A Disturbance in the Astrological Force

The Thinker by Rodin

I am puzzling over what to make of my astrological natal chart. I have an online friend who has really gotten into astrology. She is so enamored that she is taking classes in it and doing charts for her families and friends.

I come from a family where the scientific method and rational thinking reigns supreme. Consequently over the years I’ve tended to act a bit patronizing toward those into astrology. I see it as a largely harmless amusement but I never put any faith in it. I confess that I usually read my horoscope but not until the end of the day (my wife takes the comic section to work with her). Not surprisingly it rarely correlates with my life. It doesn’t help that two astrologers can put out two completely different horoscopes for the same star sign and the same date. But frankly my life is pretty boring. There’s not much guidance any horoscope can give when my day consists of a trek to the office, holding a few meetings and reading a whole lot of email.

It makes no sense to me that the alignment of planets hundreds of millions of miles away would make any difference to who I am as a person. I remember the day my daughter was born at least a dozen others were also filling out the natal unit at Inova Fairfax Hospital. I can’t believe that all these children are all essentially alike. It doesn’t make any sense.

I notice the zodiac is neatly divided into twelve constellations and that the sun appears to stay in each constellation one month. But when I look at star charts this is not the case. Virgo, for example, is a huge constellation occupying a large portion of the zodiac. From the looks of things the sun hangs around Virgo for more than 30 days. Astronomical charts dividing the sky into constellations were doubtless defined thousands of years after astrology took hold. I have also heard that due to leap years and the Julian to Gregorian calendar shift the sun isn’t where astrologers say it is. Indeed technically there are thirteen signs of the zodiac, since the sun passes through Ophiuchus (the serpent holder) between November 30th and December 17th. (For the real deal, see a this link.)

But anyhow my friend Linda worked on my natal chart. The results caused a disturbance in the force. To wit, I was disturbed by how uncannily accurate the thing was. In comparing the Venn diagram between who I am and my natal chart there was about a ninety percent intersection. Yikes!

I realize that the whole thing is subjective. Astrological natal charts can be read, filtered and interpreted in many ways. But even discounting all of this I was more than a little creeped out by my chart. Does it really matter that the Sun was in Aries at 10:10 AM on the day I was born? Or Jupiter was in opposition to my ascendant (whatever that means)? Or the Sun was sextile to Saturn? I guess anything is possible.

I don’t know a whole lot about astrology. I do know it is a very ancient practice (my friend insists it is a science) about as old as human history. I am sure in the early consciousness of mankind the fact that planets were not locked in the sky had mystical importance to people who didn’t have TV or books to occupy their minds. In their minds why wouldn’t these strange external and far away forces have some sort of godlike influence on our behavior?

So how do I explain my natal chart? I could say it is coincidence. I could say I am the sort to readily believe things that others say or write about me. I could take it I am easily flattered. I could say that astrology may appear to be nonsense but there is some underlying truth to it regardless.

But I do have my own theory. I have no belief that the alignment of the stars or planets controls my destiny. But I often wonder if mankind has some sort of larger evolving consciousness. Just as our brain has its primitive areas such as the brain stem, perhaps there is a primordial area of the larger consciousness of mankind. And that primordial part believed in astrology, so it projects this perspective on the evolving brain of mankind. In other words because there are enough people believing in astrology for so very long, and because it was impressed on us in tangible and intangible ways for many millennium it may leave an impression on us as individuals.

Or perhaps it is just one of these bizarre mysteries that will never be explained. I’ll keep reading my horoscope but taking it with a grain of salt.