At the age of 11 I read the first detailed astrological signs descriptions in the form of a handwriting in a simple notebook. The material left strong impression on me which years later I could translate as “striking accuracy of psychological make up”. Those words were not part of my 11-year-old vocabulary. Yet, the feel they captured was an authentic experience of my 11-year-old self.
The following years until about 16-17 few “esoteric” books were added to my library at home. Despite my interest, there were not many astrology books available to the public and when present, the content was extremely commercialized. My observations and capacity for understanding of certain dynamics in my family and my social life during that period made me realize that I wanted to be a psychologist. That was the only socially available and acceptable career structure that could contain loosely my deepest interests.
I studied Social Work between the ages of 18 – 24 where the gradual introduction of psychological courses began. At 23 I was able to enter the psychology program as well. Shortly after the studies began a bitter realization came to me: no “crossing the threshold” was about to happen any time soon. No deep diving in the subject the program was to teach us about, but fact-ology learning (various schools in psychology, developmental stages, few psychological functions and philosophy, logic, statistics, linguistics…). So, I ventured out.
Attended psychodynamic groups, psychoanalytical seminars, workshops; even paid a few visits to a group for reading and interpretation of psychoanalytical texts. “Was that really the essence of the human soul/psyche?!”, I was asking myself. An opportunity presented itself to start studding astrology more seriously. But the attempt was futile – too busy life, too much to learn, no time to focus.
During the summers I would immerse myself in the works of E. From, V. Frankl, C.G. Jung, relative to Hermetic philosophy, Beinsa Douno, Gnosticism, Nietzsche, Plato, the novels of Philipp Vandenberg. I would search for every book or article mentioned in the notorious Jung’s footnotes, where there were references to the crusades, secret books, kathars, alchemy, Chinese philosophy, I-Ching etc.
In a meanwhile, I encountered Carlos Castaneda’s books. Started reading: 3rd volume, than the 1st , 2nd, than the rest of the series. Something shifted. In no way I was fully understanding the material there. But some part of me apparently was because it kept me reading, and some of the techniques described were happening to me without an effort. I could not deny the phenomenological part of my experience. The polemics against the author were not my concern.
I changed my environment, friends, allegiances, psychological interests, weight, and look.
Another opportunity presented itself, this time – to delve into hypnosis and hypnotherapy. The approach was very intriguing to me, especially in relation to the alternative stated of consciousness described in the books of C. Castaneda, T. Abelar, F. Donner and my personal elaborate night dream experiences. Calibrating the focus further, the Ericksonian therapeutic work came about (M. Erickson) with several therapeutic approaches that naturally had unfolded out of it: brief therapy/solution-oriented therapy, system approach to family therapies, NLP. Attended trainings, workshops, conferences alongside my official academic studies. I was enthusiastic about potentially exploring past lives with hypnosis, but that never materialize at the time.
I was accepted in the Clinical and Consultative Psychology specialization and finally we got to do some field work, although very minimal to my estimate. We spent some time in psychiatric clinic, studied various testing techniques, and attended our own assigned group therapy. An Art therapy course grabbed my attention, and I studied it for a semester. I liked it very much.
Around that period, I also engaged in a group work utilizing process-oriented therapy (A. Mindell). The work and my personal experience were very rewarding. I was reminded of some indigenous ways of healing, which in their essence were shamanic in nature. I was starting to understand the value of the phenomenological approach to any healing work and the value of being in the process. The mindfulness and the grounding that comes from being present serve as conduits to infinite richness of available healing techniques which raises the potency of the cathartic experience in the therapeutic/healing space.
During my last year in the University while preparing my thesis on Automatic Writing and Drawing I was trainee in a psychodrama educational group. Shortly after graduation I started working as a school psychologist and was continuing my training in brief therapy and hypnotherapy and working my way with clients.
Between ages 28 – 35 after moving to USA I acquired another university degree (disrespecting the value of time); studied Art history and took art classes; participated in an experiential art therapy group.
With the immigration, my framework of reference changed dramatically and literary overnight. I felt uprooted, in cultural shock. Adding the consequences of few mindless decisions to the situation, and I found myself in “no way out” space. In my grasping for meaning, I reached out for an astrologer. I needed a deeper or broader framework to fit my set of circumstances in. The psychology of it was not enough to answer some questions. The astrology reading, I received turned out to be a fiasco with a capital “F”. The “astrology reports” I was sent – incoherent copy and paste patchwork from various astrological sources. The overall service – a rip off.
My anger prompted me to start reading everything about astrology I could put my fingers on. It was fascinating how some texts would contain such a profound meaning, and some would not only be a complete nonsense, but also an arrogant offence to the human spirit. That controversy or extremity was holding my attention captive. I continued reading. A lot of the information I would discard completely after reading few sentences. I did not know what I was looking for. This frantic search continued for roughly 6 months until I encountered a book which contained documented workshops of two astrologers. One of them was J. F. Green. Based on the context of his lectures, I realized I had just found what I was looking for. Finally, it was all there: the past, the future, the present, the vastness of the soul; it’s connection to the creation, the natural law, the depth of the shadow and the capacity for growth in consciousness; the early childhood dynamics, the other lives dynamics, the logical unfoldment of a complex, the trauma signature and the ways of healing based on each individual case. The word “soul” was not hiding in Latin or behind a Greek Goddes’ name. There was more psychology in the astrology than in the psychology itself.
In the fall of 2007, my official studies of Evolutionary Astrology (EA) began. Three years later I attended EA conference in Portland, OR and in 2012 I started past life regression therapy training with the method of Deep Memory Process (DMP), pioneered by Jungian Psychologist Roger Woolger PhD. Both EA and DMP have, beyond all else, tremendous contribution to the understanding of the nature and the psychological aspects of trauma (origin, mechanisms, healing). They offer wider perspective and space for deep reflection on the nature of the Soul and the processes of evolution. At present I am certified practitioner in both fields.
My interest in alternative states of consciousness and their healing capacity took me to Bali, Peru, the Amazonian jungle. The ongoing integration of my learnings and experiences there adds to the deeper understanding and more efficient use of evolutionary astrology and regression work in my healing sessions with people. And the beauty of it all is that this enrichment is a never-ending process.
Kameliya Simeonova, MSW, MA