Welcome to Archai, an academic journal that explores significant correlations between cyclical alignments of the planets and the archetypal patterns of human experience.
From the Archives
Archai: Issue 8
Uranus and the Creation of Novelty
Issue 8 of Archai is now available!
To order a copy of the paperback, please visit here.
About the Issue:
Uranus is the Promethean spark of revolutionary change, inspiration, and breakthrough, but also of rupture, breakup, and breakdown. The contributors to this issue—including Eliza Robertson, Renn Butler, Maud Gemmeke, and Michael Kiyoshi Salvatore—look past the time of crisis in which we have been so deeply immersed, past the collective egoic death mediated by politics, pandemic, and climate change, to possibilities for rebirth and renewal. Articles discuss the Uranian emergence of novel collective movements in society, and in intellectual and artistic cultures, from music and film to autoethnography and generational theory. Some of the pieces not directly concerned with Uranus are meditations on astronomical bodies or aspect points beyond the ten primary planets which have formed the foundational pantheon of our discipline, each piece variously enacting the boundary-transgressing and novelty-pursuing qualities associated with Uranus, though always in complex integration with the rigorous discernment and respect for established modes correlated with Saturn. All of these articles make valuable contributions to the collective creation of a novel mode of relation that may emerge from the crisis in which we have been embroiled, a mode for which archetypal cosmology may play an important, perhaps even central, role.
Edited by Grant Maxwell
Published by Persistent Press
Lilith: An Unfruitful Darkness
From Archai Issue 8, 2022
One of the astrological points that has attracted much speculation and fanfare in recent years is Black Moon Lilith. In her exile, for Lilith’s stories often end in exile, she has been interpreted variably as: Inanna’s handmaiden; a night demon; a hag; a screech owl; a succubus; a seductress; an abortifacient; a bitch; a witch; a heroine of feminist resistance; an advocate for the oppressed. Many modern astrologers also identify Lilith as Adam’s first, less compliant wife. When I first read this story in the Alphabet of Ben Sira, written between 700 and 1000 CE, I began to consider Lilith as “the below,” in all this word’s implications. Astrologers and Hermeticists will understand the “below” to indicate Earth and earthly bodies — those realms of material, tangible, sensory reality. The “above” points to the celestial sphere: palace of the stars, the luminaries, and those wandering lights we know as planets. Common threads in her stories equate Lilith to uncultivated land: the Earth in her increasingly rare, indeed exiled, wildness. This essay will trace the archetype of Lilith as Earth, and advocate for Earth, through a text-based scan of her early history. Following this overview, I will demonstrate the astrological significance of Black Moon Lilith and this point’s prominence in the charts of environmental movements. Over millennia, Lilith has represented a sort of unfruitful darkness: Earth in its uncultivated, uncontrolled forms. Lilith has also been scapegoated as a monster: monstrous, in part, because she fails (or refuses) to perform her function as helpmeet or breeder. Through forces of urbanization, industrialization and deforestation, it is possible we have forsaken our wild parts in much the same way.
To read the rest of this article please see: “Lilith: An Unfruitful Darkness“
The Solar-Galactic Cycle and Major Watersheds in the Evolution of Life
From Archai Issue 8, 2022
I was inspired to pursue this research by Stanislav Grof’s remarkable article “2012: End of the World or Consciousness Revolution?” After reading it, I was curious to examine some of the most important archaeological discoveries and turning points in human history from the past 100,000 years, to see if they might correlate with crucial points in the 25,772-year cycle which the Mayans describe in their celebrated codices. This became my article “The Prophetic Mayan Macro-Astrology.”
As I was working on that project, I began to wonder if there might be some even-larger cycle in the heavens that would encompass some of the evolutionary watersheds of the formation of the solar system and life on Earth. During that same week, Stan sent me an article about cycles of geologic disturbances—which was a remarkable synchronicity and suggested that he was thinking along the same lines. When I examined the rotation of our Sun around the center of the galaxy and saw that it followed a 230-million-year cycle, I was immediately intrigued. The formation of the Sun itself is estimated to have occurred 4.6 billion years ago, which is exactly twenty cycles of the rotation of the Sun around the galactic center: 230 million years per cycle x 20 cycles = 4.6 billion. The Sun’s formation from a massive cloud of gas and dust, followed by the initiation of nuclear fusion in its core, is the seminal event in the history of our solar system and of all known life. It is the primary source of the light and energy which make our very existence possible.
What follows is my preliminary research in this new form of inquiry which we might call solar-galactic cosmology.
To read the rest of this article please see: “The Solar-Galactic Cycle and Major Watersheds in the Evolution of Life“
The Romantic Origins of Transpersonal Psychology
Daniel Joseph Polikoff
From Archai Issue 7, 2020
However one names, dates, or defines it, Romanticism transformed human consciousness. It is no accident that Wordsworth’s Prelude, perhaps the signature work of English Romanticism, revolves around the poet’s first-hand engagement with the French Revolution. Wildly enthusiastic at first yet bitterly disillusioned at last, William Wordsworth returned from France not only to England but to himself. Turning inward to seek surer spiritual ground for human hope and aspiration, the poet chronicled the saga of his own imaginative life, penning Western literature’s first autobiographical epic. This Wordsworthian turn may be considered emblematic of Romanticism, a movement that—while not eschewing idealism in the political sphere—recognizes that the destiny of a people depends radically upon the spiritual state of the individual persons whom (according to the doctrines of that famous Romantic forerunner, Jean-Jacques Rousseau) any collective is supposed to serve.
To read the rest of this article please see: “Rowing Back: The Romantic Origins of Transpersonal Psychology“
Persian Conjunctions and the Origins of the Saturn Return
From Archai Issue 7, 2020
I am often struck by the inherent complexity of a field like the history of astrology. What does it mean to look back in time at astrology—a subject notoriously concerned with the future? Furthermore, extracting the history of astrology from the history of religion, philosophy, science, mythology, literature, astronomy, or esotericism, is nearly impossible. Thus, as is perhaps fitting of any attempts to understand and explain an esoteric system such as astrology, we are already confused. But, as is also perhaps fitting of any esoteric tradition, the answers to our questions can be found within the tradition itself—but only through careful study and with great humility.
To read the rest of this article please see: “Persian Conjunctions and the Origins of the Saturn Return”
The Archetypal Cycles of Virtual Reality
From Archai Issue 6, 2017
Virtual reality is a new immersive computing paradigm that can hack our senses and convince our brains that computer-generated experiences are real, which raises fundamental questions about our understanding of reality. VR provides a direct experience of how our reality is mediated through our perceptions, which blurs the boundary between subjective and objective reality. In this article, I will analyze major outer-planet astrological cycles since the 1960s to track the evolution of virtual reality technologies, as well as to gain insight into the transformative potential of this new communication medium.
To read the rest of this article please see: “The Archetypal Cycles of Virtual Reality“
Everlasting Concrescence: A Process-Relational Cosmology
Becca S. Tarnas
From Archai Issue 6, 2017
Substantial evidence has been put forward for the astrological perspective, demonstrating the multifaceted ways in which astrology works. Yet below the surface of this evidence lies another question: why does astrology work? What does the recognition of this highly precise, yet poetically subtle, correspondence between planetary movements and events on Earth indicate about the nature of the cosmos? The evidence for planetary correlations with human affairs can, in many ways, address the alienation from the rest of the cosmos felt by the human being in late modernity. Through the recognition of such symbolic patterns, we can feel the deep interconnection that has always been present between us and our world. We are our world. The cosmic web has not been cut, although part of our human journey has been to feel as though the threads of our existence have been severed.
To read the rest of this article please see: “Everlasting Concrescence“
World Transits 2000–2020: An Overview
From Archai Issue 2, 2010
There are few frames of reference more illuminating of individual and collective archetypal dynamics and psychological conditions than an archetypally informed knowledge of current planetary positions. In the following pages I would like to set out an overview of the major world transits of the outer planets that I believe are most relevant for understanding our current historical moment. In particular, I want to review both the most significant longer-term planetary alignments leading up to this era and, more recent, those that have unfolded since Cosmos and Psyche was completed five years ago, in 2005. On that basis, we can deepen and extend that book’s brief anticipatory analysis of the extraordinary convergence of planetary configurations of the 2008–12 period. This article is therefore continuous with the chapter “Observations on Future Planetary Alignments,” from the final section of Cosmos and Psyche.
From Archai Issue 5, 2016
Astrology is a soul-making practice. The astrologer participates in this sacred act by correlating experiences in the world with the movement of the planetary bodies. With its many incarnations, the soul passes through countless charts, each time living, growing, and creating from that chart’s unique archetypal structure. Astrology is a process of remembrance of the soul’s journey and calling. The natal chart reflects the soul’s karma, story, and potential for embodiment and expression. But the way the soul lives through the chart, and thus the archetypes, is also informed by the historico-cultural context into which one is born—the collective karma of the human species at any given moment of time. Every astrologer has heard that “whatever is born or done at this particular moment of time has the quality of this moment of time.” Every chart, whether for a person, place, or event, carries the archetypal qualities associated with the position of the planets at that moment. Perhaps less often considered is the way in which a new discipline is born out of its historical moment. Every discipline, like every person, comes from a tradition steeped in a rich and complex history. All things born during our current time are coming out of the tradition of patriarchy, thousands of years old, with its considerable gifts and immense challenges. Depth psychology and archetypal astrology, like most things born in our time in the West, have evolved out of the Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian patrilineal traditions. History and tradition deserve our careful attention, both our reverence and our critical analysis. Each age carries forward everything that has come before it while at the same time evolving that tradition. Each age undertakes the collective soul-making of our species.
To read the rest of this article please see: “Re-Visioning Saturn“
Psychological and Astrological Complexes
An Evolving Perspective
From Archai Issue 5, 2016
For Jung, the call to individuate arises from the deepest sources of life and is supported inwardly and outwardly by the compensatory activities of nature. It is a call, therefore, that is not to be taken lightly. Both inwardly and outwardly nature strives unceasingly to bring about the realization, in the life of the individual, of a unique pattern of meaning.
Robert Aziz, Jung’s Psychology of Religion and Synchronicity
When I first began seeing clients as a psychotherapist, I found myself entranced by their stories and deeply moved by their struggles. As I listened to the themes of their lives play out and shape themselves into patterns in front of me, it was as though I could see strands of their psychic material weaving together into a Gordian knot. I could feel how when one strand was tugged, the entire knot reverberated in response, and my client would go into a well-worn, deeply problematic reaction. That reaction seemed to be fueled by a perception that did not appear to be an appropriate fit for the current situation, and often exacerbated existing relational issues, if not actually creating problems where they had not existed before. These problematic interactions often resulted in yet another life experience that validated the client’s painful beliefs about his or her place in the world, and added to the already complicated mass of related feelings, experiences and memories. I frequently found myself reflecting to my clients: “This is complicated.”
To read the rest of this article please see: “Psychological and Astrological Complexes“