What is astrology?

Astrology is the study of the phenomenon of correspondences between celestial objects and earthly affairs.

Is astrology a science?

No. It exists between science, the arts and the humanities. In an earlier time in our history, astrology and astronomy were one and the same and mutually contributed to the development of the other. They are both concerned with the movement of celestial bodies, but astronomy investigates the facts of their movement while astrology is concerned with their meaning for earthly affairs. The scientific method is well-equipped to deal with questions that can be answered with precise measurement, and it can do this to astonishing degrees with nearly unimaginable benefits for people and society. However, its quantitative nature necessarily limits its scope of inquiry to certain kinds of information. Like so-called “soft sciences” like psychology or political science, astrology has some scientific elements and applications but deals in qualitative types of information which is less compatible with a rigorous application of the scientific method. In other words, science mostly deals with material and efficient causes, while astrology mostly deals with formal and final causes. Astrology then is not strictly scientific but it is still a valuable source of insight as it has been for cultures and generations spanning continents and millennia. Only the view that truth is exclusively scientific would diminish astrology’s value.

Why or how does astrology work?

We don’t know. Astrology’s mechanism is an ongoing point of discussion for modern astrologers. Very few astrologers believe that there is an as-of-yet undiscovered physical force or influence providing a causal mechanism for astrology. More astrologers contend that astrology operates through a kind of acausal synchronicity as theorized by Carl Jung, that separate events are made meaningful by their temporal connection. It is the view that coincidences are not entirely meaningless.  Planets only cause things to happen as much as the hands on a clock cause it to be dinner time or breakfast. They merely reflect circumstances, they act as signs rather than causes. And so, the arrangement of the planets in the sky at the time you were born reflects the circumstances of your birth and the course of your life. Astrological concepts are often parallel to principles in music theory, art and literature, which are not scientific but still valuable, meaningful, internally consistent and ordering in their respective fields.

If I don’t get married at the right time astrologically, will my marriage be a failure?

Not necessarily. The planetary character of your relationship with your partner is likely already established by the time you first came into each other’s lives. That began the chapter of time in your lives where you are involved with each other. Your wedding is just one point on that continuum, a very important point, but still. You could go further back and look at your birth chart to see that this kind of relationship was one you might have always had the potential to have. You could even go further back and look at the generational planetary cycles your family members are part of, to see that you’re part of a narrative that has played out as variations on a theme that could impact your partnerships.

If everything’s fated anyway, why should I use astrology to decide when to marry then?

While your wedding is just one point in an astrological timeline that has already started once you met, you should still use astrology to elect the best time to get married in order to intentionally emphasize the best parts of your relationship, and downplay the worst parts. A well-elected wedding probably won’t fix or save your relationship from fatal flaws if they exist, but a poorly-elected wedding can’t even help a marriage draped in wealth or royalty. For example, the wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles had the superficial appearances of a fairytale marriage with Jupiter and Saturn rising in Libra at their wedding, but the ruler was Venus in Virgo, dejected in her fallen sign in the 12th house of suffering and applying directly to Mars in a day chart. The marriage was um, troubled.

Which one “counts” – the legal marriage or the wedding ceremony?

Ideally these would be one and the same, but in today’s world they often aren’t. I would just make sure the dates for either are agreeable. Go with the one that ‘counts’ to you, and short of that, whichever one comes first. If you had to get legally married for some reason before you could have a ceremony or ritual, then that is a pretty significant moment for the start of that legal bond. If you have your ceremony before getting legally married, then it seems the ceremony is the one that really mattered, married even if it’s unrecognized by the state.

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