Determinism

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Causality in Kahn's depiction of the human body[1]

Synonym: Predetermination

A philosophical belief that everything in a person's life is determined by forces beyond his control. The term comes from the Latin 'determinare'. Opponents of astrology often claim that astrology is deterministic and doesn't leave any room for free will. Before modern times many traditional astrologers felt that the natal chart reflected inevitable fate. However, most modern astrologers distance themselves from this position and emphasize the interplay of free will and the potential shown in the natal chart.

Determinism still plays a central role in astrology as practiced in Asia where there is a strong emphasis on making concrete prognoses. It is common to forecast the time of death – however, this is also linked to a different cultural understanding of death. Determinism is an expression of the still widely accepted world-view in Asia that individuality and free will are of secondary importance compared to the individual's integration in the wider cosmic and social structures. The individual is not able to evade the fate that the heavens indicate. The deterministic interpretation of a horoscope is not viewed as limiting freedom but as a help in finding one's place in the greater scheme of things. Knowing this helps individuals feel more secure and able to plan for the future.

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