Using the map of Italy would not conflict with your religious faith – it is a helpful navigational tool, not a religion. In a similar manner, the astrological birthchart is a map of your life, personality, and potentials. It shows you the territory of your life, and gives you self-awareness.
You can use this awareness you’ve gained about yourself and your life cycles to help you in navigating your life, while simultaneously using your religious faith to guide your life decisions. If you had a weather forecast that told you it would rain tomorrow, you would not negate your religious faith by using that forecast. The astrological birthchart is a map that gives you more information than you had before - it does not replace your religious faith.
We know that based on the cycle of the Earth and the Sun, it gets colder in the winter months in the Northern Hemisphere. Humans have been observing the cycles of the planets for at least 5,000 years. They have observed that certain situations develop under certain cycles, just like the prediction of colder weather in the winter based on the Sun-Earth cycle. One might say that astrology is the ultimate environmentalism - being aware that we are part of a larger eco-system called the solar system, and that we are all inter-related. Knowing natural rhythms and cycles is not fatalism - it is understanding how the universe is constructed.
In modern humanistic astrology, which I practice, one of the goals is self-awareness, which leads to more choice in life and less unconscious behavior. The planets are seen as symbols for energies that live inside of us, not outside of us. Ancient astrology used the dictum “As above, so below”. The movements of the planets mirror the movements of energies here on earth. They are not “causing” something to happen, but describing what is happening. They are signposts.
Through knowing our astrological birthchart, we
have greater awareness of our patterns, and awareness of a pattern allows
us to gain some distance from it and choose something different. If we
are not conscious of our pattern, we will continue to repeat it automatically.
Modern humanistic astrology is the opposite of fatalism - it promotes
“Astrology Doesn’t Work - The
Signs Have Moved”
Their argument goes like this - Because of the precession of the equinoxes, which means that the earth wobbles on its axis, the constellations have moved, so that the Sun is no longer in Aries on the first day of Spring, but is in Aquarius. Therefore, astrological Signs and forecasts cannot be accurate.
Astrologers have been studying the heavens for over 5,000 years, and of course they are aware of the precession of the equinoxes. Because of the earth’s wobble on its axis, every 2,000 – 2,140 years or so the Sun enters a new constellation on the first day of Spring, the Spring Equinox. This phenomenon is called the precession of the Equinoxes because the Signs keep moving backwards. When Jesus was born the Sun began entering the constellation of Pisces. At this point the Sun has entered the constellation of Aquarius on the Spring Equinox, hence the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.
The scientists who criticize astrology in this manner are unaware that Western Astrology never used the constellations to mark where the Zodiac Signs are!
Western astrology has always been based on the relationship between the Earth and the Sun, not on the relationship between the Earth and the constellations. The positions of the Zodiac Signs are determined in the following manner. At the moment of the Spring Equinox, when the days and nights are equal, the first Zodiac Sign of Aries begins.
Each of the twelve Signs is equal in length. Starting at the point of the Spring Equinox, the next Zodiac Sign begins when 1/12 of the year has passed. The Zodiac Signs have never moved. The constellations were originally used as inspirations for the Signs, but were never used as markers for the Signs.