Astrology is just one of those subjects: It's easy to
learn but can take a lifetime to master. Most people are
familiar with the most basic aspect of Astrology, their
Star Sign (or Sun Sign), and usually they can name at
least one common trait of their Sign. Star Signs are popularized
through all the horoscopes that appear in daily newspaper
columns, magazines and on web sites. Unfortunately, many
people think that their Star Sign is all that there is
to Astrology. While it is a good place to start, there
is a lot more to Astrology than just the Sun's position!
Astrology is not a modern invention dating back only a
few years, decades or even centuries. Astrology has been
studied for millennia, and it dates back as far as recorded
history. The original Astrologers were priests and scholars,
and they were looked up to as doctors and learned men.
According to modern speculation, the Three Wise Men of
Christian belief were Astrologers! At that time, Astrology
was the same science as Astronomy and Psychology, whose
modern descendants arose from Astrology.
In ancient times, the Greeks and Romans based their system
of gods on what they believed was up in the sky. Zeus,
who equates to Jupiter in Roman myth, and the other gods
and goddesses were based on the Planets visible to the
ancients. Astrology was similarly popular in Babylon and
Egypt, and it also rose in the Middle East, India and
Modern Astrology has changed with the discovery of new
Planets: first Uranus in 1781, then Neptune and Pluto,
as well as the four feminine-energy Asteroids. These three
Planets have a stronger effect on generations as a whole
rather than individuals, but they still have an important
place in modern Astrology.
Astrology is about the interaction between the Planets
(including the Sun and Moon) and the Signs. The relationships
between them and their interactions are mathematically
based, and Astrology studies these mathematical cycles.
Each Sign represents a different aspect of the whole human;
Aries starts the cycle, representing the Self, and Pisces
completes it, representing the mass unconscious of all
mankind. In between, each other Sign carries the energy
of a different phase of man's evolution within the universe.
In addition, Astrology does not need to affect or change
people's religious beliefs. In fact, most religions incorporate
some idea linking the way you live your life to where
you end up in the afterlife. Astrology deals with the
same sort of idea through the concept of karma: What you
do in this lifetime determines what will happen to you
in your next lifetime. The philosophies are the same;
they are just expressed in different ways.
There are many different categories of Astrology. Medical,
business and stock market Astrology are often practiced
for health or financial reasons. Weather Astrology is
popular in some areas. Mundane Astrology is the study
of politics and world events, while Electional Astrology
helps people find favorable times or days to get married,
start a business, begin a new job and so on. Horary Astrology
is predictive, studying questions based upon the specific
moment they arise. The most popular type of Astrology,
however, is Natal, which analyzes people based on their
time and place of birth.
There are two major types of Astrology practiced today
in the Western World: Tropical and Siderial. Tropical
Astrology assigns the Signs based on their position in
relation to the Spring Equinox, which marks the Astrological
New Year and usually falls on March 21. The Equinox represents
0 degrees Aries. Siderial Astrology assigns positions
based on constellations, rather than in relation to the
Equinox. At present, Siderial Astrology is 24 degrees
behind Tropical Astrology, so a person born under 23 degrees
Libra in Tropical Astrology is born at 29 degrees Virgo
in Siderial Astrology.