C.G.Jung / History / Science

C.G. Jung , Kepler and Consultative Astrology


Astrology is still of those darkened avenues considered off-limits of science. In his research into the symbolic meaning of his patient’s dreams, conversations and paintings, Jung observed recurring mythical themes. Jung concluded that the constellations were originally inspired by projections of images created by the collective unconscious. Jung wrote “Astrology represents the sum of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity”. It is worth to mention, that in Babylonian times there was no difference between a priest and a doctor and up to the time of the Astronomer Kepler little difference between Astrology and Astronomy.  C.G. Jung referred in his book “Aion” three times to Kepler and his use of archetypes:  “Johannes Kepler recognized the Trinity as underlying the structure of the universe in other words, when he assimilated this archetype into the astronomer’s picture of the world.” Kepler, the father of the progressive horoscope (secondary directions), assumed that in God and every human basic structures exits, which he called Archetypes possibly using indirectly via texts in Arabic similar sources of the neo-platonic philosophy as Jung did.

C. G. Jung and astrology

Kepler and Jung – both combining being outstanding scientists and mystics – agree in this more consultative approach to astrology rather than the prognostic approach. The latter is indeed a superstition, which has been  rightly discarded by science and Christianity. Jung, definitely a Gnostic, considered himself, first and foremost, a doctor and healer (shaman) of the psyche. So when Jung believed it necessary to travel down and explore a certain avenue in order to gain a better understanding of the psyche, then he just did it. Subsequently C. G. Jung has often been charged him with the “crime” of mixing mysticism with science. After Freud’s and Jung’s later famous breakup in 1913, and the resulting a deep crises Jung went in the direct direction in which he put his experiences in the Red Book and the Black Books. The former has been published recently which were not published for forty years. But even before, according to “The Freud/Jung Letters” (Abridged Edition 1979) May of 1911 Dr. Carl Jung wrote his (at that time) mentor Sigmund Freud saying: “At the moment I am looking into astrology, which seems indispensable for a proper understanding of mythology. There are strange and wondrous things in these lands of darkness.” Jung’s calculating of horoscopes continued on during the rest of his long and productive life. (Born: 1875, Died: 1961) It’s further known that, when challenged by an especially perplexing case, Jung would arrange to have the patient’s birth chart cast in order to gain more insight into the individual.

C. G Jung’s synchronity and theoretical physics

In collaboration with his friend and theoretical physicist Wolfgang Pauli, Jung developed the theory of synchronicity. Like Kepler he defines astrological claims of correlations between the position of heavenly bodies at the time of birth and an individual’s development as being a- causal and not directly caused by the planets.  Pauli saw this obvious connection: “Der Vorgang des Verstehen der Natur sowie auch die Beglückung, die der Mensch beim Verstehen, d.h. beim Bewusstwerden einer neuen Erkenntnis empfindet, scheint demnach auf einer Entsprechung, einem Zur-Deckung-Kommen von präexistenten inneren Bildern der menschlichen Psyche mit äußeren Objekten und ihrem Verhalten zu beruhen. Diese Auffassung der Naturerkenntnis geht bekanntlich auf Plato zurück und wird, wie wir sehen werden, auch von Kepler in sehr klarer Weise vertreten. Dieser spricht in der Tat von Ideen, die im Geist Gottes präexistent sind, und die der Seele als dem Ebenbild Gottes mit-ein-erschaffen wurden. Diese Urbilder, welche die Seele mit Hilfe eines angeborenen Instinktes wahrnehmen könne, nennt Kepler archetypisch. Die Übereinstimmung mit den von C.G. Jung in die moderne Psychologie eingeführten, als “Instinkte des Vorstellens” funktionierenden “urtümlichen Bildern” oder Archetypen ist eine sehr weitgehende. ” C.G. Jung stated this  principle of the “synchronicity” in which the relation of a cause and effect is not valid.  A certain timely correlation of events shows an individual a special alignment, which reveals to this individual an important meaning. The coincidental occurrence of events and especially psychic events (as similar thoughts in widely separated persons or a mental image of an unexpected event before it happens) that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality are not used only in the psychology of C. G. Jung. Even most science-oriented, rationality driven persons may admit having had such an experience and obviously this is a basic concept of Astrology (and Eastern believe systems). For every other observer of the same event it would be only a fortuitous event, with no special meaning, because no synchronous connection to this event exists. In contrast to it are events, which have a recognizable causal connection: Because we stepped on the accelerator of our car, it speeds up or, in the psychological sense, because we were disappointed or injured, we react furiously or cry. I would not like to understand the term of the synchronicity here only in the strict Jung sense, which saw this as a phenomenon connected to the process of individuation of humans only. For C.G. Jung synchronous events were revealing something of the direction for our personal journey through life at a point of time which we had gotten off our way or believed to have lost it. This can be easily broadened in religious experience and for some to astrology concepts. 

C. G. Jung and Eastern teachings

In a letter written to written to Hindu astrologer, B.V. Raman, September 6th 1947 – Dr. Jung wrote: “Since you want to know my opinion about astrology I can tell you that I’ve been interested in this particular activity of the human mind since more than 30 years. As I am a psychologist, I am chiefly interested in the particular light the horoscope sheds on certain complications in the character. In cases of difficult psychological diagnosis I usually get a horoscope in order to have a further point of view from an entirely different angle. I must say that I very often found that the astrological data elucidated certain points which I otherwise would have been unable to understand. From such experiences I formed the opinion that astrology is of particular interest to the psychologist, since it contains a sort of psychological experience which we call ‘projected’ – this means that we find the psychological facts as it were in the constellations.”

C. G. Jung and Kepler

We already mentioned Kepler’s two personas: Kepler the consummate scientist or Kepler the mystic geometer. One may take note of Kepler’s interest in archetypes and astrology without concluding that his method was unscientific; indeed, C.G. Jung proposed that Kepler’s aesthetic conception of the world was instrumental in overcoming the pagan approach to nature. Current Kepler scholarship tends to acknowledge that there is a relationship between Kepler’s scientific and “unscientific” interests, and studies on his metaphysics, and his astrology (e.g., Rosen 1984) have appeared. In addition, several texts have explored his astrology and archetypal cosmology in relation to his astronomy and have indicated the importance of these interests in Kepler’s conversion to Copernicanism. Kepler appealed to his archetypes when his physical arguments failed. I found those aspects of the relationship between Kepler’s metaphysics, and physical astronomy with C.G. Jung’s concepts most revealing. Briggs and Myers adapted Jung’s four psychological types which were based on the four elements of classical cosmology on which the zodiac was structured.The fundamental claim of the so called archetypal astrology, which goes maybe too far, is that each planet is thought to be associated with a planetary archetype that possesses a range of related meanings. Several astrologers as well as psychologists pursued Jung’s theories in their writings, teachings and practice like Dane Rudhyar. Liz Greene and Howard Sasportas founded the Centre for Psychological Astrology in London.

C.G. Jung and alchemy

C.G. Jung understood quit well Christian alchemical symbolism. Rediscovering Hellenism the renaissance created in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the age of science. C.G. Jung: “But just as every mother was once a daughter, so too was alchemy. “
Alchemy owes its real beginnings to the Gnostic systems, based on Greek philosophy and the mythologies of the Near and Middle East, together with Christian dogmatism and Jewish cabalism. Those were attempts, to synthesize a unitary vision of the world in which the physical and the mystical aspects played equal parts. Translated to Christian thinking it can be said that beginning with Kepler, there were attempts to interpret and understand Nature (and Astrology) with an adequate knowledge of natural processes. In the course of the eighteenth century, there arose the break between faith and knowledge. Faith lacked experience and science missed out the soul. Instead, especially Western science believed fervently in absolute objectivity and overlooked the fundamental difficulty that the real vehicle and be getter of all knowledge is the psyche and religion. Three large volumes of Jung’s Collected Works were devoted to alchemy and alchemical symbols in relation to the development of the human psyche and individuation. It might appear to the casual observer that somewhere along the line, Jung’s focus and line of investigation gradually changed over from astrology to the lesser known alchemy. The alchemists of the Renaissance period were well trained in the discipline of astrology as they were in alchemy and refer constantly to astrological images and symbolism as does C.G. Jung. Kepler believed that the world was created by God to express divine aesthetics, what Kepler called “Archetypes.” This aesthetics was essentially geometrical in nature. If one knows the details of God’s aesthetics, then one can infer a priori certain structural features of the world–for example, whether the world is Copernican or Ptolemaic. Conversely, if one knows the structural features of the world, then one can gain access to God’s aesthetic plan. Similarly, C.G. Jung states in a true Gnostic way, if one knows conscious the structural features of the own psyche, one can gain access to God.

Heinz Artur Strauß,Sigrid Strauss-Kloebe: Die Astrologie des Johannes Kepler.
Kepler, Johannes: Von den gesicherten Grundlagen der Astrologie. Chiron-Verlag, Mössingen 1999
Jolande Jacobi: Komplex, Archetypus, Symbol in der Psychologie C.G. Jungs. Zürich 1957
Wolfgang Pauli: Der Einfluss archetypischer Vorstellungen auf die Bildung naturwissenschaftlicher Theorien bei Kepler (Zürich)
W. Pauli, C.G. Jung: Naturerklärung und Psyche. Zürich 1952

One thought on “C.G. Jung , Kepler and Consultative Astrology

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s