Inside the Cosmic Mind:
Archetypal Astrology and the new Cosmology
Inside the Cosmic Mind presents a radical new approach to astrology in the light of the emerging worldview known as archetypal cosmology. In this book Phoebe explores the roots of this cosmology in the wisdom of the ancient Egyptian mysteries, then follows these ideas to modern times through Jung’s ideas on the nature of the psyche.
In doing so she discovers that astrology is entirely compatible with the claims of the new cosmological thinking as envisioned by post-modern physics and chaos theory. She goes on to propose that the mathematical basis of astrology and the components of astrological charts are both psychological and cosmic in their scope. And she argues that the twelve astrological archetypes make up one single cosmic mind whose patterns are imprinted on all our individual minds. Finally she uses William Blake’s chart to demonstrate the power of this new approach.
“Building on the work of Richard Tarnas and Keiron Le Grice on archetypal astrology, this fascinating book reaffirms the centrality of the microcosm-macrocosm/ individual-universal correspondences and weaves it in with the work of Jung, especially on synchronicity, to present a vision of oneness that can respond to the loss of meaning in our culture.”
David Lorimer (Author of Whole in One)
“This ambitious and highly erudite book seeks to present us with a worldview which could lead towards a renewed spirituality in which astrology plays a central role. The author’s attempt to bring astrology back into the mainstream of modern thought is an interesting and provocative one, drawing on a remarkably wide spectrum of traditions, and propelling the argument with eloquence.”
J.J. Clarke (Author of The Self-Creating Universe)
“Scholarship in the field of archetypal cosmology situates astrology in a rich tradition of ancient myth and philosophical speculation, and demonstrates its congruence with certain new-paradigm perspectives in modern science. Here Phoebe Wyss skilfully explores some major elements of this emerging vision, leading the reader from first principles to the practical application of astrology to individual biography. In a style both engaging and accessible, Inside the Cosmic Mind is a valuable and much-needed guide to the theory and practice of an archetypal approach to astrology.”
Keiron Le Grice (author of The Archetypal Cosmos)
Published in Osho News
Ever since humans began observing the skies and interpreting planetary movements, the relevance of astrology as an essential component of our cosmology has been debated by laymen and professionals alike. Phoebe Wyss’ book, Inside the Cosmic Mind, brings a refreshing new viewpoint to this debate. Weaving together the strands of history, mythology, quantum physics and Jungian psychology, Wyss proposes that astrology should rightly be considered a significant contributor to the currently emerging scientific paradigm of the 21st century.
Reading this book feels like time travel, though not always in chronological sequence. We get to revisit and explore cultural components of ancient Egypt and Greece, Newtonian physics, 20th century scientific advances, art, architecture, psychology and various religious and philosophical worldviews throughout the centuries. Having arrived at the door of the present, we come upon the exciting convergence of archetypes and psychology, between
which, Wyss argues, astrology comprises the perfect bridge.
It is not just astrologers but also those with an interest in Jungian psychology or quantum physics (or both) who will find this book a fascinating read as it meanders effortlessly between these two seemingly unrelated subjects. The Jungian concept of synchronicity, or, “as above so below” is the cornerstone for the exploration of the potential connection between them. Wyss shows over and over again that not only are the boundaries between science and spirituality slowly melting but these two schools of thought are actually beginning to coalesce.
Historically, our understanding of astrology has been based on the premise that the movements of the planets have a direct influence on our lives. Wyss suggests a more expansive purpose for astrology which transcends cause and effect. It is here that it intersects with the Jungian collective unconscious - a realm within which the principle of synchronicity has deep and profound implications for our understanding of human destiny.
As part of this new, archetypal astrology, the embodiment of the premise that the microcosm reflects the macrocosm necessitates the activation of our co-creative potential with the universe, allowing our participation within it to be more inclusive and empowering. Archetypes, as language-ed by astrology, are not just a context for the multi-faceted-ness of our humanity but also powerful tools that help us bridge from the personal to the divine.
The last chapter of the book is dedicated to an in depth look at the life and work of British poet and philosopher William Blake as seen through the natal horoscope. Wyss provides a fascinating analysis of the conflicting aspects of Blake’s psyche which, when explored in the context of planetary configurations and Jungian archetypes, are revealed to be the necessary grist to the mill of his great genius.
Inside the Cosmic Mind is something of a literary Rubik’s cube and a wonderful and inspiring guidebook for those interested in exploring a multitude of paradigms in search of a more universal, expansive 21st century cosmology.
Agnes Liebhardt (astrologer) Forest Knolls, California
Review 2 - 3/1/2015
Review of Inside the Cosmic Mind: Archetypal Astrology and the New Cosmology by Phoebe Wyss, published 2014 by Floris Books, Edinburgh
"Like everyone else who has taken time out to study astrology in depth, I know it delivers…though I was never able to explain how it works, which left me helplessly wrong-footed…so in 2005 I started out on a quest to find the answer to this mystery, and this book is a record of the path I took, and of the unexpected places it led me."
I have recently finished Phoebe Wyss' account of her quest, and have to say right away that I loved this book, which has already begun to inform my own astrology teaching to which I have recently returned after a very long break. The opening quote certainly applies to my relationship with astrology which began in 1980. I have a life-long interest in science and have been fascinated for a very long time by what I could grasp of the contingent, bizarre and paradoxical reality which quantum physics has been revealing to us throughout the twentieth century right up until now in the era of the Large Hadron Collider. Fritjof Capra’s book "The Tao of Physics", was probably the first to bring to popular attention in the 1970s the reality that the ancient world described by the mystics and symbolists and the emerging world view of quantum physics was essentially pointing to the same underlying Ground.
Bringing those perspectives to my astrological studies, teaching and practice soon revealed to me that astrological symbolism did not reveal a static world where – if you could grasp and put into practice enough techniques – life was eminently predictable. In fact, it appeared to be describing the interplay between order and chaos which governs all flow in our Universe.
Planetary symbols, e.g. the current Saturn/Neptune square, could and did manifest in different ways, whilst remaining true to the core meaning of each and every combination. Critically, what manifested at an individual level seemed to depend on levels of consciousness: not only the level brought by the client to the living of their life, but also that of the astrologer who was interpreting their chart.
Being aware of all of this, and grappling to understand the WHY of it, made the recent writings of Richard Tarnas and Kieron le Grice on archetypal cosmology and archetypal astrology hugely valuable and revealing to me. Phoebe Wyss very much acknowledges their pioneering efforts in this emerging way of looking not just at astrology, but at our whole Universe, from the top-down perspective summed up in the ancient maxim "As above, so below".
Wyss states in her preface that "The archetypal approach to astrology presented here offers an accessible entry into a complex subject" and in this she certainly succeeds. One key to this success is her presentation of the writing of the book as a personal quest into the unravelling of a cosmic mystery. Covering her material in this way brings the personal into the Big Picture story. It is in fact a demonstration in practice of one of the key points she makes about the open-ended, unfolding nature of the Universe: we are all tiny, unique, co-creative actors in a vast drama to which we can choose to make a conscious contribution.
Another key is the clear, lively, humorous way in which she writes. Having had various forays into academe myself, I know that however worthy and valuable academic writing may be, much of it requires a particular kind of determined mental effort to penetrate the jungle of reference-strewn prose. This demands a particular type of conformity of expression from the writer, which can flatten any excitement which the reader may feel upon embarking on their journey of potential intellectual enlightenment.
Wyss, however, has a light, uncluttered touch as a writer. She presents her thesis that "astrology suggests that meaning in the cosmos derives from the universal mind as the source of the all-encompassing mathematical and geometric basis of creation" in a deeply scholarly and well-informed way. But her style will easily engage both the general reader with an interest in Big Picture perspectives, and the new student of astrology. She is also greatly helping long-term practitioners like me to get my head better around the mathematical underpinnings of our great art!
This book is timely in its appearance. Our world is going through major turbulence as the great Uranus/Pluto square scours its way symbolically through life at every level: the old materialist order is changing, giving way to a world view which is very different from the Newtonian universe which has increasingly dominated the way we have lived since the late 17th century. The new world view is of "an open-ended universe, one that is not hide-bound by immutable laws, is intrinsic to the new emerging cosmology and in line with the postmodern scientific paradigm…" as Wyss puts it.
As astrologer and writer Armand Diaz has already pointed out in his valuable recent book 'Integral Astrology', contemporary astrologers need to take this change on board, incorporate it into both their practice, their teaching, and their dialogue with open-minded members of the public as well as fellow professionals. I heartily agree with this view. 'Inside the Cosmic Mind', with its clarity, depth of scholarship and accessibility, is a book which is well placed to help us all do just that.
Anne Whitaker (www.anne-whitaker.com)
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