Psychological terms within
the study of Astrology:
- Archetypes :
Patterns of emotional and mental behavior in people. These are inherited
patterns, common to all of us, everywhere, from the dawn of civilization
until today. They are primordial unconscious elements in the psyche.
Also known as instinctual patterns of behavior, or race memory. Examples
would be the need to find meaning in something greater than ourselves,
the urge to nurture, to mate, to create, to organize, to lead, to
be self sufficient.
: The Ego or personality with
which we normally identify. The quality of being aware of what is
happening around us and responding in kind.
- Constructive :
As used here, it means helpful toward the development of a balanced
and harmonious nature and collaboration between the person and his
- Destructive :
As used here, it means a tendency to produce disharmony and
friction in the nature, and between the person and his environment.
- Ego :
The conscious part of the psyche with which we normally identify;
the personality. Using the standard analogy of the iceberg, Ego would
be that part of an iceberg visible above the water line, projecting
into consciousness and identified as the personality. The unconscious
is represented by the huge mass that is beneath the waterline and
- Inferior function :
Opposite of the Superior Function, the least developed of the four
functions; Thinking – Mercury, Intuition
– Neptune, Sensation – Mars
and Feeling – Venus (see Superior function),
and believed to lie totally in the unconscious and outside of the
workings of our will. This process is completely separate from our
conscious actions, and expresses itself in dreams and fantasies. It
portrays instinctive, primitive and archaic characteristics. Again
the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde syndrome, connected to the Shadow or personal
Libido : As Carl Jung used the term,
it means psychic energy. A counterpart to physical energy with as much
diversity. It is the creative principle of life which animates all conscious
expression. Further defined as an intensity of the psychic processes
operating through psychological effects.
: The face or public mask,
we present to the world. The lens through which we project our personality
and carry on our daily activities. How we wish to be perceived and
how we are perceived. It is an outer attitude developed specifically
for relating to and dealing with our environment. People identify
themselves by their persona. The persona is the role or roles one
acts out, but what one actually is not. For instance, a person who
dances, believes he is a dancer, acts out the role of a dancer, and
sees no identity for himself outside of dance. The danger is to live
out ones life in the persona totally, and never to integrate the persona
into the self. Persona is astrologically represented by the Ascendant.
Personality : The Ego. It is the
conscious core of perceptions, attitudes, habits, fears, likes and dislikes
that we have acquired from birth, the basis of our persona. Conditioned
by the environment we are born into, we reflect that environment in
our personality. We learn from, interpret, integrate, and are a product
of our cultural, social and home environment. Of course, this is mitigated
through the undeveloped self that we come into this world as. Astrologically
personality is symbolized by the Moon.
Psyche : Term describes the conscious
and unconscious parts of the person. Considered a dynamic system, in
constant motion and governed by its own laws. Astrologically, the psyche
is represented by the whole, integrated and synthesized chart pattern.
Self : The essence of a person.
The essential being and developing aspects. The central point within
the psyche to which every part is related. It manifests as a compulsion
to become what one potentially is. The basic potential when developed
and integrated into the person, becomes actualized, and unifies the
life. In astrology the circle is the symbol for the self, represented
by the Sun.
Self Actualization : The fulfillment
of the self through our efforts in developing our potential, the essence
we are born with, and the acceptance of our limitations. Our life purpose
unfolded, integrated into the self and lived.
Shadow : Resides in the personal
Unconscious, wherein are contained the complexes resulting from repressed
desires and emotions. According to Carl Jung, the Shadow is the inferior
part of ourselves, the part that contains all of those things we want
to do, but do not allow ourselves liberty to do. It is the basis for
the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde complex. It represents a primitive part
of our nature, the uncivilized and uncontrolled part, the guilt ridden
part that we are ashamed of, and all that we do not want to admit about
ourselves. The Shadow surfaces in situations where we feel possessed
by an intense emotion, an uncontrollable rage, or commit an act for
which later we are terribly ashamed. Anytime you have said "I don't
know what came over me"; "I was not myself" you have witnessed the Shadow
side of yourself. Astrologically, it is Pluto who appears to correspond
with Shadow tendencies, in that is is necessary to uncover and release
these subsurface complexes in order to begin anew.
: Carl Jung's Anima and Animus. Refers to an inner personality,
the complement of the outer Personality and Persona, functioning as
a mediator between the Ego and the inner world. Anima is the masculine
soul and represents the feminine nature within; Animus is the feminine
soul, and represents the masculine nature within. These are prominent
Archetypes which are the foundation stones of the entire Psyche, filtering
the contents of the collective unconscious, allowing them to pass through
to the conscious mind. The Soul links the unconscious to the conscious
mind, serving as a bridge or portal to unconscious images and drives.
Superior function :
One of four basic functions by which a person adapts to the
environment most readily. Carl Jung names these four basic functions
or forms of psychic activity, and I added their astrological counterparts:
thinking (Air, Mercury, Uranus, Southeast),
feeling (Fire, Venus, Northwest), sensation
(Earth, Saturn, Mars, Southwest) and intuition
(Water, Jupiter, Neptune, Northeast). Thinking
and feeling both work with values, but are opposites. The thinking function
judges and analyses, uses logical deduction to come to a conclusion.
The feeling function deals with values. It evaluates based on like and
dislike; agreeable or disagreeable. Sensation and intuition are also
opposites, but both work through perceptions, without evaluation or
interpretation. Sensation is that part of perception based on our accumulated
body of knowledge and personal prejudices acting through our five senses.
Intuition, that part of perception that operates through our inner Personality,
through the Unconscious, a type of inner perception. It operates as
a knowledge of something without the help of thought or feeling, a sense
of it. Each person adapts most readily to their environment, to reality,
by means of one of these basic functions, known as the Superior Function.
- Unconscious : In Carl Jung's
terms, there are two parts to the Unconscious: the Personal Unconscious
and the Collective Unconscious. The Personal Unconscious is made up
of complexes acquired in our Personality development, in our conscious
attempt to integrate and deal with our environment. The Collective
Unconscious is made up of Archetypes, instinctual patterns, inherited
traits, race memory.
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