Dovid Shlomo ben Aryeh
Astrology is the worlds most ancient science and is also the mother of all other sciences. Although there are many in the academic world who would denounce Astrology as a pseudo-science, some of the greatest minds that existed from ancient times acknowledged the truth of the Art and Science of Astrology, such as: Tycho Brahe, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Copernicus, William Shakespear, Pythagoras, Apollonius of Tyana, Zoroaster, Abulafia, the Arizal, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzatto and many another sage who wrote of Astrology.
The esoteric knowledge cannot be completely understood without the knowlege of Astrology. Alchemy depends upon a clear understanding of it, as does the Kabbalah Ha-Kodesh. True medicine cannot be understood or utilized without its knowledge, unless one is considerably clairvoyant. Hermetic Rosicrucianism requires a firm knowledge of all Astrology. Finally, Masonry and all ancient symbolical doctrines, including the heiroglyphic compositions of the Egyptians upon their temple walls, presupposes a deep and formidable knowledge of this Divine Science.
It is an Art and Science, because while much of Astrology depends on scientific and mathematical knowledge and precision, the interpretation of charts becomes a true Art, in the hands of a sincere, knowing and skillful practitioner. It is not possible to obtain an accurate and complete interpretation by a computer program, because Astrology depends on an intuitive and synthetical grasp of a chart, which is symbolic of a person, event, etc., as a complex whole. Computers have no higher abstract mental ability beyond computation.
Astrology, in the ancient sense, perceived man as composed of everything visible and invisible in the universe; it claimed he is a "microcosm" or miniature universe. This concept contained the idea of the "Pantheon of the Gods", which is to say that the Planets are the symbolic representation of the "Gods", as they appear in each individual according to the time of birth. Further, that these "Divine powers" or intelligences were in a seed form which required them to be brought forth or developed.
Every culture in Ancient times had a "Pantheon of Gods" which were in reality only aspects of the One Ineffable Creator, who, having different Names in different cultures in different periods of time, remained the same. These "Gods" were worshipped as Divine Aspects of the One Supreme Creator that were perceived by the Ancients in a way we can hardly imagine in contemporary times.
These "Powers" were modified in their influence by their placement in the various Zodiacal Signs and Houses of Astrology. There were Zodiacal Signs of Rulership where a Power or aspect of the HOLY ONE had little difficulty expressing itself. Signs of Exaltation where a Power had even greater and more exalted means of expression. Zodiacal Signs of Fall, where a planet or Power had difficulty expressing its nature. And, finally, Signs of Detriment where it was most difficult for a Power to manifest itself. It is written in the Ancient Tradition that the soul fell from regions of "ineffable Divine Light", and, as the soul fell, took on the torpor of Saturn, the gluttony and greed of Jupiter, the wrathfullness of Mars, the arrogance and pride of the Sun, the unchastity of Venus, the lying and deception of Mercury, the inconstancy of the Moon, and, finally, took on a body in the region of darkness known as the world of Elemental forces, where it took up its abode in ignorance of its Divinity and used its powers in an incoherent and imbalanced way.
A natal chart is a symbolic and synthetic glyph of the whole universe that represents a persons "nature" at the time and location of his/her birth that the celestial forces found their focus or "matrix" in. All these "Powers", "forces", "intelligences", "planets" or "Divine aspects" were ordained by the HOLY ONE in His infinite Wisdom, Mercy, Justice and Beauty to order all things as in Heaven above, so on the Earth beneath, and even the "Waters under the Earth", which it would not be wise to speak of, as it pertains to an unluminous and terrifying realm.
It is the task of the True Astrologer to not only provide an accuate and insightful interpretation of a chart, but also provide the proper "medicine" to reestablish equilibrium to and restore the soul, in the degree it is able to accept Wisdom, to its original state. By this I mean the realm of Light or Illumination that some call "The Divine World". At first, as our Brother Paracelsus indicated, one must treat the "envelope" or body, then, in successive stages, treat the other "envelopes" of the soul that are made of more rarefied matter. These things require a knowledge of Theosophia and Theurgia in order to accomplish them. It is not given to the Profane to approach this knowledge since it cannot be obtained by literary means alone, but requires Virtue for its reception.
Astrology could and should be viewed as the study and interpretation of the "Heirarchical and Hermetic constitution of Nature" which views the world as ordained on High by God who administers it through the intermediary natures of the Archangels, Angels, Zodiacal Light and the so-called "Planetary intelligences". We must never assume that Astrology is fatalistic, as the Great Architect, in His infinite Majesty, has given us free will. We, also, must never view Astrology in the materialistic way in which it is viewed in modern times, as this perception invalidates Gods unity and the Truth of our own Nature.
Therefore, think not that mere "floating balls of matter" affect ones destiny from distant regions of space, but rather that the Unity of the Supreme One, in His ineffable Splendor and Mystery, constituted man as a microcosm of the vast universe, and reflects "below" in the material world, that which occurs "above" in the Celestial World. The Mystery is that all is One, connected, and events that occur synchronistically, according to Laws of Nature that are both revealed and concealed, have a mysterious relationship, as expressed in the doctrines of the Sefer Ha-Zohar and the Sefer Ha-Yetzirah.