Oh My Stars

It may just be because I recently successfully completed my fiftieth journey around The Sun, but of late my mind has turned to the subject of using astrology to predict death.

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Shut up.

I’ve written here about the subject before, but it always seems to come up within the context of a recent celebrity death. I’d like to cover the techniques involved in greater detail, but the subject is controversial enough that it requires a lengthy introduction. That, and the subject is important enough that it should be examined outside the mad rush that happens after a celebrity death.

My thoughts on predicting death fall roughly into two, equally strong camps. On the one hand, it’s a touchy subject, and anyone concerned about their own death (or the death of someone else) should be approached with these things cautiously. Whether you’re into astrology or not, it’s probably best to focus on life rather than death. Also: any decent professional counselor (whether an astrologer or not) should be really wary of encouraging anyone’s death, even if it’s purely unconscious. If nothing else, there’s always the chance the prediction will be wrong… and that’s just embarrassing isn’t it?

On the other hand: if astrology can predict major life events, isn’t death “a major life event? It seems odd that astrology can foresee the beginning or end of a relationship, when you’ll start a new job, and how your hernia surgery next week will go, so certainly death should be something that can be foreseen too, right?

Well, like so many things in life, it just ain’t that easy. A lot of astrologers do perfectly good and useful work with a birth chart without really doing any predictive work at all. There’s all kinds of psychological and therapeutic good to be had from understanding yourself and your loved ones. And admittedly, the usual predictive techniques an astrologer uses are an order of magnitude more complicated than natal astrology, and are thus easier to get wrong.

Furthermore: the techniques specific to predicting death are even more complex than the usual predictive techniques. If you have a deep interest in these things, I can’t recommend The Astrology Of Death by the late, great Richard Houck for all the details… but be ready to work hard to learn how it’s done. Among other things, Houck’s techniques are a mix of Western and Vedic Astrology… and Vedic Astrology can be a huge mind-bender if all you’re used to is Western Astrology.

(It’s interesting to note that Vedic astrology does not shy away from things like life span calculations. In fact, traditionally, that’s one of the first things your local Vedic astrologer would look at when you brought the new baby around for a reading. Whether this is because either Vedic astrology or traditional Indian culture is more “fatalistic” than Western astrology or culture, I leave to you. As we say in the West… YOLO!)

Now: having said that… yeah, if you know what you’re doing, you can nail down a fairly tight time frame in which a person is likely to die, or face mortal danger. Part of the reason for doing so is to warn a client. After all, there has to be some room for Free Will, hasn’t there?

Also: I should have you know that I have done my own calculations and it seems that I’m just not going to die. Ever. Unless of course I messed up a decimal place in my calculations, or my opinion is inherently biased. Still, it’s good to know. Now pass me the doughnuts, cigarettes, chainsaw and vodka… I have a life to live!

NEXT TIME: Astrology, the limits of prediction, and a dead celebrity. Bring popcorn and be ready to take notes.

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