My turning point while studying Astrology was realizing that it is not an “art” designed to predict the future or to explain what happens to us with a simple cause-effect equation. Astrology is an attempt to understand reality and represent it in a symbolic, pictorial language. The vehicles used to express this symbolism are the planets and the signs that serve as a representation of the basic energies present in life. From this starting point we gather immediately that there is no simplicity in astrological analysis, as it tries to embody all human live’s complexities.
If we watch closely, the energies that are present throughout our personal development are also present in all of Nature - the cycles of life affect plants, animals, humans in a similar way. The cycle of the sun creating the four seasons of the year is very visible looking at a tree, how the leaves grow and then fall. the life of a plant can be compared to the cycles of human life: growing, developing, the growth of flowers and then fruits, decay and death.
Used to relying on the observation of nature for their own survival, our ancestors were curious also about the changes in the sky above their heads. After patient observation they noticed that the cycles of the planets above coincided with their life cycles on earth.
Astrology doesn’t necessarily believe that the cycles of planets have an influence over what happens to us. What happens is that planets cycles and life cycle are synchronous. it seems that just like the plants and the animals, the planets also express the ebbs and flows of energy, they are also symbols of these levels of energy which are present all over the solar system. So what astrology does is try to understand the life cycles in someone’s life by equating them with planet cycles, using a language that is symbolic but easily understandable by everyone because everyone goes through the same processes, the same emotions, the same conflicts, the same breakthroughs. Because we ourselves are symbols of these underlying energies.
Rilke's expression "what is within surrounds us" is also a mention to this omnipresence of energy in all of what makes the Universe. It tells us that what happens to us is a reflection of something inside. It seems that our inner nature that includes our affections, conflicts, dreams, desires and emotions...seem to act as magnet, attracting the same kind of substance or energy from the outside world. This immediately alerts us to the fact that we must take responsibility for our lives, even though it's easier to blame others and the world for our misfortunes.
Astrology believes in a person's free will and not in predestined outcomes. This way, a lot of personal work can be done to improve our relationship with ourselves and the world around us. Even if some very basic traits cannot be changed, the more aware we are of what we're made of, of what our strengths and our weaknesses are, the more choices we have for the future. And that's where Astrology can come in, to help us make our own path.