FAITH IN ASTROLOGY
[The Theosophist, Vol. VI. No. 5(65), February, 1885, p. 106]
[Under the above title, there is published a reply by a member of the Madura Branch of The Theosophical Society to an inquiry as to whether the writer had any faith in Astrology and its predictions. After outlining the nature of magnetism and the well-known influences of the sun and moon on various phases of human and plant life, the Madura student concludes as follows:]
As to whether any particular system of astrological calculation is true or false, this can only be determined in the present state of knowledge by an actual application of the system to particular instances of accurately recorded births and a subsequent comparison of its predictions with the facts of the case. I say accurately recorded, for in the majority of ordinary cases the exact time of nativity is neither ascertained nor recorded. While believing therefore in the existence of a true science of astrology, I cannot so readily believe in astrologers. With few honorable exceptions, they are generally a set
of quacks having but an imperfect knowledge of some particular system for the correctness of which there is no guarantee. In regard to their predictions, an additional element of uncertainty is introduced by the fact that the time of birth recorded rarely happens to be the true one. On the other hand, after making due allowance for these sources of error, there is still abundant evidence left, I think, of astrological predictions realized over long periods of time, which cannot be classed under the head of chance coincidences.
I hold, moreover, that astrology, being a calculation of the planetary influences on an individual, is merely a science of tendencies. In other words, the influences in themselves are such as to predispose the individual to adopt the line of action predicted. Man, however, being endued with what is called free-will, but what I prefer to call latent will-power or soul-power, may develop it to such an extent that he may successfully oppose the planetary influences and overcome what is popularly known as fate. It is only when the individual is passive, or when his will-power is undeveloped and feeble, or when, the will-power being developed, he works in the direction of the planetary influences themselves, that astrological predictions will be realized. Hence it is that we hear it said that when a person possessing the necessary amount of developed will-power is initiated into the mysteries of occultism, he passes beyond the pale of astrological predictions.
Holding these views, you will see that I do not believe in absolute predestination—a doctrine which, if strictly construed, would annul all inducements to exertion and improvement on the part of the individual.
Note:—As the subject of Astrology is an important one, we invite contributions on the subject, from members studying the same. We do not quite agree with our brother’s views on the subject of predestination, unless he means thereby that course of effects, the causes of which were already produced by the individual during his previous “incarnation.” We hold that the science of Astrology only determines the nature of effects, by a knowledge of the law of magnetic affinities and attractions of the Planetary bodies, but that it is the Karma of the individual himself, which places him in that particular magnetic relation. However, the claims of the Science of Astrology are ably put forward by our brother, and it would be interesting to have good contributions on the science itself.—Editor.