Athena's Web Weekly Column

Week of December 5th, - December 11th, 2008

Star-Gazers

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  Astrologers don't always have the best PR Department working for them. It's true star-gazers once had the ear of king and court, yet there are other instances where their skills are belittled, their ignorance highlighted as examples of inept counseling or poor judgment. There are a number of Biblical references that downplay the celestial science and their practitioners, pigeon-holing them into categories that include both fakir and charlatan.

Divine image

And God made man in His Own Image

  Chapter 47 of Isaiah is one such example.

  You have had many tiring consultations:
let the astrologers come forward now
and save you,
the star-gazers
who announce month by month
what will happen to you next.
Look, they are like wisps of straw,
the fire will burn them up.
They will not save their lives
from the power of the flame.
No embers these, for keeping warm,
no fire to sit beside!
Such will your wizards prove to be for you,
for whom you have worked so hard
since you were young
each wandering his own way,
none of them can save you.

  Apparently the astrologers do not see what is abut to unfold, and therefore cannot warn their clients.

  I'm an astrologer who makes predictions 'month by month'. To do this, I simply scan the planetary alignments and select the most powerful configurations, interpreting their nature. These are short term currents, describing generic events. They're appropriate to their chore, but certainly not all-inclusive.

King and court

King and court

  At the other end of the spectrum, there's the big picture. As an astrologer of thirty six years, it's only been more recently that I have begun to observe the Vernal Equinox as a trigger to specific stars, not merely as an 'hour hand' of the 'New Age'. This is an entirely different stellar tool. Not many western astrologers use this ancient method, focusing instead on relationship, financial, medical and other more contemporary branches of the discipline.

  J.K. Rowling makes a distinction between these two classifications of star-gazers in her mythic work Harry Potter. Sybill Trelawney is a professor of divination and occasionally references planetary alignments and their influences for those concerned. This represents the 'month to month' star-gazers. But Rowling also has the centaurs of the forest studying an entirely different branch of the celestial science, one that takes years if not decades for deliberation. These hooved philosophers are not interested in the ephemeral interpretations shared with the common public. Daily banter and seasonal shifts are simply not their focus.

Bible

The Good Book

  It is to this same tradition that the prophets of the Hebrew Bible look, to the stars themselves, not just to the planets and their cycles. Much of the majesty of the Bible comes from its ability to successfully predict what is about to happen, such as Moses before the court of Pharaoh, or Isaiah warning about the period of captivity. Each of these (together with Daniel, Ezekiel, Zechariah, Haggai and others) are looking to the precessional positions of upcoming asterisms or star groups. One has only to determine when these Biblical prophets lived to see where they fall along the celestial timeline. My personal take on these lines from Isaiah is they are probably correct. The 'daily' astrologers do not have a clue as to what is about to unfold.

  One system is not right nor the other wrong. They are simply different tools used for different jobs. If you are trying to figure out what is happening between you and your lover, you would use the 'month to month' prognosticator. If you're examining civilization's strata over thousands of years, a daily, weekly or monthly 'tool' might not be the right gauge for the job. You want something that works with the decade, century or millennium.

  One uses a microscope for one kind of perspective and a telescope for another.

  A horoscope is used for a third.

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