By exploring their imaginative associations with the astrological signs, students can
arrive at their own understanding which opens the door to applying that knowledge to their
lived experience. This article explores how I facilitate this process in group work”
Experiential astrology seeks to empower the student by drawing on their existing knowledge and life experience. By exploring their imaginative associations with the astrological signs, students arrive at their own understanding which opens the door to applying that knowledge to their lived experience.
Capricorn case study using collage imagery
I used the following images and displayed them to stimulate the student’s imagination and responses for the sign of Capricorn.
The central image was a collage of Capricorn associated symbols:
- Christ on the cross
- people in uniform
- a stack of money
- a chain,
- abstract art that was very ordered
- a mountaineer
- an old grandfather clock
- fences and boundaries
The group made the following associations: authority, structure, rules, hard work, traditional, leadership, control, perfection, tied down, sacrificial, loners, organised, climbers, getting to the heights, tough, barren, hard going, suffering, desire to achieve.
The group then created a list of psychological themes based on the above: the need to achieve in concrete ways, an ability to survive harsh conditions, a tendency towards denial, a need for structure and control, capacity to lead and manage projects. Lastly we explored potential positive and negative manifestations of the above tendencies.
Virgo and Pisces case study using descriptive imagery
When teaching a class about the essence of Virgo and Pisces I utilized images to hint at their meaning. The participants each had ten blank numbered pieces of paper; I asked them to close their eyes as I read out short descriptive images that captured the essence of either Virgo or Pisces. They responded by writing down their feeling response, which was then pooled to create a 2 word pictures.
These were the images I used and the group responses:
|Descriptive images of Virgo or Pisces||Student’s feeling response to the essence of the signs|
|I am walking silently through the bush identifying various native trees and birds.||Respectful of nature, restorative, aware, particular, boring.|
|I am an iridologist examining the iris of my patient; I make careful notes about what I see.||Detailed, systematic, examining, inquisitive, focusing, organisation.|
|I am sitting at my desk sorting through my in and out trays, I file some papers and throw away what I don’t need.||Organised, getting rid of excess, efficient, filing- boring, labelling, classifying, tidy.|
|A group of gardeners are planting cloves of garlic in rows on the shortest day of the year.||Ancient ceremony of the earth, harvest, earthy ritual, for everything there is a season|
|I am an unborn child relaxing in the warm and safe waters of my mother’s womb.||Bliss, heady comfort, absorbed, naivety, serenity, inner peace, at one, trust in the future, no worries, embryonic, safe.|
|An artist is painting in her studio utterly absorbed in what she is creating.||Creation flowing, creation as therapy.|
|I am at a rock concert, I am a bit out of it, and I sway and wave my arms with everyone as she sings my favourite song.||Lost, no boundaries, ecstasy, part of a crowd, loose, wild, frenetic, trance.|
Simply by laying out the word pictures associated with the two signs the students were able to see the essential energy of the two signs, prompting a discussion about the subtle themes that emerged.