I’ve been doing astrology in one form or another for years. I first learned to draw a chart with pencil, paper, a printed ephemeris, and a calculator back in the late 1970s. Since then I’ve moved on to software of various sorts (the free charts at astro.com are a great place to start if you’re interested). And of course, my ability to interpret charts has improved a lot with practice.
But there’s one thing that hasn’t changed in all those years, and it drives me nuts. I call it Excuse Astrology.
You’ve probably heard people say stuff like this: “I’m not a tightwad, really. I just have Jupiter square Uranus so I can’t be generous—it’s not possible. You’ll just have to get used to that.”
Or this: “You think I’m aloof and uncaring? No, my Venus is conjunct my Saturn so I have really high standards, that’s all. You need to understand that and learn to live up to those standards.”
Or this: “I’m a Libra. We’re naturally indecisive, so you can’t expect me to be any different.”
These are all excuses. Now, before you start howling about how judgmental I’m being, bear with me for a little explanation.
A natal chart shows what kinds of astrological influences were at work when you were born. Let me repeat that: It’s what you’re born with. What you start with. Not what you’re doomed to be stuck with for the rest of your life. Unless you don’t feel like bothering with the work of personal growth and change.
If I’m not terribly coordinated or graceful, I can take dance classes or learn a martial art. If I’m uncomfortable with public speaking, I can join a group that will help me get past those issues. If I stink at keeping my finances in order, there are books and classes for that, too. Sure, I’ll get some sympathy if I mention these problems once or twice, but if I continually complain about something like this when I could choose to put in some effort and make a change, people will eventually run out of patience with me.
Then why are we so quick to nod and offer our sympathy for the stuff that shows up in our natal charts as if it were some kind of dooming lifelong prophecy?
I suspect many people don’t realize that it isn’t all set in stone. The way a lot of astrologers word things, you’d think that whatever you’re born with is it—you can never change. That sure would make life easy, wouldn’t it? We’d never have to put in any effort. There would be a handy excuse ready for relationship problems, difficulties at work, and all those other challenges we face throughout our lives.
But it’s just that: an excuse.
Sure, nobody’s perfect. No number of self-help books and spirituality classes will ever make any of us perfect. But that’s no excuse for sitting on your butt and not even trying to overcome any of those issues. Yes, it takes effort. That's kind of what life is about, you know.
What’s in your natal chart is your starting place. Where you go from there is up to you.