Although astrology is an ancient science it is not something that can be scientifically proved or disproved, it is something that satisfies a need deep inside us which is no longer provided in the modern world. Just because we don’t understand exactly how astrology works doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. If an astrologer is helping people to understand themselves and become interested in what makes them an individual, then astrology is working. The more we understand ourselves the more we understand everything, and this is because it is only then that we become open to the idea that we are connected to everything else in the universe. Once I had realised this connection for myself I felt more at ease with my life. This realisation cannot be kept to yourself, it demands to be shared, and the following are my own thoughts on what astrology is and why people need it in their lives. You may agree, you may not, but if it makes you think about yourself and how you are part of everything else in the universe, then I have achieved what I set out to do.
A Universal Connection
Astrology is the study of the influence of the Sun, Moon and planets on human affairs. When writing about astrology I don’t mean the horoscopes you see in newspapers and magazines. They are produced en masse to feed our desire to know what is going to happen in the future, a desire that is held in our subconscious. If only more people recognised the true value of astrology in its fullest sense, then this subconscious need could be fulfilled in a more satisfying way.
Astrology, like the universe, is made up of numbers and cycles. The mathematical calculations used in astrology are complex in order to achieve accurate (but symbolic) positions of the planets. Calculation of degrees and angles are also of utmost importance, as are the cycles of the planets and the Zodiac, particularly when they return to the position they were at your birth. It is a scientific fact that we are all made of the same matter as the universe and we know that our cells reflect the pattern of the planets orbiting the Sun. The planets in our solar system form the "cell" we are part of so it makes sense that the different positions they make within that cell affects the other parts of it, including us. So, if the planets and us are connected then they must affect us depending on where they are in the universe in relation to us. Interestingly, there is now known to be a connection between the solar system and our DNA which shows that many people are coming to the same conclusion.
The nearer planets affect us more than the outer planets and this is reflected in the interpretation of a birth chart. Being so close to Earth, the Moon has an extremely strong and important influence on us, as does the Sun. As well as affecting us the planets also have an affect on each other depending on the positions they form together. Ancient civilisations recognised the connection which is summed up in the term, "as above, so below". They saw the Sun in the sky move in a circle around the Earth and as this happened they recognised the different qualities the various planetary positions added to their lives. This was something they wanted to understand and calculate, so they created the Zodiac to aid their calculations.
Each section of the sky was named according to the shape of the constellation occupying it with the Sun taking about a month to pass through each of these twelve signs in turn. Certain characteristics have been attributed to each of the signs and, along with other points of reference, the planetary positions show different influences on individuals or events. This formed their code and it was, and is, extremely complex. Knowing that our cells reflect the pattern of the planets orbiting the Sun and that we are made of the same matter as the rest of the universe adds substance to these ancient beliefs.
The Birth Chart
A birth chart is a map of the skies as seen from the Earth at the moment and place of birth, with the position of each planet and sign plotted precisely. The positions included in a birth chart can be interpreted to show the influences on the character and the potential that gives. This can help to discover any hidden talents or inclinations so they can be put to good use. Also, the birth charts of a couple can be compared and interpreted to show the influence on their relationship, highlighting any potential problem areas which may require extra work.
At the point of birth you become an individual and the influence of the planets in different positions takes effect along with the influences of those around you. The point of birth is also a matter for debate. I am inclined to believe it is the moment at which the umbilical cord is cut and so you become completely separate from your mother, an entirely new individual.
The planetary influences are more strongly felt during childhood when you are following your instincts rather than the restrictions your parents and society puts on you. Planetary cycles also have a strong effect at certain times of your life particularly when the positions are the same as at birth (is this where the term "second childhood" comes from?) or different in a measurable way. The early forties are an important time when many of the outer planets are in difficult aspects to their positions at birth, so the term, ‘mid life crisis’ is very apt.
Daily horoscopes are written for a twelfth of the population, so to get a truly individual horoscope it must be based on your own birth chart and all the influences contained in it. Although your Sun sign (as used in these horoscopes) is an important part of your birth chart, it does not show the whole picture. All the planetary positions and signs need to be taken into consideration to interpret the influence on your character as a whole. You may have stronger influences on your character than the position of the Sun. This should always be considered when reading horoscopes which focus only on the position of the Sun. As well as providing character analysis, astrology is also used to answer questions and predict trends. However, as it deals with influences it is only possible to predict the influence which will not necessarily provide a set outcome.
Why People Need Astrology
Astrology satisfies our desire to know what is going to happen in the future as this gives us a sense of purpose in our lives, a direction. Religion used to provide this and some religions, recognising this essential spiritual need, have retained their close link with astrology. But many have discarded astrology and become something too clinical to provide the universal connection we need to feel. Because astrology is now separated from these religions it has taken over the role of providing what they have since lost.
In the past I have been sceptical about how this all works, but the accuracy of the charts I have produced and interpreted has, and still is, showing me that the ancient peoples knew a lot more about the meaning of life than we do. "As above, so below" really does seem to sum it all up. Also, trying to prove this by scientific means will never prove anything as science needs physical proof, whereas astrology is a symbolic spiritual connection which has been passed down through the generations. I"m sure this connection is still within all of us but we are conditioned not to accept it, or other "spiritual" possibilities. My own experience has shown me that there is truth to be found in astrology if your mind is open to finding it. I"m still learning about how this all works myself and I expect I always will be.
Astrology continues to be symbolic because we know the constellations are no longer in the same positions in the sky as they were in ancient times. But because it is symbolic the ancient positions are still used. Symbolic is not the same as true and this is the mistake many opponents of astrology make. Astrology is not meant to be taken literally, but it can be used to identify different areas of potential and through this it is used to encourage a greater understanding of oneself. An astrologer uses a birth chart for identifying potential, a horary chart to help answer questions or a progressed chart to make predictions about future influences (astrology is about influences not outcomes). In this way astrology is used more as a channel in a similar way to Tarot cards used by a psychic. The positions of the planets in the chart are symbolic as are the pictures on Tarot cards.
Because of our need for spiritual symbolism and knowledge about ourselves, especially our future, astrology remains very popular. The problem is that when taken literally it can have a negative effect, for example, if you become obsessed with whether your horoscope comes true or not. But when used as a tool, astrology is a wide-ranging subject.
Astrology has something for everyone.
Author Bio :
Julie Chandler has been interested in astrology since childhood and has been producing astrological information for over 25 years. Julie set up www.astralarts.com in 2000 and the site currently receives close to 4,000 hits per day. Astral Arts includes horoscopes, relationship guides, a new mind/body/spirit section and much more. http://www.astralarts.com