Astrology has many facets, and means different things to different people. In simple words, astrology means ‘study of the stars’ and comes from the Greek word ‘astrologia,’ or is the combination of the two Greek words astron – star; and logos – word, or study. Astrology has been in use for more than 5000 years, and is the study of the affect of the sun, the moon, the stars and the planets, on the events on Earth. Believers in astrology believe that every position of the planets – which include the eight other planets we all know of, and the sun and the moon – have influence on every aspect of our lives.
There are various traditions in astrology, some of which, though not exhaustive, are:
§ Chinese astrology
§ Kabbalistic astrology
§ Jyotish or Vedic astrology
§ Tibetan astrology
§ Celtic astrology
§ Modern Western astrology
The Origin Of Astrology
It is thought that the different traditions of astrology seen in Asia, Europe and the Middle East had their origins in the ancient Babylonian/Mesopotamian system of omens before the 2nd millennium BC. This system later spread to Greece around the 4th century BC, and from there through the conquests of Alexander to Egypt, the rest of the Middle East, and India.
How It Works
Astrologers – the practitioners of astrology – believe that the position of the sun, the stars, and the moon, along with the planets, at the time of birth shape our personalities. These heavenly bodies influence our lives, affect our relationships, and can predict our future.
The simplest form of astrology is the sun-sign astrology – the type we see in our daily newspapers. All that is required is your date of birth, and serious astrologers know that it produces very limited results. There is no single theory behind the practice of astrology. There is a need to know in what sign each planet was at the time of your birth, for more accurate readings. The ‘signs’ are the twelve constellations of the Zodiac.
The position of the planets, the signs, and other elements help to form a complex, but supposedly accurate, profile of your future prospects, and of your personality. The Western world follows the common Western astrology, whereas the Chinese, Vedic and Tibetan astrology are among the most well known in the Eastern cultures.
The Need To Take Astrology Seriously
Many people consider astrology to be a parlor game, but it is not so. It is a means to understand who you are, and why and how you fit into this world. It can help you understand how your behavior patterns were formed. Some believe astrology to be a science where as others believe it to be a great skill. It depends on what you consider it to be – a light entertainment, or deep psychological astrology.
There are many kinds of astrologers who are experts in their own forms of astrological applications, such as ‘psychological astrology and astrotherapy, synastry - the astrology of human relationships, medical astrology, political astrology, spiritual astrology, predictive astrology,’ among others. They specialize in their own fields, and there are others who do all types of astrological work.
Astrology is not mumbo-jumbo, but consists of age-old wisdom from the past centuries. In most countries, there are no regulations to regulate the work of astrologers, and anyone can call himself an astrologer. It is a wild area and you need to choose a qualified and a correct astrologer if you are serious about ‘knowing’ yourself.
Serious astrologers use planets only to symbolize certain things, and consider astrology to be a means to tell us how we experience ourselves in the world. It is wrong to consider astrology as pure fortune telling as most astrologers, necessarily, do not possess special clairvoyant or psychic abilities.