Deer Moon by Tiffany Lynch for Whistlefish
All across England, millions of people wake up and start reading their daily or weekly horoscopes in newspapers or online. This is not a religious ‘you will burn in Hell if you read your horoscope’ post! In fact, there is some truth in certain matters of astrology, which we’ll examine below. But it pays to know that a lot of the horoscopes in magazines especially, are just written by people with no qualifications whatsoever. However, some newspapers and magazines do employ astrologers who have trained for years in how the planets move around the sun. The important thing to remember is that as Neil Spencer writes ‘it’s a weather forecast, not a prediction’.
The problem is that if you live your life by astrology, you often miss out on life itself. Those prone to worry may see a forecast that it’s not going to be a good day, and spend all day concerned something bad is going to happen. And of course, you can’t condense 9 billion people down to 12 sun signs. Real astrology depends on your entire birthchart (your sun sign is only one part). There’s your moon sign, ascendant and all the other signs, along with North and South modes. It’s really rather complicated and mathematical!
To be a good forecaster, you would offer personal readings that cost a few hundred pounds, but most people in this climate are either too poor or not self-absorbed enough to do this. Again as Neil Spencer writes, in the current climate of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, to start navel-gazing is pointless; ‘astrology crumbles’. We know there are more important things in life. Having said that – on the other side of the coin – knowing who you are and what makes you tick, is likely to help you live in alignment with your values.
If you’re a hotchpotch of watery planets (and are working in a stifled left-brain office job over living your dream of being an artist by the sea), you’re unlikely to feel content with your lot, and this is where studying a little of your natural elements can at least get you back on track, towards the life you were destined to live. Someone once wrote that astrology profiles are bit like wines: you were born in a certain area at a certain time. So like a good Bordeaux, you’ll have similar traits with those of a similar grape – but you are still all different and follow your own path!
If you’re interesting in learning more about genuine astrology, here are a few of the better sites to visit:
Neil Spencer (former editor of New Musical Express) has a short but good column, read a paragraph monthly to guide, and be done with it. He recommends The Oxford Astrologer for political news. Her take on the Russian invasion of Ukraine is frighteningly accurate.
Chani Nicholas is one of the world’s better and most interesting astrologers. Her app (designed with a team of fellow professional astrologers) acts like a daily guide to help you through life’s bumps, and includes detailed birth chart explanations, real-time updates and a library of meditations for daily use. This is how to benefit from astrology, as a helpful guide to be your best self, to help others. Chani also has a lovely writing style:
Who am I worried I’ll offend, if I let my talent take up space? Who do I fear will try to bring me down, if I let myself soar? What family tradition will I smash to smithereens if I dare to be happy, hopeful and abundant?
Shelley von Strunckel used to write for The Sunday Times, until she was recently unceremoniously dumped and replaced by an agony aunt. Responding to criticism from astronomers, she says that the calculations are not based on physical constellations, but on time (not spatial positioning). She says that while most astrologers learn about astronomy, it’s unfortunate that many astronomers don’t take the time to learn vice versa.
Does the Church Understand Astrology?
Chris Williamson for Green Pebble
For the most part, no. It’s totally correct to dissuade church followers to spend their lives reading dodgy horoscope reports. And no doubt money used for personal readings is better spent donating to smaller, more worthy causes that do good. But the problem here is that often churches use fear and lack of knowledge, to control the people. For instance, a Catholic Vatican (that takes $30,000 a month from McDonald’s in rent, and covers up child abuse) has no business lecturing to others to look to the cosmos, for a bit of help in getting on life’s right path. Which ultimately serves God.
Jonathan Poletti (who has 2 million readers on Medium) says that growing up as a Christian, he equated the word ‘astrology’ with Satan, but was surprised later on in life to find that ancient Jewish synagogues often feature zodiac images. Of course, the Magi (three wise men) followed stars to find the baby Jesus, and even Jesus says in Luke 21:25 ‘there will be signs in the sun, moon and stars’. Elsewhere in Isaiah 47:13, God says that although it’s possible for astrologers to predict future events, the ‘evil’ is from rulers who oppose God.
In other words, using information for bad purposes (like power and control over others). There was even a horoscope found amid the Dead Sea Scrolls. Modern churches all are built to face the rising sun, and even biodynamic farmers plant seeds by astrological timings of the moon, for better yields.
What about Sidereal & Vedic Astrology?
Misty Dawn by Janella Horne for Whistlefish
Mastering the Zodiac offers free daily guidance by skilled sidereal astrologer Athen Chimenti. He uses the actual sizes of the constellations in the sky, meaning even some astronomers (who usually don’t buy astrology) may trust his version). Which in some cases, means you’re not the sign you thought you were.
Tara Divina is a Vedic astrologer, which is believed to be more accurate. In a podcast, she describes how she moved away from beliefs found in books like The Secret, when she had a scarily accurate reading by a Vedic astrologer, which caused her to train herself. Her readings are too expensive for most people, but she writes lovely spiritual music to enjoy! She says that your life is kind of like a DVD – just press play when you’re born, and around 95% of everything is destined to happen anyway, and you can’t do much about it.
This may sound negative, but in fact the opposite can be true. We’ve heard critics of ‘positive thinking’ say that if you spend all your time trying to force unhappy circumstances to change, you can make things worse. In fact, by just accepting that you can’t change what’s going to happen in most cases, it allows you to chill out and relax. And a bit of warning helps you to ‘slow down for life’s speed bumps’. It’s a very different take to modern western philosophy, but also has links to the western Christian tradition of just ‘surrendering to God’s Will’. Try living this way for a month, and see how much better you feel!
Avoid wasting years of your life by taking the wrong job, starting the wrong business, pouring your time into the wrong project, with the wrong person, then feeling like something’s majorly ‘off. Tara Divina