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It is the fervent desire of most astrologers that our subject be taken seriously by the rest of the world. We are aware of the beauty, symmetry and meaning that astrology offers. We know it as a language of energy, a technique for quantifying the quality of time, and as a means of connecting individual lives with collective cycles and patterns. Yet, thirty years after the metaphysical explosion of the 1960's and the Uranus-Pluto conjunction in Virgo, astrology still sits on the edge of the culture, a minority interest outside the mainstream of consciousness. When astrology appears in the popular media it is usually ridiculed or trivialized. The occasional pieces of objective journalism are so few and far between that they fall by the wayside and are quickly forgotten. Serious astrology does not appear regularly in mainstream publications in spite of the growing number of bright and talented people who have entered the field.

Astrology has failed to find its proper place even within the metaphysical community. It is quite possible to have an important "alternative" conference in America with various healers and psychologists, gurus of body, mind and spirit, and not have one astrologer on the program. Astrology is not seen as being on the cutting edge; it's old and reliable, but does little to excite the interest of those outside its ranks. The stirring issues of addiction and abuse, Earth changes, past lives and extra terrestrials are often addressed without reference to astrology. In spite of interesting ideas put forth by astrologers, not one of us is a required guest for serious television or radio discussion programs.

Astrology is a fascinating subject, but remains a specialized one excluded from the larger issues of the day. We haven't come close to the best seller list since Linda Goodman's Sun Signs, published in 1968. For all the brilliance of Rob Hand, the wit of Michael Lutin, the poetry of Steven Forrest, and the penetrating insights of Liz Greene, we remain apart.

It is ironic then that humanity needs astrology now more than ever before. We have created crises on this planet by identifying with the parts rather than with the whole. Who is human any more? We are women and men, blacks and whites, Moslems and Christians. We are Americans and Russians, rich and poor, left and right, pro-choice and pro-life, abuser and abused. The dividing lines increase daily with each new issue. They cross and recross one another so frequently that yesterday's enemy may become today's ally.

It is clear that we have fallen out of balance with the Earth. Electric lights have blotted out the night sky and we cannot see the stars. Heaters tame the winter, air conditioners cool the summer. Tropical fruits are shipped to us when it's freezing outside. We have broken the link with time, with the seasons and with the Earth. When we speed across a prairie that's been covered with tar at 65 miles per hour we defy the laws of nature. We are faster than the cheetah. When we fly at 20,000 feet we cheat the laws of gravity. We fly higher than the eagle.

The technology that has brought us so much comfort also brings us the pain of alienation from time and space, from nature, from the family, and from ourselves. In the Western world vast numbers of people work in sealed towers of aluminum and glass. They buy and sell products no one needs and provide services no one wants. They shuffle papers about who knows what for reasons equally obscure. They spend two hours a day, ten hours a week. five hundred hours a year in cars, buses and trains to get to their jobs.

We have Cable News Network that brings us reports from all over the world in an instant. But we still have 50,000 children who die each day from diseases that could be avoided with clean food and water. Communism is dead but still twitching in the writhing Soviet corpse. Capitalism is reeling in Europe, the U.S. and Japan. Extremist Christians, Moslems, Sikhs, Jews and Hindus violently express their spiritual values. Where are we to turn?

It seems that this is the time for astrology. Astrology is not the exclusive tool of any religion, ethnic group or political philosophy. It is an ancient, cross-cultural means of connecting heaven and Earth, humanity with the cosmos. This connection serves two vital purposes: first, it elevates us above the barriers of identity by race, gender or nation. This gives us another frame of reference in which to see one another, one free of the inherent limitations in which we currently exist. Second, it provides the essential thread between us and the Earth, that fragile thread whose potential destruction means our own annihilation.

When astrology is seen in the context of ecology, of our relationship with the environment, it slips the noose of esotericism and makes itself available to the culture at large. Ecology is defined as "the branch of biology that deals with the relations between living organisms and their environment" (Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language). Astrology is ecological! It seeks to reframe the human experience in terms of its environment, specifically the environment of time and space.

The psychological wounds brought about by industrialization show their marks in the damaged air, water and soil. We need to heal those wounds to change the tide of history. Astrology is uniquely suited to help by reminding us that we live on a planet. This is no small fact, but, rather, a means to center, to find ourselves in a world in which we have become lost. Astrology reminds us that we belong to the Earth and that the Earth, in turn, belongs to the solar system. We cannot remain aliens on our own planet when we use astrology. We acknowledge the importance of place and our connection to it.

Perhaps the greatest philosophical divide of these times is the one between science and religion. The former defines the universe within the context of that which can be tested and measured objectively. The latter offers the vision of a world beyond our own that gives our earthly experience meaning. Astrology, of course, is both science and religion. Its traditions have always included the sacred and the profane. Astrology has always been both a means to better navigate in this world and to understand our connection to the worlds before birth and after death. Astrology is the bridge that crosses the chasm of science and religion.

But there is no great church of astrology, no central authority which instructs us as to its proper usage. This is both an opportunity and a challenge, one that closely reflects the core paradox found in the sign Aquarius. Without a central authority astrology can be used in any way conceivable. It can be used for spiritual practice and as a means to predict the movement of the stock market. Neither spiritual nor personal gain are differentiated within astrology. Both are legitimate means of inquiry for the astrologer. This reflects the freedom of a non-hierarchical structure—Aquarius. While astrology itself is rather saturnian, (you can't change the ephemeris or trick the calendar), astrologers remain highly individualistic. This means that astrology is not likely to become crystallized as a tool for a particular political or philosophical group. At the same time, however, this makes it more difficult for astrology to move into a significant position in the culture. By choosing to be different, we remain apart, yet we have the potential to serve humanity in a unique way.

The various technical elements of astrology—discussion of house systems, hypothetical planets and all the rest are secondary to astrology's essential message: we live on the Earth in a solar system that is part of a greater universe. We belong here and thus have the means to relate in harmony with one another and the planet. This gift of astrology is one that is worthy of its highest principles and responsive to our greatest needs.

This article was first published in the Jan. 1994 issue of The Mountain Astrologer.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeff Jawer is a founder of StarIQ.com. He has been a professional astrologer since 1973 and is well-known as a writer, counselor and lecturer in North and South America, Europe and Australia.

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For more information about Jeff Jawer, click here.

Other StarIQ articles by Jeff Jawer:

  • AstroNews April 7, 2009   4/7/2009
  • House Cusps and Systems   8/27/2004
  • The Astrology of Intimacy   6/4/2004
  • Saturn in Cancer: Security and Insecurity   4/22/2004
  • The State of Astrology   10/12/2003
  • Being and Becoming   9/29/2003
  • Jupiter Opposite Neptune   2/10/2003
  • The Astrology of Intimacy   12/1/2002
  • Saturn-Pluto Revisited   9/20/2002
  • Astrology's Archaic Truths   6/27/2002
  • We Are The Transits   6/20/2002
  • Creative Prediction   6/6/2002
  • Pisces to Aquarius   11/10/2001
  • Scorpio: Beyond Reason   10/24/2001
  • Caring Curious Carlos   2/25/2000
  • Doug Henning's Final Act   2/8/2000
  • WTO: Shaping the World's Economic Future   12/1/1999
  • The Deconstructed Horoscope   11/28/1999
  • House Cusps and Systems   11/20/1999
  • The Art of (Non) Communication   10/20/1999

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