There are two general types of reasons for why an astrological reading from a well-trained astrologer might go awry…
1) Egoic reasons, and
2) Technical reasons
In my last blog post, I touched on how readings can have shortcomings for egoic reasons. I suggested that an astrological reading is likely to develop problems if the astrologer is trying to accomplish a self-serving aim through the reading, rather than wholeheartedly being in service to the client. The astrologer might seek praise or empowerment, money or validation, etc., instead of seeking to benefit the client. With such an orientation, not only does the astrologer miss much of the opportunity to serve the client, but the astrologer also misses the chance to perform better as an astrologer, because being in a state of selfless service generally helps people to perform closer to their highest potential. Failing to adopt a service-minded attitude will cause a reading to suffer forÂ egoicÂ reasons.
In this blog post, however, I want to focus on theÂ technicalÂ reasons for why astrological readings can fall short…
The Vastness of Astrology Often Obstructs Specificity in Readings
As I said in my last blog post, astrology is a science. Like any science, astrology gives accurate and predictable results within its own domain. But, a unique complication that arises with the science of astrology is that it’s not obvious what should count as an â€œaccurateâ€ result. For instance, if the astrologer says you will move in six months, and you don’t end up moving, that doesnâ€™t mean that the science of astrology is inaccurate. In fact, it doesnâ€™t necessarily even mean that the astrologer read your chart inaccurately. It may only mean that the astrologer tried to goÂ too farÂ with the astrological information that your chart provided. That is, astrologers sometimes try to get too specific with the limited generalized information a chart may provide.
Let me try to explain…
Astrology is a very detailed and precise mathematical science, but it deals with an incredibly vast domain:Â the entire domain of human life. Everything we do and engage with in our daily lives has a place in astrology. This means that the science of astrology has an absolutelyÂ hugeÂ domain to catalog. Since the Vedic system excludes the outer planets, it can make use of only 9 planets (we loosely call the eclipse points Rahu and Ketu, â€œplanetsâ€), in 12 signs and 12 houses, to catalogÂ everythingÂ that a human life might cover or engage with. As a result, all the areas of life must be partitioned into veryÂ largeÂ categories, each of which is presided over by a planet and/or sign and/or house. The point here is that astrology is a science that works with extremelyÂ broadÂ categories, not finely segregated categories.
This is not to say thatÂ we fallibleÂ humansÂ have constructed these astrological categories that catalog everything. Not at all. The astrological categories were not created and filled by people, like overzealous agents arbitrarily assigning each planet, sign, and house its respective scope of governance. Rather, it means that the science of astrology is based on the assumption that our solar system emerged and unfolds in accordance with just a small number ofÂ macro principles, which give rise to huge overarching category types. True, it is up to people to figure out which things belong in which categories (and this is what astrologers have been up to for millennia), but it is ultimately the universe, and not people, that is responsible for the inventory of each astrological category, and that inventory is in principle accessible to everyoneâ€™s intuition.
Let’s take just two examples, for illustration purposes…
There is a subtle macro principle, or astrological power, that has manifested as all of the following: the planet Mars, the influence of the signs of both Aries and Scorpio, our arms and hands and solar plexus chakra, our willpower and our mathematical/critical thinking abilities, human aggression, iron ore, red blood cells, etc. (Note: it is not clear to me whether this principle is actually manifest as the extremely distant celestial bodies themselves that constitute the signs of Aries in Scorpio, or if the principal merely “resides” somehow on the periphery of our solar systemâ€”perhaps at the Ort Cloud or beyondâ€”in precisely the sameÂ directionÂ as far off Aries and Scorpio, leading us to point to those constellations as a way of locating and identifying the subtle macro principle.)
There is a second principle or power that has manifested as all of the following: the Earthâ€™s moon, the influence of the sign of Cancer, our third-eye chakra and much of our creative abilities, our sensitivity and tenderness towards others, our home and relationship with our mother, the pituitary gland and our dream world, the ocean, pearls, etc. (Note: the same disclaimer applies for the sign of Cancer as I noted above with Aries and Scorpio, as well as for all the other signs of the zodiac)
In short,Â everyÂ aspect and feature of human life will naturally fall into a category presided over by a macro principle like the two mentioned above. So, it should be immediately apparent that these macro categories are extremely diverse, though held together by a common kind of “macro energy.” When you repeatedly survey the contents of each category (as astrologers do), you begin to develop an intuitive sense of what that macro energyÂ is, or feels like, even if there is no word for it in your language.
When a well-trained astrologer looks at a planet, a sign, and/or an astrological house in your chart, that astrologer is really seeing the macro principle underlying that planet, sign, or house. That is, the astrologer is seeingÂ kindsÂ of energy, orÂ categoriesÂ of things. The elements of your chart are an intricately interconnected web of all these macro energies and macro categories of things, all of which work together to yield the collection of results that is your life and your personal constitution and makeup. As an example, if you have the planet Mars in your fourth house in the sign of Aries, your astrologer knows that there is an energy of aggression or willfulness in the macro category that includes “mother,” which suggests that you might have a critical or domineering mother (depending on the other compounding and countervailing factors your chart contains). Meanwhile, that same placement of Mars can indicate that you like red cars, or even red chairs. The astrologer’s job is to decide which of these possibilities seems most likely (i.e.Â most supported by the other kinds of energy and connections in your chart), and to refrain from mentioning the possibilities that are only loosely suggested by the chart.
Sometimes, the connections in your chart bring specific things to light in your reading, and Vedic astrological scripture sometimes explicitlyÂ predictsÂ specific outcomes from certain astrological configurations. Â Hopefully, the astrologer’s intuition will significantly help to zero in on what the chart is indicating. But, using onlyÂ what is given in the chart, the astrologer is usually not seeingÂ specificÂ things, like your current car, your next house, or your best friend. The challenge for the astrologer, then, is to get as specific as possible without going too far. The astrologer must locate identifiable things in your life, without straying into unwarranted specificity.
Naturally, then, the easy pitfall for astrologers is to try to be more specific than the chart warrants. In our desire to “prove” ourselves and to prove that astrology works, we over-extend our readings. We try to deliver specific predictions and verdicts, to offer our clients the kind of verifiable details that we know they want (and even expect) from us. Where we typically get ourselves into trouble is when we try to make too much of the broad and general astrological data in our clientâ€™s chart. When we overreach, it’s much easier to get it wrong.
It’s not an easy job, distilling general categories and broad fields of information into concrete and meaningful guidance and explanations. It really doesn’t help that astrologers feel pressure to be more specific in their readings than is merited. In my next post, though, I will highlight what astrologers can do (and perhaps should do) to provide valuable, concrete, and specific information and guidance to clients, without straying too far into unwarranted (and thus often mistaken) specificity.Â The key is to properly understand what should count as an “accurate” reading, given theÂ generalityÂ inherent to astrology, and to use that understanding to make anÂ accurateÂ reading as specific as possible.
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