Part 2; Astrology, Myth, Magic,
Astrology is what I do—it’s my spiritual practice, and I believe in it as one might believe in any religion—and mostly because it makes sense out of the injustices in the world when viewed in the karmic re-incarnational light of multiple lives. This kind of world view, this kind of evolutionary astrology, reminds me repeatedly that our Souls are on a journey Home, and that on this grand Quest we encounter quest-ions, and we have chances, over and over again to make things right for ourselves. Every life is a unique path to its own home. No right or wrong, no dogma or rigid expectations.
The type of astrology I practice has elements of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and even an agnostic "weltenshaung" world view.
And yet it’s not based on any of these—instead it draws out of them a non-judgmental compassionate view of life, and adds to them a belief in the plausibility of reincarnation and the soul’s pre-existence. This belief system holds that there is an evolutionary process moving the Soul from separation from its Divine Nature towards re-connection with a benevolent Source. It suggests that we have so much free will that our Soul actually chooses the time and place to be born into so that it brings over both the gifts and challenges from previous lives.
So, how does it all work? When an astrologer draws up a birth chart based on that very important birth time and place, it will show tendencies, or probabilities, but it doesn't show destiny. We still have free will. Each choice and every attitude in life builds character, and character and fate are delightfully intertwined. Why is it delightful? Because most astrologers believe in that formula of fate plus character equals destiny, then we can consciously work on our character. Fate can throw us hard times, but we create our destiny by building our character in response to what life presents us with. We use our free will to continually make choices, and those choices are either conscious or unconscious, and are based on what we know at the time. I’ve always liked what Jung once said about this: “Free will is the ability to do gladly that which I must do.”
For me, I sense a plan of divine justice here, and a cosmic pattern that affirms a meaningfulness, and a divine dance between the macrocosm and the microcosm; between God and man; between the heavens and the earth. Astrology accepts the ancient occult saying "as above, so below, as within, so without" and so it presumes a relationship between the planets above and the earth below; between the numinous “mind of god” and the individual psyche within.
When you look at your own chart, you’ll see a psycho-spiritual description of yourself that transcends one life alone. Every planet in the chart is karmic. Karmic suggests habitual patterns, and reflects the usual way or style you have of doing things—and it may continue over many lives. Some of your old habits serve you well; others seem to be trouble makers. So karmic patterns are reactive knee-jerk responses—they are your “default” patterns when you’re not applying a lot of conscious willpower over a situation. Karma is not all bad, in fact, just like all the planets and the signs can be read in a positive and negative manner, your “karma” contains your gifts as well as your stubborn resistances. In a nutshell, karma is the law of cause and effect. But not all “karma” is obvious or linked in a fair and just manner in this one life, so the subject does get mysterious. But who doesn’t love to attempt to understand a good mystery?
Character, choice, and fate intertwine in mysterious ways, and my focus here is not to predict, but to help you explore all the possibilities in your charts. For example, let’s say you are born a female with blue eyes and red hair and perhaps an Irish background. It's also significant if your North Node or Sun in your birth chart is tightly aspecting Pluto. The closeness of your North Node to Pluto or the Sun to Pluto tells you that your father, and your paternal inheritance is very strong, and that you have a kind of intensity and charisma that other people may find intimidating at times. It also suggests that you may have lost a “gift” from the father—he may have been absent in some way.
This aspect suggests you are not going to shy away from the deep and sometimes taboo areas of life, but rather will be drawn to explore them in order to regain the gift. You will want to understand the challenges that your father and grand-father had, so that you can understand your family karmic inheritance and not act out urges unconsciously. There’s a legacy with this aspect, and the goal is for compassionate understanding—and often forgiveness, so that you do not act out the karmic-genetic tendencies blindly.
Because the planets don't cause anything to happen, but merely reflect the climate of a particular time, we have free will in determining how we will play out the symbolism of our birth chart and the astrological weather of the transits. You can choose to play out your “karma” on what might be called a higher octave rather than a lower octave. The more you know, the more choices you have, the better your decisions—this is when knowledge becomes power. Wisdom and “character” is what happens along the way.
Astrology works— and occasionally doesn't work—for many reasons. Like the Judeo-Christian concept of prayer, we ask and hope to receive. When astrologers, like other spiritual teachers or guides, move into the literal mode too much and attempt to predict the mind of God, we lose. When we honor the fact that spirituality echoes the mysteries of our lives, we find that astrological insight can be profound. It can inspire courage and faith in the process of life and death. It can give hope.
Magic and mystery arise when synchronicity is felt—when what you see in your chart and what you know of your life are congruent; synchronized, and reveal a pattern. Astrology is not meant to merely define, predict, or forecast—it’s meant to stimulate our insight and make us whisper: “Ah-hah!” Its here to help us do what the oracle at Delphi commanded—"Know Thyself." It helps us make better choices, as it gives us a glimpse of who we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re going.
Elizabeth Spring (c) www.elizabethspring.com