June 27, 2008
Teachings In Metaphysical Astrology: A Review

I am the (so far) happy owner of a new laptop and, being new, with Microsoft Vista SP1, it also needed new software. So I just installed Solar Fire Gold v7, and with it comes online tutorials written by Hank Friedman. Hank has been practicing astrology for 30 years. Below are some excerpts from the tutorials called, Teachings in Metaphysical Astrology, and my comments on some of his more interesting paragraphs.

From: Why Chart Readings Fail

3. Environmental and Genetic Effects

My first real understanding of the effects of environment and genetics upon the expression of one's birth chart came when I was asked by a therapist to do some readings for his psychotic clients.

These schizophrenic clients, it turned out, were severely compartmentalized and could only relate to one or two of the planets in their charts. (I've since then found that the more healthy and developed a person is, the more they can relate to everything in their chart.)

My next pronounced experience confirming the effects of environment was when a woman came to me who had a predominance of fire sign planets and a stellium of them in Sagittarius. I would never have guessed that she had any fire in her chart at all, she was so timid, introverted, and inhibited.

I found out from her that her father had beaten her whenever she spoke up, and so she learned to repress all of her fire.

Severe physical or psychological impacts upon a person can greatly alter the expression of their chart in their lives.

This is so true. Then,

The GateKeeper -- Revisited

In an earlier article I introduced the idea that the Ascendant was the gatekeeper, the place in ourselves that we not only present to the world, but that also controls what comes into us and out of us.

I'd like to also point out that a person usually tends to identify with their rising sign, and it often reflects their degree of embodiment. People at first glance tend to see your rising sign before anything else.

When you identify with your rising sign and it is not supported by other planets, e.g. the rising sign is in Earth and no planets are in Earth signs, then you tend to expect yourself to have more of the qualities of the rising sign than you actually do. In Earth, you may sign up for more responsibilities and work than is healthy for you. In Air, you might interact more than you wish to. In Water, you may retreat or keep more inside than is healthy. And in Fire, you may push yourself to express more than is appropriate, and may leap in where most of you fears to tread.

The degree of embodiment is best illustrated by an example: Two close friends of mine were born two days apart (the same year). Both are (Tropical) Pisces with only one planet in Earth in their charts. While the person with Leo rising is quite often unembodied, ungrounded, and distractible, the one with Taurus rising is incredibly embodied and grounded and physical in nature. Specifically, if a person has an Earth sign rising, they are likely to be much more embodied (all other chart factors being equal) than other elements rising.

An example of people treating you as if you are your rising sign: one client had Fire rising but all planets in Water and Earth sign. So he'd go to a party, present his Fire rising, and those looking for a firey man would gravitate to him. But when they grew to know him better, they found that he wasn't really firey at all.

Ah but the evolutionary astrologer says, but why does this Water and Earthy person have Fire rising? What is the purpose, the design, the plan?

During the twenty five years that I've practiced astrology, I've learned a lot about the use and misuse of astrology. Most astrologers forget how strongly and harmfully negative predictions and absolute statements can impact people, and that they -- the astrologer -- are effectively in the role of playing God.

One well-known astrologer told a client of mine, "because you have Saturn in your 7th house, relationships will never work for you, so don't even try." This is absolutely horrible astrology, and cruel advice.

And it was even astrologically incompetent, both because Saturn in the 7th can mean a serious relationship, or a delayed marriage, or a disparity between the ages of partners and the person, or any number of things, and in addition, in my client's chart, the Saturn was very well aspected and ensured actual success in relationship.

Astrologers also act as if the chart were "written in stone". As if the person can't grow, change, or learn how to navigate the waters of their charts successfully. In fact, just the opposite is true. As people mature, they do handle themselves, and their predispositions, much more effectively. One of my friends has Sun squared Pluto, exact, and in early years got into clashes of will, but as she grew older and wiser, these completely stopped and she never had problems again with issues like these.

One doesn't "transcend one's chart" but instead learns how to be the best person one can be. Period. And that requires facing oneself and one's patterns and working to improve. And all efforts do pay off.

Any astrologer who looks at a chart and shakes their head needs to look in the mirror and question what effect they are having on others. Whether we like it or not, every astrologer is a therapist, minister, teacher, and authority figure, and needs to take full responsibility for their impact on their clients and readers.

The wise astrologer leaves each client more awakened, in touch with themselves, more in love with who they are, and hopeful about and empowered to pursue their unfoldment.

God bless you, Hank Friedman. Thank you for saying this so well.

Vinessa • 08:43 PM •

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