View Full Version : Question about the limits of Astrology

21-06-2005, 23:51
I’ve been reading a few things about Astrology, a subject I know virtually nothing about. Obviously, I am left with more questions and doubts than answers. I read the Astrology threads almost everyday, and noticed that people here are very friendly and helpful, so I will dare to post one of my doubts…

I would love to understand how is that Astrology can help someone to see his life in a broader sense. I mean, not just learn about the kind of personality or individual characteristics one has, or about the events one is most likely to meet in the future; I would like to know more about the supposed possibility to learn about oneself in a “cosmic” sense. I could be related to the notion of “karmic astrology”, I am not sure. I read that the study of the 8th house can teach us a lot about it (I have Neptune in the 8th house).

Anyway, what I need most is to know your opinion. To what extent can an individual chart go? Can it reach a person’s “spiritual” dimension? Or is it particularly focused in the level of the psyche, or the soul, depending on the language one uses? What do you think about the idea of exploring “our mission in life” through Astrology?

Well… thank you in advance, and excuse me if I sound confused…


22-06-2005, 00:43
Astrology is based upon centuries of practice and observation. It has been contaminated over time by the lack of undocumented speculation and an informal learning, teaching and sharing process -- but it's core practices have remained intact. More recently (the last 200 years), observations and their documentation have steadily improved and astrology has been extended and somewhat solidified in terms of its basics.

It is now recognized, for example, that the natal chart is only a portion of what an astrologer can use to help one better understand one's life and to shape it to some degree. In earlier centuries there were imperfect ways to progress a chart to "see" the future or to answer immediate questions such as where did lose my watch. Today there are many proven and sophisticated approaches to almost any aspect of life and experience, both for people and events.

The limits of astrology are really the limits of our knowledge and skills. It is not easy or quick to learn astrology but its premis is simple -- we are part of this world, this solar system and universe and there are influences that come from our world and universe that directly impact us. To the extent that we can recognize these influences and categorize them by observed effects, we can "see" what a person might become, "how" they tend to act, "where" they might best succeed in life, "who" they may better relate to.

It will take more than this one posting -- my 1000th by the way -- to answer your question to a fuller and satisfying degree. This thread will initiate a dialog of opinion and experiences which will, in total, better answer you. So, stay with this thread and its responses. Good luck in your search. Dave.

22-06-2005, 01:24

Congratulations on your 1,000th post - I really do look forward to the next 1,000!


In general terms I agree with Dave, the question is more about the limit's of human knowledge than simply about Astrology. I don't regard Astrology as 'scientific' in the modern sense of the word, so I'm not talking about scientifc knowledge. Astrology draws on other ways of 'knowing' including the 'psychic' as well as the application of rules to situations. There are times when the 'knowledge' comes from an understanding of the 'picture' in the chart rather than simply from the rules.

You should also realise that Astrology is not simply about the natal charts of people, indeed for a long time it was Mundane Astrology, the Astrology of nations and peoples that was seen as the pinacle of the discipline.

Now to be specific about your question relating to a person's spiritual dimension, there are a lot of Astrologers who will give a resounding 'Yes'. There are many excellent books written in this area - one mentioned in a recent series of posts is Jan Spiller's Astrology for the Soul. There's also Alan Oken's 'Soul Centred Astrology', and a huge tradition of Esoteric Astrology coming down from such writers as Alice Bailey. That tradition looks at the very nature of life and whether all matter in some form or other partakes in life. There are others on this site far more capable than me of explaining that Approach to Astrology, so I'll leave any development to them.

I'll just sound one note of caution though - by the very nature of the issues that we are dealing with, there is no way of providing 'proof' in the 'scientific' sense. No one can demonstrate the objective truth of your spiritual nature or the nature of any past lives that you may have had. What can be done of course is to demonstrate it to your subjective satisfaction. That's the kind of 'proof' that underlies the answers to the sort of question you are asking.

22-06-2005, 09:17
How very nice that dad's actual 1000 post is about astrology. I too am looking forward to the next milo-posts.

You've opened up some very profound questions. While I don't think a natal chart is limiting, I do believe that it is a good indicator of how we can best use our gifts, where we need to work and learn, and what to avoid.

That is a lot of information for a few houses and planets. So I think it's important to add transits when studying your own chart. Like Tarot, sometimes it's hard to "read" for yourself. Transits should clairify a lot of issues in your natal chart.

22-06-2005, 09:30
Some more thoughts on your question about truly knowing yourself.

The natal chart is 1) a view of your location on earth as it related to the universe around it, 2) a view of your family environment as you experienced it, 3) a plan for growth -- this plan includes both assets and challenges for you.

You can look at your natal chart at each of these three levels and you can look at your natal chart through various filters that will highlight some things while hiding other things -- this latter approach lets you examine yourself piece by piece but will not show you the whole picture. You can see where, when and how you entered your universe -- judging the financial aspects of the economy, the social interaction between nations, the months and moments leading to your birth. But, in summary, we can say that your chart represents your "potential" self.

A good astrologer would look at your natal chart as well as other charts, and then would discuss certain aspects of these charts as they related to your experience up to this point in time. This discussion would show you and the astrologer how you lived out your symbols, what you reacted to, what you used to build your personality and experiences. From this other charts could be looked at, but most reasonably, you would both examine what symbols and patterns were coming up and the methods which you could use to respond to these opportunities. In this way you could grow to your potential.

There is also a very sophisticated school of thought that recognizes that you can, and sometimes do, grow out of your chart -- you reach a crises point and adopt a whole new tangental way of approaching life. In other words you might adopt a secondary birth chart and better respond to its meanings and symbols than you would to your original birth chart.

The end point is that you have a plan, you may choose to follow or bend that plan, you may use all of your charts symbols and patterns or you may choose to focus only on a portion of them. Getting to know what your plan is, and then being able to see how well you are following it as well as understanding why you are deviating from it is how you truly get to know yourself. Of course, it helps to take several other parallel approaches as well so that you can deepen your sensitivity to the world around you and the way you interact with others. After all, we are not lonely islands, we are a highly political set of beings that litterally live off of and through each other as well as through ourselves. Perhaps others following this thread will also contribute their views. Dave.

22-06-2005, 09:39
Dear Dad,

I've never come across that thought. Can you elaborate? Perhaps a new thread might be appropriate as it sounds like a heavy subject.



22-06-2005, 12:08
Wizzle, just a digression to answer your question. A couple of decades ago I was reading all of Jane Roberts book on the Seth material. Seth was a non-living entity that Jane channeled for. Of the many book she wrote in which Seth's remarks were carefully documented one book talked about how we change our life direction when we become aware of certain information or experiences. Jane and her husband were vacationing at York Beach, Maine, and saw another couple that vaguely resembled them -- that couple was not dancing and seemed vacantly obsorbed in their drinks. Jane immediately got up and started dancing. Seth later explained that she had projected this other couple and then rejected their lack of initiative and joy in their lives. Seth went on to explain that Jane and her husband had then started on a new life path and that all of their following experiences reflected this new version of them which was so unlike their old selves.

Well, an astrologer can't ignore that! Since all of the book's comments of Seth were not only documented but dated and timed I immediately started running charts. Now, you have to realize that Seth always claimed that astrology as it was commonly practiced was not reliable and consistent. Jane also distrusted astrology. Yet, I had done my form of chart work on her and her students and found that they reflected their charts, as I did them, quite well. As I remember it, the chart for Jane's York Beach, Maine, event seemed to work as a new basis chart in place of her original natal chart.

I had done some other speculative work along this line back at that time. Those few charts that seemed appropriate really work well. But, it is unproven -- just interesting in terms of my experience with this approach. I've heard that others have done somewhat similar investigations or have worked with cyclic charts and used them. We could explore this after the summer months as I have a web-site to finish building and to launch first. What do you think? Dave.

22-06-2005, 23:57
Dadsnook2000 and Minderwiz, thank you very much for answering. I read (and will re-read) everything attentively. I am becoming increasingly interested in Astrology, but I think I will take it very slowly – it does seem complex and absorbing, not exactly a bedtime reading (and still…). But my interest on the subject is very much like my interest in Tarot – it is not the divinatory aspects that caught my attention, but the possibility to learn more about the place of the human being in the universe.

Thank you again!


28-08-2005, 09:50
I'm a portuguese resident, too ... Então, talvez seja mais fácil escrever-te em português. Acabo de visitar a tua entrada acerca dos limites da Astrologia. Desconheço se ainda é uma questão pertinente para ti, já que tem cerca de dois meses ... Sabes, eu fiz o caminho um pouco ao contrário: comecei por estudar astrologia e o tarot foi desempenhando um papel cada vez mais importante, precisamente por causa dessa questão da integração do micro e do macrocosmos, se é que assim lhe poderemos chamar. Talvez tenha escolhido o tarot pela questão da imaginação e da procura das imagens internas ... Entretanto fui lendo algumas coisas sobre o assunto e um dia descobri um oráculo curioso que se chama The Oracle of the Radiant Sun e que faz a ponte entre os dois campos. É um objecto curioso e dual. Daqueles que nos chamam de vez em quando, no meio da estante.
PS - É engraçado estar aqui a escrever em português! Mais vale tarde ...:)

28-08-2005, 18:48

Aeclectic is an English language forum. Whilst we really enjoy having an international membership, you need to remember that everyone here has some grasp of English, few have any grasp of Portugeuse. If you check the forum rules you will find that posts must be in English.


28-08-2005, 20:39
Of course I understand your words and rule's link.

But let me tell you why I posted once in Portuguese:that's truly simple. First of all, I've found some previous posts in my native language - and others - here in Aecletic. They were published long before by other members, just to say "hello" to someone in the community that uses his native language. People do that as a quick sign of empathy to others; and after that, all the foreign posts simply end because all of us are in harmony with the aecletic rules.

As you can easily check, in all my previous posts I only wrote in English (sometimes a really bad one, let me tell you ...), so you can be sure that I'm not going to change by now. I'll continue to write in English.

Now, I'll translate my last post in this thread, so you can understand its public contents. I was telling smleite that 20 years ago, when I started to study astrology and tarot I was reading some books about karmic astrology, too. After that, I choosed the cards as major study field. Maybe for its visual icons and deep archetypal components. Some years ago I found an interesting - with a 1920's cute flavour - Tarot deck that joins astrology and tarot: The Oracle of the Radiant Sun. As you can see, the title was already posted in English before, so there's nothing missing anyway ... ;)

Best Wishes and Thanks! Hope to hear from you, Minderwiz!

28-08-2005, 21:57
Thank you MSC - I appreciate the translation.

I also look forward to exchanging ideas and views with you in this forum - the Radiant Sun card deck sounds very interesting. Do you know if the deck is still in print?

28-08-2005, 22:24
... Yes it's still in print and you can find it available on Amazon.com. I checked it two minutes ago...)
It's not a traditional tarot deck, but an interesting oracle created by astrology authors Caroline Smith and John Astrop. It's not the deck I daily use for study and meditation, but sometimes I pick it the cards for its art and alternative philosophy. Actually, by now I'm reading the fabulous Tarot and Individuation (by Irene Gad). Jung, tarot and alchemy - with a bridge to some astrological elements -, can be found in a clever dialogue along these pages. It's been a pleasure and helped a lot along my work.

28-08-2005, 22:24
Here's a few links:


Here's a 'search inside' page to sample the deck/book bits:

I'd enjoy hearing other's ideas and experienced astrologer insights on this deck.



28-08-2005, 22:53
I'm a glad to find you here, too. I found this deck to be an interesting one in many ways: it helped me to learn astrology and I started to use it when I learned to draw my birth chartwheel. Sometimes I had a question on some unhappy point on my chart and layed the cards as an attempt to find easier ways to find my way ... It was interesting, as I could find some personal unveiled patterns, but I've never used it for divinatory meanings. The art is really good (it has some elements on alchemy and renaissance, too) and it looks like a pretty good historical deck, but I had some troubles on working with the real mouvement of the planets in the sky and the message of the cards...

I tried to use it for friens - always as tool for self-knowledge - and it worked pretty well (thanks to the clever notes and the very subtle drops of humour of the authors). These cards are good on drawing the personal and events atmospheres around, but I missed the reference to the so called "non-personal" planets in the sky. They're important to understand the links between the micro and the macrocosm ....

Thanks ... and hope to hear from all, too.

isthmus nekoi
29-08-2005, 01:18

I don't have much to add about your question except that I find new age often has a very teleological and progressivist approach to personal development. Basically, people have a tendency to believe that:

a) development or "evolution" has an explicit purpose, that nature has a master plan/design etc. This is one of the most misunderstood points in evolutionary theory and I think the same applies to human development. There's definetely a structure there, definetely direction, definetely places that feel "right" and "wrong" for a person but as to explicit goals and purposes? I don't think there is one although there's nothing wrong w/constructing goals for oneself. Just don't fool yourself into believing that's the only way it has to be or that something has become imperfect....

b) development is always striving towards something better. Like the idea that evolution makes animals "fitter". It doesn't! One becomes MORE over time, and are able to integrate more into one's conscious personality. And anything you've thought, felt or done that has made you balk or pause etc and say, my god, that's so not me... well, newsflash, that could be a part of you too whether you choose to integrate it or not...

So, can astro help illuminate one's spiritual purpose in life? I would say yes, but really my answer depends on what you mean. If you're suggesting that there is a special explicit mission one must fulfil, I would ask you in turn: do people inherently have special explicit missions (fate) or do they construct those missions themselves (free will)? Tricky tricky question!

30-08-2005, 03:24

Aeclectic is an English language forum. Whilst we really enjoy having an international membership, you need to remember that everyone here has some grasp of English, few have any grasp of Portugeuse. If you check the forum rules you will find that posts must be in English.


But your signature is in *German*, Minderwiz! :D

30-08-2005, 04:04

Touche :)