Astrology is so much more than a predictive and prescriptive typology. It is a soulful and evocative tradition that engages us in both rational and imaginal ways of knowing. As a practice involving the archetypal world of ideas, images and symbols, it places the practitioner in between the event and the soul’s experience, as the one who can see through the literal to the symbolic. Each horoscope is an invitation to consider the gods that live through us and the archetypal powers that pave our path of life. And since astrology is intimately involved with the heavens, it will always be intimately involved with the divine. In this way astrology is divinatory, as it concerns the will of the gods and inspires a knowledge that is beyond our rational control and often outside our own understanding.
The Artistry of Astrology is a meditation on astrological practice and an invitation to return imagination to the heavens.
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Praise for Soul, Symbol and Imagination – The Artistry of Astrology
There are few contemporary astrologers who can match Brian Clark’s range and depth of experience as professional consultant and as teacher, and this work is a precious distillation of his life-vocation. This is not a how-to manual, although the innovative use of dream-work is certain to inspire a new generation of teachers, while the case studies are insightful and moving. The light of astrological imagination is traced through thought-provoking allusions and references to myth, archetypes and poetry. Brian Clark plumbs the creative depth of the mystery within the art of astrology, which is the mystery of Symbol and Soul.
– Geoffrey Cornelius, author of The Moment of Astrology
My friend, Brian Clark, has written the best book on astrology that I have ever read. He shows himself a deep master of this quiet and enchanting art. Astrology’s value is hidden to the modern mind, but if you can grant yourself the favor of leaving that hard world behind and open to a realm of love and magic, you will be rewarded beyond imagining by reading this book. It now goes on my special shelf of books to live by.
– Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul
It is deeply meditative, placing his understanding, appreciation and evocation of soul, symbol, and imagination at the very core of his reflections on the teaching and practice of the art of astrology. He nails his colours to the mast early on: “Without the inquiry into soul, astrological symbols remain fixed in literality, facts rather than images, interpretations rather than revelations…”(p. 16)
Its effect on this reader was to slow me down, make me reflective, read the book one topic per day. This allowed the time for thoughts, feelings, experiences, and perspectives on my long relationship with the teaching and practice of astrology to be evoked in response to Brian Clark’s fine writing. He provides many moving examples of his work with both clients and students to illustrate his narrative.
Although it is primarily aimed at astrologers and students of astrology, I would also recommend Soul, Symbol and Imagination to anyone for whom considerations of the soul and the intangible, mysterious, mythical and magical dimensions of life are of nurturing significance in their lives. Reductionism has far too strong a hold on our culture at the present time. Hopefully, though, we are already seeing a younger generation emerging whose minds are more open to the realms into which Brian Clark leads us in this beautiful, soulful book. I will certainly be recommending it highly to my colleagues and students.
– Anne Whitaker, The Astrological Journal, Jan/Feb 2020
Soul, Symbol and Imagination: The Artistry of Astrology is a moving account of the realms he has accessed with clients over many decades. There is barely a mention of technique or measurements, but his deep respect for the “profundity of the art” guides his beautiful narrative so that “a connection to soul” can be acknowledged and valued in the reader’s own astrological work. The book – laced with the author’s broad knowledge of myth, archetypes, and literature – has chapters on Imagination, Symbol, Time, Metaphor, Night, Creativity, Symptom, Fate, death, Myth, Vocation, Place and Dream.
In discussing the power of symbol, Clark articulates their “poetic, ironic, and ambiguous” qualities: “Being illogical, mysterious and contradictory, symbols are naturally paradoxical”. He talks about engaging the client in the symbolic process and mentions that some of his early experiences in consultations, … “before I had any formal counselling training” were profoundly instructive to his understanding – a clue, I think, to the sincerity of his approach.
– Mary Plumb, The Mountain Astrologer, Feb/March 2020
Each chapter is a treasure trove of insight, bringing this ancient art to light in a way that is accessible to all who yearn for a more meaningful life. Brian’s description of astrology from its earliest beginnings as it emerged from the collective imagination, is both eloquent in its clarity and evocative of its mystery. In his book Brian speaks to this spiritual dimension of astrology as a means to commune with Soul in our journey towards greater awareness of our spiritual essence. Connecting with astrology on this level, one cannot help but be transformed through it.
Soul, Symbol and Imagination: The Artistry of Astrology is an Odyssey deep into the heart of astrology. Anyone who embarks on this journey and trusts where it is leading, will never view astrology in the same light again. It will open doors into the world of the Night, revealing astrology as a language of the soul with the power not only to inform, but to transform. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever gazed up at the night sky and stood in awe at the vast canopy of stars that embrace us, and who wishes to enrich their understanding of astrology as an art bequeathed to us by the stars.
– Jenny Rigos, FAA Journal, June 2020
In Soul, Symbol and Imagination Brian Clark shows the inestimable riches that lie in the intersection of astrology and depth psychology. Like jewels waiting to catch the light, each theme he treats reveals the value of the creative imagination in the art of astrology. Steeped in myths and metaphors, this book shows the depth of his craft and the fertile fields of his imagination. This is a book I will return to often so to discover a new gem.
– Safron Rossi, editor of Jung on Astrology
Soul, Symbol, and Imagination is a rare offering in the world of astrology, reflective and thoughtful, full of the kind of wisdom that accumulates over years of immersion in myth and imagination alongside patient and empathic relating to human beings and their dilemmas and difficulties. Each chapter explores a symbol or theme, to which Brian brings to bear rich stories and images that allow the symbol to lead us into encounter with soul. By turns moving, humorous, and wise, this book returns us again and again to the reservoir of imagination that continuously feeds and refreshes our art. It is my first recommendation to anyone who wants to practice a humane, relational, imaginative form of astrology.
– Jason Holley,Psychotherapist and Astrologer
When one is willing to dive deeply, the treasures to be found in astrology are vast, yet easily resist language that would do them proper justice. Nonetheless, this art that we are so privileged to practice at this time in history needs voices that reverence the soul poetically while providing both mythic and quotidian guidance for its incarnational trajectory. The subtitle for Brian Clark’s Soul, Symbol and Imagination is The Artistry of Astrology, and the author is an artist at the core of his being. There’s an eloquent, grace-full alchemist in his bones, and that comes through in this deep and magnificent contribution to the field.
– Hadley Fitzgerald, co-author of Images of Soul: Reimagining Astrology
This book is an immense achievement, a uniquely contemplative, evocative and mature exposition of the embodied and ensouled practice of astrology. Beautifully written and crafted, Brian writes from the depth of his own experience, amply demonstrating the mystery, magic and power of the psychic encounter which can occur in astrological work, when the imagination is released and the archetypal myths come alive.
– Clare Martin, author of Alchemy the Soul of Astrology
Brian Clark’s book Soul, Symbol and Imagination is a must read for any modern astrologer. The book is brimming over with lucid, inspiring insights grounded in a kind of depth and wisdom which can only be attained after a lifetime of rich engagement and reflection. Clark is sharing this finely-honed gift with us as he ruminates mindfully on the big topics that infuse our work as astrologers: time, symbol, imagination, fate and many more. If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself underlining passage after passage to return to and reflect on for years to come.