Maybe Astrology is Crap


Maybe astrology is crap.

Maybe I don't even believe in this subject to which I've devoted my career, this topic that holds enough interest for you to compel you to visit this website. Maybe it doesn't matter when and where we were born, or through which sector of the celestial sphere Mars or Uranus was traveling at that time and place. Maybe, indeed, it's even fairly irrelevant to me whether George W Bush or John Kerry is elected the next president of the United States… maybe the one I dislike isn't as bad as I thought he was… maybe the one I don't like is actually more likable than he seems. Maybe I shouldn't even bother voting, just let the next step in our collective societal destiny unfold as it will whether or not I walk those three blocks to my polling place on Nov 2. Maybe, in fact, nothing I write here is the slightest bit meaningful outside the bubble of my deluded self-absorption.

Maybe not.

Maybe it takes a lot of guts to admit that, despite being committed to producing astrology-related writings for you on a weekly basis, I sometimes doubt the veracity and value of what I do. Or maybe it's a self-evident (though not always explicitly articulated) truth that of course I would experience doubt as a professional in a field such as astrology, so glaringly predicated on a leap of faith. Because—and this is a big because—I do not know how or why astrology works, as I've mentioned before. And, as far as I can tell, no one else knows either, even with all the bright ideas and big hypotheses circulating out there… unless somehow that verifiable explanation has escaped my info-hungry eyes. (Please let me know, by the way, if someone you know knows!)

(For that matter, neither can anyone definitively say astrology doesn't work or isn't true—go on, science guys and gals, try to disprove it! But that point is less pertinent to my personal existential crisis, since, after all, I'm not trying to make a living as an anti-astrology crusader. If I were, alas, I might still face some crisis of doubt, albeit one of a different color.)

My dilemma heightens at moments such as these, when some significant astrological happening happens—like this Wednesday evening's solar eclipse in Libra, boosted by Mercury, Mars and Jupiter, along for the Libran ride. I spread the word that dynamic plot development in our lives' narratives is afoot, accompanied by possible sensations of tingly excitement or raucous anxiety and emotional breaches of inexplicable origin… and then I wait. I know I feel something, for my astrological observations are indivisible from my experiential scoop.

But I wonder: Is anyone else feeling what I'm feeling? I get positive feedback from readers whose experiences jibe with mine. I gain affirmation from friends who pointedly ask me if 'something is going on' (meaning 'something astrological'), as they admit they're 'going through something' but don't really know what it is, and who, upon hearing my astro-take on matters, appear notably relieved to find a celestial explanation (reason? excuse?) for their momentary craziness.

Did they really feel what I'm feeling, or are they buying into my rationale because I'm convincing and because astrology is comforting? Do I really feel what I'm feeling? What's a feeling anyway? and how do I distinguish one from another?

I ask myself these questions at the same time we are passing through a dramatic eclipse period, at the same time the US faces a monumental choice for president (or maybe it isn't as monumental as we feel it is? and what's a feeling anyway?), at the same time I welcome developing success in my career as an astrologer. I'm teaching a Basics of Astrology course, my website readership has amped up its gradual increase with a recent spike (thank you, and yay!), and I continue to plan further progress for the future… and as a result, I accept an increased responsibility as a voice of authority in a subject lacking any absolute authority… and I ponder what's going to happen in my career and in my country and in the world and does the solar eclipse have anything to do with anything and is everything connected and meaningful? or not?

It's no surprise a little doubt crops up.

Astrology is one of those subjects without precise and provable answers (like the study of 'how we all ended up here, and, oh, by the way, why?'), and I enter its domain willingly acknowledging that. It's different than all that stuff we read in textbooks in school, soundly supported by evidence from experts whose expertise rests on other evidence from other experts who, somewhere back down the lineage of human knowledge, soundly founded their facts on other sound facts which were undeniably true, even if, in my crude and ignorant and self-absorbed consciousness, I cannot distinguish one word-filled book from another and don't personally know these experts and yet, of course, know what I read in textbooks in school is true because someone else with greater expertise has told me so. Right?

I'm not radical enough to reject all this textbook truth—no time, no desire, no worthwhile payoff—but I am radical enough to accept that, just maybe, it's also predicated on some amount of faith… and that's okay.

I practice astrology because, from my perspective, it appears to work. From the minute I began studying its symbols and applying its lessons to my life, I've remained skeptical and yet repeatedly been convinced. It's quite possible that astrology works for me because I want it to work, because it makes my clients and the readers of this website feel better. I'm not exactly sure what would be wrong with that. My intention is to help myself and others gain greater self-understanding, and to lead more conscious—and thus meaningful—lives as a result. That intention directs me in my practice, not an urgent need to be right. If and when astrology ceases to appear to work (that is, stops proving to help me and others gain greater self-understanding), it'll be time to walk away and try something new.

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