I recently read a short story by Anthony de Mello, which is of interest to all astrology lovers:
"A long time ago, in the Dark Ages, the pope was advised by his consultants to drive away all Jewish people from Rome. So he agreed and he wrote an edict banishing them from staying any longer in Rome. The Jewish were desperate, as they knew that anywhere they would go, they would be received much worse than in Rome. So, they conjured the pope to cancel his decision.
The pope was an honest man, so he made them a offer: the Jewish had to name someone to take part in a theological debate with him by pantomime. If successful, the Jewish could stay in Rome.
The Jewish leaders gathered to appoint someone for this hard job, but nobody wanted to take this responsibility, as they didn't believe they could win against the pope, who was both a competitor and a judge. The burden of this responsibility was too heavy for anyone to carry it.
When the person cleaning the synagogue heard about this, he volunteered to represent the Jewish in this debate with the pope. All rabbis said this is unacceptable, but then as nobody else was available, they agreed to send him compete with the pope.
On the trial day, the pope sat on his throne in St. Peter's Cathedral, surrounded by his cardinals, in front of a large crowd of bishops, priests and other Christians. The cleaning man came supported by a few rabbis.
The pope started this debate in a solemn manner by raising one finger and pointing it to the sky. The cleaning man answered quickly by pointing with one finger to the ground. The pope seemed troubled by this.
He again raised his finger and pointed it to the man in front of him. This one replied by pointing three fingers to the pope, who was astounded by this gesture.
Then the pope took out from his pocket an apple and showed it. The cleaning man took out of his bag a piece of matzo (a thin, brittle, unleavened bread traditionally eaten by the Jewish).
At this point, the pope said he was defeated and the Jewish could stay in Rome. The enthusiast rabbis rushed to their saviour and cheered.
The cardinals and bishops surrounded the pope and asked him what happened, as they couldn't understand this short, encrypted debate.
The pope, exhausted, told them that this was a brilliant theologian, a master of debates. He explained that he started by pointing one finger to the sky in order to remind that the entire universe belongs to God. The opponent then quickly pointed to the ground to say that there is also the hell, where Satan rules. Then when the pope showed again one finger pointed to the other man, he meant that there is only one God and he was surprised to see the other pointing back three fingers to him, saying that God is composed of three persons (the Trinity). At this point, the pope felt that he couldn't beat the other one on theological grounds, so he changed the subject and took out an apple from his pocket saying that the Earth was round. And he was stunned to see the Jewish man replying by showing him a piece of flat bread, saying that according to the Bible, the Earth was flat. That's why he said he was defeated.
At their turn, when they returned to the synagogue, the rabbis asked the cleaning man what was this debate about, as they didn't understand a thing.
The cleaning man said that it was all bullshit. First the pope showed him a finger, meaning that the Jewish had one day to leave the city. He then replied pointing a finger to ground, answering that they will not leave. Then the pope pointed a threatening finger to him, but the cleaning man was not afraid and threatened the pope with three fingers. Then, when he saw the pope showing him an apple, he thought it was lunchtime, so he took out his piece of bread so that he might eat too…"
The meaning of this apparently humorous story is that the symbols have different interpretations depending on the person who reads those symbols.
The astrology chart is entirely symbolic. The same astrological natal chart will offer different insights depending to the astrologer reading the chart and it is not the symbols that tell the story, but the astrologer's talent, knowledge and experience, which make the difference.
The fairly simple set of 34 symbols (12 zodiacal signs, 12 astrological houses and 10 planets) can describe all human experiences in this world, the reality we're living in.
However, it takes quite a lot of time to really understand what those symbols mean together in a chart and how they're going to tell the story of the chart owner.
Herein lie the simplicity and the complexity of astrology.
The above story tells us also another secret: that the understanding and the wisdom are individual and cannot be shared as we do with things. Wisdom requires inner growth, which can only be achieved by personal effort.