Mountain Astrologer book review of
“Essays on Evolutionary Astrology”
Essays on Evolutionary Astrology: The Evolutionary Journey of the Soul
by Jeffrey Wolf Green,
The Wessex Astrologer Ltd,
4A Woodside Road, Bournemouth, BH5 2AZ, England, 2011.
Softcover-290 pp. – $34 (L22) (ISBN 978-1-902405-52-0).
Available from: www.wessexastrologer.com
Buy on Amazon.com
Reviewed by Mary Plumb in the June/July 2012 issue of Mountain Astrologer magazine.
Jeffrey Wolf Green’s daughter, Deva Green, has done a splendid job of editing a random and previously unpublished collection of her father’s essays and lectures. For those who may not be familiar with Jeffrey Green, he is the founder of the body of work that has come to be known as Evolutionary Astrology.
As Deva Green relates in the Introduction, the origins of the approach began with a dream that her father had in 1977. The dream gave “the entire astrological paradigm that measures the Soul’s growth, and the evolutionary intent, from life to life.” Jeffrey Green’s teachers were Paramahansa Yogananda and his guru, Sri Yukteswar.
This book is comprised of 12 chapters, which are transcriptions of talks given in various places over an extended period of time. (Sometimes the location is mentioned in the talk, but it is a bit perplexing that there are no dates in the book; some talks were apparently from the mid ’90s. and many could have been earlier.)
Green’s interpretation of a birth chart is informed, first of all, by understanding the nature of the Soul, its “four natural evolutionary conditions,” and the Soul’s connection to the ego. This matieral is explained clearly in Chapter 1, “A Review of the Key Principles in Evolutionary Astrology.” This chapter also covers the essential and most widely known parts of Green’s method: the importance of Pluto and the nodal axis in horoscope delineation. (As some other chapters suggest, the rest of the planets are also seen as supporting the Soul’s journey.)
The book covers a broad range of subjects, making it the most complete compendium of Green’s contributions to astrology in print. Unless you attended his lectures or workshops in the course of his long public career, you will not have had access to the material in this book.
To give you an idea of these topics, here are a few of the chapter titles: “The Leading Edge of the Soul’s Evolution — The Mars and Pluto Interface,” “The Role of Mercury in Evolutionary Astrology,” and “The Planetary Nodes and Evolutionary Astrology,” “Understanding the Sexual Archetypes and Evolutionary Astrology,” and “Saturn, Capricorn and the 10th House – Chaos and Dark Eros.” There is also a very interesting chapter on medical astrology that combines a Western understanding of anatomy and physiology with the chakra system.
When looking at the planetary nodes, we take a long view, since these nodes move very slowly. The nodes of both Mars and Pluto, for example, take 24,000 years to travel around the zodiac. Currently, the North Nodes of Pluto, Jupiter, and Saturn are in Cancer; the North Node of Uranus is in Gemini, and the North Node of Neptune is in Leo. These positions are true for everyone alive now, and “correlate to the evolutionary intentions for the entire species.”
Those who know Green’s work will be familiar with his use of the term “natural law”; he believes that the distortion and suppression of natural law, over the ages, has led to all kinds of “conditioning patterns” in the human being. He teaches that awareness of history will help us to understand the basis of many of the difficulties in our lives. The conflict between “natural law versus conditional law” is one of the underlying principles in Green’s work, and is “implicated in the causes of the current Patriarchy’s wars, violence, abuse, sadism, and masochism.”
Chapter 7 discussed “Evolutionary Transitions,” the astrological configurations that signify the important events in a life. “The choices we make shape our life direction. They are the ones we really want to look at.” The cycles of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are noted, as well as the transitting nodes, which “provide some of the deeper insights you can bring to a client.”
The chapter titled “The Planetary Method of Evolutionary Chart Analysis” includes (as does the entire work) many deep insights into the sphere of human behavior. For instance, many astrologers think Pluto as pointing to compulsion and obsession; Green says the reason for this is that “Pluto is going to correlate with the deepest sources of your unconsicous sense of security.” He often addresses the human need to feel secure and examines what constitutes security.
Another outstanding chapter is “Trauma and the Outer Planets.” Here, Green includes discussion of Delayed Stress Syndrome (more commonly called PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and its pervasiveness now, as “we are living in very transitional times in which everything has to change.” Living in uncertain times increases the fear of the unknown, which intensifies the need for security. Resistance to, or avoidance of, change “can lead to cataclysmic change, which produces intense forms of individual or collective trauma.” This chapter covers Physical Trauma and Saturn; Mental Trauma and Uranus; Neptune: Spiritual or Psychic Trauma; and Pluto and Emotional Trauma. Green uses each planet through the 12 houses as examples of how trauma can manifest. “A key point to remember is that even though trauma can occur in one of the specific bodies, i.e., physical, there is almost always a chain reaction effect that impacts the entire organism, the other bodies, in a variety of ways.”
Since the book’s contents are transcriptions of talks, Green is always open to questions and interaction with the audience. This brings a present and lively quality, which can leaven the tone when some of the subject matter carries an undeniable intensity.
This astrologer’s metaphysical experience has brought something unique into astrology. He counseled about 20,000 people around the world during his career, and he has many devoted students, including those who have developed Evolutionary Astrology in thier own way. I am sure that Essays on Evolutionary Astrology will speak to readers who will benefit from Jeffrey Wolf Green’s body of work.
reviewed by Mary Plumb