The dependence on technology has become a worldwide problem and there are centres where people get treatment for this. The purpose of this article is not to talk in general about all technologies, but to specifically regarding Ancient Astrology and Chinese Metaphysics.
The excitement of the learning process and making errors – something which technology deprives us of
I vividly remember how I felt when a foreign friend of mine sent me my first ephemeris and table of houses. I was so excited and joyful upon picking them up from the post office and opening the books. I quickly read through the instructions and after some error here and there on my part, I learned how to calculate natal astrological charts either entirely by hand or with the help of a calculator.
The I moved to calculating solar and lunar revolutions, secondary progressions, solar arc directions, planetary returns and ingress charts. I later learned to calculate by hand the oldest techniques such as primary directions (type 1 and 2), Zodiacal Releasing from Fortune and Spirit, Distributions, Decennials, annual divisions, profections, Firdaria, lunar monomoria, monthly revolutions as given by the Arabs and Gaurico, etc.
It was not learning how to calculate in itself that is the most important, it is the path, the discoveries, the hand writing on many sheets of paper, the errors and developing one’s astrological memory and thinking, that is by far the most rewarding. This virgin experience can NEVER be substituted by an astrological program, not even by a personal astrological teacher 1.
Calculating BaZi and Classical Feng Shui charts by hand
The same holds true for Chinese Metaphysics. In my case, it concerns one of the branches of Chinese Astrology, namely the Four Pillars of Destiny aka BaZi, and also Classical Feng Shui.
It took time to get my hands on the Ten Thousand Year Calendar, which is the analogue to the ephemeris but includes not just Astrology but a few more branches of Chinese Metaphysics. It also took time to learn the key symbols in Chinese and their Latinized version as well as how to calculate charts by hand. Once understood, this knowledge stays with you. Of course, the more you practise, the easier it gets until it becomes second nature.
The increasing total dependence on technology
Increasingly in the last years on the other hand, students and hobbyists above all, but also professional astrologers not only do not know how to calculate charts by hand, but do not find it necessary to learn this skill. The same holds true for BaZi and Feng Shui, Zi Wei Dou Shu, QMDJ, etc.
It has become so ridiculous that I have read of cases (in the USA and Canada, among others) where practitioners take credit for knowing how to calculate charts by hand. In other words, they make this public by adding it to their biographies. It is as if it is some incredibly demanding task that few can master.
I also know of other cases where students are so fixed in their views about which the correct Zodiac or calendar is, but at the same time when challenged to calculate the chart by hand and demonstrate it, they cannot do it.
Technology, more specifically, astrological and Feng Shui software in this case, is useful; there is no doubt it. The same goes for internet access, astrological databases, and biographies of famous people. But how many of you have had your computer or laptop or astrological software on some other device not working for a few or more days? What did do you do then?
To what extent do you have dependence on technology
Have you become so much so dependent on external devices that your practice has to stop, even though you love doing Astrology and/or Chinese Metaphysics?
What would happen it technology went down for good? You don’t think it is possible that the Sun can send a massive solar flare and fry all technological devices? And that is naming just one cause.
I will discuss that in my next post.
1 An exemplary case of what I mean is shown in the tv series Stargate SG1 Season 3, Episode 5, which is called ”Learning Curve”. I highly recommend this episode to my readers. It does not deal with Astrology or Chinese Metaphysics but with science. It illustrates two ways of learning information. I have purposefully not given any quotes in order for you to be able to see it without biases or expectations.
My thanks to the website and the author for the free picture: