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Towards a Shamanic Use of the Zodiac Circle
A typical trait of our ordinary reality is to function as a separate arbitrary configuration. This sort of configuration holds fixed edges preventing free circulation of energy. As a result the limited amount of energy available inside this separate reality is all we can apparently rely on. On the other hand, from a multidimensional perspective, energy existing in this and other universes is basically infinite, and it is only the human separate paradigm itself that inhibits us from accessing it.
The customary tendency of most human beings is to ignore major areas of vitality located in the physical body, which could potentially allow us to tap into an infinite reservoir of energies. These areas when properly invigorated could definitely assist in moving beyond the confinement of this separate reality. Yet this is rarely the case since energies from such centres are regularly poured out or kept back by our conditioned mental construct which forces us to succumb to the draining demands of our social identity. This arbitrary identity requires constant maintenance and enormous investment of energy. It basically sucks all our conscious awareness with ongoing internal dialogues, which literally chase away whatever does not pertain to our conditioned paradigm of reality.
All our energy is used to defend or increase our social identity, its mental or emotional loops and overbearing sense of importance. This applies to all trends of life, including those that are miserable and those that promote personal growth. Whether we conform to social standards, fail to do so and feel unhappy, process our feelings and try to release blocks, or find ways to stand out as maverick individuals, we still keep promoting our separate identity and sense of self-importance.
We continue to be locked into an ongoing inner dialogue, preoccupied by trivial and vain issues about the arbitrary idea we have of ourselves and others. The consequence of this is an continual stress preventing any possibility of gaining awareness of whatever lies beyond our arbitrary mental construct.
One of the aims of astroshamanism is to learn to disengage from the doings and undoing of ordinary life, focusing upon what abides beyond the arbitrary sphere of linear time and tapping into the realm of pure energy. In this respect astroshamanism emphasizes the strategic importance of the energy centres in our physical body and their capacity to work as bridges between ordinary and non-ordinary realities.
This emphasis is obvious in the astroshamanic approach to astrology. Here the horoscope, or astroshamanic circle, far from being intellectually analysed or used to corroborate our sense of self-importance, reveals itself as a multidimensional keyboard, which provides the strategic setting for a direct and unexpurgated experience of energy. Employing the astroshamanic circle and its ongoing related practices produces the effect of releasing the noise of the ordinary mind, paving the way to the pragmatic awareness of our multidimensional self.
In astroshamanism astrology is employed as a symbolic and strategic structure aimed at moving beyond our limited perception of reality. The natal chart, the human psyche, the material world, etc. are here regarded as mere symbols. This means that they are external or visible forms through which I can perceive an inner or unseen meaning. The planets, the universe and all human beings exist at a visible level, yet beyond this context they have multi-dimensional natures and a core essence. The symbolic key is properly at work when we manage to perceive this essence beyond the visible or material form.
Transformation, meant as healing, integration or expansion of awareness, as we see it in the astroshamanic context, takes place when we establish a rapport with what lies beyond the symbolic form and have a direct experience of pure energy and of its unity with whatever exists. In order to use astrology in this process astroshamanism considers the natal chart as a reflex of the totality of the inner and outer world, or of shamanic and ordinary states of consciousness, rather than as a device aimed at inflating our separated self and all its personal issues.
Apart from what we think, or are conditioned to believe, we are, our authentic nature is connected with a specific Intent which represents the foundation of our veritable potentials and of all that truly makes sense of who we are. During life this Intent develops through various stages of transformation and key events that are fully relevant to our multidimensional self, although they may be difficult to understand for the ordinary personality.
The advantage of astrology lies in providing a codified language able to identify and define some of the basic components and dynamics of human existence. This language, when examined through a personís inner experience, can promote a wide and clear vision as regards the direction of his cycles. In brief, astrology offers the possibility of understanding the energies at play and the opportunity of identifying, not only the modalities, but also the specific times in which they express and transform themselves during life.
The development of astrology dates back to the first appearance of man on Earth and has been developing ever since. The need of man to communicate with his fellows produced a series of gestures and sounds that was later translated into specific alphabetical languages. The need to transmit deeper meanings and to relate with invisible forces determined the birth and the successive development of the astrological language.
Astroshamanism employs the astrological language in its essential features as a strategic energy grid aimed at reawakening, stimulating and operating our multidimensional nature. In this context it is not necessary to consider the numerous techniques and methods of interpretation on which astrological literature thrives. The essence of astrological language is extremely simple. Its applications can become unnecessarily complex. And here it is important to be clear about what we want to do with this language, i.e. our Intent.
For example, if I want to write a text on a computer, I just need to know how to use the word processor programme and this will suffice to complete my task. I do not need to study other features of the programme, the software for graphics and algebraic calculations or the internal functioning of the word processor, not to mention the hardware. What counts is to manifest my Intent of writing a text. Of course, it could be useful to know a bit more about the computer and its various functions, especially when the machine does not work properly and prevents me from writing the text. And yet, if I still intend to write a text, in the event of the computer malfunctioning, I can still do this by hand or with an old typewriter.
The astroshamanic circle, or circle on the floor, is the primary astrological reference used in astroshamanism. Here the natal chart is reproduced on the floor in an ample circle where the person can directly experience the energy of the astrological signs. In astroshamanism the zodiac signs represent 12 energy centres, which strategically make up the complete structure of our multidimensional identity.
Once we learn to retrieve, reawaken and operate those centres then we are able to expand our awareness beyond the confines of our human arbitrary configuration and access what lies beyond. What lies beyond, our multidimensional self is always there, yet the demands of our social identity do not leave enough energy to be intentionally conscious of its existence. The astroshamanic circle serves the purpose of breaking the fixation of our awareness and gaining the necessary fluidity that can allow a tangible expansion of our perception.
About the author:
Franco Santoro: Energy worker, shamanic facilitator, member of the Findhorn Foundation and the developer of astroshamanism. His work is based on thirty-five years of direct personal experience, integrated with the teachings of many traditions, including Mediterranean and Celtic cultures, A Course in Miracles, Osho (for whom he was press agent) and the Findhorn Foundation Community. He is the author of Astroshamanism: A Journey Into the Inner Universe; Astroshamanism: The Voyage Through the Zodiac; the eZine PAN and other works including a series of Astroshamanic CDs. Franco lives at the Cluny Hill College campus of the Findhorn Foundation in Northern Scotland, where he regularly holds workshops, courses and consultations. He also runs outreach events worldwide.