Astrology is not a belief system; it is a language of the dynamic interplay between our interior life and the exterior world. The astrological language grants us access to the invisible realm it describes, and provides the vocabulary with which we can begin a detailed investigative exploration of the psyche.
VISIONARY ACTIVIST ASTROLOGY
Think of your life as a spiritual detective novel. Each aspect of your life, especially the really quirky, maverick parts, are clues to your task, your destiny, and your gift to the world. Astrology invites us to see life as a web of myriad meaningful patterns. Those moments when we apprehend and perceive patterns give rise in us to feelings of reverence and awe (ah!) - two very healthy attitudes that have been the central foundation of great civilizations, but are sadly lacking in our own. Gandhi spoke to this point when asked what he thought of Western civilization, by replying that he thought it was a good idea. Reverence, awe, and positive spiritual intrigue are the primary dynamic qualities that the language of astrology seeks to awaken in you.
Entertain the possibility that you are an undercover agent parachuting down to this beautiful planet in its time of need. Astrology is a language that catalyzes your memory of your mission. Each of us has some crucial task to perform in the Grand Intrigue, a task that will not only transform us personally, but also transform the entire climate of culture. By responding to astrology's invitation to participate consciously in evolution, we cultivate the infinite capacities of being fully human. Our affinities, those things to which we are strongly attracted, lead us to our gift, and hence to our way of serving the larger community. We can then give a gift to the world that could be given by no other; we can do a work or work a magic that could be effected by no other. The astrological language embodies a world view in which each of us is honored and cherished as a necessary evolutionary experiment, and is encouraged to bloom. When we bloom we become generous and vice versa.
The Lakota saying O Matake Oyasin, for all my relations, defines community in the largest sense, to include all of creation. Through this saying the Lakota remind us that all our actions want to honor the spirit in all things - bugs microbes, rocks, animals, plants, planets. Magical kinship should be encouraged at all times, for it is what makes life bearable.
Some styles of spiritual practice arise from the premise that the world is merely a seductive illusion to be transcended through detachment. There is not a lot of room for humor in this approach, for this is serious business, a kind of goal-oriented, solo, M.B.A. approach to enlightenment. Down to Gehenna, or up to the throne, he travels the fastest who travels alone, says Rudyard Kipling, speaking for those who value speed and expediency. (But is it the most interesting fun possible?) Life is to be embraced as an ally to be transformed rather than transcended. We want to become completely involved in the responsibility of shaping reality for the greater good of all our relations. For us potential life enthusiasts, astrology defines the task of being fully human as discerning the pattern of evolutionary intelligence, the liveliest possibility at any moment in time, and aligning with that.
There are two primary Buddhist paths toward enlightenment. Hinayana, which means lesser vehicle, is the path of (strictly) personal salvation, whereas Mahayana, the greater vehicle, is devoted to the salvation of all creation. The astrology of my book Making the Gods Work for You: The Astrological Language of the Psyche aspires to the Mahayana path of full self-cultivation, participation, reverent curiosity, and concern for the well-being of other creatures and thus encourages us to become increasingly conscious players on the team of creation.
This astrology weds spiritual magic and compassionate social activism to create Visionary Activist Astrology, because one without the other does not work. Vision and spirituality by themselves can be too ungrounded, detached, narcissistic, or oblivious. For example, there was a great blooming of interest in metaphysics and Eastern spiritual practices in Germany in the 1930s, but without sufficient sense of compassionate social responsibility.
Yet activism by itself is too dreary and overworked to be effective. We all know people who are doing noble, hard-working good, yet who have a gray pallor of infighting fatigue, symptomatic of magic deficiency. They are tyrannized by realism, alienated from their innate capacity to draw upon larger resources to heal and revitalize themselves. Visionary Activism invites us to participate actively in shaping and creating our personal and collective reality by embarking on an adventure of joyful maximum self-cultivation. The third Websters dictionary definition of maximum is an astronomical term for the moment of greatest brilliance of a variable star.
Astrology describes us as living in a Kairos, or fulcrum moment. The future is not fixed (but its not broken, either). Our actions can tip the fulcrum either way, toward the life or death of innumerable communities of creatures living on this planet. By voting with our imaginations, we determine the outcome.
The all-too-visible forces of greed are stupidly lumbering along, dragging everything in their net toward the abyss of planetary systems collapse. But the forces of human ingenuity and artful compassion, allied with the world of the invisibles, are sprightlier, sleeker, and smarter, and they know how to dance away from the chasm. If imaginative people can use their powers to release creation from the net, then the forces of greed can hurtle themselves into the abyss (to be transformed at a later time) without taking the rest of us.
CAROLINE W. CASEY is a visionary activist-astrologer whose unique fusion of astrology, compassionate social activism, esoteric spiritual traditions, and humor is known to audiences internationally. She has appeared on Crossfire, Nightline, and Crosswatch, and she hosts The Visionary Activist show on KPFA in Berkeley, CA. She has a degree in semiotics from Brown University and is the author of Making the Gods Work for You: The Astrological Language of the Psyche.
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