Calendar

Upcoming Events

April 26. Margaret Gray presents The Chiron Return ($30)

April 26. Margaret Gray presents The Chiron Return ($30)

Life Transitions: A Webinar Series with Margaret Gray MSW D. Psych. Astrology $30 for a 2-hour session beginning at 11:00 AM Pacific Standard Time Space is limited, so please sign up...

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Next Workshop April 25: By popular demand - Writing for the Astrology Market

Next Workshop April 25: By popular demand - Writing for the Astrology Market

10:00 am – 12:00 pm PDT (1:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT)  Saturdays – individually priced at $39.00Students will receive handouts and a recording of the workshop Last year, astrologers responded to...

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FREE: Apr 19-Astro-Assessment of Constitution by William Morris

FREE: Apr 19-Astro-Assessment of Constitution by William Morris

April 19, 2014 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm Pacific Daylight Time In this discussion, we will explore a method for assessing constitution – regardless of zodiacal preference. It is a day-month-year...

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Starts Apr 28: The Day-Signs of Mesoamerica

Starts Apr 28: The Day-Signs of Mesoamerica

Three sessions presented by Bruce Scofield ($89)Mondays: April 28, May 5 and May 12 from 6 pm to 7:30 pm Pacific Daylight Time The 260-day astrological calendar, also known as the...

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FREE: May 10 The Way of the Moon: How to use Lunar Mansions

FREE: May 10 The Way of the Moon: How to use Lunar Mansions

Presenter: Donna WoodwellTime: May 10, 2014 1:00-2:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight TimeAstrologers are familiar with the 12 signs of the solar zodiac – Aries, Taurus, Gemini and so on. But did...

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By outward appearances, Neo lived an unremarkable life. He slept, ate, went to work. Yet a nagging feeling something was not as it appeared persisted. His search led him to take the red pill, and wake up to a more-real reality he never before imagined.

Nice plot for the sci-fi hit movie The Matrix. But screenwriting siblings the Wachowskis consciously tipped their hats to the philosophy of the ancient Greeks. The admonition to "Wake Up!" has a long history in Western culture.

Of course, the Greeks didn't have a red pill. But they did have a sophisticated theories of of the meta-physical. In the agora and in their living rooms, philosophers debated how creation moved from a transcendent unity, the One, to the multiplicity of manifestations populating our mundane world. These "theories of emanations" provided model they used to explore how to (re)unite with that transcendent, divine "light."

These "lovers of wisdom," were not simply talking about ephemeral theories, they were, in the words of French scholar Pierre Hadot, pursuing "philosophy as a way of life." They developed practical techniques – "spiritual exercises" – to cultivate an interior landscape conducive to the experience of joy; compassion and equanimity in the face of suffering; as well as emotional and mental self-mastery. In other words, such exercises blazed a Western path toward enlightenment, toward connecting oneself to a more direct experience of the divine light.

Such exercises were familiar (and practiced by) the Greek and Roman philosophers, including those involved with the development of astrology. Pieces of this knowledge were preserved in classical texts, inherited by the early Catholic Church and preserved in monastic orders.

However, unlike the early days of the Church, the Greeks and Roman philosophers did not necessarily divorce themselves from the mundane affairs of daily life to contemplate mystical union. Instead they saw their ordinary actions and reactions as a kind of laboratory for studying themselves, their thoughts and their reactions.  Through vigilant self-examination, questioning and reflection, they sought to discover how to shift emotions and thought processes.

One key concept was prosoche, an ever-vigilant attention to oneself. Something akin to today's practice of mindfulness, prosoche necessitated an around-the-clock witnessing of one's actions, emotions and thoughts.  Insights gained from this self-observation provided the raw ingredient for discovering how one's psyche functioned. This, in conjunction with other exercises, provided a formula for achieving more expanded states of awareness which created a fertile ground for union with one's divine spark.

 


Donna Woodwell is an instructor at Kepler and has worked with these exercises as part of her own metaphysical training, which has included shamanic healing, Hermetic magic, and the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius.

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