It took a while to believe there could be a benefit in studying what is generally considered to be pseudoscience. I don’t need to list internationally recognized geniuses across history who had a fondness for astrology to justify its merit. I could care less what the general population thinks. Most people sleep through the daily gift of an exquisite sunrise, but they still happen, and life carries on.
A HIGH-RISK INVESTMENT
The occult’s historical disinformation campaign is unparalleled. These arts and their practice were, after all, intended to be kept secret. So much so, that when open revelation did manage to occur at moments across civilizations, the generational popular miasma was crusty enough to prevent seeing things plainly.
Compounded with this, the astrological tradition is not only as old as mankind but has undergone countless scientific, technical, philosophical evolutions and location- or culture-specific hybridizations. And further compounded with this, to practice astrology requires lifelong patience, time, devotion, wisdom, objectivity, an ability to manage large quantities of data, balanced pattern recognition, and intuition, among other things. It demands a lot with very little obvious return, so why bother?
RIDE THE TREND
But, perhaps you’re noticing now that the homogenizing effect of globalization is outsourcing humanity’s taste for exotic fetishism not to far off lands but to the esoteric arts. Astrology, once taboo, is now trendy. You’re unlikely to get killed for practicing it, and there are more resources available to make studying it relatively accessible.
Then again, with its growing oversaturation and swell of naïve enthusiasm, there’s also a sharp rise in watered down or simply false information, more and more examples of poor practice, and more and more reason to believe that it’s still an utter waste of time or something that only appeals to the gullible, the desperate, the delusional, the superstitious, the stupid, the devil-worshipers, or to other marginalized detritus plaguing the rational, upstanding, and practical citizens of the global community.
NO SOUL-SELLING REQUIRED TO PRACTICE
The first major hurdle to overcome is to understand what astrology is and isn’t. This is a larger conversation, but let’s be clear that astrology has nothing to do with believing or not believing in something. It does not require an individual to believe in the causal nature of unseen forces or have set beliefs about determinism, predestination, or free will.
A curious mind will likely end up wondering about these things as a side effect, but belief is not required. What astrology does, more or less, require is simply an assumption that there is or could be a link between what is observed above and what occurs below. And, most people already adhere to this assumption without realizing it.
YOUR CALENDAR BELIEVES IN ASTROLOGY
We observe the Earth to orbit the Sun in the span of a year, and we use an annual calendar system accordingly. We observe the Earth to rotate on its axis and see locations to experience daylight and night relationally to this daily (diurnal) rotation. Most of us don’t lose sleep over whether the sun is still going to rise tomorrow. Planetary orbits and rotations are tracked, standardized, and reliable enough for universal timekeeping.
All living beings, furthermore, are observed to have more or less predictable stages and durations of biological growth, development, fertility, and lifespan. And, despite the recent observations of more extreme weather patterns and advances in agriculture antithetical to Nature, we do still adhere to a concept of seasons or seasonality. Though we have been conditioned to prioritize the linear or assume direct cause and effect to be the main reason for x, y, or z occurring, we do still notice and use cycles and a cyclical understanding of time in certain cases.
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN
Not to bash the patriarchy, because it does of course have a place, but cycle-based knowledge has traditionally been assigned to what is deemed “feminine”, and for a while now, “that stuff” has been time and time again considered erratic, irrational, inexplicable, ahistorical, or sometimes weirdly revered to the point of fearful neglect and misunderstanding; ultimately, it has been held as inferior in importance or relevance to what has the potential to be understood or built upon.
To practice astrology then, to me, has a place within a form of radical feminism aiming to rebalance our relationship to what are the “masculine” (active) and “feminine” (passive) principles within our understanding of the creative Universe. But that topic is for another day.
DID TECHNOLOGY COME FROM PSYCHIC ALIENS?
As overwhelming as the recent technological revolution has been, invention in this field does make it easier to conceptualize difficult “psychic” or unseen phenomena. Thanks to the Internet, it’s easier to open up to the idea of communicating at a distance without a physical exchange taking place.
With the latest smart phones and watches, we are suddenly able to measure, track, and analyze body levels and processes, and in some cases, prevent medical emergencies with this data collection and organization. We are able to make advances in associating certain patterns with certain outcomes that would otherwise remain a mystery. We need not, however, condemn our cells to a continual stream of battery and WiFi radiation just to learn more about ourselves.
JUST SOME FANCY CLOCKS
Every human is a mass of cycles, some more personal, some generational, and these can all be organized, tracked, or simply just specifically described in terms of their direct correlation to the predictable planetary orbits within our solar system. It’s not really so random. With time and observation of self and the greater system of refined clocks above us, we start to see more connections within the patterns, and the whole process finally starts to feel not just relevant, but incredibly practical and empowering.
The past (and future) start to have more of a context, the fabric of life really does take on the form of a tapestry that has a logical structure to it that does not categorically contradict personal choice or volition. And, as our age is blessed for having great, accessible technology to help us organize and make astrological calculations in the first place, it’s very easy to start learning at any age or ability level and to progress quickly.
BLISS STATE BENEFITS
It’s not just about data, though, and a sophisticated machine could never replicate what a skilled astrologer can do (try as they might). There is a nice little dopamine kick every time one’s brain acknowledges a pattern or makes a connection, sure. But, there is also a beautiful, dare I say, divine component to engaging with this form of reflecting on the relationship between a human and the greater cosmos, and this is something that can never be understood or described from the sidelines.
It’s the same silent, breathtaking feeling as staring up at the stars, a sunrise, a sunset perhaps. It’s the feeling of genuine wonderment; and, in an age where the true pandemic is plausibly one of chronic overstimulation before anything else, such an experience is rare. On that note, though today you COULD practice astrology in an arguably enriching way without even looking at the sky, I’d recommend NOT leaving that marvelous part out of your process.