Arche- from Proto-indo-european *arkhein- meaning "to begin, rule, command" + -Type from latin typus meaning "form, image"
"THE REAL SIGNIFICANCE OF ASTROLOGY IS THAT IT ENABLES US TO REFLECT ON THE MEANING OR THE HIDDEN INTENTIONS OF WHAT'S OCCURRING IN OUR LIVES...ASTROLOGY IS NOT TO PREDICT WHAT WILL HAPPEN, BUT RATHER TO GUIDE ACTION AND TO GIVE MEANING TO EVENTS"-GREGORY C. BOGART
As with mythology and psychology, astrology operates in the land of archetypes (or a collective pattern or symbol) of the collective unconscious and unconscious. The planetary symbols and meanings relate to universal symbols that can be found everywhere in the human experience. For example, the moon in astrology represents our internal, emotional selves, our mother, and the things that are unconscious in us.
To me, the main difference between archetypal astrology and other forms is its emphasis on the planetary archetypes more than the constellations/zodiac signs. I agree with this way of thinking because the planets are much closer to us than stars and therefore seem to exert more influence on our lives. Each planet and asteroid has its own meaning and deeper context from our psyches, as a formless and consistent symbol, when these symbols are close to the sun or moon in a chart the archetypal energies can become more powerful than the sign it is in.
I turn to astrologer and philosopher Richard Tarnas for his explanation:
“The basic principle of astrology is that the planets have a fundamental, cosmically based connection to specific archetypal forces or principles which influence human existence, and that the patterns formed by the planets in the heavens bear a meaningful correspondence to the patterns of human affairs on the Earth. In terms of individuals, the positions of the planets at the time and place of a person’s birth are regarded as corresponding to the basic archetypal patterns of that person’s life and character."
With this in mind, astrology isn’t designed for predictive or for future telling or being "stuck" in our chart. Astrology offers guidance by studying transits and it may be useful in understanding which themes in your live may become more important so you can understand your own personal evolutionary process. It can help you discover more of your internal world as a reflection of what the outer world/solar system was doing at the time of your birth. With this wisdom and consciousness comes the free will to choose an expression of a planet instead of being ruled by it. At its essence, astrology brings to life the Hermetic saying, “As above, so below.” It helps us appreciate and identify both our individuality and connection to the whole simultaneously.
For many years becoming an astrologer I was a skeptic as my only experience was in a context that felt ungrounded and limiting. Now, astrology has changed my relationship to the entire cosmos, I can understand how it helps us appreciate our complexity and acknowledges our free will as co-creators with the universe. To describe someone’s sun sign (e.g. Taurus, Cancer, Capricorn) doesn’t begin to describe their full experience (or your full experience of them). We are complex beings with many layers and paradoxes, astrology has become a great tool for self-awareness for myself and many others I know.