The Practice of Astrology

  • General

Your horoscope is a snapshot of the positions of the planets at your birth. This is what some astrologers call the seed potential.  You might even think of this as your spiritual DNA. When astrologers do a “natal chart” interpretation, they are analyzing the “personality” of the individual through the birth horoscope, building a picture of the inherent proclivities that inform how the individual might approach life. This practice is called natal astrology.

As life unfolds, the horoscope synchronistically depicts the unfolding in terms of possible arcs of development. Astrologers use various forecasting techniques developed over many hundreds of years to foreshadow possible arcs of near term development for an individual.  How effective these techniques are depend very much on both the astrologer and the individual.

When someone goes to an astrologer for help, usually the uppermost question in their mind is, what is going to happen and when? Uncertainty bothers us, and we think that if we know for sure what’s coming down the pike, we will be able to handle it better. Having some idea of what may be in store next year may not make challenges any easier to handle, or successes any sweeter to savor when they actually come along, but at least with some planning, we can hope to better survive the hard times, and make the most of the good times.

The specific walk of life that prompts the question of what’s going to happen is typically one of the big five usual suspects: relationship, money, work, health, and home. Will I find a partner? When will I marry? Will I make more money? When will I get that inheritance?  Will I get a promotion? Will my back get better? Will I move? When will I close on the house?

Another other kind of question, different from what’s going to happen and when, is the qualitative one. How compatible am I with my partner? Why does my daughter not get along with me? What’s the best kind of career for me? And the biggest qualitative question: what’s my life purpose?

There are two other kinds of questions, each of which falls under a special branch of astrology because there are specific techniques used exclusively for these.

One of these branches is what’s called horary astrology. It is used to answer pointed questions whose outcome has a very short time fuse. Will I get a job offer? Will I do well on the interview?  Will my loan will be approved? Will the operation be successful?  My house is on the market, when will it sell?

To start with, a new horoscope is created for the time the question is asked, and this is the one that is analyzed for an answer. The astrological techniques used here rely on some very clear cut principles, and are notable for not using any kind of metaphorical layering. Consequently, horary astrology is very much an open-and-shut exercise.

And because horary astrology deals very much with the here and now, the first thing the astrologer does is to see if the horary horoscope shows any configuration that makes the question unanswerable, or moot. Such configurations match what are called strictures against analysis.

So a question such as ‘Will I get a job offer?’ could well be unanswerable, because the horoscope configuration raises a red flag that basically says stop, because if you try to analyze and answer this question, you might be totally off. Sometimes this is because the question is premature, or just baseless- such as the person has only just applied, the question doesn’t come in play until they have at least had an interview.

The other special branch of astrology is what is called electional astrology, which deals exclusively with questions of the form when is the best time to do a specific something to which you have already committed. When is the best time to launch my business? What is the best date for our wedding? What is the best date to move into our new home?

Like in horary astrology, these questions deal with the near term. But unlike horary astrology, it’s not a question about an outcome, but rather the most opportune time at which to act toward a known outcome.

On YouTube there are literally hundreds of people who profess to be astrologers. I have found that many of them punch well above their weight. More views doesn’t necessarily translate to competence, because many viewers may well be looking for nothing more than some light quasi-spiritual type entertainment, with no basis to evaluate the merit of the astrologer’s pronouncements.

Usually the better YouTube astrologers (and some that don’t have a YouTube presence at all) have websites where they post their writings and sample analyses of horoscopes, which is usually better thought out because they feel less pressure to entertain. And the written word always begets more seriousness. So that is a helpful sign for picking an astrologer from whom you want to learn or get advice.

Another branch of astrology called mundane astrology deals not with individuals but with the world at large, analyzing the state of nations (famous work include a documented forecast of the second world war well before there was the remotest inkling, and a prediction of the breakup of the Soviet Union), and global events such as weather patterns, earthquakes and such. Nations have charts as well (generally drawn for the date and time the nation became a sovereign entity), and there are many astrologers out there who study national trends by applying dynamic forecasting measurements to the charts of nations.