A sannyasin says: I’m going back to pursue my study of astrology and to try to use it as a medium to communicate with people – not for its predictative qualities but just as a psychological tool…. in pointing out blocks and indicating how best we can use our energy.

Just remember a few things, mm? It will be good for you and good for people; you can go into it as totally as possible.

Osho in Darshan

One thing which is very fundamental has to be remembered, and that is: whenever we are doing anything – astrology, future suggestion, horoscope-readings, palmistry, i ching, tarot – anything that is concerned with the future, it is basically a reading of the unconscious of the person. It has nothing much to do with the future. It has more to do with the past, but because the future is created by the past it is relevant to the future too.

Because people live like mechanical things, the prediction is possible. If you know the past of the person, unless the person is a buddha, you will be able to predict his future because he is going to repeat it. If he has been an angry person in the past he is carrying the tendency to be angry: that tendency will have effects in the future.

Ordinarily, an unconscious being goes on repeating his past again and again: it is a wheel-like phenomenon. He repeats it – he cannot do anything else: he cannot bring any new thing into his life, he cannot have a breakthrough. That’s why all these sciences work. If people are more aware, more alert, they won’t work.

You cannot read the horoscope of a buddha or read his hand because he is so free of the past and he is so empty in the present that there is nothing to read!

It happened in Buddha’s life that a great astrologer came across him… and in a very strange situation. The astrologer was one of the most famous, and he had devoted his whole life to astrology. He was returning to his village from Varanasi. On the way, when he was passing a river, he was surprised to find on the wet sand the footprints of somebody who should be, according to his astrology, the king of the whole world. What was the king of the whole world doing here in this small village on this small river bank? And why should the king of the world be walking on the bank, barefooted?

In Indian astrology they say that on the feet of a chakravartanchakravartan means the emperor of the whole world, one who rules all the six continents; chakra means wheel, one whose wheel moves all over the world, whose chariot nobody can stop. So, on such a man’s feet there appears a chakra, a wheel. Mm? – you must have seen the wheel on the Indian flag. That is the wheel that appears on the feet of the great emperor who rules the whole world; that was on Buddha’s feet. And it rarely happens: only after millions of years does a person have that symbol, according to astrology. And the wheel was so clear on the wet sand; this astrologer could not believe his eyes!

He followed those footprints – he forgot about going to his own village – and he found Buddha sitting under a tree. He was a beggar, he had a begging bowl by his side and he was sitting in meditation! The astrologer looked at Buddha’s feet: yes, the wheel was there. He looked at his face: yes, he should be the world emperor; all thirty-two indications were there.

He looked at him from every angle. Buddha fitted the description exactly – as if the books had been written after observing him; there was not a single flaw. What was he doing here, sitting under this tree, this poor tree in this poor village, with not even an attendant to look after him? Why should he be carrying a begging bowl?

The astrologer sat there, waited. When Buddha opened his eyes he said, “Sir, I am puzzled. You have destroyed my whole life’s effort! My science must be wrong, utterly wrong; I have wasted my life! I am carrying these ancient scriptures with me. If you say that they are wrong I will throw them in this river and get rid of them… the sooner the better! What is the point of them? – because you have all the indications of a chakravartan, of a great emperor. What are you doing here? You go against my whole science!”

Buddha laughed and he said, “Yes, there were two possibilities: either I would have become a chakravartan or a buddha… and this is far better! But remember that your books are applicable only to a man who is not awakened. If I had been asleep, I would have been an emperor. I am no more asleep. I have become fully enlightened. About me your scriptures are meaningless, but there is no need to throw them because there is almost no possibility of you coming across a buddha again. About others your predictions will be right. You can go and you can practise.”

All these sciences about the future are basically concerned with the past, and because people live through the past and the past goes on being repeated in the future, your yesterdays go on becoming your tomorrows. And all your yesterdays are contained in your unconscious. If you fall in tune with a person, if you are really en rapport, any astrology, eastern, western, will do, because they are just devices.

The basic phenomenon is to fall in tune with the energy of the person, and to fall in tune so deeply that his unconscious, her unconscious, starts revealing itself to you. His or her unconscious starts stirring your unconscious and in your unconscious, things start arising – visualisations. Those visualisations will be meaningful, you can be of great help, but remember you are not predicting the future!

Make it clear to people that you are simply showing the tendencies, the possibilities; these are not certainties. Because what happens sometimes – and that is the thing that I would like you to remember – is that if you say that something is going to happen, you help it to happen, because then the man becomes certain. Then rather than helping him to become aware and get rid of his past, you help his past to be repeated more smoothly.

If you say to a person, “You are going to commit a murder”… and you are not saying anything wrong; you are simply looking into his tendencies and this visualisation – that he is going to murder – comes to you. But this has not happened yet and there is a slight possibility that he can get out of it. If he meditates, if he becomes aware, he can get out of it.

But if you say, “You are going to commit a murder and it is certain” – that’s what astrologers and horoscope readers and tarot card readers go on doing – you give a suggestion to him. If the murder was ninety-nine percent possible, now it is one hundred percent possible because now the person accepts the idea. It becomes an auto-suggestion: now he repeats it again and again; now he knows that he is going to do it.

And if he goes to some other – and every possibility is there that he will, because nobody believes in one person: he will go to some gypsy reader, he will go to some tarot reader – they will all say the same thing.

Now they have different methods, but all methods are devices to fall in tune with his unconscious. They will all read the same thing, and each time it is repeated that you are going to commit a murder it becomes more and more certain. Because maybe one person was wrong but how can seven persons be wrong? Maybe one person was just saying things to befool you, but how can seven persons say it?

They are such different people, they don’t know each other, and their sciences are different; they don’t understand each other’s science. Somebody is looking at a tarot card, somebody is looking into the i ching; somebody is looking into a horoscope according to the ancient sanskrit sources, somebody is looking into something else. Somebody is a crystal-gazer and somebody does nothing – just closes his eyes, feels your pulse or looks at your shadow, measures it and decides accordingly.

Now there are a thousand and one methods…. If this man goes to many people and they all say the same thing, they are hammering the idea, he is going to commit murder. And he will have this excuse – what could he do? it was predicted, it was predestined. Now all these people have become a part of the murder. If I were the judge, all these seven people would be as responsible for the murder as this man, even more responsible than this man.

So each person who is working in any way with people’s futures should be absolutely aware that when they are predicting something which can go wrong, they should make the person alert that this is not a must, this is only a tendency; this can be avoided, this should be avoided! In fact, this is the whole point of making you aware that you have a murderous instinct. Now don’t remain unalert, otherwise you will commit murder! Become aware; this can be avoided.

And if you see that there is something good that is going to happen, insist that this is going to happen. Drop the negative: make him alert so he can get out of the negative. Help the positive: insist that this is possible. He should make it certain, should work for it; he may miss it if he doesn’t.

So this is the thing: you have to work with the negative so that it doesn’t happen, and you have to work with the positive so that it happens. And make it absolutely clear that nothing is absolutely certain: all are just possibilities, probabilities. If you don’t do anything they will happen. If you go on living in an unconscious way, the way you have been living up to now, they are going to happen.

So if you can use this for making people more alert and meditative, more responsible for their lives, more clear that this is their past – the future has not happened and the past will try in every way to make the future almost like the past; now they have to escape from the clutches of the past – you can be of great help, you can be a blessing to people.

And you have the energy – start working! Get into it as deeply as possible.

Osho, The Further Shore, Ch 5