Today I'm beginning a series on dealing with anxiety that may come up when we study astrology or receive an astrology reading, whether it's about upcoming transits or something in your birth chart.
Hi everyone, this is Acyuta-bhava from Nightlight Astrology. And today I'm beginning the first part of a three part series on how to deal with astrological anxiety. So I'm doing this series because I've received a number of comments, questions, emails over the past year and really for a long time, and each of those emails and comments tends to go like this: I'm really freaked out about x transit. How do I deal with the anxiety surrounding it, or I had a reading done, and sometimes even my own clients, something that you said in the reading scared me or something might have made me feel anxious about the future, like we're talking about a Pluto transit. And even if we talk about it in the most constructive way imaginable, you can still have some anxiety after an astrological reading. Because you're essentially saying, look, there's this cosmic weather front coming through. And even if the astrologer is trying their best to make that a meaningful, positive experience to talk about, it can still provoke anxiety. I'm an astrologer, I still have anxiety about astrological transits all the time. How do I deal with it, though? That's the question. That's something I've learned a lot about over the years. So this series is designed if you are a student of astrology, if you've gotten a reading, if you take things in, you're dealing with some level of anxiety. Where does that come from? Why is it there? What's the difference between healthy versus unhealthy anxiety when it comes to talking about astrology? These are the kinds of things we're going to cover in this series. In part one today, I want to look at what astrology shouldn't shouldn't do when it's sort of doing its job for us spiritually. In part two, I want to talk about sacred anxiety. And it's it's a role that it plays in our lives in general and how that appears in astrology readings. And then I also want to talk about the quality of a good reading and, and what astrologers, students, querents, people going to get a reading should be thinking about in terms of how to get the most out of a reading and and and and what to look for in an astrologer to so that you're you're you're doing your homework and hopefully getting a reading with someone who will limit the amount of anxiety that you come away with. Part Three of the series we're going to talk about the astrologer, the student and the querent. A lot of our anxiety comes from the inability to differentiate when we're wearing which hat. Am I the astrologer right now? Am I a student of astrology right now? Or am I someone approaching astrology for answers about my life or the future? Knowing the difference between those and talking about those roles, that'll be part three of this series. In the meantime, I want to remind everybody my new class ancient astrology for the modern mystic begins in June you can check it out on my website, nightlightastrology.com. The topics in this series are a big part of how I teach and guide my own students through my programme and teaching them how to read for other people and how to make sure that we're creating, you know, protected but honest spaces for people to receive a reading and, and also how to deal with the anxiety that comes from being an astrologer and a student of astrology and then also being someone who will often you know, be approaching astrology for your own answers all at different times. So those are things we talked about in depth in my programme, feel free to check it out. If you have any questions, email me info at nightlightastrology.com.
Alright, so in part one, what should astrology do versus what shouldn't to do? Let's start with the positives. What should astrology do? Well, at the top of my list is astrology should actually alleviate anxiety that you have not about the future, but about existence, there's a big difference. The future is by nature, just covered in anxiety because we don't know what will come. And as long as we're in these little biological space suits, our instincts tell us to be somewhat afraid or cautious about what we don't know or what's lurking around the corner or what might be coming. Anything like that naturally puts our instinctual body into potentially fight or flight mode, anxiety mode control mode. And so that's not really the kind of anxiety that astrology is here to address. When people come anxious about the future astrology, not just in what an astrologer says, but the field and the art itself is meant to address his existential anxiety, which means that you're actually safe in reality itself, and that you're an eternal and immortal soul. It's trying to give meaningful and beautiful place to pain and to suffering and grief, as well as loss. It's trying to help us find surrender and acceptance. Not only that, but beauty in all of it. And astrology is helping us do that by taking these timeless images and symbols and helping us to see them in all of the texture and contours of our life. For most of us, especially the difficult stuff. But also, one of the reasons that we tend to get looped into the future is because we also hope for really good things and that's because when good things happen, we tend to get really high on them and then want more of them. So astrology is also helping us to diminish our attachment to good things as well as to bad things. But by attachment, I don't mean that we also become detached. It's like saying that well, in order to not overeat ice cream, I have to hate ice cream. No, that's not what we're saying about this reality. We're saying, don't get attached to it, astrology is here to help you not get attached to it, that does not mean that astrology is here to make you detached from reality itself or from your experiences. It's actually here to help you inhabit them, and to recognise them as inherently divine and archetypal, mythological, and sacred. So that's the first that's pretty big. Like, that's what astrology is here to do. It's not really here to help you resolve the future in your head. It's not even here, and I'll say a bit more about this in a sec. It's not really here to help you alleviate the past in your head. It's here to help people understand that they are transcendental. And that time is transcendental. Like, let's think about that for a minute. That's what you're doing. you tune into, you know, podcasts like mine, you're listening to this stuff, maybe you have a few other astrologers you take in content from and what you're doing is really flipping open your head and you're flipping open reality in your building like holy cow. Look, it's this mandala of eternal literary, you know, mythopoetic themes just moving around like a beautiful psychedelic mandala. So I drank too much ayahuasca in my life but that's actually what ancient astrologers were telling us that that was going on. So can we see the divine patterning in our experiences and how that sets us free from fixation and attachment in time itself, the past or the future. That's the actual purpose of astrology. If you're tuning into that, if that is your mantra, if that's your song, if that is your mission statement that I'm This is why I'm doing astrology. If you keep telling yourself that and keep trying to relate to astrology, in that way, your anxiety will reduce not just your astrological anxiety, but your existential anxiety will reduce.
Now the next one I wrote down here is to differentiate between the soul and the material experience of the soul. see one of the reasons that we tend to get so immersed and then we get astrological anxiety when we have a reading that maybe shakes us a little bit or we are here at transit, or we're trying to plug things into our own birth charts while we're studying. We get flipped out. And this happens to me too. Like I've been doing this a long time and I'll still be like, holy shit, what's going to happen when Saturn opposes natal Venus, like, my wife's gonna leave me you know? You get like all these and then you live through them. And you realise that I'm a spirit soul. And there's not one experience, that at least you know, and I can say this because I'm alive, right? But there's not one experience I've had in this body in this lifetime. That at this point hasn't been a source of beauty, meaning inspiration, learning. And that astrology is here to help us recommit to those mantras my experiences are beautiful, sacred, full of lessons, you know, and we just keep committing to that through the language of astrology. What we start understanding is that I'm a spirit soul experiencing the weather of astrology. My birth chart is like a karmic weather map showing me the field of my karma that I spirit soul, am walking through including my own body and even including my psychology. So that's what astrology is here to help us do and when we have that, that helps us to take refuge in the soul. And guess what the souls natural quality is, beauty bliss, knowingness, truth eternality pretty cool place to hang out. That soul it so happens is an eternal being likes all stories of for all time, always. You know, it's like, with if your eternal, nothing can hurt you or harm you, then when your ability to appreciate your ability to feel gratitude, your ability to love is at the centre of everything. Because that eternal nature sees the eternal in everything else. So that's what astrology is here to help us do. It's here to help us cultivate an inner life by that you could see the life of the soul. But what I mean by that is, here are my experiences and then here's a space that I need to be able to reflect upon them. And here's a language that I use full of symbols that I use to help me reflect upon them, because I have an inner life. To see God in all things and in all beings, because these archetypes are thought of by the Hermeticists, you could say his thoughts in the mind of God. So a Mars transit, a moon transit, this transit, that Eclipse, whatever, all of them are, our you could think of them as thought forms, shapes, beautiful transcendental objects, to behold and those thoughts are in the mind of God, which means when you reflect upon them, you commune with God through the mind, they're are objects of meditation that connect you to God. Like literally, if you meditate upon them deeply. And by that I don't mean just tuning into an astrology podcast and being like, Well, what does it tell me about the future because I'm anxious about the future, or I'm anxious about myself? No, they become meditative devices. When you listen to good astrologers, in my opinion, they should be helping you to meditate upon the symbols themselves in your life. And when you do that, you're learning to see God in all things, and you're learning to see God in all beings, and that is naturally a happy, peaceful, beautiful, interesting place to be full of mystery to but really interesting.
Now, also astrology is helping us to release the burden of identity categories. By that I mean, I am the money in my bank account, or I am my fame or number of likes, or whatever it is that our ego or temporary material sense of I that's unique to this body in this lifetime servant, if we're using it in the right way to the soul, a helper a friend of the soul, but that that temporary sense of ego identity, is it the one running the show? Or is it the one, trying to serve the soul in a lila, a pastime? Once we realise I've come into this body, this psychology, this temporary identity full of all different kinds of categories, permutations, variations, and we can look at it and say, Well, you know, all of this is, is here for me to reflect upon. And it's here for me to interact with and wrestle with even that, that starts to ease the tension. Because if we don't have that, then what we tend to do is try to work it all out within the realm of the identity factors. And first of all, that's a rat race, it's competitive, tends to be dominant tends to play into the the tooth and nail reality of the material world where there are constant hierarchies, and the only way you think you're getting out of it is actually going to be to flip the hierarchy and try to push people around. So just trying to get invested in all of our worldly sense of identity. The more that we do that, the more we get entangled in the very game that we're trying to escape from. Trying to find happiness. So let me just see if I can manipulate all these different factors about myself or about the world or my relationships. And most of the time, that's not it, we got to be a little bit more like the Buddha, just find a good tree, put your back against it, and sit and think it over for a little bit, you know, like most of us need that most days more than anything else. And yet, we're always always asking, Well, yeah, but isn't there just something else you could give me like, isn't there? And I used this analogy recently in a conversation about something sort of similar. And I said, it's sort of like, people are always like, you know, could you tell me something that will help me get through things other than having a daily spiritual practice? And I was like, that's sort of like someone asking, you know, if you have a cut, could you give me some advice other than cleaning the wound and bandaging it like, well, I could, but like, maybe we should just start with, maybe we should just start with sitting in the park under a tree.
So anyway, it helps us release the burden of trying to sort out our happiness in temporal muck of our egos, identity fixations, and it also helps us to find religion. And I mean, true religion, I don't mean some institutional religion, as opposed to making what I would call, like, like religious pop music out of our lives. Let me try to explain the difference. Religion from the word religio, to reconnect. So if the soul does not feel awake, and in connection to the same eternal divinity in other things, and other people and other experience itself. If it doesn't feel that way, it gets sad and unhappy. And naturally the only thing that can be other than that is suffering. And so suffer we will.
What we want what astrology is trying to help us do is trying to help us with, as I've illustrated in a number of ways in this talk already, it's trying to help us reconnect to that divine presence that we are and that is in all things, when we find that we are much less apt to creating false religions. And the false religion is not that big of a deal. It's just anything we tried to do that isn't actually about the soul connecting and awakening to its own divinity into the divinity and other things. If it's not about that, then it's going to be some other thing. For example, even though I understand why many, many more people now are discouraged by or flat out rejecting religious lifestyles or any kind of institutional religious path and I get it. But the one of the downsides of us sort of discarding religion is that the religious impulse is still there. And when we don't have sacred places, sacred rituals, sacred communities, for that reconnecting to take place, and when we don't have daily sadhana, when we don't have some regular rhythm to our lives, that is spiritual in nature that recognises the need to connect to something bigger, when that's not there, the same impulse guess what will play out religious fanaticism will become the same when that that need that charisma that need to connect with something like a good rock song, or just getting your dancy pants on, like we all need to do that we all have emotions that just need to connect to something transcendental. When we don't have that they tend to connect to things in the world. And that's where things tend to get fanatical. If you don't have healthy religious experience, and you're in a religious institution, you tend to become a religious institutional fanatic, because you're channelling your energy into the onto the worldly stage of the religious experience versus actually having the religious experience which when you do satisfies you, you tend to not want to get involved in a lot of you know, temporary egotistical dramas, you just start like, oh, no thanks, I've been, I've been dancing. I've been dancing my religious pants off over over here with the angels. And like, I'm not feeling the the drama here. And it's those kind of people within religious institutions that are typically the ones that carry some spark of what feels like the real thing. They're the ones that often keep it alive. They're the ones that try to keep it alive, they're the ones that are like the profits that come and start the religions. But we need to seek out that experience authentically, every single day. Because every single day that we don't, we are suffering, that's just It's that simple. it's mind blowing, that it's actually that simple. And that when we don't look for it, every day, that we tend to go on religious crusades, and anything that's a worldly religious crusade that doesn't have this need to commune with God at the centre is going to turn into some kind of delusional fanaticism in the worldly sphere. It's a religious quest playing out in some kind of egotistical hamster wheel.
So for example, politics, now there may be a way of being a heartfelt spiritual person and being politically involved. So please don't think that I'm saying that that couldn't be the case. But for a lot of people, you know, a political agenda that feels like it has some kind of moral conviction behind it on the right or the left or in any party whatsoever. This will be the place that people try to find that religion, that religious experience. If not, it'll be their family. If not, it'll be their kids. If not, it'll be their job or not, it'll be their money, or there'll be their body or their health or it'll be something else that people will be like, Okay, I'm getting on the new diet. Okay, no, I'm putting my kids into this school. No, I'm like, I'm going to the political rally, it's going to be something because each of us needs to slam dance with Bon Jovi in some kind of spiritual, spiritual dance hall. It's that simple. So if we're not finding a space for that, then we're going to get involved in a lot of things where that that that same natural emotional need is going to try to play out in ways that are unhealthy if we're living in that kind of a world and we're trying to plug into astrology at the same time, likely that it's going to make us anxious at some point, it will make us anxious, and I always use that as a barometer when I'm getting stressed out about anxiety. I'm like, Oh, yeah, I'm in the wrong dancehall again. I'm in the walking dead now in the in the dance hall filled with zombies there. And some of the music is playing. I don't even think it's music. It's just, it's just singing bowls from hell. So I need to get out of there. And that's like my barometer. If astrology is making me anxious, I know it's because my religious impulse is starting to be channelled into the wrong things. It's not bad that I have that impulse. I just have to move it to the right to the right place. Talking some angels and Bon Jovi.
Tto find sobriety in truth, this is another thing. astrology helps us to be sober. Now sobriety is highly. Let's just say that it's underrated. I mean, a lot of people know that you shouldn't be be an addict. That's it's problematic to have addiction. And we know addiction is a disease that is very hard for people to deal with. But the thing is, is that if we want our religious high, if we want to stay high, religiously What I mean by that is to to be experiencing spiritual bliss in our lives. We have to be very sober when it comes to things that could take us away from our high. So if our spiritual highs, our sadhana, our love, our friendships, our community, with spiritual people taking in spiritual content, staying home in that life, then we have to be very sober about the things that can take us away from that and astrological anxiety or obsessing about the future is definitely one of them. If astrology is doing that, then that's not a sober astrology. That's an astrology that's, you know, it's like it's just as drunk as a reality show. So, we need truth and we need sobriety. Astrology is helping us to see the world in truth and to help us have a sober experience. Sober does not mean joyless, sober means that we are, we want the real thing, and that real thing can only be found when we are very sober and realistic about what the red herrings are. Okay, so finally to learn how to make better choices, astrology is helping us to as we learn to identify transits and see them to make healthier choices, if we're making healthy choices, even if we're making them 25% better than we are currently, that's gonna be a lot happier and less anxious life that we're living. So if astrology is working, then it's helping us make healthier choices, and that naturally reduces anxiety.
So that's my short list of what astrology is meant to do. The purpose of astrology is not and this is really easy. And I can tell you I'm not trying to I promise I'm not trying to act holier than thou I speak about these from experience. And I'm not saying from experience when I was just a young astrologer no I'm talking like last week I could be dealing with this tomorrow I could be dealing with this, it's part of the lay of the land. If you're doing spiritual work. If you're doing astrological work, it's just part of it. If you're throwing cards, it's part of it. The purpose of astrology is not to get obsessed about the past or the future. That's just it. If astrology is making you get obsessed about the past or the future, not good. That's like a not. How about another one to get self absorbed? If astrology is making you get more self obsessed. If it's helping you to understand yourself I think that's a very good thing. If it's making you more self obsessed, my chart my trying my bi-grande quintiles Solomon's key, you know, my yods, my flying kite, trapeze, whatever, like my 14 billion asteroids, my this transit my that transit, if you're just like, constantly plugged in, like you're on the just crystal meth trip of astrology, you know, and you're just like, you're just completely buzzed out about yourself. And you're always just in the language of astrology, my chart, my planets, like that you're identifying yourself with it that way. That's not what astrology is meant to do. Of course, I'm just having some comedic fun here too. So no offence meant to anyone. The purpose of astrology is not to increase fear or desire the two driving forces of material life for the soul and its body, according to many ancient mystical traditions, desire and fear. What do I want? What do I want to stay away from? or What am I afraid of? So if it increases your fears, or if it increases your desires, not helpful. In fact, I would tell people, I would go so far as to tell people look, if that's how astrology is making you feel. It's not a big deal to just not do astrology or just turn off the channel. Astrology is beautiful. But you know, if weather forecasting made you a nervous wreck about the future, will you just stop doing weather forecasting, we know the weather will happen, whether you do it or not, if it's that you're the kind of person who's going to obsess over, just don't do it. So I don't think that that's a big deal. Some people might not just be built for divination. It's also different if you're a student, a practitioner, or a querent, someone seeking an astrologer. And we'll talk about that in the third part of this series. So if it increases attachments and expectations about outcomes or the future desires or fears, if it helps, if you want if you're trying to get stuck in the past, or if you're staying fixated on the future, all not what astrology is here to do.
On that point, I've read these many times. You guys have heard me read these before. They're a few quotes. I don't have my full library. There's some quotes I really liked to make right now but I can't because I don't have my library. So I'm just pulling from one of my desk references which is Chris Brennan's book on Hellenistic Astrology. It contains some good quotes. This is from Vettius Valens.
"For God in His desire that man should for know the future brought the science into the world the science through which anyone can know his fate in order to bear the good with great contentment and the bad with great steadfastness. Accordingly, then the initiates of this art those wishing to have knowledge of the future will be helped because they will not be burdened with vain hopes, they will not expend grievous midnight toil. You will not vainly love the impossible. Nor in a like manner Will you be carried away by your eagerness to attain what you may expect because of some momentary good fortune? Those engaged in the prediction of the future and the truth, having acquired a soul that is free and not enslaved, do not think highly of fortune. They don't devote themselves to hoping for things they're not afraid of death. They live their lives undaunted by disturbance by training their souls to be confident."
Alright, that's what I've got for part one. I hope that this was interesting and helpful for all of you who struggle with astrological anxiety. I had fun making this and I can't wait for the next two parts. So I look forward to it. We'll see you again soon. Bye.