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Astrology and the Big "Ooops"Homo Deus2

I’ve been reading Yuval Noah Harari’s book Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. The book discusses the breakthroughs in science and technology that are likely in the next few years and how they will impact human life. Even though Harari’s approach leaving little room for the connection between consciousness and the universe that I think is important, he makes one remark in an early chapter that struck me as a having relevance to astrology.

One of the subjects Harari deal with in the book is longevity. Humans will soon have the means to extend the lifespan of certain members of our species (specifically, the very rich ones) far past 100 years, and that’s only the beginning. Immortality is a possibility. In discussing this Harari makes the point that death is essentially a random failure of the physical body. One of our major organs reaches a point where it can no longer function, or we suffer an injury that the body is unable to repair and, ooops, we die.

There is this notion in astrology that we are born with an “expiration date”. Ancient astrologer actually had a technique for figuring it out. I recall hearing Lee Lehman, an expert on medieval techniques and medical astrology, say that she had observed that people often came down with illnesses or suffered injuries around the time of their “expiration date”.  If these people had lived in the Thirteenth century these maladies would have certainly killed them. However, thanks to modern medicine, they survived, often with relatively little trouble.

In previous articles I’ve noted that the stressful aspects that coincide with a person’s death are aspects that the person would have encountered many times previously in his or her life. It’s just that the last time these stressful aspects occurred someone else got the big promotion or a love affair went sour. This time a blood vessel explodes in your brain and, ooops, you collapse in the street. (In this case, the really important aspect might have occurred when you were 14 and decided smoking was cool.)

So what if the horoscope doesn’t have an “expiration date”? What if aspects to the Eighth House (traditionally associated with death) and the Fourth House (traditionally associated with the end of lie) are really just describe periods when we need to upgrade our organic equipment rather than the times when we leave that equipment behind? What if our real expiration date is in the 150 or 200 year range? What if there is no expiration date at all?

Personally, I don’t think I would want to live forever. I’m fairly well convinced that there is some sort existence beyond this life and, even though I don’t know what it is, it’s bound to be more exciting than a 150 more baseball seasons. On the other hand, when I think about all the things that I could learn with another hundred or so years of active life, I get a little excited.

And maybe that’s the key. Our expiration date could be the date when we take all the potential laid out in our horoscope to the highest possible level. For some people that might take only 60 or 70 or 80 years, but most of us require a little (okay, a lot) more time. The fact that we die before the job is complete is the great misfortune, the big “ooops” of our existence. If science is able to help us avoid that misfortune then it would be not just change the way human’s live, it would greatly alter the way we do astrology.


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