In ancient times, astrology was praised by the wisest of men as a divine science. Why, if all it does is tell us our "hangups", and when would be the most favorable time for us to take a vacation? The fact is, astrology's main purpose is to help man to chart his way out of dependence on any external influences — to become a free soul, guided only by the light of truth in his own heart.
People are becoming aware that there are deeper influences at work within us — subconscious impulses, old karmic debts and credits.
The ancient writings emphasize clearly that astrology can be used as a guide to personal development, rather than as a mere statement of problems with no suggestion of a solution. Another feature of those writings is their emphasis on spiritual progress as the true goal of all human development. The use of astrology for purely mundane purposes was considered a lower, if still acceptable, application of this essentially divine science.
In its highest form, astrology was meant to help man to reverse the indignity that was imposed upon him at his birth. As he was the more or less helpless recipient of an impersonal combination of objective influences, he can and must develop his own magnetic power, so that its influence on the world around him becomes even greater than that of the powerful, but distant, planets. From being an effect, he learns to become a cause.
The differences in astrological approaches are reflected in the Eastern use of a constellational, rather than solar, chart analysis. The position of the sun in your solar horoscope shows the outward manifestation of your sense of authority: how you seek to impose your authority on others. The sun's actual position relative to the constellations shows how you relate this sense of authority to more universal realities.
If, in your solar horoscope, your sun is in Aries, it will tend to make you outgoing, even aggressive in your dealings with others. But assuming you were not born toward the very end of Aries, your sun's actual sidereal position will be in the constellation Pisces. This will mean that your inner sense of universal influences, of authority from above, and your particular brand of inner wisdom, will be Piscean. On deeper levels, most of us are very different from the face we show to the world — not because we seek to deceive others, but only because those sensitive feelings which are at home in the depths of our mental seas would not survive at the surface. They are too deep to be verbalized.
One cannot help but note that Western astrology is a natural outgrowth of Western society, where man is exceptionally goal-oriented. The traditional emphasis is on conquering nature rather than harmonizing oneself with it; and chief importance is placed on the individual, not as he relates to his inner world or to universal realities, but rather as he relates to his fellowman. Personality, not the eternal soul, has been the common concern of Western man.
Man's inner relationship to the universe has been rather the special concern of Eastern philosophies and it is in the East, also, where constellational astrology continues to be practiced. It is interesting to note that the growing interest of Western astrologers in constellational astrology coincides with a growing acceptance, in the West, of the ancient philosophies of the East.
A Change of Pace?
One reason Western astrologers are turning increasingly to the Eastern system is that they are discovering that their system is too limited. Solar astrology serves well enough if all we concern ourselves with is human personality, and our efforts to relate significantly to, or impress our authority upon, the world around us. But once our own view of life broadens, discrepancies begin to appear, and Western astrologers have found these discrepancies bewildering until they turned for help to constellational astrology.
In predicting the future, for example, solar astrology is accurate primarily insofar as the future is determined for us by our own personalities. But people are becoming aware that there are deeper influences at work within us — subconscious impulses, old karmic debts and credits — that never rise so close to the surface as to become identified with our outward personalities. Western astrologers, unfamiliar with these influences, are becoming more aware that such influences do exist, are beginning to feel cramped by a science that, in confining them to such a small segment of our galaxy — the solar system — succeeds also in limiting their understanding..
Nowhere among solar astrologers does one encounter the amazing accuracy of that Hindu astrologer who, when Jawaharlal Nehru (India's late prime minister) was still a boy, predicted from his horoscope that he would someday become "the maharajah of all maharajahs" in India. But accuracy among good Hindu astrologers is no novelty.
To discover on deepest levels who and what we are is to discover, literally, what the universe is, for we and it are both the manifestations of that same truth. Though sages have spoken of it by different names, they have recognized it as one: the still Ocean of Consciousness out of which all the waves of creation have appeared.
The true goal, then, of astrology is not to fascinate people with endless proofs of their subtle kinship to this universe, but to take them from outward theory to inward practices — to assist them on their inward journey.
"Your Sun Sign as a Spiritual Guide"
by Kriyananda. (J. Donald Walters).
About The Author
Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters) has written more than 60 books on subjects such as education, relationships, books and the arts. This articles was excerpted with permission from "Your Sun Sign As A Spiritual Guide," ?1977, published by Crystal Clarity Publishers. 800-424-1055. Kriyananda can be reached at: 14618 Tyler Foote Rd, #48, Nevada City, CA 95959.
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