What is it that you want Astrology to do for you?
Are you anxious and excited about future prospects ahead? Are you building on previous achievement? Is there something “BIG” about to happen and you “KNOW IT” but need affirmation to help you sleep better at night? Or is there apprehension about an uncertain future connected to an accumulation of worry, underachievement, ambivalence, and a general lack of direction? Regardless of your motivation to schedule a session with an astrologer the important question to ask yourself is “What do I need Astrology to do for me?” A corollary question that follows is “What can Astrology do for me?” Either question depends as much on the individual as it does on Astrology, a trade secret perhaps, or possibly a conclusion that some astrologers simply do not believe, preferring instead the outdated tired set of beliefs inherited from an ancient past.
At the turn of the century “way back” in the year 2,000, astrologers worldwide hyped up the Saturn-Jupiter conjunction in Taurus because for more than 100 years, between 1861 and 1961, there was an ominous correspondence between The Great Conjunction and every U.S. President in office dying in office. Every 20 years Jupiter and Saturn come together and form The Great Conjunction, and for 200 years this conjunction appeared in Earth Signs. The only two exceptions to the 8 examples we have of U.S. presidents being in office and not dying are Ronald Raegan, and George W. Bush. They were in office toward the end of the larger 200-year cycle. Raegan was shot but survived. At the time The Great Conjunction occurred in Libra (Air) when the two giant planets temporarily escaped the hold that the Earth Signs had over them. Jupiter and Saturn would make a final pass in Earth in 2000 while George W. Bush was in office, but he would go on to serve two terms. Twenty-years later in 2020 The Great Conjunction moved into Air Signs again, this time marking what is called The Great Mutation, this is when Saturn and Jupiter began a 200-year trek through the Air Signs beginning at 00 Aquarius 29. The “ominous correspondence” within the Earth-Family appears to have come to end with the assignation of John F. Kennedy. Nevertheless, astrologers approached the year 2000 with much apprehension, and in the same way the triple conjunction 11 years earlier was approached when Saturn, Uranus and Neptune formed an awesome stellium in Capricorn. These and many more celestial events came and went. For example, the most recent Saturn-Jupiter conjunction at 00 Aquarius 29 on December 21, 2020, also known as The Great Mutation, and The Great American Eclipse August 21, 2017. Perhaps two of the more anticipated celestial events in memory. But these events came and went. The next BIG eclipse is expected June 10th, 2020. In between The Great American Eclipse and the next one on June 10th, there were a total of 17 eclipses. Each event was bandied about by astrologers as something to pay attention to, leaving behind the lingering effects of worry connected more to the anticipation of the event than the itself.
With the benefit of hindsight experience begs the question, “what do you think Astrology did for you?” Was the hyped-up analysis at the time helpful at all to you in some personal way? Did the astrologer patting themselves on the back help make a difference for you? Did the forecast help make your life better? If not, why do you suppose you keep coming back to such forecasts? What do you suppose Astrology has done, or can do for you?
Astrology appears to be more about energy flows than anything else. The correlation between the planets changing Signs and how the life-energy is expressed on Earth can be seen in the Ingress Chart and even more precisely using The Gnostic Circle. The Ingress Chart is drawn when the Sun enters any of the Cardinal Signs at precisely the time that marks the beginning of a new season. We celebrate these days on the calendar as the Solstices and Equinoxes. These special charts correspond with life development in uncanny ways, and the correspondences can hold for an entire season, until the next Ingress of the Sun into the subsequent Cardinal Sign. The shift in energy is as obvious as the change of seasons, no matter where you are on Earth. The subtle cosmic energies, however, represent shifts that are more nuanced and difficult to measure. These subtle changes are the changes that occupy the attention of astrologers. The eons also approach these same points on the Zodiac but on a much grander scale. The only way to See these larger movements is by using an advanced tool, designed to depict such Movement of Time. Astrologers trying to piece this space-time puzzle together using only planetary cycles will ultimately miss the bigger picture. The first thing Astrology can do for you then is help you understand energy flows, both on an individual scale and on a collective scale, and from a perspective you are unlikely to see or appreciate without Astrology.
Energy flows happen continuously, and in the natal chart the “flow” of energy is described for each individual pursuant to the energy on the day of birth, in the place you were born. Every point of the birth chart is positioned in one of three “Modalities,” each mode represents one of three distinct types of energy and is associated with one of three types of Signs: Cardinal Signs, Fixed Signs, or Mutable Signs. There is also the family of elements that group the modal types of energy according to their distinct elemental differences (Fire, Water, Air, and Earth). In this way, Astrology contains a nuanced structure that majestically communicates how these energies flow and relate, how a singularity reaches out to the totality, and vice versa. We see this at the most basic level in the formula used to build the zodiac, 3 X 4 = 12. Three modes of energy, multiplied by four elements equals 12 Signs. This formula also informs many religious structures and can be found as well in foundational scientific concepts. The astrological formula is consistent and hints at each Sign maintaining a sequence of flow that repeats from season to season; from spring to summer, summer to fall, fall to winter, and back again to spring . The sequence proceeds from Creation to Preservation (or stability) to Decline. The bloom of spring reaches an apotheosis in summer and ultimately, like each individual, declines into the autumn of life, eventually reaching out to touch the nadir of winter.
Viewing the birth chart by first understanding the energy flows is straightforward and uncomplicated, but the importance of Seeing the life-energies cannot be overstated. I once heard a Seer describe this ability as “knowing where you are on the circle.” We come into this world at a specific point in time, with a certain capacity to see. As time unfolds, our point of view shifts. With grace and with each passing day, we can look at things anew, and from a slightly different standpoint. We can change. We can choose to look at a situation from a different angle, changing our perception, and perhaps seeing ourselves and the world differently, more objectively.
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
The birth chart is at center an assemblage of all points of our attention, but our awareness moves as we interact with the world and gain experience. How we align ourselves with the life-energies available to us determines how accessible life’s meaning and purpose is to us. The energy-flow describes this process. However, a static depiction of the birth chart doesn’t change, and so personality expression for most individuals remains remarkably consistent throughout a lifetime. Nevertheless, seeing certain aspects of the chart emphasized by transit or progression, can sometimes suggests the potential for dramatic shifts in alignment, for changing the way we look at things. Perhaps even transformation made possible, but only based on self-understanding and the consideration of the whole horoscope in synthesis. A shared Astrology discussion can facilitate a fresh view of things and guide individuals to prepare for the energy shifts ahead, by helping to assimilate changes already experienced in the past. But it is important to also mention that how and when the individual’s attention gains focus is largely not up to Astrology, because the individual is not necessarily confined to the interpretation of the astrological aspects of their birth chart and similarly not a prisoner to the transits in the sky at the time of a consultation. This is why astrologers do not know your future. They might make an informed guess based on how the life relates to the horoscope, based on past patterns of development shared in consultation, but blindly relating the horoscope to the life being lived, describing every little piece of iron pyrite floating around in the asteroid belt or beyond, is a fool’s errand. Ultimately, the axiomatic take away is that planets do not do things, people do.
Astrology works! But as a tool for self-understanding, not as an oracle for the half-conscious. Assigning a tight range of possibility to each symbol puts a cap or a limit on human potential. Some Astrologers would rather be right, and limit possibility, than allow for a greater orb of expression. Some astrologers hold fast to the lines and patterns drawn on the page while wielding ancient interpretation as sacrosanct, cracking the sharp whip of vanity to fend off skepticism.
Astrology fell out of favor during certain periods when Astrologers gained too much hubris, but then, as always happens, the so called “tried and true” techniques stopped working. The life-energies shifted in a way that was outside of the astrologer’s awareness. Astrologers lost the “measure,” respect and esteem of seekers. Being circumspect with astrological interpretation is not necessarily a weakness, to the contrary, it may show a more informed and professional poise that embraces possibility over narrow mindedness. Potential over limitation.
My approach to counseling is not all about the Astrology. At some point a new Astrology will emerge and displace the modern humanistic approach. But the humanistic developments within Astrology are indisputably advances for a new age, a shift in old ways of thinking, and much preferred over lesser nostalgic techniques that do not put the individual at center. Old forms fade and die out the way old forms do, in any discipline, they shrivel, are shelved, and retired. Life moves on. Astrology needs to keep up! Astrology changes because life changes.
What is important about an astrological counseling technique however, is not whether the astrologer uses “the best approach.” What matters is that the approach be familiar and thoroughly internalized. Whatever technique is preferred, it must be mastered. A reliable personalized system that emphasizes analytical keys that concentrates on individual development, characterological attributes, modes of attention, etc., and then guides a client to develop an objective view of their past, present, and future, appears to be what is most helpful. All Astrology “works” to one degree or another, regardless of the approach the astrologer practices, however answering the questions mentioned at the outset of this essay is essential, because the answers to those two vital questions will help you find the right astrological fit, and from there, you will find the right Astrology, practiced by an astrologer who can help you make your life better.