giovani de paula.jpg
Giovanni di Paolo di Grazia. 1445. Public Domain. (I recently hung this painting in my living room and it seems  fitting for this post)

“There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio,

than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

~Shakespeare, Hamlet, I-v, 166

Long time readers of Atlas Astrology will have noticed that I have been quiet over the past little while. A long while. While I am reluctant to explain this sporadic presence by saying “I’ve been having a Pluto transit”  the truth is that is what has been happening. And for readers with some background in astrology, it will be helpful to know that I have been having a Pluto transit (to the Sun in the 9th house of my chart) as I communicate the main ideas of this post. 

In a recent interview with Guru Jagat, astrologer Barbara Hand Clow bemoaned that Pluto often gets a bad rap. People hear they’re going to have a Pluto transit and become afraid that their house is going to burn down or someone will die. I was not immune from similar fears. 

Well, I agree with Barbara Hand Clow that Pluto is an agent of light. And there is a function of death that Pluto has to do with, but that that death is not always literal. I certainly feel like a part of me has died. I even feel that a part of me has been forcefully wrenched from my own understanding of myself. There was and is a lot that is happening both internally and externally as Pluto transits the natal Sun in my chart, but maybe I will save some of that for a post that pertains to the transit of Pluto in particular. 

In this post I want to begin to describe my philosophical shift that is still unfolding with respect to the use and practice of astrology, as well as astrology’s place in a broader understanding of life and the universe. 

Over the course of 2019, I had several major attitude shifts toward life in general. I attribute these to the deepening of my spiritual path. Here are some of them:

  • Embracing of the natural flow of life vs. trying to direct it
  • Faith that life will take me where I am meant to go vs. previously being enamored with the idea of designing my own destiny
  • Trust that I can’t miss what is meant for me

These attitude shifts did not come to me easily. They were not walk in the park realizations for me. It’s not like I was sitting in meditation one day when I gently received the understanding that life is unfolding perfectly and I came out of meditation beaming and delighted about it. On the contrary, these new points of view arrived as the result of some major letting go of deeply held identifications, aspirations, and dreams over a somewhat extended period of time (I’d say about as long as Pluto has been in orb of a transit to my Sun).  And as a very cardinal, very self-directed, very gung-ho, “not if it is possible but how is it possible” type of individual, these realizations came with involuntary surrenders of my own definition of myself. 

Naturally, these shifts in life philosophy would also spill over to how I view astrology. As my spiritual interest became more foregrounded in a more external way in my life, I came to new inclinations of ways to orient myself with respect to the use, practice and sharing of astrology. 

As I started to comprehend myself more and more as a soul who has lived many lifetimes with many personalities and seeds of desire that have come to fruition in the lifetimes those desire-fruits were ripe to be born, I became less and less inclined to see myself as just Ichrak in this lifetime, with the Sun in the 9th house who is having a Pluto transit.

As my desire to get away from identifying myself as Ichrak in this lifetime grew, I began to think that my desires, no matter what they were, were kind of “contentless”. All desires became generic desires, except the desire for god. Because all desires have the seed of dissatisfaction within them. We all think we are going to be happy when XYZ, but then we get there and we just want something else. Desires are a bottomless pit of more desire. 

And then the perspective came that the particulars of my personality and my life circumstances are also “contentless”, by virtue of the fact that I am born here on earth. So the fact that I was born under Capricorn or when the planets were composed in such a way in the sky, started to matter less to me than earnestly attempting to live as if I am a soul who is here to understand that I am not actually a Capricorn who was born when the planets were composed in such a way in the sky, but to realize the true nature of my Self.

So I have come to the questions – in light of understanding that I am here to realize the nature of my Self, what can astrology actually tell me? How can astrology help me? How can astrology help my clients? How does my practicing astrology bring more light to the world? 

I will explore those questions in the next installment of these mini-series. 






  1. Hi Ichrak I just wanted to say thank you for that email. It’s really interesting and I can relate to it. Our identity as we see it in the story is not our true nature and the inquiry you have at the moment can be challenging…. and leads us on another story of non-identification!! I’m writing a book about astrology, my own personality profiles using flower remedies and self awareness… incorporating the spirituality you’ve mentioned. Quite a task but finally I’m starting after 10 years! Thank you again…. it was just what I needed to read this morning.. and I enjoy your words and insights. Take care and safe Tracy


    1. Tracy, my apologies for the delayed reply. I’m so happy to hear you are writing a book about astrology! And love that you are bringing some exploration of this line of inquiry into the profiles you’re creating. Can’t wait to hear more about it. Let me know if I can help in any way!

  2. Ichrak I wondered where you had gone. That sun it’s joy in the house of God is pulling no punches when it comes to the priority of awakening to true nature. Pluto having its way with your souls intention in his once in a lifetime offering. Death has been my teacher both literally and figuratively. Pluto Sun? “Die before you die”. I look forward to hearing more on your journey to Self.

  3. […] Our destiny is painted in broad strokes, and astrology enables us to get a sense of the qualities of experience that are likely to be present during a defined period of time. Using this as foreknowledge, it is possible to prepare in advance for experiences that are likely to arise. Although I still believe the most substantial, meaningful preparation we can make in all of life is the work we do in our inner world. […]

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