Shakespeare wrote: "The stars may incline but not compel" - and there is great wisdom in this.
Nowadays, there is a superstitious attitude to astrology - towards the effects that the planets of this solar system (and the Moon) can have upon our lives. Let us take "Mercury retrograde" as an example. These occur three or four times a year. And it is quite well-known that during this time Communication is compromised - including the tools of communication like computers. It is a time fraught with misunderstanding. Or, a "Jupiter retrograde" adversely affects stock-markets all around the world. The last few days of the Moon's 28-day cycle are also unpleasant.
When the planet Mars is afflicted, international tension erupts, violence increases - and in severe cases - the "dogs of war" are let loose. And despite the modern fascination with them: "eclipses" - of either the Sun or Moon - have adverse effects upon the collective. And here is the keyword to understanding the effects of the planets: the "collective". If we liken the unconscious level of an individual "or that of the entire collective" to an ocean, then the movements of the planets are like deep tides and currents within it. The planets have the effects that they do because we choose to be unconscious. Most people sleep their lives away dreaming of the latest fad in entertainment, or fashion, or piece of technology. They are hypnotized by the media and by advertising. They acquiesce to the mood-swings of whatever "community" they identify with. They are not AWAKE.
And because they are not present in the NOW, they blindly respond to those planetary movements in the unconscious of Humanity. And so - to paraphrase Shakespeare: " then the stars do compel". After all, a "compulsion" is an unconscious reaction. So then why does Shakespeare really say that the planets may incline, but not compel? What is an "inclination"? It is is a reaction to a pervading atmosphere. For example, strong Martian energy will incline towards irritability - which can lead to arguments and even to violence. But we do not have to be ruled by the planets. There is another saying: "Rule your stars". And the secret to this superior freedom lies in two words: "React" or "Respond". And we shall look at this next week - Mercury permitting (joke).