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Utilizing Astrology as a Tool for Understanding

For centuries, humankind has utilized tools to improve our worldly functioning and efficiency. From the hammer to the drill, and from the wheel to the car, progress appears to be a force of nature, or at least an act of human willpower.

Just as you can use a hammer to put a nail in a wall to hold up a portrait or to bludgeon your own toe, astrology can be a tool used for utilitarian or malicious purposes as well.

In recent years, I've noticed a few different attitudes arise prominently towards astrology. One which I noticed to be common on the east coast is that astrology is simply nonsense. Some people believe there could be no psychological link between the movement of celestial bodies and our own psyche, and there's no reason to think there should be. The argument usually stops there, and rightfully so. After all, astrology has acquired a name for itself as rather simplistic and fanciful due to newspaper horoscopes and the image of the fortune-teller. Another group which I've witnessed since I've moved to the west coast believes in astrology without a second thought, absorbing all horoscopes like water and without hesitation. It's amazing to witness how, when we are on the lookout for answers, they appear before us in a myriad of forms. However, not all of these forms offer the clearest level of astrological understanding, for its complexity is delicately beautiful. I try to straddle the line between these two groups. Maintaining healthy skepticism has lead me to study astrology in detail and with great rigor, and I am continuously challenged by the seemingly-infinite nuances it holds as a tool for greater understanding. At the same time, I believe living a life with meaning entails viewing the world as a teacher offering wisdom in a variety of forms, with astrology being just one useful method for understanding. I view astrology as a tool for developing self-understanding. I reject the notion of astrology as a force of prediction, because prediction eliminates the possibility of options for whoever is receiving an astrological reading, thereby creating a power dynamic which the astrologer holds the key to. Rather, I think it is important to share with people what resources they have within themselves in accordance with the stars and planets above. Each planet and each sign is an archetype, and within those archetypes lies the potential for crafting a meaningful understanding of oneself-in-the-world. Alongside my process of sharing astrological readings, I also aim to impart knowledge of astrology which one can take home with them. Wisdom isn't meant to be achieved in the hour or so we spend together and forgotten afterwards; it's a lifelong process, and I believe astrology can be a huge resource for coping with life's cyclical challenges, as long as the language becomes easy to understand. Astrology has been long-buried in the mainstream Western culture, pushed to obscure edges of "occult" sections in bookstores. I believe it is time for this pattern to change, and I hope that by offering practical, teaching-oriented readings in astrology, we can collectively recollect what a useful tool astrology can be in trying times such as these. After all, what's the use of a tool if it stays hidden away in a shed? Therefore, I offer you this gift. Let's explore together how we can utilize the tools we have within us to make ourselves the person we wish to become.

SF Flower, copyright Greg Tilden 2017

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