In these modern times, I don’t think that many astrologers–even remotely–believe that the movements of the planets cause anything to happen. What many ascribe to instead is the Hermetic Doctrine, “As above so below,” which tosses the notion of cause and effect out the window and posits instead that there is an intimate connection–or unity–between everything that happens within a particular moment.
With this in mind, studying the patterns of the planets at a given moment–or any isolated pattern–holds the potential to pinpoint the characteristics of that moment down to minute details. Carl Jung described this as “synchronicity” and while it’s an abstract concept it can have a completely concrete application. An astrological chart is a manifestation of this concept and though many astrologers may speak in a way that gives the impression that the planets cause us to possess certain characteristics, that’s really just a by-product of the process of interpretation and not meant literally.
I met an astrologer years ago who confessed to me that he’d lost interest in astrology–and actually stopped doing it–because he made the discovery that it wasn’t based on cause and effect. I really can’t imagine why this disappointed him so much. I think many people–especially those who consider themselves to be “scientific” imagine that astrologers believe that the planets effect us, as if they were shooting their various rays down upon us and manipulating us like puppets. And they despise astrology and those who are involved in it as a result: a complete misunderstanding,
To paraphrase Hellenistic astrologer and author Joseph Crane, astrology has an observable basis in the movement of the planets through the zodiac but it is an art of interpretation–not a science. It could be better described as a theoretical “system.” So does the fact that, for instance, the Sun and Mars, the most masculine and aggressive planetary energy will conjoin exactly at 15:57 GMT on the 14th of June suggest that more intensity and adrenaline related activity will be in the air at that time? Or when Mercury–the “planet of the mind,” forms a disharmonious aspect to Neptune (known as “Nebulous Neptune”) on June 23rd at 18:37 GMT does this indicate that more confusion and mistakes will be occurring?
Some astrologers will think that it does. Most traditional astrologers will adamantly disagree. I believe that it’s always interesting to–as objectively as possible–step back and observe at these times and draw my own conclusions. Try it.