Looking backwards

At its best, a balanced interpretation of the astrological birth chart can give one a sense of belonging to life, a sense that it is actually okay to be who one is – a sense that however often it may appear otherwise, life is unfolding exactly as it is supposed to.

Contrary to many people’s idea of astrology (often based on Sun signs and horoscopes in the media), it can actually be most useful as a tool for self-awareness when looking backwards at the past. Although astrologers “predict” the meaning of planetary cycles and patterns for the future, much of this is inevitably unknown and open to change. The events of a person’s past on the other hand, can be clearly interpreted using astrological correspondences, often with startling accuracy. Serious astrology can offer a greater understanding of the meaning of previous life experiences.

The Saturn return at around age 29 is a good example of this. Anyone over 30 can look back at that time (the exact period depends on the individual birth chart) as a major turning point of some kind. Issues of commitment, responsibility and “growing up” are themes at this time. People get married, get divorced, change career, start a family… the individual chart reveals more specific information, the changes may be relatively smooth or difficult. Or we can look back at where Jupiter was 12 years ago, the last time round, giving us an idea of where we might be ready to expand and grow in our lives now. And so on.

In fact astrology can help us see how the past, the present and the future are all connected. By understanding our past better, we can hopefully use this self-knowledge to consciously create a better future.

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