Astrology is a group of systems, traditions, and beliefs which hold that the relative positions of celestial bodies(the Sun, Moon, and planets) and related details can provide information about personality, human affairs and other “earthly” matters. A practitioner of astrology is called an astrologer. Astrologers generally believe that the movements and positions of celestial bodies can inform them about events experienced on a human scale or that predictions can be made from them. Many astrologers see astrology as being a purely symbolic language whereas others see the movements and positions of celestial bodies as influencing human and mundane affairs, either causally or otherwise.Despite differences in definitions, a common assumption of astrologers is that celestial placements can aid in the interpretation of past and present events, and in the prediction of the future.
Astrology is considered a pseudoscience or superstition by the scientific community, which sees a lack ofstatistically significant astrological predictions, while psychology explains much of the continued faith in astrology as a matter of cognitive biases. In 2006 the U.S. National Science Board published a statement which said it considers belief in ten survey items, astrology among them, to be “pseudoscientific”.
Numerous traditions and applications employing astrological concepts have arisen since its earliest recorded beginnings in the 3rd millennium BC. Astrology has played an important role in the shaping of culture, early astronomy, the Vedas, and various disciplines throughout history. In fact, astrology and astronomy were often regarded as synonyms before the modern era, with the desire for predictive and divinatory knowledge one of the motivating factors for astronomical observation. Astronomy began to diverge from astrology after a period of gradual separation from the Renaissance up until the 18th century. Eventually, astronomy distinguished itself as the empirical study of astronomical objects and phenomena.
The word “astrology” comes from the Latin term astrologia (“astronomy”), which in turn derives from the Greek noun αστρολογία: ἄστρον, astron (“constellation” or “celestial body”) and -λογία, -logia (“the study of”). The word “starcraft” has also traditionally been used to mean astrology.
Horoscopic astrology is a system that some claim to have developed in the Mediterranean region and specifically Hellenistic Egypt around the late 2nd or early 1st century BC. However, horoscopic astrology has been practiced in India since ancient times, and Vedic astrologyis the oldest surviving form of horoscopic astrology in the world. The tradition deals with two-dimensional diagrams of the heavens, or horoscopes, created for specific moments in time.
The diagram is then used to interpret the inherent meaning underlying the alignment of celestial bodies at that moment based on a specific set of rules and guidelines. A horoscope was calculated normally for the moment of an individual’s birth, or at the beginning of an enterprise or event, because the alignments of the heavens at that moment were thought to determine the nature of the subject in question. One of the defining characteristics of this form of astrology that makes it distinct from other traditions is the computation of the degree of the Eastern horizon rising against the backdrop of the ecliptic at the specific moment under examination, otherwise known as the ascendant. Horoscopic astrology is the most influential and widespread form of astrology in Africa,India, Europe and the Middle East. Medieval and most modern Western traditions of astrology have Hellenistic origins.
About the Author
(Vashikaran Specialist, Gold Medalist and Wachaspati winner from Punjab University, India.)