Fate and Free Will
Copyright 1997 J. Lee Lehman
I have a friend who has a multiple murderer as an astro-twin. This is exactly the sort of story which goes over big in the bar at an astrological conference. However, bragging rights aside, our normal inclination would be to find lessons in the differential house placements, and then hum a few bars of “There but for fortune, go you and I.” However, I propose that we might prefer to approach this differently: by focusing on their similarities, rather than their differences.
Consider a moment in time. My friend is enraged at her partner. Now: how many of us can honestly say we’ve never been enraged? Fury, hatred, aggravation – these are all universal emotions. The vast majority of the time, were someone to assert to not having experienced any one of these, I would conclude that they are either lying, deluded, repressed, or sheltered! So, rage is a virtually universal, if not common emotion.
Add a component. She has her partner in the sight of her gun. Now, not all of us choose to have a firearm around. Why have a gun? Fear, machismo, protection, vocational necessity, too many crime videos. Whatever the particular reason, the presence of the gun means that violence against others, whether in self defense or not, has been contemplated previously. And not only has it been contemplated, it has been taken seriously enough to spend the time and money to purchase it, and possibly to train in its use.
What happens? She thinks about it. She realizes that, were she to kill him, she would only have to go through another life with him. Maybe (probably?) she’d serve time, maybe even be executed. At any rate, she decides it’s not worth it, and puts the gun down.
And her astro twin? At much the same time, he kills someone. Did he think about it, or just act on impulse? We’ll never know.
When we examine the charts, we most likely will discover that both are “bad,” or at least have “bad” elements. However, we can also observe that neither one had to give in to desire. To err is human, and so is being led into temptation. However, the solution to a “bad” chart or a “bad” aspect is not to say, “next lifetime!”
A classical reading focuses as much on weaknesses as strengths. Frankly, moderns are so used to pretending the weaknesses don’t exist, that negatives have become almost taboo. The classicist would respond that the unexamined weakness of today too rapidly becomes the perpetrator tomorrow. And this is not too far from the position of the Jungian astrologer/psychologist who would argue that the unexamined shadow can take over the whole show.
Therefore, before you dismiss the strong sentiments you might find here, consider that the purpose of this kind of delineation can be therapeutic, just as a cold shower can be therapeutic. So be aware, as seemingly shocking words like “evil” may surface, that it is our belief that no chart must be lived out as unmitigated disaster – even if the odds are wildly stacked against the Native.