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Practial Astrology

Astrology is quite difficult for someone interested in it to understand.

Practial Astrology

Astrology is quite difficult for someone interested in it to understand. The trouble is that the meaning of a natal chart is not a concrete matter. Just as someone who watches a movie finds when they ask others who have viewed the same film, it is not always the case we can agree on the meaning of any experience. The best we can hope for is general agreement most of the time.

So what is a poor beginner to do? There really is no substitute for experience. If you were learning to read the German language for example, you would likely not suddenly begin reading German fluidly in a day's time. (If you did, then you probably have something else entirely going on) Rather, you would learn sounds, words, sentences, grammar and probably start reading some very simple books over a matter of weeks. All of this differs of course from conversational German which may or may not have any bearing on the German you have encountered when you were reading things written in it.

Imagine that not only did you face the difficulty of learning the language, but that the words themselves kept shifting. Over here, the word means "green" but right here it means "blue". That would be confusing, to say the least.

To take our analogy a little further reading astrology is like reading hieroglyphics. Hieroglyphics have an agreed upon meaning, but the nature of the image changes the meaning. Furthermore, how a person sees the image in their mind also changes the meaning. Words do not have the same issues as a pictorial language might. In part, this is because words can paint pictures. They are a degree more abstract than pictures themselves.

Hieroglyphs in tomb of Pharaoh Ramesses IV.
Photo by Tom Podmore / Unsplash

It becomes obvious, then, that in order to build up a vocabulary, the nascent astrology student must by necessity start studying the atomic building blocks of the natal chart. Houses, planets, signs, cusps, aspects. There is, it turns out, a phenomenal amount of vocabulary to know. As each of these things begin to cemet into the novice's mind, they begin to have their own understanding of the words involved. What is achieved is something rather like a "private language" in the words of Wittgenstein. The student builds up their own understandings while also learning the structure. At this point, though, it is unlikely that when one beginner student asks another that they will be likely to agree on the meaning of any given term.

Find some other posts on this blog that begin at the beginning, if that is where you happen to be, and start building your own vocabulary!

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