Astrology had never really "clicked" for me– I was skeptical of its utility for meaning-making and the readings I had received in the past just didn't resonate. All of that shifted after a reading from the singularly-gifted Larry Arrington, someone who has since become a mentor and dear friend.
As it turns out, there are many ways to do astrology– some that are specific to the rich histories of ancient cultures, and others that have sprung up with new philosophies and movements in the modern era. For me, it wasn't until Larry exposed me to Demetra George's incredible work in reviving the Hellenistic tradition that I found an approach to astrology that made sense.
These rich astrological systems have roots reaching back to Mesopotamia, and a lineage that spans from Babylon, to Hermetic Egypt, through to the Hellenistic tradition that has been restored today. Sharing many similarities with Jyotish (Vedic Astrology), the use of Whole Sign Houses allows for so many nuanced connections to be made between planets and signs, and their placement within the houses of life.
The meanings behind these placements are not arbitrary, but rather come from thousands of years of watching the skies, observing the qualities of planets and stars, recording the correlations of celestial happenings with earthly events. "As above, so below" the saying goes. Much like the methodology of today's modern data science, from these massive libraries and recordings of astral phenomena, patterns began to emerge. Starting first with eclipses, a system of significations and meanings for the events of the sky was developed– the language of astrology.
This language and set of signifiers allowed me to see my natal chart and my identity in a more mythopoetic way, pulling in the archetypes from humanity's stories– both ancient and modern. When we see ourselves reflected in these characters, their trials, and their joys, we create more space to explore who we are. To inhabit these narratives is to engage in the ancient magic of human empathy, allowing ourselves to be shaped and empowered by the experiences of the other.
Astrology speaks to a universe and a system so much larger than the individual. In this, we can find a sense of belonging and solace, of being held by something bigger than ourselves. It provides an empirical system of meaning-making free from the need to moralize everything, instead providing peace in the inevitability of the movements of the natural world– physics as a system of destiny. The element of fate present in the Hellenistic tradition does not limit our agency, but rather enhances our ability to choose how we react– how we channel the energies and currents present in our experience of reality.
A good natal chart reading will help you see yourself in a more objective way, and reflect upon your strengths and flaws with kindness. With the knowledge and perspective we gain from self-reflection and analysis, we are better poised to shape our selves, our communities, and our world– better prepared to utilize those energies for our own learning and self-improvement.