To me the natal chart is a map which captures the moment of birth and works with the ‘as above, so below’ principle. My moment of birth captured the essence of the cosmos above, endowing me with a range of possibilities that have certain potentialities and limitations. It is my own personal mandala, my inner landscape, the microcosm to the macrocosm.
A flute can never play the lowest note of a piano due to its structure and design yet it can be played in a myriad of ways in a range of styles and create an infinite number of melodies. The flute is not imperfect because it cannot play A0, it is perfect in its own right as each of us are as humans. I believe we are all born with skills, talents and limitations which are described by the planetary pattern at birth. How we use those is up to each of us. Each of us has a destiny to fulfil, a set of lessons to be learned or experiences to be had that is part of our own soul development: much like the flute has a certain part to play in the orchestra. How we experience these lessons depends on our own awakened (or non-awakened) state – or to bring it back to the flute analogy, how much we have practised and perfected our art!
“Each placement in the chart reveals the most natural and appropriate way to unfold who and what we are” p 18 Howard Sasportas, The Twelve Houses, The Aquarian Press, 1985
Perhaps it is because I have always had that strange phenomena of ‘second sight’ at play in my life that I am drawn to astrology as a divinatory practice. It is a mirror or gateway into the Greater Pattern. The continuity of astrology is that it places us immediately within the bigger story. The transits and progressions remind us that we are a unique player in the eternally unfolding story of the universe. The ultimate experience of astrology is transcendence.
Studies such as that undertaken by Gauquelin fire my enthusiasm and interest. Perhaps some sceptical part of me wants irrefutable proof to throw at people such as Richard Dawkins and perhaps because some part of me wants that certainty in an uncertain world. Yet my experience and the experience of others is proof in itself. The endearing quality of astrology is that put simply, it speaks to us and has done for thousands of years. Something, despite all our ‘progress’ calls us again and again back to the stars.
When looking at the question of ‘proof’, Steven Arroyo says
“…even when a statistical study does reveal correlations of great significance, they often still do not ‘explain’ the phenomenon itself” p.22 Astrology, Psychology and the Four Elements, CRCS Publications 1975.
It seems to me that much of science depends on belief too. As one study after another is both proved and refuted by equally eminent scientists with similar eminent credentials, how does the lay person or indeed another scientist decide who has the truth? I believe that one falls on the side of belief.
Organic food is good for you.
Organic food is no better for you than food shot full of pesticides.
Who has the truth? What do you believe? Where is the proof? My fundamental feeling is that no matter how much research we as astrologers do, we may never ‘prove’ astrology because there are some who will never be able to believe, and some who never want to. Also ‘proof’ comes from a different approach to life – one where life is categorised and analysed as individual parts. Astrology begins with a circle; a symbol of perfection, wholeness, unity and a process without end. My experience is not separate from the whole, it is part of it. Also my experience, despite the objective ‘reality’ around me will often make me see that ‘reality’ different from another. This for me leads to the conclusion that there is no one reality. There are many realties, many universes, many truths in the cosmos.
I am not saying that we should never bother with statistics. As I said above, they are fascinating and thought-provoking. However I feel that we must never lose sight of the first principle of astrology – wholeness.
As I dive deeper into astrology I cannot escape an innate sense of presence in the universe. Some undeniable connection to all things that I cannot explain. I look to current theories in quantum physics about the interrelation of all things, I take on board that the observer changes that which is observed, I marvel at the beauty of the cosmic patterns and sacred geometry found in the planetary orbits. I wonder at the theory of dark matter, the beauty of the Golden Ratio. As I explore my chart I feel some part of me resonating with the planets and other bodies. They speak to me. Something speaks to me.
Whilst there is science in astrology in that our calculations are scientific, beyond that the practice of astrology is to me an art: a poetic connection to ourselves, others and the cosmos. A lyrical symbolic language far exceeding that of psychology and psychiatry with its categories and tick boxes. Like other art forms we each as astrologers have to find our own voice. Much like learning the Tarot, we have to learn all the meanings to then put them to one side to give each planetary body a chance to speak to us directly. It is only then in this dialogue that we can develop our own creativity in how we interpret a chart.
“In every corner of my soul stands an altar to a different God” Fernando Pessoa
I believe that the more I study astrology and work with it, the more I develop a relationship with the symbols found within its architecture. This for me is a natural extension of dream work in that certain symbols can have both an archetypal meaning and personal meaning – and both meanings can be relevant at the same time. I feel that my role as an astrologer is to develop a relationship with the Gods and Goddesses, to develop a personal understanding of the mythologies, to be open enough psychically and emotionally to be able to sense the geometric patterns found in the aspects – to perceive connection. It is my job to understand my own personal unfolding, to explore my dark as well as my light so that I can then facilitate another to do the same.
One of the most beautiful quotes I found that explores this idea comes from Carl Rogers who developed Person Centred Counselling. Towards the end of his life he began to explore the idea of a fourth ‘core condition’ of counselling practice which moved into the mystical.
“I find that when I am close to my inner, intuitive self, when I am somehow in touch with the unknown in me…whatever I do seems to be full of healing…it seems that my inner spirit has reached out and touched the inner spirit of the other. Our relationship transcends itself and becomes a part of something larger. Profound growth and healing and energy are present” Carl Rogers, A Way of Being, 1980.
Astrology, like dream work and tarot has the potential to offer profound healing both to practitioner and client. The extensive symbolic language and patterns found through the exploration of an astrological chart has the ability to open up new ways of thinking about our lives and ourselves.
Divination to me is the art of perceiving the natural flow of events and endeavouring to work with the available energies. It is about understanding one’s place in the Greater Pattern, your own soul growth.
The proof is all around me in dreams and synchronicity, in archetypal stories that resonate with my daily life. The proof is found in the meaning of these connections.
Born with a multitude of connections to the 9th house it is perhaps no surprise that my life has lead me on the journey of the visionary. I search and stumble through life, seeking to touch the interconnection that I can feel between all things. Sometimes when I am quiet and stare into space my vision seems to dissolve into being able to see billions of atoms shivering in space: I watch how the air becomes alive how one atom touches another and another into infinity. And what if I should breathe a thought into one, does she then pass my wish on – a kiss from atom to atom until one day my wish is a butterfly taking flight? Despite Saturn’s presence in my 9th house and my eternal battle with time I also seem to ‘know’ that there is no time and that all time is one.
The study of the stars takes me on this journey –a journey of the heart and mind and soul.
Perhaps it is our unending forgotten knowledge that lead us to create stories to attribute to the stars. These stories are in fact our divine language that contains a knowing that all things are connected and there is a greater pattern at play. Perhaps it is not the stars themselves that speak to us but more they are our own echo: a dream projected onto the stars that tells us the truth of ourselves. The story is already written, all time is one time and therefore we have an intrinsic knowledge build into us at a deep unconscious level – maybe even a soul level. This knowledge continuously seeks to be heard but one step removed from the divine, we hear it in stories of heroes, heroines, Gods and Goddesses. Humankind looked up to the stars and heard a whisper but it didn’t come from beyond, it came from within. It is the spark of the divine within telling us a bedtime story we already know.