Is astrology real?
Filed under Astrology Intro Topics on March 17, 2017
Okay, let’s start from the beginning.
Tropical Astrology uses the ‘tropics’ to align the zodiac by the equinoxes. This is why the Spring Equinox is always 0˚ Aries. Over time the equinoxes drift, which is called the Procession of the Equinoxes. This is the largest scientific criticism of astrology by astronomers — that when we say the Sun is in Gemini, in actuality (or in Sidereal measurements) it’s in Taurus. Astronomers act like we’ve made a mistake, when in truth we’ve done this on purpose. Astrologers have intentionally used tropical calibrations since the peak of astrological study in Ancient Greece, Egypt, and Babylonia.
The very first chart readings primarily looked at the Sun and Moon. Early astrologers began to notice cycles with regard to the Moon and planting and harvesting cycles. As more empirical data was recorded, correlations between contacts of the Moon and other planets and signs were noted. For example, they noticed that planting on a new Moon and harvesting on a full Moon produced the best results.
As astrologers became more familiar with the cycles of the Moon and other planets, they began to understand some of the basic patterns of weather. For a very long time, astrology was predominantly used to make weather predictions.
With the rise of oversea journeys, it was natural for captains to ask astrologers about the weather conditions. The first formal horary question may have been, “Is it safe to sail?” The classical astrology texts of the Hellenistic time period use a nautical vernacular to describe many aspects of the chart wheel. An image of a ship can literally be drawn over the chart and metaphors expounded. The helm is the 1st house and the captain is the 10th. The ship itself is the native’s life. The top half of the chart is above water and public and the bottom half is private and below water.
Predictive or “horary” astrology is the basis of all true astrology that is practiced today. It wasn’t until much later that these techniques were applied to a nativity.
The peak of astrological study was during the Hellenistic time period where Greek, Egyptian, and Babylonian influences led to a robust set of predictive tools. Even then, when a natal chart was cast, it was viewed the ‘weather’ of that person’s life. This ties back to the origins of horary astrology as weather forecasting.
Modern or western astrologers tend to look at the planets in somewhat of a vacuum. They discuss your Sun sign as your ego, the Moon as your emotional shadow, Venus as your love style, Mars as your energetic disposition, your Ascendant as your first impression, etc. This is a very new technique popularized by Freudian psychologists in the early 1900s. Personally, I’m a traditionalist and avoid reading a chart this way.
Science and Divination
It’s safe to say that Astrology isn’t a science in the sense of creating a hypothesis and gathering measurable data. It’s certainly more empirical than that. Even psychologists struggle to make accurate observations of our minds and realities. However, in my opinion a chart should be read in mostly the same way by multiple expert astrologers. If not, there is no validity in the technique.
The other piece that needs to be introduced into this conversation is the concept of divination. Divination is the application of significance to random events. Tarot is a great example of divination. There are 78 cards in the deck. If you had a specific card in mind that you wanted to pull, there would be a 1.28% chance of you getting that card. If you pick three cards, the likelihood of picking those exact three cards again in that order is virtually zero. You probably won’t pick those same cards in that order ever again.
And the cards you picked have significance assigned to them. The first is for past influence, the second for present, and the third for future. You could have picked any card, but those are the ones you picked.
The point is, casting an astrology chart is the same thing. When a querent asks a predictive question, the astrologer casts what used to be called an ‘accidental’ or a chart wheel and draws conclusions about it. You could have asked the question at any time, but you asked it then.
Also, you could have been born any day at any time, but you were born at that time. Five minutes earlier would have been a different chart. It doesn’t even matter if it was a cesarian because your parents could have picked any time, but for whatever reason they picked that time.
In astrology, we assign meaning to the chart and trust that the timing has valid divinatory significance. For predictive readings, we even go a step further to verify the validity of the chart by checking the ascending degree, Moon degree, and placement of Saturn.
Astrology is real. It doesn’t conflict with scientific thought. There are undereducated western astrologers that don’t know what they’re talking about. Hellenistic and Vedic astrologers are the most informed.