We have all read our horoscope in the newspaper, telling us that as an Aries, we are going to run into conflict with coworkers this month. Or maybe it says you are a Libra and so you will have to negotiate some important contract this week. You know what? That is all baloney. I do believe in astrology, but not the newspaper kind. Those are about as accurate as telling your fortune based on your height, or your hair color, or your weight.
What is astrology really?
Sure, you could probably have some slight degree of accuracy with such predictions, but those are only one aspect of a person. All of those characteristics need to be combined with many others to get a sense of the whole person. Same with astrology. Your sun sign is only one characteristic of your horoscope. Horoscope translates roughly as hour view. A snapshot of a specific moment in time. It is a very specific moment in time and needs more information than simply the date of your birth. The exact time and place of your birth are equally influential.
If the police were investigating a crime, they would want more information than simply that the suspect was a short man. They would investigate age, weight, ethnicity, facial features, etc. There are millions of short men, all of whom have very different lives. Yet, that is what the newspaper does with the horoscope. It ignores the Moon’s sign, the rising sign and all the rest of the planets. Keira Knightley and I share a birthday, but our lives are radically different. I have never gotten to kiss Johnny Depp. Keira has never experienced homelessness. And yet, we would be given the same predictions in the newspaper.
Affect v. Reflect
To understand why astrology works, let us use the example I recently heard of fractals. No matter how far you zoom in or out, the pattern remains the same. We are a microcosm of the whole Universe, which is probably a microcosm of all of reality. The pattern of one is reflected in the pattern of the others. When we are born and take our very first breath, we inhale the energy of that exact place in that exact moment in time.
The stars do not cause us to do anything. They merely reflect the energy that we carry with us, that we have chosen to embody in our time here on earth. They don’t affect, only reflect. I referred to life as a video game, saying that we chose our life before we were even conceived. Our horoscope reflects that. It shows the tool box that we have brought with us into this life. It does not show how we will use those tools (that is our free will), but it does show what condition they are in.
Our spiritual toolbox
Knowing the state of the tools in your toolbox is so valuable. Such knowledge can allow you to work with your tools much better. Your screwdriver is broken? Well, then try to maximize the times you can use nails instead since your hammer is nice and strong. Still have to use a screw? Maybe you can use your pliers to grasp it by the head and twist it in. It will take longer, but if you really don’t have a good screwdriver, it will still more or less do the job.
This is the value of astrology. Using astrology, I have learned where my natural strengths and weaknesses are. Mars is in fall (a very bad place to be) in my 12th house of self-undoing, squaring (and ruling) my strong Aries Sun. I am terrible at conflict resolution. I value peace over justice, and so I try to avoid situations in which I need to use my Mars. Gentle and beautiful Venus ruling my fifth house sits in exaltation (a very good place to be) on my midheaven. My career (midheaven) is very closely tied to creation (5th house subject), which I am quite good at. My most successful and/or longest lasting careers have been as a mother (yes, that is a career) for 20+ years and sewing for 23+ years. Both are still counting.
Would I make a good soldier? No. Would I be successful as a CEO? No. Due to other factors in my chart, though, I do enjoy martial hobbies. Specifically, I enjoy heavy list combat (or did before pregnancies interrupted) and role playing, which often involves quite a bit of combat. The difference is that with these hobbies, all risk (or at least the vast majority) has been removed.
Remember the distinction
So don’t scoff at astrology as a whole. You can learn so much about yourself with it. And if you don’t know the exact time you were born, you can still get some good information. The really good astrologers can even do some research and come up with a good guess at your time of birth. This is called chart rectification and involves a somewhat detailed life history. Go ahead and treat the newpaper horoscopes as the entertainment that they are.
Have you ever had your chart drawn up and interpreted? Did you use an automated website like Astrodienst, or did you go to a real live astrologer for a more nuanced reading? Did you learn new things about yourself?