August 16, 2012

How Astrology Works. ~ Mark Flaherty

Photo: Flickr/Gideon Wright

This is a horoscope, from today’s newspaper, for Scorpio:

“Venus enters your zone of adventure and breaking new ground. If you are single, the first time you visit a new club or bar, love will appear.”

So, according to Mystic Meg, one in twelve of the available population who go to a nightclub, today, will meet a new partner.

We all know this is complete garbage.

And therefore, astrology must be a load of old superstitious nonsense, with those who believe in it seriously deluded and out of touch with the real world…right?

This, however, is not astrology.

In truth, newspaper horoscopes are nothing more than a bit of light entertainment—and for the most part, this is how people treat it. They contain generalized astrological information, which has little (or no) practical use. Newspaper horoscopes are based solely on the sign that the Sun was in when you were born and so apply to 1/12 of the population.

A true astrology reading is based on the date, exact time and place of birth and is unique to every, single person.

In addition to the Sun, the sign and house placements of all eight planets—and the Moon—must be taken into account, along with how they connect and interact with each other. An astrologer’s job is to synthesize the vast amount of information and translate it into language that has a practical application in a person’s life.

One major misunderstanding is that people believe astrologers are saying the planets out there, in space, are somehow doing something to us and affecting our lives, here, on Earth.

But it doesn’t work in this cause and effect manner; in astrology, the planets are symbolic of energies that are within us, with each planet relating to a different aspect of our nature.

For example, the Moon represents our emotional, feminine, receptive and nurturing side, while Mercury relates to our mind, how we process information and our communication skills, amongst other things. A person’s natal astrology chart can be seen as an energetic map of their psyche.

In order to understand how the planets in space can describe what is going on with us, it is vital to recognize that in life everything is connected and everything is one.

From this universal perspective, what happens on the macrocosm scale (the position of the planets) is reflected in the microcosm (a person). “As above, so below,” as the ancients said. There is an acausal connecting principle between the two, something the psychologist and astrologer Carl Jung called synchronicity, which he explained as: “whatever is born or done at this particular moment of time, has the quality of this moment of time.”

To use the analogy of a clock: the hands on the clock tell the time but they do not cause it. In the same way, the position of the planets describe a person and the kinds of experiences they have in life—but do not cause them.

This is not a scientific method and makes no sense from a traditional, logic-based approach.

Astrology is not a science.

No scientific study has ever been able to prove astrology through a large-scale statistical study. And yet, it works consistently for individual people and individual readings.

Photo: Flickr/Romana Klee

How can this be? Well, ultimately, astrology is the study of all the energies behind life; the wiring under the boards, if you will. Life, while it contains science within it, does not function by purely scientific means.

There is a mysterious element involved that cannot be understood by the logical mind, because the mind is a part of the whole and, a part of the whole cannot understand the whole. The deep truths about life will never be understood by the mind and explained by language. Yet, they can be experienced—anyone who has had a mystical or spiritual experience can attest to this.

The truth of astrology can also be experienced, although nobody will ever be able to prove it. The proof is in the individual, personalized reading and the relevance that it has in that person’s life.

Another reason why astrology is not a science is because it needs an astrologer to synthesize the mass of information. Computerized (scientific) programs can give a snapshot of the different elements in a person’s make-up individually but cannot view the chart as an integrated whole (which, of course a person is).

Now, the astrologer has his own energetic configuration, as shown by his chart and this will influence, to some degree, how he decodes the chart in front of him. Each astrologer will have a slightly different take on a chart—but this does not make them, nor astrology, inaccurate or invalid; life is lived subjectively and astrology reflects this.

You could almost say that a person’s astrology chart is like a filter through which they see the world.

This is a good way of looking at it, although ultimately, the truth is that there is no single objective reality out there. Everybody sees and experiences the world slightly differently—even if you are standing next to somebody viewing the same landscape, you would not experience it in exactly the same way. You could both agree you are looking at a tree but how that tree looks to you will not be the same as for the other person.

Our internal perceptions mirror our external reality; what we see and experience is real for us but different for everybody else. This is how we live our lives…not in an objective, detached manner.

Photo: Flickr/Evan Bench

Astrology is able to describe how somebody experiences the world, which is directly linked to what is going on inside of them (their energetic make-up).

Again, one does not cause the other but there is a link between the two.

Having a personalized reading with a skilful astrologer can enlighten you as to why certain things keep happening and guide you to the best way to overcome the challenges that life throws your way. It can also reveal hidden talents, indicate what career you are best suited to, what lessons you are supposed to learn and how to align your life in a way that brings genuine peace, happiness and fulfillment.

A happy life, full of love, is every single person’s birthright; astrology is a powerful tool for guiding you to closer to this way of being. It is not necessary to believe in astrology, to be helped by it.

Simply, be open to the possibility that there is more to the discipline than Mystic Meg telling you that you are going to find love in a nightclub tonight. Maybe then, you will discover that astrology really can assist you in understanding—and resolving—longstanding issues and questions about yourself, enabling you to live a more peaceful and fulfilling life.


Mark Flaherty works as an astrologer with an international client base. Find out more and schedule a reading at www.mark-flaherty.com. Mark is also the author of Shedding the Layers: How Ayahuasca Saved More Than My Skin which chronicles the years he spent with shamans in the Amazon jungle healing an agonizing illness diagnosed by doctors as incurable. Read more about this story at www.shedding-the-layers.com.


Editor: Bryonie Wise

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