In bookstores now
Introduction: Astrology & Synchronicity
At the moment you drew your first breath, the stars in the heavens were at particular positions in the sky. Perhaps the sun was in Scorpio, the moon in Gemini, Mercury in Libra, and on through the solar system lineup right out to Pluto. The signs these planets occupied represent an archetypal energy – your potential – and created a pattern intrinsic to the instant you were born. These patterns are how synchronicity comes into play with astrology.
Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, who coined the term synchronicity, defined it as the “coming together of inner and outer events in a way that can’t be explained by cause and effect and is meaningful to the observer.” In other words, meaningful coincidence.
Jung first wrote about the concept in 1949, in the introduction to Richard Wilhelm’s translation of the I Ching or Book of Changes, a divination system that is at least 5,000 years old. The I Ching is based on sixty-four patterns known as hexagrams that are derived by tossing three coins six times. The pattern created when the coins are tossed is, like the pattern created when you were born, inherent to the moment. A birth chart, like a hexagram, forms a meaningful blueprint of archetypal potential. The signs in which the planets fall, the angles or aspects they make to each other, the phase of the moon, the planets that were rising or setting all hold significance.
Mainstream scientists and educators dismiss astrology as a superstition of the past and see astronomy as the science of celestial bodies. But Galileo, the father of modern astronomy, was also an astrologer. He was attacked by the church for his astrological predictions and spent much of his life under house arrest. In spite of efforts through the centuries to discredit astrology, it’s a vibrant means of analyzing personalities and relationships and predicting the future. Some scientists, in fact, have been startled by its accuracy.
In 1950, French statistician Michel Gauquelin embarked on a singular crusade to prove that the birth positions of stars and planets don’t exert any influence on a person’s future development. But his own statistics proved him wrong. He found that great soldiers, military leaders, and warlords tended to have Mars rising in their horoscopes. The odds of this being pure chance were five million to one.
“In Jungian terms, the astrological evidence suggests that the collective unconscious is ultimately embedded in the macrocosm itself, with the planetary motions a synchronistic reflection of the unfolding archetypal dynamics of the human experience,” wrote Richard Tarnas in Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View.
Jung also coined two other words that are vital to the understanding how astrology works: archetype and the collective unconscious. Archetypes represent our common experiences as human beings. The collective unconscious is like the DNA of the human race, a psychic repository of our history as a species. It contains archetypal images that are common to all people regardless of cultural background, nationality, ethnicity, or religious beliefs. These image are found in mythology, folklore, fairy tales, legends, dreams, hallucinations, fantasies: mother, father, child, family, wise old man or woman, animal, hero, trickster, shadow, persona. Those are the most universal images.
So when we talk about the archetypal energy of a sun sign, we’re referring to overall personality traits. All of us our more than our sun signs, of course, but because the sun is the very energy and essence of life, it’s a particularly powerful and accurate indicator of who you are. In astrology, the sun symbolizes the Self, the ego, your individuality. Its energy is yang. To some extent, your sun sign symbolizes your creative ability, authority, personal power, the general state of your physical health, the strengths and weaknesses of your physical body.
Interestingly, data released in 2014 from the National Science Foundation’s Science and Engineering Indicator study, the percentage of Americans who think astrology isn’t at all scientific declined from 62 percent in 2010 to 55 percent in 2012. The NSF reports that Americans are less skeptical of astrology than they have been at any time since 1983.
Perhaps part of it is that in tumultuous times, it’s natural to seek insight and guidance about decisions we must make, paths we should follow, dreams we might pursue. It’s empowering to understand how our particular sun signs are endowed with certain strengths we haven’t mined, certain creative talents we may not have tapped yet. And, yes, sun signs shed light on issues of compatibility, romance, who we may fall in love with or marry, or why we do or don’t get along with a sibling, boss, parent, child, business partner.
That said, your sun sign – and your natal chart – represent potential, not fate. We are masters of our own destinies who write the script of our lives from the inside out, based on our core beliefs, intentions, and desires. Over the years I’ve been practicing astrology, I have come to believe that we actually choose it all. Before we’re born, our souls, higher selves, whatever you want to call it, choose the circumstances into which we’re born, our parents, the issues we should work on in each lifetime, and the optimal astrological conditions that will allow us to develop and evolve spiritually, creatively, emotionally, on every level. These conditions are external expressions of internal needs and help create the reality we experience. But our free will reigns supreme.
As you work with this concept, you realize that everything that happens to you – from the grand to the mundane – is the result of a belief you hold. If it’s your belief, you can change it. If you change the core belief, your experience also changes, and this is what empowers you as an individual.
Who Reads Their Daily Horoscopes?
According to research conducted by iVillage in 2009, more than a third of American women read their horoscope at least once a month.
A third of horoscope readers also check their horoscopes before job interviews (33 percent), entering relationships (35 percent) and buying lottery tickets (34 percent). The study also revealed that of women who use horoscopes:
- 37 percent check horoscopes as they research personal health information and 45 percent do so on a monthly basis.
- 41 percent share their horoscopes with their friends.
- 28 percent say their horoscope can change their mood depending on what it says.
- 29 percent sometimes chalk up others’ shortcomings to traits of their zodiac signs.
- 59 percent say they have a lucky number. The number 7 tops the list, with the number 13 a close second.
- 21 percent of mothers believe that people of certain zodiac signs have better sex lives
- 40 percent check their husband’s horoscope
- 25 percent check their child’s horoscope
- 22 percent check the horoscopes of other family members
A Little Test
The zodiac consists of twelve signs and each sign contains thirty degrees. The degree the sun occupied when you were born often corresponds to a year in your life when some sort of transformative experience occurred within the first thirty years of your life. It could be any defining event – a birth or death, a marriage or divorce, an accident or illness, a move, your first job, falling in love. The timing isn’t always exact – give it a leeway of about six months on either side.
My natal sun is 16 degrees 12 minutes of Gemini. Five months after my sixteenth birthday, my parents moved from Venezuela, where I was been born and raised, to the U.S. This event was huge for me, transformative, and defined much of the rest of my life. It also prompted me to look for answers in unconventional places – like astrology.
If you don’t know the degree of your sun sign, you can find it – and get a free natal chart here. The symbol for the sun is a circle with a dot in the center. This small test is one you can conduct on your own to prove the veracity of astrology.
Since this book is specifically about Scorpio, let’s get started and explore this powerful, secretive, and often inscrutable sign.