Like life itself, astrology is an infinitely complex subject, because astrology is many things. For some, it is a master vehicle for intuitive perception and psychic insight. Astrology is also an art form -- one that lends itself to quick sketches and complex portraits of individuals, couples, corporations, nations and more. Astrology can also clearly have spiritual and religious undertones as evidenced by studies of ancient Egypt. It is a language, one that is perhaps more universal than English.

But astrology is not a belief system. People no more have to believe in astrology than they do in dancing.  Both can be fun and useful pastimes without belief in them. Although it must be added that, (with a top of the hat to Albert Einstein) a belief in astrology will make it work better for you. After all, we live in a solar system, in a space-time continuum, and astrology is the biggest contender for the unified field theory.

There are many scientific critics of astrology, and I am one of them. The logical, non-intuitive side of my personality wants absolute proof that astrology works for everyone, and that proof does not exist. I dream of a study that correlates birth charts with professions, or with personality tests... And several people have studied various aspects of astrological lore. (See Astrological References, two articles summarizing Michel and Francoise Gauquelin's work, or another of metal-planet correspondences) most of which were negative or inconclusive.

But the scientific data does not square with my own personal experience with the accuracy of personality description. So what I have come to believe is that astrology does not lend itself well to simple studies because it is itself too complex a system (if done properly). Crazy as it may be, I know that astrology is real, and it is useful. I view it not as an absolute, which leaves both of us impoverished, but as a multi-layered system of understanding that provides me with more information about the individual I am reading about.

Many of us think of astrology only in terms of newspaper sun sign columns. By their very nature, they must be general and even vague, but they do serve a purpose to introduce us to the world of astrology.  But sun sign astrology is to serious astrological study as Da Da Da Dum is to Beethoven's 5th symphony.

Astrology offers an excellent form of character analysis. An astrologer can tell individuals many things about themselves, very little of which is surprising information. A typical analysis will confirm intuitions, say things that haven't been put into words before and offer support where there is none. After all, astrology is all about each person becoming his or her Self. It is about the individual process. Some astrologers are able to use the chart to invoke their predictive abilities and give you a forecast of your future. Other astrologers use the planets' movements through the signs to tell you what is likely to happen.

Theoretically astrology can improve the chances of a satisfactory love life: Before you fall head over heals with someone, you can check in with an astrologer and get a preview of the person and of the potential of the relationship. Personally, I can't imagine going to see an astrologer to see whether a relationship would be a good thing for me -- not to mention the fact that I don't think they'd tell me the details of their birth that early in a relationship! However, if you're looking for a good relationship, an astrologer can suggest strategies and tactics that will optimize your chances for success while you are still looking. Or, (and probably the most used application of astrology) if you're already in an existing relationship, the astrologer can suggest tips for you to maximize your potential with your mate.  For example, my former partner and I are Virgos, and we had many jokes about things 'only a Virgo would understand' -- usually revolving around categorizing and analyzing the world we live in down to the tiniest detail.  (See, I told you wouldn't understand!).

Astrology can help to recognize and cultivate hidden talents. This is the kind of stuff that makes for a good career, i.e. doing something that you love to do and are paid well for doing. It is useful for assisting your relationships with your co-workers, managers, or employees.

Many say astrology can help you to maximize your potential for optimum health by making certain dietary recommendations and by suggesting physical activities that will be appealing, or that astrology can help you to choose a good spot to live. Astrology suggests compatible countries, states and cities, as well as surroundings and even street addresses. I am a little more doubtful about these aspects of astrology -- they smack of restriction rather than information.

For me, although astrology can help you to create the future, I feel it is more a tool of knowledge rather than foresight. Although astrology can help you find an auspicious time to open a business, start a corporation, issue an important mailing, have a wedding ceremony, have a cesarean birth and countless other activities, I don't really see those kinds of day-to-day activities as relying upon the stars position throughout the day. Perhaps because I feel that the element of chance is an important factor in human growth and evolution.

In closing, astrology is a fascinating insight into another system of knowledge and understanding about the world around you and the people inhabiting it. The basic information will lead you deeper and deeper into a vast, complicated, elegant world that seems unlimited in its potential.

~© Lisa Mc Sherry  2005, 2016,

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