The Spirit of Astrology
What is The Spirit of Astrology? In Indian astrology, called Jyotish, the very name itself means something like the “science of light” and beyond this they have the Jyotirvidya which means the “light of wisdom”. It is this Jyotirvidya which we mean by The Spirit of Astrology. It is this Light of Wisdom that an astrologer accesses the Soul of the art and pierces into the mysteries of existence whilst reading a chart and consulting with a client. It is this Light that enables us to comprehend the mechanics of astrology in a way that provides one with the ability to move beyond the various rules and texts, even creating new rules and ideas that work because they are grounded in an astrological gestalt that relies on a holistic logic even though they may not have been discussed in any of the old books.
If one approaches a chart with humility then the correct techniques and the important points to dwell upon reveal themselves with great lucidity, oftentimes in ways that surprise the astrologer. Though astrology in practice is often very linear it is also very artistic; the whole speaks volumes over any one indication one analyzes in the chart. This is why in the old books, no matter what tradition, the authors implore one to examine as many different variables to analyze and understand a single topic of life. By doing so one is forced to consider the entire chart to understand each and every topic of life, no matter how banal and mundane or lofty and esoteric (many do not do this but instead rely on single factors in their analysis).
Today many astrologers in the west who are involved in reviving and practicing the ancient traditions of astrology (Hellenistic, Medieval Persian, Renaissance and even some who practice Jyotish) have emphasized a linear form of approaching the chart and often get caught up in testing the validity of a technique in a statistical or semi-statistical manner. What many don’t seem to realize is the fact that ancient astrologers did not have the ability to rigorously test a given technique on as many charts as they wanted. Charts were much more laborious to calculate before the age of computers (that includes calculators) and before that of logarithmic tables and even before that of the first mass publications of ephemerides and tables of houses. The old astrologers based their techniques off a holistic approach wherein by tapping into the spirit of the art they wielded the wisdom of astrology to develop and employ various approaches and techniques which gave good results without rigorous statistical tests to “validate” them.
Here we touch upon something a bit more mystical than many westerners would like to acknowledge. When we understand that the nature of divination is to look for confluence - multiple different factors converging to tell the same story - then it becomes clear that what mattered most was not single factors or techniques but a convergence of factors. This is the reason why astrology can be and was often practiced in tandem with other arts like Tarot, Palmistry, Face Reading, Omenology, Geomancy etc.
But even when one had found such confluence the question remains: how were the extremely accurate predictions made? How are the old books so astoundingly accurate with regard to the delineations recorded therein? The answer lies in what confluence and holistic analysis enables one to do when properly utilized. This answer is Intuition.
This term has been abused and misused such that many practicing the tradition shun the idea completely because so many modern practitioners claim to be using it to do astrology. Intuition, as we employ the term here in this article, means “noetic certainty”. The term noetic is derived from the Greek term Nous:
“( Greek: “mind” or “intellect”) in philosophy, the faculty of intellectual apprehension and of intuitive thought. Used in a narrower sense, it is distinguished from discursive thought and applies to the apprehension of eternal intelligible substances and first principles. It is sometimes identified with the highest or divine intellect” (https://www.britannica.com/topic/nous).
Thus noetic certainty means that one is given access to hidden knowledge born from a direct link, in a single moment transcending time and space, with the Supreme Well of Wisdom or Nous. This is True Intuition - not the fluff present in modern astrological circles wherein one engages in imaginative free association born from the relative sphere of mind or discursive thought, and then calls it INTUITION (sad to inform those who yell that the yelling does not change untruth into Truth . . . ).
Using the holistic approach of the ancient astrologers described above it is possible to tune out the noise of the relative discursive intellect so that the Truth emerges fully formed from the Brow of Certitude. This is how super accurate prediction becomes possible. Relatively accurate prediction in many instances is possible without Intuition but by super accurate we mean those predictions in which a reader describes an event so accurately that it obliterates the other possibilities indicated by the planets/signs/houses involved etc (possibilities which are often infinite).
While modern scientific thought proceeds from particulars to universals, ancient holistic thought proceeds from universals to particulars. This means that a holistic astrology is built upon the law of correspondences and is theological rather than ontological. This is why The Spirit of Astrology is so important to the practice of this art - without it one can never truly grasp the Whole and traverse the depths to possess the Pearls of Wisdom. We’ve all had experiences in which we knew something to be true but couldn’t explain how or we didn’t arrive at what we knew through some sort of linear mode of investigation. To divine so that the Truth emerges spontaneously and fully formed is the beginning of real astrology and all real divination.