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Circular Paths: The Journey of Astrological Theory with Jean Hinson Lall

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Today we often think of theory as dry, abstract and constricting, but although it does provide boundaries and structure it should be nourishing, fostering creativity in our practice and keeping us in touch with the higher purposes and values of our work. It should also be an ongoing journey, as we can see from the association of the ninth house with both long-distance travel and the higher mind.

This evening we will explore the ancient imagination of our discipline and consider how the ‘reading’ of the round wheel of the horoscope differs from scientific cause-and-effect thinking.

In ancient Greece, the word theory (theoria) referred to a journey to consult the oracle, to attend a religious festival in a distant place, or to discharge a sacred obligation. It implied a special kind of vision, a seeing and being-seen by the deity. Unlike the straight, onward-and-upward trajectory of modern scientific thought, the journey of theoria followed a circular path, returning home to recount and interpret what had been learned.

In this way it reflected the movements of the heavenly bodies. Indeed, theoria also referred to the planetary aspects – the way the planets “gaze” at each other as they revolve in the heavens.

We will consider the shape of the ancient theoretic journey alongside other circular maps and journeys in order to see how this “round” mode of thinking conveys and conserves information, guides interpretation, and provokes insight.

About Jean

Jean Hinson Lall has been an astrological consultant and Jungian-oriented psychotherapist in private practice in Baltimore since 1975. A Certified Consulting Astrologer (NCGR Level IV), she holds a B.A. degree in English and an M.A. in archetypal studies, the latter focusing on astrology and Jungian psychology. More recently she has spent several years at the University of Kent in England pursuing research on traditional cosmologies and divination systems in order to understand more about the nature of astrological ‘reading’. She also has a deep interest in the place of astrology in the history of Western thought and culture and in its potential future contribution.

Jean has been a Fulbright tutor in India, a Peace Corps staff member, and a co-founder with Thomas Moore of the Institute for the Study of Imagination. She has lectured and conducted workshops on a variety of topics in astrology, myth, and archetypal psychology and has presented her work at conferences in the U.S. and the U.K. Her publications include a book co-edited with Angela Voss, The Imaginal Cosmos: Astrology, Divination and the Sacred (University of Kent, 2007).

For consultations (in person, by telephone or Skype), Jean can be contacted via e-mail at [masked].

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