By, Nancy Cohn Morgan, BA, BS, MS, L.Ac.
Imagine you are given a road map to help you find your way. The Map is the astrological chart. It is a moment frozen in time of where all the planets are in space when one is born. Understanding the symbols and energies of the Planets, Signs, and Houses gives insight into one’s life process. What can we learn along the way so we can make the most of our life here on Earth? Where is our right place in the world? When do we know it is time to move on? How can we live to our fullest potential? Why are we here? These questions have been asked since the beginning of consciousness. Using your own astrological map as a guide you will begin to answer such questions.
To answer the what, we look to the planets. To answer the how, we look at the signs. The answer to the where question is found in the houses. When, is a question about time that can be answered with the transiting planets. To answer why we can look at the moons nodes which guides us toward understanding our destiny here on earth.
The early indigenous people looked to the skies for guidance. They interpreted these signs, symbols and planets to help them understand the Great Mystery. The word Planets come from the Greek word for wanders. Tolken once wrote, “Not all that wonder are lost”. Astrologers have classified the planets as follows, Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars as the personal planets, Jupiter and Saturn as the social planets and Uranus, Neptune and Pluto as the collective planets.
Individualization in life's journey begins at the moment in time when an infant takes its first breath. The natal astrological chart is what reflects the energies of that moment. The chart is drawn from an earth centered view of the heavens and is called a geocentric chart. It is a circle with 360 degrees divided into 12 parts which are called the houses. Each house is made up of 30 degrees. These parts or houses as an astrologer would refer to them are made up of the signs corresponding with the constellations that are known as the signs of the zodiac. The houses are parts of our lives such as our personality and appearance, health, finances, home, work, children, mother, father, partnership and relationships, etc.
The point furthest to the left on the circle is called the ascendant or rising sign. This is where the Sun rises on the horizon. That is where the circle begins. Follow the circle around clockwise 90 degrees from the horizon to the top of the circle and you have the point called the Midheaven. This is where the Sun would be at Noon. Another 90 degrees around to the right side of circle is where the Sun sets and is know as the decedent. Ninety more degrees around to the bottom of the circle is where the Sun is at midnight and is called the I.C. (imum coeli) or Nadir. The Planets are charted on this circle from where they appear in the sky at the moment of birth.
I came to astrology through my acupuncture practice. My family and I were living in Dolores, Colorado at the time. One of my patients who became a friend of mine, Katie, talked me into taking an astrology class with her in Durango, Colorado. At first I went as a curiosity but quickly realized that Carole Dickson, the astrology teacher, was awakening a part of my consciousness by teaching me how to interpret this ancient language of signs and symbols. I am grateful and indebted to her for sharing with me this incredible tool of understanding. It changed my life and brought a new awareness into my acupuncture practice.
Over the last twenty-five years in my professional practice as an acupuncturist I have heard countless stories from my patients. They have shared with me their pains, worries, anxieties, sorrows, fears, joys and dreams. I have listened to their medical histories, done tongue diagnosis and taken their pulses, which is a reading of the energetic qualities in the 12 organ meridians (meridians are the pathways of energy that run through the body). Still I had questions. Why isn’t this person getting better? Why are they experiencing what they are experiencing? Then I started asking about their dreams and looking at astrological charts. It helped me to become more conscious, and to begin to understand life themes, soul purpose and this journey we call life. The planetary cycles gave me the ability to gauge the timing in the healing process and the insight into how best to guide one back on to their path of health and wholeness.
Looking at a difficult situation in astrological terms, let’s say a square or opposition, one can rise up to the challenge, get the lesson and make the changes they need to in order to live a fuller, healthier life. Or one can let it wear them down and eventually wear them out. Carl Jung the Swiss psychiatrist who founded analytic psychology wrote that when an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears in one's life as fate.
The easier aspects, called trines and sextiles, are the open doors in our lives. Not everyone recognizes the talents and gifts they posses which can be developed and utilized in order to make the most of the opportunities that are before them.
There is a saying that when one door closes another one opens. I have seen people that when one door closes, they go into depression. How wonderful to be able to gracefully embrace the endings and be ready and open for the new beginnings. All we know for certain is that change is inevitable, we are born and we die. The intent of my practice whether it is through acupuncture, astrology or dream work is to balance energy and to bring greater awareness and understanding during the certainty of change that will occur between birth and death.
© Nancy Cohn Morgan, All rights reserved
By, Nancy Cohn Morgan, BA, BS, MS, L.Ac.
I formally began working with dreams in 1979 while attending the University of Humanistic Studies in San Diego. I use Jeremy Taylor's format of empowering the dreamer for only the dreamer can fully understand and interpret their own dream.
Why do we dream and why is it important to give awareness to the dream state? Dreams come to us in the service of health and wholeness. A dream tells us something that we are not aware of. It brings the unconscious into consciousness. The dream state is the place between the physical and non-physical world. Dreams give us insight, greater understanding and guidance into our life journey. They help us work through difficult problems and also bring us inspiration and creative vision. It is a place where the impossible is possible. You can fly in a dream or meet a loved one who has passed on. We dream the future and bring awareness to the past and present. Dream language and symbols are unique to the dreamer. There are many layers to a dream. Listening and paying attention to your dreams will give you your our own special viewing into the workings of the soul.
The way to begin working with dreams is to record them. The best way to do this is to have a dream journal, a pencil or pen and a light on your bedside table. Go to bed with the intention to remember your dreams. Whether it is a dream fragment, image or feeling it is important to record it. The more one honors their dreams by paying attention to them and writing them down the more the dream world will appear to them. Sometimes the dream message is so important that it is hard not to pay attention to. These are called “big” dreams. A dream may come to us in a whisper and if we have not been listening, it may then be spoken to us and if we are still not listening it may have to yell or shout at us as if in a night mare in order to get our attention. Carl Jung labeled some dreams as "numinous" (from the Latin numen, meaning divine command). He wrote that these “big” dreams were associated with major life passages, times when the old self was dying and a new one was yet to be born.
Death in a dream is that part of our self that has out worn its usefulness. A death dream is about a mental, emotional and spiritual change that is taking place. It may be a belief that is no longer relevant and is actually working to the determent in the healing process. Death may come to us in the form of murder or suicide. In this form we are making a conscious choice to end that part of our self that is no longer serving us in health and wholeness. Jeremy Taylor has said in his dream work, “Go ahead and kill the self, but don’t harm the body”. He has worked with addicts and alcoholic’s who have had to die to that part of their nature in order for their recovery to take place.
Archetypes appearing in our dreams are universal images that have reoccurred throughout history in story’s and myths and can give us clues to the collective unconscious and the human condition. According to Carl Jung, the archetype of water when appearing in the dream state may represent the unconscious. In Chinese traditional medicine the water element may represent a yin aspect and the fire element a yang aspect. Our dreams may bring awareness to an imbalance between the yin and yang aspects and the five elements. Through this awareness we can make the changes needed to help guide us back to balance, health and wholeness.
The shadow appears to us in our dreams as the part of our self that we are not conscious of. It may come to us in a negative form showing us a facet of our personality that we have not been able to acknowledge, maybe out of a prejudice or fear. It may also come in a positive form by showing us a part of our nature that we have denied, perhaps out of low self esteem.
Another aspect of dreaming is the lucid dream, this is when one is conscious of being in the dream state and may then be able to ask a question for greater insight or guide the dream to a more comfortable resolution. One may also see or experience life as a form of a waking dream. A famous quote by Plato is, “Life is but a dream”.
The paradox of dreaming is that seemingly opposite views, signs and symbols give us a greater understanding of the whole. We live in a world of duality, yin/yang, night/day and female/male. In becoming more conscious of this duality we are able to embrace all parts of our self and when we embrace and accept all parts of our self we can truly live a fuller and healthier life.
© Nancy Cohn Morgan, All rights reserved