Saturday, February 05, 2011


Is there a place for "what-ifs" in astrology?

If the suspicions of some scientists/physicists proved to be correct, and "somewhere" there exist other dimensions, would they exist under the same astrological regime as our dimension? Not likely. Their history, though parallel to ours, would have led down (or up) subtly different paths. Perhaps their astrological doctrine, if they had one, would be a mirror image of ours - or a backwardly moving one as compared to our own, if we were to apply ours as a yardstick.

Even without another dimension existing, our fate and destiny rest upon such delicate threads. Butterflies and hurricanes. One tiny, meaningless, almost imperceptible variation in the scheme of things could change history.

Anyway, a couple or three curious "what ifs" struck me resulting from movies watched recently.

So: (via The King's Speech) What if, in another dimension, or in this one, Edward VIII (referred to as "David" in the movie) had never met Mrs. Simpson and had been Britain's King in place of George VI? Would he have married some fresh-faced gal, had a clutch of kids, the eldest of whom would now be on the throne?

There would have been no Prince Charles and Diana - nor the tragedy that followed.

Would Britain still have declared war on Germany in 1939 with Edward VIII on the throne? Some sources (Christopher Hitchens for one) believe that Edward VIII was far more friendly to the Hitler regime than has been reported. The British royals are closely related to German aristocracy. Would Britain have supported what was happening - could it possibly have done so? I doubt it. Winston Churchill was around - or was he, in this scenario? Could Britain have become an arm of the Third Reich, aiding attack on the rest of Europe and Russia?

What part would the USA have played in this other dimension?

Then, loosely related to The King's Speech, 1930s theme, we watched the movie Max on TV this week. Its plot centered on Germany in the 1930s, with Adolf Hitler as a nervous, paranoid young would-be artist associated with a Jewish gallery owner - a fellow-survivor of world War 1. In the (fictional) plot Hitler tries to get his work exhibited, without much success at first, and is egged on by an aggressive colleague to try political speechifying instead. He proves to be good at this, so good in fact that he incites a crowd to violence, resulting in the gallery owner being kicked to death at the very point he was to meet Hitler to arrange an exhibition of his latest, much improved, work.

What if, in an alternative dimension, the exhibition had happened before that fatal speech? What if Hitler had become a world-famous German artist? Would an alternative, equally manic dictator have arisen to take his place? Would the holocaust have happened? There would doubtless have been some minor wars and perhaps a less stringent attempt to expel Germany's population of Jewish people. But would Japan have bombed Pearl Harbor?

By that other scenario's 21st century, would Britain and most European countries have become the 51st to 65th states of the USA, after defeat at the hands of that country's mighty armies?

Enough already!

Our world situation these days often seems precarious. One tiny variation of events, in decades past, could have brought about something quite different - even more precarious ? Or equally so but in a different way?


anyjazz said...

Good thoughtful post. It's like the game my children played, only we called it "'Tend-Like." They’d set a situation, name the characters and then act out the way they thought it would be. Of course each scenario only lasted a minute or so and then they’d change it. “’Tend like you’re lost in the forest and I have a horse.”

The idea provokes lots of thought processes. And as you know, I think “thinking” is good. Of course the ultimate scenario is the one where we imagine what small thing we can do differently now that will change everything in a future we have already forseen.

For a time we flew Margaret Mead’s flag in front of our house. Who knows what small change that made in someone’s mind that will affect a decision or an action in the future?

Gian Paul said...

One thought crossed my mind while reading your "provoquing post" - Twilight. Then I hesitated to reply along this thought-line until I realized that if (IF!) you posted your question (you give no answer so far), you may be wishing a debate.

So much for "dialectics". In simple terms, if (IF!) this were a forum in the Catholic Church (or similar religious organization, muslim, jewish etc.) your raising such a question, even if (IF!) only in terms of astrology, must be considered as being a sin.

Why? If (IF!) destiny exists (and astrology pretends to deal with exactly that) it must be unbendable. So any "ifs" are equivalent to argueing with God or Destiny, and that is a sin under the definition of Destiny being unbendable. Or "He knows best" as the Muslims say. Astrology however can help to find out what He/Destiny has reserved for us.

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~~~ Creative imagining is great experience for children - and they are so good at it!

I suppose every action we take, every experience we encounter, has a consequence somewhere along the line. Like the butterfly flapping its wings in the rain forest.....

Our Earth Flag flew for years, yes and was replaced at regular intervals - having been ruined by weather. Maybe the birds appreciated it - I doubt anybody else did though.

Maybe we should try it again.

Twilight said...

Gian Paul ~~~ Comment and debate are always a welcome result, GP. I was really just writing down a train of thought I'd had recently and had found intriguing.

It's probably just a load of blah! But it interests me. Such things do.

Religions? Not my department. Screw 'em -and the horses they rode in on!


Hmmm - destiny unbendable? I don't think so. Astrology provides potentialities not certainties, and potentialities can manifest in thousands of different ways but still retain the same "flavour".

R J Adams said...

'What-ifs' are infinite in number. Every decision, every happening produces a 'What-if'. This is true both in our personal lives and probably throughout the Universe.

When I chose to use the internet to find a partner, I utilized Yahoo's 'Find a Friend'. (Yes, it was back at the turn of the century!) I wanted to correspond with someone from America, but in those days Yahoo would only accept a US zipcode as part of my identity. I made one up. It turned out to be the town of Schenectady, in New York state. The woman who is now my wife lived in Illinois. She was also looking for someone, but not too close to her, so she chose to look only in New York state. When she responded to me, she was somewhat surprised to find I lived in Wales, UK.
Ten years later, we both believe we found our soulmate, but 'What-If' she'd chosen another state, or (What-If) I'd randomly picked some other set of numbers for a zipcode?
We have no control over our 'What-Ifs', as we cannot foretell the future, but maybe - just, maybe - the Universe does. I like to think so.

The zipcode I chose? 12345, of course.

Anonymous said...

This has all been mused upon endlessly. In 1961 Robert Heinlein wrote a science fiction novel wherein an astrologer creates a chart for the first human born on Mars. The description is plausible and elaborate enough that I think he consulted an astrologer.

But what you are talking about is the "Multiverse." Every event splits the universe into different time lines. For example, I turn left instead of right on the way to work, there are two universes created, one where I get to work safely, the other one I die in a car crash. But multiple universes are created for EVERY event in the universe. A subatomic particle goes left instead of right, new universes are created that are almost identical to each other. That's a hell of a lot of universes. The quantum physics interpretation that I like is that the multiverse has 14 spatial dimensions, all those multiple universes that we experience as 4D (3d space plus time) are in the same space, overlapping. The next universe is so close to us, we cannot feel it. It can only be perceived as different by a higher being that can see in 5D.

Wisewebwoman said...

Great post, T. There are several movies with this theme as you know and I loved them.
One of my favourite "whatifs" is if there were no belief in a god. The Imagine of John Lennon, brought to life. No religions. No nations. And capitalism never even invented.
I can spin off on that for a while.
We would never miss what we never had.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~~~ Ah yes! I considered adding a paragraph about my own experiences in internet relationships - similar in some ways to your own.
:-) Thanks for adding yours.

There are points in our lives (and in history) when these special "what ifs" stand out most clearly and would have the most impact. Hmmmm - better stop there or I'll be off again looking for some more... ;-)

Twilight said...

Anonymous ~~~ hi there!
Thanks for adding an extra dimension to this post. :-)

Yes, it's a fairly common sci-fi theme, and often with variations. One of which might soon come out of the sci-fi into the real. Although I fear our minds, as they are at present, are not up to fully understanding the implications.

Perhaps we'll gradually evolve sufficiently to take it all in. We've evolved far enough to accept the technology we have - unthought of a few hundred years ago. No reason to think we'll stop now.

Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~~~ A favourite theme of mine too, WWW, in movies and short stories.

I think the attraction to these themes stems from dissatisfaction with the way things are. We look for satisfying alternatives, the way a starving man might find a cookbook and drool the illustration. :-)

Twilight said...

....should read "drool over the illustrations"

Gian Paul said...

It's not a question of astrology vs. destiny. Destiny is what decides (in astrological parlance) when a human being "sees the light of day" (hour and place of birth) and when he/she will not see it anymore, i.e. die. And possibly even the "circumstances of birth and death".

Destiny also (as we understand it so far) decides about the main - or most important events between birth and death.

Astrology, if competently used, (a big "IF!") may be able to find out about an individual's (or nation's etc.) predestined path.

If this was not so, the whole of astrology can also go the way you wish for religions, T. i.e. "Screw it" or go to hell.

Twilight said...

Gian Paul ~~~ Hmmmm - here we go!

I'm not sure that I believe there is such a thing as destiny, fate, kismet, etc. These are romantic concepts dreamed up by mystics, in my opinion.

I don't see that astrology, without destiny, is cancelled out (or screwed!) That's not how I see astrology (could be very wrong, of course).

I see astrology as a natural phenomenon (we don't know the hows and the whys though). When a human, or maybe any living creature, is born it comes with a "blueprint" sure, but not with a pre-printed route.

I think the blueprint indicates only traits of personality. Those traits will determine how that individual steers their way through the tangle of life's absurdities and glories.

That's all.

And that's why a good astrologer, understanding what kind of person the client is, can guess how they will deal with astrological cycles as planets hit their natal blueprint.

I do not believe that anything is chizelled in stone.

We may have different ways of seeing this, GP - we'll likely never know who is right. There's room enough for both theories, and others, I think.

Gian Paul said...

Before this week-end is over and the Moon leaves romantic Pisces and it's conjunction with Jupiter/Uranus, let me terminate this debate, from my end at least.

Your argumentation, T. is perfect for a rational world and non-romantics. But then don't you consult occasionally the Tarot, an extremely mysterious (if not romantic) type of divination tool?

And anyone (almost) who consults an astrologer or other teller of what the future may bring must be called kind of a "romantic believer", by your definition.

Man made objects (to use a case where no higher power needs to participate) have all sort of a destiny. They will not last for ever, for one. Cars tend to start rusting after 5-6 years, or even before) and there is evidence that the manufacturers manage to "plan" when rust should set in quite well.

But other human products, e.g. works of art, have some destiny of their own. We know that from paintings, sculptures, musical compositions etc. And so far I am not mixing any of this with astrology.

What probably needs to be explained, but that is a never ending kind of thing, is what do we understand under destiny, fatum.

There is usually no problem looking at events in backward fashion. Do people not e.g. say "it was his/her destiny to become famous, or infamous or to loose her husband or a job etc."

It's more tricky looking into the future, if that type of investigation is undertaken. The question is almost "to have or not to have a cristal ball".

Twilight said...

Gian Paul ~~~

Hmmm let's see......

Yes, I occasionally consult the Tarot cards - experimentally really - to see if they work. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. When they do it's spooky!

Whether this qualifies as looking for "destiny" or whether the cards are simply a tool upon which to focus in order to to click our natural intuition into gear to see likely future events- is another matter.

If the cards work on occasion I don't see this as any proof of destiny - but proof that we humans can do more with our minds than most of us assume. We can look into the future - are we looking through time? That is not destiny as I understand it, it's looking into the future which may or may not be destined according to which theory one holds.

We humans are all "destined" to die at some point, just as your car rusts at a given point of its lifespan, so do we. Our individual spans are regulated by the way we've lived our lives and looked after our bodies - as with cars. One kept in a garage and serviced regularly will last for many years longer than one parked outside in all weathers, carelessly driven and no oil changes etc.

I do not believe these things are seeable in a natal char of a human except by association with that person's temperament/personality perhaps....then there's important input too from genetic inheritance which determines strongly our health and strength.

Yes, destiny is difficult to define with any accuracy. It means different things to different people.

As you say, assuming something was our "destiny" with hindsight is easy. And if one could use the tarot or a crystal ball or astrology to see some future event I wouldn't call that a destined event. I'd call it looking through time. The event or outcome we might see would be the natural succession of events following actions and thoughts of the person in question. Not a "forced" conclusion by a force called "destiny".

Hmmm - it's difficult to get into words what I'm trying to say. Basically, just because a person is able to divine or see a future event doesn't mean it was "ordered" by some force of destiny. It just means that event is happening somewhere along the timeline of a life.

Erm - an example. When I was in early teenage my mother consulted a psychic for a reading. Among other things Mum told me that the psychic told her that her daughter (I'm an only child) would marry a foreigner and end her days abroad. I did. I married two different foreigners actually. Was it my destiny to end up in Oklahoma married to an American? Not really my destiny - although it could be termed that way by some. It was that psychic looking through time and seeing what had happened to her client's only daughter. Is that destiny, or is it one likely result of everything I am, as set out in my natal chart ? Maybe that could be called destiny. I don't know.

If destiny is defined as "what the future is bringing along naturally", and it can be seen by some method or other, by a practitioner who can see through time, then okay.