ONE OF the most significant things about the White Eagle approach to astrology is that it is firmly based on spiritual law and the knowledge that comes from that law. For example, reincarnation and the operation of karma and opportunity are, if not taken for granted, regarded as intrinsic to understanding horoscopes. We would go further, indeed, and say that it is not possible to grasp the real meaning of a horoscope without studying it as a demonstration of the outworking of spiritual law.
This approach elicits all sorts of reactions from people. Many, even some astrologers, reject the idea that astrology has any esoteric basis at all. Many are suspicious or wary because they think either that it is some kind of magic or that it allows the astrologer to ‘know too much about them’. Most of the people we see, of course, share our knowledge that astrology has a spiritual basis.
This is good, but it can also give rise to all sorts of problems, especially as regards clients’ expectations of what astrologers can do for them. High up the list of these is the expectation that an astrologer can tell them all about their past lives. This can get both astrologer and client into deep water very quickly, the astrologer because he or she is trying to live up to the client’s expectation, the client because he or she may learn something they would rather not have known.
It is true that a master soul could look at a horoscope and know instantly all the past history of, and future possibilities for, the soul concerned. However, the vast majority of us are a long way from that level of perception and need to recognise our own limitations, while clients will often find that it is better to learn the lessons of life for their own sake rather than getting hung up on specific past lives or worrying about what their current life conditions will give rise to in future lives.
Having said that, however, there are things that can be perceived by studying the horoscope, about both past lives and future possibilities, although very seldom in any detail. The old saying that ‘the devil is in the detail’ certainly holds good here, but not in the sense originally meant; rather, the astrologer is much more likely to be mistaken about details than about an overall picture, so that it is best to stick with the latter.
One thing you won’t see in any horoscope is anything about past lives that have no relevance to the present one – why would a life or series of lives show up if they are having no effect? The corollary to this, of course, is that anything you can perceive must be the result of a definite connection between past and present.
Where future lives which grow from the current one are concerned, of course details simply cannot be perceived, since it is still possible for the soul to modify its future by action and reaction in the present life. Much also depends on the ‘age’ of the soul, again something that the vast majority of astrologers cannot perceive except in a very limited way – it takes an old soul to recognise an old soul, so to speak.
Given that there are such limitations in this whole matter, what actually can an astrologer perceive of past lives? Given sensitivity and intuition, quite a lot, although he or she will usually need to be careful how much of what is perceived is passed on to the client.
I can remember some occasions in my own practice when I have realised exactly why a client is in a particular situation, but could not possibly have told them because the information would have hurt too much or they would have been too horror-struck. As White Eagle said, most of us can be very thankful that we cannot remember our past lives!
One thing that one can almost always see in the chart is those past habits and patterns of behaviour that were developed in previous lives and have persisted into the current incarnation, a kind of incarnational heredity, as it were. These tend to be related to the Moon’s position in the horoscope.
These are usually things that can be discussed with the client without too much trouble, so long as the astrologer is tactful and polite when mentioning anything ‘unhelpful’ and emphasising the positive traits shown that will assist present growth. There is generally more mileage in this kind of perception and advice than in any number of more spectacular revelations.
It isn’t really much help telling someone they were the Queen of Sheba, even if one really thinks it’s true, unless one can demonstrate its relevance to current experience. But old ‘ways of being’ which have become part of someone’s personality for a long series of lives are worth unearthing because they often explain so much about, in particular, the way in which we tend to react to circumstances. Once you know why you are behaving in a way that perhaps you wish you didn’t, you can start to work on the problem consciously, speeding up the process of overcoming it.
There are also clues to be found concerning past lives in the soul’s choice of ‘soul lesson’ – related, of course, to the Sun’s position in the horoscope. Many are the secrets hidden in this, the most important choice that any soul makes before an incarnation. Can we perceive any of them? Yes, if we are humble enough and are rightly motivated, but as is usually the case, answers have to be preceded by questions.
Knowing the basic soul lesson comes logically from the Sun’s sign position, but the question then is, why has the soul chosen this lesson? What does it feel it ‘lacks’ which requires this lesson? Working backwards in this way, one can, with practice, somehow step into a client’s shoes and thus experience what it feels like to be that client. When the astrologer can reach that point, it becomes possible to perceive something of the major events and experiences of the past which have brought the client to the current position.
Reaching that point with a client’s chart will also logically reveal some of the potentials for the future, but only in general terms, for the reason pointed out above. Prediction, as I have said before, is not the primary purpose of astrology, and is often not desirable anyway.
However, one can sometimes get a sense of a soul preparing itself for some future-life role or task, and in such cases, the client will usually find that knowledge of this brings conscious understanding of issues that seem to have promise but no apparent current-life goal. The most important thing about the future, however, as White Eagle himself said on a number of occasions in so many words, is that it is what we make it: nobody decides our future but ourselves, and if astrology can bring this understanding to its clients, it will have done a very useful and worthwhile job.
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