Even those who understand and practice Hermetic Astrology tend to encourage
the impression that a birthchart and its progressed aspects portray events that are inevitable.
I believe this is due to placing the emphasis on the astrological forces involved and not on
the activity of the inner-plane (unconscious) thought-structure (mapped by the birthchart)
where it belongs.
Astrological forces do not determine our behaviour, nor do they determine the events attracted into our lives. Both what we do, and the events and situations that come into our lives, are determined by the thought-cell activity taking place in our unconscious mind, or soul. And if the behaviour, and the events that come into the life, are the result of the soulís thought-cell activity, why place the chief emphasis on the planets? In looking at a chart we will have a far clearer picture if we consider it a map of the activities within the inner-plane structure. An individualís birthchart is a map of their inner-plane (unconscious) thought-cell activity. The chart indicates the normal state of activity of the thought-cells, their harmony and discord, and their associations with various departments of life (the houses) and with each other (the aspects).
Now when a progressed aspect releases planetary energy of a specific type the thought-cells mapped by the planets involved in the aspect have more energy to work with and therefore become more active. (The planets indicate the type of energy and the aspect indicates the kind of harmony and discord.) And this activity influences both the behaviour of the individual and the external environmental conditions, including the events, that then come into the life. But neither the behaviour nor the events are a direct response to the planetary energies. They are the result of thought-cell activity. And just what that activity may be is determined not only by their activity as shown at birth, but also by the habits (formed since birth), of responding with alacrity to, and of expressing more freely through, one kind of event rather than another. We must consider the birthchart, the progressed aspects, and the previous conditioning of the thought-cells now given unusual activity by a progressed aspect, when appraising (even where there is more than one alternative involved) what the thought-cells desire and how energetically they can work to get it. This reveals their potential to work from the inner-plane to induce a particular kind of behaviour and to bring a certain type of event into the life. Therefore let us place the emphasis, when thinking about astrological energies, on thought-cell activity.
But, even then, we cannot appraise how important, how harmonious, or the particulars of the behaviour and the event; for thought-cell activity can only demonstrate these things through acting upon physical environment. To get the best possible picture of what is going to happen we must first appraise from the birthchart as precisely as we can, taking into consideration the conditioning and the progressed aspects, what the thought -cells of the soul will desire and how hard they will work to get it. And then we must appraise the physical environment at the time in order to estimate the following three factors. (1) The power of physical conditions to resist the efforts of the thought-cells. (2) The environmentís power to divert the thought-cell activity into other planet-specific events ruled by a house governed by one of the planets involved in the progressed aspect where the facilities for expression are easier. (3) The power of the individual, if s/he is astrologically enlightened, to influence the desires of the thought-cells and afford facility for their desirable (more productive and beneficial) expression.
I believe if we would get into the habit of looking at a chart and its progressed aspects chiefly in terms of thought-cell activity, activity which is given its more special trends through the desires of the thought-cells (and not the planets) we could divorce astrology from its false impression of inevitability much more easily. Because Astrologyís association with fortune telling is so detrimental letís put the emphasis on thought-cell activity.