I won’t be surprised if you get surprised reading about astrology from me. Of all the people, me, who is a self-proclaimed rationalist, and through my recent posts, a converted subtle activist. But in all honestly, let me admit that I am curious about astrology even if it might sound uncool among the intelligentsia. Belief is a strong word. I am not there yet and don’t intend to get their either. But curious? Of yes, I am curious like hell. I always challenge my friends, to give me God without religion, I’ll take it. To give me astrology without God, I’ll take it. There was this one gentleman who puts astrology videos on YouTube periodically, explaining planets and positions and angles and degrees. He does this behind the backdrop of his own sitting room in regular conversational English as against huge posters of deities of all religions and all mantras chanting feebly. So, I took it. I took it to do my research on astrology for no reason but to quench my curiosity one way or the other.
I am too surprised with my own quest to question the surprise of others and I am writing this post not to surprise but to explore that “suppose” factor. Astrology, with all its vagueness and smoky demeanor is still the most sought after but not sorted out mystery of mankind. From people who consult astrologers for every step of their lives to the ones who are just curious enough to read sun sign columns in the dailies and even to those who shun the whole deal as stupid, astrology has been perceived and held by different people in different light. Everyone voices his or her judgment based on how his or her individual life experiences were and what he or she believes will be. A grey area with too much noise and interference that the possibility of an original signal as ascertained by the so called yogis of the past is not even debatable today. What we debate about is the predictions made by people who call themselves astrologers. Some true and some fake.
I remember mentioning in one of the old posts of mine that my take on astrology is very queer. I’ve had enough experiences with people and their predictions. Some turned out to be utter nonsense and some surprisingly true. Like everyone else, I believed things that I wanted to hear and turned my nose on things that displeased me, calling astrology a bullshit. Doing both never satisfied me, simply because there was no reason or logic to it. To cast my vote on something, without knowing the insides always makes me queasy and uncomfortable. I need to be sure and know what I am doing and why am I doing and convince my conscience before I can actually do it. Applying the same to astrology, I simply cannot believe or negate something just because of what an astrologer or what the world outside says. I needed to know. The only way to do it is to learn the basics of astrology myself.
As a child, I’ve always been fascinated about the stars and skies. During my low days in my early life, I sat on my terrace, looking up at the darkness and consciously or unconsciously, doing that always solaced me. I do till date. I shifted from my own house to a rented place just for that wonderful balcony there and view of the outside open space that it offered. When I started my research on astrology, I was surprised at the connections between astrology and astronomy. Since I loved the later anyway, my research only became more interesting. Believe me you, I actually sat down taking notes, drawing figures and jolting numbers. I was not making predictions here. I was trying to learn how predictions were made long ago in the past. Nostradamus predicted World Wars and World Wars happened, right? How did he do it?
Tides rise up on full moon days. People suffering from the illness of the mind get over excited on full moon days. Yes, we know that on a full moon day, the upward pull by the moon’s gravity is responsible for the tides rising high. Astrology says that moon signifies mind and its gravity disturbs the minds, or let’s say the biological juices inside the minds of people. Since analytical mind of disturbed people is not in their own control to override the effect of the juices, they get over-excited while sane people remain sane.
We all know electrostatics, the magnet and iron fillings experiment. Magnets attract iron fillings. True. But depending upon the size, mass and density of the magnet in question and that of each filling, the attraction differs. Let’s combine the moon theory with electrostatics. Human beings are governed by hormones. PMS symptoms, mood-swings in pregnant and menopausal women are all attributed to the hormonal ups and downs. Just as the influence of the moon plays with the minds of the mentally challenged people, can planets and their positions with respect to earth cause hormonal rise and fall? Can magnets and iron fillings be paralleled to the planets and different human beings? Not me but astrology says that it does. There is no way to prove it otherwise unless physicists and biologists sit together and break their heads over it. When we have greater needs and problems to fix, we don’t want our great minds to waste their time and energy on this either. Who knows, our rishis probably did and had some basis for their theories which wasn’t preserved and lost over time. With half-baked information, some astrologers made half-baked predictions and we condemn the whole damn thing.
Another example. Astrology says that Saturn takes 30 years to make one revolution around the sun, 2.5 years for every 30 degree which astrology calls a house, dividing a horoscope into 12 houses. Every 2.5 years is one Saturn transit. Depending upon Saturn’s position in its orbit with respect to that of the earth in its orbit, different people on earth go through spans of 7.5 years of strife at different period of time called Sadi Sani. I couldn’t refute this argument because looking back, the years of my life which I consider the most difficult and depressed were ones that astrology said were my Sade Sani period. I’ve seen similar examples in the cases of many others as well. If moon can cause something, Saturn something else, just throw all the plants into the blender and shake it up. We get quite a cocktail, which is why no one is able to explain astrology. Simply because no one can really understand what’s going on. There is way too much going on that we just have to assume things conveniently.
All that’s said, I still feel that astrology cannot be right at all times. The days of the rishis were days without scientific advancement when say planets peacefully ruled people. Today, up above our stratosphere, there is a combat happening between the forces of natural planets and that of all our satellites, including all the internet, television and mobile signals. No, astrology cannot work today. It could have worked before but not today, at least not in its entirety. What can we say here? Is man’s invasion in this contest right or wrong? An astrologer predicted long ago that a doomsday awaited me during my first baby delivery and that I may not survive. Well agreed, I had a dramatic near-death delivery. Had I been born some 50 years ago, I would not have survived it at all. But science of today intervened timely and saved me and my baby and blessed us with a happy life. How can I condemn man for invading and triumphing over astrology? Man has given himself control over life and we all have to learn to be that man.
I am stopping my research here, lest I get too carried away and waste my time on something that I cannot control and something that I don’t know whether can control me and my mind in today’s world. Also to not overwhelm my readers with information that I am not clear about myself. What I do know is that, planets’ influence or otherwise, we can influence our minds to make our life decisions rather than gape at the roof, willing it to break open and shower riches. Let the planets do their task, influencing our mind and body. Let’s do what we have to do irrespective of that. Together, the effects adding on or canceling each other, we will have our sweet little life and that life good, bad or ugly will give us a satisfaction. The satisfaction that allied or against destiny, whichever way, we made our own destiny. My research has not only quenched my curiosity but soothed the unsettling feeling about uncertainties and satisfied me enough to proceed to live my life in my own terms. As for the truth about astrology, let’s continue to stay surprised with our eye-brows raised high, so high as to hide under the locks of hair on our forehead. As long as we don’t pull our hairs out about it, we will be fine.