Lilly Falconer is an archetypal astrologer, integral intersectional feminist, writer, activist, artist, budding regenerative herbalist, former volunteer group facilitator at San Quentin State Prison, program coordinator, and doctoral student of archetypal cosmology at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, California. Lilly is a cis, white woman of settler-colonial ancestry raised in Coast Miwok territory (Sonoma Valley, California). Her doctoral focus is on the planetary archetype of Pluto within the modern Western astrological tradition. She writes, works, and offers remote astrological consultations out of her home at the edge of the woods in California’s Bay Area. You can find her on Instagram @lillyraefalconer and Twitter @Lilly_Falconer.
Archetypal Astrology & My Reading Style
Astrology is the ancient study of meaning and inextricable relationality between the inner-space of one’s lifetime, fate, fortune, and psychology and the outer-space of the cosmos. Though there are many different lineages to choose from, the one I practice is held broadly within the modern western psychological lineage. Archetypal astrology comes from the work of Richard Tarnas and focuses primarily on the angular and archetypal relationships between the planets at the moment of birth. In addition, the archetypal astrological tradition pays particular attention to the cycles and rhythms of transits to the natal chart throughout the course of one’s life. In this way, looking back might be found to serve the present moment even more than looking forward is predominantly thought to.
By studying our unique placement within the vast network of meaning-laden space that constitutes the archetypal cosmos we are able to gain a deeper understanding of our internal psychological landscape and feel reflected, affirmed, and lovingly held by a cosmic matrix of meaning. This ultimately loving matrix sometimes pushes us toward more mature versions of ourselves in painful ways. An astrology reading can be a cathartic experience of having difficulty and struggle reflected, affirmed, and held in compassionate space while also lending us language to speak about it in constructive ways and with a transit timeline. Thus, the Saturn Return becomes not just a few grueling years of maturity-testing endurance but an opportunity to meet our own growth, maturity, and emerging elder-self with dignity, integrity, ritual, and patience.
In my readings, I try to facilitate integration by attuning to and affirming client lived-experiences. I want you to know that you are not weak for feeling tired, or bad for feeling crummy, or out-there for feeling dreamy, excited, erratic, or whatever you’re feeling. You are exactly on your path, perhaps right in line with a difficult Pluto or Saturn transit; a dreamy, inspiring, dissolving Neptune transit; or an exhilarating, routine-disturbing Uranus transit. I find that astrology can be deeply reparative by clarifying rather than bypassing our present or past experiences and patterns.
If requested I will present some ideas to how a client might make some slight adjustments, like implementing a small change or a new routine in their lives in order to be more in line with the beneficial aspect of whatever planetary archetypes they might be struggling to integrate or to live in good relationship with. This might be something like looking at a series of dates in the past in order to track and understand larger life patterns correlating to the rhythms of their outer-planet transits, or it might be a suggestion to find time to play, create, connect to their personal spiritual path or tradition, keep a dream journal, consider elderhood, try a sit-spot practice and/or some deep nature connection or something along these lines. Sometimes clients choose to come back for more readings, usually about once per year, to check back in with the planets. I love getting updates about how folks choose to integrate this material so if you feel inspired after the reading, please let me know!
FAQ about Archetypal Astrology
Q: What is an archetype?
A: This is a surprisingly difficult question to answer! The word archetype has its own lineage going back to Plato, skipping forward to Carl Jung in the early 20th century, and then re-visioned by James Hillman in the 1960’s and 70’s. I use the word archetype to describe a vessel of essential qualitative meaning with multivalent and inexhaustible expressions. In the words of Jung, “The archetypes are the imperishable elements of the unconscious, but they change their shape continually.” For example, the Saturn archetype can be described with the keywords: boundaries, maturity, stability, time, solid, elder, endings, containment, limits, harvest, the senex, law, etc. None of these keywords is able to describe the complete fullness of the Saturnian archetype, but may gesture quite effectively and meaningfully toward it in deep and helpful ways.
Q: Do you use the zodiac or houses? Which ones?
A: I use the western tropical zodiac and the whole sign house system. Though I use these systems I still refer mainly to the positions of the planets during consultations. I will refer to house or sign placement only when I feel it adds something important and accessible to myself or my clients. This is partly because of my training within the lineage of archetypal astrology and partly because the angular positions of the planets and the multi-valence of the archetypes that they represent often contain plenty of material to discuss already.
Q: What is your opinion of sidereal astrology/Vedic astrology/Mayan astrology/Hellenistic/other lineage?
A: I love them! I have landed in the lineage I’m in because of my own choices, my own fate, and my own love for the depth with which it speaks to me. This does not make me feel competitive in any way toward any other lineages – I will need many lifetimes to study them all.
Q: Can you tell me what I ate for breakfast based on my chart?
A: I think you know the answer to that already.
Q: Can you tell me whether or not I should marry this person/take or quit this job/buy this house/have another kid based on my chart?
A: I can help you to understand the rhythms and waves of potential archetypal patterns available to you at this time. These waves can be creative, disruptive, blissful, chaotic, despairing, and many other things. The type of astrology I practice is, as Richard Tarnas has said, archetypally predictive rather than concretely predictive; therefore I will not give direct life advice in a yes/no format since those are not the techniques that I have trained in. If you have a clear yes/no question that you absolutely need a yes/no answer for I suggest you look for a skilled horary astrologer or someone well-versed in the traditional Vedic or Hellenistic lineages and willing to take on questions like those. I can make some recommendations if you’d like.