Click here to view an audio slideshow by Jesse Over about astrologer Harry Farmer.
As living things, be it an ant, a fruit fly, a mule or a human, each of us tends to project outward from our bodies, which contrary to scientific law, creates the illusion that it’s not the sun that’s the center, but rather ourselves.
And it can feel like a lonely place when put into this context, so different religions and philosophies were developed to make our perceived center feel more a part of that which surrounds us.
In particular, astrology is a tool people can use to satisfy their longing to understand some of life’s more elusive and mysterious questions, astrologer Harry Farmer, 62, said.
“If not for astrology, life would have been much more painful, much more difficult to deal with,” he said.
Farmer has lived in Cambria for more than 14 years and took up astrology after working in Los Angeles as a mental health social worker on Skid Row in the ’70s. At the time, a friend of Farmer did a brief astrological reading for him. After that, Farmer gave up social work and moved to Hermosa Beach in an attempt to make more sense of his life; astrology provided the vehicle for this understanding.
“If you get right down to it, the only person that we ever really know – and are really truly responsible for – is our self. And in creating a better world, astrology for me was the best way to do this, to have a better understanding of that person I see in the mirror every day,” Farmer said.
Astrology is the study of the influence that distant cosmic objects, usually stars and planets, have on human lives. The position of the sun, stars, moon and planets at the time of people’s births (not their conception) is said to shape their personalities, cultivate romantic relationships and predict economic fortunes, among other divinations.
“The more you are able to have an understanding of yourself, the more love, compassion and thoughtfulness you’ll have,” Farmer said.
“All these are positive qualities we’d all like to have. If you can create that harmonious and positive interaction with all living things, you, as the center of your universe, are doing essentially the same thing that the sun tries to do.”
Farmer has practiced astrology seriously for about 20 years and continues to broaden his knowledge by attending astrological conferences. He has also recently begun writing articles for publication.
Being highly self-critical is inherent to Farmer’s personality, based on his Virgo rising sign. Though Farmer brushes off his ability as an astrologer, people who know astrology respect his insight.
“I’m way too critical of myself. I’m a perfectionist,” Farmer said. “In all humility, I would say that I’m not a really good astrologer, but I suppose it’s this self-critical standard that makes me a good astrologer.”