Astrology: What's It Good For, Really?

When most people think about astrology, they tend to think about stereotypical portrayals, like horoscopes, crystal balls, and magical predictions for the future. But this simplified interpretation misses the point of astrology, and it’s incredible potential. Rather, astrology is a transformative tool for understanding History and the patterns that repeat themselves over the course of time. Unlike people, planets move in a way that we can chart and predict, and while that doesn’t tell the whole story of what will happen to us, it does shed light about the themes that influence us as individuals and as a society. When we use it to examine past political and social conditions, we create a blueprint for understanding how moments in time shape where we are now. It offers strategies, insights, and even timelines for how to most effectively mobilize towards a better tomorrow.


“You have to know the past to understand the present.” 

-Carl Sagan 


All things exist on a continuum. Events that are occurring now didn’t emerge out of a void – they developed throughout society, culture, lobbying, legislation, and time. Astrology is interwoven in this continuum, and creates space for us to map out cycles of development over the course of time. Simply put, Astrology presents an opportunity for us to use history to not only better understand the world we’re living in, but also provide insight into why and for how long specific cycles play out in any given moment, and even what our role within them are. Because major social change and political developments don’t happen due to any one person, as movements come from a collective, the more activated, engaged, and educated we are, the more likely we are to impact social and structural change in the long run. When we use the past to understand the present, we can best prepare for our future.


Astrology is the exploration of our values. 

Society is made up of so many different kinds of people, with diverse experiences, priorities, and values. The planets in astrology not only reflect our different impulses, but also explore the unique ways that we internalize our values, as well as our desires to be safe, happy, or successful. Some of us are called to take a Saturnian approach, and so prefer working within the system to change the system. Others of us are more Uranian, and seek to create revolution through more anarchistic means. Many of us are Neptunian, and vacillate between sacrificing ourselves for our ideals and feeling overwhelmed by the uncertainty of how to participate in changing the world for the better. In other words, your birth chart reflects your ethics, attitudes, and the ways you engage with the world around you.


Astrology is the study of time.


Astrology is the study of time, and it describes characteristics of whole generations and the particular issues that are important to them. For example, the planet Pluto heavily impacts each generation; when Pluto was in Scorpio from 1983 to 1995, Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996. It not only gives us insight into our individual natures, but also articulates how we are interconnected, and in essential ways, reliant on each other to help shape the world we all share. Each generation’s experiences continue to build on its past -- both cleaning up the messes and reaping the rewards of the generations before them. As such, astrology shows us that we also have our own set of responsibilities to the collective, to do our part to protect the vulnerable, hold the powerful to account, and to move the needle of progress forward. In this way, astrology signals that civic engagement is a spiritual responsibility for each of us, no matter how we choose to engage with it.



Astrologer Jessica Lanyadoo is the author of Astrology For Real Relationships, and host of the popular twice weekly Astrology + Advice show, Ghost of a Podcast. She has lectured extensively and has over 20 years consulting experience. For Lanyadoo, no topic is taboo or unworthy of kindness.