This is an introduction to Embodied Astrology, a class series led by Chelsea Hunter and Charlie Cross. Here we’re exploring the reasons and inspirations for why we started developing Embodied Astrology. Before we dig into the details, the techniques, the correlations between the parts of the body, the planets and the constellations, we want to clarify the context in which all of this becomes magical.
Consider what our relationship to the night sky might have been like in the time before light pollution and vaulted cathedrals. It’s no wonder that we saw the stars, glimmering with crystal clarity overhead, as the heavens, the abode of the Gods and Goddesses. The night and the dark was valued as a mystical portal accessible to the curious eyes and hearts. Calculating planetary and stellar movements, we developed breathtaking precision for tracking the heavenly bodies and theories that spanned generations. The stars were the source of wisdom, the divine made manifest to our human eyes. They were the deities to which we prayed and the main characters in the myths we lived through.
Peering down at humanity’s countless stories and beliefs, we see themes play themselves out over and over again. We notice archetypal characters popping up across millennia, as if emerging from some timeless underground network. Many of these shared meanings are tied to the planets and stars with uncanny similarity. Again and again, we looked at the night sky as a reflection of life on Earth. This was the great macrocosm to all microcosms, the above to our below, and each individual life constellated a unique reflection of the lights above.
The mathematical precision with which we obsessed over the stars evolved with the rest of our sciences. Many of our first and greatest architectural feats functioned as observatories or sacred geometrical shrines for the Sun, Moon, and Stars. Astrology also developed into the system that it is today at the same time as many traditional medical practices. Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine said, ‘The physician without a knowledge of Astrology has no right to call himself a physician.’ Still today, astrology is used in India’s Ayurvedic medicine as a tool for diagnosis and map of effective remedies. While most of modern China runs off their 12-year, count-based calendar (which correlates to Jupiter’s cycle), there’s evidence that suggests acupuncture originated as a form of astrological tattooing. These systems help us connect to and harmonize with the core energies of the Universe.
Astrology describes a truly healthy and holistic way of living, including and integrating all the core dimensions of the human experience. By contrast, contemporary Western culture can be very one-dimensional or monotheistic, emphasizing certain energies at the unhealthy expense of the rest. Astrology brings back to focus a full panorama of human flourishing, articulating how this might express itself in each individual’s life. It is simultaneously a reflection of the core nature of reality and a map for our unique self-understanding, actualization, and realization.
Astrology today mimics our culture’s superficial orientation to life, skimming the surface of what is an incredibly rich, deep and ancient form of wisdom. Light pollution has covered up our direct experience of the night sky. We find astrological wisdom in the back corners of newspapers and the internet. Astrologers spend most of their time in front of books and charts. Newcomers, drawn in by the immediate magic of astrology, can quickly find themselves wading through an information deluge when trying to dig in deeper. All in all, it’s heady, analytical and separated from a primal source of guidance, our bodies.
Embodied Astrology aims to guide you through the wisdom of astrology in a tangible, practical, and resonant manner within the body. In a large part, this project arose from the insight that Astrology shares many of the same goals as ancient somatic arts such as Yoga, Qigong, and Ritual Dance–it articulates how we can live in an integrated, harmonious manner, invites us into the mystery of being, and calls our courageous and creative selves out into play. In this workshop series, we will be tying these two together, exploring how the language of astrology and our experience of physical processes and practices can support and enhance each other.
In this way, you can expect to learn a great deal about both the body and astrology. Perhaps more importantly, though, we will create a space for the information to settle in. Doing this, you will develop a personal and meaningful relationship with the planets and stars. We can learn to sense the wisdom of astrology within our bodies, finding joy and empowerment by relating to them as living entities, as the spirits they are, experiencing them directly and uniquely.
Learn more about the Embodied Astrology class series we are teaching here, and stay tuned for more Embodied Astrology musings!