Limitations of Western Astrology


Dick Hein wrote (4 Dec 97): "The explanations of signs and houses and all the rest, that I've read anyway (I read several books some months ago), fail to convince me that it is anything other than a bunch of generalities."

GLORIA: As a serious student of astrology, I couldn't agree with you more. One of the main difficulties with the current practice of Western astrology is that it has almost completely failed to provide a means whereby the individual is able to receive a solid description of the personality (chart) he's come in with. The emotional, psychological, spiritual proclivities of the individual are never synthesized in software that claims to read your chart. What you get is a fragmented, disconnected breakdown of each alleged trait of the planet in the house, the planet in the sign, the planetary aspects, each with their own specific and often contradictory conclusions. How do you put this together? Where is the focus? Who is the person in this chart? How do you use this as a tool for continuing self-discovery?

Most astrologers have a much easier time delineating transits and progressions. (These tend to be the most popular methods for getting a grasp on what's to come or what's happening now, but there are quite a few other techniques that can be used to amplify the picture and add additional thematic layers.) Fortunately, many astrologers are intuitives anyway, and the chart becomes more of a symbolic but very personal connection to the individual which allows other information to come through--both psychic and channelled. I think there's an inordinate amount of emphasis on the sun sign. There are too many other planetary configurations that can make an aries look (i.e., manifest behaviors) like a pisces or a taurus. You have to stick around and get to know the person to see what they're really about! We are very complex, and I believe have quite a bit of choice in how we are going to synthesize the various components of the chart, choosing to emphasize one trait over another. There is room for preferential expression. I'll take it further--maybe you don't feel like being a taurus today, and want to express more aquarian qualities. An excursion into a different perspective can only help to enhance your self-understanding, adding strength through the experience of contrast to your own sun sign. Similarly, I believe we can call on the gifts of the essence roles we've taken on in other grand cycles, adding depth, dimension, and perspective to our current life experience.

There are many factors in astrology--it is still developing, with more of its secrets to be revealed as we expand our approach and openness to it--that are not often taken into consideration when delineating the natal chart. For example, how many astrologers look at the distance from the sun--a perihelion mars or mercury is very different from an aphelion mars or mercury, regardless of the damn house they sit in! Planetary speeds--the velocity they're travelling at--is crucial. Commonly, retrogrades are considered (albeit not too heavily) but the number you have in your chart may be significant. What about stationeries--when the planet appears to virtually stop moving? These are powerful prominent influences that can take over your whole chart--forget your sun sign! What about a speeding mars or mercury? Their expression is vastly different from a mars or mercury going at cruising velocity. Essentially, when there is a deviation from the more normal or frequent velocity, the planet has a "mission," so to speak, to chart unknown territory, to take the path less travelled. And the person holding these energies will act and feel very differently from someone who is imprinted with the more frequently observed velocity. And then there are culminating cycles. Placement in certain houses of the chart for SOME of the planets is going to imbue them with forceful natures, and the individual who picked them will be run by them until they learn the language of this energy, and surrender to its gifts. If you've got a gauquelin saturn, (the serious, responsible adult) your playful aries nature (sun in the fifth house even) may not be in evidence as often as if the gauquelin planet were jupiter (the rambunctious adolescent). And if it's mars that's in this placement--look out! You've got an unstoppable, win-at-all-costs aries. Who might be a priest, a king, a scholar...more overlays to integrate.

I think astrology can certainly help us undertand the cycles we're currently in, as well as give specific kinds of emphasis and mission to your essence role! A sage with a powerful neptune is going to express somewhat differently than a sage with a powerful saturn. (Then he might have both--it gets really interesting here.) You will experience different shades and polarities of your role with different charts. Even so, there are life-changing phases that we are all periodically subject to, regardless of essence role or sun sign. There may or may not be a direct correlation between essence role and sun sign in any given lifetime. When you consider all the lives you're going to live as you move from infant level one to seventh old, it's pretty obvious your planetary chart is going to be vastly different from time to time. And this is necessary, because we need the new configurations for growth--they set us up to look at the world differently, and call in new experiences as a result of the way the planets are set up--in regard to each other, and the celestial influences of your location in history.

As Michael was reported to say: "Astrology is an overlay to the role/overleaves, in that it strengthens certain aspects of the person and provides other day-to-day ways to understand energy shifts. The two systems use different numbering methods, so there is not a direct correlation between role and sun signs for example. Astrology is a useful tool for Michael students to help understand other aspects of the whole personality."

As our understanding of what astrology has to offer develops, its application as additional overleaves/overlay will become more frequent, with more powerful results. There are OTHER ASPECTS to the whole personality which are not going to be in evidence from a michael soul chart. Essence has chosen a particular personality in a particular time and place in history with very specific intents, and these can be gleaned from the natal chart.


DICK: Gloria, thanks so much for this incredible explanation -  

This is the most complete and objective explanation of astrology I have ever seen. It resonates well. Thanks for the effort you put into writing it.

Dick [2.1(3)/5/4.2-144=4.7.3<5.150/4.5=26/4.11>]
Dick Hein / Mountain View, California.

Sign In or Register to comment.