Over the last generation it’s become fashionable for astrologers to add a spiritual or “evolutionary” dimension to their work, noting past karma and the direction of a soul’s progress through lifetimes. Simultaneously, modern astrologers have emphasized the Lunar Nodes to add psychological issues over one lifetime or spiritual issues over many lifetimes.
I myself am not new to these trends. My first astrological training in the mid-1980’s consisted of a steady diet of Dane Rudhyar and the use of the Lunar Nodes for psychological problems and possibilities. And, as a practicing Buddhist for most of my adult life, I am not put off by ideas of multiple lifetimes.
As with any trend (astrological or not), we should always ask questions before adoption. Astrologers, being human, often absorb assumptions from their “tribe” without examining them. However, in order to understand our astrology, our Universe, and ourselves we need to think critically about the assumptions we make.
“Spiritual” astrology is not a new invention; our astrological heritage includes a rich spiritual legacy which spans many decades. In the past three years, I have focused on the spiritual cosmology of Dante’s Divine Comedy and begun teaching a series of courses on the history of soul and astrology. During this time I have become increasingly impatient that many in the modern spiritual approach gloss over the richness and depth that only comes through a deeper exploration and questioning.
So I’d like to propose a series of questions astrologers should ask themselves when approaching a chart. My intention is to raise questions for newer astrology students and their clients about the nature of the sacred dimension – soul, spirit, karma and other related concepts.
We will start discussing this topic by going back to the roots of Jyotisha-not in the Jyotisha texts themselves, but In related thought and other important texts.
Vedic Astrology, or Jyotisha is considered one of the Vedangas or "limbs" of the Vedas. As a matter of fact, it is considered the "eye" of the Vedas. The legends of the Vedas do represent the chief gods of the Vedas as being omniscient beings, such as Varuna, the lord of dharma who encompasses the night sky and who judges everyone's actions, and Indra (who succeeds Varuna as chief deity) as having a 1,000 eyes: