The Scarlet Letter
Volume I, Number 1 | August 1993
Speculation on Astrology & Will
by Sr. Zohar

I have been working modestly with astrology for five or so years. I find it to be a useful paradigm. Much as Tarot card symbology provides a vocabulary for discussing social and magickal phenomena, so too does astrology. In fact, I find myself falling into astrological jargon when I need to discuss emotions, people's motivations for doing things, and issues behind interpersonal conflicts (sometimes to the dismay and confusion of folks who have not acquired this particular vocabulary).

Astrology has also proved to be a frighteningly accurate divination system over and over again in my life. Careful reading of natal charts and transits has pointed up issues in relationships, my own tendencies, for better or worse, and predicted small details of day to day life.

"Can you have free will, and exercise it, if you are but a slave to your time and place of birth?" People often demand this of me when it becomes apparent that I work with and believe in the science of astrology. After weathering frequent attacks by this line of questioning, I have organized some thoughts.

Firstly I believe that we are born at the 'right' time. Each individual receives the natal chart that will best facilitate exercising his/her own Will. Perhaps we choose our own time to plunge into the energy pattern of this cosmos from another plane, or perhaps some higher power guides us to the entry point.

In the midst of living in this incarnated form, it is frequently difficult (often perhaps impossible) to know what our True Will is. With luck and intent you will have some moments of absolute clarity on the matter.

Perhaps the choice of our birth time, place, and parentage is the only act of pure True Will we ever make. The choice to have an earthbound life and the pattern into which it will fall. No matter, once here, we have to work with what we get.

I watch my twelve week old son struggling with his own personal strengths and weaknesses already. The terrific sense of humor he was born with, his being slow to anger, but also his tremendous difficulty in letting go of anger and frustration once it has set in. I did not teach him these things in the scant weeks we have been together. They are glaringly obvious in his natal chart as basic components of his personality.

I envision the flow and ebb of planetary energies as a river. When we are born, we are thrown in at the river's source, a mere trickle of water. As we go through life we find that the river sometimes flows smooth and calm (trined planetary energy), brisk and overfull (conjunct), or in rapids over rocks (squared). While traversing the river we may choose the course we wish to navigate. To go with (Jupiter) or against (Saturn) the current. To cross where it looks shallowest (watch out for the undertows of Pluto), to acquire a boat (a creative Uranian solution), or to swim underwater where reality takes on a whole new perspective (Neptune).

The currents and obstacles exist and must be dealt with. We may chose the route we like the best through the terrain we are dropped into at birth.

Used carefully, astrology can provide a map to the life river's winding and currents. Perhaps it can even yield clues to our True Will.

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