“We are born at a given moment in a given place and like vintage years of wine we have the qualities of the year and season in which we are born. Astrology does not lay claim to anything else”. -Carl Jung
I have a strong interest is in developing the responsible use of Astrological information as a holistic healing tool. The American Holistic Nurses Association already lists Astrology among their healing modalities. I have found it to be of tremendous value in my work with clients.
It is not unusual to hear the claim “I’ve been seeing a psychotherapist for years but astrology uncovered in an hour what took years to discover in therapy sessions. Most clients are intrigued with the information astrology provides, though obviously there are those who reject it for religious and social reasons. Astrology claims no interest in replacing any belief systems other than the one that rejects out of hand the unfamiliar and unknown. Like science, astrology is a powerful tool that has the potential to be used wisely or foolishly. My main concern is that it is a wealth of information and healing potential, underutilized at a time when widely accepted conventional and unconventional treatment is still inadequate.
Having worked in a variety of psychiatric and addiction clinical settings, I have yet to find a practicing facility that did not claim to provide, for the whole person, individualized treatment. Physiologically this appeared to be an accurate claim. Examination, blood testing, imaging, scans, and X-rays provide the necessary information to truly individualize treatment for the physical body. But objective information about psychological, emotional, and spiritual needs is widely unavailable with the exception of psychological testing which compares the individual to a control group of “healthy individuals.” Better stated, that would be someone’s biased opinion of what constitutes a healthy person. Psychological tests are fraught with bias, validity, and reliability problems.
Widely used needs assessments are often inadequate because they’re based on biased client and family input. Clients and families lie, not because they’re necessarily dishonest, but because their freedom to tell the truth is limited by social concerns – saying what they feel they must say to avoid being socially diminished. Clouded unbalanced thought and memory issues further compromise the tool. Under the guidance of a competent professional, the truth of the matter will often emerge, but it’s a time consuming, expensive, and unpredictable process. Within the health care field, treatment of the whole person, far from being individualized, is actually fairly generic. It is based on policies, procedures, (and sadly politics in many cases), the professional standards of the clinician providing the treatment, as well as the ability to credibly document outcomes that appear to be positive (or negative) so that insurance companies will provide reimbursement.
Astrology provides a picture of an individual’s psychological, emotional, and spiritual make-up similar to a CT scan providing multiple, cross-sectional, informational images of the body. Like an astrological chart, these can then be examined on a computer monitor, printed or transferred to a CD. The Radiologist interprets the images to clarify the condition of internal organs, bones, soft tissue, and blood vessels. The astrologer interprets the astrological picture to clarify the condition of individual psychology, emotions, and spirituality.
Using astrology to improve outcomes is controversial but it’s potential is extraordinary. In Europe astrologers are used to assist psychologists in uncovering emotional conflict and spiritual distress. To my knowledge this is done only with the permission of the client, as it should be. This is also done in progressive clinics across the United States, but too often clinicians and holistic healers continue to fumble around in the dark pretending that there is no other choice.
It is possible to target treatment from the very beginning. In conventional health care practice, the relapse rate for addictive and emotional disorders is disgraceful and unnecessary. In the interest of saving time and money, misunderstood emotional conflict, spiritual distress, and relationship and adjustment problems are met with an official diagnosis and drug treatment to mask the symptoms. The result is identified as “effective treatment”. It is not. Often it represents the more profitable alternative.
In the early 1990’s when managed care came into being clinical staffing was greatly reduced as was “length of stay.” Producing quick, seemingly positive outcomes too often required that symptoms be masked rather than investigated. Drug treatment of symptoms became more prevalent even for adolescents.
In the interest of pragmatism the controversial nature of astrology should no longer be a barrier to helping the millions achieve better outcomes through real individualized care. Medical science in the past has done some unconventional things in the name of pragmatic life saving treatment. I remember as a young nurse being ordered to start alcohol drips on pregnant women who had gone into labor early. They quickly became really drunk, but alcohol is a smooth muscle relaxer and often prevented life threatening premature deliveries. Astrology could offer, though not quite so dramatically, similar positive outcomes.
If you have an interest in learning more about the use of astrology as an adjunctive enhancement to your current practice let me know. Informations sessions will be scheduled for the fall.