By Curtis Burns
Astrology is an ancient science that in all probability was originated in India more than 5,000 years ago. The Rishis, enlightened spiritual men of the time, were able to see into the future and realized that mankind would be moving into a time of reduced spirituality. Therefore the science of astrology was codified in order to give illumination to mankind about their true nature and destiny. There are seven main "gifts" that astrology brings to you personally; and they are self-knowledge, boundaries, potentials, resolution, continuity, rhythm, and liberation:
Your birthchart gives definition and clarity to your sense of identity. To be able to fall into an ordered "category" is essential because you start to see how you integrate as an essential "cog" universal whole.
To know what you are enables you to be able to act accordingly to your innate design and purpose. We are told from an early age who and what we are by our parents, siblings, friends, teachers, associates, co-workers, bosses, etc; but those are all imperfect and biased viewpoints. Astrology enables you to see yourself within the framework of a structured, ordered system that is immune to the warping biases of other people's minds. Usually the sign positions of the Sun, Moon, or Ascendant are the key indicators of your cosmic identity and purpose. More detail and modifying information is provided by the other planets and their configurations in your birth chart.
Since you then know what you are, you now also know what you are not. You cannot be all things to all people. You can't do everything, you can only do a few things well and the information in your birthchart gives you important keys to the understanding of what you should and should not do in life.
This enables you to avoid paths that for you would simply be wrong and therefore not destined for true success. The knowledge of your Sun, Moon, and Ascendant (and their other modifying factors) enables you to more properly choose your life-path with regards to work, career, and overall life-direction.
To paraphrase Shakespeare, "to thine own self be true"; that is, be yourself and not someone else. That someone else has an altogether alien set of proclivities and predilections to you. It is important that you don't not follow a life/career path based on a wrongly-assumed idea, or what someone else wants you to do; but that you follow your own path according to your true inclinations.
Knowing what you are also enables you to understand the higher potentials that you currently do not manifest but that you should aim for. Further, the astrology of your life will give you a good indication of what you can reasonably expect in life, the blockages and limitations imposed on the various parts of your chart the further define what rung of the ladder you can occupy.
This is not to say that you should accept limitations in your life and not even try to overcome them, because it truly is in your power to overcome all obstacles and difficulties. However not all difficulties should be bypassed or steered clear of because they give you important life-lessons.
Realism in your attitudes (brought about by an understanding of your astrology) will help you to keep on a track with measurable progress and a sense of gradual improvement. Also sometimes when people aim unrealistically high in their goals they end up accomplishing very little or nothing in the end.
Conversely, if you have some very positive potentials indicated in your chart they may indeed indicate some "wide open door" in life that you should go through. Inasmuch as all people have challenges, and early knowledge of truly great potentials in a personal chart may enable parents to prepare their children for success later in life.
An understanding of your astrology will enable you to correctly select your pathways to healing and resolution as well. Certain signs and planets mean certain predispositions and tendencies that favor certain types of therapy and problem-resolution.
For instance a Leo should focus on the proper use of power in life situations, while a Libra needs to sharpen their discrimination and discernment in situations. An Aries needs to understand their occasional volcanic outburst and impetuosity in light of their fiery nature. And so on. When you understand your sign and its occasional negative tendencies, it allows you to understand your psychology better and not fear it which has a relaxing, calming effect.
With the knowledge of your astrology and its unfolding pattern of cycles, a very clear cut progression of life-narration becomes evident. Your life is like a story with a beginning, middle, and end.
Your life has individual chapters, each with a specific accentuation and focus as outlined in your astrology. Each chapter builds upon the previous one, the understanding of these cycles of your life enables you to derive much greater value from each progressive compartment of experience that are the chapters of your life symbolized on your astrological cycles.
You can also know the contents of each chapter or life-phase beforehand with a judicious reading of your future astrology; what parts of your life will suddenly be in the spotlight and what parts of you that have heretofore been "inactive" but still needing work may now become extremely important that you start working on. You can learn how to best prepare for times ahead, adjust your plans, etc.
To paraphrase the Bible, there is a time to sow and there is a time to reap. In your life there will be times when you must seize opportunities and push for all your worth; and then there will be times when you must wait and bide your time because circumstances may be unclear, you may not be properly equipped, or you are just not in the proper personal space to accomplish what seems to be demanded of you.
Disregarding life's directional indicators through your astrology can cause unnecessary losses, wasted time, and frustration. It is also costly on your self-esteem and good-will capital with your associates. Life's resources are precious and shouldn't' be wasted on inappropriate ventures at inappropriate times.
The knowledge of your astrological cycles enables you to act with almost a "midas touch" of success, which boosts your self-esteem and your reputation with your peers, and also opens the door to even greater opportunities in the future. Your astrological cycles will also indicate to you times when the rewards of your hard work are still a ways off and that you should continue to press on in your efforts and not be deterred by apparent failures. With the knowledge of your "hard" times you can bring about an even greater sense of personal toughness that they engender in you.
Finally, the knowledge of your astrology indicates your path of soul liberation from the confines of mortality, limitation, and struggle; which brings you to your unique sense of universality, infinite compassion and love.
Certain signs experience ultimate redemption and resolution in different ways. Scorpios, for instance transcend their difficulties and turbulence through the vision of a higher world and a revelation of personal mysteries. Taurus' by devotion and obedience to the laws of the universe patiently biding their time. Sagittarius' experience fulfillment through their love of the truth and invulnerable sense of optimism that brings total life-victory in the face of incredible odds.
The path to liberation consists of a continual set of situations and circumstance that teach you the ultimate futility of attachment to material goals, but which through a gradual process bring you to the ready acceptance of higher, ethereal, and universal ideals and a desire for release from soul-enslaving attitudes of earthly living. With these spiritual maxims as a foundation the ready path of spiritual release is laid bare in your astrological chart, as well as an understanding of the unique challenges on that path.
These seven major gifts outlined above in broad brushes paint what would be revealed in great detail in an understanding of your personal astrology through either a reading by an astrologer or your own understanding through study. Doing your own chart of course is more difficult because you don't have that needed detachment, but it is not impossible.
It is always good to find an astrologer who can reveal these simple truths of your chart and not get caught up in a tangle of irrelevant details. Like all the spiritual sciences astrology demands a certain level of maturity and peaceful presence of mind to properly administer. The self-knowledge that astrology brings you however is priceless.
Curtis Burns has been a writer for much of his life, he's also a Vedic astrologer and his main astrology website is http://www.starworldnews.com You can go there and sign up for a free 14 day trial of member content on his website (he also has a lot of non-member articles). He synthesizes the ancient Vedic and modern western techniques of astrology into a powerful way to help people with their lives, loves, and businesses.