Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Rushing in, looking for wisdom....

Marcel Proust wrote: “We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.” True. None of us is born wise. Some of us, though, don't manage to attain wisdom, even after traumatic life-journeys.

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 wonder, is wisdom - or the potential to attain it - 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. Mr Carter was, perhaps, a wise man to avoid pontificating on this !

My own two penniworth, unwisely offered (sings under her breath: "Fools rush in where wise men never go.....")

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? 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.

Conclusion: I don't know for sure whether wisdom - or the potential to attain it - can be found in a natal chart.
“I'm not young enough to know everything.”
~ J.M. Barrie, in "The Admirable Crichton".


mike said...

To me, a natal chart is only a representation of the potential energy...add to that the polarities of aspects and placements. It's nigh impossible for me to ascertain how that individual is manifesting their natal propensities.

I always get a laugh out of "Parkers' Astrology", Julia & Derek Parker, "The worst people have the best charts". I have found more than a little truth to their statement! It takes a couple of challenging aspects to bring forth humility, grace, and respect (is that a form of wisdom?). Sometimes these difficult aspects can bring-out more of the worst, too, until that individual learns to operate within the constraints to their can take a lifetime (or more?).

I suspect we all inherit via our natal chart an astrological wisdom of some sort...depends on the definition. I've met both, kind AND nasty people that have been wise in some worthy areas of life that are beneficial to their time on Earth. I do believe that we are all's a matter of how much and when...such that we are all fallible, even to our own wisdom..."I knew better, but..." has been the downfall of many. Seems that refresher courses are always in order!

In referencing back to your post from yesterday about negativity and some comments regarding altruism, I try to not segregate the upper from the lower or the 1% from the 99%...we have many ways of defining groups and collectives. I've met and read about some of the creepiest from both ends of the spectrum, which is filtered through my judgement, too. People do what they do, because they have rationalized and justified their actions, whether it be judged as positive or negative, wise or foolish. Individuals on both ends of the rainbow can create astounding beneficence or egregious interpreted by the observer. One person's wisdom can be another person's ticket to hell.

Or as Shakespeare would said,
“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” William Shakespeare, As You Like It

Twilight said...

mike ~ Thanks for your thoughts on wisdom,- as usual interesting and insightful. :-)

Been thinking that it's also true that a person can be wise in one area and foolish in another. You mentioned an aspect of this too. For example, a wise investor, a wise teacher, a wise physician etc. could be an absolute fool in matters of emotion aka love.
And vice versa....though less so, I suspect.

Wisdom doesn't come with a blanket effect then, but faceted; some facets of our nature being more prone or ripe to become wise than others.

And yes, it's all subjective, as is just about everything.

mike (again) said...

Wisdom can be over-ruled by various factors, too. I just returned from the grocery store on my bicycle and there's a brisk, north wind...wiser to have stayed at home, but the need to experience the elements and acquire staples was greater.

The movie, "The Butler" and the Trayvon Martin case brought discourse regarding presumptions and stereotypes about African-Americans. Many African-Americans believe it's wiser to not place themselves in a particular situation rather than risking their safety. This puts their wisdom over their principles.

Many people of color or particular political belief have chosen to purposely deny their wisdom by supporting their principles through demonstrations and protests, which can place them in harm's way.

There have been many heroes that have put themselves in life-threatening positions to protect another. This puts their principles above wisdom.

Many twists to the notion of wisdom.

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Hmmm. Yes. In modern times "wisdom", and its adjective "wise", have become more of generic terms, applied fairly generously, expanded, diluted, devalued even, something akin to the way the word "spiritual" has, in the opinion of some (and me) been devalued.

In ancient times a wise man, a sage, was the guy who understood all kinds of mysteries, and philosophies of which the average man on the dusty pathway of life could have no knowledge. So the word "wisdom" back then carried more weight - was far more rare. Although there was still, back then, a natural wisdom of the peasant couched within his DNA, impulse to to run away from danger, and so forth....but I doubt that was classed as wisdom proper.

"Wisdom", the word, still carries a little of its ancient meaning for some people, even now. It describes, for them, a person who, in spite of occasional lapses into average human foolishness, has on the whole a better grip on what's really what than most of us.

Still subjective though.

Heck - I've just seen Russell Brand described as "a sage", in the old definition. Not sure I'd agree, much as I've liked what he's been saying recently. I shall dredge up my own meagre smattering of native wisdom to wait for a while longer before making such a judgment.

mike (again) said...

There's always the Crazy Eight Ball.

ex-Chomp said...

Great Goddess Athena was also the goddess of strategy as opposed to mere war fury, the goddess of intelligence, of smartness and cleverness, helpers of the heroes in their perilous journeys

She was also the protectress of Athens which had its neame from her, and of all great and important cities, even Rome included

ex-Chomp said...

And so, wise goddess Athena, help us all to be smart enough not to be so blind towards the tons of tricks and cover-ups and false flags we were so stupidly prone to in these last decades.

And let our eyes open their chinks and our minds open their ears to sunbeams from Above so that our darks may be finally broken.


Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ LOL! Of course, or the entrails of an ox - or more seasonally, turkey. :-)

Twilight said...

ex-Chomp ~ I like that!
AMEN indeed!!