Afraid of Astrology?
If I’m under great stress, I can’t look at a chart. It doesn’t feel comfortable if you are going through a difficult time. – Komilla Sutton
The nervous and fearful should leave Astrology strictly alone, said Charles E. O. Carter. Yet, that is not likely to happen, on the contrary, astrology seems to have a lot of attractive power for people who are afraid of what their future might bring. They need answers, they want to peek into the future hoping that they would find some reassurance, some positive things to look forward to. People who are desperate and afraid often run from mediums to clairvoyants, from clairvoyants to astrologers, from astrologers to fortunetellers, from fortunetellers to healers and all kinds of psychics. Doing this usually just makes them more afraid.
Astrological textbooks show why: there are an enormous amount of frightening promises and predictions, at least for anyone with some hard afflictions. But desperate people often keep on reading because there are also some good promises here and there, they just think that perhaps I will soon find at least some small glimmers of hope. And a vicious circle is easily formed: In order to find a couple of good things you have to go through a lot of harder stuff. It isn’t easy to step out of the vicious circle if you are in dire need of help.
Gradually, the need for reassurance just grows stronger – and a desperate man turns onto anything: Perhaps, another visit to the astrologer would give me a better forecast. Perhaps I will find a better fortuneteller, medium, astrologer… In other words, people who search for help seldom turn away from psychics or astrologers, they need more predictions, because if you are looking for the last straw, you can’t afford to give up the one thing that still might give you some hope. When you are truly down and desperate, you may not be able to stop and reconsider whether the whole process is good for you.
In other words, searching intensely for guidance and answers you may not notice that all those forecasts – good and bad – don’t make your fears go away, often they do the opposite. You may think that the fault lies in your crazy life when, in fact, the fault lies, at least partly, in all those crazy forecasts. Still, to console yourself you think that when this Saturn transit is over, things will get better. And when they don’t, it must be because of this Pluto transit, when Pluto moves away, I’ll feel better. At this stage you are hooked…
You need your daily ransom of astrological transits, a medicine that can have some very strong negative side-effects. Until finally, one day you begin to suspect that you are doing something wrong, perhaps searching for someone (the astrologer) or something (the stars) to solve your life’s problems. In other words, you are hoping that someone or something would make it all feel better although deep within you know that it will not happen, that the answer isn’t coming from the outside. The process is subtle and thus it usually takes a lot of time and awareness to notice how it all happens…
The first and great commandment is: Don’t let them scare you. – Elmer Davis (Mars in Scorpio, Virgo-Saturn square Neptune-Pluto)
Astrological cook-books resemble medical dictionaries: reading them you easily begin to suspect that all those symptoms – dangers or negative predictions – may be something you have to deal with. Many people, especially those who have their own lives going relatively well or who are just well-protected and not suggestible to outer influences, forget soon what they read in medical dictionaries – or in astrological text-books – but people living in difficulties or being suggestible by nature find it harder to put negative forecasts out of their minds.
And the same may happen to many others, more subtly. People may not ‘believe’ all they read, they may think that they can easily discard the negative stuff but reading enough such material may still have a subtle and often cumulative effect that will begin to create trouble later on. For instance, when they get into difficulties they begin to remember: Wasn’t there a prediction that something like this would happen. If this happened to me, are all those other negative forecasts just waiting to come true also.
It’s well known that ancient astrologers often predicted death and catastrophes more than most astrologers do today. But it happens in the modern world too, and not only in cook-books, also in individual consultations. There has even been astrologers who thought that it was somehow their weird duty to do so… For instance Katina Theodossiou said that predicting illness was “a service to the public.” She claimed that her predictions did not scare her clients unduly. Whatever she meant with the world ‘unduly’ I don’t know but I think that she was wrong all the way. And even if such predictions really did not scare her clients, I would still like to ask: What about the negative suggestion – clients becoming ill just because of the prediction!
Irene once visited an astrologer who gave her some very scary medical predictions. Apparently the astrologer considered himself as an expert of medical diagnosis and thus gave Irene a long list of all possible weaknesses she might have, even a description of how Irene might die, at least, unless Irene would not make some necessary changes in her life. The suggestions as such were not bad at all but the way they were presented, made all the difference. Scaring the client is inexcusable in all circumstances. Irene was both badly frightened and also very angry, because the astrologer forced her to listen to medical predictions even when Irene said that she didn’t want to hear such stuff at all.
Dane Rudhyar told about letters he got from people who told how fearful or psychologically confused they had become after consulting astrologers. And Rudhyar was not talking about charlatans, people wrote about well-known astrologers who had given them biased character analyses or predictions “of illness, catastrophe, or even death.” Irene’s astrologer was very well-known too, which made it much more difficult for Irene to discard the astrologer’s words. Because the astrologer was right in many other things, it was very hard not to be influenced by his medical predictions.
Unfortunately, sometimes astrology can add to the client’s fears even if it’s positive: All talk about the stars reflecting – or even ‘controlling’ – everything that happens to you (which isn’t true at all) can seriously weaken your trust in your ability to handle things. If it’s all written in the stars, why bother… If stars rule everything, you can’t even hope for any positive surprises. Or grace. Thus under very great stress, it may sometimes be wise to put your transit books on hold for a while…
C.E.O. Carter was an excellent astrologer but I think that he was wrong suggesting that the nervous and fearful should leave astrology alone. Shouldn’t we rather do all we can to change ourselves and astrology so as to make it more helpful and supportive. And aren’t we all fearful or nervous at one time or another? Another thing is, of course, that there are a lot of people who don’t need astrology at all.
Why do we need astrology at all? No reason. Many people live very well without it. Nothing can be learned from a birthchart that could not be learned someplace else. – Steven Forrest