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Cosmos and Psyche: Jungian Archetypes and Astrology
April 13, 2007 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm PDT
Jung began to examine astrology as early as 1911, when he mentioned his inquiries in a letter to Freud. That interest gradually developed into a major focus of investigation, and in his later years Jung devoted himself with considerable passion to astrological research. “Astrology,” he stated, “represents the sum of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity.” Insights from these studies influenced many of his most significant formulations in the final, extraordinarily fruitful phase of his life’s work, including archetypal theory, synchronicity, and the philosophy of history. Since his death, reports from his family and others close to him have revealed that in his last decades Jung came to employ the analysis of his patients’ astrological charts as a regular and integral aspect of his clinical work.
Yet astrology runs so directly counter to the long-established cosmology that encompasses the modern world view that one can appreciate Jung’s reluctance to make public the extent of his use of astrology, and the resistance of many Jungian analysts to further explore the astrological direction their founder had pursued. However, recent research by Richard Tarnas and Stanislav Grof gives new support for Jung’s intuition of the value of astrology and of the trans-psychic (or “psychoid”) nature of the archetypes. These observations suggest the existence of an extraordinarily consistent synchronistic correspondence between planetary movements and the archetypal patterns of human experience, reflecting something like a cosmic anima mundi in which the human being participates.
On Friday, Dr. Tarnas will summarize this evidence, discuss the new light it sheds on the human psyche and the unfolding drama of history, and explore the implications it holds for Jungian psychology.
Related Workshop: Cosmos and Psyche: Jungian Archetypes and Astrology
Richard Tarnas, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology and cultural history at the California Institute of Integral Studies, where he founded the graduate program in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. He is the author of The Passion of the Western Mind, a history of the Western world view from the ancient Greek to the postmodern widely used in universities. His second book, Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View, received the Book of the Year Prize from the Scientific and Medical Network, and is the basis for the upcoming documentary film Changing of the Gods.