My take on astrology
First of all, astrology is not a science. And astrology is not a religion either: it is not a question of belief. I hate the question “Do you believe in astrology?” because it makes no sense. Do you believe in the Internet? The Internet is not a thing to be believed in: it has existence and it is to be used or not, for whatever purpose you have. The same goes for astrology: astrology exists, and it is there to be used or not.
Of course, what people really mean when they say “Do you believe in astrology?” is “Do you believe that astrology can predict the future?” or “Do you believe that a birth chart can give an accurate description of someone’s personality?”
But those are questions that would be valid if astrology was a science, which it isn’t. It simply isn’t: if it was, astrologers would have been able to demonstrate their ability to predict personality traits/future events in a convincing way, over the course of the last three centuries or so. They would also have devised a method to transmit their knowledge, so that anyone who applies themselves would eventually be able to tell the future. And not least, if astrology was a science, there would be at least a workable theory as to what type of influence (and gravitation is definitely ruled out), for example, Neptune has on me, and how it transmits this influence. There isn’t.
But now that we have said what astrology is not, what about what it is?
For thousands of years, people have looked at the sky, trying to find some sort of patterns. And there is no reason to suspect that those people were essentially dishonest and/or stupid. Some of them were actually brilliant and passionate. Their quest has not produced anything significant about the world per se, but it certainly constitutes a very good projection of the human psyche. Moreover – and this is the specificity that makes astrology unique – astrologers think in terms of cycles. They see reality as a very complex collection of waves. A lot of women have a hard time knowing exactly where they are at in their 28-day menstrual cycle : can you now imagine the level of concentration and observation needed to see emerging patterns in, let’s say, the 29 year cycle of Saturn? Now keep in mind that the planet Saturn itself is not causing anything: it is merely the hand of a clock that completes one turn in (approximately) 29 years. Its astrological function is to focus the attention on a specific cycle.
And this is what astrology is to me: the art of using the sky as a projection screen for the human psyche, by thinking in cycles.
In other words, astrology is for me an immense work of art. Coming back to my Internet metaphor, if Internet is quite unique as a machine collectively created and improvised by humans, astrology is a collective work of art created and improvised over the course of centuries by thousands of human beings.
When I do an astrology consult with someone, I always emphasize clearly that any superstitious attitude is not welcomed and that what we are planning to talk about has nothing to do with “destiny” or such nonsense. But people want to know the future. Most people who come to astrology want me to tell them what is going to happen to them. And I always suspect that it is also what makes skeptics bitter about astrology: there is an infantile part of themselves that wishes it would be possible to tell the future and gets very disappointed that it is not. Most hardcore skeptics I have met hate astrology, but they really love science-fiction, which just expresses in another way the infantile desire to know the future.
There is one prediction about the future that I give to everyone who consults with me: “Whatever you are experiencing now, whatever makes you feel stuck or doomed, will change.” This is what thinking in cyclical terms will give you: patience. No matter what is happening will not be happening for ever.
When I do consult for people, my goal is to make them feel validated as to who they are and optimistic about the future. Astrology is an art that I use very openly to this end.