|Management of Measurement Constructs
Notebook Better Orientation for Interpretation
February 28, 2004
I think it is fair to suggest/to recall that astrology has evolved more in the last 50-60 years than in the preceding 50 years; and certainly the preceding 500 years.
Of course, this is due to our maturing society: the 20th century was certainly keynoted as the Psychological Age as well as the Information Age; the Age focused through external and internal discoveries. Research abounded; awareness mounted; life purposes multiplied and became pointedly personal.
I think two successive World Wars stimulated most of the urgency to understand who we are, what we are doing with one each other, why are we alive, and why do we die? Answers were possible in that present back then and their formulation created an enormous realm of philosophical, psychological, and pragmatic sophistication.
The Astrology of any era can always presume to reflect that era in its content, in its use. At the close of the 19th century and in the first third of the 20th, our era reflected the learning of all these things, our measuring facts, our explaining scientifically what life was all about. Our astrology reflected that by purporting to describe who each of us is. We were being codified through measurements; the ultimate was to put us into a cosmic mold and feel enlightened.
As we look back on that kind of descriptive astrology, I do feel we are uncomfortable. It can go nowhere! this means that in astrological measurements and that’s that indeed! --When I have occasion to read transcripts of actual consultations from yesteryear, I am appalled at how general they were, how shallow they were, how fatalistic they were. I would venture to say that only the astrologer with a kick-strength of clairvoyance was able to make an impression [and I think strongly that Evangeline Adams was one of those].
Right after WWII, things changed so rapidly in every life dimension: technology developed for the war was diversified and adapted to peace-time use to make life better for everyone; medicine made spectacular leaps forward through the discovery of certain miracle drugs; psychology and its studies and therapies exploded as a singularly erudite European contribution to the United States. And Astrology started to change as well.
Do we realize that Dane Rudhyar’s Astrology of Personality,--“A Reinterpretation of Astrological Concepts and Ideals in terms of Contemporary Psychology and Philosophy”—was published in 1936!?
This book was seminal wash for astrology, starting to free our minds from the dross of the descriptive, categorizing past. Rudhyar started a fusion between Eastern thought and Western thought, the latter influenced intensively by European psychoanalytical thought (Freud and his 30-year-old “new” discipline) and all the expanding American research into social psychology.
Fast disappearing in astrology were the terms “positive” and “negative,” “benefic” and “malefic”, and the monster of them all, “afflicted.” Our minds were changing; how we viewed ourselves and others changed. Jung and Maslow started a counter-balancing conceptualization against Freudian dynamics. –Where Freud saw man born corrupt by id-domination and needing refinement by society, Maslow saw man born beautiful and natural with society doing the corrupting!
By the end of the last century we were talking about Psychological Need Theory coloring our understanding of how we develop. We understood the process of socialization and sexuality and dream projection more than ever, ever before. We finally had the information AND the courage to be (theologian Paul Tillich’s extraordinary book).
Our astrology now works with development and potential. The static descriptions have for the most part fallen by the wayside. While some old teachings still pop up in dark closets from the past, our astrology is exploding with new applications, with new ways to appreciate and support and, indeed, extol the human condition!
Going to an astrologer now, more than it has ever, ever been, is something respectable, rewarding, and most productive. –Who wouldn’t want to be in a support group of two people, one armed with grand appreciation of you and projections of hope and strength and light for your future?
I think it’s extremely helpful to see ourselves within this perspective, this overview: gone are the pressures and vainglorious achievements of describing you and me; and in their place are the informed energies, insights, and creativity to appreciate our potential.
I approach my learning and my consultations that way. Do you?
Next Update, March 31