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AstroPress Blog – Deborah Smith Parker, Author Of Humanus Astrologicus

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November 16, 20159 Comments

“Connecting the seen with the unseen,” by Deborah Smith Parker

We fear what we don’t understand. There were many events and phenomena for which people from our early civilizations had no scientific basis for understanding. Following is a brief history of how fear of the dark was sustained through much of human history, followed by a re-framing of how the astrological template offers a vital template for understanding the creative nature of darkness.


Face it—we have never had the same feeling of comfort and safety in the dark that we do in light. Not only is it hard to see in, it’s also difficult to detect who is seeing us. Even though we now can produce enough artificial light to make cities blaze like high noon, outside the perimeter it’s still dark night.

GOD Angry PlutoIt’s difficult to tell how much of this is vestigial in our human species memory, stemming from thousands of years we’ve lived on this planet without knowledge of science to explain the movements, appearances and disappearances of lights in the heavens. One can only imagine how terrifying that must have been for our ancient ancestors who identified the gods as causing this chaos, resulting in establishing rituals and sacrificial practices to petition for protection and restoration of order.

Around 600 BC the Greeks identified the foundations of science, chiefly that it is natural law, not the gods, that governs all acts of nature. But the preceding millennia had so firmly established the association of the dark and its projected resident evil with the gods that remnants of these beliefs still persist in many religions, even to the degree that in spite of modern theology and scientific evidence to the contrary, the dark can be considered as powerful as the light.

The properties of light and darkness are such that darkness does not invade the light—contrary to thinking among some fundamentalist religious sects. You don’t have to go to a physics lab to prove this. Just open a closed door between a brightly lighted room and a room that is completely dark and see what happens. The light pours into the dark room, not the other way around.

Re-framing fear of the dark

After decades of studies in astrology and esoteric disciplines I have come to a deeper personal understanding of the true nature of darkness:

There is only one darkness, the darkness of becoming.

Think about it. Most conceptions occur in the dark, the womb, under the earth. The most fertile time to plant is in the dark of the moon, the fertile beginning of cycles.

Blank horoscopeWe can find these places for ourselves in the template of astrology, the horoscope which serves as both calendar and clock. The birth chart shows us not just the 24 hour period in which we were born but allows us to look forward or backward to any chosen day. It shows we are never in the dark. Even though here on earth we are unable to see the Sun during the night time, in astrology we not only know where the Sun is, we can always see it, what astrological environment it’s in, what opportunities it’s bringing. Here’s a quick summary of how that works: (See chart at left)

• Each of the 12 houses roughly covers a two hour period – 12 signs = 24 hours.

• Houses 1 – 6 are below the horizon and therefore represent a night birth after sunset and before sunrise. If you were born during these times your Sun will be in one of these houses.

• Houses 7 – 12 are above the horizon and represent a daylight birth between sunrise and sunset. If you were born during this period the Sun in your horoscope will always be in a house above the horizon.

Interestingly enough, the place of greatest darkness in the chart (meaning farthest point from sunrise and sunset) is the 4th house, the natal home of the sign of Cancer, the Great Womb, the Great Mother. It is in the 4th house where all things begin–conception. It is also where all things end, where something in us ceases and is recreated by developing new form.

Furthermore, it is the reflection of the Sun on the planets of our solar system that allows us to see the myriad ways the Sun’s light diversifies and continues in these reflections to guide and inspire us even when we can’t see directly the source of that light.

Our chief navigator is Mercury, who in mythology was the only god who could travel freely between the land of the living (Olympus) and the land of the dead (Hades). Neither Jupiter nor Pluto, their rulers had that power. Mercury guides us to the borders of our previously unseen worlds. He always holds and directs the lamp of each of our minds toward new frontiers of becoming.

In coming months I will be posting about how each sign/house in the horoscope “in the dark” is fertile soil for growth of its polar opposite sign “in the light.”

To book a consultation with Deborah click here.

Deborah Smith Parker is a professional astrologer and writer on many subjects. She is author of the newly released (2014) “The Horse that Haunts My Heart” and (2010) “Humanus Astrologicus,” both available in paperback and Kindle. To sign up to receive her blog or follow her on Twitter (@astro_logicus) and Facebook click to the right of this post.

About author:

Deborah Smith Parker is re-writing the often impenetrable language of astrology into a much friendlier form. She has spent her 30 plus years as an astrological consultant, writer, teacher and lecturer freeing the rich astrological images and their descriptions increasingly buried under modern clinical and technological descriptions. Her additional work in public policy has provided many outlets for demonstrating her ability to break down highly complex systems into information that’s easily understood.

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  1. Inez says:

    Excellent! Thank you.

  2. Jill says:

    Wow, another really informative & powerful article. You bring the solar system to life in a most mysteriously interesting way Deborah! You always leave me excited to learn more!

  3. I love also how the dark is representative of shadow and things we reject, or otherwise try to hide. There’s many kinds of bad (for human life) light, overwhelming, critical and harsh is among them, aside from all the fairy-land wish to attribute everything good to light. It’s our culture that is a big subscriber to the equation of good = light, and bad = dark. Yet, like Jung says, (paraphrasing) there are golden apples in the unconscious dark, too.

  4. Lisa Allen says:

    Deborah, you are so good at weaving poetry into what could be a comprehensive post hehe! As a Capricorn, itself being a “darkness” sign for the Sun being close to Winter Solstice (in Northern Hemisphere anyway), I find it interesting to contemplate the contrast between that darkness with the natural zodiac’s 10th house placement, a very public place indeed! My own chart aligns my Sun placement with the setting sun (7th house so still a daytime chart), of which I often think of Osiris in Egyptian Mythology crossing the borders of death and entering the underworld. My Moon in Sun-ruled Leo, while light, is under the horizon in the 3rd house, and in my two-decades-plus of astrologically studying my chart, I continue to find layers. We are constantly birthing ourselves and processing death at the same time. In fact, it seems homeostasis is somewhat of a miracle, really! 🙂 I look most forward to your posts on all the signs expressing darkness, as that is the source material that grows with increasing light. Thank you! 🙂

  5. Teri says:

    Very interesting article. I learned things I didn’t know! Looking forward to the next articles.

  6. karenhawthorne says:

    Very effective introduction. Makes the next installments compelling. Thanks!

  7. Wendy says:

    Hello Debra, I finally got around to reading your book The Horse Who Haunts My Heart. Just wanted to let you know that I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing your memories of Tank and your days of being a ranch hand. It was a delight to read! I love your style of writing! Your upstate NY fan. Wendy

    • Thanks, so much, Wendy. I appreciate both your reading the story and taking the time to let me know you liked it! Means a lot. If you are so inclined, it helps an author’s standing on Amazon to have a review posted there, if you would be amenable to do that. Thanks again!

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