Q+A Interview with Shawn Nygaard
Shawn is an archetypal astrologer from Minneapolis, MN, where he does readings and teaches classes and webinars. He spent a year working for an astrology hot-line while also hosting the internet radio show, “Imagine That!,” about archetypal astrology. Shawn holds a degree in music production and is finishing his BA in English, focusing on British Literature and the Romantic poets. He is a graduate of the CMED Institute in Chicago, where he studied archetypes with Caroline Myss. Shawn has been an annual guest speaker at the Minnesota Jung Association, along with his twin brother, first presenting “Angels & Daimons” as part of the evening “The Supernatural in Popular Culture” (October 2012), and more recently, “The Life of Death” as part of “A Night of Night” (January 2014). Shawn was thrilled to speak on behalf of the London School of Astrology at the 2015 AA Conference.
Q. How did you get introduced to astrology?
Before my Saturn Return, I didn’t even know my sun sign. A couple of strange health things around the time of my Saturn Return led me to check out the work of medical intuitive Caroline Myss. Lynn Bell teaches with Caroline, and it was through Lynn’s work that I became interested in astrology.
Q: How would you describe your astrological focus or area of study?
I call myself an archetypal astrologer because the tradition of depth psychology and archetypes interests me most when it comes to astrology, though I pretty much study all kinds of astrology.
Q: Can you tell us about your teachers?
A: I’ve never had an official astrology teacher. When I began studying astrology I spent a great deal of time with the work of Liz Greene and Howard Sasportas, as well as other teachers from the Center for Psychological Astrology. From there I have pretty much explored a huge variety of astrologers and teachers through books and hundreds of hours of audio lectures.
Q. What are some books that influenced you in your study and practice of astrology? Can you tell us a little about how they were influential?
A: “The Astrological Neptune and the Quest for Redemption” and “The Astrology of Fate” by Liz Greene had a huge influence on me. They showed me the depth, creativity, beauty, scope, and scholarship that’s possible with astrology. At the same time, both books taught me so much about myself.
Q. How do you see the remaining years of Pluto in Capricorn?
A: I see Pluto in Capricorn in the dark, dystopian stories that have dominated the culture over the last many years. “The Hunger Games” in particular captured its symbolism extremely well. Now, post-Brexit and in the aftermath of the U.S. election, I see a real need to counter the dystopian atmosphere and the despair that comes along with it. I suspect things will continue to intensify for a long time, though. One of the biggest struggles seems to be the climate crisis. We have our systems and structures to contend with as they weaken or become emboldened, but Mother Nature holds the most powerful cards, in my opinion.
Q. Do you have any thoughts about the interaction of astrology and culture? Astrology and science? Astrology and entertainment? Astrology and politics?
A: A big part of my work is how the archetypal symbolism of astrology is reflected in the culture, be it through the creativity of movies, books, and television, or through events that take place. The interaction is so startling to me. I see it time and time again, particularly in the arts. The challenge is that the arts in our culture are dismissed as something almost extra-curricular and expendable (in schools), or they are viewed merely as entertainment. The arts are often merely “appreciated,” but I’d like to see the arts taken as seriously as politics and science.
Shawn Nygaard AT THE MANY FACES OF ASTROLOGY CONFERENCE
Shawn Nygaard is giving a lecture entitled 'A Brief Introduction to Archetypal Astrology' on Saturday, 02/18/17.
Preview of Presentations
The word, “archetype,” has become synonymous with depth psychologist, Carl Jung, though archetypes are far more than Jungian in nature, and they can provide a unique lens of insight for astrologers. The late James Hillman, one of Jung’s students and former Director of the Jung Institute in Zurich, developed the field of archetypal psychology, a psychology rooted in imagination and the imagery associated with archetypes. This presentation explores the nature of archetypes in this vein, and how they can work in the field of archetypal astrology.