—What is it and what is its purpose?
By Martin Lass ©1996
Have you ever wondered how it is that astrology—the study of the planetary patterns—claims to be able to tell us all about ourselves, our lives, our personalities and, as spiritual astrology claims, tell us why we are here? I know I have! Otherwise I would not have gone into the subject with such intensity and thirst for understanding.
After so many years of working with astrology, for others and myself, I am still confounded by the wonder and miracle of seeing how it does work. My ordinary logic is constantly confronted by the seeming irrationality of it, but at the same time humbled by the daily confirmation that occurs when astrology is applied to my life and the lives of the people for whom I do readings.
Gradually, over the years, an understanding of why astrology works has taken form. It is a picture that defies our ordinary logic and education; however, it is a picture that is being more and more confirmed by quantum physicists, astrophysicists, doctors, biologists and scientists from many other different disciplines; not to mention the growing evidence from the alternative or new age community.
Defining Spiritual Astrology
So what is spiritual astrology as opposed to 'normal' astrology? Simply put, it is a widening of the scope of 'normal' astrology. 'Normal' astrology talks about our personalities, about influences that affect our ordinary lives and about what our inherent weaknesses and strengths are. It then tries to help us in our day to day life to get what we want from life in the ordinary way—happiness, security, wealth, relationship, career, etc.
Spiritual astrology tries to look at these same things, but in the context of a larger picture—a picture that includes the questions, 'Who am I?', 'Why am I here?', 'What is the purpose of my life?' and 'Is there a higher meaning to life?'
Spiritual astrology seeks answers to these questions. In doing so, we are better able to understand the meaning behind the things that happen to us in life and to set our sights towards more universal, more long-term goals, rather than merely living for the minute. In this way, something within us that was previously unfulfilled is honoured: our spirit—our inner divinity.
Spiritual astrology comes from the premise that there is a divine part of us that is seeking expression—that the higher purpose of our lives is to connect with that part of us. All of life is seen as lessons and trials that give us the opportunity to uncover that divine spark within us—to find our God within. It is based upon the premise that each of us has a higher potential—a higher mission that we are more or less unconscious to.
Why Does Astrology Work?
Astrology is one of the most ancient disciplines that is based upon a holographic model of the universe. What does this mean? A hologram is a picture created by laser light that renders a three-dimensional image on a two-dimensional surface. One of the peculiar properties of a hologram is that if we cut off a corner of that picture, the cut-off piece still shows the entire original image intact. For example, if we have a hologram of an apple and we cut the picture into 100 pieces, each piece will still be a picture of the whole apple.
There is a law that is quoted as, 'As above, so below.' What this law says is that, like our apple hologram, every smallest part of Creation is an exact reflection of the whole of Creation. To put it another way, every microcosm is a replicate reflection of every macrocosm—'On Earth as it is in Heaven.'
Quantum physicists are discovering that the microscopic universe holds many answers to the creation and existence of the universe at large. They feel, that when they discover the secrets of the microcosm, that they will better understand the macrocosm—ie. the visible universe of planets, stars and galaxies.
There are many disciplines that work on this kind of a holographic principle. In the discipline of iridology—the study of the irises of the eyes—the eye is considered to be a map of the whole human organism and that by studying the iris, a diagnosis of illness elsewhere in the body can be made. Shiatsu purports that the ears are the same kind of map as are the soles of the feet.
The fact that every cell of our body contains a complete map of the whole body—a fact explored by scientists in the field of cloning—also supports this idea of a holographic universe.
Astrology, whether acknowledged as such or not, is also a holographic interpretation. It purports that the picture of the planets of our solar system, their movements and their angular relationships are a reflection of our lives on Earth and vice versa. Put another way, our internal construction from a spiritual point of view is an exact reflection of the planets and our solar system; this is in terms of the underlying laws and mechanics of Creation.
The cosmic law of correspondences says that we have a correspondence to each of the planets within us; we have the planets within us. So if we study the planets, we are studying ourselves; and vice versa, if we study ourselves, we can find planetary correspondences. It is all a matter of discovering the laws that govern each and this unlocks the inner picture.
To gaze at this inner picture, one cannot help being in awe of the hidden order of the universe—to marvel at the wonder of a Creation where everything has its right place. Einstein once said that God doesn't play dice with the universe. When we are confronted by the holographic picture of the universe, we begin to sense the truth of this.
The Purpose of Spiritual Astrology
So what can spiritual astrology do for us? What is its aim, intent and purpose?
Basically, the purpose of spiritual astrology is to help us connect to the larger picture of our lives; to begin to see things from a higher perspective; to understand that the things in our lives that trouble us, say, are all part of a bigger plan. By helping us to give context to the things that happen to us in our lives, we are better able to benefit from the lessons inherent in these things.
It is also to help answer the longing within us that seeks expression; this longing is a longing for reconnection to divinity: it is the evolutionary force within every living creature that drives us back towards God.
The Creation itself is an involutionary process. The path back to the Creator is an evolutionary process. Spiritual astrology addresses this longing within us. It addresses the issues within us and in our lives that have prevented us from answering this longing. It seeks to illuminate our strengths, weaknesses, gifts, lessons, karma, etc. so that we can find the path back to divinity. Ultimately this is a path back to Love.
Spiritual astrology seeks to uncover our higher potentials and our higher purpose or mission. It seeks to show us that everything in our lives, the 'good' and the 'bad', is a reflection of what we need for our awakening to this higher purpose. There is nothing superfluous in our lives.
In this way, blockages, obstacles, wounds, conflicts and contradictions are seen as the fuel for the fire of our potential spiritual growth and evolution. Spiritual astrology seeks to pinpoint these potential areas of spiritual alchemy, to shine a light on their true benefit, to acknowledge and use their gift for our evolution.
The Meaning Behind the Symbols
Without turning this into a technical manual of spiritual astrology, let's take a broad look at what can be seen through a spiritual horoscope—how, where and why.
Firstly, the process itself of doing a reading of a spiritual horoscope is a sacred process, not to be approached lightly. It is process whereby a clearer connection to the higher self can be established. It is, in a sense, a healing process, too. Whenever we reconnect things within ourselves that were disconnected, this is healing. In a reading of this kind, we seek to reconnect to our original intentions for why we came into this life in the first place. The spiritual clarity of the reader is an important factor in this.
The reading process is a process of trying to connect with the living energies of the planets themselves. In this way, they can avail us of their messages and guidance on our own natal planetary configurations and upon the current situation in our lives (seen through the current planetary transits).
The highest potential for the spiritual astrology reading process is to connect with the higher self and the planetary guidance, using the horoscope chart as tool for tuning in to the specific frequencies. It is also, in another way, a kind of initiation process. It is an attempt to access higher influences and understanding.
The thing that drives a spiritually based reading of any sort is a question, a wish, an intention or a need for understanding. Without this, the reading will only bring the results one would expect from idle curiosity.
So the first thing that happens in a spiritual astrology reading is that the question for the day is asked for. 'Is there a specific question?', 'If not, what brought you here today?' 'In what position do you find yourself in your life at the present time?', 'What do you wish for in your life?', etc.
Then the current planetary transits are looked at; which planets are speaking through the reading today? It must be understood that in a reading of this sort the result and answers that we get today will be different from, say, six months from now. Our essential energy pattern remains the same; where we are in relation to it changes daily. If there are particular planets transiting (moving over) our natal planets (the planets where they were when we were born) then these are the planets speaking through the reading today.
For example, if Saturn is transiting our natal Venus, the reading today will be centred around the question of seriousness and responsibility in close personal relationships and in our need for love. If, say, Jupiter is transiting our natal Mars, then the reading will centre around finding ways of taking advantage of our present circumstances in order to activate the path that we wish to travel—of seeing the benefit in even adverse circumstances.
Having discovered the possible central issues of the day through the questions brought and by the planetary clues, it is now necessary to take a look at the bigger picture of our lives; without this bigger picture, the answers to our initial questions cannot be satisfactorily answered. The questions need to be put into the context of our larger purpose.
The Soul's Path
The soul's path or higher purpose can be seen initially through the Nodes of the Moon. Explore some basic astrology books for an explanation of what this actually means astronomically. The South Node tells us where we have been in previous lives—what we bring in the way of gifts, talents, failings, neglects, lessons, karma, wounds, etc. into this present incarnation. The North Node tells us where we are aiming for in this lifetime.
If we think of our many lives as various swings of the pendulum within the compass of a circle, then the South Node was the last swing and the North Node is the next. The North Node encompasses our potential and it encompasses our higher mission.
The soul's path is a two-fold path: it is a path for our own spiritual growth and evolution, and it is a path for the spiritual growth and evolution of those around us in the world. Some people will live out this two-fold path unconsciously; others will gradually live it more consciously. Either way, the lessons are learned and evolution takes place. The only advantage of becoming more conscious of the soul's path and purpose in that it accelerates the process. This is one of the benefits of spiritual astrology, i.e. it helps us to become conscious of our soul's path.
The zodiac signs of the Nodes will indicate the energetic nature of the path—what the lessons and potentials are in a broad sense. The house placement (there are 12 houses in the horoscope, each of which correspond to a different area of our lives) of the Nodes will give that path a context within real life; it is the 'stage' upon which the soul's path is acted out. So it is possible to give the broadest picture of why we are here by looking at these points in the chart.
The next thing we look at is what is called retrogrades. These are planets that were exhibiting apparent backward motion at the time of our birth. Again, look up your astronomy books for a detailed explanation of this phenomenon.
From the point of view of spiritual astrology, retrogrades indicate issues of past life nature that have a bearing upon this lifetime. It can indicate previous lessons of efforts in those past lives that we are continuing now in this life; it can indicate lessons in previous lifetimes that were not yet learned; it can indicate issues and events in past lives that were learning experiences that we will now be given an opportunity to digest in this lifetime; it can indicate special gifts that we bring from past lives that we will bring to bear upon our lives and the lives of others in this lifetime.
The activation of these gifts will be determinate upon our transmuting the negative aspects inherent in the retrograde in this lifetime. From the point of view of the current lifetime, retrogrades usually express and manifest as weaknesses, difficulties, inhibitions, restrictions, fears or Achilles' heels. This is the illusion of our narrow view of our existence.
These characteristics are a blessing and gift that, if we work with in the right way, will unlock our highest gifts and potentials. We must put these into the context of our many lives in order to glean the true meaning behind them.
We then look at any intercepted houses. These are houses in our natal horoscopes that do not have a zodiac cusp; they fall wholly within one sign of the zodiac alone. The meaning of these is similar to the retrogrades discussed above. Also, they represent a special area of attention required in our lives that has the potential to be one of our special areas of service.
Then we look for any special planetary guides that we may have for this lifetime in particular. Special planetary guides are planets that conjunct (are in the same place in our natal horoscopes as) the North Node, the South Node, the Sun, the Ascendant (our 'rising sign') or the Midheaven (the career or public persona point). These planets have agreed to be our special guides in this lifetime.
In another way, it can be said that we have also agreed to be the messenger, champion or 'channel' of the particular planet involved. For example, someone with the Sun conjunct Venus, comes into this lifetime with a special lesson about love and relationship. From this lesson, they become a 'clear channel' for the higher energies of Venus to enter the Earth and Humanity: the message of love expressed willingly and creatively, broadcast to the world.
Someone with Chiron conjunct the North Node, say, comes into life to learn the lessons of healing—to learn how to consciously walk a healing path back to divinity, back to love and back to Oneness. In this way, they become messengers for Chiron to bring the universal message of healing to Humanity. Their life's path literally becomes the expression of this healing path.
Next we look at the placement of the Sun in the chart. This will indicate in what ways, we have chosen to express our life's path. It will indicate the essential nature of that expression as well as the area of life that gives that expression a context. Here is where we have the potential to shine, to focus, to will, to create and to celebrate.
Then we look at Chiron, the planet of healing, spiritual growth and reconnection. The placement of Chiron in the natal horoscope will indicate the place of our deepest wounds, at the same time as indicating a path upon which we can proceed with the healing of those wounds. It shows us where we are the most fragmented in our Being and gives us the possibility of rejoining all the fragments.
This also leads to the uncovering of another of our areas of potential special service to life. This point in the chart is one of the keys and focal points for our potential spiritual growth and evolution.
Fast-tracking Spiritual Growth
All the while, while we are looking at the above areas of the chart, we are looking also at the angles or aspects that each of the horoscope points makes to the other planets and points in the chart. The angles will give us an idea of where are lessons and gifts lie. The angles trace a path of possible spiritual growth and evolution.
If viewed in the right way and if worked with consciously, these angles are a map that allows us to fast-track our growth. These angles are a map of the energetic relationships of each of the planets within us; they define the nature and colour of our specialness, our uniqueness.
The next thing that we look at is the trio of planets: Venus, Mercury and Mars. These planets correspond to the holy trinity of our ordinary lives on Earth: the emotional or feeling area, the intellectual area (the mind) and the physical area.
The question to decipher here is: how does the soul's path—the past life gifts, neglects, lessons and karma, the future potentials of the soul's mission—express in these areas of our lives? What are the benefits and drawbacks of the placement of each of these planets in our lives?
Then there is the Moon. We need to understand the Moon placement well. It represents all the emotional conditioning of our early lives—unconscious conditioning that has protected us from seeing too much about ourselves and our lives until we are ready to grow up spiritually. The Moon is the first layer of the onion that we must peel on the journey of uncovering our spiritual origins.
Then we look at Jupiter and see where and in what ways our inner Joy has been imprisoned. We try to recall the dreams that we have had in the past that we have given up, sacrificed or forgotten. Here is a key to finding the courage to delve deeper into ourselves.
Saturn then tells us where and how to get serious in our lives—to take responsibility for ourselves and our lives, one hundred percent. Saturn gives us a practical path—what do we need to do in order to get where we wish to go? What is our practical plan?
Chiron then describes the healing process to help us through the wounds, obstacles, blockages that we come up against when we make efforts towards spiritual growth. That path becomes our particular expression of service. The planets in aspect to Chiron can help show us the ways in which we try to avoid what we need to see.
Uranus in the spiritual horoscope represents our specific potential for connection to and expression of higher understanding—seeing the big picture. The placement of Uranus indicates the particular facet of the crystal of Creation that we have chosen to see and express.
Wherever Uranus appears in the chart is where we are seeking a higher understanding of life. The planets in aspect to Uranus are illuminated by its light; this can be uncomfortable and even painful at times until we deal with that which we are afraid to look at in ourselves and in our lives. Uranus works according to higher laws that confound our ordinary understandings; this seeks to help us 'wake' up from our narrow perceptions.
Neptune in the chart indicates where we are seeking to re-merge with divinity—where we seek to become whole, healed and in love again. Where we are fragmented in our lives, we do not experience love. When we rejoin those disparate parts of ourselves with Chiron's help, we become love. Neptune will shine a light on any areas of our lives in which we are fragmented—areas we have yet to love. Again, this can be seen through the angles to other planets.
These areas of our lives will have an unpredictable, mysterious and confusing air about them until we attend to them. When we 'earth' ourselves by attending to these areas of our life, we connect with 'heaven,' and Neptune's influence can then be felt in our lives and in the world in an undistorted way.
Pluto in the chart indicates where we have the highest potential for spiritual transformation. The placement of Pluto in the chart shows the area of ourselves and our lives where the key to our spiritual evolution lies in this lifetime. It is like laser beam in intensity. The aspects or angles made by Pluto to the other planets will show where we can point that laser beam.
Both Pluto's placement and the angles to Pluto will show where we resist life and where we resist change. Even if we do, Pluto will still carry out its work, though the results may be unpleasant! By turning our attention to these areas of our lives, as Pluto will invariably do for us, we are given the opportunity to transcend the current level of expression and understanding of these areas.
By seeing what we need to let go of and by understanding the long-term benefits of letting go, we make room in our lives for new birth—for the birth of our spirit or soul into this incarnation. In short, we make room for our soul's path to find expression through us.
Putting it Together
Only after this process is complete, in the reading of the spiritual horoscope, can the original questions then be put into context. With the big picture as a reference point, our original questions, aims, wishes take on an entirely different light.
We ourselves can then begin to answer these questions for ourselves. The reader was merely a catalyst and facilitator, translating the messages of the planets for our benefit. Connecting with this big picture can only have a beneficial effect. Higher influences and energies enter us—connection to planetary and personal guides, connection to our higher selves and the higher self of the reader and connection to our inner divinity—and transform us to a greater or lesser degree. This is what was meant when we said that the spiritual astrology reading is a sacred process.
What happens when we connect more clearly to our higher purpose in this way is that the universe responds to our new level of energy, i.e. things seems to happen that help us along our way. We call these things synchronicity.
Synchronicity is nothing more than the holographic universe at work. Sometimes these things that happen to us as a result of our higher frequency are not pleasant and sometimes they are; from our higher perspective, though, they are all rungs on the ladder of our spiritual growth and evolution.
Spiritual astrology is a sacred, healing, and reconnecting-to-our-inner-divinity tool. It is an expression of the Oneness of the holographic universe—a gift of the Universe given to enable us to find a path back to this Oneness.