How Astrology Works + 5 ways it can transform your life
How does Astrology Work?
Why do the stars and planets effect me here on Earth? How is it that the moment I was born shapes my personality and my path in life? Does astrology interfere with my free will? Is it a spiritual or religious belief?
These are some excellent questions anyone working with astrology should ask themselves.
It's so important to have a strong understanding about how and why astrology works before integrating it into your life. If you constantly have doubts about the validity, authenticity, or value of astrology then any time you spend reading or learning about it will be tainted by those doubts.
Note: What I have written here is a reflection of my own personal understanding of astrology. There are several schools of thought regarding how astrology works, and it is up to you to decide what you believe. Ultimately, astrology is a spiritual practice and therefore cannot be completely explained through science and logic. However, I feel it’s important to explore how and why it works physically, energetically, and spiritually so we can embrace it whole-heartedly for ourselves.
Astrology is the language of our universe.
Astrology is closely linked to astronomy (the study of celestial bodies and the physical universe as a whole) but where astronomy studies the bodies of the universe, astrology studies the soul of it.
If you can recognize that there is a deeper essence to everything physical in our world, then you can understand how this works.
Essentially, Astrology is a language system that human beings have been cultivating for thousands of years. It is the language of nature's cycles and rhythms.
The language of astrology has grown through the collective consciousness of all peoples who looked at nature's cycles and rhythms for guidance in their every day lives. Back in those days, the skies were much more visible and the stars and constellations were a natural focal point for human beings to look to for understanding. People did everything in tune with nature's cycles, including farming, rituals, travel, and healing.
Over time, common character traits, tendencies, and connections were observed and recorded. The patterns they discovered are what is called astrology.
Astrology is therefore a folk art began thousands of years ago that helps us understand the connectedness of cosmic occurrences with our earthly lives.
Astrologers (who were historically also physicians, scientists, farmers, healers, and philosophers) would observe events, the weather/season, character traits of people, and the physical features of the planets and constellations in order to understand the essential energy of each part of the zodiac.
For example, when he discovered the planet Uranus in 1781, it came as a complete shock to astronomer William Herschel. Astrologers noted other events during that time period that revealed the nature of Uranus' influence on us: the American Revolution and the French Revolution began around the same time, and the first flight in a hot air balloon in 1785 enabled humans to escape the pull of gravity. In 1800, infra-red rays were discovered which expanded consciousness of light out of the visible spectrum.
All of these events led astrologers to deduce that Uranus is the planet that enables us to liberate ourselves from past limitations. (Bloch & George, 2006). All of the other planets and the signs of the zodiac each represent a human need that every person has, and the birth chart reveals how that need would best be fulfilled for each person.
The discovery of Uranus is an example of how through observation, intuition, and the collective consciousness, astrology has evolved as a language system to convey the meaning of the universe's patterns and their effects on us.
We are deeply connected to all life forms. We are made of the same material as the trees, the ocean, the mountains, and the stars. We don't see it with our own eyes but it's true. Knowing this is vital to living fully.
Energy is everywhere and in everything. The magnetic field of the earth, called the geomagnetic field (the Earth's aura) is a giant invisible bubble that emanates from the planet earth out into the rest of the universe, connecting us on earth to the planets and stars through vibrations and waves of energy that reach all the way to us.
But in truth, the planets have no direct effects upon us here on earth.
Astrology works because we are influenced by the same energies and currents that effect the planets in their movements through the skies. So, think about it in terms of how we are in sync with the planets (and everything else in our Universe) and that looking up at them serves as a direct reflection of ourselves here on Earth.
As above, so below.
As below, so above.
The Birth Chart
Your birth chart is a snapshot of the cosmos at the precise moment of your birth. It is like a map to your mind, body, and spirit. The reason we use the moment of your birth for drawing up this map is because your birth is your grand entry into this plane of existence.
The reason we celebrate birthdays is because they mark a very important and meaningful time, it’s not arbitrary or random. Your time of birth is meaningful because it was when your soul embarked on its unique mission in this body, on this planet. There’s so much information about who you are within that exact moment’s story. The birth chart reveals the story.
The time you were born had a certain energy and the fact that you were born in that moment connects you to that energy. It is the energy your soul aligns with and embodies.
Much like how a child is influenced by the weather, the culture, the air quality, temperature, or the language of his environment, he is likewise connected to the qualities of the seasons and the planetary placements at his birth.
With astrology, we are just discussing things that are not as easily sensed physically, so that's why it's harder to grasp for some.
As above, so below
Everything that happens here on Earth is essentially a reflection of the macrocosm (Universe). That doesn't mean when you drink your chai latte a big star out there in the Universe is drinking one too, but it means that our mode of functioning down here on earth is directly reflective of that of the stars and planets, and all the rest of the world.
For example, the Sun in astrology represents our vital force, much as the Sun provides the light and heat for the Earth's vital force. So another way we can understand astrology is as a set of symbols that allows us to access the wisdom of the macrocosm for understanding, guidance, and insight into ourselves (the microcosm).
The different zodiac signs (Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, etc.), the planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, etc.), the houses, the asteroids, and all other components of astrology are universal symbols that reveal the inherent nature or essence with which our whole universe was created. Think of them as the raw energetic material with which everything we experience is made of. These primal energetic expressions can be recognized through study, intuition, reflection, and observation.
For example, we can look at a Rose, which in astrology is associated with the planet Venus. Venus is the planet of love, harmony, and beauty. It's the planet that reveals how your need for these things is best fulfilled on your birth chart. By knowing that the Rose is a plant of Venus, we can understand more about its essence - and at the same time we can learn more about Venus by way of the Rose.
Astrology works as a system of reflecting the inherent connection in all that is through the archetypes embodied in the planets, the signs, and the asteroids. In this way, it is a powerful tool for recognizing the inner essence of anything and everything, and therefore being able to integrate its teachings into our own consciousness.
Surprise! YOU chose your birth chart.
I love this part. You might be wondering about how astrology fits into the idea of nature vs. nurture. Astrology is both nature and nurturing. When we are born, we are like the tabula rasa, or clean slate - open to the energy that surrounds us. However, we are also given the exact tools and gifts that our individual spirit needs in order to shine our brightest in this lifetime.
Rather than thinking of your birth chart as the determining force of who you are meant to become, think of your birth chart as a reflection of who you truly are. You are not limited by it, but rather you were born at that precise moment (which really was not just the time, but the quality of the moment endowed by the position of the planets and the season) for your greatest growth potential.
Astrology can teach you about your completely individual style, nature, gifts, and path and about the tools you were given for your journey.
Hint: The goal is always self-actualization - what that looks like will be different for each and every one of us.
your time of birth was chosen by your soul because it provided your mind, body, and spirit with the tools you need to self-actualize and fulfill your karmic journey
your birth chart is the map to understanding and effectively working with the tools you were given for this life journey
astrology is not necessarily a belief system, but it’s a spiritual and nature-based art that focuses on connection and consciousness
What can astrology practically give you in our 21st- Century world?
We live in a world that's saturated with messages trying to make us forget who we really are in order to convince us of what we need. It's hard to keep your head above the water and know yourself when you are always being told to be someone else.
The most amazing thing about your birth chart is that it will always remind you of who you really are. You'll be reminded of your calling, your passions, your dreams and your gifts through your chart. I say reminded because it’s what you have known all along but may have forgotten or let go of. Astrology will also straight up shine the light on the parts of you that need to be worked on and worked through. It’s about being honest with yourself and owning your whole self.
Astrology provides us with the questions we need to ask ourselves for true self-knowledge and self-love. It’s a deeply reflective practice and while we use these questions to create the life we want, we learn so much about who we are in the process.
2. Astrological timing for creative endeavors
This is a powerful tool for aligning with the natural flow of energies in the universe at any given time in order to optimize the potency of anything you want to create.
Astrological timing can be applied to gardening/planting, medicine making, creative projects, writing, or for event planning. You can work with the lunar cycles to choose a time that will help bring out the energy within a project or even get down to the hour and minute to make a tincture or flower essence that's specifically designed to treat the corresponding part of the body or spirit (this is used in Alchemy and Spagyrics, ancient forms of medicine making.)
3. Harmony in relationships
When we learn more about ourselves and our needs, our relationships blossom as well. You can learn how to better relate to and understand your partner, friends, coworkers, and family through astrology by becoming aware of their natural needs and ways of expression. This has been one of the most life changing effects for me.
4. Connection to nature
Astrology is the language of nature, and by working with it we automatically become reconnected to our own nature and to mother nature. We live in tune with the seasons and integrate the unique teachings of each season into our lives throughout the yearly cycle. We can use astrology to eat seasonally, to celebrate the beauty of each season, and to discover our place within the greater universe.
5. Health and healing
Medical astrology is a fascinating tool that focuses on health and healing through astrological terms. You can learn about your own natural balance and constitution and even areas that are susceptible to imbalance through your chart. You can also apply aspects of astrology to your self-care and to natural healing work such as herbalism and crystal work. Astrology serves as a unifying factor that helps us navigate the world of natural healing products and foods, as it guides us to those healing allies that will restore balance and work with our unique constitution. This is what I call cosmic consciousness.
I hope that this post has answered some of your questions about how astrology works, but more importantly, I hope it will kindle your inner curiosity as to how astrology can work for you.
We cannot break down something so intuitive, whole, holy, and spiritual into science and logic and so the important thing to walk away with is a sense of awe and mystery at how the universe has given us such an accurate, powerful, helpful, and healing tool. That awe is nourishing.