Astrology first entered my life at 9 in the form of a paperback book describing the 12 zodiac signs. I learned from this book that the time and place of our birth would invest certain characteristics upon us and that information was written in the stars. The zodiac was the symbolism they used to describe and communicate what they were observing. To my nine year old mind, that meant that everyone born during the same month would be somewhat similar to each other. “Horrors!”, I thought. How can I be like everyone else born in this month? I am me, I thought, insulted, but knowing that there was a deeper truth being suggested here. Upon further research into this paperback book, and thousands of books to follow, along with international teachers, masters and decades of life experience, I did indeed discover myself thru astrology. By the age of 25 the skeptic was long gone. I became a true believer.
Today, as I write this I am exceedingly grateful for this science/art/philosophy. After 50+ years of delving into psychology, metaphysics, spiritual philosophies, and scientific advances, I haven’t found any other discipline that can so accurately describe me to me and provide guidance at the same time. Amazing.
It hasn’t been easy. I’ve had to endure a lot of skepticism, ridicule, and dismissal from family, friends, strangers, and others who know very little about astrology, it’s roots, or it’s scientific documentation. The advent of the horoscope column in the daily newspapers was our downfall. How can one possibly command any respect for this rich field when every day it becomes a joke. Today, I see my path as an astrologer akin to living the hero’s journey. Knowledge will save the day. And, just as Arjuna came to understand his karma/dharma, so have I.
For many years I would enter into The Debate and get quite passionate about the whole thing. No doubt my passion turned many off even more. Today, I find The Debate a useless waste of my energy. To me, astrology is not something that you ‘believe’ in or not. It’s not a religion and it doesn’t require you to put away your logical, thinking mind. Quite the contrary actually. It’s been said that the study of astrology can prevent mental illness. Aside from that, I can certainly attest to the fact that the study of astrology is mind expanding in numerous ways. Astrology was man’s first science. It’s durability is validating in itself.
I think one reason that so many people have difficulty with astrology is the issue of fate vs. free will. People, generally like to control. Look around…..power & control issues permeate our entire society. Being told that something is happening because of the way the planets are lined up, strips one of that illusion of control. However, once you have given astrology a chance, by checking into it yourself or finding a reputable astrologer to guide you, you will find that you actually have more choices, and more control than you previously thought. It’s one of life’s paradoxes that you have to discover for yourself.
Another reason people have difficulty with astrology is simply the way it is offered in our culture. Horoscope columns, tabloid-type publications, the advertisements from practitioners with only money on their minds……this is not the way a tradition that has existed for thousands of years should appear. A little bit of historical digging will clearly show that the astrologers of the ancient world were highly esteemed professionals revered by royalty, priesthoods, and common folk throughout the civilized world. What happened? It’s my opinion that once the masses recognized the power and potential inherent in astrological thought the rulers (priests, etc) had to hide and retain it for themselves. It is rumored that the largest astrological library on the planet is held within the confines of the Vatican.
Today, astrology provides a frame of reference that allows me and this body/mind to navigate a changing world. It does have it’s limitations . Should our world expand into something that includes beings from other star systems, I’m not sure how astrology will fare. But, as long as we remain on Earth, it’s the only language that excludes no one.