EYE ON ASTROLOGY: BEYOND ASTROLOGICAL BY-PASSING
My orientation with my columns is to help you see the emotional and psychological strings that are running your life. The planets impact our thoughts and emotions most and if we understand what is happening we do not have to buy into the self-deprecation of Saturn or the rashness and anger of Mars. We can catch the thoughts as they manifest, observe them, and banish them. Back in the 80’s I used to tell Saturn that he could go, that I did not need his fear and I would feel a sigh of relief. We are more powerful than the planets if we are regular in our meditation and spiritual practices and we can be a master and not a vicitm and astrology was never intended to strike fear into hearts and make us very stuck.
Jyotish means light and the light of knowledge should free us from the grip of our thoughts and emotions but we have to be aware and observe.
I find that astrology gets misused very much. Sometimes on the Western circuit, it becomes a media type play to expect the next catastrophe. This week we have Mars conjunct Uranus and some unexpected violence or accident or fire will flare up but it will only impact your chart if you are in a malefic Mars period and the transit is impacting a key area of your chart and you have that karma to work out and eventually in 5 years, even if it does manifest, you will see it as a blessing.
I have moved a bit more beyond predictions or gloating if predictions are correct because even the best astrologers can only be 70% correct as there is always some level of free will up in terms of how we will react to a situation and make new choices. I find that the astrology will bring up lessons and tendencies for us learn and if we get it right, we may not have to suffer but if we are oblivious to the signals, then we may have to get a hard hit.
How many of you use astrology and our intellectual constructs to bypass the hard work that it takes to transform your soul and consciousness? Do you use astrology to over-intellectualize or blame the circumstances in your life? I have to admit that this happens to me much too often. My friend Kara coined the term, “Astrological Bypassing” and it struck a deep chord.
Astrological bypassing is rampant in our community. Do we blame the planets if we do something wrong or hurt another: “Oh it was Mars aspecting Mercury” or do we accept the responsibility for picking a fight or arguing and apologize. Do we find solace in knowing that Saturn going over our natal moon and creating depression or do we do something about it like mediation and yoga and service to transform it?
Do we avoid doing something because we are in a bad period or bad transit and does this avoidance prevent deep lessons. Sometimes a real challenging life situation does this for us in an intense dramatic way and helps us shift. It can be painful but sometimes it takes something dramatic to bring the necessary growth.
My colleague, Steven Stuckey, had some great insights in that do we use astrology to avoid the drama of surprise which often creates the greatest growth for us:
“I believe we need to be cast out into the unknown, so to speak, so that we don’t have any “idea” of what is going to happen next, so that something new (i.e. beyond thought) can come to us. Going into the ‘darkness’ is very important for spiritual life and sometimes we may not quite get there with total abandon, since we have become a bit too ‘intelligent’ for our own good, and know when a difficult transit, (which often brings a spiritual experience along with it) is going to leave orb. So the potential of the intensity of the moment, which is needed for transformation, can sometimes be lost.”
My own sense is that Jyotish throws “light” on our shadows and helps us remove the self-blame and the “self-shame.” If we can see that the puppet master and his strings pulling our emotions and thought, then we can step back and stop blaming ourselves and this can create a moment of zen observation that enlightens us to seeing that we are not our thoughts and our emotions and our ego. In a sense this is a Gyana technique to free ourselves from the bondage that normally grips us. I have used it that way for years and it daily creates freedom because I know when it will pass and what is causing it. I still have to do the work on myself but I can be kinder to myself and not beat myself up as much.
Sometimes we get a bit too fated by what the stars suggest but for spiritual seekers and those involved in long-term spiritual practice, I suspect our consciousness is more flexible. My friend Juliana Swanson noted that: “When we wake up we realize we are multidimensional and at any given time there are many possibilities. There are unlimited possibilities seen in the fact that every astrological combination is good for something and bad for something and has a higher versus a lower expression depending on the consciousness of the person.”
Our consciousness is more powerful than the planets as the Divinity resides within us and we lessen that Greatness when we become a victim of the planets.
I am reminded of a seminal work, by Robert Augustus Masters, Spiritual Bypassing: When Spirituality Disconnects Us From What Really Matters. The work focuses on when spiritual beliefs allow us to avoid dealing with painful feelings, unresolved wounds and developmental needs in order to duck uncomfortable feeling in favor of more “seemingly enlightened activity.” On one level , I totally get the value of spiritual practice as a mean of transforming karma through meditation, service work and spiritual knowledge and it is a much healthier of doing so than through addictive behaviors that traditional are used to avoid painful feelings. Still, can we really become Whole and “enlightened” unless we look at our shadows? Still, one of my great teachers always reminded me that “mud is endless.” How do we balance the good of spiritual practice and spiritual organization which allow us to cope with psychological scarring with the necessity of digging into our wounds at times to transform, release and make them whole? There is a balance needed somehow.
In the end, for those on a spiritual path, Vedic astrology can create a deep transcendence an shed light on difficult situations and if we use that light to eliminate our shadows, we are can have immense growth. I suspect that ultimately I lean toward spiritual practice as a way to get through life without digging up the muddy waters. Putting our attention on our spiritual life and doing good for others gives us an opportunity to increase our awareness and let our mind focus on something more positive than the regrettable past and that allows us to live in the present moment with more joy and presence with a higher quality of life.
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The first class of my New Dimensions in Planetary Periods is available to listen to for free on You Tube at https://youtu.be/a4YUv-YNPPg.
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