There is No Such Thing as a Bad Planet
When I ask people if they have ever had an astrology reading, those who say “no” most often express the concern that the reading will reveal something that is wrong with them, that they are going to hear something bad. I compare it to the feeling that most people have when they go to the doctor, dislodging the fear that the examination will somehow uncover some fatal condition, as if an astrology, or tarot, or psychic reading will reveal some terrible personality flaw, that they are afraid of learning about, or perhaps worse, they are already aware of, and don’t want anyone else to know about. The good news is that this opinion about astrology also expresses a personal belief that this ancient craft is real.
“Whatever is not conscious will be experienced as fate.”—C.G. Jung
The truth of the matter is that everyone has a shadow, a part of our self that we keep hidden, most often from our self. Until we know our shadow we do not know our Self. Carl Jung said, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
Occasionally a client will come for a consultation and tell me that they have had a reading before, and that they came away from that consultation feeling they “had a bad planet”. From my perspective this really only tells me that they encountered a bad astrologer.
The challenges and crises that occur during our lifetime are the catalysts for personal growth. They have not happened to make us feel bad about our selves, or to crush us emotionally, though unfortunately this is often the case. If we can find the meaning and purpose of these events, and come to terms with it, we can learn much about ourselves. It is not what happens to us that makes it good or bad, it is how we respond to the event. An astrologer who has been professionally trained has the toolset to objectively interpret a birth chart and the current celestial influences acting on it. But it is most important to recognize that the stars and planets do not control us, they merely reflect us.
“A child is born on that day, and at that hour, when the celestial rays are in mathematical harmony with his individual Karma, revealing his unalterable past and its probable future result.”
–Sri Yukteswar, Vedic astrologer, teacher of Paramahansa Yogananda.
A horoscope, which is a simply the celestial map drawn at the exact moment of birth, is a blueprint, reveals the entire range of human potentials of the individual for which it was cast. It is not just a book, it is an encyclopedia. Though it is in truth densely multidimensional, it is in fact just a flat, two-dimensional object. The chart could be for a person, a place, an event, or even an animal. The vertical axis is the consciousness brought to it. Jeffrey Wolf Green taught that the expression of any archetype is going to directly correlate to what Green termed, the “Evolutionary Stage” of the individual. Before any determination can be made about the horoscope, first the subject must be defined. In the case of a human being, we are looking at the intersection of two geometric planes. The horizontal axis is the energetic celestial matrix at any given moment in time, the chart itself. For an individual needing the security of consensus reality, the archetypes will express in one fashion. For someone who knows that they are unique, searching for their own answers, the archetype will express so as to facilitate that path. There is no such thing as a good or bad aspect or planet. Admittedly, some planetary placements, by house, sign, and aspect, are more challenging than others. The challenges represent the lessons that we have chosen, to work on. Other planetary placements represent gifts, lessons that we have completed, providing us with understanding and skills that are available to us. Those who are more familiar with planetary aspects often are excited to hear about the facilitating components of their chart, such as grand trines, however too much facility can create a “couch potato”. Even when the facilitating trines are active influences, they must be approached proactively, or they will pass unnoticed. The challenging aspects of a chart will not and cannot be ignored. They compel a response, and if these challenges are present in a birth chart will recur time and time again throughout the course of the lifetime, until the imbalance has found healthy resolution.
A trained astrologer can counsel their clients with the way to understand and objectively come to terms with these issues. Checking in periodically with a trained astrologer can keep you on track by providing insights and guidance that are hidden from view in the shadows of the psyche enabling the client to learn new ways of responding to old issues rather than reactively repeating the same patterns of behavior. It is not a magic bullet by any means. It is however the beginning of the journey of personal discovery and when needed, emotional and spiritual healing.
When it comes to astrology, it’s All Good. “Astrology works... so all astrology works.” Different approaches to interpreting a natal chart provide answers to different kinds of questions. I love Evolutionary Astrology, because it doesn’t just tell you what, it tells you why.