Dr. Amos Wilson & Making Astrology Practical

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Arguably, in this day and age, we have access to more information than ever before regarding spirituality, holistic health practices, and various tools for evolution and self development such as astrology, tarot, feng shui, meditation techniques, dream work and astral projection.

Because we’re faced with such a wide variety of options, it’s of paramount importance to employ our powers of critical analysis and discrimination wisely.

We would be selling ourselves and our brains short if we hopped on every bandwagon which proclaims “peace, love and light”, or followed every trail of incense smoke, complete with shea butter rubdowns and wheat grass shots.

It’s absolutely essential that we trust our inner voices when confronted with bundles of rhetoric which do not encourage any behavioral changes, yet are cosmetically and aesthetically pleasing.

I quote from the esteemed ancestor and brilliant psychologist Dr. Amos Wilson:

“There is nothing wrong with using the astrologies, the esoteric religions and using the moons and planets as guides for our behavior; but let us not become obsessed with them to such a degree that we do nothing else.”

No matter how much we engage in meditation, chanting and the like, chances are, there’s a tangible physical reality which we must be fully present for every day. The concrete world requires our participation.

Whether it’s our rent, or a 15 page paper that’s due, organization of ourselves is key. I would be willing to bet that our landlord or professor doesn’t take “Oms” as a form of compensation or completed work.

Spirituality is all encompassing. It permeates every aspect of our being. Because we’re spiritual people, it doesn’t mean we don’t curse, fight, have sex, or become angry.

In fact, I would make the case that one of the true aims of spirituality is to locate an organized center within ourselves and integrate our many dimensions by finding constructive outlets for our various facets to thrive.

As spiritual beings, we’re not going to float away in euphoric bliss and project ourselves into a dimension which will alleviate us from earthly responsibilities.

We may even have to appear ruthless at times. Eliminating people from our lives and severing the ties of situations which are blocking our growth. Distancing ourselves from unhealthy relationships physically, emotionally and psychologically by any means necessary.

True spirituality strengthens and enhances us. It doesn’t convert us in to passive people who advocate peace at any cost. Sometimes we have to go to war with the “monster”, relegating it to it’s proper place in our lives.

Thinking for ourselves regarding spiritual concepts merits very serious consideration. Hopefully, we’re all seeking to evolve and create physical, tangible evidence through our actions to show us that we’re doing so.

We know that it’s not enough to exclude analyzing the way we act in favor of the external trinkets, dress, diet or language which we think “enlightened” people abide by, yet misusing these resources as “props” to divert attention from the lack of desire to positively change our behavior.

I quote again from Dr. Wilson

“Why not demonstrate the effectiveness of what you’re talking about in your own behavior, life and therefore be a beacon to other people? Demonstrate through your life-behavior and habits the effectiveness of your ideologies religions and concepts?”

The question then becomes:

What is my behavior saying about me? What am I teaching others about my views on spirituality through my actions?

There are many tools of development, when used in a constructive manner, which can greatly enhance the quality of our lives.

However, if we show little to no concern about staying focused on our true intentions of self-improvement, the same systems lead to the evasion of concrete reality. Avoidance from the fundamental concept stated so eloquently by the African proverb:

“When deeds speak, words are meaningless.”                           

*Notes: Excerpt from a lecture delivered by Dr. Amos Wilson at the Marcus Garvey Senior Citizen Center, Brooklyn, NY (1985 )                                

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Planetary Portraits: Neptune In the 1st House : “The Dreamer”

(photo credit: guzelreslimler.info)

The Dreamer.

Yes, the world needs your inspired visions, and with Neptune located in the 1st house, it’s suggested that you can project a transcendental idealism forward for everyone to witness. In fact, you may wear it right on your sleeve.

With such a well-developed sensitivity, such a strong identification with the collective can be a double edged sword.

On the “pro” side, empathizing with others is second nature.

The capacity to emotionally absorb assists you in easily placing yourself in another’s shoes. As a “con” the potential is there for you to easily become so immersed in the issues of others that it stifles your creativity and drains you of your life force. Picture witnessing someone sinking in quicksand, you feel their pain, so you run to help. However, before you know it you’ve allowed that person to pull you right down in with them. Now, no one can prosper from the situation.

This placement suggests a presence that’s ethereal, for lack of a better word. Some could see you as an angel walking on two feet. Your openness to life and boundless imagination are resources which can assist you in developing the ability to poeticize life; to use symbolism to convey your hopes for a better world. You’re one of the people that we look to for lofty ideals and elevated concepts.

Your psychic openness must have some type of boundary, and remember: there’s just as much responsibility on YOU, as there is anyone else, for allowing your plentiful energy reservoirs to be tapped and depleted.

Boundaries are designed to protect life.

Dream on, and keep us all informed.

Planetary Portraits: Saturn In The 3rd House: Master Teacher

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[Photo: The Master Teacher Dr. John Henrik Clarke]

The “steel trap” mind.

With Saturn located in the natal 3rd House, authority and mastery have the potential to be applied in the life arenas of teaching and learning.

In these fields of experience, you can become a subject matter expert, producing thought and speech of the highest quality.

To actualize the possibilities of this placement takes FOCUS.

The result can be mental maturity and clarity which has come though considerable deliberation.

You’re being asked to speak responsibly and realistically in your everyday life. Any research which you undertake should be thorough for best results.

It’s a misuse of this placement to allow fear and doubt of your intellectual capabilities to prevent you from expressing yourself. Chances are, you definitely have something to say and you don’t have to sacrifice accuracy for speed. It’s the quality and the weight of your words which will have the ultimate effect on your success.

Concrete solutions to complex problems are in your grasp. You can bring the most esoteric and profound concepts down to earth so the layperson can relate. It’s important that the people in your immediate environment are clear on the basic tenets of your ideas.

Potential for a strongly retentive mind is suggested with Saturn in the 3rd house, as you can build a solid database to access for practical use in the material world, fusing knowledge and wisdom and information and understanding.

Planetary Portraits: Jupiter in The 1st House : The “Professor at Large”

Dr. Cornell West, philosopher, author, c

The Large Professor.

No, not the legendary hip-hop producer we all know and love, but the archetype of Jupiter residing in the Astrological first house, which represents, among other things: the projection of our identity.

In one’s natal chart, this placement suggests a need for free range of one’s intellectual faculties. A limitless space in which to expand one’s mind and experiences. Room to grow, improve and change. Essentially, this is a journey of the SELF and a quest to unearth as much knowledge as possible about how we relate to the larger world around us.

Another idea surrounding Jupiter in the 1st house is that there’s a push to experience life to the fullest and leave no stone unturned when it comes to research and exploration. Not content with “playing it small”, the voyage is on to find order in the larger patterns which are connected to our existence.

For those who experience Jupiter in the 1st, it’s as if you’re wearing a “Hello, My name is” tag that says “I’m a teacher and philosopher who most likely communicates with “missionary-like” zeal and enthusiasm.” “My oratory, no matter where I may find myself is evangelical.”

On the dysfunctional side, there could just as easily be a tag which says: “I know everything” “I’m a conceited, self-righteous windbag with an inflated sense of self”.

The great thing about it is: we have a choice on how to use all of our astrological placements. With Jupiter located here, knowing “when to say when” is key.

A broad awareness and ability to communicate higher universal principles is certainly in your grasp, but so is a “God complex”.

Planetary Portraits: Saturn in the 7th House

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There’s a vast amount of material written about Saturn’s position in the 7th house which focuses on blocks, frustrations, control, fears and delays.

If you’re new to Astrology, chances are you may have spent an hour on the internet researching Saturn in the 7th house and possibly come away thinking that your marriage will automatically be delayed (if you get married at ALL) or you’re destined to attract stern and controlling partners.

While I don’t totally dismiss these possibilities, I wish to elevate and expand the conversation to include the undeniable growth potential that is inherent in the Saturn archetype. In a great deal of interpretations, I see an imbalance when it comes to revealing how Saturn can operate constructively in the birth chart.

Often times, as soon as the word Saturn is uttered, you can immediately queue the moans and groans from those who only know the “grim reaper” version of the planet.

While Jupiter is cast as the beneficent one, the ringed one, Saturn is reduced to images of a cantankerous old man who hates everything life has to offer. It’s my view that this is because the energy of the planet suggests that we need to work hard and possibly do MORE than is required of us. We live in a society where the possibilities of getting something for nothing, taking shortcuts and “working smarter, not harder” is frequently sold.

When it comes to personal and business relationships, which both fall under the 7th house domain, choosing to sidestep the required effort needed to be successful, rarely if ever works.

The Saturn principle is about what’s REAL and SOLID.  The planet symbolizes form and structure, as well as TIME. Anytime Saturn is involved, there’s a step by step process because whatever is being built is for the long haul and intended to stand up in the face of challenges of difficult circumstances.

In a natal chart, when Saturn is placed in the 7th house one has an opportunity to master their partnerships through living with integrity. The goal is no division in thought, word and deed. There’s potential here for a stable, enduring and mature relationship between equals.  In many instances, people “don’t feel” like this, so the assume that it must not be true.

However, what we forget is that nothing comes without a price, and just because it may be hard, doesn’t mean it won’t be beneficial for us. In working with this placement, we must be willing to commit FULLY moment after moment and day after day to our relationships despite the obstacles we may encounter. We also must develop a clear sense of reality about who we are and who our partner is.

For those of us who wish to escape into a fantasy world and refuse to accept ourselves and our partners as people with flaws, frailties and shortcomings, we may have a long, frustrating road ahead.

However, If we take our relationships seriously and invest the time, energy and discipline needed to maintain them, we can be rewarded in ways which allow us to come into greater awareness of ourselves and our partners, and tap into potentials which were merely dormant before we decided to suspend doubt and cynicism and put in the necessary work that’s required for a successful partnership.

Does this take time? YES. So, if Saturn is associated with delays in this sense, we need to make room for the possibility of no instant gratification. It may be a while before we see the fruits of our labor.

We may have to monitor our progress slowly, but surely. In witnessing improvements in increments, our fears may start to diminish and all of the sudden, we’re handling responsibilities that we didn’t necessarily view ourselves as being capable of.

Saturn is also associated with wisdom. The type of insight gained through experience which is an intermingling of joy and pain. It’s hard won. If you’re going to maximize your Saturn in the 7th house, you’ll need to be prepared with a vast supply of patience, but picture the following image:

a house so solid that nothing rocks its foundation.

The potential is there.

Photo: charlesspecht.com

Planetary Portraits: Uranus in the 9th House: The Futuristic Philosopher

(photo credit: evolllution.com )

Astrologically, the 9th house is where we form our worldview. It’s the terrain where we take our life experience and form a philosophy, or a belief system about how life works. With Uranus in the 9th house, the constructive potential of this placement is to form a cosmology which serves in the liberation of humanity.

One of your tasks is to teach and guide others in a way which radically shakes up their habitual thought patterns and cultural conditioning. You could quite possibly be considered eccentric or unorthodox because of the inclination to rebel against the “standard” or conventional way of doing things. In your mind, majority consensus often means that people haven’t looked at issues from every angle.

Even when you incorporate the traditional, it’s with a twist. You view your mission as being one which breathes new life into perspectives which are otherwise stale and outdated.  Often, there is a feeling of “majestic alienation” present. You sense as if you’re really on to something, but you look around and no one is with you.

Understand this: to effectively live this placement, you must relinquish an incessant need to have the larger society approve of your view of the universe.  While certain authority figures may be used as guides, the cosmos is asking you to synthesize your personal experiences, listen to your inner voice and gift the world with an eclectic array of your unique gray matter.

It’s important to trust your intuitive insights, as feedback from mainstream society is highly unlikely to provide you with sustenance or give you the results that you seek. Remain steadfast and stay on the path you’ve blazed for yourself. You will encounter like minds and kindred souls if you unabashedly own and wear your badge of strangedom.

 

Planetary Portraits: Neptune in the 7th House

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In order to gain a fundamental understanding of the vast array of potentials of how the planet Neptune may operate in the 7th house of our birth chart, it is first necessary to introduce the idea of planetary process (Neptune) as well as grasp the field of life experience (7th house) where it’s operative.

With Neptune, we gravitate toward themes of merging, idealization, sacrifice, inspiration and elevation.  Also, in a more disordered state: deception, confusion, addiction, rescue and victim-hood. The domain of the 7th house covers expansive territory, but it’s most commonly known as the house of the “other”. As supported by designations of the 7th house throughout history, the other can take the forms of a primary relationship, such as a wife, husband or intimate partner or someone we deal closely with in business, or even have a line of communication as “open enemies”.

This placement isn’t necessarily the easiest to decipher because Neptune also has an association with the invisible; things which we can’t see with the naked eye, but are operative nonetheless. Therefore, an unconscious element is immediately added to the mix.

In its most constructive sense, Neptune’s position in the 7th house suggests that we have a storehouse or toolbox of Neptunian qualities to offer in our close personal relationships. Unconditional acceptance, a sense of unity, rhythm and flow and the capacity to inspire others to raise themselves to greater heights in their own lives. The term “muse” immediately comes to mind as we explore the magical feeling which can accompany the dynamics illustrated by this placement.

However, one of the challenge areas for anything Neptune related is to gain an unflinching sense of reality and to firmly and fully understand that a clear distinction must be made between what’s ideal and what’s concrete.

The call for those with this placement is serious exploration of how they can synthesize a sense of hope in their relationships with real participation. To consider how over idealization or glamorization of the other through projection may create a fantasy laden bubble, which in its most self-deceptive form, is given the label of “transcendence”, but is merely a cleverly concocted guise designed to shield oneself from the pain associated with disappointment.

With Neptune in the 7th house, cultivating the ability to see one’s relationships for what they are is of the utmost importance.

Returning to Neptune’s association with the invisible,  it’s worth exploring the concept that those who share this placement may work in collusion with partners by making secret and unconscious agreements which are not in their best interest. While the goal of unconditional love and acceptance is certainly admirable on the surface, the question which immediately arises is : “WHOM am I really loving?”

In many cases there can be a clandestine contract which binds partners to suspending many aspects of themselves which they feel are “negative” in nature in order to sustain intoxicating feelings of romantic bliss. Inherent in this contract is the understanding that the two people won’t overtly compete,  “step on each other’s toes”, or confront their obvious needs in the relationship. In short, maintaining a stance of mutual selflessness.

However, when the “fairy dust” clears and an initial intoxication has given way to sobriety, feelings of anger emerge because one or both parties start to feel as if they’ve been played, or sold a bill of goods because the other party isn’t “what they presented themselves to be.” The glamour of Neptune has now regressed into the victim status where everyone involved wants a “refund” for their glittery purchase they made months ago because it’s not operating in accordance with their rose-colored standards.

Douglas and Naomi Moseley write:

“Idealizers are seeing what they want to see, usually having to do with their own highest expectation of the person being idealized. essentially, idealizers are seeing only a very limited vision of a person. As they hold on to this series of selective perceptions, this ideal, what they’re seeing is essentially an illusion of their own creation. Their sight has more to do with a perfected ideal than an ordinary flesh-and-blood person. Extreme idealizers (perhaps the ones who most strongly believe they are offering unconditional love) will often refuse to see anything other than their ideal.”

While the person who is the object of such projections may be flattered initially, over time, discomfort develops because in their heart of hearts, they realize that they’re not being appreciated for who they really are, but rather an inanimate object of sorts that merely responds in a way which is in exact accord with the wants and needs of the idealizer.

“When people are only seen for their specialness and not accepted just as much for their ordinariness (which includes the shadow side), what they feel underneath the surface is rejection. When they feel rejected and defined by someone else’s expectations, one of the major consequences is anger. But, as idealized individuals, they’re not “expected” to have anger and they often push the anger out of their awareness.”

What we come to ponder in regard to a 7th house Neptune is why we automatically associate difficulty with negativity and disdain. A frame of reference that’s absolutely necessary for working constructively with this placement is that of discriminating between the challenges in relationships that are necessary for growth and victimization via the allowance of hurtful behaviors.

We must understand that self-inflicted suffering in relationships doesn’t make us any more “spiritual” than the next person. In fact, if we’re exhibiting this attitude we must ask what we get out of “falling on our swords” and permitting ourselves to endure what amounts to nothing other than  blatant mistreatment. Consequently, a formidable argument can be made that to see reality, with the utmost clarity, no matter how stark and sobering, is one of the ultimate functions that authentic spirituality serves.

References:

Dancing in the Dark: The Shadow Side of Intimate Relationships by Douglas and Naomi Moseley (North Star Publications, Georgetown, MA)

The Houses: Temples of the Sky by Deborah Houlding (The Wessex Astrologer, LTD)

Introduction to AstroPsychology by Glenn Perry

How Do I Obtain a Free Copy of My Birth Chart?

 

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For those wondering where and how they can get a copy of their birth chart for free, I always recommend astro.com, which is an excellent site and has tons of information for the Astrological novice, as well as those who may be further along in their studies or practice.

The steps are relatively simple to retrieve your birth chart:

(1) Go to: http://www.astro.com

(2) Click on the ‘free horoscope’ link on the menu at the top of the page

(3) On the next screen, you’ll want to click the link for guest users if you haven’t established an account with the site. When you click the link, you should see a form that allows you to enter in your data (first/last name, gender, date/time of birth as well as country, city and state)

Note; You’ll want to use the extended settings feature to make sure the time zone is correct.

After this, you’ll hit the ‘continue’ button.

*The methods section will be set to ‘circular charts’, which is what you want.

(4) On the drop down menu select ‘natal chart wheel’, which should automatically be there. The chart drawing style will say ‘web default style’. you can keep that setting.

(5) Under the options setting, it should be populated with the current date in the ‘Start date for charts marked with’ section.

(6)  For House systems, you can either leave it at the default setting or choose Placidus.

(7) For Image size, you’ll want to keep it at full size for good print quality.

* You can skip ‘additional objects’ as well as the menu to the right unless you’re familiar with how that setting alters the appearance of the birth chart.

(8) Push ‘click here to show the chart’

You should have an official copy of your chart for your records. There are also sections on the site which give you free mini interpretations to get you started. Note that these “cookbook” interpretations aren’t designed to serve as an official consultation, but more as narratives to describe potentials. In order to get a personalized analysis of your chart, it’s advised that you invest in a consultation with a professional Astrologer.