by Lady Deane
Anyone else out there have a problem calling astrology a science? No? Right. I know, just me again. The story of my life. Just once I’d like to preach to the choir. Sure, you don’t get many converts that way but the heartfelt applause sure is good for the ego.
OK, so here’s the thing: I sit around and listen to some of my esteemed astrologer pals talk about how great it will be when, one fine day, astrology gains mainstream acceptance from the scientific community. And they talk about this, by the way, as though science were some sort of restricted country club that they either can’t afford or wouldn’t have the wardrobe for if they could afford it. And thinking about that kind of scares me, to tell you the truth. Being snubbed by elitist scientists is one thing, being snubbed by elitist scientific astrologers would be absolutely unbearable. Now, science is great and all, don’t get me wrong. This is NOT about science bashing. Where would we be today without the theory of relativity, gravity, and rural electrification (you know, the fact that every town across the country has access to electricity)? Well, we wouldn’t get too far is my guess. At the very least, I think that if we went back to candlelight we would all have some amount of difficulty plugging in our computers. So, while I deeply respect the Amish, I think most of the rest of us would safely agree that science can be a wonderful thing.
However, having said that, let me also say that the problem with acceptance is that I don’t hear people talk much about what would happen after that. Astrologers appear to be so preoccupied with being “good enough” to get a foot in the door that I don’t think we’ve considered that it might not be the door for us. It’s a long hall and there are other doors out there. Maybe instead of trying to prove we’re as good (valid?) as scientists, maybe what we should consider is that astrology is simply more than science. Maybe we just need a bigger paradigm. It seems to me that the principal aim of science is to understand the physical world by measuring and quantifying data. Well, how would that work with astrology, exactly? The current scientific paradigm cannot begin to quantify beauty, for instance. Nor can it measure spirituality, or the ultimate sense of destiny contained within even a single natal chart. But that's exactly what we’re made of! Each individual nativity holds a potential only possible through that one, very specific and unique combination. And no matter how many hundreds of charts we analyze and categorize patterns in, we will never ever see the same exact individual repeat. Astrology, for the most part, seeks to know that which is immeasurable; unquantifiable. And how would science view that? Anomalous phenomena? Extraneous data? Would they simply eliminate chart data that occurred outside the expected sphere of influence? Your guess is as good as mine.
Astrology reveals the essence of things that might be missed altogether if we were to force it inside the limiting confines of the current scientific paradigm. I’m not saying that mainstream acceptance of astrology by any group would be a bad thing. Only that we ought to consider the price tag before we buy. Cost, it seems, is everything. We should ask ourselves if we, as astrologers, can afford the constraints that acceptance would require (or, as Robin Williams so aptly put it in Aladdin, when discussing the tradeoff for being a Genie: “PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWER!....itty-bitty living space”).
Maybe the truth is just simpler than I suspect. Maybe, it’s just that I don’t belong in today’s computer age of astrology where all that glitters is called technique and where, sometimes, technique is all there is. Do I hate computers? No, I don’t. Hey, I dislike doing the math just as much as the next guy so computer research certainly has its place. No, there’s nothing wrong with data, even copious amounts of it. After all, with or without acceptance into the scientific community, astrology has come full steam into the computer age. But people are not closed systems. People are more than the sum of their parts. The thing that’s so “off” about coolly and clinically analyzing a chart’s data in some sterile lab-like environment is that analysis alone will never give you an understanding of the miraculous and complex synthesis of a single human being. The same way that studying the theory of organized religion will never tell you what it feels like to live by deeply-held spiritual beliefs. Facts and data do not--cannot--replace true understanding. You can know all the facts and data about a thing without ever knowing its true essence. And therein lies the danger...to think that facts and data are the true essence.
How many of us as fledgling astrologers made the mistake of emphasizing that one spectacular planet or flashy aspect in a chart at the expense of other, seemingly lesser elements, only to find that in the final analysis it was that discounted yod that really expressed the energy of that chart? Data alone gets you just so far. The rest of the way you have to travel on faith.
Now admittedly, I was a psychic long before I was an astrologer. My grandmother had me reading plant and animal auras by the time I could speak, so it is possible that all this is nothing more than sour grapes on my part. And I freely admit that operating as a “closet intuitive” in a scientific world has made me feel more than a little isolated at times. Also, I have virtually no Virgo to speak of. I think there may even be a 12-step group somewhere (“Virgos Anonymous”) for the detail-challenged like me.
But you know, every now and then, I’ll be with a client wondering if I should have gotten that nursing degree or something, like my parents wanted, but determined to do my best anyway. And suddenly I’ll say something just off-the-wall, out in left field, about their chart on sheer impulse. And it will be like a light bulb went off over their heads. They’ll look at me with a look I can only describe as a kind of reverent awe. And I’ll know that something I said felt so right it touched them. That somehow (despite my lack of Virgo) I was able to put into words some core essence that even they can’t define about themselves. And then it’s just me and the client. I reach them. We connect. And with that simple leap of faith we go where no data could have possibly taken us. Healing Happens (is that a bumper sticker yet?). Anyway, that’s when I start to think that someday in the future there may just be room for non-scientific astrologers like me after all.
I will concede that in a limitless universe anything is possible. And while astrology continues to grow and develop, so (hopefully) will science. Who knows. Hope does spring eternal. One day maybe they’ll even be big enough for us!
Doesn't Nursing look like fun, though? What was I thinking becoming an Astrologer!
(my mom is the 2nd from the left)