Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Astrology Is Not Fortune Telling

I get more than a few questions from people, particularly clients who are getting a reading from me, that make it sound like they think I can tell them exactly what’s going to happen in their life and when. I have heard the “when am I going to have children?” question on multiple occasions, as well as the classic ones about love like “am I going to meet the love of my life this year?” or “when will I get married?” And I give the same response to them basically every time: I don’t know.

That is not what I think astrology is about. It’s not fortune telling. It’s not looking into a crystal ball and telling someone their future. I think that a birth chart can tell someone how to best move ahead into the future by rising above their flaws, developing self-awareness, living up to their full potential, etc. I think that a transit chart, which is probably the closest thing to making predictions in astrology, can gauge the ways a person can grow and evolve through certain experiences that come their way. But, in spite of it all, how you deal with what happens is what really matters. As above, so below. Even though astrology, I think, is a way of the higher force of the Universe speaking to us, the Universe helps those who help themselves. We cannot passively or blindly rely on our birth chart or transit chart to tell us what our lives will be like.

This could also be why I’ve always preferred to do transit charts based on the transits that are happening in the present, rather than doing them for months into the future. The way I practice astrology is giving people the tools and the resources to better themselves. If you are looking for answers to the unknown in astrology, I’m really not going to be able to help you that much. I’m always very honest and upfront with my clients about that, even though, if they do pose those kinds of questions to me, I still answer them to the best of my ability. Again, we can see signs in the birth chart. Placements represent patterns that can manifest in the future. The sign or planet(s) in your 5th House can tell you a lot about what your children could turn out like, personality-wise, while whatever’s in your 7th House can describe your marriage partner and what kind of dynamic will define the marriage.

So, yes, there are general elements of “prediction” in the chart. But, that shouldn’t be taken too far and too literally. I don’t think anyone can tell you exactly what will happen to you unless they are a genuine clairvoyant. I’m highly intuitive but I’m not a psychic and I will never pretend to be. The thing that I find a bit irritating is that this is the thing that can discredit astrology to some non-believers, as if astrologers are just spouting off bullshit that may not even prove to be true. For the sake of my own integrity, I will never do this. I could never tell you that, yes, you will end up having two children or that, no, you won’t be marrying the love of your life after all. Not only is this fatalistic but I just feel like – nothing personal to anyone – there are seeds of dishonesty in that. Unless you have a true gift for seeing specific events in the future, that have consistently proven to be true, you have no business telling people any of that. Because what if it never happens?

I feel like this is the lingering effect of old-school astrology from centuries ago, back when it was still seen as witchcraft and sorcery and when people were far more superstitious and less rational and reliant on science. This is a tone that still remains, to a large degree, in Vedic astrology, which I have never followed because of that. If want to scare the hell out of yourself or someone else, look up profiles of a traditionally “negative” placement on some Vedic astrology site. Or, if you have a twisted sense of humor like me, you’ll probably get a good laugh out of it. Between my Scorpio Moon, my Venus in the 8th, and my Saturn and Neptune in the 12th, I should be a serial killer, a male prostitute, a prisoner or a mental patient (depending on my mood), and a penniless alcoholic by now. But, I promise you, I’m none of those things. Yet, if I read all of those harsh descriptions as a teenager and seriously thought they would predict my adult self, maybe they would.

This is why astrology does not predict the future. We are all individuals with free will and as powerful as this study is, it does not completely overwhelm our free will. We choose what to do with our placements. We choose how to handle our transits. If you want to have children, start trying to have children. If you want to get married to a certain kind of individual, make that a part of your value system or your “list” if you will (just as long as your list isn’t ridiculous) and you will attract that kind of relationship partner or marriage partner. If you want your finances to be in a certain place or you want a certain career, go for it. Don’t wait for astrology or an astrologer to give you permission to pursue these things or to tell you that they will happen. Do whatever is in your power to make them happen, all while using astrology as a guide toward greater clarity or empowerment throughout the process.

It's also why I’ve learned to not be too obsessed with transits. It can be all too easy to not only “act out” the transit you think you should be having but to anticipate something terrible happening when it really won’t at all. On the flip side, some of the toughest transits can be the ones that blindside you, like when Saturn was conjunct my Moon a few years ago, which I was completely unprepared for and which I didn’t fully understand the effects of until I looked back on them. Transits are meant to be experienced and are really best understood in hindsight, once you have had the full experience and went through it without much self-consciousness.

Now, telling someone what their current transit feels like is different because it can help shine a light of awareness on what’s already happening and allow the person to work their way through it. That’s important and makes astrology a very useful tool. Still, even then, you can’t possibly know exactly how the transit will unfold. But, telling someone in advance exactly what’s going to happen to them when transiting Jupiter will be square their Venus at the end of the year can be sort of problematic because not only are they waiting for the axe to fall but it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, causing them to will the terrible mess you predicted into being.

Things like this can really screw with people’s heads, if the astrologer is not careful. So can this cold-blooded idea of putting the chart ahead of the individual and forcing them to fit into your ideas of what their life is or will be because of a certain placement. “Oh, you have the Moon in Aquarius? Ah, well, your mother was always cold and didn’t hug you enough and when you become a mother, your kids will feel unappreciated and left out in the cold by you.” It’s a slightly traumatizing thing to say to someone. Also, it’s quite ignorant. There are multiple ways a placement can manifest. And there’s a difference between someone not acting like someone who has a certain placement, which could be a sign that it’s not actually their placement, and someone relating to that placement and displaying its traits but not in the exact language or scenarios in which it’s described.

Astrology is something that I think can be proven through observations and intuitive understanding. It is not a cold, hard science, driven by facts and nothing but facts. Yet, just because it’s intuitive doesn’t mean that there is not a logic to it because there is. To me, the only thing I can tell you is what’s in the chart. Whatever is in your chart describes things about your nature, personality, potential, and purpose (birth chart) or circumstances, opportunities, and challenges that are arising in the present (transit chart). To me, that’s something that I can reach out and touch because there’s a system in place that helps me tell you all of that. However, I can’t tell you if your boyfriend will finally propose or if you’ll be able to make enough money to get out of debt.

And, honestly, I don’t think I should. “Knowing” is something that brings safety. Yet, personally, I’m not into the idea of destroying life’s mysteries. Maybe it’s my 12th House Saturn talking. Sometimes, in some way, we have to walk through life blind. It can be scary or difficult but we end up becoming better and stronger when we face the unknown and come out on the other side, realizing it’s not that bad and, maybe, it’s better that we didn’t know everything that was going to happen.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Jupiter in the 9th House

Jupiter is the ruling planet of the 9th House. So, by the logic of dignities, the “best” place to have your Jupiter is in the 9th House, right? Well, not necessarily but it is a really powerful placement that can bring an abundance of positivity into your life. Jupiter already attracts positive energy into our lives, expanding our horizons when we maintain the faith in what it represents. But, the 9th House is about faith, about believing in something fully, and also being convinced that anything is possible. So, the faith of someone with their Jupiter in the 9th can seem and be limitless. However, this placement also makes for a person who is much more susceptible than the next person to the excess, naivete, and blind faith that Jupiter represents.

The 9th House symbolizes the inner compass that gets us through life and keeps us moving forward. We need this internal sense of right and wrong in order to know what direction to go in. Those with Jupiter in the 9th, then, have an inner compass that speaks to them very loudly and undeniably. Having this position means that you have ideas of right and wrong that are really well-defined, in accordance to the sign that your Jupiter is in. If Jupiter is in Aquarius and in the 9th, then your moral fiber comes from thinking freely and for yourself and being committed to equality, progress, and the bigger picture. The 9th House being in Jupiter in Aries would show that your morality comes from standing up for yourself, being independent, and fighting for what you desire.

Yet, since Jupiter can easily go overboard, those with Jupiter in the 9th can become so moralistic that it turns into a real holier-than-thou attitude. Whatever your Jupiter sign believes in, you might convince yourself of being on a higher level than others because of those beliefs. Jupiter in Scorpio and in the 9th can make you very sanctimonious about anything that you deem as being shallow, disempowering, or simple-minded. This placement is a real overload of Jupiter energy and as I always say, in its more unevolved form, Jupiter never stops preaching and never gets off of its soapbox. And you can spend so much time insisting on your beliefs and trying to force them on people that your message ends up turning a lot of people away.

However, you have really good intentions. Even when you’re pushing these beliefs on to others so overzealously, you are just trying to bring them some positivity. You feel so inspired and so uplifted by these convictions of yours that you get all too easily carried away, assuming that everyone else is going to be just as inspired and uplifted by your convictions. This is the huge naivete that you can operate under. Jupiter in the 9th House individuals experience such life-affirming benefits from following their particular path of faith that they feel like they need to sweep other people away with them on the same path. But, the truth is that we all have our own paths toward knowledge, honesty, empowerment, love, enlightenment, freedom, or whatever else. It’s not up to you to try and play God, deciding how someone gets to that path. There can be quite a savior complex to you but not in the same way as if Jupiter was in the 12th House. You can be eager to “save” people not out of pity and self-sacrifice but in order to bring good things into their lives. 

Yet, you have to step back and realize that person and that person only can save themselves. You can give all the sermons you want. It might not change their mind or they may just end up telling you what you want to hear to get you to shut up or tone it down (which people may do to you a lot, unbeknownst to you). However, it is up to them to decide what they believe and to follow the path that’s right for them. The best thing that a 9th House Jupiter person can do is to just provide positive energy as far as pointing the person in the direction they want to go in. You may have a bad pattern of “butting in” far too often. Someone can start talking about their relationship, without looking for any advice, and then you can start rattling off things that they should and shouldn’t do. People can regularly respond to you with a well-deserved “who asked you?”

But, they may become more understanding when they realize that you not only have good intentions but you often just can’t help yourself. You have such strong beliefs that it’s hard for you to not have an opinion about virtually everything. Not only that but you want to freely, honestly share such opinions. The thing is that you might be able to dish it out yet not take it. Another potential drawback of this placement is taking it very personally when others share their opinions with you. At its worst, Jupiter in the 9th can see any opposing opinion as a threat. It can feel as if this person is trying to rob you of your very belief system. But, in actuality, they are just voicing their beliefs, as well. So, you have to be able to swallow a bit of your own medicine accepting that having differing viewpoints or convictions does not have to lead to a holy war.

Speaking of holiness, I associate the 9th House with religion and it’s true that people with 9th House planets usually have very religious upbringings. Regardless of whether or not they continue to follow that religion into adulthood or go against it, that religious devotion and fervor instills a deep sense of faith that constantly lets them move forward in life with the right attitude. Thanks to Jupiter in the 9th House, you may have been particularly caught up in religion growing up, more than the next 9th House individual. Of course, this won’t be true of everyone with this placement but it is a major pattern. That avid, undying sense of belief could’ve been instilled by a religion that consistently made you feel like everything would be okay and that there was always some benevolent force watching out for you.

Religion does always instill strong ideas of right and wrong. While this can be painful, stifling, or bothersome for many 9th House people, the Jupiter in the 9th House person usually takes to this moral code with great enthusiasm. Due to the fact that any given religion tells a person that they will eventually benefit from adhering to this code of right and wrong and from believing in certain things, you took that and ran with it. This sense that good things would happen for you because you were Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, or whatever other religion became generalized and applied to all beliefs. You felt as if having faith in things and more than enough of it would make everything turn out okay. This is quite a simple concept: if you believe enough in something, it will manifest and if it’s a positive belief, you will reap the rewards. But, a lot of us have to work to understand this. Jupiter in the 9th House people understand this more effortlessly than anyone else.

Even if there are harsh aspects to Jupiter, that irrepressible positivity is still brewing inside and, therefore, can emerge in really messy or haphazard ways, making a disaster out of things just out of a desperate yearning to get lucky. And when you get in this state of mind, you might not care who gets swept up in it or left behind. It should be said that when taken too far, Jupiter in the 9th can become wildly, dangerously selfish. You might be so excessively concerned with good things happening to you that you end up robbing other people of their share or not caring that much if they reap the rewards. You can also be so blinded by your convictions that almost nothing or no one else matters as much, causing you to run someone over on your way to that pot of gold. It’s a single-mindedness that can be as much of a curse as it is a blessing. You know that you want to get to Heaven and will do whatever is needed to get there.

Yet, when it’s managed well, this is the quality that makes you unstoppable. Whatever is in your 9th House shows you how you can expand your vision and believe that anything is possible. Jupiter in the 9th House people are often far more capable of this than most. There is this inner sense that you can do absolutely whatever you set out to do. If Jupiter is in Libra in the 9th, this can make finding love seem like a total inevitability, preventing you from ever getting discouraged about relationships, no matter what happens. Jupiter in Capricorn and in the 9th would mean that your ambitions know no bounds and you will work as hard as you can toward your goals, trusting that you will inevitably achieve them. It’s a mindset that opens so many doors and presents so many opportunities your way. While many other people are too busy dwelling on the negative or avoiding their true path out of fear or passivity, you charge right toward that path, trusting that everything will fall into a place in a way that allows things to almost always do.

I also see the 9th House as representing your college-aged self. It’s the time where you get your first taste of true freedom around the age of 18, which is when the majority of people leave their parents’ home and go to college. Of course, not everyone goes to school and everyone doesn’t have to, either. But, with Jupiter in the 9th, you can actually completely relish the college experience, taking to it with plenty of gusto. Living at home with your parents, in spite of how much you love them, may have become a Hell you wanted to get out of for a long time while growing up. Since the 9th House gives us a feeling of freedom, in a way that lets us roam from one place to the next, you really believed in having that freedom. And if your parents gave you too many restrictions and limitations, it could’ve been enough to drive you crazy!

Although it’s common for people to move back in with their parents after initially moving out, Jupiter in the 9th House individuals usually leave and never look back once they turn 18. You could’ve loved your newfound freedom so much that you didn’t even visit that much during college or after. But, you were also always on the run while growing up anyway, so your family was probably used to it. Besides, college offered you a totally new world. You were presented with so many new opportunities: all these great people to meet, interesting classes to take, groups to get involved in, things to do in this new city. College is like a buffet of awesomeness for a lot of 9th House Jupiter people and you want all you can eat and all the time.

There can be two outcomes for the college student with this placement: either they become a total wild child at school or they are capable of keeping it together very well, in spite of having quite a bit of wild child potential. The first option happens because, again, Jupiter is prone to taking it a bit too far. College can be a time of too much partying and drinking for you, more than is typical for college students, as there is so much fun to be had and too much freedom up for grabs. You can take advantage of this freedom by not really doing what you’re supposed to be doing in college, like, you know, studying or focusing academically. Yet, the thing is that Jupiter is where we are most resilient, as well. So, even when you go too far with college life, you do have an amazing ability to bounce back from all of that. You were that person who could pass their finals with flying colors after drinking their face off all weekend. 

That leads to the second path, which brings out the strength of your inner sense of direction. The 9th House tells us the path to take that will lead to good things and with Jupiter here, that internal compass is heightened. So, if you went through a phase of going a bit too crazy in college, you were also able to stop and say, “You need to get on the right track.” After all, you relished the inherent meaningfulness of college in a way that many people these days do not. You believed the experience should be about growing as a person and expanding your possibilities, not being stagnant and stuck. Therefore, you were able to take advantage of your time in college in a life-affirming way. You probably had a major that you genuinely liked, not just one that others told you to study or that you just thought would make you money. You wanted to be enriched by class discussions and lectures and may have grown significantly by writing certain essays or your thesis.

By the time your college experience ended (even if you didn’t finish or graduate), you felt like a bigger, better person in a way that others, who just wanted the degree, may not have felt. This is all carried with you in adulthood by giving you a hunger to constantly be a bigger, better person than you were before. That strong sense of direction was honed in those days where you were truly free for the first time and it has stayed with you. Your inner 21-year-old is always guiding you toward what is ultimately good for you, even if it’s something that others don’t understand or believe in. This is why life opens up for you when you really listen to that inner voice and trust it above all of the other noise.

It's what makes you very adventurous, as well, because you are not afraid to go where you’ve never gone before. You managed just fine when you were in new territory back in your early 20’s. Therefore, you always relish new territory, having great confidence in that inner voice throughout the journey. I could spout off the cliché that Jupiter in the 9th means that you will spend a lot of time traveling. It’s true that you may backpack through Europe for weeks without hesitation or take a job in Japan and not think twice. It also wouldn’t be surprising at all if you studied abroad or traveled in college. The thing is that you really never get “homesick”, either, just like you didn’t in college. It’s about the journey for you, not the destination. So, being stuck in one place feels like a limiting destination. You would rather keep moving on to somewhere else.

Even if you find yourself living in the same city for a long time, you won’t stick to the same neighborhood haunts. You dare to go someplace different, loving the exotic feel of the unknown. It could be that dive bar you’ve never been to before, that side of town that none of your friends go to, or some random happening that you just found out about tonight. Whatever it is, you’re pretty much down for anything. And being the adventurer you are, you do not mind embarking on the journey alone. Anyone who accompanies you better be ready to do some exploring and if they’re not, you won’t hesitate to go in the other direction.