In what ways can astrology be considered a science?* In general, it can be designated a science simply because it comprises a set of principles and laws that have been accumulated through observation; and many of these principles can be tested and observed to be reliable. Just because one can find ideas and theories within the vast tradition of astrology that do not usually work and in fact some which are completely unreliable does not mean that a wholesale rejection of all astrological tradition is called for. Every science is constantly growing and changing, and the theories come and go, are discarded or refined, or are encompassed by a more complete theory; astrology is no exception. But the fundamental principles of astrology, if properly understood, are quite reliable.
Specifically, I believe that the astrological psychology that is currently available (although the serious student does have to search with considerable determination to find it) can reasonably be said to constitute a sort of cosmic psychology. This Handbook is in fact an attempt to set forth some of the fundamental principles and guidelines of this cosmic type of psychological science. When the astrological basics are interpreted with accurate, contemporary language and real understanding of what
*See also Arroyo's The Practice Er Profession of Astrology for a more extensive discussion of the definition of science, how astrology is scientific, etc.
they signify in human psychology, they can then describe individual predispositions and illuminate the mystery of "human nature" far more than the constantly-changing theories, fads, and fashions of orthodox psychology.
Much of modern psychology has to rely on guesswork about people's drives and motives, and it usually attributes everything to an indecipherable mix of hypothetical' 'genetic and environmental factors.'' The resultant theories often are merely the projection of one person's individual viewpoint, experience, and prejudices. Astrology paints its pictures of human nature with much more varied colors on the vast canvas of the sky. A far broader range of human potentiality is thereby portrayed—and portrayed more clearly. Based on the observations of millions of people over long periods of time, astrology can legitimately claim to be a psychological science in the true sense of the word, when astrological fundamentals are properly understood and applied. And that proper understanding assumes that the areas of traditional application where astrology's reliability falls short are honestly recognized and fully acknowledged.
Ultimately, psychology needs a cosmic framework for dealing with the energy forces that enliven the child of the cosmos, which every human being is. By placing the human being in a cosmic frame of reference, astrology has a unique capacity for re-attuning a person's consciousness to his or her essential nature, and encouraging a depth of self-knowledge which is profound. No other theory or technique that I know of can illuminate human motivation or the quality of individual consciousness or experience so clearly, simply, and accurately. If astrology is utilized correctly, there need be no overlay of complex language or theory; it can just be a simple explanation of cosmic factors and life energies operating within and through the individual.
If astrology does indeed constitute such a profound and unequalled psychological science, the reader may then wonder how it can be introduced more effectively into society, a society where currently the role of "the astrologer" is one of no respect, constant ridicule, social ostracism, and little financial reward, except for a few media stars who sensationalize astrology for profit.
I have attempted to explore these questions at length in The Practice & Profession of Astrology and therefore refer the reader to that book for further discussion. However, one new idea not mentioned in that book is worth mentioning here, just in order to stimulate discussion among professionals or would-be professionals in the astrology field.
Apart from the individual's personal use of astrology for self-understanding and tuning into the rhythm of his or her life, I have for many years felt that astrology's greatest power and healing potential is experienced in the one-to-one counseling arts. There is no doubt in my mind that the level of accuracy and usefulness of astrological information is far greater in a dialogue situation than in a "reading" that may or may not have the person present. I wonder therefore if the future of astrology as a professional endeavor might not incorporate the title of "Astrological Counselor" or possibly even "Clinical Astrologer"? If any professional specialty like this would ever be established, it could only be done through the achievement of a clearly defined purpose, unified standards, and a high quality of practice. In short, a standard of excellence would have to be established, and quite demanding requirements accepted as the foundation for this new profession. This would of course take many years to achieve, and it would be slow to show results since the anti-astrology prejudice of the establishment is a powerful one. However, without a vocational opportunity for intelligent, capable people to practice an accepted profession and earn a reasonable livelihood, how will astrology ever attract and keep the kind of people who can make it prosper and grow and who can provide the kind of expert astrological services that the public has a right to expect?
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