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by: Tracy Porter

Copyright 1997

The mind is an elusive concept because although we know that it exists, it is not something that we can see or feel, so we must theorize how we believe it functions. The brain is considered to be the seat of the intellect and there are many schools of thought about how it actually works to process, store and retrieve information. There are many aspects of intellect to include learning and how to remember things which encompass the primary spheres of our lives.

Short term memory enables us to recall small pieces of information such as telephone numbers or addresses. Unless we take measures to memorize the fragments of information which we are continually bombarded with and store it in our long term memory banks, what we have picked up will leave our awareness almost as soon as it was perceived. Short term memory can best be described by the planet Mercury and the sign Gemini because it is grasped quickly and does not require a great deal of analytical thought processes to recognize and interpret.

Long term memory is that information which we have decided warrants recall, so we store it into very elaborate memory banks of our minds. How we actually store and retrieve data has spawned much debate as people attempt to understand exactly how this is done. Some people’s long term memory is more accurate than others, and it has been proven that we tend to ‘fill in the missing pieces’ of scenarios which have become hazy through time and circumstance. Therefore, as time goes on, our recollection of certain events may not be entirely reliable. Our long term memory is most closely associated with the planet Jupiter and the sign Sagittarius because it relates to our ability to think beyond the ‘here and now’ and try to reach a more comprehensive understanding of the life we live in so that we can achieve harmony and balance.

Our bodies retain a physical recollection which allows us to perform certain tasks without really concentrating. In addition to the biological functions which our bodies perform without our conscious awareness, they have the capability to step in and operate in situations when we have become distracted and should be concentrating, such as driving a car or walking the same path every day. Some believe that our bodies contain memories of events which have transpired in our lives and that many illness are psychosomatic in nature as they are believed to be the result of traumatic events which have long been erased from our conscious awareness. Massage therapists have long been aware of this phenomenon and have developed a deep tissue massage, Rolfing, to help correct many muscular misalignments which are the direct result of unconscious, unpleasant memories. Our physical memories are most closely associated with the planetoid Chiron and the sign Virgo because body consciousness is paramount in this type of recollection.

We all possess an ancestral memory which predisposes us to certain character traits specific to our family line. Much research conducted on identical twins who were separated at birth show quite clearly that their lives tend to unfold in a similar fashion although they were completely unknown to each other. Ancestral memory is closely aligned with the Moon and the sign Cancer because the lives of our forbearers does have an effect on our current circumstances.

Much scientific investigation into reincarnation has been conducted to indicate that people do have recollections of past lives. Again, there is some speculation as to whether these highly intuitive persons are picking up memories of lives they have actually lived, or are able to psychically pick up fragments of the lives that others have lived from the collective consciousness. Nevertheless, there are people who are able to recall in precise detail the lives of others who have died before they were born and these memories should not be discounted as many such events have been verified by people who actually knew the deceased. Past life recall is most closely associated with the planet Neptune and the sign Pisces because the veil of our consciousness must be lifted before we are allowed to enter into the realm of our higher awareness which enables us to perceive events in a more lateral fashion.

Psychologists have conducted much research to prove that for the majority of the population, our ability to remember detail does diminish with age. While many of us will retain our mental facilities until the final day of our lives, there are those who will develop various forms of senility several years before death. From an esoteric standpoint, it is believed that if we have accomplished our life tasks appropriately then our lives will simply end with our ability to process information intact. However, if we have not accomplished our life objectives, then it is believed that towards the end of our lives we will in fact revert back to childhood as we recollect early memories and try to correct past mistakes and reconnect with our higher selves. Senility is most closely associated with the planet Saturn and the sign Capricorn because is associated with old age.

Loss of memory is a relatively common phenomenon, and many books, workshops and lectures have been devoted to helping us use techniques to improve our recall. As time passes, the events of the past usually become hazy and have the effect of causing us to become unsure of exact detail. Additionally, many psychological tests have been conducted to prove that when we are in doubt as to the actual sequence of events which have transpired in a certain scenario, our mind will tend to ‘fill in the gaps’ by inserting bits of information which may or may not be precise, thus bringing about the development of another phenomenon call false memory syndrome, where some people recall events which have never actually occurred. Loss of memory is most closely associated with the planet Neptune and the sign Pisces because it deals with those fuzzy areas of our conscious awareness.

We all possess a type of inner ‘knowing’ in various forms which helps us to gain enlightenment and understand our purpose in the grand scheme of things. This knowledge, which is in effect our psyche tapping into a grand universal library containing records of all that was and all that will be, helps to give us a purpose so that we can continue on our evolutionary path. Universal memory is most closely aligned with the planet Jupiter and the sign Sagittarius because it is associated with a deep level of understanding and wisdom.

The shadow side of our memory process is that of revenge, or evening the score when we feel insulted by another. It is unfortunately a trait of human nature that when we have been slighted, our first reaction is to want to right the wrong that has been done to us. While many will do no more than secretly smile when an adversary has received his comeuppance, there are those individuals who will take a rather proactive stance and actually attempt to accelerate the karmic balancing act which will inevitably come. Revenge is most closely aligned with the planet Pluto and the sign Scorpio because it relates to the dark side our soul which provokes us to behave in ways which would be rather unflattering to our reputations should anyone detect our actions.

While most of us possess varying degrees of intellect within a range of normality, there are some who are able to process information in an exceptional manner and are therefore considered to be genius. Such people are classed as gifted because they are able to contribute to the advancement of humanity with their unique ideologies. Genius qualities are most closely associated with the planet Uranus and the sign Aquarius because they inspire innovation which is often brought about by necessity.

Astrological Aspects of Memory

While there are no precise astrological alignments which can predict a person’s intellect or ability to process data into meaningful information, there are some configurations which have a tendency to show up in the natal horoscopes of those who have much emphasis in the area of communication and intellect. It is important to note that every planet, sign or house in astrology does relate to our ability to process information in one way or another, but some of these placements are more prominent than others and deserve special attention when considering the mental processes.

Many who have learning difficulties such as dyslexia, memory loss or even schizophrenia have the South Node conjunct the Sun, Mercury or Jupiter in their natal horoscopes. The South Node tends to make concentrating more difficult, and when in strong aspect to another planet or point, it has the effect of confusing the issue.

Pluto, Neptune, Uranus and Saturn have an effect on our ability to assimilate information, especially when they are posited in the signs of Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius or Aquarius, or the third, sixth, ninth or eleventh houses. Pluto and the eighth house bring about massive transformations, and it is often quite difficult to break down the psychological wall which keeps us from obtaining true awareness. Neptune and the twelfth house tend to make our perceptions fuzzy so that what we see may not necessarily be the truth. Uranus and the eleventh house inspire us to levels of genius, but if not harnessed by other grounding influences, it can cause our reasoning processes to become somewhat unstable. Saturn and the tenth house are the great task makers which have a tendency to make everything we do more difficult, thus bringing about a mature level of understanding which we may not have achieved had we not had such obstacles to overcome.

A stellium, or concentration of planet, in Gemini or the third house indicates that there is a strong emphasis in the communicative process or the lower mind. A stellium in Virgo or the sixth house indicates that much is involved with the analysis process and the ability to pay attention to detail. A stellium in Scorpio or the eighth house shows that much introspection is involved to cause a person to spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about causes, effects and what might have been if circumstances had been different. A stellium in Sagittarius or the ninth house indicates that much emphasis is placed on the native’s ability to assimilate complex information and compile it into relevant knowledge which can be used in other situations. A stellium in Aquarius or the eleventh house indicates that one’s ability to comprehend universal knowledge is of primary concern. A stellium in Pisces or the twelfth house indicates a concentration of much unconscious thought processes of an intuitive nature helps us to recall events which have been deeply buried in our psyches for quite some time.