A Personal Reading in Zen Attitude, No 11 (Reportage Ariane Angeloglou)

A. Angelouglou: Can you briefly state for us the purpose of “reading time”?

M-P Dillenseger: Chinese Astrology, according to classical thinking and the theory of the five elements, establishes the qualities of a given moment, that of your time of birth, and describes it in terms of energy. This energy is thought to define the overall vitality level of the person. Astrology both serves as an assessment tool and a road map to strengthen who we are.

The fear of astrology is often related to our lack of knowledge about it. But when we get to understand the method a little better, such as the 4 Pillars of Destiny for example in the Chinese culture, it becomes more of a technics. What are your thoughts on this?

It is true that people tend to have a set opinion about it without having tried it. The fear is not justified indeed, when one realizes that the technics behind the reading is based on a scientific methodology: centuries of observation have led to a process, following the recurrence of events, illustrating the cyclical aspect of time. The tool is known. So the fear is irrelevant as far as the tool is concerned. Then there is a second factor to consider, which has to be with the astrologer himself.

So, Astrology would be more of an Art….

Absolutely. Similar to any practice, medical, artistic… The quality of the reading is greatly related to the competencies and human qualities of the practitioner: ethic, rigor, capacity to concentrate, humanity and respect of the other. The relevance is verified within five minutes of a session when the person knows we are talking about him or her and doing so with respect. The reading gradually frees the person.

What do you mean?

First we have to remind ourselves that Chinese thinking is not binary, as one often thinks, but ternary. It includes one aspect, its opposite and the movement that links both sides. Yin and Yang do not mean anything if we do not understand them in a constant movement between opposites, alternating and completing each other. The movement is the third party, symbolized by the curved line in the yin/yang symbol. The binary couples true/false, good/bad, favorable/unfavorable do not exist as such in the traditional Chinese thinking. They are a creation of the West.

If I understand you well, there is no place for judgment, in general or in particular, in the reading of a chart.

This is exactly correct. There should be no judgment of value or moral as it would freeze the person in its ability to become who he or she is. To the contrary, what will be underlined are the strengths and less solid aspects of the person, for example, the ability to communicate in writing. Once the talents and challenges are put into the light, we can better position ourselves. This means that future choice and actions will be closer to what strengthen us. One practical application of astrology is to help the person shape his/her destiny.

So the reading is not just about revealing who we are?

The first step is indeed to provide a mirror but this puts the person in a passive role. The real objective is to favor constructive moves towards the self and future action. The practitioner positions himself or herself on the side of what is becoming. I see myself as a facilitator. My words will only favor action if such an action is coherent with what the person is living or feeling.

If there would be no echo, could the person tell you?

Absolutely, but this is so rare that I would say that either the birth date is inaccurate or that I would need to come up with better images and analogies to make the message clearer, like an additional effort to focus a camera.

The quality of the practitioner is indeed key. Marie-Pierre, tell us about your approach?

It derives from the way I see things. The way I look at life influences my way of working. I fundamentally believe that the life of a person is not written. What is eventually written, is a general layout and some tools with which we are going to draw our destiny. My vision is open, so I cannot enclose the other and I will help him or her to better understand the instruments he or she was given. In a drawing class, it would be a pencil, pastel, ink, water colors…

Let’s look at Zao Wou-ki, who is presented in this current issue as well, if he uses water colors to do calligraphy instead of ink, he will waste time, unless he does it by pure choice.

Difficulty brings energy loss; for me, astrology is like a minimalist technics, aiming at reducing vital energy losses. If we are talking about determinism, determinism applies to the tools we have to do with not to the drawing we are making day after day. If someone who is effective at writing insists on negotiating by phone (and he or she has to right to do so), he or she will minimize the chances for success. I only confirm this to the person. People already know it, at least at an unconscious level… But to hear it from me, someone who does not know them beyond their birth dates, has a powerful effect in making the issue conscious and that triggers behavior changes. My goal is to assist the person to find the most appropriate position in the face of life events while preserving strengths and ultimately maximizing their usage.

I often bring to light useful qualities unsuspected by the person or simply understated. Ultimately, these become effective new tools for subsequent action.

Among your clientele, do a lot of people come in order to get a better understanding of themselves?

Yes, sometimes without their therapist knowing…In some instances, these therapists have later come to see me for their own personal reading and a better understanding of how a synergetic approach could be built. Other come because of a job change or work turbulences… They give themselves a means to know themselves better at a key moment of their lives.

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