Exorcism of the Symbol might seem like odd name for an astrological method, but it is a sensational way to work with the stars. It’s a very useful and descriptive term for things we can do with the “Transits” – the movements of the planets through the Zodiac.
One cannot always go to the proper place to get an excellent Aimed Solar Return, and there are times when the planetary configurations make it impossible to create a chart that diverts all troublesome planetary combinations into practical or useful channels. Something needs to be done, because in Active Astrology, we go for the win and can tolerate a stalemate, but a loss is unacceptable.
Exorcism teaches us how to do that; to channel the qualities of the planets in ways that suit our purposes. For instance, certain placements of Mars cause less trouble than others – but we can’t change the planet’s position among the stars. If we consider Mars as a soldier, through the Exorcism of the Symbol we just give the orders that we know Mars will happily perform, as opposed to letting it act in a directionless, random way.
The unconscious is said to speak in the language of symbols, and these symbols cry out for expression. They express themselves either through your behavior or your circumstances. Astrology also speaks in symbols, and the correspondences between the “planetary natures” and the various aspects of our lives was decoded long before psychology became a science. Exorcism of the Symbol is the art of learning how to express the various qualities of these symbols on our own terms, instead of suppressing them until they manifest as misfortunes.
Exorcism, in this sense, means “bringing out” and the metaphor is succinct; it is used by sorcerers and priests for the “bringing out” of “spirits” so they can be worked with in some way or summarily dismissed. We have come to understand that the archetypes of the collective unconscious and our personal instincts and “psychic constellations” can be categorized by the planets, myths and stories that create our relationship to the world at large.
We consider astrology to be a valid way to map the flow of “psychic” energy from instinct, through ego and archetype. By consciously managing this flow, we can minimize the chance of problems coming from what Dr. C.G. Jung called the “transgressive nature” of the archetypes that participate in the metaphors we live by.
Exorcism of the Symbol is essentially an art of behavioral re-framing. By introducing specific patterns of behavior, you can break unproductive patterns and cultivate balance in your life. This is a different and interactive way to utilize astrology that stands in opposition to the unthinking reinforcement of the (unfortunate but popular) belief that you are a victim of unalterable and predetermined fate.
We use Exorcisms throughout the practice of Active Astrology. We consider charts to be a way of timing exorcisms so that we know when to work with the factors that are most in need of expression, or that can enhance or experience. The recommendations describe the choices we make that can move us forward toward our goals and increase our chances of achieving balance, happiness and success.