What do I mean that astrology is an oracle? Probably the easiest way to understand this is to define what I mean by an oracle.
Traditionally an oracle is the means through which the universe (you can call it God, truth, Spirit, ‘what-is’, etc.) is able to speak or communicates to us. The whole purpose of an oracle is to communicate something ‘true’ about who we are, what we shall become, or how we or a situation will turn out. At the very least, consulting an oracle usually results in our seeing our own bias, that is: our reaction to what the oracle communicates. Often we are disappointed or pleased and that exposes our own bias.
It is the nature of oracles to speak the truth. That is why we consult them. In other words, oracles are means or ways for us to hear or receive truth or meaning that we normally apparently cannot receive. Some would say that oracles communicate the future, because they are said to speak the truth and whatever is true lasts and will be there in the future, that is: it will last till then. That is what truth is all about – eternal or lasting. I don’t want to get all semantic about this, so I am satisfied to accept that oracles communicate to us and what they communicate is something more useful or true than what we ourselves have on hand at the time. After all, our word ‘religion’ comes from the Latin word ‘religare’ which means ‘to bind back to the source’, literally the things that are bound and will last.
We could say that an oracle is a means through which the universe manages to speak to us. Now this may be through the I-Ching, tarot, tea leaves – what-have-you? There is no accounting for tastes with oracles and like astrology itself, what works for one person as an oracle may appear ludicrous to another, and so on.
Technically oracles are one technique or means through which the universe can speak to us. Sometimes this is confused with the person who uses the oracle, such as the “Oracle of Delphi.” There was only one Delphi oracle, but many priestesses were used as the means through which the oracle (Apollo in this case) spoke. The oracle was the truth that Apollo spoke, the means (like tea leaves) was the priestess. We need to be clear on that.
We should also be clear that there are (or could be) many kinds (like: any kind) of oracles. The trick is to find one that works for you, one that you have confidence in and can accept communication from - trust. We can’t say that one oracle is better than another. We can only say that one oracle is better for us than another. One man’s treasure is another man’s trash, and so on.
Now back to astrology as an oracle. Does it make sense that something as complicated as astrology qualifies as an oracle? Of course it does. Astrology is just a very complex oracle. Keep in mind that the purpose of an oracle is to allow the universe to speak and for us to be able to listen or hear – take it in. Psychics used to call opening up a channel of communication with the universe, getting “on your contacts.” Astrology is another way to get on our contacts.
For most of us, the main reason we use astrology (at least at the beginning) is to learn about ourselves. We discover the truth (and therefore future) about ourselves through the lens of astrology. Most astrologers (myself included) are preoccupied with finding techniques that really work for them, that put them on their contacts. We leach seek astrological techniques that will open up the airways to ourselves and allow us to see deeper into our own mind and nature. Again: the truth of what and who we are is also our future, for it will be there then. The truth will last until then, until the future. That is the nature of truth.
If the goal of our use of astrology is to learn about ourselves and we try different techniques to find the ones that work for us, then there is no reason we could not have used tarot cards or tea leaves, if they would work for us. It takes a special kind of person to end up wanting to measure life through the complexity of astrological techniques, when there are all kinds of simple oracles at hand.
Astrology is indeed a profound oracle for many of us, but that is not the only use of astrology. Many astrologers attempt to use astrology as a means to manipulate the future. In my understanding, there are two main ways that oracles are used.
This first (as already mentioned) is that an oracle can give insight into the nature of our own mind. The second is that an oracle is consulted in an attempt to get a handle on or preview of the future. Are these two approaches different, the same, or somewhere in between and how does this relate to astrology?
As I contemplate the sea of astrologers I have known and met, I must admit they kind of fall into two categories (sometimes in the same person!). There are those who use astrology for revelation: to learn about who they are, why they are here and, given that information, where they might be headed and so forth, and…
There are those who are more interested in trying to wrest some predictions of what is going to happen in the future from their techniques. As mentioned, one emphasis does not exclude the other. Many astrologers use astrology as an inner guide and also try to foretell the future, whatever they may mean by that.
One of the problems I have always had (and I used to believe it was just me) is the fact that if astrologers could foretell the physical future (like the stock market), why are we not all rich or at least content financially? The simple fact is that we astrologers (at least as a group) cannot seem to foretell the stock market or anything similar. You can be sure that if we could, we would. Astrologers tend to have a poverty mentality because they tend to, as a rule, not have enough money. If you are making a living as an astrologer and are in an upper-income bracket, than you are the exception and not the rule. A rich astrologer is almost an oxymoron.
I have been told and rightly: Michael, just say that YOU can’t predict the stock market, not that astrology can’t. I agree. I should point out that I can’t seem to predict the stock market (and I can’t) and not make statements about what other astrologers can or can’t do. I hear you, but I still have eyes and as I look around the community, it is clear that ‘we’ as a group can’t do this either. Either that or we are all saints and don’t want to take advantage of the economy that way. Well, I am betting that we are not all saints and that we would if we could. Right?
So… trying to wrestle the history of future physical events from the oracle (astrology) does not seem to work well, which leaves us for the most part with an oracle who helps us to discover our inner nature, the true nature of our own mind, the truth of us.
Is there any middle ground between using astrology as a pure oracle to “know thyself” on the one hand and using astrology to try to deduce future events like the stock market on the other? Definitely! These are the many techniques of astrology.
For example, when I look at the general differences between someone with a Grand Trine chart pattern in their natal chart and another with a Grand Cross type pattern, this is just what I am doing. There are shapes or patterns of being, ‘types’ of truth, at least enough for us to roughly distinguish them one from another. Things are not black and white.
When those of you reading this get to know the nature of your own mind and I get to know the nature of my mind, that nature will be identical. We all share the same core being, but I can also say as an astrologer that this chart is the Trine type and that chart over there is the Square type and these are real differences. But this is far from being able to say this or that stock will go up tomorrow. I wish.
And these chart patterns (and everything in astrology) cycle or circle, that is: they repeat. Most of our predictive work in astrology has to do with the steady repetition of cyclic events, like the cycle of the Moon or the synodic cycle of two planets or of one planet to a fixed point like a natal position. What’s oracular about that?
My attempts to materialize astrology (such as predicting physical events like the stock market) have for the most part been a complete failure. That dog won’t hunt, at least for me. This leaves me working with the middle ground of astrological techniques, where I can discriminate roughly the shapes of things, like the difference between these aspects and those aspects in an individual, and so on. Aside from that, this leaves me with only astrology as an oracle in the purest sense.
If I separate out the astrology I have done for others (meaning counseling, readings, classes, teaching, etc.), I am pretty much left with the history of those techniques that did what? I am left with those techniques that really worked for me personally and through which I recognized myself. The first thing I do with any new technique is to see if it fits with what I already know about myself and the events in my life. If it does not confirm what I know, then I don’t use that technique. That is how I know (at least for myself) if a technique is valid for my work.
In the last analysis, I use astrology to learn about my own mind and nature, as a means of revelation as to who I am, why I am here, and so forth. In this very important way, astrology is my oracle. It is the means through which I discover the truth about myself. Astrology speaks to me and I am able to listen.
Those oracular or insight moments using astrology are (in my opinion) the most important and actually the only ones I look and hope for. Why? Because when I can listen and actually hear the oracle and learn to know myself more, then my life changes for the better, every time. In that sense my main use (and value) of astrology is as an oracle. Let’s discuss it.