Astrology and Behavioral Science
By D.W. Sutton 2002

C.C. Zain observed that people born under the sign Aquarius are progressive, humanitarian, keen students of psychology (human-behaviour), given to investigating psychic phenomena and quickly take an interest in astrology. And a similar influence on a world scale should be expected when the equinox is in Aquarius.

This Aquarian Age influence commenced in 1881. It not only explains humanity's incessant need to know and understand who it is, but also the efforts being made by the behaviour scientists to satisfy this need. Biologists, neuroscientists, psychologists and philosophers attempt to unravel this great mystery called 'life'; but unaware of the astrological energies that influence and shape their viewpoints each presents a belief-system that is biased by these energies.

Economic man, for example, presenting the Saturn viewpoint views human nature as self-interest motivated where each of us seeks to advance our own interests by finding the most economical way of getting what we want. Scientific man, on the other hand, presenting the Mercury perspective views genetically determined human behaviour as being exclusively motivated by the gene and its survival. This, of course, takes place through sex which is a popular Mars philosophy, although Competitive man, providing the outstanding Mars behaviour theory, views life as a competition between rivals where only the strong survive. Mars supports Darwin's harsh and brutal survival of the fittest philosophy. Meanwhile Radical man, supporting the rather extremist Uranus viewpoint explains life in terms of rugged individualism (rather than group involvement); while Spiritual woman, preferring the higher-Pluto philosophy, views life as a cooperative group activity. Diametrically opposing this cooperative philosophy is Corporate man who, supporting the lower-Pluto viewpoint, views life as a ruthless grab to get as much as you can for yourself - a winner takes all society.

Political man, advocating the Sun philosophy, views life as a struggle for power and personal control; while feminine woman presents a Venus viewpoint that focuses on charm, grace, beauty, art and refinement. Care-givers, expressing the Moon perspective, claim the central focus of human nature is the family; whilst Religious man, presenting the Jupiter philosophy, views human nature as basically good, honest and helpful. Finally, Confused man, presenting the Neptune viewpoint, attempts to untangle nature's mysteries with a complicated chaos theory that no one can understand. If nothing else this diverse array of philosophies ensures that each of us will find a philosophy that best suits our particular brand of human nature.

On a more serious note behaviour scientists strive to unravel the big questions: Who am I? Was I born the way I am? What is the source of my behaviour? and Why do I behave the way I do? And their research is bearing fruit.

For example they have learned that a person's behaviour is not just the result of one urge but a number of urges; but there is some debate as to where these urges come from and there is no theory explaining how the level of each urge is set. Because we are all born with an aggressive urge it is classified as a universal 'natural' urge, but whatever determines the level of aggression - whether high or low - remains a mystery. (While a hostile environment would encourage the constant development of an aggressive response, what determines the environment? Why does one person experience a hostile work environment and another experiences a peaceful and calm workplace?)

While some deny it, most behaviour scientists recognize a universal human nature that embraces feelings, and other outstanding behaviours that are common to all human beings. A universal human behaviour is one that is common to all humanity. The fact that people all over the world behave in a similar manner also indicates a common evolutionary source of behaviour; and this perception supports a universal human nature that not only develops in response to common environmental pressures but responds to a wide array of situations and circumstances. This universal human nature expresses as a set of traits called character and diverges into an individually specialized personality, temperament, disposition and mentality.

Disregarding the biologists 'gene' theory of behaviour astrology supports and explains a common human nature that expresses 22 universal energies. These 22 energies are mapped in the birthchart by the 10 planets and 12 zodiac signs. Astrology, in fact, provides the scientific evidence that proves that all human behaviour develops from 22 universal mind energies. This means astrology provides a proper understanding of human nature - and how that human nature is best expressed or put into action.

You were born with your own personal version of human nature - a set of traits and characteristics that are uniquely yours. Your birthchart pictures your nature as a complex set of mind-energies and Hermetic Astrology allows us to translate these energies into a personal pattern of human behaviour. The planets in the birthchart picture the ten dynamic universal mind-energies that drive all life. The strength (or level) of each mind-energy is indicated by the astrodyne power of the planet that corresponds to the energy. This means each planet in the birthchart details a dynamic unconscious driving force that possesses a specific volume of desire energy. Desire, which varies in its strength, is the force that drives behaviour; but it's personal circumstance that activates, guides and shapes a 'raw' mind-energy into a distinct style of personal behaviour.

Your character at birth, composed of 'raw' mind-energies, develops in response to circumstance, and this means that different character traits develop in response to different circumstances. Friendly courteous (Venus) character traits, for example, develop in response to the social circumstances you experience. Fearful, anxious (Saturn) character traits develop in response to the security circumstances you experience; and hopeful, optimistic (Jupiter) character traits develop in response to the religious circumstances you experience.

There is a universal urge for adventure (Mars), but the circumstances by which this universal urge will personally develop are indicated in the birthchart by the house position of Mars, its aspect structure and the outer-world circumstances in which the urge must operate. There's also a universal urge for safety (Saturn), but the circumstances by which this universal urge will personally develop are indicated in the birthchart by the house position of Saturn, its aspect structure and the outer-world circumstances in which the urge must express itself.

A planet-specific mind energy initiates a planet-specific behaviour which is shaped by its corresponding planet-specific experience. This experience involves a circumstance, or life-matter, ruled by the house where the planet is located in the birthchart. Thus an angry (Mars-specific) behaviour is shaped by an angry (Mars) experience that involves a circumstance or life matter ruled by the house where birthchart Mars is located. A caring (Moon-specific) behaviour is shaped by a caring (Moon) experience that involves a circumstance or life-matter ruled by the house where birthchart Moon is located. And a rebellious (Uranus-specific) behaviour is shaped by a rebellious (Uranus) experience that involves a circumstance or life-matter ruled by the house where birthchart Uranus is located. Each universal planet-specific mind-energy has a diverse array of behaviours.

A standard (Placidus house-cusp) birthchart pictures the ten planets and twelve zodiac signs as they appear in the sky as viewed from the birthplace at the time and date of birth. The ten planets and twelve zodiac signs represent the 22 universal mind-energies that express as human nature. There is no need for any other (unproved) astrological factor to be pictured in the chart.

Your actions, mapped by the planets in the chart, have motives, mapped by their sign locations. The aspects formed by the planets indicate if the states of consciousness mapped by the planets have merged in a constructive or destructive manner. The behaviour mapped by a harmonious planet is astrologically predisposed to express in a constructive, productive manner. The behaviour mapped by a discordant planet is astrologically predisposed to express in a manner that is personally destructive.

Zodiac signs map attitudes or lifestyles, yet some writers claim lifestyle is character. From an astrological perspective lifestyle is not character. Attitude refers to the type of lifestyle a person is inclined to adopt. The Aries lifestyle or attitude is fast and pioneering; the Taurus lifestyle or attitude is slow, determined and change resistant; the Capricorn life style or attitude is practical, patient and ambitious; and the Aquarian lifestyle or attitude is knowledgeable, altruistic and impersonal. The Sun sign cannot be used as a gage to determine lifestyle. Most often it is indicated by the dominating sign (which may or may not be the Sun sign.)

What the birthchart actually details is not well known but occult science (and its psychic technology) claims it pictures (or maps) the soul's consciousness development at the moment of its human birth. Orthodox science is unable to explain consciousness, although it does describe conscious thought as a neurochemical process. But consciousness, from a deeper perspective, is not the same (mind) consciousness that results from the brain's thinking processes; and the soul of occult science may or may not be the same soul that orthodox religion refers to.

The soul of orthodox religion has a variety of meanings. It most often refers to spirit, or the spiritual part of a person; the innermost being or core feelings; or the vital life force. Its origins, structure and composition remain unexplained although it is presumed to be some part of the consciousness that survives death.

The term soul as used in occult science refers to the dynamic life force that animates and gives consciousness to any living organism. It is an evolving life force whose consciousness develops in response to the conditions it experiences on its cycle of necessity. The birthchart details the soul's consciousness development at the human stage of its journey of progressive consciousness development.

Occult science more commonly uses the term 'unconscious mind' rather than the word 'soul' when referring to this evolving life force. Mind is seen as the dynamic factor and it has a conscious and unconscious component. The conscious component - the objective thoughts and feelings, is unaware of the unconscious part. The term unconscious mind refers to an organized structure of thoughts, feelings and impulses of which the conscious mind is unaware. But the unconscious mind referred to in occult science is not the same 'unconscious' referred to in Freudian literature - although there are similarities.

Freud hypothesized the existence of unconscious mental processes where social reality and animal impulses were in a constant state of conflict. He claimed that the unconscious mind is the largest portion of the mind where early childhood experiences are stored as emotional memories. These memories cannot be recalled in adult life. In other words every state of consciousness a child experiences integrates into its mind as a memory and those that occur prior to the development of rational thought (and the development of language as words and sentences to identify personal experience) are called unconscious. Because the experience occurred prior to the development of rational thinking there is no conscious recollection of the experience or the states of consciousness it initiated. The objective consciousness is unaware of the unconscious and in adult life these early-life experiences inaugurate impulses that unconsciously influence our adult thinking and behaviour. (Subconscious refers to a mental activity that takes place below the threshold of {objective} consciousness.)

The unconscious mind referred to in occult science is a quite different consciousness to that hypothesized by Freud. It claims the unconscious mind is an evolving life force that builds, directs and controls the physical organism it temporarily animates. From an occult-astrological perspective the unconscious mind or soul is the physical body's animating consciousness or intelligence.

No birthchart is perfect, but every child is born with a unique potential. The planets in your chart map your potential as a complex pattern of thoughts, feelings and impulses. Your consciousness structure, mapped by the planets and signs in your birthchart, is an evolutionary record of your behaviours and experiences.

While astrology is an excellent behaviour guide - it does reveal the best and worst behaviours associated with each planet and sign - it discourages comparison as a guide to human conduct. Constructive Sun behaviours are no better than constructive Saturn behaviours. Each serves a constructive purpose. Each is an asset - a behaviour asset - that is suitable for doing behaviour-specific things, successfully.

Astrology makes known your primary drives and the best way they can be satisfied. The birthchart allows you to assess your character's strengths and weaknesses. It's a balance sheet of constructive and destructive behaviours. Constructive behaviours are assets and destructive behaviours are liabilities. From a personal perspective the best planet maps a behaviour asset that maximizes personal success and wellbeing. No constructive behaviour (planet or sign) is better than another. We behave well when the core energies in our consciousness are expressing constructively. Good, constructive behaviour is more than nice, honest or socially acceptable - it is personally rewarding and very beneficial. A constructive behaviour promotes satisfaction and maximizes personal development. From an astrological perspective right conduct occurs when the dominant 'mind' energies mapped in a chart express productively.

The mind-energies mapped in your birthchart must express in a world that already has a well-established and defined set of behaviours, rules, beliefs, values, principles, social norms, religions, financial structures and political systems. And your mind energies must express within the perimeters of the already established world into which you were born. You parents provided parental guidance - they taugh you their behaviours - their standards of right and wrong conduct. By observing the behaviours of your parents, and other close family members, you imitate and share their behaviour traits.

All behaviour is learned and the mind-energy pattern mapped in your birthchart details your personal learning potential. This means the 'raw' mind energies mapped in your chart map your character that will be initially shaped by your immediate family and home-life; and which will be further expanded by your school mates, social-life, work-life, work associates, friends, lovers and partners.

These mind energies mapped in your birthchart expressed and developed spontaneously in response to parental and home-life circumstances - they were not subject to a deliberate plan of development. Powerful innate behaviours, also mapped in the chart, easily developed when exposed to similar behaviours in the family environment. Later, your cultural environment profoundly influenced their development.

Behaviour is most often influenced by a set of circumstances and a quick assessment of consequence; and any behaviour has the potential to become a habit. Habits are routine ways of doing things and when a behaviour is established it becomes an unconscious behaviour habit. The Sun is the habit of conscientiousness; Jupiter is the habit of optimism; Saturn is the habit of persistence; and Uranus is the habit of ingenuity.

Astrology, as a behavioural science, does provide a radical and amazing perspective on life, behaviour and human nature.