Astrology by Hand Week 12

Last week I raised the possibility, in fact likelihood, that at least horary astrology has a magical aspect. I want to say at this point that I am aware of the dangers of this admission. Back in the 70s, 176 scientists signed a petition condemning astrology that subsequently appeared in the magazine The Humanist. There was an article associated with this petition by one Lawrence Jerome. His thesis was that astrology was a form of magic. He claimed that since we know magic is bogus, astrology must be bogus also. If we accept his premise, his conclusion follows. I suggest that we cannot accept his premise, but we are obliged to do something he did not feel obliged to do.

We have to come to some kind of definition of magic. I do not think that magic is a term that allows only one definition. It is apparent that there are many definitions that are possible, and each of them applies to certain uses of the word. Magic is not an easy term to define, but in these articles I do plan to present definitions that will be, first of all, intuitively plausible, and second, will apply in varying ways to astrology. However, all of them will have one thing in common: they will not be possible in a universe that works the way that traditional science has claimed it does.

Natal Astrology and Magic

There is something else that I need to do before I get into astrology and magic. Thus far, I have only been talking about horary astrology. What about natal astrology? Does it have this magical quality as well? I would say yes, and it revolves around the whole idea of astrological polymorphism, which I mentioned in previous weeks.  Astrological polymorphism is the fact that astrological indications can be expressed in many possible ways. I am going to tell a story now about an actual client that illustrates just how far polymorphism goes in natal astrology. This is a true story, but I have to fuzz over some of the details a bit because this is a real client. I trust that the details will not be sufficient to reveal the identity of this person.

I was recently giving consultations while on one of my trips abroad. I was informed that I had a last-minute booking for a reading, and was asked if I could take this person on. I agreed. It turned out that the client was a reasonably well-known popular musician (except of course to yours truly, who is seriously out of the popular music loop). In the course of the consultation, I noticed configurations that could easily manifest as a drug or alcohol problem. She acknowledged this, and indicated that it was in the past and well under control.

Then I noticed that in the year 1998 this combination in her natal chart was hit in such a way as to indicate a possible resurgence of the problem along with depression and a general sense of alienation and loneliness. I asked her about 1998. She said that it had been a very successful year professionally, financially and that she had been very happy during that year; not what I expected. I asked her what she had been going through that year and this is what she told me.

She had a large part in a musical that did very well. Her character in that musical was another female singer, who in real life had had a serious alcohol and drug problem, as well as suffering from loneliness and alienation, exactly as my client’s natal chart had described. So instead of being the person suffering from these problems in real life, my client played the role of someone who suffered from these problems in her real life. She created space for the symbolism to work out in a benign manner and enjoyed a very successful year. And she did not know that those difficult aspects were going on in her natal chart.

I suggest that there is no way that my client could have known this about any of this. She unconsciously came up with a successful way of dealing with difficult planetary combinations. It worked brilliantly. Instead of being a ”victim” of planetary ”effects,” she made her transits a statement of the deepest intentions of her mind. This is clearly a ”magic” similar to what happens in horary.

In both natal and horary astrology, it is clear that some kind of dialogue goes on between the planets and the minds of individuals in order to reach a conclusion about what is going to happen. As this last example makes clear, astrological polymorphism is not just the result of indeterminacy in astrology. The individual may play a very active role in determining the outcome of the ”effects.” But the word ”dialogue” is interesting here. It comes from a Greek word meaning ”conversation” by implication between two people. Exactly who is having this conversation?


Next week we begin to explore magic.


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