Reprinted with Permission, Be Well World, Inc., 301 663-0830

Seeing Stars: Astrology De-mystified

Do life transitions have you “Seeing Stars” lately? If so, first, know you are in good company. The planets for many months now have been moving in significant ways and continue to navigate from one rare alignment to the next. The astrology community has been in an anticipatory state and descriptors like “powerful” and “historic” are routinely being applied.

How these things play out may be in question, but that changes are occurring in great numbers is not. This is true on a global level (more on that later) and likely for most on a personal level. With that, you may be facing some tough decisions in many areas: career and relationship shifts, health or financial challenges, or moving your home. At times like this, many of us might wish for a little extra guidance or advice. Perhaps, if you are open minded, consulting an astrologer could be just the ticket.

From Ancient Gods to Modern Thought

Dating back to ancient Mesopotamia, the first great civilization in our recorded history, astrology may just be mankind’s oldest profession. The Sumerian astronomer/priests developed a complex system based on the movements of the planets, which they believed allowed them to divine the will of the gods. In their cosmology, planets did not just symbolize gods, but actually embodied them. Astrologer seers (see-ers) who read destiny in the stars were the most revered and influential advisors to kings for thousands of years.

We no longer believe the planets are gods, yet, the archetypal symbolism of the ancient divinities still resonates today in our collective psyche. Jungian psychology introduced us to both the concept of archetypes as universal symbols and to the collective unconscious as a repository of all human experience. Breakthroughs in quantum physics have furthered this understanding and we now know that we are living in a universe of energy rather than matter and of vibration rather than solidity. This expanded worldview, ushered in by science and psychology, creates a new groundwork for understanding our interconnection as humans with this unified field of universal consciousness, and helps us to understand how and why astrology works. We are one with all. All is one.

Planetary Cycles

Astrology is a study of planetary cycles and their relationship to events on earth. The moon cycle is an example that most people can relate to. Just as the phases of the moon affect the movement of the oceans on Earth, we are affected by them as well. Most of us are familiar with the term lunacy, coined to describe the craziness that often happens at full moons. Statistics bear out that there are more arrests, murders, and births during this phase of the lunar cycle.

All planets have cycles, measured by the length of their orbits around the sun. As they travel, they form angular relationships to each other called aspects, some of which are supportive and some can be challenging. As they move or “transit” through the zodiac (the belt of constellations on the plane of earth’s orbit), the planets take on the energy of each sign. Thus, there is constant movement and change with corresponding effects here on earth. “As above, so below,” as the axiom goes.

The Stars and You

Your natal chart is a picture of the sky at the time of your birth. It is like a blueprint of who you are with information about your innate strengths, weaknesses, and potentials. The astrologer is an interpreter for the symbolic language in which your chart is written. The chart wheel contains twelve pie slices called houses. Each house has dominion over a different area of your life such as career, children, relationships, etc. The signs on the cusps of these houses and the planets inside them give a picture of your inner and outer persona, your natural biases, habit patterns, modus operandi and even what you were born to achieve in this life.

In order to cast your personal chart, the astrologer will need your date of birth, exact time of birth, and place of birth. But looking at your natal chart is only the beginning. The sky is constantly changing, as are the forces that influence how your life progresses. Astrology is a dynamic system and every time a planet in the sky makes a significant angle with a planet in your natal chart, something in you and your life is activated. At these critical times you may feel disoriented, stressed, anxious, or even depressed. An astrological reading often concentrates on these transits to give clarity to what is going on so you can maximize the potential of the situation and avoid some of the pitfalls.

While many astrologers are generalists that will look at all areas of current influence, some astrologers have chosen to build deep specialties in one focus area. There are medical astrologers, financial astrologers, vocational and locational astrologers. Electional astrologers advise you on the exact right time to do things like signing contracts and selling property. Spiritual astrologers will connect you to your higher self, and karmic and evolutionary astrologers may help you to discover your past lifetimes and the ways in which they are influencing your present.

Astrological counsel can be enlightening and healing, a great source of insight and clarity. Your astrologer will help you understand the cycles, maximizing their strong points and minimizing their weak points. The cycles we go through are predictable, but you have a choice as to how you deal with them.

2012: A Transformational Year

2012 is one of the most unstable and change-filled times in our history. We are on the brink of a massive paradigm shift that is clearly mirrored in the heavens. Many astrologers believe that, contemporaneous with the end of the Mayan Calendar on 12/21/12, we reach a tipping point which will usher in the New Age of Aquarius. In this transitional year, we are experiencing an unusual amount of celestial movement in which planets are changing direction and signs at unprecedented levels. Having the higher perspective that astrology can provide can make a huge difference – between fear and suffering – or the enlightened understanding that everything is purposeful. Using astrology to reveal divine purpose, for you personally and for all of us on this rock circling the sun, can be the cosmic gateway to the transformational promise of the New Age.