How to Transcend Astrological Influences
by Paramahansa Yogananda
Astrology is a very deep subject, but most people consider it a kind of superstitious guide to material progress. If you use astrology only for guidance in material matters, you will be doing its teachings an injustice. Astrology is too vast, both mathematically and philosophically, to be rightly grasped except by people of profound understanding. In ancient times, astrology was seen primarily as a guide to spiritual development. To use astrology for material purposes was considered a lower application of what is essentially a divine science.
Astrology is the study of man’s response to planetary stimuli. All parts of creation are linked together and interchange their influences. No matter what your environment, the surrounding rays of the earth and universe will have an impact upon you. Astrology was intended to assist you on your inner journey, by helping you become more aware of the interrelationships between the objective universe and the inner aspects of yourself.
The relation of the stars to the human body and mind is very subtle. There is a correlation between the six centers (chakras) in the spine, which become twelve by polarity, and the twelve signs of the zodiac. Millions of volts of electrical current are lodged in these spinal centers. If your body and your mind are very strong, you will be impervious to the evil vibrations from the stars when they begin to shed their rays upon you. But if your body and mind are weak through transgressions of wrong eating, wrong thinking, bad character, and bad company, then the stellar rays will have the power to affect you.
How the Stars Affect Us
The stars influence your life only in accordance with patterns that you yourself established in the past. A child is born on that day and at that hour when the celestial rays are in mathematical harmony with his individual karma (past actions). The astrological configurations serve only as symbols of karmic influences, which you have set into motion in the past. The stars and planets themselves can no more choose how they will affect you than you can select your own karmic destiny.
The message boldly blazoned across the heavens at the moment of birth was not meant to emphasize fate, the result of past good and evil, but to arouse your will to escape from this universal bondage. What you have done, you can undo. You can overcome whatever effects are now prevalent in your life because you created them by your own actions in the first place, and because you have inner spiritual resources which are not subject to planetary pressure.
The best way, therefore, to improve your lot is deliberately to act in such a way as to counteract the evil effects of past deeds. Especially if this course of action springs from inner attunement with God, or is adopted under the wise guidance of one who knows God, it will serve as an antidote to all baneful actions of the past.
Avoid Passive Dependency on Astrology
Superstition means to seek guidance from effects, in ignorance of their causes. Many people look to the heavens for signs instead of choosing the wiser path of seeking guidance in their souls, from God. Some people refuse to do anything for themselves until the planetary positions are favorable.
While it is not unwise to initiate worthwhile undertakings at astrologically auspicious times, it merely affirms your passive dependence on fate to wait for a shift in the planets’ positions before making important changes in your life. Anything you do with deep faith in God will blossom under better influences than you could hope to find by consulting the heavens for favorable aspects.
Do not wait for changes in astrological influences to change your destiny. Look, rather, to Him who made the heavens and the earth and who alone can grant you eternal freedom. The lawful effects of your karma may seem irrevocable, but the effects of past actions can be changed by seeking God. Unless you remember that, you can not spiritualize astrology.
How to Spiritualize Astrology
While studying astrology in a reasonable way, you must always remember that God’s influence is the supreme influence. All human ills arise from some transgression of universal law. The scriptures point out that man must satisfy the laws of nature, while not discrediting the divine omnipotence. You should always say, “Lord, I trust in Thee, and know Thou canst help me, but I too will do my best to undo any wrong I have done.”
You have been given the free choice and intelligence, as a child of God, to surmount the difficulties of life. You are made in the image of God, not in the image of the stars. Strive unceasingly, from a center of inner calmness, to surmount every material, mental, and spiritual difficulty. Cooperate with His will by offering up to Him all the strength of your human will.
If you can hold onto your happiness during all the difficulties in your life, then you will begin to rise above the influence of the stars. If you can retain your smile in spite of repeated challenges, that is a sign of the awakening of the consciousness of divinity within you. Through all such actions, you are changing your body and mind and how they are affecting the twelve centers in your spine. As a result of these changes, the stars will begin to smile upon you.
By communing with God, you will reinforce the power of the twelve spinal centers, which will then act in cooperation with the twelve signs of the zodiac. The deeper your communion with God, the more you will automatically harmonize the influences of all planetary forces and transcend the evil effects of the powerful, but distant, planets. In these ways, you can spiritualize astrology.
Seek help, therefore, not from the stars and planets, but from Almighty God. God is harmony; and if you attune yourself to Him, you will never perform any action amiss. Your activities will be correctly and naturally timed to accord with astrological law. After deep prayer and meditation you are in touch with His divine consciousness; there is no greater power than that inward protection. By plunging deeply into your own divine nature, you will discover those deeper levels within yourself that enable you to rise above all karmic realities.
The Masters go Beyond Astrology
Some people study astrology to ascertain the influence of their karma through the medium of planets, thus trying to counteract evil influences by astrological foreknowledge. But the great masters go beyond astrology. The man of realization does not choose any auspicious hour to perform noble deeds or initiate new wholesome ventures. He acts, moves, and sleeps under the one influence of God. He consults God instead of the stars for guidance.
Although there is a certain vibratory influence of stars upon all human lives, a man of infinite will power tuned in with God, uses his free will to change his circumstances. He marches on, influenced only by the Sun of all Suns, the Almighty Spirit. To him, from the depths of his determination and faith, all things are possible. He burns the seeds of difficulties in the fire of wisdom, consults only God for guidance, and performs all of his actions according to divine guidance.
Superstitious awe of astrology makes one an automaton, slavishly dependent on mechanical guidance. The wise man defeats his planets – which is to say, his past – by transferring his allegiance from the creation to the Creator. The more he realizes his unity with Spirit, the less he can be dominated by matter. The soul is ever-free; it is deathless because birthless. It cannot be regimented by stars.
If you live by astrology or anything else you will be bound by it. Depend wholly and solely on God. Live by God alone. Then nothing can hurt you.
Follow the Way to Inner Freedom
In karma’s realm, karma rules supreme. Yet all human beings have the power to withdraw to another realm altogether. You cannot change the outer astrological influences, but you can do a great deal to change the way you receive them, inwardly.
Instead of accepting fatalistically the decrees of karma, follow the inner way to freedom. Meditate daily. Commune deeply with God. Learn from Him, through the silent voice of intuition, the way out of soul-degrading serfdom to bad habits. Ultimately, by ever deeper meditation, you will reach a point where you receive your influences from God alone.