Notes on astrology
You might say, “But astrology is ridiculous because you say things like, ‘I’m a cautious person who doesn’t act rashly,’ in one section and then say, ‘I’m a risk-taker with a gambler’s disposition,’ in the next. You’re just saying contradictory things that the mind latches onto and then thinks you’ve said something profound when you’re just throwing out generalities.”
A point that isn’t clear from how I present these astrological charts—and a point that isn’t even understood when these charts are presented in a more tabulated way—is that these “contradictions” refer to different personality aspects.
So, for example, I have the ruler of the Ascendant - Saturn. That refers to my basic personality traits—physical appearance, temperament, behaviour, and first impressions. In this respect, I tend to act slowly and with caution.
However, if we turn to the Moon, we encounter my specific relation to emotions, instincts, roots, and my mother. This is about my sense of security and where I find it—it’s about how we act with our surroundings in an instinctive way (it’s also about our childhood). Here we find my tendency to gamble and take risks is expressed. It’s about my relation to the environment—in the wider sense, for me it’s connected to a search for beliefs (security in beliefs). I tend to take risks and gamble when I’m certain about a course of action.
So you see there’s no contradiction, the statements refer to different sub-aspects within the personality or how we deal with specific circumstances.
People like the skeptical magician James Randi often like to say, “But how could the position of the Moon or the star Sirius have any possible effect on all the babies in the world born on that particular day and at that particular hour?”. Really, this just begs the question. Why not? “It can’t be true because it can’t be true” is all these skeptics say.
They want a literal effect, I suppose—as you could say the Moon determines whether or not a certain species survives or not (certain individuals within that species) because it makes the tides lower or higher that year (and so kills more of that species or allows more individuals to live). That’s Newtonian, empirical, quantitative—it’s about how a force, gravity, might act in such a way as to cull certain individuals (perhaps an entire species).
But astrology is not about “cause and effect” in that way—which is a very Newtonian way to look at the world, with the “occult” force being a thing that relates to observable phenomena that can be expressed in a quantitative form.
Well, that is one way to understand the world. There are others. You can see that in the way that for centuries people thought about “forces”, per Aristotle, because that was what “the Philosopher” (Aristotle) talked about. It was a change, a revolution, when people started to talk about “causes”—it’s a whole different idea, the difference between “forces” and “causes”.
Yet today you probably think, almost automatically, “What caused that?”. You think that way because you’ve been trained that way—just like people before, before about the time of Newton, automatically thought “what force was that?” (the occult attractions of the humours in medicine, for example—phlegm and bile; it’s different to the way the heart causes blood to be pumped around the body).
Indeed, the whole “question of free will” takes on a different aspect when you consider it is mainly based on the assumption that you are an entity that causes things to happen, or suffers things to have an effect on you—and that the question is whether or not you cause things “freely”. But what if that whole framework for how you make decisions and act in the world is just based on the assumption of “causality”? The problem either disappears or is radically altered…
The general assumption today is that “cause” is right, but it’s no more “right” than “force”—though it is certainly a very useful way to think. Another way to think, not unrelated to “force”, might be “influence”—as in the “influence” of the stars and planets…
So it might be a mistake to ask “how does Jupiter cause this baby to do ‘X’, where’s the evidence?”. It just doesn’t work like that.
One way it might work, since this astrological approach seems to confound natural selection (which indifferently culls genes or species without any “influence”, so apparent), is that genetics, cryptology, and computing all amount to about the same thing. Indeed, the “dean of American cryptography”, William F. Friedman, worked at an agricultural college in a department devoted to cryptography and genetics—and computers are all about codes, really (programming languages and algorithms and keys).
Astrology is also about cryptography—it’s a cryptographic secret based on number, rhythm, and regularity; and so the influence of the planets and the stars might be seen as a variation on genetic cryptography, with the whole astral realm based on computation (just look at what a horoscope is, with its percentages and degrees—you could see it as a cryptographic key to your life). “Crack the Bible code!” “Crack the Torah code!” “Crack the genetic code!”—and, I would add, “Crack the astral code!”.
The genes are a code, the stars are a code—the computer helps you to crack both; and so do we not see here a reconciliation between science and religion, between Darwinism and faith? It’s all codes, all the way down…
As a brief addendum, I’d just like to note, as you can probably tell, that in my astrological readings I mostly use phrases direct from “the book” or various websites—not my own words, hence there’s departure from my usual style. I’ve done this because I think it’s futile, for example, to look for synonyms for “proud, forthright, honest, warm” when describing a Leo—the language is about the same for every archetype (and it would be pretentious to use more obscure words).
I treat these guides like a medical textbook or computer textbook—and so have quoted freely without quotation marks, since it’s just “how it works”. The point isn’t about aesthetic effect or personal notability so much as conveying information and providing specific examples from a life (the examples being my own invention—or, to use less archaic language, contribution). However, I thought I’d clarify that in case you run across the same phrases on other astrological sites or in books.