What is Astrology?

I have found it extremely helpful to understand more clearly, exactly what Astrology is!

Astrology today is changing more dramatically than any time in its entire history!

In both the West and East, both major systems of Astrology have already begun changing profoundly.

Astrology is much ‘more’ than people have ever understood before. Have you heard the idea that we all use only a small portion of our potential? I first heard this idea when I was in college. One of our Psychology professors said: “We think people use as little as 5-10% of their full potential.”

I now realize this was as true for Astrology as everything else.

This newsletter will describe all about what Astrology is!

Mark Kincaid

Astrology of the Past West & East


In the past there have been many, many different systems of Astrology. There has been a Chinese astrological system. There have been a Mayan system, even a Jewish system of Astrology.

The two most popular systems have been the classic Western and Eastern systems.

Today, more changes are going on in the field of Astrology than any previous period!

The Basic Premise of Astrology

The basic, main idea of Astrology has always been that there is some kind of profound and important relationship between ourselves and the universe.

For example, at the exact moment of our births, the ‘stars above’ cast a direct shadow upon the earth. That exact configuration that the Sun, Moon and planets were in, expresses exactly what kind of personality we will have, being born upon this earth!

Even what kinds of strengths and weaknesses we will have, and especially what exact life purpose we have come to live, are all there within the details of our Astrology charts.

In my own experience I have seen that there is even a “1 to 1 Correspondence” between every aspect of our charts, and every aspect of our lives.” This has the greatest significance for us, because self-knowledge is the key, and the number one requirement, for all success in the outer life, as well.

For centuries this has been the primary and main idea of Astrology.

And, this has been one of the main reasons why people have enjoyed Astrology so much. Many of the details and symbolisms of our charts really do speak to us. This personal resonance, is why people keep coming back to Astrology, in spite of the fact that there is still, so little real scientific understanding how this could be possible.

Astrology too today, has found itself with a number of inherent problems that are finally, coming to the surface, to be dealt with and even improved.

Present Day Western Changes

The most dramatic change within the ‘classic’ Western system has been the introduction of a NEW system called Sidereal Western Astrology. Founded by a rather obscure Irish astrologer fifty years ago by the name of Cyril Fagan, he first suggested that the ‘old’ mathematics of Western Astrology were incorrect and a new mathematics should be adopted.

He represented a number of both professional Western astrologers and Western lay people who had become deeply frustrated by the fact that the mathematics of traditional Western astrology no longer fit the actual sky. He then decided to do important research in how this present mathematics came to be.

In his research he found that during the Dark Ages in Europe, there was a complete break in Astrology. Very few people practiced and it pretty much disappeared. After that, when astrological enthusiasts began to think of Astrology again, they seized upon the earlier writings of an ancient Greek astrologer and astronomer by the name of Ptolemy.

They ended adopting his mathematics for calculating the astrolgoical chart, which were in part based on what is called the equinoxes. At the time this system of calculation pretty much matched the Actual Sky.

However, over time this ‘new’ mathematics separated about 1 degree for every 72 years.

At the time no one really noticed. But, now, twenty-three, 72 year periods later, the mathematics of Western Astrology is slightly more than 23 degrees separate from the actual sky. As a result, for many people if their Western chart said they were born in one Sign, there was a very good chance that, this planet actually was in a completely different earlier Sign.

For example, if you had a child who was born on January 1st of 2010, the traditional Western mathematics would have her Sun at the 10th degree of Capricorn. But, if you were to look up in the sky on that day, into the actual sky you would see that the Sun was actually in the previous Sign of Sagittarius, back around the 18th degree.

As a result Cyril Fagan proposed that we completely abandon the old system and adopt a new system which he called Sidereal Western Astrology. Over the last fifty years, now, many, many both professional astrologers and individuals have begun exploring this new system especially since it more actually fits the every day sky.

Eastern Astrology

In the Eastern system called Jyotish or Vedic Astrology, though this system was always actual sky, or sidereal in nature it too had some extremely important problems. The main problem seems to have been an intense kind of ‘fatalism’ that has influenced the way that Eastern Astrology has been practiced for centuries.

As a result, what you traditionally hear from people is: “When will I get married?” Or, “When will I get a job?” You will rarely hear people say: “What kind of spouse is more compatible for me?” Or, “What kind of job should I be looking for.”

Even as recently as 23 years ago when I first started studying this Eastern ‘Jyotish’ system, all the books that were available were full of this intense kind of determinism. As a result, the over-all feeling was that one’s chart is “written in stone” and there is little chance of being able to significantly change or improve one’s future.

The very distinct effect of this has been a kind of intense defeatism and even negativity that is more obvious from any individuals who are especially coming from the West. In the West, the mind-set that we all have grown up with is: “Life is All possiblities” or in the guise of American lore is “Any person in America can grow up to be president!”

All of the books that I studied back then were full of such a depressing pessimism which I now realize was due to this underlying feeling that one can’t really improve one’s life very much.

Dramatic Modern Day Changes in Technology
Computers & the Internet

Over the last fifty years now, modern day breakthroughs in modern technology, namely computers and the internet have allowed millions of people to become much more intimately involved in the philosophies and realities of both the West and East.

Where the old adage used to be:

“East is East and West is West,
Never the twain shall meet.”
Rudyard Kipling

Today, the modern day mind-set is more like: “The whole world is my family.”

As a result of these huge changes, millions of individuals in the West have begun studying the Astrology of the East, and many individuals from the East have become more intimately aware of the values and positive optimism of the West!

The result of this has been, in the West we have become deeply attracted to the profundities and elegant systems of the Eastern system while in the East, easterners have become enamored by the positive and optimistic mental attitudes of the West!

Today, as a result, this New Western Astrology is gaining more and more prominence and the ancient Eastern system is more rapidly embracing a more progressive and self-improvement belief system.

This is the most evident if you were to look up any number of modern day Eastern Astrology websites on the net.

Where the old idea used to be: “I’m sorry, you’ll never have this. You’ll never have that.” Now, you’ll regularly see such expressions as these: “Improve your relationship with your Spouse. Improve your Health, make more money and become more spiritual!”

Both of these rather remarkable changes have already begun producing more profound changes in the field of Astrology than ever before.

The Main Problems in Astrology

In the West, the main affect of having a mathematics that didn’t any longer fit the actual sky has been that serious and especially scientifc minded people have dismissed Astrology just because there was no practial way to verify or validate the predictions or ideas of Astrology.

Also, because this mathematics no longer fit the actual sky, the predictions of Western Astrology did not completely fit people, any more. If this present mathemathics continues, in another 1600 years or so the mathemathics will be over 46 degrees separate from the actual sky and there will be hardly any similarities to the actual sky!

In the East, this fatalisitic prejudice has lead to a very narrow and incomplete appreciation of the real potential of Astrology, especially in the area of human self-development. As a result Astology is not used in the more complete and holistic ways in which it was intended to be used.

In the West, though Astrology has been attempted to be used in all the practical ways in which people are interested, their Mathematics wasn’t accurate enough and they also had very little history of techniques and technologies of self-improvement.

What is Astrology really?

For many I think Astrology is really a good of Philosophy or at best fascinating and interesting body of ideas, rules, principles and beliefs. In my own experience, I’ve discovered that Astrology is much more than this!

Astrology is really the very nature of Life, itself!

The universe, itself is astrological.

What this means is the universe, from the deepest recesses of its pre-big-bang status, manifested itself into the universe, but also with its Astrology.

Relationship Between Astronomy & Astrology

We all deeply appreciate and understand that the universe itself is Astronomical.

We are a universe of astronomical forces, galaxies, Sun’s and Star systems with planets and Moons. These astronomical forces literally describe each and every aspect of our lives and evolution.

However, the universe is also ‘Astrological’!

What this means is ‘with meaning’. In other words, not only do the Stars and Planets describe the how, or the environments in which we live and breathe, they also describe exactly ‘why’ we are born. This essential ‘meaning’ is an extremely important and most basic part of Astrology.

In spite of the fact that today we’ve had 300 years of modern science, and now know more about the world and the universe than ever before, we still, don’t know that much about our very selves!

The science of Psychology, for example, is the least developed of all the sciences and as a result human life is still struggling greatly. We can put a ‘man’ on the Moon today, but we still can’t solve the most simple and yet, important human problems.

This is why religion, philosophies, and all manner of self-help technologies are so much of interest in our world, today. The all-important subjective side of life still is in great mystery!

This is however, where Astrology excels.

Every human being is born with a very unique consciousness and subjective astrological nature that needs to be understood before individuals will truly be understood.

For many years when I’d do people’s charts I always though of Astrology as a system that helped me help individuals understand themselves better. Then, one day I did this ladies chart and that reading would change my life.

We Are Our Stars!

This lady came to me on the advise of a friend and for her, she knew next to nothing about her chart. I was looking forward to doing her chart because I’d always loved the fact that when you ‘guess’ what the person will be like, in spite of the fact that you don’t know them, they all go away feeling some of the profundity of Astrology.

This is why we all, so much enjoy have personal readings. We all get a ‘taste’ of our Astrology and we feel so inspired.

But, this lady was one of those people who first needed to talk. She was going on and on about what was happening in her life, which I was very happy to entertain until she talked on for about 15 minutes. Then, I started to worry because she was telling me everything about her life. As it had long been my habit to ‘look’ for the astrological reasons in each person’s charts, why they were the way that they were; I was frustrated because she was already describing everything about herself.

I knew that when it got to be my turn, I wouldn’t be able to claim that I could guess what she was like. But, then I remembered something Dr. Johnny Gray had said awhile earlier in his famous book: “Men are from Mars and Women from Venus.” Sometimes women need to talk, and men need to learn to listen!

So, I took this to heart and settled back, listening. She of course, loved it and continued talking for another 15 minutes. Then, 45 minutes had gone by and I hadn’t said a word. I interrupted her at this point and told her my dilemma.

“You know I love listening to you, but I’ll tell you my frustration. Part of my ‘job’ as the astrologer is to first guess what you’re like from your chart. That way when you see, that Astrology can accurately guess what we’re like, we’ll take the advise and counsel of our Astrology better.

But, you have already told me everything about yourself. You’ve described your relationship with children, with your friends and husband. You’ve even described your relationship with work and even health and how you try to make money. I find now, that I can’t say I see all these things because they’re in your chart.” She then said:

“That’s okay. I already believe in this. My friend convinced me. I guess I just needed to talk. But, you know the real reason why I’ve come is to get help and find solutions to these problems.”

Suddenly, I realized two things. First of all, she’d already graduated and skipped to the 2nd most important stage of Astrology which is the knowledge and wisdom stage. Then, I realized something even more profound, occurred to me.

“With every word from her lips, came out every bit of her chart!”

From this very moment I realized that Astrology is not only a man-made philosophy or system of knowledge and wisdom. It is also, somehow, built in, to the very nature or DNA of us. It wasn’t just that her chart fit her, SHE WAS HER CHART!

From that very moment I realized that people themselves were already living their charts and what had come out of her expressions were the most precise, the most clear and the most perfect descriptions of her chart.

Now, when I do people’s charts, I assume they already are their charts and realize my job is to act and use Astrology as a kind of mirror! I hold up the mirror of Astrology up to people and they, learn how to see themselves, more clearly!

This will become more and more clear, in the very near future. As people begin to study that they ARE their Astrology we all will begin to realize that we all are truly ‘Astrological beings, living in an Astrological universe!’

What Astrology is really all about is the inherent meaning or the whys of our births.

Not only do the ideas and configurations in our charts ‘fit us’ but they also represent the exact knowledge and wisdom that we came in to learn and progress with.

The first ‘stage’ of Astrology is that we ‘get’ exactly how our charts fit us.

The Astrological 1 to 1 Correspondence

There is that exact “1 to 1 Correspondence” relationship between each and every aspect of ourselves and every detail in our charts. Everyone knows to some degree how their charts fit them. Some know 5% of their charts. Others know 25%. Some even know 50%, some even 75% or even 100%!

So, wherever you’re not at, I highly recommend that you too, come to know that 100% of your chart. When you do, you will totally Awaken to who you are.

The Awakening that is Astrology!

With each stitch that you get in your chart, you too will self-awaken, more to exactly who you are. Every human being also gets born with positive and negative qualities and characteristics. Astrology has long called these our Positive and Negative Planets.

The Jyotish or Vedic astrological system calls these our Benefic and Malefic planets, though the point is the same. It is inherently very valuable to know exactly where our positive and negative human traits come from.

Because all success in life springs from our Benefic or Positive functioning interior planets, the more we realize where our positive planets are, we will find ourselves utilizing them more.

However, there is another aspect to our Astrology which has to do with our self-develop- ment. Those malefic or negative functioning planets not only refer to those aspects of our human personalities that are our struggles and difficulties. They also represents where we exactly came in to self-improve or self-develop.

For example, the person with self-confidence problems will have a less developed and malefic functioning Sun in their chart. The person, on the other hand, who gets born with definite and important emotional and mental challenges will have the accompanying malefic functioning Moon, in their chart. The person with intellect or decision making problems, will have malefic difficulties with their birth Mercury’s.

All relationship problems have a Venus and Mars component to them. People with Mars challenges, especially will have anger, fighting and quarreling difficulties. Jupiter and Saturn refer to how well we progress and advance in life. Jupiter represents how easily and effortlessly we ‘expand’ while Saturn rules how we pause, recuperate, rest and rejuvenate!

Together they both represent the all-important ways in which we achieve any and all of our material and even, spiritual goals, in life. Saturn, too represents how healthy we are.

Finally, Rahu/Ketu represent how we desire and use our desires. When Rahu/Ketu are poorly positioned or functioning negatively, then all kinds of desire problems, like compulsions, obsessions and addictions will result.

There are many different kinds of rules and principles within Astrology that describe and define exactly why certain of our planets are positive or benefic and some, negative or malefic. This is the first and all-important goal of Astrology, to determine benefic vs. malefic planets. Because where we have our benefices we’re going to be productive and successful. However, also where we have our malefics, we’re going to literally, be creating all our challenges until we learn exactly how to turn around these same negative functioning planets!

The Philosophy of Self-Transformation in Life

This then leads to the ‘next’ and in some ways, MOST important part of Astrology. This is the idea that we can improve ourselves by learning how to self-improve our malefic planets! If we can’t do this, or couldn’t improve ourselves, it might be better, not to know, where we are weak or dysfunctional in our particular ways.

But, knowing exactly where we’re deficient and could be self-developing, this is the greatest idea and aspect of Astrology.

Unfortunately, this aspect has been the least understood or perfected area of Astrology. In the Western system, the idea about human self-improvement has been understood. It’s mathematics were just off and their appreciation of profound self-development remedies or technologies were poorly understood.

In the Eastern system, they both had a superior Mathematics and had access to the many profound and rather extraordinary aspects of eastern self-improvement, namely yoga, mediation, Ayurveda and yaguas, are just some of the many special techniques of growing enlightenment of the East.

Unfortunately, the Astrology of the East, had also gotten deeply out of synch with all the regular aspects of consciousness self-development. Instead, only an extreme belief in fate and fatalism remained. As a result, Indians have used Astrology to predict the future, but as if one’s chart is written in stone, instead of being the charts of our human possibilities and opportunities.

The Astrology of the Future

The Astrology of the future, then, will have two main ingredients. It will have the greater knowingness, mathematics and clarity as to exactly how our charts fit us. Secondly, it will know those vital techniques and technologies that are important to literally help us unfold more and more of the full potential of each planet.

The Full Potential of Astrology

We will keep using Astrology until the goal of life is fulfilled.

Nothing less than the unfoldment of our full potential is the real goal of life. Whether we get ‘that’ done in this life or the next, we each will keep getting born until the full potential of human life is lived by us.

The Full Potential of Human Life is way beyond our present experience. Though the many saints of out human history have given us a little peep into what is humanly possible. For the West we got the supreme example of Christ who at times said: “Even greater miracles than these, will you all be performing, in the future.” (paraphrased from Bible, John 14:12) There are also examples of many Christians saints who could easily and effortlessly perform so-called miracles.

In the East there are countless examples of divine beings, seers and enlightened saints who could do pretty much anything.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

The recent Indian sage, His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi echoes these ancient ideas in his words: “the full potential of human life is literally infinite. Man has the ability to do and accomplish everything.” The most frequent TM (Transcendental Meditation) practice of levitation is for the Maharishi a ‘sign’, an ‘example’ of just how profound human being’s potential is. “If we can show that human beings can fly, this is a great testament to human beings full potential.”

A Glimpse of the Future

There are times throughout human history where countless examples of people used certain more rarefied and sublime qualities and characteristics of life. The first goal is to balance and heal the many malefic situations that we find within our Astrology.

Secondly, we can begin unfolding the full potential of each planet. Astrology already has a concept of Exalted Planets. Those individuals who got born with the most developed Sun in Aries or Moon in Taurus, Saturn in Libra, Mercury in Virgo, Mars in Capricorn. These are just little peeps into life’s fullest potential, enlightenment and oneness with God.

We will not stop using Astrology until the full goals of life are attained, both internally and externally.

Mark Kincaid