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All my life I’ve been interested in symbols and language. As a child I taught myself to write in Braille, and I’ve never been able to listen to a conversation without hearing the other, more nuanced conversation taking place underneath the words.

To many a Western mind, the placement of the heavenly bodies at the moment of birth may seem superfluous and astrology a light form of entertainment in the daily paper, but authentic astrology is the interplay of language, symbol, and the divine. Like mythology, it has the power to speak about our lives at a primary level, bypass our defenses, and reveal the truth in a way that we cannot help but hear.

Astrology strikes me as the ultimate story beneath the story. Whereas life can seem a string of unrelated events unless we consciously look back to see its shape and arc, astrology never wanders from the greater framework of our destinies. More importantly, it can help us access that framework and chart a bit of the journey without as much dependence on hindsight.

It’s perhaps the Babylonians, the forefathers of modern astrologers, who have the most insightful metaphor for the art of astrology. They describe the movement of the celestial bodies as “heavenly writing,” messages from the gods scrawled on the evening skies waiting to be read.