Astrology – Look Back to See the Future

by Marilyn Muir, LPMAFA

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Astrology has been around for thousands of years. Some of our earliest records and artifacts are astrological/astronomical in nature because those who practiced those crafts, science and the art of interpretation, used both simultaneously. The science observed, measured, calculated, and kept copious and careful records. Astrology, as the art, interpreted and applied the “facts” that had been generated by the science. Our early wise men were both, scientists and artists; those who could measure and ferret out the details then apply that knowledge to the human condition and experience.

Ancient man emerged thousands of years ago in primitive circumstances and survival was the name of his main game. Over the centuries he developed personal groupings, clans, societies, systems of beliefs, relationships with his surroundings, and a calendar that went beyond the simple recording of seasons, into a rich body of information about the ongoing effects of time and season. Before writing became a reality, all information was handed down verbally and memorized by succeeding generations who added their findings to the whole body of knowledge. Ancient drawings are the oldest codified and recorded knowledge. First came symbols, then came writing.

According to Winston Churchill, “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see.” Carl Sagan thought along similar lines. Well I like to really look backward to see what the ancients believed in because they appear to me to be quite literal in their observation and interpretation. One of my favorite archeological records for this are the photo and diagrams of an Akkadian seal from the third millennium B.C. as depicted on page 205 in The Twelfth Planet by Zecharia Sitchen. Before you discount my source, know that the seal itself is real and was housed at the Vorderasiatische Abteilung of the State Museum in East Berlin and was catalogued VA/243. Clear as a bell, there is the circular Sun, surrounded by ten circular bodies, each in reasonable proportion to their actual size as the planets surrounding Sol, our shining star of a Sun. Ten bodies? Yes, and that does include controversial Pluto. Two bodies are shown close together as a planet with a companion, our Earth and our satellite, the Moon. So – a flat earth concept came much later in human development. Were we getting wiser as we progressed?

The third millennium concept of round planets, the Sun, our satellite, and the arrangement lends itself to a circular motion of travel. Alongside this rendering is today’s version, remarkably similar. To me, the slight differences could be due to the potential rendering of a specific date or sky pattern. The ancients knew the Sun was in the center, the earth was round not flat, that there were planets not visible to the naked eye. How did they do that?

Not related to astrology/astronomy but a good verification of an ancient metaphysical doctrine is that of the Tree of Life, paramount to the ancients, written of extensively in the Hebrew Kabbalah. So mystical, so “out there” for literal-minded scientists that it is disputed and discarded as fallacy. Such a tree exists within the body of man and it is in the anatomy books of medical students everywhere. The way I learned about this was unusual.

For many years I led a healing circle, a changing group of people who would meet periodically to join together in prayer for the betterment of a person or persons. I wonder why people ridicule that practice? Meditative in nature, we would join in common silence and application for the good of those in the group and for those who asked for assistance. Space and time don’t mean anything in those experiences, unless you let your concrete, reasoning mind interfere in the process. Deep in meditation, I saw the Tree of Life in my mind’s eye and knew I had to find an anatomy book once the circle was complete. Sure enough, the Tree of Life exists once within mankind and twice in womankind.

At the base of the brain in the cerebellum, the arbor vitae (or tree of life) is amazingly visible and exists within man- and woman-kind. Additionally, in women, the mouth of the cervix, the gateway to the womb of life, when shown in cross-section, clearly illustrates the tree itself and is part of the dictionary definition of arbor vitae. The Tree of Life is not historical philosophy or myth – it is reality. Perhaps the ancients were smarter than our modern society gives them credit for. Ha!

Carl Sagan believed much the same as Winston Churchill – that you study the past to understand the future. Other believers were American patriot Patrick Henry, Roman emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius, and from our more modern era, Victor Hugo. Each stated a similar concept using their own words. 

Looking back to look forward is what astrologers do. We have a rich history of knowledge handed down to us through centuries and millennia of the observations of antiquity, verbally, through symbols, through the development of writing, through scientific measurement and observation. Ancient man needed what was usable. Knowledge without application serves no man, particularly primitive man who needed every assistance he could develop. Sure we can learn things; but those “things” should answer the common need and serve an ongoing purpose. Otherwise, “facts” are cold, unfriendly page notes. Humanity seeks understanding through the development of those facts. Understanding is achieved through experience. Astrologers accepted the observations of our predecessors, developed a body of information based on ongoing personal experience, recorded our findings, and passed them on from generation to generation. The science survived and the interpretation survived as one unit.

Separation did not occur until the emerging sciences separated themselves from the philosophy that had accompanied them through the ages. This is typical of the child denying its parent. Intellectual sophistication developed and thought it was smarter or better than instinct and history. While giving credit to the master astronomers, scientists, and physicians in our history, intellect separated itself from the application to human experience, and we lost something in the process. Astrologers didn’t forget, we just kept passing the information to succeeding generations, just as we do today.

We look backward so we can see our future more clearly. All parts of knowledge are needed. Separation is not conducive to the unity we need to achieve wisdom. We have always needed the scientific and the rational but we have also needed the humanity; not just what, but why. Mind without heart is a cold thing. Heart without mind can play the victim. The marriage of mind with heart is true unity. Both are necessary, each has value; together they achieve balance. Looking backward does help us understand our present and prepare for our future.

Published on EZine online October, 2009, republished with slight editing.

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