Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Glenn Mitchell, author of the new Discover the Aspect Pattern in Your Birth Chart.
Astrology and Open Book
Most of my clients have read at least one book on astrology. They also follow astrology topics on social media. Both have reinforced the notion that “this is good” and “this is bad.” The terms “benefic” and “malefic” are used.

I resist this sort of astrology. I reject the determinism behind such thinking. The idea that this chart feature is “good” and that that one is “bad” comes from astrology’s past. Some astrologers today use astrology to scare people. If all squares are “bad,” then the wise client will want periodic sessions to identify when challenging times are approaching.

I refuse to use astrology to scare people. Take any chart feature you desire. and it’s likely that many thousands of people worldwide share it. Not all of them suffer ill consequences. Not everyone with Mars conjunct the Ascendant in Aries is confrontational, impulsive, or even competitive. Many are, in my experience. But, many is not all.

I don’t do readings; I do consultations. Readings presume that the astrology must manifest. They fit the client to the chart. Consultations assume that context matters. A five-year-old girl in rural Afghanistan does not have the same educational and vocational expectations as one growing up in the United States. Not everything in the chart will reflect behavior or attitudes. I do start with the idea that a strong Mars is likely to result in confrontations, impulsive behavior, and/or excessive competition. I ask. When the client affirms those behaviors and feelings, we discuss what triggers those feelings and how to alter their reactions so that they don’t disrupt important relationships. If the client instead tells me that they are always placid and peaceful, I accept that and move along to other chart features. I fit the chart to the person, not the other way around.

Many of my clients blame the planets for what happens to them. If they get fired, it must be there in their chart somewhere. Some transit or progression or solar arc points to them getting fired. Sometimes, when they cannot find the reason in their charts, they become disillusioned with astrology.

It’s my point of view that the planets do not do things to us. If I get fired, it’s because I screwed up. Or, my boss screwed up. I don’t look for the explanation in my horoscope.

The horoscope is a wonderful tool for self-knowledge. I have a strong Mars in my chart. In my youth, my combativeness and rashness got me into a lot of trouble. The study of my chart helped me understand that I should expect such impulses. Reflecting upon my chart, however, taught me that I didn’t have to give free reign to those impulses. Further, I could change my thinking so that I did feel those impulses. We have free will. We can choose which impulses to indulge and which to resist, if we’re going to live a happy life.

When you see astrological negativity in a book or on social media, my advice is that you forget it. All of us will have challenges. Believing that the planets have control over your life is astrology from centuries ago.

Our thanks to Glenn for his guest post! For more from Glenn Mitchell, read his article “Unaspected Planets in Astrology.”

Written by Anna
Anna is the Senior Consumer & Online Marketing Specialist, responsible for Llewellyn's New Worlds of Body, Mind & Spirit, the Llewellyn Journal, Llewellyn's monthly email newsletters, and more. In her free time, Anna enjoys reading an absurd number of books; doing crossword puzzles; watching ...