Homage to Patric Walker — Part 2, Introduction
Some time ago, I published on Medium the first part of a book I once wrote exploring the possible truth of astrology. I am now going to begin to publish the second part, chapter by chapter. This will probably only be of interest to those with a keen interest in the subject matter, and it will certainly be helpful to be familiar with part 1. If, however, you want to dive in and start from scratch, please feel free. For details of the earlier chapters, with links to the articles on Medium, please see the bottom of this page on my website.
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In Part 1 I have expounded some ideas which suggest the possible truth of Astrology. Nothing that I said there has sought to prove it; my intention has been merely to show that the usual objections are invalid, that there exists a coherent body of perfectly respectable thought which would allow it, and I hope that I have demonstrated this convincingly. In my view the reason that the usual objections persist is that the people who make them are ignorant of the latest developments in quantum physics and Analytical Psychology. The former is the most successful system that humanity has come up with to describe physical reality. My personal view is that the latter is the most successful description of psychological reality. This opinion is not universally accepted, but Carl Jung is held in high esteem, and his psychology is growing in popularity as more people become familiar with its concepts (1). Although he was sometimes accused of being ‘mystical’, this is not a fair criticism; his methods may not have been those of a research scientist, but he was scrupulously careful not to allow any metaphysical statements into his Collected Works, restricting himself to writing about observable phenomena.
A preliminary observation would therefore be, given that the general attitude towards Astrology is one of ridicule and hostility, that our education system fails to give people up-to-date, relevant information which would enable them to make an informed judgment. Critics say that it is only because of ignorance that a belief in Astrology persists. I would counter that it is only ignorance which prevents people from considering Astrology.
In Part 2 I will now address the following question: if Astrology works, although the concepts I have been discussing are a possible explanation, are they the real one or is there some other alternative? In my next chapter I will therefore devise a theory derived from these ideas. One person who will disagree with it is Michael Harding. In his book Hymns to the Ancient Gods (2), he argues strongly that synchronicity and the archetypes as defined by Jung are not the explanation of astrological effects. As a way of exploring all the relevant issues surrounding this central question, I therefore intend to devote sections of Part 2 to comparing my position with his, since one good test of a theory is how well it can be defended from criticism. I understand that it is unusual to spend a long time debating points from another book with which readers may not be familiar, and which in any case may not be easily available. All that I am really doing, however, is to make the astrological case for archetypes and synchronicity, using his ideas as a sounding-board. You may well want to read in full his book in order to obtain an alternative viewpoint. I have, however, by referring to it extensively, made every effort to ensure that my train of thought can be followed without your needing to refer to it directly, should you not wish to. There is in any case much other material which does not depend directly upon it.
(1) Apart from the large number of people who either studied directly with Jung, or who belong to the second and third generation of Analytical Psychologists and have gone on to make significant contributions of their own, his thinking has impressed writers in many fields, notably Albert Einstein, the quantum physicists Wolfgang Pauli and F. Joseph Peat, the great mythologist Joseph Campbell, the explorer Laurens van der Post, and Transpersonal Psychologists like Stanislav Grof.
(2) Penguin, 1992