Generally most people have misconceptions about astrology in our community. Some are suspicious of astrology because it undermines their “free will” or autonomy. Others believe that astrology may reveal too much about their fate and destiny as if they’re hermetically-sealed books. Finally, there are others who debunk astrology because science or religion tells them to kick it to the curb. However, very few listen to what astrology whispers about itself and from where In this short article, I would like to share with you how I’ve come to think about astrology in my 20 years of study and 10 years of active practice as an astrologer. For me, astrology uses planetary cycles as a mirror to mark, reflect, understand and illuminate the space between probability and possibility. I know that’s a mouthful, so let me explain.
First off, the misconceptions I mentioned above have some measure of truth, as most misconceptions do. The strongest reaction I had when I first encountered astrology was feeling that astrology attacks your free will. This is important as who wants to feel that distant planets dictate what and who we become as human beings? I certainly don’t, and I don’t think astrology really says planets dictate who and what you become. I think they, more so, TAKE dictation. There’s a difference.
Just as the planets circumscribe an orbit around our own planet, you were born with certain restraints of culture, race, family, heritage, genetic dispositions, social class markers, etc. These “restraints” contain a field of possibility and probability for you, much like a fence. This doesn’t mean that you can’t jump, leap over or dig under the fence; but there is a fence. The fence represents how you experience the field of probabilities–the likely outcomes of your life. But beyond the field of probability is the realm of possibility. Possibility means that you transform the probabilities, the likely outcomes of your life, into better outcomes or possibilities using your consciousness. This is important as astrology reveals what “naturally” will happen in the field of your life if you don’t address those likely outcomes using your most “supernatural” gifts–your ability to reason, your ability to direct spirit force and energy, and your ability to respond to the external world (or your responsibility). So your freewill only truly becomes yours completely free when you understand your field, when you know the probabilities for the field of your life. This is where you can use your consciousness to create and summon other possibilities within those probabilities.
So let’s say an astrologer looks at your chart and says that a stable relationship may be a difficult thing for you to establish until later in life. This means that she has looked at the planets to interpret a message: there are high indications that relationships elude you because you find it hard to integrate different elements of your love nature with the external world. Notice: there’s no mention of any planet DOING anything to you or dictating your fate. The planets, like the astrologer, merely relay a message that’s been written in the stars, like a deed for a parcel of land. It spells out your fate, but it has not created your fate.
So who did? This is a harder question to answer, because there are so many ways to look at it. I’ll give the most popular answer then. There are some who believe that you spell out the field of your own probabilities or your fate by your soul’s karma—the actions in one lifetime set up what happens in another lifetime. When the stars align themselves to spell out a karmic “story” similar to yours, then you are born. Of course, you can change your karma in any given lifetime by changing your attitude and your actions—your consciousness. Once you have changed enough of your karma and eliminated it, you achieve nirvana, or become free of the cycle of life and death. However, you can only be free of karma if you use your divine ability to entertain more possibilities in your life—to use your creative imagination and Spirit to love and accept more into it. This is hard work, though it sounds like the easiest thing in the world. The work of cultivating a life built on your own creative imagination and Spirit can prove too vague or elusive for some. So they rely on either facts or what they’ve been told is right from others. This leads us to those who reject astrology because of the dogmas of science or religion.
Dogma has its place, though. Dogma challenges chaos, or the gnawing abysmal thought in our cultural consciousness that the Cosmos has no order or inherent dignity. But when we come to cling too much to dogma, we usually shut down possibilities for ourselves in our life fields of probability. People who rigidly believe in science or a religious view of the world will frequently have a strong belief in the dictates of fate: we are a certain way because of our genes, our gender, our biochemistry, our diet, original sin, etc. Dogma always sounds “reasonable,” and you will be made to sound “unreasonable” if you question it. But astrology positions a search for truth differently. It says that “the truth” is “a” truth for a moment that’s ever-changing, creating a fenced-in field of probability that can be overcome at particular times by encouraging our faith in possibilities.
In short, astrology is an art that promotes realistic hopes and faith, not just the hype of a life without boundaries to do whatever and whenever you want or a life hard-boiled by the conditions into which you were born. It frames the outstretched space between possibility and probability. In this sense, astrology instructs us that Fate has two arms, with one of them being your own. Reach for and hug the sky…well.