Monday, February 13, 2012

The Integral Warrior and Shamanic Astrology

In my book, Awakening the New Masculine: The Path of the Integral Warrior, I've included some new material I have not previously used in the process. As I consider the Integral Warrior Men's Process an evolutionary approach to men's "work," that goes to new places other men's work has not gone, it only makes sense that it evolves and goes deeper as I evolve my understanding around how all these processes and modalities fit together.

One of the new modalities I've added---to the book, first, and to the workshop, next---is Shamanic Astrology. One of the few shortcomings of Integral Theory is that some of its well-known proponents don't recognize the value of anything archetypal. However, I'm claiming that if I can put archetypes in a developmental context, the door opens to placing them in an integral context. That is not to say Shamanic Astrology is integral, but that it can placed inside a larger integral perspective and that it adds value to that larger perspective.

To give you a feel for Shamanic Astrology, I'm going to use my own chart as an example. I was stunned to see my chart and how it fits together with the work I'm doing around the masculine. It is literally a map that explains not only why I do what I do, but how.

"Well, of course that's why you're on the path you're on!" It's another tool for discovering our Sacred Purpose and its validation.

Shamanic Astrology uses a mythic and archetypal storyline that runs counter to "behaviorism," saying we don't come in to this life as a blank slate, but, rather, that we bring an "original essence" with us that is revealed by our birth time as it relates to the position of the moon. In my case, my moon was in Sagittarius at the time of my birth, which means I used to be a Sagittarius. It is my lineage. It is where I come from. My birth time also reveals that I have the Aries Job in the Sag Tribe. Sagittarius' main issue is the desire to find meaning and purpose. It is a Jungian approach centered around the quest for meaning. The spiritual higher octave of Sagittarius is the love of truth, not as a mental concept, but reality,  or what is true in the moment. Sagittarians have historically been explorers, adventurers and philosophers.  If a Sag were a mountain climber, he wouldn't climb it to get to the top, but to see what lies beyond.

When we add the Aries Job, it is the rugged individualist, or lone wolf of the Sagittarian tribe. It is also the warrior adventurer, but not in the sense of a soldier, but as a commitment to a noble cause or purpose. Again, this is all about what I came in with, and it's helpful to know this, both for the individual and with those who love them.

So, according to my chart, how does my lineage fit in with my current life intent? My chart has a lot on it that has more similarities to my lineage rather than something different, and there are some interesting additions. Less focus is placed on the sun sign than in other systems. I have Mars in Aries and my sun is in Gemini. Aries is the most masculine of the astrological archetypes as it is described in the culture as a mission and purpose oriented individual who has a 100% complete identification with a noble cause or purpose. This is exactly the man that David Deida writes books for. Mostly yang, the Aries man is classic, pure warrior male. With the lineage of the spiritual explorer warrior, this current life intent brings the warrior to being more in the world. My chart says I came into the world at this time in history to investigate an authentic expression of Aries, the masculine. Andrew Harvey is another example of the leading edge expression of how we're re-visioning the masculine archetype. What is the new archetype? Well, that's what my book is about! Shamanic Astrology tells us, "no surprise, there!"

Next, we look at current life purpose, which for me is the Rising Sun, or the Capricorn Mystery School. Here I have the Libra Job in service to Capricorn Rising, which means, instead of the lone wolf warrior of my lineage, I am now here---one of my purposes---to be in a non-hierarchical equal life partnership. It is about responsibility and getting results. The challenging part of this is that for thousands of years, the Capricorn Mystery school has been usurped by the extremely strange aberration known as  hierarchical patriarchy and monotheistic religion which resulted in that pathology instead of evolution of the masculine. But the essence of Capricorn is similar to the Native American view of making no decision without considering seven generations to follow. It is the proper custodianship of  resources that serve the planet and its people. It is the wise elder working with the circle of grandmothers. Mars in Aries/Capricorn Rising is a combination of the new evolving masculine, noble images of responsibility, and my chart says I can't do it alone. Conscious equal partnership is essential....and none of what I'm doing would have been possible without stepping into conscious equal partnership with my wife, Anyaa (who is also a Shamanic Astrologer) because she was the reason all this came up for me and why I found this path. It is this conscious collaboration that allows me to learn more about myself. It is this combination of conscious partnership and being able to demonstrate the capacity to embody the new masculine and the willingness to take on the responsibilities to become a teacher/elder.

But we're not done....My Venus archetype, the feminine, also in Aries, is the warrior amazon. The leading edge of the Aries archetype in the feminine is actually the very same quality that is generally projected on 80% of the yang masculine: the capacity to have this noble cause and purpose. It is also what I project upon my partner.

There's a lot more, of course. But everything in my Shamanic Astrology chart points me to being exactly who I'm being. It confirms everything in my life: my work with the masculine and how it leads to developing the leading edge of that masculine, my relationship as a leading edge of conscious relationship and partnership, and my book. I can look at this and say to myself---as Anyaa has said to herself and to me---"well, that explains a lot!" And then....did I choose what I'm doing around awakening the new masculine and the Integral Warrior, or did it choose me? What does it matter? It is who I am.

While I use the reading to validate what I'm doing, most men I work with will use the Shamanic Astrology reading we'll do in the Integral Warrior Men's Process to get them thinking in a deeper way about finding their purpose and their mission. Also, for most men, this will be the first time they have ever looked deeper at, or even considered, their feminine.

From Awakening the New Masculine: The Path of the Integral Warrior:
One of the best ways to work on the masculine and feminine energies within is through  Shamanic Astrology, which gives us a very helpful map for moving through the cultural and societal changes we have entered. In addition to the larger perspective needed for the immensity of the acceleration and intensity of our interior realm, and the cultural, societal, and survival tools that Shamanic Astrology provides, it’s also a way to use and bring forth the archetypal qualities of the masculine and the feminine. These archetypes are called the mediating energies between heaven and earth—a metaphor for interiority and exteriority, the top two quadrants and the bottom two quadrants of the AQAL model. To do this with women, we’d look at their Mars so they can get in touch with their masculine side, and with men we look at their Venus so they can get more in touch with their feminine.
According to Daniel Giamario, the creator of Shamanic Astrology (and the person who did my reading), the readings “provide clues within an archetypal and mythical framework creating greater awareness for conscious participation with life purpose and the great mystery.” In addition to the prerational— magic and myth, the framework and foundation of all astrology—is added what [Ken]Wilber refers to as the “as if” framework of the rational level of consciousness and the very high metaphoric or “interpretive” framework of the transrational to events and how they shape and inform our lives.
With Shamanic Astrology, we explore the archetypes of each man’s lineage, refining and integrating the dance of his inner feminine and masculine and his best enlightenment and relationship paths. Each man also creates an experiential medicine wheel to acknowledge all of his personal archetypes, deepening his understanding of who he is. Last, each man co-creates a Sacred Marriage ceremony. This is not about telling the future; this is about gaining a deeper understanding of who we are.

To find out more about Shamanic Astrology visit:

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