Astrology - A Universal Map For Experience

Ancient humans lived their lives from sunrise to sunset, with a few moments of dawn and dusk thrown in for good measure. Live was primitive, harsh, dangerous and unforgiving. Humans had to make the most of the daylight hours, which varied from season to season. Once the natural light faded, humans were pretty much in for the night, with the exception of campfires once fire was mastered. A human might be alone, with a companion or rudimentary family, or with a clan as society developed. The night was so full of danger that safety would have loomed largely in their minds. There was no television, radio, videos, cell phones, telephones, and only occasional neighbors, you get the picture. A new kid on the block probably meant someone was invading your territory and wanted what you had at whatever price you had to pay. You didn't travel far from home base once darkness set in. So what did you have? Perhaps you would keep a fire, important for keeping lions, and tigers and bears at bay as well as for general warmth. Perhaps the men of your tribe would take turns on watch so each individual could rest. I'm sure family and social activities took up some time, time that could be spared from pure survival. Sounds pretty grim doesn't it, but it is reasonably true.

What else did might you have had? Primitive humans had the night sky in all its glory. During the day, the Sun outshone every other possible light source, so there really was little to see. During the night, the brilliance of the panorama we call the heavens must have been gorgeous, with little interruption of its pristine beauty. That's what humanity looked at night after night. First to be recognized in the sky would be position and motion, most likely relative to seasonal changes at first, but gradually developing a texture and richness that eventually developed pictures, and symbols, and markers for activity. Those with an affinity for such abstract principles started to recognize repetition and cycles that could help with the living of life. A body of information began to develop, memories were made and passed down to succeeding generations, word-of-mouth, eventually codified, drawn as pictures, or recorded when writing was developed. That body of information observed, gathered and transmitted over the ages is what we call astrology.

Astrology at its simplest level is a study of cycles. Our lives are filled with cycles from the rhythm of the seasons, the tides, the agricultural cycles, animal husbandry, birth and death, on up to the modern cycles we take for granted, work days and weeks, financial markets, and more, The cycle of astrology is that of the heavens for ancient humans which is what they could see with their own eyes, and as technology developed larger cycles of the cosmos itself. Astrology as commonly practiced is primarily but not totally a study of the rhythms within our solar system, or at least the part those ancient humans could see. The ancients noticed the difference between the "fixed" lights (the stars), the "moving" lights (the planets), and the constantly shifting shape of our Moon. Ancient man saw pictures in the sky and we call them the constellations. Entire myths and stories are revealed by the constellations. Psychologist/psychiatrist Carl Yung saw astrology as the psychology of the ancients. Ancient man worshipped the life and light-giving Sun and the just-as-large fluctuating Moon. Some of the earliest drawings and artifacts are those of the Moon cycle and the Venus cycle.

And there are cycles within cycles. As you know, we travel through the solar system, circling our Sun in a 365 ¼ day rhythm. As we do that, we revolve on our axis every 24 hours. As we do that our Moon circles the Earth every 27 days, point A full circle back to point A, 12 ½ times every year (overlap between years). As if that were not enough, our Sun and its entourage of planets and satellites way out on an outreaching arm of our galaxy orbit around the center of that galaxy. Each of the other planets in our solar system have their own paths of travel and their own satellites which have their own paths of travel, each a cycle in itself, each part of and contained within increasingly larger cycles. Those are the cycles studied by astrology. Just to complicate our understanding, these cycles all take place with our Sun at the very center (heliocentric). But that is an awkward frame of reference for us, so we recalculate everything to our Earth perspective (geocentric). That causes massive changes to the cycles we study. All are valid, all have individual purpose: all are different.

For this explanation of cycles, geocentric is what ancient humans saw and is the subject of this discussion. For a picture of what ancient humans saw, we look again at the sky which although it changes very slowly overall, is slightly changed from the old version, but is the same old sky. This time we will look at those stars, planets, constellations and rhythms as a map or a set of instructions. The universe exists all around us and it has used itself as a diagram. All we have to do is to recognize that it is a diagram and use that the body of information about the meaning of those bodies and those cycles handed down through the centuries as instructions for use.

Our scientists, the astronomers meticulously measure and compile details of as many as possible bodies, their dimensions and characteristics, and their motion. Astrologers use that information to craft a map of a single point in time. They then use that centuries old information to determine meaning. That single point of time is a beginning with a rhythm and cycle of its own, and the ongoing-ness of that single point of time can be revealed. The map may be of a person, animal, city, state or country, a corporation, an illness and more, the selection is truly unlimited. The moving cycle is frozen for a split second, a map is devised, the cycle is released back into movement and an unfolding process begins. All points on the map can be read in terms of human experience. More on this in other articles.

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