Sunday, 23 June 2013

Free will and predestination

John Frawley has written a very interesting article about the so-called battle between free will and fate, but I think there are some issues that are left unclear, to me at least. Here are two paragraphs from the article:

"Much the same can be said of prediction. When we predict we are in a sense looking into the little book that is eternity, because we’re not looking at life as a straight line of which we know only the particular point where we are right now. When we predict, we’re looking at the life as something the whole of which exists now. Else we wouldn’t be able to see it. The whole movie is in the can. Hence the fact we can look anywhere we want in that life. It’s a bit like a photo album. You have a photo album covering 20 years of your life, and you can open that album wherever you like. Those 20 years in a sense exist now, completely. Both prediction and prayer assume that the whole of our life exists in much the same way as those 20 years in the photo album, the only difference being that the photo album exists only after we apparently perceive the life, whereas the prayer and prediction seem to us to exist only before we experience it. But because before and after are things we perceive only because of our position within the constraints of time, they are not necessarily to be taken too seriously. Before and after are not necessarily the determining words on the subject."

"Our situation regarding prediction and the apparent contradiction between free will and predestination, is not the situation of the one watching the movie and wondering what’s going to happen next. Our situation is that of the person in the movie. We are Rick, wondering if it will be him or Victor Lazlo getting on the plane with Ilsa. What will I choose to do? Rick has his free will. It’s his choice whether it’s him or Lazlo who gets on the plane. But - the decision has already been made. The movie’s in the can. Yet only by exercising his own free will does the movie unfold as it must do, as it can only do, as it will inevitably do. The predestination (the movie being in the can) is obtainable only by Rick exercising his free will.

The whole article can be found here: 

1) So, we as astrologers do not predict, because there is no such thing as a past and a future. Everything already exists, therefore we cannot make a prediction in the literal sense of the word, because we are not seeing something in the chart that "will happen", but simply something that is part of our script. We are just stating a fact. So far so good.

2) We, as people, do not know the script beforehand, because that would be extremely unpleasant. Look at Jesus, John says. He knew his script beforehand and he didn't like it, at least parts of it. He played it out of course, because that is the only possible "choice" for everybody, but it was unpleasant nonetheless. So, what are we doing as astrologers? Why are we trying to find out about what the various scripts say? Are we making our lives - and other people's lives for that matter - unpleasant? Should we stop? Can we stop? Naturally, what we will eventually do (stop or don't stop), will be determined by our script, but if we consider astrology to be a divine art, isn't that perhaps what we are supposed to do? Shouldn't we try to emulate Jesus? Can it be that this is our purpose, that is, to find out all we can about our script, despite the potential unpleasantness?

3) John finally says that the script can only come to life by us exercising our free will. Curious choice of words here and this is the part that is unclear to me. By free will does he mean conscious action? That I can understand.  My "choice" is written in the script, but this choice has to be acted upon, it has to be realized. The script has to become a movie, it can't just stay simply words on paper forever. But free will? What does he mean by that? Isn't that an illusion? I can only call it free will, if I do not know that a script exists. But I'm deluding myself because a script does exist. And even if I do know my script by heart (Jesus), I still have to play it out, regardless of whether I like it or not. Can this be called free? I can't help but remember Cypher from the first Matrix, who got out of the Matrix, only to realize that freedom is an illusion. "You call this free?" he told Trinity. Trinity failed to respond.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Serena Williams

She could be the greatest female tennis player of all time. She is only two grand slams away from the all time record, currently held by both Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova. What Steffi Graf, who is considered by most as the best player ever, couldn't accomplish, seems to be an easy task for Serena. Her chart, however, at first glance doesn't seem to promise greatness with all those 6th house planets, her temperament (a phlegmatic/melancholic tennis champion? Really?) the Moon in very poor condition and two planets in detriment or fall, one of them the ruler of the ascendant, no less. What is going on here?

Granted, she's had more than her fair share of injuries and she's had to stay away from the game for sometimes long periods of time, which explains the loaded 6th house. She also does seem to have a slow movement and tries to save energy by ending the point with a powerful stroke, instead of getting into a long set of rallies, which could partially explain the cold temperament. She's had problems with her weight, a common characteristic of a phlegmatic temperament. She's suffered from a bout of depression (melancholic temperament), but that was after the violent death of her half-sister, Yetunde, which is understandable. And finally, she does give the impression that she would rather compete only in slams, because all the other tournaments bore her enormously. Where, however, does she derive her heat and power from?

I think most of it comes from that very powerful square between Venus and Mars. Venus, the ruler of the ascendant and ruler of all those planets in Libra, is in detriment, yes, but she's also in that quite rare (for Venus) and very fortunate state of hayz. She's a nocturnal planet, in a nocturnal chart, nocturnally placed in a nocturnal sign. Because Venus is so close to the Sun, she's almost always diurnally placed, where the Sun is, that is. So it's not easy for her to be in hayz. Serena's Venus however, is, which strengthens this Venus a lot. What's more, Venus is in her own terms (the best place for a Venus in Scorpio to be) and there's a mutual reception between Venus and Mars (domicile/terms) which helps to make the square less of a problem. Mars, an extremely hot and dry planet by nature, is in Leo here, which makes him even hotter and drier. So this Venus receives, quite willingly, a lot of fixed fire. Hence the power. Mars is also the co-almuten of the 10th house (exaltation and face ruler) and by being placed in the 5th house, makes the connection between sports and profession.

Serena, at 32,  is currently the oldest female player ever to be No 1 in the ATP rankings. It would be interesting to watch her break many more records in the future, if she manages to stay injury-free.