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What IS Astrology?
Put simply, Astrology is the method by which a total stranger (the astrologer) may detect how you tend to perceive the world, over time.
The signs, planets, and aspects combine to give an individual a filter through which he will view his circumstances and react to them. The configuration of the natal chart is the base from which we start our life and from which all further growth will spring.
The transits, eclipses, and progressions alter that base and present challenges to our perception of the world and ourselves. The base never changes, but because of the aforementioned events we CAN act differently than our natal chart would at first suggest. It is the task of the astrologer to determine not only how we are prone to responding to the world, but also how we are likely to respond at this moment in time.
Take a normally mild-mannered man who lets negativity slide off his back, for instance. He was raised by a good and loving family and more importantly perceived it as such because he was not born with Mars badly aspecting his Sun, Moon, or a planet ruling his 4th or 10th house.
Let's say that at some point in his adult life, transiting Mars, Jupiter, and Pluto all combine to create a Grand Cross when they aspect his natal Moon. Suddenly, we have a totally different creature on our hands. His emotional base is being challenged in a most disturbing way. He becomes angry, perhaps feels the urge to lash out and hit someone. People who meet him during this period will see him as argumentative or touchy. They may think he's like that all the time.
An astrologer, on the other hand, could look at his chart, see that natally he's not that sort at all. The astrologer would look to whatever the outside force is and counsel the man by interpreting what is happening to him. He might be told, for instance, that the upset to his usual nature is being caused by a close friend, who he thought supported him but who was now undermining his sense of emotional security. Natally, the man perceives the world as a secure place. By transit, though, that security is being challenged. His growth will come from meeting the challenge and coming to understand that just because you see life as safe and secure, doesn't mean that it is always like that. It also means that you don't have to go overboard in reacting to the changes.
The difficulty for the astrologer is in determining the degree to which a person is apt to express various components of his personality. Every possible element of behavior is present in all of us. Depending on our perception of the world (due to the filter provided by our natal chart), those elements of behavior will be expressed somewhere along the spectrum, from very little to extremely high. The astrologer will weigh various elements in the chart to try to determine which behaviors will be stronger and which will be weaker.
Those unfamiliar with the basic tenets of Astrology may enjoy arguing the fact that a horoscope's interpretation could apply to anyone, and in some ways that is true. Because we all have each and every type of human behavior lurking within us, it would be easy to respond favorably to being told that "you have a good sense of humor" or to grudgingly agree that "you have a temper." Ah, but it's the matter of degree that counts! Let's look a Capricorn woman who has her Moon also in that sign and squaring Saturn. Would she see herself as having a good sense of humor? Probably. But would an Aquarius with the Moon in Sagittarius think so? Definitely not. It's a matter of degree and perception.
It's the astrologer's delicate task to interpret that woman's chart and bring to light where her perceptions lie. She needs to understand how her behavior is shaped by how she views circumstances. The astrologer could point out that the Moon square Saturn suggests an early sense of being emotionally mal- nurished. Was the mother older than usual at the moment of birth (upwards from 28 years of age) and past the playfulness and spontaneity that a more youthful mother may have shown? Or was she burdened by heavy responsibility that drew her attention away from her baby and prevented her from developing a carefree and loving relationship? Or was she, likewise, born with a Moon/Saturn aspect that inhibited the easy flow of emotional warmth?
What astrology then can do is help an individual understand how circumstances and perceptions have combined to form his behavior patterns. The individual can learn how it has become habitual for him to react to incoming stimuli in certain ways. Despite what is logical or normal,