Jung, Carl

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The father of psychoanalysis and the introvert/extrovert personality types, famed Swiss physician Carl Gustav Jung. Reproduced by permission of Fortean Picture Library.

Jung, Carl

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Carl Jung was a turn-of-the-twentieth-century psychoanalyst whose formulation of psychology had a major impact on modern astrology. Jung was born in Basel, Switzerland, on July 26, 1875. After completing medical school, he went on to study psychoanalysis with Sigmund Freud, but later struck off to formulate his own distinctive brand of psychology. Jung utilized astrology in his counseling work, and it was his work with myths and symbols that most influenced modern astrology.

Among other achievements, Jung took the ancient approach to symbolic interpretation and recast it in a form acceptable to the modern world. While astrology has utilized symbolic methods since ancient times, the appeal of the Jungian system has been such that many contemporary astrologers have adopted the language as well as some of the methodology of this school of psychology. The study and integration of Jung’s approach by such influential figures of modern astrology as Dane Rudhyar has also had the effect of “psychologizing” contemporary astrology, meaning that the planets and signs are now viewed as representing primarily aspects of one’s psychological makeup, as well as psychological types. By way of contrast, traditional astrology was more focused on the prediction of events and on helping clients choose the most auspicious moments to carry out certain actions.

Although many astrologers have attempted to reformulate astrology in terms of Jung (making Jungian psychology the primary component of the mixture), more astrologers have adopted Jungian language to explain what astrologers have always done—interpreted symbols. Three Jungian terms—collective unconscious, archetype, and synchronicity—are almost universally familiar to contemporary astrologers. Practitioners with deeper interests in Jungian psychology have gone so far as to correlate Jung’s system of classifying people into psychological types (feeling, thinking, sensate, and intuitive), with the four classical elements.

Sources:

Bach, Eleanor. Astrology from A to Z: An Illustrated Source Book. New York: Philosophical Library, 1990.
Brau, Jean-Louis, Helen Weaver, and Allan Edmands. Larousse Encyclopedia of Astrology. New York: New American Library, 1980.
The Journal of Geocosmic Research (Autumn 1975): vol. 1, no. 3.