Side Quest! What does it mean when I say that numbers, planets, or cards reflect things?

If you read blogs/articles about divinatory systems or watch videos on social media you will see people write or say things like “Well Mars is opposing Saturn and that’s going to make you blah…blahblah….blah” or “This is The Lovers card so that means your girlfriend is blah…blah…blah”

Those statements, while well-intentioned, are not entirely true. Divinatory systems (and I am lumping astrology, numerology, and Tarot together as such for the sake of brevity) are reflective, not causal. This means that they follow the axiom “As above, so below” and they reflect what is either happening, has happened, or is yet to come but they don’t cause these things.

This is important! You aren’t acting like an asshole because of what Mars is doing up there in outer space, millions of miles away. Over the centuries metaphysicians have noted that when certain elements in the natural world did certain things, certain behaviors and events here on Earth were more apparent. Mars is reflecting the potential for impatience or argumentativeness here on Earth (as above, so below) but it isn’t causing it. You are causing it. You are choosing to be an asshole, from the myriad of choices available to you in each moment, in that one instance, you narrowed it down to one option and chose jerk.

Another way to look at this is through the lens of support. Those who have heard me on TikTok in the past will note that I frequently said, “[Insert number here] supports self-soothing behavior and that might look like over-eating, drinking, or spending.” Why? Because numbers, planets, and cards don’t cause you to do certain things but they can certainly highlight or reflect the energy that is supported. So while you can have any day under the sun, if the energy supports (in this example) emotional responses that might provoke self-soothing activities AND your chart also reflects a tendency towards such behavior, then you might find the energy that day lends itself to leaning into bad habits – but it isn’t causing it. You can still put down the Hefty bag of Doritos and go do some jumping jacks instead. No one said you couldn’t, or that you shouldn’t.

So remember, divinatory systems don’t cause things to happen. They reflect patterns already at play and support certain things over others. After all, energy takes the path of least resistance – but you don’t have to give in. Don’t blame Mars, Mercury retrograde, the number 11, or the 5 of Swords – you always have choices.

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