When I was in college I took a class in Greek and Roman mythology to satisfy a general education requirement. In short time I grew to appreciate the class, and looked forward to the weekly lectures and discussion groups. Since I was a science major, I did not pursue my new found interest, but instead concentrated on courses in math, physics, chemistry, biology and ecology.
In my science classes I learned how the various disciplines sought to describe and understand the workings of the physical universe. Science is mostly concerned with that which is external, or apart from us. It tends to separate us, the observer, from that which is observed. Science relies on information or data gathered and filtered through our five senses, albeit with the help of technology. It is concerned with the material world. It is literal, verifiable, and “real.”
In contrast, mythology describes our inner motivations and workings: the human psyche. It seeks a deeper understanding of our place in the universe and the human condition we collectively share. It is symbolic. Its rich multifaceted imagery is fluid and adaptable. Myths change with the times because their content reflects the people who live and pass along their stories. As such, mythology is not static, quantifiable or well defined.
Decades later I am once again exploring mythology, this time through astrology. Astrology is a multidimensional model of ourselves, reflected by the external universe. The ancient adage “As above, so below” has been updated to “As without, so within.” This refers to the connections and synchronicity between our outer and inner worlds. Astrology is also a language, full of symbols, color, tones and intensities, with subtle and not so subtle layers of meaning. We can use this language to talk about or describe ourselves, our world, and our experiences.
All the archetypes we encounter in mythology come out of astrology. The mythical figures we read about, or hear about, are archetypes symbolized by the planets, luminaries and signs in astrology. They represent the archetypal forces that drive us, influencing our unconscious motivations, cognitive processes, and behaviors. They are described through the language of astrology. Valerie Vaughan in her book Astro-Mythology, the Celestial Union of Astrology and Myth recounts some of the myriad ways the language and symbolism of astrology are embedded in our culture, including our calendars, colloquialisms, and the Greek and Latin roots of our words.
If you would like to learn the language of astrology, contact me about my Beginning Karmic Astrology Class. This one year course introduces you to the philosophic foundations of karmic astrology while you learn the symbolic meaning and interpretation of the signs, houses and planets that comprise an astrological chart. Classes begin January 2014 in Corvallis. Email me for more information!