On believing in astrology (or not)

I don’t “believe in” astrology, and you don’t have to either.

One of my favorite astrological writers, Liz Greene, once replied to a question about her “belief” in astrology: “It is like saying, ‘Do you believe in your car?’ No, I just drive it.” The point is that astrology isn’t a belief system. It’s a set of tools you take or leave based on whether you see that they work in a way that is useful to you.

It isn’t necessary to buy into the idea that the sun, moon, planets and other space objects are yanking us around or showering us with some not-yet-explained-by-science, cosmic soulstuff that makes us feel happy or sad, or gives us inheritances and brings back old lovers.

It’s not necessary to believe in past lives, or anything else you don’t feel comfortable with.

(If you do feel comfortable with those things, awesome! Personally, I don’t really. But I’m interested in hearing about your experiences and thoughts in these areas.)

You don’t need to set science aside to benefit from astrological insight.

You also don’t have to give up or compromise any religion or spiritual framework that is working for you.

Astrology works whether you “believe in” it or not.

So if it’s not a belief system, then what is it?

I ask myself this question every day.

Some things I can tell you:

*It’s an analysis of natural cycles, using the solar, lunar, and planetary positions as signposts.

*It’s an analysis of how human experiences correlate with those natural cycles.

*It is a collection of archetypal images that help us understand themes and patterns that are otherwise often too subtle to grasp or work with.

*It is a powerful toolkit that allows us insight into our past, present and future experiences, and the personality patterns that create or contribute to them.

*It works on both the individual and the societal levels.

*It’s an ever-growing body of research stretching back at least 4000 years.

Some things I can’t tell you–why it works, for example. Until there is more serious scientific inquiry into this question, it’s hard to say. Most scientists don’t take it seriously enough to even conduct a study of the comparatively simple question of whether or not it works. Without that data, I can’t see where any research about how it works is possible.

But. After years of personal study and skeptical observation, I can say pretty confidently: it does work. It’s precise. It’s detailed (if you’re doing real astrology and not just reading the newspaper). It cuts through bullshit, right to the core of who we are. It tells us how we can move forward and upward. And it can be used to foretell events–which is really challenging for me to wrap my left brain around, but I’ve seen it too many times to deny that it works that way, too.

Wherever you’re at with this is fine by me.

I just want to help you figure some stuff out so you can have and become more of what you want. I’m mostly interested in personal development questions, so I’m going to be especially useful to you if that’s what you’re grappling with (as opposed to “is Aunt Ethel going to leave me any money?” or “am I from another galaxy?”) But no judgement, either, if those are your questions!


~ * ~

You might also like:

“Hey baby, what’s your sign?”: what your sun sign tells you (and doesn’t).

The astrology of relationship–and why you might get along with Aries better than you think.

Example questions for an astrology consultation.