In 1976 I was living in an ashram in Oakland, California where I met someone who called himself an astrologer.
Intrigued and curious, I decided to have him do a reading for me.
He took my name, place of birth, date and time of birth, ( I was lucky, somehow my mother knew the exact minute I was born 2:34 a.m.).
Using an ephemeris, a book which shows where every planet is in the heavens on any day of any year, he calculated and drew up my natal birth chart.
I was absolutely amazed at the things he told me about myself, my psychology, my family, my interests. and some specific activities of the previous months and years.
All I could see were a bunch of squiggles on a page with a circle divided into twelve pieces of pie. He also told me some general things about my potential future which have turned out to be true.
I had to know how he got all that information from those squiggles. So, some months later, taking the birth chart he had drawn for me, I found myself in Banyen Books in Vancouver, Canada.
Mars the Planet in Astrology
The chart told me, for starters, that I had Mars in the sign of Leo in the first house or area of life which rules the circumstances of one’s birth, one’s instinctive approach to life, the body and appearance, one’s identity or sense of self.
Mars, the planet of war and aggression, a fiery planet, is also how a person reaches out and gets what they want or need in life. My Mars in Leo, first of all said I was creative, sexy and playful, which I liked as a description of myself but, well, was I?
It also said that with Mars in the first house I might be somewhat pushy but on the positive side meant I had a strong will, which is a good trait to have in order to accomplish anything in life.
I thought that both were true. But what really got me was one book which said “some people who are born with Mars in the first house are often born with a scar on their face.”
I gasped when I read that because I was born with a birthmark on my entire left cheek, so bad in fact that it used to bleed whenever I cried as a baby, which of course was all the time.
I had to have plastic surgery soon after I was born. Now here was a book, an entirely impersonal thing, describing perfectly something about me using the squiggles from my birth chart that could not in any way be disputed by anyone, anywhere, no rational scientist-type, no doubter, no skeptic of any sort. The descriptions of the rest of my planets and houses proved every bit as truthful.
Going Deep into Astrology
I have thus spent a lot of the last 24 years studying and using both the superficial and the deeper meanings of this science.
I began with a basic astrology course and learned that the squiggles were symbols for the planets, etc. and what those symbols meant according to sign, house and geometric pattern.
With an accurate, personally drawn chart, and with looking at all the planets, not just the Sun, looking at the zodiac sign rising on the horizon at the time of birth and looking where the planets fall in the twelve areas of life, etc., etc., much can be learned not only about a person’s make-up but also information about what they are doing here in this lifetime.
I find the study of reincarnational astrology particularly fascinating and useful.
It is possible to tell what kinds of tendencies, both positive and negative, a person has arrived with into this life, what they need to eliminate or modify in their make-up and what they in particular need to learn to be a balanced, happy, evolving human being.
By looking at a person’s chart and matching that with where the planets are currently in the sky it is possible to tell what areas of life will be activated for that person at any given time.
Beyond Fortune Telling
Astrology is often thought of as fortune telling and in the past ages may have been more so when people lived their lives with the idea of a fated life.
In the past couple of hundred years, people have come to have a lot more personal freedom.
Astrology, using its own methods has become a useful tool in understanding human behaviour and potential.
The discovery of Uranus in the late 1700’s has corresponded with the outward manifestation of its energy into human reality which began with that of the French revolution of the same time – Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.
People have come to have individual rights and freedoms which were not previously so. Astrology itself has evolved in exactly the same way, especially in the past 30 years.
Since the early 1960’s when Pluto, the planet of transformation, conjoined with Uranus, the planet of freedom and individuality, many astrologers from all over the world have done a lot of studies and written a lot of books which have made astrology a useful, modern, investigative counseling tool.
Many modern western astrologers also now combine Jungian and other psychologies with the astrological data in their interpretations.
It is fascinating to see the lights go off in people when they are given information taken from their birth chart. People are often relieved when they hear what they have been feeling verified from another source.
Many feel a sense of direction by learning where their most meaningful areas of personal growth are. Readings can be done which compare people’s birth charts, meaning comparing people’s personalities, emotional security needs, likes and dislikes, and therefore, help people to understand their relationships better.
There are many branches of astrology such as Mundane Astrology, the study of cities, countries, politics and world events, etc. which is useful in understanding places and their peoples.
It soon becomes obvious why people of all cultures in all times have observed the heavens, studied the motions of the planets and luminaries of the Sun and Moon and correlated what they see in the sky with what happens on earth.