Astrology Maven Alice O Howell
A well-read client reminded me this week of the work of Alice Howell, the grandmama of psychological astrology, Jungian scholar, poet, traveller and wise woman. She passed on in 2014 but left a large body of work, including her blog Credo, which is still up on the internet and full of pearls of wisdom.
Howell lived a long and eventful life and by the time she started writing her blog she had a wealth of experience to draw on. Here’s an example especially for those of you experiencing a Neptune transit or working in a therapeutic role.
“…When I was 21, my Teacher M warned me about being too eager to learn esoteric matters. I was astounded and confused – a whole new level of understanding had filled me with enthusiasm. Kindly, he explained that we become morally responsible for what we learn. That some knowledge has to be used with care and never ever to manipulate another person! This affects anybody who counsels or is a therapist or even a priest. The trap is using power unwisely and when used for self advantage, it is a form of “grey magic.” …
…Over the years, I have noticed a common phenomenon. Are there not times when we are reading something very spiritually significant and the paragraph turns to cement! Or one goes to a lecture and one sneezes or is distracted one way or another, and the thought goes thataway and one misses the point. It almost seems that the ego, center of consciousness, is protecting us. The cup is too small and the content spills over. We need for our cup to grow bigger. For example, it is said that one is not to study the Kabbalah until one is forty.
The very first day I had a conversation with my teacher, he mentioned a mysterious book called The Hieroglyphic Monad by John Dee. After an onerous search, I found a copy. Its contents were totally baffling. I have made a practice over sixty-four years, of picking it up every few years, and gradually the propositions, which are numbered, have yielded greater and greater sense. Now, at 85, I see how unconsciously I had to live their proof! Dagnabit! The joke’s on me!
My ego was my protector. The danger is that the shield can be artificially dissolved. Neptune rules the process of dissolving borders and the negative aspect of Neptune rules drugs, alcohol, and fumes. The result is the dissolving of the shield of the ego, and the unconscious swamps it with its uncontrollable contents! Illusions, delusions, and some of these have terrible consequences as the daily news testifies….”
Many of her books were written when she was into her seventh decade, so they also contain much experience to underpin her wisdom.
The interview below with Ray Grasse at the Theosophical Society in 1991 is fascinating. It’s always good to hear someone wise and brainy talking astrology. What she says about the Aquarian Age struck me in particular. Her warning about “depersonalisation” makes you think.
The Mountain Astrologer has a nice obituary that includes her natal chart and charts for the day astrology found her and the day she died. Take a look at the astrologer’s planet Uranus at 9° in those charts. 9/10° Pisces/Virgo is one of the degree polarities that CEO Carter labelled astrologer’s degrees.