There are many aboriginal cultures in which people use the cardinal points when giving directions, e.g. saying go north or south rather than saying turn left or right. For people whose lives are rooted in their relationship to nature the directions are the inherent way of expressing spatial awareness. Similarly, in ancient times it was natural for people to have an innate understanding of navigation by the moon and stars and to find meaning and guidance in all aspects of the natural environment. 3,000 years ago, in ancient China, sages and shamans described a way of seeing all of life arising from a vast underlying web, an unending sea of connection known as the Tao.

The Tao is infinite, it encompasses all that there is, so it transcends the limitations of human vocabulary - as stated in the enigmatic opening lines of the Tao te Ching: "The Tao that can be named is not the Tao". We can probably never have more than a dim awareness of our place in the Tao, like one tiny pulse in a never-ending field of consciousness. Taking that as a given, the Taoists sought to develop awareness of the Tao and often describe the Tao in imagery related to water:

“The Tao which Taoism knows is a seamless web of unbroken movement and change, filled with undulations, waves, patterns of ripple and temporary ‘standing waves’ like a river.”

The Taoist seeks to perceive the changing tides and currents in this vast ocean of connection and learn how best to dance with the passing waves.

In the history of Western civilisation scholars developed a much more dualistic framework from that of Taoism and for many centuries believed they could explain the physical world in terms of separate units that affect each other in measurable, mechanical ways. But in the 20th century quantum mechanics revealed that these mechanistic laws stop working when we examine the activities of sub-atomic particles, which do not behave in such predictable logical ways.

One of the puzzles is that subatomic particles are able to remain instantaneously connected even when they are separated by vast distances, breaking Einstein’s tenet that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. In the 1980's, in the struggle to make sense of this anomaly, physicist David Bohm proposed the idea of a ‘holographic universe’. Bohm believed that there is a deeper inner level of reality, an 'implicit order', which underpins the 'explicit order' that we perceive with our physical senses. Thus super-connected particles are not sending signals that defy the laws of the space time continuum; they are emanations from the deeper (implicit) level in which they are not separate but part of the same fundamental thing. By the end of the 20th century both empirical physicists and metaphysical scholars were recognising that these ideas had a match with the ancient, mystical philosophy of the Tao.

I was brought up to be an atheist. My father was Jewish, my mother a Christian and as they were both intellectual, scientific materialists they decided their children would be brought up with no religion at all. Therefore, it came as a surprise to me when, in my twenties, I started having spiritual experiences in which I found myself in the blissful presence of a vast universal consciousness. These experiences changed everything and the quest to explore and understand the nature of the 'unseen world' has been at the core of my life ever since.

As soon as I turned myself to face in the direction of Spirit a number of doors immediately opened up. One of these was astrology. A friend casually gave me a do-it-yourself book called 'How to Cast a Natal Chart'. I gave it a try and quickly turned out charts for family and friends. I was so pleased and fascinated by the results that I ended up training with Liz Greene and Howard Sasportas, two of the greatest astrologers of our times, at the Centre for Psychological Astrology in London.

After 30 years as a professional astrologer, constantly studying charts and witnessing the impact of the 'transits' of the planets in person's life, I know that astrology works. Astrology gets a bad press from the ludicrous simplicity of magazine astrology, based only in the understanding of the 12 signs of the zodiac. But real astrology at even the most basic level of interpretation, is immensely complex and requires full knowledge of the 12 signs of the zodiac, the 12 houses of the chart (not the same as the signs) and the essential nature of the 10 major heavenly bodies (planets). The number of possible variables in even a very basic chart is in excess of 360 to the power of 10.

I have been an astrologer for most of my adult life but it has sometimes been difficult for me to reconcile my scientific materialist background with the seemingly inexplicable world of horoscope interpretation. So, when I came across David Bohm's theories of the 'implicit' and 'explicit' universe, it was quite a ‘Eureka’ moment for me as I felt I had finally found the basis of an explanation for how astrology works.

Astrologers sometimes refer to the ‘influence’ of a planet. People with a mechanistic view of the world find this language hard to take – as if the astrologer is saying that in some unknowable way the planets of the solar system have a direct effect on human beings. But when we recognise Bohm's "implicate, infolded" order underpinning the "explicit, unfolded" world then we understand that a human being is not a separate object waiting to be acted upon by some unexplained force exerted by the planets. Instead, we can see the kaleidoscope of configurations formed by the passing of the planets as a giant celestial mirror to patterns emerging from the implicit order. If we imagine a wave in the implicit order that has an essential quality that can be symbolised by the nature of Jupiter then the movement of that wave will automatically appear in the explicit world as the passage of Jupiter through the heavens above us. It is not that Jupiter is the cause by which we are affected; rather our inter-connectedness means that we all simultaneously shift together in the unfurling of the Jupiter wave in the Tao.

Bohm spoke of a "holographic universe", in which every part contains information about the whole. And this means that we ourselves are holograms; we ARE Jupiter and we are also Saturn, Venus, Mercury etc.. We are linked to everything in the Universe and each life is a tiny mirror to all the rippling changes in the Tao. When any new entity is born, every aspect of its’ being will be a microcosm of the energy patterns arising in the implicit order and flowing through the Tao, at the time of birth. This pattern of energies then forms a template for the unfolding of that life and this template is, of course, the horoscope.

“If I have manna in my constitution, I can attract manna from heaven. Saturn is not only in the sky, but also deep in the ocean and Earth. What is Venus but the Artemisia that grows in your garden, and what is iron but the planet Mars? That is to say, Venus and Artemisia are both products of the same essence, while Mars and iron are manifestations of the same cause. What is the human body but a constellation of the same powers that formed the stars in the sky?”
Paracelsus 16TH Century

© Rebekah Hirsch 1/12/18