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A Basic Introduction To Astrology

Astrology is a complex art and science which applies symbolic meaning to astronomical information as it existed over two thousand years ago when the practice of astrology was first documented in writing by ancient astronomers and astrologers

Astrology is defined as ‘the art or practice of determining the supposed influences of the planets and their motions on human affairs and human disposition’. From this practice a horoscope can be produced which is a diagram (or chart) of the relative positions of planets and signs of the Zodiac at a specific time, usually the time of birth.

Astrology sky chart
Astrology sky chart

Western Astrology originated around 500 BC, with a concept called the Zodiac. This consisted of an imaginary sphere surrounding the earth, which followed the path of the Sun through the constellations during the year. The Zodiac was split into twelve sections, each named after the specific constellation noted in that area.

Many ancient philosophies used a set of classical elements to explain the way nature behaved. Each sign was connected to one of the classical elements (fire, earth, air, or water) and was also related to a region of focus; social, personal or universal.

There are two systems of astrology in common use which are very different, but work equally well. Western astrologers use the ancient positions of the constellations and Sidereal (aka Vedic or Hindu) astrologers use current astronomical positions.

Astrologers begin by constructing a natal chart, or horoscope, based on the date, time, and place you were born. Today, most charts are done on a computer which makes them very accurate. But, they are only as accurate as the information you provide. Any reputable astrologer will advise you to obtain more accurate birth information or to have your chart rectified if you only know that you were born “around 5 p.m.”

  Astrologers interpret everything in your chart individually and then integrate it all for you into a picture of you and your life. Interpretations come in many forms: basic insight into your personality; examining specific trouble spots in your life; comparing and contrasting your chart with that of a loved one, friend, co-worker, etc.; looking at career options and financial indications; finding the best place to live; forecasting future opportunities; selecting the best time for a wedding, to start a business, etc.; spiritual growth; and, answering questions.

Most astrologers have a general practice which incorporates a variety of these services, and they may also have some areas in which they specialise such as relationships or careers. 

The best way to use astrology is to learn to evaluate a problem on your own, to examine the choices you have to make in order to fix the problem, and then to consult your astrologer to see in which ways the possible solutions will work for you and when the best time is to make changes, take risks, be patient and wait, plan, etc. With all that information in hand, you will possess a powerful knowledge with which to solve your problems, change your life, and be the person you always wanted to be.

four-astrology-elements
The Four Elements in Astrology

THE ELEMENTS IN ASTROLOGY

Many ancient philosophies used a set of classical elements to explain the way nature behaved. Each sign was connected to one of the classical elements (fire, earth, air, or water) and was also related to a region of focus; social, personal or universal.

  • Water signs are related to growth processes, identification and emotion. In tandem with the other elements, water feels that fire will make it boil, air will evaporate it, but earth will shape and channel it.
  •  Fire signs are related to action, passion, and energy. In tandem with the other elements, fire feels that earth will smother it, water will drown it, but air will fan and enliven it.
  •  Air signs are related to thought, perspective and communication. In tandem with the other elements, air feels that water will obscure it, earth will suffocate it, but fire will inspire and uplift it.
  •  Earth signs are related to sensation, stability, and practicality. In tandem with the other elements, earth feels that air will dry it, fire will dry it, but water will refresh and nourish it.

THE THREE MODALITIES

Each sign is connected to one of three modalities; cardinal (sometimes referred to as movable), fixed, and mutable. There are four quadrants following the order of the zodiac signs, with three signs in each. Each quadrant describes a season, beginning with a cardinal sign, continuing to a fixed sign, and ending with a mutable sign.

  •  Mutable signs are related to adaptability, resourcefulness and holism. They are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces.
  • Fixed signs are related to determination, focus and individuality. They are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius.
  • Cardinal signs are related to creativity and initiation. They are Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.

ZODIAC SIGN CHARACTERISTICS

  • Aries (cardinal, fire, personal): defensive, energetic, head down, assertive, impulsive.
  • Taurus (fixed, earth, personal): patient, indulgent, resourceful, thorough, devoted.
  • Gemini (mutable, air, personal): quick, logical, inquisitive.
  •  Cancer (cardinal, water, personal): clinging, protective, sensitive.
  •  Leo (fixed, fire, social): theatrical, generous, proud.
  • Virgo (mutable, earth, social): critically, practical, efficient.
  • Libra (cardinal, air, social): lazy, co-operative, fair.
  • Scorpio (fixed, water, social): anxious, passionate, sensitive.
  • Sagittarius (mutable, fire, universal): careless, free, straightforward.
  • Capricorn (cardinal, earth, universal): suspicious, prudent, cautious.
  • Aquarius (fixed, air, universal): detached, democratic, unconventional.
  •  Pisces (mutable, water, universal): distracted, imaginative, sensitive.
astrology-wheel-with-definitions-elements-signs-houses
Astrology Wheel

The Sun, The Moon, And The Planets Influence On The Zodiac

When most of us think of astrology, we think about our natal signs and not much else. Do you know what some of the major influences are, though, that define these Zodiac signs?

First and foremost is the Sun. It is the center of all life and represents a person’s personality and spirit. The Moon, on the other hand, gives us our Soul. The Moon is the ruling planet of the Zodiac sign Cancer. It is very much associated with the mother and with maternal instincts. In Chinese astrology, the Moon represents Yin, while the Sun represents Yang.

Mercury rules over Gemini and Virgo. It is the planet of the mind and of communication. In other words, it is the planet of the idea and the means to communicate the idea. The planet Venus rules over Taurus and Libra. Venus is associated with characteristics and principles of harmony and beauty. It is, of course, concerned with love. It is also concerned with the pleasure we derive from personal possessions.

Mars is the ruling planet for the dynamic Aries, and to some astrologers, Scorpio, although modern astrologers now determine that Pluto is the ruler of Scorpio. Mars is the planet that is concerned with the things you want, and how you go about getting those things. Jupiter is associated with pleasure and enjoyment. It is the ruler of Sagittarius and is also associated with principles of growth, religion and higher education.

Saturn is the ruling planet of Capricorn and is associated with principles such as reality and restrictions, boundaries and rules. Saturn was traditionally the ruler of Aquarius until the discovery of the planet Uranus. Neptune is the ruling planet of Pisces and is associated with deception, illusions, spirituality and psychic phenomena. The planet Pluto is the ruling planet of Scorpio and is associated with the concept of transformation.

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