Despite being fascinated by astrology, I can’t help but be somewhat skeptical. Worldview is not something one simply chooses. It is inherited and deeply entrenched. A shift in paradigm takes place over the course of generations, through intellectual struggle, dialogue, and debate. Personally, I find myself over and over again drawn back into a secular materialist mindset, out of habit, despite being aware that it is limited and problematic, and despite experiencing what I believe are the psychological consequences of such a stance: depression that comes from the meaninglessness of a material world, and anxiety due to the weight of individual responsibility that comes with secularity.
I believe we have every reason to question the predominant paradigm. Worldview, as the implicit structure of our thought, whether we are aware of it or not, affects our psychology, values, intentions and behaviour. It governs how we feel, how we treat each other, how we treat the earth, the laws and customs of our society. At this time, when we face an ecological crisis and the constellation of crises in the human psyche and world, which calls into question our very way(s) of life, I believe our only way forward is to question our assumptions and hidden beliefs, to aim to see the way we see, and to consider other ways.
Astrology may represent a potential other way, because it sees us as embedded in a creative, intelligent, and deeply meaningful cosmos. It’s at the heart of a worldview in which we are all intimately interconnected with each other, and the universe itself. It also offers us tools for living our lives with more awareness, and in alignment with the rhythms of nature. If through taking astrology seriously as an option, we find it indeed holds truth, then perhaps astrology, and the shift in worldview it represents, could inspire us (on a broad scale) to better live in harmony with each other and the earth.
If we are to seriously consider astrology, I believe the skepticism many of us feel has a use: paradigm shift doesn’t mean relinquishing the previous paradigm, but finding a way to address its limitations without rejecting its achievements. Some achievements of the modern mind are the empowerment of each individual to think for herself, question authority, come to her own truth; the triumph over dogmatic, hierarchical access to truth; and the scientific mentality, which constantly seeks to question, test, and wonder. We can draw on these achievements even as we question some of the other aspects of our inherited worldview.
It is possible to approach astrology with this scientific mindset. Astrology is a science in the sense that it relates to psychological impulse and so it is amenable to empirical testing. We may find some aspects of the tradition are supported by evidence, while others are not. It will not only be more useful if we approach it empirically (because it will be more accurate), but it is also more likely to affect the collective worldview, which we desperately need.
Regardless of whether or not astrology is an option for you, I think we could benefit, on an individual and collective level, from becoming more aware of our assumptions, questioning the worldview we have inherited, and striving for a view that is more conducive to justice and harmony than the one that is our inheritance and, whether we intend to or not, that many of us continue to enact in one way or another.