“A child is born on that day and at that hour when the celestial rays are in mathematical harmony with his or her individual karma. The horoscope is a challenging portrait, revealing the unalterable past and its probable future result. But the natal chart can be rightly interpreted only by those of intuitive wisdom; these are few.”
Swami Sri Yukteswar
Over the years, my work as an Evolutionary Astrologer has given me many opportunities to address the question of fate versus free will as clients often ask, “Is my life path pre-destined, or do I really have free will choice?” My answer is always, “Yes!” I say yes because I believe that fate and free will co-exist and actually work together to facilitate ongoing evolutionary growth.
Let me explain…
I believe that each of us is born out of a primary desire to continue on a path of evolutionary growth. Evolutionary Astrology reveals the precise path of evolutionary growth each individual intends for each incarnation. Additionally it reveals information about past life experiences including where that individual ‘left off’ in their last life relative to their evolutionary growth intentions.
These past life experiences provide insight about past life choices and are directly associated with the ‘unalterable past’ referred to by Sri Yukteswar.1 The ‘probable future result’ he also mentions speaks to the natural law of karma – that every choice made or action taken has a related outcome – a ‘probable future result’ that is commensurate with that choice. In other words, choices and actions have consequences.
Choices and actions take many forms. Besides literally taking action, there are additional human behaviors and attributes that also create karma or have consequences. Among these are thoughts, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and emotions. Besides choosing to take action or act in certain ways, we also choose to think certain thoughts, choose to believe certain things and choose to feel certain ways. All of these behaviors – thoughts, actions, beliefs and feelings are chosen. And all choices and actions have consequences because they set energy into motion that will ultimately manifest. Perhaps the most important attribute of actions and choices however is whether they are chosen consciously or unconsciously. My experience as an Astrologer for the last 27 years tells me that most are made unconsciously. More on this later.
Quantum science now understands that individual and collective human consciousness influences real outcomes or reality.2 This new understanding is reflected in current ‘New Age’ phrases like, “Energy follows thought” and “Thoughts manifest” and “Energy flows where thoughts go.”
The quality of each individual’s consciousness is directly associated with and influences the choices that individual makes. Remember, each choice we make, whether consciously or unconsciously, ultimately manifests and creates our reality. Every thought, feeling, belief and action sets energy into motion — and that energy manifests. Once a choice is made or an action is taken, the energy it carries is set into motion. Once set into motion that energy cannot be altered. It is ‘unalterable.’ It is the energy of each choice that determines its ‘probable future result.’ I believe choices, once made, are what constitute Fate.
Consider Webster’s definition of fate: “… the principle or determining cause by which things are believed to come to be as they are, or events to happen as they do; an inevitable outcome; destiny; a pre-determined state or end…”
The good news is we are always making new choices! In fact, human beings are specially endowed with the ability to make choices. We have the freedom to direct our will to make choices relative to what we desire. Think about how many choices you make every single day! As each of us contemplates and makes new choices, we are exercising free will. This, I believe, is what constitutes ‘Free Will Choice.’
Often however, humans become dissatisfied with their reality. They become disappointed or even distressed by certain situations or outcomes to the point where they desire a change in that reality or set of circumstances. Considering that current reality is a consequence of past choices, then to create a change in reality, different choices must be made. There’s an old saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results!” This adage teaches that if a different outcome is desired, a different choice must be made.
Evolutionary growth is synonymous with the process of change. So if you wish to evolve, you must make changes. If you wish to make changes then you must begin by making different choices. Free will choice gives us the opportunity to make changes and evolve by making different choices. Changing our choices means that we will change our outcomes. We will manifest a different reality. Free will choice gives us the opportunity to manifest different ‘probable future results.’
Evolutionary Astrology teaches that choices are the driving force of human evolution.3 Let me state that crucial point again: HUMAN EVOLUTION IS FACILITATED BY FREE WILL CHOICES.
Remember, in every moment we continue to make new choices. In every moment, through what we choose to do, believe, think and feel, we set energy into motion that will create our future reality. Through consciously making different free will choices, we can over time, change and alter the ‘probable future results’ we’ll experience due to the changes in the choices made or actions taken. Through the process of free will choice, we can direct our own evolutionary growth.
The greatest value of Evolutionary Astrology is this: It provides invaluable insight and understanding about what an individual Soul’s evolutionary intentions are. It also allows for the development of conscious awareness of what that Soul/individual has been doing (past life choices it has made) which helps make sense of their current reality (the consequences of those past choices). In other words, it can explain WHY an individual’s life looks the way it looks. Evolutionary Astrology’s value is that it can provide information that allows individuals to be more conscious about the choices they make. This in turn allows them to make choices that will manifest what they want instead of what they don’t want and ultimately change their reality. It short, it helps them to consciously evolve.
This is why Evolutionary Astrology focuses primarily on counseling rather than prediction. Although traditional astrology has primarily been utilized over the millennia for predictive purposes (royal heads of state historically depended upon the predictions of their court Astrologer to help them govern the affairs of their kingdoms), its greater value in my opinion is its ability to support individual Soul growth. By providing crucial information about the Soul’s evolutionary past (what is fated) and its intended evolutionary future (what probable future results conscious free will choices can manifest) Evolutionary Astrology can be invaluable for clients who wish to evolve, grow and fulfill their Soul’s path and life purpose.
This is why I believe it is so important for Astrologers to approach prediction with extraordinary care and consideration of exactly who is responsible for deciding what to do in any given situation. Given the fact that individual choices have karmic consequences, Astrologers operating with integrity must do all they can to provide their clients with pertinent, meaningful and insightful information regarding what they intend to accomplish in this life; their Soul’s evolutionary growth intentions. This then allows the client to become consciously aware of those intentions so that they can take full responsibility for their choices knowing that they are the manifestors of their future experiences and reality.
In summary, I’ll share a simple analogy I often use when discussing the topic of fate vs. free will. In this analogy, life is like a card game. Consider fate as the ‘hand you dealt yourself’ coming into this lifetime. Consider free will choice as how you choose ‘to play the hand you were dealt.’ And finally, consider this: If you know what game you’re playing, it’s a whole lot easier to win!
1 Quoted by the Hindu Yogi, Sri Yukteswar, who was a student of the great sage Lahiri Mahasaya and Mahavatar Babaji, who was the guru of Mahasaya. Sri Yukteswar’s foremost disciple was Paramahansa Yoganada.
2 From the Updated Second Edition, Science and the Akashic Field, An Integral Theory of Everything, by Ervin Laszlo, pg. 118.
3 From Pluto: The Evolutionary Journey of the Soul, Volume I, by Jeffrey Wolf Green, pgs. xxiii, xxiv.
© Donna Lee Steele