A Journal of Inner Work and Therapeutic Arts
Immanence and Identity in Plural Personality

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20 December 2012

I've been reviewing various systems of house division these past few weeks, and much more intensely of late, as transiting ♅ conjuncts my natal MC and mean ☊ in Aries.  A fundamental reassessment is under way, complete with the usual agonies of self-deconstruction and catharsis, though in this circumstance, with transiting ♃ running sextile in Gemini and a host of additional factors in contribution, I feel quite calm. As if preparing for a journey, a transformation long awaited, letting go, leaving things behind.

Elsewhere on this site I have written of problems with house division in chart analysis. In the Placidus system, for example, ♇ presents in the IInd House Leo, a placement that emphasizes values rather than the characteristic self-concept and identity stability issues with which I deal.*  A Ist House placement for ♇ strikes me as far more sensible, going to the idea of continuous build-up and break-down directlt related to inner growth. Such a placement occurs in other systems of house division — Koch, Equal, Campanus, Regiomontanus and Porphyry, for example, though in all but Equal, ♇ is within 5º of the IInd House, suggesting that it should be considered an influence therein. I've never really liked the latter interpretation, because it's not a fundamental shift in values that I experience, so much as a structural shift, an organizational transformation and a shedding of skin, as it were. So preference has gone to Koch and Equal, but with reservation, because there are also problems with these. No system feels precisely right.

But on the day transiting ♅ moved exactly conjunct my MC, several lines of research culminated in an new set of insights in context of the Azimuth chart, with Anti-Vertex as the marker for the First House and the Vertex, marker for the Seventh.

Here's the chart, via Astrodienst (click to enlarge)
Of immediate significance to me were the following placements:

  • Taurus stellium in the XIIth House
    (15°44'36" Taurus - 12°59'54" Gemini);
  • ⚸, Ptah and Psyche in the XIth
    (25°20'34" Aries - 15°44'36" Taurus);
  • Amun, ♅ and ⊕ in the Ist House
    (12°59'54" Gemini - 24°2'54" Cancer);
  • ASC, Isis and ♇ in the IInd House
    (24°2'54" Cancer - 6°14'27" Virgo);
  • the VIIth House complement ⚳, ⚷R,
    Galactic Center and Poseidon
    (12°59'54" Sagittarius - 24°2'54" Capricorn); and
  • VIIIth House Jupiter ☌ Anubis in the IXth.

The more I study it, the more I find of current application in this chart. Among the many aspects of interest, two configurations prove most instructive.
The first, at lower left, links the Xth, Ist, IVth, VIIth and VIIIth Houses. This Star of David matrix is focused on vocation, as I read it, engaging:

  1. the ♀ - ⚶ complement;
  2. the Anti-Vertex and Amun;
  3. ♇;
  4. R;
  5. the ⚷R complement; and
  6. Persephone.

The second configuration, at lower right, looks rather like a lantern; it's formed with a semi-square, a square, two trines and an inconjunct. This formation ties together the Xth, XIIth, IIIrd and VIIth Houses, going to vocation and core XIIth House characteristics, communication and partnership. The two inconjuncts (XIIth to VIIIth and Xth to IIIrd) create an inner tension that presents through the Semi-square and square, then is worked through in the two outer trines — the reverse may also occur, with the work-through engaging the Saturn - Juno - Mars complement in the IIIrd, linked by extension via Saturn sextile to Pluto and Neptune Rx, elements in the Star.

In this usage of the Azimuth Chart, I am building (or, having been brought to it, am apprehending) a new structure to work within. This is a conceptual framework that addresses my current confusion and uncertainty. The exercise is not about ego-inflation or self-aggrandizement, though problems of that sort certainly may develop. Rather, the exercise serves to reveal a cognitive matrix for psychoemotional exploration and expression, with a new conception of role which makes use of different supports, as it were, a different appreciation of place and stability in transpersonal terms.

"Be empty, that is all."

16 December 2012

Chuang Tsu: Inner Chapters, a Companion to Tao Te Ching

Ch. 7. The Sage King. Chuang Tsu: Inner Chapters, a Companion to Tao Te Ching. Lao Tsu.
Translation by Gia Fu Feng and Jane English.
2008:144-161;p.159. PDF

Do not seek fame.
Do not make plans.
Do not be absorbed by activities.
Do not think that you know.
Be aware of all that is and dwell in the infinite.
Wander where there is no path.
Be all that heaven gave you, but act as though you have received nothing.
Be empty, that is all.

The mind of a perfect man is like a mirror. It grasps nothing. It expects nothing.
It reflects but does not hold. Therefore, the perfect man can act without effort.

The young lady of the night...

12 December 2012

She is a young lady of the night.
Only once have I seen her in the light, and that was from behind, sashaying home I presume,
arms swinging in exaggerated style, pulling her through the air.

From my bathroom window, glancing down at the southwest corner of the sidewalk at Bell and Louisa,
I saw her again around two this morning.
She was dressed in a long dark form-fitting wool coat and matching peaked hat.
Hands jammed into her pockets, shoulders and arms tensed against the cold, she waited restlessly and watched.
She turned in quick small arcs, lingering a second or two as she scanned for customers down each of the three dimly lit and apparently deserted stretches of street.
How utterly alone and lonely she seemed in this brief moment of cold and unpredictable eternity.
But as a bit of the light caught her face, I also saw her determination.
She was intent on doing what she needed to do.
Waiting for someone she knew.
Or might briefly come to know.

She pivoted one last time, then quickly walked north.

Five Elements as Archetypes...

2 December 2012

The following table presents a few descriptors and associations in the Chinese Five Elements or Five Phases schema. With respect to Earth, note the themes dealing with connectedness, unification, and role identification.

According to Beinfield and Korngold (1991:191):

Unification is the guiding principle of the Peacemaker.

Through her power to establish and sustain relationships, she nurtures and promotes connectedness with each other and our world.

Focusing on what is mutually shared, she synthesizes what is divided and antagonistic into what is unified and interdependent. [...] values serenity and stability, mediating conflict [...] converting discord into harmony [...] able to alter her perspective [...] grasping what is central [...] Chameleonlike, she can assume and enhance the attributes of those around her, putting people at ease in an environment of trust. [...]

In a more introversive context, these attributes foster intrapsychic communication and unicity among the principals
in a plural personality.


29 November 2012

Role is a meaningful concept in a social context, representing a set of behaviors, rights and obligations accepted in common by actors in a social situation or larger social structure. One may assume any role as an individual, but, if this assumption is not acknowledged and responded to by others in a social matrix of some sort, there is no contract, tacit or stated, by which the role may be actualized. The concept thus loses meaning, becoming potentially delusional.

In one's experience of psychological plurality, on the other hand, the evolution of identity and capacity to maintain egoic stability may be enhanced by role identification relative to the principals or players in the personality. If we conceive this intrapsychic matrix as a social context, then ego may be seen to represent a common instrument, an agency fostering group cohesion and expression. I may be a "counselor", for example, if my work is to communicate and facilitate the expression of each principal, ensure equal rights and freedoms, and promote the expression of the group as a unified multiplicity, what I am calling a "gestalt", consonant with the group relationship in Self.

In living that role intrapsychically, I may develop certain ideas and behaviors which naturally carry over to my interpersonal relationships. While I may not announce myself as such, I may nevertheless perform outwardly in a manner similar to my internal organization.

These days, monk is my preferred self-identifier, a quasi-role that seems to me a useful summary construct...

Transits: Uranus Square Pluto...

27 November 2012

Transiting Uranus in Aries and transiting Pluto in Capricorn will form exact square — they will be exactly 90º apart — a total of seven times during the period beginning 24 June 2012 and ending 17 March 2015. The most problematic of the forthcoming squares is thought to be the one that occurs on 1 November 2013, the date closest in time to the Heliocentric square (i.e., the Uranus-Pluto square as viewed from the Sun, without consideration of retrograde motions, occurs on 23 November 2013). When this event last occurred in January 1933, Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany.

Uranus Square Pluto Dates

  1. 24 June 2012
  2. 19 September 2012
  3. 21 May 2013
  4. 1 November 2013
  5. 21 April 2014
  6. 15 December 2014
  7. 17 March 2015
Uranus Square Pluto 2013, Natal Chart, 23 November 2013, Darkstar Astrology
Heliocentric, 23 Nov 2013

Tantra Kundalini

17 November 2012

I very much like this site → presents a beautifully simple interactive explication of Tantra, Kundalini, and the chakras.

Tantra Kundalini.
Ancient Teachings of Tantra and Kundalini Yoga.
Emphasis added.

According to the philosophy of Tantra, the entire universe is a manifestation of pure consciousness. In manifesting the universe, this pure consciousness seems to become divided into two poles or aspects, neither of which can exist without the other. Each requires the other in order to manifest its total nature.

One aspect, Shiva, is masculine, retains a static quality and remains identified with unmanifested consciousness. Shiva has the power to be but not the power to become or change.

The other aspect, Shakti, is feminine, dynamic, energetic and creative. Shakti is the Great Mother of the universe, for it is from her that all form is born.

According to Tantra, the human being is a miniature universe. All that is found in the cosmos can be found within each individual, and the same principles that apply to the universe apply in the case of the individual being.

In human beings, Shakti, the feminine aspect is called Kundalini. This potential energy is said to rest at the base of the spinal cord. The object of the Tantric practice of Kundalini-yoga is to awaken this cosmic energy and make it ascend through the psychic centers, the chakras, that lie along the axis of the spine as consciousness potentials. She will then unite above the crown of the head with Shiva the pure consciousness. [...] Read more

Pluto material...

16 November

In her 14 November 2011 essay entitled Owning our inner Pluto eats us for lunch, Joan Pancoe presents a range of interesting ideas and facts regarding Pluto in the natal
chart, and Pluto by transit.

Pancoe explores Pluto in relation to several planets. With regard to Venus, she writes that,

[i]f expressed positively, the Pluto/Venus contacts can be experienced as transcendental through using the sexual energies — especially through Taoist or Tantric practices — as a vehicle for spiritual transformation. With this aspect there can be a desire for annihilation of the little self through sexual union. And from this losing of self — this dispersal — there can then be experienced the finding of self, re-formed, renewed and made whole through this alchemical union — but with less attachment to the individual ego identity. [...]

My experience with Pluto trine Venus/Vesta/Apollo/Caput/MC is best apprehended in light of Ardhanarishwara (see above, right), with transcendence achieved through internal union, not with an external partner.

See also

Where does ONE begin?

14 November 2012

Air: The restless shaper of the world. William Bryant Logan. (NY: W.W. Norton, 2012:32).

On the seashore in Northern Patagonia, [Charles Darwin] found a colony of sea pens, invertebrate worms that arise in groups of hundreds or thousands, each on a central stem. The polyps attached to each stem rise together, and draw back together when touched, and yet each separate polyp seeks its own food. The reproductive organs of the creature are located neither in the polyps nor on the central stem. Reflecting on the creature, Darwin was moved to write, "Well may one be allowed to ask, what is an individual?"

The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. CG Jung. (First Princeton/Bolingen, 1990:43 ¶90)

My thesis, then, is as follows: In addition to our immediate consciousness, which is of a thoroughly personal nature and which we believe to be the only empirical psyche (even if we tack on the personal unconscious as an appendix), there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals. This collective unconscious does not develop individually but is inherited. It consists of pre-existent forms, the archetypes, which can only become conscious secondarily and which give definite form to certain psychic contents.

One as many, many as one ...

Looking out, looking in...

Where does one begin?

Eight trigrams representing the fundamental aspects of reality.

13 November

The image at left, the Ba Gua and basic descriptors, is my compilation, derived from multiple sources, adapted from the King Wen "Later Heaven" Ba Gua arrangement. The center is Taiji (great poleSupreme Ultimate), accorded the number 5, with no trigram.
For more detail, see e.g.:
• Bagua, Early Heaven Sequence, Later Heaven sequence - Chinese Customs,
 What is Feng Shui Bagua,
 Ba gua, and

Can the voices be described in these terms?
Yes, as an ogdoad, with the fifth identification, Self, at the egoic center.

Does the schema facilitate their expression and stimulate new insight?
I'm still thinking about the correspondences...

Other useful schemata include astrology, Enneagram and Tarot (constellations).

Hearing Voices...

12 November 2012

I refer to them as voices, though they are not heard in the traditional sense of the word, not outside my head as if they were said by you or some other. They are experienced instead, received as thoughts, apperceived as different from yet intimately familiar to "me".

It's just your imagination, some have said. The voices are simply parts of you, some too have said.
Perhaps both statements are true. They certainly are considered so, with some frequency, in self-review.

Internal organization, the nature of the "voices". Partners...

Yet I often feel the life I live is not my own; rather, it belongs to several others, not fully known. Players, presences, principals who may or may not show themselves in my awareness. I am created of them, in relation to Self (in the Jungian sense, I think) and what I understand as divinity, which organizes and is expressed through all of the principals and me.

Perhaps I haven't said that very clearly. The problem is that none of these principals — let's call them partners, because they work with me to express a multiplicity of views and achieve some degree of integrative harmony — is knowable in fixed terms.

Like the Self, they are ineffable, always changing. Each is sufficiently "real" to be recognized by various means, sometimes merely by impression of neurological location when the content is especially demanding, but none of them seems to appreciate names.

GOTO (a parallel idea which might bear on the issue at hand):

Social discomfort. Highly porous boundaries. Lack of ease in company. Profound need for solitude. Camaraderie experienced internally, limited time in the company of others. Perhaps my awareness of the principals, the partners, in some way compensates for sense of limited social connection, for loneliness or isolation. But these incommodities present between projects, and recognition of them spurs response leading to further analysis and creative self-assessment. Suggests purpose: adaptive avoidance; sublimation.

Are the partners socially mediated, not introjections or inculcations but parallel representations, transpersonal agencies, synchronies, organized in terms of Self and developmental theme.

Can we correlate "internal" with "external" realities in this way? Can we expand identity? ISIS?

I haven't been able to confirm this glyph for asteroid Isis (42), but I rather like it →

In the natal chart:
First House ISIS (29°24 Can) conjunct ASC (26º17 Can) and PoF (21º52 Can) in the 12th;
Isis trine MC (4º37 Ari) and Caput (Mean, 4º56 Ari).

On Matters of Fear and Timing...

11 November 2012, Remembrance Day.

Daily Muse - 11 November 2012.

Keeping the faith, following the path.
Knowing when...

Transformation, adaptation...

10 November 2012

I Ching, Eclectic Energies

Even after being "told" the piece is complete, though I have not yet understood the significance of the imagery, the urge to make additional changes often presents itself.

If I respond to that urge, the power of the piece is almost inevitably lost.

Alas, the new message includes an admonition: when the work is done, stop.

In this case, though the urge is very strong regarding the nine white digits — should there be eight or nine? ogdoad or ennead? — I put down my brush.

There is a change taking place, a new apperception. There are stressors and anxieties associated with this change, but a genuine transformation is at play.

The details are those we've been exploring in recent days.

The fox adapts to the world and has the capacity to learn from mistakes...

Immanence and Character

9 November 2012

According to Brian Morton, director of the graduate program in fiction at Sarah Lawrence College, "there is no reliable documentary evidence for the quotation", attributed to Mahatma Gandhi: "Be the change you wish to see in the world."

The closest verifiable remark we have from Gandhi is this: "If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. ... We need not wait to see what others do."

Here, Gandhi is telling us that personal and social transformation go hand in hand, but there is no suggestion in his words that personal transformation is enough. In fact, for Gandhi, the struggle to bring about a better world involved not only stringent self-denial and rigorous adherence to the philosophy of nonviolence; it also involved a steady awareness that one person, alone, can't change anything, an awareness that unjust authority can be overturned only by great numbers of people working together with discipline and persistence.

I am not well enough versed in Gandhi's writings to confirm Morton's assertion here; perhaps he is quite correct. On the other hand, I find the alleged misquote a useful starting point for another line of interpretation and argument.

be the change you wish to see in the world

→ The daimon is immanent and manifest as character.

→ Represent divine immanence in your response to the world.

→ My relationship with Self is the model for relationship with the world.

Regarding the perspective that there is no god, personal experience informs me otherwise. Personal and transpersonal Self, in the Jungian sense, most clearly describes my experience of acceptance and understanding, a loving, caring teacher, affording a sense of "order" and "meaning" which is itself an organizing principle.

I have no ultimate explication for the concept of "god" because, quite simply, my focus does not require one; rather, I am concerned with identity and psychological stability. I have little practical resolve except with respect to understanding psychological structure and dynamics and achieving harmony in the context of Self. Isis and Pluto tenant the First House.

Animism. The common core, unique in each, yet universal...

And the antithesis too... isolation, aloneness... many voices, dissociated.

So faith must go to what is known, relative to what is not.
Faith in the face of the ostensibly arbitrary.
Faith on the basis of what is experienced, what is immanent.
Not blind faith, but working communication, analysis and interpretation.
This is the substance of character, the expression of the whole.

Lunar Mansion 28

8 November 2012

Astrologer and author John Sandbach presents a interpretation of William Butler Yeats' work, "A Vision", a book representing the synthesis and subsequent research of his wife's automatic writing — channeled information regarding the 28 Lunar Mansions. Sandbach also references "Phases of the Moon", another book on the same subject, by Dorothy Wergin and Marilyn Busteed (1987).

The Lunar Mansions likely originated in Babylon and were a means of reckoning time, representing 28 constellations or single stars designating segments of the ecliptic, the path of the visible moon,1 through which the moon travels at ~12º51'/d over the course of the 27.3d lunar month, beginning at 0º Aries.2 There are three separate series of Lunar Mansions, from Arabia, India and China, but they all appear to be derived from a single lost system.3 I find these systems of little use as introspective tools, but the channeled and interpretive material following Yeats is very interesting.

To locate your Lunar Mansion, calculate the exact distance from the Sun to the Moon going counter-clockwise around the wheel, then find the correct 12º51' arc in the following table. The first Lunar Mansion begins, in this application, with the position of the Sun, which is taken as the 0º point. [If you need to calculate your chart, goto — you'll need your birth time, date and place, but the chart is accurate and free.]

So, with Sun at 25º10'22" Taurus and the oriental balsamic Moon at 20º44'54" Taurus, I subtract the latter from the former, then subtract the result from 360º, which gives me 355º34'32", found within the 28th arc — Lunar Mansion 28.

Adapting from Sandbach (about a third of the way down the page):

An innately unambitious person without plans, at his best when living fully in the present, focused on the day at hand and how he can contribute to it. Ordinary physical activity can be a profound inspiration for him. He needs to feel the fullness of his connection to life and to do what he can to support and nourish it. Sees everyone as equal because he focuses on their spiritual aspect. The more he lets go of himself as individual identity, the more clearly he is attuned to his mission in life, which is to be a person who helps others remain connected to spirit...

Not exactly so, but pretty close...