Become your Real Self!
Dr. Peter Niehenke:
Lecture: Become your real self
Psychotherapeutic aspects of astrological consultation
Astrologers and psychotherapists deal predominantly with people who are in a state of distress. This distress can be of different types: professional difficulties, health-problems, financial worries, partner problems, feelings of inferiority, various concrete and irrational fears, depressions, learning hardships - the list could be continued in many ways.
Now how do the astrologer and the psychotherapist, respectively, deal with these difficulties? How does each of them believe to be able to help the person in distress? What, exactly, is to be achieved by his corresponding aid? Are there problems for which the astrologer is more competent and others for which the psychotherapist is more competent?
Many people will surely feel the need to spontaneously answer this last question: "Yes, naturally!". They may argue that financial worries or certain types of professional problems are more likely to belong to the astrologer's sphere of competence, whereas the treatment of feelings of inferiority or learning hardships is more likely to belong to the psychotherapist's.
This delimitation of the spheres of competence does seem plausible at first glance. But are psychological sorrow and a difficult fate really that different from each other? I am well aware that most people feel that psychological sorrows, such as feelings of inferiority or learning hardships, are something originating within themselves, having to do with their personality-structure, whereas financial "misfortunes", for instance, or other strokes of fate, are felt as something determined by exterior factors, something that they have, in a sense, become the victim of. The terms "misfortune" and "good fortune" specifically have the undertone of being something coincidental. But that which happens to me "coincidentally" is not completely "coincidental" in today's understanding of the word.
Perhaps I can best explain this - using a personal experience: Some years ago, a close acquaintance of mine stole my checks and check card in my apartment while I was out for an hour. I only noticed the theft three weeks later due to my bank's statement of account which suddenly showed a negative balance of DM 3000,-. Understandably, I was very outraged, and after I had thought over who alone could be responsible for the theft, I reported the man to the police immediately. After taking this step essential to the reduction of my possible financial damages, I settled down and asked myself: If this experience was a dream, if you had not really experienced it but had dreamed it, how would you interpret this dream?
One way of deducing the meaning of a dream is to personally identify with each figure or even with each segment of your dream: "How would I feel, if I was the armchair in this dream? And how, if I was the flowing water?", etc. You are always only dreaming of yourself, of partial aspects of your own personality.
In my case: In what way am I similar to this thief? Expressed abstractly: Which aspect of my own personality should I deal with shall I be made attentive to by this drastic experience? This is not the place to completely present the results of my self-analysis to you. In any case, this reflection brought me into contact with characteristics of mine that I had thought to have already overcome. The way in which this man had fraudulently presented himself to me as being rich reminded me of my own tendencies to behave in a fraudulent manner. It became clear to me that I was not that different from this man, and that the difference between us lies in the fact that I am paid enough respect that my fraudulent tendencies do not come into play.
Novalis, the poet, says: Fate and soul (better: psyche) are two designations for the same principle. Many astrologers would more likely, in some way, feel themselves competent for the fateful experiences or incidents that we are "befallen" by. Many psychotherapists would more likely feel themselves competent for that which Novalis designates as the soul.
To endorse Novalis' conception that both things are the same in the end, and to make this conception the basis of your own work, is a matter of decision - in the end, a matter of belief. The validity of such conceptions cannot be proven stringently, of course - and anyone who thinks it could be done might better first think over what exactly makes up a proof.
I have decided to work from this assumption and to use it as the basis of my astrological and therapeutic work. For me, everything a person experiences is a direct expression of his character. I have found that it is pro >lific to approach my own problems and those of my clients with this assumption as a basis. The therapist's conceptions are only one element in the course of a consultation, however. What type of help does the client expect when he consults a psychotherapist or an astrologer, respectively? What conception does he have concerning the deeper reasons for his difficulty, his distress? Does he expect something else when he consults a psychotherapist than when he consults an astrologer?
Here, again, at first glance, "Yes!" seems to be the right answer. I, myself, also made a corresponding distinction when I opened my practice as a professional astrologer 18 years ago. As an astrologer I considered myself a "diagnos >tician". My endeavours were to make fitting and differentiated diagn >oses. For example, it filled me with pride when clients, after a diagnosis, stated: "Yes, that describes me precisely! Nobody has expressed it that well before. I couldn't have said it that well myself." - Whether it was in the character >ology sector, for which I felt myself competent, or in the prognosis sector, which other astrologers consider more important: Both are diagnos >ticians! The diagnos >tician determines the tendency a character or a situation has, or will have.
The longer I worked in this way, the less satisfied I was with this method of diagnosis. Once a client wrote me a letter after receiving a written report: "Many thanks for your report. It was a great surprise to me. It almost seems like a wonder, how precisely you have described me.....After you have analysed my strengths and weaknesses so precisely, I would ask you to be so kind as to tell me how to deal with the problems you have shown me." This request finally showed me that I could not separate astrological work and therapeutic work. At first I felt the desire to tell the client that he should consult a psychotherapist closer to his home. I had made the diagnosis: What I did not have was an astrologically founded "therapy." And I was no longer "naive" enough to give advice reverting to "healthy common sense" based on "tested everyday techniques" regarding psychological problems (as most astrologers do in such a case) being too much of a psych >ologist already.
The situation described above occurs often. It begins when a client consults me with what seems to be a simple request for detailed information: For example, a middle-aged woman, married for 20 years, who has been left by her husband, consults me. She asks me: "Will my husband come back to me?" Even if I could give her a definite answer based on my experiences (which is not possible, of course!): Did she only come to see me to find that out, or was that the reason at all? Have I really helped her?
The justifiability of my doubts becomes clear with many clients who continue with further questions of their own accord: "Have I done something wrong? How will I cope with the new situation? What will happen now? What should I do?"
The client is looking for advice, for orientation. He is suffering and is looking for a way to deal with this distress, to avoid new, additional distress. - He would like to feel better again. - At this point, the initial situation for therapists and astrologers is identical: Both are faced with the question what is to be done, and, in my view, also with the question how to justify their own treatment or advice. If I want to help, I must know my objective: What can my help change? When can I consider my help to have been successful?
For a person who thinks in a direct and straightforward fashion, this question may seem pointless. He may think: "If the client feels better afterwards, then the help was all right:" Unfortunately, it's not quite that simple! Picture a patient having trouble falling asleep: He gets sleeping pills from the doctor and he feels better. As time goes by, he gets used to the pills and needs stronger doses all the time until he ends up being addicted to the pills (a hypothetical, extreme, but not entirely improbable case). Perhaps financial worries were the cause of the sleeping problems or there were problems with his marriage. Resolving these problems would have provided a lasting solution to his sleeping difficulties without any "side effects".
It is a question of choosing the frame of reference: In this case, the doctor, in my words, had a purely physical, a physiological frame of reference. For him, sleeping disturbances, to put it in simplified form, are the result of an excessively active vegetative nervous system, which he tries to correct with chemical methods. Within his frame of reference, this is a consistent and sensible decision - his help is effective, after all. This frame of reference sees the body predominantly as a functional sytem, and human suffering, be it physical or psychological, is essentially the expression of a disturbance of this very susceptible system. If psychological suffering should be something different from a functional disturbance in the chemical set-up of our body: What is it, then?
The question regarding the nature and causes of human sorrow has been answered in very different ways in the different epochs of human history: revenge or even capriciousness of gods, God's punishment for immoral behaviour i.e. for violation of his commandments, in eastern cultures: karma, in our times the aforementioned conception of a functional disturbance which may have to be seen in connection with the so-called heredity, but also development disturbances during early childhood or else "wrong learning" that was more or less coincidentally carried out.
Even that which is actually to be seen as sorrow has, in various periods of our history, and, in various societies, even today, been assessed differently: Let us consider the position of a woman in oriental countries. Let us just consider the lack of love in a marriage, the "side-by-side existence" (as they often call it themselves); this lack of love was a self-evident truth in the purely functional marriages of the middle ages. There, it was still common for the parents to choose the marriage partner for their children. The "love marriage" is an invention or achievement of the last 2 or 3 centuries. Today, however, this in former times natural situation often leads one or both partners to consultation with a psychotherapist or an astrologer. But even within our present society, yes, even among those people whose profession is the cure or alleviation of human sorrow (e.g. doctors and psychotherapists), there are, as indicated before, no uniform ideas regarding the nature and causes of human sorrow, the therapeutic methods and possibilities or even the goals that are to be attained by such therapy.
When asked what the goal of analytic therapy was, Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, answered that the patient would be able to "love and work" again after a successfully completed therapy. To actually achieve this goal means a lot in reality, more than many might feel at first glance. To be able to enter a meaningful and satisfying relationship based on partnership and to allow this high degree of closeness to a person to develop, requires inner stability. But, much of that which is called love should better be called "reciprocal satisfaction of one's needs", perhaps also "reciprocal soothing of anxieties": anxieties regarding financial distress, sexual frustration, etc. The fact that I need another person is too often mistaken with the fact that I love him. Being needed and being loved are two different things, in my opinion, however.
Similarly, the capacity to work requires a high measure of inner orderliness. At least in those cases in which I don't mean the work which I am required to do, even if I must force myself, but when work means the capacity to "serve" a purpose. Only an inner orderliness allows me to bring up enough energy for such "work", energy which would otherwise be used up for the solution or, in the more unpleasant case, for the suppression of inner conflicts. The route that leads to the goal of being able to "love and work" againis the psychoanalytic technique for Freud. Essentially, its aim is to make subconscious things conscious: The patient learns to consciously deal with his subconscious motivations (!) and anxieties, which otherwise were withdrawn from control by his conscious self. He is then no longer the one driven by inner powers or impulses which he can't understand, no longer the victim, but an active, and thereby mature, adult person.
To preclude this possible misunderstanding:the goal of any therapy is NOT to make an unhappy person into a happy one. Even a therapist cannot make the facts that make me unhappy disappear. What he can do was expressed by Sigmund Freund in approximately the following way: Neurotic sorrow is to be changed into normal human sadness.
To be able to deal with his subconscious motivations consciously, the patient must, as a first step, be able to admit and be aware of them. This perception generally involves certain anxieties, e.g. of being a "bad person" with inclinations and desires of this kind. Due to these anxieties, perception is suppressed and the subconscious impulses can only be expressed in distorted or symbolic form (e.g. in dreams). The therapist, who has experience in the mechanisms of distortion and symbolic coding of subconscious subject matter, helps the patient with the interpretation of his subconscious utterings and thereby helps him to understand himself.
In broad outlines, this is how Sigmund Freud sees the causes of psychological sorrow and the method and goal of a therapy for this sorrow. Completely different are the conceptions concerning causes, methods and goals of the so-called behaviour therapy (a term developed by the psychologist H.-J. EYSENCK). For behaviour therapists, psychological sorrow, in simplified terms, is the result of wrong learning processes, among other things. These wrong learning processes lead to "unsuitable" behaviour that is inadequate for the existing conditions, and that usually leads to negative, listless results. Such behaviour can be corrected in the same way that it was formed, by learning: Learning new behaviour or re-training. Another reason for the development of such behaviour can be the adherence to (in this case) harmful behaviour since it leads to the desired results in another case. The behaviour has the appearance of being "disturbed" since the connection can neither be comprehended by outsiders nor by the person involved himself.
If, for instance, a female client consults a behaviour therapist and complains about difficulties making acquaintances or about loneliness, then the behaviour therapist may first analyse the form of making contact and may then possibly practise other, more efficient forms of making contact. On the other hand, he may discover during the analysis that the client receives deep pity and consolation from her mother regarding her loneliness, which may be of great importance to her if, for example, she does not otherwise receive much affection from her mother. For the psychotherapist, the mother's affection is a form of reward for the loneliness, a pleasant result from a harmful situation which, on the other hand, encourages the upholding of the situation. Depending on the case, the therapist may speak to the mother and ask her to react to all her daughter's future attempts to make contacts with the same affection, but to treat her daughter's feelings of loneliness more neutrally.
So far, we have got to know three ways to understand human distress: The doctor might have given the client referred to an antidepressive medium if she had consulted him; an analyst might assume that the daughter subconsciously feels her mother's real or imaginary (in technical terms: projected) jealousy when she makes contact with other people and that her difficulties in making contact are rooted in the quite childlike fear of losing her mother; the behaviour therapist sees it simply as a matter of practising more efficient forms of making contact.
How would we see it as astrologers? How do we see psychological distress? In what way can we alleviate this distress in an astrologically founded fashion? Are there any such methods?
I believe that there is no uniform conception about the nature of human distress among astrologers either; there is definitely no uniform astrologically derived conception of how to help people in distress. There is not even agreement on what the horoscope "actually" means, what type of message one can derive from this graphically depicted configuration of the planets that was in existence at the moment of birth.
There are, for example, the "total fatalists", who go so far as to claim that a person's every step can be derived from the horoscope, if only one knows the correct method and calculates precisely enough. Apart from the fact that these astrologers, in my opinion, do not take the difference between the symbolic meaning and their corresponding concrete equivalences into account (each astrological symbol is ambiguous in respect to the concrete real-life situation that it relates to), the question always remains unanswered, how such "schedules of fate" are to help those seeking advice. Must they not feel powerlessly passive, at the mercy of a train whose destination only the astrologer, at best, can tell them (as he believes)? To the question: "What sould I do?", such an astrologer can only give one logically consistent answer: In any case, only those things will happen that are destined to happen.
Since nobody has been able to make this assumption convincingly plausible to me, I have in any case decided to reject it, since it is so fruitless, among other reasons. It takes the responsibility for my own fate completely out of my hands. Due to this, though, it also takes away my motivation to do anything but to let myself drift.
By far the greatest number of today's practising astrologers actually does not see the horoscope as a "schedule of fate", but as a structure diagram that reflects the construction of my "basic character", coded in symbolic form. Looking at it this way, the horoscope is a simile, and there is an infinite number of concrete realities in life, concrete experiences, concrete facts that can "comply with" this simile. But, even though there is an infinite number of concrete realities in life that correspond to this simile, they are nevertheless not "arbitrary" - to immediately counter any possible objection against astrology. We can also sketch a triangle in an infinite number of ways, what we sketch still does not become arbitrary: A triangle is still something different than a rectangle! I like expressing this circumstance in the following way: The symbols of astrology refer to a "meaning" that certain facts have for the life of a person, not to the facts themselves: As an example, the symbols do not directly refer to the money itself, but to that, which the money "means" to the corresponding person; for instance they can refer to his relationship to financial security or to the role that material or also intellectual property plays in his life. Similarly, applied to a different field of interpretation, not to the "professional change" itself, but perhaps to the search for a new leading motive, the desire for a different social position, the desire for an increased scope of vision or whatever meaning a change of profession as a fact can have for the client in a concrete case.
I believe that most seriously practising astrologers will agree with this conception of the nature of the horoscope. And I also believe that something can be derived from this conception concerning the nature and the deeper causes of human distress. As I described above, Sigmund Freud distinguishes between two types of pain or distress. He says that psychotherapy's goal is not to make an unhappy person into a happy one, but to change neurotic distress into normal human sadness. In an analogy to this wording, I would distinguish two types of human distress in reference to the horoscope also: I will call one the "healthy", and the other the "unhealthy" type of distress. In my opinion, the type of distress that we feel in the form of an illness, as a "disturbance", the unhealthy type of distress, results from the fact that I deviate from the basic character expressed by my horoscope, that I deny it, suppress it or simply reject it!
There are very many reasons for such a suppression or rejection of a person's basic character. A clearly plausible example is the situation of a woman whose horoscope shows a strong Mars component, or the situation of a man whose horoscope contains a strong Venus or Moon component. In a society in which a strong separation of the sexual roles is carried out, as was the case in our society until recently, an overly sensitive man with an emphasis on feminine characteristics or an overly robust woman with an emphasis on masculine characteristics must feel inferior, since neither of them can fulfil the prescribed sexual roles projected onto them, unless it is done through self-denial. Mind you, this price is generally paid.
So the situation can lead to myself personally rejecting my most inherent character. In my opinion, it is immediately plausible that such a rejection must have painful consequences for the corresponding individual.
There is, however, to get to the so-called "healthy" distress, a certain measure of pain in every life that lies in the necessity to cope with the unavoidable limits to the satisfaction of my desires that exist - with the so-called frustrations, in other words. Coping with such challenges of fate is a healthy pain, since it promotes growth and maturity. The greater part of these limits is likely to result specifically from my basic character, as it is represented by the structure of the horoscope. I refer back to Novalis: Fate and soul are two designations for the same principle.
The actual unhealthy pain often results from this distress specifically due to my attempt to avoid this pain, which would mean for me to deviate from my basic character. In this correlation, let us not forget that it is not the fact as such that counts, but the meaning that it has for me. Not the incident itself hurts, but my pain relates to something that is triggered in me by the incident.
Even the death of a close person triggers different types of pain in different people since the death of a close person can have different meanings: It can be the goodbye, the final goodbye that I must say to him - it can be a type of compassion that he must depart this life now - it can be an expression of my fear, since I am reminded of my own death by this experience - it can show me the transitoriness of all that I cling to, and, in this way, lead to a complete new orien >tation regarding my values - and, finally ... it may even be that we are happy to see the person dead - we all know that! But the pain can also be coupled with my inheriting and becoming rich. The death of a close person can mean all this to me, and the pain, or the feeling that I experience, receives its tone from this meaning.
What can I derive from this characterization of human distress that allows me to help people that are in need?
If the horoscope reflects my basic character, and if the assumption is correct, that a disowning, suppression or rejection of my basic character represents a source of distress, then the >maxim of astrologically founded therapeutic work is that which I would like to call "reconciliation with my own basic character"! One can express this circumstance in various ways. In the known American astrologer DANE RUDHYAR's (1) words, the horoscope, for him, represents an "instruction": It does not say what someone is like but what they should be like! One could add: Should be like to be or live in harmony with his basic nature. In other words, this means: Be who you really are!
It makes a big difference whether I see a horoscope as a character depiction that shows me the actual state, that helps me analyse my strengths and weaknesses, as the client mentioned above said it in his letter to me, or whether I see it as the outline for something towards which I should develop, as something that I should strive towards.
The difference is obvious: In this case, there is nothing in the horoscope that I would have to avoid, weaken, or even keep a particularly watchful eye on. On the contrary: Every aspect of the horoscope designates a part of my self-development that has a right to be carried out, that must be carried out, so that I am "intact", i.e. complete and living in harmony with myself! In this way, the horoscope is not a "schedule for my fate", but a guide-line for my self-realization.
This first determination of my astro-therapeutic maxim is a little general, I must admit. The astrologer who is experienced in interpretation will have a number of serious reservations at this point. After all, there are configurations in the horoscope whose voluntary realization seems to border on masochism. At the end of my lecture, I would like to attempt to distinguish clearly what the transposition of my maxim means in practice with regard to configurations traditionally considered "critical".
The example refers to the topic of the 12th house or field. Let us use the description of the 12th house by the doctor and astrologer H. Freiherr von Kloeckler (2) as a starting point: "In this house, tendencies are expressed that easily lead to outer inhibitions and isolation. If the house is strongly emphasized, the outer effects are accompanied by psychological restraint, aversion and, in some cases, antisocial or criminal tendencies and inclinations. Distress and the sensitivity for the "theme" distress are mostly very pronounced, physical and psychological illnesses are expressed by the planet positions of the 12th house. In the overcompensation of these restraints, social inclinations and tendencies are developed that result in removal of distress for me in general. The 12th house is, for example, usually a significant structural element in the chart of a doctor, a welfare worker, etc. Strong disharmonic configurations in the 12th house indicate a considerable burden of fate and almost always lead to a certain isolation, to illnesses but occasionally to disastrous compulsive deeds and to moral dangers that are mostly difficult to overcome, since the self-insight into these areas of nature seems to have to fight against the greatest difficulties." That is the end of Herr von Kloeckler's quotation.
As can be seen in a number of phrasings in this description of the 12th house, it results from descriptions of typical, concrete equivalents for the astrological symbol: 12th house, based on experience. The description has a diagnostic approach, and, for it to be useful therapeutically according to our maxim, one must convert it into an "instruction".
It is clear that this instruction cannot possibly contain a regulation concerning concrete behaviour, since that would not do justice to the symbolic basis of the "instruction", would be one variant of fatalistic conceptions. The instruction can, of course, only refer to "basics"; in the end, it refers to that which the configuration "actually" means.
Here, we are in a dilemma: How are we to determine what a configuration "actually" means, when we always only see concrete realizations of this configuration in certain specific people?
I see 3 ways, in which we can come closer to the "actual" meaning of a configuration bit by bit: To start with, we can carefully examine the diverse concrete realizations for a certain principle. This has always been done in astrology, and the well-known key words have developed that, for the 12th field. for example, are enemy, opponent, sorrow, prison, tribulation. We can now continue to try to examine the more detailed circumstances that have led to the determinations such as enemy or prison, in the hope of finding a common principle, possibly the common denominator of all these different equivalents.
Trying this the 2nd possibility that I see helps us: The structure, the build-up of the astrological system itself shows us one specific method: The 12th house, for instance, is at the end of the house cycle, it belongs to the 4th quadrant, which is close to the collective, it is related to the pisces sign of the zodiac. We must attempt to let the "pictures" speak through which astrology has been handed down to us and to let ourselves be "moved" by these pictures, to "attune" ourselves to the language of these pictures. Some can do that better than others can, that is true in all areas of life. In this way, we may be able to suspect or feel what, for example, the 12th house means and be able to relate it to our observations.
In the end, we still have the client himself, if we let ourselves be led by him, encourage him to admit the things that he feels, even if they may frighten him. In this way, we can gather experiences on how a configuration manifests itself in an individual that considers himself stable and has the feeling of being in harmony with himself and how differently the same configuration manifests itself if we are dealing with an unhappy, distressed individual. We could even use ourselves as a test case in this situation.
In my opinion, the 12th house symbolizes needs and impulses of a person that are related to the collective of all people, probably, in the end, to the genus of the human being. Somehow this house has a proximity to the victim: The giving up of self-centered needs for the benefit of collective needs or requirements.
What the 12th house could mean became clear to me abruptly thanks to an animal film I saw on TV some years ago: This film dealt with a mysterious march that crayfish undertake every year on the seabed. A group of divers tried to accompany the crayfish on their march to study their behaviour.
The crayfish were marching in queues of approximately 20 individuals each, in single file. If a diver approached the group from the rear, the last animal stayed behind to oppose the supposed attacker. The group marched on. Only if the danger became larger, the whole group would form a circle and hold their claws outwards for their protection. The commentator explained that this animal in the final position protects the group at the risk of its own life and often loses its life thereby. It sacrifices itself!
I deliberated how the animal might overcome its survival instinct. Since it surely doesn't do this due to moral considerations, but instinctively, this "sacrificial" urge in the animal must be stronger at that moment. Instinctive actions are something automatic, but this automatism is usually satisfying, eases tension and is pleasure-orientated, as a rule. The animal behaves in a simple fashion: It fulfils itself, to use a term related to humans. It fulfils itself by sacrificing itself for the group! Self-realization and destruction of the individual are identical to each other here.
The same applies to the basic character of a person, that its realization, its fulfilment is "pleasure-orientated", that it is connected with the feeling: That's the right way! A strong emphasis on the 12th house presumably means a strong impulse in the direction of "sacrifice for the requirements of the group" for the individual. That is the reason why so many people with jobs in the welfare area are found there.
In our society, the term "victim" has an unpleasant connotation, though. The spirit of our times is related to individuals, and such needs seem incomprehensible, if not unhealthy. But not only for others, even for the individual himself, his needs are incomprehensible, possibly even frightening, and he may defend himself against them. This defense can go so far as to convert the impulse, to give himself up for others, into its exact opposite, then we have the criminal quoted by Freiherr von Kloeckler, who takes more than he is entitled to.
But the strange thing about the basic character is that it has a strong yearning for realization, and that pure suppression or denial does not take away its power, the power is only "stored". Prison or violent self-destruction can perhaps be understood as distorted forms of realization of the original impulses just described.
From case to case, the conveyance of such thoughts to the client requires a high degree of empathy, since the attempt to explain to a non-receptive person that his problems would disappear if he could give in to his need to sacrifice himself for others can only meet with a lack of understanding or aggressive refusal. For this reason, I often word certain impressions from the horoscope as a question during the consultation:
"What is your impression of people who sacrifice themselves for others?"
"What do you mean by that: sacrifice? Do you mean martyrs?"
"Yes, we can call them martyrs, for example, in this case."
"I find them dreadful! No fighting spirit! Somehow something like that makes me feel sick."
Someone who has the sun in Aries in the 12th house might answer like that. I might continue by asking what is so sickening about these people, and would, in this way, attempt to let him discover this part of his character himself.
Psychologically speaking, the process I am describing is the discovery and assimilation of that which C. G. JUNG calls the "shadow". The "shadow" encompasses all the parts of my person that I cannot stand, to put it simply. Least problematic are those parts of my person that I am aware of and nonetheless reject. More difficult are those parts of my person that I reject so strongly that I am afraid to admit to them belonging to my person.
C. G. JUNG showed that it has been expressed in various ways in mythology and in fairy tales already that we can only become healed if we can integrate our shadow, if we can identify with it, if we can accept it, yes, if we can love it. One example for the pictorial expression of this knowledge is the fairy tale about the Frog Prince: The princess must not only let the ugly frog into her bed, she must even kiss it. But if she does so, the fairy tale teaches us, then the ugly frog turns into a good-looking prince.
We must learn to love the dark side in us, only then can it show us what enormous potential there is in this part of our person also, and how important this part is, so that I can live in harmony with myself.
For me, as a therapist, the great difficulty lies in the fact that I, also, am involved in a process, and that many of my clients' shadow figures also instil me with a sense of fright, that I cannot accept many impulses myself and then cannot accept them in my clients either. How should he learn to love his shadow with my help if I reject this shadow for the same reasons he does?
Here it shows that both as an astrologer and a therapist, I only can accompany a client to the point which I can reach free of fears myself. With my help, a client always only reaches the point to which I have developed myself. This knowledge commits both the astrologers and the psychotherapists to work on themselves constantly.
A psychotherapist's training includes the personal completion of a psychotherapy. There are good reasons to demand this for astrologers, too.