I hate to say it, but I believe that astrology is not widely embraced and understood in large part because astrologers do not do a very good job of explaining themselves. Astrology does not make this task particularly easy since there are so many different systems of it. Do you use tropical of sidereal? Sabian signs, or minor asteroids? The Transpersonal planets, or simply the personal ones? Should you do horary charts–and which one chart should you use for a potential relationship? Should you use the 2nd harmonic, 7th, or six millionth? What constitutes an orb of tightness of an aspect? Every astrologer has their “way” of going about it, and reasons for going about that way. It reminds me somewhat of what computer programmers do–everyone has their way of solving a problem and everyone codes differently.
Coders, though, have an advantage in that their code produces something definite–or at least it does when it works right. (let’s not forget about bugs) Astrologers, I’ve noticed, tend to converge on certain points regardless of the system which they use to get where they are going. For instance, I’ve been reading Synthesis and Counseling in Astrology, and often times the indicators the Noel Tye uses are not ones I particularly care to pay attention to. However, when I get done paying attention to the indicators I listen to, and compare them to his analysis, I find that more often than not we agree with what the thrust of the chart is. We just get there by different routes.
The underlying belief that makes astrology work this way is one that science is closer to embracing than it has been in the past–that is to say that reality is a hologram. An astrology chart is a map of that hologram at a personal level.
What makes a hologram unique is that the information repeats in a fractal way. Basically, that means that any ONE piece contains the information of the whole. What constitutes a piece in a chart starts more debate than I care to address. I have heard it said that each house contains the information of the whole chart. My suspicion is that that is true, so long as one sees that house as containing all twelve zodiac signs.
Where things get horribly garbled, at least in my opinion, is when it comes to mistaking the map for the essence of. I have seen many skeptics and astrologers participate in “tests” of astrology. Typically, these tests rely on methods that are inconsistent with what astrology is. I suspect that astrologers get involved in such matters because on some level they do not understand the methods on which their analysis lies. The skeptics, on the other hand, do not understand astrology because they are attempting to make it “work” as if it were a deterministic science.
Astrology is NOT fate. If one follows a map to get to a friend’s house, we do not insist that the map is FATE. The map is a guide. The map describes different ways of getting where one wants to arrive. The map does NOT say you MUST turn left here. It says something more like if you turn left here, expect this. It works as a map because the universe outside of us is also IN us. What do I mean by that? Simply that the forces we see outside us we cannot see unless we also have them within US to see. There is no Pluto ray zapping us in the forehead. There is a Pluto outside of us that we ALSO have inside of us as a concept or an energy, or a psychic building block. If we run on auto-pilot, the Pluto OUTSIDE of us will make the Pluto INSIDE of us perform like a Marionette. It is our duty to become aware of ourselves such that this is NOT the case. An astrology chart is only fate at the level that someone is a unaware zombie. One has to choose to remain in such a state, however.
Many astrologers over-state the fate nature of astrology. When they make it as deterministic as physics, it is little wonder that scientists begin to scoff. Astrology is instead as deterministic as psychology, which, despite many long years of development and theory, cannot quite say why it is people do the things they do.
A good “test” of astrology involves whatever test a person would use as a personality inventory. The Myers-Briggs comes to mind. Though there are skeptics of the Myers-Briggs, people do not for the most part feel that it is “wholly useless”. It describes tendencies and proclivities, which it turns out, comes in pretty handy for understanding one’s self. If one were to try to debunk the Meyers-Briggs on account of it not telling anyone anything definite or being generally applicable to many potential people, such a person would be overlooking that a) The Meyers-Briggs doesn’t tell one jack diddly squat about what a person WILL DO, only their tendencies and b) that people can be described broadly by a handful of qualities more often than not. We are not so unique that there are not others “mostly” like us.
An astrologer who oversteps either of these bounds begins to play with fire. There may be moments where an astrology chart converges on near certainty, but one must continue to respect the notion of free will in an individual. At the very least, that person gets to determine their attitude to whatever it is that is happening, and that alone can make a tremendous difference as to how the rest of the chart unfolds.
One Bible story always stands out to me with regard to astrology. The first visitors to Jesus were the three wise men who arrived evidently from the Orient. They found Jesus by means of a star. It is an interesting story in that those most aware of Jesus and his arrival were from elsewhere. One would think that the Jewish people would have been the first to notice such a thing. Secondly, unless the star in question actually “spoke” to the wise men, (and who knows since in Biblical times everything could potentially talk it seemed) it sounds a lot like those three wise men found Jesus by means of astrology. (Astrology was likely more widely used and developed in the Orient at that point) It is one of those uncomfortable moments for what Christianity has become because typically Christianity in the form it is practiced in the mainstream wants to dispense with Astrology–and yet here in the very beginning the first dudes who noticed Jesus at all appear to be astrologers. Was it a fate point they were following with the star? One figures if they loaded up the donkeys and headed off from the orient to find Jesus, they were guessing that what they saw was a “very good bet.” Could Jesus have decided to be something other than the “savior”? Sure–hence all the devil tempting and whatnot. If it had been FATE, Satan wouldn’t have wasted his time. Regardless, we can imagine that if the wise men hadn’t found Jesus, after coming from the Orient, they probably would have been very sheepish on their return. At the very least, if I had been in such a circumstance, I’d return with a very convincing bottle of Coke or something and declared it the reason for my journey.
So astrologers speak up and try to articulate why it is what you do works. If you aren’t sure, think about it for awhile until you are. Don’t allow science to try to tell you how you do what you do. Since you are doing it, it is your job to tell science instead.