Sassan Pourkarimi blogs EN

The synergy of psychotherapy & astrology

Illustration of sun and moon on orange background
The consciousness emerges from the unconsciousness; behaviour is informed and directed by the depths of the psyche. Astrology is oriented towards self-understanding. This shows that both psychotherapy as astrology share a common purpose, which is to help bring into our consciousness a greater awareness of the unconscious. Our perceptions, our ways of relating to others, the world and ourselves are shaped by unconscious contents, memories, predispositions, complexes and traumas that act below the surface of consciousness. Astrology illuminates both the timing and the archetypal character of individual and collective states and predispositions and the complex interaction between these. Psychiatrist Stanislav Grof therefor calls astrology the Rosetta Stone of the psyche. Like a light in a dark cave or a telescope. Knowledge of one’s birth chart gives a sense of being grounded in a cosmos of larger purpose and meanings that are flowing through us and that have been individuated in our particular lives and in our individuality. It gives insight into our unique set of potentialities, including the potentially problematic shadow side of our complexes, predispositions and gifts. Our gifts, challenges and problems are often intertwined. The multiple ways in which a particular planetary configuration and archetypal combination can manifest itself is helpful in focusing our understanding of these potential shadows, gifts and capacities. Astrology provides a sense of individuality and an open door that functions as an X-ray of the soul.

If we see the diverse planets as the different parts of the psyche, then the birth chart provides an integrated unity of its coherence. Astrology helps us become more integrated, more oriented in life. Every birth chart gives a sense of a mandala (coherent combination of circle and square). Psychiatrist Carl Jung noticed with people who went through a deep kind of fragmentation, that the turning point of a new integration was often marked by the appearance of mandalas in their dreams. A mandala symbolizes wholeness. The birth chart helps as a kind of centering, deepening of their connection to their own depths and integration between the diverse parts of themselves, which is also the goal of psychotherapy. Also, astrology mediates the schism between the human being and the cosmos, between inner world and outer world, between subject and object. And it reconnects us to a universe that is ensouled, that is informed and pervaded by the intelligent and cosmic soul. Only astrology gave Stanislav Grof the answer to the question why people who had a psychedelic session, while each receiving exactly the same doses and under the same circumstances, had a completely different experience.

Reversely, psychology gives important gifts to astrology. Concepts as the nature of the unconscious and the point that the unconscious is not a fixed thing. Psychological concepts such as projection, repression, defense, archetypes, transference and synchronicity are also very invaluable insights to astrology.