People Who Hate Astrology

People who hate astrology assert that consulting a horoscope column or getting a reading from a professional astrologer is not a sound approach to making good decisions about one’s life.

The haters never follow up that assurance with a detailed revelation of what ARE valid ways to gather the data and insights and ideas so as to make good decisions about one’s life.

Do they know about some Bureau of Acceptable Life Information that can help us determine what is and what is not worth consulting as we chart the course of our destiny?

I don’t mean to be glib. I am honestly puzzled by the apparent certainty that there are unambiguous methods.

Would the astrology haters approve of the guidance and inspiration we have gleaned from our high school teachers? From our parents? From our friends? In my opinion, none of them are entirely reliable narrators; they are not to be trusted to deliver 100% accurate and wise counsel on how best to live our lives.

And how about the music of Florence and the Machine, and the poetry of Charles Baudelaire, and the movies of Akira Kurosawa? Is it a big mistake for us to eagerly take on influences from them, allowing their art to infiltrate our subconscious minds and subtly skew and shift our attitudes? Are we deluded?

Or how about the philosophy of the Upanishads or Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel or Susan Sontag? Or the psychological ideas of Carl Jungor Clarissa Pinkola Estes or Erik Erikson? Or the writing of Joan Didion or Pema Chodron or Kurt Vonnegut? Or the social science of Malcolm Gladwell? Or the economic theories of Paul Krugman? Are they all foolproof, unimpeachable sources of wise guidance that we can unconditionally rely on to steer our personal lives in a righteous direction?

Or should we be ruthlessly careful to draw our guidance and inspiration only from paragons of reason and science? Should our night tables be-stacked with books by Stephen Hawking and Charles Darwin and chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov and mathematician Terence Tao? Should we read passages from their teachings every night in the expectation that they will shape us into paragons of reason and science? That they will unfailingly guide us to make good decisions about how to live?

I don’t think so.

It’s fine if those tomes and others like it constitute part of our own personal Bureau of Acceptable Life information. But we need to
draw inspiration and education from a variety of other sources, as well—each of which, like Hawking and Darwin and Kasparov and Tao, is imperfect and incomplete.

It’s perfectly reasonable to look to astrology as one of our sources,because astrology is a branch of psychology, as well as an art form—a
mode of storytelling. It’s designed to stimulate our imaginations as we ruminate on what it means to be a human being. It’s an evocative mytho-poetic system that helps us identify and transform our subconsciouspatterns and have fun speculating about the big picture of our destinies.

-Robert Breszny

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Posted by | Paul Reynolds
Paul has been a yoga teacher on the Island of Kauai for many years and is the facilitator of the weekly Living the Question Blog - a repository of wisdom and inspiration. Paul also produces and hosts Le Guru is You Radio Show, showcasing everyday gurus.

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