by Enid Newberg
"Economists have suffered a collapse in credibility since the global financial crisis began. Faith in the efficiency of markets and the invisible hand is out; 'behavioral economics,' which stresses that humans are fundamentally irrational actors, is in. We are blind to risk; we make decisions on a whim; we prefer consuming now over saving for later. Human fallibility seems to be the perfect explanation for an unfathomable crisis." Foreign Policy Magazine
The discredited "invisible hand" of economics sounds a lot like the position of those astrologers for whom the planetary configurations cause events. Trends, whether in our own lives or in the economies of nations, seem to have an invisible and inevitable life of their own - an illusion that lasts only as long as everything remains fairly stable. But once the balance has been lost, all bets are off. That is the point when our individual, discrete choices can ripple through our own lives and the lives of those around us, to move in new and unexpected directions.
What does astrology offer us then? Whether a beginner or an expert, the astrologer (economist, psychologist, politician ...) inevitably interprets through his or her own lens, picking and choosing from all the complex possibilities, a hint, a path, a possibility that combines with his or her experience and knowledge to select an interpretation and/or a path for action.
But once you have made a proclamation, is the result increased self-knowledge or a self-fulfilling prophecy? How much additional strain was added to a banking system already on the verge of collapse by relentless news coverage proclaiming disaster. How much additional strain on yourself or your client is added by announcing a string of bad aspects or bad transits.
Yet the opposite response to life's stresses is equally unhelpful. Not all difficult times are wonderful opportunities. Bad things happen that we have no control over.
Astrology can be a rich and deep pool for self-knowledge and growth. Like economics, there are aspects of astrology that will never fit into the scientific paradigm because people are complex "irrational actors." To fulfill your potential as an astrologer, you need to know far more than just techniques. Our astrological interpretations are a mirror of who we are, what we believe, and the breath and depth of all our knowledge.
The best astrologers, like the best in any field or profession, never stop learning - about their field, about themselves, and about the world around them.