ARCHETYPAL & SUBJECTIVE REALITIES
An important distinction to make is the relationship between the 'real' subjective experience of reality and how this corresponds to an Archetypal 'reality'.
A subjective reality is what we directly experience based upon some reality, be it the planetary positions right down to the weather. It in itself it may only be a partial truth however it is nevertheless meaningful and in need of serious consideration. With Astronomy for example, we Humans while living on Earth, experience creation as if we are at its centre, which of course we are not. Nevertheless the Sun appears to revolve around us, not the other way round. The experiences we have of the Sun being secondary to the Earth, such as sunrise and sunset form part of our subjective reality. This is what we experience or perceive from our point of view. The Astronomical truth is we revolve around the Sun, yet our subjective experience of the Sun revolving around us has a dominating position in our experience of reality.
Having said this, a close investigation of the planetary influences from a heliocentric perspective also reveals that they have an effect upon the way life manifests on Earth. This occurs simultaneously to our Earth centred (geocentric) experience. The point is that both the geocentric and heliocentric experience of the planets form part of our subjective experience of a reality. As will be shown later in this work, we can however delineate a difference in the quality of these influences.
An archetypal reality is a principle, rule or 'law', which can be found in some aspect of life. This law or principle is based upon some physical or cosmic reality however it may not have any direct relationship to the subject at hand. In the context of this work the archetypal realities we meet are often an Astronomical phenomena whose principles can be found in some element of life we wish to explore . The rules of the original phenomena are moved and applied to some other phenomena. E.g. the seven year cycles of human growth so commonly accepted, are actually based upon a fourfold division of Saturn's 28 year cycle, or when RS associates the the human senses to the twelvefold nature of the constellations, or when we have the 12 signs of the zodiac developed from the astronomical reality of the 12 constellations. These principles are meaningful structures used to organise our experiences of life, however in themselves they do not relate to a direct reality but rather a fundamental patterning or archetype taken from somewhere else.
The archetypal principles and subjective reality often interact with one another and can be seen in the seven year cycles mentioned above. Saturn has a basic cycle length of 28 years. It has been found that the 4 quarter phases of this cycle indicate significant moments in the development of an individuals personal responsibility. (See Parenting as a Saturnine Pleasure). Therefore we have come to develop a general or archetypal theory of growth based upon the seven year cycle. In reality though it has been found that the trigger and timing of these events relate to when Saturn has its exact 90 or 180 degree relationship back to its birth position. This relationship does not occur exactly every seven years. Saturn has its actual relationship back to its birth position anywhere between every 7 & 9 years. So the archetypal law shows us an overall pattern, which provides a general human effect, yet the subjective reality of the individual gives us the actual event for them. Both points of view have some relevance and can be considered correct.
Another example, which we will look at in greater detail later, is the relationship of the constellations of the zodiac to the signs of the zodiac. Essentially the reality is that there are twelve constellations of stars standing behind the ecliptic of the Sun. These are clusters of energy generating stars which have moved very little in a long time. This twelvefold archetypal nature of the constellations ( which are a galaxy phenomena) has been 'picked up' and then placed upon the path of the Sun around the Earth, (which is a Earth centred Solar system phenomena). The starting point of this Earth zodiac is the northern hemisphere spring equinox. The 12 divisions so created are then called the signs of the zodiac. They are a manifestation of an archetypal pattern of creation being taken and applied to another circumstance. The function and effect of this is another matter and will be addressed later. The point here is that this 12 fold archetypal law of life drawn from the constellations is able to be moved around and applied to almost anything. " Astrological Science" explored how the 12 fold law relates to the Spiritual level and thus applying the 12 fold law stamps a spiritual dimension onto the subject. Applying the 7 fold law stamps and Astral focus upon the subject and so on.
So an archetype in this sense is a basic law of creation. These laws, whatever they are, hold good for the new realities upon which they are built and some relevance will arise from them. The nature of the law indicates at what level or arena the subsequent information will relate too. Any process of life can be devided into twelve ,seven, four, three or two fold processes as RS continually shows. The Astrological model therefore provides us with a Universal theorum which outlines many of the basic archetypal laws of the galaxy, as the galaxy presents them to us. The patterning allows us to determine where these laws work and what their influence is when they are applied to subjective life experiences.
Interestingly, Steiner more often than not uses the archetypal division of things rather than the real. Take for example his twelve fold division in the 12 senses work. It can be suggested this activity is describing an Egoic level of the senses.
When RS uses the planets in the biography work he is talking on an Astral level. Hence he is discussing the soul or psychological development of the individual. B Lievegeod is his book "Phases" also uses the archetypal planetary patterns rather than the real ones. This book gives the mid life crisis as taking place at 42 based on the archetypal rhythms of the planets. In reality though the mid life crisis period runs at present from 37 - 45 based on the real planetary movements. In this regard a wonderful book called 'The Cycles of Becoming " by Alexander Repurti was written for Astrological circles in 1978. This book outlines in detail the exact cycles and rhythms of the planets with their influences on human development. This is the Astrological equivalent of Lievgeods book. Well worth the study.
Anthroposophical critics of Astrology can scarcely 'complain' about the use of archetypal patterning for the development of the signs of the zodiac when their whole reference system is built upon the exact same process. The signs in this sense are a brother of many of their understandings.
Archetypal patterns have great relevance. They show up everywhere in Astrological study. The Astrological theorem shows the complexity of interrelationships between all the various parts of creation and indicates the laws for the manifestation of almost all of creation. In the field of human psychological development, and other subjective realities, one must not overlook the experience of the real planets as the activators of development. The planetary positions of the natal or progressed charts give the exact timing of the events of life. The archetype can give us their meaning.
Both the archetypal and the real phenomena can be used and are both "right".