Secrets of Magic No. 40: Reach for the stars

Ancient astronomers studied the sky, as we do, to learn about the universe. They were interested not just in the movement of the celestial bodies, but in how they affect our lives on earth. Today the study of the sky does not include the practice of astrology. However astrologers still track the effect of the planets in our lives.

The ancients knew that each planet represents a way of being in the world. The planets weave their effects on the world like threads in a tapestry. When we understand their influence we can work with them to bring their energy into our lives.

Today the art of astrology has separated from the science of astronomy. However astrology still surrounds us. We have all seen daily horoscopes in the paper. These are great fun to read, but they are very general, applying to one-twelfth of the people on the planet on any given day!

Astrology is a marvelous tool to enable us to begin to examine our lives. It’s like a journal entry someone else writes about us. When we study the position of the planets in our chart, we get an idea of the kinds of concerns that focus our lives. The stars don’t tell us what will be, but indicate what forces might affect us, and ways we might habitually respond to them. This knowledge gives us choices about what we do and how we react.

There are two main kinds of astrological charts that contain useful ideas for us. The natal chart, commonly called a horoscope, illustrates the position of the planets in the sky at the time that we were born. Less well known but just as interesting is the solar return chart, one cast for us on our birthday in the place where we live. The natal chart indicates a general tendency of personality, while the solar return indicates issues of immediate concern to us in the upcoming year.

I study the power of the stars.

Practice: Horoscopes

  • Daily horoscope:save the daily horoscope in the paper every day for a week. Don’t read it on the day it forecasts, but instead, read it the following day. Make a note in your journal about how accurately it described the day you lived.
  • Natal horoscope: Have your natal chart cast. Many online services offer this for a very low fee. Look at the position of your sun in your chart. This is usually what people refer to as their “sign”. Another equally useful indicator is your rising sign. Is it the same as your sun sign? Use an astrology book or online resources to study the character of your rising sign and your sun sign. What does each tell you about yourself?
  • Birthday horoscope: Have your solar return chart cast. This is a great practice for your birthday. Study the position of the rising sign and the position of the sun. How has this changed from your natal chart? How might that affect your current areas of focus?
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