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?