WHY IS IT THERE
Once the question of what is in the birth chart is answered, the next question is "why is your chart the way it is?"
Remember this chart is your birth chart. It is in place before any parental or present life environmental conditioning has occurred. This naturally leads one into questions of past life phenomena. The re-manifestation of past life experiences is what we draw to us this life, at least initially. The present people, who personify your dramas, especially before 28, are only taking up where you left off last time, and are doing what you want them to do.
Bio-feedback work has shown us that as we experience different psychological states, so our electro-magnetic 'aura' changes. When our Astral body ( Planet Body ) becomes active, through planetary stimulation usually, our electro magnetic field alters. This creates a magnetic effect which actually draws someone of an electro-magnetic compatible or opposite field towards you. Until this Astral field is internalised, by making it conscious, it waves around externally. Acting as a hook snaring what you unconsciously need.
As a traveller, I have been in many different places for short periods of time. An interesting phenomenum has become apparent. No matter where I am, there are always certain major planetary configurations, which show up in the birth charts of the people around me. It is as if I always have the same people around me. If one person leaves another with similar astrology will come to replace that energetic space. This phenomenum is particularly evident in the life of groups.
We all know about the jumping from the frying pan into the fire reality of life. Changing a physical situation is hardly enough. The energy magnet must be changed. I now use this phenomenum as a reflection of how I am going with my particular neuroses. The more refined, integrated and conscious a particular energy is manifest in the people I draw, the more integrated that part must be becoming in myself.
Until the external Astral magnet is adjusted you have little choice other than to unconsciously keep drawing the same scenarios into your life.
How do you use it
The planetary placements and patterns in the birth chart are there because some wilful action has impacted upon the soul and twisted an astral wound into the etheric bodies memory. This in turn influences the way the etheric body relates to the physical body. In extreme cases illness will arise. By finding the astral drama from the past, there is a chance that the act of bringing it to consciousness can allow for it to unwind. This can be done in meditation, dreaming, and contemplative writing and drawing. Deeper therapy with a trained counsellor or therapist maybe needed to allow for its full release. These processes release the astral block and the etheric energy taken up in maintaining the suppression of the tension. With the release of the etheric energy there is more life force available for more positive manifestation of life. Rarely are planetary structures fully liberated in one go. It has taken lifetimes for these neuroses to be developed. It is most likely you will evolve them to freedom rather than release them all at once. Just as the universe is created upon the spiral so our growth moves through a spiralling process. An issue is met over and over again, hopefully a little further up the spiral each time. Once a difficult energy has lost its pain, then it has the opportunity to start working in a positive manner. A power and control need becomes leadership and courage, fear becomes the practical visionary, jealousy becomes the ability to love all who are willing to be open to your love and so on. This is where astrology becomes magical.
To explore past life experiences one has to join the birth chart information up with meditative or psychic activities to really gain insights. It is difficult to generalise or give formulas here. Each birth chart is so different. The art of the astrologer is to bring all the various statements present in the birth chart into a cohesive picture. A good practice to develop is to reduce the planetary aspects down to an if - but statement. The 'if' being all the positive aspects and the 'but' being all the negative aspects. Firstly separate the positive patterns and see these as the gifts and skills an individual has and these have developed because of some circumstance from the past. Using words from the planetary patterns given earlier make up sentences, e.g. Venus trine Jupiter - Friends support my understandings. Imagine what all of these sentences joined together could be in real life circumstances. Each planetary relationship adds another layer onto the picture. Part of the imagining is to believe the images that come into your minds eye immediately you ask the question.
Now do the same for the tense aspects. Often the tensions can be broken into two groups. Active and passive. Mars, Jupiter, Uranus & Pluto aspects indicate power related issues. Tense relationship between the Moon, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Pluto you will find have an experience of unjust persecution at the bottom of it. The witches persecution by the Catholics is a very common experience in this configuration. The passive tensions or tensions which drain an individuals will to action: Lack of direction Sun-Moon, Saturn-Jupiter, lack of faith or support: Saturn-Mars- Venus - Neptune, low self esteem: Sun, Moon - Saturn and so on. Write down each series of aspects and see how they can possibly all work together. Again imagine the situation which allowed this to arise. Now make your if and but statement.
The birth chart in this case acts as a map of directions for places to start to explore. You have all the impressions within you just waiting to be given the time and credibility to surface and tell you what happened. If it is in your birth chart you must at least give it the possibility of being real. Often personality traits are hard to recognise yourself so talk to close friends about them.
While specific aspect patterns can be explored individually, it is valuable to look at the chart as a whole, and try to pull all the bits together to see what the 'dynamic' of the psyche is. Once this is achieved, imaginations of what the soul must have experienced to develop that dynamic start to arise. By sitting with these images and allowing them room to show themselves they will often develop into strong impressions of past life situations.
It is then your choice what you do with this past experience. Ultimately many of our hurts need to be released and forgiven, while our talents need to be exercised for the benefit of ourselves and others. Most of all do not believe your talents act as an excuse for your tension to continue.
Fate and Free Will
The birth chart is the map of the Astral body. This Astral body dominates most peoples subjective reality and causes them to be moved around like puppets on the string of the planetary movement. Like it or not.
The primary use of Astrology and the birth chart in particular is to be able to gain an objective picture of this subjective reality. Firstly a picture of who you are, what the matrix you are dealing with is and then to gain an awareness of when this unconscious matrix is going to be set off. This is essentially the process RS describes as conscious soul development. The stage of development all of humanity is moving through in this present age.
This process is one way of gaining free will. Free will is only possible when an individual has spirit based objective perception of the Astral bodies subjective reality. Once this is achieved then the individual can make conscious choice as to how one wishes to respond to the circumstance involved. Not being conscious is leaving oneself to ones fate. The planets movements create responses. If you are not conscious of these movements, consciousness of their effects is made more difficult. Possible however difficult.
Predictive techniques in Astrology only work to the degree the person involved is unconscious. Definite predictions are based on this assumption and if they work out to the letter, then the person is completely unconscious. Lets not disregard the fact, these events are in the persons destiny and the Astrologer is only giving them voice, to the degree of their skill to see the picture clearly. The degree the client plays out the event is dependent on how asleep or awake they are. Astrology is here to help us be awake.
The Solar system at its most basic level is an electro magnetic machine, with highly predictable movements. If your spirit is deluded by its movements, so you will move with it.
One stage of this process of waking up, is to identify the difference between the Astral body and the Ego\spirit. The spirit is the observer in all circumstances as the Witness. It is that part in you which does the experiencing and is potentially beyond the massive comings and goings of the Astral body.
The Astral body is the feelings, sensations, obsessions, joys and fun the spirit experiences. By observing the Astral bodies movements through the birth chart it is possible to identify what is Astral body and what is Spirit.
The Heliocentric chart plays a role in this awakening process as well. By observing the activation of this chart you will discover impulses arising from inside you wishing to become manifest. These are often of a different quality to the birth chart influences. They feel more like the urge to provide a gift rather than the urge to follow a desire. I believe this is the Spirit wishing to take action.
The birth chart and the movements of the planets in relation to it, create many of the manifestations our life bring to us. It appears, at least in the early stage of 'development' that we have little free will other than to make a CHOICE as how we wish to respond to the external reality we have in front of us. So we have free will at every moment. It then becomes a question of who is exercising the choice. Is it the Astral desire or is it the Ego \ Witness. As long as you are in this body, on the Earth, there will be Astral manifestations appearing inside and outside you according to a predetermined and predictable pattern. Your freedom lies in how you respond to it.
Several different paths are suggested for Taming this Beast. Like the Zen Buddhist ten fold path outlined earlier, one can get to know the Beast, tame it, turn it to your use and eventually move beyond it by becoming familiar with the Spirit as separate to it.
Or as some Eastern sects suggest we can just move straight to the Spirit. Thereby becoming somewhat immune to the ebbs and flows of the Astral Maya. In short, do not give it any attention whatsoever. Allow it to play out its dramas without swimming in its ocean. This is achieved by identifying and staying very present with the witness at all times. The spirit sphere is indeed another dimension apart from the astral. The spirit is the sun and part of the galactic reality, while the world astral resides in the rest of the solar system. This creates two separate dimensional realities. Hence it must be possible to focus ones attention on the spiritual dimension within us and find calm from the Astral storms blowing outside. Whether this can be achieved completely without altering the Astral magnetic fields first is the question, as is the possibility of mistaking Astral impressions as Spiritual impulses.
To bother studying and working with Astrology, one follows more along the path of the Zen Buddhists.
Once one moves completely into Spirit consciousness one has moved beyond the Astral sphere and will then have no need to study Astrology - the study of the Astral.
To understand the process of mapping the Astral body in more detail we should also look into predictive methods. These are the areas where the most concern is expressed regarding the interference of destiny. They also contain the best way of gaining experience of and ultimately objectivity with the Astral body.
There are many different predictive techniques. The common ones I use will suit to illustrate two major types. The first is called progressions, of which there are several different types. The one I use most is called Secondary Progressions. This method entails using one day of planetary movement after the birth to every year of the life. So if you are 42 years old we would look to see where the planets where placed 42 days after your birth. There are several variations on this rule and all provide very interesting and valuable information. When investigating them, remember to applied the rule:- the Astrological function is determined by its relationship to the Astronomical reality.
When discussing incarnation and excarnation cycles earlier, we said at incoming Saturn you decided what you wished to experience in this coming life, and that during the descent through the planetary sphere you set this up. The progressed methods are the basic techniques which outline the timing upon which this unfoldment of this 'destiny' through life occurs.
These progressed planets move with regard to themselves very slowly and they are also related back to the birth chart. When they contact birth planets, or other main points, significant events will appear in your life. And yes they are predictable. Naturally these planets move very slowly, hence the time periods they describe can last for years. The exception is the progressed Moon which moves one degree every month and therefore indicates emotionally orientated developments.
The other more common predictive method is called transits. This is where the daily movements of the planets in the sky, are observed as they move over the birth planets and the progressed planets.
The slower moving outer planets indicate the big issues of any period while the quicker moving planets act as trigger points for smaller stages of the events along the way. Naturally the nature of each planet, its sign and house position and any other planet involved will indicate the exact quality of the manifestation.
My experience has shown me 98% of humans are completely at the mercy of these planetary influences. They/we believe the subjective reality the planets create to be real and all encompassing. Transits are the doorway for karma to enter your life. They are also the opportunity to respond in a different way to the return of old patterns. So they act as a potentially liberating experience. Transits can be tracked over the birthchart to reveal a cycle or process of event development. If you do not fully get the lesson one time you can be sure it will return again in another slightly altered form. Each event is an opportunity to resolve some bit of the past or take an opportunity and move on. Both positive and negative events are indicated.
With computer programs so prevalent these days it is easy to obtain a printout of the major transits you will experience over a given period. The first step is to look into the past and see how your biography is described by both the progressed and transiting influences. This is a very safe activity as you are looking backwards and can not influence your destiny in any manner.