How Is It Possible To Tell One’s Future By Looking At The Stars?
Well, there’s a whole bunch of philosophical questions about astrology tied up in that one little innocuous looking question!
The answer of course, depends upon one’s attitude towards free will, and, to a certain extent also, upon one’s religion, if any. I don’t claim to speak for astrology in general, or for any astrologer other than myself, but here’s my take on this question:
I believe in free will, not fate. Astrology cannot tell you when such and such will happen to you. Astrology can only tell you when the planetary energies are most conducive for a particular type of event, or when you are most likely to experience delays or issues in another type of event.
Contrary to popular belief, astrology cannot tell you when you will die, who or when you will marry, or what the lottery numbers will be. (If I could really do that last one, do you think I wouldn’t have already done it for myself and retired by now?!)
If one believes in free will, then, by definition, one cannot ‘foretell the future’. If one believes in fate, then of course it’s a different matter. Some astrologers do believe in fate, and offer their predictive services accordingly. Most, in my experience, counsel against taking ‘forecasts’ as firm predictions of anything other than trends in your life.
Life does run in cycles, that much we know. We are all affected by various planetary cycles – the cycle of Saturn is a classic example. Everyone experiences a Saturn return (when transiting Saturn returns to the position in the chart it held when you were born) at around early – mid forty. And we know that most people tend to experience some kind of mid-life ‘crisis’ or reassessment at that time. That much we can ‘predict’. We can’t predict *what* will actually happen to you in terms of life events, although we can tell you that (for instance) your worries at that time might centre on your job, your house, your children, or whatever.
We can tell you in quite some detail how you are likely to be feeling and thinking at such a time, and we can offer you constructive advice on how best to handle it according to your own personality and the options open to you. But we can’t say for definite what you *will* do. Frankly, it would be rather frightening if we could.
We try to learn as much as we can by looking at charts for major events after they have happened, and the significators of that event often then become crystal clear. The problem is, however, that any given ‘event’ could be signified in a number of different ways in any chart. A good astrologer might find something in a chart that could mean a certain event is likely to happen – but on the other hand, it could mean something quite different. A shock may be foreseen. Shocks, however, can be pleasant or catastrophic, and it’s not always clear beforehand which it is likely to be.
So, in terms of techniques, there are many astrological methods of assessing future trends in someone’s life – progressions and transits are the most commonly used, but there are various others methods too. In terms of hard and fast predictions, however – this is not what astrology is about, to me at least. I prefer to look on astrology as a life tool rather than as a fatalistic prophecy.