Fate

Fate vs free will in astrology: Part I, a history involving Pluto

modern astrologyEven though Pluto was not discovered until 1930, its influence is evident in the evolution of modern astrology. The renaissance of astrology in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries began with Alan Leo and the birth of the publication “Modern Astrology” in 1895 when Pluto was in the information gathering sign of Gemini.  Gemini is more concerned with the sharing of information than finding any kind of ultimate truth, and Alan Leo, who was a Theosophist, was primarily concerned with spreading the language of astrology to the masses via what we now call horoscope columns.

In England, astrology under Pluto in Gemini was a more academic affair but the “cookbook” texts of Charles Carter similarly helped to spread the language of astrology to more people than ever before. Carter’s words on fate illustrate the way in which the idea of predetermination was beginning to fade:

As regards the higher part of man’s nature, his rational, moral, and aesthetic faculties, it is my firm belief that, if we chose to unfold them, no stellar influence can prevent us, though it may place obstacles and hindrances in our path. There are parts of our lives which the stars do seem to a large extent to dominate, and there is a yet greater part which they undoubtedly can affect, both favourably and adversely. It is for us to place our treasure where they cannot penetrate; no easy task, it is true, but probably the one most worth performing.

The discovery of Pluto in the 1930s coincided with the scientific breakthroughs required to release the atomic bomb which symbolizes Pluto’s destructive force which sometimes requires complete annihilation followed by a necessary rebuilding phase.  But it also coincided with the groundbreaking work of […]

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By |2019-11-10T19:20:13-05:00January 11th, 2018|Astrology, Fate|2 Comments

Fate and the progressed chart

fate or free willThe question of fate vs. free will is a thorny debate among astrologers.  Traditional astrologers, such as those who practice Hellenistic, Vedic or Medieval astrologers, tend to believe more firmly in the concept that the unfolding of our lives occurs in a predestined pattern and that we as humans have very little choice in the process.

It’s clear when you learn to read the astrological symbols that fate and destiny are tightly interwoven.  We are born with certain planets in certain placements which enables someone like me to be able to identify psychological patterns of a perfect stranger across a phone line with no previous information, just from looking at the birthchart.  And yet, you can take two different people born at the same moment in the same location, with identical charts, and while there will be similarities in the underlying dynamics of the chart their choices and outcomes will be completely different.

AK asked in the comments:

I have a question about your series on fate and free will. I always wondered why progressed chart should show how we “evolve”, if we have the free will to change our destiny. In other words, if we are born with certain challenges, lessons to be learnt (during transits to our natal planets), but at the same time have the ability to choose our destiny, we can evolve very differently than what progressed chart might show us. Progressing our natal planets somewhat assumes we are born with a certain fate…..

I thought this was an important question that deserves its own posts.  I’ve written on this topic before, but it’s an ongoing question that never gets old.

The progressed chart is the natal chart “progressed” forward through time, revealing […]

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By |2013-12-14T17:52:16-05:00December 14th, 2013|Fate, Favorite posts|4 Comments

If you could predict death: 2013 edition

predict death

I do a fair amount of what I call “repair readings” – readings for people who have been told things by other astrologers that are upsetting and sometimes ridiculous.  Like the time a client was told that at a certain time she would meet someone and it would be the only opportunity she would ever have to find her soulmate. Or when an astrology told a client that her daughter would die on a certain date.

In 2008 I wrote a post “If you could predict death, would you?”  The subject has come up again because of a discussion on a Facebook group in which I participate and since 2008 there is more information available on the subject out on the web.

The whole idea of predicting death is based on the idea that the time of death is fated – that it is set in stone and can’t be changed.  This concept in itself is a huge point of argument among astrologers.  I personally believe that our family of origin, our astrological chart, and the timing of the planetary cycles that affect us are all fated, but that at an early age we begin to make choices that affect the rest of our lives.

When I was with my mother in the last months of her life I witnessed something else that was pretty amazing – when she was near the moment of death she suddenly decided that she wanted to go to the hospital.  She was quite insistent about it and the ambulance was called, and she lived another three months.  The hospice nurse told me that this is quite common – they speak about it as a “surge of energy” that lasts for […]

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By |2019-11-10T19:39:07-05:00July 19th, 2013|Death, Fate|7 Comments

Catastrophe and transformation

catastrophe Tower TarotI was browsing around for something when I came across a definition of the word “catastrophe”:

catastrophe (plural catastrophes)
1. Any large and disastrous event of great significance.
2. (insurance) A disaster beyond expectations
3. (narratology) The dramatic event that initiates the resolution of the plot in a tragedy.
4. (mathematics) A type of bifurcation, where a system shifts between two stable states.

As an astrologer, I am always curious about catastrophes in a person’s life, because there is nearly always something of great significance astrologically that provides clues to the nature of this apparent disaster.  I believe that when we are ignoring our lives or unable to face certain truths, the Universe will present us with a catastrophe to get our attention and create the change and transformation that is required.

In order to get there, though, we have to completely suspend our usual ideas of what is good and bad, life and death.  A horrible childhood event can serve as the tool to foster a lifetime of introspection and self-discovery.  A terrible accident can create a lifetime of pain, but also shock us into realizing that a change in our life is needed.  A natural disaster can wipe away a family, but allow us to put our grief to work in helping others.  A terminal illness will end a life, but can bring great richness and transformation to an entire family as well as the patient.

All of these events could be considered catastrophes in definition #1 described above: “a large and disastrous event of great significance.”  And certainly a disaster beyond expectations (#2), because most of us don’t expect to encounter these disasters – they sneak up on us and shock us into an altered state.

#3 is […]

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By |2019-11-10T19:04:59-05:00April 26th, 2013|Fate, Favorite posts, Inspiration|8 Comments

Occultists and astrology

occult astrologerA new client came to me because of something involving Saturn in her chart that had come up in another reading.  The information she was given was not only wrong, the Saturn placement was incorrect.  The “astrologer” who gave her this information is online, and on his website he calls himself a “master astrologist” which is interesting in itself.  We astrologers don’t call ourselves “astrologists” – that is an appellation typically found only in critical newspaper articles.  His website also states that he is an occultist. The definition of “occult” is defined by Google’s dictionary as “something pertaining to the supernatural or magical beliefs, practices or phenomena.”  “Magic” is “the power of apparently influencing the course of events through mysterious or supernatural forces.”  While it’s true that some psychics or occultists use astrology in an attempt to manipulate reality and create magic, most professional astrologers do not approach the craft with that intention. Occult really means that which is hidden from view.  A planet is said to be occult another planet when it hides that planet from our view.   Occult practices can be defined as those which operate under the radar of the masses, in secret and perhaps in mystery schools. Astrology as practiced by occultists can be steeped in superstition, such as the famed occultist Sepharial (a contemporary of Madame Blavatsky and himself a theosophist) who writes of “good” aspects and “evil” aspects in his Manual of Occultism.  This is a more traditional approach to astrology which considers astrology to be a map of one’s fate.  Presumably then the occult tools assist one in transforming one’s fate and therein lies the magic. I take a different view.  While it’s true that […]

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By |2019-06-09T14:24:28-04:00January 8th, 2013|Astrology, Fate|12 Comments
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