AP17 Topical Focus II
Vocation and Work
Or whether his Profession be private, learned from another, or attained from his own industry, or mechanical, laborious, and for pleasure; for doubtless every man has inclination more or less to some one Quality, Profession, &c. Or the other.
Lilly – Christian Astrology 3:148
This Intensive will explore concepts and techniques regarding vocation. A range of methods about this universal human enquiry exist in the heritage of astrology. Practical examples will be used to focus on the tricky subject of delineating profession and calling. There will be an examination of what the Art offers for vocational guidance, identifying difficulties and opportunities, and highlighting exceptional qualities.
A life path can take so many forms, may change many times, and one’s ‘work’ may have no relation to one’s true skills and preferences. Perplexing questions can arise about ascertaining what to do, what direction to take, what is most suitable and fulfilling, or has the best chance for satisfaction and success. Accordingly, the astrology of this subject has not always been straightforward, even in ancient days.
Today vocation and employment are generally viewed as the same, yet on an essential philosophical level a calling and work can be entirely distinct. Central to this is the essence of an activity engaged in with a spirit of individual freedom, a sense of personal identity, and valid social contribution. It concerns what one does for a life – not necessarily for a living, and pursuits congruent to individual purpose – not simply as a means of survival. Ideally, choices are freely made as to a purposeful activity, rather than compromising authenticity through being enslaved by necessity.
A society in which vocation and job are separated for most people gradually creates an economy that is often devoid of spirit, one that frequently fills our pocketbooks at the cost of emptying our souls.
There is also the point that vocation and work in today’s worldview has differences to that in the times when horoscopy was developed and practised. Yet there is a certain consistency regarding the astrological indicators. Compared to ‘modern’ (20th century) astrology, tradition emphasised the planets, their condition, effectiveness, and interrelationship. Whilst the modern approach does not emphasise the planets and is more diluted, it tends to prioritise certain houses, whilst conflating their symbolism.
Engaging in a meaningful role in the world is a central human aspiration, which astrological heritage appears to have always been aware of. The old astrologers were firstly concerned with whether the native would have any vocation (magistery) at all, or a trade, study, or profession. Secondly, with what form these may take. Thirdly, whether there would be fame or fortune attached. The texts reflect that some folk knew what they wanted to be or strive for, while there could be many who did not. And that some desired achievement and impact, whilst others were happy to proceed quietly, or not at all.
Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfilment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated, thus, everyone’s task is unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.
Viktor E. Frankl
This intensive (AP17) was first presented on the Gold Coast(GCAS) in November 2010.
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