9/11 evokes strong views/feelings in probably most of us. So how possible is it to read a chart in those circumstances? Many think it was a US government conspiracy, and when they read the chart, that is what they see. I don’t think it was a conspiracy, and when I read the chart, I see something closer to the ‘official’ explanation.
So again, can we really do astrology effectively in those circumstances? I think we can, but it requires considerable self-mastery.
It’s like doing a reading for a close friend or family member. To read effectively we need both emotional neutrality and emotional engagement. But with close friends and family how can we be neutral? There are things, for example, that annoy us about them, that we probably see as their faults, but our view of those ‘faults’ is coloured by our emotional response. And if someone is your wife/husband/partner, well it’s a tangle of smoke and mirrors, it’s a crucible that we are in looking out of, and to do astrology we need to be out looking in.
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I’m not ruling out astrology for family and close friends (by close, I mean you know them well enough to behave badly towards them, and you still remain friends!) Not at all, I do some good astrology round the dinner table with a few glasses of wine in me. But maybe I need the wine to take me out of myself in that context?
Astrology is divinatory. It is grounded in certain rules of interpretation, but that is just the launch pad for the really powerful stuff, when something speaks through you, your intuition, the gods, guides, whatever. In a good reading this always happens to some extent, and you may not even be aware you are doing it. I’m liable to protest: “But I can justify what I said in terms of the rules, I wasn’t being intuitive!”, but that’s just my rational bias.
Astrology is in this sense ecstatic, a word which comes from the Greek meaning to stand outside oneself. And we probably all know that feeling of bliss that comes with it, how after doing a reading you feel like you’ve been somewhere else, and we all have our own ways of coming back and absorbing what has just happened.
Which brings me back to mundane astrology. You do not have a living person in front of you, you have a chart for a country that is perhaps thousands of miles away. I think it’s possible to read the chart ecstatically, to be a mouthpiece for the gods of that country. But I think it’s very difficult. It’s more natural to follow the rules of astrology in these cases. But then we are liable to interpret using our ordinary human emotions, and see what we want to see. Because any astrological configuration has a number of equally valid and even opposing interpretations, if we are just following the rules.
Mundane astrology can be one-sidedly rational. I was on a short course in it many years ago, and we certainly learned some of the rules, but at no point did we use them to delve into national character, which I had naively thought was the whole idea! I still do think that. To read accurately, you need to get inside the chart, you need a sense of what it feels like to be a Ukrainian, or its government, for example (which can just be an intuitive thing.) There has to be feeling there, like in any reading, but not too personal.
So with mundane astrology there seems to be an issue around bringing Fire and Water (intuition and feeling) into the reading, along with Earth and Air (accurate data and rational interpretation). For example, you could have seen at its inception that the EU was going to go through a major crisis around 2012. That is basic astrology. But would it cause the EU to unravel, or come together on a new basis? You would have needed Fire and Water, which go beyond the ‘rules’ of astrology, to be accurate about that.