As astrologers, we examine the lives people have led through an astrological lens to try to determine the meaning of the astrological symbols in the birth chart. But our clients may or may not have been actively participating in the unfolding of their lives. Some clients may feel that events were being “done to them” while others feel that they have had a hand in shaping the events that occur.
When we examine our own lives, all of us judge the outcomes with our own biases – good or bad - and with our own idea about the outcomes based on our own value systems. Then we try to blanket that application to the whole world...
Within the archetypal field illuminated by an astrology reading there are infinite possibilities and hints toward many choices one could make. The volume of information can be instantly overwhelming. It is therefore imperative that we learn to connect with our hearts – both as client, and as astrologer - to decipher the code of the soul's message to the self (as described in the birth chart) in order to locate and validate those directional cues from within.
The goal here when seeking any kind of advice from another is to know the self so well that to hear conflicting messages from an outside source - say an astrologer - would be to immediately recognize its untruth. The astrologer's proper role is the detective, the guide, the storyteller, the interpretor, the wise counsel. Not the director, the bringer of "ultimate" truth, or the word of God. An astrologer can open your mind to more possibility, ideas you hadn't considered, strengths you haven't tapped, or shortcomings you might be blind to. But an astrologer cannot, finally, tell you who to be.
An astrology reading is not an instruction manual that one can "get right," know definitively and the use to set the course for endless smooth sailing. To believe otherwise is an untruth and a false hope. And we all have it! We all WANT to know THE ANSWER, the truth, the real story, the way to make life work to our benefit. But life is not a simple journey of upward progression. It is not a constantly uphill process of evolution that one can ride the wave of to great heights unchecked, and without peril or failure. We want badly to believe that it is - that we can think enough positive thoughts, create a most perfect reality, and that we can end all of our pain and suffering one day for good.
I'm reminded of a funny story from my early twenties when I learned about this foundational human belief and need in a simple and visceral way. I had been working out in the gym for a few years in a vain attempt to add more muscle to my thin frame. Literally years of work had amount to just a few extra pounds of muscle, but I was proud of my accomplishment. I accepted my progress, and decided to cut back on the workouts, assuming that I had indeed achieved my goal and could now relax and ride on the coattails of my success, so to speak.
Metaphorically, this is something we all deeply desire - that we do a certain amount of work, achieve a result, and then don't have to work anymore! Think about the places in your life, both simple and complex, that you have unconsciously applied this model. Because those are places in which you are setting yourself up for some painful disappointment. To continue my little story, as you know, I quickly learned that in order to maintain the physical gains I had made, I had to continue to work out - just as often as I had been up to that point. How easily we can delude ourselves! It is funny to look back on that moment now, because the truth seems so obvious. But in that moment I met an unconscious program that had been running – that I could work, make gains, and then rest in the solidity of my accomplishment forever. And the simple and physical way that reality came into awareness helped me face other places in my life in which I was running that same program - but with much higher stakes.
What I’m saying is that there isn’t an end result. There isn’t a final answer. There isn’t one ultimate truth that we can know the answer to that will solve all of our “problems”. The only answers that qualify in this arena are greater spiritual truths, such as “we’re all one” that we can know through direct experience and spiritual practice. Life is a continuum of expansion and contraction – just as the universe models so beautifully for us. Why should we expect that we can circumvent this natural law by controlling our lives so intently that they are orchestrated exactly as we would like, in a constant stream of upwardly-mobile progress?
And so what astrology does offer us is a book of possibility, a gateway to the imagination, an open invitation to dreaming. Astrology can provide a much needed push for a stuck soul. It can be the gift of inspiration that moves you out of a period of lost vision. It can spark a shift of direction at a spiritual impass, or whisper the promise of new life to you in the middle of what seems like an insurmountable obstacle, or give you hope after a great loss. Astrology can, at its best, validate who you are right now, and what this current moment is saying to you. Your response is in your own hands. Ultimately, astrology reminds us that change is ever a constant, and that "this too shall pass." And therein lies freedom.