A Fulfilling Vocation
In the midst of our busy lives, worn out by the endless repetition of meaningless tasks, it is difficult to appreciate Kahlil Gibran's poetic image of work as a soul-making sphere. In a technological environment work and soul seem worlds apart. The outer rewards of career - prestige, status, vacations, salary packages, job security - conceal the urge to express soul through our vocation. When we are no longer anchored by values and images that remind us of a meaningful life, emptiness permeates the working atmosphere, contributing to an epidemic of dissatisfaction, depression and insecurity in the workplace. This report is aimed at helping you reflect on your vocation or calling. It is not meant as a quick fix, but rather as an aid to self-understanding and awareness which in turn helps your vocational choices.
Vocation is from the Latin vocare, to call, and in early English this referred to a spiritual calling. In modern terminology we can conceive of vocation as the calling to one's authentic role in the world. As an aspect of the individuation process, our vocational path is not predetermined but forged through the interrelationship of our inner self with the outer world over time. Carl Jung suggested it was vocation, which induced an individual to follow his own soul and become conscious. He suggested vocation was 'an irrational factor that destines a man to emancipate himself from the herd and from its well-worn paths. True personality is always a vocation'. To follow the voice which summons one on their authentic path demands that the individual be spirited enough to forge their own way in the world. As Jung reminds us, 'Creative life always stands outside convention’. Vocation demands we risk being unique.
When you were a child what was your answer when adults inevitably asked 'what do you want to be when you grow up?' As children we are uninhibited in our career choices, not yet influenced by cultural standards and values that judge professions. Still unaware of what work entails, the answer springs from our imagination. How we shape these soulful images of who we may be in the world is our vocation and a large part of the individuation process. These impressions are already inherent in us and often accessible to us through the imagination, and certainly through images in the horoscope. However one of the main obstacles in our vocational search is literality. Mistaking an internal image for a concrete career perpetuates the myth that vocation is something existing outside of us, already established in the world for us to find, not something that unfolds over the course of our lives. The illusion that the right career path, a creative job or our own business will dissolve our job dissatisfaction hinders the discovery that vocation is already present in us.
A complexity of external factors influences our career choices: familial awareness, educational opportunities, financial resources, parental support, and encouragement. Role models whom we admire as children, experiences that capture our imagination and the breadth of exposure to the world around us impress us. Another major influence on career choice is parental expectations. Whether it is overt or not, we are subjectively influenced by the unconscious expectations of the parents, the ancestors, and the culture. This pressure contributes to moulding our careers whether we yield or rebel to it. Yet instinctively we are drawn to certain courses, beliefs, and theories, experiences that are all part of the process of helping our careers unfold. Ultimately the vocation is like a large tapestry woven with the threads of all of our life experience and choices, not a well-trodden career path with guaranteed superannuation.
Unfortunately, vocations do not come with job descriptions, opportunities for promotion or a guaranteed income. No doubt work and career are an aspect of vocation, but we often confuse the longing for self-fulfillment with a literal job. Vocation, like individuation, is a job, it is a task; it is the 'opus' of one's life. Therefore the task of vocation continuously unfolds throughout our lifetime and its success depends on our ability to courageously follow its call. Vocation is an aspect of our fate, a force deep inside that pushes itself to be expressed in the world, therefore is intimately bound up with the course of our lives. Yet because work is how we 'make a living' we often identify work as something we do rather than something we are. Because some professions can bestow such prestige and status we may be drawn to a profession because of what it can offer materially, not creatively. Some careers offer the financial rewards that provide a wealthy lifestyle; however, at a critical point in our lives it becomes evident that career bonuses are never enough if vocational urges are still unmet.
A vocational analysis utilizing astrology is very beneficial in revealing an individual's calling. The astrological horoscope does not supply literal details, but it does offer suggestions as to the features necessary to make the vocational journey fulfilling. Vocation may also be found in hobbies, volunteer work, and courses of study, not always presenting in the form of a career. This report will help you to reflect on the qualities of your character that create an empowering effect on shaping a meaningful vocation. Using your horoscope as the personal guide this report will offer suggestions to help you consider a fulfilling vocation. As you read about the vocational images from your own horoscope you will find that many repeat similar themes, reminding you to be alert to these patterns. In other cases you will find that there may be contradictions. Human nature is full of paradoxes and it is of equal importance to have an insight into the nature of our own ambiguities and inconsistencies. This report will introduce you to the archetypal forces that underpin your personal search for a fulfilling vocation.