fate vs. free will

The responsibility of karma and free will

art by Raxstar

This article was originally posted in 2019 and very appropriate this week in light of the Mars-ruled Aries Full Moon opposite the Sun/Mars conjunction, squared by Pluto.  Mars represents our idea that we have Free Will and Pluto represents Fate so this question is very relevant right now. 

Sometimes people write me asking for a reading, saying they want to know what their karmic lessons are in this lifetime. One gentleman wrote me saying he wanted a “straight” reading, with no attempt to frame the difficult in positive language. He referred to this article in the New York Times in which scientists have proven that humans have no free will:

The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer said, as Einstein paraphrased it, that “a human can very well do what he wants, but cannot will what he wants.”

Einstein, among others, found that a comforting idea. “This knowledge of the non-freedom of the will protects me from losing my good humor and taking much too seriously myself and my fellow humans as acting and judging individuals,” he said.

How comforted or depressed this makes you might depend on what you mean by free will. The traditional definition is called “libertarian” or “deep” free will. It holds that humans are free moral agents whose actions are not predetermined. This school of thought says in effect that the whole chain of cause and effect in the history of the universe stops dead in its tracks as you ponder the dessert menu.

At that point, anything is possible. Whatever choice you make is unforced and could have been otherwise, but it is not random. You are responsible for any damage to your pocketbook and your arteries.

“That strikes many people as […]

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By |2021-10-08T14:32:12-04:00October 21st, 2021|Fate|1 Comment

Weekly update for February 22-March 1, 2021: Virgo Full Moon and the end of Mercury retrograde

In this week’s video I begin with some philosophy about fate and the astrological chart, a question I was asked by a viewer recently. Mercury just turned direct, but its motion won’t return to normal for another week or so and I explain why.  We’ll explore why the Virgo Full Moon comes at the perfect time for the changes that are formulating under the ongoing square from Saturn to Uranus.  There’s a lot packed into this video and I hope you enjoy it!

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Transcript (transcribed by tiny little creatures inside my computer and roughly edited by me, please excuse errors and consider watching the video instead!)

Hi, everybody, my name is Lynn Hayes. Welcome back to my channel. And if you’re new here, I’m really glad you’ve joined me today. In today’s video, we’ll be talking about the astrology for the week of February 22 through March 1 2021.

There’s a few things I would like to talk about, of course, before we get to the astrology for the week ahead. One thing that came up in the comments from last week’s video is somebody who was asking why her life is so hard. That question is not new. I think that’s an interesting topic to discuss when we’re talking about an astrological chart, some people have astrological charts that don’t involve a lot of trauma. They don’t involve a lot of challenge. They don’t show violence, they don’t show depression, particularly and some people […]

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By |2021-02-21T19:09:13-05:00February 22nd, 2021|Planetary news this week|3 Comments

Friday repost: Spirit and Fate in the astrological chart

Every Friday I dig into the archives for something interesting to share with you. This post has been updated from an earlier article.

Art by Willow ArleneaArt by Willow Arlenea

The ancient Greek term “daemon” has come a long way from its original meaning as guardian, guide or higher self,.  The term “demon” gained a malevolent bent in the early books of the Old Testament as nasty creatures who caused disease and plagues, and in the New Testament, they were considered to be angels who had fallen from grace and turned to the dark side.

For Plato, the daemon or guiding spirit was chosen by the soul before each incarnation. For most people the daemon was thought to be an unconscious guiding force, but the occasional enlightened beings were said to be able to communicate with their daemon. In ancient Egyptian astrology, the daemon was said to be symbolized by the Sun sign. Iamblicus, student and teacher of ancient mysteries (280-330 CE) wrote: “”For whether these arts are knowable or beyond comprehension, yet the aura or emanation from the stars brings the daemon to us, whether we ourselves are cognizant of it or not.” These ancient sages wrote before the age of monotheism limited the role of the divine in the lives of men and women, and offered a more personal concept of deity.

The question of fate versus free will is an ancient one, and astrology has been used for thousands of years to determine one’s fate and thereby avoid the painful process of self-discovery. Until the emergence of the outer, or transpersonal planets over the past few centuries, Eastern and Western schools of astrology all taught that one’s fate was preordained by the stars and […]

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By |2020-01-16T18:29:33-05:00January 10th, 2020|Life|1 Comment

Pluto: A Case Study

This article has been updated from an earlier post. 

Last week I saw a client (let’s call her Sylvia) whose birthchart demonstrates the power of Pluto. Sylvia’s Sun is in the hard-working sign of Capricorn: Capricorns typically have a difficult life when they’re young but because they’re such hard workers (ruled by the Celestial Taskmaster himself, Saturn) they can be quite powerful as they age and incorporate life’s lessons. She also has a Grand Trine including Mars, Jupiter and her Moon, bestowing a sense of inner trust (Jupiter/Moon) that life has meaning as well as a dynamic will (Mars/Jupiter) for self-preservation (Mars/Moon). These are the tools that have helped her to navigate a difficult life that has been Pluto’s gift to her. Note to astrologers: to protect her privacy I will not be posting her chart.

Pluto in the astrological chart shows where we come face to face with the underworld of our emotions: fear, compulsion, obsession. Pluto often shows where we face the cold reality of death in order to come to a greater understanding of life. Astrologer Liz Greene says that Pluto represents the essential life force in nature that often must destroy in order to survive. The power of Pluto is that basic, and that intense. When we’re in the middle of a Plutonic disaster (our spouse leaves us, we lose our job, our house burns down, our cat dies) we are lost in the underworld of our fear and the pain of loss that is Pluto’s realm. But once the storm has passed we find ourselves rebuilding the wreckage of our lives with a new sense of empowerment that comes from having faced our fears and survived.

Pluto is conjunct Sylvia’s ascendant (persona and identity) within one […]

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By |2019-06-09T14:29:23-04:00June 12th, 2019|Astrology|Comments Off on Pluto: A Case Study

Sunday musings: Pondering the Free Will question

Astrologer Ray Grasse posed this question on his Facebook page:

How much free will do we have in dealing with our horoscopes? It’s a complex question, but here’s one way to answer that question.

I had two individuals come to me separately who were born within days of each other, who had extremely similar charts. As it so happened, they both experienced the effects of transiting Saturn over their natal Neptunes around the same time, just one week apart, right before meeting me.

I asked each of them what happened that previous week, since I was curious how the Saturn transit manifested for them. The first one said he reached a tipping point with his long-term substance abuse and joined Alcoholics Anonymous, while the second one sheepishly admitted that he was arrested for drunk driving around that same time!

Think about that. It was the same essential planetary symbolism in both cases, but in the one case the client chose to manifest that energy from the inside out, you might say, by using his Saturnian discipline to take control of his Neptunian escapism, while in the other case the client wound up letting that symbolism manifest from the outside in, by not applying his discipline and letting the world manifest it for him. (It reminds me a bit of the old line by Carl Jung: “When an inner situation is not made conscious it appears outwardly as fate.”) So despite the similarities in their charts and transits, they chose to manifest those patterns in dramatically different ways, one of them more constructively, the other more destructively.

Certainly there is much about our fate we can’t change.  We can’t change the family we are born into.  We […]

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By |2019-08-27T10:49:02-04:00June 9th, 2019|Fate, Inspiration|4 Comments
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