Rob Tillett has been an astrologer for more than three decades.
In previous incarnations a poet, musician, magician, healer, dramatist & composer, he is the editor and publisher of Astrology on the Web and has written many articles on this website.
Rob lives in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, on the east coast of Australia.
The Energy Egg
The Energy Egg (2)
The Love Egg
The Wealth Egg
The Perfect Pendulum
Nexus of Probability
Is Astrology Scientific?
How does Astrology differ from Astronomy?
How does Astrology work?
The Sacred Art
Read Your Birthchart
Planets & Aspects
Astrology, Destiny and Intent
Beyond the Matrix...
Rob Tillett explores the idea that we can work with the material that we have been given via the preprogrammed astrological structure of our character and personality to redirect massive rivers of natural force. He tells us that this can be done through harnessing the power of intent—using skilful means to reform the habitual responses and deeply ingrained habit patterns that are the consequence of what might be described as karmic threads.
Matters of fate and destiny are fascinating subjects, and have always exercised the imagination of thinkers since, well, thinking began! In astrology, the Sun and Moon are the primary symbolic markers of character and personality; how they relate is of prime importance—while the Moon's
Nodes (the Dragon's Head and Tail) are pretty much the astrological markers of fate, best described as the movement of circumstances that lie beyond our personal control. As the Equinox is upon us, I thought I might share some thoughts with you on ways of dealing with cosmic pressure!
As it happens, I have just enjoyed the "pleasure" of experiencing a personal Lunar Eclipse, where the transiting Moon opposed my natal Sun, at the same time as the axis of the transiting Moon's Nodes lay exactly on this Sun/Moon opposition, with the South Node on my natal Sun. Ugh. Now that's an eclipse! Transiting Saturn, the planet of karma, sorrow, restriction blah blah is nosing towards a stressful square aspect to my natal Sun, which will be partile (exact) at the end of September 2010. At this time the Moon's Nodes will still be on my Sun, so we will also see a T-square aspect from Saturn to the nodes that will strike my Sun like a sledgehammer. Nice one, centurion. These transits are part of the ongoing cosmic clash of the Grand Cross in Cardinal Signs that has been dogging us all for most of this year, but especially those with strong configurations in the early part of the Cardinal Signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. This Grand Cross in the heavens—involving Saturn in Libra; Jupiter and Uranus in Aries; Moon's Nodes in Cancer and Capricorn; Pluto in Capricorn and the inner planets zipping in and out of it—has been the main cosmic significator of the extraordinary upheavals that have been punishing the world in recent months.
This has all come at the end of a deeply distressing period of loss and sorrow, again tracked by the movement of Saturn and the other celestials through the zodiac, which was in my case—and that of anyone born with Saturn in Virgo (1919–1921; 1948–1951; 1977–1980)—a Saturn return. And circumstances during this period have gone
radically in the opposite direction to what I have desired!
I am, however, a fan of Living with Intent—even though sometimes circumstances seem to be almost overwhelming, generating unpleasant, destructive, or even tragic and catastrophic events and conditions. These are the sorts of things that happen when problematic aspects occur between the celestials. In the words of the hermetic maxim: as above, so below!
Now's not the time to offer a complete (or even adequate) explanation of astrology and how it works, and how its explanation of nature, the mind and spirit can be consciously employed by those on the path to self-realisation (the path of intent), the way of purification and the journey towards perfect understanding. The path of astrology is often presented as a passive, fatalistic avenue where we are mere expressions, or victims, of a predetermined fate, or the will of God. The path of the Magus, on the other hand, is seen as one of mastery—of majestically controlling the environment and bending it to the force of his (or her) will. In the modern world, these two approaches are widely assigned to religion in the blue corner and science in the red corner, with little in between. But there is a deeper view that allows a subtler, more useful approach.
There's no doubt that the outer world can look very threatening and problematic, especially when evils seem to beset us at every turn, but is there anything we can do about it? If our destiny is written in the stars, how can it be changed for the better, or at least moderated to ease the pain?
It's a good question. There could be two effective ways of approaching it—or three, if you count the idea that astrology is bunk! Traditional astrology, the first of these ways, has a number of cures for our ills, based on the Law of Correspondences. The Law of Correspondences holds that our personal world corresponds to the external world in every way, with specific reference in astrology to the cosmic vibrations inherent in celestial influence corresponding to natural substances and the human body. In this way, the influence say of Mars, which is hot and fiery, has particular effects on the body, and indeed on the course of our lives. Like all natural effects, these can have both an up side, and a down side. Natural substances, red coral, or herbs like nettle, garlic and all-heal, can be used to counteract, or redirect the fiery force of Mars away from the down side of acute health conditions, infections, violence, accidents, warfare and the like towards the up side of radiant health, assertiveness, and energetic achievement, for example. Other traditional remedies for Mars or any other planet include talismans, gems, rituals, chanting, ayurveda, feng shui and so on, all applied through astrological functions dependent upon the Law of Correspondences. These are nowadays mainly employed in Indian and Chinese Astrology, though many traditional astrologers in the West do provide them. A skilled astrologer will identify the energetic nature of the problem and prescribe an appropriate remedy. There is a vast literature on this subject, though mostly in generally inaccessible languages, such as Latin, Greek and Sanskrit—although there is now quite a bit of it (of varying quality) appearing in English on the WWW.
But how can this work? Well, astrology is about energetic connections, and the Law of Correspondences is about the way these energetic connections can be focused and employed. Some hold that it is unscientific, superstitious, or even spurious, but actually it is a testable theory which works in astonishing ways that are not otherwise explainable. We need to drop the materialistic idea that we are separate collections of matter and grasp that we are primarily an energetic, interconnected system that constructs the material body, its behaviour and environment out of an essentially malleable material nature, in itself the other side of Spirit. The energetic body has a specific structure and operates in particular ways, using energetic pathways (nadis, or meridiens) which focus streams or channels of subtle energy throughout the body, using interchange nexuses called chakras. These are major centres located along the spine and in other parts of the energetic system (sometimes called the aura, visible to those who have developed perception). The remedies work at a subtle, energetic level, then this is conducted through the nadi/chakra system to the physical level. See my article on the Human Aura. Now let's look at the second way.
Perhaps a more modern-sounding approach is one that is based in a psychological understanding of the self and its relationship with the world—more particularly employing the power of Intent to reconstruct the essentially malleable nature of reality. The pictures we have of reality are mind-borne pictures, constructed through habit, familial and cultural
training, not to say indoctrination. They correspond more or less indirectly with reality, but they shape our experience. Overhanging habit patterns are viewable astrologically through the birth chart, which describes what we came here with, in terms of the karmic threads that have been drawn together around a spiritual spark to form a personality, a garment if you like for the soul.
We are to a great extent bound by our beliefs. Beliefs about what is real and what is not, what is possible and what is not. These beliefs are very often cultural baggage, imposed by society, adopted at an early age, and incorporated into our sense of reality. We are born into a world that fits our inherent capacity for experience, but this is not an absolute, rather it is the material from which our garment is woven.
A great deal of what happens to us is governed by our self-image: the inner picture of ourselves, our appearance, and our abilities. Illnesses, poor mental and emotional states, unfulfilling relationships and unsatisfactory financial conditions do flow on from a negative or malformed inner picture. Celestial forces set up the basis and structure of our subconscious motivations, our unconscious image of ourselves and the world, and the ways in which we seek to deal with the issues in our daily lives. This is what astrology tracks and seeks to explain.
Astrology shows that we are non-different from the world and in particular, our personal environment—as we can easily see by stepping back from the hurly-burly a little and witnessing the parade of physical, psychological and spiritual strands as they unfold. Astrology as a worldview contains a map to natural forces, a key to psychological structures (mental and emotional) and a symbolic recording of karmic threads. Astrology can give us insight into all manner of situations, from the personal to the political and from the most intimate to the most mundane. Its holistic view of the world reveals a spiritual connection linking all things, even the planets, stars and us.
Let's look at just what if any effect our intent—our will to become, to manifest and to grow in consciousness along the path to self-realisation—has when placed against the back drop of the seemingly inevitable movement of the planets. Especially if these celestial forces really do set the platform of earthly events and delineate the structures of our character and unconscious motivations. How can we set about changing or reorienting these mighty rivers of natural force?
The issue where intent is concerned is whether or not we can harness the natural forces, turn the psychological key and redirect the karmic threads (kleshas, or desire-bombs) away from unconscious determination and towards conscious realisation. In other words, turning fate into destiny. Unconscious propulsions thrust us into the situations we need to experience. They propel us into situations where we need to remember who and what we are and what we are doing here, rather than being overwhelmed by the wave. This is what intent is in its most basic form.
Our karmic threads bring us to a particular birth place and time where we will be able to undergo the experiences we need. Not necessarily those we want. These threads are revealed in our personal birth chart or horoscope, the basis of the astrological adventure. They set up the structural patterns of our inner environment (the unconscious habit patterns; talents; innate responses) and our outer environment, which enables the flourishing of these patterns, for good or ill, and offers us the opportunities to modify them. Intent is relentlessly maintaining awareness: reshaping and redirecting the unconscious propulsions if they are not pushing us in the direction of conscious growth and ultimate fulfilment—benefit to the world (and to ourselves, family, friends, community etc) as we are non-different from the world.
Astrology maps the potential for development at an inner level (progressions) and an outer level (transits). An understanding of this is useful, because it shows us the nature of the events and feelings that are in play. Living with intent (for those who are empowered to do so) is the art of turning difficulties into opportunities—or at least preventing disasters from turning into catastrophes! The best way to do this is to adopt new survival patterns, reshaping the habitual garments that we wrap ourselves in. We need to consciously take on new habits, as our old ones (karmic threads) have outlived their use-by date. They are worn out, and like old garments, need to be tossed.
I am not trying to say that this is an easy thing to do, nor that it is something that may be done solo, without the help of a group or a mentor who has already become aware of the potential pitfalls and is empowered to deal with them. By no means. It is only by the process of understanding these subconscious propulsions and turning them into power plants that will bring the kind of benefit we seek. The process of initiation and empowerment (by someone who has already achieved a sufficient degree of capability, or mastery if you like) is the way this has always been done, whether in the mystery schools of the ancients, the secret societies of the renaissance, occult groups of modern times, or the therapeutic communities of the present. The process is the same, though the names are different.
Astrological forces are like the weather. There's not much we can do about the weather, but the wise person does not go out in a storm dressed in light summer clothes. Nor walk in front of a bus, or step off the edge of a tall building. Karmic forces are like electricity. They can power your life, or they can kill you. Intent is the method of harnessing the karmic electricity, so that a dangerous untapped resource can be put towards a useful outcome. In the words of Ella Wheeler Willcox:One ship sails East,
And another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
'Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
That tells the way we go.
Because we are reflected in our environment and our environment is reflected in us, we use our intent to modify the environment, whether by defusing the evils thereof (say by tuning in an Energy Egg, leaving an abusive relationship, or refashioning our abode using energetic principles), or by simply relocating and thus restructuring the energetic patterns. We need to rebuild our belief system to accommodate the possibility of a vibratory universe which is reflected in us, and to allow our inner self to flower by accepting that reality can be reconstructed and reshaped. This can be done through studying the techniques in a suitable and supportive environment (such as in the Energy Awareness courses) and maintaining the increased awareness and reshaped consciousness through regular, intensive practice. We should bear in mind that the stars influence us, but because the world is more like a marvellous mind than a mighty machine, we can also influence them.
Of course we can use astrology for timing the most favourable and auspicious periods (and places) for new ventures and other positive developments. As discussed earlier in the article, there are many traditional techniques to counteract dangerous aspect patterns (blocked inner currents), or to aid positive configurations, whether for love, money, or health, including crystals and gems, herbs, talismans, rituals and the like. But it's very much to do with how much we have developed our personal awareness as to how much we may or may not need to take advantage of astrological indicators, as opposed to instinct, or intuition. This could be said to be one of the key purposes for developing inner awareness—and power.
Our Energy Doctor, Stephen Kane, has an article on this site called Under a Positive Sky, where he talks about this issue. It's worth a look, as is his Being in the Right Place at the Right Time. Stephen and Lynda Kane, with whom I have worked for many years, are experts in the field of energy awareness—and take a profound interest in the development and science of intent.
The astrological patterns we are born into and those we experience in our lives are like a matrix for development, an instrument whereby powerful unconscious forces can be identified, understood and timed, and directed appropriately. The world is similar to our inner consciousness and when approached in a structured, mindful way, can be adjusted to make our experience of life more fulfilling. Part of the process is to restructure the content of our inner selves so that advantage can be taken of a cosmic push, or, in the event of difficult cosmic aspects, emotional pressure, even physical issues, can be placed into a larger context, with conscious pathways of resolution developed through skilful means. Astrological (karmic) energies work on many levels at the same time. Fate can present us with evident disaster, as in the Haiti earthquake, the Pakistan flood, or the Iceland volcanic eruption, but intent can bring us the best and most useful ways of dealing with fate and turning it into destiny. If you are particularly concerned about fate and destiny, you might also like to read my article A Nexus of Probability especially part 2.
The archangel Metatron was (and still is) a potent and powerful symbol used in moving above or beyond (meta-) this karmic matrix (tron), or instrument—from the Greek Meta+Tron meaning Beyond+Matrix. By changing our belief systems, we can live with intent, using the symbols of astrology to help us choose timings and locations, in conjunction with energetic techniques, such as muscle testing, the perfect pendulum, meditation, and just plain developing our awareness. We cannot step outside a transit any more than we can step outside the atmosphere, but we can harness the energy through skilful means and turn it into something valuable. Astrology helps us to be objective about these problematic circumstances, but also can guide us to times when personal action is most likely to succeed. A deep understanding of astrology is like opening a doorway into the meaning of life, an initiation into the secrets of the world. It's a beautiful thing!
This is the end of the article.