The Zodiac Memory Theatre

When we open ourselves up to astrology through the imaginal realm and get can our whole body involved through play, movement, music, dance – acting out mythical stories, stories of the seasons – we start to remember the possibilities of who we are, where come from, the opportunities open to us. It can give our lives a profound sense of meaning and purpose, as it opens our imaginations to a richer, more meaningful narrative. Through connecting with the mythical images and symbols, we re-connect to our soul.

The work we do on The Alchemical Journey programme draws out this rich vein of symbolic resonance. The work is full of soul. For me, the Zodiac like an archaic memory theatre – a storehouse of cultural, psychological and spiritual knowledge. In alchemical terms, it operates as an alembic, a coherent vessel that can contain the pain, the suffering, the confusion that we experience in life, without judgment or analysis. Instead it offers us stories, stories that we can act out, play with, identify with and allow ourselves to carried away by – within a ritual setting. I see this as a powerful form of alchemical gold-making, or in James Hillman’s terms, “soul-making”. It enables us to transform our perspectives, and realise that there are many perspectives – when we do that, miracles happen.

I love Thomas Moore’s analysis Ficino’s astrological ideas. He shows how, for Ficino, illness comes in the form of monotheism, life dominated by a single god, imagiantion fixated in a singular consciousness. The beauty of astrology, engaged with as ritual theatre is that it maintains its polytheistic integrity. Each season has its own characteristic, as does each god, each zodiac sign. They have their entrances and their exits, and by honouring each appropriately at the appropriate time, we encourage the natural diversity of life to express itself.

I talk a lot about embodied learning, experiential learning. We all carry this incredible knowledge and wisdom within us, and when we engage the body as well as our minds, I believe it allows us to access a deeper knowing. When I first discovered astrology 20 years ago it was a very embodied and highly charged experience. It was like being flooded with memories – I was in a real crisis at the time – and it really helped me to weave my life back together in the most magical way. It helped to place my story into a mythic narrative – and that seemed to absorb the pain I was going through and enabled to me to re-create myself again – it was incredible – it helped me come out of a deep depression. It really brought me back to life. And that’s the value of experiential astrology, astrodrama, astrological theatre. It’s a way of us bringing ourselves and the world around us back to life: re-animating our experience of the world.

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