Defending astrology – time for a new approach

Aries 2011

The planet Uranus entered Aries the day the nuclear problems, caused by an earthquake and the following tsunami, began in Japan. A fitting metaphor for a negative expression of his theme. Time for the world to take note of what Uranian power can do – it is not something we can control, although I fear that the world will try at least until 2015. However we can work with Uranus to create innovation, which will eventually be the likely result of the nuclear problems in Japan. A pity that no-one applied the warning, that was there in the sky, to Japan’s nuclear industry. Maybe more could have been done to assist or even avert this extra problem which came just after the shocking earthquake disaster. It is a shame that most companies don’t use astrology, because it could have been useful here.

nuclear Japan

Juxtaposition, my astrology for business enterprise, celebrated her 5th birthday not long ago and some of my first clients and the people who helped me to begin, will raise a glass to this milestone later in the year. These days, reaching five is an achievement to be proud of, and I am! So, I thought – time to start a new phase, not only with services but also here in the blog, as I have been using the same format for some time. Since Aries is the astrological start of the year, what better time to do something new and different. After all Juxtaposition is all about being different!

Happy Birthday

Same old, same old…

There have been many crusades against astrology over the years and now is no different. Just as in Libya and other countries, the old powers don’t like to be moved. Since the time of Newton, Science with a capital S has taken the high ground, and has put down anything that is not visible or provable. But the old science models are being challenged by new evidence. Much as the establishment likes to purport that many theories such as ‘The Big Bang’ and Evolution are fact, there are many questions being raised about these ideas.

Now I don’t want to enter this argument – I don’t know enough about the questions to attempt an opinion. (Not that that would normally stop me.) However I do know enough about the latest war raging between science and astrology to know when something is not quite right.

Do you trust Wikipedia?

“Welcome to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.” from Wikipedia site!

The latest spat is the argument on the definition of astrology on Wikipedia. A few very good astrologers attempted to get the definition altered to reflect a fairer and more correct description. The main word being ‘discussed’ was pseudoscience. To cut a long story short (you can read the full details in the link below), some of these astrologers have been banned from inputting to Wikipedia because they only write on one topic! Take note – if you are specialised in one topic and know a lot about it, you can be banned from Wikipedia, a site that is supposed to be open to all and a site with no agenda. Hmmm. This is dangerous. Wikipedia is a source for many, so if experts can’t provide input, what are we getting? What messages are getting spread?

A new approach

All of this made me think of asking a different question, as carrying on as we are will never change the science vs. astrology argument. So my coming posts will turn the question around and ask…

What if “astrology is true?”

Now as I have stated many times before, this is a bit of a silly question, but it is inherent in the one scientists are addressing. I would like to rephrase it as: What would it mean if astrology is a good model for looking at the world? After all, contrary to many ‘scientific’ opinions, this model has yet to be found wanting even with all the new scientific discoveries.

Here I will describe the first thing it could mean. Later posts will continue this theme. I am attempting to understand what it really is that ‘old science’ doesn’t like. The main argument is that proof is needed but I am not convinced that this is the real argument. So the first astrological tool is…

The Horoscope – what does it imply?

horoscope

Zodiac in horoscope form

The horoscope is simply a map of the heavens showing the positions of your choice (of planets, stars, rising signs, nodes etc.), which are calculated using what we know – through science – about how the heavens move. As such, no-one can argue with that fact, leaving aside how the sky is divided up (there are many opinions amongst astrologers about this which I don’t want to get into here; they are irrelevant for this discussion). The positions of planets are measured using agreed scientific measures, akin to latitude and longitude on earth.

We say that we ‘have a horoscope’. But that is not accurate. It might be better to say that a horoscope has us. A horoscope is simply a picture of a moment in time. I don’t think any sane person would argue with this.

The next bit is where we leave science behind. Astrology for me then becomes a model. The ancients suggested that each moment in time has a quality. “A time to every purpose…”, you could say, “…under heaven”. Or “As above, so below”. This is extrapolated to mean that anything started at a particular moment will be imbued with the quality of that moment. This is the philosophy used when we look at a horoscope. (NB: Not all astrology uses horoscopes, this is only one tool in the astrologer’s toolkit.) All we need to do is interpret that moment.

Taking this last step of interpretation means astrology has become an art. Therefore, as an aside, most astrologers I know would not refer to astrology as a science and therefore it is false to call it a pseudoscience, as this means something falsely claiming to be scientific. The arrogance of the old scientific community! They think we want to be part of their club. But I would ask “what’s so great about something being a science?” I’m happy with astrology being an art. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do scientific research on it as we can with any other theory or model. True science is about exploration and curiosity, not dogma.

Whose horoscope is it anyway?

But back to ‘my horoscope’. Lots of things can be started at any particular moment. Two babies can be born at the same moment, in the same place. A cat can be born at the same time a new company is opened. A new country can be formed or a new department, when a new department head walks in to take up her new job. The same horoscope can represent all of these things. Naturally you need to interpret it accordingly. It really means that a moment in time ‘owns’ all these starts and symbolically, in their own way, each one will have the qualities of that moment. “We are products of our time”.

So what does a horoscope suggest?

The first thing this model suggests is that be it a cat, a company, a country, or a baby, they all enter this world with a certain amount of patterning. We are not blank sheets. Sticking to people here, the argument has been raging for years about nature vs. nurture. A horoscope assumes that we have a nature that is like a blueprint. The birth time is a seed moment. We cannot then be anything other than the potential (which in my view is very great and largely untapped), suggested by that moment. We cannot go back and be born at another moment, even though Born Again Christians might try! We are stuck with a basic character. How we are raised has an impact of course, that is the nurture bit. It seems to me that the more positive the upbringing, the better use we can make of our inherent potential. The horoscope is a fixed moment in time. So we have a fixed character, but time does not stand still and so we unfold into our potential as time carries on. The seed is planted, and like any seed it cannot grow into something other than itself.

But “Why start with birth?”, I hear you ask

Many have ridiculed the birth horoscope with the suggestion that it is not the beginning of our lives, and indeed that is true. Making a horoscope of the conception would be more interesting and possibly more ‘true’ and therefore probably better, but it would make for very few accurate horoscopes! How many of us know when we were conceived? Many women don’t even know they are pregnant for quite some time, some even until they are about to give birth, as was the case recently here in Holland when a twelve-year-old produced a healthy baby! Astrologers have had many theories about this and have used many techniques, but frankly it’s in the ‘too hard’ category and there is a lot of disputable theory about the length of pregnancy. Birth however is pretty obvious, measurable, although what to measure is arguable, (head out, whole baby out, first breath etc) and is a major event in our lives. Many astrologers go along with the first breath idea, but having been present at a birth myself it is clear that it is extremely difficult to get an accurate birth time of any sort. Looking at a watch is the last thing on your mind! There are some astrologers who rectify birth times based on certain life happenings. I totally disagree with this as you never know if you are correct. Unless you are clairvoyant which some astrologers are (making it difficult to separate the practice of astrology from something else), I believe it is not possible to rectify a birth time and know you have it 100% correct.

Why I believe birth time is relevant

astrology

The Birth of Venus – painting by Botticelli

To illustrate my reasons for being happy to use the time of birth as a starting point, a concept must be introduced. It is a model taken from David Bohm, a well-known quantum physicist, which he uses as part of an explanation of enfoldment and quantum theory. Bear with me here as it gets a bit scientific. The following example is used to describe what is known as the implicate order:

“This device consists of two concentric glass cylinders; the outer cylinder is fixed, while the inner one is made to rotate slowly about its axis.  In between the cylinders there is a viscous fluid, such as glycerine, and into this fluid is inserted a drop of insoluble ink.  Let us now consider what happens to a small element of fluid as its inner radius moves faster than its outer radius. This element is slowly drawn out into finer and finer thread.  If there is ink in this element it will move with the fluid and will be drawn out with it. What actually happens is that eventually the thread becomes so fine that the ink becomes invisible. However if the inner cylinder is turned in the reverse direction, the parts of this thread will retrace their steps.  (Because the viscosity is so high, diffusion can be neglected.)  Eventually the whole thread comes together to reform the ink droplet and the latter suddenly emerges into view…
When the ink droplet is drawn out, one is able to see no visible order in the fluid. Yet evidently there must be some order there since an arbitrary distribution of ink particles would not come back to a droplet. One can say that in some sense the ink droplet has been enfolded into the glycerine, from which it unfolds when the movement of the cylinder is reversed.”

bohm

David Bohm – from Wikipedia

Bohm uses this example to show that although it is invisible to us, the universe is undivided and has order. William Keepin, originally a mathematical physicist and now co-founder of the Satyana Institute, has been developing its Gender Reconciliation work since the early 1990s. He describes Bohm’s principal as: “The fundamental primary reality is the implicate order, and the explicate order is but a set of ripples on the surface of the implicate order.” In other words, only ripples of our birth are visible today or the significance is invisible, but if one winds back to the event it may be possible to understand the ‘essence’ of this event, follow the ‘ripples’ and gain an understanding of the differing strands of our life.

It is interesting to note that this is one model for the Big Bang theory which is quoted by physicists and it could equally be used by astrologers as a model for a horoscope which could be seen as a ‘mini big bang’.  By winding back to a particular event, birth in this case, the essence of the person may be obtained. Perhaps this is also an argument for the use of therapy as well as astrology as any event will have a ripple effect, but there will always be a pure essence at the origin of the present circumstances. The more important the event, like birth, perhaps the more effect. More ink perhaps takes longer to disperse.

So birth, being a big and often traumatic event, can show the start of patterns in our lives, which are invisible, but can be read in that moment of time.

So what if a horoscope is a good model to look at life?

It would mean that we come into this world with certain patterns. It would seem feasible to use birth as a major event in our lives that results in patterns and effects later. It would mean that we can draw a map of the sky at that moment based on scientific knowledge.

That all seems not too scary for science. The rest is interpretation based on thousands of years of observation of the link between celestial movements and life on earth. Fine with me if science has a problem with this last step. That’s our art!

photo Faye Blake

Making new art for the Starlight software by Melanie Schlossberg

Excerpt from Bohm, The Undivided Universe, p.358.

Excerpt from Keepin, ‘Astrology and the New Physics’, p.16.

Faye Blake-Cossar

Interesting Website of the Month

The astrologers vs Wikipedia war

Quote of the month

“There was a star danced, and under that I was born.”
William Shakespeare, Much do about Nothing.

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