General

“GESTALT – part 1”

The German word Gestalt is frequently appearing on this site. I’m of the fact that it can not be understood properly in English, since the language of the ‘Angles’, one of the ancient Germanic peoples that migrated to the area of Great Britain, had obviously dropped or lost the word, when they migrated to Britain. Looking a bit further into the matter it could be that the ‘Angles’ migrated and left central Europe before the word was even used in the German language. 

Weirdly enough most English interpretations point out either a conclusion of some sort being greater than the sum of its part or adding psychological elements to the mix. The Gestalt is clearly much older than “psychology” and I got the impression that the people that have introduced the word to the English language only know and use it in the context of esoter-ism or psychology, and that’s most likely how it even ended up in English dictionaries, e.g. Gestalt Therapy. 

By now the word received its own place, untranslated, in English dictionaries since there is obviously no parallel. Searching the internet for a fitting English definition comes up with quite a variety of definitions, here are just some of them:

a.“A physical, biological, psychological, or symbolic configuration or pattern of elements so unified as a whole that its properties cannot be derived from a simple summation of its parts.”

b.“In Gestalt psychology, any of the integrated structures or patterns that make up all experience and have specific properties which can neither be derived from the elements of the whole nor be considered simply as the sum of these elements.”

c.“The definition of a gestalt is something unified in a way in which the elements cannot be broken down into its parts and the total piece cannot just be thought of as a sum of all its parts.”

d.“An example of a gestalt is the complexity of the human soul.”

e.“An example of a gestalt expression is “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.””

f.“A physical, biological, psychological, or symbolic configuration or pattern of elements holistically unified, such that its properties cannot be derived from a simple summation of its parts.”

g.“A collection of physical, biological, psychological or symbolic elements that creates a whole, unified concept or pattern which is other than the sum of its parts, due to the relationships between the parts (of a character, personality, entity, or being)” (all of those definitions are from yourdictionary.com)

Quite an array of different ideas; some quite contrary in their meaning and conclusions. Obviously the meaning of the word itself is not so easy to grasp. Even if you try to get a clear definition in German you will have to live with a number of vague definitions. And it seems, depending on how you view the world through your personal lense, the word gets looked at and interpreted in different ways. To enable a better understanding of the developmental progress of time, how it forms and develops, I will make an attempt to explain what can be understood as the “Gestalt” and will later explain it in the context of the progression of the zodiac.

For good reasons the word “Gestalt” is often used in mythological texts or fairy tales. Commonly it is used when one person or being is described and compared to something or someone else. The attributes might be on the basis of the physique, the way of movement or simply behavior. Many movie genres or theater plays would be very dull if they would not use to a large degree these sorts of perceptions or forms of the Gestalt. As an example – the demonic appearance of an actor, be it just the shape or shadow of the costume for instance, is often used in a very subtle way to convey knowledge about the character that many words would not be able to achieve. So to speak, the Gestalt (in this case the shape of a demon) sets free in the spectator, a commonly shared knowledge about the character. 

The Gestalt is superior to the individual. The individual and its behavioral patterns are just subforms and only “appropriate” certain parts of the Gestalt they are compared with and adopt them in their appearance or behavior. 

It gets perhaps a bit clearer if we take another word that deals with the Gestalt, which is comprised of the word “Gestalt” and the word “haft”. “Gestalthaft” is an adjective, and it indicates that something or someone has some sort of a Gestalt that is “attached” to it and added it to his character or is part of it. 

Example: Two organisms are completely different, but there might be attributes they share, almost like they “attach” a certain part of appearance or behavior to mimic the other. All sorts of animals, insects or fish use this kind of mechanism and borrow the appearance or behavior from another species – even plants copy colors and shape of other possible lethal plants to better their chances of survival.

The Gestalt is certainly more an archetypical – the phenomenistic or individualistic expression is just a part of it. So how does this all relate to astrology or even to an astrological chart?

According to some sources, the definition of Gestalt mainly focuses on the physical shape or form of someone or something. This is not exactly correct since the word is not just a description of the physique, it is as well used for instance in music e.g. “Tongestalt” (Soundgestalt), so you can guess that there is more to the “story” than just the looks. 

Each astrological chart is a detailed look into the mechanism and manifestations of the Gestalt of an event or organism. It is almost like a blueprint of the Gestalt and demonstrates how much of the Gestalt is able to develop and at the end reveal itself, therefore it is chiefly important to understand what it truly means. …….

NEXT WEEK – PART II

Copyright 2022 by Dirk Heinicke