Not Your Grandma’s Astrology, Anymore.


by Barry Kerr

Astrology has come a long way in modern times. Computers have given astrologers easy, quick access to information that, in the past, took hours or days to calculate, often with errors. In addition, the Western re-emergence of knowledge about reincarnation and karma, combined with modern psychology and new astronomical discoveries, provides a deeper, richer and more meaningful context in which to apply the ancient and remarkably consistent language of astrology.

Yes, there are still many who maintain the old and highly inaccurate trade of “fortune telling” (predicting exact events and love lives, and giving advice to wealth and power seekers), but most professional astrologers strive toward assisting people with healing, personal growth, relationships and spiritual awareness. The information available for these purposes is uncannily accurate and profoundly helpful. Indeed, around the world, a great many successful psychiatrists, psychologists and psychotherapists have integrated astrology into their practices, gaining important insights into their clients. Many hire astrologers for personal purposes.

Though astrology has been a part of nearly every religious and spiritual tradition in history, it doesn’t require any religious theology to make sense. However, soul-based astrology does draw on ancient and universal spiritual principles and modern scientific methods that are part of an emerging post-religion/post-materialist paradigm. Going beyond beliefs, soul-based astrology confirms, experientially, that we are parts of an elegant and caring universe of love and unfolding creativity. Here’s how it works:

Each of us is a unique being. We came into this world with a distinct combination of psychological needs and personality traits, and particular purposes for our souls in this life. We brought talents and gifts to achieve those purposes, and we invited challenges and lessons to encounter on the way. Soul-based astrology describes these, reflected by ten planets, through twelve signs, as they occur at our birth and then continue to orbit (transit) through our lives.

Astrology does not tell us what to do or what exactly will happen, yet it can clarify our life issues and challenges, and can reveal the timing of events, influences and choices so we can recognize and honor our soul’s highest calling as life unfolds.

Everyone has a destiny. And everyone has free will. What I am calling destiny is our soul’s plan, a set of goals and lessons each of us, and our guides, chose before each life. The soul’s plan is a general outline. Most of the specifics are not known before life but are determined by the choices we make every day. This interweaving of our soul’s plan and our free will creates our life. How much we learn, how much we grow, how far we travel, is up to us. The ultimate intention is to experience more joy and delight, as we become more conscious co-creators of our lives!

In a birth chart reading, based on our time and place of birth, an intuitive, soul-based astrologer can see where our soul has come from in past lives and why our soul chose this present lifetime to accomplish the next goals for spiritual growth and evolution. The astrologer can examine with us how the particular traits, strengths, weaknesses and conflicts of our ego/personality are configured to help our soul toward that mission. Typically our ego’s sense of purpose is quite different from our soul’s true purpose, and our soul has planned it that way for a reason. Such a clarification can change the way we experience our past and future choices, relieving guilt, judgment, regret, blame and doubt, allowing for more conscious and joyful living.

Soul-based astrology can help us understand how our past and present situations (the good, bad and ugly) fit into our soul’s plan. An effective astrologer can explain why we chose our parents, siblings and childhood circumstances. Through dialogue, a birth chart can even reveal why we experienced certain pain and suffering in our youth and perhaps into adulthood. Thus, we can gain confidence in our soul’s wisdom and invite forgiveness and love.

A compassionate astrologer can help us look directly into the mirror and accept what we see, with an understanding of how the divine and elegant design of creation supports our progress toward a more full and conscious awareness of who and what we really are — spirit creators in human form. It can be a life-altering experience to actually see, on paper, how our lives are reflected by and connected to the planets and stars. Astrology coaching can then continue to be a rich resource of insight into our selves, family, friends, adversaries and the cycles of life in general. Times of life challenge and confusion are excellent for reaching out to an astrologer for understanding, guidance and direction.

This piece originally published in Nature’s Pathways magazine in July, 2013.

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Addicted to Sex with Beautiful Women


by Barry Kerr

A good friend recently told me he had come to the conclusion that he had a life-long sexual addiction to strikingly beautiful women, and it’s created problems all his life.  Indeed, Dave, a handsome 64 year old, has had a number of sexual partners over the years, including three wives, each quite attractive, by anyone’s standards.

Such an addiction, if real, brings up the image of a charismatic playboy, coasting though countless superficial relationships, with little or no regard for the feelings of his partners, always ready for a new seduction to give him that momentary sense of the conquering victor.

But this doesn’t describe Dave.  His partners have been relatively few. His loyalty to and care for his wives’ happiness has been sincere and much the focus of his attention. He is a sensitive and deeply introspective man. For most of his adult life he has strained to live integral to his standards of moral decency, both before and after he converted to his very conservative Christian faith.

So what did he mean by his sexual “addiction” to beautiful women? And how is this any different than simply having an acute taste for beauty in a partner? And why should it cause problems? Having a beautiful woman would add to any man’s contentment, right?

Not necessarily.  As Dave explained his recent discovery, it became clear why not.

Like many men, “I had from an early age, made physical beauty a high and uncompromising priority in my set of relationship values,” he said.  “This value often blinded me to other values that I liked to think of as equal in importance, but which I apparently was willing to compromise”, once enthralled with the seductive attentions of an available siren.

Seems like a common occurrence, doesn’t it? A man blinded by beauty? And it is. To a great extent, nature has hard-wired men, more than women, to respond to visual cues from women. Just the waist-to-hip curve of a woman’s body is enough to catch a man’s attention and alter his awareness and experience of his surroundings.

Nature has designed this for the obvious intention of procreation, and to that extent, the attraction a man feels to his ideal feminine form is a natural, healthy dynamic.  Most any man, even without coaching from our over-sexed media, will aspire to couple with as attractive a woman as he is able.  An average looking man will settle for less than his ideal.  Just look at all the couples you’ve met or seen in the media.  With some exceptions, average people tend to mate with partners who are similar in the range of good looks.  Men with power, money, or fame tend to seek and attract women above their own level of physical charm.

So if it’s natural for a man to include good looks as a high priority in his search for a partner, then how could that ever be called an addiction? Sure, beauty can blind a man to a women’s faults, but isn’t the problem really that he is weak and unwilling to open his eyes and see who she really is? Is the attraction to her beauty, in itself, really the problem?

As Dave lived out his cycle of relationships with beautiful women, each time arriving at yet another version of suffering, rejection and disillusionment, he eventually saw the pattern repeat enough to ask deeper questions.

That word, “disillusionment” (freed of an illusion, of what is not real), is an important one for all us as we journey through our relationships in life.  As we experience disillusionment, it typically feels bad as we struggle to let go of the good we thought was real.  Yet, as we let go, if we keep our hearts and minds open to what really is real, the questions begin to surface and the answers come to us. Often, we don’t like the new answers, or some of them, and we go about recreating our old reality with a new partner, missing the opportunity to step into a full version of a new authentic consciousness.  At some point, after repeating this cycle too many times, we might be ready to fully embrace the truths that life is presenting to us about ourselves. Then, we typically feel an uplifting, a liberation from blindness, that inspires us toward a new, more authentic and fulfilling way to live and relate. Such has been, for myriad generations, the nature of human suffering, growth and the evolution of consciousness.

For Dave, it wasn’t as simple as putting a high value on feminine beauty. That felt natural to his manhood. What time and experience had brought to his awareness was that there was another, deeper, more personal and profound value attached to his experience of a woman’s beauty.

“I don’t know where I learned it”, he said, “but from early childhood I learned to believe that if a woman is especially attractive, then she somehow is superior to me and she must have the capacity to know and judge my worth, not just my worth as a partner, but as a person.  If she chooses to be with me, she is validating my worth. Then, if she gives herself to me in sex, she is proving my worthiness, proving it to me.”

Underlying this belief, allowing it to even make sense to Dave, is a much deeper belief, namely, that his self-worth is dependent on what others think, that he needs some third party intermediation to establish his worthiness to receive God’s blessings.

With his self-worth at stake, and dependent on a beautiful woman to establish it through sexual surrender to him, no wonder Dave felt “addicted” to the experience. It’s the only way he could continually confirm or re-establish his worthiness to receive life’s blessings.

The problem, of course, is that Dave’s partners can never really do that. Beauty doesn’t really give them that ability or the right. It’s all in his mind. And as his partners began to notice his self-doubt, they began to experience his desire for them as a neediness for something beyond what they could deliver, something they judged he should already have, without them.  His partners lost respect for him, found him desperate for their approval, and eventually they each felt repulsion and turned against him as if rubbing their disapproval into his open wound of unworthiness.

“Get some balls!” they could have said. “Ask God to show you your worthiness. Don’t make me do that. I want a man who already knows.”

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Addicted to Arguing?


by Barry Kerr

Like a good argument? I don’t mean a fight. I mean a good intellectual, logical argument. The kind that Socrates would approve of. If your answer is “yes”, then congratulations; you’re probably smarter than most others around you. Or at least you feel like it.

It doesn’t take much to pull some of us into an argument, if it’s about something we care about. It gives us a high, adrenalin rushing, feeling purposeful and in our mastery. Some of us can go for hours. Sometimes, if our opponent is worthy, we even learn something new, with no hard feelings on either side. Right? Well, if you are have mostly good experiences that draw the other people closer to you, then you might be well balanced with this talent. But, if your finding that at the end of arguments, you don’t feel so good, and other people are feeling even worse, then it’s time to look at how your talent for logic is misplaced.

When our need for argument is out of balance, our overconfident and forceful demeanor pushes people away. What we think we are “proving” is usually getting lost in a mileau of hurt feelings and a loss of trust and respect. This is especially surprising for those of us who consider ourselves more gentle, non-aggressive types. It’s certainly not our intention to overpower people, is it? Aren’t we just trying to build common truths and understandings?  Helping others see the truth? Using calm, rational words?

Unfortunately, argument seldom serves those positive intentions when done within personal relationships that matter to us. What might start as an agreeable argument between two people will usually evolve into a one-sided need to make one’s point while the other side is struggling to find a way to end the whole thing and move on. Unless we are willing to drop it in a timely way, others leave our company with bad feelings.  If we repeat this pattern over and over again with those close to us, they eventually choose to keep their intellectual or physical distance from us. We even risk losing relationships. We are left feeling smart and “right”, but emotionally, we are not rewarded.

I caught on to my own tendencies to argue many years ago. As I observed myself in it, I continued to discover different reasons why I had developed this bad habit. The reasons sprang from deep in my gut, from my places of insecurity. The discoveries resulted from my willingness to do deep healing sessions on myself. I still have a tendency to argue, but it doesn’t run me anymore. Most of time, I am conscious enough to catch myself before I go there, choosing instead to address my underlying needs in a more effective way.

The expressions below are merely cerebral versions for my own inner truths. By themselves, they don’t really capture the fullness of insights, understandings, feelings and experiential realities of what they represent. They are each like a brief travel brochure outline of a much longer journey.

REASONS WHY I ARGUE

I argue because I need to be right.
I need to be right because, if I am not, I am wrong.
If I am wrong, I will lose respect.
If I lose respect, I am not worthy of being loved.
If I am not worthy of being loved, I will not be loved.
If I am not loved, I will be alone.
If I am alone, I will be sad  and I will suffer.
SHOW ME I AM LOVABLE BY SEEING I AM RIGHT!

I argue because I need to be right.
I need to be right because I need to save you from being wrong.
If I don’t save you from being wrong, you’ll be in danger.
If you are in danger, I may lose you.
If I lose you, I can’t love you.
If I can’t love you, I will be alone.
If I’m alone, I will be sad  and I will suffer.
PLEASE LET ME LOVE YOU BY SEEING I AM RIGHT!

I argue because I need you to agree.
I need you to agree because I’m afraid I might be wrong.
If you agree, then I have proven my conviction.
If you don’t agree, then I’m left wondering if I am wrong.
If I can’t prove I am right, I am confused.
If I am confused, I am in danger. Those who aren’t confused will have power over me.
I will lose….everything.
PLEASE AGREE WITH ME OR PROVE TO ME I AM WRONG. JUST DON’T LEAVE ME ALONE IN IT!

I argue because I need you to agree.
I need you to agree because I don’t like disagreement.
I don’t like disagreement because my mind wants resolution.
If my mind cannot find resolution, it doesn’t feel good.
I am my mind, therefore I will suffer.
PLEASE AGREE WITH ME SO I CAN REST!

I argue because I’m good at it.
Even if can’t convince you, I can feel superior, because I argue better.
Even if you are more educated, I can feel superior, because I argue better.
Even if you are more talented, I can feel superior, because I argue better.
Even if you have more money, I can feel superior, because I argue better.
Even if you are better looking, I can feel superior, because I argue better.
Even if you are more masculine, I can feel superior, because I argue better.
Even if you got the more beautiful woman, I can feel superior, because I argue better.
Even if you ARE the beautiful woman, I can feel superior, because I argue better.
Even if you deny me what I want, I can feel superior, because I argue better.
PLEASE ARGUE WITH ME BECAUSE, THERE, I ALWAYS WIN!

I argue because it rewards me.
Teachers notice my fine mind.
Friend and peer admire my articulate reasoning.
Though other guys have big muscles, athletic prowess, or seductive charm,
some of the attractive females prefer my “wisdom”.
LET’S ARGUE. YOU’RE GONNA WANNA FUCK ME WHEN WE’RE DONE!

I argue because I’m avoiding my feelings.
If it’s all about convincing and proving, then I get to stay in my head.
I don’t have to acknowledge what my body is saying, sometimes screaming at me.
I don’t have to acknowledge my feelings.
I don’t have to fully feel my feelings.
I don’t have to know I am afraid, and feel it.
I don’t have to know I am sad, and feel it.
I don’t have to know I am angry, and feel it.
I don’t have to know I am joyful, and feel it.
I don’t have to know I am lusting, and feel it.
If I don’t have to acknowledge my feelings, and feel them,
Then I don’t have to take responsibility for them.
If I don’t have to take responsibility for my feelings,
Then I can avoid making difficult decisions about my own welfare.
If I can avoid making those decisions,
I can continue to blame (or credit) others for my life.
PLEASE KEEP ARGUING WITH ME, I DON’T WANT TO KNOW THE REAL TRUTH!

(An edited version of this article was first published in Natures Pathways magazine in January, 2014.)

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