Astrology is an ancient symbolic system of psychology that works through the principles of hermetic philosophy: as above, so below. It isn’t about fortune telling or prediction, and doesn’t make things happen. The relationship between the movement of the planets and our experience is not causal but synchronistic.
Used properly, astrology is another way of making meaning; of storytelling. It brings mythology into your awareness and allows for a more imaginative approach to understanding the shape of your life. There appears to a synchronicity between the structure of the psyche and the horoscope; between the movement of the planets and the movements of your soul.
Why this correlation between psyche and sky exists I couldn’t tell you. It’s one of the great puzzlers. Many people have tried to disprove astrology scientifically – all have failed. Time and again statistically significant results make it impossible to ignore. Astrology just won’t go away, no matter how much your rational mind protests.
Seeing Through Time
The difficulty is that astrology isn’t predictive in an obvious, concrete way. If your horoscope says you will meet a tall dark handsome stranger, you probably won’t. There are too many variables in real life that make it impossible to see that far ahead. Even predicting the weather accurately is problematic.
Many people are born with the same horoscope but will experience completely different lives. There is no way you can look at a baby and their horoscope, and know exactly how things will turn out. But you can get clues. If you take a step back and view ‘time twins’ lives from a more symbolic or archetypal perspective, you will start to see where the patterns match. Mythologically they will experience similar things.
So astrology may not be empirically predictive, but it is archetypally predictive.
The horoscope reflects the shape of the collective psyche or universal mind of humanity at a particular point in space and time. Each individual born at that moment will embody, to a greater or lesser extent, the quality of that time, and their lives will reflect the unfolding of the potential held in that moment.
So your individual horoscope symbolises the seed potential of your soul and psyche – conscious and unconscious, good and bad.
As with all systems, astrology has its limitations. The horoscope doesn’t show many things that have a profound effect on how your seed will grow, such as:
- your gender and sexuality
- your level of self-awareness or consciousness
- the economic/financial factors at work in your life
Imagine a boy and a girl born at the same time in the same hospital to different parents. The boy’s family is middle class, well-connected and financially secure. The mother has chosen a water birth and has her favourite music playing in the delivery room. There’s some straining and heavy breathing, polite profanity and delicate sweating, and out pops little Timmy.
Meanwhile, the girl’s family is fragmented, working class and poor. The mother is stressed and in pain. Eventually a caesarean is performed and little Tilly is handed over to her frazzled but beaming mother, who promptly falls asleep.
Both babies have identical horoscopes but are starting life from very different positions.
How Timmy and Tilly will manifest their potential is unknowable. They will be interacting with different people, all of whom will have an unforeseeable influence on the growing children. Timmy and Tilly will make choices based on what makes sense to them at the time and on what they believe is possible, conditioned by their respective circumstances. But both will be driven by the same underlying archetypes, and will unfold their stories shaped by the same lights.
Imagining the Future
We live in a culture alienated from itself and the cosmos. The post-modern world has deconstructed everything leaving us flailing, desperately searching for meaning in a society where things seem to fall apart at the slightest touch.
If I have to choose between empty post-modernism and a world imbued with cosmic significance, I’ll go for meaning every time. Even if that meaning is created in my own imagination, woven from the fabric of my soul.
I imagine myself, creating meaning through the stories I tell. The alternative is to live without meaning, and I know that is impossible. Man is not the measure of all things. He’s not up to the job. We need something else.
Storytelling at its most powerful carries a healing function. Whether those stories are constructed straight out of our imagination or come to us trailing stardust, they help us reconnect and make ourselves whole. Astrology at its best, as with storytelling, heals the soul.
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