Psychological astrology, or astropsychology, is the result of the cross-fertilisation of the fields of astrology with depth psychology, humanistic psychology and transpersonal psychology. There are several methods of analyzing the horoscope in the contemporary psychological astrology: the horoscope can be analysed through the archetypes within astrology (as is characteristic for Jungian approach in astrology) or the analyses can be rooted in the psychological need and motivational theories. No methodologically sound scientific studies exist that show a benefit or detriment in using psychological astrology. Psychological astrology, or astropsychology is a pseudoscience.[citation needed]


In the twentieth century, the western esoteric tradition inspired the Swiss psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology, Carl Jung to formulate his archetypal hypothesis, influenced by Plato's theory of ideas or forms.[1] In his research into the symbolic meaning of his patient's dreams, conversations and paintings, Jung observed recurring mythical themes or archetypes. He proposed that these universal and timeless archetypes channel experiences and emotions, resulting in recognizable and typical patterns of behavior with certain probable outcomes.[2][better source needed] Jung observed a correlation between these archetypal images and the astrological themes or traditional 'gods' associated with the planets and signs of the zodiac. He concluded that the symbolic heavenly figures described by the constellations were originally inspired by projections of images created by the collective unconscious.[3][4] Jung wrote "Astrology represents the sum of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity".[5]

In collaboration with pioneer theoretical physicist (and Nobel laureate) Wolfgang Pauli, Jung developed the theory of synchronicity.[6] This theory, which Jung compared to Aristotle's formal causation, poses that "whatever is born or done at this particular moment of time, has the quality of this moment of time".[5] Correlations between the position of heavenly bodies at the time of birth and an individual's development were defined by Jung as being acausal and not directly caused by the planets.[7]

Jungian legacy

Carl Gustav Jung portrait

Several astrologers as well as psychologists pursued Jung's theories in their writings, teachings and practice. One of the first astrologers to combine Jungian psychology with astrology was Dane Rudhyar and his protégé, Alexander Ruperti.[8] Rudhyar termed it "humanistic astrology," the subject of his monumental volume, The Astrology of Personality, published in 1936.[9] Psychological astrology, however became firmly established in the late 20th century with the books and lectures of Liz Greene[4][10] and Stephen Arroyo[11] who were both strongly influenced by the Jungian model.[12] In 1983, Liz Greene and Howard Sasportas, a psychosynthesis psychotherapist, founded the Centre for Psychological Astrology in London.[13][better source needed]

Meanwhile, in Switzerland, Bruno and Louise Huber also developed their own method of astrological psychology, referred to as the Huber Method which was influenced by Roberto Assagioli's work with psychosynthesis. In 1962, the Hubers founded the Huber School of Astrology and their work is now taught at the Astrological Psychology Association.[14][better source needed]

Other psychological approaches

Back in the 1970s, in the twelve-volume series, The Principles and Practice of Astrology (Llewellyn 1975), Noel Tyl has allied Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory with astrological symbolism. This analytical blend is developed fully in his book Holistic Astrology: The Analysis of Inner and Outer Environment (1980).[15] In the light of the psychological need theory, he interprets the horoscope "as a process of lifelong conditioning, where individuals are predisposed to present individualized needs to the environment. [...] This process identifies how we act, who we are, and how we fit into the world. Fulfilling destiny, in modern terms, is fulfilling needs."[16]


Psychological astrology has been criticized for confirmation bias and astrology is widely considered a pseudoscience by the scientific community.[citation needed] In psychology and cognitive science, confirmation bias is a tendency to search for or interpret new information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions and avoids information and interpretations that contradict prior beliefs.[17]


A definitive scientific test study of the claims of astrology was published by Shawn Carlson in Nature. Twenty-eight professional astrologers agreed to participate, including several who were strongly influenced by the Jungian model. Carlson concluded that the astrologers were unable to match horoscopes with profiles compiled using the California Psychological Inventory (CPI) in blind tests any better than chance.[18]

See also


  1. ^ Tarnas (1993), p. [page needed].
  2. ^ Definition of an Archetype. retrieved July 2016
  3. ^ Jung (1960), para. 325.
  4. ^ a b Campion (2009), pp. 251–259.
  5. ^ a b Jung (1971), p. 56.
  6. ^ Gieser (2005), p. 21.
  7. ^ Jung (1985), p. [page needed].
  8. ^ Campion, Nicholas. "Prophecy, Cosmology and the New Age Movement. The Extent and Nature of Contemporary Belief in Astrology."(Bath Spa University College, 2003) via Campion (2009), pp. 248, 256–257.
  9. ^ Rudhyar (1991).
  10. ^ Holden (1996), p. 202.
  11. ^ Hand (1981), p. 349.
  12. ^ Hyde (1992), pp. 105ff.
  13. ^ History of the Centre for Psychological Astrology
  14. ^ About the Hubers and the Astrological Psychology Association retrieved July 2016
  15. ^ Tyl (1980).
  16. ^ Tyl (2002).
  17. ^ Plous (1993), p. [page needed].
  18. ^ Carlson (1985), p. 420.

Works cited

  • Campion, Nicholas (2009). History of Western Astrology. London & New York: Continuum Books. ISBN 978-1-84725-224-1.
  • Carlson, Shawn (1985). "A Double-blind Test of Astrology". Nature. 318 (6045): 419–425. Bibcode:1985Natur.318..419C. doi:10.1038/318419a0. S2CID 5135208.
  • Gieser, Suzanne (2005). The Innermost Kernel, Depth Psychology and Quantum Physics: Wolfgang Pauli's Dialogue with C. G. Jung. Berlin: Springer. ISBN 3-540-20856-9.
  • Hand, Robert (1981). Horoscope Symbols. Para Research. ISBN 0-914918-16-8.
  • Holden, James (1996). A History of Horoscopic Astrology: From the Babylonian Period to the Modern Age. American Federation of Astrologers. ISBN 0-86690-463-8.
  • Hyde, Maggie (1992). "Synchronicity". Jung and Astrology. Aquarian/Harper Collins. pp. 105ff. ISBN 1-85538-115-X. Retrieved 2024-02-22 – via Skyscript.
  • Jung, Carl G. (1960). The Structure and dynamics of the Psyche. Collected Works. Vol. 8. Princeton University Press.
  • Jung, C. G. (1971). "Richard Wilhelm: In Memoriam". The Spirit of Man, Art and Literature. Collected Works. Vol. 15. Translated by R. F. C. Hull. London: Routledge, Kegan and Paul. p. 56.
  • Jung, C. G. (1985). Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principal. Routledge.
  • Plous, Scott (1993). The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-0-07-050477-6.
  • Rudhyar, Dane (1991) [1936]. The Astrology of Personality: A Re-Formulation of Astrological Concepts and Ideals, in Terms of Contemporary Psychology and Philosophy. Aurora Press. ISBN 0-943358-25-6.
  • Tarnas, Richard (1993). The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas that Have Shaped Our World View. Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-345-36809-6.
  • Tyl, Noel (1980). Holistic Astrology: The Analysis of Inner and Outer Environments. Llewellyn Publications. ISBN 0-935620-00-1.
  • Tyl, Noel (2002). Synthesis & Counseling in Astrology: The Professional Manual. Llewellyn Publications. ISBN 978-1567187342.