The Psychology of Astrology

“Astrology is a science in itself, and contains an illuminating body of knowledge. It taught me many things and I am greatly indebted to it.” Albert Einstein


The rich characters of your inner world are impatient. They want you to know them, and will sometimes act out in frustration if you do not listen. Tuning into them and understanding their history, needs and motives is the goal of Heart’s Plan.

Astrology is a quick and effective method for helping to discover these parts of you. Let’s explore how astrology can do this.

Discovering archetypes in the birth chart

Let’s begin with a refresher about archetypes. (see The Archetypes – they make you who you are).

At the core of each part of you is a pattern of dynamic energy. This pattern is an archetype. The archetype lives through you and expresses itself throughout your life. You have many of these archetypes and they have complex relationships with each other. Together they make you utterly unique.

Your astrology chart, which is the pattern of planets at the time of your birth, is the best tool I know for discovering the archetypes that make you who you are.

Each planet in your birth chart is a symbol for an archetype. The meaning of each symbol and archetype has developed over thousands of years. If you understand these symbols and the unique patterns they create in your birth chart, you can discover each of your archetypes.

And finding your archetypes in your birth chart is just the beginning! The next step is exploring how to live them in a healthy and constructive way.

Why astrology is the best

Above any other method of exploring archetypes, I favour astrology. And this is why.

  • The archetypes of astrology are based upon evidence accumulated over thousands of years of experience and observation.
  • They are ancient, classical, and deeply grounded in mythology, arising with the birth of Western civilisation and inspiring the Renaissance.
  • And the meaning of each astrological archetype is deep, rich and resonant in a way that is unmatched within Western culture.

‘As above, so below’

The archetypes of any planetary pattern have a remarkable way of  expressing themselves in life on earth.

Your birth chart, for example, is almost like your personal road map, rich with meaning about who you are, what you are going through, how you feel about it, and how you might better respond.

Do the planets make this happen? No.

One mystical explanation for how astrology works is that everything in existence participates in a grand matrix of consciousness. In this worldview, all is connected, at a symbolic level, and deciphering unmissable patterns, like those of the planets, can open the door to a deeper understanding of ourselves and our circumstances.

We humans have done this for thousands of years.

The ancient wisdom ‘as above, so below’ expresses this belief, suggesting that what happens on one level of reality, happens in every other level.

Psychology, Jung and Astrology

Astrology is a powerful tool for understanding your inner world. It is an ancestor to psychology and can equally be described as a ‘science of the soul’.

As a rapid tool of self-discovery, however, astrology is matchless.

No discussion of astrology as psychology would be worthy without mention of the legendary psychiatrist Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology.

Jung practised astrology throughout his life and explored other ancient studies too, like hermeticism and alchemy.

Astrology was a profound influence upon Jung’s life work. And Jung’s psychology, in turn, modernised astrology, transforming it further into a psychological tool for those seeking self-knowledge.

Psychological complexes

Jung believed that each person’s inner life is made of psychological complexes. These complexes make us who we are.

Deep within each of our complexes is an archetype, a pattern of energy that is alive. Each of these archetypes is shaped uniquely by our personal experiences in life. Archetypes gather memories and interpretations, just as a snowball gathers snow. In this way, they grow into psychological complexes.

At the core of your mother complex, for instance, is the Mother archetype that we all share, (the impulse to feel, to care, to nurture). Yet your mother complex is made personal and unique by your own experience of mothers and mothering.

Integrating your archetypes

Knowing your archetypes, and discovering how to live them well, allows you to bring together, or integrate, different parts of your personality.

This journey toward integration or ‘wholeness’, wholeness being the authentic expression of who you are, is what Jung called the path of ‘individuation’. For him, the very purpose of life is to individuate and is the goal of any journey of self-discovery.

In Carl Jung’s psychology, archetypes play a crucial role in helping people understand themselves. And this has shaped the way I practice astrology.

Helping you along the path of self-discovery is the goal of our work together at Heart’s Plan, and astrology as a quick and effective way of discovering your archetypes is how we get started.


Jung undertook extensive studies in astrology and wrote on many occasions of his regard for it. What persuaded a brilliant man like Jung that astrology and a birth chart could lead you to more self-knowledge?

The clincher for Jung was the stunning co-incidence between planetary patterns and the archetypes they have come to signify. He called this relationship synchronicity.

For astrologers, synchronicity is the reason why the rare and potent pattern of archetypes in 2020 have expressed themselves this year in a variety of stressful circumstances typically associated with these archetypes (see Reality Bites! the astrology of 2020.)

Grounded in this way of seeing, we can then understand the 2020 challenge as meaningful, and offering the potential for our growth.

For Jung, the co-incidence between an astrology pattern, its archetypes, and their connection with both inner and outer events is always meaningful. This too is how I have learned to see the world, and am graced daily with the gift that it gives, of finding meaning in the things that happen.

“There is really a curious co-incidence between astrological and psychological facts. . . . Obviously, astrology has much to offer psychology. . . . . . Astrology represents the summation of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity.” – Carl Jung

Copyright © 2020 Heart’s Plan, All rights reserved.

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