Thursday, December 11, 2008

astrology, horoscope | from spiritual vantage point

Zodiac1.
It is The Divine that have set out the zodiacal signs (house of the stars) in the heavens, and beautified it for beholders.
-The Quran, Al Hijr, 16

Have they not then observed the heavens above them,
how We have constructed it and beautified it?

- The Quran, Qaf, 6

As above, so below.
- Hermes Trismegistus, The Emerald Tablet

2.
Like many people I had a deep interest in astrology, I still have it but in a much lesser degree. My curious interest was and is mostly in the aspect of astrology that defines different human characteristics, not the astrology of future prediction.

On this note Seyyed Hossein Nasr writes in his Knowledge and the Sacred, "Human types can also be divided astrologically, here astrology being understood in its cosmological and symbolic, rather than its predictive sense. Astrological classifications, which are in fact related to traditional medical and physical typologies, concern the cosmic correspondences of the various aspects of the human soul and unveil the refraction of the archetypes of man in the cosmic mirror in such a way as to bring out the diversity of this refraction with reference to the qualities associated with the zodiacal signs and the planets. Traditional astrology, in a sense, concerns man on angelic level of his being but also unveils, if understood in its symbolic significance, a typology of man which reveals yet another facet of the differentiation of the human species."

Eager to study human psyche / psychology from occult side, I found astrology very fascinating and used to compare people's characteristics with their astrological sign etc. It was fun, mostly do it yourself project. In the same path of interest I came to learn little bits of Numerology, Palmistry (Chiromancy) and Face reading (Physiognomy).

In the Islamic wisdom tradition, astrology that is used for future prediction is strongly discouraged (to the extent of forbidden) because of disbelief on Divine Will involved in it and its materialistic misuse (partly because of ill motivation of dishonest astrologer who take advantage of people of weak mentality). Immoral practice of astrology is considered as sorcery or black magic. Also those who go to know about their future to an astrologer become fatalistic or passive by their mode of thinking and reliability of another person's knowledge rather than being pro-active. Its also a sign of weak faith in God's grace and Divine Will. Because of all these wisdom Islamic path strongly discourage future prediction astrology or divination.

3.
Just recently I came across a wonderful wisdom shared by late sufi master Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, may God bless his soul, where he explained why horoscope knowledge is not applicable for spiritually evolved souls or to put in another way, to those people who recognize the spiritual reality and not stuck with only material / physical reality of things. This is a subject I had some observations and questions for sometime. I have seen that people who are spiritually evolved or more spiritually conscious, the basic defining characteristics of horoscope are much less likely to apply whereas for others (less spiritually inclined people) the aspects match remarkably well.

In the book of
Bawa Muhaiyaddeen
by the title,
The Divine Luminous Wisdom That Dispels the Darkness
I finally found my answer.
Let me share here with you:
Bismillah.

His holiness Bawa Muhaiyaddeen was answering to a question regarding some astrologer's prediction of certain events. This wisdom was shared in a satsang in the month of November of 1970. Bawa replied, "Brother! There is a thing called horoscope. But it does not suit Wisdom (Arivu). Horoscopes will agree only with Earth, Fire, Water, Air and Ether. But horoscopes will not suit the faculties of Perception or Feeling, Awareness or Cognition, Practical Understanding or Knowledge, Wisdom and Divine Luminous Wisdom.

The horoscope is for the body, not for the Grace of God. Everything comes within the control of Divine Grace. The twelve signs of the zodiac fall under the four categories of Earth, Fire, Water and Air. With the aid of these you can predict the state of the physical body. But you can't predict the action of the Soul (Atma).

Only a gnostic (gnani) is qualified to speak about the soul. The horoscope can predict the state of the physical body of only Ignorant Souls (Agnanis). But these predictions will not hold good for people with Wisdom or Knowledge (Gnanis). It is where Earth, Fire, Water and Air disappear that the light of Wisdom appears. As long as one is controlled by the four elements of Earth, Fire, Water and Air, then egoism, sex, jealousy, illusion and the hypnotic torpor caused by Illusion will exist. There effects are indicated in the horoscope. But horoscopes will not suit a person in a state of Divine Wisdom (Gnana, Gnosis). As far as Wisdom and Truth are concerned, horoscopes are useless.

Child! Horoscopes are interpreted for the use of the five senses and the mind. Horoscopes do not agree and are opposite to the Truth of Wisdom. Horoscopes will not apply to person who are not liable to take future births. If one comes to know the Radiance of the Soul (atma joythi), he will have transcended the physical and sense-world, lost body-consciousness and be able to reverse the world of Truth, the eighteen thousand worlds, and the wold of Grace and Divine Wisdom.

The horoscope only covers the physical world of illusion (maya). If you submit yourself to a belief in horoscope, you will be traversing only the physical world and the sense world. You cannot go beyond. Believing horoscopes will not allow you to traverse the world of Truth and Divine Grace and Divine Wisdom."

4.
Sufi master Abu Said Ibn Abil Khayr, blessed be his soul, was speaking before an assembly and he said, "Today I am going to speak to you about astrology."

All the people listened to the Sheikh with keen interest, wondering what he would say.

The Sheikh said, "Oh people, this year whatever God Wills shall happen, just as last year everything that happened was what God, He is exalted, Willed."

5.
Say: None in the heavens and the earth knoweth (perfectly) the unseen (al ghayb) save God; and they know not when they will be raised. - The Quran, An-Naml, 65


# Further:
. A fascinating Dialogue with Richard Tarnas where he talks about Depth Archetypal Astrology, his monumental work on Cosmos and Psyche via Living Dialogues | Cosmos and Psyche

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