For generations we have used the stars to guide us. Ships sailing on the vast sea relied on the stars to navigate waters. Great men used the stars to see how the Earth was aligned in the universe, and others chose to let their daily lives be determined by the alignment of the stars and planets in the visible night sky using what we know as astrology to determine everything from personality to providence. It has found a home in both Eastern and Western contemporary cultures; even the Mayan’s had an astrological calendar that they turned to for guidance.
The Study of Astrology and It's HistoryAstrology is more than simply looking up at the stars tonight and trying to figure out what sort of day you’ll have tomorrow, however. It is a study of the stars and planets, how their patterns and relationships can effect our everyday moments in time. It’s roots date back to our earliest histories when we determined the seasons by which constellations were present in the night sky and used this to help plant and harvest crops so we could survive. While not a ‘science’ it is still a useful tool, no matter how much involvement you choose to give it in your life. Each of the signs is an excellent indicator of personalities and even how those different personalities will mesh and work with one another. Like any generalization, there will be people who just don’t seem to fit the archetype, but that doesn’t stop the summaries of the signs from being a useful gauge of someone’s personality.
Your sign or Zodiac is made up five parts, sign, house, aspect, planet and element. The sign is determined by the month of your birth, for example those born on the 1st of August are identified as a Leo because of the sign Leo the Lion. The twelve signs are: Aquarius the Water Bearer, Aries the Ram, Cancer the Crab, Capricorn the Sea Goat, Gemini the Twins, Leo the Lion, Libra the Scales, Pisces the Fish, Sagittarius the Archer, Scorpio the Scorpion, Taurus the Bull, and Virgo the Virgin. There is a thirteenth Zodiac called Ophiuchus the Serpent Bearer which is slightly controversial and not entirely recognized as an official Zodiac Sign. In general a sign will extend from the 21st through the 20th of two months, for example the sign Taurus runs from the 21st of April to the 21st of May. Those born within a few days of the changing of two signs are said to be born on the cusp and may show strong traits from both signs.
The planet is determined based on which planet appears in the area of the sky related to your sign; there are twelve parts of the sky, one for each of the signs. The houses are divided up by the areas of life that are common for everyone! Therefore your sign may be Leo with Mercury in the 7th house!
The twelve Astrological houses are defined as:1st House of Self
2nd House of Resources
3rd House of Communication and Perception
4th House of Home and Family
5th House of Creativity, Play, and Self-Expression
6th House of Work and Health
7th House of Relationships
8th House of Inner Psyche and Transformation
9th House of Travel, Education, and Religion
10th House of Career
11th House of Friends, Hopes, and Wishes (or Peers and Affiliations)
12th House of Spiritual and Transcendent Life
The aspects are defined as the relationships between the planets. Astrology designates the planets as the sun, moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. These planets can be in the aspect of conjunction, where they are so close together they nearly overlap, or in opposition where they are opposite each other. Other commonly mentioned aspects may be the Square, Trine and Sextile, but the most common aspects are conjunction and opposition.
The final piece of your zodiac is your element. There are four of them, each determined by the time of year you are born and related to the seasons. The fire element runs from the Spring Equinox till the Summer Solstice, then Air goes from Summer Solstice to the Fall Equinox. Earth ends the year running from Fall Equinox to the Winter Solstice, and the year begins anew with Water leading from Winter Solstice to Spring Equinox. Those who share elements will have similarities in personality, and signs found during an elemental period will also been similar. Fire signs are Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. Air signs are Libra, Gemini, and Aquarius. Earth signs are Capricorn, Taurus and Virgo, while Water signs are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.
Is Astrology Considered Science or Psuedoscience?Astrology is as much a ‘science’ of emotion as it is one of metaphysics. It requires you to feel your way through your zodiac as much as it does you to be able to read and understand what a birth chart may tell you. Taking the time to learn your zodiac can be useful in understanding yourself and your interactions with others. It can help you make job decisions because it may help you understand who you are just a little bit better and help you understand what sorts of jobs are right for you. It can help you pick a relationship, in general, and help you identify potential bumps in the relationship road by explaining where you and someone from a different zodiac may have conflicts. No matter how much faith or importance you place on it, astrology can be a fun, and useful tool to have in your life.