Astra Astrology Congress, October 1985 – Riva del Garda, Italy
An approach to astrology that does not follow the standard narrative
Being good astrologers, as we know, requires uncommon skills of expertise. When the client is unsatisfied with pure emotional gratification, they want precise judgments: maybe a professional who has to sign an important contract or the thirty-year-old who sees marriage on the horizon. In both cases, what awaits us is a stance that is as clarifying as the astrologer’s experience can allow. It is natural that the astrological consultant deepens and updates their intellectual baggage, taking part in the cultural adventure of astrology.
In line with a world view that perfects itself based on an analytical deepening of received data, this attitude is perhaps not as coherent when dealing with a discipline that escapes the systematic nature of thought due to its universal nature. It is not my intention to criticise the analytic method of astrology. However, it is a fact that few are available for an inner and personal approach – therefore totally involving – with what astrology means.
In general, the astrologer certifies that the human being is a direct expression of the divine nature, that divinity is in us, and that the human being, through astrological signs and symbols, reads and inscribes himself in a structure of the world of which it is an integral part. It all seems very beautiful, full of harmony; the future is not a mystery, and people seem very interested in our work. After some time, the astrologer begins to feel a vague sense of uneasiness. Astrology is always an elevated art, of course. Still, people do not seem interested in spiritual heights as they fancy solving the daily problems related to physical, emotional or financial well-being.
But what went wrong? The astrologer’s experience has highlighted the relationship of human and cosmic phenomena, of course, and practice confirms this. What is lacking is not the astrological doctrine but the human mediator, who loses sight of the contingent reality from the height of his calling. It’s like having a driver’s license and not being able to drive. What is the use of acquiring sophisticated techniques if we still trivialise the relationship with the client? Perhaps we hope to find the golden rule that will give the holder perfect clairvoyance. I know that many clients are struck by the prediction accuracy of some astrologers and wonder what mysterious technique is at work. But who among us would rejoice in learning in great detail about the coming future? We praise free will as the supreme good. Still, to the reckoning, to the already pre-existing cultural and psychological conditioning, to the atavic legacies, the inevitable destiny is added, which by the voice of the astrologer/lord of fate definitively restrains any expressive space.
It occurred that astrologers have mastered astrology with mental claws and fangs in place of a holistic approach. From an intellectual perspective, they believe in having understood everything, of being on the right path. But astrological awareness is the exact opposite of philosophical penetration; it is the fall of all the schemes that make us interpreters and not living examples of the doctrine we are going to practice. Awareness is seeing the individual in front of us what he is, not what we would like him to be. The astrologer is a mirror that reflects the reality of heaven in a human language; thus, the birth chart becomes a truly unique opportunity to give each individual the place he deserves beyond our own and others’ distortions.
From the broader perspective of a conscious practitioner, the astrologer-client gap has no reason to exist. Relying on the examiner’s role means that someone can judge, discern, and summarise in categories. Instead, purity consists of knowing how to fully grasp the nature of the individual in front of us. Indeed, through the horoscope, the silent request of the client is laid bare, which does not aim at finalising attachments but at finding one’s expressive vehicle. Reversing the terms of our speech, the client will not find himself in front of an oracle or a judge now severe, now benevolent, who will guide them according to superior knowledge. Instead, they will come across a highly straightforward person, finally giving space to the potential that remained unspoken for a long time. I remember the words of a Tibetan astrologer who said about it: “Astrology is a means to temporarily exit the existential situation, to observe events from a panoramic point of view. Things do not arouse particular desires or attachments if seen as a whole; judgments are suspended, so you can return with awareness to your world and act with extreme effectiveness “.
“And what will become of the astrologer” – someone will ask – “if the stars, the astrologer and the client are inseparable parts of a single living process?”. Outwardly everything can continue unchanged; it is unnecessary to modify or delete anything; astrology remains an excellent instrument of investigation. But for those who are willing to try, it becomes an unparalleled method to keep one’s original state free from conditioning. However, pausing to consider the reflection of the birth chart is a bit like saying: “Here, I am like this. That’s me”; that is, one remains in the dualistic condition of one who feeds on his image: subject and experience retain separability. ‘Entering’ one’s horoscope, on the other hand, means being in the condition of the mirror, free from the conditioning of the reflection: the knower and known, the mind and the object of perception, while retaining the clear separability, recognise themselves as manifestations of a single nature. It reminds me of the story of a Zen monk, a learned connoisseur of Sūtra, who, to demonstrate his state, wrote: “The mind is like a mirror, take care that not even a speck of dust diminishes its brilliance.” Another monk, peasant and of little culture but aware, wisely replied: “There is neither mind nor mirror; where could the dust settle?”