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Beyond Earthway: A Comprehensive Question and Answer Guide to Total Mind, Body and Spirit Health


The earth around us, the heaven above us, the soul within us—Mary Summer Rain's illuminating guide Earthway helped us become aware of their interconnectedness through the wisdom of Native American traditions taught to her by the renowned Chippewa visionary, No-Eyes. Now Mary Summer Rain responds to the thousands of letters from her hreaders about applying Roman centuries-old knowledge to everyday life.

Beyond Earthway offers more empowering information about dream ...

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The earth around us, the heaven above us, the soul within us—Mary Summer Rain's illuminating guide Earthway helped us become aware of their interconnectedness through the wisdom of Native American traditions taught to her by the renowned Chippewa visionary, No-Eyes. Now Mary Summer Rain responds to the thousands of letters from her hreaders about applying Roman centuries-old knowledge to everyday life.

Beyond Earthway offers more empowering information about dream interpretation, the celestial pull of the stars, our relationship to the Earth's vibrations, our selection of food and herbs for vitality and healing, and our yearning to strengthen the role of meditation and spiritual practices in our increasingly complex modern world. The gifts she offers us within these pages are the strength, self-reliacne, and harmony with nature that characterize the concept of "all my relations"—a way of living filled with values that feed the mind, the body, and the hungry heart.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671038625
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • Publication date: 2/1/2000
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.36 (w) x 8.27 (h) x 1.07 (d)

First Chapter

Chapter One: Starstuff · Is astrology really a viable aspect of astronomy?

Astrology presents the definitive relationship the celestial bodies have with all of life as evidenced through their natural magnetic influences, which emanate powerful specific and unique qualities. You must keep in mind that astronomy is the study of the celestial bodies and the universe as a whole, whereas astrology is the study of the separate influence each heavenly body possesses. Though they are two entirely different fields, they are certainly so closely related as to be firmly intertwined. Some astronomers scoff at the idea of celestial bodies' giving off vibrational emanations that have the power to affect human character, yet that same skepticism does not negate the fact that those emanations exist. Reality needs no human verification or belief to sustain itself. Reality exists of its own dynamic volition and requires no human intervention or nod of approving recognition to maintain its viability. Once this is realized, society as a whole will understand that reality is not based on the ideology that the opinion of the majority rules but that rather reality rules despite the majority's opinion of it. The opinion of the majority never becomes the qualifying criterion defining a fact. A fact stands on its own. Some recognize it as a clearly perceptible means of substance, whereas others view it as a mist of the imagination. Astrology is a viable issue. Who believes in it is not germane, is it? All humanity is entitled to the right to have an opinion based on personal perspective and one's level of innate intuitiveness. Not only is the Earthway material regarding this issue clearly based on a personal, intuitive knowing that the celestial bodies have specific infl uences upon all life-forms but it is also supported by hundreds of years of research and development through which solid correlations have been evinced. From the time of the three wise men up to today, astrology has been taken seriously by all those who've studied it and witnessed the clear proof of its highly influential manifestations. And, we ask ourselves, how is it that so many people can accurately identify a stranger's birth sign by merely observing his or her mannerisms and animated characteristics? Lucky guess? Sure, I wouldn't doubt that some of them are lucky guesses, but the number of accurate hits far outweighs the number of inaccurate ones and exemplifies the folly of astrology's being relegated to the status of pure guesswork.

You see, astrology deals with influences that sometimes carry great magnetic strength and at other times manifest as a gentle and subtle sway. The entire concept of influence is not a touchable and seeable entity for the people of mainstream science -- the astronomers -- therefore, they are wont to remain noncommittal regarding it. The ideology of these celestial influences is not considered to be within their realm of science or expertise; they are the first to admit it. You'll find astronomers who debunk astrology and you'll also find those who will be scientifically bold enough to give it the benefit of the doubt and admit to the possibility of its viability. As with all concepts, whether scientific or philosophical, there will be strict adherents, those who are on the proverbial fence, and the confirmed skeptics. In the end, it's all up to the individual, who has the right and freedom to believe as he or she feels within the heart. This decision making is done by examining a concept through generalized reading and then spending time expanding that introductory information by going deeper into it with further research, looking at the evidence, contemplating that which has been discovered. Through these methods, we come to our own conclusions. Never should a decision of belief or acceptance be made on face value, subliminal knowledge, or surface appearances.

· In Earthway you stated that the Anasazi planetary belief system, though "roughly similar to present-day astrology, but only superficially," was far more advanced and accurate. Taking this statement to heart, should I just ignore the currently accepted form of astrology?

Ignore in deference to what, though? I understand your intent, but since the entire system of the Anasazi's astrological knowledge is currently lost to us, with what other celestial interpretation system would you replace it? Remember, the Anasazi were a Starborn race who had highly advanced knowledge of the universe. Their form of astrology would naturally be developed to a far greater degree and much finer tuned than ours because of their understanding of the complete contents of the cosmos. Though earthly humankind is knowledgeable of its universe and is still in its infancy, it is intellectually growing in that developing knowledge through increasing space technology and continuing space discovery. We are reaching farther and farther into that Unknown, and by doing this, we enhance our current base of information with new and exciting breakthroughs. Therefore, we work within our level of comprehension. We operate within the knowns that our science and technology have revealed to us. Our level of advancement is no higher and no greater than what our discoveries create. As those technologies allow us to push the envelope further and further with each small, tentative step, so too does our comprehension of reality widen and expand in a like-wise manner -- one step at a time. We are right where we should be. Think about how far we've come since the signing of the Declaration of Independence back in 1776. Take some time to really think about how far we've come in just under 230 years. Actually it's pretty amazing.

One of the main tenets I've always tried to stress to my readers as a priority in life is to "live the moment." That means to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way to practice unconditional goodness, keep your awareness heightened so you can recognize each blessing that subtly presents itself, and embrace the knowledge that's available for your personal development. This last is what we're dealing with here, to embrace the knowledge that's available. To want more, as this questioner is implying, is to be as a small child in the first grade wanting to skip the one-plus-one stage and speed right to the trigonometry. That child isn't ready for the advanced math. That child isn't understanding that he or she must first learn and comprehend the beginning basics to be able to appreciate and understand the more complex facts. We live in the moment. We cherish that which is within our realm of reality, and then we embrace the brilliance of the epiphanies as they come through inspiration or discovery.

So then, to conclude, we do not ignore a current stage of development on the probable grounds of its being better, expanded, or more advanced at some future date. Seize the day and its knowledge.

· Astrologically speaking, what about the hiring of employees? I run a small company and was thinking about hiring only those whose birth signs were compatible with mine. Would that be immoral?

Though I understand your desire to have employees who are compatible with the boss, it doesn't seem to me to be a moral kind of thing to do. It's certainly discriminatory. You can't disqualify a talented and skilled individual from employment solely on the basis of the month he or she was born. You can't do that. We already have too much prejudice and discrimination in this world of ours to exacerbate it by extending selectivity to include birthdates too. Putting it in black and white this way even makes it sound downright ridiculous, don't you think? I believe you were looking at this theoretically. In that respect, sure, it might be nice to have all the employees within a company be completely compatible; then again, there'd be a downside to that: there's a strong probability that that same compatibility would eventually elicit a stagnation of ideas and creativity. There'd be such a state of commonality that the overall workforce aura would ultimately become stale and static. Diversity -- what you really want is diversity of intelligence, personality, creativity, and character enveloped within compatibility. That's a tall order, but not so tall as to be unachievable. Having a company full of clones stunts growth. Cherish your employees' individuality. Recognize the specialized uniqueness of each person. A stained-glass window is so much more striking and pleasing to the eye when all its vibrantly faceted panes are different colors and shapes. Those unique panes unite to create a beautiful and expressive whole.

· What was Jesus' astrological birth sign?

Contrary to the religious party line, his astrological birth sign was Gemini.

· Will my parents' astrological influences somehow pass on to me through genetic coding?

Apples an' oranges. Astrological influences are influences that affect the character and personality traits; they are not biological factors entwined within the genetic coding of DNA. Astrological influences are an affecting element outside the body, whereas genetic factors are within it and are purely physiological. Let's really simplify my point. If your mother was pregnant and received a sunburn, would the infant she birthed also have that sunburn? You see, outside influences that affect that pregnant mother don't have a carry-over effect upon the child. So the celestial influences that affected your mother wouldn't carry over to have the same effect upon her child because of the fact that celestial influences are not a biological DNA facet of one's physiology.

· Is the embryo affected by the astrological influence at the time of conception?

Nope. Nada. At the moment an infant is born, that child is "showered," so to speak, by the existing magnetic influences of the celestial bodies dominating the heavens at that precise moment in time. That child is imprinted with those potent in- fluences that serve to create indelible and dynamic facets to his or her personality. In other words, the child, upon physical exit from the protected womb, is exposed to the celestial influences currently existing in his or her new outside-world reality. An analogy would be this: You are inside your house and it's raining outside. Your being in the house is the same as the embryo's being inside the womb. You are not affected by the pouring rain because you are within a sheltering environment and the rain is without -- you are protected from that outside influence of the rain. But then you go outside without a coat or umbrella and you are immediately affected by that rain. You have entered an outside environment where you're exposed to its existing elements. And this is why an embryo is not affected by the celestial positioning at the moment of conception but rather is exposed to it at the moment of birth.

· I really love someone and want to marry him, but our charts are terribly incompatible. What should I do?

First of all, I want to stress -- firmly -- that you should never, ever make a marriage decision on the basis of the opinion or attitude of another. Marriage is an extremely personal and individual issue. It is based on love -- or it should be. Your love for this man is your determining factor here. If love is deep enough, if it's true, then what his chart looks like will have no bearing and will not even be a consideration. Since this question came up, are you sure you love this individual enough? I can't imagine a chart causing any kind of anxiety or making a problematic issue that affects one's level of love or consideration of marriage. The greatest depth of love surpasses all superficial aspects of an individual or relationship. It goes far beyond the occupation, religious persuasion, ethnicity, astrological chart, or even gender of one's mate. Asking about this chart is like asking if you should marry someone who has red hair instead of the blond hair you're more attracted to and have always idealized your marriage partner as having. It's just not germane when you weigh that insignificant aspect against that of love.

We've all heard that love is blind. It's true, you know. Love, a deeply enduring true sense of love, sees not. It sees not the faults or the idiosyncratic character peculiarities of another. It sees not the eccentricities or the color of skin. Why is love so blind? Because love is not a sight at is a feeling. Love is the very pulse of the heart. Love is a great power in and of itself. And that power transcends all else. Its potentiality is limitless, boundless, and bottomless. It has no shape to conform it within. It is fluid. It is free of constraints and unaffected by societal and personal mores.

This questioner is attempting to qualify her love for her mate, to push and shove it into the form of a specific chart's shape because she thinks that particularly defined shape will enhance the relationship and ensure long-lived compatibility. Theoretically, she perceives this as an ideal situation, but is it? Do we really want a mate who is so like ourselves and so compatibly similar that we appear as twins in character and interests? Are we looking for a mate who is just like us? A mirror image? How boring that would be. I believe we're all looking for love, just love -- love that is deep, true, and enduring. That is the priority. And it's the differences between mates that keep the relationship interesting, exciting, and openly spontaneous. Chart incompatibility? Phooey! Look not to the chart; rather, look within the heart.

· Is planetary influence a significant factor regarding a spirit entity's choice of reentry time into the physical?

No, it's not. Before reincarnating into the physical, a spirit looks for certain key associative elements that will enhance his or her chances for attaining success regarding a specifically intended purpose. These main elements are ethnicity and geographical location. It's not important if the spirit's mother is married or if she's wealthy or poor. Whether there are other children in the family is insignificant. Likewise, the social status or character of the mother is not a consideration. Oftentimes, the spirit foresees the possibility of the mother's giving up the newborn to adoption and, in this case, the spirit chooses this mother because of the new surrogate mother by which it sees itself ending up being raised.

The idea of needing to factor in an astrological birth time is absolutely frivolous and of no concern to the spirit entity preparing to reincarnate. That'd be absolutely as narcissistic as wanting to be born a blonde. Those types of characteristics are physical, and physical attributes are factors to which spirits don't give a mote of thought.

You have to remember that spirits wishing to reincarnate are full of a powerful sense of purpose. That purpose is their ideal, their singular goal. It's the whole reason for making the effort in the first place. To focus on planetary alignments whose influence endows the new infant with the most pleasing characteristics would be a sign of egotistical thought toward self, and self is nowhere to be found within these entities -- only purpose. So then, the final answer to this question is no. A spirit entity gives no consideration to celestial positioning when determining the best birth circumstances to enter within.

· When a volcano erupts, is its future activity governed by astrological influences?

Only indirectly. As above, so below. Because of life's interconnectedness by way of the Great Web of Life, all aspects of reality have relationship. This relationship between celestial bodies and the earth's physiological activity is a subtle one. More to the point of your question, the physics of geology and its manifestations are due to the inherent qualities of its innate nature. Plate movement, internal temperature, pressure buildup, ocean currents, air flow, and so forth all contribute to how the physical facets of the earth behave. Meteorology and geology are siblings, whereas astrology and geology are far distant cousins.

· I don't like the sign I was born under. Can I change it? I see other signs that would better suit my goals and purposes.

What? You can't change your birth sign any more than you can change your birthdate. Well, sure, you could lie about your birthdate and alter records to agree with whatever astrological birth sign you wish to have, but that still won't change the underlying fact of your true birthdate and true sign. No matter how you rearrange the dates on paper, in reality they cannot be altered. You will always be affected by the influences of whatever sign you were born under. At your birth, this celestial arrangement manifested an intangible imprint upon your beingness, your personality and character. It becomes part of you. It delineates your tendencies, attitudes, emotional traits, and so on.

Now, although the above characteristics of a particular birth sign may be displeasing, they don't necessarily negate change either. An individual born as a Virgo will supposedly exhibit preciseness. This person has to have an ordered life, has to be efficient and fastidious. However, just because the sign outlines these traits doesn't also mean that they can't be altered through a conscious desire to do so. You still have your own mind that makes choices and life decisions for you. An astrological sign is just that -- a sign. It implies influence -- a general influence upon one's personality. It does not define one's total beingness, because who we are today is a beautiful composite of all our experiential lifetimes. The "who" of us is contained within the totality of our spirit's multifaceted consciousness, not solely confined to this one life's existence. We are a totality of consciousness, not a fragment of same.

In this lifetime, you are experiencing and developing new growth, so to speak. That new growth is actually carving out a brand-new facet to the main crystal that is your spirit's totality. Every life lived creates an entirely new facet to yourself -- your true self. Every life lived adds another interesting and varied dimension to that true self and its magnificent totality. And it is through experiencing differing personality traits that we become well rounded and complete in the ability to reach goals, fulfill potentialities, and sustain their level of energy so that we can advance to new heights of endeavor.

To this inquirer, I would say accept the who of you. Denial prevents growth. Everyone on this beautiful planet of ours is a unique and extremely special individual. Everyone is different and each adds a colorful dimension to the patchwork quilt that is humanity. Diversity -- cherish it. Without it, this would be a very boring place full of sameness -- monochromatic hues of one tiring color.

Accept who you are. Love who you are. Make the most of who you are. In this manner, every individual makes a difference simply because he or she is a unique individual.

· I'm planning a future pregnancy. Is it wrong to try to plan the birth for a specific astrological influence?

I'm not going to emphatically tell you that that'd be wrong; however, consider this: If a spirit entity gives no credence to the astrological alignment as a determining factor for reincarnating, why should you? You're going for a "designer" personality for your child, and in reality, is that significant? Don't you want your child to be his- or herself? Don't you want to let your child be affected by whatever alignment is going to be naturally inherent?

Advancements in biophysics have created the capability to choose a child's gender, and gene splicing has manifested the potentiality to alter disease susceptibility by manipulating DNA. Do we also want to control a child's personality by dictating what celestial influences will be imprinted upon him or her?

Besides this, every astrological sign has its commendable aspects and its less desirable ones. Within each sign is a balance. There are signs that enhance the characteristics of others and there are signs that conflict with the traits of others, yet all signs are uniquely individualized and exceptional. Some signs impart a tendency toward an artistic profession and others inspire philosophical thought. Some generate an analytical intelligence, whereas others instill one drawn more to conceptualized ideology. We need that diversity. Society needs the freethinkers along with the traditionalists. Don't try to control your child's professional or intellectual tendencies. One of the most beautiful aspects of a young child is his or her purity of nature. He or she is like a precious seed the Divine gifts us with. We nurture and care for it. We let it germinate in fertile soil and allow it to grow into the sunlight and experience the strengthening elements of the wind and rainfall. And without any other interference from us, we are, one bright day, suddenly quite surprised to be presented with the beautiful blossom our wonderful gift became -- a blossom with personality, intelligence, sense of humor, character attributes, talent and skill, hopes and dreams.

To want to "design" that child is to want to specifically "improve" the seed that was so lovingly gifted to you. That ideology says, "Thanks, God, but I want this gift to look like this or act like that instead of what You present to me." Huh? It says, "I don't want an artist in the family; I want a scientist."

Our children are incredibly dynamic individuals. Let's perceive them as such. Unique unto themselves. Love yourself. Love your child.

· When my dog was born, was it affected by astrological influences? If so, do the same celestial laws apply to animals that apply to humans?

This answer is going to be succinct. All of life is affected by all other aspects of life because of the basic fact that all of life -- all your relations -- is interconnected. Remember, in a previously answered question, I explained that the celestial aspects are subtle influences. The effects on animals of astrological alignments present at an animal's birth time will not be nearly as noticeable as they are in humans because people still don't understand that animals have personality and are receptive to the same external influences as we are.

· In the situation of multiple births, will all the siblings be affected by the same astrological influences and develop to be nearly identical to one another in personality and character traits?

I find this to be an extremely interesting question because it shows some deeper thought.

Although there has been strong evidence regarding twins, especially identical twins, that shows an amazing correlation between the two siblings in character traits, likes and dislikes, inherent skills, and professional leanings, they are still individual entities. One twin is not the clone of the other. Twins are not exact and precise replicas or mirror images.

There is a hidden aspect to this concept of multiple births -- the spiritual aspect. Every individual in the physical is merely a minuscule facet of his or her spirit's totality of consciousness -- an animated fragment of his or her beautiful totality of consciousness, which consists of every person that spirit ever was while experiencing a series of sequential lifetimes. So although a child may be a twin, a triplet, or even one of sextuplets, that child is still an individual and carries with him or her a shining totality of consciousness consisting of every personality ever experienced in the past. In this manner, each person is a quintessentially unique individual whether or not he or she shared the womb with others. And this is also why triplets can grow up to follow paths that are greatly divergent from those of their siblings. One could be a child prodigy -- a concert cellist, one could be a master auto mechanic, and one could be a dedicated social worker. When one is looking at a singular, generalized concept, it's important to factor in all aspects to come to a knowledgeable conclusion. Who we were in past lives and what our experiential history was are as important to consider as the current astrological alignments under which we were born in this lifetime. Both affect our beingness. Both converge to create a coherency of absolute traits defining the new individual.

Society, particularly new parents, perceives the brand-new life of a newborn as a blank slate to be written on. Society views this new life as a piece of precious clay to be molded and formed, but in reality, that new life already has a long history of consciousness to draw from. That history will present itself from time to time throughout the child's life as nebulous past-life memories or inclinations. That child will have preformed relationships with certain individuals. That child will have a natural but inexplicable magnetic draw to certain people, occupations, or causes. That newborn child is full of experiences that may or may not be recalled or have a likewise significant influence upon his or her current life.

So then, the individual children of multiple births indeed do have unexplainable bonds and emotional ties to one another, yet they also have bonds and ties to their own historical pasts that are powerful behavioral influences.

· Do astrological influences from past lives carry over to affect my current incarnation?

Yes, indirectly, because those same influences that were imprinted upon your past life personality helped to form the who of you in that historical experience. See? Every past life incarnation was lived under the affectation of that life's birth sign. And since your spirit's consciousness is an amalgamation of all those lives and personalities you exhibited, your current consciousness carries, deep within it, the influences of those same past selves.

We are indeed a blend of everyone we ever were, of every experience we've ever had...we just don't consciously recall them all; that's why they frequently come to the fore in dreams. We are so much more than who we think we are. We are a composite of everyone we ever were. Our histories are rich and full. Each one of us, if we could manage total recall -- I mean total spirit recall -- could combine our memories and fill in all the gaping holes in history and dispel every seeming mysterious enigma of it. Yet, the Divine, in Her/His great wisdom, has seen the necessity of our selective amnesia, for to recall all would be to hinder the ability to effectively focus on today.

· What planet does God live on?

What? Are you serious? Well, yes, I think we can all agree that society has this generally held idea that God is "out there" or "up there" somewhere, but a planet? On an actual planet? As John Denver would probably have said about that idea, "That's far out!" And he'd have been right too.

The divine aspects of the Trinity are of a spirit nature, whereas a planet is of the three-dimensional physical. The Divine is everywhere. Her/His nature imbues all rather than being trapped by the constraint of being in only one place at a time. It is the Divine Consciousness that binds all life together upon the fine strands of the Great Web of Life. That Consciousness is everywhere. That Consciousness is Life. It is the very breath that sustains us. The Divine is not relegated to here or to there. The Divine is not up, not down. The Divine is within the pulsating DNA of the All.

God does not live on a planet. God...just...exists.

· Is a war or political conflict the bombing of Pearl Harbor, for example influenced by astrological factors? If so, could the outcome of such an event also be predicted by those same specific influences at its inception?

Several world cultures hold with consulting the stars to determine the "most propitious" time for beginning major life phases or making decisions regarding wedding dates, journeys, and so on, yet wars are not influenced by the stars because they are so gross in what and who they encompass. Weddings involve two individuals; by consulting the planetary positioning in the heavens and calculating an alignment between the astrological signs of the respective bride and groom, one can identify a window of time as providing a tentative "propitious" choice of dates. The same applies to proposed journeys planned by individuals. Rather than the positioning of the stars and planets, military technology and the strategies of the participants determine the outcome of wars.

· Are returned completed spirits affected by the planetary influences at the time of their entry into the physical?

Sure they are. They aren't immune to any aspect associated with the physical world they enter into. Your question implies the assumption that completed spirits are somehow special, that they're "protected" from that which affects all others. That's just not the way of it. The astrological alignment at the time of his birth affected Jesus just as much as the alignment at the time of your birth influenced you. Being a completed spirit back on earth does not negate one's receptivity to the natural forces existing within the whole of the cosmos. One's spiritual mission cannot be effectively addressed or brought to fruition through any manner of isolation or protective shield. One must be as a sister or brother to the other members of the human family. And that means that the body is susceptible to viruses, emotionality, human and planetary influences, and so on. To be otherwise would mean one is the Divine.

· Are inanimate objects such as cars and computers affected by astrological influences relating to the time they were manufactured?

Initially, when I read this question, I felt compelled to think it was sent to me as a joke, but upon further consideration, realized that it was a valid one. I always told my children to never be embarrassed to ask a question, to never think a question -- any question -- is a stupid one. Otherwise, how would we ever learn? So I concluded that this was a bona fide inquiry and will treat it as such.

Inanimate objects are not affected by the arrangement of celestial bodies in the heavens at the time the object was manufactured -- they are not affected by celestial bodies at all. However, there is another aspect to this questioner's issue: the fact that the inanimate object itself, if created from "natural" substances, emits its own field of energy that is specific and unique unto its inherent natural characteristics of composition. So although this object would not be affected by any celestial factor at the time it was made, the object still emanates a unique vibrational field of energy.

· I've been trying to plan my life according to astrological influences and nothing is working. How come?

Nothing is working because you're attempting to create your own reality as one aligned with the stars and planets. You're trying to make a "designer" life based on heavenly arrangements instead of allowing life to take its natural course. Rather than accepting that which presents itself upon your life path, you are trying to choose what will appear upon the path. This method of trying to control and manipulate your life is a dependent one whereby all elements of that life are contingent on the shape of a heavenly pattern, not leaving you free to make decisions on the basis of logic and reason. Now I'm not saying that consulting the stars is not a reasonable thing to do now and again. What I am saying is that it's not reasonable or logical to constantly do it, to do it so often that it becomes a habit -- an addiction -- that precludes independent thinking.

When we're ready to set out on a trip, we usually check the weather conditions. That's reasonable. That's a logical action. When we arrive at an airport, we check the posted schedule of flights to verify if our plane's been delayed or canceled. That's logical. Every so often, we check the fluids in our vehicle engines to ensure smooth running. That's reasonable and necessary. But when people check an astrological chart before they make every move or decision in life, that's not logical or reasonable. That's being dependent and not being self-reliant on one's own resources of intelligence and reason.

Each individual is responsible for his or her own decisions and choices made in life. Those choices cannot be solely subject to their relationship with the stars but must rather be arrived at after being given considerable analysis and contemplation. You see, depending on the stars as a sole criterion for decision making removes all personal responsibility from your self. It says, "I don't have to make this decision because the stars will tell me what I should do." It's the same as using a psychic as a habitual consultant for every move you make in life. You're still using a crutch for personal responsibility, shifting that responsibility to someone else or some other outside factor when it should come from within.

Your life is not unfolding as you'd like it because you're avoiding personal responsibility. You can ease your life path in a general direction according to a plan to work toward a specific goal, but you cannot continually allow your every move to be contingent upon celestial alignments. That makes as much sense as consulting the child's magic Eight Ball for an answer to your every question regarding choices and decisions.

The important choices that present themselves in life are not singular facets. That is, they are not independent elements because most often they affect relationships, occupation considerations, emotionality, relocation, and so on. And gaining acuity and clear perspective regarding these issues brings a decision into sharper focus. When all associated elements have been considered to their fullest, a specific decision will eventually dominate all other possible alternatives.

The issue of this questioner's inquiry can be split into two main important concepts -- that of the importance of taking personal responsibility and that of developing acceptance for whatever situations or conditions are present upon one's life path. Acceptance -- for years, I've emphasized this beautiful attribute because it's such a wonderful and stress-relieving characteristic. Acceptance means that we acknowledge when we cannot change something or when we have no right to change something through interference or manipulation. Having this beautiful attribute ingrained within us as a true attitude allows many of life's negatives to easily roll off our backs instead of spearing into our emotions and causing psychological and physical havoc. Acceptance keeps many of those negatives from being internalized. It brings about observance of an event, situation, or action rather than a personal participation in it. Acceptance maintains an outsider perspective, which serves as an insulating factor against emotional pain, against being drawn into eliciting a negative knee-jerk reaction, against causing harm to another, and against ending up being an interfering factor in another's life. We accept what life offers and change what we can through personal and wise decisions. That which we cannot change, we accept. It's simple. Life can be a lot simpler if people understand that they don't have to depend on crutches but can instead make their own choices and decisions. Life can be a lot simpler if people comprehend the beauty of having acceptance. Life can be simpler if people just take personal responsibility for that life and realize that nobody can live their life for them and that no one or anything else can make their decisions for them. Each of us is a beautiful and unique individual who makes his or her own specialized mark in the world. Whether that mark will look like all the others because of a lack of individuality or will have no comparison because of individuality is all up to you. It's the difference between independence and dependence. It's the difference between acceptance and bucking the natural current of life. It's the difference between individualized thought and complete nonthought.

If all our decisions and life choices were based on what the heavens displayed at a specific time or were based on what a psychic said, how, then, would we ever have the opportunity to feel responsible? Instead, wouldn't we feel that decisions came from without? From an outside source other than the self? In that situation, we could also have an outside source to place blame on if our choices were less than perfect -- a scapegoat. Aha! The stars made me do it! A psychic told me to do it! It wasn't me! But you know what? No matter who or what advised you to do it, it was still you who went ahead and did it. So what is the real bottom line here? No matter who or what advises or tells you to do something, to make this or that choice, it's still you who are responsible for your actions. Though you seek out advice and consult others, you are the one who ultimately must act on that advice. It's you who must take or leave that advice according to your own conscience. Therefore, the entire idea of a scapegoat to place blame on is in actuality a shallow and groundless excuse for your actions.

· I'm getting ready to build a new house. Is it reasonable to ask the contractors their birth signs as part of the interview process?

This is a highly unusual question, to be sure, but it's not reasonable if you're intending their answers to be the determining criteria for hire. As I said earlier, you can't hire or fire based on such a discriminatory element as astrological birth sign; rather, your decision should be based on skill and integrity. Even the factor of the contractor's experience shouldn't necessarily be considered, because although this may be his or her first job, the individual may be far more qualified than someone who has years of experience under the belt. Everyone has to start somewhere. Everyone has a beginning.

· Do you foresee a major realignment of the planets in the near future?

No, not in the "near" future.

· If the Starborn races come from other universes and all of our own astrological influences are based on the constellations within our solar system, do the Starborn have a correlating system of astrology that they recognize?

Sure they do. It's based on the celestial alignments of their own galaxies. How would it be otherwise? They couldn't base their astrological concept on ours because our planets wouldn't have any influential vibrationary affect upon their own birthings. They have their own planets that emit these similar affects upon individuals and life-forms.

· Are there animal totems associated with the astrological signs?

It's been generally put forth that there are, but in actuality, an animal totem is a highly individualized concept unique to each person. A generalized totem encompassing all folks born under one sign is too broad in scope; it's far too undefined for a particular personal totem because, after all, a personal totem comes by way of a powerful dream, vision, or strong affinity.

· I heard that every birth sign also carries a specific color with it. Is that true?

As with the above question, sometimes people generalize. There is supposedly a general color associated with every astrological sign; however, this is also an extremely broad scope concept. One's natural attraction to a specific color is derived from a multitude of factors, such as past-life experiences, personal vibrational fields, biological magnetism, individual energy potentiality, and emotions, psychological profile.

Because they are unique individuals, all affected by innumerable life factors, all individuals born between May 21 and June 20 will not be drawn to the color orange. If every birth sign were truly associated with a specific color, wouldn't twins or triplets all be partial to the same color? Logic and a good measure of reason must be applied when we are dealing with generalized concepts. We can't take them as concrete validations that hold true for all, because each of us is so incredibly different in so many ways.

· I know a Virgo who is so messy and nonchalant about it that nobody would guess he was born under that sign. How come? I thought Virgos were fastidious and orderly.

Well, then, this is a prime example of what I just got through explaining in the previous response. Each of us is a unique individual. That uniqueness is based on a wide variety of factors, only one of which is the astrological element. It's not logical or reasonable to stuff every person born under the Virgo sign into a box labeled orderly or fastidious, because every one of them is different and is not necessarily orderly or fastidious. Every one of them will possess differing degrees of those qualities. Some will drive you absolutely crazy with the need to have every little thing in its designated place, whereas others won't give a rat's hat about where things are strewn. And then there will be a whole gamut of those who fit well in between the two extremes, each one behaving exactly how a multitude of factors affect their psychological makeup.

The astrological alignment at birth does indeed shower an individual with a generalized birth sign, but the specifics of that sign are as varied in degrees of physical and psychological evidence as the sands on a wild ocean beach. Towering tall above all conceptual theories stands the preeminent and immutable fact that first of all, we are individuals -- unique and multifaceted. Consequently, these theories' minuscule effects are eclipsed by it.

Enter the evidence of your Virgo friend who does not conform to the stringent mold within which the astrological sign of Virgo would confine him. He is not concerned with household order but rather contrarily prefers a more relaxed environment where the "proper" place for things is right where they are at any given time. So? Does that negate his Virgoness? No, certainly not; it only shows his individuality -- his sense of freedom to show his individuality. Do you think he cares a whit that his sign characterizes him as meticulous and tidy? Do you think he cares about those qualities defining his personality? No, because he's not letting the astrological factor define who he is -- his identity. He is who he is regardless of what some celestial alignment says he must be. You see? Freedom. Freedom to And what a wonderfully light and airy attitude that freedom is when you recognize it and really understand it for its priceless value in life! It's a blessing few are truly aware of. It's a blessing few identify and acknowledge as a true blessing existing for the taking.

· If two people are in a relationship, which is the best-case scenario -- to have complementary signs or contrasting ones?

Neither. Either. A relationship isn't defined by the astrological signs of its participants but rather is nourished by their love for one another. Like sign characteristics may appear to present the condition of compatibility, yet it would seem to me that this would have the probability of generating a boring and eventually stagnant relationship. Though most people look for a partner or significant other who has like interests and philosophies, these are not the sole criteria that mark a lasting and meaningful relationship. I've known people who were complete opposites and their commitment to one another was rock solid and unshakable, yet I've also known folks whose partnership endured with deep love while they were nearly mirror images of each other. There is no preferred situation in regard to astrological alignments of partners because, in the final analysis, it's the individuals themselves who make or break the union. There are times when a great chasm of personality, interests, occupation, and so forth exist between couples and this situation opens up an incredibly wide scoped lens through which both end up perceiving their world view. Differences can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how one sees those differences. They can be an element in one's life that causes continual stress and agitation or they can be a powerful force that serves as a strong impetus to expand one's experiential base, knowledge, and potential. You see, it's not so much what exists in our life but rather how we use what exists. The existence of differences in a relationship is a prime example of how life affords us unlimited opportunities for self-expansion and personal growth.

Don't perceive a partner's differentness as being a snag in the relationship's fabric; rather, view it as being threads of gold that enhance and strengthen the whole.

· My son's astrological chart shows that his ideal occupation is one involving science or some type of research. I'm at continual odds with him over this because he wants to be an interior designer, of all things. Help!

I can't help unless you give some serious thought to the suggestions and concepts I present regarding this issue.

First, you need to answer an important question: Why are you trying to manipulate your son's life? He's twenty-two years old. He's an individual. He must live his life according to his own conscience -- how he is guided within himself -- not by outside influences or forces. Not by what Mother wishes him to be or do. It's time to cut the apron strings, Mom. It's time to open your eyes to the fact that your son is no longer your little Davey, but David -- an adult with a mind and life of his very own. He is now responsible for every decision and choice he makes in life. Those are no longer your responsibility as his parent. Yes, I concede that it is still your right to offer opinions and suggestions, to give advice and help, but only when asked. Otherwise, you could very well be perceived as a nagging mother who constantly interferes in her son's life. There comes a time when the line between parental interference and simple advice is very thin. A wise parent recognizes that point and acknowledges respect for it.

I have children, too -- three grown daughters. They've made some choices I've cringed at and they've made decisions that have made me proud to be their mom. I give advice when asked. I keep silent when it proves prudent to do so. Wisdom is knowing when to do which. Sometimes parents, through experiential living, know too well the pitfalls of certain life decisions yet, in spite of that knowing, must allow the child to discover those same pitfalls on his or her own. This is so because oftentimes, no matter how vehemently or how often you attempt to expose those pitfalls involved with a particular choice in life, the child will be deaf to your words. For whatever reason, the child will not hear what you're saying and will be in complete denial about any negatives associated with a planned course of action. These are cases when the parent, through continual harping, can become a nagging interference in the child's life or, after repeatedly stressing the pitfalls, can accept the child's determination and just...well, keep quiet and hope for the best. It's only natural for a parent to want the best for the child, to want him or her to succeed and avoid hurtful experiences due to unwise choices, but the other side to that coin is loving the child enough to let the child learn and grow through self-made decisions. That's part of how every individual becomes independent and develops wisdom. Allowing an adult child the freedom of independent thinking is one of the greatest gifts of love with which a parent can bless a child. No matter how old that child gets, he or she will always be your child, but how you treat that child is what determines if you as a parent are selfishly foolish or selflessly wise.

Okay, getting back to the issue of your son's what if he wants to be an interior designer? Think about that. So what? Are you having a difficult time accepting his choice because you think he'll fail? Do you think it's not "manly" enough? Or because being an interior decorator doesn't garner the social status that a being scientist or researcher would? What? What is it that's causing you so much grief? You need to get to the heart of the matter here. You need to examine your attitudes regarding occupation, status, your son, social mores, your philosophy on lifestyles, and so forth. You need to do this with complete honesty, because using an astrological chart for your prime basis of argument is transparent and shallow. There's more behind your argument -- a lot more.

Let's get down to the ground issue of occupation or profession as presupposed within one's personal astrological chart. Okay, the chart suggests an occupation that best suits that birth sign along with all the multiple, correspondingly interactive chart elements, yet does that mean or even imply that all people born at that same moment in time should be a scientist or researcher to succeed in life or reach their ultimate potentiality? Nope. It doesn't mean that at all. Though it may appear that that's what it's saying, it's not. It implies only that folks born then may have a greater inclination toward those fields of endeavor. Do you see the difference here between may and must? Inclination and proficiency?

Your son might have been a master architect in a past life. He might also have been an accomplished, even world-famous, artist in another. His entire spirit's experiential past may have been in artistic fields, and all of these are a viable part of his current consciousness. Keeping that in mind, wouldn't it be quite natural to have a strong, magnetic pull toward another life developing those artistic experiential skills that are so solidly ingrained into the consciousness? In reality, he's merely continuing to enhance his natural talents and inherent skills. Can't you see your way clear to allowing him that opportunity? To love him enough to take joy in his having a creative life, doing what he wants and loves to do? Yes, you can. When you really think about it, you can. Rather than fight with him over this, accept his choice. Rather than cause you both undue stress over this, encourage his talent. Rather than widen the distance between you, close it with love and understanding.

· Why is it that people who are really into astrology can never guess my sign?

Because you clearly enjoy freedom of personal expression. You are a unique individual, and you aren't reluctant to be who you are. And the "who" of you is not based on your birth sign. You obviously have strong past-life influences that overshadow any or most of your current possible astrological affectations. You freely display the effects of a composite spirit consciousness within your current physical life. That's good. That's as it should be, for within, you are many aspects of those varied personalities that you've been in the past, all having equally as many historical experiences.

· I know that the precise positioning of the planets can influence a person's personality at the time of birth, so I was wondering -- what about comets and meteor showers?

Comets or meteor showers that are in evidence at an individual's birth moment do not emanate influential forces of energy as the constellations do; therefore, there is no "imprinting" made on the newborn's character and personality by these events.

· Are comets an omen or some type of harbinger of the future?

Only in the minds of the doomsday-sayers and fearmongers. In reality, comets and like celestial events are natural phenomena, and their occurrence is completely unrelated to any human or societal affair taking place in the present or in the future.

The idea that comets and such are harbingers of future religious or geologically catastrophic events is strongly reminiscent of the Middle Ages, an age of ignorance in which some believed such things as birthmarks or unusually shaped moles to be the marks of a witch. Not only is the idea of a comet being an omen or special sign ignorant, it's also incredibly arrogant. Long before this planet of ours was inhabited by humanoids, comets and meteor showers were flaming through the heavens for millions of years. Now, enter the egotistical and self-possessed humans who think Nature is there for them instead of the other way around. They think Nature performs just for them as a bringer of signs and portents of doom. Jeez Louise, get a clue. Thus, nigh on the cusp of the twenty-first century, have we learned nothing of the reality of nature, physics, and our world environment? How can it be that so many people are intellectually caught in the thought of the Middle Ages? From masses of devotees coming from far and wide to venerate a shadow cast on an office building wall to religious hysterics over an imagined alien mother ship hidden in the tail of a comet. Where has reason and intelligence fled to? Is society so depraved of spirituality that it even craves the ridiculous and grasps it as being truth? As being reality? Has society's perceptual sight deteriorated that badly? Has it gone so far as to obscure all reason and logic?

Earthly humankind is not the end-all of creation. It is not the epitome life-form of the universe, nor does it cause the mighty solar system to revolve around it. Human arrogance has reached the point where it's bumping against its own hard ceiling in an attempt to elevate itself to even loftier heights, yet all the bumping and bruising doesn't appear to be teaching anything because the message isn't getting through.

The stars don't twinkle just for us. We didn't orchestrate the recorded hum of the universe. We don't sit at the controls that operate the solar system's machinations. Meteor showers don't come merely as an awesome show for human enjoyment. And since the daybreak of creation, comets have streaked through the sky...long before a human foot ever made a crude imprint upon the moist antediluvian soil of earth.

· I'm a Libra and, according to my chart, my priority should be directed toward marriage and enduring partnerships. I'm not the least bit inclined to get married, nor am I particularly interested in having a significant other right now. I'm perfectly happy remaining single. What's wrong with me?

Not a thing. You are who you are, not who a chart says you must be. That's the bottom line here. No one can direct, control, or manipulate your life for you unless you allow him or her to do so. And no chart can cause you to be something you're not or do something you're not naturally inclined to do. People are so ingrained to think they need to exhibit chart characteristics that they think there's something wrong with them if they don't -- like you. But you're forgetting that you're a composite of everyone you've ever been. Your spirit consciousness retains a historical memory of those personalities in your current subconsciousness and your current personage retains some carry-over traits of those same past identities. Who you are today is not your whole identity but rather is a minuscule facet of many preformed aspects of a "mother" crystal my analogy that contains all facets of your self. To expect your beautiful totality to be identified solely by an astrological chart based on your current physical life is ludicrous. That'd be like reading only the last chapter of a book and claiming that that chapter is the complete totality of its content, that there was nothing associated with it that came before or that led up to it. See what I mean?

So if your current birth chart claims that you have a priority of marriage and/or close partnerships when in actuality you have other goals that take priority, then that simply gives evidence that you have some strong carry-over personality traits from past-life experiences that still influence the attitudes and choices in this current life. This is normal. It's natural. It's how the reality of one's spirit consciousness totality works. These carry-over traits are never more clearly evidenced than in a child prodigy who retains the memory and skill of a past-life personality who was a master painter or accomplished pianist. This example represents the more visible evidence, yet the psychological traits and those defining our personal interests are more subtle. Still, they explain why we don't seem to fit into the confines of an astrological birth chart.

If marriage is not for you, then so be it. You are an individual and as such are responsible for every decision you make in life. Social mores are finally being seen for the prejudicial and judgmental elements they are. More and more people are opting for the single life. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. And anyone who tells you that it's a selfish choice is either jealous or self-righteous. They don't live your life; they don't make your choices.

Every single person on this planet must live life according to his or her own conscience. Each of us must follow individual inner promptings for lifestyle, profession, location of residence, spiritual beliefs, philosophies, and so on. We were not created clones of each other. We were created as shimmering spiritual intelligences clothed in physical forms...each one different from the other, each one special and amazingly unique.

· I was born when intensive solar flares were taking place. What does that mean?

It means that you were born when intensive solar flares were taking place. I'm not being sarcastic, either; it just doesn't mean anything more than that. The same with the meteor showers and comets, remember? Please keep this issue in perspective. Nature is Nature. Nature is not made for -- nor does it perform solely for -- humanity.

· My astrological chart shows that I could become a great spiritual teacher. Does that mean that I could be the reincarnation of some great religious person from ancient times?

Not necessarily. Not even probably. Let's not jump the gun here and let the ego cloud reason.

I need to reiterate the fact that astrological charts give indications and possible influences. Their details are tentative traits and characteristics that may exist if other past-life characteristics are not predominant factors. Charts represent strong possibilities, not immutable facts. Therefore, you must keep this firmly in mind when reviewing a chart. This is why everyone who has a chart done not only will find exact depictions of their personality but will also discover qualities listed that are completely off the mark.

A chart is not a method of carved-in-stone prognostication. It does not predict or forecast one's destined future in respect to occupation, lifestyle, relationships, or otherwise. It does not reveal past-life identities -- or even imply that it can, so you're taking this chart and really stretching it. I mean really s- t- r- e- t- c- h- i- n- g it. Though you may not consciously realize it, your ego is getting in the way of rationale. It's unwise to read something that isn't there. It's foolish to make assumptions when there's not been even a hint of an implication made.

Your chart is merely stating that you may have a natural tendency toward becoming a spiritual teacher in this life. The key here is the word may. It in no way implies that you will. See the difference? This is much like my correspondents who write that a psychic told them that they're going to be a great prophetess or medicine woman someday yet they know nothing about such things. They write wanting to know how this can be possible. Well, sure, it makes me wonder too, because nobody can tell you what to be. I believe that a bona fide psychic wouldn't reveal a client's future occupation or purpose if it was foreseen. I believe this because I know how problematic such a revelation can be and how much inner confusion and turmoil can result if the individual is in no way ready to set foot upon that specific path yet. These things come quite naturally and in their own time as one progresses and grows throughout life. To be told long before one has any inclination or tendency toward such a purpose is futile and greatly damaging. So for someone to tell you you're to one day be a great prophetess or medicine woman when today, you're completely involved in taking care of a household full of young children is, to me, quite irresponsible. Because of this fact, I seriously doubt this particular psychic's credibility and validity. There are ethics involved here that were seriously breeched.

I think the man who wrote me with the original astrological question was simply openly honest with a curious wonderment. Though that wonderment was subconsciously ego inspired, I don't believe he was coming from an arrogant attitude of possible self-aggrandizement. The lesson here is to not take a grain of sand and perceive it as a mountain. Perceptual clarity is the goal to shoot for. Keeping within the bounds of rationale and solid facts is the key to comprehension and is the fertile ground in which wisdom ultimately sinks its roots. Astrological charts should be viewed solely as possibilities -- possible tendencies or possible inclinations toward one's character, occupation, personality traits, goal orientation, lifestyle, and so forth. Keep these in perspective, for your life is your own and is not defined by or confined to a diagram of the stars purport ed to chart same.

Perhaps this correspondent will end up being a great spiritual teacher; perhaps he'll turn out to be a world-renowned environmentalist or a garage mechanic. Wherever destiny leads him, his footfalls must follow his heart, his conscience, his natural inclinations in order for him to reach the ultimate potential of his intended purpose for being here.

· Is astrology the work of Satan?

Oh, please -- the heinous mentality of the Inquisition was over hundreds of years ago. Why does every natural aspect of Nature's reality have to end up being bastardized and satanized by religious ignorance?

Most of Nature's reality is merely evidence of physics. The more scientific discoveries physicists uncover, the more human beings realize how tightly the fields of science and spirituality are interwoven into a converging tapestry of reality. This reality is the inherent nature of our world. It's evidence of what is and how it works and behaves. The concept of astrology is simply another discovery of how the magnetic fields of specific planetary alignments emanate a vibrational influence over all of life. That's it. No hoodoo involved. No magic or witchcraft behind it. And certainly, no little red-tailed goblins with horns and three-tined pitchforks trying to woo us to the dark side with it.

The Nature of our world is part of the Divine's creative forces. The Nature of our world emanated from divine thought. How in the world can people be so intellectually confused and perceptually blind as to look at Nature and think they see demons? Religious schizophrenia? Fanaticism? An obsession with the Devil? The whole idea of astrology as the work of Satan is baffling and utterly incredible. It's just absurd.

· Is there a difference between computer-generated astrological charts and ones figured out manually by an insightful astrologer?

Though computers are highly touted and are replacing a lot of manual and technical work, they cannot duplicate or surpass human skill coupled with perceptive insight.

· I know that a meteor shower doesn't affect one's birth time, but does it in any way have the capacity to interfere with the astrological alignment influences?

No. A meteor shower no more interferes with a celestial alignment's influence than the wind can interfere with sunlight or a shadow can block the wind.

· What does earth's moon represent?

Wisdom. Enlightenment.

The moon, throughout history, has been represented by the goddess Luna, now commonly, but sadly, replaced by the generalized term lunar. Many ancient cultures believed the moon symbolized wisdom and its attainment. A full moon signified full knowledge and the potential to gain it. A new moon denoted lost or hidden knowledge, mystery or esoteric elements. And a lunar eclipse meant knowledge temporarily forgotten or consciously denied.

The most popular and generally held belief about the full moon is that it brings out the "crazies" -- moon madness. Police seem to dread full-moon nights, and emergency-department personnel make jokes, in the afternoon preceding a full moon, about gearing up for the full moon because there is a noticeable increase in unusual incidents during a full moon. But why is that? What makes the night of a full moon so different from the nights of all the other moon phases? Well, the general consensus is that it's due to the strong magnetic pull that the celestial body has on the fluids of our planet. The tides bear this out. Not only are our planetary waters affected but our bodily fluids are affected. The blood flow from open wounds, during hospital operations, and during a woman's menstrual time will be greater when the moon is full. And the chemicals within our body are stimulated into increased activity, including those of the brain and hypothalamus. This situation alone accounts for the escalated incidences of such behavioral events as violence and rage, the greater frequency of such stress-related occurrences as domestic abuse, and the increased accidents due to unawareness and fragmented thought.

Many cultures had and still maintain a belief in a separate women's spirituality/nature, in which the moon was seen as having a direct influence on women's matters, specifically menstruation, called the moon time. There are various historical belief systems related to the moon; you may find it quite interesting to do a little research on the subject.

I would be remiss if I left the topic of the moon without including the related aspect of horticulture. A cursory scan of any farmer's almanac will confirm the importance of planting times as associated with the varying moon phases. This schedule of planting and harvesting guidelines has been devised after many years of experimentation and analysis. It's not merely folklore, as so many people perceive it to be; it's real and it's effective.

· If astrology is based on the specific qualities of planetary magnetic pull and the influences these have on earthly life, why isn't the concept more generally accepted as fact?

Because everyone has his or her own opinion on the various aspects of physics, just as for all other elements in life. Not everyone believes in the Bible, yet those who do swear that it's the indisputable and definitive word of God. You see, it's the aspect of personal opinion that comes into play here. Even if a particular concept is indeed a proven fact, folks still have the free will to choose whether to believe it. Just as some think the Bible is the word of God, there are many others who perceive it as a book composed of hearsay and secondhand stories that were altered over time by the hands of many translators. It's a fact of physics that the moon's innate quality exerts a magnetic pull on earthly fluids, yet many folks though believing in the movement of the tides do not believe the moon has any corresponding effect on human bodily fluids. People pick and choose that which they want to believe. They frequently fragment concepts by saying, "Well, I believe this about it, but I don't believe that about it."

Some astronomers believe in the technicalities of astrology and some think it's a bunch of hogwash to which only crackpots hold. Some astronomers believe there is the strong probability for intelligent life existing in other galaxies and some think that's so much crock. So there you have it -- personal opinion. It comes down to the individuality of perspective, one's extent and quality of analytical thought, reasoning skill, and rationale. I've witnessed the tendency in a preponderance of folks to immediately reject ideas out of hand before applying any mental energy to the concept in question.

I listen to people voice firm opinions, and when I have occasion to inquire how the opinion was derived, I most often receive a short and somewhat amused retort something like this: "Well...everyone knows that." This tells me that the individual has formed an opinion of the concept on a superficial level, that the person has not really given the idea any sort of contemplative, analytical, or research time. On the whole, people need to think more. They need to curb the inclination toward mental laziness and rein in their tendency to go along with public opinion or the conceptual status quo. Copernicus deduced that the sun was the center of our solar system and, consequently, was deemed a heretic for voicing his analytical thought. Why? Well, because "everyone knows" that the earth is the center of the solar system and that everything else revolves around it. So what does this ultimately say? It says that what "everyone knows" is not necessarily true. It says that what everyone knows may not be a fact at all and that the oddball who thinks and says otherwise is the only one who possesses the chutzpah to diametrically oppose public opinion and stand up for his or her intellectual abilities.

Society, on the whole, is fearful of individual thought. People seem reticent to voice a new thought for fear of ridicule or being dubbed a kook. Copernicus was called a heretic for his contrary belief, yet time proved him right. He was not afraid of public opinion or concerned that his ego might get bruised. He applied analytical thought to astronomical observations and deduced a fact of reality. He did this despite society's general opinion. So should we. New discoveries and revealing epiphanies concerning the magnificent totality of our world reality cannot be uncovered unless we spend time in wonder and, through that inspired curiosity, extend our mind into realms just waiting for our maiden voyage. To be content with the status quo is to be satisfied with an ongoing state of voluntary stagnation where growth is forever stunted and new thought is a taboo.

Everyone "knows" that the moon influences the ebb and flow of the ocean tides, so why doesn't everyone also know that the moon likewise affects the ebb and flow of the inner tides of human physiology? Both are facts, yet both are not universally held beliefs. And the explanation for this is personal opinion based on selectivity.

· Will a baby be imprinted with the mother's astrological in-fluences through the amniotic fluid surrounding the infant before birth?

No, because the baby is not exposed to the celestial influences until it enters the outside atmosphere of the physical.

I understood what you were getting at, but two conceptual elements were a bit confused. You were thinking that the mother's amniotic fluid contains her own markers for her specific planetary influences, and since the fluid surrounds the embryo, her markers could affect the growing infant through symbiosis -- at least I think that was your thought on it. But no, an embryo will not absorb the mother's own astrological characteristics through her amniotic waters. They are not transferable in this manner, nor are they passed genetically to be included in the baby's DNA composition. Good question. It shows some deeper thought.

· Some astrological signs supposedly bestow a characteristic for psychism. How can that be when I thought everyone had this ability as a spiritually inherent talent?

Everyone does, to varying degrees. What we're talking about here isn't the New Age idea of being psychic, as in having the strong skill of psychokinesis or telepathy, but rather the more subtle elements of insight, intuition, and inspiration. These are characteristics everyone does have. Some call them woman's intuition; some refer to them as gut feelings. These are natural to us, as much a part of our makeup as skin and bones. It's a fact that we all get feelings about things. And these feelings can manifest themselves in a wide variety of ways. Sometimes they'll come as goose bumps. Sometimes they'll show themselves by the hair on the back of your neck standing up or by a sinking, sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. Other times they appear as a sense of foreboding or strong positive inclination. And frequently they will come as an unexplainable knowing, in that you feel that you just know something without being able to give any logical reason as to why you know it. No matter what form they manifest in, they all represent a form of inexplicable intuition and insight that we all have and experience.

Now, astrologically speaking, when a chart lists psychism as one of its influencing qualities, it usually refers to a marked increase in the strength of these skills that approaches the level of being exceptional. This, then, is when the natural characteristics of intuition and insight extend beyond the norm and reach into the refined subclasses commonly referred to as psychokinesis, prognostication, psychometry, visions, and so forth.

Yes, everyone is psychic with intuition and the ability for insight, but some people also have additional qualities that have been instilled through the means of their specific astrological influences.

· Will one's astrological chart reveal major events in one's life -- events such as an assassination?

Not specifically. A well-worked and well-researched chart computed by a skilled astrologer will reveal a time in which such a devastating and monumental event is most probable to occur. As to pinpointing and identifying the exact type of event, well, that's fairly impossible because of the law of probabilities, which works in tandem with the multiple elements of free will choices. A qualified astrologer can examine a chart and recognize a questionable time period for the client. This is pointed out, and it's up to the individual to give it credence with increased awareness during that time or to ignore it with denial or nonchalance. A chart won't -- and can't -- be so exacting as to define a major event like an assassination or a lottery win, but the associative elements converging on that time period will usually, at the very least, show up as an event carrying positive or negative connotations.

· Does every culture have some form of astrological belief?

Though these beliefs are not identically aligned with the specifics of the generally held one, I think every culture has beliefs associated with celestial bodies. Much of today's mythology comes from Greek and Roman ancient beliefs in the gods and goddesses related to the planets and constellations. Many cultures believe in Nature goddesses, those of the waters, air, earth, and fire. The Polynesians have their Madame Pele, for instance. Native peoples' cultures are rich in stories of Nature beings and sky people. Yes, I believe all cultures have some type of traditional beliefs related to the heavens.

· If someone was born on the first day of a new sign, wouldn't that person also have some characteristics of the sign whose time period just ended?

Well, sure. That's called being born on the cusp. The cusp is the transition time in which the last day of one sign is turning into the first day of a new sign. An individual born during this cusp time may be influenced by both signs, making for a very interesting chart with added dimensions.

· If Jesus were reincarnated, what would his chart look like? Would it reveal his identity?

You haven't thought this out. Many people are born on the same day. And many of those same individuals make their entry into this world at the same hour -- down to the same minute. Would every one of their charts reveal a Jesus type of personality? For sure, they'd all be very similar, perhaps even exact, so how can one chart rise above the others to be so extraordinarily different as to actually herald Jesus' return? See what I mean? And what if Jesus were a twin or born as one of quadruplets? Which child would be truly him? How would you determine that? No, if Jesus were to return to the physical, his chart wouldn't single him out from any other child born at the same time. His recognition wouldn't come from that venue.

· The Wise Men were astrologers. What celestial body did they really see? I keep having a nagging sense that it really wasn't a star at all.

My goodness, this is an interesting question.

There are ancient writings that were secreted away and hidden. They are commonly referred to as the Gnostic Gospels and were originally placed in large jug-type pottery and either buried or set far back in desert caves in the Qumran Valley and Najc Hammadi region. In December 1945, those scrolls and codices were discovered at the Najc Hammadi site. Between the two hidden locations, much new information has been revealed regarding the time of Jesus.

One of the scrolls describes the Bethlehem scene at the time of Jesus' birth. It describes how, for several minutes, time froze. The people and animals surrounding the sheltered cave the stable, as currently believed were placed in suspended animation. The writing tells of animals' mouths frozen open as they were suspended in time while eating grass. It tells of shepherds' feet stopped in the air while caught in midstep. And it tells of a great, blinding light in the sky directly above the birthing place -- a great, blinding light.

Two thousand years ago, there were no airplanes, dirigibles, and helicopters to explain such a light; therefore, what else could it be but a star? You see, conclusions can be derived only from knowns. And the only known object that shed light in the sky was a star. So forever after, that specific birth-time light has been classified as a star.

Now, let me add another element here. I live in a modest cabin located in a semi-remote mountain region. The cabin is up on the side of a hill overlooking a large secluded valley. One night that valley had large, brilliant orbs of white light floating around each other in a cluster. It seemed as though they were almost dancing in the moonlight. One appeared to be the size of a large beach ball; the other two moving around it were a bit smaller in size. If those orbs of light hadn't been down level with the cabin and just fifty feet in front of it, instead of higher in the sky, they would've been mistakenly identified as helicopter lights or stars. I've had other nighttime mountain experiences with brilliant orbs of light that either slowly floated over my head or sped quickly by me. Because of these, taken in tandem with Jesus' birth-time scene recorded in the secreted ancient texts, I cannot in all clear conscience state that the Christmas light was a real star. I don't believe it was, because my own experience with orbs of brilliant, moving white light interjects the existence of other possibilities. And connecting this element to the eyewitness account in the texts of suspended animation gives greater strength to the validity of my perspective.

And so this ends up being one of those personal opinion situations. Whether the Christmas light was an actual star is up to each individual to believe or speculate on. One thing I do know...time eventually proves all. Time eventually dispels the obscuring mist of mystery. One day, after the proper amount of time has passed, we'll all know -- without a shred of doubt -- if the answer is a star or some other source of light.

· Do you personally consult an astrologer?

No. I've had charts sent to me by my readers who gleaned my birthdate from one of my books, but other than that, I've never been specifically inclined to check out the stars regarding life decisions. My philosophy is to take one day at a time and handle whatever presents itself at any given moment in time, a philosophy that has served me well.

· Will there be an extraordinary celestial event marking the end times? Will this show up on astrology charts?

No to both questions.

This end times thing has been blown way out of proportion and become a runaway concept for too many people. The world is not going to end. Yes, there will be an axis shift and geological events will continue to happen upon the earth -- just as they always have -- and some of them will be quite dramatic, yet this does not equate to the end of the world, as in exploded, incinerated, imploded, or dead and gone. With this in mind, why would there be an extraordinary celestial event marking this theorized scenario? And how could such an event appear on astrological charts when these diagrams depict planetary positionings?

Though it's prudent to have made preparations for the probable eventuality of electrical outages, an interruption in the shipment of goods, incapacitating blizzards, and so on, let's not carry the likelihood of these occurrences further than the actual bounds of their reality. Let's use practical terminology regarding this currently distorted concept. Bad times, not end times. People just aren't applying sound reason to this issue. Isn't there supposed to be one thousand years of peace at some point? How can that prophecy manifest if the world ends? Let's get real here. There will always be a mix of good times and bad times. There is a strong indication that the bad times will increase in severity, but eventually, so will the good times be amplified in quality and joy. So logically, we must keep our perspective on this well within the range of reality to facilitate proper planning; we must maintain a mind-set focused on actuality instead of exaggerated presumptions of doomsday scenarios.

· Will an astrological chart show if one will come down with a fatal disease at some point in one's life?

The chart may show a window of time in which a negative event appears to be most probable to occur. A chart won't pinpoint a specific disease or its onset.

· How come the chart of my significant other is diametrically opposed to mine, yet we are totally compatible and have the same attitudes toward everything? We are nearly like identical twins in thought and philosophy.

This is evidence of past-life characteristics dominating the possible influences of your celestial birth alignments. Your inherent personality -- that is, the composite beingness of your self's totality of consciousness -- is closely aligned with that of your partner's.

The inherent characteristics associated with a person's totality of spirit consciousness supersedes any external influences upon that individual. Astrological influences are external; they are from without and act as affectations of energy influence. However, the totality of one's spirit consciousness is within self and is therefore the dominant force. This is why the entire concept of astrology, though valid in itself, is not to be perceived as the final word on one's character and destiny.

· I have a strange question. What do the charts of twins look like if the birth time is spread out so that each child is born on the opposing sides of a transitory cusp?

For those who don't quite understand this question, the inquirer is asking how the individual charts of each twin will look when one is born on the last day of one astrological sign and the other is born on the first day of the new sign.

Let's discuss an example, using Taurus and Gemini. Okay, one twin is born at two minutes before midnight on May 20, making that child a Taurus. The second child waited until three minutes after midnight, making his or her birthdate May 21 and that child a Gemini. The child born first would have more personality influences representative of a Taurus but would also have affecting influences from the Gemini sign. Likewise, the child born second would have more personality influences associated with Gemini yet also have affecting influences from the Taurus sign. What's important here is to also remember that each child is the sum total of his or her own spirit consciousness totality, which makes each a unique individual even before the astrological influences were imprinted.

This really was an interesting question. Being a mother myself, I think it'd be hilariously amusing to have twins with separate birthdays and different signs. My grown girls are a Virgo, an Aries, and a cusp Libra who was almost a Virgo.

Copyright © 2000 by Mary Summer Rain

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