Astrology requires both a left and right brain. The left brain is required to learn the symbols and their meanings, and the basic techniques to delineate (interpret) a chart. The right brain is necessary for the synthesis of energies and chart factors that are at odds with each other and to devise a theme or set of themes that will be useful to the client.
I had my first astrology reading around 1970 and fell in love with it but it was very difficult to learn astrology in those days. Talk about left brain – we had to run algorithms and use tables and various calculations and many of the charts were wrong. For a long time I thought I had Taurus rising due to a mathematical error in my first reading (it’s Gemini). I knew Steve Forrest socially and he became my first teacher in what was then called psychological astrology. Computerized astrology made it easier to add all kinds of techniques: variations in progressed charts, aspects between planets that seem virtually infinite (AstroGold offers 32 including something called a QuinqueUndecile that I’ve never even heard of). But in my practice I tend to use mostly my right brain, the creative intuitive brain, and the more details I try to put in the chart the less I am able to see it and read the story it is telling.
The blossoming of the use of ancient practices in the Hellenistic Astrology revival has brought a myriad of new techniques into the realm of astrology. The use of dignities and terms (the rulership of certain segments of zodiac signs) can offer insight into the way different planets interact with one another. But to use these techniques require a skilled left brain, and in following these rules and structured methodologies one can lose the right brain entirely – the inner voice which can offer insight as we make our way through the chart.
I believe that we are born with certain talents, and that there is a limit to what we can accomplish if we lack that talent. But while those possibilities may be limited, they are not impossible. I may rely overmuch on my right brain because it comes easily. Learning new techniques and practices would probably enrich my work, and I am always curious to learn more. A left-brained astrologer can learn to trust their intuition by using it.
Astrologers tend to disagree about most things. Astrology is ruled by Uranus, and Uranus requires the questioning of the status quo and nowhere is this more evident than on Twitter right now where a battle is raging between a Renaissance astrologer and a Hellenistic astrologer and modern astrologers are left out of the fray for now, thankfully.
As Pluto traverses the signs, the field of astrology has been altered. Pluto in Libra brought in a focus on relationship astrology (thank you Linda Goodman’s Love Signs). Pluto in Scorpio brought psychological astrology (thank you Liz Greene and Howard Sasportas). Pluto in Sagittarius brought a translation of ancient Hellenistic texts into English for further analysis during Pluto in Capricorn (thank you Rob Hand and Chris Brennan). I am hopeful that as Pluto moves through Aquarius, the sign of innovation and genius, it will bring us into a realm in which open dialogue brings us into a new awakening of the astrological language.