Election 2020 Trump on display

This Astrological Psychology post uses the Huber method to give a perspective on Donald J. Trump’s re-election prospects based on his Natal horoscope, Transits, Age Point (AP) Progression aspects to Pluto in his horoscope, and the Sabian symbol for 12 Degrees of Virgo which is the AP degree on November 3, 2020, the day of the USA election.

  1. Trump’s Natal Chart (Figure 1. below– I am focusing on Pluto in Trump’s 12th house, the house of Isolation, You-loss, the house of the unworldly man[i] which in his natal chart is unaspected.  In Donald J. Trumps’ horoscope, Pluto is unaspected and lies outside the Megaphone, a 4 sided aspect figure characteristic of his unconscious motivation.  That means that Plutonian energies are divorced from the energies aspect planets in his horoscope. It draws energies from the environment when unaspected.  As a psychotherapist, I recognize Plutonian energies as mafia- like power grabs that undermine surface reality.  Trump suspects our US election process to be tainted by conspiracies that the Democrats will steal the election from him and that criminal fraud using extra Democratic ballots will  take the Presidency from him.  He is using his own bully pulpit to report by way of propaganda (another Pluto method) that he will not accept the results of the 2020 election and suspects mail in ballots to be the means by which he will be fraudulently defeated.

What Pluto receives is not modified in any way by other planetary drives because it is not connected to any aspect figure.  Pluto pulls on the environment (the 12th House meaning) in unpredictable ways. Pluto in the 12 house stimulates psychologically  his power drives to dominate and manifest in a way that puts at risk his existence and as well as that of his opponents, like presidential candidate Joe Biden.  It is well known that Trump will relentlessly go after his opponents and ‘destroy’ them politically if he can.  By the same token, if he, who never admits defeat, is beaten then he may have to be ‘destroyed’ but never defeated.  Pluto in the 12th house operates autonomously and then is delegated by the environment, is other-directed and is continually deprived of conscious supervision of the horoscope owner.[ii]  Howard Sasportas says the driving force of this placement of Pluto in the 12th house, is death anxiety.  This means that any change makes Trump highly anxious because it means dissolution of what he already knows himself to be….Until and unless he locates and makes peace with his deep existential dread of non-being, he will keep displacing his fear on whatever comes along which threatens to change him.[iii]  So we can see that by virtue of character,  Trump will push away any thought of relinquishing his presidential position because of an underlying fear of the existential threat to his possession of office.  That is the intensity by which he holds onto whatever he possesses.  In this case it’s presidential power.

Donald J. Trump is the most controversial figure in contemporary United States politics.  As a  business man and Machiavellian power broker and billionaire, he has diverted and decreased the focus of the US federal government almost exclusively to national issues of self-interest to the exclusion of minority groups.  Adam Smith would be proud of Trump as would nativists and isolationists.  He is entitled to his point of view in which he is very consistent- to downsize the federal government and make the Executive branch the most powerful over the legislative and judicial branches of government and support a Caucasian working-class America.  He has learned tactics of competitive business and applies them to ‘winner take all’ confrontations with his opponents, sometimes destroying careers.  So, we will head into this election campaign season with Trump’s ruthless attempt to destroy his opponents.  In this time of death due to a Coronovirus-19 pandemic, it is especially heartwarming to see the efforts of Physicians and scientific professionals from every occupation try to hold our nation’s health together.   Donald J. Trump is making an effort to hold onto his power and consciously polarizes groups of people to his own advantage.

This US election year also  is coming at a consequential time when a Pluto return in our young nation’s Horoscope is on the horizon.[iv]   America’s first-ever Pluto Return is coming in 2022, and in consideration of the duration of karmic Pluto’s cycle of approximately 248 years, we can see the possibilities of Pluto’s  transformation/destruction influence on what we have achieved so far in our democracy.  Donald J. Trump’s presidency, according to some, is the greatest threat to our US democracy that was first established in 1776.

Figure 1. Donald J. Trump’s Natal horoscope

Donald

 

  1. The transits to Donald Trump’s natal chart on November 3, 2020 (Figure 2).

Trumptransits113

Saturn transit 5th house oppose natal Saturn- orb 3 deg. Robert Hand has depicted this transit as a time in one’s work that “you may reach a peak of success, which will be accompanied by increased responsibility.  In that case you will work extremely hard but very successfully. On the other hand, you may receive abundant evidence that you are working in the wrong area all together”[v]  That is evident in Trump administration’s failure to contain and mitigate the Corona Virus -19.

This election is a time of reckoning for Trump’s presidency and personally very significant to his work at succeeding as President of the United States.  For most of us if the evidence is clear that we are not suited for a job, then we would pack our bags and go home. Not Donald Trump. He will have a ‘Waterloo moment’ in which he will pull out all the stops and force a win if he can.

Pluto transit 5th house oppose Trump’s natal Saturn- orb 1 deg.   Here we have the forces of transformation challenging the structure of Trump’s political organization. The stability of his associations and life goals (Saturn in the 11th house) are in jeopardy.  “In this transit you will experience changing circumstances and situations that may force you to surrender many things- material goods, relationships, principles- which you have previously held onto.  You will probably resist these ‘losses’, which is how you will experience them, with great tenacity and stubbornness.”[vi]  If Trump loses, we can expect a nasty street fight and refusal to admit he has lost the election.  His famous words, ‘the whole thing is rigged”.

Jupiter transit 5th house oppose Trump’s natal Saturn-orb about 2 deg+.  This is a time in which one experiences resistance to the expansive energies of philosophy and values.  “You may experience at this time a conflict between the desire for greater freedom and opportunity and the desire to hold onto the safe and predictable circumstances. Often the temptation is to break away from everything and start over without the weights of the past holding you back, so you think.”[vii]  Jupiter can exaggerate the effects of any conflict as Trump tries to hold on to friends (Saturn conjunct Venus in 11th house) and a thriving economy. He has opened the USA for business prematurely during an epidemic.  Jupiter challenges him to expand the nature of his known friends/allies and let his ego express his right to rule (Jupiter in 5th) over them.  As an independent autocratic leader, Trump does not heed the advice of his medical advisers or the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

My point of view:  I do see Donald Trump from the perspective of a psychotherapist because I am constantly trying to understand via diagnoses of clients, I serve.  I do this so I can construct a treatment plan in my licensed practice.  I cannot see that Mr. Trump, because of a narcissistic personality disorder, will learn to use the above transits in a positive manner.  That is why I emphasized the negative aspects of these transits.  I don’t think the man has the adaptive psychological defenses to handle defeat without a knock-down, dragged-out fight.  I also think he will take as many allies and enemies down with him as he possibly can.  It is not in his behavior repertoire to assume defeat with honor without acting out revengeful and vindictive feelings.  He has no capacity for self-reflection or taking responsibility for his own problems.

  1. Age Point Aspects on November 3, 2020 for Donald Trump (Figure 3.)Trumpapelect

Age Point Progression in Huber’s’ Astrological Psychology is a time-based method in which the passage of a point called the ‘Age Point’ traverses all twelve houses of the zodiac.  In the chart above, the Age Point is the green circle with a cross embedded.  “The twelve houses or life arenas, in the life experience of man/woman are the most important developmental element of Astrological Psychology.  They are the reference system to the real world and they show the psychological processes which occur constantly between the individual and his/her environment.”[viii]

Astrological psychology identifies the timing of predictable psychological crises in life.  In the Huber model, the traditional meaning of the twelve houses expands to identify developmental tasks to be accomplished as one meets the environment as defined by the content of each the 12 houses.  Developmental challenges are timed as ‘An  Age   (the Age Point)   traverses through the 12 houses of the horoscope (Age Point Progression) at the rate of 6 years per house. It takes 72 years for the Age Point to go full cycle.   After 72 years of age the cycle begins again in the first house to begin a new cycle. The table 1. below illustrates the content of the tasks to be accomplished as the Age Point progresses up to age 72.

Table 1. Life Phases through the houses in Age Progression          

circle2

Table 2 . The Life Clock (Huber)

scanage progression

 

Donald Trump will be age 74 years and 5 months on the November 3, 2020 election date.  The Huber Method of Astrological Psychology goes beyond the 72-year cycle to address developmental issues into old age.  From 72- 78, the Age Point (AP) passes through the 1st house once again.  There is a renewed zest for life. For Donald J. Trump we expect he will “break through the restrictive habits (of old age) and he may no longer want to be ruled by the opinions of others; and energetically reject their advice as inference, develop an unexpected degree of courage and can even become foolhardy.”[ix]

We can observe Donald J. Trump’s (DJT) behavior and assert that he already ignores the advice of the  CDC to social distance and promote wearing masks in the White House.  His focus is only on reviving the economy which in my opinion is his only saving grace to win the election in November 2020.

The aspect of the AP to the Planet Pluto is a semi-square on November 3.  DJT may be found engaging in exchanges of opinion, imparting knowledge to maintain his position as President to prevent change.[x]  He is identified with Pluto’s power drive to enhance his personal agenda for USA and could be involved in his communication with advisors  to manipulate them, aggress toward his opponents to maintain his authority, entertain delusions of grandeur, and promote that the results of the election is invalid due to conspiracy theories.[xi]

 

There is a Moon Node AP in Huber Astrological Psychology.  It has red concentric circles in Figure 3 which is located in the 10th house.  (authority and executive behavior).  This Moon Node AP reflects a shadow and karmic influence in aspect to Pluto in DJT’s chart.  On November 3, it forms a sextile with Pluto which assists in exacerbating DJT’s urge to maintain power and not change by losing the national election.  The effort he makes to maintain power may be his own undoing.  There is also a semi-sextile with Mercury in the 11th house which may highlight communication with his advisors and associates to control the narrative and presentation leading up to the election.

  1. Sabian symbol for the AP degree on November 3, 2020

There may be more secrets of DJT’s behavior that come to light at the time of the election or before.  The AP is at 12 degrees of Virgo indicates: After the Wedding, the Groom Snatches the Veil Away from His Bride.  Keynote: the penetrating and unveiling power of the trained mind.[xii]

This could indicate the metaphor of the USA general election as a wedding.  So, after the election we could expect an unveiling of a secret about DJT by a lawyer (or a disciplined mind).   This symbol just fills me with more anticipation of the drama that will unfold on November 3, 2020. After which the Trumps may have to get out of the way after the secret is revealed.

 Conclusion:

DJT has an unaspected Pluto in the 12th house of his natal horoscope.
We can see that he refuses to lose this election and in doing so will not respond to the higher octave of the transcendental planet, Pluto.  The challenge for DJT would be to transform his ego from obsession with his personal identity to being directed by identification with a divine purpose for the good of all people.  The lower and negative qualities of Pluto- a will to power, authoritarian excesses, and crass ego-driven, ego-inflation is his style.  Revenge and retribution are to be expected on anyone who opposes DJT’s reelection.  Although I cannot predict if Trump will win or lose our national election in the USA, I can surely assert that the defining moment of this election will reveal Trump’s mafia-like style of governance.  He could only change or transmute his style by some kind of spiritual reversal brought about by deep reflection, remorse and introspection.  These are qualities of character DJT does not possess.  His fractured personality makes personal psychosynthesis and integration an unlikely possibility.

[i] Huber, Bruno and Louise, The Astrological Houses, Hopewell, Knutsford, UK.1998 p.  60

[ii] Huber, Bruno and Louise, Aspect Pattern Astrology. Hopewell, Kuntisford, 2005, p. 119

[iii] Sasporta, Howard, The Twelve Houses, Flare Publications, London, UK., 1985 p.  257

[iv] Cowell, Jude, Stars over Washington website, article on Pluto’s return 12/2019

[v] Hand, Robert, Planets in Transit , Whitford, Press, Atglen, Pa. 1976. P. 351 

[vi] Ibid. p. 510

[vii] Ibid. p. 297

[viii] Grove, John. Life Passages: when Age Point Aspects and Dreams coincide, Hopewell, Knutsford, UK. 2017, p. 4

[ix] Huber, Bruno and Louise. Life Clock: The Huber Method of Timing in the Horoscope ; Hopewell, Knutsford, UK. 2006. P. 249.

[x] Ibid. p. 173

[xi] Ibid. p. 193

[xii] Rudhyar, Dane. Sabian Symbols in Astrological Mandala: Cycles of Transformation, Vintage books, 1974

New Website

This has been years in the making.  My new website:

 

https://asklepiosconnection.com/

 

This 1s a study on Astrological Psychology using the Huber method and my specialty on interpreting dreams.  You can do a number of searches. On the main page at the bottom, click on to get access to a free horoscope:  On left top click on Free horoscope, use the Koch house system and there you go…

This is a website that explores examples of your aspect patterns in a power point presentation; which is on the Services page;  I have four podcasts on the Podcast page: 2 about Astrological Psychology and 2 on Dreams.This self-study module is recommended before you book a consultation from me .   Enjoy!

 

Reaching for inner truth- on the edge of gender

There are variables that influence the degree of gender expression in humans. Intrauterine high levels of testosterone in female fetuses can make  tomboys out of biological females and  genetic mutations of chromosomes called Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome create both male/female non-functional genitalia in one person.  Of course no one has a monopoly on truth and there are many approaches.  There are child rearing practices that influence gender identity.  My focus here is on how the psyche produces contra-sexual identities through psychological identifications and unconscious mechanisms called autonomous complexes based on Animus/Anima archetypes and the how the Self orchestrates the whole process.

We approach Truth as an ideal ; both inner and outer truths preoccupy our goals and desires.  Perception of what images we are motivated by, what emotions stir us and what thoughts ultimately come to consciousness requires reflection and an inner journey.  Lets go on an inner journey now into the realms of the unconscious.

There are inner voices and images we are not consciously aware of in the not-conscious or unconscious fields.  This field is not a ‘place’ in the literal sense but has an energy that is “extra-conscious whose contents are impersonal and collective” (Jung, C. G. Jung, Aion. Bollingen Series XX . 1978, p. 7).  “It (The Collective Unconscious)  forms an omnipresent, unchanging, and everywhere identical quality or substrate of the psyche”(Jung, Aion, p. 7).  We are driven to behaviors by the particular nature of this field that conforms to law just as the instinct substrate that is common to all peoples.

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From this figure we see in the lower part, the inner world, of the collective unconscious.  It contains two words- Animus- Anima.  The Anima expression in the psyche of both sexes is determined by your experience as a child with your caretaker or mother.

The boy experiences his original identity with the mother as a relation
of like to unlike, as a relation to a non-self, to an ‘other’, an opposite,
symbolized by all the obvious sexual differences… his self discovery
takes place in opposition to the primary relationship with the mother
and this effects greater isolation through its new emphasis on objectivity
and ego consciousness.”(Ulanov, Ibid.).

For the female, at stage one of Animus development, according to Ulanov, the
girl’s ego is totally enmeshed in identification with the mother. At
stage two, the patriarchal stage, the ego of the girl is confronted with
the male image which has numinous qualities and is alien to her. The
girl understands at this stage with her heart not her head, and sees the
father as a robber or penetrator who overpowers her sense of balance,
overwhelms her consciousness and transforms her personality and/or she can perceive her father as benevolent and kind figure but who is involved with objects of the world not so much with relationships as she is.

The different experiences of a mature man or woman with the contra-sexual unconscious complexes (anima and animus), is based on the original relationship
with the mother and the Self.  Once the Animus/Anima have been integrated into  our consciousness, as the male inside the female; and the female inside the male the process of individuation has begun.  The Self orchestrates this process of integration , brings to completion the union of opposites within and one is poised for self-realization.

Thus,  we carry within us contra-sexual uncionscious identities of the male inside the female (Animus) and the female inside the male (Anima).   Animus and Anima “personify and possess contents that when withdrawn from projection, can be integrated into our conscious awareness.  To this extent, both figures represent functions which filter the contents of the collective unconscious through to our conscious mind.”(Jung, Aion, p. 20).  These contents are harmless as long as the tendencies of our conscious and unconscious do not diverge to greatly.

But in the Western world, we don’t generally recognize an unconscious so the tension that arises from these Animus/Anima functions create a splitting-off, independent or autonomous part of our personality.  Your  ego may  not be aware of their qualities and as each forms a blind spot in your consciousness and they can induce you behave in a surprising manner.  The contents of the Animus and Anima can be integrated and known to you personally, but their whole natures cannot be since they are archetypes which are much larger energy symbols containing the sum total of positive and negative valences of male and female psychology of the past and present based on mythology, the sum total of the content of civilizations, and the artistic projections on caves from the dawn of pre-history.

It is  through withdrawing the projections of the contents of Animus and Anima that we dimly become aware that there are forces operating within us that are acting independently of our will and conscious intentions. If you have ever had a fight with the opposite sex in which you said and did things, made accusations that hurt the other deeply and were sorry for them later; then, you dealt with the Animus/Anima projections.  We can obtain a glimpse of their operations when they  show up in dreams, for example, as female figures (Anima) in males and male figures (Animus) in females.

Archetypes of the Animus/Anima become conscious when we study our dreams, inspirations, and insights. Dreaming of a woman by a male is part of his Anima and the drama they are involved in reveals the stage of development the man’s Anima is at the time of the dream.  If Joe dreams of a seductress woman who gives him an erection, then his Anima is the most basic and immature level of Anima expression- the erotic attraction or physical  level.  A woman who dreams of a  Bluebeard thief taking her possessions, has fear due to  her Animus revealing  an immature, alien, male experience.

Eventually we can have thoughts, emotions, desires, sensations and images from the Animus/Anima complex which stimulate our ego identity and actually change it.  If we can realize that the touchy and irritable female part of us has come out in an argument with our female partner and it poisons our emotions a bit, we can be careful about calling our lovers names in the heat of a disagreement.  But for the most part unless we study these processes of Animus/Anima projections through dream interpretation, they operate below the threshold of our awareness.

We should mention we have a changing ego-identity and events of the day and the archetypes of the Animus/Anima can affect us multiple ways without our being aware.  Body identity, occupational identity, family role identity, partner identity, spiritual identity are all influenced by these independent functions of the unconscious  contents of  the Anima/ Animus.

“For both sexes, the Self as the center of the total psyche is experienced
in immediate identity with the body. Thus, it (the Self) takes on
characteristics of the exterior physical self.”(Ulanov, Ann, The Feminine.p. 242) as the Animus/Anima comtents are assimilated into our ego.

Mother, Father, Hero, Devil, Enchantress, Divine Holy Spirit are archetypes that are not consciously suppressed because they operate deep within the psyche without our knowledge.  These archetypes are not contained in our personal unconscious which can be accessed through psychotherapy. Instead these archetypes are entrained to the Self archetype from the field of the collective unconscious!  We are dimly aware of their operations except through dream dramas which are enacted while we sleep.

The Self is an archetype that  symbolizes order and wholeness; it contains both positive and negative symbols and contents.  For example, Great Mother/Terrible Mother both are contained in the Self.  Which one is constellated at any given time, can be  observed after a fearful or inspiring dream.  For men, these Archetypes are contained in the Anima Complex and projected out onto women as Redemer, spirit guide,seductress, or witch,  depending on the maturity of their development in the individual.  Anima figures  can motivate us males to great deeds depending on their level of creative inspiration and/or induce us to yearn for the opposite sex as a partner.

The Great Father/Devil are also contained in the Self archetype in the female psyche.  Male images as the laborer, judge, teacher, monk, Prince Charming, prophet, magician, or rapist are observed by study of the emotionally significant dreams with the capacity to penetrate, separate, take charge, initiate, create, stand firm, etc.  These motivate the female to act in the outside world with an identity  which is compatible with her ego confidence and development.  (Ulanov, Ann, The Feminine, Northwestern University Press, 1971, p. 42).

Without the study of unconscious processes through art, dreams, inspirations, and literature; we can miss opportunities to channel the contents of the Self for our personal development and psychological growth.  And such refusal for introspection, can set the stage for the unconscious and autonomous contents of the Self to flood the ego with images, projections, possessions and psychic experiences that can challenge the current ego identity of the individual.  This can be scary; it often occurs at ages 45-47 during mid- life crisis, but can occur anytime in the life cycle.

Obsessions and manic behavior can take hold and create a psychic imbalance creating paranoia, insomnia and possessive states such as ego inflation that appear unstable.  But they are psychic storms , manifestations that the Self is working on creating order by compensating for the imbalance by creating an opposite and grounded image from the center of the psyche.

By studying  our dreams, the manifestations of the Archetypes of Animus/Animus and with the faith that the the Self can compensate for psychic imbalance, we can become whole, mature human beings in the relationships with the opposite sex that result in fruitful and satisfying love relationships.

 

 

How Astrology Works: From Ancient Times to Now

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In ancient times the planetary system of known and discovered planets included Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn only.    Scientist priests observed the aspects of the planets in the course of the planting and harvesting year.  In Iran at Persepolis 500 B.C.E. accounts of these Magi describe the time to plant (Na Ruz) and when to harvest crops. Astrology was used as a biological time clock in which transits of the Sun  in the constellation of Taurus in aspect to Leo were used to determine these seasonal rituals.(1)  The splegma of a Lion Slaying a Bull on the invocational temple of Persepolis, indicates the season shift from Spring (Taurus) to the presage of fall (Leo).  That is probably the origin of the revolution of the season concepts..In 320 B.C.E. Aristotle stated that “the planets effect people on an individual level intellectually.  They neither determine or compel.”  The astrologers at that time used horoscopes for nations and rulers of nations to determine when is the best time for a particular event marriage, war and peace or a grand opening.  This was called Electional Astrology.(2)

The three wise men were Magi, Zoroastrian priests from the present Iran.  They predicted the birth of a savior and the star of Bethlehem was attributed to the Great conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter. This mundane conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn occurs every 20 years (3) but the Great conjunction occurs within a change of sign (in this case from a water to a fire sign- Cancer to Leo), it heralds a new millennium which occurs every 959 years.  At the birth of Jesus Christ the timing of the Great Conjunction was 12 B.C.E. which ancient astrologers attributed to His birth year.

” The Magi were of Chaldea, here astrology was born, of which this is a dictum:  Great Conjunctions of planets in cardinal points, especially in equinoctial points of Aries and Libra, signify a universal change of affairs, and a cometary star appearing at the same time tells of the rise of a king.(4)

three kings figurines

 

Mashal’allah , a 15th century astrologer, stated the Great conjunction is a ‘point in time indicating the sum of what happens in this period…At this point of time there is a shift from one condition to another, a change in genera and shapes , and new matters, the like of which has never occurred before.  No indication is like its indication, no period like its period, and there is no doubt about the change” (5).

The star of Bethlehem was the phenomenon from my early years in Christian Sunday school which later compelled me to study Astrology.  For the Great Conjunction heralded the birth of a savior, a King of the Jews.  And my quest for knowledge of how to determine the birth of a Messiah remained dormant for 2 decades until I took up the study myself at age 21.  Thus, I did not consider the study of Astrology incompatible with my Christian theological beliefs.

______

So let us fast forward to the end of that millennium in which Jesus Christ was the dominant figure in the Western Religious tradition to an era of scientific study of the fundamental principles which underlie the discipline of Astrology.  With the age of enlightenment and the birth of empiricism, came attempts to use scientific inquiry to theorize and ultimately justify the study of Astrology as a valid approach to truth both in evaluation of character and prediction of events or ages of change.  Now in the age of modern physics and trans-personal psychology,  we find a marriage of these two theoretical streamss of thought.

Carl G. Jung was the first Psychiatrist to explain synchronicity as the connection between two apparently unrelated events: birth time of couples and their marriage.  In his book Synchronicity an Acausal Connecting Principle.(6)  He studied pairs of married couples and found that of the frequency of aspects between 300 married couples in which the Moon in one partner was conjunct the Sun in the other; and Moon in one partner conjunct Moon in the other, and Moon in one partner oppose Sun in the other was 7.3 % as compared to 5.3% in 32,220 unmarried pairs. This was a significant finding above chance.

scan0001

Astrological compatibility of married couples works on the basis of the synchronicity principle.  “The synchronicity principle possesses properties that may help to clear up the body-soul problem.  Above all it is the face of causeless order, or rather, of meaningful orderliness, …the absolute knowledge which is characteristic of synchronistic phenomena, a knowledge not mediated by the sense organs, supports a hypothesis of self-substituent meaning, or even expresses its existence…Such a form of existence can only be transcendental…as it is contained in a psychically relative space-time, that is to say in an irrepresentable space-time continuum.(7)

In other words, married couples have a compatibility not based on physical but psychic traits as exemplified by their horoscope aspects.  In such a way evidence of the  bridge between physical phenomena and psychic phenomena is made as if by chance, certainly not cause and effect.

In the field of physics,  Lynn McTaggert in her book The  Field, (8) theorizes that there is a collective field that contains all forms of the past, present and future intelligence.  Knowledge can be accessed by humans for classes of truth that are akin to the inherited a prior i knowledge as defined by  the infrastructure of archetypes:

“The communications of the world did not occur in the visible realm of Newton, but in the subatomic world of Werner Heisenberg.  Cells and DNA communicated through frequencies.  The brain perceived and made its own record of the world in pulsating waves.  A substructure underpins the universe that is essentially a recording medium of everything, providing a means from everything to communicate with everything else.  People are indivisible from their environment.  Living consciousness is not an isolated activity.  It increases order in the rest of the world.  The consciousness of human beings has incredible powers, to heal ourselves, to heal the world- in a sense, to make it as we wish it to be.”(9).  This collective field contains Archetypes and possesses planetary energies that are linked with traits and drives in human affairs and can support a view that makes sense of the internal and external world…Cosmos and Psyche.

Rupert Sheldrake, a biologist , describes that we are part of a morphic field.  A person entrains morphology through a process of channeling forms through attractor or sub-fields.  These forms are akin to archetypes which are attracted to subjects who are receptive through their own vibrational tension. (10)  Knowing how to interpret these influences is accomplished through knowledge of:

The synergy defined by the angular relationships between planetsSpecifically the quality of the angle-      a. conjunction- intensely unconscious identification of 2 planets occupying the same degree of the zodiac or within an accepted orb.  b.   square- activity and achievement complexes of 2 planets within 90 degrees.  c. opposition- awareness of a duality between 2 planets 180 degrees of each other.  d. trine- substantial agreement and support between 2 planets 120 degrees apart.  e.  sextile- assistance type of support  between two planets 60 degrees apart.  f. quincunx- the crisis of understanding that results in combining 2 very different conscious experiences of planets 150 degrees apart.  g. semi-sextile- the communication and dialouging between 2 planets 30 degrees apart.

Dr. Richard Tarnas taps this collective akashic field and describes aspects between the archetypes of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto which effect collective popular movements, i.e. wars, economic movements, spiritual changes, humanist activism, and dictatorial political ideologies, to name a few.  Aspects between pairs of these planets in angular relationship with each other create possibilities of collective as well as individual specific qualities bringing on events of our present and historical time. (11)

Saturn( constricting and protecting) and Jupiter (expansive and open to belief) in conjunction create possibilities of  intense collective and individual expansive and contracting attitudes with a shift toward more equitable social values.  This conjunction will occur in 21 December 2020 in Aquarius.

Saturn (constrictive and protective) and Neptune (idealizing, (over) identifying) in conjunction creates possibilities of intense connection between constructive identification and protective idealization  and constrictive economic disappointments.  2026 the conjunction will occur.

Saturn (constrictive and protective) and Uranus (inspiring, associating with colleagues, humanitarian values) conjunction produces possibilities of an intense connection between inspirational protection; constricting association with colleagues; constructive protection; inspirational discipline.  In 2032 in June the next conjunction of these planets will occur.

Saturn (constrictive and protective) and Pluto (empowerment, sabotage, propaganda). The conjunction produces possibilities of conservative empowerment; protective will; protective propaganda politically (in Capricorn).   This aspect is in effect now in June 2020.

Jupiter (expansive and open to belief) and Pluto (empowerment, sabotage, propaganda).  The conjunction produces possibilities of  open to propaganda by cults; deep psychological  thought and transformation; religious institutional change (in Capricorn).  Positive healing and regeneration.  (12)

We have considered the knowledge base of astrology from ancient times to some of its uses in today’s world.  For more information on how to have a consultation for a personal reading of character, please visit astrologicalpsychology.org.

References

  1. Pope, Arthur Upham, Persian Architecture, Thames and Hudson, London, 1965 p. 24
  2. Wikipedia, Electional astrology, Internet, 2020
  3. Wikipedia, Great Conjunction, Internet 2020.
  4. Roberts, Courtney, The Star of the Magi, The Mystery That heralded the Coming of Christ. New Page Books, Franklin Lakes, N.J. 2007, p. 137
  5. Ibid.
  6. Jung, C. G, Synchronicity, An Acausal Connecting Principal, in Interpretation and Nature of the Psyche, Bollingen Series 51, Pantheon Books, NYC, 1955
  7. Ibid.
  8. Mc Taggert, Lynne The Field, HarperNYC, 2008
  9. Ibid. p.225
  10. Sheldrake, Rupert, Science Set Free, Random House, NYC, 2012, p. 100
  11. Tarnas, Richard, Cosmos and Psyche, Plume Books, 2007.
  12. Burness, Tim, Blog

Outline for achieving psychosynthesis during COVID-19 Part 1

Personal bias:  I am a 71 year old person who has been doing psychotherapy for 40 years and astrological analysis and counseling for the same amount of time.   I have been dis-identifying from my former occupational identity (semi-retired), not counting on my strength from my physical body, and facing losses of relatives and friends through natural deaths.  So when I explain mental health solutions, it is from the standpoint of a partial withdrawal from outer world engagements that enables me to eventually strive for spiritual goals.   I realize for younger persons, they may not see my solutions the same way. For them psychosynthesis of basic needs is the order of the day.  One of the advantages I have, is that I can see the illusions so clearly of the ego-attachments that prevent those from finding the light.

A. Development of psychic maturity 

1. Mental health problems are caused, in part,  by an imbalance between obsessions             with our ego dependent desires and our needs;  traumas; substance abuse                             disorders; and serious mental illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder;                     bipolar I disorder;  and schizophrenia.  Cognitive disorders can be helped with                   medication; psychotherapy based on the down-regulation of nervous system disorders; and enhancing adaptive coping skills.  All these interventions are to increase healthy ego development as far as possible.  These issues, if not addressed render psychic  maturity delayed/postponed.  These problems are best addressed by psychotherapy/psychiatry.

2.  For those without mental health problems:  In a free democratic society, there are seemingly unlimited choices to be made that can lead to the wrong choices and immature development.  One is challenged to differentiate between one’s wants and needs.   Wants are caused by obsessive thoughts of ego-dependent desires for fast gratification. These are usually illusions/distortions based on poor ego development, i.e. poor self-esteem and/or self-aggrandizement from ego inflation.  Poor self esteem results in not having one’s needs met for self-confidence, positive self-image and self-worth.  To a certain degree for younger persons, narcissistic gratifications lead to proper and healthy ego development.  But where the wants or passions are unbalanced (violence and non-consensual sex), then the needs of the individual are ignored;  and there are major discrepancies in development.  Abraham Maslow identified primary needs in the pyramid below. maslow  (1). 

IMG_0618

 

In all cases , these must be met ; and if only wants are gratified, there will be lack of fulfillment and an obsessive search for desire gratification.  Furthermore, the above needs may be ignored.   

Below is an outline of how to meet each of these above needs and this is especially pertinent during the COVID-19 crisis in Pennsylvania, USA.

  1.  Physiological Needs:  Housing referrals (HUD); food banks; Office of Attorney General: https//:www.attorneygeneral.gov/consumer-complaint  Clothing through Goodwill; Water, heat and electricity Utilities cannot be cut off- Attorney General’s Consumer Advocate at 1-800-684-6560, 8:30am to 4:30 pm; Grace period for Mortages, contact PA CARE Package to see if your bank provides this financial protection.  Student Loan relief: no payments for 6 months till Sept 30,2020 contact https//:www.attorneygeneral.gov/consumer-complaint
  2. Safety Needs: Evictions in Pa halted till July 25,2020; Unemployment compensation https//:www.uc.pa.gov/; Stimulus Checks https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/covid-rights; call IRS for social security recipients stimulus checks: 1-800-824-1040
  3. Love and belonging:  contact family or psychotherapist for support ; Friendship through social media; Domestic abuse/sexual assault hotline- 814-944-3585;
  4. Esteem: Psychotherapy MBTI couple counseling for equitable, reciprocal relationship advocacy (814-215-3999); MBTI recommendations for occupational preferences; Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation for disability evaluation and job searching: 814-946-7240 (voice); Suicide hotline- 1-800-273-8255; Drug and Alcohol hotline (SAMHSA): 1-800-662-4357
  5. Self actualization: Psychotherapy Services- Psychosocial Treatment, 814-215-3999 appointments

The above identified  Needs are the basic issues leading to a personal Psychosynthesis.  So psychic maturity depends on meeting these basic needs first in my judgment.

B. Barriers to Psychosynthesis which are addressed by Psychotherapy/referral:

1. Barriers to meeting these needs are passions that are acted out which are thought-illusions/distortions motivated by poor ego development (poor self worth) or ego inflation (grandiosity), don’t address real needs.  Obsessive thoughts lead to actions and behavior which create an errant path.  Substance abuse and/or a weakened will can open doors in the nervous system that invite intrusion or possession by entities that may  lead to addiction.

2   Deprivations in the need for love and self-esteem can lead to social isolation as a defense against rejection in social interaction, real or imagined. Crippling anxiety symptoms are generalized and can prevent exploration into even normative social interactions.

3. Variables that prevent/ impair healthy psychosynthesis are:

a. Heredity which gives one innate abilities /liabilities .  Either the individual talents are greater than the environment wants and there is a surplus of untapped potential or there are weaknesses due to health problems that cause mental/physical disability and functional impairment.

b. The environment pressure (socially, culturally) on the individual causes stresses that are beyond the individual capacities or endowments resulting in  a person being constantly stressed out,  developing autoimmune disorders, and perhaps living in poverty.

c. Trauma can prevent/slow down meeting of psychosynthesis integration.  This of course depends on resilience and proper treatment of the underlying trauma.

d. Serious mental illnesses with delusions,  hallucinations and maladaptive behaviors may retard psychosynthesis.

An individual’s ego identity is a moving target that changes based on collective social, cultural, parental, and karmic influences.  Finding a stable ego -identity demands an integration of the personality in which spit-off parts (sub-personalities),  lessen their influence and power.  Integration demands a stronger ego development leading to feelings of security; calmness; self love and intimacy; and clear thinking for problem solving. (2)

Reality testing ability, adaptive functioning in an occupational role, satisfying love relationships, and feeling secure physically are measures of success; and evidence that psychosynthesis can occur.  Beyond that when we really become aware of self-actualization we reach about 54-60 years years of age.  By that time we are aware that even though we may have ego attachments to our body, to our feeling values or to our mind as a problem solver; those identifications and attachments loosen and as they weaken.  This sets us up for our ability to dis-identify with whatever ego attachments were prominent.  And sets the stage for an awakening of our self that is beyond our little egos, as cute as it is.  Wherein  lies a soul experience in the here and now which can trigger an awakening.(3)

C. Awakening to an expansion of consciousness beyond gratification of ego  desires

“The symbol of awakening is from a group of symbols which are found among those of light, of illumination.  Just as ordinary waking marks the passage from darkness of night to the light of the sun, so the awakening transpersonal awareness marks the transition that has been designated ‘illumination’.  The first stage is to see clearly within ourselves; the second, of illumination is the solution of problems hitherto appearing insoluble, and this by means of the specific instrument of inner vision, intuition.  Thus intuitive awareness comes to replace intellectual, logical and rational consciousness, or better, to integrate and transcend it.”  (4)

According to Maslow, self-actualization is the pinnacle of mature psychological development based on the need for self-realization and potency in the outer/ inner world.  Through reflection and inward looking, one begins this journey.
As one becomes his/her own authority, to the awakening of trans-personal development skills are developed.  Once accomplished, these skills can yield increases of intuition, inspiration, illumination into the intrinsic unity between object and subject.

Humanitarian ideals, universal and unconditional love, and submission of our little egos to Divine will are the three initiations will be discussed in part 2.  These are rituals which can lead to higher states of a Christ consciousness and an expansion of our ego.(5)

References:

1 Maslow, Abraham, “A Theory of Human Motivation”, Psychological Review, 1943.

2 Grove, John Life Passages: When Age Points Aspects and Dreams Coincide, Chapter 2, pps: 37-61, Hopewell Publishing, Knutsford, UK. 2017.

3. Parfitt, Will The Something and Nothing of Death, PS Avalon, Gastonbury, UK. 2008, p. 121

4 Assagioli, Roberto, Symbols of Transpersonal Awareness in Course I The Elements of Psychosynthesis, Course by Will Parfitt, Avalon Distance Learning, UK, 2018

5 Huber, Bruno and Louise, The Planets, Hopewell Publishing, Knutsford UK, 2006, pps. 106-118

 

 

 

 

 

Explained: Dreams of trans-personal illumination from superconsciousness

Dear reader:  I want to give you some background on Donald J. Trump and my feelings toward this President to give you a context for the following dream.  It is a fact that he is a business man  and has made some good business ideas like promoting that the US Postal Service (USPS) charge Amazon.com  more for shipping to help with USPS deficit problem.  He has also , it can be said , put the US on a financial footing in regards to one thing: our Nation’s self-interest in our manufacturing base (although some would argue this point) through protectionist policies especially against China.  But as an executive who is qualified to deal with global issues of health care, environmental global warming, and international negotiations he is abysmally a failure in my view.

‪I believe that no matter what the Trump administration does to quell the nation through manipulative business techniques, they will mostly fail. And plummet our US into recession‬. That is because his administration uses outmoded competitive models when the Federal Government Executive should be promoting centralized cooperative models among the allies who have mutual interests. But instead,  we have greed and self-interest motivating our government policies rather than leadership with a vision to unite parties. These are my rational reasons why I could never support his style of authoritarian rule.

Keeping his personality disorder out of the picture, I am concentrating here on my view that in the US 2020 Presidential election, he must be voted out of office.  I am actively going to canvass for Joe Biden and his running mate in a Republican dominated, central Pennsylvania USA region.  Thus in my small way, I want to assist in  bringing  the Trump presidency to an end.

7/3/2019 Dream

I went with Judy (my wife) who had a job in New York City.  I  traveled along with her and see the people I could meet.  While there I overheard a woman talking about Trump- that she was happy with Mr. Trump as president.  I met some other people and  thought I would maybe find astrologers. No luck there but I came across a group who seemed to be a political focused group.  They were working on a strategy to beat Trump in the up- coming election , or to get rid of him another way.  I asked them what was the slogan they were going to use as a strategy to beat Trump: they said “wonderous”.

Now following the steps I use for dream interpretation I shall highlight them below:

  1. Give the dream a name and save it for later in order to expand on its meaning. Usually when you have time to make associations with days events, feelings, and details that come to the surface from the dream.  This is called amplification.  If  you have time, draw dream images and color/paint them.  This gives direct powerful visual impact of the dream images.  This Dream’s name is “Beating Trump in the 2020 election”
  2. Divide the dream into a beginning, an action section and an end.  a. beginning– I am in NYC, I see one woman who likes Trump but I am in a democratic stronghold and see a political focused group. b. action– I ask the group “what is the strategy to beat Trump?” c. end– they utter the word “Wonderous” as the answer to my question.
  3. Identify the dream feeling or affect which is the theme of the dream.  There may be a series of dreams in the night and you can record them all.  See if you can consolidate the themes.  Dream feeling/theme– how to beat Trump in a general presidential election
  4. Make associations with people, places, events and things in your life related to the dream drama.  Associations:  I researched the word Wonderous and mostly I found Biblical references.Isaiah 6 talks about Christ as wonderful counselor, the prince of peace.
    “God thunders with his wondrous voice; he does awesome works that we don’t comprehend. Job 37: verse 5Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.  Job 37: 14For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.  Psalm 86: 10The God of this people of Israel chose our forefathers, and made the people great during their stay in Egypt, until with wondrous power He brought them out from that land.  Acts 13:172 Pet 1: 17  He received honor and glory from God the Father, and out of the wondrous glory words such as these were spoken to Him, “This is My dearly-loved Son, in whom I take delight.”Word associations from ancient Hebrew: פּלא 
    Pala’   work , wonders , marvellous , wonderful , …things , hard , wondrous , wondrously , marvellously , performing   Another association is with the dream image that I drew as the featured image of this post.  See above.  It is of God spewing forth a huge geometric form (similar to the Covid-19 image??).  This I drew immediately after I dreamt the dream as it came to me via intuitive image.  It should be told that I had the image on  (7/2019) before the pandemic was public.Reference King James Version of Holy Bible
  5.  Stop and re-read what you have written so far.  Become aware of feelings and emotions in You as you re-enact the dream drama.  – Defeat Donald J. Trump
  6.   Come up with an action plan which is somewhere between the contradictory emotions and feelings that are identified in the dreams as compared to your conscious feelings and emotions.  Action plan: I shall canvas for Joe Biden and promote democratic leadership in Washington  and I shall publish on my blog an article of this dream.

I would classify this dream as pre-cognitive (1) as it seems to me that until COVID-19 came upon the USA with its volcanic transforming of life forms bringing massive death but also highlighting heroic efforts to defeat the virus by cooperation not rivaled by anything the Trump administration could muster.  It is medical personnel and state governments in many cases who show executive skill and leadership during this crisis. Trump’s one hope of being re-elected – a thriving economy- was dashed to pieces as people lost jobs, money and needed bailed out of economic disaster.

I would also add one more  necessary variable that played a role in the massive collective and global effect of this COVID -19 event… its meaning of Divine intervention.  Divine intervention in this case, I suggest is retribution for ignoring environmental stewardship causing global warming and extinction of many species of animals; ignoring humanitarian love through accumulation of greed and massive wealth; ignoring peace by nurturing weapons of mass destruction; ignoring global cooperation and threatening war as a negotiation tool  for conflicts.   I would not presume to be a vehicle for such inspiration but I believe we all are capable when receptive to inspiration through dreams to channel guidance from the trans-personal super-conscious realm.  This is my own personal view; and I believe any person who studies his/her dreams has a wealth of such intelligence available.

Roberto Assagioli  in “Transpersonal Inspiration alludes to inspiration and creation which denotes a process whereby elaborated contents pass or descend from trans-personal levels (from God -author’s parenthesis), through dreams or intuitions, into the field of human consciousness.  Creation (of an image of the COVID-19) through a dream is a process whereby these contents are elaborated prior to their descent or appearance into human consciousness. Creation is thus analogous to the conception and gestation of a new organism in the maternal uterus, inspiration being analogous to the birth or emergence of the creature.”(2)  In this case, my view is that the creature is the COVID-19 virus.

  1. Grove, John D. , Dreams and Astrological Psychology, Hopewell Publishing, Knutsford, UK. 2014.
  2. Assagioli, Roberto,  article on Trans-personal Inspiration in course 1,  Psychosynthesis: Personal and Spiritual Development, Lesson 10. A course by Will Parfitt.

 

 

 

Practical steps in Dream Analysis

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Introduction:

Dreams are triggered by days events in the previous days of the dream or coming days in your current life.  But the implications are that dream dramas innervate psychic energies that are constellated around psychological complexes in the Personal Unconscious. Complexes contain polar opposites of feeling values.  Few examples: Submissive vs. Dominant; Expressive vs. Suppressed; Superior vs. Inferior; Courageous vs. Fearful; Protective vs. Risk taking.  One of these sets of opposites triggers the affect/emotion of the dream.

 

photojung

Example dream of 4/6/2020

D1 Beginning: I was in a job situation.  Action: I had some problems on the job and wanted to see my boss.  But when I went to see him, I was given a substitute  boss who had no knowledge of my work nor did he seem competent.  I felt angry that this person was in charge of me and given the authority to control my job activity.   We argued. Ending: I told him I did not like his control over my work and considered quitting the job.

D2 Beginning: I went to church.  The sanctuary was empty of people.  Things had changed entirely.  Action: We had to get the service in a different way than we were used to doing.  There were pins on the floor so we had to watch our step or else we would get stuck.  Ending: I had to conform to this or risk being stuck by pins on my feet.

I was feeling angry (d1) and disappointed and wary (d2) at the changes in the dream dramas.  In dream 1 I was angry at being controlled and feeling submissive to a boss I did not feel even knew me.  In dream 2 I was feeling that I had to go a different way to protect myself or risk getting hurt.

Theme of dream 1:  I was angry at having to take orders from authorities that did not know me or my work

Theme of dream 2:  I was having to change my way of worship or risk being wounded.

Associations: We have an pandemic currently.  We are under recommended self isolation orders from the state and federal government.  We are told what to do, how to conduct our lives down to the very details of going and coming (must wear masks to all public gatherings).  Cannot even go to church physically but have to see Easter services on line due to social distancing.  My work is put on hold by forces and authorities that effect my daily routine and tell me what to do.  Rituals that I relied on are stopped cold and I am warned if I continue to do what I did before, I would get hurt. (Get sick with the COVID-19).

Action Plan:  I need to find my own authority during this time and want to work on my goals, maybe silently but not be overcome by anger. I must conform to a new and controlling authority.  Know this is temporary and will pass and then I can get on with my purpose and my goals.  Accept and understand that I must take responsibility for putting rituals in my own life and not engage in collective, public activity for the time being.  Do Yoga exercises as a ritual in my daily life.

No drawing here because this is pretty convincing manifest contents of these 2 dreams on their own as revealed by the dream drama and feelings evoked.  So if you want to try this method here is a way to do just dream analysis.

This process is expanded in my books: Dreams and Astrological Psychology  (2014) and Life Passages- When Age Point Aspects and Dreams Coincide (2017).  These correlate dream events with developmental conflicts.   These psychological crises are life-long issues and are identified by Age Point Progression in aspect to sensitive points in the horoscope which emphasize polar opposites of feelings.  Recognizing the feeling content of psychological conflict as reflected in dreams, I believe, is crucial and  pertinent to life’s challenges/opportunities.  Both books are available on Amazon.com.

The Heart of the Huber Method: the central core

Central core (2)

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“The true essence of the human being is directed by the circle in the middle of the horoscope.  This is where we look for the potential of man.” (Huber,Bruno and Louise, p. 21. The Astrological Houses).  When an individual is born according to this theory, this circle begins to beam energies radiating in all directions which first meet the aspect lines of the overall aspect picture and then forms angular aspects to the planets that connect with the core.   See below my chart which has red lines running to the core or center.  The aspect patterns formed by this pattern forms the circuit plan for vital energies in the individual.

john-chart

Psychologically, the aspect patterns form the beginning of self awareness which defines the direction life is to take, the interests, the essential concerns of life, and what one wants to make of his life. ( Hubers, The Astrological Houses, p. 22).  Talents that are inherent in the individual and ones that will not provide difficulty are reflected here by the following 2 aspect patterns, one forms an irregular square and the other is lineal:

core aspects

 

 

If you click on the above, you will see that not all aspect patterns are equal because only the patterns which meet up with the core are significant to the individual soul. The rest of the aspects in the chart are environmental and form aspects in houses which  are an exterior not primary influential configuration reference. (Hubers, The Astrological Houses, p. 23).

In the figure above, there is one quadrangular aspect pattern called the Double ambivalence figure and a lineal aspect between Uranus and Venus.  The planets involved in the first figure are Neptune oppose the Moon square the Sun conjunct Jupiter which confers on me the action to make use of my dream symbolism in a way that leads to  ego enhanced self- worth and growth.  I use this to illustrate the way certain aspect patterns to these planets as life organs or instruments to make  a human being establish contact with the world (Huber, The Astrological Houses, p. 22).

Consider the horoscope below in which there are no connections to the central core.  In this case the configurations will be “stamped into the behavioral traits through the upbringing in the personal environment”.  (Hubers, The Astrological Houses,p. 23).

Cynthia

The individual mentioned had been sexually and physically abused and was unable to marshal an individuality beyond what her environment dictated.  Note the empty spaces are in the 5th through the 8th houses which has to do with expression and experience with others in partnerships- what is referred to as the YOU side of the chart.

” An open area in one sector of the chart between the center and the periphery then energy can flow directly, and unfocused  a) from the center of the chart out into the world, and b) from the environment into the center of the chart.  This may have the effect of creating a sense of vulnerability, insecurity or inadequacy, depending upon which area of the chart is open.” (Hopewell, Barry, ed. Astrological Psychology, the Huber Method, p. 38)

In conclusion, our purpose of the article is to emphasize the specific inward- directness of the Huber method of Astrological Psychology in which one learns to dis-identify with the environment and strives to minimize the symptoms that emerge in the individual traits and the behavioral problems which can prevent normal developmental milestones from being met.  That would be if focus of any psychotherapy in a case such as Cynthia the one described above.

Psychotherapy and Addiction

In this age of psychotherapeutic accountability, we therapists are forever obsessed with therapeutic outcomes.  And for addiction problems, the life or death outcomes become especially poignant because if efforts fail to stop a patient’s harmful use of substances- lives could be on the line.  And it is in this effort that I address resistance, transference and countertransference issues even though many in my field see these as useless anachronisms of a bygone psychoanalytic era no longer germane.

But it is to this literature and interventions that I return to again and again because they so often emphasize how difficult it is to develop therapeutic rapport with drug/alcohol addicts or abusers.  These encounters with patients are especially painful because they can engender feelings of failure in the psychotherapist when you cannot stop the self-abusive behavior; or control your angry feelings toward the patient when one has been lied to again and again on the slippery slope of patient resistance to stopping or slowing down abuse of substances.

Relationships with a drug is a form of attachment in which the drug user does not have to compromise, negotiate or make concessions.  It is a relationship with an object in which the fusion with a drug is superior to available human forms of contact because- it is reliable, always predicable and will produce results that are on a tissue level, immediately gratifying.[i]  Thus, through alcohol and drug use patients can be their own ‘Doctors’ using a drug to minimize symptoms of anxiety and depression in the short run.  They can use whatever dosage works to reduce feelings of despair and taper doses when their coping is going well.  However, patients become unreliable ‘practitioners’ when they attempt to use this coping method over time because, drug tolerance and physiological urgency when he is abstinent becomes a moving target.   As time goes on, they need more of the drug to achieve the same effect and then habituate their bodies to crave the drug of choice as they become physically dependent.   I have deep sympathy for addicts because they have found the exact answer to their dilemma of finding emotional equilibrium albeit in an illusionary attachment to their drug of choice.

Dealing with abandonment issues is true for premature infants who have been separated from their mothers for any length of time exceeding a month (in incubators, etc.); infants who are separated from mother for medical problems as infants; and those who were in foster care or an orphanage directly after birth.  Loneliness, fears of abandonment, issues of resentment for lack of attentiveness all represent a primary narcissism that is deprivation at a very deep level.  This is like a post traumatic stress disorder but the anxiety of being alone is more related to separation anxiety and borderline states.  The symbiotic phase of union with the mother had been disrupted in these cases and therefore, the symbolic separation from relationships actually causes a re-enactment of an abandonment depression with separation anxiety.

The gestational and birth experience of the child and bipolar dilemma of fusion or separation

I will use the development of the gestational fetus and birth of the child to illustrate the dilemma of alcohol/drug dependency.  And how, in many ways, the process of active addiction re-enacts the union experience in the womb with the ‘Great Mother’ and how birth is a separation from this oceanic experience into the cold reality of the world demanding more independence.  The trauma of the birth experience makes possible the separation from a state of physical/ psychological dependence on the mother.  In this the fetus’s development from womb to birth, the experience is a microcosm which encapsulates the dilemma of the human beings psychological/physiological dependence vs. independence.  This archetype is a universal conflict and is symbolized in the creation myths of all cultures.  For example, separation from the deity and reunion with God through redemption and forgiveness are from Christian stories; consider also the return of the prodigal son.

I will explain the bipolar nature of attachment/detachment from objects.  In the womb a fetus is in symbiotic contact with the mother.  In the process of such symbiosis, the fetus is taking in (introjecting) both good and bad sensations, emotions, and thoughts in a rudimentary state.  All these are associated with the fetal experience in the womb.  Is the experience full of loving assimilation with excellent nutrition, or toxic assimilation based on an illness in the mother?  Once contractions begin, the safe womb environment turns into a vessel which breaks apart that symbiotic state of attachment.  Passing through the birth canal is a terrifying experience for the fetus and represents a kind of descent into hell where breathing is suppressed, the child is covered with blood and secretions, and has to escape into a world where she has to take a breath for the first time. [ii]
This abrupt detachment from the merger from the mother can be traumatic.   This is an oversimplification of the experience of the fetus but it makes the point that in the womb assimilation can be both positive and negative.  And birth can be terrifying; It therefore sets the stage for both attraction/ repulsion toward objects of attachment in the human experience based on the unconscious memory of the fetal experience.

All relationships then, have degrees of both symbiosis with the object of attachment and complete detachment/separation as first exemplified in the birthing experience.[iii]  Consider new couples who seem to have a dependency with each other that excludes all other relationships. Then after the relationship matures, the couple becomes more distant and are not merged to the same degree.  This bipolar dynamic of relationships consists of attraction and repulsion toward the object of attachment whether it be a lover or a family member.  Metaphorically, a hit of heroin, a toke on a joint, or to get an alcohol buzz on attracts us to a temporal union of oneness as an undifferentiated being.  It is only later with continuous use of drugs that we find disenchantment and want to stop consuming the drug.  But with obsessional use for whatever reason, it becomes harder and harder to maintain control of the drug of choice.

So, the physical and psychological ability to deal with the ambivalence of fusion or separation in relationships becomes a recurrent theme in all relationships based on the birth experience. This is true for relations with humans and with drugs (objects).  And the intensity on a continuum from fusion with the person or thing to separation with the object intensifies the dramatic nature of all relationships.[iv]

Transference/Counter-transference

Transference includes patient’s unconscious thoughts and feelings rooted in the past parent figure.[v]  Counter feelings are thoughts and feelings which the therapist experiences in direct relationship to the patient’s presentation in which he/she is asked to validate, fulfill and participate in the acting out of the client’s transference projections. [vi] Projections are the attribution of feelings or thoughts of one’s self to another to whom one is in a relationship with usually based on a recapitulation of the feelings a patient had toward male and/or female parent figures.  It is an unconscious process and does not go away with either education or self-awareness.[vii]

When the therapist enters into a relationship with an alcohol or drug dependent patient, he/she enters the dramatized emotional state of ambivalence between wanting to be empathic and understanding vs. wanting to maintain an objective therapeutic distance.[viii]  The therapeutic goal for the psychotherapist is to help the patient recognize patient’s triggers that occur that predict behavioral acting out with the drug of choice and to reduce the harmful effects of abusing the drug of choice.  These goals occur simultaneously.    This is a re-enactment short of total union with the patient and the healthy separation that characterizes any nurturing relationship leading to independence from the patient’s presenting problem leading to successful termination.  If the transference behavior by the patient is positive; it is characterized by healthy defenses by putting off impulses that are destructive, focusing on identifying vulnerable triggers that consciously or unconsciously trigger relapse, a voluntary dependence on the psychotherapist while in recovery, building up constructive support systems of relationships, and finally wanting to self-rescue or get better (Eros).

Many theorists agree that drinking or drug use may represent an unconscious denial of separateness.[ix] With separateness can come rejection, abandonment and loneliness, if not fears of annihilation.  On the other hand, continuing a dependence on one’s drug of choice can ultimately lead to a fear of being devoured or merged with the drug like a puppet on a sting which is reflected in the love addicts have with their drug of choice.[x]   Often the defense of denial is so strong that the patient refuses to submit to these positive attitudes toward the psychotherapist.  He/she rejects efforts to get better due to inferiority, worrying about symptoms that occur such as anxiety or depression that rebound when he/she stops abusing the drug of choice, and traumatic factors that cause acting out angry behaviors. This then , can induce in the therapist counter-transference behaviors such as helping the patient to avoid negative emotional states for the sake of keeping the relationship going, ignoring the hostility on the part of the patient toward therapist for taking away such a reliable source of gratification, and experiencing guilt over not being able to help the patient.

Guidelines about neutralizing negative transference and negative counter-transference include the therapist reflecting on the induced feelings that result from negative transference;  setting boundaries limited to the therapeutic sessions; therapist reducing over-compensatory behaviors such as blaming the patient for the problem; being aware of therapist’s own subtle gestures to rationalize termination (i.e. the patient is not motivated); and involving support of the family to act as ancillary therapists between sessions designed to reduce self-harm as part of a safety plan.[xi]  

Therapist counter-transference when acted out can lead to sexual relations with clients; as one survey indicated (Mason 1983) 15% of therapists have sex with their patients.[xii]  A therapist acting on angry feelings rejects his patients often resulting in a closed case, transfer or referral.  The existence of these incidents is an iatrogenic aspect of psychotherapy and supervision is often warranted to reduce it incidence.  What is attempted here is to minimize negative reactions to patients that prevent patient’s needs from being met.

Compensation as a theory of a cause of drug and alcohol abuse:

I have made the point that there are opposite motives for the need for attachment and independence in the human psyche.  All human beings have a need to belong, to develop self-esteem and ultimately achieve self- actualization by being their own authority.  The process of individualization in western society involves maturing from child- like dependency to more mature independence as the needs to love and to belong co-exist with the needs for self- realization.   These needs remain relevant throughout the developmental life cycle. Attachment to drugs and alcohol through addiction is one side of the patient’s problem of physical/psychological ambivalence to merge with the object; addicts are struggling to be independent of their drug of choice.  Whether the defensive structure of the patient’s demand a delusion of the undifferentiated state or fear of being killed for being on one’s own; the problem is translated in the therapeutic encounter in ways that threaten the patient’s core of self-preservation.

Jung had illustrated that complexes in the unconscious are contained of opposite contents each with an emotional valence: i.e.  submission/dominance; expression/suppression; action/inaction; authority/disqualification; identification/disidentification, etc.  What he emphasized was that in dreams, we find compensations at the root for understanding the contra-position of the dream against the patient’s conscious attitude.[xiii]  What I find in the conscious attitude of the addicted patient is the unavowed need to remain dependent on an object.  However, the compensatory behavior they engage in consciously is quite the opposite bordering on social isolation and attitudes of extreme defiance of dependency on others.

Management clinically of patients who are addicted vacillate from session to session.  Positive transference toward the therapist can go on for months, then the patient can quit therapy all together.  What is behind this fluctuation is related to the defense mechanism of splitting.  “Splitting is the failure in a person’s thinking to bring together the dichotomy of both positive and negative qualities of the self and others into a cohesive, realistic whole.”[xiv]  At one time he sees the therapist as good for his recovery and then he comes to the conclusion that he is an impediment for his mental health.  This is an inability to merge the good and bad traits of a person into their concept of the self and see the other as either all good or all bad. Splitting can bring to a halt a therapeutic process and needs to be discussed with the patient and brought to his/her awareness.

Hitting bottom and Recovery:

When a patient becomes dependent on drugs or alcohol, there are unmistakable symptoms that are used by the therapist to educate both the patient and the family..  They are as follows[xv]:

  1. Alcohol abstinence syndrome: when not drinking urgency of first drink leading to relapses
  2. Blackouts- yes; able to function but forgetting the events while intoxicated Emergence of the ‘sincere delusion’ which is not remembering how impaired one is when intoxicated.
  3. Psychomotor rebound effect- drinks to quell anxiety/ depression and agitation but that does not work
  4. Medical problems: e.g. belches a lot; esophageal varacies, gastric inflammation, ulcers, eventually hyponatremia, liver disease, etc.
  5. Legal- citation with public drunkenness, dui, assault, etc.
  1. Family worried about his drinking and concerned he seek treatment in rehab.
  2. Abnormal changing tolerance- takes more and more hard stuff  or drug to achieve oblivion.

Once these symptoms are apparent the disease process is in full swing.  There are psycho-social losses that are compounded.  And in this process the patient may still deny the destruction and deterioration of his/her life style.  Losses include but are not limited to; legal issues and fines; occupational losses- time needed off work for recovery and poor work performance, losing jobs; loss of relationships- people who are scared or embarrassed by intoxicated patient’s behavior; hospitalization and other medical problems; acute  mental health problems; socialization only with peers who  get drunk or  high; self-care deterioration; suicidal behavior when intoxicated or high;  near death experiences or overdose

These kinds of losses lead to a phenomenon of hitting bottom when the patient realizes he cannot go on living with the obsession of drug abuse and seeks treatment.  Detoxification is a medical intervention and is recommended to occur in a hospital where one is observed for withdrawal signs and treated.[xvi]

Then comes a period of formal rehabilitation which can last 30, 60, 0r 90 days.  In this period, concentration on the following[xvii]:

  1. Letting the brain recover from addiction requires assessment of medication and psychotherapy needed to lessen symptoms of an underlying mental health issues. Helping the patient cope with his losses and active mourning over the loss of the drug in his/her life and its purpose in maintaining the illusion of safety.  Taking care of physical losses incurred through addiction.
  2. Learning to identify emotional states which the drug /alcohol masked; to express negative and positive emotions and learn to regulate them.
  3. Dealing with the denial that the drug of choice compelled the patient to avoid the fact that separation from others actually made the problem worse. And that in early recovery, he/she  would benefit and sustain sobriety by fellowship.
  4. Realize that fellowship such as AA or NA is a voluntary dependency and necessary for recovery long term. And it admits that the will of the patient is not enough to sustain recovery.  In fact, submission to a higher authority such as Divinity is a necessary component to ensure recovery.  Actively working on the 12 steps of recovery and admitting powerlessness over the drug of choice.  Going through a ritual initiation forgiving others for the wrongs that they have perpetrated on one, the betrayal, the power moves, etc.  and the desire to surrender one’s will to a higher power taking care to humbly recognize one’s dependence on others- getting a sponsor.
  5. If recovery is to last, one has to recognize triggers that cause relapse and understand that relapse can be an educational event to eliminate from your life those persons, those activities, and those events or places that tempt one to lose focus and abuse the drug of choice again.
  6. Continue throughout life to learn to grow psychologically and spiritually so that recovery is a continual effort.
  7. Learning that alcohol/drug addiction is also a social problem in which in a capitalistic society, there are mores, customs and beliefs that sustain the abuse of substances to cope with the pressures of life. Learning that the historical tradition rituals of drinking and getting high is a natural part of cultural life but that the patient cannot participate in that ritual and come to no harm to him/herself.  One has to learn to substitute other cultural rituals to create a sense of cultural self-realization.

In summary, I have identified my theory of addiction and relied on traditional methods of recovery including psychoanalytic models and AA/NA for recovery.

References:

[i] Graham, Alan; Glickafus- Hughes, Cheryl “Object relations and addiction: the Role of Transmitting Externalizations”. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, March 1992, Vol. 22, Issue 1, pp. 21-23.

[ii] Grof, Stanislav, Healing Our Deepest Wounds: the Holotropic Paradigm Shift. Stream of Experience Productions, May 2012

[iii] Kernberg, Otto. Object Relations Theory and Clinical Psychoanalysis.  Jason Aronson, Inc. NY, NY. 1976

[iv] Searles, H.  Countertransference and Related Subjects. International University Press, Ny, NY. 1979

[v] Schwaber, J. A. “introduction in  The Transference in Psychotherapy: Clinical Management. International University Press. NY, NY, 1985

[vi] Valenstein, A. F. “A Developmental Approach to Transferences: Diagnostic and Treatment Considerations”, in
The Transference in Psychotherapy: Clinical Management, Ed. Schwaber, E. A. International U. Press. Ny, NY 1981

[vii] DSM 5, American Psychiatric Association. 2013. Arlington, VA. USA

[viii] Arlow, I. A. “Interpretation and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy: A Clinical Illustration”. In Transference in Psychotherapy: Clinical Management. Ed. By E. A. Schwaber, MD. International University Press, Ny, NY, 1985 p. 107

[ix] Little, M. Transference Neurosis and Transference Psychosis, Jason Aronson, Ny,NY. 1981. P. 188

[x] Chetnik, Morton, “the Borderline Child”,  Nosbpitz, J. D. Ed. In Basic Handbook of Child Psychiatry. Vol 11, Basic Books, NY, NY, 1979 p. 306

[xi] Racker, H. Transference and Countertransference, International U. Press, Inc. NY, NY, 1968, p. 144

[xii] Wray, H. “Has Therapy Gone Astray?”, Psychology Today, A book review. Oct 1988 p. 70

[xiii] Jung, C.G. Memories, Dreams and Reflections, Jaffe ed. Winston R. and Winston C. translators, Vintage Books, NY, NY,  1989. P. 133

[xiv] Kernberg. Op. cit. p. 176

[xv] Larson, E. “Stage II Recovery: Life Beyond Addiction- Self Defeating Learned Behavior”,  Videotape. 1988, Kinetic Film Enterprises. LTD. Buffalo, NY.

[xvi] Ibid.

[xvii] Ibid.