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Part 2 of Carl Jung’s “Red Book”: The Astrology Behind the Publication of Jung’s Most Personal Work

Carl Jung was a Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist that helped bring
forth the birth and development of psychology. In 1914 he began a
journal in which he described his personal journey, his "confrontation
with the unconscious," as he called it. From 1914 to 1930 he wrote in
this Liber Novus (new book) with a red binding and cover, which he
simply called his "Red Book." It has remained mostly unseen, even
during his life and certainly after his death, until it was taken from
a safe deposit box in Zurich in November of 2007. It's long-awaited
publication date is October 7th, 2009.

In part 2, I'll discuss the astrology of the publication date, both on its own and in Jung's chart specifically. Then we'll move on to his natal chart.



October 7th, 2009: The Date of Publication

Mercury catches up with Saturn in Virgo after turning direct. The words (Mercury) become real (Saturn), in black and white for all to see. The moon also trines the two that day, adding the element of the subconscious coming into consciousness and reality.

In Jung's own chart, the transiting Sun sextiles his Uranus exactly, seeming to indicate the light shining on Jung's true self, warts and all. We are all likely to get a view of Jung that may challenge the view we'd like to hold of him and how we've adjusted his views and his work to suit our own perspectives. This is a view of the man in a truer sense than the work he chose to publish and reveal, but perhaps due to the nature of a sextile, that light will reveal delightful surprises into the man, as well as challenge the ideas we've settled into about him. The moon conjuncts his Pluto in the third house that day as well. Two symbols of the unconscious coming together indicate the intensity of the moon that may prevail as the pages are opened, and in the third house, new ideas will be presented to be investigated and pulled apart. The third house's opposite, the ninth house, is about pulling ideas together to form meaning, a larger understanding. But the third house is about new data coming in and pulling things apart that we thought we knew. To truly SEE without judgment or filter is highlighted here.



Jung's Natal Chart: Why Was He Here? An Evolutionary Astrology Perspective

The placement of the south node in the 8th house seems to reflect the second nature of Jung to dig deeper into the motivations behind the behavior of others and therefore his life's work of mining the unconscious. With that sound node in Libra, it's quite likely that he benefited greatly from seeing the contrasts between people and himself from 'the other' in relationship as the primary incubator for what he brought forth in this life in his work. On a personal level, though, he may have entered this life with a vulnerability to deferring to much to the other or depending too much on the other in relationships of all kinds. Mercury and Venus square his nodes from Cancer in the 6th house, signifying the importance of filtering his observations and beliefs through his own subjective mind (Cancer/Mercury) and through right relationship dynamics (Venus), especially in work partnerships (insert the obvious Freud reference here). It also indicates that it was important for him to really dig in to the emotional nature of the work (cancer) in a tangible and detailed way (6th house) on a daily basis by simply talking to his patients and what he could really learn from them. His 3rd house planets in Taurus would have assisted him in a willingness to take in the data from his patients as it appeared without an agenda, however with those planets being the Moon and Pluto, he would have to work hard to maintain a sense of the objective as he took in that information. His heart was in the learning and the surprise of what he uncovered though, and his natural Libran ability to see more than one perspective would be of assistance, although with a lot of energy in Taurus and Cancer, it seems that he was trying to get out of the bottomless tendency to second guess or consider 'the other hand' so often that he could not come to the intuitive connections that he would otherwise. Seeing the Moon and Pluto in the 3rd house and Mercury in a water sign seems to be an indicator of the astrological source in his interest in dreams and the subconscious as well, not to mention Neptune squaring his Sun and ascendant, always reminding him of the 'other world' and perhaps representing his willingness to eventually explore 'alternative' theories and systems such as astrology.

Considering the Sun and Uranus in the 7th house in Leo, Aquarius rising, and Saturn in the 1st house, in the light of his south node in Libra in the 8th, these placements represent the perfect incubator of relationship being the actual modality through which he expressed his individuality and his need to be heard and seen. The 8th house classically represents the resources of the other, and with Libra energy there in addition, a tendency toward relying on the validation or sanction of others rather than one's own resources or merit is what he may have come to resolve. Saturn in Aquarius in the 1st shows the difficulty in walking one's own path as it comes to the very essence of who he is. To 'be yourself' sounds simple until we realize how isolating it can feel when there is no beaten path; something he would need to work with for self-actualization.

The famous break with Freud proved to be very traumatic in the light of a south node that needs validation and the ruler of that south node in the 6th house, associated with work but also heavily with unequal relationships: mentor/mentee relationships. This was part of the work he was meant to do, to break away from giving his power away in unhealthy relationships of this apprentice/master nature, but not an easy thing to do. The beginning of this period also marked his beginning of his Red Book. His exploration into his own darkness and the phoenix dying and rising from the 3rd house is about to be made visible.

With his north node in Aries in the 2nd house, developing courage to come to believe in his own capability and empowerment outside of the shadow of another was the gist of his soul's task. Risk taking (Aries) would have been a key factor in his journey to, as Steven Forrest has said, "prove himself to himself." The ruler of his north node is Mars, in Sagittarius in the 11th house, suggests that a primary method through which to do that is to share his own beliefs, philosophies, and truths (Sagittarius) with the world/public (11th house) with the courage of conviction. His progressed Midheaven (evolving role in the world) has been crossing over his own north node beginning with the Red Book's removal from the safe deposit box. Looks like one's work is never done!

To read a fuller analysis of his chart, see my July 25th 2010 entry, Happy Birthday Carl Jung: An Astrological Vignette.


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Carl Jung’s “Red Book”: The Astrology Behind the Publication of Jung’s Most Personal Work

Carl Jung was a Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist that helped bring forth the birth and development of psychology. In 1914 he began a journal in which he described his personal journey, his "confrontation with the unconscious," as he called it. From 1914 to 1930 he wrote in this Liber Novus (new book) with a red binding and cover, which he simply called his "Red Book." It has remained mostly unseen, even during his life and certainly after his death, until it was taken from a safe deposit box in Zurich in November of 2007. It's long-awaited publication date is October 7th, 2009.

The astrological signatures, both on their own in the sky as well as impacting Carl Jung's natal chart, do not disappoint. I'll discuss a few of them here and welcome comments and further insights from your own research and observations.

1913-1914: the Red Book's Beginning


Certainly the time period of 1914-1930 is vast and yields many powerful transits and progressions impacting Jung's natal chart. However, it was interesting to note that in 1914, the year he began the journal, Jupiter crossed his ascendant early in the year, transiting his first house for the remainder of that year. Jupiter, a planet associated with growth and realizing one's potential, correlates with Jung's desire for personal growth, as it traveled through his first house of Self. Jupiter is also traditionally associated with one's philosophy and the pursuit of truth, something that signified the initiation into Jung's dive into his pursuit of the truth in and of himself. This period of time also encompassed the classic Uranus opposition, which brings a confrontation with what one truly is and a course correction if one feels they are not on their true path.

In 1913, Jung appeared to begin coming apart, experiencing inner visions that were disturbing. This was during the period that found his progressed moon in the 8th house and Uranus crossing his Ascendant. The progressed moon shows where one's emotional attention is, and often correlates with internal and external changes that drive a person to deal with new emotional experiences that are coming up. In the 8th house, we confront our fears and often find ourselves dealing with our own darkness, as Jung did. It would have been especially powerful for Jung as his south node and Jupiter also reside in his natal 8th house, so as his progressed moon moved over each, he would have to confront any old soul patterns of security and let them go. Even though his progressed moon was in Libra, a sign of partnership, confronting demons having to do with habitual ways of hiding himself in partnership would have been up to deal with during this time, possibly having him feeling paradoxically alone as he made his descent into his own madness. See my assessment of his natal chart in part 2 for more about his south node.

As his progressed moon passed over Jupiter, well into 1914 at that point, he would be prompted to free fall into his own beliefs and let go of beliefs that no longer served him, even if they were comfortable and had worked in the past. He was birthing new truth from the fires of his own psyche. Uranus also crossed his ascendant in 1913, liberating and even divorcing him from the persona he'd adopted up until that point, the face he presented to the world as well as how he acted upon it, and he was set adrift to find his own path back (Uranus often shocks us by separating us from something that does not serve our highest individual truth).


November 26th, 2007: the Red Book is Removed from the Safe Deposit Box

An article was published on September 16th in the New York Times by Sara Corbett. She tells the story of Jung and the Red Book's removal from it's safe deposit box, as well as its journey toward publication. I had the pleasure of communicating with Sara and she generously provided me with the exact date of its removal, which was November 26th in the morning in Zurich, Switzerland. That day, Jupiter (a planet of truth and philosophy) was approaching Pluto (in this case, representing that which is hidden). A conjunction of Jupiter and Pluto in Sagittarius signals Jung's truth coming to light in a powerful way – truth emerging from it's hiding place, often in a way that is challenging to hear because Pluto represents things that are hidden often for a reason, such as a fear of facing something that may shake us to our core.

True Black Moon Lilith had just passed over Mercury in Scorpio the day before. The symbolism of Lilith goes back to Christianity's Adam whose first wife was Lilith. She has been demonized but like many things that have suffered bad publicity, it is often out of fear and misunderstanding. Lilith represents the true wild, that which is untamed and is not about being appropriate or palatable to fit into polite and careful society. It is about a reunion with part of the natural self. Mercury represents communication, quite directly writing in this case, and in Scorpio the theme of the dark and hidden coming to light continues. The fact that Lilith was the trigger indicates to me that what will be revealed in the Red Book is certainly not going to be comfortable, tidy, and polite information. It is howling from the depths, Lilith representing the wild being released and Mercury giving it voice. (For more on Lilith, see the work of Tom Jacobs).

The asteroid Pallas was conjunct the north node in Pisces, which is an asteroid that can represent the joining of both the female and male, the intellect and the intuition. The Sun was in Sagittarius, and the Moon in Gemini, both signs representing the pursuit of knowledge.

Jung's resurgence in the collective awareness seems to be highlighted in the transiting and progressed planets interacting with his own natal chart. The Sun had just crossed his Midheaven and was squaring his Ascendant. The Midheaven is the point in the chart that represents how we shine in the world in a larger sense, something that's often explored in terms of one's career but not exclusively. Steven Forrest calls it not just your job, but your "cosmic job description;" it's the work that you're meant to do in the world. When the Midheaven is triggered by a moving planet, it can often signal a development that pushes that person into the public's eye, calling attention to a role we play in the world. That certainly seems to be the case here, but with the Sun squaring his ascendant at the same time, and Mercury (the information planet) opposing Jung's own natal Pluto (one's own unconscious mind), the revelation seems certain to challenge what we knew of Jung and our public impression of him as opposed to the private truth of him as a human. Were he alive he might feel a bit exposed!

Mars has just recently crossed his own Mercury in his 6th house and squared his nodes, indicating the push to Get His Voice Out There and reveal the 'grunt work' (6th house) and emotional effort he'd poured into the book's creation. His progressed Mercury had just crossed his Midheaven, illustrating how it's time for his evolving voice to become public and contribute to his great work, his legacy. Apparently Jung still has something to say! His progressed Midheaven was also forming a conjunction to his north node in Aries in the 2nd house; his evolving role in the world has caught up with the work his soul originally came here to do: claim his power as his own resource, without standing in anyone's shadow but having the courage to stand on his own.

Stay tuned for part 2 where I'll discuss the astrological conditions surrounding the October 7th publication date of the Red Book, and a natal analysis of Carl Jung himself.


For those who want to work directly with the chart data:

Jung's birth data is given as July 26, 1875 at 7:32 pm in Kesswil, Switzerland. gives Kesswil a time zone of -00:30, which yields a chart with 1-1/2 degrees Aquarius Rising according to their calculations, but according to WinStar yields 4 degrees Aquarius Rising, which is used here. AstroDataBank verifies the birth time with an "A" rating (birth time from memory).

All progressed charts have been calculated with the location of Kusnacht, Switzerland, since that is Jung's earthly resting place.

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