Windmills of Your Mind

Home News 2011 11 01 Windmills of Your Mind

This past weekend I gave a talk on 'chart synthesis - the search for alchemical gold' at Donna Van Toen's State of the Art annual astrology conference - it was held in Niagara Falls, New York. 

As a teacher who spends 40 - 50 hours with intermediate astrology students over the fall and winter exploring the ins and outs of chart interpretation and synthesis - to present something (hopefully of value) in one hour opens up the need for a whole new approach.  

For this reason I started off by examining one creative process - screenplay writing - and the work of Syd Field. Field has been important in bringing the idea of creative structure to movies with his introduction of the 'three act structure' - set up, confrontation and resolution. Suggesting that this is not an original idea, he references people such as Aristotle (384 BCE - 322 BCE) and his work the Poetics

What is interesting to me is the way in which this general creative approach has similarities to our creative work in astrology - there is a 'structure to the birthchart', there is a density to the symbols we use, there is the concept of time (each page of a screenplay equates to one minute of the movie) and last but not least, we are also involved in a creative process interpreting and describing the 'characters' that appear in any particular birthchart.

After talking about these processes, we then applied it to the case of Jack Nicholson, a favourite actor of mine born in Neptune, New Jersey.

One of the points I haven't had chance to cover here is the idea of 'turning points' in the plot which I will save for next time - stay tuned for the Lord of the Rings and a (loose!) connection to where I grew up in Lancashire and 'The Shire':


Title courtesy of Noel Harrison. 1968 Academy Award for best original song or maybe Petula Clark is quite good too!