Don’t Blame Astrology

Too often, when talking to people interested in astrology who have tried their hand at interpreting their own charts, I hear things like:

Jupiter in my first house makes me naturally friendly, or
Mercury & Venus conjunct my Sun makes me charming, or
Mars squares my Moon. I can’t help but have a terrible temper.

No, no, no, no, no. You’re not getting away with that around me, especially if you say something like “I can’t help…” Take responsibility for your self.

And another myth about astrology is busted: planets don’t make you do anything. They are symbols and indicators, not the source of the trait or quality in you. Your astrological birth chart only represents what is already inside of you. You came first. Your chart came afterwards. Human beings existed for centuries before astrology was codified.

Astrologer Steven Forrest said, in his excellent beginner’s book The Inner Sky, “The map is not the territory.” Do not confuse what you see in a chart with who you are, anymore than you would assume looking at a map is the same as visiting a place. Imagine it this way: when looking at an x-ray of your broken arm, would you say, “Oh look, the x-ray broke my arm?”

The point I am making: astrology is a system, not a cause. And opting out of responsibility is not the best way to use that system. Mars did not make you get into a fight last night…but it does tell on you. It indicates you might have a tendency to lead with aggression. But you choose to make the fists and come out swinging. There are other ways of manifesting that. You could be assertive instead of aggressive. You could be forward without socking someone in the jaw. It’s just a thought.

I was prone to this attitude at the start. I claimed my T-Square forced me to become an astrologer. I was a commercial artist for years before I fell head over heels into astrology (and that really was the way it happened. I threw myself into the deep end and desperately started learning to swim as fast as I could). But being a commercial artist also satisfied the traits in me that my chart suggested. And I have been one for 33 years. I found a path, a way of being that expressed my heart. And then I found another path: astrologer. There are other options I could have pursued, and still can, I imagine, if I want to… Free will is always involved.

Even two people born at the exact same time, in the same hospital, same year, will still be different because they will make choices. If the planets and signs actually “forced” you to behave a certain way, those two people would be clones, wouldn’t they?


  1. Isabelle says:

    Very good article !
    That is the reason why I am careful about prejudging people when I do not know them or have not even spoken to them.
    A chart is a bit like a house : on the outside, you see walls, roof, windows and so on but you do not know the dweller.
    Or like the inside of the house : some people will prefer the kitchen, others will improve the living room and of course there could be improvements as well as negligence : neglect the basement and the whole house is at risk.

  2. I want to believe you but I my moon and my sun are in Taurus, so I am too stubborn to let my old beliefs go…. haha just kidding. Thanks for this post, your analogies are easy to remember and a good reminder.

  3. Donna says:

    i think its very helpful in trying to figure out the paths of least resistance. sometimes you have several choices, and want to know which way will flow better – or even which way NOT to go. its a great tool …you just have to use it as such !

    i am enjoying this as well ! thanks tony !

  4. Susie says:

    Hi Tony

    I look at it as a recipe, one large pot and all the ingredients slowly mixed into it , final result is one cosmic baby boy or girl. Thanks again Tony, I am so enjoying this .

  5. Anonymous says:

    so why look at astrology at all?

    1. are you looking for something to blame for the current state of your life?

      astrology is a guide… maps are guides… x-rays are guides… properly used, any guide can be a help…


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