In the essay Fate and Astrology, Robert Hand asserts that no evidence exists that astrology manifests “a fate that imposes a higher power against which free will is powerless” (p. 8). Hand explains that while the motions and patterns of the planets are one component of astrology that is predetermined by natural law, people’s reactions to the effects of astrological movements are not predetermined in the same way. Thus, it would be impossible for the natal chart to show everything that will happen to a person, as the chart does not exist in a vacuum—free will and the unpredictable nature of choice impact people’s reactions to the planets’ movements.
Furthermore, the belief that the natal chart shows everything that will happen to a person in their lifetime requires one to believe that people are passive victims of the makeup and aspects of their natal chart and do not have free will or choice to redirect the energies represented in their chart. Instead, Maritha Pottenger suggests in Complete Horoscope Interpretation that the natal chart is simply “a map of the basic psychological issues and principles we are facing and trying to balance…any principle can have a whole range of possible details” (p. 6). This whole-person approach to the natal chart can help illuminate how to “deal with the psychological principles which lie behind all the details,” the details being determined by a person’s free will (p. 6).
While there are astrologers who use astrology to make predictions, and some who do so quite successfully, I am of the belief that the natal chart does not determine a person’s fate, but rather the underlying energies that drive them as a unique being. Since an individual can only be responsible for their own choices, it’s not realistic to look to astrology for a play by play of what to passively expect in life. In my opinion, astrology is better used as a tool for self-exploration and self-empowerment. It can aid in illuminating areas of one’s life that need attention, and can help uncover powerful talents and tendencies a person might possess. What one does with these talents and tendencies is completely up to them—the natal chart does not mandate what will happen, but merely reflects what is possible.
Hand, R. (2006, February). Fate and astrology: Some ancient insights. Mercury Direct, 2-11.
Holden, J. H. (1996). A history of horoscopic astrology. Tempe, AZ: American Federation of Astrologers.
Pottenger, M. (1986). Complete horoscope interpretation: Putting together your planetary profile. San Diego, CA: ACS Publications.
Following meditation, the book moves on to the concept of spirit guides and calling upon them for assistance. This is probably the section that will lose all skeptics or those who are not open to this information or cannot yet conceive this information. To me, spirit guides are not entities, but rather energy forces that surround us (perhaps in the same vein as Sheldrake’s morphic fields) and steer us magnetically along our path. I am not super keen on angels and spirit guides described as a collection of people or beings from our past that look over us and show us the way—I think the energy process is far beyond what we can comprehend and we therefore assign anthropomorphic attributes to our energy guides and fields. This is not necessarily how Edwards addresses them in his book, but more so an expression of my personal musings. At any rate, the benefit of reading these types of books is not only for the exposure to potentially new concepts, but also the fact that you can pick and choose what you want to use in your “spiritual toolbox.” Don’t want to call upon supposed spirit guides? Just skip to the next section!
Edwards also outlines the five “clairs,” which include: clairvoyance (clear seeing), clairaudience (clear hearing), clairsentience (clear sensing), clairalience (clear smelling), and clairambiance (clear tasting). In order to access any or all of these, he recommends incorporating other divination tools into the spiritual practice. Some of the tools covered include numerology, scrying, psychometry, and tarot (my tool of choice). While only a brief overview of possible tools is provided and the list is by no means exhaustive, I felt the descriptions and information included on each tool were adequate. The section on numerology and how to calculate someone’s personal year was very helpful and a small insight that I can see myself incorporating into readings. Edwards also corroborates what I always tell my tarot clients—time is irrelevant!
I think what I enjoyed most about listening to this book is that not only is Edwards conversational in his approach, making the topics palatable and accessible, but he also recognizes and acknowledges concepts that might draw skepticism from the common person. I think there’s importance in acknowledging possible gaps, shortcomings, or uncertainties related to the practice of divination, considering it’s such a personal and polarizing concept. Furthermore, he speaks to his own experience and assuages those who might be thinking “there’s no way I’m psychic.” Listening to his journey gave me an expanded frame of reference for accessing my own psychic abilities. Recommended for those interested in the topic.
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