Monday, February 12, 2007
People are passionate about Astrology. They either love it or they hate it. The big irony here is whichever side people are on, in all probability, they don’t really understand it.
First of all there are many different types of Astrology. Everything from Medical Astrology: the study of illness, and Astrocartography: the effect of changing locations, to Electional Astrology, encompassing timing and politics. The best known category is, of course: Natal Astrology. The study of human personality based on date, time and place of birth.
Astrology had it’s own birth approximately 4000 B.C. around Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq). As you can imagine, historical records are a bit on the sketchy side and this, coupled with the speculation that what was committed to papyrus was destroyed in the great fire of Alexandria adds even more mystery to its origins.
We’ve been left with a fragmented knowledge of Astrology’s development and raffish reasons for it’s accuracy. There have been some interesting modern day theories put forth as to how Astrology works, one in particular by the Astro-physicist Percy Seymour regarding electromagnetic fields, but the truth is; at this point in time, we just don’t know why it works, only THAT it does. It is something that can be observed and studied and worked within, with most profound results. It has changed people’s lives. Why? Because knowledge is power and self knowledge is the most empowering of all and that’s exactly what Natal Astrology offers: the ability to “know thyself”.
For most people, the sum total of their Astrological exposure comes from those over-simplified sun sign columns in the daily newspaper. They may be fun to read but their imprecision and impracticality has given Astrology a very bad rap. The problem with lumping all the Taurians together and telling them what kind of day they are going to have is to assume that Taurians are all alike and they are not. People with the same sun signs, IE: all the Leos, Taurus’s Scorpios etc. out there do share some commonality but not enough to do any GENERALIZED DAY BY DAY forecasting. The sign the sun was in, the month you were born, is only the beginning of a personality profile. In addition to a sun sign each person has 11 other planets, 12 houses and several other pertinent points in a Natal chart to consider. The complexity of a Natal or birth chart is not to be underestimated. Considering how multi layered each human personality is this must be so to make any sense of it at all.
Our universe is composed of various vibrational energies starting at the subatomic level and building up to manifestation into the physical forms we live within and interact with. Astrology sorts all this energy into 12 categories, twelve differing vibrations and these are named for the 12 planets in our sky. (For simplicities sake Astrologers count our sun and moon as planets, although we know they are technically luminaries.) These planets encompass and rule the signs we are all so familiar with. The reason we began to use planets as representatives of these 12 energies has to do with years of observation by ancient Astronomers and is too detailed to go into here
When it comes to the human population we know well some of the categories and the generalities of energy patterns or vibes occurring at certain times and places, we can see them when we look at such things as eras in history and the generations born into them: Depression Era Children, Baby Boomers, and Generation Xers. .
As we move down to the individual level we find ourselves right back at the Natal chart. So, what is a natal chart exactly? It is a map of the sky at the time and place you were born, a freeze frame snapshot of everything that was going on above your head and consequently in the world, the second you took your first breath. It is a template, an imprint of what kind of energies were dominant and how they were interacting. Like a fractal, you are a reflection of the energy present in that moment of birth and by studying it; one begins the journey to self understanding.
Even with the endless assortment of information available in a person’s natal chart, it it still quite easy for a layperson to garner a rudimentary working knowledge of Astrology, enough to understand their strengths and weaknesses and do one’s own tracking of fortuitous times and minor disasters.
Another amazing thing about Astrology is that built within the system of each natal chart are levels to be traversed. It is not meant to be a fixed place by which to judge, blame and fall victim to, there is flexibility and choice. It is a framework and not a cage. It is not a religion either, but a system that gives us a language to consider and discuss those things that are sometimes too intangible to grasp, that of: attitude, emotional mood, and how different thinking processes foster various conclusions to the same problem.
I predict at some future point everyone will have a copy of their chart and check it regularly along with the weather channel because it not only gives us a way of seeing, embracing and using our unique talents but also allows us an understanding and acceptance of our fellow human beings and what they, in their turn, are dealing with.
Life is certainly no laugh-in, but the acquisition of self knowledge through a Natal chart can cultivate responsibility, give freedom of choice, show us where we fit in, release us from envy, bestow confidence, build respect and turn life’s trials into opportunities for growth.
When authentic Astrology is used we have the tools to comprehend what has always eluded us: real personal power. A life around us in balance with our true self, real integration within society, an understanding of the environment we find ourselves in and the ability to live ever deeper in a state of grace.