• Holistic Astrology

What is Holistic Astrology?

Is Holism different than Holistic Thinking?

Jan Smuts first used the term "holism" in his 1922 ground breaking book titled; Holism and Evolution. Dane Rudhyar expanded its meaning, in a more culturally significant way about 10 years later, to include the whole individual and the growth of humanity-as-a-whole.

Over the last 80 years there has been a slow transition from a basic understanding of holism to a more refined humanistic approach which added needed elements to bring the meaning beyond the biological, material, and psychological. Holistic thinking and concepts understand the specific parts of a system to be all interrelated. The part can not fully be understood independent of the whole system. This is a corner stone philosophy of Seattle Astrology.

Holistic Thinking Moves into the 21 Century

A holistic approach looks at the parts within a whole as intimate interconnection, such that they cannot exist independently of the whole, or cannot be understood without reference to the whole, which is thus regarded as greater than the sum of its parts. 

Astrology mainly deals with the central problems of human existence. The most basic of these problems are the inherent meaning of the relationship humankind has with the universe in which we are a part. This relationship is holistic by its very nature.

Astrology and the Idea of Holistic Thinking

Astrology's response to the most primordial and universal of human experience is that of the sky. The sky has two distinct aspects, the day sky and the night sky. 
Thus, a waking consciousness and sleep, light and darkness.  Astrology then interprets this experience of the sky. However, there are two separate ways to interpret this sky experience.

1. The symbolic way, is to see whole sky, both day and night, and the ordered movement of the Sun, Moon, and planets as a revelation of the order of man's nature and a cosmic order outside of man.

2. The empirical way, seeks to formulate systematic correlations between periodic events and the positions of interrelatedness of the celestial bodies. 

Astronomers give us a new perspective of our solar system that archaic astrologers didn't have available to them. In times past, the dualism involving the sky and earth was seen only as "above and below." The perspective of a planet in a solar system within the Milky Way galaxy, situated in a universe containing billions of galaxies was beyond their capacity. This basic dualism of above and below is today being challenged along with old ideas of the duality of good and evil. as the foundation for the familiar animal and angel fight for dominion within the human soul. The dualism of body and soul, has been moving in the direction of a more complex concept of levels or 'planes' of being — of consciousness and activity. This type of concept is the foundation for a new astrology based on holistic thinking. 

What Then is Meant by this New Foundation of Holistic Astrology?

Signs and symbols are produced in order to answer human needs. But there are various kinds of needs. Within the holistic concepts of astrology these needs fall into a hierarchy of functions rather than of only basic needs. This is an important fact to recognize that human beings can operate at several levels of activity and in terms of a consciousness whose scope and power of mental association and abstraction increases at each successive level or functional hierarchy. The entirety of these levels are holistically viewed as a whole and their classification is only a meager attempt at a deeper understanding of their relatedness. 


The Biological Level


Starting with physical organisms, as bodies, all human begin to operate at the biological level. They act and react within this first level of functioning in order to satisfy a few basic organic functions (food assimilation, adaptation to changing temperatures and existential situations, self-reproduction, and self-protection) of which security is certainly primary. Each of these fundamental functions has what we might call a psychic overtone manifesting as drives, emotions, and an overall sense of being a particular organism whose characteristics differentiate it from other human organisms. Synthesizing, as it were, all the basic biological needs is the basic need for security, not only as a particular person, but more deeply still as a member of the human species — for, at the biological level, the preservation and expansion, and hence "security" of the species as a whole functions at a very deep level.


The Sociocultural Level


On the basis of the need for security, human beings find in themselves the urge to come together and to unite their strength against animals, nature, or threatening forces. This coming together is not merely according to biological origins (the family grouping), but exist beyond or outside of the deep organic and psychic bondage of the strictly biological types of relationships. When this level of cooperation is reached it functions at the second level, the sociocultural level. No human being should be called a "person" unless he or she has become a functional participant in a social collectivity. Culture establishes itself within the collective psyche of a community as a power that controls the basic emotional responses to everyday living and the collective mentality (primitive and instinctual, or more formally developed as it may be) of all the human beings born within the social organism and subjected throughout their growth to the religious beliefs, taboos, and mental assumptions of the community, clan, or tribe. 


The Individualistic Level


When a human being, having become a sociocultural person, is actually able to operate, consciously and emotionally, as a truly autonomous individual regardless of sex, color, race, class, or religion, a new needs take form in this individual's consciousness; and they have to meet life at an individual level. These needs are particular to each individual — yet, they take specific kinds of forms for various groups of individuals. While all these individuals are trying in some manner to assert their individuality within the particular culture in which they were born and educated, they also have to assert themselves against the rules, taboos, and mental assumptions of that culture. Within these individuals (or sometimes, individuals-in-the-making), primordial biological drives and "conditioned" sociocultural attitudes are still operative. This type of "programming" is usually operating in a deep, or partially unconscious level, and often a unrecognized type of bondage to the generic human biological or drives, and the more specialized sociocultural or religious levels, of existence are experienced. Conflicts as a result arise, which are often highly destructive or at least confusing if not bewildering. The individualistic level of consciousness and activity is the third basic level at which human beings can operate. This level has also its own specific needs, the fulfillment of which requires the use of a new type of symbols — or a new type of interpretation of old biological imagery and cultural-religious myths.


The Transpersonal Level


On the foundation represented by the individual level, a fourth level is possible —  the transpersonal level. The transpersonal is dealing with states or areas of consciousness beyond the limits of personal and individual identity. It implies a "descent" of power that meets, as it were, the aspirations or "ascent" of the human person who, having concentrated a long series of efforts toward the goal of actually becoming a free and autonomous individual. Eager to stress his or her uniqueness and originality, they have found these efforts leading to serious crises of belief and identity. During such crises, many confusing experiences and perhaps unclear revelations may take place — new feelings the individual could not account for, new visions and yearnings to merge with some mysterious subliminal reality, a new sense of "belonging". On these foundations, a transpersonal kind of living may be built, not actually to "solve" personal problems, but to transcend them by illumining the process that produces them, and what is still more important, by suggesting how they can used in terms of a new kind of purpose  — a purpose that transcend the individual.


Holistic Thinking Implies a Multilevel Approach to Astrology


To many people, astrology now appears as a significant and inspiring means of interpreting what is happening to them and indicating what can be expected to happen personally and or collectively to them. This "multi"-level approach to astrology is foundational from a holistic point of view because it can foster a sense of ordered and purposeful change, as well as a meaningful process of unfoldment. Change and process in this sense is holistic when considering themselves as part of a fundamental relationship, not only with the entire solar system as a whole, but also the entirety of their whole person through time. Not only within a functional hierarchy, but from the stand point of a persons entire lifetime a whole.