The planets are alive. Not necessarily alive in the way that we think about breathing and being on this earthly realm. But alive as in beings that matter, that hold space, and vibrate in a way that affects other beings.
Recently, I’ve researched the Gaia theory, founded by scientist James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis. This theory states that the Earth is basically a living organism, and this has been proven through several test and facts, like Earth’s ability to self-regulate its temperature and chemical composition so that life can happen and sustain itself. Life creates the environment and at the same time, the environment creates life. The Earth is alive because life and the environments that life dwells in, cooperatively exist together, in all of its harmonies, and disharmonies, and regulatory circuits.
There are several oppositional points to the idea that the Earth is alive (some being since the Earth can’t reproduce, it isn’t an organism… reproduction shouldn’t be the indicator of life). If you believe that the Earth is dead or dying, and we have weakened it with our human presence is another topic for another post. I want to focus on the impact of planetary influence on our existence. This, I would argue, should be the basis of astrological studies. We, as Earthbound individuals affected by the composition and atmosphere of Earth, are influenced materially and energetically by the presence and movements of other cosmic bodies in the sky. And instead of approaching astrology in a way that is fear based (i.e. “Ahhhhhh Mercury in retrograde/solar eclipse is screwing up my life!!1!!1!!!!”), by understanding and questioning the interconnectedness of the universe, our astrological engagements should become clearer.
Astrology and astronomy offer various ways of looking at the whole of the universe and its effect on Earth different ways of looking at the systems of control that govern planetary identity and engagement. Our ideas about our personal and collective environment should include the activity of the cosmos and planetary bodies. Just like we think about the weather affecting our daily plans, it is the case that our environment is deeply affected by the environment of the cosmos. Unlike astronomy which examines the physical universe through a scientific lens, astrology studies the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies and interprets this information as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world. Don’t get me wrong, astrology is still mathematical and scientific in ways. Astrology goes several steps further by viewing planetary bodies as having character and intentions of their own. Astrology combines mythology of stars and scientific, material positioning together in a system that examines the entire system of an alive, effectual universe.
Just as the idea of the Earth as a living organism has been deadened in a sense, so has the bodies of outer space been displaced from Nature, removed from what we consider “environment,” and disjointed from effective connection to the very structure of Earth. Astrology’s acknowledgment of the entirety of the universe continuously works to bridge the gap between “outer” space and the inner lives of humans and nonhumans on the planet so that we can make sense of the cosmic space we reside in as cosmic entities. Astrology is based on a practice of ancient humans observing the universe around them; “while in the beginning they only watched, remembered and regulated.” Our ancestors remembered the environmental inputs and outputs for survival purposes in a world that was largely unknown to them. Humans are environmental beings, after all, using our senses and responses to develop from the embryo and stay alive in various environments.
Although astrology can be traced to the ancient Babylonian application of omen astrology, the Greeks focused on certain elements of movements that the celestial bodies appeared to do day in and day out. Looking from the ground, observers noticed that celestial objects revolved in orbits around the earth, all of them together westward in the period of a day, and the (seeable) seven planets eastward (for the most part) in different periods and complex individual orbits. Celestial bodies differed from whatever was happening on Earth, not only in durability but also fundamentally in their very nature. For them, these cosmic bodies are endowed with alien qualities of autonomous circular motion, a motion that ancients gazed at and responded to as they engaged with their environment, and in turn connected to the wholeness of the universe.
It is beneficial that ancient astrology led to a deeper astronomical investigation of the cosmos because it helped answer pressing questions held by people when thinking about the cosmos. Now, it is astrology’s job to convince us that we are actually cosmic beings deeply affected by cosmic bodies in a cosmic multi-verse.
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