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Astrology: Some Philosophical Thoughts on a Complex Subject

February 19, 2013

By Adrian Ross Duncan   

What we think of as reality is a consensus of opinions that we subscribe to and are in general agreement on. Our perception of what is going on is completely dominated by our sensory apparatus, and subsequently warped by our opinions.

It may be difficult to accept, but what we think of as going on outside our bodies – and even inside them – is a complex construction entirely subjective in nature. We gravitate toward family, friends and colleagues, sharing our opinions and absorbing theirs, thereby completing the web of illusion that makes up our daily lives.

Our body of opinion that has shaped our experience of reality over the last few hundred years is scientific materialism, which is directly concerned with the perception and measurement of the objective world. Instruments have been developed of greater and greater sensitivity to measure more and more subtle effects. When a new force is perceived and measured, it seems to have philosophical repercussions, which slowly sift down through society, until the fabric of collective consciousness is subtly reconstituted.

Perhaps this is due to the vocabulary that invention generates. When Newton’s laws of motion were expounded, the vocabulary of push, pull. Leverage, attraction, action and reaction became a way for us to represent reality, and these laws and words spawned a mechanistic view of understanding nature.

While Newton’s heritage was a vocabulary of gravity Einstein’s was a vocabulary of light and of relativity that has profoundly reshaped collective consciousness. Relatively sounded the death knell for scientific materialism because it made experience of the object dependent on the perception of the subject. Subject and object are a continuum. And just as subject and object are interrelated so too are body and mind, and matter and energy – with consciousness free to dwell at any point on this duality spectrum. Where before the whole crux of scientific investigation was to be as detached as possible from the object, relativity theory has shown this to be an ineffective and inaccurate means of investigating subtle nonmaterial forces.

Where Astrology Comes In…

This is where astrology comes in as a tool for perceiving reality. Dealing more with the mind and senses of the subject, or individual, there is an intrinsic acceptance that the object – that individual’s experience – is mutually interrelated and interdependent. Rather than life simply happening to us we are constantly evoking events in a complex dance between our character and our fate, or between our consciousness and the object of our consciousness.

An astrological consultation I once gave may serve to illustrate this phenomenon. It was for a middle-aged lady who had a very tenuous grasp of reality, with powerful delusions about being followed by men. I did my best to persuade her that she was probably imagining most of the incidents, based on the astrological fact that she had the astrological sign Pisces rising on the ascendant (where the sun comes up in the East) and the planet Neptune on the descendant (where it sets in the West). In astrology speak, Neptune is the planetary “ruler” of Pisces and has been negatively identified with illusion and delusional patterns of behavior. Simply, this particular configuration might be expected to evoke a tendency for the woman to be confused in her relationships with others if other elements of the birth chart confirmed this possibility.

It was an unconvincing consultation undermined by my inability to deal with her mental state. A few minutes after she left my office I decided to go out shopping but on opening the door I found the lady on the stairs studying a bus timetable and muttering to herself. Not wishing to appear to be following her, I smiled weakly and retired to my office, waiting until she had proceeded on her way.

Acutely aware that I might confirm her fantasies if I crossed her path I walked into town using a circuitous route. Twenty minutes later I arrived in the town square and as I did so the bus pulled up alongside me and my client stepped out. She took one startled look at me and started walking rapidly in the other direction.

Experience had vindicated my client and proved to her that her version of reality was the correct one. The extraordinary thing was that my own behavior had been altered, and events had conspired to bring about that which I had wanted to avoid. This scenario plays out in all our lives as our personal character stamps its impression on a reality that is constantly adjusting to who we are and what we do.

The corollary of this is good news in terms of free will. By adapting our behavior, we can alter reality and our experience of it. And everything in our world will alter in it, including the people we relate to.

Herein lays the power of astrology, which can be released by judicious work with the energies reflected in the horoscope. And herein lies the possibility of transformation.

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About the author

Adrian Ross Duncan is a full-time practicing astrologer. For seven years he was both president of the Copenhagen Astrological association (Ekliptika) and ran AstrologSkolen, a finishing school for consultant astrologers. He is the author of Doing Time on Planet Earth and Astrology: Transformation and Empowerment, from which this essay is excerpted. More information on the author is available at the www.world-of-wisdom.com website.

Category:  Opinion  

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