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Marlena Applebaum

M.A. in Counseling Psychology

Astrological Counseling

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November 30, 2012

Breaking Down the Borders Astrology Conference

 
I am the grateful recipient of a full scholarship to the International Academy of Astrology’s Breaking Down the Borders Conference, which means I get to attend 12 lectures by renowned astrologers this weekend! I am very excited. My favorite so far was a lecture by Greg Bogart on Progressing the Birth Chart. I have been using secondary progressions for a long time, but now I am inspired to incorporate solar arc directions as well. It is powerful to see how progressing the birth chart shows the exact timing of important inner developments as well as life changing events. It is said that progressions illustrate the unfolding of a person, like a flower bud into its full blossoming. Looking at progressions and solar arcs along with current transits reveal the archetypal influences that are affecting one at any given time... Astrology continues to amaze me! 

July 13, 2012

Astrological Relationship Analysis and Compatibility

 

 

“A mystic will seek to penetrate the veils through constant and arduous meditation practice, whilst the lover, through his feelings for the beloved, will arrive there in his heart. In this sense, human relationship is spiritual practice, with benefits of equal value.” ~Robert P. Blaschke

 

Astrological relationship analysis is one of my favorite areas of study. While astrological knowledge certainly can’t give any guarantees about whether a relationship will be “successful” or not, it can provide insights into the everyday dynamics of a relationship as well as give some clues about the underlying spiritual journey two people have together. Below is a compilation of gems I have gleaned from my studies as well as observations taken from client experiences and personal experience.

 

The three main ways I investigate relationships: Read more...


March 2, 2012

What each sign finds most distressing:

 

 

(The following is not comprehensive — just some observations. And it is important to recognize that no one is a pure archetype. The Sun sign holds a central place in the personality but other important factors in the birth chart — especially the rising sign, the Moon sign, and strongly placed planets — combine to make us each unique and complex.) 

 

Aries ♈: to be held back from acting on an impulse, to be suppressed, to be prevented from expressing contentious and/or passionate energies, to be slowed down.

Taurus ♉: to be rushed, lack of financial or emotional security, to be deprived of touch, to be deprived of beautiful sights, smells, sounds, tastes, and textures.

Gemini ♊: boredom, lack of information, being “out of the loop” or cut off from communication, pressure to commit to one thing, having to stay still.

Cancer ♋: no one to nurture and protect, no one to be nurtured and protected by, thwarted from cultivating one’s “baby,” not having a safe and comfortable home. 

Leo ♌: no loving audience, not being seen, not being appreciated, not being adored, not enough attention, cold-heartedness.

Virgo ♍: lack of attention to detail, skipped steps, orderless chaos, not adhering to thorough technique and “proper” procedure, lack of refinement, lack of purity. 

Libra ♎: having to go it alone with no one to bounce off of, having to make a quick decision without being able to weigh the pros and cons, that which is unjust or unfair, insensitivity, lack of empathy, inconsideration, ugliness.

Scorpio ♏: superficiality, inauthenticity, feeling powerless, revealing vulnerability, failing to do one’s deep inner work, lack of emotional intimacy, lack of meaningful bonding.

Sagittarius ♐: the everyday routine with nothing exotic mixed in, lack of freedom, lack of access to philosophical perspectives, lack of ethics, narrow-mindedness, a life with no adventure.

Capricorn ♑: that which is unrealistic, inefficient, wasteful, impractical, or theoretical only; losing status, losing authority, lack of mastery, lack of having a respectful place in the world.

Aquarius ♒: conformity, exclusive hierarchical systems, social inequity, being confronted with ignorance, self-centeredness, or drama queens/kings.

Pisces ♓: the mundane details of life, no way to escape ordinary reality, lack of inspiration, lack of vision, lack of art, lack of feeling connected with the divine.


February 26, 2012

In honor of the Moon conjunct Jupiter in Taurus tonight...

 

Debra Silverman acts out all the archetypes of the zodiac. Here is Taurus in honor of tonight’s Moon in this fixed earth sign. Also, the Moon is conjunct Jupiter in Taurus tonight (it’s an absolutely beautiful sky with the Moon, Jupiter, and Venus visible).  With these dramatized signs of the zodiac, it’s important to remember that no one is a pure archetype. The Sun sign is a vital part of who we are, but we are complex and may also relate to our Moon sign, rising sign, or the archetypes associated with planets that are tightly conjunct our Sun, Moon, or Ascendant, for example.  


February 19, 2012

The qualities: cardinal, fixed, and mutable

 

 

Along with the elements (fire, earth, air, and water) the qualities (cardinal, fixed, and mutable) are an important classification in astrology. The cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn) are the initiators and pioneers with the drive to make something happen. The fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius) are the ones who concentrate and focus their energy to build on and sustain what is already there. The mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces) are flexible, adaptable, and changeable, depending on the situation. 

 

Signs of the same element are trine one another, and the trine is usually thought of as an easy, harmonious relationship that just flows. Whereas signs of the same quality are square or opposed one another. The square, for instance, is usually thought of as a more challenging, tense relationship that requires work. However in my experience, signs that are of the same quality, even though they are square or opposed one another, also have an affinity with one another, sharing a significant commonality in way of being and in values. Read more...


January 29, 2012

The Sabian Symbols

 

 

The Sabian Symbols are 360 symbolic vignettes each corresponding to a degree of the zodiac. Many astrologers use them in chart interpretation to get a richer sense of meaning for any important planet or point in a chart, such as the Sun, Moon, or Ascendant. For instance, when I was born, the Sun was at 5º41’ Leo. The corresponding Sabian for my Sun is:  

 

Leo 6*: A sweet old-fashioned belle, and a pert and attractive modern flapper, stand in mutual envy of each other. 

 

From the time I was a child and my mother told me this was the symbol for my Sun, it always resonated deeply. As I got older and came to understand my chart as a whole, I began to see how not only did it capture the essence of my core (the Sun), but interestingly it also captured other prominent themes in my chart, such as my Libra Ascendent (balancing opposites, seeing the other side of the story, and a focus on aesthetics etc), my Sun conjunct Saturn (Saturn represents tradition, and therefore is “old-fashioned”) and my Sun/Saturn square Uranus (Uranus represents breaking free from old structures, and therefore fits “a modern flapper.” In some mystical way, the specific Sabian symbol for the degree of my Leo Sun acts as a holon** for my whole chart. Not everyone resonates as obviously and spontaneously with their Sabians; sometimes it takes some contemplation to penetrate into the meaning of the symbol. Read more...


January 12, 2012

Astrological Rites of Passage

 

 

As the planets move through the sky and through the zodiac, they affect each one of us differently depending on how they connect with one’s individual birthchart. There are some astrological events, however, that happen to everyone at approximately the same age, which mark important rites of passage and correspond with certain life phases. Here is a list of a few of the major ones: Read more...


January 8, 2012

The Spiritual Implications of the Astrological Birthchart

 

 

Upcoming workshop with Randy Wasserstrom

 

At the heart of the astrological birthchart is spiritual karma and from this karma comes a perfect compassionate design for each one of us. Our mission is to feel the perfection of the design and to guide our lives by it. In this workshop, “The Spiritual Implications of the Astrological Birthchart”, we will discuss how to interpret planets, signs, houses and the lunar nodes from a spiritual perspective while comparing this perspective to the psychological model. Participants will have the opportunity to look at their own charts (voluntary) “piece by piece” from this perspective. This workshop is for all astrology students — beginning to advanced.

 

Randy Wasserstrom, MSW, a professional astrologer from Cary, NC will be the workshop leader. He has 22 years of experience as an astrologer, has taught many classes in beginning to advanced astrology, and started the Network of Triangle Astrologers. 

 

The fee is $45.00. For further information and/or pre-registration, call Randy at 919-467-4043 or email randwass@nc.rr.com

 

When: January 28, 2012 from 1-4pm 

Where: A Far Away Place —16 Battery Park Ave. Asheville, NC 28801


November 28, 2011

Astrology and Judaism

 

 

In honor of the Sun’s passage through the sign of Sagittarius ♐ — the archetype of expanding one’s understanding of philosophical and spiritual truths — here is an excerpt from an interesting article entitled “Kabbalah and Astrology” by Rabbi Max Weiman...

  

Question:

What is the Jewish view of astrology?

 

Answer: 

The Bible takes a strong negative stand on Astrology. Yet, Kabbalah, the ancient Jewish mystical tradition, has sources that are based on astrological principles. Read more...


November 12, 2011

Astrology and the spiritual path

 

 

After reading an excerpt referencing astrology from the book, “How A Master Works” by Ivy Duce, I felt moved to write about my experience with and perspective about astrology. Below is the excerpt and underneath the excerpt is my response.

 

Ivy Duce had visited Meher Baba in India, and on her way back to America she went to see an astrologer in Delhi. The astrologer had a copy of the Bhrigu Samhita and the Arun Samhita, and read an ancient chart for Mrs. Duce’s daughter Charmian. The chart covered Charmian’s life in detail, with one statement for each year up into her eighties.

 

Ivy Duce wrote about the reading in a letter to Baba’s sister Mani.

 

Baba dictated the following to be included in Mani’s reply to Ivy Duce: 

 

“Baba says that you and Charmy, who have the rare good fortune of being among his close fold and deeply connected with him, are safe in his care, and should not let any astrological pattern affect you or rattle or worry you.

 

“For although he does not radically change the course of individual karma (of those connected with him), he does alleviate and modify it greatly when he thinks fit, and often hastens the working out of some karma whereby it is unwound in a much shorter time and gotten rid of.

 

“Whereas we think of time in the measure of years, he knows and sees to the untangling of the karmic maze of many lifetimes.

 

“You should therefore give no countenance to mantras and astrological indications which might apply to the general man who has not the good fortune of coming into the orbit of a Perfect Master’s grace, and the much rarer opportunity of being within the circle of the Avatar.

 

“He does not mind your being interested in astrology as an interesting subject, but does not want you in the least to be swayed by or involved in it, for your own good.

 

“Baba says that when he breaks his silence, you will understand everything - all your questions will be answered in that understanding which embraces everything.”

  

I am intrigued by Meher Baba’s exact words to Ivy Duce about astrology. What does it mean to be interested in astrology but not swayed by or involved in it? To me this means that if one is interested in astrology, one should take it lightly in a sense (not unlike other subjects of study in the world of Maya, or illusion). To not be swayed by it means, for me, to not fall into the trap of making presumptions about myself, life, or others using astrology, but rather to attempt at all times to live in alignment with my highest inner truth. In my experience astrology can help to increase understanding, self-acceptance, and faith in the perfection of the big picture. I don’t use astrology to tell me what something means or to try to figure out what will happen in the future. Instead, I use astrology as a tool for self-discovery. It is an exploration and practice of finding meaning through observation of what is (and what is changes as consciousness changes).

 

In 1932, Meher Baba stayed at the home of Marc Edmond Jones in Hollywood, for one week. Marc Edmond Jones was the foremost astrologer in the US at that time. It was not long after that Western astrology began to take a sharp turn towards a more psychological orientation. Subsequently, Dane Rudhyar, the father of modern astrology (who also met Meher Baba), came into prominence. Rudhyar wrote, “As I see it, the first and immediate purpose of astrology is not to predict events in terms of statistical probability, but to bring to confused, eager, often distraught persons a message of order, of ‘form,’ of the meaning of individual life and individual struggles in the process of self-actualization.” I love Rudhyar’s explanation. (Interestingly, in the Awakener Magazine, Filis Frederick wrote, “Dane had cast Baba’s horoscope and seen Him as the great World Teacher of the Age.”)

 

Some people think of astrology as a form of fortune-telling. For me it is just another psychological tool for understanding oneself and helping one to live more authentically, more at peace, and to find one’s way towards fulfilling one’s greater potentials. I don’t think of astrology in fatalistic terms. Each aspect shown in a chart can manifest in an unlimited number of ways, and in accordance with one’s spiritual journey. Perhaps the chart is an illustration of our , but it alone does not determine our future. We affect our future by how we respond to our current circumstances. 

 

I have heard a story, referenced at times, when the topic of astrology arises within the Meher Baba world. It goes something like this: followers of Meher Baba who were interested in astrology found that their lives began to disagree with their charts after coming into the orbit of Meher Baba. This statement confuses me, because it is based on a premise that implies there is only one interpretation of a birth chart and that it remains static over time. In my understanding of astrology that premise represents a misunderstanding of how astrology works. Astrology is a language of symbols, and by definition, the very nature of a symbol means that there is a broad number of meanings and expressions of it. So when someone comes into the orbit of Meher Baba, or any path of spiritual truth, their lives and consciousness will of course change and perhaps rapidly. But because an astrological chart cannot be limited to any one analysis, but rather only suggests influences which may be expressed in different ways at various levels of consciousness, the chart still encompasses these higher possibilities. I would go on to say that any perceived limitations of the accuracy of an astrological chart are more reflective of the person trying to understand or interpret it, but not the chart itself.  

 

I have heard that Meher Baba said astrology is a perfect science, but he also said something along the lines of that it takes a Perfect One to interpret it perfectly. I agree wholeheartedly. Astrology can be thought of as a symbolic language. Having some fluency in this language, I do my best to articulate the symbols and express them in ways that might offer help to people — in a dialoguing process, and reflecting back what they already know within. Astrology can be immensely helpful in naming things, putting puzzle pieces together, and validating experiences. Exploring the multifarious possibilities suggested in a chart can provide clarity and meaning in relation to challenges, and offer glimpses of pathways towards healing and hope. In my experience, astrology is a useful psychlological tool with the potential to enhance self-knowledge and a sense of well-being. It need not be used or seen as an “occult” practice.                                                                      

“Newspaper reporters would regularly seek interviews with Meher Baba, and sometimes he would consent…

‘But what about astrology?’ the reporter asked. ‘

Everything has something to do with spirituality. It depends on how it is worked out.’ “ (from LM, p. 2077)

 

 


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