Divination & Synchronicity
Divination is not a rival form of knowledge; it is a part of the main body of knowledge itself. --Michel Foucault, The Order of Things
The ancient art of Divination has existed as an archetype--in all places, in all cultures, in all times. From the throwing of the bones in Africa to the precise horizon astronomy of the Mayans, humans have developed tools for the symbolic interpretation of their inner life. Jung described the I Ching, Tarot and Astrology as examples of the principle of synchronicity. He felt that in the given moment of the ‘falling of the coins or yarrow stalks’, in the layout of the cards or the symbol system of 'the stars' was reflected the state of mind of the questioner, seeing them as a function of and unified by the divination process. As above, so below.
In a letter to Freud dated June 12, 1911, Jung wrote:
"My evenings are taken up largely with astrology. I make horoscopic calculations in order to find a clue to the core of psychological truth. Some remarkable things have turned up which will certainly appear incredible to you ...I dare say that we shall one day discover in astrology a good deal of knowledge that has been intuitively projected into the heavens."
Jung found, for example, that the choice of a marriage partner could not be reduced to “mere chance” but rather that there appeared to be a causal connection between birth signs and marriage partnerships. He also found examples of synchronicity within the constructs of his study and that “the psychic and physical event (namely the subject’s problems and choice of horoscope) correspond, it would seem, to the nature of the archetype in the background and could therefore represent a synchronistic event." (Jung, CW 8, p. 475).
The link between synchronicity and divination can be seen through the astrological model in what is termed transits. Consider the example of transiting Saturn passing over (or conjunct) an individual’s sun in their natal chart. What may coincide with this event? What synchronicity might be seen between the nature of the planets involved and the person linked to them?
Saturn’s role as the Beast is a necessary part of his meaning, for as the fairytale tells us, it is only when the Beast is loved for his own sake that he can be freed from the spell and can become the Prince.” (Greene, 1976)
Saturn is traditionally associated with limits, restrictions, blocks, hard work and loss of esteem or recognition. There is a connection to form and matter, including the skeleton, rocks, mountains and anything that provides scaffolding or structure. He is also linked to the archetype of the ‘pragmatic’ and the ‘isolated’ and concepts such as gravity and reality.
A transit from this planet can coincide with an experience of limitation, isolation and hindrance. Through what appears to be a synchronicity between the individual psyche, the outer planet and the daily life, one is forced to examine what is not working because they get stopped. Experiences that associate with Saturn can be anything from being fired, rejected, turned down, relationship break-ups to a ‘fall’ that results in a broken limb, lack of finances or restrictions that appear to come from an outside source—all situations that provide the opportunity to reassess life goals and the structure on which aims and objectives are built and nourished.
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