Making the Gods Work for You: The Astrological Language of the Psyche
by Caroline Casey, Harmony Books, 1998. ISBN 0-609-60058-3
Casey, who considers herself a "Visionary Activist Astrologer," presents a lively map of the psyche which will speak to both novices and seasoned veterans of astrological lore. Writing in a feisty, buoyant, renegade style, she draws upon her extensive background in metaphysics to describe the soul's earthly journey. Some of her insights are especially relevant to the transformational experience and Kundalini awakening. For instance, she mentions that November 1994 was the long awaited prophesied date for devotees of Kali, heralding Her reemergence on earth. Worshippers had been awaiting this pivotal time for 3,600 years, after "the snaky Underworld goddesses of creative compassion" were all driven into exile. Known by many names in the ancient world, the Serpent Goddess is stealthily reestablishing herself in collective consciousness and is working through her many vehicles to heal the planet.
Casey is good at debunking patriarchal concepts which crept into astrology (as they did into everything else). For instance, Venus in the sign of Scorpio has long been regarded as a detrimental placement. Casey asserts that it is in fact the mark of shamans and priestesses to the snake Goddess.
The only thing that puts me off is the book's title, which sounds as if we can turn the gods into our slaves.
A dangerous bit of hubris, that. I find it odd that Casey chose this title, since in the book she talks of a
Mayan scholar who made the grave mistake of summoning the divine in a disrespectful manner. While visiting the
sacred site of Chichen Itza, the man apparently decided to show off his erudition by climbing up the Great Pyramid
and calling out the name of Chak, the Mayan god of lightning. "Suddenly, a dark cloud moved swiftly toward
the pyramid's summit and a lightning bolt stuck the man dead as he stood in the midst of a throng of tourists."
The spirits and gods of yore don't take kindly to mortals with an attitude! Or, looked at from another angle, "Be
careful what you ask for; you just might get it." Making the Gods Work for You gives many positive suggestions
for using ritual, psychological awareness and astrological self-knowledge for working with the divine forces that
shape our lives.
by Lawrence Edwards, Ph.D., 1996 (Can be ordered directly from Dr. Edwards: 45 Lake Shore Drive, Putnam Valley,
NY 10579; phone: (914) 528- 3005; email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lawrence Edwards wrote his doctoral thesis on Kundalini. The Goddess first paid him a visit when he was 3 years old (although it wasn't until much later that he realized the magical "lady of light" was none other than Kundalini). When he humbly sought her guidance, Kundalini returned to initiate him through a series of intense experiences of mystical union. Thereafter, she communicated to him primarily through allegorical visions which portrayed the universal journey of awakening (along with giving him other, more personal information). At one point, Kundalini instructed Edwards to publish the narrative visions so the world would know of her presence and purpose, which is exactly what he has done with The Soul's Journey.
With his Jungian training, Edwards translates the images and revelationary story line of his visions into familiar actualities of the path. He also tells of unexpected twists in his own journey (past life recall, harrowing encounters with malevolent entities, sudden healing abilities) and advises readers with wisdom he's gleaned along the way. For instance, he learned never to try to perform healings using only his own power and will. The one time he attempted this, it backfired, knocking him out for weeks afterwards. This taught him to be, as the shamans say, a hollow tube: to pray to be of service and let the Spirit work through him, rather than trying to force it.
Most touching is his devotion to Kundalini. He tells a wonderful story about an author who had experienced
Kundalini and had written about the process. Although Kundalini had appeared to him in a vision, he hadn't been
impressed, as she seemed to be an ordinary woman. While in the company of a yogi/saint famous for his love of
Kundalini, the author again saw Kundalini manifest herself. But this time she appeared as a radiant Goddess. Stunned,
the author asked why Kundalini looked so much more beautiful in the presence of the yogi. The yogi answered simply,
"Because I worship her." As Glenn Morris would say, study on this. The Soul's Journey is a powerful,
illuminating and inspiring book -- one that anyone seeking to understand Kundalini should place near the top of
their reading list.
-- El Collie
© El Collie 1995