Past Lives, Karma and Validity of Astrology Scott Asks: “What do you believe is the premise for including past life and karma in the interpretation of a chart? How do astrologers know that this symbolism is correct without having a human subject test it’s [sic] validity? We can test the validity of a Saturn in Gemini person or other personality type interpretations, but how can we assert karmic and past life interpretations to be true without having a method of validation or experiential data to back it up? Kevin Answers: Scott, I have no idea how one would go about “testing the validity of a Saturn in Gemini” person. There is no list of qualities that are common to every person with Saturn in Gemini. We can experience or express Saturn in Gemini (and every other planet and sign combination for that matter) in an infinite number of different ways, each of which is still entirely true and faithful to the essential and unique qualities connected with that planet-sign combination. When used as a tool for growth and personal understanding, astrology is entirely subjective. The idea of “testing its validity” is inappropriate. Where “validity” does come into play is in the realm of astrological research. This is the area where the realms of Astrology and Science overlap, and where one can apply the Scientific Method to astrological hypotheses. While it’s not possible to “prove” the effects of Mars in an angular house, it has been shown that Mars is prominently placed in the charts of a statistically significant number of professional athletes, and is not prominently placed in the charts of an equally statistically significant number of non-athletes in the control group. This, by the way, is the essence of a study performed by Michel Gauquelin. As to the question of past lives and astrology, I couldn’t tell you what the premise for including past lives in chart interpretation is, because I personally don’t do it. I’m marginally more amenable to speaking about “karma” in a consultation, but my personal philosophy is that it is rarely useful to dwell on the past—particularly when we’re not even talking about our current past. I’ll address karma in the context of responsibility and the lessons we chose to address in this lifetime (frequently in the context of Saturn). However, the only point where we have any power or influence is right now. Putting too much attention or focus on the past (or the future for that matter) diminishes our power. I’m well aware that many people are fascinated by their past lives, and that many seem to be devoting much of their current life to addressing or reliving issues they feel they left unresolved in a past incarnation. Do I believe in past lives? Certainly. But I also believe that who I was or who you were is not nearly as interesting or important as who we are now.