ADRIAN: What would you recommend to someone eager to know more about archetypal astrology? What else do you generally recommend for somebody who feels close to this spiritual perspective?
RENN: Well, I would recommend that people read Tarnas’ Prometheus the Awakener and if you are ready for a serious intellectual adventure, Cosmos and Psyche. There are also great articles in the Archai journal. If you are interested in the archetypal combinations and how they manifest in everyday life and in deep self-exploration, I would recommend my Pathways to Wholeness.
There are a number of great podcasts and articles online by scholars such as Matthew Stelzner, Jessica Garfield-Kabbara, Keiron Le Grice, Chad Harris, Becca Tarnas, James Moran, Delia Shargel, Erica Jones, Josh Witmer, Grant Maxwell, Bill Streett, and many others. Kyle Leimetter, another student of Tarnas, has just created a great transit program called Archetypal Explorer which I would recommend, with text by Tarnas. Keiron Le Grice’s book The Archetypal Cosmos is also a great overview of issues in the emerging field.
Most importantly, when your life seems to give you a little surplus of courage, resources, or curiosity, set aside some time for self-exploration. When I was in my twenties the Uranus-to-Uranus opposition of the midlife appeared as “wow, you’re already pretty old by that point!” That’s how it looked to me (laughing), but now that I’m 54 I can report that I have had so many great opportunities for deep self-exploration since the Uranus-Uranus opposition of my late thirties and early forties. In a way this transit is just the beginning of the creative period. Plato wrote in The Republic that people under 40 shouldn’t engage in philosophy – rather they should be focused on the external world. I don’t personally agree with that, but you know the Indians see things in sort of the same way. In the Hindu tradition you’re a householder until a certain age and then you become a sannyasin – you pursue a spiritual path.
But why wait…why not start whenever you get the urge? If you are experiencing the Uranus-Uranus transit of the late 30s and early 40s, for example, you’re still so young, you have a lot of opportunities now to work on the software in your psyche. These patterns are not set in stone, they can be transformed, so take this fantastic opportunity of the double activated Uranus – what Tarnas calls the full moon of the Prometheus archetype – to enter into holotropic states in a safe setting and let the inner healer do its work. There are supportive transits for deep self-exploration at all times in people’s lives.
ADRIAN: A piece of advice for any human being living today?
RENN: Yes, not all our problems can be solved on the external level. We can try to solve them with a change in diet or with a relationship change, etc. but if the problem is coming from the unconscious then that’s the level where we need to turn to get effective relief. See what’s in there, turn inward. This is what has been said all along by the mystics – “Know thyself” – as Socrates put it. There are all kind of things that people in the new age pursue, however with a huge focus on diet, positive thinking and so on, and if those work then great, but people tend to forget the huge effect that buried traumas have on us.
Many people believe that what we think about creates our reality. I see that a bit differently: I think it’s the things we are completely unconscious of, that are creating our reality the most. The things we aren’t thinking about, those are the ones that are actually driving our lives, manifesting in the emotionality, the irrational decisions we make, the self-defeating behaviour, some of the synchronicities that we seem to attract toward us. I believe that is where the opening is awaiting both for individuals and for our civilization.
ADRIAN: Is there anything else you want to mention?
RENN: Yes, I’m finishing a new book called The Combination of Archetypal Influences which should be out in the summer of 2016. It’s a handbook-style reference book of archetypal astrology for people at every level of knowledge.
ADRIAN: Renn, thank you for your time and I am really grateful to you for sharing with us so much of your knowledge and experience.
RENN: Thank you, Adrian, very much. It has been an honour. I believe this is my first interview, so thanks again for the opportunity. Have a great summer.