Let's next see what the readings actually do have to say about astrological influences, while reinforcing all of the foregoing:
(Q) Would it be well for me to make a study of astrology?
(A) Well for everyone to make a study of astrology for, as indicated, while many individuals have set about to prove the astrological aspects and astrological survey enable one to determine future as well as the past conditions, these are well to the point where the individual understands that these act upon individuals because of their sojourn or correlation of their associations with the environs through which these are shown—see? Rather than the star directing the life, the life of the individual directs the courses of the stars, see?.... It may be said that the line of thought in the present is towards a change in the Aries age from the Pisces, or from the Aquarius, or to those various activities, see?
-- Edgar Cayce reading 311-10
(Q) Every astrologer erecting a chart for …
(A) (Interrupting) We have little or nothing to contribute to the interest self evinces in astrology. Not that there are not definite helps to be attained from astrology, but those who live by same the more oft are controlled rather than controlling their own lives and their destinies. Astrology is a fact, in most instances. But astrological aspects are but signs, symbols. NO INFLUENCE is of greater value or of greater help than the WILL of an individual. Use such directions as steppingstones. Do not let them become stumblingstones in thy experience.
-- Edgar Cayce reading 815-6
As to astrological sojourns themselves, the following readings provide insight to what the actual astrological influences are:
In giving that which would be helpful from the interpretations of the records here, it would be well for the entity to bear in mind that the sojourns in the environs about the earth have as much to do with the place and time of birth as the position of a planet, star or element has upon the entity in the earth's plane—or more. Sojourns in environments are those innate activities, while sojourns in the earth are those of the emotional natures; yet each one is under the influence more of the will—or what an entity does about an urge— than merely the position of a sojourn of the entity. Although there are influences from the astrological angle, they are as signs, omens and impulses; not as destinies, for the destiny of each soul is in what the entity does about the application of creative influences and forces in its own experience in any environ.
-- Edgar Cayce Reading 820-1
That those influences from astrological aspects are arising as urges is true. Not because of the position of a star or planet, or any sign of the zodiac, but rather because of what one has done about what each of those planets or environs represents in the existence, in the consciousness of the individual entity, as related TO the whole of the Creative Force in the entity's experience.
-- Edgar Cayce Reading 1562-1
Hence there ARE urges, or influences,—not as astrological aspects but from sojourns through which the entity has passed—or experiences during the interims between earthly manifestations. These become manifested in the dreams, the hopes; while the earthly sojourns find expression in the emotions of the body; and not because a star, a constellation, or even any phase of the zodiac sign, was in such and such a position at the time of birth.
-- Edgar Cayce Reading 2549-1
In interpreting the urges latent and manifested as we find them here—there are urges arising from astrological aspects—or the sojourns during the interims between earthly incarnations. These are not always easy to interpret into material words, yet these may be indicated for this particular entity. The astrological urges are not existent merely because of the position of the planets, or any phase of so called astrology, but because of a consciousness in an environ interpreted in the name of planets,—that are as companions with the earth in its journey through this particular phase of the universe, or universal consciousness. Here, for this entity, we find Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus as the names, or environs, or consciousnesses, in which activities are indicated.
-- Edgar Cayce Reading 2437-1
And now here's a key point: dealing solely with the physical characteristics of these other worlds as astronomy does is looking at only one aspect of their significance in the grand cosmic scheme of things. It's also essential to look at them through the spiritual eyes of the soul to grasp their full wonder and importance. Again—the need for astrology and astronomy to work together!
Let me conclude by stating that as an astronomer I still do have doubts about many of the tenets of astrology as it's practiced today. However, I'm open-minded enough to recognize that there are some important truths to be found within astrology—as clearly demonstrated by both the Cayce readings themselves, and the no-nonsense approach to the subject by practitioners like Steven Forrest mentioned in Part I of this blog article. My personal suspicion is that maybe planets, stars, constellations, and other celestial objects act as "psychic anchors" in much the same way as do tarot cards, crystal balls, and palms for gifted psychic readers in general. And perhaps support for this view by Cayce can be found in the following reading:
The entity then was a sand reader, or one who interpreted the sands in the capacity of what might be called a soothsayer, or a crystal gazer, or a star addict.
-- Edgar Cayce Reading 3356-1