In this brief article, I would like to discuss about a theme which is less talked about, but I think is crucially important to utilizing symbology in a practical way. I would like to talk about scopes of influence. Ancients taught us the fundamental principle: as above, so below. I interpret this to mean that the state of heavens (mainly solar system) symbolically corresponds to the way of things on earth. Nowadays people know that solar system is made up of the Sun at the center and planets revolving around it with Saturn at the farthest seen without using telescope, and Pluto at among the farthest recognized with artificial tools.
If the “above” corresponds to this kind of system, it requires “below” to have the same kind of system in order for the symbol to have focus of meaning. This is what I would like to talk about, the scopes of influence. Every time we apply astrological symbol to a certain thing, theme, idea, or phenomenon, we have to be aware of what scope of influence we presuppose. For example, when we talk about “mother”, it will be different depending on context. When an adult man who understands his mother has different set of values and see his mother as just another person and not as someone who impose some parental influence upon him, in a certain context, she might represent 7th instead of 10th, in which case, he might be emotionally influenced strongly or even the mother might tell him what to do (unlike when an infant is scold by his/her mother). Take another example, in mundane astrology, 7th house in a certain scope of influence represents other countries in relation to the one in question. But at the same 7th house represents company-to-company or even person-to-person relationship within the country, depending on the scope of influence.
For the purpose of this discussion, I present a simplified model of 10 planets, conveniently organized for analyzing interaction between individual and environment or group. Look at the Figure 1. Definition of group is that people which is made up of more than 2 person (this is important) gathered under a certain purpose (the Sun). So theoretically, an individual can belong to a huge number of various kinds of groups all at the same time.
This is my model of how a person acquire a certain group awareness. (I am presupposing a person managing multiple group awareness all at the same time) First, in this model, a main person is represented by 5 planets drawn on the lower left (“Individual”). This is the individual subjectively aware of him/herself. The individual has Sun – Moon at the core and Venus – Mars helps express it through activities on earth. Mercury inside the individual looks at every interaction and try to manage them wisely. There are other people in the same group individually represented by the same 5 planets drawn on the lower right (“interpersonal”). These represent awareness acquired through interpersonal interactions.
I define social 5 planets as common. The reason I call “common” is that there are vast range of groups that we are dealing with here. Even two people we can call a group, and “common” makes what we are looking at with sharper edge. Within this view of the system, Jupiter is multiplication of Mars (collectively looking at individual Mars expressions). Saturn is multiplication of the Sun (collectively looking at individual Sun expressions). Uranus corresponds to Venus, Neptune corresponds to Mercury and Pluto corresponds to Moon.
It is interesting to note that individual can look at his/her own Moon, Mercury and Venus, because each levels of consciousness corresponding to those is inside his/her psyche (inside the earth’s orbit), but he/she can not look at others’ Moon, Mercury and Venus directly, because they are outside his/her psyche. It is difficult to grasp other people’s Moon, Mercury and Venus unless you let the other people somehow express what’s inside themselves out. Although we have some clues to think or feel about others’ Moon, Mercury and Venus, like their facial expression (Venus), words (Mercury) and long term observation (Moon). In the long run, even a group consists of 2 people will accumulate good amount of characteristic memory of those kinds of experience which will become their Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Of course, the dimensions in which they can show and assert each other, come to terms with each other and establish their moral and rules will become their Jupiter and Saturn.
Within a person, there develops various Jupiter-Pluto 5 planets set for each meaningful group he/she belongs. We subconsciously switch mode of those with appropriate groups.
But in the real life, as we grow and grow, we gradually change groups with which we frequent. And because it is made up of accumulated experiences which are not directly seen, we will have hard time adjusting senses for those 3 planets: Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Development of the personality and behavior of a person might be understood through analysis of this model of social interaction.
In the field of psychology, Urie Bronfenbrenner conceived a wonderful model of human development called ecological systems theory. In this theory, Bronfenbrenner classifies developmental environment into 4 “systems” in which important development occurs to a person (see figure 2). According to Wikipedia, Microsystem is the group of people or the system that most immediately and directly impact the person’s development. Mesosystem is the interconnections between the Microsystems. Exosystem involves links between a social setting in which the individual does not have an active role and the individual’s immediate context. And Macrosystem describes the culture in which individuals live.
For example, let us define a system as group of people which has at least two people as members. We could track a person’s development by analyzing various groups one belong: such as mother-child, father-child, sibling, family, neighbor, school friends, company, marriage… If a group is directly connected with the individual, it is a Microsystem. So we could have all the different Microsystems all at once or in sequence. Take Saturn for example, what we experience with Saturn in mother-child system might be different from what we experience with Saturn in neighbor system. Those differences stimulate one to develop how to cope with Saturnian themes of respecting structure and order, taking responsibility, etc. When you are aware of the scope of influence, you are able to look at different groups or systems one might be involved in various scale, in the past, the present and the future. And it is the differences between the systems or resultant schemas that stimulate our consciousness to development, in terms of each planetary themes.
When you think about the application of symbols to immediate environment, we look into the person’s Microsystems. But at the same time, various levels of systems such as Mesosystem, Exosystem and Macrosystem operate all at the same time.
So we astrologers could understand his idea by superimposing various scopes of “Solarsystem” surrounding the person to know or analyze, say, what a certain Mesosystem of the person is doing to his Microsystem and how it affects his Macrosysem in the long run, etc.
I think it is even worth thinking just about one’s Microsystem closely, and track how it affect one’s senses concerning Jupiter through Pluto consciousness. For example, Carl Jung had developed a theme about academic approach to faith (Saturn-Pluto and the Sun-Neptune), and the same theme repeats afterward between him and Freud, which triggered his middle life crisis. In the life of Carl Jung, understanding of the same theme in different environment developed as life went into different phases. And we could track this point by superimposing a scope of Jung’s “Solarsystem” first onto Father-Child relationship, and then onto the relationship between Freud and Jung.
In social constructionist view, each person is actively participating even to the outer planet’s realm. Therefore in order to understand people, you have to track one’s development of each planet’s realm of experience, including outer planets. In order to do that, we have to be conscious about the scope of influence.
I hope this brief discussion stimulate you to think about the scopes of influence when you apply symbology to any real situations.