Unlocking the Secrets of Astrology
Astrology is the belief that the movements and positions of celestial bodies influence human affairs and personality traits. For centuries, this art has intrigued people from all cultures and backgrounds.
When most people hear the word astrology they think of their zodiac sign. However, astrology is much deeper than that.
Astrology grew rapidly in popularity throughout the Hellenistic period, with numerous texts written by philosophers such as Hermes and Aristotle on the subject. The adaptation of astrology to varying philosophical schools and the borrowing of ideas from various philosophies demonstrate the “eclecticism” or syncretism that characterizes the Hellenistic world.
Although astronomy and astrology share some similarities, they are different in that astronomers study celestial objects objectively based on observed facts and data, while astrologers attribute influence to these same objects by way of their motions and configurations. Furthermore, astrologers use mythological images to explain the relationships of these celestial objects and constellations. Different astrologers rely on different mythologies to guide them, and these varied beliefs are natural given the fact that astrology is essentially a form of divination.
Early astrologers distinguished between what they called “fixed stars,” which seemed to maintain the same position on a sphere in the sky, and those they called “wandering stars.”  The wandering stars are those that seem to change their positions relative to the fixed stars over time. Astrologers interpreted the movements of these wandering stars as omens and used them to predict events in the lives of individuals.
Many modern critics of astrology have focused on the lack of a scientifically defined mechanism by which celestial bodies can supposedly influence terrestrial affairs. However, astrologers have responded by suggesting a variety of possible causal mechanisms. One favored by some researchers is a principle of synchronicity, and others have derived inspiration from quantum physics. what’s the ugliest zodiac sign
Nevertheless, the vast majority of astrologers do not believe that astrology is predictive in the sense of providing a predetermined destiny for an individual. Few astrologers carry out the kind of rigorous statistical testing on horoscopes that might validate or invalidate their claims. One exception is a researcher who reversed the horoscopes of 22 subjects and found that the resulting astrological readings were just as accurate when applied to the opposite sign of their birth.
Astrology is a system of prediction that relies on the premise that celestial objects (the Sun, Moon, planets and stars) in their arbitrary combinations or configurations influence events on earth. Its roots are in the Babylonian system of celestial omens, which later influenced Hellenistic philosophy and, eventually, indigenous forms of astrology. Astrology is often criticized for its lack of a physical mechanism that would explain how these outer worldly objects supposedly affect terrestrial life. However, astrologers counter that a lack of such a physical cause should not necessarily invalidate the premise that certain planets and stars have particular influences. Some astrologers have even posited non-causal, purely correlative relationships between planetary movements and terrestrial events—such as the theory of synchronicity promoted by psychologist Jung.
Most astrologers start by studying their birth chart, which shows the position of each star and planet at the moment of their birth. This information is used to make predictions and offer insight into one’s potential for success, happiness and fulfillment in life. Many astrologers also use the birth charts of others to predict where and how they might organically connect with another person, a practice called synastry.
In addition to the natal chart, astrologers use other tools, such as katarkhe, a table of mathematical calculations related to the movements of celestial bodies, to discern the future. These astronomical instruments were developed by the Greek mathematician Ptolemy around 2nd century CE. These astronomical tables reflected the Pythagorean view of a cosmic harmony based on the regularity of the motions of the sun, moon and planets in relation to each other and their relative positions to the earth. They also incorporated the ancient Babylonian names for the planets as visible representations of their pantheon—such as Jupiter shining brightly (Phaithon), Mercury twinkling and blinking (Stilbon), and Mars fiery (Pureos). Astrologers believe that certain heavenly bodies are symbolic of gods, such as Jupiter representing the Roman goddess Juno and Venus the Roman goddess Vesta.
Astrology is not only about the planets, it’s also about how they interact with one another. The planets’ positions at the time of your birth are what’s known as your chart. This chart is what a professional astrologer uses to give you insight into your personality, relationships, career, and health.
While many astrology fans are familiar with their sun sign, it’s only when you start delving deeper into the planets that things really get interesting. For starters, each planet has its own defining characteristics. For example, the planet Saturn—the bringer of discipline and responsibility—is ruled by the element Earth (think hard-working and practical). It’s also a cardinal planet, which means it likes to move quickly.
The planet Jupiter is a larger-than-life gas giant that’s renowned for its optimism, philosophy, and adventure. This planet represents your luck, indicating the assets and talents you’ve been born with that make it easier to take risks.
In astrology, the planets are often seen as gods that govern your life through their movements. However, astrology has faced its fair share of criticism throughout history. From Roman orators to Hellenistic schools of philosophical skepticism, the belief that small movements in the stars can affect our lives has been challenged by many.
As a modern practice, astrology is seen as an esoteric art form that’s subject to enlightened interpretation rather than strict, by-the-books rules. This open-minded approach to interpreting the planets’ movement through your birth chart allows you to discover its unique meanings in order to better understand your strengths and challenges. You can even use your horoscope to compare with a friend or lover’s — a technique called synastry — to see how your energies blend together organically.
A person’s natal birth chart—the foundation of their astrological portrait—has 12 houses that govern different aspects of life. While knowing one’s sun sign and moon sign offers a lot of insight, the houses help ground astrology in earthly matters by delineating areas of career, home, relationships, and more.
The house system is a division of the ecliptic plane (the great circle that contains the Sun’s orbit) at the moment of a person’s birth, with each of the 12 houses being ruled by one of the zodiac signs. The first six of the houses fall below the horizon, called the northern hemisphere; these are known as personal houses and often deal with a person’s private pursuits. The last six of the houses fall above the horizon, or the southern hemisphere; these are considered interpersonal houses and deal with how a person interacts with others.
As the planets move around the houses—taking a year to complete one lap—they reveal more about a person’s character, motivations, and potential. For example, if the planet Venus is in your fourth house of family, home, and traditions—ruled by Cancer and the Moon—that indicates you are sensitive to those things and may be a nurturer at heart.
A professional astrologer can also use predictive techniques like reading transits—the current planetary “weather” that’s currently impacting your chart and its placements—to gain insight into your future. But even if you’re just getting started, understanding the houses can give you a more thorough picture of your natal chart.
Astrologers use aspects as a way to add nuance and subtlety to their interpretations. Aspects link planets together in different ways and help us to understand the relationships between them. They blend the symbolism of the two planets and combine the influences of their signs, houses and zodiac placements. The result is a complex interplay of energies that can be hard to get from simply looking at the planets’ sign and house placements alone.
Each aspect carries its own unique energy and is shaped by the number of degrees of separation. Some astrologers think of them as adjectives that modify the meaning of the planets involved, without changing their core essence. Aspects can make the energies of the planets more or less polarized, and they can have three key effects on the planets they connect to: combining and blending, improving and assisting, and harming and obstructing.
There are more than 20 aspects that astrologers use, but the five most common ones are conjunctions, oppositions, squares, semisquares and sesquiquadrates. The first four are astrologers’ “standard” aspects and the last is often called the cranky one. Each has its own unique energy that is brought forth when it’s in place.
When two planets form a conjunction, they are in exact alignment with each other and their qualities are blended and strengthened by being in the same sign and house. This is a good and positive aspect. An opposition, on the other hand, is a polarized energy that can bring things into conflict and cause friction. For example, if love-planet Venus and communication-planet Mercury are in an opposition, they’ll have trouble communicating with each other or building a relationship that runs smoothly.Author: JazzyExpert