Here psychology is conceived as a necessary activity of the psyche, which constructs vessels and breaks them in order to deepen and intensify experience. -James Hillman
In the heart of my first Saturn return, on my 29th and half birthday, my first astrological piece, “Re-Visioning Saturn”, was published in Archai: The Journal of Archetypal Cosmology. This piece represents a vision and understanding of the planetary archetype of Saturn I have held in my heart and practice through my 20s—bringing in a feminine understanding of the planetary archetype. “Re-Visioning Saturn” is a multi-tiered and holographic offering.
First and foremost, my piece is an offering to Saturn. The realm in which we live, the guardian of the threshold. Saturn is the one through which we enter and leave this world of spacetime. Incarnation and the experience of self and the divine is impossible without Saturn. My piece is an offering to the Great Mother from where we came, where we are going, and whose name we do not speak enough.
Second, this issue of Archai is dedicated to the ground-breaking archetypal psychologist, James Hillman, whose work fundamentally changed my worldview and therefore my life in my early 20s. Hillman’s great work, Re-Visioning Psychology lucidly articulates the need for an “archetypal eye”, to “see through” and turn the archetypes back on themselves to see the god that inform and shape any perspective we may have. For me, to study and integrate the fields of archetypal astrology and depth psychology helps illuminate, in what Hillman describes in Re-Visioning, one’s transformative path in life and divine connection to the Self and Cosmos. Hillman’s piece, “On Senex Consciousness” was republished in Issue 5 of Archai. My piece enters into a critical dialogue with Hillman’s piece where I use the perspectives and methods he put forward in Re-Visioning Psychology and turn these concepts toward “On Senex Consciousness” and the contemporary view of the planetary archetype of Saturn.
Lastly, my piece is an offering to the astrological tradition. Tradition carries so much power. As comes with being a part of any lineage, I inherited many of the gifts and challenges of the astrological tradition. My piece is an honoring of my lineage and an attempt to shed light on aspects of it that I feel we are outgrowing as a human species.
Thank you to my partner, Travis DiRuzza, who helped me bring my vision into words and also wrote a kick-ass piece for this journal titled, “The Lighthouse and the Many-Hued Waves: The Saturn-Neptune Complex in the Life and Work of Virginia Woolf”. To my mentors and teachers with whom I have worked most closely —Rick Tarnas, Stan Grof and Chris Bache. Each have each given me so much that I will unfold and embody for the rest of my life. To the editors of Archai, Becca Tarnas and Grant Maxwell who helped refine my words and provided a platform for this piece. To my astrological and psychological colleagues whose conversations and ideas breathe through my life. And to the other awesome contributors to this journal of Issue 5: James Hillman, Rick Tarnas, Delia Shargel, Becca Tarnas, Matthew David Segall, Max DeArmon and Drew Dellinger. Please check out their work here in Archai: Saturn and the Theoretical Foundations of an Emerging Discipline.
Sal Sapiente. Amore Fati.
to Jessica: This article is totally thrilling to me. you are such a clear writer and elegant thinker.
I have spent the last 40 years trying to articulate a different group dynamics theory, a pattern which is not calcified senex. I’d like to send you a copy of a piece I’m working on called Home Grown- its about the developmental intrauterine relational field and a template for understanding human group dynamics as a prototype for benevolent human process. Perhaps it would be of use to your work.
An annual solar return with Matthew Stelzner has helped me embody these thoughts, given me the felt sense of the feminine Saturn. You could ask Matthew about me- I think he might remember our talks. Also Patricia Reis, who you quote, is a dear friend of mine here in Maine.
A big dream for me would be to have help with this essay of mine and then see it in your Journal – all of which issues I have digested as hi-potency constitutional remedies. Approaching 80 myself, after 40 years of leading women’s groups, I have something to say and would appreciate your take on it.
I will not send the rough copy to you unless I hear back for you. You could look at my website: http://www.alexandramerrill.com . I no longer updating it as its time to slow down and bring all that work together and then find a way to spread the best parts.
Thank you for your brilliant work, Jessica, and I send you grateful bouquets of flowers from the gardens of persephone….
Alexandra Merrill, a new fan.
Dear Alexandra, it is so lovely to hear from you all the way from Maine. Thank you for taking the time to read my piece. That is wonderful that you are friends with Patricia Reis. Her work has been instrumental to my understanding and growth process, such a treasure. Your work also sounds incredible. Please send me what you have to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to submit your work to the journal you would need to email Becca Tarnas through Archai.org where her contact information is located.
Wild blessings to you!
Jessica,Wow,, what a great article! I love it when astrology and theology cross paths. Your piece echoes themes of Elizabeth Johnson’s, ‘She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse ‘. She writes in her preface to the tenth anniversary edition:
‘I have received and treasure sheaves of letters from people in the churches describing how reading it (the book) has changed their understanding of God and consequently increased their appreciation of the struggle for the human dignity of women. On the negative side, the forces of reaction oppose these insights with an array of tools from ridicule and trivialization to patriarchal dictates about liturgical translations. This reaction bases its argument on a propositional notion of revelation that reads only certain male terms as proper language for God. Such a position does not float abstractly in the air. It criticizes the use of female imagery for the divine with an awareness that such enrichment of our language entails a political change in the status of women in church and society in the direction of equality and mutuality. The opposition makes clearer than ever the basic argument in ‘She Who Is ‘ that the truth about God, the human dignity of women,and the transformation of institutional structures are profoundly interconnected.’
Keep up the great work, Jessica!
Thank you, Bill! I love that you shared Elizabeth Johnson’s work here. What joy to hear and see other women (and men!!) illuminating these perspectives and ways of being in our miraculous world. All blessings to you!
Reblogged this on Lost Dudeist Astrology.