When I first was introduced to astrology, I wasn't exactly inspired by the subject. At that time I was more interested in Tarot and numerology. Within a short time, however, I found that astrology was the more compelling topic, with Tarot ranking a very close second. No subject has held my interest as well as astrology. In it I found a map of the universe that actually makes sense.
I was raised Episcopalian, and I now think of myself as a Buddhist. When I use astrology as a spiritual map, I in no way mean that it can take the place of religious and philosophical beliefs. Religion, in my opinion, requires faith. Philosophy requires logic. Astrology uses extremely accurate science; at its best, astrology is an art. Religion addresses the question of where soul comes from and where it may end up. Philosophy considers what the soul may most appropriately do when embodied as a human being. Astrology provides clear indications of the soul's potential, and also reveals the likely steps along the way—the process of unfolding life.
This all sounds very heady as I write it. Most of us are more concerned about more basic needs and desires, like career, income, love life, children, and health. These are the things we spend most of our time on.
I have studied, taught, counseled, and written on the subjects of career, romance, children, and family. These topics all share a common theme—they focus on particular facets of human life and expression. I believe that everything we do is connected to our potential and the process of manifesting that potential in the most creative, positive way possible.
A Sense of Purpose
We all benefit from having a sense of purpose. Consider this: a baby is totally intent upon, totally consumed with the project of learning to crawl. This intensely purposeful learning process clearly brings both frustration and joy to the child, and to the parents. An older child practices printing or cursive writing with comparable attention. The abilities to write a story, use the computer, and send a letter all stem from these purposive learning activities of early childhood.
What makes us want to learn and do new things? That is a huge philosophical question. Your birth chart reveals the areas of your life where you are most likely to express your desire to learn. This means that understanding your astrology chart gives you information about activities and options that are best suited to you. You can learn about your personal temperament, areas of life that are likely to attract your attention most strongly and subjects that are less interesting to you. Instead of following in your parents' footsteps, you may want to do something different. Astrology can help you figure out what that might be.
I also believe that every area of your life, and therefore every area of your astrological chart, reflects some facet of your life's purpose. Every planet exemplifies an energy that you can incorporate and make active in your career, family, and personal life. The birth chart represents a package of possibilities and ways to achieve them.
When I think about my soul, I think about the part of me that lives on after death. As a Buddhist, I believe I get more than one time around. Some part of me carries over from one lifetime to the next. Most people believe in some kind of afterlife, a place like heaven where they will end up. My beliefs include that too, with the certainty that I will also return to human existence again.
One practical belief I have is that we all are pretty much doing the best we can all the time. Oh, I know I've made some huge mistakes. However, if I had known a better choice at the time, I believe I would have made that choice, and the same is true for each of you. When we do things that are less than optimum, it means we are misinformed or we have made an error in our thinking. If we continue to make the same kind of errors, this suggests that we are not aware of our actions and their effects.
Now, to test what I just wrote, imagine a problem you have faced. Imagine that you have figured out all the possible choices, and that you know which choice is the best for you and the people around you. Now imagine yourself intentionally making some other choice. How unlikely is that? If you know which flavor of ice cream you want, that is the flavor you order! If you don't know, you can ask for a sample to help you decide.
Astrology provides the information you need to make the most informed choices. Astrology does not compel you to do anything—you have free will. But your birth chart is a map of the heavens at the moment you entered this life, and therefore it provides a plan for your entire life. It can help you resolve issues from childhood, choose a career and even have a richer sex life.
In A Time for Magick, Maria Simms includes meditations to help you "become" each of the planets. You can experience the energies of the planets directly and fully with these meditations. The book includes comprehensive information about planetary hours—the times for each day of the week when a planet is strongest. If you are an early riser, you can experience the appropriate planetary meditation in the planet's own hour! What a powerful way to experience planetary energies physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
Meditation can be used to focus on any of the information in this article. If you want a remedy for Mars, for example, immerse yourself in a martial art at the meditative level. For the Sun, meditate in full sunlight, being careful to protect your skin from a burn.