We are born at a given moment, in a given place and, like vintage years of wine, we have the qualities of the year and of the season of which we are born. Astrology does not lay claim to anything more.
– Carl Jung
Astrology is one of the intuitive methods like the I Ching, geomantics, and other divinatory procedures. It is based upon the synchronicity principle, i.e. meaningful coincidence. … Astrology is a naively projected psychology in which the different attitudes and temperaments of man are represented as gods and identified with planets and zodiacal constellations.
– Carl Gustav Jung
I dare say that we shall one day discover in astrology a good deal of knowledge that has been intuitively projected into the heavens. For instance, it appears that the signs of the zodiac are character pictures, in other words libido symbols which depict the typical qualities of the libido at a given moment…
– C.G. Jung in a letter to Sigmund Freud, June 12, 1911
In astrology we have another consideration, a bit uncanny and therefore particularly hated by scientists. You remember my telling you that birthdates of important men tended to accumulate around the three points of the aerial trigon. If this were confirmed, we might go further and make statistics about suicides, lunacy, epilepsy, etc. That might lead to tangible results, and then astrology would be a very serious consideration. I have suggested to astrologers that we should have more scientific statements.
- C.G. Jung
Many people assume, for instance, that astrology is all nonsense. It is true that astrology has nothing to do with the stars. The horoscope may say that you were born in Taurus, but the constellations today have moved and horoscopes no longer correspond to the actual positions of the stars. … But people criticize astrology as though it had something to do with the stars.
– C. G. Jung in 1929
The starry vault of heaven is in truth the open book of cosmic projection, in which are reflected the mythologems, i.e., the archetypes. In this vision astrology and alchemy, the two classical functionaries of the psychology of the collective unconscious, join hands.
– Carl .G. Jung
Astrology is of particular interest to the psychologist, since it contains a sort of psychological experience which we call projected – this means that we find the psychological facts as it were in the constellations. This originally gave rise to the idea that these factors derive from the stars, whereas they are merely in a relation of synchronicity with them. I admit that this is a very curious fact which throws a peculiar light on the structure of the human mind. ….
– Carl G. Jung in 1947 in a letter to prof. B.V. Raman
So far as the personality is still potential, it can be called transcendent, and so far as it is unconscious, it is indistinguishable from all those things that carry its projections…[that is,] symbols of the outside world and the cosmic symbols. These form the psychological basis for the conception of man as a macrocosm through the astrological components of his character.
- Carl G. Jung
Astrologers are influenced by theosophy, so they say, “That is very simple, it is just vibration!” … But what is vibration? They say it is light energy, perhaps electricity, they are not quite informed. At all events the vibrations that could influence us have never been seen, so it remains just a word.
– Carl G. Jung in 1929
Our modern science begins with astronomy. Instead of saying that man was led by psychological motives, they formerly said he was led by his stars. … The puzzling thing is that there is really a curious coincidence between astrological and psychological facts, so that one can isolate time from the characteristics of an individual, and also, one can deduce characteristics from a certain time. Therefore we have to conclude that what we call psychological motives are in a way identical with star positions. Since we cannot demonstrate this, we must form a peculiar hypothesis. This hypothesis says that the dynamics of our psyche is not just identical with the position of the stars, nor has it to do with vibrations – that is an illegitimate hypothesis. It is better to assume that i is a phenomenon of time. … The stars are simply used by man to serve as indicators of time…
– Carl G. Jung in 1929
The collective unconscious…appears to consist of mythological motifs or primordial images, for which reason the myths of all nations are its real exponents. In fact the whole of mythology could be taken as a sort of projection of the collective unconscious. We can see this most clearly if we look at the heavenly constellations, whose originally chaotic forms are organized through the projection of images. This explains the influence of the stars as asserted by astrologers. These influences are nothing but unconscious, introspective perceptions of the collective unconscious.
– Carl G. Jung
Synchronicity does not admit causality in the analogy between terrestrial events and astrological constellations … What astrology can establish are the analogous events, but not that either series is the cause or the effect of the other. (For instance, the same constellation may at one time signify a catastrophe and at another time, in the same case, a cold in the head.) … In any case, astrology occupies a unique and special position among the intuitive methods… I have observed many cases where a well-defined psychological phase, or an analogous event, was accompanied by a transit (particularly when Saturn and Uranus were affected).
– Carl G. Jung
Obviously astrology has much to offer psychology, but what the latter can offer its elder sister is less evident. So far as I judge, it would seem to me advantageous for astrology to take the existence of psychology into account, above all the psychology of the personality and of the unconscious.
- Carl G. Jung
It is indeed very difficult to explain the astrological phenomenon. I am not in the least disposed to an either-or explanation. I always say that with a psychological explanation there is only the alternative: either and or! This seems to me to be the case with astrology too.
– Carl G. Jung in a letter to Hans Bender, April 10, 1958, Carl G. Jung Letters, Volume 2, 1951-1961, p. 428.
The truth is that astrology flourishes as never before. There is a regular library of astrological books and magazines that sell for far better than the best scientific works. The Europeans and Americans who have horoscopes cast for them may be counted not by the hundred thousand but by the million. Astrology is a flourishing industry. … If such a large percentage of the population has an insatiable need for this counter pole to the scientific spirit, we can be sure that the collective psyche in every individual – be he never so scientific – has this psychological requirement in equally high degree. A certain kind of “scientific” scepticism and criticism in our time is nothing but a misplaced compensation of the powerful and deep-rooted superstitious impulses of the collective psyche.
– C.G. Jung, Two Essays on Analytical Psychology
The important point is that the horoscope is true only in the time sense, not astronomically. It is independent of the stars. We see that menstruation has a moon period, yet it does not coincide with the phases of the moon; otherwise all women would menstruate at the same time, and they don’t. It simply means that there is a moon-law in every woman and likewise the laws of the stars in every human being but not in the relation of cause and effect.
- C.G. Jung, December 11, 1929
While studying astrology I have applied it to concrete cases many times. … The experiment is most suggestive to a versatile mind, unreliable in the hands of the unimaginative, and dangerous in the hands of a fool, as those intuitive methods always are. If intelligently used the experiment is useful in cases where it is a matter of an opaque structure. It often provides surprising insights. The most definite limit of the experiment is lack of intelligence and literal-mindedness of the observer. … Undoubtedly astrology today is flourishing as never before in the past, but it is still most unsatisfactorily explored despite very frequent use. It is an apt tool only when used intelligently. It is not at all foolproof and when used by a rationalistic and narrow mind it is a definite nuisance.
– C. G. Jung: Letters, volume 2, 1951-1961, pages 463-464, letter to Robert L. Kroon, 15 November 1958
Astrology is knocking at the gates of our universities: A Tübingen professor has switched over to astrology and a course on astrology was given at Cardiff University last year. Astrology is not mere superstition but contains some psychological facts (like theosophy) which are of considerable importance. Astrology has actually nothing to do with the stars but is the 5000-year-old psychology of antiquity and the Middle Ages.
- C.G. Jung in a letter to L. Oswald on December 8, 1928, in Carl G. Jung, Letters, vol. 1, 1973
Astrology would be a large scale example of synchronism, if it had at its disposal thoroughly tested findings. But at least there are some facts adequately tested and fortified by a wealth of statistics which make the astrological problem even worthy of philosophical investigation. It is assured of recognition from psychology, without further restrictions, because astrology represents the summation of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity.
– C.G. Jung
The fact that it is possible to reconstruct a person’s character fairly accurately from his birth data shows the relative validity of astrology. It must be remembered, however, that the birth data are in no way dependent on the actual astronomical constellations, but are based on an arbitrary, purely conceptual time system. Owing to the precession of the equinoxes, the spring-point has long since moved out of the constellation of Aries into Pisces, so that the astrological zodiac on which horoscopes are calculated no longer corresponds to the heavenly one. If there are any astrological diagnoses of character that are in fact correct, this is due not to the influence of the stars but to our own hypothetical time qualities. In other words, whatever is born or done at this particular moment of time has the quality of this moment of time.
- C.G. Jung
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