The Authenticity of Astrology | INFJ Forum

The Authenticity of Astrology

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by EloquentBohemian, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. This post amounts to no less than personal realization and revelation on my part.

    The spark for this was my post on this thread in which I concluded that the Signs in Astrology were of no relative value because of their historical arbitrary construction by connecting celestial objects viewed in the night sky into patterns (constellations) and assigning these patterns attributes in accordance with characters, and their accompanying narratives, from cultural mythologies.
    These mythological characters, and their attributes and narratives, have altered over time, as well as the configuration of the constellations, until their arrival at the present designations in Western cultures.
    Furthermore, in the last century astrologers have attached psychological attributes to these Signs/constellations stemming mostly from Jungian psychology, further adding to the array of possibilities for interpretation of an astrological chart. This has spawned many differing schools of astrology which define a chart in differing sets of terms, often which contradict the interpretations of other astrological schools.
    Houses in an astrological chart suffer from varying methods of calculation as well, some calculation methods based on time, others based on spacial distance, while others create equal spacing from a designated starting point such as the Ascendant or the Medium Coeli. Switching an individual's chart from one house system to another results in some planets changing House positions and therefore, the entire chart's interpretations.
    Upon these facts, I rejected the inclusion of Signs and Houses in an astrological chart.

    Subsequently, there remained only the two measurable division lines, the Ascendant/Descendant (Horizon) and the M.C./I.C., and the planets themselves. Visually on a chart, the two measurable lines, Asc/Dsc and M.C./I.C., can conceivably indicate Self/Other and Social Identity/Personal Identity respectively. The planets, on the other hand, came under the same questioning and scutiny as the Signs and Houses did.
    How and why were the attributes and qualities of each planets determined?
    Again, by cultural mythologies which, depending on which cultural mythology and the culture's historical context, the definitions, qualities and attributes have altered over time. These planetary designations are arbitrary configurations founded on the variations of the culture adopting the general forms of Western Astrology, from Babylonian to Egyptian to Greek. Other cultures have constructed other designations for planets, sometimes completely different than Western designations.

    Astrology as a cultural whole, was initially developed as a means of divination which has, only in the last hundred years, been slowly developed as a vehicle for an individual person as a means of self-discovery rather than as a means of predicting fate or the outcome of an event, whether for an individual or for a cultural group.

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    In view of my initial rejection of astrological Signs, I had no choice but to question the entire scope of Astrology, though any conclusions I drew were not arrived at by strictly empirical means. I did not apply any Science exclusively to my recent investigation, rather, I questioned primarily on the basis of my own values of truth. I referenced my own library, which is of considerable size, as well as consulting other astrologers - Western, Vedic and Chinese - as to the origins and the relevance of astrological systems, especially Western.
    These questions remained unsatisfied, as all reference material and attitudes of other astrologers questioned gave none other than historical acceptance of tradition as credence to the elements which formed the various astrological systems.

    I light of my own values, the following two questions demanded answers.
    In dealing with the life of another person and expressing conclusions based on the particular system of Astrology, were my conclusions founded on solid theories?
    Does an astrological chart designate truth about an individual and is the means this truth arrived at valid in it's foundations?

    My conclusions?

    There is no discernable supportable relevance to the resulting interpretations of an astrological chart other than arbitrary historical cultural acceptance of meanings, whether founded on cultural mythologies or psychological theories.
    Any resulting conclusions derived from an astrological chart are fluid, and sometimes contradictory, depending on the particular astrological system utilised by each individual astrologer, as well as an individual astrologer's preference of division systems (Zodiac, Sign, House) chosen within the scope of any astrological system.

    Therefore, am I providing truthful and authentic information concerning an individual's life when drawing conclusions from an astrological chart?

    I can only say that at this point, I do not know, and in view of this doubt, I cannot accept the responsibility of assisting anyone in deciding directions in their life with any thread of authenticity. I cannot practise Astrology with the conviction I formerly held, and therefore cannot practise it at all. To anyone on this Forum to whom I have promised a chart reading to, I must now decline in light of this turmoil I cannot resolve.

    These last few days have undermined much of what I have utilised as a means of helping others discover facets of themselves. Have I unwittingly influenced other people toward directions they may have not chosen otherwise based solely on the conclusions I have compiled from this system?
    This is akin to discovering that the Earth is round, and not flat as one has always believed. I now question all I have studied since 1996 and all the conclusions I have drawn for other people over the years. Acceptance of this has not been easy.
  2. Wow, was it scary to come to this conclusion? I hate when my beliefs are shaken to the core.. and I have to reevaluate everything I held dear.
  3. EB~

    I feel much sorrow that your experience on this board has resulted in such a life altering circumstance.

    Something that has a profound effect on your day-to-day life.

    What started as an innocent request has resulted in a total upheaval of a very personal nature.

    I hope you will emerge from all this the same delightful person you are.
  4. Scary is close, but I suppose it goes deeper than this. The only time I experienced something similar was when, after spending 15 years within the boundaries of the Bahai Faith, I had realized that belief in a single personal God was, for me, not correct.
    It is my nature to question everything consantly until I reach its core and question that core as to its validity. I had never done this with Astrology. I had merely accepted its premises.
    It demonstrates to me that there is nothing in life to be taken at face value, that all must be questioned in relation to one's values, and consequently, that one's values must be questioned as to how they reflect one's view of reality.

    I don't feel sadness. More to the point, I feel a bit of confusion. Sort of an 'empty place'. This has made me pause, step back and question my own values and preconceptions. In this way, it has had, and will have, a probable profound effect on my life. I doubt if this will alter my nature much, but it will alter my focus in life to a significant extent. In what way, I don't know. This is left to be seen. I am a bit at a loss for words.

    And thank you both for your concern.
  5. It's not my intention to contradict what JN and Acyclone are saying, but what you describe sounds like something good to me.

    edit: something REALLY good.
    #5 Flavus Aquila, Apr 21, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2009
  6. :hug:

    That's ok, EB - and sometimes that hits us harder than we like (the truth of things). I've always wondered in the back of my mind how astrology works, when every position in the heavens changes over time. I think you need to find out what's true for you, and that's important. If it conflicts with your values, don't do it! I get curious myself, but sometimes I need to walk away from things that aren't good for me, too.

    :m032: You'll find your way, soon enough.
  7. No, I didn't think that it wasn't good. I just thought it sounded intense.
  8. This is why you don't offer your service as truth. Offer it as a possibility.

    If a person makes a decision, solely based on an astrological chart, that is their choice.
  9. I'm not sure right now if I would qualify my conclusions as good/bad, these are realizations which alter my way of thinking on some fundamental levels. I'm still sort of in a 'shock' state of mind as this has filtered into other areas of my life. I seem to be dispelling several illusions/delusions I have merely accepted and not investigated. I am seeing them all in a different light. In the past, I had always been one to dig deep into something to find its core and I'm realising now that there are parts of my life I have not questioned why I am doing them. I didn't suspect at my age to be going through this again. Much of what has been solid is now quite fluid or in a state of dissolution. Parts of my thought processes are not as coherent or structured as they were a couple of weeks ago and some are crystal clear.
  10. Thanks, arbygil.
    Personal truth seems to be at the core of everything now. I perceive everything through my own set of values. Always have. And now these values are up for review. I have no problem cutting things out of my life, and sometimes people, it is what to fill the voids that remain with which is the hard question.
  11. I have always approached it that way, but this is not what I questioned. What I concluded was that what Astrology and all its conclusions are founded on stems from arbitrary mythological and cultural constructions and assumptions which were assigned to the planets and the constellations. Without a foundation of truth other than history and tradition, how accurate are my conclusions? This is other's lives I have dealt with and part of me wonders how I have influenced their decisions.
    I think it comes down to integrity and authenticity. These are two of my most precious values, two aspects of myself which I hold in high regard. This has brought both of them into question, as well as the integrity and authenticity other forms of 'divination' I ascribe to.
  12. You're infp? This is intense!

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