A while back I was talking to a friend who is just beginning to learn astrology. She said that while she loved astrology and found it incredibly illuminating, it also felt a bit restrictive. She would see a harsh aspect in her chart or a tough transit coming up and feel stuck, doomed to a terrible fate. She was also concerned that people could use astrology as a crutch or an excuse for not improving their lives.
I replied, “You’re right, there are a TON of terrible ways to use astrology, just like any other tool. You can use astrology to constrict yourself and live in fear, or you can develop a philosophy that expands your life and leaves you feeling in control of your future. A good astrologer knows how to leave people empowered.”
“But how do you empower people when Pluto opposes their Moon or something else objectively terrible? Those situations suck no matter what.”
“That’s true. No one ever had a fun, lighthearted Pluto transit. I advocate acknowledging and validating the pain and darkness the person is feeling. There’s no use in pretending that it doesn’t exist. But the beauty of astrology is that it gives you the tools to help transmute that pain into something valuable that enhances people’s lives.”
“And how do you manage that?”
“By taking it to the root. Pluto is a necessary part of life. Everything needs to be transformed eventually. Steel needs to go into the forge before it is honed. And everyone has something in their lives that doesn’t serve them. By finding that thing, that root, you can help people to work with the transformation. And understanding that the pain has a purpose helps defend against despair. Imagine going through a transit like that without that understanding. It would be awful.”
To me, that really is the beauty of astrology. It places our joys and struggles within the context of our larger story and connects us to the world at large. It helps us to understand the purpose behind our experiences and pushes us to keep growing. It’s true that astrology, like anything else, can be restrictive if you let it. But it has just as much potential to set us free. It’s all in how you use it.
Has astrology enriched your life? Has it ever made things worse? Tell us your story!