Having started into the metaphysical community at a young age, I at times, went along with my mother to astrological events. At these events I kept hearing individuals spout out phrases like, "it's your Mars in Cancer that makes you do that," or "I like this because my Jupiter is in Pisces." As I grew, I started to form a consensus ideology from the community, in that the Planets DO SOMETHING to you and that we act in certain ways BECAUSE of our charts. As I write this article today, I hope to bring to light that Astrology is not a tool to justify action or a quick and easy target to blame the effect that arose from an Astrological cause. What we will look at in this article is ways to get out of the cause and effect loop that can be placed upon Astrology, and how to change using it as a destructive tool -- the tool of Astrology as a means to justify action and intent, i.e.; The Astrology of Justification.
The idea that we are somehow being affected by celestial waxing and waning is one of the major tools that individuals like Carl Sagen uses as a slam on Astrology. He pounds the point that "planets that are millions and millions of miles away can not exert any form of force on the human race." Under his type of Newtonian thinking, he is correct. The planets that spin around the Sun do not exert forces on any of us. They are not the cause of anything. So if this is true, then how does Astrology work? How can mapping planetary positions be beneficial? The answer to this is in a somewhat tired old phrase, that "AS ABOVE, so below." The planets that form cyclic patterns around the Sun act as a representation of a larger order found deep within the collect unconsciousness of the Human race. The root of the danger in using Astrology to justify, e.g., "I can't help being a little flaky, My Moon is in a hard place, aspecting every one of my other planets," is that it totally negates any form of freewill. We become victims of our "karma" in that we are stuck with a Natal Chart, formed at the moment of birth. This Karma is the kiss of sealed fate for individuals who interpret charts with a causal relationship to the expressed archetypes (the planetary position). "How can I ever change if I'm stuck with this afflicted chart" was the first question that came to my mind when I was young, and someone told me of how things with my chart would be. Even the most professional Astrologer can fall into the trap of pre-disposition of how an archetype can express in the yet formed future, through looking at transits, or planning events only at certain moment when the "planets are in harmony." How do we use the planetary patterns without pre-disposing of our future? How do we not place blinders upon our ever increasing view because we were looking for a certain manifestation of the planets? The answer is found within the understanding of the differences between Astrological potentialities and probabilities.
At the heart of understanding the intricate nuances of any Astrological archetype, is the need to first understand the concept of potentials. Potentials are the range in which any particular karmic intent expresses itself, a type of frame work that the energy of the soul works within. This karmic limitation (range of expression) is a forming device to help the soul evolve. With Astrology, the way in which any of the planetary energies expresses is found within a range of potential expressions. This may sound limiting to the soul, but it is like a worker's tool kit, in which a plumber has his unique set of tools or an electrician who has his set of tools unique to him. What each worker does within the potentials of this tools is unlimited, but is cut short when he pushes outside the bounds of the equipment. This metaphor works very well as we all have a set range of tools bound by the Karmic intent (potentials), but the amount of probable expressions of those tools is unlimited. What is left to you is exercising your freewill. This is how Astrological Potentials and probabilities differ -- Astrological potentials are a necessary forming device, giving the soul a framework to emerge within and probabilities are the amount of choices (freewill) that the emerging soul has to work with..
Another way to look at the idea of Astrological potentialities, is to look at the emerging soul as raw "energy" looking for some form to shape to. The concept of energy taking form is another way of saying that we have Karma, and that this karma has intent. The form in which this energy takes (intent) is clearly represented in the Natal birth chart, not by any one part or point, but all of the points melded together. Viewed as a whole, you can no longer blame any point or placement within your chart as being the cause of anything. Going back to the tool kit metaphor, no single tool can be used to complete a job, the whole kit is needed. If you wanted to justify your actions with your birth chart as a whole, that would be the same as blaming karma -- and that doesn't get any one, anywhere fast. The idea is to remove the blame and the guilt of a chart and of the karma we feel that we are stuck with. The path to working with your chart is embracing the vast probable expressions we have within the limits we intentionally set on our lives. The Moon is a set of potential emotional expression, but we are not victim to any one single form of expression. This takes exercising your freewill.
Freewill to choose how we express ourselves is not an easy point to reach to. This is because we are given a set of tools, BUT we are not given any instructions, owner's manual or rules. By learning how our tools work, we eventually discover how they work together. Learning how an Astrological archetype expresses itself will help give you the freewill to act within the frame of reference set up by its potentials. Freewill to choose how to steer one's life is found by knowing the status of your present position and then choosing a direction of your choice. The key to this is fully understanding the moment you're in. This means you can no longer justify the current direction you are heading into the future, with the experiences you dealt with in the past, or with some ill Astrological expression. All points to the future lead from the point of the present. Right now. This means that the choice to move in any direction can be better understood by looking at the set of potentials you are dealing with (Natal, Progressions, Transits) and not by pre-determining your future, but through creating the path from the present to your chosen goal. So "my retrograde Mars didn't make me act like that, I choose to express it that way." The key is to be conscious of our choices by studying the myriad of potential of all archetypes. This can be a life time of learning to accomplish, but after all, that is all we really have.
So now that we see that any Astrological archetype has a defined range of potential expressions, how can we use Astrology as a tool to bring about growth? It is simple as developing an itinerary for the journey you are on. Each stop is weighed to help choose the next step. This means that acting on the present to effect your future is better facilitated when you can full integrate the various Astrological expressions that are occurring. The Astrological future (looking at Transits, Electional Astrology or Horary) is only put in perspective by knowing what "station" (the present) you have stopped at on the journey. Study the moment of your birth (natal chart) as a grand symbolistic gesture of your tools you have to use to carve out various futures from the huge mountain of probable realities. Look at all the point as they modify each other and how they work together and, in that, remove all need for a causal relationship to the archetypes. The outcome will be a first hand joint effort in the process of being, and not one as a spectator. In my astrological practice, I have learned to listen to the present state of the clients mind by having them ask questions and, in doing so, I can see what tools have emphasized themselves and what potentials they have chosen to express. They live their chart out before me through the types and ways they ask for guidance. From this interaction, I hopefully can see the directions they are making, and in doing so, show them a view of "their itinerary" from another perspective. In the end, clarifying the choices they are making now to move towards goals in the on rushing future. No need to justify, or point a finger at any cause, only directions to move towards with the clarity, and a sense of purpose that is the reward of Karma as it takes form.
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