Q: How does Shamanic Astrology compare to regular Western astrology?
A: Shamanic Astrology is integrative in the sense that it brings together the best of modern western astrology with traditional interpretations from Egypt, Greece, and Babylon, as well as influences from Vedic, Chinese, Polynesian, and Native American astrological traditions. The weaving of these traditions as well as the integration of current teachings from the land and sky has been the life’s work of Daniel Giamario and his colleagues.
Some of the more prominent differences from mainstream western astrology include:
- A de-emphasizing of Sun Signs, and a return to the more traditional Moon sign as a guide to innate characteristics at birth.
- Using Mars and Venus as guides to the Masculine and Feminine archetypes at play in our lives.
- Restoration of a meaningful relationship with the night sky as a cornerstone of astrological understanding.
Q: How can we reconcile a modern scientific understanding of the Universe with any sort of astrology?
A: I used to struggle with this question some – I used to think it was ridiculous either that the planets could cause characteristics in me, or that my life could have any causal relationship on them, so therefore astrology must be absurd. This is where a Shamanic understanding of the world is useful – it’s not any sort of causal relationship, but rather the repetition of patterns and themes at different scales in our Kosmos. Our lives and the night sky are populated by the same symbolic themes, just as other “self-similar” patterns show up across nature. Or to put it in the traditional language, As Above, So Below; As Within, So Without.
This may still seem like a bit of a stretch for the more scientifically minded among us, so I would also add the utility of the “as if” approach. Even if astrology generally still seems absurd, we can behave “as if” it were true, and obtain meaningful guidance in our lives. What I have seen in my own life, and in the lives of those for whom I’ve done readings, is that the themes that emerge in a reading just make sense for our own situations, and offer rich understanding of the possible ways to move forward.
Note that it has only been in the more mechanistic interpretations of physical science of the last couple of centuries where significant tension existed between scientific and mystical interpretations of nature. Many pioneers of science, including Galileo and Newton, were also well-known astrologers.
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For more information, I heartily recommend the Shamanic Astrology Mystery School website.