Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Does Astrology Teach That Our Fate Is Written In The Stars? Part 1

Does Astrology Teach That Our Fate Is Written In The Stars? Part 1

Do you believe in fate or destiny? Do you believe that some mysterious force governs your life and directs you to do everything you do? Do you believe that astrology teaches that we are fated or destined to experience specific events in our lives? If you do you're not alone. Many believe this to be true.

Yet what exactly is fate?

According to Princeton University's Wordnet, fate is:

• destiny: an event (or a course of events) that will inevitably happen in the future
• Destiny: the ultimate agency that predetermines the course of events (often personified as a woman); "we are helpless in the face of Destiny"
• destined: decreed or designated beforehand; "She was destined to become a great pianist"
[italics and bolding mine]

For years the scientific community – astronomers and psychologists in particular -- have written numerous pieces on such topics as the belief that astrology teaches that our fate is our destiny and that there is no way to alter what is destined.

Additionally, laypersons (those who know little about astrology) and neophyte astrologers have not helped when they, themselves, continue to believe – and teach – that astrology is a system of fated occurrences.

No wonder scientists have retained this misguided belief of astrology and passed it on to the lay-public!

Confusing, isn't it?

However, the fact is, there are many astrologers who have a far more accurate view of what astrology provides than that our fate is written in the stars. One such astrologer is David Cochrane of Avalon College(1) who had this to say about astrology: “…an astrologer can usually detect what energies are influencing a person and give suggestions on how to redirect the energies in a more constructive and fulfilling manner. While a popular image of astrology is that it is fortune telling, actually astrology is more often useful as a tool to help us live more effective and satisfying lives in the present rather than forecasting the future with absolute certainty.”

Does this sound like the definition of ‘fate'? Based on my own studies as well as those of other astrologers, I firmly believe that one of the reasons that astrological predictions are so often fulfilled has nothing to do with fate, but is “Because people rarely develop the consciousness necessary to extricate themselves from the ever-repeating circle of inevitability. To creatively respond to stressful aspects is a rare gift which requires great conscious dynamism, and very few people have the ability to objectively recognize themselves.” ~ Unknown Astrologer

Note, however, that although this astrologer refers to the ‘circle of inevitability,' she is actually referring to the fact that because we choose not to do anything to change or alleviate our circumstances, we will, ‘inevitably,' continue in the same old rut as before.

Astrology also teaches that we should be proactive, take the bull by the proverbial horns and not believe or expect that an event is ‘fated' or directed by some outward source. In order to make anything happen, even astrology teaches that we must put forth the effort necessary to manifest our dreams. This is otherwise known as the theory of cause and effect.

However, there are no guarantees, no absolutes. As I tell my clients, make an effort to first understand yourself and those characteristics and tendencies which make up your nature. Keep in mind that the character traits for any given sign are tendencies rather than absolutes. That is, there is a very strong probability that you exhibit or will exhibit a propensity for a specific trait, whether beneficial or not. Or, put another way, you are just as capable of demonstrating the negative side of a trait as the positive; it is up to you. Regardless, these character traits are not written in stone and can always be improved upon.

Yet, if astrology is not fate, what is it? Is it a science? An art? An aspect of medicine, psychology? Is it real? Is it bogus? Many scientists believe it to be a ‘pseudoscience' with no validity whatsoever(2). Other scientists, such as British astrophysicist and Principal Lecturer in Astronomy, Percy Seymour, author of Astrology, the Evidence of Science, shows why he believes it to be a science. Additionally, French psychologist, Michel Gauquelin, and Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung(3) (coiner of the terms ‘synchronicity' and ‘collective unconscious') believe it to be a valid science. In fact, Jung actually calculated horoscopes in order to augment the diagnoses of some of his most difficult-to-diagnose patients, because he claimed that astrology afforded him insights into his patients that he would not otherwise be able to understand. And then there are some astrologers who believe it to be an art, rather than a science.

Why all the fuss over its exact classification? Well, that's a topic for another article, but obviously, we each have our own interpretation and ideas about just what it is. One thing we do know for sure is that, along with astronomy, astrology has been around longer than any of the other sciences, and that whatever it is purported to be, it has been, at times, extremely controversial.

But what can it do for us? How can it help us? And what in the world are those astrologers referring to when they claim that events are fated?

(continued in Part 2)