Fate and Free Will

This is a sequel to my previous post on Comforting Fate, where I talked about a situation where the concept of fate, a larger order outside of my control, could be very positive, comforting and supportive.

In this post I want to examine the complementary position, thinking in terms of free will and the power of choice and attitude to shape our experience.

This is an issue that I’ve been wrestling with for a very long time. Sometimes the traditional stoic attitude of accepting fate makes the most sense, and sometimes the whole modern astrology attitude of consciously working with intent to cooperate with it, as a way to shape it to manifest in the best way, makes the most sense.

I’ve experienced both.


Last August, Saturn stationed for 3 weeks within 3 minutes of exact to my natal Mars, and I was more than a little nervous. (Just for extra pleasure, Uranus was simultaneously inconjunct Saturn.) I went into it with intent to work with the energy as best I could, and grow through whatever the Universe cared to throw at me. The whole time was a peak period of intensity where I was writing like a demon. It was a pressured, focused intensity, and there were no ill effects I could notice – I wasn’t even particularly fatigued, which I’d been worried about.

I can’t help but think that, had my attitude been different or less aware, the effect would likely have been very different, and much less pleasant.

This is definitely not what I would call positive thinking, but it does acknowledge that our minds and our attitudes have enormous power to shape how we function in the larger context of our place in Universe  – or better, enormous power to allow Universe to shape us. It is power of consciousness, but in context, not isolated. It is the working in context that is critical – kind of a mental Daoism or martial art where we attempt to conform our minds to the shape of the flow of Universe. The more we conform to the shape of the flow, the less friction we experience.  Call it mental Daoism, call it Stoic acceptance of your place in the order of the Universe, call it aligning with your evolutionary intent – I don’t see any functional difference in meaning in the three phrases. They all point towards the power of the proper use of awareness.

What I tried doing in those last couple of paragraphs is a kind of fusion of the best of the attitudes of traditional and modern astrology towards working with a challenging transit. Take the power of mind and attitude, then put it within a larger context and order. Best of both worlds.

Or, in my personal preferred way of thinking of it, the planets are alive and conscious, they desire to communicate with us, and they really, really like it when we listen. I know that by experience now.

As I said at the very beginning of this meditation, sometimes the traditional stoic attitude of accepting fate makes the most sense, and sometimes the whole modern astrology attitude of consciously working with intent to cooperate with it, as a way to shape it to manifest in the best way, makes the most sense.

Sometimes I think the two converge, and ultimately mean the same thing.


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