If we look at how astrology has evolved over the years we’ll discover at least three different approaches. For thousands of years, astrologers have practiced what could be called the event -oriented approach. This is the predictive, fatalistic approach where we on Earth are seen as helpless victims subjected to the overwhelming forces of the planets. Thus, we need to overcome the “bad” aspects in our birth charts and avoid the predictable crises that are “caused” by the malevolent planets.
Needless to say this sort of astrology is not very inspiring or empowering. Unfortunately this is exactly the kind of astrology that many people have been exposed to! Instead of providing information about our highest potential and how to actualize it, we are left with warnings to watch out for certain transits or predictions that can dis-empower our efforts to achieve what is seeking expression from within.
Fortunately, astrology progressed into a second stage, which could be called the humanistic, or person-centered approach. Unlike the event-oriented approach, which focuses more on prediction and the “good or bad” effect of planetary influences, the humanistic approach views the individual as an essentially whole person in the process of becoming.
From the humanistic perspective the birth chart is not something that needs to be overcome nor is it to be judged in terms of good or bad. The humanistic astrologer seeks to help the individual harmonize the various aspects and functions of the personality represented by the planets, houses, zodiacal signs, and aspects. From the humanistic perspective the challenging aspects of the chart are seen as needed experiences in the act of becoming.
In Transpersonal Astrology, the third approach, the goal is not necessarily the integration or harmonization of the personality. From the transpersonal perspective, personal fulfillment is only one of many phases in the transformation process that leads to a higher level of consciousness. We all know many people that get along very harmoniously but at the same time never begin to tap their potential or share their unique contribution to society.
For those brave souls that are not satisfied with just “getting by” in life, Transpersonal Astrology offers the possibility of using each and every challenging aspect and opportunity in the birth chart as information vital to our transformation. What is revealed to us in our birth chart, from the transpersonal perspective, is our calling; our spiritual destiny.
If we are to break free of the limited sense of self that is ingrained in us by family, society and culture, we need to be willing and ready to embrace our cutting edge. In other words, we need to be willing to confront our greatest fears (challenges) that mask our greatest hope. In this case that “hope” is what each of us knows deeply, that we are truly here to make a difference and be of service to others in our own unique way.