Astrological Suggestions ~ Intimidation or Encouragement ? ~
The person who seeks advice from an astrologer comes with a certain readiness to believe the horoscope. This predisposition leads to an autosuggestion to order his life according to the horoscope, and thus contribute to its fulfillment. – Kurt Koch
Astrology can be both a knife that cuts and a knife that heals. Any suggestive astrological interpretation is a two-edged sword, because making a diagnosis or interpreting a chart is always a kind of active interfering with the native’s psychic condition. Suggestibility is an essential characteristic of human beings, it is not pathological. And the more suggestible the native is, the stronger the suggestive effect of the interpretation, both in good and in bad.
It is a well-known fact, that when a psychiatrist changes his views and theories, her or his patients may begin to develop new kinds of symptoms and to have different types of dreams, fitting with the psychiatrist’s new theories. Presumably the same thing may happen with astrologers, especially if you use the same astrologer for a long time. Thus choosing your astrologer is a very big decision, it may have a deep impact on your life.
CHOOSING YOUR PROBLEMS
Familiarize yourself with the chains of bondage and you prepare your own limbs to wear them, – Abraham Lincoln
Because of the power of suggestion choosing or changing your astrologer – or your psychologist or your doctor – may be a way of changing your problems – or even your fate. Thus if your astrologer has, for instance, a habit of forcing negative suggestions or predictions on you, find a better astrologer. And do it quickly. If you don’t, you may be burdened with inner monsters that are not of your own making.
Even good astrologers may sometimes undervalue the power of suggestion. The most likely victims of negative suggestions are people with weak boundaries, for instance, people living amidst severe pressures. But because of astrology’s reputation as a kind of cosmic wisdom, there may be many others without the ability and inner resilience to bounce back if bombarded with negative suggestions, like claims that in all their problems they are meeting something their own inner attitudes or expectations have created…
A hidden suggestion is the worst, it’s hardest to fight against. If the interpretation clearly states that something is your fault, it’s easier to see the negativity of the interpreter or the absurdity of the interpretation. I’s harder to notice the negative effect of a put-down or an accusation clothed in psychological or astrological theories claiming that your own inner attitudes or negative expectations have created all your conditions or problems. Thus, to change your life, change your unconscious expectations… But how? And how to be sure that this isn’t just another imaginative astrological theory, not a proven fact.
FOR YOUR OWN GOOD ?
When I do horoscopes I tell clients bluntly about all their shortcomings for their own good. There’s no point in pulling one’s punches. – astrologer Katina Theodossiou (in J.C. Barker, Scared to Death)
Astrological literature offers some quite appalling examples of astrologers giving negative suggestions without pulling their punches. Especially the older astrology books can make a sensitive reader’s hair stand on end. Hard Saturn-Neptune angles are here used as examples but you can find almost similar intimidations about some other aspects as well. Imagine a suggestible person with a Saturn-Neptune opposition reading following interpretations:
Astrologer 1 (on Saturn opposition Neptune):
You may really be afraid that you cannot live up to what the world expects of you or that the world is somehow vaguely frightening and spooky. Often you project your internal fear, anxiety or nervousness onto other people, so that you act afraid of others or of situations, when the only problem is fear within yourself. … If you do not learn to trust others, you will probably, by a twisted kind of reasoning, fear the people you should trust and trust those whom you ought to be more suspicious of…
Astrologer 2 (on Saturn opposition Neptune):
This opposition can make the natives mistrustful of others, morbid, and morose. They are subject to irrational fears, stemming from their unconscious minds and past memories, which color their attitudes toward others. … There can be a persecution or martyr complex with this aspect. Sometimes the native has to be institutionalized. Psychological problems tend to be deep-rooted and hard to diagnose and cure.
Astrologer 3 (on Saturn opposition Neptune):
You will endure extreme torment in your personal relationships, because you find it increasingly difficult to distinguish the honest from the insincere. Others will try to take advantage of you. You may make a sincere gesture toward the object of your love and find later hat you have been victimized. This could represent severe financial and emotional losses…
If a person with Saturn-Neptune opposition feels anxious and mistrustful after reading these interpretations the only problem is certainly not her or his inner fears, suspicious nature or “twisted kind of reasoning”. This kind of negativity can create, in any sensitive person, just what these depressing and dreadful interpretations talk about: fears, self-doubts, suspicions. And they should make you suspicious, not about life, not about yourself or your abilities, but about these callous and unhelpful interpretations. This kind of astrology can be dangerously destructive.
These negative examples are not picked up from any garbage books, they are from widely read books written by respected astrologers, which unfortunately makes them more credible. Yet there is no aspect that would warrant this kind of negative pulp. It’s especially preposterous to interpret opposition – a relationship aspect – as reflecting just the inner characteristics of the native. It would be more realistic – and usually more helpful – to speak about things one experiences or suffers either because of her or his own characteristics or because of her or his life conditions, or even directly because of other’s doings. No one lives isolated and uninfluenced by other’s doings, especially no one with an opposition aspect.
If you read just one or two such negative interpretations – and if you are conscious of their speculative and imaginative nature – your reading may not yet have a very strong impact on you. But if you meet similar negative put-downs in many different books, they form a kind of collective psychic force. And reading them will then have an impact on you – without noticing it reading this kind of negative suggestions may override your own individual judgment in a very harmful way. Everyone reacts in her or his own way, a person with a so-called easy chart may just smile, but those with afflictions like these may throw astrology to the waste-paper basket or become devoted astrology critics.
NOT FOR YOUR OWN GOOD !
Believe not these suggestions, which proceed
From anguish of the mind, and humours black
That mingle with thy fancy. – John Milton
I am sure that some people having Saturn-Neptune opposition may at times experience life just as frightening and spooky as the quotes above suggest, but I still question the value of such negative interpretations, especially in books written for a larger public, because they will be read by people in serious trouble and looking for help. And people in serious trouble are very open to suggestions. For them astrology filled with negative interpretations can create big problems.
The last thing they need is an astrologer suggesting that they are in trouble because of ‘their’ own fears and morbidity. What good would that do if they are not offered any constructive suggestions? ‘Stop fearing and learn to trust’ isn’t a constructive suggestion unless you manage to show how. Or prove that there is no reason for suspicions. No interpretation, ever, should be without some constructive option. And no interpretation, ever, should lay the whole blame on the native’s inner characteristics. Life is never that simple. And astrology shouldn’t be either.
It is often easier to handle ‘spooky’ things and feelings if they are not interpreted just as a part of you. And with Neptune they never are: Neptune is a collective planet, things it brings into your life aren’t just yours alone. And even if they were, listing all kinds of imaginative negative options isn’t a big help to anyone. It’s like medical doctors were listing all the speculative symptoms they could imagine. And then just suggesting that unless you stop having those symptoms, you will fall ill or you will be institutionalized. Any doctor doing this would probably lose her or his license. And should lose it.
No astrologer can tell (at least solely from a study of the birth chart of an individual) that this individual will develop a negative attitude; for even the worst combination of astrological factors might instead arouse the creative powers of his deepest self and compel him to reorient his consciousness and his will in terms of the positive use of these powers. – Dane Rudhyar
Filling somebody’s mind with negative suggestions is simply devil’s work. The native may think that it is easy to forget those suggestions, but something of them may still stay and linger on somewhere deep in the unconscious mind – and then become a self-fulfilling prophesy. All that negativity may then catch the native like a bolt from the blue, without her or him having any conscious memory of the original source of all that negativity.
Thus reading negative astrological cliches you should, at least, always remember that they are just imaginative speculations, not facts based on you and your circumstances. Those writers apparently can’t have first-hand knowledge of all those numerous aspects. Thus they imagine and speculate, and the result may often tell more about their negative imaginative power than about those aspects as such. It is also worth noticing that some writers obviously like to play God for their readers claiming to know things an astrologer can’t know.
It is true, of course, that Saturn-Neptune opposition may reflect someone who is overly suspicious, in other cases it might reflect a person who is not suspicious enough but should learn to be when circumstances warrant it. It is often worth reading what the same writer says about trines or sextiles. Your opposition or square has all those same positive potentials. With hard angles all those nice things may not fall into your lap as easily as it happens for trine or sextile people. But they will be yours if you work at it. And as C.E.O. Carter said, with Saturn-Neptune afflictions “there is nearly always the power to work hard”.
Remember also that the opposition is a relationship aspect. Those negative things may not be your characteristics at all, you meet them in your relationships. Perhaps the astrologer giving you a hard time with negative suggestions was an example of the opposition in action! It’s also worth noticing that especially for very ‘scientific’ or practical astrologers one plus one is always just two, which in their world is absolutely true. But that, of course, may make them unable to see that with Neptune adding new dimensions into life those old rules may not always be valid.
Kaarina with her Saturn-Neptune opposition had to learn the destructive power of negative astrological suggestions in practice: A well-known astrologer scared Kaarina out of her wits by listing first all kind of negative suggestions, just like the quotes above, and then adding a large amount of medical risks and even mentioning a possibility of being “buried alive”! When Kaarina said that she did not want to hear such things, the astrologer just continued claiming that she should hear them. No wonder that Kaarina was anxious about her health for a very long time.
Kaarina didn’t get over it until she truly understood that astrologers have no special faculty of seeing things others don’t see. Astrology is just a tool, and like every other tool, it can be used either well or not so well. A stupid astrologer sees and says stupid things, a wise astrologer understands more. A good astrologer never scares her or his clients out of their wits – and never claims to know what the client should hear, because no astrologer sees into the depths of other person’s soul.
Best astrologers know the dangers of negative suggestions, and they also know that all aspects have their bright sides. Even a very difficult Saturn-Neptune opposition is never all about fears, or suspicions, or morbidity, it is also about becoming conscious and overcoming all those things, in you or in your surroundings. At its best Saturn-Neptune opposition can be “the benefic influence of Neptune illuminating Saturn … it may stimulate wisdom, common sense, tact, sympathy, and all the Saturnian virtues; and be beneficial for the affairs of Saturn’s house.” (C.G.M. Adam on Saturn-Neptune opposition).
People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom? – Thich Nhat Hanh