Whats Your Sign?

Psychological Astrology Brings Science to the Stars

by Shannon Kelley Gould

If you’re hoping to learn today’s lucky numbers, or whether it’s
a good day to ask for a raise or take a blossoming flirtation to
the next level, psychological astrology is not for you. If,
however, you’re curious about how the universe’s infinite
interconnectedness might affect your personality, your behavior,
and your relationships, you will likely be fascinated by what
Jennifer Freed and Barbara Yaffee’s Psychological Astrology
Training Program has to offer.

These ladies are serious. Freed has been a licensed
psychotherapist and depth-oriented astrologer for more than 25
years, has served as core faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute,
is certified by ISAR (International Society for Astrological
Research), and has been teaching psychological astrology for more
than 15 years. Barbara Yaffee has been co-teaching the
psychological astrology class with Freed for three years; in fact,
the two met when Yaffee was one of Freed’s students at Pacifica.
“She was my best student,” Freed said of Yaffee, “a genius.”

Freed developed an interest in astrology when she got her first
reading at 19 years old. “I felt so seen and known at such a level
and depth; it confirmed my interest in the subject.” She went on to
study the ages-old discipline, seeking out a scientific approach
from local physics professor and astrology aficionado Lynne Stark.
“I didn’t want anything too new-agey,” she said.

Their class reflects this scientific perspective and is
decidedly not the lightweight fluff you’ll find in your local
newspaper next to the crossword puzzle. And frankly, they don’t
think much of that sort of “Good communication is in the stars for
you today, Gemini” astrology, anyway. “That’s popular because we
want quick answers; it’s what I call spiritual materialism, and we
seek it out of fear and insecurity. Labeling and stereotyping has
to do with people’s grandiosity, this instant gratification
culture. That doesn’t interest us,” Freed said. “Predictive,
boiled-down astrology this is not.”

What it is, simply put, is a shift in perspective. “To study the
history of astrology is to study the history of the world,” Freed
said. “It is the only thing that has been in every culture. The
universe is our host, we are not the rulers, and we need to come
into a more humble relationship with it.” Relaxing into this more
humble relationship allows space for the mind to open, to recognize
the way in which the force of the cosmos pulls on our deepest
selves, and, ultimately, to come to a greater level of
self-understanding. That consciousness, Yaffee and Freed agree,
also encourages deeper communication and empathy. Psychological
astrology, Yaffee said, is a “vehicle, committed to awakening; we
want every individual to be the best that they can be.”

Their class covers the basic astrological building blocks — the
roadmap to an individual’s personality, as charted by the
stars — including elements, signs, houses, points, planets,
aspects, and transits, as well as interpretation and analysis, all
framed in an archetypal, mythological perspective. Sound heavy? It
is, but it’s also empowering. “We are part of the animated
universe,” Freed explained. “We are participants in the cosmos, not
victims of it; we are its cocreators, with the divine. Our
destinies are not fated, but certain tensions are present; it’s
completely about how conscious you are of it.” Greater
consciousness, they said, brings greater freedom.

In the class, the two employ the expected Pacifica approach,
characterized by Jungian therapy*, archetypal analysis, depth
psychology, and a tendency toward personal disclosure and
straightforward confrontation. In short, it’s not for the faint of
heart: Beyond the inevitable math skills required for charting,
they recommend that students be the sort who are after a level of
honest self-understanding and possess a certain degree of maturity.
“It’s rigorous, confrontive; you need to have an interest in
exploring your dark side.”

The class — comprised of four, once-monthly weekend classes as
well as study groups; about 85 hours of class time; and an
additional 20 hours of homework when all is said and done — is
taught experientially, with Freed and Yaffee offering both
intuitive and intellectual input, so it will work for everyone. In
addition to gaining personal knowledge, the two women want their
students to come out of the class with real skills they can use,
and hope their students will also learn to “take off the blinders,
to see with different perceptions.” They note that it can take up
to two years to finish the class, but the result is well worth the
time.

“The best reading,” said Freed, “confirms what your deepest self
already knows, but may awaken something you’ve been asleep
about.”

Jungian psychology is the reconciliation of the
life of the individual with the world of the supra-personal
archetypes, i.e., symbols encountered in all aspects of life such
as dreams, art, and religion.

4•1•1 Freed and Yaffee teach two
upcoming one-day seminars on October 29 and November 26. The next
Psychological Astrology Training Program begins January 7, 2007.
For more info, contact Dr. Jennifer Freed at 565-0845 or jennifer@sbastrology.com, or
Barbara Yaffee at 899-1970 x4 or barbara@sbastrology.com, or
visit sbastrology.com.

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