The empty, white, sterile corridors of the hospital echoed with the high pitch wails of the new born baby. He was born a few seconds ago, leaving the warm, cozy womb of his mother. As he flails his arms and cries, all loved ones gather around to soothe him, comfort him and swaddle him in the warmth of human love. But little does that baby know that his entry on this planet had just been stamped, very much like the rubber stamp put on your passport at the port of entry of a country. This baby, like each and every one of us, has been stamped with a set of 4 co-ordinates – Time, Date, Place and the fourth co-ordinate, the most important one …Space – The Latitude and Longitude provide the place of birth. The ‘time’ stands for the exact time of birth. The ‘space’ is the snapshot of the heavens (planets and stars) at the time and place of the baby’s birth. This space is the exact position of each planet against the backdrop of constellations and constitutes a natal chart which when calculated correctly provides a blueprint for this person’s life on earth.
I can almost see the hands rising in consternation if this blog were an auditorium with me at the podium. “That’s hocus-pocus”, “superstition!!”, “it’s not backed by facts”… And I don’t blame you for feeling this way, because I was there a few years ago. Why did I change my mind? Let me explain…
Rewind three decades. I remember sitting by my grandfather’s side as he drew a natal chart. In those days, there were no computer programs to calculate charts. In stead my grandfather calculated the positions of the planets using an old, tattered astronomical calendar and a calculator. A successful attorney by profession, astrology was his passion and he would work on the chart meticulously for days to perfect it down to the exact degree of each planet’s position in a constellation. Back then, I had no idea what he was doing. I was just glad to be sitting by his side, while he was bent over these charts peering through his glasses… The old wooden desk creaked and the library smelt of fragrant incense. This is my first memory of anything remotely connected to astrology.
Years later, one afternoon, I was at Barnes and Noble, and a book propped in the “New age” section caught my eye. “Life between lives” By Michael Newton. Since I had a good 3 hours to burn, I bought this book and headed to the cafe to check out this latest acquisition. The content was so fascinating that I breezed through it in an hour and made a beeline back to the bookshop to buy the next book by the same author. In the following week, I had read every book and online resource on “Soul theory”, “Past lives”, Mind-body dualism” etc. As I read the pages of each book, all my childhood memories of watching my grandfather draw natal charts, flashed through my mind. A past which I had very conveniently buried deep in the dark recesses of my mind, preferring the soothing predictability, practicality and prove-ability of my scientific convictions in stead.
What is ‘soul theory’? The soul is a spiritual essence present within any living entity whose presence causes the entire body to be pervaded by consciousness, the symptom of the soul. The soul is eternal, it has no birth and it never dies. The soul is the “person within the body” and at the time of “death” the soul leaves the body and contemplates its next step based on it’s accumulated “karma”. This theory contends that we are inherently responsible for the ups and downs in our lives since we devised it ourselves when we were souls, before we started this life. But as humans, we don’t remember this as we are in a state of soul-amnesia from the instant we are born and through our lifetime. But all the while, the soul inside us is all-knowing. The French Philosopher Descartes’ said:
“My view is that this is the principal seat of the soul, and the place in which all our thoughts are formed. “
So now we reason, if we, as souls, decided our life path, and chose this birth to aid optimum soul growth and enlightenment, where is the blueprint? Where is the map we created for ourselves when we were in the spiritual world? I believe this is our natal chart. Since no two people can have the same four co-ordinates of birth, it’s unique to us. A common misconception is that the natal chart tells us what to do in life. No, my friends, the birth chart is just a timeline of events. It can describe your personality, your typical inclinations, the life situations you come up against. It cannot help you make the choice. That’s where you use free will. The actual choice we make is a resultant of our soul growth and our present level of enlightenment. These two factors combine to form free will. The birth chart is a timeline of when karmic events will happen in your life. How you handle these events is totally up to you. I believe as souls, we decide the 4 co-ordinates which precisely places the planets in exact positions against the backdrop of the constellations when we are born, hence setting our life story. When we are born we are then locked into that life, and the events there-in. And hence starts the journey where we navigate these pre-decided events to the best of our abilities, pretty much like taking a set of exams at school. While we can probably blame events/situations in our life on our natal chart, we still take full responsibility for the way we handled the said event. For example, a person’s birth chart might foretell an upcoming distress in the marriage. But how they handle that distress is still up to them.
As astrologers, we strive to educate our clients about their inherent tendencies, and the events their chart poses in front of them. “Knowledge is half the battle won”. Now, knowing that the life situation is coming up, you can analyze the way you feel about it and fix the flaw inside you which could make you react in a wrong way to the said event. The chart also shows your deep psychological tendencies, the karma you brought with you into this lifetime, the lessons you chose to learn. Armed with this knowledge and an insight into future events, you can traverse the path much easily and navigate through this life as a “spiritual being living a human existence”