Astrology in the Era of Uncertainty
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If you knew that a map existed, designed specifically for you, to show you the way not only into your own deepest truth, but into the very heart of the cosmos, the place where the gods and goddesses of old continue to live, wouldn’t you want access to this map? If you could ask these numinous beings why your life, indeed why the world itself, is as it is, wouldn’t you jump at the opportunity? If you yourself could become more godlike in the use of this map, wouldn’t that possibility intrigue you?
If I told you that such a map existed, would you scoff at my delusional naiveté or would you want to know more?
Some of you may have already guessed I am talking about an astrological birthchart, but most of you probably didn’t know astrology could do all that. Most of you probably think that astrology can give a fair description of your personality, or help you get more of a handle on what you are experiencing now or shed some light on a difficult issue or concern. But take you into the heart of the cosmos? Facilitate a conversation with gods and goddesses? Teach you how to become more godlike yourself? That is, no doubt, going too far.
Or is it?
What if I were to tell you that once upon a time, this was exactly what astrology was, but that over the course of thirty thousand years or more, we have been taught otherwise, to discount the very possibility?
Science has, of course, disparaged astrology as pseudoscience, the superstitious, albeit persistent vestige of a primitive culture. But science has also denied the possibility of a meaningful cosmos, mapped as well by story as by measurable fact. Science has taught us to eschew the imagination in favor of rational discourse. Science has taught us to doubt the validity of our own subjective experience in favor of consensus. Science has disenchanted the world and explained the gods and goddesses away.
Those of us who have grown up in a world dominated by science – which is all of us, astrologers included – have been conditioned to dismiss the very idea that a conversation with the deeper, sacred intelligence at the heart of this world, is possible. So, we lower our expectations and become more realistic.
Some of us, perhaps, attempt to take refuge in religion, which after all, is where one would expect to find the divine. And yet, religion has historically wound up being more about belief and conformity to a prescribed code of conduct than an invitation to commune with the sacred. Go back far enough, and we can see the mystical roots of all religion, but those roots have been severed long ago. Now religion teaches us to place more faith in the supposed experiences of the long dead, rather than our own, to pretend we don’t hear the voice of the divine in our own heads and hearts, and to follow the dictates of authority instead of finding and cultivating our own connection to the Source.
Those of us who have grown up in a world in which religion claims a monopoly on access to the divine – which is all of us, astrologers included – have been conditioned to believe we can’t possibly have our own unmediated relationship to a numinous cosmos. So, we lower our expectations, and become more passive and prosaic.
Religion and science aside, most of us also live in a culture that values achievement and material success more than spiritual maturity; that encourages endless progress and mindless consumption, rather than awareness of cycles and living in balance with oneself and the environment; that rewards outwardly focused busyness and rolls its eyes at those who seek a stillness in which life is felt to be sacred.
Those of us who live in such a world – which is all of us, astrologers included – not only fail to recognize the presence of gods and goddesses walking among us, and living within us, but fail to create a world in which the sanctity of life is respected and a quality of life is ensured for future generations.
Through our collective history, we have in fact created a world that is increasingly uncertain and out of balance. We have lost our way as a species, and it has become increasingly difficult for individuals living in such a world to truly thrive, to live lives of dignity, to feel themselves to be part of something meaningful that encompasses but also transcends the tired melodramas of their own fractured lives.
The answers to this universal dilemma do not lie out there in the world. Neither science, nor religion, nor culture at large can help us make sense of the mess we have created. While proposing astrology as an alternative way of knowing that can take us closer to the truth of who we are, and how we fit into the larger cosmic scheme of things might seem preposterous to some, what if it is really just a measure of the cynicism that our conditioning by science, religion and culture has instilled in us?
Is it so far-fetched to consider the idea that a language based on a map of the cosmos, populated by celestial bodies named after gods and goddesses, timed to coincide with our entry into this world, could possibly facilitate an intimately personal conversation with the sacred intelligence at the heart of the world?
If you are intrigued by this possibility, then I invite you to read on, to see how this might be so.