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What do you say to people with bad and difficult charts?
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 872
Location: Canada

Posted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Michael. We're spending the month of April desert camping in southern Utah, but making occasional stops in RV parks to catch up on laundry, showers, email, and groceries. Off tomorrow for 4 more days in the back of beyond.

Re: my previous post. I note that Ptolemy compared astrologers to doctors. A doctor wouldn't merely diagnose an illness, but would prescribe a potential antidote, as well. Ptolemy reasoned that if complete fatalism held sway, doctors wouldn't bother trying to cure diseases. And he was quite the determinist!

I view horoscopic placements as having multiple potential outcomes. We have some choice as to whether we focus on their "celestial, terrestrial, or bestial" manifestations.
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Fleur



Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 586

Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a really interesting thread and I need to come back and read it again. I like that not everyone parrots that the stars don't compel, or whatever the new age unthought-out cliché is. What I have seen from studying astrology is that the stars do indeed have a lot of effect that the person is powerless to change. I wonder if the answer is about Time itself? Once we come down that birth canal we have no choice, our fates are already made, but astrology is ruled by Uranus, which lies outside Time, and maybe once you understand this you can get some perspective, and maybe peace and calm, but still not change events that happen in Time.

If you look at history, most people had horrible lives, and the current age is often described as the Kali Yuga, a very dark time in spite of apparent material well-being for some of the earth's inhabitants at least.
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 872
Location: Canada

Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fleur, if humans are powerless to change whatever the stars have decreed, then explanatory or even causal mechanisms become important (not to mention, a big can of worms.) Humans become nothing more than mechanical wind-up dolls, sort of like the old Energizer Bunny who would hop around unless his batteries ran down. An alternative view is that stars and planets function more like time-keepers, comparable to the hands on a clock. The clock doesn't compel anything: it marks events.

Then you also have to consider that each planet/point has multiple meanings, and although they may overlap they are not identicial. Is the moon your mother, your emotional nature, your home, or your dreams?

This is why I believe that the chart will express itself in some fashion, but you can change a disempowering interpretation into a more empowering one.
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Fleur



Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 586

Posted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Waybread, I think that the combinations of transits to a chart at a particular time know exactly how they are going to manifest, down to the tiniest detail, and there is no way the person can turn it round to mean a good outcome if that isn't what is indicated, neither can they make a different interpretation of the planets involved manifest. That is pure new age "The Secret" rubbish that only makes the person blame themselves for something that happened to them that was a hundred per cent outside their control.

That isn't to say that astrologers know how to interpret a set of transits that are happening together at a particular time, and a fair assumption that most astrologers are way off the mark, but that doesn't preclude fate or that the transits themselves know exactly what they are doing, just that astrologers don't know how to interpet accurately.

I don't think it is being empowering to tell somebody that they can change something that they can't change. That is called blame.

I think it can be empowering to give somebody insight into the deeper parts of themselves, which transcend time. But not to tell them that they can change physical events when you suspect that these are going to be, by any usual measure, failures. That is like telling an abused or murdered two year old that what happened to them was their own fault.
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
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Location: Canada

Posted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fleur, let's unpack your last post to me.

You wrote:

Quote:
I think that the combinations of transits to a chart at a particular time know exactly how they are going to manifest...the transits themselves know exactly what they are doing.....


Since when is a transit endowed with its own consciousness? Who or what exactly "knows" a particular outcome in advance?

If I gave you a mystery chart, I think you would be hard-pressed to predict the minutia of the person's life, "down to the tiniest detail." The evidence for or against an extreme form of astral determinism is not at present subject to either confirmation or refutation, so it is purely a matter of what you believe.

I take your point that astrologers' skills may be limited or that they make mistakes, but this is hardly an endorsement for either astrology or for astral determinism.

I know that people can take a potentially difficult transit and turn it into something empowering, because I've done it multiple times myself, in my own life. Examples available upon request.

I have no interest in "New Age Rubbish" and have not heard of "the Secret," sorry. So they aren't where I'm coming from.

I will say that a truism of modern astrology is that, to the extent that you find a given transit to be difficult, that is probably the extent to which you haven't mastered what that planet represents in your life. [And no, I don't mean extreme catastrophes that strike entire populations.]

You've simply made up your mind that people are unable to change anything in their lives. This isn't an observable fact, but merely your belief. Whether you chose this belief or were somehow "destined" to believe it, I can't say.

There's no blame in any of this. I've lived long enough to have experienced my share of serious disappointments, and it can be a big relief to feel that I couldn't have changed what happened; that the disappointments were somehow in my stars. Yet even the stoics argued that we can choose to face difficulties with courage and equanimity.

For many centuries, astrology flourished under Christianity and Judaism, which taught that people make moral choices (misnamed "free will.")

Neither determinism nor a choice-centered astrology are necessarily affiliated with any particular branch of astrology.

And let's take determinism to its reductio ad absurdum. No need to be nice to people, observe any kind of laws or rules, or look after your children's safety (if you have children.) Because their lives are going to unfold as they must, anyhow. Indeed, tell the children that it's OK to play in traffic, because they won't get run over if the "transits" say otherwise. Drive on the highways as fast as you want, and tell the police officer not to give you a ticket because you had no moral choice in putting your foot on the gas pedal.

Then this all begs the question of who or what you think "transits" (planets?) really are, and how they manage to control the minutia of your daily life, such as when you blow your nose.
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Fleur



Joined: 05 Feb 2014
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Posted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

waybread wrote:


And let's take determinism to its reductio ad absurdum. No need to be nice to people, observe any kind of laws or rules, or look after your children's safety (if you have children.) Because their lives are going to unfold as they must, anyhow. Indeed, tell the children that it's OK to play in traffic, because they won't get run over if the "transits" say otherwise. Drive on the highways as fast as you want, and tell the police officer not to give you a ticket because you had no moral choice in putting your foot on the gas pedal.



I think we are programmed to behave "as if" we had effect and this was all real. The instinct to protect ones young is just about the strongest, in all animals. Just recently in the news was a story of a girl being attacked by seagulls for trying to move a baby seagull off the road. And authorities, ruled by Saturn which is Time, act as if there is moral choice down here, and also traffic police have to deal with the immediate dangers of the road. We aren't able not to behave in this way.

I am sure that Madeleine McCann's parents were very careful teaching their children about the dangers of roads, and driving carefully. This is deeply ingrained instinct. But it didn't stop fate from doing what fate does.

As for being nice to people, one of the people I ever met who was particularly good at being nice to people, I recently found out was sentenced for organising a boiler room scam. I never liked him, from the moment I met him, but was assured by a couple of people that this was my fault and he was ok and a good person. (It was his Jupiter).

These are superficial compared with how fate acts.
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Fleur



Joined: 05 Feb 2014
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Posted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

waybread wrote:
Fleur, let's unpack your last post to me.

You wrote:

Quote:
I think that the combinations of transits to a chart at a particular time know exactly how they are going to manifest...the transits themselves know exactly what they are doing.....


Since when is a transit endowed with its own consciousness? Who or what exactly "knows" a particular outcome in advance?



It was a figure of speech. You know what I mean. We can speculate about what these forces really are.
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Fleur



Joined: 05 Feb 2014
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Posted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

waybread wrote:


If I gave you a mystery chart, I think you would be hard-pressed to predict the minutia of the person's life, "down to the tiniest detail."


I already said that astrologers are particularly bad about making accurate predictions, and none are totally accurate.

This does not contradict fate, only the astrologer's ability to understand the chart.
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Fleur



Joined: 05 Feb 2014
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Posted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

waybread wrote:


There's no blame in any of this. I've lived long enough to have experienced my share of serious disappointments, and it can be a big relief to feel that I couldn't have changed what happened; that the disappointments were somehow in my stars. Yet even the stoics argued that we can choose to face difficulties with courage and equanimity.



But we can't turn around difficulties, unless there is something in the chart and transits that says that we can.

If you were living in a Greenland Viking settlement in the middle ages, when they were dying out, possibly to do with the little ice age, and starvation forced them to eat their dogs, you couldn't have turned around what history and fate were doing to you and your people.

You might argue that if the Viking settlers had befriended the Eskimo and learnt how they survived, then they would also have survived, but this didn't happen, and there were likely strong reasons why it couldn't have, just as unchangeable as a little ice age. Any more than a seventeenth century doctor treating plague victims could know about antibiotics.

Try looking back on one of your disappointments, preferably a distant one that is no longer so painful you can't look at it without getting upset. Try to go deeply into it, and you will find how deep its roots were and how you couldn't have changed it.
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Fleur



Joined: 05 Feb 2014
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Posted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

waybread wrote:


For many centuries, astrology flourished under Christianity and Judaism, which taught that people make moral choices (misnamed "free will.")



I got the impression that until very recent history, people believed things were "the will of God" and to be accepted.

I think some fundamentalist Christians might take issue with the idea of people making moral choices, as they would say that there is only one choice, to accept Christ or not to accept Christ. And in previous centuries, evil was ascribed to the supernatural, and people only blamed for being possessed by it.

The idea that people make moral choices seems to be more a pragmatic stance of authorities, not really intrinsic to Christianity except in that Christianity was the moral authority.
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
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Location: Canada

Posted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fleur, sorry, but I can't take your posts seriously. After all, if I did, it wouldn't be "Fleur" talking, but merely a collection of molecules labeled "Fleur" through whom "fate" registers itself, apparently through conscious "transits." Fleur herself can only post what she posts. She has no choice about posting (the "transits" made her do it when she did it,) and no choice about what she types into her posts.

Similarly, there is no "me" here for Fleur to interact with. Likewise, I am merely a collection of molecules nicknamed Waybread, and I have no choice about when and what I write. So this entire interaction is meaningless.

But wait! The Fleur-molecule-collection has actually offered me a choice! Or so it seems. "She" wrote:

Quote:
Try looking back on one of your disappointments, preferably a distant one that is no longer so painful you can't look at it without getting upset. Try to go deeply into it, and you will find how deep its roots were and how you couldn't have changed it.


But this couldn't mean that I have a choice about taking the Fleur-molecule-collection's advice, could it? Presumably, whether I try or do not try, I have no choice in the matter, I merely have to enact the set script that my "transits" (whom or whatever they are in her lexicon) have decreed I must do. In fact, because we now have ephemerides projecting back thousands of years into the past, and that could be projected back billions of years, my "trying" or "not trying" in response to a particular post was decreed before there was such a thing as life on earth.

Oh, well.

Fleur, assuming you have some choice in the matter, I recommend that you read up a bit on recent neuroscience, the Christian views of "free will," (hint: it starts with the Garden of Eden,) as well as the differences between instincts and learned behaviour.

Both extreme views of determinism and "free will" are untenable, principally for lack of evidence. One hopes eventually that it will be possible to discuss fruitfully the middle ground where most normal people live their everyday lives.

In the meantime, your beliefs are your beliefs.
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muchacho



Joined: 11 Jul 2014
Posts: 15

Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi everybody! Glad to be here. Smile

Okay, I'll jump right in.

I think it is important to point out that this issue of volition is based on a misconception and can be looked at from basically two different perspectives, the personal perspective (mind/intellect) and the impersonal perspective (prior to mind/intellect).

The belief in free will is based on the belief in a separate volitional person, a separate entity. That's the default personal perspective. From the impersonal perspective, however, it can be seen that separation is an illusion and that oneness is the case. And that's what all the great masters have been telling us since eons.

This also explains why volition discussions never go anywhere. The dilemma cannot be resolved with the intellect/mind. It can only be resolved by a change of perspective, volition has to be seen for what it is from prior to mind. Also, there is no actual middle ground, since both free will and fate are illusions and not truth.

So, what are the implications for astrology? Well, probably none. Since the astrologer is naturally dealing with persons and therefore looking at the world from the personal perspective. And from the personal perspective free will just feels real and will always feel real no matter what we have concluded about volition (as waybread just showed). So, maybe we could say that we have no choice but to assume that free will is real, hehe.
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Michael Sternbach



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
Posts: 445
Location: Switzerland

Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Muchacho,

Welcome to the forum! Smile

Materialistic science always attempted to make some kind of machine out of Man.

I have read about the research results in neuroscience you are referring to. Personally, I think they must be flawed, in some way. Maybe it's true that in situations requiring immediate action we are making decisions quite unconsciously. But sometimes a decision is the result of a prolonged thought process, which as such is a conscious effort.

Moreover, if free will was merely an illusion, what would be the purpose of such a pretence?

In my understanding of Aristotelian metaphysics, the free will of the conscious personality is an attribute from the Soul and therefore belongs to the quinta essentia which is central to and potentially in control of the four elements of the physical world.

Cheers
Michael
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muchacho



Joined: 11 Jul 2014
Posts: 15

Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the welcome.

I wasn't referring to neuroscience. I was referring to what Advaita and Zen and other non-dual teachings are telling us. And neuroscience, or science in general, or even philosophy can't touch that. It's beyond the grasp of the intellect/mind.

You make a good point about decision making and the thought process. This is a vast topic. I can go into more details later if you want to.
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Michael Sternbach



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
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Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Muchacho,

Yes, Eastern philosophies generally take a non-dual outlook on reality. To you, this seems to imply that there is neither free will nor predestination.

Let's talk about this further. Arrow
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