Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Horoscope As A Measuring Instrument


Astrology is not the belief in the influence of the heavenly bodies on human beings, but rather a system for illustrating reality. Other systems do the same thing. Physics, for example, uses numbers and letters as its symbols for illustrating reality, but no one is asked to believe that a formula made up of these letters and numbers actually influences, shall we say, the force of gravity.
A horoscope is a measuring instrument gauged to register the quality of a given moment. It works with varying degrees of accuracy, depending on certain technical factors, but the measurability of the time-quality itself is not in question. The situation is the same as with the quantitative measurement of time, which is likewise dependent for its accuracy on our technical capacity. When we only had sundials we could not measure nearly as accurately as with a modern atomic clock, which can record time to an accuracy of one millionth of a second.
Similar discrepancies can be seen in astrology. In its practical application astrology is often a rather crude instrument and leaves much to be desired as regards accuracy. But any improvement in accuracy depends on the technical skills of astrologers and the further development of the measuring instruments. Thus any limitations exist in human capacity rather than in astrology itself.
Unfortunately some sheer nonsense is to be found among the statements that have been appearing in astrological textbooks for generations. Take, for example, the dictum that “the planets create inclinations, but they do not compel”. This statement, which is usually intended as an expression of moderation and seriousness, contains several errors of thinking. First of all it would be more correct to say that the planets do neither of those things. When the mercury in a thermometer shows 30 degrees one cannot say that it indicates an inclination towards this temperature, which may, nevertheless, not be reached.
The heavenly bodies neither compel nor incline. They indicate how reality is constituted at a particular moment, albeit with compelling accuracy. If the sentence I have quoted were true it would be a waste of time to devote even five minutes to astrology, for every astrological statement would have a probability factor of 50 per cent – in other words it might be true or it might not. The same result could be obtained much more easily by tossing a coin.
Another claim of equal absurdity is that human fate is a combination of inherited characteristics, upbringing, environmental influences and cosmic factors. This again shows confused thinking. The first question it raises has to do with the nature of these “cosmic factors”. What is meant by this term? How does a person experience the working of a cosmic factor? What events in their destiny does it effect? They would have to be events in which the environment played no part, otherwise we would be talking about environmental influences.
A statement of this kind is based not so much upon mature considerations as on a desire to conform to scientific theory and somehow to smuggle astrology into the precincts of science. A moment's reflection reveals that upbringing and environment are merely concrete levels on which the primal principles are manifested. The environment is the organ without which these principles could not be carried out; for how can a person experience a “cosmic factor” (our “primal principle”) if not through the medium of the environment? How could anyone be run over if there were no cars, or fall ill if there were no viruses, or get murdered if there were no murderers? Yet these environmental factors are never causes. They are nothing more than “executive officers” of fate.
Inherited factors are again another plane of reality on which one can find representations of the primal principles. On the level of information carriers in the cells we can read reality just as we can on the heavenly plane. Human geneticists and astrologers are really colleagues if they only knew it. And if even astrologers believe in a casual influence from the planets, we cannot easily hold it against experts in human genetics when we find they are adamantly convinced that genes are the “cause” of inherited characteristics. A human being carries his or her “horoscope” in each individual cell, for the whole is always to be found in every detail, just as the plant is to be found in the seed.
This is demonstrated vividly by acupuncture, which began with the body as a whole, then discovered the entire human being reflected in the ear. Later it made the same discovery about the nose, the hand, the foot and so on. Similarly each person carries his horoscope in his eye, in his foot, in each cell of his body. The symbolic language is different, but the message is always the same, for it is the same single reality that is being illustrated.
It is not without reason that in former times astrology was known as the “royal science”; for astrology embraces the whole of reality and can be applied to all levels with equal success. In a word, it is universal. It is also not without reason that Kepler wrote a book with the very significant title: A Warning to Opponents of Astrology. Nor is it without reason that Paracelsus declared that any doctor who did no know astrology was a charlatan and a quack. But all of these testimonies refer exclusively to a form of astrology which was still firmly rooted in the esoteric world-view and which was still the true celestial knowledge – not the all-too-familiar caricature which passes for astrology today.
True astrology was and is a path of initiation which leads via self-knowledge and knowledge of nature to knowledge of God. Thus true astrology finally makes itself superfluous. True astrology is a form of philosophy and has nothing to do with delving around in other people's future. In order to understand astrology one must learn it for oneself. True astrology teaches us to approach the world and our fellow men with an understanding of the cosmic factors proper to each individual situation and thus be inwardly at peace with everything and everyone around us. How can we be angry with a person if we really understand them? Real astrology teaches us to perceive a new dimension of reality.
In natal astrology a horoscope is cast for the moment of birth, or more precisely the first breath. Here, as with any other process, the beginning contains the pattern of unfoldment – in this case of a human life. The horoscope evaluates the time-quality under which a life begins and thus indicates the path of that life. A natal horoscope shows three different things:

1 It indicates what psychologists call character- or personality-structure.
2 Add to the character-structure, which is a static thing, the dynamic factor of time, and you arrive at the course of the individual's destiny. The time factor tells us at what point in a person's life a particular problem area is activated.
3 The natal horoscope also indicates the actual course of labour and delivery in the birth of an individual.

This third aspect has often been overlooked – which is surprising when one considers what far-reaching consequences are attributed to the events of delivery. The same horoscope is valid for both the birth event and the course of the individual's life. In other words someone's life is merely their own birth writ large. Everything that is to happen in a person's life must already be present by analogy in the birth, which is a telescoped version of the entire life.
Looking at it the other way round, this means that nothing can happen in the life of an individual (be it positive or negative) that has not already been present in the birth process. This way of looking at things, however, goes against the idea that we can find “causes” for illnesses and other events in a human life. In fact with the right methods it can be shown that every problem in a human life can be tracked back to the birth even. For in every beginning the end is already present.

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