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Embracing Astrology

As above, so below
By Sarah Wright

When I embarked upon a spiritual path, my teachers impressed upon me the importance of the phrase 'Know Thyself'. This, the inscription on the Oracle at the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, was the first step of the learning process.

At this time, I was given the wonderful gift of astrology as a means of self discovery. I rapidly discovered through personal study that a subject I had previously dismissed as 'fortune telling' contained a wealth of insights into the human condition. The spiral motion of the Universe captured for the time and place of my birth, emerges as a unique map of my personality ,showing my weaknesses and strengths, much like a the spiral structure of DNA contains the blue print of our physiology and psychology.

In astrology, each of the planets from the Sun to Saturn represents a particular drive within the psyche. Their positions and interlocking patterns in the birth chart give an imprint of our tendencies and disposition. Our depositions and tendencies pre determine how we react to certain stimuli and therefore influence our experience and the quality of that experience.

Furthermore, the outer planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto give an indication of how we are affected as individuals by the times that we are born in. These planets move very slowly, their movements affect the collective though patterns of whole generations. Neptune, for example, takes up to eighteen years to move through a sign. It entered Aquarius in 1996 and will not move into Pisces until 2012 and is responsible for trends in music, art and spirituality.

How is this information to our advantage? I will use the example of the planet Mars to demonstrate. Mars represents the drive to take action, the way in which we utilise our energy, our ability to take the initiative and assert ourselves and the ability to make decisions i.e.. decide on one course of action over another. Mars is happiest placed in the sign of Aries, which has qualities most like its own nature. A person with Mars placed in Aries will prefer to take any action rather than none.

For this reason they are very decisive and make good leaders. Indeed, they often rush in where angels fear to tread. They have an abundance of energy for which a suitable outlet must be found if it is not to lead to frustration and irritation. Energy is not enthusiastically directed at the start of the enterprise as they are great initiators and motivators.

By contrast Mars placed in the sign of Taurus behaves very differently. Taurus is the most solid of Earth signs, so its nature is averse to the energy, decisiveness and activity of Mars. Someone with Mars placed in Taurus will look to conserve rather than expend energy. Inertia and lack of motivation is often a real problem for these people. They are measured and cautious in action and slow to make decisions. They assert themselves by standing their ground and the use of won't power rather than will power.

However, once decided on a course of action, they are steadfast and capable of sustained effort over a long period of time. As Taurus is ruled by the planet Venus it is often found that this Mars combination depicts a person who is able to produce articles of beauty or a person who understands how to work with the cycles of nature. Their ability lies in allowing things to ripen in their own time.

Therefore, if you were looking for a person to lead troops into battle you would choose the Mars in Aries person. If you were looking for a person to farm your land you would employ a Mars in Taurus person. It would be quite useless to switch their places as Mars in Taurus would never make it out of the trench and Mars in Aries would never have the patience to wait for the seeds to germinate.

Having an understanding of our inner motivations leads to a gradual acceptance of ourselves and allows us to be the people that we are. How wise my teachers were at the beginning of my journey; little did I know that the first step was actually the whole path and a lifetimes work.

Sarah Wright has studied astrology for over ten years and gives readings in and around Watford, Herts. You can email Sarah at
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