Astrology, Karma & Transformation

Astrology, Karma and Transformation by Stephen Arroyo was published in 1978. The premise of this work is to help the reader understand how astrology can be used as a tool for enlightened awareness, emphasizing the transformative power of our astral-art. Deeply inspired by astrologer Dane Rudhyar, this book also takes a philosophical, humanistic, psychological, and even spiritual approach.

The Vedas and the Shastra, two Indian scriptures so ancient that no one really knows how old they are or where those teachings originated, say that individual souls come down from the astral regions to this material world along the rays of the Sun and Moon signs and aspects. If indeed the soul is the essential unit of the divine power, then it is in itself whole and complete. But when the soul incarnated into realms of duality, such as the material world where we always have good-bad, day-night, male-female polarities, it seems the soul polarizes according to Sun and Moon positions. In other words, it is reflected in two aspects of being, manifesting as conscious and unconscious, active and passive, male and female,  -Sun and Moon principles which do not manifest in pure form in human beings.

The twelve chapters nicely illustrate the zodiac signs, beginning with the first chapter discussing Karma and the Universal Law of Cause and Effect. Arroyo says, “It’s obvious that no one who plants thistles can expect to harvest roses. For each action, there is an opposite and equal reaction.” He also implies that the universe will fall into disarray without this state of balance. Karma may relate to reincarnation in order for mankind to learn spiritual lessons of love, patience, and moderation. Karmic destiny is looked at through ancient traditions, ascertaining that self-knowledge is the key to elicit an awakening to personal needs, potentials, and purposes that may have very long-term ramifications.

In the twelfth chapter, we learn that Arroyo has many planets in his seventh house and that his main role in astrology has been that of counselor or consultant; one to one counseling coming easily and naturally and proving to be a valuable learning experience. The author says, “the great thing about Dane Rudhyar’s work is that he keeps reminding us of the greater purpose of astrological work…the astrologer serves as a channel to a dimension of order, knowledge, and insight that is normally inaccessible to other counselors.”

As the practitioner continues to use astrology diligently for a number of years, he finds that the intuition can be sharpened, the psychic sensitivity can be increased, and his sense of wonder can exceed all boundaries. In a sense, the astrological counselor often functions as a medium, an antenna stretched out to the cosmos, attuned to dimensions of experience for which there are no ready psychological terms, or, at times, even logical explanations. Hence, the ideals, values, purposes, motivations, and -in general- the purity of the channel have a great effect. This, more than any other reason, is why the practice of astrology, at its best, is a completely individualized art which can never be computerized, dogmatized or -perhaps surprisingly- taught in the way that other “subjects” are taught…

But how does one begin to begin this attunement to other dimensions (symbolized by a strong accent on the trans-Saturnian planets)? The answer, I believe, is openness combined with continual practice. One must maintain attunement through constant use of those developing faculties, or else, if one were to “do a chart” only once a month or so, all momentum in the growth of these new faculties would be lost…It is only by constant in-depth practice that an art so transcendent and demanding as the practice of astrology can become thoroughly accessible and practically useful.

Overall, Astrology Karma and Transformation focuses upon the harvesting and sowing aspects of astrology. Transformation begins when we take responsibility for cultivating this astrological garden. Reap what you sow…It is also about how we use our consciousness and concentrated power to make lasting changes in our lives. Ultimately, Arroyo believes the chart shows what we are now because of what we have done in the past. These age-old, deeply entrenched patterns are not easily changed. For this reason, there is a need for an even deeper commitment to self-development and self-knowledge, aiding us towards becoming more whole, happy, and illuminated souls in the future.

It is not a simple matter to change powerful habit patterns merely through the application of a bit of old-fashioned “willpower.” Neither do these patterns essentially change by glossing them over with the faddish jargon of some of these “New Age” psychotherapies or philosophies that inflate the ego by encouraging people to assert: I’m taking charge of my life; I make everything happen; I know that I’m making myself suffer; etc.” Human spiritual evolution is much subtler than that. The old “where’s there’s a will, there’s a way” approach to dealing with one’s problems collapses when the challenge is too intense. And the attempt to rationalize one’s conflicts and spiritual crisis out of existence will only dam the flow of life energies for a short while, quickly followed by a torrential release of power that starkly reveals the shallowness of pseudo-spiritual escapism. The karmic patterns are real and powerful. Those habits are not going to fade away overnight following a short positive-thinking pep-talk. These life forces must be accepted, acknowledged, and paid due attention.