Archetypal Astrology

German version

Archetypal astrology is a branch of astrology, influenced by Jungian and post-Jungian depth psychology, that studies the connection between the changing positions of the planets in the solar system and archetypal patterns in human experience. It is practiced by a growing number of archetypal astrologers and by some Jungian therapists. It is different from archetypal psychology and some forms of psychological astrology in that the archetypes are seen as cosmological, rather than merely psychological principles.

In archetypal astrology, planetary configurations in the solar system are thought to bear a significant and coherent correspondence with archetypal themes and patterns evident in human experience. Archetypal astrology combines techniques drawn from conventional forms of astrology with an understanding of archetypes and the psyche emerging from the psychological theories of C. G. Jung, James Hillman, and Stanislav Grof.

  — Wikipedia article on Archetypal astrology (Article deleted by a WP editor who decided that this is something you should not read about.)


The character of the planetary archetypes are explained in Richard Tarnas's book Cosmos and Psyche. In this book he draws attention to the correlation between planetary aspects (mainly conjunctions and oppositions of the outer planets) and both world events and events in the lives of significant people.

For example, from July 11 through July 24, 1609, Jupiter and Uranus were in exact (less than 1°) conjunction. Richard Tarnas says that discoveries in science tend to be correlated with Jupiter-Uranus conjunctions. In the summer of 1609 Kepler published his revolutionary work Astronomia Nova (containing his first two laws of planetary motion) and Galileo made the first public demonstration of his telescope. From December 20, 1609, through March 14, 1610, Jupiter and Uranus were continuously conjunct to within 4°. During this time Galileo made numerous discoveries with his telescope and on March 12 published his findings in his epoch-making Siderius Nuncius.

Jupiter and Uranus were again in exact (less than 1°) conjunction from October 12 through 26, 1900. At a meeting of the German Physical Society on October 19, 1900, when Jupiter and Uranus were within 0°9' of conjunction (and Saturn and Neptune within 1°0' of opposition), Max Planck announced his hypothesis that radiant energy is emitted and absorbed in discrete quanta, thereby initiating the development of quantum mechanics.

Richard Tarnas gives many examples of such correlations, not only in the field of science but also in other areas such as literature and in the domain of world events (particularly wars and revolutions). This software provides a way to check (and confirm) the claims made by him in support of his principal thesis that there is an overall (synchronistic) correlation between planetary aspects and terrestrial events, in accord with the ancient Hermetic dictum, "As above, so below".


In Cosmos and Psyche Richard Tarnas writes that

the five major aspects [conjunction, opposition, square, trine and sextile], and a progressively deepening understanding of the specific meanings of the ten planetary archetypes [the Sun, the Moon and the eight planets from Mercury through Pluto], formed the essential theoretical structure for the research surveyed in this book. Though many other factors, such as the twelve zodaical signs (Aries through Pisces) and the twelve diurnal sectors of the chart called houses, play a significant role in both traditional and comtemporary astrological practice, I consistently found that it was correlations involving the major planetary aspects in natal charts, personal transits and world transits that seemed to represent the fundamental core of the astrological perspective ...

Following Richard Tarnas, and in contrast to traditional astrology, this software thus makes no mention of houses and little mention of astrological signs. The positions of the Sun and the planets are shown by their celestial longitudes at a specific date and time, where zero degrees corresponds to zero degrees Aries, which is either the direction of a line from the Earth to the Sun at the exact time of the vernal equinox (in the tropical zodiac) or the direction of a particular point in the constellation of Aries (in the sidereal zodiac). This software supports both zodiacs, and the position of the planets in a selected zodiac is shown.


Some may view the observed consistency of correlation between patterns of human experience and planetary movements as evidence that history has, in some essential way, already been determined in its basic outlines ...  Rather than reinforcing a sense that one is bound by a definite fate, however, knowledge of upcoming world transits, like the knowledge of one's personal transits and natal chart, can open the possibility of a more informed and creative response to the archetypal forces at work at any given time.  — Richard Tarnas, Cosmos and Psyche, p.480


See also: Archetypal Astrology links

As a useful adjunct to Richard Tarnas's article on World Transits 2000-2020 — An Overview see the section Outer Planet Transit Tables on this website, which provides starting and ending dates (and the date when a transit becomes exact or reaches a minimum) for almost all transits (for orb values of 5°, 10° and 15°) for the following pairs of planets:

Jupiter-Uranus 1899-1915
Saturn-Pluto 2000-2020
Saturn-Uranus 1998-2019
Saturn-Neptune 1998-2020
Uranus-Pluto 2000-2022

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