheres: Exploring Music Through Astrology. This course will offer a basic foundation in archetypal astrology, using music as a means to illustrate the planetary archetypes and using astrology to illuminate some of the deeper symbolic dimensions of music and musicians. Each week of the course is oriented around a particular archetypal theme, focusing on the natal charts of specific musicians to see how their astrological signatures have manifested through their music.

Learn More and Register

Course Description

Music calls to the soul. Music speaks a language more accessible to the emotions and the imagination than the intellect. Music can awaken, heal, and bring catharsis. Why is that? Music is more than simply a human artifact—it is a channel for the sacred powers of this world, the archetypes that stand behind the cosmos. The ancients could hear the music of the spheres. Today, one way we can rediscover those songs is through astrological practice.

Using the discipline of astrology, this course will explore a variety of musicians and genres through an archetypal lens. The course will open with an introduction to archetypal astrology, unpacking the meanings of the planets and the aspects, before turning this knowledge toward analyzing the natal charts of different musicians to see how the configurations of the planets have manifested in their musical creations. Music and astrology naturally illuminate one another, and not only will this course offer a basic foundation in archetypal astrology, it will deepen one’s awareness of the archetypes at play in the music created by the human family.

To learn more and register, please visit: Music As Medicine: Songs of the Spheres

Metamorphosis of the Unwilling

My body felt heavy, awkward. I did not actually want to dance. Staying safely curled up in the soft cushions of the chair, cocooned in a warm blanket, seemed far more appealing. So I did something I do not usually allow myself to do. When called forward to dance I asked if I could wait. To see when, or even if, my body had any desire to come out of its instinct to remain hidden and safely nestled in obscurity.

I waited. Beautiful bodies danced before me. I waited longer. I witnessed. Now? Almost. . .

Stop planning, I told myself. Stop trying to control this moment, or know what moves you think you know how to make.

I waited. The waiting turned into something else. Waiting. Ah. . .  that’s when you know you’ve somehow moved to the edge of your seat.

My feeling of inward hesitation led me to surrender all mental control of what I was supposed to do next. If I didn’t want to dance I didn’t want to plan it either. I stepped forward, not knowing what song momentarily would come to fill the swollen silence that now held me in subdued anticipation. In those brief, still moments I moved about, first contemplating a chair in the corner, then leaning against the wall, and finally just sitting with my knees tucked up on the floor. I wrapped myself in a long piece of fur. I could bring my inwardness and hesitation into the heart of this unstarted dance, holding myself in warmth and comfort even here.

Then the music began. Then the music began to move me. I had nothing to do. My body somehow knew how to follow.

With each beat one shoulder, then the other, moved a little. The fur slipped down, inch by inch. As my movement unfolded I felt I was being led, led by sound and the intelligence of my body riding those musical waves. The fur stayed with me, followed me, like it too had its own dance it wished to play out upon my body. Few thoughts arose, only points of memory-formation, tagging this moment or that for posterity. Not all stayed with me. Much of this dance is a blur that whirled away into the moments that drew the dance forth from me. Somehow I moved from the floor to the wall. My body, the fur, the music, all knew what to do. I did not. Nor did I need to.

Sensation led me forward, leaving the support of the wall. The metal pole stretching from ceiling to floor, an arboreal axis, called me forward. Giving myself the mental option never to dance with this powerful object during the course of this song allowed the desire instead to co-arise between my body and the music. As I walked toward the pole the fur dragged behind me; it left my grasp without thought the moment I no longer needed its comfort and support.

The pole calls forth spirals and swirls, a spinning energy that can only exist between flexibility and stability. I do not know how I danced, but only that my body was sending ripples of exuberance through my consciousness, a recognition that I was doing what I could not plan. I ascended the stretch of metal a foot, two, three, with a feeling like the internal inch of a caterpillar along a vertical branch. Seated above the ground I let my hands go, trusting the security of my legs, spreading my wings behind me. A caterpillar no more, I opened myself into metamorphosis, descending to the rhythm of a musical heartbeat.

Butterfly Dancer