How Does Astrology Work?

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What's the deal with astrology - how does it work?  Some astrologers imply that a chart is a mirror of where the astronomical planets were at the time of birth.  

Others emphasize that astrology works as a symbolic overlay only, not a literal one.  And that's my take on it, since I've observed what seem to be real associations with the chart and its angles, transits, etc.  And yet, the charts drawn have been adjusted to be in sync with the solar turning points, and are no longer aligned with actual planets out there in space.  

Here's one way to look at astrology, with some thoughts below.  

Editor's Note:  This is from guest writer Amy Herring, for  

A Moment in Time

Imagine if we could see the entire sky around us: above the earth, below it, and all angles, unobstructed. An astrology chart is essentially a map of the sky as a full circle all around the Earth, with us in the very center of that map.

It shows where the planets in our solar system, the Sun, and the Moon were in relation to us on Earth at any chosen moment in time. Earth is not depicted in an astrology chart because it is our viewpoint so we cannot see it out there in the sky since we are standing on it.

You can choose any moment of time you wish and “cast a chart” to see where all the planets were at that moment, which his, to create the sky map. One of the most common reasons to cast a chart is for the birth of a person, otherwise known as a natal or birth chart.

A natal chart, when read by an astrologer who knows how to interpret all the symbols in the chart, can give you information about the person’s life lessons and life purpose, as well their spiritual, emotional, mental, social, and physical needs.

You can get useful and personally relevant information to common questions people ask about their life, such as What career is best suited to me? What sort of person is best for me romantically? and Why am I here?

Casting your chart:

To find out where the heavenly bodies were at the time of one’s birth, you need to know your full birth date, time, and place of birth, such as June 6th, 1985, 7:09 am, in Albany, New York.

With this information an astrologer can see exactly how the planets would have been observed by you, at the moment of your birth and at the exact location on the Earth you were born. You see, astrologically speaking, the world really does revolve around you!

Editor's Note:  This series on Astrology was written by Amy Herring for

To continue reading, click on Puzzle Pieces: Planets, Signs, Houses and Aspects.

From the Editor (Molly Hall) - Astrology as a Symbolic Mirror 

I've come to realize Astrology is not a science, which implies measurable effects, and the scientific method.  But as a symbolic mirror, that sometimes helps with self-awareness, but at other times is distorted.  

What do I mean by distorted?  I say that because all interpretations are products of our own perception, or that of another -- with all the self-deception, beliefs, societal programming, etc that colors it.

How much of Astrology works through the power of suggestion, and belief?  What if your chart was cast completely differently -- would it still be accurate?

One interesting experiment is to cast your sidereal chart, which is an exact match to the planets, without the adjustment for the shift of the procession.  Do you still see yourself in this mirror, or is it unfamiliar?  

There's definitely observable truths to Astrology, but it's not known how much of that is from reinforcing the belief in it, laid down for centuries.  

Astrology is a tool for self-knowledge, but one that should never be applied as rules and associations that are set in stone.  That's when it becomes another matrix of false programming.  

Astrology works because of what we perceive, but some of that can lead to self-fullfilling situations or even developed traits.  It works because of the power of the symbolic language that's been dancing around the edges of Western civilization for centuries.  

Its origins, like Christianity, is Eastern, though, and astrological references are found throughout  the Bible.   Some Christians find it validating, while others see it as worshipping false gods.

Astrology was once wed to astronomy, and the real observable workings that guided maritime travel, and marked the passage of time.  As a timekeeper, it works, but in its current astrological form, this is a symbolic link only, though that can be powerful, too.