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Does Astrology Deny Free Will?
Does Astrology Deny Free Will?

A criticism commonly leveled against astrology involves the thorny issue of free will. If our lives are somehow influenced or even predetermined by the stars, the argument goes, doesn’t that mean we have no real choice, that we’re little more than puppets of an overarching cosmic fate?

Ray Grasse

The simple answer to that is—no. One analogy sometimes used to explain this point is a simple weather report. When the weatherperson on TV announces there will be rain this coming weekend, you have a wide range of options for how you can react to it. You can choose to stay in and watch TV, meditate, play with your dog, or even go out and enjoy a walk in the rain, if that happens to be your thing. An astrological prediction is quite like that, in that you may not have total control over the planetary “weather patterns” affecting your life, but you have considerable free will in how you’ll respond to them.

For me, an even better analogy would be a musical score. Give a piece of sheet music to two different musicians, one a jazz musician and the other a classically trained pianist, and the odds are they’ll play it very differently, even though they’re looking at exactly the same notes. In fact, the jazz musician might even improvise wildly around the basic notes on that sheet music, in the process transforming that work into something nearly unrecognizable at times.

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March/April 2018