Just finished reading How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer, a layman’s book about neurology and decision making. It’s basically all head, meaning there is very little discussion about the role physiological processes play in perception and cognition, but nevertheless, an interesting and easily digestible read about how we make decisions and the role of emotions in judgment. I liked how he emphasized how emotions can be an integral part of good decision making e.g. allowing you to factor in what’s more salient to you, even if you are unconscious of something. (Personally, I’ve always liked how Jung placed emotions on the rational access of the four functions with thinking, because emotions can be very reasonable, much more so than logic at times.)

Another conclusion Lehrer drew that was basically the main take-away of the book, was that you arrive at better decision making the more aware you are of your decision making processes. Sounds like this and mindfulness meditation are on the same page to me.

So, how can astrology help out in this aspect? You might be able to find your decision making tendencies by examining your natal chart. Now there’s no easy formula to do this, so I’ll give you some examples. I think you will need to take multiple placements into consideration – especially the moon, Mercury and the rest of the first seven planets as well as strong/weak elements or modalities. You might have read some books about Mercury (symbolizing the mind) and how an afflicted or combust Mercury signifies problems with the mind, but in my experience, that is complete garbage and I’ve never seen a correlation. Which brings me to my first example.


If you just want to read about Virgo, skip this intro.

This was one of the O.div’s more popular posts, and it received a fair number of comments. I never however, got around to posting “Part Two” before the blog died. It was going to be a longer post (as if this one wasn’t long enough!) about N. American Trickster cycles, which I completely did not understand when I first read them.

I now view the Trickster cycles as psychological documents of the process of becoming human. They are not simply “symbolic” but also magical, in that I believe they are recounting human psychological/existential development made manifest in reality which is to say, they are far more complex than just symbols of Jungian dynamics or what have you. (After living with people who thought “magically” and who also had their own Trickster cycle, I have come to believe that the fabric and material of reality are not nearly as constant and simple as I was educated to think…)

If you would like to read about the Trickster cycle, I highly recommend Paul Radin’s book, The Trickster: A Study in American Indian Mythology. I also think these cycles are very well worth reading in conjunction with existential psychologists or existential philosophers who had a great deal of psychological insight. In this regard, I would recommend Rollo May, Viktor Frankl, and Martin Heidegger.

Anyways, the whole point of Part Two was to expound on this notion of becoming human and to relate this process to the idea that Mercury is both in its dignity and exaltation in Virgo. The title I had cooking sounded something like “Virgo Part Two: From Trickster to Magus.” Oh, and my room these days is usually neat as a pin… (You’ll understand that last sentence after reading the post.)

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Original Title: Virgo Part One: From Subservient Secretary to Ritual Priestess
Original Post Date: March 18, 2006 @ 3:22pm

I’ve been meaning to write a post about Virgo for awhile. But before I proceed, I must add the disclaimer that this post is simply a collection of my thoughts and my own analysis of the sign and is not based upon any traditional astrological teachings.

Susan Seddon-Boulet

Oh maligned Virgo, you’re possibly the most boring sign of the zodiac. By now we all know the old sun sign drill: she’s overly critical, prudish, frigid, anal-retentive, borderline OCD. At best, the sign is characterized by a highly efficient, analytical worker drone with superior attention to detail. At worst, she’s a rigid, aseptic, unfeeling perfectionist more suited to life in the Borg collective than with humanity.