The Mutability of Fate

May 2014

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The path to an understanding of meaning and purpose – as it might be articulated from an astrological perspective – begins with a bit of education. Most people have the unspoken sense about their birthchart that it describes something that is “written in the stars.” Most astrologers would tend to agree. But how successful we are in helping our clients to find meaning and purpose in their suffering depends upon what we think – and what we communicate to them – is actually written.

In ancient Greece, where modern Western astrology has its roots, astrology was often associated with a mutable concept of fate. According to Ptolemy’s Algamest (quoted by Jim Tester, A History of Western Astrology, New York, NY: Ballentine Books, 1987, p. 70):

". . . we ought to listen to the astrologer when he says that to such and such a temperament, with such and such a particular condition of the heavens, such and such will happen, as a result. If what is going to happen to a man is not known, or if being known it does not receive treatment to inhibit it, it is bound to follow the sequence dictated by its original nature; whereas if it is foreknown and is provided with a remedy (the remedy being what it is because of natural laws and fate together) it either does not happen at all or is considerably modified."

In considering this quote, Tester concludes: “So our fate, foretold by the stars, which are part of the working of eternal law, is natural and mutable, and the foreknowledge provided by the astrologer helps us cope with it.”

The next post in this series is The Birthchart as a Template of Cycles.

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