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Pilot study: how do you find meaning with astrology?

 
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elumen



Joined: 06 Jan 2010
Posts: 264
Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Posted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:53 pm    Post subject: Pilot study: how do you find meaning with astrology? Reply with quote

Greetings forum members,

As I'm analyzing my interview results for my dissertation on meaning making and astrology, i wanted to run an informal study, if anyone cares to answer two questions.

1. How do you use astrology in your life?
2. How is it helpful to you?

Please give as many details and nuances of your experiences as you feel inclined. Thank you in advance.

elumen


Last edited by elumen on Fri Dec 31, 2010 1:09 am; edited 1 time in total
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 573
Location: Canada

Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi elumen--

Maybe the underlying, foundational question here is, "How do you understand or conceptualize astrology with respect to the human condition?" I do not believe in a fatalistic, deterministic astrology, and I believe that human beings have a lot of choices to make. Also, for a number of reasons, I do not practice horary astrology. So these beliefs condition my responses to your questions.

1. In my life personally, I see astrology as a tool for self-awareness.

At the time that I got into astrology about 20 years ago, I was experiencing a crisis of faith and identity. I knew nothing about astrology beyond my sun-sign, and very little about that. My burning question was, "Why am I on the planet?" in a very personal way. Not me as a subset of humanity, but me as an individual. I realized that religion, psychology, self-help or human potential movements were not going to provide the answers; and I dimly understood that each birth chart was unique. Once I started reading astrology (which was pretty much all modern astrology, back then) I became passionate about it. While recognizing that a lot of what I read was junk, I focused on the early books by Robert Hand and other astrologers who wrote for people with a few brains in their heads and a more sceptical attitude towards paranormal phenomena.

I never did find the answer to my burning question; but actually, in not finding it, I kept exploring astrology further and further. I wouldn't know as much astrology as I do today had I learned why I was on the planet in Year 2 of my search. I was also reading a few charts for people, to good effect.

When I first found out about Internet astrology forums in 2007, I hesitantly began reading charts and offering advice. My batting average isn't perfect, but I think it is acceptable. Then I began to conceptualize astrology as a form of service to other people. Sometimes I respond to "read my chart" requests by people who hope astrology can help them out of a crisis or simply give them another perspective on their life. Sometimes I will participate in more of an educator mode on threads discussing less personal topics. I remain an amateur and have never charged money for readings.

2. Astrology remains helpful to me as a tool for self-awareness, and occasionally for decision-making, like knowing when to retire and where to move. I enjoy feeling useful to other people (P of F in the 6th house, Virgo rising?) so it makes my day if someone says I have been helpful.

BTW, good luck on your dissertation. I am assuming you've cleared this thread with your office for research with human subjects if it is part of your dissertation research. (Hey, I did say Virgo rising, here! With Saturn in Virgo, to boot. Laughing )
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elumen



Joined: 06 Jan 2010
Posts: 264
Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Waybread! Thank you so much for your elaborate answers. I have already conducted my interviews (they were one hour long each, so there is a lot of material in each) and as I'm analyzing the data, I started to wonder, if the informal interview will bear similar results. So far the themes I find in your response are similar to what I got in my research. It made me realize that what I am studying is not how people use astrology, it is more like how they make meaning with it. So my question should be rephrased:

1. please describe in as many details as you can (that should appeal to your Virgo side Wink) an experience when you understood something about your life or yourself by using astrological symbolism.

Since you already gave me an elaborate answer, you may not want to repeat the exercise, but maybe other will. Just having a few narratives will be helpful. I love this forum!
Thanks again!
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 573
Location: Canada

Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should also mention that I do modern astrology. A traditional astrologer would answer differently.

In reply to your third question:

Before I studied astrology, I often felt like the "square peg in a round hole"; and I seemed to stick out in ways that attracted the anger of some ruthless people (usually men) who were in authority positions, such as supervisors. I mean, these guys were out to destroy my career, and I had hard evidence to prove it. When I learned some astrology, I realized that I am a pretty Uranian person, with both Pluto and Saturn opposite my sun. Both oppositions have wide orbs, but their midpoint is pretty close to my sun. When I read that oppositions to the sun are often experienced as actual people who seemingly embody the other planet's negative attributes, and who seem "opposed" to our interests, that made a lot of sense.

For a long time, however, this didn't particularly solve my problem with ruthless, powerful men in authority positions at my workplace. Then I had an "aha" moment, when I realized that I am all the planets and aspects in my chart. There is nobody else out there. I needed to own my own Saturn and Pluto natures.

I tried to look at these planets as teachers of their more positive values. It seemed to me that a teacher/student or coach/athlete relationship was one kind of oppositional relationship, yet the two are not enemies.

After I worked on that and retired from my job, the nasty Plutonian, Saturnine people seemed to go away.
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