THREE MAGI FROM THE WESTby Guy Petzall
Since my birth, at 9:45 p.m. on the 28th of April, 1969 in St. Louis, Missouri, I have never given much credibility to the science of spirituality. For me, astrological forecasts always seemed a rather arcane way to predict anything at all, much less something as important and erratic as major life trends. Until recently, in fact, I was unaware that any astrological wisdom could apply to fewer than 8% of the world's population at any one time, grouping as it does all humans into one of twelve zodiacal categories. Such talk was in my view the stuff of fancy, of singles-bar pickup lines, and crystal-wearing flakes.
Then a few years ago, while flipping through the myriad channels of Manhattan Cable public-access television, I stumbled upon a professional astrologer who, for the first time in my life, uncovered for me the workings of the science of the art. He did so using the charts of famous people, all deceased, based upon not the months but rather the moments of their births, using a combination of geometry and seemingly concrete knowledge of the powers of the individual planets and stars, to explain in formal terms why these people had irrevocably to become, from the moment of their appearances on earth, who we now know them to have been. It was a revelation to me, that the readings could be, as opposed to the broad categories of newspaper columns, so individual, so focused, and so formulaically interpreted.
And although I afterward credited astrology with more merit than I ever had, I remained unconvinced. After all, the lecture I saw broadcast that day relied heavily on hindsight, on solid knowledge of the complete lives of the subjects, and I felt reluctant to give credibility to the effects of distant objects, decades ago, on the here and now of today.
So during a recent visit to California, I decided to conduct a test: Three astrologers. Three charts. Three interpretive readings. All about me.
Even as I read through the list in the San Francisco Yellow Pages, I found myself unconsciously looking for-the sense of-mystic affinities within the phone numbers themselves, hints of cabalist patterns, representations of implicit mathematical (and metamythical) structures and meanings, cosmic geometries between each of the digits and their neighbors. I found none, and would not have based my choices upon such inklings if I had, but already I could feel my partial, if skeptical, acceptance of a potential new-age metaphysic having an effect upon my psyche. To open the mind is to open a door, and who knows what might try to enter?
My first conversation was with a man named Milo Kovar. He had the accent to go with the name, a thick Slavic intonation consistent with the hidden truths of ancient Eastern Europe, and cliched stereotypes of gypsy tarot tents. The content of his words was no less mystically affected. I explained my interest in consulting him as more a product of curiosity than cynicism, to which he replied with an air of knowledge-from-beyond, "there is a time for everything, and there is much more to life than can be found in any scientific or religious text. It is destiny which has brought you to call me." And if you can read my destiny, I thought to myself, you can see that it has also brought me to call others as well. He asked me several questions, about my life and my work, each time attributing the course I have followed to the fate and energies of the universe. Throughout the interview I felt a mixture of salesmanship and not-so-subtle probing, as though he were softening me up to give credence to his verdicts while simultaneously digging for information that he might use to shape his results into a form I would believe. I did my best to maintain an openness to his philosophical comments, and we made an appointment for the following day. As I hung up the phone, I decided, in the interest of scientific rigor, to try to present the same persona to each of my three astrologers, to give them each as identical a view of myself as I could manage, and to wear the same clothes to each of my three consultations, thus preserving a consistent appearance.
The next day I showed up punctually at noon for my appointment.
Milo Kovar, born in Czechoslovakia when it was still Czechoslovakia, is a man who follows his own astrological advice meticulously, and it has served well enough to provide him with a comfortable, if slightly cramped, fourth-floor apartment in San Francisco's Marina district, with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge. I would term the items neatly placed around his home and tacked to the walls artifacts, rather than decorations, for there I saw starmaps and charts, small inspirational posters and printed reproductions of nature scenes, and all manner of benign occult curiosa which might have fallen into the tchotchkey category, were they not so integral to the pursuit of his life: an insight into the workings of the heavens and their influences upon us. Milo himself fit his role perfectly, a meticulous-looking man somewhere toward 60-ish in a tightly patterned polyester shirt buttoned all the way up, and a pair of simple, large-lensed glasses separating rosy cheeks and small mouth from a wide forehead beneath a smooth surface of brushed-back silver hair. Through the lenses shone blue-grey eyes, intelligent and obviously capable of laughter, but not at the moment. Now was a serious time for him, because now he was to interpret the mechanisms of the heavens and relate them to my life.
We greeted, and sat, and then Milo began by giving me my birth chart, a series of concentric circles overlaid with a seeming spirograph of hand-written symbols, notations, and numbers, all connected into various geometries by lines of colored felt-tip ink. He had clearly meticulously compiled all of this information by hand, with the aid of the many tomes and reference books which stood on his cluttered shelves. I looked at it for a moment, unable to decipher anything about its significance, seeking to find some apparent hint of myself amid the planetary symbols and their relationships, to decrypt the image of my life concealed within. He watched intently as I studied it, each of us studying me, myself, from different angles, and perhaps with similar opacity. Then he provided me with a simple key, containing the basic strengths and meanings of the planets and constellations, a legend of the symbols involved, and also a short bibliography of further materials to read should I later motivate myself to deeper research. I looked at these materials for another moment, Milo looked at his watch, pressed the play and record buttons on the recorder next to him, and we began.
We talked for two hours. In that time he did his best to describe to me the meanings of the clusterings of heavenly elements, their directions of motion, and the forces they exert relative to me and each other. I found myself awash in the human nomenclature of the spiritual cosmos, and often lost by his winding sentences and assumptions of previous astrological knowledge. But essentially, after the two hours of explanation and re-explanation, I came away with several things.
To begin with, for the first 45 minutes or so, I just let him talk and interpret, doing my best to follow, inputting little, and trying to remain open to his comments without giving him too much to read from me personally. I wanted his words to come as much as possible from the charts, according to the science, and not from his perceptions of my appearance and demeanor. He went into depth regarding the number of rationality-planets in retrograde at the moment of my birth, and their clustering in Libra, about my various strengths regarding the firesigns and earthsigns, and how all my celestial harmonies seemed, from the chart, to perfectly counteract my discords. He showed me where my problems lay in the heavens, problems inherited from past lives, and how the stars had convened to empower me against them. To do so he drew upon a patchwork mixture of beliefs, incorporating the cosmos, pure energy, reincarnation, Christianity, mythology, each element used to support one or another claim based upon the chart, and each leading him tangentially to another aspect of my character, of my destiny, of my history, before the original thought could be successfully and clearly completed.
I felt very confused, bombarded so suddenly with so much unlearned knowledge taken for granted, and so much about his perceptions of me, couched in the terms of the art, winding navigationlessly around the wheel of the zodiac like the criss-crossed lines of energy zig-zagging around the solar system at the instant of my birth.
But by the end, I had established that insofar as he understood and applied this ancient system of cosmological metaphysics, it did indeed constitute something of a science, in that he provided me with consistent information throughout. That is, he did not contradict himself within the framework of his reading, an important point, lending the whole of his astrology an air of formality, a semblance of a coherent system that made clear sense at least to him, and which he tried very hard to convey to me. After his initial long attempt to clarify the meanings of the chart to me, I began to ask questions, to seek at least a partial understanding of all I had been told, and Milo did a noble job of helping me to comprehend the workings of his work. Of course without immediate knowledge of the various significances of all the bodies encompassed within the chart, I still didn't fully get the whole meaning of what he gave me, but I was at least reassured that this was more than just voodoo, that regardless of the validity of its content, the science had method, structure, and a rigid one at that.
As far as the content of Milo's astrological consultation, well, that's more difficult. Much of what my chart seems to suggest, through his eyes, struck me as true. I certainly am more practical than spiritual. I absolutely do feel more creatively than financially oriented. There is no question that now is a good time for me in my life to do some traveling. And, according to my stars, according to Milo, even my approaching baldness is easily explained. With Milo's pen pointing and tracing relationships and notations on the page, such things seemed-almost- evident to me, as a result of the cosmic circumstances surrounding my birth.
On the other hand, he got a few things dead wrong. Somehow the Mars-in Pisces with a retrograde Sagittarius didn't rub off on me: I'm not as super-athletic as my stars seemed to direct, a direction, according to Milo, of practically Olympic force. And I have undergone, contrary to the record of the heavens, no severe period of painful revelation in the last two years. My life has evolved in that time, to be sure, but nothing like the "complete reversal of all my reality" that Saturn's return would seem to suggest.
He was also able to read from my chart that I am intelligent (Mars, Venus and Saturn in the sign of Virgo, plus five earth signs at birth), that in the last five months I have interrupted a longer travelling experience to go on several short journeys (Jupiter in Gemini now, plus Jupiter in Sagittarius at birth), and that I feel the eagerness of a free spirit within me (six planets in retrograde at birth). All these things are very true, and made me question my earlier doubts, now faced with the ring of truth in what I had taken to be no more than fiction.
But then, amid his all horoscopical meanderings, Milo interjected something that struck me as exactly counter-scientific. He said, "You must keep it in your mind, and unwaveringly believe. You are not meant to come and succeed with thinking alone. You have to have a complement of feeling, or faith. And unless you have those two together, nothing happens. People wonder, and are skeptical or sometimes disappointed at astrologers' forecasts when nothing turns out... not because he or she was wrong.... because the person just made a mistake either not accepting it wholeheartedly, or not rationally projecting it into his brain that he must nourish that idea. Because it was really in the stars at time of birth, that in these return patterns of planets there is a destiny that one is supposed to fulfill." This importance of belief, stressed so fervently as an essential ingredient to the functioning of his system, replanted the seed of skepticism which he had begun to weed out of the garden. He seemed in this statement to assert the ultimate and immediate supremacy of the will, over the irrevocable guidance of the stars, a caveat which for me negated a lot of the force of his teachings.
But I must say that my session in Milo's living room satisfied me. He's a smart man, no quack, and sincere, with a genuine and rigorous method. He did his best to help me through the labyrinth of spatial mechanisms and their importances, and it seemed that despite a few certain hitches, a lot of what he said had definite value. Of course, some of it would be good advice under any circumstance, but with the chart laid out before us, his words took on a special character of reasonability. And more than anything, I liked him. His serious intelligence, his dedication, his earnestness, and his awe at the complexity of the systems of which he is a lifelong student, left me with a real sense that I had gotten something of worth, from him, if not from the chart. About that I still reserved judgement.
And when the tape's second side ran out, the recorder clicked off. Milo and I smiled at each other and at what had turned from a lecture on my stars into a fascinating conversation, and warmly, we said our farewells.
I carried my tape home wrapped up in the chart, studied it for a while longer, and then hit the yellow pages once again, in search of a second opinion.
I easily made an appointment with a woman named Joyce Van Horn. On the phone, she seemed nothing like Milo: her attitude exuded nothing of Eastern intrigue or mystical character, but rather seemed grounded, businesslike and endowed with a clarity of expression. Through this Joyce still maintained a warmth, a humanism, of a sort that I associate with California, and the California New Age, but not overwhelmingly so. She probed me very little for personal data beyond the circumstances of my birth, and after taking my information, explained her prices, gave me an address and a time to meet her, and that was that.
A few days later I went to her home, a large Victorian clapboard house in Japantown. I was shown into an environment so different from Milo's lightless den. Here was a progressive place, full of air and sun, devoid of clutter, and showing a life beyond occultish pursuits. It smacked of success and society, conversations and dinner-parties, all complemented with the unobtrusive decor of an Indian weaving here, or a Balinese carving there. After a moment, Joyce brought me up to her study, a small room full of light and containing a small table and two chairs, a magazine rack with publications on travel, the stars, and various other spiritual sciences. We sat, she handed me my chart, started the recorder, and began.
The chart she had made of my birth stars was at once both identical and completely dissimilar to that of Milo Kovar. While all the positions of the planets and stars were represented in their same positions as two days' previous, Joyce's chart had been printed out on a computer, with all the symbols crisp and legible, all the energy lines sharp and straight. It had an open, clear, readability to it. It stuck me that Milo's home, words, demeanor, were all reflected in the chart he had constructed, in its discombobulation and hands-on feel, while as much as Joyce had revealed to me about herself was evident in the sheet I sat looking at in her study. As though in the tools they had assembled to read about my life, I was reading about their own. Joyce's appearance also fit her style, airy and friendly, realistic and with a realistic attitude toward astrology, with everything fitting into its orderly place, in her home, in my chart, in the universe. As it should be.
I was comforted that the positions of the important elements in the sky when I was born were the same according to both astrologers. It gave me confidence in the system, in what Milo had told me, and in what I was about to hear, and the new clarity with which this second chart had been constructed made me eager to hear how clearly Joyce would interpret it, either as an expansion of Milo's ambiguities, or as something wholly different.
As the initial chit-chat proceeded, I again tried to remain neutral, open, interested, but reticent, not wanting her to read me so much as the chart she had before her on the table. She dug for information, the same sort of stuff that Milo had asked over the phone, about my work and lifestyle, and since I gave it to Milo, I felt free to share the same knowledge with Joyce. Then, holding my chart in display, Joyce started off on a similar caveat to what Milo had worked into the middle of his session, which had nourished my skepticism two days before. "This piece of paper is not you. It is simply a map of where the planets were at the moment of your birth and how that is kind of a moment frozen in time that you can kind of work with as guidelines." It was very slick, in that she at once denied the concrete nature of what she was about to do, while affirming its validity as the results of a fixed system. And she did it in such as way as to partially disarm the suspicion with which I greeted Milo.
And, like Milo, she impressed me with the knowledge about my life and personality that she could glean from my stars. Her style of doing so was different, full as it was of soft words and allegorical stories, metaphor and kindness, relying upon the chart but expanding as she went beyond the mechanics of the planets and stars to more description than Milo conveyed. According to her reading, I like to take lots of risks and set myself adrift in the whims of the world while simultaneously trying to maintain ultimate control over my life, avoiding the constraining feeling of office workdays and strict bosses. I search for environments in which to gamble without constraint but with control, while desiring structure and form, the roots of my life. All of this is very true, and she justified it using the juxtaposition between my five planets in Jupiter's home (telling me to explore and travel and go beyond the ordinary) and my Tauran earthiness (mandating form and stability). As she put it, these two elements are "always reshuffling the cards that make you up." She also correctly guessed, from my "Jupiterian nature," that I studied philosophy in school.
Her descriptions and words felt very clear and her explanation of how my stars revealed these truths had a coherency and ease of comprehension that refreshed me after Milo's meandering musings upon my chart. She went into the details of my Virgo moon, which indicated to her that I am meticulously self-critical, that I have high standards; she elaborated upon my rising Sagittarius, the gypsy sign, which gives me a curious, questing outlook... and then again applied these factors to my Jupiter cluster, showing how the conflicts between my various attributes result in my dissatisfaction with mundane routine in life, in my permanent wanderlust, and the drives to seek stability amid all the self-imposed flux. Which, although likely applicable to many people, rang true enough to me.Then, having analyzed my character with the concrete help of the glyphs and symbols of my horoscope, she began to delve into more complex interpretations, combining a wide variety of elements into more abstract conclusions about my life and personality. According to her, and I'm not exactly sure where she got this from, I possess some form of alternative perception, I have access to information from sources beyond the normal, informing my first instincts correctly almost without exception. As she put it, I'm "plugged into special information," which makes of me something of a "psychic magnet" which people try to use to manage their own toxic waste. Therefore, Joyce told me, I assert myself more strongly in relationships with others, am more inflexible than I would naturally be, to protect myself from others taking advantage of my deeply psychic nature. This conclusion of hers, while perhaps not wholly untrue, conflicted directly with Milo's claim that I am spiritually less powerful than my earth- and fire-powers. It was specifically this spiritual lack that led him to try to sell me on faith in the system. Yet according to this new reading, I "have a remarkable link to all that is holy on the physical plane". Milo would have objected strenuously to this verdict.
Joyce went on by telling me that according to the simultaneous transits of Uranus, Saturn and Venus, I'm in the process of "being drafted into the service of love" and that since this is happening at the moment of my Saturn return, I shouldn't be experiencing the wanderlust I now do (regardless of the fact that she had just finished telling me it would never leave me). Therefore, she continued, on the ninth of the next month I should want to stop travelling and stay put for a year or so. Now, having just spent five months in one place, I felt a complete itch to move around a lot and hit the road again with some momentum, so when I told her I wasn't sure about her prediction, she began pressing me for any sort of thread that might hold me somewhere, any kind of force in my life that could make me settle in my very near future. I couldn't provide her with one, but I felt through her questions that she was almost trying to convince me that I should do as she felt the stars directed, that I should do so because the heavens said so, and also to validate her forecast by causing it to come true. She told me almost with a defensive air, "Well, as an astrologer-I've been doing this for 15 years, professionally-
I'm not here to disagree with you but just to simply offer the possibility that that might be how you feel."
But there was more. Somehow amid the things I could not agree upon, she found elements of my life that were remarkably precise, including that when I travel, I write, and am beginning to work to get my stories published. It confused me again, and made me question the parts of her reading which I had just resisted.
In the end, I did learn a lot from her, and I was indeed again impressed at the wealth of seemingly correct information available about me from no more information than is contained on page 1 of my passport. She was very perceptive, and had applied her system with the same consistent rigor as Milo, although with slightly varying results. And when the tape ended, so did my hour. She gave me my charts and the tape, thanked me, and showed me to the door.
I went home, listened to the tape once more, and then again turned to the yellow pages, in search of another astrologer to help me (hopefully) sort out the mess of information about myself that I had been given.
Unfortunately and surprisingly, after calling every name in the yellow pages and in some of the occult-oriented free weeklies as well, I was unable to find another astrologer to do my third chart in San Francisco. They were all either unreachable, or unavailable during my remaining time in town, or far too expensive for my purposes. One week later, however, in San Diego, I got luckier: I found a shop called the Psychic Eye, a general occultphernalia and provisions store, selling crystals, incense, books, icons and other supplies for various spiritual and new age pursuits, and which also had a staff astrologer to do readings by appointment. I arranged a meeting by phone, although not with the astrologer herself, and the following afternoon appeared there to meet with my newest consultant. For this meeting I was allowed only a half-hour, and I was eager to hear her ideas about my horoscope and my life.
Her name was Sinde (pronounced Cindy), and as soon as I saw her I recognized a strong California new age influence within her, not as grounded and progressive as Joyce had been, but rather a different facet of the same crystal: with big bushy curls, a sleeveless black T-shirt, Celtic silver bracelets and dirty jeans, and with an inquisitive, open face, Sinde would likely fall within most people's definition of a flake, a condition which her sing-song Southern California speech patterns seemed to confirm. This I observed without judgement, since it also indicated to me someone deeply invested in the topic which I'd come to discuss, and I looked forward to an interesting reading.
Sinde led me to an alcove at the back of the shop where, on a table bordered by two chairs, my chart, like my destiny, sat waiting for me. As Joyce's had been, it was computer-generated, and contained the same basic information as the two charts previous. This didn't surprise me; after all, such information is known according to a fixed physic, fixed enough to be calculated by a machine; rather the science of its interpretation was my focus now. I studied it for a few minutes, we started the tape, and for my third time now, we began.
Sinde's reading did well to come after Milo's and Joyce's, in that she effectively combined stylistic elements from each. As I mentioned, she seemed more like Joyce in her modernism, both products of a younger, American, generation, with none of Milo's old-world vibe, or his romantic intellectual arcana... but like Milo, Sinde seemed awed to the point of confusion by the complex workings of the stars and planets. As our consultation progressed, however, I began to form the impression that her confusion stemmed not only from her awe, but also from a genuine lostness within the Byzantine mesh of squiggles and symbols before her. This is not to say that she could not read my chart, only that her reading lacked any of Joyce's structured style, instead presenting a discombobulated scattering of various attributes of my horoscope as they occurred to her. Indeed, despite her claimed 28 years experience with astrology ("since I was twelve"), Sinde gave me the feeling that most of her knowledge of the topic came from books and magazines, and had yet to be fully integrated into her intuition; whereas Milo pontificated meanderingly and without a hint of self-consciousness, and Joyce used abstract stories and subtle metaphors to get her points across, Sinde's speech was full of catch-phrases from popular new age doctrine, frequently illustrated by anecdotes from her life and about her friends, anecdotes which so threatened to devour our allotted time together that I found myself continually needing to refocus her on the point in question: my chart.
But it is truly not my aim to criticize her presentation style. Rather the content of her speech concerns me more seriously, and amid digressions Sinde did manage to do a fair job of interpreting my stars before our time ran out. To my encouraged surprise, she easily confirmed some of the ideas that both Milo and Joyce had touched upon: my Sagittarian travel-bug, the literary effect of my natal sun in the fifth house, and my self-critical Virgo moon. While at other moments she seemed to touch on the same phenomena as her predecessors, but with different results. For example, though she found the symbol representing the influence of my past lives upon my present in the same position as Milo had, Sinde construed it as indication that I have a problem in being too uncontrollably emotional, directly contradicting Milo's (I think correct) claim that my emotions often take second seat to my reason. Also, while Sinde agreed with Milo and Joyce in stressing the life-shaping impact of my Saturn return, Sinde told me that, contrary to their claims, "You'll only see it if you start to look for it," and then followed up by echoing Joyce's advice that I should feel like settling down soon into a sustainable and stable lifestyle for the future. Throughout our conversation, Sinde repeatedly looked to me for confirmation, with an expression of genuine concern that her interpretations match my reality. Gone were the caveats of Milo and Joyce regarding the belief-based nature of their science; Sinde wanted it to feel concrete, to apply in a concrete way to my life. It was important to her that I agree with her analyses.
Which became difficult when, on several occasions, she faced me with conclusions that not only differed from the other astrologers', but also with what I know about myself. For example, according to my multiple earth signs and basically Tauran nature, she discovered me to be something of a "pack rat", that I accumulate lots of possessions which become very important to me and with which I can then never part. When I informed her that for the past several years I have lived solely out of a single backpack with a knapsack of books to accompany it, she looked surprised, and disappointed that she had guessed wrong. Not long afterwards, when I told her that I do indeed have many close friends, contrary to what Libra in my eleventh house might suggest to her, she seemed nothing short of incredulous, asking me questions intended to back up her claim, but which merely reinforced my own. She was stunned. And again, since Mars (a fire planet) hovered in Sagittarius (a fire sign), at the moment of my birth, Sinde formed the wholly incorrect opinion that I have a quick and uncontrollable temper, and even went so far as to suggest some meditation exercises to help me contain it.
Of course, some of her words were spot-on right as well, and often along tangents which neither Joyce nor Milo had explored. From Mercury's position in Taurus within my house of health, she discovered, without my telling her, that I smoke. Even further, she divined from a combination of my rising Sagittarius and my Virgo moon that I have strong opinions. Of course, I like to think that I'm relatively open-minded, and she told me to work harder at it: "if you find something that you just can't believe in, research it, and really go into it, 'cause you may still not believe in it, but at least you open your mind." I found that advice very interesting, in that such a pursuit was the entire foundation for my meeting with her in the first place.
But whether I agreed with her or not, I tried to remain positive and open throughout our meeting, because in spite of the inaccuracies and beyond the confusion of Sinde's presentation itself, she did her work in earnest, and did in fact get some things completely right. Several other conclusions she reached, even if I disagreed with them, still conformed to the interpretations of the same chart by one or both of her predecessors, lending the whole an aspect of consistency. And at the end of our half-hour, I took my tape, thanked her warmly, and walked satisfied out into the warmth of the sunlit afternoon.
And now? Well, after reviewing all three charts and their accompanying tapes, after transcribing portions of each and writing about my three parallel experiences, I have come to some conclusions. The first of these is that despite my previous cynicism toward astrology, I now have to admit that, from the information I have collected, there is clearly more to it than I had presumed. All three astrologers independently and identically zeroed straight into several truths about me, things I hadn't told them, and which they couldn't have otherwise known. They each used the same method and justification for knowing these truths, and for this I must give them credit. Particularly in terms of my birth chart, they did an admirable job of learning about my character and characteristics. On the score of my progress chart, relating my birth stars to the heavens of the present, I found a wide divergence in their results, and therefore cannot grant the astrology I experienced as much predictive credit as it has descriptive power. The farther away from the moment of birth the three reached, the more their assessments diverged, leading me to conclude that there were, overall, as many differences between the three readings as there were similarities. This is easily attributable to the vicissitudes of interpretation and to the respective differences in the way the three astrologers were trained. They each used more or less the same method, and yet their results varied, and for me, this is precisely, definitionally, counter-scientific. For a discipline to be a science, it must be fully repeatable, whereas the repetition I found, although often correct, was sporadic at best. What I found felt more to me like a science-in-progress, a human attempt to decode a cosmic system far too complex to reasonably account for. And when it comes down to it, I prefer it that way: I'm not sure I'd want to know my destiny, even if it were fully predictable. All this leaves me with the ultimate conclusion that, while it might be a good idea to consult an astrologer to learn about your essential character, to find out about the make-up of your personality and the mechanisms of your mind, any such information should be accepted cautiously; and that as far as using the same system to determine a course for the future, don't. Rule your own life: don't delegate that pleasure to the stars, and certainly not to an astrologer.