Astrology Secrets Revealed by ERIC FRANCIS

Astrological Variables


June 3, 2005


Dear Eric:


I am actively interested in astrology, both Chinese and Western, and the more I learn, the more I am getting confused. Don't get me wrong, I am NOT a skeptic. It's just that between Sun, Moon, rising signs, other planetary influence, Chinese signs, elements, life experience and the nature of the human being, I find that there are so many variables and systems that they all seem to blur into a mad lump of confusion. Do you know what I mean? Please tell me your thoughts.




Confused Cancerian



Dear CC:


This is like going on a trip and asking how many maps you need to read to get to your destination. What you need is enough information to get where you're going. Each of the different systems provides differently styled information, but if you compare enough divination systems (including astrology) you will see that they generally deliver the same message, or at least provide you with the information you need when you need it. Typically you don't need the same message from four different sources to get it once. You need the information from one source to get it once.


What all the systems have in common is YOU. Your mind provides the continuity between them; your mind works with the information; and most importantly, you put the information you get to use in your life, or provide it in some clear form to a client.


The systems you describe all interrelate -- that's one of the most fun things about studying esoteric/occult subjects. There are vast tables of correspondences published (mostly by Aleister Crowley) that show you where the different ones line up, which include gems, flowers, essential oils, colors, metals and so on. Crowley was, not surprisingly, the first person to design a tarot deck to include direct astrological references. Some decades later, the Haindl Tarot came out, which includes astrological references, runes and the I Ching on the cards. The correspondences, included by a master occultist who also painted the deck, are extremely enlightening and helpful -- and help show the parallel lines among all methods of divination.


But there is such a thing as too much information.


Generally, tradition holds that with divination, less is more. That means asking fewer questions, refining those questions carefully, and knowing exactly what information you are after and why. It would mean working with fewer systems, and with a greater degree of order in your study.


If you are experiencing confusion, then work to master one system from within its own confines. Pick the one you like the best, and dedicate yourself to it. Go deeply, and really get a feel for how it works -- and plenty of experience working it. If you can focus, for example, on astrology, and you work with enough charts and enough people, you'll soon be able to easily distinguish the differences between the Sun, Moon and Rising signs. But it takes practice, and some good reading books will help; eventually, you'll come to find writers who can explain the differences between the three main signs in terms you can relate to, and eventually you'll also find charts that illustrate the point as well.


But it takes practice, dedication and focus -- and not overwhelming your mind with information that does not support your cause. Eventually, you can (and will) branch out, and when you do, what you learn in one system will be entirely applicable to what you learn in another.


If you happen to be obsessed with working across the systems (which is a tradition unto itself), then I suggest you do so in an orderly way, and work with teachers who specialize in that. It also helps to have a central system which you can use as the focus of your work. Personally, I think that both astrology and tarot work quite well as central systems to organize all the other ones, and they have references that are familiar to our Western thought patterns. They overlap considerably. The work of the two deck designers I mentioned above -- the Crowley Tarot and the Haindl Tarot -- are very helpful, and books about both decks will help you make the connections.


Or, you can get yourself an old Medievalish book like Culpepper's Herbal (by Culpepper, nice if you dig plants) or Christian Astrology (by Lilly, if you like doing spooky astrology and want to learn how to find lost cats), both of which will trek you back through all the old imagery of something called the 'doctrine of signatures'. This is the larger system that says all the systems are connected. It's where we find out that Leo is about the Sun, which is represented by the metal gold, and symbolized by cats of various sorts. Then if you go to Delos in Greece, where Apollo, the god of the Sun was born, you find out that a bunch of cats guard the site of his birth (see article here).


If you happen to be reading Christian Astrology, you'll discover that Virgo signifies a "study where books are, a closet, a dairy-house, cornfields, granaries, malt-houses, hayricks, or of barley, wheat or peas, or a place where cheese and butter are preserved and stored up." This sign, in its worldly expression, is about food and its preservation -- and food for the mind.


From this kind of research, you'll discover that all the different systems are describing the same thing, which is the world in which we live, and the experiences that we have. They just do so in different ways, through different cultural references.


Just remember: the truth you're seeking goes beyond any and all of them.