The ancient Greek word for soul was ‘psyche’. It also meant ‘butterfly’. The essence of a butterfly is colour and movement. If you pin it down, you will kill it. As soon as you say the psyche is ‘this’, it changes colour and moves. In the same way, humans cannot be defined.
Modern scientific psychology would do well to remember this, or else change its name. –ology comes from the Greek legein, to speak. So it is the study of what the soul is telling us. Which changes depending which flower the butterfly is sitting on, and how the sun is reflecting off its wings. So Psychology involves listening, rather than the testing of theories.
I think that words still carry their root meanings even though they have changed into something else. I suspect that psychologists are drawn to their craft for poetic rather than scientific reasons, even though that can become buried. In the same way, someone who becomes a doctor has the ancient healer archetype calling them, whether they are aware of it or not.
For the ancient Greek, psyche was not confined to the human shape. The world had a soul, what nowadays we call Gaia (another pseudo-scientific concept :))
So in the same way, the world cannot be pinned down and defined. If you do that to the world, you will either kill it, or it will slip away into mysterious quantum realities and dark energies. Or both.
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It seems fundamental to people to carry around judgements of themselves, often involving inadequacy, and they weigh us down. Or to have fixed ideas of what our lives are about and what is and is not possible.
As an astrologer, I encounter this in readings when people are going through major transitions, almost invariably reflected in major transits from Neptune or Pluto. And it’s the same sort of message. Often people want to know when the transition or turmoil is going to end, in the unspoken hope that they can hang on grimly until that end point, and then carry on as before. But the point about the transit is not to reach the end of it, it is what attitude to have to yourself and your life now you are in it? And the answer is butterfly. Life works when you are butterfly, when you are psyche. A transit is an initiation into how to live like a butterfly, how to live according to what the soul needs. It is an initiation, because all those things we do, and ways we are, that are contradictory to that get shown up. That is the essence of a transit, at least from one point of view. What attitude to have so that life works. And my job as the astrologer is to point all that out, even though I also spend a lot of my time doing the opposite!