Reviewed by Jeff Jawer
“The Astrology of Awakening” adds to the impressive body of work by astrologer Eric Meyers. His previous four books have each joined a deeper look at fundamental astrological principles with spiritual and psychological ideas. This is a rare combination that should put Eric on the top shelf of current astrological writers. His ability to address complex subjects in down-to-earth ways makes his work valuable to students seeking more information about planetary symbols and those seeking higher meaning and purpose in astrology.
“The Astrology of Awakening” is subtitled “Volume 1: Eclipse of the Ego,” giving a clear signal of what this book is about. It’s a joyous return to the idealism and inspiration of the great Dane Rudhyar whose transpersonal astrology raised the subject from the mundane to the metaphysical. But Eric, like Rudhyar, is less interested in Neptunian journeys to other realities than illuminating the higher purpose of this one. Frankly, I’ve been disappointed by current trends circling back to astrology's predictive roots after the psychological and philosophical sophistication of Rudhyar’s work. It seems like a retreat from the exploration of consciousness that arose in the 1970s, which is why I’m especially appreciative of Eric’s restatement of these inspirational ideas.
While going into survival mode and using astrology to control mundane life is understandable in these uncertain times, this return to pure prediction (and the implied determinism that goes along with it) is counterproductive. The fear-based, contractive forces of Saturn we’re facing are best met by moving forward rather than turning back. Eric addresses this directly by writing, “Moving beyond the personal to the transpersonal is an evolutionary step which is necessary for our survival.” I could’t agree more.
Eric does an excellent job of discussing the ego and its place in astrology. “Astrology developed under the mindset of separation consciousness and became anchored to these assumptions.” This is a key idea that moves us away from conventional, self-centered ways of looking at charts. Yet the brilliance of this book is that Eric is a skilled and dedicated astrologer who is interested in repurposing the tools of our craft rather than rejecting them. Those confronting the conflict between the essential individualism (and separation) of a natal chart and their more inclusive spiritual values will appreciate the bridges that Eric builds between them.
Eric artfully presents the twelve signs as stages in the development of the ego and on a transpersonal level. He follows that with more extensive descriptions of the planets in both egoic and awakened forms. This is essential material for students and practitioners who are more interested in the creative than the predictive aspects of astrology. In Chapters 9 and 10: Astrology & The 21st Century, Deconstruction and Reconstruction Eric offers an insightful critique of some of the current assumptions that limit our field. He then draws upon his earlier work to examine astrology from the ground up and reframe it for further development.