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AP - Astrology, pre-determination, future forecast and free

 
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Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 8:15 am    Post subject: AP - Astrology, pre-determination, future forecast and free Reply with quote

12 Oct 2003

Ekati:

In the other thread "can a chart tell you if someone is evil", most of the answers were negative. Most are of the opinion that a natality cannot show such a thing.

Therefore, there is no predetermination for certain facts, only tendencies that depend on the actual will of the person.

Still, on the other hand, we Astrologers claim that we can predict future facts. There are techniques such as primary and secondary directions, solar and lunar returns, transits etc that deal with future prediction.

Now (to play a little the devil's advocate here) one could logically ask "hey, how can you Astrologers, say in one case that there are only tendencies in the natality and the future of a person is not pre-determined, while on the other hand you use techiques that deal with future forecast, which you claim you can do?"

Moreover, most critics of Astrology, while they pose as "serious" and "scientific" seem to be under the impression that Astrology is a fake, since there seem to have been no proved correct predictions from any astrologer, so far. While I could point out to such persons that they seem to be much more supersticious and deterministic than the average medium/fortune teller and that they are not as "scientific" as they would like to be (since they are under the impression that everything is pre-determined therefore Astrology should be able to make certain predictions - and if it does not, then it's Astrology's fault), the issue remains:

In what extend can Astrology really give actual forecasts, that get verified and in what extend does free will exist?

I have to confess that it's a tough one to answer.

-------------------------

Tom:

Quote:
Moreover, most critics of Astrology, while they pose as "serious" and "scientific" seem to be under the impression that Astrology is a fake, since there seem to have been no proved correct predictions from any astrologer, so far. While I could point out to such persons that they seem to be much more supersticious and deterministic than the average medium/fortune teller and that they are not as "scientific" as they would like to be (since they are under the impression that everything is pre-determined therefore Astrology should be able to make certain predictions - and if it does not, then it's Astrology's fault), the issue remains:

In what extend can Astrology really give actual forecasts, that get verified and in what extend does free will exist?


I wrestle with this every day. I can't give a definitive answer, but the question is valid. Let me just throw a couple of thoughts out with no pretensions of answering the question.

1) Nowhere does it say, or has it been proven, that "science (as we currently understand the meaning of that word)" is the final arbiter of truth. Therefore, if astrology doesn't meet some scientific criteria, it is not proof or even evidence of the lack of validity of astrology.

2) What, excactly, is free will? There is a difference between free will and free whim. I suggest, and expect disagreement, that free will is limited. It is limited by circumstances of birth, limitations of talent, and circumstances of time, i.e., the time or era into which we are born.

A person born into humble origins will not likely become King of a monarchy. Americans like to think that persons of low birth can become the US President. To date that feat has been accomplished exactly twice: Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, with a nod towards Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, and maybe LBJ. Your chart may show great potential in military matters, but if there is no war, no one will ever know.

All the free will in the world would not let me play 3rd base for the NY Yankees. I simply don't have the talent (even when that dream was age apporpriate). And the odds are against my ever becoming the CEO of a giant corporation. We are free to try, but external and internal limitations ... well, limit us.

I was doing some research on American astrologer Luke Broughton who made the statement that since (during his time -- the 19th century) scientists claim humans only use 3% of their brain, we have 3% free will. Never mind the percentage, even today scientists beleive we do not use much of our brain capacity. Is that the only free part? It is an interesting idea.

People overcome weak charts, but the indications of the chart seem to be valid. General Patton has, by anyone's standards, a weak chart. Yet he accomplished a great deal during his life. Lincoln's chart is pathetic. John Frawley suggested that perhaps, people with weak charts that accomplish a great deal do so because they have the ability to disengage their ego from their efforts. I kind of like that idea.

I've never been able to come to grips with this fate vs free will stuff in astrology. I am, in fact, sympathetic towards the skeptics' argument. It may the only one they have that has any validity, yet I can't give up on the idea of astrology.

If we have no free will, what is the point in trying -- anything? Yet how many of us have tried something against the odds and suceeded? It doesn't have to be a big thing, it could be a simple "She would never go out with me," or "I'll never get that job."

I suppose that is as good an aswer as any: if there is no free will, why bother? But if there is a free will, why should astrology work? Because free will is limited, and it is not free whim.

-----------------

Graelhaven:

my understanding of free will is that you are free to respond to your circumstances as you see fit. I dont think that relates to one becoming a world class athlete, unless you are in circumstances that make that a possibility. Take Oscar De La Hoya for instance, He and some of his friends were offered the same training with the same world class instructor at the same time. All of them were competant athletes, but the others chose college and a more traditional paths, rather than continue Boxing. All of them are still friends and do business together. His friend Gerry onse said to me that he thought he'd made the right decision in going to college, but what if... "there is no rewind in life." this is free will as I understand it, as opposed to fantasy. It is dealing with what is put before you. Even if you plan on becoming the President, you must get the opportunities. You can study Political Science and come from the "right" family, but if you dont have the backing of a large party and lots of funding, you will not accomplish it.

This is what I think astrology is about, defining the best times and places to look for opportunities and advanced warning that tough decisions are likely to be coming up.

I think one reason astrology can often depict human behavior is because humans so often react to situations instead of responding from intelligent consideration. So if you are dealing with people who react, instead of think you are quite likely to be able to predict accurately exactly what is going ot happen in a certain situation. (take the situation with Israel/Palestine for example, like that certainly doesn't take an astrologer to figure out, it never matters whether Palestinians or Israelis attack first, they continue to bomb each other to extinction) in other situations it is more difficult to predict because you may not have a group of people who just react, you may have people who think things through and respond in other ways. (I'd use the IRA and the Ulsters as an example instead of the israel/palestinian example but I have decided opinions on the ireland situation so I chose to use an example that I find to be the most predictable.)

--------------------------

Tom:

Quote:
Even if you plan on becoming the President, you must get the opportunities. You can study Political Science and come from the "right" family, but if you dont have the backing of a large party and lots of funding, you will not accomplish it.


These things just don't happen to people. You have to work for it, and everyone who works for it doesn't get it (fate?). One can choose to make a go of becoming a world class athlete (whim) but cannot will himself or herself without requisite talent (fate). But having the talent is not a guarantee either. A good example are the tennis players Mary Pearce and Jennifer Capriati. Both were/are very talented. Both were vying from financial and other support from the USTA; both had the credentials. Capriati got the support (I've always wondered if she was chosen because of her talent or her preceived superior marketablity) and Pearce went to play for France (she had dual citizenship). Capriati's life fell apart and so did Pearce's more or less, but both for different reasons. Capriati made a successful comeback.

OK how much of this is free will and how much is fated, if any? Capriati had a failure of will possibly due to so much being expected (including supporting her family in a lavish lifestyle) at a very young age, that she was robbed of her childhood. She did not induce the pressure; it was thrust upon her (fate?). Pearce has a father who is a living nightmare (fate?). Both were/are under severe psychological pressure. Could they have withstood it (free will)? Is that even a reasonable expectation from teenagers and very young adults (how does maturity figure into all this?). What do their charts say? Was all this fated to keep Steffi Graf number 1? If so, by whom or what? Most importantly: is all this predictable, and if so, what does that say about free will?

We cannot be anything we want to be for a variety of reasons. That indicates a lack of free will or a limitation of it. Some things are within our control others aren't. Therefore what our "will" can accomplish is limited at best-- I think.

The question is are these events predictable and therefore pre-ordained? Is that why the chart works? I don't have an answer. I prefer the idea of free will, but I doubt it is more than limited.

------------------------

Deb:

I agree with Beth where she wrote “one reason astrology can often depict human behavior is because humans so often react to situations instead of responding from intelligent consideration.”

Although everyone has free will, we very rarely use it. That’s what makes people so predictable. When my sister started smoking again after 10 years (“just a few tonight, I won’t have any more tomorrow”), I didn’t need astrology to predict she would. I could predict to any woman that she won’t be able to lift a 10-ton truck in the air, but there have been cases where ordinary women have, when their children are at risk.

Free will gives us the power to overcome the predictable and do something startling. I think astrology shows us the predictable results of predictable actions based on what is currently happening. If we change the circumstances we also change the prospects of the future. For example, if someone asks ‘when will my house sell?’ and the chart shows it won’t because the price is too high, then we can predict that they will not sell the house. But there is an option to drop the price and sell the house. I think there are very few occasions when we are truly determined by fateful circumstances. However, I think it is predictably true that we usually need something uncomfortable to kick us out of our stupors and make us realise the freedom we do have.

----------------------

Haku:

i would say that the natal chart shows the limitations and possibilities which were opposed upon us by Fate, by our karma, our gens, our environment, our upbringing and whatever -- but within these limitations we can exercise free will.

we cannot chose the archetypes taht play a role in our personaility and in our life, but we can choose how to express them. in a way astrology enhances our capacity to exercise free will, because it helps us become aware of teh limitations and possibilities taht Fate (or whattever you call it) gave us.

--------------------

Graelhaven:

Tom, I think we have different definitions of free will. My understanding of the term, is the ability to chose how you respond to a given situation. You seem to be saying that its just deciding to be something out of the blue and then it doesn't magically appear?

I believe if you are given opportunities it is up to you to take them or not. Are there circumstances which can prevent a person from becoming what they wish to become? of course, and some people over come the obstacles, some change the course of their life and most fall into the pit of despair and become whatever is easiest. The first two options to obstacles show the excersize of free will,the last is my estimation of the general populace, going with the flow instead of excersizing free will.

Take Christopher Reeve for example. There is one stubbern man who refuses to lay down and die. He's revolutionized the parapalegic world. The reeve board is an amazing step up in physical therapy for many injuries that can heal as well as for helping to keep parapalegics from just turning to mush. That is an excersize of free will. Now he keeps willing his spine to regenerate and that I think is closer to what you were talking about and while I'd love to see it happen, I'm not certain my faith in determination is quite that strong.

---------------------

Tom:

Quote:
Tom, I think we have different definitions of free will. My understanding of the term, is the ability to chose how you respond to a given situation. You seem to be saying that its just deciding to be something out of the blue and then it doesn't magically appear?


No actually I'm trying, poorly I'm afraid, to differentiate will and whim. I'm saying that a decision out of the blue is more or less inconsequential most of the time and has nothing to do with free will. In order to have free will one has to be able to do something with it or else it is useless. My point is what we are able to do with free will is limited therefore free will is limited. It is not absolute, which means some thigs are fated, e.g. being born with a congenital disease.

I'm not really even convinced by my own arguments because I go back and forth on this issue all the time. In fact, by writing about it, I've broken my own rule never to discuss it again as the discussion invariably leads nowhere. We either believe in it or we don't, I guess.
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Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AP - This is an archived post, but may still be responded to.
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Hekate



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Posted: Tue Oct 28, 2003 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for your interesting answers.

Personally I was originally puzzled because, through all those years of experience in natalities, I noticed that although certain things cannot be predicted because of the fluidity of future and its interaction with free will (or whim, or reaction, or other reasons), the basic guidelines in one's life seem to be laid out in a natal chart.
Careful - I say the "basic". While a natal chart can express in many ways and each person can utilize or not, their own specific advantages or talents, there seems to be a strange precision when it comes to outline the possible life of the person. A rough outline of the character, a rough outline of someone's life is right there and is always fulfilled no matter what. Why? How come that we are born with certain influences that are distinguishly unique? How come that certain events (shown in the natality) do actually happen no matter what? Who decides these?

In traditional astrology a natal chart is most definitely used to show the basic outline of someone's life. Techniques where developed so the life "reading" was made possible. Why? They were reading natalities but why? Because they thought there was pre-determination? Or because of a different cause? How can natality reveal the basic life outline without the existence of pre-determination?

Since I do not like to think in pre-determination terms and since I do know that free will is the most important tool he have for shaping our lives, I tried to find some reasonable answer here. The best that I have come up with so far, is in Plato's Rebublic, in the last chapter. There, Plato presents Socrates, telling a myth about Hades and souls. This story contains many astrological sympolisms like the Spin of Necessity or the eight whorls that symbolize the 7 planet orbits and the fixed stars. The souls are portrayed to chose from many kinds of lives that are offered to them by one of the Hades Demons, their own next life, then the 3 Fates do the "spinning" and every soul proceeds to the life it has chosen.

What Plato is actually telling here, in the form of myth, is that in the path of evolution, that is unique for each soul, specific life kinds (life of the athlete, of the emperor, of the scholar, of the technitian etc) are chosen, through which each soul will gain the necessary experiences in order to evolute further. So a certain amount of predetermination takes place and this is why it is revealed in the natality. The basic outlines of someone's life are right there and they will manifest. But this choice is decided by each soul and not to some external power/cause that decides for others. So even though it might look as "predetermination" in the eyes of the living, it actually is not.

An english translation of the Republic is found here:

http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/republic.11.x.html

I need to point out that the translation is not good and does not reflect the original text but it is terribly christian-oriented. Please keep this in mind if you read the last paragraphs, with the Hades myth. They have changed the word Demon with "genius", the Hades Demon that offers the souls is translated as "prophet" or "interpreter", the G-word comes up implying the christian god (as usual!) although in the original it is reffered to the corresponding god for the actions described (e.g. Pluton) and so on...

Still it is an interesting myth with a strong astrological meaning. :-)
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Deb
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Posted: Tue Oct 28, 2003 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's an interesting cross-over here with the replies to the Lord of the Geniture thread in the traditional forum, where the stoic attitude is touched upon.

I go along with the comment:

Quote:
We cannot be anything we want to be for a variety of reasons. That indicates a lack of free will or a limitation of it.


But at the same time I think we have enormous power to do incredible things with our free will provided we work within the limitations of what destiny allows. The problem is that people often expect knowledge of the birth chart to help them change their limiting circumstances and too rarely use it as a tool to come to peace with knowledge of what is not attainable.

New age and modern self-help books perpetuate the message that we can be whatever we want and people expect astrology to show them the way to that. I think it can only guide us towards being better and stronger at what we are and less susceptible to doubt and fear. I am still struggling with the argument, but feel that the pressure on modern natal astrologers to give their clients something they want places them in a very difficult position. This is one of the reasons why I much prefer to work with horary, because there's a real issue connected to what the modern mindset expects from astrology. In the past, for example, the first thing an astrologer casting a horoscope would do is try to work out how long the native is likely to live - nowadays that approach is loaded with ethical and moral issues, quite rightly. I bring it up because it demonstrates the difficulty that we face nowadays with trying to accurately predict what is and is not fated. It is such an uncomfortable issue, that I suspect most of us prefer not having a fixed and determined opinion on the matter.
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Hekate



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Posted: Tue Oct 28, 2003 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb wrote:


New age and modern self-help books perpetuate the message that we can be whatever we want and people expect astrology to show them the way to that. I think it can only guide us towards being better and stronger at what we are and less susceptible to doubt and fear.


But indeed we can be whatever we want and astrology indeed can show that. Even more it can be used for astric-aligning one's life in the same sense astrology was used in temple-building (temples were astrically aligned) or in agriculture, or in founding cities, public buildings etc.

Will is the externalization of the Psyche itself. Will is the true expression of the Psyche. We get to become what we want, regardless of knowing it or not, regardless of taking a responsible stance or not.

Whims and desires are nothing more than impulsive reactions to external stimuli. When we follow whims, we lose the connection with our own psyche, distorting the "voice" of each one's true will. And whim following always leads to failure. Because you never get to be good enough in what you do. Only when you follow your true will with courage to overcome the necessary difficulties and obstacles that other people or situations will place before your "road" (necessary because they strengthen your will and your character through this struggle), only then happiness and soul peace can be achieved and success in one's life can manifest.

I would like to use a personal example to show how all these apply in the practical level.
I am a natural-born astrologer. Discovered astrology by the age of four, drew my first chart in 13. When I was a kid, I dreamt of becoming a singer and later on I dreamt about becoming tons of other things. No matter how much I desired all these, my true nature is this of an astrologer. No matter how much I tried to be something else, I was never good enough, or successful enough, and when I was good enough or successful enough I was not truly happy and satisfied.

Fortunately, I was born with Mars conjuct MC in Aries/10th, and my true will forced me to stop fooling around and give up all the other things I desired in favour of the things I trully wanted. And I became a damn good astrologer, a unique astrologer of remarkable ability - never had I dreamt that such a thing was possible to happen.

Now of course, one could point out that there was this "lucky" Mars aspect that helped me. No. In fact the Mars aspect was there as a counterbalance for all the obstacles (and they were MANY) in my way. Someone with a much weaker will, would face easier circumstances and fewer obstacles, that's all.

Each one of us, is born with exactly what we personally need, to become what we have chosen to be. Each natality is unique and fairly counterbalanced. Either we realise this or not, the potential is right there, shouting to be utilized. The right "doors" open before us in the right times, waiting for us to walk through them. The stars provide each person with the all the necessary equipment. Even this Manson person was equipped with all he needed to success, he just chose unwisely not to follow his personal "right" path and not to utilize his equipment. And he got right what he deserved. Laughing

Free will is free. We can f*** up as much as we like, it is our prerogative I guess. It's a free world. Gods give all the gifts (and they give these gifts AND through the stars) but they will not intervene any further. To use them or not, it's your business not theirs. Each person can actually make it and regarldess of actually making it or not, the possibility is right there. Turn a blind eye to the personal "voice" of your soul and you get what you deserve. Follow this "voice" and again you will get what you deserve. Simple but not simplistic, eh? Beautiful... Cool

"The sight in my opinion is the source of the greatest benefit to us, for had we never seen the stars, and the sun, and the heaven, none of the words which we have spoken about the universe would ever have been uttered. But now the sight of day and night, and the months and the revolutions of the years, have created number, and have given us a conception of time, and the power of enquiring about the nature of the universe; and from this source we have derived philosophy, than which no greater good ever was or will be given by the gods to mortal man.
This is the greatest boon of sight: and of the lesser benefits why should I speak? even the ordinary man if he were deprived of them would bewail his loss, but in vain. Thus much let me say however: gods invented and gave us sight to the end that we might behold the courses of intelligence in the heaven, and apply them to the courses of our own intelligence which are akin to them, the unperturbed to the perturbed; and that we, learning them and partaking of the natural truth of reason, might imitate the absolutely unerring courses of divinity and regulate our own vagaries."

Plato, Timaeus

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Hekate



Joined: 28 Oct 2003
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Posted: Tue Oct 28, 2003 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb wrote:
...it demonstrates the difficulty that we face nowadays with trying to accurately predict what is and is not fated. It is such an uncomfortable issue, that I suspect most of us prefer not having a fixed and determined opinion on the matter.


Yes, but if we offer no rational argumentation that explains why some things can be predicted while other cannot, we leave the back door open for the critisism against astrology. Personally I do not intent to leave any loose ends and back doors for them.

Furthermore Plato, since 2500 years ago, has provided us with the proper argumentation so that we do not have to struggle and to re-discover it ourselves. It is right there in the last paragraph of his Republic. We are lucky enough to have the argumentation ready, so why not use it? Smile
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