Mars (source: Medium)

I follow several astrologers on Twitter just to see what everyone else is talking about these days. I ignore far more so-called astrologers, but sometimes I get to read what they write because I inadvertently stumble into their conversations.

It seems as if the current fashion to embrace Classical astrology traditions has sort of blended with Indian astrology (via the access we’ve all had to the internet over the past couple of decades) to produce a contemporary culture where benefics and malefics have taken on far more importance than they had when I learned how to cast horoscopes more than thirty years ago.

Back in the day, my generation was taught that planets weren’t necessarily good or bad. The same went for aspects between planets. It was more of a Yin and Yang thing, I suppose. You couldn’t have darkness without light, or good without evil, or Venus without Mars, etc.

What I read on Twitter, especially about Mars and Saturn, makes me believe that there is a current generation of astrologers who have a very black and white view of how certain planets function in the horoscope. I don’t agree with those interpretations because I’ve lived long enough to discover how benefics and malefics have influenced my own life. I have Saturn closing in on a conjunction of my natal sun, for instance, and I’m happy as a clam. Sure, I’m a Capricorn who appreciates the snail-like pace that Saturn brings as it transits its own sign, but that’s beside the point. I just don’t cringe when Mars makes an opposition in my chart, and I don’t wet my pants with excitement every time Jupiter makes a trine in my chart.

That’s not really how astrology works. It’s far more nuanced than that. Good things happening in our charts can make us expect things to go our way when the odds say that they won’t. Bad things in our charts can make us cautious when we need to take a step back and reconsider where we are going. Combinations of good and bad things are far more common and should be interpreted case by case.

I don’t want to seem like a curmudgeon when I tell someone twenty years younger than me to do their homework, but sometimes I feel as if I need to let this new generation of astrologers know that I embraced a particular tradition just as they have embraced a particular tradition. The difference is that I have had the opportunity to learn from my mistakes, like accepting modern planetary rulerships without question when I first started casting horoscopes. It was a trend, just as this benefic/malefic thing is a trend that comes and goes with the Zeitgeist. Astrology is as subject to fashion as the clothes on your back.

The old person has spoken . . .

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