Zodiac

Astrology Cannot 100% Predict Your Life — But This Is What It *Can* Do

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young woman pondering, a backdrop of an astrological chart

You hear it all the time: “astrology isn’t scientific, it can’t be proven, blahblahblah...”

I have heard this a lot, and yes, I am aware of this. 

This argument stems from fundamental misunderstandings of what modern, western astrology is and the purpose it serves. People who make these arguments tend to have at least some grounding in science, but no real knowledge of modern western astrology.

A lot of popular astrology writing still seems to imply that planets can somehow control people, that astrology is just about your sun sign and nothing else, and that astrology is supposed to be able to predict events 100%.

Therefore if it doesn’t, it’s all bogus and has no value whatsoever. Also, much of the writing doesn't reflect the basic truth about occult disciplines like astrology, tarot, and numerology.

None of these are absolutely predictive or prescriptive. What they do is describe truths and potentials about you. When you consult an astrologer, tarot reader, or read an astrology forecast for your sign, that is exactly what you should do.

RELATED: How To Defend Your Belief In Astrology When People Say It's Fake

Astrology does, in fact, offer many tidbits of wisdom that will nourish you.

Astrology will not predict your entire life 100% or control your future. But it can help guide you. 

Pulling out the good stuff from astrology can help you — let's use an example from my own life and astrological chart:

I know that for me and my chart, Saturn squares the Sun in my chart (my sense of who I am), the Moon (feelings, what I need to feel happy, the atmosphere of early home life and the relationship with the female parent, instinctive habit patterns), Mars (self-assertion and any aggressive impulses), and Mercury (knowledge and communication).

Squares reflect a lot of difficulty, things you needed but didn’t get in childhood, and hard, hard lessons.

According Liz Greene's book, Saturn reveals a lot in us, including:

  • A person’s struggles to build an ego and protect him or herself.
  • An area of the personality where the person remains infantile or childlike.
  • A detailed picture of what you don’t want to see about yourself.
  • Acts as a measuring stick of the individual’s power of self-determination.

RELATED: What Your Chiron Sign Reveals About Your Deepest Wounds And Healing Powers

The trick to finding and savoring the golden chunks of wisdom that astrology can impart to you (or tarot, or any other occult “pseudoscience”) is to look at what the discipline is telling you and be honest about it.

The one question to ask is — does any of this sound like you?

Be scrupulously honest when you answer this question.

For me, the answers sounded like:

An awful childhood with a lot of hazing at school, no dad, and a mentally ill mother. I couldn’t be who I was in childhood. I

I’m think I’m stupid and don’t know anything, and I’m afraid of being laughed at and made fun of. I’m not going to stick my neck out in life. I’m afraid to risk, afraid to try, afraid of failure. I’ll feel humiliated if I fail, like I’m stupid and no good, and should be ashamed of myself for even thinking I could be as good as I want to be.

I’m afraid of being all alone and not having enough money because I couldn’t achieve the success in the world that would bring enough money in.

So, I’m going to …

(Saturn square Mars) latch on to someone else — another person whose codependency is well-detailed in his chart — who appears successful at all the things I’m not, and try to get him to take care of me.

And he will, because he’s codependent, with horrible self-esteem, and believes the only value he has to anyone is if they need him, because he thinks he has nothing else to offer.

And I’m going to browbeat him into whatever kind of life it is I think I want, which destroys the relationship.

And it almost happened.

We had the relationship. We broke up. We spoke one more time five years ago.

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This was all in our charts, and it all happened.

However, the fact that things our charts talked about at the time actually came to pass isn’t the important thing here.

What was important is that it motivated me to look for these insights about myself.

When I saw them in my chart, I asked myself if they could actually be true (never mind that I didn’t like what they were saying!)

In recognizing that they are true, I was able to make a great deal of progress in therapy, and not be the kind of person who would grab the arm of a married man like a pit bull and try to wrestle him out of his marriage.

This was a good thing.

The other good thing was that I could see an ugly line of transits describing absolute mayhem if I did that … which helped me avoid making that terrible decision.

And yet a third good thing was that, since these issues were now put squarely in front of me for me to think about, I could look up books on those topics and see what therapists had to say about them.

I learned a great deal. I found Facing Love Addiction by Pia Mellody, and The Power of Attachment by Diane Poole Heller, which helped me understand attachment theory for the first time.

And I noticed as I did that: In matters of childhood wounding, relationship difficulties, and emotional problems, many, many times, mental health experts and what I read in horoscope charts were telling me the same thing.

All of this goes to show you that astrology is neither deterministic nor predictive — because if it were, I would have pit-bulled that married man no matter what, because some irresistible planetary force would have compelled me to.

But astrology doesn’t choose what we do. We do.

Which is why no chart or set of transits can be predictive 100% of the time.

All astrology (and tarot, et. al.) can do is help you lay good odds, and understand yourself and other people.

RELATED: Your Most Toxic Trait, Based On Your Moon Sign 

P. D. Reader is a level one NCGR astrologer student and author. She writes about astrology and relationships on Medium, in her blog, and her book.

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This article was originally published at Medium.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.