The Planets Within – Toward a Shamanic Astrology

“Know that you are another world in miniature and have in you Sol and Luna and even the stars.” – Origen Homiliae in Liviticum 5, 2.

Astrology was born and nurtured within the context of a world view which is either completely forgotten or considered to be only of academic interest in the majority of first world societies. To forget this interconnectedness is to settle for a trivial astrology or none at all.


Many readers will be familiar with the Hermetic dictum, “As Above, So Below” but we can also talk of what is without is within. Every possible element of physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual state are under the governance of one or more of the seven sacred planets and luminaries. This includes considerations such as chakras

So the chart isn’t only descriptive, it actually provides keys for those who wish for a deeper understanding, Usually, the initial motive for doing so is some form of suffering. One wants to understand the source and by doing so be confronted with realistic choices. The elements of the chart become as it were animated. In fact, the chart can be the doorway for shamanic experience, but none of this can happen if the client has no interest in learning some basic elements regarding the planets and luminaries, first and foremost. That is to say, they will do well to attempt to connect with these energies

With the exception of horary and to some degree electional charts, questions asked tend to be more complex than most clients would likely realize. To get the full benefit of the treading, the client cannot be entirely passive. Unfortunately, most clients have little or no interest in this. The most disappointing readings are done for those  who say something like “I don’t want to know about the planets, I just want the answer.”

The problem is that understanding how astrological elements play out in the various levels of being is actually a large part of the answer. A refusal to attempt to connect with the sources results, to one degree or another in a fast food version of astrology. This is of course among other things a hopelessly deterministic view of things, but the irony generally extends to include a flat denial of anything pre-ordained. The cosmological nature of astrology demands some degree of acknowledgment if the reading is to be much more than skin deep in its reception.

What the naysayer is actually suggesting is that his or her problems  are not really theirs, that the chart is such an abstraction that it cannot be approached or isn’t worth approaching. That is to say it’s a denial of correspondence, either “As Above, So Below” or that what is *outside* has nothing to do with what is within. The reader of the horoscope is seen as nothing more than a fortune teller.

This is where the shamanic approach can be employed to great advantage. There is a surprising amount of confusion about what shamanism really is. Many people  with whom I’ve spoken, have difficult getting past the cliched trappings of the “Witch Doctor,” a nomenclature employed to denote “Primitive” in a negative, even derogatory sense. I have even been told I have no right to be a shaman because I’m *white,* which among other things shows a very great ignorance of indigenous European people. All Shamans will tell you they facilitate access to the spirit realm.

This is true but we also need to remember that every element of creation has a spirit. which is inexorably connected to what some shamans refer to as Great or Divine Spirit.  The true shaman doesn’t follow man made laws, but follows spiritual ones.  This has sometimes given the impression of the shaman as somehow feral, which is actually fair enough.

It is an inestimable tragedy that humanity has mostly lost any true sense of belonging to the natural or divine order and it will be the death of us.. When we see *nature* as *other* we have already ceased to be conscious of the interconnection, and equality of all beings. A sane person would not consider an owl or a polar bear as expendable,

The shaman can and does facilitate access to the spirit realms, thus facilitating insight and retrieval of spirits. A world that contains an island of plastic the size of Texas in the Pacific Ocean and allows natural crops to be replaced by cloned ones is in great need of a radical wake up call. It is of the utmost importance that we remember who we really are. Astrology can be a powerful tool in this regard, both personally and in the larger context of humanity,

When applied through the medium of shamanic astrology, we can access the planetary energies in a personal yet universal way. No two charts are the same, so what we have is something very personal. However, like a mandala inner and outer are represented and laid out in a cosmic map to be discerned by the shaman

There are only seven planets and luminaries and the basic meaning of each one is actually quite easy to grasp. There is of course a vast depth of meaning that only a great deal of study and practise can realize. This blog does contain articles on all planets from a traditional point of view, as well as the nature of the humours and so on for those interested in this. There is also an extensive library of mostly primary source texts for scholars of the Art.wt0082_1s

Start with the luminaries and personal planets. The social planets, Jupiter and Saturn will come later. To begin with, think of the differences between the Sun and Moon. We might ask what is solar energy in astrology. The Sun is it’s own light and moves outward. The Moon is reflective of the Sun, with no light of her own, yet she turns the tides, regulates vegetative phenomena and mirrors the menstrual cycle.,

Your natal chart is inseparable from yourself, so the most important thing is to be willing to experience the various energies . In mythologies from all cultures and in all great literature and art we see these archetypal forms in dynamic expression. The reading becomes experiential rather than a transfer of information to a more or less passive recipient. I believe that astrology is yet to realize its golden age