That is the question I posed to readers here at Intentblog last week. I went on to tell the story of a reading I had while in India from an Indian astrologer who told me the year and the cause of my death. At the time of the reading, I was horrified and wondered if it was irresponsible of this astrologer to provide me with such information, if in fact he really had a way of knowing such a thing. I asked my readers what they thought: “Was this astrologer irresponsible when he told me when I was going to die?”
The blog was posted on Intent.com and shared on my Facebook page. A comment I received from Paul Loverde on Facebook startled me, and I realized I was having a very “western” reaction to my astrological reading. Paul was kind enough to give me permission to share his comment with you.
Western astrologers usually won’t, but (and I say this from a less than firm footing….) what you may have encountered was a different cultural view of death. A Hindu might not have the same approach to death as someone from the West, since reincarnation is generally accepted as a fact. So death might not be so sad, and a Hindu may appreciate the advanced warning to get his/her affairs in order. I have found that Indian astrologers tend to be more likely than Western astrologers to make hard, precise predictions. Some charts clearly show a possible date for death, but the custom is to be tactful and give a warning of the nature of the event, rather than to fix it in someone’s mind that a certain event is to happen on a certain date. Western astrology emphasizes that celestial events show trends and likelihoods but fate is in the hands of the individual (in an Earthly and/or spiritual level…). SOOOOO, you can go ahead and prove him wrong.
Paul’s words jolted my memory to another day in India when I young man told me, “We do not fear death because we believe in reincarnation.” His words have remained with me, as I could see that he and I had very different feelings about death. As a child, I had a terrible fear of death. The religion in which I was brought up made the fire of fear burn brighter as I was told emphatically that if I was not a good girl, I would go to hell.
This dialogue between Paul and me brought up questions that go way beyond the subject of astrology. These questions are about all of us, no matter where we are from, and our thoughts about our mortality.
Questions For You
To what extent do our beliefs about what will happen when we die affect our feelings about death? To what extent does a belief in heaven make us feel more comfortable about dying? If we believe we will be reincarnated do we have less fear of death? Or if we believe that death is the end of us in spirit as well as in body, is our fear greater or less?
As I ask you for your thoughts on death and dying, I will also share my own thoughts. As mentioned, I was extremely fearful of death most of my childhood and early adulthood. As I reached my more mature years, I had the experience of visions of spirits who have passed on, and someone suggested to me that I might be a medium. Quite frankly, at that time I did not know what a medium was.
To make a long story short, I had the privilege of studying with some incredible teachers both in the United States and at the Arthur Findlay College of Psychic Research in Stansted, England. The result of my studies and my ongoing understanding of communication with those who have passed on, is that my fear of death is lessoned in comparison to what I felt as a child. Now it is not so much dying that I fear, but NOT living. I have so many things I want to do: books to write, music to compose, people to spend time with. I fear losing the time I need to do all these things, but I do not fear death itself anymore.
Please join me with your thoughts about death and the reasons why you feel the way you do. What do you think influences the way you feel: your family, your culture, your friends?