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Astrological Psychology: Symbolism, Potency and Freedom

by Cláudia Rabelo

DandelionWhere is genuine freedom? It seems to be in the space between determinism and free will — in the potency of creation, where I believe to be contemporary astrology’s place. Potency in the philosophical sense of Spinoza (Potentia) and Nietzsche (Will to Power), which differs from power.

Nowadays we can practice an astrology focused on the symbol’s potency. Symbolic astrology, in contrast to that which is only deterministic, seems to be more appropriate for our time. Broader analysis is in accordance with an astrology open to the symbolic, to the potency and the freedom it manifests.

Even death, which is the most certain of the possible fates, can be relativized in a symbolic context: the death of a love, of a friendship, of a project or of life phase.

Astrology and Prediction

To accept fate as a potential creative challenge seems like a lucid cooperative exercise with our personal apparent tragedies. The more we try to have power over fate the more fragile we become.

It is extremely distressing for us to realize that planning is just illusion, speculation and a bet on a non-existing future time. Therefore, the astrological questions that involve prediction and fate reflect our anguish and necessity for control in the face of the unknown. Control is power, not potency.
When it comes to the power and control astrology, it is possible to fall into the trap of trying to proof that astrology “works”, that it is science or that it does not need to be scientific. Just like in antiquity, astrologers feel challenged and encouraged by modern society to offer objective answers and accurate predictions, whether they are favorable, alarming or not.

We are practicing the astrology of power when we try to subject it to fatalisms. The potency astrology would be manifest in the symbolism and the challenges of re-creating reality.

The Archetypes’ Potency and Its Challenges in each Sign

The logic of will to power or potency can be applied to the reading of the astrological symbols. We can observe the Moon’s potency in the natal aspects, for example: to transform disturbing affection into active force. How would this function in practice? It would require getting in touch with the feminine potency itself: with receptivity, welcoming, motherhood, things which make it possible to manifest a creative action through the experience of the maternal archetype.

Sunrise - PotencyA woman with a Moon in her natal chart that is challenged by (in square with) Mars or Pluto, for example, can use its power while rivaling with other women, trying to control men, being reactive when dealing with the challenges of life or she can get in touch with the potency of her strong emotions and do internal transforming work with herself and the others.

I see examples of this Moon configuration in the charts of female surgeons, architects, psychologists and therapists in general, but it is interesting to analyze the individual process, there is an intimate potency of reformation with this Moon.

Astrology has the merit of pointing to the symbol in order to facilitate the self-awareness work of a constructive aspect related to oneself and others; Mars (God of War) can point to a conscious and assertive action that is beyond violence and rivalry. Pluto (God of the Underworld) can point to detachment and the transformation of the rites of passage and not necessarily to power and destruction.

Each archetype (planet) is a potency that represents the sign (way of expression), just like the welcoming example of the Moon (Cancer), other planets offer challenges in their archetypical potency: of self-expression in the case of Sun (Leo), of change in the case of Uranus (Aquarius), of detachment in the case of Pluto (Scorpion), of realization in the case of Saturn (Capricorn), of expansion in the case of Jupiter (Sagittarius), of inspiration in the case of Neptune (Pisces), of action in the case of Mars (Aries), of harmony in the case of Venus (Libra and Taurus), and of communication in the case of Mercury (Gemini and Virgo). They point to a destiny that can be built, a destiny that, the stronger it is, the more creative it will finally be.

There is a way to approach the natal chart based on the logic of potency astrology which is in another order of importance when compared to the logic of control of predictive astrology; it’s not what happens to us, but what we make of what happens to us that brings the biggest challenge.

Image sources:
All images: CC0 Creative Commons license, via pixabay.com


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Current Planets
17-Feb-2018, 23:37 UT/GMT
Sun2915'23"11s44
Moon2323' 3"5s38
Mercury2937'55"13s26
Venus846'46"9s38
Mars1340'20"22s00
Jupiter2239' 8"17s19
Saturn626'12"22s24
Uranus2528'18"9n21
Neptune1322'59"7s22
Pluto2019'55"21s31
TrueNode1456'45"r16n21
Chiron2637'19"1n51
Explanations of the symbols
Chart of the moment
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