Friday, February 6, 2009

Two ideas I've learned from Astrology

Back Porch Feb 2008

A short time ago I jotted down several ideas that had been buzzing around my head about my interest in astrology. These aren't very concrete, so bear with me.

The world is as it's supposed to be.

This wouldn't be obvious to the casual observer. Too often if we are feeling unsatisfied with our lives or perceiving the world as full of suffering, it is difficult to see that this is no different than when our mood is happy and light. The potential for dissatisfaction and suffering is just as prevalent when we are unhappy as it is when we are happy. Astrology shows that there is always an overall general influence to any situation and the more specific you get, the more you realize that this influence is constantly changing. So there is never a point in time when dissatisfaction or suffering is the same, it is either getting better or getting worse. The best part is that you get to choose which.

Don't accept absolutes.

This follows the point of the previous paragraph so perhaps it doesn't need more explanation. Still, it is not an obvious conclusion when relating with astrology. One of the first practices of astrology is to look at a natal chart and compare the information contained within as if it was a moment cast in concrete. But the name "natal" tells you exactly what that point in time represents: nativity or a beginning point. Every moment from that point to the present represents your life, not simply what was percieved at the beginning. A natal chart is a tool for reflection on your present self and does not determine anything more than your potential at birth.

I think this principal is the most confusing aspect to grasp about astrology. The question that comes up almost immediately is how can a point in the past represent my whole life? The answer isn't a simple yes or no, because astrological information pivots on the interpretation of the moment, not the fact of the moment itself. This division between fact and interpretation is a conversation humans have been engaged for millenia and could even be said to be the essence of philosophy.