Love The Archetypes of Astrology But Skeptical of Its Accuracy
I have started studying Astrology and love the wealth of symbols that help me understand the world I inhabit. However, I am skeptical of the belief that the position of the planets when I am born has a huge determining factor on the rest of my life. Would someone be able to explain why they believe this is so?
I personally don't think the why is easily explained. Or maybe I have yet to discover and understand it. All I wanted to say is that it's good to be skeptical and make your own judgement. I was skeptical as well and kept studying. Over the course of my studies, I have predicted specific things I couldn't have known otherwise and had things predicted accurately. It's anecdotal evidence, of course. But my experience is that it it does work. I encourage you to try it. If you study and predict and it doesn't work (do use multiple charts as Ernst suggests), you'll have your answer as to whether it is accurate.
I believe skepticism to be good. It allows us to be free of the beliefs of others and we are free to experiment with different beliefs until we find the right fit. And that in itself is a belief.
When I started astrology, I thought surely I have control over what happens in my life and that my life is not fated. Through much study and contemplation, this is my incomplete conclusion -
The position of the planets that we are born with determines the beginning and it is that experience of the beginning upon which everything gets based upon. As a child, we are dependent on others. Just as the nature of nurture that a seedling gets, determines its survival and growth, the same way, a foetus and a child is dependent on its environment for its survival and development.
By the time, that child is 7 years old, a lot of habits and beliefs get engraved in the subconscious mind, and the most of the rest of their lives is spent following those habits and beliefs, which further entrenches it in their mind. Some of them are aligned with who they are, and some aren’t. Those who are born in an environment that is conducive to their growth and development do well, while those who aren’t struggle to find the right nourishment.
By the time Venus matures at 25, the prefrontal cortex that rules complex behavioural performances finishes its developmental stage. Now, not only has the child got habits and beliefs that they picked up from their environment, but also their experiences while operating in the environment that they find themselves in.
But as is the nature of duality, what gets built up, must be taken down. And so starts the stage of dismantling of the ‘I’ that has been created, so that a new ‘I’ can be created that is free from the habits and beliefs that were picked up as a child and can form new habits and beliefs that are true to itself. The ‘I’ itself does not change, but the covering that were donned as a child changes.
Through all of this, it is not only the physical level that is at play. The hidden aspects of the energetic, emotional and mental levels also play a big part in causing push-pull energies and contribute to stress. Stress causes more stress and causes chaos.
So, nothing really has changed. We are stationary, but it is the play of the mind that causes us to think that changes are happening. The Lajitaadi Avasthas and Rahu-Ketu courses are great to understand that aspect.
Sri Aurobindo Ghose likened the planetary influence of the moment of birth to the way an analog photograph gets etched onto the film. Basically, at the moment of birth we are very impressionable, and open to astral energies and have no control over it, so the planetary energies impact us and leave an imprint on us more than they do at other times. I found that explanation to be quite elegant.
He doesn't think that means it MUST influence us for the rest of our life in an overwhelming and fated way- that really depends on the individual. I agree with him, because I do experience it to be true.
At least, what I think is that nature and nurture are slightly different things. The soul can be born with a nature, on which planetary influences are super-imposed. The latter gives us our nurture, our circumstances, our inherited karmic burdens. To say our nature is what draws our circumstances and nurture, and our nurture is what makes our nature (which is the zone psychological astrology often goes to) is a bit too circular thinking for my taste. Which is not to say there is zero link between the two, but I don't think saying A = B, because B = A is correct or the full picture. I found it it easier to start to classify them as slightly different things, occurring at different layers and to then observe how they overlap and interact with each other. It really starts to clarify things.
I would recommend you to turn the question around and ask yourself why it wouldn´t work. Does it seem absurd that it would? Well, this years Nobel prize in physics has been given to scientists proving similar strange relations - faster than light - between particles on infinitely big distances. Not a bit less absurd than the idea about a relation between matter within our cosy solar system - rather the opposite - but still worthy of science´s most prestigious prize. So as astrologers we are in good company now. Newton´s model does not work with quantum physics, it has broken down.
To ask for an explanation is asking for too much I think. Why would the functionality of astrology depend on us understanding the reasons behind?
You should try it and trust your rational mind; it´s gonna tell you whether it´s bogus or not. After all it´s a very old tradition, maybe that has something to say?