May 28, 2014

Astrology 101: An Introduction

Astrology 101 by The Tiny Totem
I have been painting birth charts for about a year now, and every time I send one off to a customer, I do it with a tiny sense of hesitancy. Especially to those who are just learning about Astrology. I feel as though they may believe I have just given them a map of their life that they cannot decipher. "What is this wizardry that looks pretty on my wall?" Is what I imagine they may be thinking. So I feel it is definitely time I provide more information to our customers (who I love to get to know), but also to everyone in general about this whole astrology thing

There is SO much to say and explain that I hope to write about Astrology at least once a week. Think of it as a series or as a study course. This post is basically the introduction, but in future posts I will go into all the intricate specifics, starting with the Anatomy of a Birth Chart, coming up next time.

In the meantime...

I have been attempting to write about Astrology for months now, but it is such an enormous subject that I didn't know where to start or how to present all of it. I want to approach it and present it in a way that is somewhat rare, at least in terms of the "mainstream" astrology world. That is, I want to explain it as simply and as all-inclusively as possible. Funny, astrology itself is just that: fundamentally simple, consisting of 4 basic elements, yet also unfathomably complex. These days it seems almost impossible to get some straight information about it from a decent source that explains it in a way where people who are unfamiliar with it can actually understand. But let me assure you Astrology is not some weird, mystical, craziness, woo woo, secret magic power psychic ability. AT ALL. It does, however, require a keen sense of psychology, intuition, and pattern-recognition, but it's truly not much more than that.
Birth Chart Watercolor Painting by Katey Nicosia of The Tiny Totem
True Astrology never claims to know anything for sure. And any decent astrologer is not in it to be able to predict or to be "right" about you, your life, their life, or life itself. It's not about that. It is an observance of thousands of years of the movements of the planets with the seemingly parallel movements of human life on earth. It's about noticing patterns and attempting to use those patterns to attempt to predict human tendencies. Not to factually predict their realities. Tendencies! Luckily for you, this means you DO have free will. You always have a choice. (A skilled - note the word skilled - astrologer, however, will probably be able to predict the choice you will most likely end up making in the end. It's still your choice, though. Or is it? More on that later.)

Again, Astrology is only an attempt, because as of yet there is no perfect formula. It is very much a mysterious and ungrippable thing. And yet, despite this, humans have somehow managed to create a language of symbols in order to bring the entirety of the solar system down to earth in a way that our brains can process. That is, through language. It is this language of Astrology, a very human cerebral invention, that ultimately aims to formulate something that is essentially not formulaic. Silly humans. And yet, so far, our attempts have been pretty damn good.
Watercolor by Katey Nicosia
Western modern astrologers currently have a pretty reliable method of interpreting the planets' relationships to life on earth. So much so, that in my almost 15+ years of studying it, it has not, as of yet, ever made me question its presence. At the same time, however, I have seen no definitive proof or explanation to why its presence is there. Yet that is not what I'm after anyway. Instead of trying to figure out why its there, I have found it to be much more beneficial to put it to use, because it IS there. Again and again, I see a consistent correlation between us on earth and the rest of the solar system. How it works, I have no idea. Nor do I ever claim to know anything that I am unsure of. True astrology doesn't either.

There is really only one absolute in astrology, and that is that nothing ever stays the same. Everything and every person is constantly in a state of change, however subtle that change may be. Just as the planets are forever moving around the sun, and the earth is endlessly rotating around in its orbit, we too are forever moving along our own little cycles. Why is that? Why do we constantly change? Is it because the planets are always moving? Is it because the earth is always moving? Or is it merely a coincidence that every single thing that we know of in the entire universe is constantly in a state of change, a cycle of existence and non-existence, including everything that exists beyond earth? Is it all connected? Astrology says yes, we think so.

Next time I will discuss what a birth chart is, its many parts, and how to get one. :)

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