Musings on the Spiritual Use of Astrology

     My little cat, Lenny, *loves* Smoky Quartz, the therapeutic gemstone for the astrological sign Scorpio.

     Interestingly my astrology shows that my cat (or other domestic pets) are Scorpionic lovers (Venus rules my 6th house of small animals and is in Scorpio!). Scorpio is the most potent and intense sign. For humans this equates to emotional power and resilience, regeneration, self-control, and transformation.

     For cats, apparently, this translates into a deep soulful gaze that lasts 10 minutes, or at least that's the case with me and my feline friend and partner Lenny. Our eyes meet from across the room and we lock-in, staring into each others us with the deep desire to see what lies at the core.
     Yes, my cat is fiercely loving, and Smoky Quartz helps balance and calm those intense emotions and ground him in a more peaceful state. It helps him let go, allay his fears, and release, and thus this particular stone proves fortifying.
     According to author Judy Hal in her amazing book, The Crystal Zodiac, "Protective Smoky Quartz supports your ability to see beneath the surface and accompanies you into the places where others fear to tread. It gives you the courage and insight for your own healing and that of others. This stone also encourages you to be less manipulative."
     Bizarrely, I have even caught Lenny lying with the pads of his feet touching the stone when all I did was simply leave the rock in his proximity! He gravitated towards it. But he's not alone....

     We all gravitate towards the stones, people, relationships, experiences, energies, and circumstances that compliment us, reinforce us, or offer us some sense of completion within ourselves. I have seen this again and again. Let me explain.

     People with low Fire energy (one of the four elements in classical astrology) in their chart seek out those with independent, direct, and motivating, fiery personalities to balance them out and help energize them.

     People with too much Air seek out those with little Air who require lots of variety, diversity, and stimulation at the cerebral and communicational level.
     People with a weak Moon will seek out those who are immensely caring and who will offer them the soul sustenance, nourishment, closeness, and protection that they crave.
     People with a "debilitated" Sun (this is a term used by astrologers to indicate the weakness of a planetary-psychological function of the psyche) may seek out stones, people, relationships, experiences, and circumstances that give them a stronger sense of purpose.
     The Sun signifies the ability to make a decision based on will (volition), so people with a "debilitated" Sun may at times display difficulty making decisions and seek out those who can uplift, motivate, encourage, and inspire them to grow in their life, to be more decisive. These people would benefit from Carnelian and Ruby, stones that increase the solar spark and flair latent inside all of us, strengthening our confidence, courage, pride, self-esteem, volition, intention, and vitality.
     Stones for the Sun will give us a more refined and cultivated sense of our own deserving, helping us integrate, ennoble, and aspire for our deep, driving and sincerest of desires.
     People with strong Gemini energy will gravitate towards those with strong Sagittarius energy (the sign opposite Gemini), those who will balance them out and give direction to the ever curious yet brilliant musings of the wandering Gemini mind.

     People with weak Scorpio energy, if they are spiritually attuned, may draw those Scorpionic individuals who will help attune them to the depths and inner workings of their most raw and powerful emotions, emotions which they may not place too much stock or emphasis in by their lonesome.
     When we see ourselves as *separate* individuals and view astrology through that lens, all we find is separation. What we find is that our Venus is doomed to debility, at least according to most astrologers. In that case there's no room for change: our fate is locked in. Life becomes absolutist and fatalistic, and there is little room for growth and for creating a life of meaning.

     But when we realize that man is part of a cosmic whole and by virtue of our existence we come with certain excesses and deficiencies - virtues and inefficacies - that are destined to be brought into the light of our awareness once and for all that we may transcend the limited dualities of good and bad, hot and cold, dignity and debility, what we find is that everything born of this earth has an energy to bring us, a lesson to teach us, and a sentiment to offer us.
     When we realize that the "outer" world of physical manifestation is, at its truest sense, born of our consciousness, and by re-wiring our consciousness, any thing that has ever divided us or created problems for us can continually be healed and transformed, then we are living in freedom.
     We know that we are not the cause, and yet this whole world is born of consciousness and intentionality. We then play a role in re-shaping our reality and become active agents and co-creators for our destiny, transforming our life and transcending our karma, the stored up potentials of our lives.
     Life becomes filled with - nay, steeped in - infinite possibilities, universal opportunities that are forever available to us so long as we tune in.
     We begin to look at the kaleidoscope our of lives with renewed interest, meaning, and faith, trusting that everything happens for a reason. And when we transform our consciousness and align our intentionality, the world presents all of the abundance and prosperity in the world that we seek, and we have boundless resources for solving the problems of our inner landscape and for translating that goodness into the world, where it is needed most.
     We become vessels and agents for change, sensitive to the challenges and tribulations that face humanity, and we have an increased desire and ability to help.
     We become light bearers, torch holders, and wisdom keepers in the world, and we uplift everything and everyone around us by our mere presence...because our light reminds others of the light that remains within them, dormant yet ready to be set ablaze at any moment.
     We realize that karma can be used as a powerful tool and a means for benefiting the world. Our sense of karma is itself transformed and we realize the truth in the Buddha's statement, "All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become."
     This is why I am an advocate for the *conscious and intentional* use of astrology for self-exploration.
     Why not learn to interpret and read the horoscope yourself? To become your own master, healing awareness agent, and guide?
     I see too many people relying on others' indescriminate and fatalistic interpretations of their astrology, using astrology for crystallizing a limiting worldview, for shadowing themselves in the comfort of causality, for justifying everything that is wrong in their life.
     And quite honestly, I am fed up, for out of compassion for such people I sense this will do more harm than good.
     If astrology doesn't unify your worldview and perception of reality, presenting you with an increased sense of possibilities in your life, if it doesn't serve to elevate you to become your very best self, if it doesn't help you establish peace in your heart and faith in life's beautiful ebb and flow, to access your own heart and intuition, then you may be walking down a dangerous, dark road that promises only to alienate you from others. 
     This is not a wise use of astrology. It's why some have come to see astrology as a darkened spiritual pursuit, separate from the spiritual path, and sharp like a "razor's edge":
     "Get up! Wake up! Seek the guidance of an illumined teacher and realize the Self. Sharp like a razor’s edge is the path, the sages say, difficult to traverse" (Katha Upanishad).
     When we use astrology consciously and intentionally, we step into our power and luminosity. We discover that our wish (Pisces) is our will (Aries), and that remnants of challenge in our life are tiny specks and reflections of our inner worlds waiting to be healed, blessed, consciously re-directed, and unified.
     Astrology no longer separates us but draws us all together, closer to those we love, closer to those who we may at first despise.
     It centers us and helps us tune deeper into our being. That depth of awareness penetrates every cell of our being and allows us to re-direct life's unfoldment, consciously, creatively, and carefully, in homage to the highest good.
     We discover the operations of our mind and how to separate from them that we may direct our awareness inward to a more complete inner state of fulfillment and joy.
     We begin to see the "illusion" but not be confused by it, awakening to the awareness of our constraining subjectivities that reinforce old patterns and wounds. We resign ourselves to life not out of fatalism but out of trust, surrender, and greater union with the cosmic splendor.
     We discover what we don't know, and awaken to the possibility that our life has a greater meaning beyond our mind's comprehension. Universal consciousness leads the way, and we can relax and let go knowing that the universe has got out back.
     Life becomes just a little bit easier! I recommend astrology not as a one-time reading or divination but as an on-going pursuit of self-discovery, a journey whereby we continually work to uncover our potential and expand our consciousness. Books can do that, philosophy can do that, astrology can do that, relationships can do that, but ultimately the highest form of studying astrology is experientially - from a deliberate and careful observation of the patterns in our lives.
     When you examine astrology in this way, you may be amazed, for it affords you a greater means to know your potential at every level - to know your self, to know your purpose, to know your path, and to know your heart.
     Then you can sit back and relax in the stillness and awareness of the ancient Sanskrit proverb, "life is for living." Our task becomes to sit back and let our lives unfold in Divine accordance with Universal consciousness. We discover that "To everything, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven" (Ecclesiastes, Verse 3):
"A time to be born, a time to die;
A time to plant, a time to reap.
A time to kill, a time to heal;
A time to laugh, a time to weep.
A time to build up, a time to break down;
A time to dance, a time to mourn.
A time for love, a time for hate;
A time of war, a time of peace.
A time to embrace, a time to release; 
A time to gain, a time to lose.
A time to rend, a time to sew;
A time for love, a time to be."
     We can unite with the moment, with what is, and know that it's all part of the journey, regardless of how easy or hard it may be.
     Because fortune will fade just as fast as it has flourished.
     The going will get smooth just as quickly as it has become tough. Life will come with its ebbs and flows. How else could you awaken to the reality of Unity if life didn't throw you a few curve balls?
  To Be Free
      is to...
Live Always
In The Eternal
Awareness of
That One Who
   Is Already
  With You
     May we all awaken to the limitations of our human subjectivities and rise to the recognition of the end of sorrow.
     May we all have increased moments of clarity, bliss, and joyfulness that transcends the operations and delusions of our mind, that sets us free and awakens us from the slumber and grips of personal predilections into the Cosmic Mind and a more unified vision of the whole.
     May astrology, and ANY other system of awareness that we choose to call upon to benefit us, be used only for the highest end, uplifting and unifying us to a more complete worldview. May we become whole in ourselves and bask in the joy of the discovery process that is the true blessing of astrology!