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Understanding Astrology

Like any other discipline outside the normal, established scientific approach, astrology is often mistaken as a form of delusion or just a funny topic in a new agey conversation with your new neighbors. There is a lot of confusion regarding this topic, and, when it’s not pushed into the entertainment area as a daily horoscope in a magazine, it is discarded as a trustworthy and sound discipline. My personal experience with astrology is quite the opposite. For me, astrology proved over time to be one reliable model of reality. It also helped me identify and solve some of my inner problems I had during years. Using astrology was a tremendous leap in knowing and understanding people around me, it gave me a better understanding of events, situations and relations.

But I often found it difficult to share my astrological opinions with other people. The vast majority rejects astrology and, despite the credit they are showing to it when in difficult situations, most of the time they are not taking it very seriously. Well, that’s everybody’s choice and I’m not going to twist anybody’s arm in this regard. Everybody is free to believe or to not believe whatever one’s want. But for those of you who are curious about the nature and the advantages of astrology I will describe my experiences with it in this post. I will try to find a simple way to show how astrology can be understood and then I will outline a few areas in which an astrological analysis can bring benefits.

The way you look at the world

Ok, we will start with a very, very simple analogy. Imagine a piece of paper in which you cut a hole in form of a triangle. And than imagine you start looking at the world through that piece of paper. Obviously, you’ll see most of the world in the form of a triangle. Your reality will take the form of a triangle. Every way you look, things will be bordered by a triangle.

And now imagine someone else is cutting a hole in a piece of paper in form of a circle. And than imagine how that person is looking at the world through that piece of paper. Obviously, the reality will be more like a circle to that person. The world wouldn’t have any corners for that circular guy.

Both persons are looking at the same thing, which is reality. And both persons are getting pretty much the same results, only in different shapes: one will see more triangles, the other one will see more circles. Based on these different perceptions, those persons will have different approaches to reality. But, regardless the differences, there will be some common ground between them, and that is the concept of geometrical forms. Both realities will be shaped by the same principle, only in different ways.

The concept of geometrical forms is very easy to understand by everybody. Is universal, it’s one of the easiest way to describe the reality symbolically, anyone can identify a triangle or a circle. It’s also very easy to extend it, to build on it: now we can also think at hexagon-like persons, or square-like persons. The sky is the limit.

And now we have a common way to understand the reality perception. It’s enormously limited and artificial, I agree, but it’s only for the sake of simplicity.

Let’s take now a step further, and try to replace this symbolical approach with another one, much more complicated and refined: the astrological model. If we can imagine a person perceiving the world in form of a triangle, why don’t imagine a person perceiving reality by the position of the Sun in the sky at the birth moment. And by the position of the Moon in the sky at the birth moment. And by the position of all the other planets at the birth moment (it starts to get pretty complicated, isn’t it?). And now imagine that we can bring in even the aspects of the planets, meaning the way they are interacting with each other. Told you it”s going to be complicated…

But despite the apparent complexity, the main point is that astrology is just another symbolic model of the reality, and nothing more.

Astrology states that each planet from our Solar System (and some branches bring in even the stars we can see) have a certain quality. And that each planet represents parts of our personality. Natal astrology, which is the most popular branch of astrology, states that the position of planets in the sky at the moment of birth are empowering us with a certain set of qualities. For example: Sun is what you want, Moon is what you need, Venus is what you love, Mercury is how you think, Mars is how you act, and so on. Each planet have a position on the zodiac circle, being placed in one of the 12 astrological signs we already now (Aries, Taurus, Leo, and so on). That placement modifies the qualities of the planet by making it more like that sign. A Sun in Aries will give an energetic person, and a Moon in Virgo an emotionally reserved one.

Those planets on the sky are also forming aspects, meaning the number of degrees which separates them on the zodiac circle. There are different qualities of the aspect too. If a planet is having a distance of 180 degrees from the other planet, the aspect is called “opposition” and is telling the fact that the planet’s energies are somehow in conflict. If a planet is having a distance of 90 degrees from the other planet, the aspect is called “square” and is telling the fact that the planet’s energies are creating a tension which requires conscious action in order to be solved.

This is not the place for an in-depth explanation of astrology, but if there are amongst my readers people interested in a more detailed description, I’ll be happy to write a series on it. I’ve studied intensively astrology in the last 4 years, both by attending established astrology courses and by reading a lot of books on the subject. But perhaps the most rewarding study of the astrology was the individual one, in which I started to to study other people’s charts on my own.

How good is it?

The only real problem with those reality models is their degree of accountability, or the percent in which they are correctly describing reality. In other words, how good they are in describing reality. How well they respond to our questions regarding the nature of the Universe?

The are two ways in which the astrological model can be verified: statistically and personally. Almost every symbolic model of the reality can be verified like this, by the way.

Most of the skeptics will go for the statistical method.  They will try to identify similar patterns for different persons, and they will start to verify those patterns against a certain period of time and on a certain number of people. If the patterns will show a decent number of times over a decent number of people, the model will be validated. If the patterns will just come erratically now and then, the model will be invalidated. There is a certain degree of statistical acceptance of astrology, but only at the solar sign level. For instance: all Scorpios have a magnetic presence, all Capricorns are stubborn, all Leo are charismatic leaders. But as you already started to understand, astrology is a far more refined model than the solar sign, the answers it can bring are far more detailed than the general solar sign traits. It only needs a different method of asking questions in order to give us the right answers.

The other method, the personal one, is simpler, but harder to explain. The closer term for that is intuition. It’s a personal feeling of someone in regard to another person astrological chart (the snapshot of the planets on the sky at the moment of birth, that’s an astrological chart, by the way). Astrology as a symbolic model assign significance to each planet, and to each aspect of the planets. By interpreting those informations, by melting and confronting the planets positions on the sky, one skilled person can start to understand, in a symbolic way, how that person will tend to act, what that person will most likely want, and so on. Most of the professional astrologers have developed specific skills over time in reading and explaining other people’s charts. They worked out what we called “intuition” at the beginning of this paragraph, the same way an athlete is working out his muscles.

So, the basic answer to the question “how good is astrology at describing reality?” is: how good you think it is. There is no limitations here and you can believe it or not, the same way you believe or not some of your intuitions.

My personal experience is that, from both perspectives, statistical and personal, astrology is always true. Used appropriately, astrology can deliver powerful messages and reveal precious information. Of course, if you want to believe it.

How can I use astrology?

Well, I will start with the ways in which you can’t use astrology, so we can have a better understanding of it:

  • astrology won’t win the lottery for you
  • astrology won’t give you the ideal partner, although it can gives you an idea about how your ideal partner will be
  • astrology won’t resolve you relationship conflicts, although it can suggest ways in which you can do this
  • astrology won’t resolve your inner conflicts, although it can reveal the deepest sources for those conflicts
  • astrology won’t give you a better job or career, although it can show you where your excellence is
  • astrology won’t give you a better car or house, although it can show you how to do this
  • astrology won’t make you happier than you already chose to be
  • astrology won’t make you sadder than you already chose to be

You can give all of the above to your self, if only you would know more about you (except the lottery thing, perhaps…). Because astrology can make you understand your strengths and your weaknesses. It can show you where you have excellence and where you still have to work. It can indicate with which type of persons you are relating to in a better way. Karmic astrology can give you indications about your current mission in this life, and about the mistakes you have done in the previous physical existences. Previsional astrology can give you informations about favorable moments for different types of activities.

By now I guess you learned already that astrology, although remaining a symbolic model of the reality, is much more than that. Is a mirror of your current life, a toolset for living a more conscious existence, an invaluable resource for getting over your fears, your obstacles, and living a better, much happier life.

But always remember that astrology is only the map, not the territory. The astrological chart will only show you your potential, but it will not do the job for you. You’ll always have your free will, and by using it, you can change everything in your world.

The planets are only showing you the way, but you have to actually chose your personal path.


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This Post Has 17 Comments
  1. Thanks for the informative article…
    I have always wanted to believe that astrology works, but haven’t been able to yet as I am unable to relate with the basis of astrology. I do not see any relation between the positions of planets and one’s personality traits. What significance has the positions of planets, at the time of one’s birth, got with his/her characteristics? What is the basis of this basic ‘theory’ of astrology? I am very curious to understand this. People have given me examples like the moon affecting the tides on earth. But that is very much physical and happens continuously. So what is the significance of time of birth and how do these physical bodies affect one’s character? Eager to find an answer…

  2. […] astrology and about healthy food. I must admit that I owe him some of my current passions like astrology, or some of my health habits like raw food and the road I’m walking right now was first pointed […]

  3. […] a fulfilling social life, while others are strange, like learning so many different things, from astrology to business or productivity . But what I do know, is that I really have to solve my challenges. […]

  4. I associate the astrology with climatic and weather forecasts, but the making of approximations being even more difficult.

    This makes very difficult to get a professional scientific astrologer.

  5. […] For those of you still into tabloid-like zodiacs, I recommend first reading this post about understanding astrology. The main reason for studying astrology was finding an answer to these coincidences. And, to some […]

  6. […] astrology and about healthy food. I must admit that I owe him some of my current passions like astrology, or some of my health habits like raw food and the road I’m walking right now was first pointed […]

  7. I don’t agree with the presupposition that given the same astral context, 2 different astrologer will give you 2 totally different interpretations. There will be a difference in the details, but the main analysis, if they are professional astrologers, must be congruent.

    But on the other hand, astrology is not only about predictions, for me at least. I take it as a parallel symbolic model of the reality, and it works.

  8. There is common set of parameters to assess the quality of the cow milk.

    But while I don’t have a deep insight in the astrologers’ world, this is what I see:
    Get any pair of two astrologers, they will give you different predictions and we won’t have any clue which provides higher quality.

    That’s why I propose to focus on the past. Here is an example of a quality test for the astrologers:

    They will come back to the predictions they have made in the past; and starting from that prediction they will give the interpretation of the real public known facts happened for the past period of time in consideration.
    The facts subjects to talk about should be from the life and activity of the public persons.

  9. “Believe in astrology, but don’t believe in astrologers” equals to me to “I like milk but I don’t trust cows”…

    There are astrologers and astrologers…

  10. Believe in astrology, but don’t believe in astrologers.

    This means somebody can easily fall in the habit trap of living in the prediction world built of an astrology instead live in the real world.

    The astrologic previsions should be taken a lot more easier, and the accent should be on analysing astrological the past.

  11. Yup, definitely more time for this now, things are not so crowded anymore. I started the synastry the day you asked me but it’s not yet polished. Watch your inbox 😉

    And by the way, it will be nice to share your opinions about that one here, since you brought it into discussion here too, I’m really curious… 😉

  12. Which reminds me… of the astromap and the synastry I asked you to do for me a looooong time ago 🙂 Maybe now you will have more time for it 😉

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