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The Shattered World

One of the challenges for astrology is to find a meaningful place in our modern world. In this so-called scientific society of ours, astrology often looks like a rube, an ignorant fool left over from some bygone era. Astrology may seem quaint as it attempts to describe reality through a low-tech lens that has been surpassed by the scientific discoveries of the past 500 years. Our Ptolemeic Earth-centered view of the universe is seen as naive at its best and downright charlatanism at its worst. But, once we step back from the dogma of modern science we can rediscover astrology's truths-truths that are essential to the healing of our shattered world.

The expression "shattered world" may seem melodramatic, but what else can we say about our civilization? We have broken with nature, we have synthesized and automated, sped up and electrified ourselves out of contact with the planet on which we live. It is not simply our technology that has contributed to this, but the underlying philosophy of science that has wrenched us out of our senses into a reality far different from our direct experiences.

In the book Mystical Astrology According to Ibn 'Arabi, the author, Titus Burckhardt, points out the high price we have paid for Copernicus' heliocentric revolution. By placing the Sun in the center of the solar system, where none of us lives, our very sense of reality has been dealt a damaging blow. We are taught that what each of us experiences daily is not true. We are told that we are not the center of the solar system, but simply the inhabitants of a relatively small and unimportant planet. A result of this statement is that we have become alienated from our senses. We see the Sun move through the Zodiac each year, we feel ourselves to be on a solid, stationary planet, but that is not the truth. Science conflicts with experience and we pay dearly for this. We become alienated from our senses, which we can no longer trust, and we are distanced from our bodies as they become unreliable sources of information. It is this disassociation (or cognitive dissonance in psychological terms) that is crazy-making. No wonder we are destroying species and landscape at an extraordinary rate. No wonder we use our technological riches to push us to work harder and harder with less and less satisfaction. There can be no sanity when our senses lie to us.

Do Our Senses Deceive Us?

Each day we see the Sun, Moon and planets rise in the east and set in the west, but we've learned that this is not the truth. The truth is that the Earth is rotating on its axis, creating the illusion of rising and setting bodies. Once again, science shows us an objective truth that goes against the grain of our own observations. These scientific truths are very useful for understanding our universe, but we as individuals, and humanity as a whole, are left with less power. Power comes from trusting ourselves, from having a grip on reality and being able to move through different layers of experience with confidence in our sensory equipment. When truth comes from external authorities, scientific or otherwise, and does not coincide with our internal experience, we lose power in our lives.

Astrology, then, is a means by which we can reclaim our power. It is a system that reflects the reality of our direct experiences. It tells us that our senses are not damaged and that there is order in the universe that corresponds with an order in us. It is a human science, one that places us squarely in the middle of our lives and reestablishing the sense of belonging, which is essential to our mental health. The vast, unknown cosmos is brought into order, the Earth having its proper place in the center. This is what healing is all about.

Reclaiming Our Power

Reclaiming the power of subjective human experience from objective scientism will promote a return to balance. Astrology is not some silly old thing, a superstition or pseudo-science, but a real science of human experience. Its symbols leave room for the vagaries of human behavior, that which can never be reduced to simple and absolute formulae. This very humanness of astrology threatens the bloodless, soulless order so treasured by conventional science. If astrology is true, then no experiment can ever be perfectly replicated because the skies are always changing. Such a dynamic universe does not easily fit into today's scientific order. The very notion of cycles is something so basic to human experience, but not part of general scientific education.

The point here is not to make a devil out of science, but simply to remind us that astrology stands on its own merits, and that trying too hard to fit it into the present scientific model is not necessarily a great idea. It is not astrology that has to change to fit into the modern world, but rather the modern world that can benefit by including astrological ideas in its reality. Returning us to the center of our universe brings cohesiveness to the psyche, soothes the soul, and produces an order of a higher kind. Alienated humans, like miscalibrated instruments, will make distorted measurements. Alignment of the inner and outer selves, the objective and subjective, is not only possible, but is necessary for our evolution and survival. If you think it contradictory to include two such different perspectives, I'll remind you of what the great poet Walt Whitman once said: "Contradict myself, of course I do. I contain multitudes." Whitman was a Gemini.

This article was first published in the July 1995 issue of The Mountain Astrologer.



Jeff Jawer is a founder of He has been a professional astrologer since 1973 and is well-known as a writer, counselor and lecturer in North and South America, Europe and Australia.

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Other StarIQ articles by Jeff Jawer:

  • House Cusps and Systems   2/8/2014
  • We Are The Transits   1/4/2014
  • The Astrology of Intimacy   7/20/2013
  • Planetary Threads   7/13/2013
  • The Deconstructed Horoscope   6/1/2013
  • The Astrology of Awakening   9/28/2012
  • Astrology Apps for the iPhone   4/28/2012
  • AstroNews April 7, 2009   4/7/2009
  • House Cusps and Systems   8/27/2004
  • The Astrology of Intimacy   6/4/2004
  • Saturn in Cancer: Security and Insecurity   4/22/2004
  • The State of Astrology   10/12/2003
  • Being and Becoming   9/29/2003
  • Jupiter Opposite Neptune   2/10/2003
  • Saturn-Pluto Revisited   9/20/2002
  • Astro-Ecology   6/13/2002
  • Creative Prediction   6/6/2002
  • Pisces to Aquarius   11/10/2001
  • Scorpio: Beyond Reason   10/24/2001
  • Caring Curious Carlos   2/25/2000
  • Doug Henning's Final Act   2/8/2000
  • WTO: Shaping the World's Economic Future   12/1/1999
  • The Art of (Non) Communication   10/20/1999

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