If I were with Picasso, I could request, "Maestro, may I please see a drawing of life? A glimpse of life?"
I can see Picasso taking paper and pen, and drawing upon impulse the fewest lines. After putting his signature to it, he would turn the page around and hand it to me.
What would I see? The few lines wouldn’t tell me things specific, but the drawing would cause a knowledgeable reaction within me. Through the master's simplicity, so much could be said as it touched my awareness and learning.
In music as well: I can imagine Wagner playing the first several chords of his opera Tristan und Isolde, chords that, at that time, had never before been heard; they live still in distinctively individual creation. And through their "complicated simplicity" (if I may coin an oxymoron), they elicit a knowledgeable reaction from all who hear them.
In literature also: writers utilize rhyme, rhythm, alliteration, and much more to bring more to words than superficial meaning.
This artful simplification or unique rendering is present in astrology as well. Astrology is portraiture, and if we prepare ourselves to see, a knowledgeable reaction occurs: we appreciate a human being within the portrait of the planets.
Even the letters "DVD"—the simplification of "Digital Versatile Disc" (which includes Digital Video Disc)—say more than just their presence. The terms promise utility and impact. Our brain probably files "DVD" on the same shelf as "TNT!"
In my career work in astrology and specifically in my Masterwork Series of nine DVDs, I have worked for simplification, a dynamic elucidation of heretofore complicated concepts.
My well-known premise in astrology is that "planets don't do things, people do." Astrology for too long has had a cause and effect relationship with the planets around us. This premise goes way back, of course, and it can feel sacrilegious for us to challenge or augment it.
Our learning is so much easier if we see astrology as patterned, individual guidelines to understanding the human condition in terms of reality experience. Our learning is easier… and our results are much more meaningful. Planets are not doing anything: they are recording it! If I listen to psychological Need Theory that postulates individualized press(ures) to fulfill needs as the motivation of specific behaviors, I "know who's coming to dinner." A simplified but not diluted astrology emerges to guide us to appreciation of the human condition.
And as is dramatized on DVD One, the reigning need of every individual—that which propels their life behavior and dreams—is symbolized by the Moon in the personal horoscope. I have distilled the need presses down to several words only, not huge paragraphs working to capture every possible occurrence, etc.
For example, if you have the Moon placed in Aries at birth, I know that that placement is guiding me to think of the driving need to be numero uno. This soloistic statement, this simple chord structure, this color focus, suggest so strongly the behavioral patterns to fulfill that particular need that can be evidenced in our society, our culture.
If you don't immediately feel that energy coursing through you, we learn a great deal as well: we are alerted to problems of making things happen, which brings up possible lack of parental support in development, perhaps suppressive sibling rivalry, inferiority feelings, and other considerations that make for dramatic therapeutic conversation.
But such enormous developmental-engineering concepts like this are simplifications that trigger our knowledgeable reactions about life.
The challenge of simplification? As I have mentioned above, astrologers have been made to feel that planets are "doing things to people." This is just not so; if it were, we could explain and measure it concretely. We have been searching among astrology's myriad measurements for the magic ones that explain life. This is ever so complicated.
What we should be doing is far simpler: we should see that the planets and their patterns of relationship to one another correspond to behavioral constructs we adopt to fulfill our needs.
What has kept this practical vision a bit remote is the fear that we don't have much to say about the human condition; taking a simplified, beautifully condensed incisive understanding and expanding it in talk with the individual can be difficult. This is the essence of the astrological consultation: having a good, knowing discussion.
And it must be emphasized that not only the client gains from such knowing consultation, but the astrologer too: we learn more and more and more about the human condition with each experience, with each horoscope.
Times have really changed. Social Psychology is part of life now. Concepts that were totally unknown sixty to eighty-five years ago are now thoroughly part of the fabric of our life. For example, we know that Barack Obama's dramatic, informed self-presentation achieved through early developmental challenges, is his projection to the world he serves. These words weren't possible before his birth, but they are routine now for our appreciation of Obama's personality development. They are brought to our attention by his astrology: western orientation, Sun in Leo, Moon in Gemini, Saturn-retrograde phenomenology, Nodal Axis squared the Midheaven.
Our astrology has changed as our knowledge about the human development has grown. We have been able to relate our vulnerability to specific illnesses to planetary signatures, to correspondence within the horoscope. For example, a famous entertainer this week has announced that he has bladder cancer. One look at his horoscope reveals the correspondence to vulnerability to bladder cancer within the aging process.
Two generations ago—even one!—we didn't know how to relate illness specifically to horoscopic guidelines! And now we can see it so simply; with bladder cancer, Venus under developmental tension, involving the Twelfth House and/or the Ascendant, or their rulers. (This subject is covered thoroughly on DVD Eight.)
Development implies the passage of time. The management, the anticipation of time is of prime importance in astrology. In the past, the question has always been, "When will I marry, get a job, find a house, get a promotion…?"
We know now in astrology that fatalistic time pronouncements may look good in the movies, but they are not reliably practical in real-life astrological consultation.
In simplifying astrological understanding and learning, we must grasp the significance of what can take place rather than what will take place! For example, you can have a romantic relationship without marrying; you can have a child without being married; you can have the wrong job; you can live in the same house for many years even though you want desperately to move; you will not enjoy work advancement if you don't put yourself forward for responsibility and recognition; etc.
Simplification of these constructs ties itself to measurement correspondences that stimulate discussion and understanding rather than to specific fatalistic occurrences. This is all easier to learn, discuss, and evaluate.
If you have in your horoscope now any developing contact between Neptune and Pluto, a very simple possibility is suggested: further learning of the esoteric, the occult, things astrological, etc. You may say, "This simplification of astrology is what I've been looking for" and begin fresh study of the DVD series. That's the simple essence of the planetary/behavior correspondence.
Going much further with the symbolism—if your reality embraces at this time someone very ill in your extended family, an alert would register, perhaps, critical concern.
Conclusion: skillful simplification touches your awareness. It brings you into the process of learning. You are awakened to understand through what you know about life. And how rich that experience is! Enjoy it.