Probably everyone has looked at a book of Astrology. To read your profile or that of a family member, a friend or a co-worker, can be very entertaining. You will notice that the profiles are not totally accurate. Why is this? The answer is quite simple and will be answered in this essay. Astrology is the study of the correlation of the heavenly bodies and human affairs. First we must calculate the positions of the planets, relative to a specific geographical and chronological location. Then, we extrapolate the data, to create a profile of a specific person. Humans have always been fascinated by the night sky. Astrology has been practiced by many different cultures, since the dawn of history. This fact is key, because more can be learned from simple observation, than any other means. A person might go to university and study child behaviour or the life cycle of a salmon. Another person, who simply observed children or salmons would probably understand more than the scholar. If the observations of many generations are preserved and collated; a vast databank is created. Many aboriginals have a thorough knowledge of medicinal herbs, for this reason. They have inherited the fruits of thousands of years of observation. Astrology was developed in this way. People observed the movement of the planets and related those movements to human affairs. When enough observations had been made, many patterns became evident. Cryptology utilizes this fact and the I Ching was developed in a like manner.
We will now examine the practical application of Astrology. The universe is cyclical. It is in perfect dynamic balance and subject to one law. Mankind endeavors to discover the secret of universal law. We cannot change the law, but we can certainly live with more grace if we know the law. This is the true value of Astrology. To know ourselves and to understand others. In the practice of Astrology, it is necessary to suspend your disbelief. Every person is born with unique traits. Our innate strengths and weaknesses are very predictable, because they are mirrored in the sky. A birth chart is a graphic representation of the position of the planets, at the instant of a person's birth, in relation to the geographical location of that birth. From this birth chart, we can create an accurate personal profile. The positions of the planets and their angular relationships to each other are important factors in the interpretation of the birth chart. Astrologists call the angular relationships, aspects. They are depicted as red and black lines on a birth chart. Every birth chart is unique. A birth chart is a circle divided into twelve equal sections. These sections are called, houses. Each house represents an area of human life, such as finance, health, education, death or communication. On the outer rim of a birth chart, there are twelve more divisions. These divisions represent the sky and are named for the constellations that reside in each zone. These constellations are the twelve signs of the zodiac. The zodiac signs do not usually synchronize with the houses. The horizontal line through the center of a birth chart represents the horizon. The horizon rotates counter-clockwise and the planets move clockwise. There are three basic features on a birth chart. Firstly, there is a sun sign. This is the zodiac sign that the sun happens to occupy. Secondly, there is an ascendant. This is the zodiac sign that is rising on the left side of the horizon. Thirdly, there is a mid-heaven. This is the zodiac sign that is directly above the location of the birth. These three items may have three different zodiac signs. It is possible for the sun to share the zodiac sign of other items. The zodiac sign of the sun gives a profile of the external personality. This is the information that we read about in horoscopes. The zodiac sign of the ascendant gives a profile of the intimate personality. The zodiac sign of the mid-heaven gives a profile of the person whom we aspire to be. The zodiac sign of the mid-heaven is often the same as the sun sign of a person we admire. Now we have an answer to the question of why the sun sign profiles are not totally accurate. Because 2/3 of the equation has been neglected! The profile of the sign of the mid-heaven and the profile of the sign of the ascendant, must be interpreted as well. The aspects are also interpreted. Some astrologers consider a fourth item, the immum coeli. This is the zodiac sign that is directly below the location of the birth. A person's attitude toward our planet is revealed by the immum coeli. I encourage you to make your birth chart and then read the profiles of the zodiac signs of the first three items. You will be amazed by the uncanny accuracy of the results. A wonderful book about the creation and interpretation of birth charts is, Parker's Astrology by Julia and Derek Parker. If you do not enjoy mathematics, use the birth chart maker at the bottom of the page. It is free and easy to use.
What can we learn from a birth chart? A birth chart is similar to a manual. Many people purchase a new piece of technology and remain ignorant of many of its functions, because they do not consult the manual. A birth chart is a guide. It reveals our innate strengths and weaknesses. With amazing accuracy, it reveals our handicaps. This is invaluable knowledge. Courage is required, to examine these truths and accept things that are fixed. Determination and psychological calisthenics are required, to change things that are mutable. Many people make birth charts for others and do not explain the results properly. These people are very irresponsible. I do not interpret birth charts. Instead, I encourage a person to read and make their own interpretation. Most people can be psychologically thwarted by a bad-aspect. They can become full of hubris under a lucky star. The fact is, people are constantly changing. A birth chart is a representation of our origin, not of our potential.
Here is an example of Astrology being utilized in a constructive way. I have the sun sign of Aquarius, my ascendant is in Virgo , and my mid-heaven is in Gemini . I have several very negative aspects. These are barriers to my progress. Do not dismay. Many people with positive aspects become lazy. People who must strive, usually accomplish great deeds. I have a feature in my birth chart, which is known as a planet without aspects. It is extremely rare. Astrologers consider it to be the utmost hindrance and they treat it with utmost gravity. I was depressed over this for some time. My planet without aspects is Mercury, which represents communication and the intellectual processes. Mercury makes a quick transit of the twelve houses, because it is close to the sun. I learned a great truth about this hindrance and a way to benefit from it. At the same time, I learned the truth about a facet of my personality which had baffled me since childhood.
I have always experienced spontaneous episodes of intense research of random subjects and then a subsequent spontaneous loss of desire. When I was ten years old, I simultaneously studied several languages. I filled notebooks and stayed awake at night. I did not know why I was doing this. People thought I was an eccentric. One morning, I awoke and discovered that I had absolutely no interest in those studies, which had dominated my life for many weeks. I stared in disbelief at a notebook filled with Cyrillic script. Later, I had another episode with a different subject. I happily deprived myself of food and sleep. So, began another marathon of study. The inevitable day came again when the notebooks were as alien to me, as if they had been put on my desk by another person, in order to mock me. There were notebooks on bee-keeping, naval warfare, Zen poetry, chemistry, the history of Portugal and comparative religion. I never understood this process. The subjects chose me and my enthusiasm was absolute. My ability to absorb information was like the ability of lightning to illuminate a dark landscape. My enthusiasm was then extinguished like an ember that falls into water. I never completed any of these studies.
With time, I noticed that some of the subjects reappeared. I had the ability to resume study of a previous topic, after years of disregard. One of my subjects of study was Astrology. It recurred three times and showed me a correlation between my studies and Mercury. The position of Mercury in relation to the twelve houses; is indicative of my subject of study! I can predict, in a general sense, my next field of interest. Understanding this was a great balm for me. During another episode, I learned how to utilize a computer. Then I naturally archived and organized the fruits of my studies. I utilize my abilities and accept my handicaps. There is harmony between my inability to select a subject of study and my ability to rapidly absorb a quantity of information. Reality is interwoven and knowledge of any subject is applicable to other subjects. I express myself in a variety of ways. All these modes come to me spontaneously. They burn like meteors and disappear like startled birds. I spontaneously exchange ideas with other people and cease abruptly. If I did not understand why, my relations with other people would be difficult. Astrology is a good way to look inside.
Michael Hawes was born in Texas, raised in Louisiana and lives in British Columbia.