Only What is Promised Will Happen
by Baris Ilhan
Only what is promised will happen is a phrase commonly found in predictive astrology books. For example, it is said that if the solar return ascendant is Libra or Cancer, the person could get married in that year, but this can only happen if the natal chart promises it.
So in this case, we must look at the marriage potentials of that person’s natal chart. If marriage is not promised in the natal chart, no matter what transits the person is going through, regardless of where the chart progresses, whatever sign is rising in the solar return chart, wherever a solar or lunar eclipse falls in the chart, the person will not get married. First of all, it must be “destined.” It is called destiny after all, isn’t it.
If only what is promised can happen, this fact should be not forgotten when we react to the interpretation of movements in the sky, in monthly or yearly horoscopes. Even if the events in the sky point to challenging situations, they may not happen to you. In fact we witness examples of this every day. In an earthquake, one person dies while the other survives, even in the same bed. During an economic crisis, one is bankrupt and the other overcomes it, despite the hardships. In the same apartment building, five or six apartments are robbed, but no one breaks into yours.
The same thing goes for positive events. For many years, you have made an effort to have a relationship, but still, you do not seem to meet anyone who makes you feel good about yourself. On the other hand, your friend, who is rude to everyone, still manages to have many suitors around. Or, you work very hard, but your friend, who works half as hard, becomes the manager.
These are all related to destiny. Therefore, it is an important matter to understand your destiny, at least in the main lines. This is possible with a proper interpretation of the astrological birth chart. Thus, it is not possible to understand what is going to happen to a person without first interpreting that individual’s natal chart. Still most of us cannot but fear when reading predictions of movements in the sky, particularly the difficult ones.
In one way, this is based on the lack of understanding of the fact that we are separate and distinct individuals. Research shows that approximately 70 to 75% of people are busy socializing according to mass psychology. That is to say that these people are trying to adapt to society, the tribe, or to the family within which they live, and in the process, to gain their approval. In other words, they have difficulty seeing themselves as separate, distinct individuals. In this case, when a solar eclipse points to challenging situations for that society, they fear these as a group collective. Approximately 20% of people are in the process of individualization, and are therefore trying to discover how to express their uniqueness. In this process, psychological awareness is brought about as they experience and cope with the stress of being different. Later comes spirituality, and this last phase can bring about self-realization. It is said that about 3 to 5 % of people are able to reach this. (These percentages were stated in Jeffrey Green, Pluto: The Evolutionary Journey of the Soul, St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1985, p. 26.)
People who are in the last two stages are living away from, and outside generalizations. Therefore, when a solar eclipse points to challenging situations for the collective, these people are not afraid as part of the collective. However, they can feel the pain of humanity. In this case, they are able to think about what they can do as individuals. Of course, these subjects require a much deeper analysis, but I only introduce them briefly here in order to say that if you understand and consider yourself as an individual, you are less prone to fearing mass prophecies or predictions.
When you attain your individuality, generally, you are not as interested in what Aries will go through this year, and instead you are able to focus on defining the nature of the particular, special Aries in you, and on what “season” this particular Aries is going through, what phase is taking place for that Aries. In a sense, you are busy realizing your destiny.
So then, how do we understand our destiny? This is a bit difficult. You can begin to comprehend it while living actively, but only partially. Surely the birth chart provides some information about destiny, but you can compare that information to a map, which shows the main streets as opposed to a detailed map with all the streets of a city. This lack of details arises from the human mind, not from the astrological symbolism. My
opinion is that a birth chart can actually explain human life to the minute, but we, as humans, cannot read it. Our minds are just not capable of understanding all the possibilities, both in all their details and in seeing the big picture. We don’t have the ability to imagine all possible manifestations of symbolic language yet. We obstruct ourselves with our limited knowledge of life.
Even more insufficient is the lack of information of the person who does not also possess self-knowledge. The formula “know thyself,” which comes to us from ancient times carries much wisdom—a person can only understand life depending on his or her degree of selfknowledge, or self-awareness. A person can only understand anything through his or her own “lens.” If you do not know yourself well, you will only have a shallow understanding of others. The endless number of different options contained in the symbolic language end up limited to three to five possibilities, for example, to think that Libra is only about relationships, or that Saturn in Libra is only about marriage or divorce. So the interpretation of a person’s destiny remains limited to the degree of its interpreter’s self-knowledge. It is not enough to think of this only as a technical study. To be able to read a person’s destiny in the birth chart requires first a thorough understanding of techniques, then a knowledge of life, a knowledge of nature, and of the self.
In order to understand how our ancestor astrologers used to do this, one must first imagine their times, and imagine oneself in those times. Historically, only the king’s chart was interpreted and a judgment given about his destiny. Later, other people’s charts were interpreted, mostly men’s. This is why, even in the 13th century, we find that the seventh house is the house of women.
Before interpreting the king’s, prince’s or sultan’s chart, their life span is calculated. Indeed, why predict someone’s future if that person will die at the age of two. He will die before even being in a position to rule. If he lives long enough, astrologers will look at the relationship with the father, with siblings, at what kind of marriage he will have, at whether he is fond of women or not. It is well known that somebody who is fond of women is easily seduced and makes mistakes. He will be deemed untrustworthy. Other important subjects will be whether he will have children, whether these children will be beneficial and if they will also come to occupy high positions. At least, this interpretation will provide the king with some information pertaining to which child he should transfer the throne. Of course, other concerns will be whether the ruler will defeat his enemies or not, and whether he will make friends among other kings.
If the horoscope belongs to a public figure, the most important issues will be to figure out whether that person will be close to high ranking people, whether he will attain a high rank himself, and if he manages to remain at it. In this respect, women are unfortunate because their most important issues are whether or not they will marry a high ranking person, and bear children. Numerous techniques are developed to answer these questions.
Back then, it was relatively easy to find answers because choices were limited. The likelihood of staying in your birth place and position is high; there are only a few jobs you could do there, and only a few people you could actually marry; educational opportunities were even fewer. Information about one’s life was more or less determined, and within that range, one could try and formulate the manifestation and direction of one’s destiny. All that was looked at was related to conditions in the outer world. Will you be famous in it? When you get older, will your children take care of you? If you are in difficulty, will your brother assist you? With the available techniques, determining one’s destiny in terms of outer manifestation can be relatively easy.
Today, things are more complex. In addition to these more basic issues that people care about, there are many options to consider. People are more individualized than in the past. Women no longer have only one concern, which is to marry and bear children. Men no longer only strive for high ranking positions, or to be close to a high ranking person. Maybe it is still important for some people mentioned earlier in the 75% portion to be close to someone famous, or to be famous. But quite a lot of people do not solely pursue success in the outer world anymore. They also want to feel peace within. This quest brings them to pay less attention to symbols of external success.
At this point, some astrological techniques, developed to understand external conditions, are no longer enough. People are starting to realize the fact that destiny can be created from the unconscious and its projection onto the outer world. Is this my destiny or did I create this? This question arises. If I have created this, can I change it? How can I change it? And how can I accept my fate, how to live in accordance to it? Of course these considerations make reading the natal chart, and what it promises, more difficult and complicated, because the natal chart not only promises what is going to happen outwardly. In it, also, our psychological and spiritual growth is written. In this case, no longer should the person who will interpret the chart know the outer world well, but also the inner world. Only then can we try to comprehend the promise in the chart.
Going back to the initial example, it is not enough to see whether the chart promises marriage or not. If it doesn’t, we should be able to understand and explain why it doesn’t.
Actually maybe from the start we should have been able to explain both inner and outer conditions, because even though the unconscious is a new concept, in human history, the fact that, due to human weakness, people create a destiny contrary to their own, and build their own hell, is not new.
A poem by Imam Ali, leader of the gnostics (599-661 CE) and cousin and son-in-law of the prophet Muhammad, illustrates this very well:
Your cure is within, yet you do not know,
Your sickness is within, though you do not realize
You claim that you are simply a small body
Yet wrapped up inside of you is the greatest universe.
Translated into English by Laetitia Kanafani and Silva Ayvaz.
Note: This article is published in Turkish on Baris’s website under its original title "Sadece Vadedilen Olur, on Dec.16, 2010"