November 16, 20114 Comments

“Astrology for the Astrologically Challenged” by Deborah Smith Parker

 OK, I know I said my next post would be on Neptune, but it was such a juicy time in American politics last week when “we the people” captured some crucial hills in the battle against the powers of . . . well, the powers. This caused many commentators to ask “What does this mean for the fate of the recall of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker?”  Good question. Before addressing that specifically in my next post (Part II) I first need to lay some groundwork about fate and astrology.

Today in modern culture fate is a prickly topic because the notion of an inescapable destiny is difficult for the skeptical Western mind to wrap round. Never mind, for starters, that your genetic code, not you, predetermines your hair, eyes and skin color along with other key characteristics, or that the laws of science determine the characteristics of the physical environment in which you live.

Fate is largely considered a remnant of the past, unless you’re at a party where everyone is on their third drink, or whatever, and then all the stories start to come out. You know the kind—a friend who is obsessive-compulsive about arriving everywhere early and is furious when a series of strange circumstances caused her to miss her plane by only a few minutes, a plane which crashed soon after takeoff killing everyone on board.

To the ancients fate was serious business. In mythology it was the purview of three sister goddesses: Clotho spun the thread of life, Lachesis measured it and Atropos cut it. Fascinating to me is that in many versions of this myth Lachesis, while measuring, looks at a horoscope. Following is a story I first became aware of in John O’Hara’s novel, Appointment in Samarra, showing how we humans have perceived fate through out much of our history:

 A merchant in Baghdad sent his beloved servant to the marketplace for provisions one morning. The servant quickly returned home pale and trembling and told his master that in the marketplace he was jostled by someone whom he recognized as Death who made a threatening gesture at him. Because the merchant so valued his servant he lent him a horse so he could flee to Samarra, a city some distance away, where he believed Death would not find him. The merchant then went to the marketplace and found Death. He asked why he made the threatening gesture to his servant. Death replied, “That was not a threatening gesture, it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.”

  Today we bristle at the idea that many aspects of our lives—family of origin experiences, talents, weaknesses, fears, educational and career leanings, and timing of key events—are retrievable from the horoscope. Yet, many times we astrologers find in consults with our clients that they just stare open mouthed asking how we can know what we’ve described to them about their lives. So a lot of the astrological chart shows “what is written.” However, that’s not all it shows by any means.

Myth also tells us there is wiggle room regarding destiny. The gods could in some circumstances mitigate a mortal’s fate. So it is today. In modern psychology and astrology the gods are pretty accurate pictures of different expressions of the human psyche as well as archetypes of the unconscious. In other words, how we manage our own consciousness can help us meet and alter our fate by applying the characteristics of the planets involved to the gods they represent to better understand the energies one may be dealing with. Astrology also reveals the timing related to these key decisions points.

The more we are conscious of what aspects of our experiences are “self meeting self” and are only masquerading as outside forces acting upon us the better off we are. One of astrology’s greatest strengths is the ability to help a person sort through this. There is always a lesson and it is up to us to meet situations with full openness to what we have to learn and change about ourselves, not what we can weasel out of without too much pain.

Part of the challenge is coming to terms with what appears to be a given and therefore a hard lesson we can’t get out of as a lesson that is acting upon us and must be endured. Case in point—in my astrological practice I can tell from the chart without first meeting the person if the consultation is, among other things, about the prospect of losing a home to foreclosure. The outcome isn’t always what the person thinks or fears. Sometimes it is. Astrology is especially helpful in assisting people sort through those situations and decisions.

In my next post I will address the astrological elements of Gov. Scott Walker’s chart related to his current fate of facing a recall election. Stay tuned.

(Deborah Smith Parker is the author of “Humanus Astrologicus” available in soft cover on this site and now in ebook formats—for a ridiculously low price. To sign up to receive her blog or follow her on Twitter @astro_logicus and Facebook click to the right of this post.)


About author:

Deborah Smith Parker is re-writing the often impenetrable language of astrology into a much friendlier form. She has spent her 30 plus years as an astrological consultant, writer, teacher and lecturer freeing the rich astrological images and their descriptions increasingly buried under modern clinical and technological descriptions. Her additional work in public policy has provided many outlets for demonstrating her ability to break down highly complex systems into information that’s easily understood.

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  1. Beth Newcomer says:

    Wow, Deborah, this is a good one. And not the first time I wished you were at my elbow during one of those “prickly” conversations about F/fate with members of the modern set. You approach even the most ethereal and esoteric subjects with the nonchalant authority of common sense — and sometimes I don’t see how you did it. Magic!

  2. Quick edit …

    “So a lot of the astrological chartS show “what is written.” However, that’s not all THEY show; NOT by any means.”

    Love you. Love your work.


  3. Margot E. says:

    Thanks, Deborah for helping make sense of the madness of our times. I cannot always make sense of what is happening politically or personally. You open a broad window through which world events can be viewed. Viewed as part of a larger universe, I find that the world is not “picking on” me or anyone else. Life brings changes – how I view those changes is up to me. Finding guidance or explanations in astrology allows me to decide whether I want to view change as loss or opportunity.

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