Throughout time, humans have been inspired to look to the heavens for answers. While astrology can be extremely beneficial when utilized as a tool for self-knowledge, it can also be distracting or perhaps even detrimental depending on your resources. Here are seven things to know about astrology, dispelling common misunderstandings about this ancient tool.
Why We Turn to the Stars
Perhaps it is the vastness that draws us in when in moments of doubt or maybe it is our deeper intuition that alerts us to the majesty above us. As an astrologer, yet more so as an awe-inspired civilian, the stars have more often than not revealed an incredible clarity beyond what my own mind could piece together when experiencing life-challenging/changing circumstances.
There is no lack of these types of situations now, regardless of which perspective we hold—we are all feeling tested politically, philosophically, environmentally, psychologically, etc.
Seven Things to Know About Astrology
If you are curious about astrology or considering booking a reading, here are seven things to know about astrology. I’ve included common misunderstandings because knowing what something is not is just as important as knowing what it is.
#1 Not All Astrology Is the Same
There are as many types of astrology as there are astrologers. Everyone who reads the stars adds their own interpretation to what they see. It is vital to resonate with the one who is offering your reading, flex your discernment, and ask for referrals from trusted sources like your friends or those you align with when choosing to receive a reading. Not only do the interpretations differ within the same genre such as Tropical (Western) Astrology, for example, there are varying types of readings you can receive based upon different metrics and cultures. Explore Vedic, Sidereal, Tropical, Evolutionary etc. to find the one that calls to you. Although each is unique, you can often learn so much about yourself through the different facets each provides.
#2 Be Cautious If Your Astrologer Tells You What To Do
Astrology readings can provide you with a lot of information about who you are and where you’ve come from… often also where you are going, to an extent. A plethora of knowledge can come your way in a sitting of an hour or more that can spark you into an entirely new relationship with yourself and others. It is powerful when received in a respectful setting with an articulate and experienced astrologer. Truly, if you are ever told what you should do, I would be cautious. Astrologers are not here to give advice, they are there to reflect your internal solar system and provide a mirror to the insight that already lives inside of you.
#3 Astrology Doesn’t Happen To You
As strong as the influences of the planets may feel upon us during a given transit (many of us have heard of or experienced the infamous Saturn Return, or lesser known Jupiter Return for example),
there is not an external force that is pressing upon us from the universe that is separate from us.
These planetary bodies represent an archetype that exists inside each of us. For example, when a planet such as Mars goes retrograde, we may experience an internal nudge to slow down and reevaluate our actions in relation to others, our projects etc. If Mars happens to be squaring Pluto/Saturn/Jupiter at the same time, you can count on the reassessment having a supercharged and transformative consequence, provoking an internal and necessary change related to the way you have been navigating through your actions. The invitation comes from within and is reflected externally. See if you can begin to observe yourself when certain transits are illuminated in your personal or the collective chart. As opposed to looking outside for evidence, can you feel the inspiration towards growth or awareness within you?
#4 You Are More Than Your Sign
What if it turns out your sign has a shadow or unskillful aspects that turn you off or even terrify you? Welcome to the club! There is no one perfect sign.
Each and every member of the zodiac reflects both superpowers and detriments, jewels of earned wisdom, and loathsome attributes. This is the spectrum of light and dark. The key is to listen. Learn about the gifts and positive qualities and don’t shy away from the shadows. They are there to teach you something.
We cannot change until we can see that which is inhibiting our progress. And let’s say that you find you just can’t agree with your own sign. The good news? You are every sign! Your personal birth chart is a wheel represented by the 12 zodiac constellations. This is a living map of your psyche and each one from Aries to Pisces is accounted for. The opportunities for self-discovery are endless. You are more than just your sun sign: you are an evolution in progress if you want it!
#5 Knowing Astrology Doesn’t Make You Enlightened
We can often get very excited after a reading, having been affirmed of what we already knew, but couldn’t quite place. Or, perhaps we are feeling seen like never before after a reading. It is as if our world just opened up and we are revealed to ourselves for the first time. Warning - DO NOT STOP HERE. This is just the beginning for many of us into the uncharted waters of the unknown within us. There is only so much that someone outside of us, whether an astrologer, therapist, or even our partner, can see and reflect back to you. You are the beholder of your own revelations, insights, dreams, and future visions. Allow astrology to inspire you to go further rather than to receive it as a mere trend of the moment and stop there. Astrology itself is not inner work. However, it can provide you with incredible material to work with and to integrate into your life.
#6 For Fortune Telling, Look Elsewhere
Much like Tarot or psychic readings, Astrology has often been grouped into a ‘New Age’ category of practices used for divination of the future. This is very dicey territory as no one truly knows the future, not even your super psychic friend. That is not to say our intuition isn’t powerful, or we may have prophetic dreams and insights, it is just a dangerous game to play when we impose ourselves as Gods, especially in light of someone else’s future.
An experienced astrologer cannot tell you the future. However, they can forecast trends and potential energetic possibilities of moods and tonalities. For example, having insight into knowing that next spring may reveal some challenges in our finances can help us to internally and externally prepare for what ‘could’ occur.
Remember, you are not a victim to circumstance. Your ability to make your own choice out of free will remains outside of any astrology reading you may receive.
If you do receive news of a potential challenge in the future or even of that of good tidings, try and remain in a state of observation. If it does happen, your nervous system will have done its work to begin preparation. If it doesn’t happen as expected (which, most likely will be completely different from any ‘expectation’) then you will learn something new about yourself in the process. Astrology is a resource to help us to know ourselves better, regardless of the situations and transits at play. Often the most challenging transits are by far the most rewarding in the end.
#7 Inner Work is Still Required
Astrology is not a substitute for inner work. One thing to be aware of is creating a dependence on reading your chart or having it read as the answer to all of life’s challenges.
There is nothing that can replace the ability to build a strong relationship with your own intuition as well as learn to deepen your understanding and personal skill set of discernment.
We work with astrology as an accompaniment to our inner work, not as a crutch or a substitute. It is always wonderful to be able to look to the stars for support in times of need or when facing difficult decisions or even planning strategy for your business. Receive the information and then reassess for yourself. Ask yourself, what resonates with me? Is this true for me? What did I learn that was new? And from there, begin to fortify your relationship to this ancient science from a place of mutual respect. Receive free astrology insights for your sun and moon signs here.
Grounded Inner Work, Guided by the Stars
On your quest to discover your creative purpose, astrology offers seeds of insight that you can excavate, examine, nourish, celebrate, and ultimately grow into tools of inner work and a deeper inner knowing. While astrological insight is star-bound, the work itself is grounded in your journey here on Earth. What you build and grow from your time with the stars depends entirely on you. And whatever that journey looks like, you don’t have to do it alone.