Fate or Free Will?

Do you believe in fate/destiny?

~ WordPress writing prompt

WordPress’ daily writing prompt is one that floats around astrological circles frequently. When you’re in the business of telling complete strangers specific timing of events in their life, it’s a fair question to raise. While I used to be in the we have free will camp, my reasons for switching to the fate camp has changed based on how I view life.

Belief according to Merriam-Webster dictionary in 2023

First of all, it’s important to unpack what we mean by fate, or destiny, and free will, as well as belief. To start with the latter, I don’t believe in astrology, just like I don’t believe in the bike when I’m riding it. I understand the mechanics and push one pedal, then the other and maintain balance. Belief implies relying on the mind over other forces at play. I’ll address this more below. As for what is fate and what is free will, rather than use fate or destiny to describe a higher power, or the inability to have the sovereignty to make personal choices, I see fate as the mind. The mind is the organising principle storing memories for future reference, and data to analyse, understand and judge. The mind seeks control, order and separateness.

However, the mind is a trickster. It’s not to be trusted! Research shows that a line up of several people is the least reliable way to catch a criminal, due to the inaccuracy of human memory. We’re susceptible creatures, open to influence and stimulation, just ask Derren Brown who’s made a career of illuminating the illusion.

With technology, economics and political sciences dominating University course options, it’s no surprise that our minds have been assigned the post of Captain steering the ship. These tailored options are not necessarily reflective of our wider social desires, more they reflect who fund$ Universities and what outcomes they want, thus shaping society. Humanities and Social Sciences seek to undermine the inner workings that have us believing the mind, and we can’t have that! There’s also a misogyny component to this, but I’ll save that for another post. Person-centred spirituality is also a relatively recent phenomenon in human history, removing power from the Church to be an intermediary between us and God, or Spirit, so there is less structure for us to follow in maintaining these lines of communication, or heart-centred approach. To still the mind takes regular self-discipline, and there are some supply chain issues with this in modern life.

Am I here alone?

All this to say that if we’re in the free will camp, there is an unspoken authority over life, not an integration with it. There is the presumption that we can have control, and we have it to wield any which way we choose. It’s understandable that people want to believe they have more control than they do, but I see this coming from a place of separation, individualism and personal autonomy, all of which are reinforced in western societies as positive traits while the planet is destroyed day after day in our belief that we are not living symbiotically.

This is why I see being in the fate camp as being in the heart. When we’re in the heart we don’t need to be right. We don’t need to dominate. We are inclusive, considerate, understanding that we are part of a greater living organism and network, co-creating life with others and this planet we live and breathe with. We’re not alone here.

This was confirmed to me in 2020 via a situation that involved three people, who didn’t know each other, but interestingly all had the Sun in Pisces. Early in the day I had the sense that someone had died, but I didn’t know who. I knew it was someone in Australia, so I messaged a few friends in different social circles to see if anyone had any news. Due to different time zones, the news was slow to land. In the afternoon I had a session booked with a return client; a reliable person who would ordinarily message me if something was up. They were a complete no-show, not responding to any of my messages. This is the first Pisces that ghosted me that day.

As the afternoon / early evening rolled around I received news that a friend had in fact taken her own life. A deeply sensitive Piscean fairy friend had drawn a line in the sand of her own life, and ours. I was shattered. A few months prior I had dreamt about her. An Owl had landed on the roof above her front door and she was on the phone to me trying to get help. It was dark in the dream, with a heavy, ominous undertow. When I woke up I messaged her immediately and it was confirmed that she was having a hard time. Thankfully I was due to visit Australia in the coming months and I was able to see her. To me, she was already half gone, or in a highly susceptible place. She was no longer fully here engaged with life. We exchanged readings as we had always done, her reading my tarot cards, and me her astrology. She told me I was the Magician and I told her she needed an anchor. That was the last time we saw each other inhabiting bodies. I have since visited with her in dreams.

As the grief kicked in on the day it was confirmed that she had passed over, messages with different people filled in the details. My reliable client also messaged saying how sorry they were to have mixed up the date and time. For me, carrying the feeling all day that someone had died, it was actually a blessing to not have to hold space for someone else. We rescheduled.

That evening I was due to meet with another Pisces Sun friend. We met every 2 weeks to read the Mathesis by Firmicus Maternus. This night however, he completely forgot. When I messaged him to see if everything was ok, he said he was at the Supermarket and not able to meet for some time. Again, this connection was established and he was reliable in showing up. We cancelled our meet up and I was free to lean into the grief of loss that was developing.

What this event made me aware of is: be mindful of who you are connected to because we are all influenced by each other’s web of events and circumstance. Neither of these two people, my client or book-reading friend, knew my mate in Australia but for some reason I was given space to grieve in their ‘forgetting.’

It would be fair for someone reading this to say, “There’s no connection. It’s just coincidence.” But when viewing life from the heart, or from a place of understanding our inter-dependence and inter-connectedness, it’s more likely that they felt me, like I felt my friend in Australia. How did I know she had died? Why did I have that dream with the Owl? When we live in the heart, we are aware of the web of connection that runs through all of life. We live symbiotically, in relation to, not seeking to control, but in response to. This doesn’t mean we don’t make choices and don’t have agency, but it does re-frame what we mean by choice and agency. It’s a difficult angle to take in a western culture that places profit over people and calls it progress.

While I definitely have days, or moments, living through my mind, I am by nature a heart centred person and the longer I live the more I return to this. I see fate as less about a pre-determined future, and more about acceptance of our place in the Cosmos. It’s impossible for me to not be impacted by others, or by world events and as long as I see myself as separate, the more I will believe the lie. I far prefer to develop trust and decipher the codes of symbiotic living.

If this topic and astrology interests you, we discuss these themes at our monthly online meetups. If you’d like to join, keep an eye on my blog and sign up page for dates and deets. You can also read other WordPress users‘ responses.

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