Ciro Discepolo | English corner | Active astrology

Active Astrology
di Ciro Discepolo

I discovered astrology at the age of 22, during my military service at the airport of Latina in 1970. I dipped into it immediately and with a great passion. I understood that the only way to learn astrology is not by studying dozens of books (which I actually did for many hours a day, yet).
On the contrary, you have to practise it on the field; you have to meet hundreds of people and cast their natal charts; thus making mistakes and learning by mistakes. I don't think that there is any better way to learn astrology. Before meeting somebody I studied his/her chart for hours, dropping notes and wondering how he/she would look like; what would his/her character and cultural interests be, and so on. I eventually met the consulting person, whom in the great majority of cases I didn't know before, and my real study began after he/she had gone away. Then I reconsidered the whole trying to understand what I had mistaken, and why. Such training course was giving me good results and I noticed that, even if the path I was stepping into was boundless, every day I was advancing a little further.
Astrology had become my great passion; it had an even stronger charm on me than informatics – the other nourishment of my soul. But there was one thing that I wasn't able to accept and I couldn't stand at all: often I met people who were to face very hard transits and evidently dramatic situations – and I could do nothing for them! To hide them the truth? This was against my principles: I didn't want to deceive them. To tell them the truth – well I had to, but how? How could I face then their disappointment, their fears? That was the most impelling knotty problem I had to solve if I wanted to keep being an astrologer. During those years I also undertook my first Jungian psychoanalysis and I used to read loads of books on psychology. Very soon I got fascinated by the concept of "constellating a symbol" or, as I named it later on: "exorcization of a symbol".
In psychology to constellate means to activate, i.e. to bring something to life. Once I happened to read with an extraordinary interest the preface that Gianfranco Tedeschi, a Jungian psychoanalyst and a school founder in Italy, wrote to the Italian paperback edition of Jung's study on schizophrenia (Psicologia della schizofrenia, Newton Compton Italiana).

You'll read more about it a little further in this book; then you'll understand how this example can be considered the origin of a good portion of my practice of astrology, which consequently goes under the name of "exorcization of the symbol".

While I was greedily absorbing those readings I also studied the Solar Returns. From the very beginning I discovered that it was possible to change them, even in full, by simply being somewhere else on the day of your birthday. These two coincident discoveries lit a sparkle in me – the desire to follow a way, to try to make light, to check up on some possibilities. I had found a semi-hidden path and I was trying to light it up with a weak torch. That would be my future way. I would never leave it. I'm still trying to improve it every single day since then.

The exorcization of symbols and the Aimed solar returns are the foundation of my Active Astrology.

The exorcization of symbols

I'm sure that the more watchful readers and followers of astrology cannot ignore this current situation. We, the authors, are aligned essentially on three almost incompatible positions that eventually determine one's personal way of understanding and making astrology. The first, yet not the most important school claims that astrology is an instrument of knowledge of the human psyche and it doesn't allow the least prediction. Those who think so argue that Saturn and Uranus have nothing to do with John Smith even if John Smith is being robbed of all his goods the very same moment when these two planets cross the threshold of his natal 2nd House. It's the same as implying that transits, Solar Returns and primary directions are good for nothing.

The second sort or "school" of astrology fully admits the power of transits, to such an extent that it is considered useless to "apply yourself" because everything is already written in your natal chart; and no one can do anything against fate.

Finally, here comes the third school: those who think like me: i.e. that transits, Solar and Lunar Returns, and primary directions work faultlessly, but you have got the chance to antagonize these forces: i.e. to fight against them. Of course, all I wrote in my previous books – and above all in this one – has been borrowed partly from Tradition, partly from my master André Barbault's teachings. It also derives partly from the results of astrological research, partly from my personal experience of almost thirty years of activity; and partly from the personal way I have arranged those pieces of information together, amalgamating them with some aspects of Jungian knowledge, which has been conducting me since the beginning of my studies. I am sure that we can and we must try to weaken the negative transits and to strengthen the positive ones with all the means at our disposal. We can do it mainly with our own knowledge; with the enlightenment, which is the highest form of emancipation at our disposal. Secondarily, we can use the techniques that I have already described elsewhere and that I am about to complete here, in this synthetic work.

The main operation that I am going to describe is what I call the exorcization of the symbol, or if you prefer, the ritualization of the symbol.

"A miracle," was the cry of a great part of my students after reading the Italian translation of Schicksal als chance [Destiny as Choice] by Thorwald Dethlefsen, published in Italy by Ed. Mediterranee. Still, much of what my German colleague wrote had been published previously in my books over the last two decades, with the exception of the part about reincarnation – something I don't believe in at all.

Let's start from the beginning, by recalling the example that I have already reported in one of my writings, first described by the analytical psychologist Gianfranco Tedeschi in his preface to the Italian edition of Jung's study on schizophrenia (Psicologia della schizofrenia, Ed. Newton Compton Italiana). In his preface, Dr. Tedeschi talks about a Jewish student of medicine in Rome, who had started to manifest symptoms of mental dissociation years before: he had begun to behave like a priest of ancient Jerusalem. Dr. Tedeschi told him that he himself was a Jew too, thus they could celebrate the holy rites together on condition that they strictly followed the rules: fasting first of all; purifying themselves; wearing the right dresses; spreading incense; reading the original scriptures, etc. They did so for many months until the young man abruptly said, "All this is interesting, but – what do the Jews do today?" From then on, having regained interest for actuality, the young man was dismissed from hospital to begin his psychoanalysis with Dr. Tedeschi – who tells the reader that the young man recovered completely and eventually graduated in medicine. The doctor had constellated the symbolism that was pressing from inside the patient: this way the problem had been "exorcized".

Let us consider two further examples whose central characters are two female clients and good friends of mine. The first one is a university professor with a vast general culture and a good knowledge of psycho astrology. During a transit of Saturn over her natal Venus she was left by the man she loved. She felt such a devastating pain that in order to cope with it, in order to detain it somehow, she went into mourning and dressed in black for one whole year. To those who asked her the reason of such a choice she used to say, "I've lost my love." She went on for one year, exactly the same time required for Saturn to pass beyond her natal Venus; then she went out of mourning – back to normal life.

The second case is another lady professor as cultured and intelligent as the former. As the transit of Saturn on her natal Venus approached, she asked me what she could do to avoid losing her love. Her partner lived in a distant town; they met on a regular basis, say once every fortnight. I advised her to meet as rarely as possible, even further: not to meet at all during the entire coming year. They did so. Thus Saturn "was given" what it required: sentimental mortification, subtraction of loving enthusiasm, temporarily death of sentiment and sex. Then Saturn passed over and everything turned back the way it used to be.

In both cases we can say that the given procedure was to make the "ghost" act; i.e. what in psychoanalysis we could well define the "technique of restraining the field". In the case described by Dr. Tedeschi the principle of identification was employed too – a Jew was the student, and a Jew was the doctor. This procedure has been invented neither by me nor by Dr. Tedeschi or by Jung: it belongs to the rites of any religion; it can be applied very often with excellent results; and it can be compared to the principle of homeopathic medicine similia similibus curantur (the similar cures the similar).

Can we state that all the cases must be treated the same way? No. The above mentioned Thorwald Dethlefsen suggests to wear in black, to visit cemeteries, to meet grave people and so on, in order to cope with a transit of Saturn, say, on your natal Sun. But my personal experience and even the teachings of psychoanalysis don't agree on it. In fact, in many cases one must employ a prosthetic technique: i.e. a technique of compensation. Let me explain. Let's say that the one who copes with the mentioned transit of Saturn is a native Pisces whose Sun or Moon is afflicted by an aspect of Neptune. In this case we are before a psycho labile individual; an extremely fragile person; an emotional sponge who fully absorbs the atmosphere around him/her. It is not wise to advise such a person to read Les Misérables by Victor Hugo and/or to associate with sad people. On the contrary: we'll ask him/her to meet healthy happy people and very equilibrated persons; to watch amusing films such as the American comedies; to read Wodehouse's works all the time.For we must never think that everything has to be read, interpreted and developed in one direction only. Some people react better to allopathic medicine than to homeopathic; similarly we should use the exorcization of the symbol with the strongest individuals and the compensatory technique with the weakest ones. Sometimes the two principles can be melted. In the case of the fragile and vulnerable lady born under the Sign of Pisces, we'd advise her to find help in certain medicines used in psychiatry while spending a few months in a deeper solitude.

The basic principle of the exorcization of the symbol is the notion of sacrifice: exactly the same concept that thousands of years ago made the Greek pastors select and sacrifice the best lamb of their herd in order to contain Zeus' wrath. The bottom line is that you have to pay your due in the same analogical direction of the symbol, and in an expectedly adequate extent in order to discharge the transit. So if you are a female and Uranus transits on your natal Mars in the 5th House, it wouldn't be sufficient to have a dentist fill your cavity – but it would be expectedly enough to undertake an operation and have your some-year-old uterine fibroma removed.

The main piece of advice that I feel like giving to anyone is to "anticipate" the transits; to "offer the sacrifice" when the transit is about to arrive.

Another extraordinary instrument of self-defence in the critical periods – or at least a good way to strengthen the well-promising periods – is to use the Solar Returns in an "aimed" way. That is, to choose the most suitable astral situation to spend your birthday with: i.e. the best annual sky which the horoscope of your following year derives from. For many years I have been advising my clients to use this technique and I have tried it out myself several times – always obtaining excellent results.

I suggest considering the consulting client's general situation about one month before his/her birthday, i.e. when the previous year is coming to an end and the astrologer is adequately updated about the facts that characterized the astral map of his/her prior Return. On the other hand, one month before the birthday one has got time enough to organize even a very exotic journey.

My personal technique is to cast a dozen of Solar Returns maps ranging from Los Angeles to Tokyo scanning all over Europe. If none of them is suitable I explore some "extreme" territories such as Siberia, New Guinea or Easter Island. Farther in this book you'll find suggestions on the right way to proceed, based upon practical cases.

Solar Returns

This is a topic my heart gets inflamed with, because of my significant and satisfactory experience in this field. Since 1970, i.e. my first year of studying astrology, I feel I am on the same spiritual wavelength with this technique. Such a "tuning" would not develop in a fideistic way, but on the base of my practical experience. Nowadays I wouldn't be able to analyse anybody's astral situation without considering at least three maps: the natal chart, the current Solar Return, and the SR map for the next year. Without the three maps the client's situation would appear "blind" to me. In my opinion, understanding the meaning and functioning of a Solar Return allows you to penetrate the secrets of one year of somebody's life; it makes you read the most important and sure events one is about to face during that 12-month period. My first master on Solar Returns was Alexander Volguine, whose fundamental work I asked and obtained to be translated into Italian by my publisher Armenia. Later on I abandoned Volguine's method for the reasons I explained in my Trattato pratico di Rivoluzioni solari, Blue Diamond Publisher. I believe that only few and clearly defined elements of the Solar Return chart need be considered, avoiding to burden its analysis with winding correspondences and analogical mutual links. I do believe that the elements to be considered primarily are the following ones:

  1. Where the cusp of the Ascendant of the Return map is within the Houses of the natal chart.
  2. Where the Sun of the Return map is within the Houses of the Return map.
  3. Where a stellium of the Return map is within the Houses of the Return map.

Then, but only after the above listed elements, one should also consider the planets in the Houses of the Return map, and a little – but very little – of everything else. I believe that not following these rules may lead you to serious oversights. The Solar Return is based on the principle of cycles. In nature we find, as an example, Circadian Rythms of about one day in which cockroaches sleep or are in activity; not to mention the almost monthly cycles of menstruation in women. Every year the Sun goes back exactly to the same natal position of a person's map and a new year begins for the native, carrying its own special features – the features marked by the native's Solar chart, which the astrologer casts for that moment and that place. According to some colleagues of mine, the Solar Return map should be cast for the native's birthplace, not for the one the native actually is in when the Return takes place. This is nonsense both from the theoretical and from the demonstrative point of view.
You can read about that in my a.m. Trattato. In this chapter I would like to describe one only example that demonstrates the absurdity of my colleagues' view. Let us consider Mata Hari's astral situation. The well known Dutch spy was sentenced to death by the French Government during the WWI. I already exposed this case years ago asking my colleagues to comment on it: having received no remark at all I'm proposing it once again. The stunning spy-dancer-prostitute was born in Leeuwarden on the 7th of August 1876 at 1 p.m. We'll consider one episode of her life for its crystalline cleanness, whatever be the reconstruction that any of you can make of it. The astrologers claiming that Solar Returns are to be cast for the birthplace (instead of the actual place of station of that moment) shall commit themselves and cry aloud to persuade those who disagree. Let's see then. Before becoming a spion and a prostitute, Mata Hari, who was already an amazing dancer, had been married to an official, major MacLeod, who took her with him to Indonesia, precisely to Medan.

There in Medan destiny stroke her tremendously on the 27th of June 1899. A native servant poisoned her two sons. One of them, Norman, died after appalling sufferings. Hence we have got all the ideal conditions to make an accurate comparison. Mata Hari's date of birth is sure – all her horoscope confirms it; we know the precise date of the event we are talking about; and geographically speaking, Leeuwarden and Medan are very distant places.

So what do we observe in Mata Hari's Solar Return map of 1898-1899 drawn for her birthplace, Leeuwarden? Nothing, virtually nothing that may foretell her tragedy – starting from the SR Ascendant in her natal 4th House, which is miles away from the peak events we are examining. Then we see an empty, insignificant 5th House.

Let us consider what her SR map of 1898-99 tells us if we draw it for Medan, i.e. the place where the family actually was at the moment of the murder. In what natal House do you think the Ascendant of SR is? Precisely: in her natal 8th House. Weren't it enough, we also find Uranus in the 5th House while Mars and Pluto, the two dispositors of the 5th House, are conjunct in the 12th House. If they tell you that they still doubt, they simply lie.

Aimed Solar Return

I shaped this expression myself to indicate the possibility for whoever to go away on the day of his/her own anniversary in order to take advantage of a birthday astral situation better than the one they would experience if they remained on their own place of birth. In the January 1999 issue of the Italian magazine Sirio my colleague Grazia Bordoni published an anthology of declarations about the Aimed solar returns. At the end of the article my no-friend Grazia was sad to inform me that I had been the only one who expressed the confidence that Solar Return maps are to be cast for the place where you spend your birthday – not for your birthplace.
Actually, this lent me a hand. In fact, when I began claiming it with conviction Fourty-three years ago (I am writing on January 2013), I had to face the opposite, often fierce opinion of the overwhelming majority of my colleagues. They even derided me for this, harshly and openly criticizing my custom of suggesting Aimed Solar Returns to my clients. Later on, as my works were published in magazines and books, growing legions of readers embraced these studies, swelling the ranks of the persuaded followers of this technique; in order to do that, some of them even disobeyed precise orders of censorship of their own masters – my colleagues. Today an opinion poll would show that the "base", even those belonging to schools other than mine, believes – in the great majority of cases – in Solar Returns and in Aimed Solar Returns.
On the other hand a growing number of Pharisees, who have repeatedly affirmed their own scepticism on this topic until the other day, has suddenly begun to assert that they have always been persuaded of the validity of ASR's; and that this matter is so evident that it is not even worth mentioning. This is the reason why I am particularly glad for the testimonials published on the a.m. issue of Sirio.

Why have I been the first one to embark on this kind of study with such a great fervour – at least compared to my colleagues? There are exactly two reasons. To study an Aimed Solar Return with all the pertinent charts and the calculation required to cast each of them, you must have adequate technical means at your disposal. In the early 1970s I already used tiny Hewlett-Packard pocket computers – the real programmable ancestors of Personal Computer. With the help of professionals on informatics, on such machines I elaborated programs that took full care of the long and laborious calculations necessary to SR's.
Today's program Molriv of ASTRAL is one of those little jewels: it scans the entire terrestrial surface in a few minutes. The other reason that favoured me very much in the study of Aimed Solar Returns is that, differing from the times of Alexander Volguine, nowadays whoever wants to spend a birthday in New York City – now as well as twenty years ago – must not sell his/her own house away any longer, for you can afford it for less than 1,000,000 Italian Liras.

I have been "sending" hundreds of people (more than 25,000 individuals as on January 2013) to spend their birthdays abroad every year for 43 years. The balance I have drawn up is astonishingly positive, as you can read in my book Transits and Solar Returns,

An essential bibliography

- Ciro Discepolo, Astrologia applicata [Applied astrology], Armenia, Milan, 1988, 294 pages.
- Ciro Discepolo, Trait\E9 complet d’int\E9rpretation des transits et des r\E9volutions solaires en astrologie, \C9ditions Traditionnelles, 2001, 502 pages.
- Ciro Discepolo, A Few Facts on Aimed Birthdays, Ricerca ’90, 2001, 104 pages.
- Luigi Galli and Ciro Discepolo, Geographical Atlas for the Solar Returns, Ricerca ’90 Publisher, 2001, 136 pages.
- Ciro Discepolo, Treatise on Solar Returns (In Hungarian Language), DFT - Hungaria 2006, 190 pages.
- Ciro Discepolo, Treatise on Medical Astrology (In Slovenian Language), Publisher: Hermes (Zalozba Astroloskega Instituta), 2007, 262 pages.
- Ciro Discepolo, Transits and Solar Returns; a New System of Analysis for Two Ancient Methods, Ricerca ’90 Publisher; Reprint edition, 2007, 556 pages.
- Ciro Discepolo, Transits et R\E9volutions Solaires: Un nouveau syst\E8me pour deux m\E9thodes anciennes, Ricerca ’90, 2008, 468 pages.
- Ciro Discepolo, Die Transite und das Solarhoroskop: Ein neues System f\FCr zwei klassische Methoden, Ricerca ’90, 2008, 648 pages. 
- Ciro Discepolo, Transitos y Retornos Solares: Un nuevo sistema de analisis para dos metodos antiguos, Ricerca ’90 Publisher, 2009, 668 pages.
- Ciro Discepolo, Treatise on Solar Returns (in Russian Language), Publisher:, 2009, 208 pages.
- Ciro Discepolo, Aimed Solar and Lunar Returns; what you can do when you cannot leave, Ricerca ’90, 2009, 222 pages.
- Ciro Discepolo, Lunar Returns and Earth Returns; two supporting methodologies for Active Astrology, Ricerca ’90, 2009, 304 pages.
- Ciro Discepolo, Aimed Lunar Returns and Solar Returns; a Short Album, Volume 1, Ricerca ’90 Publisher, 2009, 108 pages.
- Ciro Discepolo, Aimed Lunar Returns and Solar Returns; a Short Album, Volume 2, Ricerca ’90 Publisher, 2010.
- Ciro Discepolo, Lunar Returns; the many things you should know about this fantastic tool of forecasting, Ricerca ’90, 2010, 240 pages.
- Ciro Discepolo, The Protocol for Correction of Birth Time; a Practical Method to Correct Your Birth Time, Ricerca ’90, 2011, 156 pages.
- Ciro Discepolo, Solar and Lunar Returns; many exercises, Ricerca ’90, 2011, 154 pages.
- Ciro Discepolo, Astrologie Active: Voil\E0 ce que vous devez faire si vous ne pouvez pas effectuer votre anniversaire cibl\E9, Ricerca ’90, 2011, 192 pages. 
- Ciro Discepolo and Andrea Rossetti, Astro&Geography; choose the best place on Earth to live with success or love or money or health...,  Ricerca ’90, 2011, 138 pages.
- Ciro Discepolo, The New Guide to Astrology; casting, analysing and reading the birth chart, Vol. 1, Ricerca ’90, 2011, 426 pages.
- Ciro Discepolo, The New Guide to Astrology; casting, analysing and reading the birth chart, Vol. 2, Ricerca ’90, 2011, 502 pages.
- Ciro Discepolo and Luciano Drusetta, Relocating Solar Returns; the Importance of Being There, Ricerca ’90, 2011, 136 pages.
- Ciro Discepolo, Solar Returns; Interpreting Solar Returns: Predictions, Ricerca ’90, 2011, 228 pages.
- Ciro Discepolo, The Fundaments of Medical Astrology; the grounds for understanding the pathological tendencies of an individual by reading the stars, Ricerca ’90, 2011, 238 pages.
- Ciro Discepolo and Danila Madau Perra, Evaluate Your Synastry; how to enhance the prospect of a stable and fulfilling relationship, Ricerca ’90, 2012, 160 pages.
- Ciro Discepolo, The Reading of the Natal Chart; the secrets of interpreting the Natal Chart illustrated with simplicity and clarity, Ricerca ’90, 2012, 402 pages.

For an almost complete bibliography of Ciro Discepolo: