Twelve Rays, One Light: Worshiping the Divine in the prism of personality

light rays
THE ONLY healthy reason to peer at personalities through the lens of the astrological archetypes is that, upon doing so, we happen to find ourselves more compassionately attuned to their style of awakening– more able to hear and skillfully respond to their muted cries for love. Thankfully, as so many structures and paradigms topple around and within us, this uniquely Aquarian approach to parting the veil of ego seems to be gathering steam. In a time of inglorious collapse, an ancient, interior scaffolding is rising up to steady us.

Even as I celebrate this astrological renaissance, I am increasingly aware of the personal rites of passage that must be moved through before we wake up to a world where the one-size-fits-all dogmas of the past are replaced by ego-busting typologies wisely attuned to the stars and seasons. For unbeknownst to most beginning students of astrology, they are plunging themselves into an intensive, moment-to-moment inquiry into one of the most paradigm-rocking questions that exists: “Who am I?”  In astrology, the answer begins at the level of personality.

Two kinds of personalities
Experience tells me there are only two kinds of personalities: the automated ones and the spacious ones;  those who claim ownership of seeing and those who simply see. Indeed, meditation is nothing more than learning to slide lucidly along this continuum between dense positionality and spacious openendedness. Whatever we seem to be doing externally, the ultimate purpose of this “doing” (and, indeed, incarnation itself) is simply to provide a backdrop against which to practice balancing on this somebody/nobody tight rope. But why do we fall so disproportionately on the “somebody” side of the equation?

The automated personality is compulsively, often charmingly, running from the initially disorienting but ultimately restful experience of no-self, or one Self. By nervously smearing me-stories on top of innocent not-knowing and blindly falling in line with tired self-concepts, the automated personality prides itself in setting a realistic goal: manageable suffering. It takes pleasure in the security of its pain.

From ego’s point of view, relaxing into the incomprehensible current of each passing moment is suicide. Indeed, distrust in what the timeless present will turn us into is the “man behind the curtain” of all our Oz-like fears. According to it’s singularly grim worldview, we have only two options: prideful agenda or full-on identity crisis.

Body-minds that “see themselves seeing,” on the other hand, allow personality to emerge more mysteriously. Continuity of self is surrendered to whatever “look” is displayed whilst flowing with the subtle dictates of each soulfully attuned moment. Who are we really? Nothing but the one, ego-cradling awareness — a vastness of presence that welcomes all stories and states, all feelings and needs, as if they were living disciples lined up and hungry for a compassionate gaze from us, their beloved master.

So where does astrology come in to these two basic personality shapes? Astrology gives us skillful means specific to the individual body-mind we’re inside of. It describes the particular behavioral and attitudinal poles we swing between when we move from the flexible, present-centered atunement of no-self to full-on Robosapien.

Growling Temple Dog #1: Archetypal Bias
As an example, say we delve into the charts and hearts of folks strong in the sign of Leo. It is only a matter of time before our heart breaks as we experience, over and over, the self-betrayal habits stamped, like a bar code, onto most Leo psyches. Inevitably, a sincerely felt but unskillfully expressed form of compassion drives us to “help.” Alas, before we are capable of an effective intervention into this archetypal automation, we must first develop a genuine respect and appreciation for how honorable — indeed, divinely ordained — is the journey from insecure posturing to free-flowing charisma.

That appalling air of entitlement is, after all, not so different than the ostentatious display of separate selves strutting all around us. Judge it and we’ve judged the entire divine play. That’s called nihilism. So life counsels us to bite our lip and take stock: has awe for the grace and grit of the Leo style of awakening actually touched us? Do we see how we, ourselves, struggle with telling the difference between confidence-born-of-being and mere self-inflation? Until we’re warmly okay with God’s sloppy self-realization process, we have not yet earned the right to speak. After all, folks are paying us (with money or the currency of their shared presence) to feel the positive intention shining through their ego.

Yikes, we thought we were simply learning a new language with which to better understand our self and others. Now that we see the bias-purging responsibility these astrological insights demand of us, we’re deep in the throes of recalibrating our entire personality. The old, unconsciously flopped-out shtick is dying and god knows what will take its place or how this might reshuffle our previous, automation-based relationships. Oh well. We’ve swallowed the red pill. No turning back now. Might as well get on with cultivating insight and compassion into the 12 astro-automations so faithfully reflected back to us in the visage of so-called “others” so that one day, by grace, we may become archetypally savvy enough to celebrate in all sock puppet egos the one luminous hand.

Don’t lose heart. The stage is now set for an immanent , Rumi-like encounter with divine presence. You see, the more outrageously impersonal and computer-like personality programs appear, the greater the imperative to see through them. How can we seriously invest in relationships with archetypes that scoot around like wind-up toys? We can’t. We’re cornered. Our one remaining comfort: sensing the soul in the machine.

It is at this point that we may finally admit what the heart has always known: so long as it is deemed anything less than a dream, this world of separate personalities and their endlessly automated actions is completely intolerable and unforgivable. So long as the patterns on the lampshade of ego remain unlit, our will to live is severely compromised. If we are not, in some sense, bowing down to the vast, eternal nature in the skittish, survival-crazed creatures milling all around us —  if we are not savoring in them what is untouched by time and untwisted by conditioning — we are subtly cultivating and contributing to the cynicism and hard-heartedness that is, even now, shredding the planet.

Okay, suppose we crack the code of personality. Meditation and insight into the archetypes has baptized us into a world where the previously arresting and irksome lampshade personalities have become, for the most part, transparent, equalized — aglow with a singular, selfsame presence. Now what? Ah, now we get to make friends with the second growling temple dog.

Growling Temple Dog #2: Dissociation
As compelling likes and dislikes fade away, what new, subtler navigational tools will we use to determine who is “special” to us? Or will the need for personal affirmation, mirroring and support from beloveds be dismissed as an antiquated egotistical pursuit? As the sense of separation that relationships were previously designed to “solve” disappears, and our ego-bridging becomes more surreal and agenda-free, what new motivating passion will supply us with the energy needed to decisively invest in relationships? Or will we settle into a transpersonal, dream-watching mode free of the trust-building complications of ego?

We each have a style of mending this split between personal and transpersonal paradigms but it can only be achieved through a kind of spacious spontaneity best arrived at while contemplating the question, “Who am I?” Mooji calls this “the Piranha question” because “it eats up the questioner.” It is designed not to be answered, but to keep plopping us back into the seat of who we are: the compassionate ego-cradler. From here, we can give birth to some freaky hybrids: transpersonal flirt, teary machismo, sensual nun.

Just as a well-executed asana posture contains elements of willful assertion and muscle-softening surrender, ego-cradling presence enjoys flexing personal feelings and needs in one part of its “body” while enjoying a placid, fullness of being in another. Yessiree, this nonduality business is all about relaxing into cognitive dissonance.

So how’s your yoga practice going? Need some pointers? Suppose we finish up with a  few grounded examples of what a well-executed somebody/nobody posture might look like.

1) Nondual Fire (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius)
Equanimity in the midst of passion

Can you release yourself into fiery animation and stand “special” in the spot light without losing your awareness of other’s ego-sensitivities and need for “shine time?” Or have you, in the name of “being sensitive,” de-animated yourself — unconsciously pronouncing passion, spontaneity and play too dangerous a flame to stay awake in?

2) Nondual Earth (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn)
Renunciation in the midst of having

Can you work hard for, and enjoy, earthly security and comfort without falling prey to possessiveness, heartless opportunism or anal attachment to results? Or have you settled into a complacent, faux form of non-attachment, untested by the temptations of getting, spending and success?

3) Nondual Air (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius)
Belief in the service of silence

Can you weave intellectually rigorous, Airy articulations and social repartee with intervals of silent not-knowing, body-awareness and check-ins on your own and other’s feeling states? Or do you allow the excitement of cutting edge insights and freshly flowering intimacies to seduce you out of your body and perfectly hurtable heart?

4) Nondual Water  (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces)
Objectivity in the midst of catharsis

Can you express urgent watery feelings, needs and intuitions according to a mutually agreed upon language and in a mutually supportive setting such that others do not feel the need to defend themselves against emotional manipulation? Or do you lose your objectivity, confuse authenticity with dumping and play victim to others insensitivity?

Ready for more?
-Schedule an astrology reading with Hunter
-Subscribe to Styles of Awakening Newsletter (monthly)
-Subscribe to posts by email

Like this article? Share it with friends: