Anima Mundi - The Astrology of the Individual and the Collective
Charles Harvey was one of the most influential and innovative figures of late 20th century astrology. In the seminars in this volume, the clarity of his thought and the depth and inclusiveness of his vision are expressed in a way which is accessible yet subtle and profound. These seminars explore not only the ways in which individuals influence, mediate, and are shaped by the groups and collectives to which they belong, professional and national, but also the ways in which nations evolve according to inherent astrological patterns which, rather than merely echoing history, actually create it.
We are all individuals striving toward the fullest possible expression of our unique personalities, yet we are at the same time participants in - and sometimes victims of - larger collective forces which we need to understand if we are to make sense of our place in the cosmos and claim any right to individual choice as well as an individual contribution to the larger unity of which we are a part. In this relatively unexplored sphere of astrological research, Charles Harvey was unquestionably a leader, and the material in this book will be disturbing, exciting, and illuminating to both students and seasoned astrological practitioners.
Review by Chris Lorenz - Horoscope, 2002
The political astrologer Charles Carter posed the rhetorical question, 'Could the natives of the victims of Hiroshima all have indicated the death and ruin that overtook them on that fateful day in August 1945?' His answer, of course, was no, but perhaps the horoscope of the city of Hiroshima or Japan would more vividly show the danger than any of the victims' charts. many astrology students are surprised to learn that nations actually have valid horoscopes, just like individuals.
In Anima Mundi, two seminars transcribed and presented in book form, Charles Harvey shows how the individual is inextricably linked to the collective, a connection that is made clear through astrology. So much of modern astrology has a narcissistic focus on the individual horoscope, yet individuals must respond to the larger patterns shaping society, a process that can be seen through the national horoscope. Harvey's illuminating perspective informs us that if we are to make any sense of our individual destiny, we have to understand the larger unity of which we are a part.
Anima Mundi means World Soul a concept first implied by the Greek philosopher Plato, and more recently depicted as Carl Jung's collective unconscious. By using the image of the World Soul to describe the contents of this book, the connection between the individual and the collective is astrologically emphasized. Harvey describes our lives as participating in a series of interlocking dramas, all of which have a symbolic equivalence and can be interpretated using planetary cycles. We live in a holographic universe where the news headlines, the gossip columns, the events in our personal lives, and the dilemmas and potentialities are all part of the spirit of the time.
This philosophical perspective is fleshed out when the author begins discussing national horoscopes, specific political leaders, and the cycles of the planets that shape our collective reality. Many astrologers profess an interest in mundane or political astrology, but few have an idea about how to study actual events in practice. Anima Mundi is a great introduction to many national horoscopes, including charts for Great Britain, Germany, Spain, Russia, and China. For Great Britain and Germany, he shows how the national horoscope has several incarnations through history, how they're related to each other, and how key individuals may rise to power because they reflect the critical points in the nation's chart.
An extensive section discusses the evolution of the German horoscope, beginning with the Crowning of Charlemagne in A.D. 800. This chart features the sun at 8° Capricorn square Neptune at 10° Libra. These particular planets and degrees are then repeated over and over again throughout Germany's historical development, right through Hitler's chart, which shows a conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter at 8° Capricorn. The latest incarnation of Germany occurred when West Germany was unified with east Germany on October 3, 1990. In this horoscope, the Sun is at 9° Libra square a Uranus-Neptune conjunction at 11° Capricorn. From this planetary configuration, it becomes obvious to the astrologer that Germany's current task is to reconcile individual rights (Uranus) with the desires of the collective (Neptune). This happens to also correspond to the merging of western capitalism (Uranus) with eastern socialism (Neptune).
Then, the discussion on planetary cycles is invaluable to anyone who wants to understand political astrology. The example of how Uranus and Neptune work together in Germany's situation also has huge implications in Great Britain's political dramas. The Saturn-Neptune cycle is critical to Russian politics, and the Jupiter-Neptune cycle closely describes the revolutionary developments in France. Both individuals and nations respond to unique planetary combinations, and comparing the unfolding cycle to actual events will inevitably lead to making accurate predictions.
Noting how the individual horoscope is actually participating in some outer planetary cycle leads to an innovative way of interpretation. This is an entirely new, radical, and apparently incredibly perceptive method of horoscope analysis. The way it works is that an individual born with, say, Jupiter sextile Saturn, is a member of the group of people born under the influence of the previous Jupiter-Saturn conjunction. The astrologer charts this conjunction and sees how it falls in the natal chart. All future aspects between Jupiter and Saturn will correspond to important developments in the personal life, as well as in the nations that also have Jupiter-Saturn aspects. Harvey uses the example of Margaret Thatcher to describe how the Jupiter-Saturn individual can be shaped by the Jupiter-Saturn nation, and in turn shape that nation.
Anima Mundi is an exceptionally brilliant take on political astrology and, for those willing to look at the big picture, and exciting venue for interpretating personal fate. The concept of the World Soul grants the astrologer a higher or more objective perspective than any specific religious, political, or ideological system would allow. This book deserves every student's full attention, and when its principles are widely grasped and practiced, astrology itself will advance to a higher level of expertise and popular respect.
© Horoscope 2002
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