Astrology Made Simple – Types of Astrology
Astrology is the study of the relationship between the relative positions of certain celestial bodies and life here on earth. Because the word astrology comes from the Greek words astron, meaning ‘star’ and logos, meaning ‘word’, we can literally translate astrology to mean the language of the stars; a language and practice that has developed over thousands of years by numerous cultures around the world since its earliest recorded beginnings in the third millennium BC.
Indian or Jyotish The foundation of Jyotisha is based on the Sanskrit bandhu of the Vedas which describes the binding between the inner and outer world. As with Western Astrology, Jyotisha relies on the connection between the microcosm and the macrocosm. The microcosm is life on earth, while the macrocosm is the universe.
The History of Astrology
Although the terms astrology and astronomy have long been synonymous with each other, astrology actually predates both astronomy and psychology. The earliest known astrological records can be traced to Babylon as far back as 1645 BC. However, the history of astrology doesn’t follow one particular timeline, but rather three independent branches we refer to as Western astrology, Indian or Jyotish astrology and Chinese or East Asian astrology.
Like Western and Indian Astrology, Chinese astrology is believed to have originated in China in the third millennium. Similar to Hermetic law, “as above, so below”, Confucius said, “Heaven sends down its good or evil symbols and wise men act accordingly.” Astrology in China later became combined with the Chinese practice known as Feng shui.
The study of Western astrology was believed to be first practiced among the ancient Babylonians in the third millennium B.C.. Babylonians believed that the Gods were responsible for all atmospheric phenomena, such as rain and sunshine. Egypt also has a very important place in astrological history. Star charts dating back to 4,200 B.C. prove Egypt has an ancient history with astrology. Even the pyramids are oriented towards the North Pole of the sky as they served as astrological calculators, as well as burial places for astrologically minded pharaohs. In fact, Rameses II is often credited with fixing the positions of the cardinal signs Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. Some zodiac signs are even said to be Egyptian in origin, including Aries, and Leo.
Houses and Signs of the Zodiac that remain virtually unchanged today.
As Europeans became more literate, various periodicals and almanacs began publishing astrological information. Notable authors included Galileo and Copernicus, who were both practicing astrologers and founders of the modern scientific movement. However, the more popular astrology became, the more scrutinized it was. And when major astrological predictions failed to come true, astrology began to fall out of favor.
It wasn’t until much later with the birth of Princess Margaret in 1930 that Astrology experienced a revival. To commemorate her birth, the British newspaper, London Sunday Express, ran the princess’ astrological profile, thus giving birth to the modern newspaper horoscope column.
Developed in Hellenistic Egypt, Horoscopic Astrology uses a visual representation of the heavens called a horoscope, derived from the Greek word, horoskopos, meaning “a look at the hours”. This visual representation usually takes the form of a chart or diagram (below) that represents the positions of the Sun, Moon, planets, the astrological aspects, and angles at the time of a particular event, such as a person’s birth.
Horoscopic Astrology is divided into the four main branches of Natal, Mundane, Electional and Horary.
1. Natal Astrology is the most commonly practiced form of Horoscopic Astrology and is based upon the idea that each individual’s personality or path in life can be determined by constructing a natal chart for the exact date, time, and location of a person’s birth.
2. Mundane Astrology is one of the most ancient forms of astrology and takes its name from the Roman word Mundus, meaning “the World”. Mundane Astrology is based upon the idea that a correlation exists between individuals and world events, world affairs (wars, assassinations, etc.) and even geological phenomena such as earthquakes.
3. Electional Astrology is the practice of determining an individual’s astrological profile to determine how and when he or she should partake in a particular undertaking or event such as opening a business.
4. Horary astrology is the practice in which the astrologer attempts to answer an individual’s specific question by constructing a horoscope centered on that specific question. For example, “Am I going to get a promotion at work?”
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