Astrology is as old as measured time. Long gone ancient civilisations have left their gift of this sacred art behind. Occasionally falling out of favour but rebounding again, the interest in Astrology has grown over the centuries. With the subject gaining popularity with time, there are countless practitioners and believers of Astrology spread all over the word.
Some people may think of Astrology as superstitious, baseless rubbish but there are many who believe that the forces holding the celestial bodies together symbolize the way our lives work. Theses forces and their relations are studied for a better understanding of ourselves and events.
In this introduction to astrology we’ll investigate the beginnings of astrology, how it’s used today, how the planets and stars are used to determine various things in our everyday lives and personalities. But this is only an introduction to astrology which is itself a very complex art.
Astrology basically derived from the need to develop a calendar for weather prediction. The forecast was required for use in agriculture. The Babylonians are crowned as the fathers of Astrology. They were known to predict the repetition of seasons and other certain occurrences related to heavenly bodies.
Astrological systems were first developed in the regions of Europe, the Middle East and South Asian Subcontinent.
The subject was later introduced to the Greeks in the 4th century B.C. and many famous philosophers like Aristotle and Plato dedicated their lives to unveil the secrets of the heavens. Their contributions to the subject helped it gain the status of a science.
The subject of Astrology was then adopted by the Romans who introduced the world to the zodiac signs that we are familiar with today. The American astrology originated from the Maya and Toltec people and then was taken hold of by the Aztecs. Later on, the Arabs also took interest in the subject and hence, Astrology gained fame throughout the world. In every region, in the beginning, astrology was referred to for agricultural purposes.
Ancient people derived signals from planetary movements for any upcoming events like natural calamities, wars and the outcome of harvests to bring a sense of order out of apparent chaos. It was also believed that the specific position of the planets in the sky at the time of a person’s birth determined his/her personality traits, general behavior and destiny. So, the subject of astrology was taken up as a profession for the counselling of Monarchs and kings to guide them in their rule and in the same way it naturally progressed to help the general public.
Introduction to Astrology Basics
The whole Universe is filled with different kinds of energies. Astrology is the study of these energies and their impact on our lives. Astrology can help you find clues to help you better understand yourself or the people around you. However, it cannot provide you black and white answers to a particular problem that you come across. The information acquired through the horoscope helps in understanding in the human behavior and response to specific situations.
Astrology is an integration of science and insight, mathematics and magic, cycles and symbols. The word Astrology is derived from the words Astra (star) and Logos (reason). So Astrology describes the laws or logic as depicted by the stars. It basically involves studying the interaction between the planets and our earth. The sun and moon are also commonly referred to as planets by the Astrologers. Two of the major inferences derived from years of celestial observation are:
Each planet is a representative of a fraction of the energy within us, or some part of our life. It could be our emotions, relationships and communication.
The position of the planet in the skies also symbolizes the style in which the planet’s component is established. This position at the time of your birth hence inspires your character throughout your life.
Astrology helps us connect the planetary orbitals and all that happens down here on the earth. We can determine the cosmic waves by the turning of tides. It provides logical support to our instincts and observation.
A horoscope, also known as the birth chart, astrology chart or natal chart, is a kind of a two- dimensional map that points out the specific positions of the Sun, the Moon and other planets at the time of your birth. The correct interpretation of these positions can infer a lot about your whole personality and life.
It does not mean that your life and all its occurrences have been pre-decided. You are in complete control of how you respond to your circumstances. However, it can depict the ways you might behave or the way your natural instincts make you act, what to learn from these behavioral patterns and how to solve the upcoming issues. It merely reflects the energies you possess but it’s up to you, how to make use of your inner power.
Astrology can help you understand others too, thus helping you act more objectively towards them and improve your tolerance. Your zodiac is like a blueprint that can guide you throughout your life and help you use your natural attributes to your advantage.
Basic Astrology has four major elements:
•The planets (the sun and the moon as well)
•The zodiac signs the planets are in
In Astrology, ten of the heavenly bodies are used because of their size, proximity and influence on earth and the kingdoms of life residing here. Each planet regulates energy flow and symbolize the dimensions of experience.
Planets or signs themselves are all good and none is evil. Only our responses to the circumstances in life may be good or bad according to our stage of development.
From our point of view on earth, the sun, the moon and the other planets appear to orbit around us along a specific path. During their revolution, they pass through the twelve zodiac signs. Each of these signs represents a period of one month and therefore, the cycle of the sun completes the entire zodiac circle throughout the year.
The concept of time is also derived from the solar and lunar cycles.
These cycles of the sun and moon can be mapped out in the form of a two-dimensional chart. A circle is divided into 12 parts, each representing one of the zodiac signs. These zodiacs represent the position of planets.
The aspects are the angular distance between two planets or a between a planet and a point. an angle of 0, 60, 90, 120 or 180 degrees is referred to as Major Aspect while any other measure of distance is known as Minor Aspect. Aspects could be considered negative or positive however, it is also believed that the negative aspects can be manipulated to your advantage. The relationship between planets in aspect is studied by the astrologers to determine the type of energies manifested. In Astrology, aspects represent the action. Aspects determine the energies and effects of the planets.
The horoscope illustrates all this celestial activity. Throughout history, astrological charts were drawn to determine wars, coronations and calamities. Instead of words, astrologers use symbols or glyphs on these charts for convenience.
The 12 Houses of the zodiacs are arranged on circular chart called wheel. This wheel is different than the zodiac wheel. The zodiac wheel is mapped out according to the sun’s apparent revolution around the earth whereas the House wheel is drawn with respect to the earth rotation about its own axis in 24 hours.
The two wheels join together according to your exact time of birth and respective astronomical coordinates. Now the planets can be described in two ways. For example, two people of the same sun sign can show different personalities because each of them might have the sun in a different House.
The horoscopes we usually read in our daily life often prove to be inaccurate because all the sun signs are assumed to be in the first House.
The twelve Houses of the zodiac symbolize all the fields of human life. The planets show their greatest strength in the sphere of life represented by the House where they are positioned according to your star chart. The houses only represent where the energies manifest best, so they could be called fields of experience rather than experience themselves.
Effects of Astrology
The position and configuration of the celestial bodies represented by the natal chart influences the terrestrial and human life on earth. These planets exert a natural force that affect an individual’s emotional, biological, physical and mental states.
After extensive, research, case studies, observation and historical examples, astrologers are able to predict the future and destiny with the help of these planets.
With the passage of time, Astrology has made a huge impact on Eastern and Western cultures. In the middle ages, it was a strongly believed that the celestial systems and their configuration could relate to knowledge and other disciplines of the world.
Many words in various languages have been inspired from the planetary omens like Influenza, disaster, martial, jovial, etc. All these words root to the planets or their observed effects on life and earth.
Mythologies prevailing in various cultures gave root to many astrological traditions and naturally reflect the cultures they arise from. Many writers used astrological terms and symbols to guide their characters behavior and add a mystic element to their stories.
There are varied beliefs regarding the predictive aspects of astrology but mostly believe the influence it has on human behavior in response to different situations. So, Astrology is widely regarded as a way to understand one’s motivation and inner self.
In the Western world, Alchemy and the traditional Greek Astrology were considered to complement each other in many ways. Astrology has taken ground from the concept of classic elements since its evolution to date. Today too, the four elements are considered to be a vital part of the astrological chart. The planets were also traditionally associated with certain metals that they held power over.
In Medieval Europe, a university education was divided into seven disciplines called Liberal Arts, each represented by a specific planet. These arts have grown into the sciences we know today and have the same structures as the planets that represent them according to the planetary speed. The moon represented grammar, Mercury stood for dialect, Venus for Rhetoric, the Sun for music, Mars for arithmetic, Jupiter for geometry and the slowest moving Saturn for astronomy or astrology.
The scientific revolution in history evolved from experimental observations supporting systematic empirical implications, which in turn gave rise to new scientific disciplines. This was the time when Astrology and Astronomy parted ways. Astronomy gained value as one of the central sciences while Astrology was still frowned upon by scientists who considered it as baseless and superstitious. This discrimination kept on growing throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
The contemporary scientific community generally labels Astrology as a pseudoscience. It has faced the criticism of being illogical and unscientific both by scientists and non-scientists. The critiques have insisted that it does not have any logical reason and the beliefs contrary to Astrology show more solid evidence.
But even though astrology has had a lack of support from the scientific forum, it still has been in the whirl of interest and research among astrologers in the twentieth century.
Benefits of Astrology
Astrology can help foresee the challenges, fears, doubts and the opportunities that might come your way in your personal, professional or social life.
The movement, positions and relative placement of planets in the natal chart can help determine personality traits, characteristics and life events.
Following is the summary of a few pronounced benefits astrology can provide you:
1.Foreseeing the future can help you learn and grow accordingly. Using the predictions of the future allows you to make the necessary changes and adjust your behavior patterns.
2.Getting to know the secrets to your life’s success helps boost your confidence and makes you happy and optimistic about what life has to offer.
3.With the help of astrology answers, you have a better chance of tackling your problems beforehand and take precautionary measures.
4.Astrology can also act as your career advice on which professional path might prove you most beneficial.
5.It can also bring peace and harmony in your life by eliminating your concerns and worries.
6.You can also recon the good or bad outcome before starting something new.
7.Astrology can prove helpful in decision making regarding any field of life.
Discussed here was a superficial idea about the subject and history of astrology for beginners. Even if astrology has faced a lot of criticism throughout history, the research and study in the subject never stopped. If the subject really had no ground roots, it would have died along with the Babylonians and buried in world’s history.