Astrology can revolutionize our vision of life and self. Forget the trite newspaper and magazine columns. Think big. Think cosmos. Think planets swirling round on their axes, careening at astounding speeds around suns, stars swiftly spiraling in galaxies around galaxies. We forget. This is where we live, on a planet flying through space at a head-spinning speed. The cosmos isn’t out there. It’s here. We’re part of it.
Astrology says there is a meaningful relationship between this immense vastness and the immediate intimacy of our personal lives. Cosmos and psyche are connected in a significant way. Ridiculous, most insist. How can there be a relationship between those far flung planets millions and billions of miles away and our lives on Earth?
Imagine, for a moment, the infinitesimal size of an atom, in a way, a miniature model of our solar system with a positively charged nucleus at its center and electrons orbiting like planets- a human body contains 7 billion, billion, billion of them. It is not at all difficult to imagine that the parts of this minute unit are interrelated in an essential way. However, we do have a hard time imagining that the distant planet Pluto could possibly affect life on Earth. Nonetheless, although Pluto is almost four billion miles from our sun, the relative distance between the nucleus in the tiny atom of, say, a gold ring, and its furthermost electron is twice the distance of that between our Sun and Pluto!
If we move this comparison out onto a truly cosmic scale and contrast the size of our solar system with the vastness of infinite space, it shrinks to far less than atomic in size. With that image in mind, it is not at all difficult to imagine that life in our small solar system may be interrelated and interconnected in an essential and intimate way.
The soul moves in circles.
This line of thought is not intended to lead to a sense of our utter insignificance, nor to suggest that atoms are solar systems, or that solar systems are atoms, although some scientists have speculated on the same. Neither do I believe that this makes any kind of a case for the validity of astrology, but I am suggesting that we live with culturally-accustomed blinders on to the wonders and mysteries of our existence, or as Shakespeare put it, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
Astrology maintains that our universe is encoded with meaning and creative design. This is the biggest leap of faith that most people face when confronted with the subject. But it’s not a matter of faith or belief; it’s one of study, observation, experience and practice. After 30 years of just that, I don’t believe; I know this much to be true – that there is implicit meaning, purpose and an intricate design that is infinitely varied in its creative genius – unfolding and evolving through the revolving of this solar system.
Bearing witness to the workings of this system continues to awe and amaze me every day. I don’t know how or why it works, only that it does. Its workings cannot be explained by our current scientific paradigms, though there are some theories, which are getting closer.
Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul refers to astrology as a “technology of mysticism” which may sound cryptic, but actually aptly describes its fundamental nature. Astrology is descriptive of the meeting point of eternal spirit with time and space. Planets and stars are alive with symbolic significance, each illuminating different universal life principles and processes, archetypes and myths. Each moment in the wheel of time is pregnant with creative intentions and possibilities. Astrology insists that time is not just quantitative, but more importantly qualitative telling of the nature of time as it passes.
The horoscope, astrologers’ most basic tool, is a map of the solar system for a particular, time and place on the Earth. Like a type of cosmic DNA of the soul, each horoscope is comprised of a unique symbolic configuration of planets, signs, houses and geometrical aspects composing a profound philosophical, psychological and spiritual language and system with which to articulate and understand the many dimensions of human experience.
Within the circle of the horoscope is the entire round of life, a meditative mandala with which to reflect and gain insight. Astrology expands our perceptions of reality beyond the limiting constraints of societal norms to a far vaster vision of life of more mythic and cosmic proportions.
Within our perpetually spinning universe there are planetary cycles within cycles rhythmically occurring, each moment of time evolving in relation to others. The timing for the development of each horoscope is found in the cycles of the planets and their continuously changing relationship to it. From an astrological perspective, our development is kaleidoscopic in nature with a complex web of ever-changing patterns within patterns of significance.
Astrology answers the questions: What is this time period about? What is it asking of me? What seeds of change and possibilities for growth are contained within it?
The answer is a complex, multi-layered and multifaceted one, but so are we. Astrology offers a consciousness expanding and therapeutic interpretive art that speaks to our hearts and souls with its holistic vision, unequaled system of timing and reflective language with which to fathom the mysteries of self and life as it evolves and unfolds. CHA
By Colleen Holden, SUMMER 2006
Colleen Holden has studied and practiced astrology for 29 years, and has lectured for 21 years. Her first teacher was Robert Hand, internationally known author and speaker. In the 1980s, she worked for Astrolabe, an astrological software house now located in Brewster. She holds a BA in psychology and sociology. Colleen can be reached at 774-722-2449.