What exactly does your birth chart map?

When you’re thinking about something it pays to know what you’re thinking about and how you conceive and think about your birth chart is determined by what you think it maps: and Hermetic astrology teaches that your birth chart is a map of your unconscious mind.

In the ancient past the first astrologers believed that you – the individual – like all human souls possessed a conscious field of mental experience and an unconscious mind where experience was saved in memory. But they did not identify the part of your consciousness that was not in your immediate field of awareness as your unconscious mind or soul.

The term ‘unconscious mind’ (according to sources on the internet) was coined in the 18th century by German philosopher Sir Christopher Riegel; and by 1900 with the growing influence of Freud and psychoanalysis its use was gradually seeping into popular culture.

According to Freud your unconscious mind is a collection of mental phenomena that take place outside of your conscious awareness so you are not aware of them when they occur. They include unconscious feelings and thoughts, unconscious/automatic skills, unnoticed perceptions, unconscious habits, automatic reactions, complexes, hidden phobias and concealed desires. It’s often misrepresented as wild world of conflicting desires and repressed feelings.

The first astrologers through their investigation of the astral world using extrasensory perception knew about astral life and its existence on astral planes, both before and after material incarnation, but they did not identify your astral self as your soul.

The modern English word soul, according to the internet, is derived from a translation of the Greek work psyche meaning ‘life, spirit and consciousness’ used by missionaries and apostles in the fourth century C.E.

But before then the ancient Greek philosopher Plato (born circa 428/427 BCE) provided detailed notions about the soul which were later developed and expanded on by other philosophers. But Plato’s soul, which animates the body, was most likely what we refer to today as the mind. It was considered the distinguishing mark of all living things and had a range of activities which did not include your desires, emotional responses or beliefs. 

In religion and philosophy soul is the immaterial aspect of a human being which confers individuality and humanity. It’s synonymous with the mind or self and is often considered to survive the death of the physical body. It’s associated with spirit and the ancient Egyptians conceived of a dual soul: a soul that survived death, but remained near the body and a spirit that proceeded to the region of the dead.

Early Christian philosophers adopted the Greek concept of the soul’s immortality and thought of the soul as being created by God and infused into the body at conception. It survived physical death in either heaven or hell.

So, in 1910, when Elbert Benjamine – Hermetic astrology’s wisdom figure – promised to upgrade the ancient Hermetic teachings using modern Aquarian Age science he struck a dilemma.

In an awesome display of deductive reasoning he linked Freud’s concept of the unconscious mind with the birth chart and the unconscious mind with religion’s soul – a standalone claim with proof; but associating popular perceptions of both these entities with Hermetic astrology’s birth chart fail to accurately reveal what your birth chart actually maps. 

Writing as CC Zain in Brotherhood of Light lesson 56 – Doctrine of Esoteric Psychology written/revised in 1936 – Elbert explained that the unconscious mind was once called the subjective mind, subconscious mind and subliminal mind and that: ‘With the coming of Freud…a new fashion in terminology developed and what was once called the subconscious mind came to be recognized by psychologists as the unconscious mind.’

‘Furthermore’ he wrote ‘because in it resides the sum total of consciousness, including that which connects up with the physical brain to express as objective consciousness, it should be understood that your mind, soul, character and unconscious mind are one and the same thing.’

Hermetic science teaches that you have one mind – comprising the sum total of your consciousness – and some of its contents can stream into your brain to express as objective consciousness.

In the Brotherhood of Light lessons he uses the term ‘unconscious mind’ 629 times and refers to your birth chart as a map of your character, your astral body, the thought organization of your finer form, all the experiences your soul has had up to the time of your human birth, the thought energies/mental factors within your astral body and yourself.

The science of the soul and stars is all about your soul aka mind, character, unconscious mind or astral body, the role of astrology in your intelligence and ability development, your birth chart, and your destiny as a human soul.

But since 1936, when Elbert explained that psychologists now viewed the subconscious and unconscious mind as the same there’s been a radical shift in the halls of learning. In 2023 they are not the same. They are viewed as two distinct phenomena.

Freud’s model of mind

Consciousness is best understood as having an awareness of something and being able to call it to mind and Freud’s model of the mind has three parts – the conscious mind, preconscious mind and unconscious mind – which are considered fundamental to understanding how the mind works.  

The conscious mind is where awareness takes place. It perceives and triggers a need to react. It’s where day to day thinking takes place and encompasses thoughts, feelings and memories which are stored in the preconscious and unconscious minds to be retrieved easily and used when needed. 

The preconscious mind consists of anything that can potentially be brought into the conscious mind; and the unconscious mind is a reservoir of feelings, thoughts, urges and memories that are outside of conscious awareness.

That said, a browse around the Aquarian Age internet in 2023 reveals that modern psychology is a minefield of vague, conflicting notions and there is little real understanding of the mind and how it works.

You’ll discover that you apparently have a preconscious mind which is also known as the subconscious mind and a subconscious mind which is also known as the unconscious mind, with each mind identifying a deeper layer of consciousness.

You’re advised to view your mind as an iceberg. What is visible is your conscious mind and what can’t be observed and is not available for introspection is your unconscious mind and this analogy has now been measured.

It’s estimated that only 10% of your minds work is made up of conscious thoughts, 50-60% is made up of subconscious thoughts; and 30-40% is made up of unconscious thoughts.

The subconscious mind in 2023

Google defines the subconscious as ‘concerning the part of the mind of which one is not fully aware but which influences one’s actions and feelings.’ So the notion is that below the conscious mind is the subconscious which is influencing and affecting everything a person thinks, says and does even though they are not fully aware of it.

The subconscious mind is part of the consciousness process – some say it’s the workhorse of mental life – but it’s not the focal point of active awareness. It’s believed to consist of anything that can potentially seep into present consciousness to influence conscious decisions.

In 2023 it’s believed the subconscious mind plays an important role in a person’s day to day functioning. It processes information and stores recent memories needed for quick recall like the names of people just met and it’s where telephone numbers, pin numbers, birth dates and addresses are saved in subconscious memory for quick recall. It’s where beliefs, values and current recurring thoughts, behavior patterns, habits, and feelings are stored.

Some say the subconscious monitors information and decides what to send to the conscious mind; others say it takes its orders from the conscious mind; and it’s believed to be the seat of intuition, inspiration and creativity and can assemble random/scattered information into new ideas.

And it’s believed that the subconscious can be contacted to influence subconscious behavior and the unconscious mind can’t be contacted; and there’s a notion that both the subconscious and unconscious store memories but only subconscious memories can be remembered.

The unconscious mind in 2023

According to Google the unconscious mind is a part of the mind that operates below the level of conscious awareness and contains feelings, thoughts, urges and memories that are not readily accessible. It influences conscious thought processes and behavior.

According to Freud the unconscious mind is an enormous reservoir of thoughts, feelings, desires, reactions, memories, repressed feelings, hidden memories and habits. It’s where all your memories and past experiences since birth have been stored including those that been repressed through trauma and those that have been consciously forgotten.

It’s believed that all your beliefs, habits and behaviors have formed from these experiences and being outside of your conscious awareness they can’t be observed or examined.

In 2023 the unconscious mind is likened to an underground library or cellar of memories, habits, and behaviors. It’s viewed as sitting at a deeper layer of thought – under the subconscious – and all its contents first existed in the conscious mind as awareness.

There’s a notion that it’s composed of some desires; another that it’s entirely composed of desires; and another that it’s composed of conscious thoughts, feelings and impulses that are now repressed; and another that the notion of an unconscious mind is illogical; and a popular notion that consciousness is genetically produced.

In 1953 materialistic science discovered DNA – the chemical elixir of life – and decided that the mind is what the gene created brain does. Brain and its spectacular electrical-chemical activity is considered superior to mind and the notion of a super mind scares the hell out of cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists.  

Your birth chart is a map of your unconscious mind

In 1936 Elbert Benjamine needed a reliable reference, which closely resembled the astral entity depicted in Hermetic astrology’s birth chart, and he chose Freud’s unconscious mind.

He stated: ‘because in it resides the sum total of consciousness... it should be understood that your mind, soul, character and unconscious mind are one and the same thing’ and that ‘your birth chart is a map of all the experiences your soul has had on its evolutionary journey up to the time of your human birth.’

But since then the study of mind has become a messy, confused muddle. Smart thinkers who continue to use Freud’s model of a three layered consciousness/mind and who think the brain is the starting point of consciousness strive to comprehend a great mystery applying false notions and theories.

In 2023 the terms subconscious mind and unconscious mind are often used interchangeably even though they are not the same and some link the subconscious with the preconscious mind. So it seems you might have two subconscious minds!

Taking Elbert’s 1936 comments about the subconscious and unconscious mind at face value a number of Hermetic writers since then chose to use subconscious mind; but in 2023 the unconscious mind and subconscious mind are no longer considered the same consciousness.  

Throughout the Church of Light/Brotherhood of Light lessons on the occult sciences the unconscious mind referred to very closely resembles Freud’s unconscious mind – not the subconscious/preconscious mind – and those claiming otherwise are wrong and spreading misinformation.

Hermetic astrology teaches that your birth chart is a map of your unconscious mind aka soul or character which, as the sum total of your consciousness, resides in your thought built astral body at the time of your birth.

It teaches that you have one mind where all experience is saved in memory and where all your mental activity takes place and some of its contents, due to current circumstance, stream into your present – objective – consciousness.  

In 2023 you can apply popular perceptions of the unconscious mind to your birth chart with one exception. Its contents comprise all the experiences that define your backstory not just those that have occurred since your human birth.

So when you’re thinking about your birth chart you should use your current understanding of the unconscious mind as a reliable reference. It’s a map of your developmental past and character – a self-information resource – and when you apply Hermetic astrology’s assessment procedure to its data you’ll learn more about your soul-self than you ever imagined possible.

Author: DW Sutton

Astrology for Aquarius – sharing our knowledge

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