By Armand Diaz, PhD.
Astrologers know that the sun is the center of our solar system, that it is 64 million times larger than the moon, and they know most of the astronomical information relevant to our local cosmic neighborhood. Astrology, however, continues to function more or less as though we lived in a geocentric universe. Generally, astrologers explain this by pointing out that astrology is about perspective, and that our perspective is still based on our location on the earth.
Eric Meyers is not convinced. In The Astrology of Awakening he makes the point that a strictly geocentric perspective limits astrology and fails to incorporate modern understanding of our solar system. As our modeling of the physical universe has become more sophisticated and less based on immediate perceptions, our conception of the cosmos has expanded immensely. Why should astrology not incorporate this understanding, bringing a new level of sophistication and complexity to its system? If we fail to do so, we are left with an astrology that is not necessarily wrong, but one that is really based on an outdated understanding of the universe.
Our conception of the physical world is linked to our sense of meaning. Each time we innovate in one area, we open the possibility of change in the other. Copernicus removed humans from the center of the universe. Darwin dissolved the hard line between species. These changes in the material world brought about changes in our self-concept. In a similar way, as we deepen our understanding of ourselves psychologically and spiritually, we open up to new conceptions of how the physical world may work. Our models of the inner and outer cosmos often ride on the same track, and perhaps one reason why astrology is so often looked upon with skepticism is that it has not really incorporated an updated model of the physical universe.
The Astrology of Awakening is not a book dealing primarily with astronomy, although Eric Meyers incorporates the physical facts into astrology as deftly as anyone. Rather, the author uses our changing knowledge of the cosmos to argue for a more transpersonal, or spiritual, approach to astrology. Meyers argues that astrology as we typically encounter it is the product of an egocentric and patriarchal value system. While many astrologers strive to practice from a different perspective, astrology’s basic assumptions make that difficult.
At the core of the book is the relationship between the sun and moon. Meyers associates the sun with spirit, while pointing out that the moon is really a satellite of the earth and associated with the personal ego. From our perspective, these two celestial bodies are the same size, but that is an illusion. He argues that we have experienced an egoic takeover, symbolized by the solar eclipse, when the moon appears to blot out the sun.
Even if you know nothing about astrology, you will enjoy The Astrology of Awakening. The parallels Meyers draws between astrology and our evolving values are fascinating, and can be extended to all of our many symbolic associations with the sun and moon. The book does a wonderful job of showing how value systems interact with each other and with our understanding of the cosmos. There are many books out there that detail how quantum physics can change our conceptions of reality at all levels—physical, psychological, and social—The Astrology of Awakening turns the lens in the other direction and does the same thing with our evolving understanding of the universe.
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