Speaking as a long time astrologer, I get frustrated by the trivialising of this ancient subject, which is often simply referred to as ‘star signs‘.
Recently we had the reemergence of that ‘old chestnut’ regarding the supposed 13th sign of the zodiac, namely Ophiuchus. For me and many astrologically minded people, this is wrong. The zodiac, the equal division of the ecliptic into twelve, that’s the apparent path of the sun around us, is only nominally related to the constellations.
There was a time when astrology and astronomy were the same sacred science. There was the matter of observation, followed by prognostication and prediction.
A Royal Practice
The scientist-priests of Babylon were some of the earliest known exponents of this noble function, which was propagated by many a royal family over the millennia from ancient China to Britain.
This broadly remained the same until the so called ‘Enlightenment’ of the 18th century. Astronomy, the observation of celestial phenomena was finally divorced from astrology, the latter being largely demonised and ridiculed ever since.
Triviality and Bifurcation
Whilst it is true the present day astrological community might not do itself any favours by giving too much credence to sun sign astrology to ‘make a living’, it is also true that the practice of astrology has bifurcated to an alarming degree, a bit like the church into a myriad denominations.
Although I would not like to see more control of astrological ‘tenets’, per se, I do think there is a need for simplification and tradition being reintroduced. At the moment I believe it is up to every individual astrologer to self assess.
So is astrology a science? Yes it is – but it is also an interpretive art based upon what should be a sacred science. May the sacred return to us all – and soon.
The ancient art of astrology appears to be as old as human civilisation.
But from the 18th century with the beginning of The Enlightenment, there was a concerted effort among the so-called scientific community to discredit astrology (and other ancient holistic beliefs) as if it represented something outdated and superstitious, a hangover from the days when all cosmic models of the universe depicted a flat earth.
At various times the astrological community, if it can be called that, has also contributed to its own poor reputation. For example, to my mind in the present age the preponderance of Sun sign astrology has weakened and cheapened its standing. ‘I’m an Aquarian so I don’t get along with a Scorpio’ – this is often the kind of conversation you will hear.
So with the Enlightenment and its subsequent change of philosophy, which claimed to rely upon observation alone, scientists effectively became the new priests, a factor which we still see today when we read the news, especially where the word ‘scientists’, or ‘scientists say’ appears. This phraseology has become almost like a trigger to make us sit up and take note, like some new prognostication from a priest. If a scientist says so it must be true. In most cases this may well be true, but we also need to do our own research, rely and trust our own discernment.
Decrying the Sacred
And whilst scientists began to look intently out into ‘the heavens’ with an increasing disregard for its sublimity inregard to God, they also too decried the idea that the Sun, Moon and planets could have any significant psychological and spiritual effect upon us, either in a real, or symbolic fashion. The sky ceased to be sacred and the whole of creation gradually turned into the result of one big ‘happy accident’, beginning roughly 14 billion years ago.
Until around ten years ago, I would have generally concurred with the general scientific explanation for our existence. I do not anymore. Increasingly, I have come to realise that we do indeed live in a sacred space, where nature is the outward expression of the creator, otherwise called the Mind of God. As to the actual nature and age of the ‘universe’ I am not at all sure anymore. However, I do know that astrology works when applied correctly.
As Above, So Below
We need to get a true understanding of what astrology is and how it works. I believe the earth and all things within it do indeed resonate with the stars, the movements of the planets. Each represents a function within us, and depending on sign, house and aspect, describes how we work, what we may well have brought with us into this life, either by inheritance or perhaps from former lives.
Suddenly, astrology and the birth chart assumed a much more sacred significance for me. Everyone was the centre of their own universe, truly important and here for a specific reason. We are not irrelevant because we are told we inhabit this ordinary planet, in an ordinary solar system, on the outer limb of an ordinary galaxy, which, along with many others, is hurtling through a vacuum at an incredible speed as a result of the biggest explosion ever.
The Universe Within Us
In the final analysis, whatever the nature of reality and our universe, all of us can only experience life through our own senses. It was Christ after all who said:
“The kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21)
We cannot take for granted that any other individual sees life in the same way. By that token, then the individual birth chart truly assumes a sacred importance: with accurate interpretation it can cast light upon who we are, why we are here – and perhaps, where we are going. With that in mind, every individual birth chart is a new challenge to explore. The greatest minority of all is the individual but together, in true understanding of our life’s purpose, we become a new transcendent whole.
copyright Francis Barker 2020
***If you would like your own birth chart interpreting, or perhaps that of a loved one, please feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org