Knowing astrology is similar to knowing a new language. There are strange symbols and words, such as Capricorn, 10th house, sesquiquadrate, etc. Studying astrology means studying the letters of this new alphabet. You should learn how to use them together in words, phrases and sentences. And when you can look at a birth chart and see a lot of sentences combined together, then we are starting to understand that birth chart in its essence.
However, behind beyond this structural appreciation is a deeper plane that makes up the nucleus of astrology: your philosophy. Yes, your own views or personal philosophies will influence your perception of astrology, and the manner in which you use it.
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One approach to astrology that is highly traditional and fate-oriented, is known as fatalism. Everything is viewed as predestined, and the basic belief is that we cannot choose and lead our own lives. Astrologers who use this approach are those who foretell particular events and advise people on how to live their lives.
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By comparison, humanism is a more contemporary and choice-centric astrology approach. The premise here is that a creative force lives within each of us and seeks expression. Based on this world view, we are co-creators of our own fate or destiny.
It is not a toss between free will and destiny, but rather a combination of both. The birth chart is seen as a tool that can help us to know ourselves better, identify our strong and weak points, and ultimately to transform ourselves into self-harmonious beings.
According to humanistic astrologers, the birth chart’s purpose is to help us understand ourselves better, allowing us to see and express our highest potential. We must work with the chart-identified problem areas until we are able to overcome them. What this means is that we are not to accept our problems as fate, but we must use our awareness of them to conquer them and learn from them.
There are humanistic astrologers who believe in karma and reincarnation. Based on the philosophy of reincarnation, we all have a soul or spiritual essence that lives on following death, and lives over and over in different physical bodies in different lives. The purpose is to give us the chance to learn different lessons through different experiences, and to gradually attain wholeness or perfection.
Karma tells us that we are responsible for what we do. What we do comes back to us. These things describe the ancient doctrine of karma. It is not necessary for us to believe in karma or reincarnation however. The same concept may be explained by way of biological inheritance or genetic predisposition.