Astrology Addicts ~ Life in the Astrological Jungle ~
Astrology can confuse the seeker with an insignificant and unconstructive mass of information and a plethora of data having no relevance to the basic process of transformation … inducing him or her to find easy solutions to life-problems. -Dane Rudhyar
There is an astrological jungle of signs, dwads, planets, houses, aspects, asteroids, angles, midpoints, transits, progressions, return charts, fixed stars, Arabic parts, antiscions and whatever – all kinds of systems forming a veritable jungle of technicalities. Thus it’s very easy to lose yourself into that jungle, it seems to happen all the time: New eager students coming into astrology, enthusiastic and full of desire to learn more about themselves and about astrology. Some of them do that without any problems, others become so overwhelmed by astrology that they become astrology addicts, and may then have to take a few steps back in order to find their bearing.
Of those stepping back some never continue their studies, others do. They come back wiser and more able to use their own discriminative powers, thus less ready to accept everything. They may even have overcome their addiction. Thereafter they begin to learn astrology in earnest, because now they know the value – and the necessity – of choosing, of knowing that every technique doesn’t work equally well for everyone. And also that some techniques may not work at all, despite the fact that some eager enthusiasts claim that they do…
IN THE ASTROLOGICAL JUNGLE
As a study object astrology is a fascinating one. At least in the beginning you can lose yourself totally in it, neglect your work, relationships and even sleep. People are no longer people, they become all kinds of astrological types, Arians, Cancerians, Scorpions and so on. – Heikki Heimola, Finnish astrologer
The astrological jungle is a magical place. Many eager enthusiasts and students travel deep into the jungle searching for more and more techniques – and they usually find what they are looking for: a confusing amount of solutions and interpretations for every conceivable problem. Unfortunately, many solutions are in conflict with each other. And there isn’t any integrative technique that would make a synthesis out of it all.
Thus it is easy to become frustrated amidst multifarious techniques and systems all purporting to be able to tell you your fate, talents, desires and all the quirks of your personality, sometimes your past lives as well. You may get the feeling that astrologers know all your deepest secrets, but rest assured, they don’t, although some astrologers may like to think so. But one thing is certain: it’s almost impossible to get bored in the astrological jungle as there is an almost infinite amount of material to study – and to get yourself lost into…
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t claim that getting lost into astrology – or in any new area of knowledge – is always a bad thing in itself. On the contrary, it may be just what you need: an intense adventure and experience that gives you time to orient yourself before choosing your own jungle path. A small addiction at the start may be the best way to gather quickly enough material and ideas before you make more permanent choices.
We want the facts to fit the preconceptions. When they don’t, it is easier to ignore the facts than to change the preconceptions. – Jessamyn West
For an addictive personality the magic of astrology is hard to resist, and especially if the addict candidate happens to have a lot of personal problems – and haven’t we all our share of those. Many unsuspecting and enthusiastic devotees wander deeper and deeper into the jungle, sometimes almost forgetting that they have – and should have – a life outside the astrological jungle. Absorbing all that astrology has to offer they almost lose direct contact with ‘real’ life. They no longer experience life as such, they have astrological preconceptions for everything.
Of course, some other jungles of knowledge may do almost the same, but because of its cosmic reputation or halo astrology has more attractive power than many other jungles. The first sign or symptom of a true astrology addiction is that you are no longer able to solve your problems without looking into ephemeris. Or visiting your astrologer. This also means that you are in danger of losing your ability to sense or recognize a developing problem unless you see it in the ephemeris. Or you may see problems just because your ephemeris suggests that there are some.
At the next stage of your astrological addiction you begin, for example, to see your friends through astrology, which means that you fail – or refuse – to see characteristics that are not reflected in their horoscopes. And you also see in your friends characteristics that they don’t have, often to utter frustration of your friends. In other words, you trust your horoscope interpretation more than your own eyes. It may sound strange but seems to be quite common. You see what you expect, not what actually is.
“Knowledge is a lot like alcohol,” wrote Joe Moore, “a little bit of it is sometimes as bad as too much of it.” This kind of occupational ‘disease’ or addiction seems to be common both with new astrology enthusiasts and those who have studied astrology for a very long time. It’s so easy to go overboard, to attribute almost everything to astrology. At this stage you may no longer solve problems, you use astrology as a cover up, planets are doing everything, not you. You are not solving problems, you are just giving them astrological names or labels.
By calling something a Mars thing or a Pluto problem you just distance yourself from the problem, without necessarily knowing much about it. In that case you will be meeting the same problem again and again and again… If you think that astrology explains everything, you have already wandered into the depths of astrological jungle. And the deeper you get, the more astrological preconceptions begin to govern your perceptions: You find what you are looking for, things begin to happen according to astrological traditions and preconceptions.
OUT OF THE JUNGLE
The personality of the patient demands all the resources of the doctor’s personality and not technical tricks. – Carl Jung
Astrology is just a technique, a wonderful technique but still just a technique. And the value of any technique depends on how we use it, it depends on our attitudes, values, life styles, personalities. Whatever technique we use, the results are colored by our personality and our ethics. If we begin to think that astrology explains everything, we will no longer be motivated to search for anything else or to investigate deeper roots behind the problems. And we lose finer inner nuances that make our lives unique and meaningful. We no longer see exceptions because we do not believe in them.
We all know that at its best astrology can give us exceptionally good insights, it will offer meanings that we wouldn’t find in any other way. The downside of this is the danger of going so deep inside astrology that we almost forget that there is life outside or beyond astrology, and there are things and events that do not fit into our astrological preconceptions. We will then also lose all those depths in people that can never be captured through astrology. And we also doing some people mental violence in trying to keep them within their astrological bounds, just because that would fit with our own way of thinking.
Getting lost into the astrological jungle astrological assumptions – or banalities often means less ability to use your own discriminative faculties until you see all life only through astrological concepts and frameworks. At this stage, the world begins to look like a vast system of abstract cosmic symbols instead of a place full of life, energy, feelings, people. And exceptions. This all leads to a real risk of attempting to control life through astrology, you no longer let life make choices for you, instead you try to squeeze life into something objective you can handle using reason and willpower. This usually means losing your inner guidance, your contact with a living God.
Thus, although astrology can wonderfully enlarge our lives it can also get us entangled with symbolic living until we lose touch with real life and real problems. Interpreting life isn’t yet living it, it can even be an avoidance or an escape: Finding a handy interpretation for a problem isn’t yet solving the problem and becoming aware of its all implications. We need – like C.G. Jung said – continue working incessantly on life’s problems. If we lose ourselves in the jungle of astrological symbols, we may lose the true meaning of our problems.
For instance, we are not necessarily sensitive because we are astrologically Neptunians, if anything, we are Neptunians because we are sensitive. Life comes first, astrological symbols are additions and definitions. In creative (astrological) living we must not lose our contact with life’s simple non-astrological realities. Being used to define everything through astrology may make coming out of the astrological jungle to real life a scary venture. But there are rewards: we are in touch with a larger reality, our sense of self comes from the depths, not from the astrology. Astrology is meant to help us, not to make our world a safe astrological place
The more fully we are connected to that core, the less we need our constructs to define ourselves. When we fully possess ourselves, when we can fully be ourselves, we are not dependent upon astrology to provide us with a self-concept. – Tracy Marks