Thursday, January 14, 2016

Doubts - I have a few...

I do harbour doubts about some areas of astrology - others do too, even fully fledged astrologers. Here are a couple of excerpts from a 2001 piece by Australian astrologer, Candy Hillenbrand: WHAT'S IN A NAME? Deconstructing the Roots of Astrological Meaning

There was a time, a few years ago, when after a lengthy and dizzying honeymoon period with astrology, I finally began to think and question, and to ask why, where and how does this cosmic craft of ours work, and if it does indeed work, what is it that works? Questioning is a dangerous pastime for an astrologer, for once we become converted and begin practising this most princely, or is it queenly of stellar sciences, there is generally no turning back. We are hooked: where once our lives were chaotic and meaningless, now we have substituted order, meaning and numinosity. Like many of my fellow colleagues, I initially embraced astrology with a fervour not unlike that of a born-again religious convert who first meets with his/her God/dess.

Astrology's Uranian quality turned on a light, illuminating once mysterious corners of my life and being. It explained and named the previously un-nameable. It was nothing short of an aha experience - so that's why I'm like that I mused - I'm not a dialectical nightmare after all, as one former partner had endlessly teased - I'm a very normal and stereotypical Libran! What a relief it was.

[She goes on to explain her own areas of later doubt.]

......In the face of such gargantuan claims to be able to answer life's big and little questions, to be able to tell us the why, who, what, where and even when of life, many of us can forget the need to question, to inquire, to investigate, to think for ourselves, to examine and ultimately to doubt. The 'd' word is clearly a dirty word for many astrologers. In the presence of doubt we can find ourselves in a highly uncertain and formless place, bereft of answers, shorn of predictability, and of course we all know that astrologers need answers and thrive on certainty. After all, predictability is our greatest claim to fame. Without that, perhaps we may cease to exist!

But what this questionless state of affairs really engenders is little more than a fundamentalist belief system with all the hallmarks of a somewhat rabid religion. Those few who do dare to ask the difficult questions are more often than not marginalized as heretics to the true cause of astrology, for it seems apparent that astrologers are threatened by too many questions. Yet it is my belief that the discipline and practice of astrology could only benefit from some serious questioning, investigation and ultimately deconstruction. It is important to note that deconstruction is a dismantling process: it is not a destruction as many believe, and its purpose is to find the source of meaning which lies at the core of any system or set of beliefs.

My own doubts were outlined during my earliest blogging days, most of them remain :

#1 I don't believe that when a natal chart seems not to match its owner, using the most basic methods of delineation, the astrologer should use a "deeper" set of techniques, or add more ingredients, to make it fit. If a chart doesn't fit, the reason is most likely to be attributable to the native's heredity, location, environment, health, circumstances, etc. Transits and cycles, especially those of Saturn, will be observable in the life, in accordance with the natal chart, even when personality, as traditionally described, does not clearly manifest in an individual. I see astrology as a fragile natural manifestation originated in the moment of birth. The fragile, natural effect is going to be modified in any number of ways. It's amazing that the effect remains discernible at all in so many cases.

#2 The idea of hard and fast divisions in an astrological chart bothers me. There is no universally accepted "correct" house system or even correct zodiac. Signs and houses ought to be open to some blending effect. "There are no walls in space". I believe a natal chart is capable of displaying a view of the native, not exact, but through swirling mists - hints, outlines and suggestions only. Likewise for astrological predictions - hints only, and plenty of swirling mists there too!

#3 Progressions, secondary, primary or any other -ary do not impress me much. Likewise for solar arcs, midpoints, solar return charts, and lunar return charts. My instincts go against these astrological "tools". They reduce astrology to some kind of board game. The fact that they originate from the past isn't enough to change my mind.

#4 I'm wary of any theory related to karma, soul purpose, reincarnation.

#5 I'm skeptical of the idea that names from mythology, allocated to newly discovered/designated celestial bodies, should be taken as a guide to a celestial body's meaning. It makes no sense - even less sense when astrologers jump on the idea the day after announcements are made by astronomers, the very people who look on astrology as total bullshit!

The way I see it is due to the way I am "wired". I could be wrong, but well... so could you!


This morning's very sad news of the death of Alan Rickman caused me to search for my own post featuring him, and his natal chart. For anyone interested, it's at:


mike said...

I left this comment on last Saturday's post...not sure if you noticed it:
"Astrology the way it looks from Earth vs the way it really is: "

It's unfortunate that astrology was left in the Middle Ages when astronomy split-off as the true science of the sky. I suspect that modern astrology would be dramatically different, had astrology benefited from serious research and development rather than maintaining the status quo from the days of the Renaissance.

I watched the POTUS' SOTU address and consequential synopsis from ABC and PBS. Several times the comparison of our current era to the 1968 election, which was mired in much American civil unrest, was discussed. Hhmmm...the Uranus-Pluto conjunction compared to the current Uranus-Pluto square...apropos! And these political pundits never once applied astrology, but I did...LOL.

In some respects, I rather enjoy astrology as a bastard child, as it provides freedom from the mainstream normalcy and expectations. It's a bit like having all of the tools and supplies required to paint, draw, or sculpt, and it's up to ME to incorporate my creativity and skills to derive my masterpieces, completely unique to my ability and mental-emotional acuity. Just as there are individuals that lack artistic skills, the same can be said of astrologers. I believe there is something special about some astrologers' ability to apply the craft, whether it's intuition, psychic clarity, or simply a thorough comprehension and application of the available knowledge.

Over-egging the pudding, as you might call it, may be an error in astrology...the sum of the parts being much greater than the whole. The geocentric view vs the heliocentric view. I'm always in favor of the keep-it-simple logic. Yet, like your original Vent Vert having 1100 components vs the 31 of modernized remake, more may be better...LOL.

mike (again) said...

P.S. - If you double-click on the link in my comment, you'll pick-up the quotation mark and get a "Page Not Found".

Twilight said...

mike ~ Oh....I did see that just before I went to bed, and had meant to go back to it
next morning - but forgot. I've looked again now. Thanks - excellent information and graphic there!

I especially like your comment's penultimate paragraph, and agree. I'd just add that our own astrological make-up directs, to a great extent, how we each use or don't use tools available, and how we "see" astrology in general. I see astrology as a part of science that hasn't been understood properly yet, and that leaves lots of room for speculation, trial and error, embroidery, fluff-gathering etc.

LOL! Yes, Vent Vert - the original formulation - did benefit from a very skilfully blended multiplicity of ingredients; but had just one ingredient been over-used or under-used the result could have been very different, and a product that never even reached the stores. The same danger could be said to exist in astrology. ;-)