Q: How can planets millions of miles away have any possible impact on me? It just sounds crazy.
A: It’s not that the physical planets out there have a measurable or tangible impact on you. It is more of a reflection of the outer on the inner. “As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul…” so said Hermes Trismegistus.
Yes, it does sound crazy in our modern society, with its emphasis on hard cold facts and quantifiable proofs, doesn’t it? But this view is quite compatible with much of the more esoteric branches of quantum theory. Somehow, both our individual and collective psyche is entangled with the grand movements of the planets in our solar system and their relationships with one another. The ‘how’ of that process is so far inexplicable, but I have little doubt that a time will come when, as science advances, we will understand much more of the mechanics of astrology. It is clear, though, that the relationship between the planets and ourselves is not a causal one. The planets do not ’cause’ us to be as we are, they don’t force, compel, impel or otherwise act upon us. No physical forces are, or could be, involved.
Rather, the planets reveal things about us that are already true. We recognize ourselves when we gaze into the mirror of the stars. There are a many ways to slice the pie of astrology. Different astrological systems, the Vedic, Chinese, Celtic, Mayan and other variations, differ in their approaches and symbolism but always seem to describe the same person recognizably. It is as if we looked at an object in different coloured lights through different lenses; it is still recognizable for what it is, no matter how we view it.
Different astrologers emphasize different factors, as well. There are esoteric astrologers, mundane astrologers, astrologers who emphasize the fixed stars, the asteroids, the hypothetical planets and so on. It is not necessary that a particular planet even physically exist (Vulcan, for example, has been dismissed by astronomers, yet many astrologers use it in readings with useful results).
What seems to matter most is that a given astrological system be internally consistent, that it make sense within its own structure, and that it obey its own rules. It is possible to invent an entirely new system (such as Human Design, or the Enneagram) and have it work as well. Reality is patterns, and patterns are fractal in nature; there is a lot of room for variation, but the patterns studied must be consistent and the rules must make sense.