When astrology doesn’t have the answers
When I first got into astrology, I felt like I had unlocked the golden key to the universe. Suddenly I was able to make sense of myself and the people around me, and all of my relationships started to improve. Life no longer seemed so confusing, especially once I got into transits and progressions which provided more insight into what I might be experiencing at any point in time. Astrology describes everyone and everything exactly as it is, and that validation meant everything to me after a lifetime of feeling misunderstood.
I haven’t lost any of my passion for astrology, but somewhere along the line, things got more complicated. It’s always my first instinct to turn to my birth chart during tough times, but sometimes, the answers don’t seem to be there. Recently, I was diagnosed with endometriosis and was totally knocked off my feet - not only am I dealing with challenging physical symptoms that are tough to accept or discuss, I’ve also been left with an aching desire to know WHY I am experiencing this illness. When I first got into astrology, I found some comfort in the fact that everything happens for a reason, and now I’m questioning that all over again. Was I somehow fated to have health issues (along with the 11 percent of people with uteruses estimated to have the same condition)? Is there something spelled out in my chart or my current transits that I just overlooked all these years? I’ve spent nights tossing and turning, unable to sleep because I keep trying to understand something that makes no logical sense.
Through the process of accepting my chronic illness, I’m learning that astrology is just one of the many tools that we can and should have in our toolbox of self-development. It is not the panacea I imagined it to be at one point, and that’s okay! Nothing can be all that we need, and astrology IS a powerful tool, but it would definitely serve us astro-nerds to put it in a bigger context.
Perhaps most importantly, astrology is a descriptive, not a prescriptive tool. Put more simply, you’re looking at how things ARE, not what you could or should do about your situation. Learning about astrology is not going to magically change anything if there is an aspect of your personality you really dislike (even though seeing it in a birth chart can definitely make you feel validated and less misunderstood).
There is a school of thought that says that anything in our birth chart can change and be transmuted to a “higher” expression... but there are others who say that it’s all fated, and you must accept the fixed reality that is spelled out in your chart. I tend to agree with the former idea, that we can choose our own destiny and decide for ourselves how we’d like for our charts to be expressed, but I’m starting to question this. With my Moon conjunct Saturn, will I just be melancholy and emotionally closed-off my whole life? How do I make the best out of having a painful illness with no cure? It’s easy to see how this can contribute to a victim mentality - if it’s written in the stars, how could I ever hope to change it?
There is also the perennial question of whether or not astrology can actually explain everything. This relates to the nature vs nurture debate - some would say that environmental factors, your upbringing, and the like will change how your chart is expressed, while others would argue that with the right analysis tools, you would see all of this laid out in a birth chart as well. I thought it was all in our charts, but now I’m questioning that belief too. My own interpretation skills are still developing (as are all astrologers’), but I can’t begin to tell you how frustrated I’ve been, frantically trying to spot anything in my chart that could explain why I’m experiencing what I am. I keep thinking that I could be missing something, or that something’s off in my analysis, but maybe astrology just can’t account for my illness. This is another question to which there is no clear answer, and so that I don’t overload my mind with trying to make sense of something that can’t be figured out, I’ll just leave it here for you to ponder. Is it really all written in the stars, or does astrology leave things open to chance and other factors?
So... after all my musing above, we're left with some big, unanswerable questions that can make our situation even more confusing. Being in the business of self-improvement, I’m making it a real point not to let these challenges bring me down, and I offer two ideas to help deal if you’re struggling with something similar.
Learn more about astrology and talk to an expert.
If you’re into astrology, you’re probably already excited about refining your skills. I love coming back to my birth chart when I learn something new about astrology - there is something so awesome about the fact that there’s always more to uncover in our own charts. Similarly, talking to an expert is a great way to gain insight, not only because they might be able to share techniques you’re not familiar with yet, but because they have a (more) objective view of your chart. I feel strongly that no matter how “good” I get at interpretation, I will always invest in readings with other astrologers who can see me more clearly than I can see myself. However... always keep in mind that no one has all the answers, and no one can save you if you aren’t willing to put in the work behind self-development. If you’re interested in learning more about finding an astrologer and what goes on during a personal consultation, you can check out a previous blog post here.
Try something new
Like I declared at the beginning of the post, it is helpful to gain new tools for our self-development toolbox if and when astrology is not enough. If we’re really stuck on a part of our chart we dislike or something that astrology doesn’t explain, we probably could benefit from something that helps us accept our current situation. Many people turn to spirituality and/or religion in addition to astrology, therapy can really help, or even one of the self-development programs that are so popular in this day and age. We can also use more concrete tools to improve our lives and enhance our coping mechanisms, like exercise, “self-care,” and even developing new hobbies. Personally, I’ve really benefitted from deep breathing when I’m feeling stressed, stretching when I’m in physical pain, and listening to loud, angry music. I am also working on developing a deep sense of self-love and self-acceptance, which is still very much a work in progress but does help me feel less helpless. These new tools can also be a healthy distraction from confusion and pain, and who knows - you might even find something that helps you make sense of it after all.
I’d love to hear what you think on this topic, whether you’re a seasoned astrologer yourself or just getting into it! I hope this post doesn’t come off as critical of our craft; if anything, undoing my false beliefs about what it stood for has helped me appreciate astrology’s gifts even more. If you’re interested in discussing something that’s going on with you and are curious as to whether there is any insight that could be gleaned through a reading, please reach out to me for a free consultation so we can chat.
Personal conclusion, not knocking or turning away from astrology (how to integrate, break from personal development work) PROMOTE CONTENT, what do you think?