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The Center of the CircleThe symbol of the circle and cross is often used to represent healing. The unity of the circle and the harmony of the four equal arms represent the principle of total health on all levels.
We begin with a circle to represent all there is, all there can be, all potential, out of time. The point in the center of the circle symbolizes the point of creation where time begins-potential starts to become actual and there is separation. In astrology, the circle with a dot in the middle represents the Sun, the great light that hides the source of all life, the Sun itself being the creative source of light and life on Earth. If we extend the dot in the circle so that it becomes the two lines that divide the circle in half both vertically and horizontally, it gives us four equal quarters and a cross of four equal arms, the astrological symbol for the Earth.
The dot is where the two lines cross, and, when the four elements of manifested material life are balanced, that dot will be in the center of the circle. It is that center point that links us with the timelessness of Unity: when we are balanced in ourselves, the Source is accessible to us, transforming our earthly experience with understanding and joy. To develop a powerful, effective, and happy state, we need to contact that center of our being, and there we can be in touch with our own innate wisdom and the essence of all life.
Astrology has the potential to help us reach that center point in ourselves. If we let the circle represent all astrological potential, we can divide it horizontally and vertically to find the center. Astrology can be divided into a science and an art, and also divided into its general use and personal use. First, we will divide the circle horizontally, one half illustrating its use at a general level, showing our similarities as human beings, and the other half showing its application on a personal level. At the personal level, individual birth charts are the tools that show our differences from each other.
We Are the Same, Only DifferentThere are many books and workshops to help us "peel the onion" of our personality to reach the center. Because they are structured for many people at the same time, they are generalized and based on our similarities. We are the same in that we are all human, we have parents, and we grow through childhood and adolescence and are subject to family and social conditioning. Each of us has a personality with many facets, and we share feelings with the same names, such as guilt, anger, and pleasure. Each of us also has the potential to reach that point within ourselves that feels like the truth of our center. Much of what is written and spoken about self-development addresses these similarities, with ideas such as taking responsibility for one's life, accepting people as they are, thinkingpositively to create positive experience, meditating to make contact with one's center, and so on. We all need these teachings, and working with others, all using the same method, helps give us a sense of our "oneness" with each other.
However, at a personality level, which is where we mostly live, we are very different from each other, and the methods of working with our own personal unfolding need to be as individual as we are ourselves. Every now and then in life, a person who is working toward a new, more aware style of life will need individual help, as they reach an unconscious attitude block or a repetitive behavioral plateau where the general words cannot be assimilated and used. They may work with a therapist of some kind or a friend, or may choose to work alone, but, without some sort of map as an unbiased overview, they can get lost. Astrology is a system as ancient as humanity that offers each individual a personal map. This map, or chart, is created mathematically from scientifically derived information based on the individual's time and place of birth. All this is as unbiased as one's reflection in a mirror. No judgment is offered by the chart, simply a statement of how it is.
The branch of astrology that fascinates most people is natal astrology, that supremely personal view showing the reflection of your life on earth and your individual character, different from any other. Your birth chart reflects your personality with all its individuality and potential. It also shows the unconscious tendencies that may keep your potential from unfolding as fully as it could.
The interpretation of astrology that is not so often considered is the broader view, where we use the Zodiac signs, the celestial bodies, and the twelve divisions of the sky to describe the human condition in a general sense. Confusion can arise through the use of general astrology in newspapers and magazines, which is often written in more individualistic terms than is appropriate. This is a legitimate use of planets in Zodiac signs, but can be misleading when it is taken too personally.
The general view describes the whole of human potential; each person is capable of expressing qualities of all the Zodiac signs, and everyone's life force has all the functions represented by all the planets. The most complete reflection of humanity as a whole, and even of one individual person, is the entire sky. If we want to see a reflection of our individual selves, we have only to look at the night sky with all its wonders. Even then, all that we can see on a clear night is only half of our reflection, the other...