Astrology has been popular off and on for over 5000 years and has evolved over 5 millennia to become 3 separate yet primary branches. Ayurvedic (or Vedic) astrology, perhaps the progenitor of all modern astrological systems, is one of the oldest forms and is generally practised and followed in India and Hindu cultures around the world.
Chinese astrology is derived from Ayurvedic astrology and is widely followed in countries with large Asian populations, originating in China.
Western astrology was developed through Persian and Greco-Roman influences over the last 2500 years, with these ancient cultures applying their own names and interpretations of the signs and planets now so familiar.
Historically, most every indigenous culture worldwide developed their own unique form of astrology, often independently from other cultures, such as Celtic astrology, North American First Nations animal medicine astrology, Egyptian, Mayan and Aztec astrology.
Although all 3 primary systems of astrology are quite different from one another, it’s interesting to note that they correspond with the 3 primary branches of medicine; Ayurvedic, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and modern allopathic (Western) medicine. In the Americas, Europe and parts of Oceania, Western astrology is most widely followed and is the system used on this web site.
THE SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC
About 2500 years ago when the astronomy of Western astrology was devised the zodiac signs were designated to be areas of the heavens above that roughly corresponded to 30 degrees of celestial arc each. Each sign, about 1/12th of a perfect circle loosely contained constellations of stars that were given names. Eventually, the zodiac signs each had their own biography, associations, history and each governed distinct qualities of life.
With these 12 signs forming a 360 degree belt in the sky called the ecliptic they also provide a backdrop for each planet as it follows relatively the same pathway as the Sun’s through the ecliptic (except Pluto and Mercury). From our viewpoint here on earth, and more so for the ancient people that developed astrology, it appears that the sun and planets travel through the “houses” or domains of each zodiac sign. In addition to creating our seasons, the tilt of the earth at 23.5 degrees with respect to its axis allows the sun, moon and planets appear to rise and set. These planetary cycles and how they interact with other planets by angles were observed over hundreds of years to create a body of knowledge called astrology.
Astrology is a very broad topic with several branches yet is similar to psychology in that it is also a collection of observations and theories which can be used to make certain diagnoses or predict behaviour and activities. The part of astrology (forecasting) that goes beyond psychology may rightly be included more in the realms of parapsychology as astrology can be used to predict events.
In many ways, an astrologer is just a different type of meteorologist. They read charts and maps to predict the weather based on highs and lows, pressure systems, etc. Astrologers really do much the same, reading a horoscope for planetary and sign patterns, high and low pressure systems and can make predictions based on these cycles.
None of this is witchcraft or any alien or religious power. Astrology has a basis in science although astronomers deny the existence of their progenitor; astrology predates modern astronomy as ancient astrologers developed astronomy for the purpose of astrology.
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