Now, I happen to think that achieving and maintaining autonomy and taking responsibility for ourselves is not easy. It’s something which we can always improve upon, wherever we are along this particular path, and sometimes we need to have a refresher and brush up on our skills in this department of everyday life.
Some time ago I heard a radio interview with one of the authors of a book called “Mistakes were made (but not by me)” * about why we justify foolish beliefs, bad decisions and hurtful acts - declining, wherever possible, to take responsibility for something which we’ve chosen to do.
Whether or not our choice was wise, foolish or misguided is not the point; the issue is our reluctance to take responsibility for the choice we made and the part we played.
As far as The Living Birth Chart is concerned, it’s always been my experience that the very best way to learn and understand astrology from a deep level is to make it come alive in ways that we can relate to on an everyday basis. It’s possible to learn astrology in an intellectual way, using our Mercury function of gathering and accumulating facts and information. But when we engage with Jupiter and use our eyes and our senses, and relate what we’re seeing, hearing, touching, perceiving to real life experiences, that’s when astrology truly comes alive and is for real.
When astrology becomes an integral part of your life on a day to day basis it begins to live - and you do too - with a sharpened focus as you become more consciously aware, which means in turn that you begin to live in a more responsible way.
The point I’m moving towards here relates to the importance and significance of being autonomous and taking responsibility for ourselves and our actions, together with the capacity to recognise and honestly acknowledge when we’ve got something wrong. The converse is equally true, because if we’re really autonomous and self-aware we can quietly acknowledge when we’ve got something right without needing to crow or gloat about it.
One of the key features of astrological psychology as a tool for personal growth is that it places taking responsibility for ourselves, our lives and what goes on within them into our hands, and our hands alone, so it becomes more difficult to blame anyone else if things go wrong.
Using the birth chart as a tool in this way, we find it offers us choices. Once we’re aware that we can exercise choice in our everyday lives, things are unlikely to be the same again because we’ll be responsible for the direction our life takes, and no-one else!An important way of working towards this greater wholeness can be achieved by developing and using the Sun, which can be likened to the conductor of our orchestra of planets and psychologival drives - or as I sometimes like to think of it - the leader of our jazz band!
However you wish to see the role of the Sun, it’s a very significant planet which is involved in the development of our sense of self, our autonomy, our ability to take responsibility - and as well to accept that yes, we do sometimes make mistakes!
The Sun is a Cardinal planet expressing Cardinal energy. It embodies the drive to assert and create, and it is important that this part of us is developed and strengthened so that it can be expressed clearly and without fear. It shouldn’t be hidden away like a bright torch under a damp blanket, but allowed to shine and be seen.
Sun and the Mind
We gain a sense of self of the mind through the Sun, which, in the chart, represents our autonomous self - awareness. With its Cardinal quality, the Sun is our drive to be assertive, go-ahead and initiatory.
The Sun is the sense of self we gain through our ability to make decisions and use the mind. It’s our capacity to choose, our capacity to make conscious choices and ultimately take responsibility for ourselves.
The Sun, the sense of self and the will
Closely linked with the Sun is the use of the will. We can draw on
· our strong will which gives us determination and the capacity to keep going
· our skilful will which endows us with sound common sense and the ability to be flexible and adaptive as we work towards our goals, and
· and our good will which enables us to include others and to work selflessly for their benefit as well as our own.
The use of the will helps us to be goal-oriented and better able to go after what we want to achieve.
When we’re seeking to achieve the goals we set ourselves, it’s useful to remember that energy follows thought. Using the Sun/mind, we form our ideas and go on to make these real, to make them manifest. Doing so, we can be truly creative.
Our capacity to use our will, to be aware that energy follows thought and to find practical grounding in our everyday lives for our ideas and creativity can be developed and should be encouraged. It can help us strengthen the Sun and gain a greater, more centred self-confidence. We can aim to be devoid of ego needs or the urge to prove that we are “the greatest”.
And let’s face it - if we’re on a spiritual path, this attitude is pretty much redundant!
* "Mistakes were Made (but not by me)" by Carol Tarvis and Elliot Aronson. pub. Harcourt Books