It's difficult to determine when mankind began to associate its destiny with the stars and the planets' positioning. Perhaps it was a case of pride, or an accumulation of events which made us wonder whether a correlation exists, leading to us looking for answers and finding them in the stars. Anyhow, the existence of astrology doesn't seem to be the fruits of just one civilization, but something deeper we inherited from our ancestors, almost innate.
Astrology is a science, although it still fits the definition of a science from many years ago and not the widespread understanding we have nowadays of what a science is. In ancient times, this knowledge was seen as indisputable and included various different aspects all relating to each other.
A definition we might give to astrology is the interpretation of the language of the stars, by which we try to decipher the mysterious resonance between the sky and the Earth, as anything that happens up there has an effect on everything and anything down here.
Through astrology, we can see where problems lie and understand the origins of said problems. We can study the effects the positioning of the stars has on us, and as if this wasn't enough, we can also use astrology to delimit the boundaries of our subconscious, and in turn, use this knowledge to guide ourselves down the correct paths in our day to day lives.
Astrology has two fundamental pillars on which the science is based, the first of which is calculating the positioning and movements of the stars and the planets. This is where both astronomy and astrology coincide, they both tell us where to look at should we want to see the Moon, Mars or Venus.
The difference between them lies in that astronomy merely studies the sky without drawing grand conclusions from it while astrology interprets these movements and positions to pick up the messages sent to us by the planets and stars. There are also some other differences, in astrology, both the sun and moon are lumped in the same category as the planets. This may seem strange as most of us have always thought of the Sun as a star and of the Moon as a satellite due to the prevalence of astronomy. However, in astrology they are seen as planets because they all have similar effects on us.
Within the science of astrology, there is some key terminology which we should be familiar with, as without knowing what these elements are, we can't hope to understand astrology properly. The main elements we should familiarize ourselves with are: natal charts, the 12 zodiac signs, the rising sign and the astrological houses.
In order to produce a natal chart (also known as an astral chart), we need the precise time of birth (preferably up to the minute we were born), and the place of birth (again, the more precise the better). The elements we'll use for the interpretation are the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. We will find each element underneath a certain star sign (zodiac sign) depending on the time and place of birth. Each star sign occupies a 30 ° angle, totalling to a 360 ° full circle around the Earth. Respectively, each star sign can also be found in one of the 12 astrological houses, each one representing a different area of our life, and of which there are also 12.
In occidental astrology, astrologers divide the stars into 12 pieces, each one corresponding to one of the 12 zodiac signs we know of. In order for us to know which zodiac sign corresponds to us, we have to look at the Sun's positioning in the zodiac wheel at the time of our birth. For example, if the Sun was under the Taurus sign when you were born, you are a Taurus, likewise if the Sun was under the Leo sign, you're a Leo.
Many people wonder why it is important for us to know which one is our zodiac sign, and the answer is simple. Our zodiac sign influences our behaviour, our appearance, the vibe we give off to others and our feelings. It also gives us clues about our true personality, and thanks to the knowledge we extract from the stars, we can take better decisions and avoid problems in the future.
The zodiac wheel divides a year like this:
Aries - From the 21st of March to the 19th of April.
Taurus - From the 20th of April to the 20th of May.
Gemini - From the 21st of May to the 20th of June.
Cancer - From the 21st of June to the 22nd of July.
Leo - From the 23rd of July to the 23rd of August.
Virgo - From the 24th of August to the 22nd of September.
Libra - From the 23rd of September to the 22nd of October.
Scorpio - From the 23rd of October to the 21st of November.
Sagittarius - From the 22nd of November to the 21st of December.
Capricorn - From the 22nd of December to the 19th of January.
Aquarius - From the 20th of January to the 19th of February.
Pisces - From the 20th of February to the 20th of March.
The rising sign (sometimes known as ascendant sign) is calculated similarly to the zodiac sign; our rising sign is the one rising on the Eastern horizon at the time and place of our birth. We use the ascendant and the planet in it at the time to decipher certain aspects of the individual in question's personality and better understand their interactions with the people around them.
Read more about this topic: How Does the Ascendant Sign Impact Your Personality?
We previously explained what an astral chart consists of. This chart divides the sky into 12 sections called houses, and they are considered to be their own astrological entity. They also each correspond to different aspects of our life and our day to day activities.
When a planet enters a house, we can interpret the influence of that planet in the area of life the house represents.
The zodiac signs all fall into a category associated with an element. Aries, Leo and Sagittarius are fire signs. Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces are water signs. Aquarius, Gemini and Libra are air signs and Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn are earth signs.
Each civilization has had their own astrology, so various different types of zodiac signs exist, such as Chinese, Japanese , Mayan and Indian astrology, amongst many others. They all vary in their measurement of time and of the period of time given to each sign.
There are also different kinds of astrology based on varying aspects such as energies, past lives and psychological illnesses.
Archetypal astrology focuses on the energies from each celestial body, from every position, and it hopes to aid us in better understanding our essence. Within archetypal astrology there are two categories the planets fall into, the personal planets (the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter) and the transpersonal planets (Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto).
This form of astrology focuses on the soul of the person in question, and analyses the relationships and spaces between individuals.
This type of astrology intends to give the person in question answers by finding them in his/her past lives. It believes that we have all been reincarnated, and in our past lives we live through a pattern of events which we are destined to keep reliving. It's closely linked to the twelfth house of the zodiac, and to the planets Saturn and Jupiter.
This form of astrology analyses the human body and believes that each planet governs and affects a different part of our body.
This form of astrology believes we are all ill because we believe we are, and the extent of our illnesses depends on how ill we believe ourselves to be. It intends to help us find ourselves.