Long, long ago in a city by the sea I went away to school to become a psychologist. I never did finish, perhaps someday I will, but in the course of my studies I became caught up in philosophy, symbolism, myth, and was introduced to the concept of archetypal energy.
An archetype is a cohesive energy boiled down to its simplest form. This energy as a pure form of “type” in personality is common to all humanity. Each culture has its own name and own set of stories set down in explanation of universal energies common to us all. Each culture has its “fairy tales.” Our first encounter with these paradigms, these pure models of what it is to be human, is usually through bedtime stories, but not always, and even if we were raised apart from such things they are within us. Part of the commonality of being human is our universal connectedness to these models. We explore these stories because they help us understand what is already within us. They enable us to learn our path more quickly, to not “reinvent the wheel” in other words.
Astrological concepts are purely archetypal. As we learn the energies of the signs and the planets we are learning the astrological expression of pure human archetypes. Once we begin to grasp these concepts the chart becomes a story all its own, our own personal fairy tale! Neptune, Jupiter, the Moon, Venus, they’re all characters!
Joseph Campbell was a well-known mythologist and taught for decades at Sarah Lawrence College. He influenced many with his writings on mythology and the celebration of learning about archetypes as a model of how to live an authentic life. George Lucas credits Campbell and his book “The Hero With a Thousand Faces” for giving him the focus for his Star Wars story. One of Campbell’s central concepts was that each of us is the hero of our own story, that each of our lives is an individual quest, an adventure.
Though we are all the archetypal hero in our own story, each story is different as evidenced in our unique map of a natal chart. When one starts out in astrology it is usually with the sun! The sun is the archetypal embodiment of our hero nature! Then we branch out from there.
We are all unique in our hero-ness, yet we are all the same in our hero-ness. We are all on the same archetypal journey but we all have a different map!
Can you identify your “hero” nature with the sun in your chart? If so, what astrological relationships to your sun color your own hero’s journey?