WORKSHOP SERIES INTO IN-DEPTH ASTROLOGY
Since 1986 Astro*Synthesis has presented an in-depth seminar series into all levels of astrology. Over the past years we have presented and sponsored a variety of seminars, workshops and conferences; following is only a brief listing of some of these workshops.
From 2012 Astro*Synthesis will no longer have a regular schedule of seminars but from time to time will offer specialised seminars with Brian Clark, Glennys Lawton or one of our many international guest astrologers.
PSYCHE AND SOMA:
The Psychology and Physiology of the Four Elements
The four elements of fire, earth, air and water are the foundation of the zodiac. They correspond to the four humours in ancient medical tradition, the four temperaments of Plato; to the alchemists they were the four stages of the alchemical process, and in this century they inspired the four psychological types of Carl Jung. These elements are inherent in nature, both in body and in psyche. During the first half of the seminar we will explore the psychology and astrology of the four elements. In the second half the physiological correlation of the four elements to the physical body will be covered.
THE MYTHOLOGY OF THE ZODIAC
The Western zodiac was inspired by the twelve constellations that cluster around the ecliptic. The names of the signs, as we know them today evolved during the late classical period onward inspired by the mythological cycle of heroes and dynasties. Symbols and images from these stories became the zodiac. These myths underpin the meaning of the signs, and as we study these myths our comprehension of both elements and signs is enhanced. Exploration of the zodiacal signs from their mythological roots allows a broader and more dynamic understanding of the twelve signs, and therefore the twelve houses.
PERSONAL PLANETARY ARCHETYPES:
The Inner Planets
The luminaries and the inner planets are archetypal representations of the development of character and our personal fate. They symbolise individuality and trace the development from the dependency of the child through to the independence of the young adult. These are powerful symbols that shape our formative years and the template that underpins our individuality. In the first half of the workshop we will explore the dynamics of the Sun and Moon which will lead into the afternoon session exploring the inner planets, Mercury, Venus and Mars.
CHIRON AND THE WOUND OF INITIATION
The understanding of Chiron has gradually evolved since its discovery in 1977. During this period Chiron has been reclassified several times as astronomers attempt to understand its role in the solar system. Similarly the astrological understanding of Chiron has evolved. In this seminar we will address the continuing discovery of Chiron and its meaning in our lives. Mythically Chiron was the mentor to the solar heroes and in this seminar we will also examine the process of the initiatory wound that leads us into the rites of passage, symbolised by the outer planets.
BEYOND THE PERSONAL:
The Initiations of Chiron and the Outer Planets
Chiron and the outer planets represent potent energies, larger than the individual themselves, which symbolise the archetypal process of individuation. In this capacity they are energies that initiate us into a greater understanding of ourselves and our role in the world. Beginning with Chiron, the mythic mentor and healer, we will examine the wound of individuation, then the rites of passage symbolised by the outer planets: Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. The workshop will examine the myths of these planets & their archetypal and astrological meaning.
ASTROLOGICAL SOUL MATES:
The Houses of Relationship and the Houses of Endings
The houses of relationship describe the arenas of life where we forge the equal relationships of our lives, from the sibling in the 3rd house through to our life partner of the 7th and friends in the 11th. The houses of endings or soul are the 4th, 8th and 12th houses, which portray the powerful imprints of family life, commencing with the family of origin in the 4th, followed by the intimate others of the 8th and finally in the 12th we meet the divine other. We will explore the dynamics of these houses and their influences on our adult patterns and perceptions of relationship.
THE HOUSES OF HEALTH AND THE HOUSES OF WELL BEING
Traditionally the sixth house was the house of ‘physical’ health while the twelfth house was a house of ‘undoing’ or mental health. In contemporary astrology we see this axis as the axis of health and well being. Along with the first house and other astrological statements these houses represent a key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a balanced sense of self. Today we will examine these houses and relevant horoscopic aspects as a means to regulating our sense of well being. Both psychological and medicinal remedies will be examined in the light of the astrological significators of a horoscope.
SPIRIT AND MATTER:
The Houses of Life and The Houses of Substance
The fire houses of the horoscope are the ‘houses of life’, symbolic of physical, emotional and psychological territory where new life emerges. These houses are the first house of the birth of self, the fifth house where the hero emerges from the familial terrain into the world and the ninth house where spiritual life is conceived and born. The following trinity of houses is the ‘houses of substance’. In these three houses, 2, 6 and 10, we forge our place in the world discovering our sense of worth and value, work and ultimate vocation. Throughout the process of the workshop we will address how the horoscope helps examine the places of spirit, vitality and satisfaction we encounter in the course of our lives.
Planetary aspects are the vital, kinetic dialogues between planetary archetypes. The more challenging aspects describe potent themes that recur in an individual’s life, often demanding a conscious reconciliation between conflicting aspects of the self. We will examine planetary aspects and the most productive ways to utilise their energies. Experiential processes will also be used to stimulate our understanding of how major aspects may inform our lives.
SIMPLE CHART CALCULATION
This workshop will concentrate on the calculation of sidereal time and the calculation and presentation of the angles, house cusps and planets of the horoscope.
THE LUNAR NODES:
The Lunar nodes are the two points of intersection between the ecliptic and Moon’s orbit. These points are also known as the dragon’s head and dragon’s tail representing two points where spirit incarnates into matter, therefore potent images of our spiritual direction. The first half of the workshop explores the nodes in the natal horoscope. In the second half the nodal cycle through the zodiac and the horoscope will be examined. Here is the image of the uroborous: the dragon that swallows its own tail, creating the nodal events or defining points in our lives. Eclipses are part of this cycle and will be explored with the nodes.
THE TRANSITS OF CHIRON AND THE OUTER PLANETS
The transits of Chiron and the outer planets often describe crossroads or a paradigm shift in an individual’s consciousness. In this seminar we will examine the transits of the outer planets: what is being demanded of us as well as the most effective way to handle the change.
THE ASTROLOGICAL LIFE CYCLE
The earliest astrological records reveal the ancients revered the order inherent within the cycle of the planets. This respect for the celestial order gave rise to the study of cyclical movements of the planets and the urge to try to live in accordance with the natural rhythm that the sky eloquently maps out. During the workshop we will explore the concept, meaning and wisdom of the astrological cycle as well as how to work imaginatively and effectively with these cycles. We will explore the specific astrological cycles that represent the stages and passages of the life cycle looking at the powerful transitions of life, initiation and liminality.
ASTROLOGICAL MID-LIFE AND DREAMS
The astrological mid-life charts a period of immense change heralding the initiation into the second half of life. We will explore the powerful planetary patterns that constitute this time and follow a dream series that will help amplify the initiatory significance of the mid-life passage. The initiatory stages of separation, liminality and return will be illustrated to deepen the understanding of the mid-life transition.
PLANETARY CYCLES AND RETURNS
Each planetary cycle has a unique timing. Its cycle symbolises the evolving relationship the individual has with this archetype. In this workshop we will first examine the nature, symbolism and timing of planetary cycles as well as how to work with each one. Then we will amplify the cycle of each planet and explore both its retrograde and direct cycle and its meaning in human awareness. In the second half of the workshop we will address the nature of planetary returns with special emphasis on the returns of Jupiter, Saturn and Chiron.
AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT SECONDARY PROGRESSIONS
Secondary progressions seem to be an important tool left unused by many astrologers. The intention of this workshop will be to infuse the technique of secondary progressions with deeper insights from an archetypal perspective using myth and psychology.
IN SEARCH OF A FULFILLING CAREER:
A vocational analysis of the horoscope includes an examination of various astrological symbols and patterns. This includes the trinity of houses 2, 6 & 10, the ‘houses of substance’, where we forge our place in the world, discovering our sense of worth and value, work and ultimate vocation. Throughout the workshop we will address these and many other vocational factors inherent in the horoscope, which direct us towards a fulfilling career path.
The Four Asteroids Ceres, Vesta, Pallas and Juno
The first asteroid was discovered in 1801 but the first astrological ephemeris of the asteroids was not published until over a century and a half later. The understanding of the four asteroids examined in this workshop paralleled the emergent feminine consciousness of the twentieth century. These four asteroids symbolise powerful aspects of feminine archetypes that add to the wholeness of the horoscope. We will explore the phenomena of the asteroids in general concentrating on the four first asteroids discovered, whose traditions began with the great Greek Olympian goddesses of Demeter, Hestia, Athene and Hera.
THE BLACK MOON LILITH
Mythology tells us that Lilith was Adam’s first partner but she refused to submit to his authority, preferring banishment in barren wastelands to a life of repression and domination. Her story reflects exile and repression of the Great Goddess as well as the destructive consequences of the feminine principle. During the day the mythology and astrology of the Black Moon Lilith will be explored. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on the position of the Black Moon in their charts as well as what the reawakening of the Great Goddess may mean on both a personal and a collective level.
The influence of the asteroids in the life schema
In this workshop we will explore the value of using the asteroids in astrological delineation and for self discovery. An overview of the pantheon of asteroids will be presented, their discovery and history will be explored as well as ways to use them effectively for astrological insights and revelation.
The Power of the Feminine Asteroids
The first four asteroids discovered were named for female Olympians, powerful archetypes that were easily integrated into astrological practice. But what about the other remaining powerful goddesses? In this workshop we will explore an overview of the asteroids who celebrate the goddess. We will explore in depth the six asteroids that were discovered after Vesta, namely Astraea, Hebe, Iris, Flora, Metis and Hygiea.
THE FAMILY CONSTELLATION:
Ancestors, Parents, and Siblings
Innate in every horoscope is images of parents, siblings and the family of origin. Within the atmosphere of the family experience the horoscope is shaped, influencing the way we will respond to our planetary placements and aspects. The first half of the workshop will explore parental and familial relationships, the spheres of the horoscope that contain these images, as well
as their impact upon our development. The second half of the workshop explores sibling dynamics and its influence on our adult relationships.
THE ASTROLOGY OF THE FAMILY ATMOSPHERE
In this workshop we begin to explore the astrological indications of the family atmosphere, the legacy of the ancestors, the parental influences as well as the sibling stories which have shaped the level of safety we feel in the world. We will explore the dynamic imprint that the family of origin exerts on psychological and emotional patterns, which recur in our adulthood.
PATTERNS AND PROJECTIONS IN RELATIONSHIPS
People and situations that reflect aspects of our own personality embody our projected energies. These aspects are generally parts of the personality we are not aware of or have difficulty expressing. In this workshop we will explore how to recognize possible projection patterns and the reason for their existence. Awareness techniques for transforming projections that are problematic or destructive will be explored. We will introduce the aspect of resonance, which occurs in projections, and how to find this in chart comparison. We will use examples from daily life and relationships.
THE DYNAMICS OF THE PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP
The horoscope of a child is a ‘lifelong transit’ to the parents’ chart. To articulate the dynamics of the parent-child relationship is one of the more challenging tasks in astrology. First we need to understand how to describe the child’s needs and their behavioral patterns in accordance with their own birth chart. Secondly we need to know about the possible projections that the parents place on the child, and thirdly we must consider the activated astrological energies through synastry. Combining all these different aspects gives us insights about possible parent child dynamics. We will use examples from the audience. Bring the charts (on transparencies).
FATE AND DISEASE:
When illness is divine
Before ‘rational’ medicine, illness and healing were believed to be the will of the gods. Such an archaic construct seems exceedingly outdated in the atmosphere of modern medicine. Yet morality and disease are intimately entwined and as astrologers we are often asked about the mystery of disease and healing. This workshop explores the relationship between fate, astrology and illness.
PASSAGES AND PHASES:
Understanding the Lunation Cycle
Dane Rudhyar, the father of humanistic astrology, recognised eight distinct phases of the 29.5-day lunation cycle. Each phase not only characterized a specific temperament but also symbolised a phase of development. This cycle also became a metaphor of the process of other dual planetary cycles. In this workshop we will explore the uses and meanings of this powerful cycle in both the natal and progressed horoscope.
CYCLES OF INITIATION:
Saturn and The Progressed Moon
Both the cycles of Saturn and the Progressed Moon trisect the life cycle. Saturn’s cycle defines three distinct phases of the life cycle, circumventing the horoscope nearly three times in an average life span. Like the matrilineal trinity of the Moon, the Progressed Moon reflects three separate passages of the life cycle as well as characterizing the emotional development of the individual. Both cycles also mark out changes in the family life cycle. During the workshop we will explore both the meaning of these cycles in the context of the individual’s chart as well as in terms of the life cycle.
Delineating the Horoscope
This seminar will address the task of beginning to use the horoscope as a tool of revelation, insight and counselling. Approaches to delineation and synthesis of the horoscope will be discussed as well as the most effective and fulfilling ways to utilise the symbols of astrology.
The Stages of the Progressed Moon and the Progressed Lunation Cycle
Both the cycles of the Progressed Moon and the Progressed Lunation Cycle trisect the life. Like the matrilineal trinity of the Moon, the Progressed Moon reflects three separate passages of the life cycle characterising the individual’s emotional development. The Progressed Lunation Cycle marks out the phases of our life. During the workshop we will explore both the meaning of these cycles in the context of the individual’s chart as well as in terms of the life cycle.
FAMILIAL THREADS AND PATTERNS
We will begin the workshop exploring the major milestones in the family life cycle, which are also reflected in astrological and psychological developmental stages. We will work with the genogram to help visualize the family tree, its invisible root system and the complexity of its branches. With the addition of the astrological significators that repeat through the generations, functional and dysfunctional patterns carried by its members can be clearly identified.
THE FAMILY LIFE CYCLE:
Phases and Patterns of Family Life
How do transitions such as adolescence and mid life affect the individual and the family? We will explore the astrological patterns and themes, which are evident at times of crisis and transition in the family, which in turn affects the destiny of the individual. As part of this exploration we will examine the profound experience of leaving home and how the theme of unfinished business with the family reemerges at other life transitions and how the horoscope can help illuminate this pattern.
THE FATE OF THE FAMILY
Family is fate and in this session we will explore the profound patterns which recur through familial lines which we are fated to repeat and called upon to redeem. As part of this presentation we will draw on ways to use the family stories, images and patterns in our astrological work.
ATTACHMENT AND LOSS
Identity, as we know it, has two components: a sense of belonging and a sense of being separate. This workshop will explore the concepts of attachment and the connection between infant/parent bonding and our life experiences of loss. During the workshop we will examine different attachment styles and how this may be reflected in the natal chart.
Its Impact and Process
The crisis of bereavement precipitates changes in the lives of all who are impacted by the loss. We will focus on understanding the effects of loss on families and their members. The stages of grief will be explored, as well as ways in which we may best assist grieving individuals and their families.
Working with the Composite Chart
When two charts have been thoroughly analyzed and compared, a third chart can be created. This is known as the composite chart (or the relationship chart) which attempts to delineate energies of the relationship itself, when the two individuals become one entity and act out of a shared space. In this workshop we will explore the alchemy of the composite chart and the process that leads to its creation.
THE HOROSCOPE AND THE CLIENT:
Supervision and Professional Development
This workshop will focus on the benefit of supervision for both training and practicing astrologers. Many practitioners ‘grew up’ with astrology without experiencing the benefit of in-built supervision as an essential component of a training program. Adequate supervision allows access to a relevant knowledge base, identifying strengths and weaknesses and areas in need of attention. This workshop explores the purpose, functions and process of supervision, focusing on issues pertaining to self-awareness, transference and counter transference, including induced reactions, looked at through the unique lens of the astrological model. This workshop is for anyone interested in furthering his or her professional development, whether in private astrological practice or not.
The Astrology of the Collective
Mundane astrology is a vast study that encompasses many differing areas that concern the affairs of humankind. In this workshop we will concentrate on the horoscope of nations and specific places to help understand the collective psyche of nations and their people. We will address certain planetary cycles and ingresses that are important defining points in the development of the collective and in ascertaining trends and patterns arising out of the collective. An introduction to mundane astrology will be part of this presentation.
CYCLES AND THE SOLAR RETURN CHART:
A solar return horoscope is not static; it is dynamic and kinetic as each planet in the solar return has it own individual cycle. Solar return charts of a lifetime and how each is a snapshot of the unfolding of the individual’s character and personality will be studied. In this workshop we will study each planet’s unique cycle in the solar return.
THE ASTROLOGY OF RELOCATION:
The natal horoscope is derived from the fixed time of birth and the place of birth which may be altered through emigration or relocation. In this workshop we will explore the astrological techniques that relocate a horoscope and the information that can be gleaned from these horoscopes. As well we will look at the concept of local space and geographical influence.
WHEN A RELATIONSHIP ENDS but LIFE GOES ON:
Grievances of the heart
How might the horoscope help us to understand how life might go on after the loss of someone we love, whether due to death, divorce or love unrequited? In this seminar we will consider not only the astrological indications of loss and life, but resources and ways to deal with the grief and grievances of the heart when a loved one slips away.
Soul, Dreams and Healing
A residential weekend expedition into the soulful terrain of astrology, myths & dreams
The theme of Chiron will be our guide for this explorative weekend into the mythic terrain of astrology, dreams and healing. We invite you to join us on this healing journey using the rich imaginative language of astrology and mythic narratives along with the personal voice of our dreams.
PARENTING the CHILD and CHILDING the PARENT:
From both sides now
A horoscope is a wonderful lens through which we can view the way we perceived our parents. It also suggests how we might parent. In this seminar we will consider these two sides of the coin as well as how we might be judged through the eyes of another.
THE SYMMETRY of the SPHERES:
Planetary patterning and pairing
From an ancient perspective the longest dual planet cycle was the rhythmic Jupiter-Saturn cycle of one score, twenty years known as the Great Chronocrators. Yet since the discovery of the outer planets there are many more arrangements of planetary pair cycles and amazingly these cycles have awesome symmetry and symbolism. In this seminar we will study the 10 pairings of these planets or synods, their collective and personal impact, as well as their remarkable repetitive patterns.
THE ABSENCE of PRESENCE:
Interceptions and other voids in the horoscope
What is missing may be as potent as what is observable in the horoscope. In this seminar we will concentrate on what is 'missing' especially concentrating on the occurrence of intercepted signs when using unequal houses and the astrological significance of the phenomenon of planets turning retrograde.