Astrology is an Art, and more importantly, the continuation of a tradition which stretches back to ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt – and times and places even more remote.
Anyone who makes a casual study of Astrology might surmise that since (for example) the planet Venus is said to represent love and relationships, and Mercury represents communication, and furthermore that the Roman deities bearing the same names were the Goddess of Love, and the Messenger of the Gods respectively, then modern Astrology is somehow connected with ancient Roman mythology. And they would be entirely correct! In ancient times, the people of the day did not believe that the planets were named after the gods: they believed that the planets were the gods. Therefore, by noting the movements of the planets, they sought to understand how their gods affected their daily lives.
Astrology, therefore, is really the direct continuation of the old Pagan religions, from ancient right into modern times. Therefore, in order to really understand Astrology, one ought to consider it not from a “scientific” (in the modern sense) point of view, nor from a psychological or even a “New Age” point of view: but instead ask – “how would the ancients have viewed it?”
Fortunately, one ancient sage named Hermes Trismegistos spoke with refreshing clarity on the subject. He said:
Nay more, if we must boldly speak the truth, the true “man” is e’en higher than the gods, or at the [very] least the gods and men are very whit in power each with the other equal. For no one of the gods in heaven shall come down to the earth, o’er-stepping heaven’s limit; whereas man doth mount up to heaven and measure it.
That is to say: the “gods” are the planets of astrology. Although they influence the earth, they cannot “over-step heaven’s limit” i.e. stray outside their regular course, but man can, through the use of his reason and other faculties, take account of their influence, and eventually overcome them.
Thus to the ancients in general – and Hermes Trismegistos in particular – Astrology is neither deterministic nor fatalistic. Instead, properly understood, it is the key to achieving true Free Will: by learning about what influences are affecting one’s life, one can learn to escape from them, and thus rise “higher than the gods.”
This, incidentally, is why one should be cautious when you hear about an Astrologer talking about “bad luck.” If I were to say that such and such a thing would lead to ill-fortune, the very fact that I have warned you about it gives you the key to escape it.
THE FUTURE IS NOT CARVED IN STONE – WE ALL HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE IT IF WE WANT.