25 July 2011
Well, let’s make the question more interesting, put it into some sort of context.
Why is the study of astrology worthwhile? No, that’s not a good enough question yet.
The quality of our life is affected by the quality of our questions.
How could astrology help me to make the best use of my life – right now?
Wow! What a powerful question! That is a question that we can get our teeth into, that can lead us into places where other questions dare not go. It can lead us into the deepest place of all – what is the purpose of my life, these few acts of self-determination and courage?
Ah, but we are such a fast impatient society these days, aren’t we?
We don’t really have time for such powerful questions. We don’t go to the mountain top to wrestle with God for ‘the Answer’. If we go to church, we take what is dished out to us, unprocessed – that’s what the money is for, to let an expert do it for us, give us the solution.
We pay the motivational speaker to rev us up for another week at the coalface, to make us believe we can do anything, that life can deliver on all its vague and incoherent advertising promises.
But what if that solution is only the starting point, not the finish line? What if we haven’t even left the kindergarten of our quest?
Astrology is a teacher – an awareness that seeps into your marrow. It comes to life through life, through real experience.
Most people who are drawn to astrology come because of two questions – whether phrased this way or not, the questions are: “Who am I?” and “What is happening to me?”
“Who am I?” covers a spectrum of sub-questions, such as “Am I in the right career?”, “What should I do with my life?”, “How can I find fulfillment in my life?”, “What am I best suited to?”, “Where could I be most successful?”, “Why do I tend to have this kind of experience in relationships?”, “Why do I have a problem with (this emotion)?”, and “What can I do about it?”
“What is happening to me?” covers questions such as “Where did this experience come from – I was going along just fine?”, “How long will this last?”, “Why are these events (or changes) happening just now?”, and “What is the deeper meaning of these changes, feelings, events?”
We rarely ask these questions when everything is rosy in our life.
Just as we can deny the significance of nature and the fine balance of ecology when we are fed each day and our world seems ‘under control’.
Yet when we are in the middle of an earthquake, a hurricane, or an extreme weather event we become awestruck at our own helplessness and insignificance – to the point where we pray to something greater than us, to something super-natural.
It is in these times of crisis when we are willing to entertain the idea that we are not the only power in our life, that there is some ‘other process’ at work, despite our conscious intentions and intelligence.
Ultimately, ‘who we are’ is a very complex set of factors and relationships, and when we reach a crisis or a turning point in life it is usually because we have not lived out everything of ‘who we are’. Something vital is missing. Perhaps there is something new, waiting to be born. Perhaps we have naturally outgrown the life we have lived so far.
For some strange reason which I can’t explain, astrology seems to be able to describe what the transition is all about, in a way that can help us take the next step. It can help us define ourselves, to draw together the essentials of ‘who we are’ to make the tough decisions that are in tune with that level of insight.
And it can help us stay true to ourselves. Not in a nasty selfish way, but in a way that respects the best in ourselves and in others.
That is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves – and each other.
Text and Drawings © R. Rollfink 2011