“And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge,
And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge,
And all knowledge is vain save when there is work,
And all work is empty save when there is love”
-Khalil Gibran on “Work”
The second question I asked the astrologers I interviewed was: “Why do you love astrology? I think, I could be wrong, that all astrologers are into it because of love.”
I didn’t ask them if they loved it, I took that as a given. And I was right, they do love it. Jeremy Neal explained the sometimes difficult relationship he has with astrology as a profession, despite his love for the subject. His mixed feelings are something that most astrologers may have felt at some point in their career.
It’s a difficult road to follow: you have to be driven to learn without much outside support or encouragement. And once you have achieved a certain amount of competency, you have to find your clientele. Astrology is not a mainstream profession; there are few, if any, 9-to-5 kind of jobs for astrologers. Added to that is the fact that astrologers work in a world that, at best, is ignorant of what astrology is all about; and, at worst, is ignorant and scornful.
All the astrologers interviewed here are also bloggers (if you click on their names, you will be taken to their sites). Even if you do not know much about astrology, a perusal of their written material will tell you that they are articulate and, and in many cases, gifted thinkers and writers of the human condition. They could have chosen an easier road by becoming psychologists or journalists: my opinion, not something that they said.
You’ll read below, in their own words, why they love it so much. But before that I want to quote something that Jeremy said on his blog that resonated very deeply for me:
“In my work I see some remarkable truths. Even as I sit and explain to a person that they have this situation that has held them back all their lives, and even as I see them struggle to comprehend the truth and anguish of it, I, who witness it every day, am forcefully reminded of the wonder of this fleeting, myopic life we have and the axiomatic majesty of our astrology. This astrology* does not contain your purpose: it is your purpose.”
*By “astrology” Jeremy means a person’s nativity.
Here, then, is what they told me and what I’d like to share with you (printed with permission):
Julie Demboski: It’s a way of understanding myself and other human beings–so I’d say I love what can be accessed through it, rather than that I love astrology–because I see other ‘systems’ as allowing us true glimpses into human nature as well–I think good fiction, good poetry, good art, and good drama also have the illuminative quality of astrology–it’s just different windows into the same house. Oops, ‘house,’ is that an astrology pun?
Jeremy Neal: I’m not sure I do love it. I feel that it’s what I’m here to do but often that feels like a bit of a curse as much as a joy. I’ve seen so much astrology by now that I can’t really pretend that much of the contemporary concerns of humanity matter very much and that impacts my life in often difficult ways. I struggle to be especially enthused by the necessity of going out and working for money and I’m very focused on the underpinning lessons of an astrological philosophy of life. Self-awareness, compassion, but balancing that with making good emotional investments. The astrology exposes you to some uncomfortable truths as well. My own nativity, frankly, isn’t very good, at least not from the point of view of making me easy to get along with or get close to. I’m working on it all the time, but I’m continually amazed by how I cannot even see a reality of my own astrology one day and then the next it hits me like a steam train. I find that kind of humbling and I’m trying to be less reliant on my own instincts as a result, because they seem to give me bad information at times (which is a Scorpio problem I guess). As you can perhaps see, I think life would be inestimably easier without astrology. I could just pretend that my conclusions were utterly valid, that my actions didn’t have particularly subtle consequences and that it matters what car I drive. Unfortunately astrology makes the truth unavoidable. We’re not here for a material purpose and that puts me at odds with pretty much everyone I ever meet.
Frederick Woodruff: I’ve never been interested in the ‘is it a science or a religion’ debate. It bores me and that will rage until the end of time; for me it’s about working tangibly with a practice that actually, over time, begins to infiltrate the brain’s cells and help them change; to ‘mutate’ as Krishnamurti used to say. Meaning, it opens the practitioner’s mind, over time, to a literal perception of the interconnectedness of everything and everyone. Again, it’s a bit of a mystical perspective.
Kingsley: I love astrology for a variety of reasons but mainly because it helps to align a sense of belonging to a greater plan or cosmic purpose. I love astrology because it is a great tool to help understand personality and individual potential. To gain a sense of how learning experiences or rewards will come about is very helpful. I love astrology because it is insightful.
Matthew Currie: For a lot of reasons… mostly because (despite being crazy and unexplained) it really does work in a consistent and reliable manner.
Michael O’Reilly: I do love it. No other system works as well in describing individual, social and spiritual developments. No other system is anywhere near as accurate in describing individuals whom that astrologer has never met, no other system is nearly as accurate in seeing past events or predicting the future. It tells us that there’s a larger, mysterious, multi-dimensional holistic universe to which we all belong.
I love it because it feels as if I am in a conversation (a fascinating conversation…), with the spirit of the earth.
Raphael Simons: I love astrology because it is a very good tool for finding out about the world outside. It helps me to see the differences between people. I also use it for horary and mundane charts. I make horary charts for myself fairly often and keep them in a journal along with all the active imagination inner work I do.
I love astrology for so many reasons, but mainly, I started on Greek mythology and Carl Jung before comic books, so I love how the planets can actually mirror archetypal/psychoanalytic patterns. Most people are very surprised to learn that a typical astrological reading sounds a lot like a counseling session. The difference is that sometimes patterns or behaviors that can be troublesome in one’s life make a lot more sense when they’re pared down into raw symbolism.
Beth Turnage: I have two instinctual needs. Through my Moon in Pisces I have a need to help people. Through my tenth house Sun I have a need to show off. With astrology I can do both.
I love it because it provides a rational handle, a window into the irrational tendencies of both the individual human, and the human collective. We have always used the stars to understand those things we aspire to bring within the realm of reason, I love being a part of that process.
Absolutely, it has made my own life make more sense, so it is a joy to share the same with those who are receptive. But I don’t ever try and convert those who are not interested.
Gavin Carruthers: I love astrology because it is such a useful and accurate language of life. Real astrology, when it is used to serve the individual, rather than the ego of the astrologer, is the most extraordinary tool for understanding what it’s like to be in another person’s skin, and I am still amazed at the world’s lack of awareness and lack of understanding of the validity and power of this great art/science.
I also love astrology because an accurate chart always tells the truth and I can count on it. Sometimes, as an astrologer I cannot see the truth, sometimes my clients may not know or see the truth, but I can always count on the chart to reveal the truth if I am patient and trusting. I also love astrology because it is a doorway to connect with people at a much deeper level and to share true and meaningful intimacy.
On many occasions I have had clients who have gone through 10 to 20 years of therapy and told me that one astrology session addressed most of what they had uncovered over those decades of therapy.
It still feels to me that I have a secret tool that most of the world is ignorant of, so usually clients get more than they expect, and their excitement is a delight. I also love teaching, something I have done for more than 30 years, and in particular I love it when a new student falls in love with astrology, and starts to learn to fly on their own!
April Elliott Kent: I certainly loved astrology when I started out. I couldn’t get enough of it! And I think I was still smitten when I started my website, ten years ago now (wow, that’s hard to believe!). These days, asking why I love astrology is like asking someone who’s been married for many years why she loves her husband: After awhile you cease thinking in terms of love, because the bond is so much deeper than what we normally think of as love. With astrology, I’m no longer smitten, no longer “in love” with it. But its symbols provide the structure for how I see the world, and I can’t imagine my life without it.
Basil Fearrington: I’m not sure how to answer that. It’s probably because it illuminates life’s flow. It’s also fulfilling to help people.
Eileen Nauman (© Eileen Nauman 2009): Because it works. It helps people. I believe in “forewarned is forearmed.” 🙂
Nick Dagan Best: I love it because it allows me to learn about life and the world on a level that no other kind of knowledge can provide
To be continued…