If you’re anything like me, your first taste of astrology was probably via Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs or one of the thousands of newspaper horoscopes that claim to know how your day will go. Because it was so simplistic I immediately rejected it. I couldn’t accept that human beings, that diverse, nuanced bunch of saints and hoodlums, could be divided into twelve simple groups. As for the horoscopes I found them so vague that any one of them could have applied.
I do not believe that the highest purpose of astrology is to predict the future. It’s true that once we become aware of the planetary transits we can see when a certain energy is at work and also when such an energy will arise in the future. This can be helpful in preparing us to accept change in our lives. However we also have free will. We can decide to align ourselves with the process of growth and change, or we can choose to resist or deny it.
In the same way, pigeon holing ourselves or others as an Aries or a Capricorn doesn’t take into account the complexity of each individual human being. When we are born we arrive on this planet at a certain point in time and space. At this point we enter into a complex, cosmic dance which then plays out over the course of our lives, much like a computer program. If we had a way of seeing a whole life laid out in an easily readable fashion we could say, ‘Oh, here’s where she’s going to learn how to take care of herself instead of relying on others,’ or ‘Here’s where she first experiences death and loss.’
But this process of unfolding is much too complicated for that. Yes we can pinpoint certain periods of change, such as the Saturn return, by looking at the cycle of a particular planet in isolation, but this does not take into account the interactions this planet has with the rest of the birth chart. The best we can do is to look at a short period of time, now or in the past or future, and from this ascertain a little of what a person is experiencing.
This is about as far from the simplicity of personality-based astrology as one can get!
So what exactly is Evolutionary Astrology?
Astrology is based on cycles. At our birth each of the planets commences at a different point in the cycle, which makes me believe that it picks up from where it ended in our last lifetime. This approach to astrology, which looks at the process of our spiritual growth and development over many lifetimes, is called evolutionary astrology.
One of evolutionary astrology’s most renowned practitioners is Steven Forrest. In his article About Evolutionary Astrology Steven writes that evolutionary astrology is characterised by “an acceptance of the fact that human beings incarnate in a succession of lifetimes,” that “the birth chart reflects the evolutionary condition of the soul at the moment of incarnation… (and) the evolutionary intentions of the soul for the present life.”
Evolutionary astrology posits that the events of our lives are not random but “reflect the evolutionary intentions and necessities of the soul,” and that “human beings are responsible for the realities they experience, both internally and externally.” Rather than being a solid, static blueprint of our personality the birth chart is a multidimensional, fluid and shifting thing that we interact with creatively and, more or less, consciously.
Evolutionary astrology takes a much wider view than traditional or pop astrology and is more interested in the transits of the slow moving outer planets, rather than the continuous, busy movement of the ‘personal planets’, the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars. These outer planet transits catalyse major transformation at both the personal and social level. They represent big shifts in our spiritual evolution and should be embraced rather than feared.
As an astrologer coming from the evolutionary perspective I see astrology as a map or mirror in which we can catch a glimpse of our spiritual journey over many lifetimes. Learning the language of astrology can unlock a vast wealth of knowledge that can help you navigate this journey more smoothly and peacefully.
Evolutionary Astrology and you
Do you use astrology as a tool for your personal and spiritual growth? If so, feel free to share your thoughts experiences below.