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On The Long Road Home

"Homecoming involves the realization that gracefulness requires nothing more but the individual's becoming fully incarnate in his/her own body and historical situation. Grace is the natural mark of a fully human life." Sam Keen

The Road Home

The Hero(ine)'s Journey
The most fascinating thing about astrology is that it demonstrates the design and purpose existing in our lives.
We're each living out our own personal mythological "hero(ine)'s journey" - and we're each on the long Road Home...

The astrological birth chart is a "snap-shot" of the exact moment in time and space that we chose to enter the planet. As astrologer Steven Forrest is fond of saying: "it's a sky map."

Your personal "sky map" contains a broad outline of your unique birth potentials that (just as the heavens do) naturally unfold over the course of time. And through the soul's unfolding, your unique inborn potentials crystallize and form over the course of a lifetime. In a nutshell, your soul is continually nudging you on to become who you were always meant and supposed to be.

In Steven Forrest's book entitled The Changing Sky - he discusses what he calls the three main levels of life:

      • Physical
      • Emotional and Psychological
      • Spiritual

Three Levels of Life
The most obvious level is the Physical - the Physical being made up of all the things that we "do." It's that vacation to France, winning a ten million dollar lottery, and the (exciting) beginnings and (dreadful) endings of relationships.

The next level is the Emotional and Psychological that is comprised of our unique thoughts and feelings.

Finally, we have the Spiritual level where we (potentially) find meaning and purpose.

Western Tropical Astrology is:

      • The "iffiest" at determining exact manifestations of events on the Physical Level
      • Better at predicting the Emotional and Psychological level
      • Absolute dynamite at determining the Spiritual Level

Why is this? Why the hedging?

Through a Glass Darkly - Symbols, Energies, and Combinations
Western Tropical Astrology is all about vibrant living symbols, flowing active energies - and interpreting the varying combinations of those dynamic symbols and energies.
The Sun combining energies with Jupiter (or any other planetary combination) can result in a wide range of typical behaviors, actions and/or responses.

This is true both when interpreting the birth chart and in the different methods whereby one attempts to predict the "unfolding" of the birth chart over the course of time.

"The soul is its own source of unfolding."
Heraclitus (Fragment 115 : DK 22B115 Stobée, Anthologie, III, 1, 180.)

And fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view) the "unfolding" of our souls (and of our destiny) is not set in stone.

The forecasting of future events, based on whatever astrological symbols are involved is (and has always been) a dicey and hazardous endeavor at best.

In her fascinating book, On Divination and Synchronicity (pps 101-102), Jungian author Marie-Louise Von Franz, confirms that, even in the deepest layers of the unconscious psyche, prognostication of exact events is not possible:

"if one watches more closely what happens in the different techniques of divination one sees that actual events are never predicted, but only the quality of possible events... [they] only sketch with the help of acausal orderedness, the quality of a time moment. So one can say that if something happens it will fall into the area of this qualitative field."

Giving astrological and dream interpretation examples, Von Franz goes on to (rightly) conclude that only a likelihood can be predicted, sketching for us a more or less blurred image of possibilities.

The Chaos Theory and Prediction
Further, as demonstrated in the Chaos Theory - as propounded by Quantum Physics - when studying, examining, and making predictions about any complex systems and/or organisms in nature there is a hidden thread and/or pattern underlying what was (on face of things) seemingly chaotic and/or random.

Ultimately, the concept of chaos in Quantum Physics refers, not to "disorder" - but to the issue of whether or not it is possible to make accurate long-term predictions about the behavior of a complex system. The Chaos Theory appears to tell us that the answer is no.

Put simply... in the Chaos Theory, nature is orderly and knows what it's doing. However, it's easier to see and explain the hidden patterns complex systems of implicit order after the fact.

This is because the second tenet of the Chaos Theory is that very small intervening variables (events) can (and do) cause complex behaviors or events. This phenomenon has been called the "Lorenz Butterfly Effect," where it's only somewhat "tongue in cheek" asked: "Does the Flap of a Butterfly's Wings in Brazil set off a Tornado in Texas?"

Astrology, and the precise forecasting of future events, is much the same. It's most often, when looking in rear view mirror, that the hidden underlying pattern and purpose of the unfolding soul is most clearly revealed.

By the way... although more than a few astrologers will likely have a conniption fit... these limitations of prediction generally hold true for all of the various astrological systems (Tropical, Western Sidereal, Vedic, Mayan, Chinese, etc., etc.).

"In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order." Carl Jung

Aligning With Our Destiny
According to Jungian author Dianne Skafte, Ph.D. in "Listening To The Oracle," in ancient times it was normally considered impious for a pilgrim to consult an oracle for predictions of the future. It was, however, considered proper to ask an oracle how one could become aligned with their destiny.

Speaking only for myself, astrology has generally been most effective in my life when used as one of several augmentative tools that assists in confirming what I already know (or should have known) in the inner-depths of my being.

"Together the patient and I address ourselves to the 2,000,000-year-old-man that is in all of us… in the last analysis; most of our problems come from losing contact with our instincts, with the age-old unforgotten wisdom stored up in us." CG Jung Speaking, p 89, (McGuire and Hull) Princeton University Press

We have the ancient wisdom stored within us, if only we can learn to look within for the answers.

The very idea of predictive astrology being used to gain a sense of control over one's circumstances reminds me of the wonderful Scottish astrologer Isabelle Pagan (1867-1960) that commented in the 1930 edition of her book "From Pioneer to Poet" that as a rule she avoided making predictions about such things.

"Few have the fortitude to face predictions of calamity without loss of energy; while many, assured of coming luck - especially financial - are inclined to take things easy." Pagan
The Soul Code
In James Hillman's book, The Soul's Code - In Search of Character and Calling, he relates the following story:
"Consider this event. Amateur Night at the Harlem Opera House. A skinny, awkward sixteen year old goes fearfully on-stage. She is announced to the crowd: 'The next contestant is a young lady named Ella Fitzgerald... Miss Fitzgerald here is gonna dance for us... Hold it, hold it. Now what's your problem, honey?... Correction, folks. Miss Fitzgerald has changed her mind. She's not gonna dance, she's gonna sing...'

That night, Ella Fitzgerald gave three encores and won first prize. However, 'she had meant to dance.' Was it chance that suddenly changed her mind? Did a singing 'gene' suddenly kick in? Or might that moment have been an annunciation, calling Ella Fitzgerald to her particular fate?"

On a Lark...
Any effective astrologer is going to (copiously paraphrasing Bernadette Brady in her book The Eagle and the Lark) rely on a lot of "tried and true" astrological technique (eagle) and then, also, a certain amount of plain old-fashioned intuition (lark).
The astrologer's eagle "homes in" on the major themes and events with their mixed bag of astrological techniques - and then their lark may be able to intuit which of the typical responses, actions and/or behaviors the individual is most likely to engage in. (i.e. Will they choose to dance or will they choose to sing? Will they choose to perform or choose not to perform at all...)

Again, for me, the most fascinating and useful thing about astrology is that it demonstrates the design and purpose existing in each of our lives. Discovering meaning in our lives is ultimately much more important and satisfying than any "dog and pony show" based on attempting to accurately predict the physical level of reality.

I still remember the incredible rush of excitement I felt when first learning about astrology... using the lens of astrology, I discovered that I was able to see the events that had taken place in my life (and the people who had entered and exited my life) as being part of a grand design of the universe. And I learned that each and every person was a necessary part of my long Road Home...

Some Things Never Change
I know an eighty (something) year old astrologer who's been practicing astrology for almost sixty years, now - and she admits still feeling that initial sense of excitement and intrigue when doing a reading for a new client.
Even after practicing astrology for almost sixty years, she continues to always be amazed at how well astrology works. She always feels that initial rush of excitement as the person begins discovering validation of:
      • Who they are
      • Where they've been
      • And where they're going

And it's all contained within their own unique "sky map."

My needs (and the needs of the folks that I come into contact with on a daily basis) are best met through the "lens and focus" of Western Tropical Astrology. I didn't initially get involved in the study of astrology for the purposes of enhancing my chances of winning the lottery or knowing when to take a vacation to France.

In the Western world, we're (generally speaking) already too well "grounded" in physical reality for our own good. Our greatest "needs" and "lacks" point in the direction of being nourished in soul growth and in having an increased understanding and acceptance of our existence and purpose in the universe.

Conversely Vedic and Chinese astrology (the two other most major astrological systems) likely best meet the needs of those folks that have been raised in those cultures.

Think I'm Wrong About Our Western World Culture's Greatest Need?
Then explain to me the phenomenal success of the book "The Celestine Prophecy?"
Then explain to me why James Hillman's book "The Soul's Code" was on the Best Seller's List, as I originally wrote these words?

Meaning and Purpose
People growing up in today's Western cultures are literally starved for meaning and purpose in our lives.

It is our greatest need...

It is our greatest desire...

It is our greatest lack...

For those reasons (my being born and raised in the West - and still unconsciously holding predominately Western values and attitudes) Western Tropical Astrology is superior in meeting my needs of moving toward the "Center" and cultivating a sense of meaning, wholeness and completeness in life.

We are all on the long road home...

"Homecoming involves the realization that gracefulness requires nothing more but the individual's becoming fully incarnate in his/her own body and historical situation. Grace is the natural mark of a fully human life." Sam Keen

Now available at StarryMart: Steven Forrest's SkyLog Computer Generated Report
Yep! Once upon a time... Dr Z swore up one side and down the other that he would never, ever feel comfortable selling a canned forecasting report at this site. Dr Z finds himself in a position where he is now forced to eat his own words. The fact is that Dr Z feels rather comfortable and cozy selling the canned forecasting report, SkyLog, with interpretations written by Steven Forrest.

List of Suggested Reading:

Predictive Astrology for Novices:
The Changing Sky by Steven Forrest (Buy it Now at Amazon.com)

Predictive Astrology for whatever the next level is called:
Planets in Transit by Rob Hand (Buy it Now at Amazon.com)
Roadmap To Your Future by Bernie Ashman
The Changing Sky by Steven Forrest (it's not just for novices)
The Eagle and the Lark by Bernadette Brady (Buy it Now at Amazon.com)

Uranian and/or Cosmobiological Astrology (if you have to ask, then you don't need to know) Dial Detective by Maria Kay Simms
The Combination of Stellar Influences by Reinhold Ebertin (Buy it Now at Amazon.com)


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