Saturday, 5 June 2010

The astrological paradox

Do astrologers believe in free will? They say they do, both modern and traditional ones, to some extent at least. In the western world we are born and bred with this belief that we are capable of turning our lives around, should we wish to do so. Astrologers are no exception. They usually say that a Saturn transit or progression is fate, in the sense that it is an astronomical certainty, but what you do with it is largely up to you.
Yet, what they believe is not what they practice. When something happens in the life of an individual we all look at their charts and try to find an astrological correlation. Why do we do that? I have yet to read or hear from an astrologer that this or that was supposed to happen, but free will intervened and nothing actually did. We all bend over backwards to find anything in a chart that could indicate whatever is going on. We never say "I can't find anything, so this person obviously exercised their free will". But if we believe in free will, shouldn't we say so from time to time?
The hard truth that we are not willing to face is that we DON'T truly believe in free will. Because if we did, we wouldn't care for astrology. We wouldn't study astrology, because if we believed that astrology sometimes has the answers and sometimes it doesn't, then what's the point in studying something so unreliable?
Some astrologers say that if you have a Sun/Saturn conjunction for example, you have the free will to manifest this in several ways, but within the limits of the meaning of this conjunction. You cannot turn this into a Sun/Jupiter one. But is that actually free will? I sincerely doubt it.
Astrology is all about fate and our job is to interpret it. I don't think we should mix free will with astrology, because that would lower our standards. If we can easily discard something as free will, then we will not make astrology better. We would stop searching and testing astrology techniques or inventing new ones. Instead, we should treat everything as fate.
What is free will anyway? Why would you want to change your fate? Who are you to decide what's good for you or what isn't? Can we be trusted to do the right thing? What IS the right thing?
We don't have answers for these questions. So, instead of fighting our fate just to prove that we are capable of gritting our teeth, we should perhaps co-operate with it and align our minds with the energy of our chart, whether we like it or not. And perhaps, when we completely understand it, when we totally embrace what life has to offer us, whether good or bad, then fate may actually begin to loosen its grip.


  1. They do exist strong - willed individuals and their opposite weak - willed individuals. There is not reason to study philosophy to accept this as a fact. It is also true that every human being is capable to exercise their will, to become stronger physically and emotionally gaining in this way more control over their lives, that is, more "free will"...

    If we accept the above then the next step for us is to realize that is not correct to make a "general law" declaring the reality or non reality of "free will" simply because every human being is a autonomus universe with its own "laws". "Will" free or not is something "countable". Some people have it some do not have it at all and some others do not even understand what "will" means.

  2. God gave us freewill. Or are you an atheist, yet believe in astrology? You cannot be a a non-believer in God, yet believe in astrology at the same time as God is the one who created the planets, and he works through the transits.

  3. Mist, your comment shows exactly the confusion that is surrounding this issue. You say that God gave us free will and God also created the planets, which show us our fate. If I have free will, then my chart is of hardly any significance, since I can override it at any given moment. Which means that we should give up astrology altogether. Not to mention the fact that if God gave me free will, then this free will is not my own, but someone else gave it to me, my free will is part of someone's plan. That can hardly be considered "free", can it?
    I believe that astrology is indeed the language of God and this is what astrology is all about. I need to realize, to make conscious what God's plans are for me, in other words what is my fate. Free will is not a given. Instead, it is something that can be conquered. If I fully understand my fate, if I fully co-operate with my birth chart, then and only then can I transcend it and claim that I am free. So, before I become free, I need to embrace my fate whole-heartedly. How can I free myself of something if I don't know what IT is?
    That was the point of this entry. That we need to stop throwing tantrums like little children, shouting "I'm free! I'm free!" which only serves to prove the opposite. Instead, we should further our astrological studies and try to learn what fate has in store for us. In other words, align our minds with God's will, not our own, which is fake anyway. As astrologers, our job is to decipher the fate of our clients. If I believe that my clients are free to do whatever they wish, then my astrology will be a mess, because I will attribute all my predictive failures to their free will. I will stop searching, I will stop studying and I will do a great disservice to the art of astrology if I believe that it only offers us guidelines and nothing more.

  4. Hi Petros. It's nice to read your thoughts. They are very much in line with my experience. Here are some further thoughts that have come up:

    In my mind causality does not imply will except (if we must) the will of the totality of all the universe. Free-will is a little cog in the totality. Every thing is as it is because everything else is as it is.

    The presence of the notion of free-will does not endow or take away the recognition that celestial bodies share their essence with earthly bodies, and the recognition of the interaction between all bodies and their apparent individual causes and effects. Astrology operates very well without the notion of free will. Astrology can clear an enormous amount of illusion and free people from a lot of suffering without ever bringing in the notion of free will. I see this daily in my practice.

    Free-will is only an idea. Free will comes in only as a thought that finds its place between conscious seeing and what is seen. Free will as a source of power as the "free-willer" likes to think is fated to remain the subject of philosophical thinking. At least that's my experience whenever I think about of free will, or simply "will" for that matter.

    The more illusions are removed the more peace and the less imaginary suffering. Why else would we study and use astrology? The more peace the less the compulsion to push life around. Simply being is enough and fate is watched like we watch a movie with all of its pains and delights.

  5. I have had this discussion with people too many times to count. They say "what's the point of astrology, I have free will". When I ask them "how do you know that you have free will?", they say "because, when I am at a crossroads, I can decide whether to turn right or left". To which my response is: "yes, but how do you know that your decision to turn right or left is not determined by some force that you cannot perceive?" That usually shuts them up. :)