|History, Use and Value of Astrology|
|by Tomas Gregory
The Aspen Astrologer
Posted with Permission
Astrology began to develop independently in several parts of the world about 5,000 years ago in places like Egypt, Syria, China, India and with the Mayans. It was based on astute observations of the sky and of the movement of the planets, and of seeing that there were correlations between the planets and the lives of people. For example, a baby would be born at the time that the planet Mars was on the horizon, and that baby would grow up and be more than likely to get involved in medicine or the military. Over thousands of years and hundreds of generations these observations became more and more refined, and as the movement of the planets correlated to daily events they were used extensively to help make sense of life and its cycles.
In the Western countries the astrology of the Egyptians was melded with the mythology of the Romans and the Greeks and their Gods and Goddesses and the planets still carry their names - i.e. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, though the last 3 planets were only discovered in recently modern times with the advent of larger telescopes. Astrology has been used by millions of people around the world as a necessary and integrated part of life, and is today. Astrology has also been ridiculed by millions of people around the world, and often still is today, especially on the grounds that it is "hocus pocus" and "unscientific" or on religious grounds that it is somehow a "heathen" practice.
This particularly amuses me, since the three Wise Men of the Bible were in fact astrologers, and the "star" they followed was a conjunction (i.e. grouping) of planets which together "shone brightly".
As to science, in the 1940's a French scientist by the name of Gaughelin was so appalled that in these "modern" times people still believed in astrology that he set out to scientifically and statistically prove that it was garbage and superstition. He took the astrology charts, and life histories, of some 40,000 people and meticulously analyzed them, and then wrote a book of his findings which is available today, in English, in many mainstream bookstores.
His finding, put simply, was that using proper scientific statistical methods, he proved that astrology DID work! Oops.
Well of course it does! Anyone who has ever had their astrology chart done and read knows that! I have done hundreds of charts on people who call me up, give me their birth details, turn up a week or two later and I give them a reading. The most common thing they say to me is "You know me better than my best friends!"
Now, I do not believe that the "stars" (really the planets) "cause" things to happen to us. My belief is one of synchronicity, that everything in the Universe is connected, and moves with the same forces and cycles. That the planets are like a cosmic watch, and just as the watch on your arm does not cause the movement of time but merely measures the movement of time, so the planets do not cause things to happen but measure the cycles of energy and events in our lives. So astrology is a way to tell what time it is in our life. Hence I can say to a woman who came to me for a reading "Last May, did you have a car accident or break any bones?" and she replied, in stunned surprise, "I was hit be a car and broke both legs!"
Sadly, she came after this accident. Had she come for a reading before May, I could have warned her that these energies (transiting Saturn square Mars) were coming up and given her other ways to use that energy so she would NOT have broken bones! (Such as chop wood, do heavy exercise, etc.) The value of astrology operates on many levels:
First, it is a very clear "map" of who you are, of what your true nature is, of what is your unique mix of human energies and possibilities. Within that is very clear and specific information about areas of your life you need to focus on, directions to go, and ways for you to get fulfillment in the different areas of life.
The second great value of astrology is that you can accurately track the life cycles you are in NOW, and astrology gives clear understanding of what they are and how to make the most of them, how to get the lessons and value of those cycles.
There are cycles that everyone goes through at the same age, such as the Saturn return at 29, the (very real) mid-life crisis at 40, and so on. There are also many cycles, some long (up to 18 months) and some short (a day or two) that are specific to each person.
Another extremely valuable area of astrology is relationships, where you take the charts of two people in relationship (work or personal) and can see what the strengths are, where they will clash, where there will be tension, what lessons and directions there are etc.
For me, I can easily say that of all the life tools I have explored and learned, both traditional (e.g. psychology) and alternate (including many Asian practices), astrology is one of the top group as far as value and practical use. It has assisted me greatly in living and understanding my very unusual life, and in supporting others in making sense of their lives and lessons.
To anyone who says it is bunk, I now simply look them in the eye and say "Well, it is obvious that you have never had an astrology reading, have you?"
And do you know what? They never have!
© 1997 by Tomas Gregory, All rights in the above article are
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