Carl Jung’s “Red Book”: The Astrology Behind the Publication of Jung’s Most
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. Astro.com 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.