Know thyself

Know thyself!

Astrology makes a rather huge promise, which is that if you study it, you can know yourself better.

How is this possible? Why do we believe we know ourselves better if we learn how to study a chart, the glyphs, and aspects, not to mention angles and their numerology?

The fundamental premise we bring to this belief is the leap beyond logic that the heavens’ motion, the seasons of the year, and the movement of time are linked, and that their mythical, magical alchemy, illuminates our lives.

However, we’re asking ourselves to resolve two disparate ideas at once; the first is that the heavens have preordained our outcomes, that our lives are ‘written in the stars.’ The second is that we can use our free will to intervene if we see trouble coming ahead of time.

Astrology allows us to do both at once: believe in a preordained fate, and convince ourselves we’re doing something about it, either ahead of time, or, in the case of events you didn’t predict, after the fact, when we can look at the chart, observe transits, and make an attempt to piece the puzzle together.

The problem is, how can both of these scenarios be true? Or, if there is free will, how can we choose to believe that our lives are preordained when in fact, we have the power to intervene to ‘correct’ our fate? And where does our individuality fit into all of this? If we are, as I believe us to be, unique, then is there anything fundamentally wrong with the astrological chart existing as a kind of personal thumbprint that was somehow inscribed into the heavens at the moment of birth? And is that inscription meaningful in any way, or are we fooling ourselves?

As an astrologer, these are the questions that sometimes plague me, because it is extremely hard to believe in the connection between the heavens and this wreck of what’s left of my body. It’s not that I find it hard to believe in particle waves affecting me from space. I suspect that even tiny amounts of space dust might have enough overall electrical charge, given the necessary debris of the universe, to affect us in some way that is currently incalculable.

And I suppose it’s possible that tiny little planetoid Pluto emits a purple particle ray or something equally improbable. But… isn’t it more likely that the planets, having been used as wonderful symbols of anthropomorphic reality by civilization after civilization for thousands of years, are in our minds and fill our imaginations, as they did for the Greeks and the Romans, and that we rely on these symbols for stories to explain us to us?