Astrological Musings

I found this article on using astrology to predict the future from the December 2000/January 2001 issue of The Mountain Astrologer by Tem Tarriktar:

The investigation of where astrology’s influence really is may raise the question of whether things are predestined or whether free will exists. Even if events, life circumstances, and behaviors are, to some degree, predestined, we discover that we are timelessly free when we place our attention on the Here and Now and open ourselves to the present moment {3}. In this expanded state of Being, there is no separate identity left to have free will. This shifting of one’s attention to “the Now moment” is essential: although past and future seem substantial, only Now is real. Eckhart Tolle, in his book The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, says it beautifully:
Have you ever experienced, done, thought, or felt anything outside the Now? Do you think you ever will? Is it possible for anything to happen or be outside the Now? The answer is obvious, is it not?

Nothing ever happened in the past; it happened in the Now.

Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now.

What you think of as the past is a memory trace, stored in the mind, of a former Now. When you remember the past, you reactivate a memory trace – and you do so now. The future is an imagined Now, a projection of the mind. When the future comes, it comes as the Now. When you think about the future, you do it now. Past and future obviously have no reality of their own. Just as the moon has no light of its own, but can only reflect the light of the sun, so are past and future only pale reflections of the light, power, and reality of the eternal present. Their reality is “borrowed” from the Now.

The essence of what I am saying here cannot be understood by the mind. The moment you grasp it, there is a shift in consciousness from mind to Being, from time to presence. Suddenly, everything feels alive, radiates energy, emanates Being.

We practitioners of astrology tend to be attracted to the apparent security we get from knowing where the planets are and where they’re going. We can predict with certainty where, say, Saturn will be five years from now. After all, if we have an early warning of what’s coming, we can brace ourselves for the future (or open ourselves to it, if we think something positive is coming). Psychologically sophisticated astrologers who see themselves as non-fatalistic may still fixate on future astrological events in order to anticipate the energies that will arise (to try to create what they think will be a positive outcome). My point is that our impulse is to insulate ourselves with a layer of preconceptions about what is imagined as coming in the future, because we feel that the future cannot be trusted (when it gets here) and needs to be controlled. This tendency is not unique to astrologers, but we stargazers are particularly devoted to it. More than that, we rely on it to keep clients coming. Forecasting the future is our business as long as clients expect it of us. The future is the “bait” with which we hook most new astrology clients and students.

Many clients come to see an astrologer in the belief that the astrologer, the designated seer, has a better view of the future than they do. Unless the astrologer is way out in left field, the client, to some degree, adopts the version of reality presented by the astrologer. For instance, how can you get pronouncements like “pay attention to any chest pains you might have in June” totally out of your mind? Being given this power by the client, the astrologer may feel infallible and begin to make arrogant assumptions about the client’s limitations, talents, and hidden problems – all apparently based on the chart. In the worst-case scenario, the astrologer forgets that the client is more than a soup of cosmic symbols. I know that I did all this when I was reading charts.

The predictive astrologer weaves a story of the future for the client, a tale typically woven from a combination of textbook keywords, memories of previous transits, and the astrologer’s beliefs about life, people, and the world in general. The scenario presented by the astrologer often has only a vague resemblance to the actual future experience of the client. The astrologer knows deep down that he or she is on shaky ground and may be simply guessing at what shape the future will take – all to satisfy the client’s expectations.

This “educated guess” may be supported by years of astrological research and lots of charts, tables, and graphs. It may be flavored with a smooth, sophisticated presentation of psychological terms, astrological jargon, and so on. But the truth remains: The astrologer doesn’t really know what’s coming. The future is unknown.

Sometimes we DO know what is coming; we can sometimes tell that under a combination of Pluto and Uranus influences a bad marriage will break up and the client will once and for all leave that terrible job. But we can’t predict this because the future is set in stone; rather, because we know the degree of development this client has reached and how close they are to being able to create their own destiny and break out of the shackles that have bound them to the difficulty of their charts.

So often clients ask me “Is this relationship meant to be? Is there something in our charts that says we can’t be together?” And the answer so often is, can you (or your loved one) overcome the difficulty in your chart that is keeping this from happening? Can he stop deceiving and blaming you and work on his own internal issues? Sometimes the relationships that feel the most fated are the most destructive. Is this fate or compulsion?

Past, present and future – all are permeable, malleable by what we do in the immediate Present. This is the only moment we have – is there a song in our heart? And if not, what are we going to do about it? For me, these are the important questions.

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