Astrology as Failed Prophecy 4.21.2014


The Moon in Capricorn is applying to square Mercury in Aries this afternoon. Meanwhile the grand cross is nearly exact--will be exact over the next two days.

With all the hype and buildup, someone recently asked me, what will you say if nothing major happens in the next two days? What a great question. Someone also recently asked me, "Don't you think astrologers are building this thing up?"

We have a love for all things apocalyptic. The great and final kaboom. And yet it never really happens, does it? Not in the way we imagine it. Not yet. And then a new fantasy of apocalypse emerges (we got the wrong date, there's another hidden scripture!). The important thing is that we come to see through and understand the archetypal fantasy of apocalypse and what it does for the soul. Because the history of humanity is replete with prophecy, prediction, and fervor for the tremendous collision "at the end of time." It is meaningful for the soul. So what does this imaginal longing and anticipation symbolize if not the literal ending?

In times of tremendous prophesying or predicting there is always the ironic dance with deliteralization. We seek the concrete, and we call to it and predict it, and we see it in the stars, but then when it only 1/2 happens, or when it happens in a small dose, or when the predicted changes are underwhelming, we say "I'm not going to buy into the hype again next time." But then we do. We buy into the hype the next time...because we can't help but remember that there was that breakup, divorce, new job, big move, internal change, etc. The work of archetypal prophecy, in other words, must contain within it a self-reflective and deliteralizing component. We must get to the moment of the prediction and find ourselves forced inward on the very archetype of "prediction" or "prophecy"...while at the same time experiencing elements of predictive fruition or apocalypse. "2012 was a big year for me," we say, "but not nearly as Hollywood as it was hyped." Good! This isn't a failure at all. If apocalypse and prediction didn't veil themselves in the very act of the unveiling, then we would forget that apocalypse and prediction are themselves archetypal realities...to be seen through rather than taken too literally.

The word apocalypse means "to uncover." The word prophet means "spokesperson." The word predict means "to say before." The astrologer is a spokesperson of the continual process of uncovering...and we "say it before," specifically so that we, all of us, might develop an always half-veiled relationship to fate and choice respectively. Our role is to mask and hide the very archetype of prediction and prophecy so that the "uncovering" of apocalypse might never be arrested by our literalizing egos. Astrologers who aren't aware of this are generally the ones "feeling bad" when the prediction doesn't come true. Astrologers who aren't aware of the reverberating archetypal reality of prediction itself are constantly making literal sounding and feeling predictions. In this regard hard predicting astrologers are "capitalizing" on the monomythic ego...which is also a capitalist and imperialist...whose calendars are built around the market place, and whose thousand year increments easily threaten and arrest the imagination. Good astrologers are in the business of always half succeeding and always half failing. Where failure is the perpetuation of prophetic unveiling...the care taking of a soul that can never be finally revealed. 

So to answer my friend's question, "What will you say if not much happens?" I will likely say, "I never had my expectations that high. And yet, there have been undeniable shifts in my own life and in the lives of many people during this time. The archetypal prediction...of an unveiling or revealing, and of transformation via a big cross in the sky, has been incredibly real, but at the same time the hype will disappear from where it came. I will patiently await its arrival again...like the omens in the sky before storms. We astrologers are like weatherman of the elusive soul."

Prayer: May the uncovering of this moment be veiled again as we reflect upon it. Always giving us so much more soul to come. Thank you.

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Image by Rob McKay, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.