Tuesday, March 17, 2009

WISDOM and the Natal Chart

Blogging buddy Wisewebwoman featured the following 5 minute video on her blog recently. I thought it so good that I couldn't resist airing it here. The thread running through the video is "wisdom".
(Illustration, left, is Athena, Greek goddess of wisdom, renamed Minerva by the Romans; she's accompanied here by her owl, still regarded as a symbol of wisdom. Below, right, is Saraswati, Hindu goddess of wisdom and learning)

Where, I asked myself, is wisdom to be found in a natal chart? Even the book I usually turn to on such matters, astrologer C.E.O. Carter's Encyclopedia of Psychological Astrology, is silent on the matter.

I'll dive in (and probably flounder) with my own two penniworth, after the video.

Wisdom emerges from a combination of the traits we are born with, and the experiences life, our background and environment hand to us. In a natal chart I'd be looking first and foremost for balance. Without balance, wisdom is going to be difficult to find.

Balance doesn't necessarily mean Libra's scales though. It means balance in the chart as a whole. Balance can come via aspects, blending of elements and qualities, the spread of planets, the patterns they make, the signs occupied, the angles emphasised. If the chart seems generally well-balanced there's a good chance the individual will have a well-balanced attitude to life, and therefore be ripe to acquire the beginnings of wisdom from education, reading, relating, observing, suffering, celebrating, wishing, wondering........all those things and more.

Does this mean then that a chart which is heavy in just one area will manifest as an adult without wisdom? It could mean a lack of circumspection and imbalance of focus. It could mean great success in whatever direction the individual decides to proceed, but success isn't the same as wisdom.

The question now arises: what actually is wisdom? YourDictionary.com says it is
"the quality of being wise; power of judging rightly and following the soundest course of action, based on knowledge, experience, understanding, etc.; good judgment; sagacity learning; knowledge; erudition ....."
Judgment. Ah yes! Good judgment is the beginning of wisdom. It's still a tricky area to define though. I recall the days when I had to write annual reports for the staff members in my department. One section of the report form required me to assess the individual's judgment. I usually left this part to the last, and always struggled with it.

Whether a person's judgment is good or bad is a subjective decision, and takes good judgment on the part of the one doing the judging! Whether a person has wisdom or is a know-all clever clogs is also somewhat subjective.

My judgement on this: I'm almost certainly not wise enough to define where wisdom is to be found in a natal chart. Perhaps it can't be found there at all, and maybe that's the wisest answer.



anthonynorth said...

I often used to say of wisdom that wise people usually begin as stupid ones.

Shawn Carson said...

William Blake said "The path of excess leads to the Palace of Golden Wisdom" George Harrison agreed with several folks in the video when he sang "All You Need is Love"
Another of my favorite quotes is "a wise man knows many things, while a clever man knows many people"
Maybe we can juxtapose wisdom with cleverness along the Gemini / Sagitarius axis. I definitely think that Jupiter rules judgement while Venus rules values. Maybe wisdom is when your judgement is in accord with your values.
Keep up the Great Work!

Wisewebwoman said...

And I would add, T, that people often get knowledge and wisdom mixed up.
One thing for sure wisdom can't be derived from books.
It is all in the school of hard knocks and can only be earned in later years.

Twilight said...

AN ~~~ Can't argue with that one! :-)

Twilight said...

Sahwn ~~~ Hi!
You make some good points.

Sagittarius/Gemini is an interesting one, and as long as it's still allied to balance in general, I agree. Too much emphasis on either sign or both signs could cause problems, and, though excess might lead to wisdom eventually,(as Blake says) many uncomfortable lessons would have to be learned along the way. Maybe that's the way it has to be though.

Jupiter represents philosophy, which requires wisdom, but also religion, which, if taken to excess can cause wars - just about the most unwise outcome in human experience! - So balance, for me, is still the watchword. :-)

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ Oh yes, there's a clear difference. A person with little or no education can still have a natural wisdom. I'm not sure about it only coming to the fore in later years though. Some youngsters are spookily wise - that's what I was trying to get at via the natal chart.

I think that experiences at any age can coax out wisdom. Think of a young person with younger siblings, who loses both parents, for example. If they have certain inborn traits, they get wise fast - if not - more tragedy. :-)

R J Adams said...

Wisdom is hard to pin down, astrologically and otherwise. I, too, was taken with WWW's video and noted that almost every contributor came up with a different answer. Wisdom is a recipe of many complex ingredients, which in just the right proportions produces a fine repast. That's as close as I dare go to a definition.

Shawn Carson said...

Yes, Jupiter rules reiligion, and this can be a divisive issue, but you have to have afflictions to or from Mars or Saturn to become a zealot. Other factors too, I imagine...Challenging influences from the outer planets can indicate imbalances too...

Twilight said...

RJ ~~ a very wise response, if I may say so. :-)

Twilight said...

Shawn ~~~ Yes, so many factors to be considered. Wisdom will come from the mix, and there'll be a thousand and one ways that mix could be configured. Complicated!