Astrology’s Higher Octaves: New Dimensions of a Healing Art, by Greg Bogart, Ph.D.
Ibis Press, 9780892541935, 232 pages, November 2020
Astrology’s Higher Octaves: New Dimensions of a Healing Art by Greg Bogart, Ph.D. is a must-read for astrologers! I finished it earlier today, after savoring it over the course of this week, and am still processing all the revelations I’ve had as a result of Bogart’s incredible knowledge and expertise of astrology. While it’s not exactly a linearly progressing book, each chapter has its own theme, I deeply enjoyed reading Bogart’s insight, which he conveys with humility, humor, and profound self-realization.
The content of this book is so utterly refreshing to me because of the unique viewpoints Bogart puts forth about the practice of astrology and all its potential for personal growth, spiritual awakening, and aligned living. By the end, the reader gains an understanding of how astrology can tap us into the imaginal realm and also be the best guide for structuring our daily lives. The multi-facet approach depicts the usefulness of astrology on many levels, offering perspectives that invite an integration of mind, body, and soul as one looks towards the cosmos for answers.
To begin, Bogart describes for the reader his own personal journey that has led him to where he is today. As a therapeutic astrologer, Bogart incorporates psychology with mythic symbolism and astrological timing techniques in order to facilitate healing and stages of development in his client’s life. What really struck me about this is how well Bogart elucidates his methodology and clearly states how he uses astrology to facilitate emotional healing, spiritual growth, and expanded awareness with his clients, which is the primary focus of the next chapter.
Once the methodology is clearly laid out, Bogart bridges therapeutic astrology with dream interpretation. Drawing on the work of Carl Jung, Bogart examines how archetypal energy of the planets is easily expressed in dreams and can help to journey deeper into the mythical experience of working with energy of certain planetary transits. By combining astrology and dreamwork, he helps clients to develop awareness of the unconscious energy within their psyche and in turn have more agency in the co-creative expression and manifestation of these archetypal energies at play in their lives. I personally loved his thoughts on the topic because my entire time in graduate school for depth psychology, I was also studying astrology and directly saw the link between these two fields. I wholeheartedly agree with Bogart as he writes, “In the future I believe the link between astrology and dreams will become a major focus of depth psychology.” 1 Yes, thank you, more please!
From here, the book becomes a bit more grounded and practical as Bogart describes his use of diurnal astrology. This is my only caution about this book: sometimes the material may be over the head of someone just learning astrology. For instance during this whole chapter, Bogart doesn’t explain how one might create their own diurnal chart and for someone who doesn’t fully grasp the transits of planets yet, this section may be a bit advanced. That being said, it was refreshing to read about someone else who lives their life by the stars! Bogart’s explanation of how different plants influencing angular placements in the chart invite different types of energy into the day. He gives all sorts of examples about how the harmony or disharmony of the planets crops up in daily life, and also offers insight on how to best navigate the different energies to find a feeling of flow and alignment with the current moment in time.
In the following chapter, spanning nearly 70 pages and by far the longest in the book, Bogart dives into the topic of vocational astrology. I found this section absolutely fascinating, but that could be my 5-planet 6th house Capricorn stellium speaking, being mercilessly transited by Pluto and squared by Mars in Aries nearly this whole past year. Did I mention Uranus is hanging out in my 10th house? Career stability is something I could use some insight on! All joking aside, this section was truly phenomenal. I appreciate Bogart’s approach because he fills the chapter with dozens of anecdotes and charts for the reader to look at, which really helps with getting a visual for what he’s describing, of both his personal clients and celebrities. Once again, I have to say this section may be over the head for someone who is not familiar with the different planetary aspects (conjunct, opposing, square), but still feel there’s value for even a novice astrologer in this chapter if only to gain an understanding of the premise of vocational astrology. The whole chapter is packed with insight about different models used for assessing one’s vocational type, reference to work of other astrologers who have written on this subject, and in-depth chart analysis.
The book concludes with a chapter on Bogart’s evolving focus on the music of the cosmos, or the sound of astrology. This chapter is simply mind-blowingly amazing. While I’ve read about the harmonics of the universe before, Bogart’s description of how music and astrology can co-evolve together made me perceive the subject in an entirely new way. He writes, “Music and astrology have the power to awaken us to states of consciousness outside the mundane, the profane, to tap our sense of the sacred, our perception of a greater beauty and harmony.” 2 Reading about Bogart’s ideas of weaving together the components of music (tone, rhyme, tempo) with the movement of planets made me wish I could hear the sound of my own natal chart, and I’ve been trying to imagine what it would sound like ever since! I look forward to his new direction and hope it generates a new book sometime down the line. There’s a lot to explore here and all music lovers will appreciate Bogart’s insightful perceptions of link between astrology and sound.
My favorite thing Bogart said in the whole book was about the need to have both structure and improvisation in astrology.
“Rather than just repeating what we’ve read and staying in interpretative ruts, it’s possible to improvise and say something new, bold, and edgy, as long as it’s in alignment with the astrological symbolism. That’s the main parameter — that we stay within the form and that we don’t just make things up. That’s part of the astrologer’s ethical responsibility: to be true to what the planets indicate.”3
All in all, Astrology’s Higher Octaves is a wonderful read for those looking to explore new dimensions of astrology. It teeters on the edge of the field, and gently pushes new boundaries, backed up with a beautiful blend of Bogart’s research and intuition. I was actually so moved by reading this book that I decided to sign up for a year-long program at the Portland School of Astrology, finally taking a leap of faith towards furthering a career in astrology combined with my background in depth psychology due to Bogart’s inspirational writing. I’m excited to see what Bogart has to share in his next book and will certainly be getting a copy of his previously published book Planets in Therapy. He is a wonderful guide for people seeking to explore the realms of psyche and expand their perceptions through astrology to create a meaningful, fulfilling life.
Alanna Kali is an astrologer, numerologist, and pioneer spirit that loves to explore life through the lens of depth psychology. She has a passion for studying the humanities and social trends. Her academic work is centered upon reuniting body, mind, and spirit through eco-psychology. She loves reading, spending time in nature, and travel.