No matter what, home is the ground upon which we walk, which has always been there for us The basic precept of Astrology has been summed up with the phrase “As Above, So Below.” What is displayed in the heavens is said to be mimicked on Earth.

Astrologers once believed that the planets, luminaries, and star introduced a force or influence upon earthly creatures and events. One may easily imagine a Wise Man (or Woman, aka. the Essenes) standing on his palatial balcony in 5,000 B.C.E., gazing intently up at the night sky, carefully noting the passage of heavenly bodies. These notes would then be compared to the events of the Kingdom, realm, of region.

If events of the current period matched previous events, the Magi would expect similar planetary configurations in the heavens. If the events of the period were original, careful notes would be made for future study. These notes would of necessity been closely guarded and secret, least they fall into the hands of a rival.

There are accounts of Wise Men (Magi, Astrologer, same thing) who gained great power through contrived, controlling predictions that were not later born out in reality. These gentlemen and women usually lost their heads, but many lost their gonads- quite literally. Job security fell to those who new their profession well or could talk very fast.

Many religious cults, as cults today, frowned upon astrology schools. The students were not conforming to what was religiously demanded of them by those in power, and were often hacked to pieces for their efforts.

There is a story told by a woman who was “regressed” to a “past life,” where she was a Astrology student. Those who were in her group were all male youths under the tutelage of one purple robed Teacher. Late one night while they were going about their business learning the Hieros Logoi (sacred accounts), another group who practiced religious intolerance decided to do a little butchering the same night.

The astrology students were castrated and left to die.

If this account is true or not, the point is the same: If they had spent more time considering earthly events (staying in the Present), they may have been able to avoid the horror that night. (They might have gone out for pizza instead).

Around the time Rome was being built, those in power thought it a good idea to marry off the Goddess (the Triple Lunar Goddess) to their Air Gods. With the patriarchy taking power, something had to be done to diminish the Goddess in the eyes of mankind, and make Her subservient to the Male. Thus the goddess Juno was conceived, who would be the “goddess of marriage.”

Juno was married off to Zeus, who didn’t believe he was bound to any marriage vows and liked to frolic in any and all pastures available, begetting sons by the score. No other goddess has been hurt by marriage more than Juno.

To make the profane act of marriage complete, a new Sign was added to the Zodiac. Libra, which is said to rule marriage as well as relationships in general, was the twelfth Sign placed in the popular Zodiac. The Wise Men (and Women) of this period thus had to alter their methods and ways of thinking.

The oldest known astrology “chart” only had eight signs. House systems were added later. It was square, and the planetary bodies had to be placed precisely on the paper so that a straight edged graduated “ruler” could be used to determine aspects. It seems that the “equal” or “fixed” house system was the one used.

With the advent of “houses,” the astrologer could determine which arena of life was to be involved. It seems reasonable that the number of houses should match the number of Signs in the Zodiac, right? Well, not really. There were usually eight houses used, even when the number of Signs grew to twelve.

Today the most popular methods of Astrology use twelve Signs and houses, using the Tropical Zodiac in the West, Geocentric (Earth centred). There are many variations available. One may use Heliocentric (Sun centred) astrology, or use the Sidereal Zodiac (which takes into account the precession of the Equinox).

There are many popular houses systems in use today as well. Porphyrus (spelling differs) was a poet, astrologer, and scholar in ancient times. He came up with a house system called “Porphyry,” though I don’t know anyone who uses it.

Most astrologers today tend to believe that the heavenly bodies do not reach down and push us about. Rather, the planets, luminaries, and stars “mimic” Earthly events. Synchronistic in nature, they correlate instead of dictate. This hands one’s fate back to the individual, to augment or squander as one sees fit. The slight comfort of Fate has been replaced by responsibility for one’s actions.

A few astrologers still portend death and destruction from the “astrological chart.” This mode of thinking (a belief pattern based on preconceived ideas) is almost extinct. One may stay on the rail road tracks, deeming it “fate” has said one must be mashed by the train, or one may say “Screw it,” and step to the side and let fate pass. It is one’s right and responsibility to take charge of one’s life events.

Still, one always has the right to be squashed by one’s “trains.” If you refuse to drink, you are allowed to die of thirst. It’s your right.

The perceptions of “Fate Versus Free Will” seems to lean towards “free will” for the individual in the current astrological community, but the question of the “Fate of Nations,” and the rulers of Nations, is still hotly disputed.

There are arguments that a Nation must follow what is “Fated,” and that those closely connected to that Nation are heavily minified in their rights to act freely. It is well documented that a Nation in trouble always produces a single individual to correct the problem.

Abe Lincoln believed in Fate, and was said to know when he would die and how. Did he have the Right to choose? Since he was closely connected to the United States and the Civil War, I doubt it.

Kennedy chose to ignore warnings from “psychics,” we’ve been told to believe, and ended up slaughtered on national television, presumably by the hand of Cuba, Castro. But did he have a choice? I believe not.

Someone ponderously, corpulently, grossly into religious intolerance mentioned to me that “The One True God destroys Nations,” while individuals destroy themselves, I will add. Bending his idea of “God” to a non anthropomorphic deity, we could say that “The Universe” takes care of nations and leaves the individual to fend for her or his self.

Astrology does not predict. It points to probabilities, not unequivocal, assured events. Any likely event can be circumnavigated if one knows about it first. This is why I believe Astrology to be the single most useful tool for taking responsibility for one’s life.

The question “Is Astrology valid?” is one that I cannot answer competently. It is always best to question everything, and take nothing as it is offered (without the arena of astrology as well as within). I leave this question to others for exploration.