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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
was first published in the Jan. 1994 issue of The