Stan has encouraged our development of a research program investigating the relationship between prominent planetary archetypes in our astrological charts and our particular experiences in nonordinary states of consciousness.
In 2009, Stan wrote:
"For over three decades, beginning in 1976, [Rick Tarnas and I] have been jointly exploring the astrological correlates of mystical experiences, psychospiritual crises, psychotic episodes, psychedelic states, and holotropic breathwork sessions. This work has shown that astrology, particularly the study of planetary transits, can predict and illuminate both the archetypal content of non-ordinary states of consciousness and the timing of when particular states are most likely to occur. Our systematic study of the correlations between the nature and content of holotropic states and planetary transits convinced me that a combination of deep experiential therapy with archetypal psychology and transit astrology is the most promising strategy for the future development of psychiatry and depth psychology." (Grof, Stanislav (2009/2011). Holotropic research and archetypal astrology. Archai: The Journal of Archetypal Cosmology, 1, 65-85.)
The bedrock of this research will involve developing descriptive records, through writings and images, of our nonordinary state experiences, along with the dates of our experiences, for investigation of correlations between the nature of our experiences and our astrological transits. While still in the development phase, an important focus of our research at Grof® Legacy Project USA will involve opening of a data base for research into the correlations discovered by Stan and Rick. Our hope is to gather information from a wide range of international research participants to permit our researchers, and all interested researchers, to investigate whether an experiencer's significant astrological archetypes, whether through birth or transits at particular times, correlate with the archetypal nature of reported or observed experiences in nonordinary states.
While this is a topic that requires extensive and sensitive unpacking, research of this nature holds the promise of deepening the potency of working with psychedelics or Grof® Breathwork through adding to integration techniques awareness of powerful pointers towards the archetypes at work in each of our paths of healing and self-discovery. Considered more broadly, research of this nature holds the potential of supporting the emergence of a transpersonal paradigm in science and deconstructing the materialist paradigm to the extent it assumes there is no engagement between the depths of the psyche and the activities of the cosmos.
While protocols will be established to support development of data not influenced by an experiencer's prior knowledge of their particular astrological influences, we hope to offer participants the opportunity to deepen their understanding of archetypal astrology and the value of working with planetary archetypes during integration of experiential work.
With the benefit of data provided to us, we also plan to investigate correlations between an individual's natal astrology (the archetypes influencing us at birth and throughout life) and indications from well-known personality systems, including the Enneagram and the Myers-Briggs system. If fruitful, this research might also suggest the reality of influences on personality as indicated by astrological archetypes, also suggesting an inherent connection between individual life experience and cosmological markers.
Research documenting the promise of breathwork in supporting healing and psychospiritual growth has been slower in developing than research involving psychedelic therapies. Nevertheless, several auspicious studies have been published, including research conducted by leaders of one of our Grof® Legacy Training organizations in Russia, Alexandra and Vladimir Emelianenko, with their colleague Inna Afanasenko, indicating the value of holotropic breathwork in spiritual transformation. (Afanasekno, Inna V., Emelianenko, Vladimir A., and Emelianenko, Alexandra V. (2014) Spiritual Transformation: A Qualitative-Quantitative Analysis of the Application of the Holotropic Breathwork Method, Journal of Transpersonal Research (2014) 6 (1), 25-37,
e-ISSN: 1989-6077 // p-ISSN: 2307-6607.)
Looking to the Future
Other research projects will likely follow depending on funding and proposals. All of our research will follow established ethical standards relating to confidentiality, respect of participants, and protocols to avoid researcher and participant bias.