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February 28, 2024

3 Reasons Why the World Needs Astrology more than Ever.

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Astrology is enjoying a bit of a renaissance in our world.

My mom’s dentist recently asked about it during a routine teeth cleaning—and I think that is amazing.

There are still many skeptics however, some who have gone so far as to say astrology contributes to the ills of our society.

I cringe every time that Carl Sagan quote about “nervously consulting our horoscopes” gets trotted out because far from being some sort of fear-inducing parlor trick, I find that astrology is enriching and empowering, and can provide us with an important toolkit to navigate our current moment in time.

Here are three reasons why we need astrology more than ever:

1. Astrology teaches us compassion and respect for those who are different from us.

First, a brief lesson. The foundation of astrology is the birth chart, which depicts the position of the sun, moon, and planets in the sky at the time of our birth. Each celestial body is responsible for certain components of our lives (Venus is love, Mars is action, and so on) and each one is located in one of 12 zodiac signs, the archetypes ranging from Aries to Pisces that most people are familiar with from the horoscope columns of yore.

More complex still, the birth chart is anchored by the rising sign, which is the sign that was located on the Eastern horizon at the exact moment of our birth. The rising sign is needed to divide the birth chart into 12 houses, each responsible for a certain area of life (the 7th house is one-on-one partnerships, the 11th house is friends and groups you are associated with, and so on). Taken holistically, the chart is incredibly nuanced and offers prescient insight about your interior life and the way you experience the world.

Most skeptics don’t even know this basic “Astrology 101,” which is why they levy critiques like “there’s no way all of humanity fits into 12 archetypes.” Of course we don’t! But true astrology is looking at 10 placements, split between 12 signs and 12 houses, with untold aspects (or connections) between them—literally countless permutations of the human experience that are as individuated as a fingerprint.

Here’s a quick example. Maybe you are an Aries and have been told that you are supposed to be hot-headed and “a leader,” but you are a sensitive artist who works at a nursing home. After looking at your birth chart, you realize that you have a Pisces moon (moon being your emotional character, and the Pisces archetype being caring, creative, and somewhat passive) in your 10th house, which is attributed to career and how you are known publicly. That’s a much better fit with how you are seen in the world.

What’s more, you discover that your Aries sun is placed in your 11th house of groups, and you realize that as a committed vegan you actually are a leader in your local animal rights group, and you do get fired up on the topic of animal welfare.

This is a basic example, but it gives you an idea of the layers of self-knowledge a birth chart can reveal, which can be just enough to push through ingrained skepticism. I’ve written before about how simply discovering I had a Virgo moon was a game-changer, which catalyzed my passion for astrology.

My point is, once you have looked at enough charts, you really internalize how each of us is completely unique and experiences the world in our own way. Far from flattening us all into 12 small boxes, astrology celebrates our differences. It shows us, in a concrete way, that we don’t all communicate the same way, that we’re not all motivated by the same things, and that we don’t have identical challenges in life.

And for me at least, this has made it easier to show compassion for those who don’t behave like I do. Neither of us is right or wrong, we are just wired differently.

2. Astrology gives us an appreciation for cyclical time and a way to become more attuned to natural rhythms.

An astrological chart is shaped like a circle, and nearly everything in astrology is based upon cycles. The most frequent and recognizable cycle is that of the moon, which goes from new to full and back again every 28 days. Many people start new endeavors on the new moon as it’s seen as an auspicious time for planting seeds, and release offerings to the public just before the full moon as things will be most “visible” during this time.

Tropical Western astrology is also interconnected with the seasonal shifts. For instance, Aries is the “first sign” of the zodiac because it is the sign the sun enters on the (Northern hemisphere) spring equinox, which is synonymous with the start of new life.

Furthermore, each planet orbits the sun—and travels around the astrological chart—in its own cycle. Mercury takes 88 days, Mars takes around 2.5 years, and Saturn takes 28 to 29 years. When planets pass or return to specific points in the birth chart, it can signify certain events or themes recurring in our lives. For instance, the infamous “Seven Year Itch” in relationships coincides with Saturn in the sky forming a 90-degree aspect (or “square”) from where it was located when the relationship began, and square aspects are known for being points of friction where you reconsider whether you want to continue on a particular course of action.

This knowledge is not only useful as a cosmic cheat sheet, however. Fundamentally, it shifts the way we conceptualize time, from a linear view that correlates with the line-must-go-up narrative of continuous progress that, quite frankly, is killing our planet and making many of us burned out and miserable, to a cyclical view which acknowledges that life is meant to contain both fertile and fallow periods. It forces us to pay attention to the natural world and its slow yet consistent rhythms.

And after we are practiced in training our eyes on the sky, we can bring them down to the world around us and really notice the intricately beautiful patterns in nature—and in ourselves—that are worthy of our preservation and care.

3. Astrology allows us to feel connected to something greater than ourselves, without the in-group/out-group dynamic of organised religion.

Whether you consider yourself to be a religious person or not, it’s hard to argue with the notion that organized religion has brought, and continues to bring, a ton of division and conflict to our societies. At the same time, however, it also gives its adherents a sense of community and purpose which transcends the mundane grind of daily life.

As more and more people are turning away from traditional belief systems, they may feel a sense of liberation on one hand, but on the other, a lack of understanding as to where they fit in the world. Astrology can offer such an understanding, without complicated dogma or moral edicts about acceptable behavior.

To “believe” in astrology, the only premise you have to accept is the ancient axiom “as above, so below,” meaning that what is happening in the sky somehow correlates to what happens on Earth. That’s it. We don’t need to know how or why it works, only that it does. And that it works for all of us the same, no matter our nationality, sexual orientation, political preference, or any of the other categorizations that are often used to divide us.

To me, the idea that my little life is part of an interconnected system that includes everyone on Earth as well as the movement of objects so far away I cannot see them with the naked eye is so fundamentally magical that it continually fills me with wonder. It allows me to find greater peace during difficult times, as I know that all experiences, like all planetary transits, are fleeting.

Good, bad, or indifferent, the circumstances of our lives will always change and if we miss an opportunity once, there’s every chance it will come back around again, in some form. This understanding has vastly improved my own mental health and I believe it can provide a much-needed middle ground between traditional religious belief and nihilism.


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