Goodbye WordPress

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If you look at my previous post you’ll see that I’d decided a while ago that I’d had enough of tussling with WordPress’s new Block editor whenever I wanted to write a blog post. Not only was it driving me nuts, it was making me feel gut-wrenchingly stressed as I couldn’t just sit down and write without going through all these infernal blocks. This is just not for me and not good for me either.

I’d interacted with the so-called “Happiness Engineers” at WordPress, who did their best (according to their brief) but in no way was anyone going to budge and give me back the original Classic editor I originally signed up with and could manage.

So I decided to move back to Blogger, where I’d started off as a total novice blogger in 2006 when, with my professional astrological hat on, I set up, developed and maintained and regularly wrote this blog until 2017. Deciding it was time to have a rest I left the blog and its contents as a resource site for anyone interested in astrological psychology, joined WordPress and began writing about a variety of topics that interested me. I have written the occasional post with my astrological hat on, and it’s attracted comments and readers. So thank you if you were one of them!

I’ve come full circle as I’ve gone back to Blogger where I started, and oh my goodness it’s just about 100% easier to put a blog post together and add photos. For me, it’s stress-free. No blocks!

Blogger has changed over the years and is now easier to use than when I started with it, but it’s retained its user-friendly ambience and doesn’t require a lot of techie knowledge, experience or expertise. Admittedly, it doesn’t have all the visual pzazz of WordPress, but it’s offered me a clean, clear, easy and simple template I can work with.

So please come over and visit me. I’ve left all the original content – which consists of numerous astrological-psychological interpretations of a wide variety of artists, singers, politicians, sportsmen and women, celebrities, scientists, historic figures and events, and much more.

My “new/old” blog is called

Joyce Hopewell Astrological Psychology

just as it was back in 2006 when I started it, but I shall be writing from a broader base which will include explorations into personal/spiritual growth and self-awareness, and there may be the odd rant from time to time too. If you were good enough to follow me here on WordPress, I’ve taken some of you along with me and have put you on my reading list so I can keep up with what you’re writing about. And I’ll pop back into WordPress from time to time too, to feed the nosy parker in me!

I’ve limped through getting this post together and it wasn’t an enjoyable experience, but, as Alexander Graham Bell said, “When one door closes, another one opens” – and I’m off!

 

Why “Piercing the Eggshell”?

Some may wonder why the title of the new biography of Bruno & Louise Huber is Piercing the Eggshell. This post – written by my husband and co-author of the book – gives a brief explanation.

As outlined in the book, astrological psychology is very much based on the view of the human psyche adopted by Roberto Assagioli’s psychosynthesis – encapsulated in his ‘Egg’ model. The psychological ego lies within the dotted egg, in its conscious and unconscious guises. The transpersonal (spiritual or higher) self lies at the top and just outside the egg itself. The boundary of the egg is dotted, to illustrate the permeable nature of this relationship, i.e. that this higher self can be connected with.

It is easy to see that the stronger the ego becomes, the more materialistic the person becomes, the less she is open to the higher self, the less permeable is the shell of the egg. In the extreme case the habitual ego is effectively encased within a hard shell. The possibility of higher connection has all but disappeared. It is not difficult to identify individuals in the world where this is apparently the case. Their name is legion.

For most of us the shell is permeable, but the layer of habit is quite strong. Some effort and perseverance is required to connect to our higher faculties. This is where astrological psychology can help.

In the book Astrological Psychosynthesis, Bruno Huber extended the Egg Model into his own Amphora model, a version of which is shown on the cover of Piercing the Eggshell, incorporating the Egg on which it is based.

The Amphora relates the Egg to astrology, and shows a way upward towards our spiritual nature. The ego lies, as before, within the Egg, reflected by the ego planets [Sun, Moon, Saturn] supported by the tool planets [Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter]. The Egg has been opened out at the top, showing Uranus as the planet which helps ‘break through’ the shell of the ego, Neptune as the universal love at the ‘neck’ of the Amphora, through which we must pass before the transformation with Pluto.

So that’s it – an astrological path to growth of the individual ego towards becoming a better version of themselves. The gift of Bruno & Louise Huber.

And that’s why the title is Piercing the Eggshell.

Piercing the Eggshell – the story of Bruno and Louise Huber

Slideshow of Bruno and Louise Huber at various seminars in England, Switzerland and Germany with some of their students from all over the world

What did you do during the first big lockdown on 2019?

Unexpectedly, along with my other half Barry as co-author, I researched and helped compile a biography of Bruno and Louse Huber, pioneers of the Huber Method of Astrological Psychology. You can hear how we came to do it from this short video we’ve made to launch the book, published on 10th November 2020.

This non-predictive use of astrology combined together with psychology is now used worldwide as an astrological psychological tool to help people realise their own potential and, ultimately, contribute to making the world a bit better than it is right now.

The Huber’s story is a fascinating, real-life one, and tells of the obstacles they had to overcome, the sacrifices they had to make and the determination they had to hold on with in order to realise their vision of doing something for humanity.

It wasn’t easy, but these two were people were very special, driven and motivated beyond personal gain and in pursuit of more spiritual goals and the evolution of humankind. They were influenced and helped by Italian psychiatrist Roberto Assagioli, who founded Psychosynthesis, and they founded the Astrological Psychology Institute in Zurich in the early 1960s.

Since then, their well-researched approach, teaching and books on what is now known as The Huber Method, is used in many countries around the world. It focusses on personal and spiritual growth and on moving us as participating humans, into living our lives as kinder, and more aware people.

You don’t need to know any astrology to enjoy it as it’s an intriguing stand-alone read, but if you do understand some astrology you’ll probably get a lot more from it – and if you don’t know any astrology it might inspire to find out more. The photos and the few charts it contains are all in full colour.

Piercing the Eggshell is available from all good booksellers, from Amazon and from the APA Book Shop. Click on this link to see this short video of us talking about the book

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But best of all, go read it and be impressed – not that we wrote it – but by what these two remarkable people did and what their gift to humanity is.

Living with the new normal

TX long roadListening to a recent radio interview with Dr. David Nabbaro of the WHO, I was impressed and reassured by his honesty and no-nonsense plain speaking when questioned about Covid-19 and where we are right now with this pandemic. I quote some of his words as they convey the reality of what we, collectively, have to do to help bring the spread of this virus under control and eliminate it:

“This virus is not going away and is really dangerous. This virus doesn’t get bored. This virus only has one purpose and that is to multiply. We have absolutely no choice but to take it seriously. We’ve got to have everybody working together, and we need a comprehensive approach, we’ve got to do everything….”

here he mentioned wearing masks, keeping socially distant, using  testing/tracing, and remaining vigilant at all times

“….over time, this will become the norm. We don’t have an alternative. This virus isn’t going away for the foreseeable future – we’ve all got to learn to live with it.”

His clarity, laying on the line what we collectively have to do, no matter which country we live in, had my thoughts turning to the astrological psychology I’m trained in and have used to counsel numerous clients over the years. Please come with me as I leap from our global pandemic to the qualities, energies and expressions of the planet Saturn, and what it means in terms of observable human behaviour and where we are right now.

I’m sharing an edited extract from a talk I gave at a UK national astrological conference some years ago. It offers a practical exploration of the meaning and manifestations of the planet Saturn in everyday life. You do not need to have any prior knowledge of astrology, or of what the planet Saturn represents; I hope I can enlighten you a little on this and give you some food for thought which might help a little as we steer our way through this virus-laden mess.

Millstone or Mentor? (that was the title of my talk)

Do you check the weather forecast before you leave home to see if you’ll need an umbrella, check the train timetable on your phone when going to the station, and maybe make sure you have a map in the car when setting off on a journey to a new destination, even though you’ve programmed the satnav? If you answered “yes” to any of these, then you were probably drawing on your own resources of Saturnian energy.

Structure and organisation

In astrology, the drive associated with Saturn is for Security. Saturn is concerned with structure and form, always seeking to organise, preserve and maintain things within manageable limits. In our solar system, Saturn is the furthest planet that can be seen by the naked eye.  Before the outer planets were discovered, following the invention of the telescope, Saturn’s position marked the outermost limit of our knowledge of the solar system, so it is not altogether surprising that astrologically it symbolises limitation, boundaries and our own security drives. It is the planet that swings into action when we need to know just exactly where we stand, so having social structures, guidelines and rules to abide by are all part of Saturn’s realm. Saturn gives the physical sense of self which we gain through the body. The structure, organisation and limitation associated with Saturn are present in the various systems in the body – the respiratory system, the circulatory system, and the digestive system, to mention just a few. The skeletal system provides a firm, solid physical structure around which the other systems are organised. As all these systems are interdependent, their clear-cut organisation is vital. The skin – our own boundary which marks our physical outermost limits – contains them all.

Saturn helps us to become responsible and reliable as individuals; if we live within the rules and guidelines of society then we reap the benefits of feeling safe and secure. Saturn is the perfect foil to  unfettered over-expansiveness and behaviour which can get out of hand. If not contained, our excesses can take us beyond the limits of acceptability. Saturn helps in curbing what might become outrageous and antisocial behaviour by giving us a sense of caution and responsibility. Taken to extremes, this sense of caution can become fear,  holding us back and restricting us in everyday life, so it’s important with Saturn that we get the balance right, and that we don’t allow our fears to hold us back from doing what is important for us. Because it symbolises such qualities as  responsibility and caution Saturn may not sound like much fun, so it’s important that we understand its positive attributes. It’s value should not be underestimated as it plays an essential role in our psychological make up. Like all the planetary qualities and energies, it can operate at different levels of consciousness, sometimes dormant and inert and responding in a habitual manner, but at its highest level Saturn will endow us with the ability to act with dignity and maturity. Then we can live with a clear conscience, accessing the deep learning of life we have developed, and become a mentor and benefactor  to those who seek our help, support or advice.

 What we know about Saturn astronomically – that it has rings which form a boundary around it – reflects the astrological meaning of the planet. Its protective rings are akin to the qualities of limitation and boundaries which are astrologically associated  with Saturn. Psychologically, Saturn can be like a millstone. It can represent those things in life which are really heavy & which drag us down, so has the effect of being the “killjoy of the cosmos”,  but it can also be like a wise mentor, guiding, teaching and advising with our best interests and safety at heart.

At the moment there are a lot of people getting fed up with the restraints we’re living under to help curb the growth and spread of Covid-19, so it’s easy to understand how these limits might feel like a heavy millstone, a drag on what we’re used to being free to do. This might make us rebel against the Saturnian harshness of where we are now, yet our lives would almost certainly be a chaotic mess without Saturnian qualities around to provide the structure and practical grounding of living in the material world, especially now our current world and lifestyles and jobs  are under threat.

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