It is not necessary to have a belief in astrology in order for it to be of value to you. Astrology, if explored from a psychological or scientific level, has nothing to do with belief. It's practical. It has to do with gaining knowledge and doing experiments. Are the psychological profiles offered by astrology useful tools of self-knowledge for you? Are the timing predictions astrology can make (when based on your full birth chart) helpful in using your time more effectively?
In evaluating the truth of the material presented, it is important to listen to your own inner knowing and past experiences. Regardless of what others may think, only you know the nature of your own internal battles.
Compassion Through Knowledge
Sun sign astrology, such as the horoscopes covered in daily newspapers and magazines, are predictions that take into account only the sign position of the Sun. Full natal astrology takes into account the sign positions of ten planets (the Sun and Moon are considered planets in this context, as the galaxy is seen from the point of view of its effect on the Earth), the axis that was active when the individual was born, and several other points: the Nodes, Eclipses, and so on. In fact, each of us is entirely unique; a birth chart isn't duplicated for 25,000 years because all the planets are traveling at different speeds around the Sun.
In the moment you took your first breath, all of humankind -- all the people alive at that time -- passed through that moment with you. Everyone did the best they could to make the moment joyful for themselves, but then the next moment came along and humankind had to handle it -- and the next moment and the next, on into the current moment. But the moment when you were born was stamped on the cellular level of your very being, and it remains a part of you.
With that connection, you took charge of purifying that moment for everyone else on the planet, and you alone have the power to perfect the moment of your own birth. It's as though you took that sliver of time, slowed it down, and stretched it out to last an entire incarnation. And as you begin to work with that moment, taking parts of your "wiring" that aren't working too well and adjusting them -- thus creating happiness, laughter, and joy in your own life -- the positive energy of these changes affects everyone else. Through your own personal life you are essentially altering a moment that occurred in the past, and when you change the past, it changes the present for everyone. I've heard many spiritual teachers say that the best we can do for others is to work on ourselves. We are all interconnected on the deepest level -- we're One.
The astrology chart itself is actually a schematic: a graph that shows people's "inner wiring". The wiring in each of us is different. It's not "good" or "bad", it's just wired the way it's wired. Your birth chart provides a picture of the inner wiring you were born with, but what you do with that wiring is up to you.
When you can objectively see the patterns of your own behavior, you can make adjustments for more efficient results and better performance. When any miswiring is corrected, the result is a more smoothly operating life (first internally, and then externally). By having a clear picture of your inner wiring, you can become aware of the built-in "glitches", and you can choose not to continue behaviors that aren't working for you.
For example, if a person knew objectively (from seeing the graph of their birth chart) that they had a tendency to assume they already know the answers to everything, and thus become impatient and display a self-righteous attitude that isolates them from others (as would be the case if they had the North Node in Gemini or in the 3rd House), knowing about this tendency would allow him or her to consciously take more time to respectfully receive the factual input of others before venturing his or her own opinion. That single adjustment would make a major difference in the person's social interactions.
We all have tendencies that lead to inappropriate behavior and feelings of isolation and unhappiness. The trick is to discover our own glitches and empower ourselves to avoid them. With this objective knowledge, we are no longer operating in the dark, not understanding why life keeps giving us feedback that makes us unhappy. Life is too short to walk around blindfolded.
You are not just the sum total of your chart. The chart is a picture of your personality structure, but you are the factor that lies behind the chart and have the power to use the personality (the energies depicted in your birth chart) in any manner you choose. Whether you allow the personality to operate unconsciously, or you take charge and purify the energy so that life flows to your advantage, is up to you.