Every once in a while, I run into someone who tells me they are curious about astrology, but hesitant to get a reading. They often mention they are afraid of what I might find when l look at their chart.
Yet the real value of astrology, contrary to what much of the popular newspaper horoscopes might lead us to believe, is that it gives language and meaning to what we already sense, but can’t yet explain. We may know we are drawn to certain kinds of experiences or people; the chart can help us understand why, and how to work with our innate preferences. And as the quote conveys, like any other conception of the world, astrology is a model, nothing more and nothing less, and it can be useful.
The natal chart is more like a map or blueprint than an operating manual. Rather than telling you what to do, the patterns in the Cosmos at the moment of your birth can help you understand – and honor – your unique combination of likes, dislikes, purpose, and potential. In any given moment, too, examining the interactions of the current planetary positions with our own can help us navigate to where we want to go. Rather than determining our movements, astrology illuminates what is at play and how to work with it, somewhat like obtaining a weather report to know whether or not to grab a raincoat.
I have found astrology to be invaluable to me for understanding myself, guiding my career choices, and navigating my relationships. I also rely on it to give me some context for world events, and as well as personal challenges. Understanding the archetypal forces at work – such as the study of power with Pluto, or learning to take responsibility for my life and choices with Saturn – offers me greater opportunity to make conscious choices.
For instance, as I have mentioned several times in the past year, one of the risks of 2021 is the shadowy tendency to harden into dogma and judgment; a way to work more consciously with the issues of our time is by leaning into curiosity and honoring multiple viewpoints. This theme is indicated by the Lunar Nodes, and is heightened by the eclipses of the year ( June and November, roughly). It switches as the Nodes shift signs in early 2022, pointing us to another set of polarities with which to practice.
In my view, astrology is a valuable tool for self-discovery, acceptance and understanding, and helping us see the shadowy places and bring them to light – in ourselves and our world. It is not a way to tell someone who they are, what is going to happen to them, or to incite fear or superstition.
My Chart Interpretation Series begins on Friday, September 17th. The course is intended to offer you the basic ability to read your own (or someone else’s) chart; to hone your intuition; and to help you navigate your life more joyfully and consciously. I would love to see you there! You can watch last spring’s free introductory class here.