Even more than an art, astrology is a language. It gives symbolic keys to discern and express nuances in people's psyche. Astrology can be extraordinarily revealing when it comes to understanding yourself and others. In the light of an astrological chart, many attitudes and motivating forces in people suddenly take on a completely different dimension the astrological interpretation brings meaning.
As a symbolic language, astrology is a powerful tool for self discovery. An essential part of the astrological endeavour is the study of one's own chart, in about every single possible modality, drawing type etc. Each way of drawing the astrological chart is like another mirror, an opportunity to reflect upon a particular facet of oneself.
Having conducted this study of yourself, it is more than likely that the views you hold about your essential nature will change, and that a new light will be shed on the reasons for a number of past choices and actions. New facets of yourself will be revealed, as well as powerful keys for self-transformation work.
Astrology is perhaps the most comprehensive established system of symbolic thought. As such, it is a royal way into the study of symbolism, which can then be applied to all fields of life, from plants to dreams via medicine and its alchemical developments.
Astrology is an essential component of the western esoteric tradition. As such, it is an important part of an esoteric training of a certain caliber. Numerous thinkers, writers, esotericists and mystics of the western world have made reference to it in their teachings. This mean that without some astrological background, their writings can not be fully understood. Dante's Paradiso for instance, the part of the Divine Comedy in which Dante deals with the angelic hierarchies and the ladder of the spiritual worlds, is essentially a journey through the planetary spheres. It is replete with astrological symbolism. Whilst traveling through the sphere of the fixed stars and seeing the sign of Gemini, Dante, who was born under that sign, even attributes all of his genius to it:
'O glorious constellation, O light pregnant with great virtue, from which I recognize all of my genius, whatever it may be.'
There would be many other names to quote, for instance among the alchemists, who used astrology intensively in order to carry out their spiritualization of matter. Let us just mention here one of the most romantic of all the astrologers: Girolamo Cardan, great mathematician born at the dawn of the sixteenth century. He committed suicide on the day he had astrologically predicted he would die.