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What is Astrology?

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  • Sarah Abramson
  • By Sarah Abramson
  • Published: 07/12/20 12:56 AM EDT
  • Updated: 07/13/20 2:18 AM EDT

What is Astrology?

For as long as humans have walked the earth, we have looked to the stars for guidance. Anthropologists have discovered mammoth tusks left by our ancestors with lunar phases marked on them. Mapping the sky was a way to understand celestial patterns which led to the discovery that our universe is cyclical. Initially, our ancestors used this knowledge for planting, harvesting and migration.

Over time the methods for generating predictions based on astronomical cycles became more sophisticated. Until one day, we were able to read the stars and learn about human lives.

The ultimate aspiration of astrology is to awaken us to the celestial cycles mirrored in our lives so that we might know ourselves a little better. The astrology is a practice available to anyone seeking meaningful answers to important questions about their path or spirituality.

Historically astrology was highly valued by kings, queens and emperors who all kept cosmic advisers close by to guide major decisions. Even well-known philosophers respected astrology, such as Hippocrates and Carl Jung who stated ‘We are born at a given moment in a given place, and like vintage years of wine we have the qualities of the year and of the season in which we are born. Astrology does not lay claim to anything else’.

Astrology is used as a tool for transformation by providing insights which can facilitate healing and growth. It is spiritually empowering as it reveals your connection to the universe and the impact the stars and moon have had on your life. An awareness of astrology creates the opportunity to schedule life events at the most advantageous time, for example, when to have a wedding or open a new business.

There is no universal method for practicing astrology, and throughout history, different cultures have devised unique techniques for making astrological predictions. For example, the Mayans used a 260-day calendar cycle which consisted of 20 periods lasting 13 days. In modern times the two most popular forms are Chinese and Western astrology.

Chinese astrologers base their calculations on a 12-year cycle; each year corresponds to a specific animal whose traits determine the quality of that year. Initially, it was only allowed to be used by the emperor who employed astrological advisers to help maintain peace and harmony. It was based on the five major planets in our solar system and provided incredible guidance in predicting the fortune of the community each year revealing areas of weakness, strength or success. Eventually, this was adapted to predict individual lives using a birth chart based on the Chinese lunar calendar.

To understand your birth chart, you need to find the day, month and year you were born on, in the lunar calendar. There are 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac; rat, ox, tiger, rabbit dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster dog pig and your birth chart will tell you what animal you were born under and the corresponding element; metal, earth, fire, water, or air. Because there are 13 million possible variants, these birth charts can be incredibly accurate and unique.

They are used to determine love compatibility, the expression of personality traits, prediction of wealth or health complications. When you know what your zodiac animal is you can use that information to create on an overview of the shape of your life, find out what are your lucky colors and days but also to learn what action you should take from year to year. The ruling animal of each year will influence your zodiac, and the compatibility of these two animals can affect your success in work, relationships, money and health.

The popular belief is that when you’re born, you will are endowed with particular traits of that years ruling animal. As a consequence, some families take birth charts very seriously and will either avoid or try to have a child in a specific year. In China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, there is often a baby boom during the year of the dragon. This is because the dragon is the most revered and only mythological animal in the Chinese zodiac. It was believed that emperors were the reincarnation of dragons and that those born in this year will attract great wealth and success. Whatever your zodiac happens to be, understanding it can add value to your life by providing you with essential insights.

Western astrology is one you may have already come across in the local paper as horoscopes are still in widespread use today. Derived from sun astrology, you simply check your month of birth against the 12 sun signs to reveal your zodiac and learn about its traits. Astrologers will tell you, however, that while daily or weekly horoscopes are fun to read the methodology behind them is to simple to provide comprehensive results. To grasp the complete picture, as with Chinese astrology, you will need to calculate your birth chart.

Astrologers use circular charts divided into 12 sections for each of the zodiac signs. The zodiac signs are representative of constellations and belong to a precise point on the table. Each of the wedges within the circle represents a ‘house’ that governs different areas in life such as love and relationships, career or wealth. It’s the astrologer’s job to calculate based on your location, birth date and time of birth the ties between your sign; the houses, planets, the sun and the moon, the stars and what element the sign belongs to, air, water, fire or earth to form a complex spiritual and psychological profile.

The circular chart is reflective of the cyclical nature of the universe, describing the continuous turning of the wheel of life. With it, we can identify our core strengths to make full use of them. Western astrology paints a comprehensive picture detailing our personality, our potential and our physical wellbeing all for the highest good.

Astrology is not the art of fortune-telling but instead making predictions based on recurring astrological patterns. Astrologers use mathematical calculations to investigate the planetary influence on an individual’s relationships, career, how they express their personality and much more.

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