Link to this Article: http://www.llewellyn.com/encyclopedia/article/2313

The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

How Astrology Can (and Can't) Help You

This article was written by Gloria Star on January 14, 2004
posted under Astrology

Contrary to some ideas, astrology is neither a belief system nor a religion. It is not associated with any type of questionable therapy or cultish practice. In many respects, astrology is more like a specialized language. Learning the language takes time, and, like any comprehensive subject, requires serious and devoted concentration for proficiency.

Great expertise is not required to begin to take advantage of the vast amount of astrological information currently available; a plethora of competent professional astrologers and organizations offer help to the novice. If you are intrigued, though, you may want to learn more about this cosmic language. (As a dedicated student, you will discover that there is always more to learn about astrology!)

Many people have questioned whether or not astrology works against the idea of free will. St. Thomas Aquinas believed the stars do not control the soul; man's ability to reason and make choices help determine the outcome of life situations. Similarly, a twentieth-century astrologer, Llewellyn George, spoke for many in the field when he said, "the stars incline, they do not compel."

One thing you need to know from the beginning is what astrology cannot accomplish. An astrologer is not a fortuneteller. Astrology cannot tell you how much money you will win at the races, or that next week you will break your arm. Your astrological chart may indicate that you are experiencing a positive time to increase your resources, or that you need to exercise greater care in high-risk situations, but exact circumstances and outcomes are not determined by a chart.

An astrologer cannot and should not make your decisions for you. Astrology can help inform your decisions and actions, but ultimately, you must make those decisions and take those actions yourself. Think of astrological forecasting in much the same way you think of weather forecasting. All the indicators may say there will be rain tomorrow, but whether you take an umbrella or stand in the rain getting soaked is up to you!

One other common pitfall is to blame the planets for your life situation. It's certainly convenient to have a scapegoat, but remember: Your chart does not make you do anything.

Astrology cannot give you simple answers to complex questions. The question, for example, "What sign should my future wife be?" cannot be answered by a single astrological term. When you look into your astrological chart, you will learn that you have many different levels of need and personal expression. By using astrology to help you understand your inner motivations, drives, and preferences, you may be able to make a better choice about a relationship, but it is never as simple as just pointing to a person's Sun sign!

What astrology can do is to help you become better acquainted with yourself, and, more importantly, your inner nature. It can help you uncover repressed emotions, explore reasons you are drawn to certain situations, and become more aware of your strengths. With these insights, you may reach a more profound understanding of your needs, hopes, and desires, and thereby make choices which will lead to a more effective and satisfying life.

In many ways, learning about your astrological chart is also a self-affirming experience, which can add to your personal confidence and further influence your success in life.

You can gain insights into relationships with astrology, by learning why and how you are attracted to different people, and the special ways you connect with others.

Astrology also offers exceptional insights into timing; in addition to exploring your potentials, strengths, and liabilities, you can use the stars to help you determine the best times to act. Astrological techniques have been developed to indicate specific areas of opportunity or crisis, and illuminate avenues of better choices. You can also use astrological information to help you determine the best time to begin or end a venture, and whether to expand or stay closely focused.

There are numerous branches of astrology reaching into all levels of life experience, and many professional astrologers specialize in certain fields. Some are counselors, focusing on issues such as personal or spiritual growth, relationships, crisis intervention, child guidance, and career-building. Other astrologers work in business and economics, studying financial trends; others are interested in world events. Still others do research, studying the correlation of planetary energies to specific data.

Although you do not have to know astrology to benefit from an astrologer's interpretation of your chart, you'll probably find a little knowledge of the topic to go a long way. Understanding astrology's basic elements will give you more confidence when consulting an astrologer - and allow you to ask more informed questions. (It will also help you ferret out those charlatans who profess to be astrologers, but actually know little or nothing about the subject.)

Astrology opens the doors to a world of knowledge offering a phenomenal variety of possibilities. Come on in, there's a welcome mat out front!

Please note that the use of Llewellyn Encyclopedia articles
is subject to certain Terms and Conditions