Today I received the question(s) as per below in my email. All the quotes mentioned hereunder are things astrologers have heard over and over in the past. Some of these quotes are plain ignorance, some of them are good questions. But since the quotes were all being put together so nicely in one mail, here is one attempt to share one astrologer's viewpoint.
Would you comment on the following that I read in a book by Josh McDowell
Astrology is fatalistic in its approach. It rules out the free choice of each of us, leaving man merely as a cog in the cosmic machinery. The Scriptures show us a better way of looking into the future, seeing that God has already told us what the future holds for each of us and for our planet. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life"
I personally believe that the real free choice that we have, and originally had, is the choice to go against the Source, God, the Higher Self, or to go along with it. In the reality of day to day living, many people do not particularly act by free choice, but by instinct, and automatic behavior. If we were to act consciously each step of the way, the world would change overnight.
If astrology can give us a set of symbols which may just possibly bring us in touch with our inner Higher Selves and its messages, it will give us a tool to align more WITH the cosmos (and with God) and thus free will and fatality would align, i.e. we would go along more and consciously with divine intent.
The Problem of Authority
Astrologists are victims of their own system. They cannot have the objective authority necessary to explain our own world. If everything is predetermined in conjunction with the zodiac, then how can the astrologist get outside of that fatalism to accurately observe it? What if the astrologists themselves are predetermined to explain everything by astrology? There is no way they can prove their system if they are pawns in that same system.
True, but realize that in the same way Life itself cannot be proven.
Furthermore, science is very well aware of the fact that researcher and object of research are closely connected. Objectivity (as we understand the term in the day to day usage) may be nothing more than a set of conventions that most people agree upon.
The problem of authority in astrology is graphically revealed when one realizes there are many systems of astrology which are diametrically opposed to each other. Astrologers in the West would not interpret a horoscope the same way a Chinese astrologer would. Even in the West, there is no unanimity of interpretation among astrologers, seeing that some contend for eight zodiac signs rather than 12, while others argue for 14 or even 24 signs of the zodiac.
With these different systems employed by astrologers, an individual may go to two different astrologers and receive two totally opposed courses of behaviour for the same day! This is not only a possibility, it is also a reality, for a simple comparison between astrological forecasts in daily newspapers will often reveal contradictions.
I wish that the last line would have been left out in this argument for it proves a total ignorance of the author vis-a-vis the true nature of astrology. With regard to the different systems in astrology however, yes, there are as many systems as there are astrologers.....Astrology makes use of timed phenomena but in its use Astrology is a symbolic language. As such it is a reflection of the culture astrology is practised in. And by the way: the chances of me getting 10 different diagnoses if I go to 10 different dentists are very high. One way to deal with this problem is to realize that we will attract in our environment what is ours at a specific moment in time. Astrology deals with something just a little bit more than academic science. Astrology is spiritual in nature in the first place. We do not consult with a spiritual or psychological or business counselor whom we do not trust. I suggest everybody starting with astrology or wanting to have a consultation with astrology, to plainly use your intuition: there is little else you can go by in the beginning - indeed - and for your own sake try always to seek the best teachers and counselors you can find. As people differ, so do astrologers.
Astrology is based upon the premise that the planets revolve around the earth, known as the "geocentric theory". This theory was shown to be in error by Copernicus, who proved that the planets revolve around the sun, not the earth. This is known as the "heliocentric theory". Since astrology is based upon the refuted geocentric theory, its reliability is destroyed. Since the basic assumption is false, all conclusions, even if feebly reinterpreted by today's knowledge and drawn from this assumption, are likewise false.
No, there exists heliocentric astrology as well. I personally dont use it though, I have chosen for geocentric astrology, because even if I know theoretically that the Earth moves around once on its axis each 24 hours, I don't FEEL it. Even if I know the Sun is not moving, I SEE it moving. Thus a set of relationships was created in the cosmos and the only problem here is a philosophical one. What reference system do you want to use, something that a person can relate to as in apparent reality (all reality is apparent only), or something that is not part and parcel of his or her experience?
One of the major misconceptions that is the basic of astrology concerns the number of planets in our solar system. Most astrological charts are based upon the assumption that there are seven planets in our solar system (including the sun and the moon).
In ancient times, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were unobservable with the naked eye. Consequently, astrologers based their system upon the seven planets they believed revolved around the earth. Since that time it has been proven that the sun, not the earth, is the centre of the solar system and that three other planets exist in our solar system.
According to the astrological theory, that the position of planets has a definite influence upon human behavior and events, these three previously undiscovered planets should also have an influence upon behavour and must be considered to cast an exact horoscope. Since they usually are not considered, the astrological theory breaks down, for no accurate horoscope could be charted without considering all the planets and their supposed influence.
I really should have taken this quote out: --from what date is this, 1910 or so? Anyway, it is totally outdated and simply not true. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto play the larger role in astrology today. They do refer to states beyond ego though. Uranus is the archetype in astrology for learning to think for yourself and questioning everything that others tell you, not necessarily to rebel, but to go for truth. (Such a process can only occur by turning within, which is the function of Saturn, the planet just before Uranus in the solar system) . If the process, called individuation, succeeds, you might eventually find yourself pretty alienated from your surroundings. Neptune is the planet of compassion. It is the next stage on the transcendental path and compassion (and thus the realization of unity between all beings) will solve the problem of alienation. Neptune also is a "higher octave" of Venus. Venus is about love. If compassion and individualization are there, your love will be giving, not expecting any favours in return anymore, it will no longer be greedy and for the self only, it will be unconditional.
Pluto is the total rebirth of Soul-realization. Yes, these concepts may not have been used in the astrology of the Middle Ages. People evolve, and as they do, new planets may become a reflection of a new awareness in the making.
A constant source of embarrassment for astrologers is the birth of twins. Since they are born at exactly the same time and place, they should have the same destiny. Unfortunately, this is not the case, for experience shows us that two people who are born at the same time can live totally different lives. One may turn out to be very successful, while the other ends up a failure. The fact that twins do not live out the same lives shows another flaw in the theory.
Hm, I have this feeling that what people expect from astrology, is that it describes all outer events in life accurately. However, it does not. Symbols can be lived in many ways, and what a certain set of outer circumtances (like "rain"" for instance) means to me might be interpreted totally different by someone else. However, twins are not embarrassing to astrologers at all. (Maybe to some, o.k )
On the one hand there are many records of people having been born at approx. the same date/time/place but from different parents, showing incredible parallels in their lives. However, on the other hand, there are very few twins born exactly at the same time. Most of them are born a few minutes apart. Using midpoints (an astrological technique) it is perfectly possible to pinpoint which twin is which. I have been published with examples of this in a Dutch astrology magazine. But I am not out to prove anything, for I don't need the proof for myself. I have already proven it for myself. Detachedly too. Beyond this, consider the following, which is a little metaphysical in nature but which might explain a lot more:
A bedbug could be born at the same time as a person. They share the same birthchart. But why are their lives so different? An astrological chart will show POTENTIAL, and potential is in relation to the reality of our biology, our circumstances & our consciousness. If not a bedbug but another person shares (almost) the same chart as you do, it is still entirely feasible that two souls have come in with a different past and a differently evolved consciousness. Thereby using their potential a different way. However, that which is most apparent, and a little awesome in its consequences, is that a chart will show both inner and outer. That is to say: our entire life might be nothing else but what we see, feel and make it to be. We do not always use ALL of our potential. We are not always whole within. We need other people to mirror things to us. They often mirror our own qualities to us of which we are pretty unconscious. Therefor, I might live some of the planets in my chart myself, and "project" some other planets onto others. In fact, it is a matter of identification. I like to identify with nice qualities, so the more difficult ones are more easily projected onto others. (I find this to be true for many people). What I am saying is that I may not even be living my entire chart, but merely a portion of it. If I had a twinsister or -brother, maybe that twin-sister or brother would live the other planets in my experience.
This is less difficult to figure out than it seems. Just think: everybody has a certain amount of feeling, of emotion. (Called the element "water" in astrology). Now, imagine something terribly upsetting is happening and the person around you is becoming really emotional because of that. What are YOU likely to do? Live out your emotions also? No, you go and find rational argument instead, to console the other person. It is a simple law of nature: it evokes the opposite in us all the time to arrive at a balance again. And thus, in this way you do not at that point live your own emotional content, and the other does not live her or his rational content.
A serious problem with astrology is its limited perspective.
Astrology was born in an area close to the equator and did not take into consideration those living in latitudes where the zodiac signs do not appear for the same periods of time. As Michel Gauquelin points out, "Astrology, begun in latitudes relatively close to the equator, made no provisions for the possibility that no planet may be in sight (in the higher latitudes) for several weeks in a row" [Michel Gauquelin, The Cosmic Clocks, Chicago, IL: Henry Regnery Col, 1967, p. 78]
This means those living in the higher latitues in places such as Alaska, Norway, Finland, and Greenland have no planetary influence in their lives, for it is almost impossible to calculate what point of the zodiac is rising on the horizon above the Arctic circle.
Since this is the case, one of the basic pillars of astrology now crumbles, as Van Buskirk points out, "Astrology can hardly be scientifically based on its own premise that the microscosm reflects the influence of the macrocosm, when one of the microcosms (man) above the 66th latitude is left uninfluenced by the cosmos".
This argument is not thought through to the end. Because of course people living above the Arctic Circle perceive simple things like day and night and the seasons in a very different way than others living closer to the Equator. Things like the Ascendant, and the division of the circle of the zodiac have very much to do with day and night and with the seasons. Naturally, places on earth where people experience such different things like the Sun that does not set for 6 months, and vice-versa, have a different perspective. As above so below, also in that case. The planets are still in the signs they are just like for those living closer to the equator. It is just the division of the circle of the chart that looks totally strange, and out of the "ordinary", relative to a different experience of day/night and the seasons.
No Scientific Verification
Probably the most damaging criticism that can be leveled at astrological prediction is the fact that its scientific value is nil. Paul Couderc, astronomer at the Paris Observatory, concluded after examining the horoscopes of 2,817 musicians: The position of the sun has absolutely no musical significance. The musicians are born throughout the entire year on a chance basis. No sign of the zodiac or fraction of a sign favors or does not favor them.
We conclude: The assets of scientific astrology are equal to zero, as is the case with commercialized astrology. This is perhaps unfortunate, but it is a fact [Paul Couder, L'Astrologie, "Que Sais- je?", 508; 3rd ed.; Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1961, pp. 86-89, cited by John Warwick Montgomery, Principalities and Powers, p. 106].
Who says that the position of the Sun has anything to do with musicians? Astrologers certainly don't. We use whole charts, not merely the sign of the Sun. It is obvious that someone other than an astrologer did this kind of reseach. What a waste of time...
Incorrect Time of Reckoning
Another major problem with astrology concerns the fact that horoscopes are cast from the time of birth, not from the time of conception. Since all the hereditary factors are determined at conception, it should logically follow that the planets could begin influencing the person's destiny immediately after conception. The problem is, of course, trying to accurately determine when conception took place, which is nearly impossible. Howver, if the planets do exert an influence over a person's fate, it should start at the time of conception rather than the time of birth.
This is only a matter of philosophy. With the conception starts a timeframe where an individual soul is totally one with the mother. It is only at birth that the individual starts to breathe independently. Symbolically, for those people who do not think that individuation and self-realization is the goal of life, but repeating the past and just following the same routes and ways as the parents did, and more importantly, stay UNCONSCIOUS, the chart of conception might work better. But for those who think that life is a process of self-discovery, of growing out of the matrix of the collective, and of becoming conscious, the birthchart is the starting point. (Just to avoid any misunderstanding, the above does not mean I do not value the teachings of the elders. In fact, I think we could learn a lot of the respect that indigenous peoples have for the Elders and their spiritual essence ).
The Shifting of Constellations
Astrology is unscientific because of the fact of the precession or the shifting of constellations. Boa elaborates on this problem: The early astronomers were not aware of precession and therefore failed to take it into account in their system. the twelve signs of the zodiac originally correspond with the twelve constellations of the same names. But due to precession, the constellations have shifted about 301 in the last 2000 years. This means that the constellation of Virgo is now in the sign of Libra, the constellation of Libra is now in the sign of Scropio and so on. Thus, if a person is born on September 1, astrologers would call him a Virgo (the sign the sun is in at that date), but the sun is actually in the constellation Leo at the date. So there are two different zodiacs: one that slowly moves (the sidereal zodiac) and the one which is stationary (the tropical zodiac). Which zodiac should be used? [Kenneth Boa, World Religions and You, Victor Books, 1977, pp 124-125].
A system should not be a prison, but a means to an end. Choose any system you like. Hindu astrology makes use to some extent, of the constellations. They call this the sidereal zodiac. They practice astrology in a different culture. Western astrology does not make use of the constellations at all, it simply uses the apparent circle that is created by the rotation of the Earth around the Sun during one year, and thus is seasonal. When Spring starts (which occurs on that moment of time each year when the Sun crosses the equator to move to the Northern Hemisphere again) the sign Aries starts. (Astronomy calls this Spring equinox point the Zero Aries point too, as an aside). Western astrology does use the constellations on the other hand (i.e. not the signs as above but the stargroups), and thus the shifts to look at a different phenomenon: namely the Great Ages. Thus the Age of Aquarius aligns with the Spring Equinox being in the constellation of Aquarius.
Dangers of Astrology
There are some very real dangers in trying to live your life by a horoscope. First is the attempt to try to run your life by following along in astrology. Since is is apparent a great deal of astrology has no basis in reality, you run the risk of great loss. There can be the loss of money, both of what you may spend on astrology and what the astrologers may recommend for you to do.
They may recommend you invest now, buy later, don't purchase this, etc. These recommended investments are no more certain than a fortune cookie, and you could suffer a considerable loss to your personal finance.
Second, a person who continually tries to live his life by a horoscope can become very depressed as he begins to see life as fatalistic, predetermined since his birth, with no opportunity to break free. Women have even refused the medical advice of induced labor for a late pregnancy in order to have their baby born later [Samuel Hux, The Humanist, May/June 1978, "Parawhatsit: A Certain Incapacity to Appreciate the World,", p. 32].
Yes, if all that you want in life is money, you are likely to find astrologers (or anything else) which may turn out to become a good lesson in life.Astrology is not about (and indeed should not be) about taking a person's responsibility away. On the contrary, it is about living more consciously, about understanding what is happening and why. In fact, astrology does more good than it does harm, overall. It empowers the true nature of a person, and anything that is true, and loving, will be the true gold in this world. If I look at the dangers of this world, I can think of a million other things.
Why do People Believe in Astrology?
One answer would be that is sometimes works. If one reads a horoscope, he will be struck witht the general and ambiguous nature of the statements, which can be pointed to as fulfilling anything and everything. Time Magazine observed: There are so many variables and options to play with that the astrologer is always right. Break a leg when your astrologer told you the signs were good, and he can congratulate you on escaping what might have happened had the signs been bad. Conversely, if you go against the signs and nothing happens, the astrologer can insist that you were subconsciously careful because you were forewarned [Time Magazine, March 21, 1969, p.56]
It may just possibly be that it is precisely because of astrology that my understanding of human nature has grown so much. The above kind of thinking has no place in our world, if astrology would be merely about being right and wrong in prediction, it has no relevance for anybody. If a person breaks a leg, astrologers will more generally discuss the WHY of this event with a client, (as indicated by the chart) rather than anything else, and place it in a meaningful context. In general, astrologers don't tell a person anything that they don't really know already inside. But isn't it wonderful to meet up with someone in the outside world who verbalizes YOUR inner feelings and confirms your knowing, rather than meeting people all the time who will discuss things with you from THEIR perspective?
One last remark for all who have read this: astrology and sunsigncolumns are not entirely the same thing. You may have gathered this by now. Go visit a good astrologer if you can find somebody who seems trustworthy to you. Or if the subject interests you, take up its study with a competent astrologer or institute. (I recommend the British Faculty of Astrological Studies, which is one of the finest educational institutions in the field, and it is possible to take this tuition by correspondence). If not, and if you think astrology should not be, fine, but don't keep juggling around with mental logics only, life is about experiencing it, and about becoming more and more conscious. And there are many paths, as many as there are people. Try and be FOR something in your life, not AGAINST something. (And this remark is not meant for the person who sincerely placed all of the above questions before me but is meant for all those tedious sceptics in the western world whose life seems to be centered around putting other people and their reality down. True, this is the way to elevation of yourself. But it is a cheap way to do so.
Joyce Hoen DF Astrol S, February 14 1999
** Cosmic Loom by Dennis Elwell
- from the preface written in 1987: The greatest truth in the world is also the most neglected.
That must be the verdict, after forty years spent trawling the murky waters of astrology. Certainly the truth has been misunderstood and distorted, so as to no longer seem of serious account. But if astrology can still hold up its head in a largely uncomprehending and scornful world, it is because it is not what the public thinks it is, it is not what scientists think it is, nor yet is it what most astrologers think it is! Its chief claim to consideration lies in the outright challenge it presents to conventional opinion, because if its testimony is valid it means .......we have mistaken the nature of our reality.....
- from chp. 1: "Now it is precisely because astrology testifies to an unbroken wholeness that scientists will be increasingly in difficulty in denying its rationale.
from chp.10: "The astrologer is like the explorer who returns with news of a far country, or the astronaut who exclaims at the beauty of planet earth, as if seen for the first time."
(c) Joyce Hoen 1999-2011