E520C The Recurring and Evolving Soul

Instructors; Joseph Crane and Enid Newberg (6 week course)

What happens to us when we die? Is there nothing forever, are there realms of the afterlife, have we lived before and will live again in human form? Or will we exist in a different form that we can still call “me”? Are we planning for an eternal outcome or to come back again into another life, maybe a better one, maybe as a spiritual entity, or to become absorbed into Universal, without separate identity?

These have been important matters for many for a long time; astrologers too, reflecting their cultures over the centuries, have pondered these issues. These are some of the questions we’ll work with in this course. We begin in ancient India and travel through the ideas of both East and West to see their enormous impact on astrology from the theosophical movement to evolutionary astrology today.

Click here to read instructor Joseph Crane's article on this course.

Topics include:

  • Encounters with the East: The many faces of reincarnation

  • Eastern Metaphysics meets Western Astrology - Spiritualism and Theosophy Blavatsky, Annie Besant, Row Bengalore, Rudolf Steiner

  • Astrology encounters Modern psychology: Alan Leo, Max Heindel, Manly P. Hall; Reframing Astrology's Symbols

  • Esoteric Astrology: Alice Bailey and Dane Rudhyar

  • Modern versions of karma, reincarnation and the soul’s evolution: Ray Merriman, Jeff Green and Steven Forrest

Other questions students can ponder as we wander through the ages in this course:

If we opt for a final destination at the end of our lives, is there an place in Heaven for the good people and a place in Hell for the bad? Do bad things happen to good people because of fate or the will of God or because “life sucks” or is it because of bad actions in previous lifetimes?

From astrology’s point of view, do difficult features in a birthchart signify God’s assignment for you in life or previous karma to be worked out and indications for what’s ahead?

If we opt for reincarnation or rebirth, as many do in our modern world, there are even more questions. Are we on a slowly evolving path over multiple lifetimes, and, if so, does this path parallel the eventual destiny of the human race and the planet itself? If there is no preordained evolutionary path, do we aim instead for conscious instead of compulsive rebirth? If we screw up in this lifetime do we go down the evolutionary ladder and are reborn maybe as a shark or a mouse, or do we get a chance at a do-over in similar circumstances the next time around, again and again until we get it right?

Are there factors in the astrological chart that indicate how we can spiritually grow from this lifetime to the next?

Then there’s the question of a universal or personal divine nature behind all this – or, colloquially put, “who’s keeping score?”

The idea of multiple lifetimes has become more popular in the west and frequently appears in New Age thinking and some modern astrology. But it’s not such a new idea. It is just one feature of the concept of soul, a concept that has been applied in different ways – psychologically, spiritually, astrologically – over a very long time.

These workshops have two parts: an online course site with supplemental material and online discussion forums. Students taking the course for the diploma will also have assignments. Each week there is a live interactive online conference. The live portion of the course is recorded and students will receive a copy of the recording.

The soul’s crises and cultivations are one of the reasons we work with astrology. And this concern for the soul has been part of astrology throughout its history. This three-part program is the most comprehensive treatment of soul and astrology offered anywhere. It traces the connections between our ideas about soul in philosophy, religion and astrology, through Western and Eastern history and practice. It will introduce you to a range of perspectives and applications that can aid in living a good life and help sustain the spirit through life's transitions.