Astrological Principles - Making Choices Part 2
IN PART 1 I wrote about astrology, freewill and choice as applied to the individual human life. There is, however, another (but related) area of astrology which deals with choice. It deals specifically with the search for ‘propitious’ times to begin enterprises and projects. This branch of astrology is called electional astrology. Before I address the philosophical implications of performing astrological elections, let me explain the process from the astrologer’s viewpoint.
Typically, a client comes to the astrologer asking him or her to choose the ‘best’ time to hold an event, to start a business, to get married, or whatever. The astrologer then has to decide what constitutes ‘best’ for the particular situation and look through the celestial diary, as it were, to find a time and date at which the planetary positions seem ‘right’. Then the astrologer informs the client, who may or may not follow the advice given. Sometimes the client already has a date in mind and asks whether it is good or not. In former days, performing elections was very time-consuming, every likely time having to have a chart hand-calculated for it. In these modern days, computer calculation has revolutionised the art, and it is now much simpler.
In fact, elections have in past ages formed the bulk of many astrologers’ work, and this is still the case today in the East, India particularly. It is once again becoming more common in the western world too – I do quite a bit of electional work myself. Unfortunately, while history furnishes us with a number of famous examples of electional astrologers and of specific elections, the majority of these are notorious rather than just well-known.
The Roman emperor Tiberius gave his astrologers a particularly hard time: if they couldn’t come up with something favourable for whatever he wanted to do, they generally ended up dead after some exquisite torture had been applied to them. A number of twentieth-century astrologers, notably Charles Carter, firmly believed that Hitler used electional astrology to time many of his wartime projects. The well-known court astrologers of mediaeval times tended to have ambiguous reputations and sometimes a penchant for magic of a not altogether white variety.
For the serious astrologer, however good his or her intentions, electional work can be fraught with ethical problems. If an event such as a client’s marriage or the foundation of a business is actually predestined by the client’s choices made in former lives, is it legitimate to seek an election in the first place? Is the astrologer justified in being prepared to provide one? How much is the astrologer influenced, consciously or unconsciously, by intuitive knowledge of the client’s karma in the matter? Can performing an election actually make any difference to the outcome? The answers to all these questions will vary from occasion to occasion, but often have to be asked, even if only silently.
You might wonder at this juncture whether there is any point in choosing times and dates astrologically at all, but I would contend that in spite of all this, there is. Many people who seek my advice in this way are spiritually aware and truly want to do what is right about a situation; they are not coming to the matter from a selfish viewpoint – and in any case, who am I to judge their motives?
Almost invariably, in these cases I find that my work confirms what they already felt but they just didn’t have quite enough confidence to take action without backup, so to speak. So I am, in effect, empowering them to do (or not to do) what they already realised was right in the first place. Those clients who are not so aware tend to find that an answer given to an electional enquiry draws their attention to things they hadn’t considered, and opens their consciousness, perhaps, to other possible outcomes than the one they were considering.
When I have to choose appropriate charts for clients’ enterprises, I do not, as might be supposed, automatically look for the ‘best’ chart in terms of what looks ‘easiest’. This is a trap that is all too easy to fall into. What one needs to look for is a time and date that best reflect the matter in question. A ‘hard’ chart will often prove much better for a project than an ‘easy’ one, as it symbolises more energy. Usually, of course, the right chart shows a mix of hard and free-flowing planetary links in ways which are appropriate to the given situation.
What of the contention that if a matter is fated by a past choice, there is no point in an election? Even here, I think the work is still valid. First, even if a matter is ‘fated’, there still has to be a right time for it to manifest, and second, we can never be sure which events and projects are thus fated and which are still subject to today’s freewill choice. We may think we know, and in most cases we are probably right if we are well-trained astrologers, but we can never be certain.
Electional work allows clients to exercise their freewill as much as they are able, whether most of that freewill is imaginary because of past choices determining present happenings, or whether genuine freewill is involved to a large extent. You could say, then, that electional astrology ensures the maximum opportunity to exercise what freewill the client has, with the aid of the wisdom provided by the astrologer. The astrologer will not be able to change anything that is not in the client’s deepest spiritual interests to change, but he or she will be able to help the client to be as fully informed as possible with regard to the specific issue in question.
Those new to White Eagle’s work are often surprised that astrology plays a significant role in it, but White Eagle himself strongly commends it to our attention, not because it in any way interferes with the freewill choices and destinies of humankind, but because it reflects them in a way we can come to understand. Spiritual truth may not be communicable in words, but the symbolism of astrology certainly helps to illustrate it. Used rightly, it can benefit us all. In this matter of choices, it is not so much that it can affect a choice, but rather, that it can show us a glimpse of the spiritual ‘logic’ that lies behind it.
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