The Tardis, Doctor Who's Time Machine
How does Astrology work?
Consciousness in Action...
In this part of the "What Is Astrology" series, Rob Tillett writes that our bodies react to the world in ways which are still barely understood. He says we constantly interact with our environment on many levels, from the sub-atomic to the metaphysical. These physical, mental, emotional, even spiritual, levels of interaction vary in depth and intensity according to our character and training, but they are truly real. Our world is really much more like a marvellous mind than a mere machine!
The evidence from interested researchers – such as our very own Energy Doctor, Stephen Kane, as well as kinesiologists, chinese medical specialists, feng-shui experts, herbalists, yogis and mystics of all hues – suggests that our bodies are not mere flesh and blood, but are more like sensitive broadcasting and receiving stations. We constantly interact with our environment on many levels, from the sub-atomic to the metaphysical, responding to a broad spectrum of radiant frequencies, not all of which have yet been catalogued by science. Bear in mind it was not so long ago that the very idea of radio, movies, x-rays and televison signals would have been consigned to ridicule at best – or, more ominously, to the stake with the witches.
The traditional view still upheld by many astrologers, especially in India, is that each planet is literally the body and expression of a spiritual being or entity (deva; asura; god; goddess; guide). These spiritual beings are expressions of the life-force, planetary avatars whose job it is to affect and guide the destinies of life-forms on this planet. This process is ultimately designed to bring self-awareness and redirect our karmas to higher planes, despite some bumps along the way that can be alleviated by remedies: gems, herbs, rituals, talismans and the like. Karma is thus not a fixed and inevitable fate, for we exist in a spiritual matrix, which can be focused, restructured and recomposed by the use of skilful means.
Planetary Energies, or Symbolic Links?
Some astrologers believe that planetary energies themselves generate events in our lives – and given recent advances in quantum mechanics, they may be right. In physics the idea of disconnected particles set into an empty space and affected by quanta of energy no longer adequately explains the universe and what happens in it. Dark energy and dark matter, antimatter and other more arcane features in nature, such as string theory, Zero Point Energy and the Spherical Standing Wave Structure of Matter challenge the accepted view that there are only four basic forces (strong nuclear; weak nuclear; electromagnetic; gravity) and that there can be no action at a distance.
Others believe, following Carl Jung, the great psychologist, that planetary positions are synchronistically connected with our lives – meaning that environmental influences generating reactions in human beings may be tracked in the positions of the planets, although the two may not be causally related. Jung of course did not invent the idea of signs rather than causes; this viewpoint dates back at least to Plato. It points to a numinal world that is reflected in our material one, a higher plane if you like that materialises or emanates our shadowy reality onto the walls of the cave. It is reminiscent of the mystical idea that symbols are real energy-generating patterns which may mark, or even stimulate activity in the human organism, as well as revealing the inner workings of the soul. So the power that moves the planets also moves us and does so in a logical, comprehensible way. But is it a two-way street? Can we also influence it?
Organically Connected with the Cosmos
This writer believes we are organically connected with the cosmos, just as seemingly unconnected islands in the sea are connected by the invisible sea-floor. Whatever happens to any part of the world affects us to some extent as individuals, even in ways which may be quite invisible to the casual observer. This in more materialistic terms presents as a multidimensional reality, which we at the human level perceive in three dimensions – and are beginning to comprehend a fourth dimension (time) as an integral component of the others.
But reality is composed of many higher level dimensions, all integral, though only able to be directly perceived with a spiritual (or mathematical!) eye. The multidimensional reality contains everything and every possibility that ever has or ever will exist, in terms of our four dimensional consciousness. The reality of consciousness is a reality of being, an environment that we experience with our senses as objects, events and moments in time, but actually it's more like a branching stream, or a current of potential. Astrology can provide us with a higher-dimensional reference, which reveals to us the main flows of the cosmic current.
Is the world an interactive being with patterns of life within its field serving as consciousness-generators which help bring it (and us) to full consciousness? History shows us that we react en masse much more noticeably to environmental factors, which may be more or less insignificant at the individual level. This is the cosmic current left untouched by intent, but as human beings and spiritual entities, it is important to understand our place in the world. At the deepest level, all major events in our lives are governed by our karma, the product of what we have been in the (sometimes distant) past. Karmas are given to us in order to create the conditions necessary for us to awaken from the "sleep of ages" and to achieve self-realisation. Since the universe reflects the energies of the cosmic mind, so too do our lives. Astrology is a timed map to the expression of these energies.
Freewill and Destiny
Astrology is not generally a way of foretelling inevitable fate (though it can be under some circumstances). Paracelsus, one of the world's greatest astrologers, remarked, quoting the ancients: "The stars incline; they do not compel" (Astra inclinant non necessistant). He meant that while planetary influences create the groundwork and basis for action in any set of circumstances, there is still the element of free will in us all. We become masters of our own destinies to the degree to which we are no longer entirely subject to the mechanical influences of the conditioned world. We can use the techniques and insights of astrology to make sense of our connection with each other, with the universe at large, and with our own inner selves – to select a higher frequency channel, if you like. This is called living with intent.
Astrologers, like all good scientists, must use their knowledge in combination with a developed intuition. The horoscope does not so much reveal a clear fate as a set of probabilities, often operating on many levels simultaneously. These can be reviewed via progressions and transits to the natal chart, along with other more arcane methods such as alfridaria, profection, dasha/bhukti periods and so on. There is much discussion among astrologers as to just how much free will we really do have, but that is a moot point. The astrologer must clarify these probabilities, karmic strands, or kleshas, and place them in perspective. The cosmic current is not random, and is not driven by chance. It is driven by intent. In order to turn fate into destiny, we need to understand the perspectives and possibilities inherent in our life-path, or indeed in the cosmic current of anything that has a beginning!
My view is that the stars have a deep influence on us, but since the world is more like a being than a thing, we too can influence them. This comes through living with intent – which, as Stephen Kane says, is the bedrock of cultivating a stable, whole body, higher awareness. This builds a totally different relationship with life. Life is goal-directed, not random, and astrology is a science of consciousness in action. It marks fate pushing from behind and destiny pulling from ahead. The astrologer's art is to extract the meaning from the pieces of the planetary puzzle, just as it is the doctor's art to find the meaning in the pattern of often seemingly unrelated symptoms. In astrology, as in medicine, the science is intimately bound up with the art.
Return to the start of the series, What is Astrology.