Astrology and Me
If ever a concept seemed perfectly suited for a woman like me, it's astrology. I just can't dig it, man. Here's why.
Astrology and I are in perfect harmony on one major idea: that human beings as spiritual creatures as well as events in their lives are influenced by seemingly unrelated energies that may flow somewhere nearby or far way. You know, the butterfly flaps its wings in Hong Kong and causes Tessa to crave Chinese food in Texas. I totally believe in that stuff, and it's pretty easy for me to extend that outside our big blue marble and accept that the sun, moon, planets and stars possess their own energy which can influence us as well. So I'm right on board with the concept of drawing a chart showing the locations of these celestial objects and looking for ways to interpret and predict how they will affect us.
The disconnect occurs with astrology's emphasis on birth as one's defining moment in which these celestial influences determine so much about who we are and the direction our lives will take. I can see how birth can be considered our "starting point" in life, but as defining moments go, it's way down on the list. For instance, the book I just reviewed, Mapping Your Sex Life uses an astrological birth chart to predict and explain one's sexual attitudes, desires and behaviors. Of all the moments in life, birth is probably the least sexually significant so why would we imagine the alignment of the planets at that moment defines our sexuality? More meaningful than a birth chart, I think, would be a "virginity chart" which examines celestial influences at the moment we became sexually active. For other life issues, perhaps a "wedding chart" or a "divorce chart."
To do your birth chart, you must know the time and place you were born. Based on that, supposedly, you get insight into your personality, your choices, your relationships, your fears, etc. These insights seem quite formulaic to me: Planet X in Such-Such aspect with Constellation Y in your third house means you are a loner, for example. Not much room for interpretation, it means whatever it says it means. However, let's say you're actually not a loner but very social, in spite of your Planet X and your third house. Well, the answer must be in some other part of the chart, ah, here it is, you see, you're actually a loner deep down inside--so deep down that you aren't even aware of it, and this other Planet Z in Such-Other aspect with Luke Skywalker in your seventh house actually rules your social life and that's why you're extremely outgoing instead of being a loner as the formula says. See what I mean? The chart is so complex that it can be read to convey whoever you are rather than defining you.
Somewhere there must be a hospital so large and crowded that maybe 50 or 100 babies could be born within a minute of each other, in the same place. All of these people would have identical birth charts yet they remain unique individuals because there are an infinite number of factors that determine who they become.
Besides, how do you define the moment of birth anyway? Is it the moment your head pops out or only when your entire body is out? Or is it the moment the umbilical cord is cut? Or is it the moment you take your first independent breath? What if you're born into one of those underwater tanks and you float around in there for a while, still getting oxygen from the umbilical cord, and you don't actually take a breath until they bring you out of the water ten minutes later? Was your moment of birth when you came out into the world or when you drew your first breath? Strange to think.
At any given moment in life, we're influenced by hundreds of different energies, including the over-active little butterfly in Hong Kong that makes me eat egg foo yung instead of barbecue for dinner. The result is chaos that appears quite random--difficult to analyze or predict but always worth living.