A new client came to me because of something involving Saturn in her chart that had come up in another reading. The information she was given was not only wrong, the Saturn placement was incorrect. The “astrologer” who gave her this information is online, and on his website he calls himself a “master astrologist” which is interesting in itself. We astrologers don’t call ourselves “astrologists” – that is an appellation typically found only in critical newspaper articles. His website also states that he is an occultist. The definition of “occult” is defined by Google’s dictionary as “something pertaining to the supernatural or magical beliefs, practices or phenomena.” “Magic” is “the power of apparently influencing the course of events through mysterious or supernatural forces.” While it’s true that some psychics or occultists use astrology in an attempt to manipulate reality and create magic, most professional astrologers do not approach the craft with that intention. Occult really means that which is hidden from view. A planet is said to be occult another planet when it hides that planet from our view. Occult practices can be defined as those which operate under the radar of the masses, in secret and perhaps in mystery schools. Astrology as practiced by occultists can be steeped in superstition, such as the famed occultist Sepharial (a contemporary of Madame Blavatsky and himself a theosophist) who writes of “good” aspects and “evil” aspects in his . This is a more traditional approach to astrology which considers astrology to be a map of one’s fate. Presumably then the occult tools assist one in transforming one’s fate and therein lies the magic. I take a different view. While it’s true that the horoscope or natal (birth) chart represents our fate because that chart will not change no matter what we do, it also holds the secret of our personal transformation and the evolution of the soul. Those aspects that Separial defines as “evil” can be the source of our own personal empowerment. This is a truly alchemical process that goes beyond anything the ancient alchemists ever dreamed of, and it requires no special magical tools, rituals or spells. It requires simply a knowledge of the Self as described by the birth chart, and an understanding of the gifts that lie within. Vedic astrology often talks of “remedies” for negative influences in the birthchart. These remedies include fasting, the use of gemstones, and acts of contrition and good will. And while all of these methods are quite useful, they ignore the fact that the key to personal transformation lies within – that we create our reality and can transform it. We are not victims to our fate – our fate is simply a roadmap we were given. The experiences that we find along the way are determined by free will and intention. That is the real magic.
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