Authors Margaret Gammon and W.H. Church present in this volume an analysis of the Edgar Cayce readings and their many references to astrology and astrological influences.
Here we find, through the Cayce readings, the support of astrology as a study by which to understand ourselves, our spiritual path and development, and our life lessons.
Part One of this book explores the meanings of the planets and other astrological influences in the natal chart. In addition to supporting many of the traditional meanings of the planets, the readings explored in the book add greater depth and breadth to their interpretations.
As an example, Saturn's meaning was greatly clarified and expanded in this astrologer's understanding. Though at first glance, the readings seem to contradict the orthodox interpretations of Saturn, by holding both perspectives in the mind, we can more fully grasp Saturn's true nature. Traditionally considered to be a planet of restriction, caution, stability and the status quo, the Cayce readings indicate that Saturn actually is the ruler of change. By embracing both views simultaneously, we come to understand that Saturn is the discipline to implement change, to create progress, and represents ambition, patience, endurance and perserverance. Saturn is the Lord of Time - that which is eternal and ever changing. Thus it is the embodiment of the paradox that the only constant is change.
In reading "Astrology For The Soul," we come away with, perhaps, a new view of the astrological influences. Surprisingly, the readings specifically state that the signs themselves are of minimal importance, stressing instead the placement of the planets and their relation to the ascendant and zenith of the chart, as well as the significance (in many, but not all cases) of being cusp-born.
"...the constellations or...the zodiacal signs..., these are merely the wavering influences in the life [of the entity]." 8-1
The astrological influences are seen to be merely indicators, reflections of the spiritual experiences of the individual soul and its karma, and are not causative factors in and of themselves. Throughout the readings, Cayce emphasizes that we come into the physical at the time when the planets most reflect ourselves, that we create the conditions of our own charts, and not the other way around.
Certainly the signs' influences are mentioned and the authors include a number of them. Gammon and Church have done their homework, and describe the various references within the readings with clarity and the touch of seasoned astrologers.
According to Cayce, what the astrological indications DO offer us is an opportunity to discover what innate tendencies are available to us as individuals, which we may then choose to pursue, explore or develop. They also enable us to determine what ways in which we are likely to be led astray from our own developmental path, and to take measures to keep these in check, and to gain mastery over even our own "negative" traits.
A further look at the readings leads one to think that perhaps the constellations and signs are not emphasized because our current system is inaccurate.
"Hence the entity was born into the earth under what signs? Pisces, ye say. Yet astrologically from the records, these are some two signs off in thy reckoning." 5755-1
Indeed, the actual constellations no longer match the placement of the signs in present-day western astrology. The readings suggest that an accurate study of astrology would include the incorporation of the changing equinoxes. (pg. 80)
We are reminded, too, that our solar system is also in motion around a greater circle than accounted for in our present paradigm, and other influences may be important factors which we are overlooking. The authors point out, "the life readings are replete with references to Arcturus, the Greater Sun...with references to the Pleiades, Dog Star, Orion, the Great Bear, Polaris and others." (pg. 83)
Part Two of "Astrology For The Soul" is an exploration via the readings of the spiritual principles of the universe and how this "music of the spheres" relates the essential spiritual truths reflected in the various astrological indicators. This is followed by a very interesting exploration of sunspots and their cycles and potential influence on human life and events.
The authors present the material in an effective and thought provoking way, and support each conclusion with a generous sampling from the readings.
The Cayce readings, in discussing our relationship with astrology, remind us that we are creatures of free will and that our study of astrology can only enlighten us to our own potentialities. We must still make the efforts to develop our inclinations which lie reflected in our stars.